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

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  • nado
    replied
    Wow. Those two last posts are like essays. How about a tl;dr version?

    Leave a comment:


  • endlesseden
    replied
    Originally posted by gregzeng View Post
    KDE Plasma is really the most flexible desktop environment ever. However, like most (all?) similar environments, the usual configurations cannot be saved for each user. These end-user settings cannot follow the end-user, as the person moves from operating system to another system, or from one terminal or presets, to another.

    KDE currently had no easy undo to any previous settings. This is desperately needed.

    The novice friendly operating systems offer the main standard and very predictable defaults. KDE could also do this, by design. These standard defaults are a choice of Microsoft Windows, Apple emulations, or other emulations. KDE can easily offer these standard themes, as a user choice, desirable as required, without changing other settings, such as choice of applications, choice of hardware that might be set for the user or the environment.

    Gnome differs from KDE currently, because it is trying the very newest, most installed areas of Linux. Wayland. BTRFS. Snap, Tablet, rather than WIMP, etc.

    The KDE purists like avoiding GTK applications like gparted. Instead these purists prefer qt applications, despite the inferiority to the surrendering GTK applications.

    If KDE dares to try to be attractive to non-geeks, that will make it much easier for the waiting ever users. If Linux dares to become end user friendly, then there succession writers might look at the larger, worthwhile marketplace.

    Like Unix, hopefully Linux will become mature enough for the public. Open source Android, open source Chromium are the main Linux survivors, for the general public. Both are not able to defeat either Apple not Microsoft. Perhaps KDE and Linux might be able to do this?
    What are you talking about?

    By default KDE stores all UI prefrences in $HOME/.config/plasma??? - This is a user preference folder. | There is a default also stored in /etc/plasma/ (These directories may be different between distros).

    You can sync these between desktops with a myriad of third-party tools, however KDE does not provide direct integration of this as it would be a /massive breach of privacy/. KDE does not provide any services online to store user profiles, and doesnt directly provide third-party services as this requires licensing agreements that may break Distro's restrictions or prohibit distribution of binaries.
    If coming from 3rd party ecosystems, Like Google, Microsoft or Apple. Where you give up the right to any privacy or security of this information, which can and is used to fingerprint users across a myriad of applications and websites. This may be foreign to you, your used to the convenience provided by this as the security dangers are hidden away from your eyes through the walled garden you have immersed yourself in.

    Linux distros dont do that by default. They are not seeking user information for profit, so features that intentionally violate a users safety and security on the internet for advertising and data collection funding is not a thought. | Such measures are often fought heavily against, because far too often users dont see the risks involved till its already too late and nothing can be done to stop or reverse it.

    That said, as said before, you /can/ store your profile on myriad of services or removable devices. Your not stuck keeping your profile local. However, you are in complete control of it and all the risks involved in doing so.

    --

    "KDE currently had no easy undo to any previous settings." -- This confuses me as well, the settings menu has a "revert" button located on it. It may be disabled on your Distro for "appearance" reasons but this is very much a default function. - However this will not help if a setting you have changed is related to a third-party application. Such as Wayland/X/*Compositor, SDDM or Grub. Editing these applications configurations inside KDE's settings menu can be a bit of a pain, While the revert button is still there and there is a timeout to help with some issues such as setting the wrong resolution unsupported by your display. Issues originating from editing the configuration of these applications often is not straight forward and can result in unbootable or unstable system.

    So i am in agreement many of these settings should be behind a button exclaiming they are for "experts" but much of the instability is down to distro's choices surrounding these applications/libraries.

    --

    "KDE can easily offer these standard themes, as a user choice, desirable as required, without changing other settings, such as choice of applications, choice of hardware that might be set for the user or the environment." - None of this makes any sense to me? i dont understand what you are suggestions? Default Themes? Defaults applications? KDE has a application default suite already, and Oxygen is the Default theme from KDE? - Distro's define the rest. they build the software from Source Code and define all of its configuration values based on what they think their users will need and what hardware /they/ are targeting. This is often defined on the distro's information page.

    KDE's Settings panel does offer a wide array of options, but things like themes and defaults have always had a global and fine tuning area. Your not stuck defining every little detail. You can pick a theme and it changes everything to match. Dont like something? does a certain application not look quite "right" to your tastes? there is a fine tuning menu dedicated specifically to that feature.

