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A Call For KDE To Fully Embrace Simplicity By Default, Appeal To More Novice Users

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  • #61
    Originally posted by mrazster View Post
    In the past, I've been keeping away from KDE as I've had all kinds of issues with KDE/plasma, anything from stability issues to inconsistency and confusing options in system settings.

    But for various technical reasons I'm currently stuck on KDE/plasma and have been running it for a little over a year. And I have to say it's really growing on me, fast and hard. I have come to really like it. It's been stable, performant and just working.

    But the overwhelming amount of settings and customization options can be a bit much, even for a person who have been using linux since back in 2005. So I can absolutely understand new users being a bit “put off” or even intimidated by all options and what they actually do. So in my mind, it's a good thing that the devs are picking up on this and hopefully trying to address it.

    So maybe work a little on the defaults and then and the rework the system settings, so you have “basic options” always shown. And then have the ability to expand to more “advanced options” (or what ever else is appropriate) when/if needed.
    I primarily use Windows on desktop, GNOME on laptop. I make sure to test out the latest KDE at least once every year though to see the state of things. Every time I have done this (going on 5+ years or more?) I have found myself stressed out by a lack of sane defaults in terms of ease of use. I recently tried out KDE Neon again about a week ago though, and to my surprise a some of my prior gripes with KDE seem to have gone. Since I'm not a regular KDE user, I can't put my finger on any specific thing, but some things just seemed a bit more fluid/simplified. Maybe I'm imagining things, but it seems to have improved noticably this year.

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    • #62
      yeah, kmail could use a bit of that. setting it up is a major pain in the arse, when compared to software like bluemail

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Nille_kungen View Post
        ktorrent has functions that qbittorrent lacks.
        ... such as?

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Bobby Bob View Post

          Considering the first three words of your reply, that was possibly the least fair interpretation of the field of UX/UI design I've ever read.
          You're focusing on all the examples of BAD UX/UI design. The good examples you probably don't even notice because good UX/UI is never noticed when it works, it's transparent when it works and only visible when it doesn't.
          Welcome to software engineering? That's what making software is, you make something and either nobody notices you did it right or gets furious when you do it wrong (which should be never, if you actually take it seriously and plan it out). This is why funded software is usually better than hobbyist software, because the developers are actually incentivized to put up with this. In the past this meant that proprietary software was better, but now we're seeing a lot of corporate funding for open source software. And now I consistently see that the funded software is better, be it GNOME3 (which I hate but it's at least stable and consistent) or VSCode. Meanwhile, watching purely hobbyist software (d)evolve is like watching a clown slip over the same banana peel over and over.
          Programming may done from a comfy office chair but it's not any more different than being a plumber. It's something that gets no respect and deserves no respect, it's something you need to be prepared to do because you want to see the rest of society get on with their lives, regardless of your ego or who appreciates you. If you're a good programmer, you hate everything you make, you hate everything everyone else makes, and you're perpetually striving to improve with no end in sight. Being a real programmer is like being a true warrior, you fight and die for the king and you're not even going to be remembered for it. Trust me, after a decade or two in the field, you start to develop this mindset. Everyone else quits to go to animation school.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Slartifartblast View Post
            KDE has always been about configurability and a myriad of tweaks, do not throw the baby out with the bathwater and make this some sort of desktop environment for the technically clueless. Bug squashing and stability should be the primary focus, you can have the easiest to use desktop in the world but if it dumps you to command line you'll need skills how to fix it or run an alternative until what ever caused it is fixed upstream.

            Yours sincerely,

            An OpenSUSE and KDE veteran.
            I partially agree with your sentiments. On the other hand - KDE (or any DE for that matter) is a tool used to get work done. If it cannot do that as per user's requirements, then it will end up like the tons of powerful open source softwares with barely any users. As Nate mentions, KDE's user base can grow significantly with strategically targeted changes to make it appeal to non-techies.
            Last edited by xhustler; 01 December 2021, 02:50 AM. Reason: fixed typos

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            • #66
              Originally posted by MadeUpName View Post

              Kate - KDE advanced text editor
              Gimp - GNU Image Manipulation program.