    As far as default "applications", this is already has a menu. Is is more complex than microsoft and apple? yes, often. Why? because Microsoft and Apple only target /thier/ file formats. Your not changinge the default or /all/ file formats of that type, and its also /very/ broken on both platforms as of 2021 still. (Want to change the default media player for .mkv[matroska] video files or use a different text processor for .odt[OpenDocument Text] documents? Too bad, you have to go through the scroll menu of H..L...) All use the same approach, provide the user with a list of applications to choose from for unknown or unset file types. Dont know what you should use? Most distros provide sane defaults for this, however there is several websites providing information on this and even comparing them. Choices are never a bad thing, a lack of them however almost always is.

    "choice of hardware that might be set for the user or the environment." What does this even mean? If your suggesting different profiles based on different hardware, thats IMPOSSIBLE to predict. Every other software ecosystem already suffers from this issue. M$ solves this by determining a piece of hardwares "rating" thats stored in the driver. This is not possible on linux as hardware does not have vendor supplied "Profiles" that define (and often artificially limit) a hardware's potential. | Apple suffers from this as well, as anyone who owns more than a 4 year old Iphone can assure you.

    KDE is not targeting any specific hardware, its targeting "Anything that can run it.". Distro's define the "Defaults" tuning it to what they /expect/ the user to be using. For most distros this is a median hardware machine of less than 4 years old. | If this configuration is too aggressive for your taste, switching distros or setting up settings for that specific hardware is necessary.

    --

    "Gnome differs from KDE currently, because it is trying the very newest, most installed areas of Linux. Wayland. BTRFS. Snap, Tablet, rather than WIMP, etc.": im sorry but, what? Gnome developers have their own way of doing things. "Our way or not at all!", something that they have proved time and time and time again.
    Whether we are talking third-party applications (MPV/VLC), or Unix device memory allocation (EGL vs GBM). Its always been down to "Either do it /our/ way or you cant play". They dont follow sane norms, they dont care who it hurts, what hardware it isolates. Gnome treats their desktop as the entire linux ecosystem and its why its more often than not more broken, buggy and less easy to use as a result...

    "Wayland.": Partial Implementation, still offers fallback, tried to force wayland developers into taking their code that should be part of the UX libraries as part of the display server to more over-complicate things and make it more difficult for other UX implementations and hardware.

    Gnome has no involvement with BTRFS or Snap. Snap is a security NIGHTMARE of a external package manager, that suffers from all the same issues as every other oot (out-of-tree) package manager and BTRFS is a filesystem, filesystems are kernel level, not user-level. while fuse can provide some interfacing of higher level devices filesystems(cellphones, ipods, etc), its still below the top level where gnome is at... This is like suggesting "Firefox" as related. Its external to them and distro dependent. this statement makes 0 sense.

    "Tablet, rather than WIMP" There is no linux powered tablets??? I get the convience, but the moment we start suggesting "Simplified UI's with tablet friend user interfaces are modern and the future" we are basically saying Desktop and laptop users dont exist.
    Tablet interfaces are not "modern", every modern tablet interface can draw its roots to early Embedded hardware. Planners, PDA's, In-Dash media systems, etc. These were all niche devices that were popular due to their functionality in their intended use. They were meant to be quick and easy to use because you had 0 choice in what applications you would be using, what devices were supported or what data/media you would be using. Tablets and Phones adopted this as they came with the basic same applications and tools and presented them in a easy to use manner. | This doesnt make it superior, just /convenient/. The average Phone or Tablet user cant tell you what a "File manager" is and if you asked them what a "Root user" is the best they would be able to tell you is what they heard on media or news outlets about some scary story with the keyword "hackers" in it.

    Cellphones and Tablets are convenient, but lets face facts here. Tablet and Phone users probably shouldn't be using or have much of a use for PC's in general. If they are coming from those UI's i understand they may be confused, but much like a toddler whose only ever used a sippy cup or diaper, learning to use the appropriate tools and how they work is part of using something correctly. You cant cater to the simplest path always, it only shifts the blame when something goes wrong from user error to system integrator (UX). The UX is not the fault if the user doesn't understand deleting everything in root drive will stop the system from functioning. - Making something easy to use shouldn't fall to the point of making everything a handful of icons and a search bar. that is /bad/ UI design. Period.

    KDE targets PC's, if it targets Tablets as the primary goal (like gnome), then they would just isolate their user-base much like Windows 11 has, where less and less users are switching because its a workspace that doesn't fit their needs or their hardware. - I used KDE on a Desktop PC, Workstation PC, and both personal and work laptops.
    Why? Settings, Menus and navigational panels.

    When i don't remember a applications name, but vaguely remember its icon as i haven't used it in 9 months. Its easy to go to its category and select it. - When i want to access my browser or email client, its right there. Whether that's from my hot bar or right from my "favorites" selection in the launch menu. - Everything is convenient and quick. Whether i expressly remember what i want/need to use or not. | no sitting at a search bar typing in term after term trying to remember what that vague application i use once a year is called, or its "Description" that's just as vague, as it may not be its primary purpose.

    ---

    Everything you have said suggests you prefer a "Mac OSX" style interface and have the privilege of always having the latest and greatest hardware. with the bare necessities in-front of you, presented in the the most beautiful, minimalist fashion. All presented in the most purely aesthetically pleasing way. You probably never venture out of the same applications and rely heavily on "cloud powered" services, because they are convenient and run right from your browser.

    Ive met a lot of people that think like you, who don't consider what those conveniences they take for granted come from or what costs really exist. They don't see the performance loss or the dependence on third party services. They dont see that others think or operate differently than them, and dont consider a searchbar to not be the end-all, be-all of computing. - Most importantly they ignore all the privacy and security concerns that go along with their choices, because they cannot fathom the outcome. They trust absolutely in a invisible hand, cloaked in a logo.

    I love simple Aesthetics like you do. But they shouldn't come at the cost of functionality. hot-launch bar's are not the future for everyone. They fit a certain subset but not all, and while they can look nice they only highlight the ever-changing landscape into minimalism that is heavily reliant on underlying automation and service dependence. Minimalism is not a new aesthetic, and like many aesthetics it will reach a peak in popularity and change. its part of this decade. Its both beautiful and overbearing, as its so often abused. Minimalism throws out responsibility for convenience, and is popular as a result.

    Abstract is Beautiful too. Not all are equal, and not all DE's should be identical. - KDE is Different.

    Leave a comment:


  • endlesseden
    replied
    Originally posted by [B
    R41N3R[/B]]Why is crashing Dolphin so simple? A slow network connection is enough to get it down :-( The same for Plasma and the panel. Just disconnect the network or switch to a bad network connection. Enjoy a frozen desktop or some crashes :-( Actually these kind of bugs seem to be everywhere in KDE applications, they work as long as everything is perfect but fail miserably when something goes wrong.
    Windows and Mac suffer from this too, its due to network file system access. Even if you dont have a mounted(mapped) network share (smb/nfs/etc), dolphin searches for one. If the network times out, it can cause the thread* (read below) to behave wildly. This causes kio often to crash, which can cause other portions of plasma to crash along with it. A unstable network driver or bad cable/connection can even crash kwin if kio/dolphin crashes enough as it tries to call the debugger for each thread. Slower the cpu or rendering thread, the easier this is to do...

    Microsoft gets around alot of this by splitting the "explorer" application (which both runs most of the desktop UI and the file manager/manipulator) into multiple threads to try and isolate such issues. But if a bad driver is the cause, just like on linux it can cause the entire kernel to pause for several cycles while it waits for a timeout.

    Originally posted by nado View Post
    The fastest way to reduce bugs would be to reduce complexity - reduce the amount of features and components to maintain. That of course, won't happen anytime soon. They COULD however do some polling/research on what features are rarely used.
    But none of this is relative to why the bugs are happening. (as i just brought up in my previous reply), these bugs are due due the unmaintained nature of Kwin. Kwin runs everything on a single thread. So when anything breaks in the execution chain everything locks up.