              Seems pretty straight forward when you use their full name.

              WTF is Excel? Or power point? The fact that Microsoft was able to get a trade mark on "Word" in violation of US trademark law isn't KDEs fault.
              I know what the names mean. It doesn't change the fact a newbie would have no idea what the hell they're looking at when they search for a text editor and find 4 different apps, all named after someone's deceased pet or fun acronyms.

              GNOME just calls Gedit a Text Editor. Works fine for regular folk if you ask me.

              Those are some of the perks having 99% of the PC market share has.

              Unless I'm mistaken, we're talking about making it more usable for new users, not trying to do the same thing Microsoft could afford to do ~30 years ago.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Slartifartblast View Post
                KDE has always been about configurability and a myriad of tweaks, do not throw the baby out with the bathwater and make this some sort of desktop environment for the technically clueless. Bug squashing and stability should be the primary focus, you can have the easiest to use desktop in the world but if it dumps you to command line you'll need skills how to fix it or run an alternative until what ever caused it is fixed upstream.

                Yours sincerely,

                An OpenSUSE and KDE veteran.
                No one is saying KDE should be less configurable. But does exposing every setting under the Sun help it in any way?

                Even I have a somewhat hard time with it sometimes because instead of giving me the regular common choices and then leaving more stuff hidden an Advanced Options pane or something, it just throws a list of 363 settings split across 15 section at me.

                That's why poeple are talking about "simple by default". That doesn't mean "only ever simple". Nor "hide all settings".

                Ps.: There's nothing wrong with targeting a specific workflow or audience, but if that's enthusiasts, don't be shocked to have a low adoption rate among the common folk.

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                • #68
                  In my experience that would be horrible: I don't know if it'll get more net users (like there are few KDE users!) but sure it'll alienate current users! Specially if they go the common route for every time a DE wanted to become "novice friendly" of removing features (KDE is all about features!). KDE sure has a lot, and I am glad it does. It also has a very nice search feature. P.e.: You can type "resolution" in the search bar and Display appears, so you can change screen resolution.

                  I did read they should use modules to provide rare functionality: That is the worst idea. It means that every time KDE would update, all modules will stop working and you' ll need to rely on every dev to work on their previous modules (it never happens). The exact reason Gnome has so many usability problems.

                  Also not every DE needs to be newbie friendly (not like Plasma can't just ship with easy to use defaults on a specific distro). If all go after the same user type: Why having different DEs? or Distros? Should all KDE users move into a different DE till someone proposes it to be "newbie friendly" and ruining it for the current users, repeating the circle?
                  Last edited by vladimir86; 01 December 2021, 03:16 AM.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by nado View Post
                    I recently tried out KDE Neon again about a week ago though, and to my surprise a some of my prior gripes with KDE seem to have gone. Since I'm not a regular KDE user, I can't put my finger on any specific thing, but some things just seemed a bit more fluid/simplified. Maybe I'm imagining things, but it seems to have improved noticably this year.
                    FWIW I tried KDE Neon in a VM several months ago and found it lacking and fragile from an OS-perspective.
                    As a showcase for Plasma it's okay, although I prefer the default settings set by Debian, which also excels as an OS, over those set by Neon.
                    Therefore I wouldn't recommend using KDE Neon as a daily driver but just to have a peek with an asterisk to it.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                      How about fixing the godamned bugs in Plasma before fucking around with design choices?

                      From KDE 4 up till today I have never been able to right-click a panel without having the context menu disappear after hovering over an expandable menu entry. That's > 10 years of experiencing the same bug, you think that's fucking funny?
                      I thought to myself "well, this sounds exciting and easy to do, let's see if I can replicate this..." and - of course, I could not:

                      https://imgur.com/NS4jS6S

                      Care to share what problems you experience?

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