    Its not a small issue... Its a HUGE one and one KDE has been ignoring since 2015 as its alot of work (Phoronix did a report on it regarding Vulkan adoption in KDE years ago. Kwin doesn't just use opengl/X for effects, it uses it for the rendering chain as well. 2d rendering on opengl and X is a nightmare since the 3dfx days...). KDE team doesn't want to do any of the hard work to resolve long-standing bugs, as it doesn't get them the attention they desire. While it does effect performance and stability in 3rd party applications it does little for Plasma as a "product". - A lot of plasma's supporting applications and plugins go unmaintained, i have authored my own fair share of issues, often with upstream dependencies deprecating functions, with warnings for years earlier but no care was put into maintaining it.

    Even Distro's don't put any effort into helping the problem. Often resorting to using old versions of libraries and applications (such as ffmpeg) to reduce the headaches associated with updating support for said libraries/applications because the KDE team is too worried about "Simplifying" areas of the UI that already resemble Window 7/Windows Vista (one of the most easiest to use versions of Windows, for both new comers and old) in favor of more idiotic "redundant" designs like apple employs that relies HEAVILY on their walled-garden design to reduce complexity and competition. Something that cant work in a GNU/Linux ecosystem... (EG: Gnome3...)



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  • endlesseden
    replied
    Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
    Hardware vendors will never just change to Linux no matter how much UX polish you put on it. There is no magic "If we build it they will come" threshold to OEM adoption. The only thing that will drive OEMs to adopt Linux is if they see market demand for it, and the only way to get market demand for it is for someone else (Valve) to risk a substantial amount of money to make a big push into the market, at which point they'll test the waters themselves to see if they should follow suite. OEMs stick to Windows not because it's great but because it's the safe bet that will run all of their customer's software and it's what their customers expect to have on it.

    Valve may change this situation with the SteamDeck and SteamOS 3.0 but even so that's a slow drawn out transition where OEMs target gamers and then slowly introduce it into the mainstream.
    Not only that, the massive amount of money involved. OEM's are invested in MS due to Bulk licensing Deals, Agreements on Preloaded software and Firmware restrictions supported directly by MS them selves through direct deployment.
    OEM's wont just switch till MS either stops supporting them, and the cost cant be pushed onto the consumer. OEM's have one concern, and thats profit.

    That said, i dont know many people even buying OEM PC's anymore. Quality has taken a huge nosedive in the last 5-7 years, with a focus on the top-end exclusively and the bottom-to-mid getting some of the worst treatment imaginable. - Desktops slipping away from mainstream PC's in favor of laptops, allowing more tightly controlled OEM hardware decisions.
    Its not a market i expect to expand more, with more mobile convenience on portability of arm based devices running android and ios...

    The thing that gets overlooked is less and less PC users are these "noobs" as people see them, some of them are coming from phones seeking "PC Gaming" as the outlet. But i dont see non-gaming oriented PC users growing. Just more and more power-users and employment-derived workloads.

    I fail to even see where UX changes will help with this? what is the target? Gamers? - They dont utilize most of the UI as they have a singular focus. While they may use some K* apps for some features. The bulk majority will be using their game launcher and the browser (which in recent years has devolved into a all-in-one stop for everything... Something KDE abandoned focus on years ago!)

    So who are they really targeting? Phone and Tablet users... They see portable devices as "popular" and attempting to copy the UI of those devices (much as MS has) is a very popular trend. However who does this help? there is no (viable) Linux powered devices (android hardly counts, the linux kernel is basically nothing more than a bootloader for java ffs), So what are they hoping to achieve?

    I feel like once again, KDE are putting the cart before the horse and hoping to snag investment/donation opportunities by "Standing out" and being "More Mobile Friendly". But they are not seeing their market at all.

    Ive been using KDE since its early days, migrating from Windows 9x to Linux and looking for something familiar. I can remember the annoyances of Gnome in that era. While it was easy to use, it wasnt very convient. If anyone wanted to or needed to access my PC they were faced with a myriad of headaches and trouble just to open a browser.

    MS has tried to stray away from this design numerous times and has come back to it over, and over again. i /preferred/ KDE over Windows UX, due to its entire design being simple, but expandable. I loved every feature, every potential plugin and the myriad of options.

    If i needed it, it was there. If i didnt, it was safely out of the way. - What change is really necessary from that?

    --

    My only gripes with KDE over the years has been with stability and hardware compatibility. Being a Nvidia GPU and AMD CPU user over the years has netted a whole lot of headaches, one after the next with both linux support and KDE (often Kwin specifically) support. - None of this fixes that?

    After all these years, Kwin is still a buggy mess, heavy reliance on single-threaded rendering, and a nightmare of issues that stem from it. All the features i love (like those widgets that put EVERYTHING i need as a power user, right at my finger tips) put completely at a useless state due to thread-locking issues with high poll rates. Or worse, heavy graphics workloads.

    the Entire UI thread creates numerous headaches when doing opencl/cuda workloads on the same GPU as 2d/3d rendering. (Something thats also been brought up numerous times). Windows and Mac do not suffer from this and its almost exclusive to KDE. - Its because of things like this i often have to use inferior windows, with even worse customization of hardware and a lack of 3rd party drivers for many of my components which perform /better/ under linux than windows... Because the moment i need to do work i either have to accept my workstation is unusable during a render and ill have to purchase a separate GPU for exclusively running 2d Threads like the UI, or Switch to Windows because they were smart enough in the late 90s to realize GPU's were dropping dedicated 2d Acceleration in focus of 3d rendering acceleration... (Something that could be fixed by breaking out into threaded rendering model and adopting vulkan over opengl...) - All because KDE doesn't want to fix whats broken and tackle the marketable points like "making the UI easy to use".

    KDE - Your not going to get new investment if your product is unstable or unavailable to your target consumers...

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  • Neuro-Chef
    replied
    Originally posted by lumks View Post
    Not really. Poweruser do not change a thing. Probably not even the wallpaper.
    Au contraire. Power users change things to what they need..
    They need to work with the machine.
    ..so they can actually just work with them machine – without stuff getting in their way, but instead having stuff support their workflow.

    Accepting defaults is often bad for efficiency; just look at Gnome 3+ or Windows 11. They both need mouse click / hover events to show certain information or make specific actions accessible, that simply are always visible or accessible in other setups. But that's about personal priorities; I guess roads would look a lot cleaner through opaque windscreens, too..

    Leave a comment:


  • Neuro-Chef
    replied
    Originally posted by Goddard View Post
    Makes sense to me.

    How about this, just make the "App Store" actually BETTER than Windows or Mac. Everything else is already pretty easy.
    Consider it done. Done by Microsofts reworked Store. The new one can't be used without a microsoft account, even for free (as in free beer) software
    Plasma is easy, but also buggy. Same thing without ridiculous bugs would be close to perfect.

    Leave a comment:


  • extremesquared
    replied
    Bogging down in stack overflow posts on how to use gconf / dconf from a gnome3 terminal to accomplish something that was trivial in gnome2 is what got me reluctantly into kde 15 years ago. Complexity and simplicity are graphed on a circle, not a line. What current kde users dread is not ui simplicity -- it is a level of simplicity that requires inordinate effort to get work done, which is the frustrating modern trend in uis.

    Leave a comment:


  • mrazster
    replied
    Originally posted by nado View Post

    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.
    Yeah, for me, this time, I didn't feel as strong and immediate urge or need to change (fix bad defaults) stuff, as I've had in the past.
    And as I said, for me, it's stable, fast and just works. Even latte-dock works really well along with plasma nowadays. Which haven't previously always been the case for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Slartifartblast
    replied
    Originally posted by gregzeng View Post
    Usual opinions from the Linux elitists, who hate the 98 per cent of computer users. Most Linux system creators know that the bulk of the 98% users like GUI, not the text books demanded by the CLI Linux oldies.

    Appealing to waiting crowds means having any desktop environment that will not frighten the waiting crowds. No textbooks, no manuals needed. That is why Xerox invented WIMP, which the old Unix specialists do not like.

    {snip}

    Like Unix, hopefully Linux will become mature enough for the public. Open source Android, open source Chromium are the main Linux survivors, for the general public. Both are not able to defeat either Apple not Microsoft. Perhaps KDE and Linux might be able to do this?
    Applications are king, VHS prevailed over betamax because of what was available to rent on VHS format even though betamax was superior.

    Linux newbie, Hmmm why doesn't Photoshop run on KDE Linux or my other favourite application that ran under Windows ?

    If someone answers Wine then the point has just sailed over your head.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanginator
    replied
    He's right. If they rolled in a few default configurations like Zorin and made the KDE store actually function, half the battle would be over.

    Leave a comment:

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