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GNOME vs. KDE: the Latest Round 344

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-it-above-the-belt dept.
jammag writes "The debate about whether KDE or GNOME is the better Linux desktop is longstanding. Yet as Linux pundit Bruce Byfield discusses, it has entered a fresh chapter now that both desktop environments have versions that are radically different from their incarnations just a few years back. Moreover, 'the differences in KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3 (the latest releases) are greater than they have ever been,' he writes. Casting aside his usual diplomacy, Byfield acknowledges that he's heard rave reviews about GNOME 3, but disagrees: 'I suspect that the majority of users are more likely to be satisfied with KDE 4.6 than GNOME 3.'"
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GNOME vs. KDE: the Latest Round

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  • by Tigger's Pet (130655) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:12PM (#35724042) Homepage

    I've preferred to use Gnome over recent years as I just found KDE to be not right - couldn't get on with it. With the way both are now going, I can see myself having to switch again. Given my recent hunting round, I really hope that the Enlightenment crew actually get their shit together and get a stable, solid release that can be used as it is simple, clean, easy to use, easy to configure and add gadgets to.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      I think I may be with you. I've found Gnome to be configurable enough on low-end laptops with limited resolution, where KDE to really shine requires some decent real estate. Gnome seems to be removing almost all of their configurability, leaving you with too much of a "our way or the highway" feel for me (this is gnome-shell I'm talking about here, although Unity seems similar). I may go back to KDE just to get the configurability I need. It will depend on how close to what *I* consider perfect the desktop
      • by Haeleth (414428)

        I've found Gnome to be configurable enough on low-end laptops with limited resolution, where KDE to really shine requires some decent real estate.

        Really? I would say exactly the opposite. KDE works very nicely on this 10" netbook, whereas I found GNOME to be very unsatisfactory, largely because of its poor support for vertical panels.

        What I want to know is, who exactly are these new interfaces (Gnome Shell, Unity) supposed to be aimed at? They seem to have been designed to be optimal on 7" netbooks. You

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      I've preferred to use Gnome over recent years as I just found KDE to be not right - couldn't get on with it.

      The problem with using the outdated KDE terms (ie using "KDE" as synonym for the workspace which was officially declared wrong two years ago) is that completely ignores the fact that KDE (the community) currently has two entirely different workspaces shipping with two additional ones in the pipeline.
      The production quality releases are Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook. While both use the same underlying frameworks, their workflow couldn't be further apart.
      In addition to those two the KDE community is workin

    • I had a friend that was showing off Enlightenment to me nearly fifteen years ago. Why is anyone still holding out for a real usable release? It's been in development as long as Duke Nukem Forever...

    • Yes but he's talking about GNOME 3.
      I'm satisfied with GNOME 2 as well - and I tried to use KDE4 a lot - it's just not polished enough.

      GNOME3 on the other hand.. doesn't look quite right to me, at least in "default mode"

    • by O(+inf) (2033618)
      If you have been primarily a Gnome user until now, you might find XFCE to be the best bet for a sane DE - it's Gtk-based like Gnome, and is overall more conservative and less about bells and whistles, but without being overly minimalistic.
      • by lennier1 (264730)

        It doesn't hurt that it's also a good choice in situations where you don't want to waste a lot of resources on visual gimmicks.

    • I've preferred to use Gnome over recent years as I just found KDE to be not right - couldn't get on with it. With the way both are now going, I can see myself having to switch again. Given my recent hunting round, I really hope that the Enlightenment crew actually get their shit together and get a stable, solid release that can be used as it is simple, clean, easy to use, easy to configure and add gadgets to.

      I've had the opposite: KDE has not been able to get on with me! I've tried KDE4 every now and then, always with the intention of giving it some slack and trying to find out if I could like it, but.. well, every single god damn time there's always been something that has made me ditch it. Like for example the panel keeps crashing, or KWM keeps on crashing, or things do not respond to anything, and so on. I mean, I must be really unlucky or something but for me KDE4 has always been really, really unstable. Th

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:18PM (#35724108) Journal

    The whole idea of linux is choice. I run xfce4; once in a fit of stupidy I suggested my wife log in using KDE as it was closer to Windows and not as sparse as XFCE. Bad idea.... Turns out some people (4 for 4 in my family) prefer the sparseness of XFCE to any complicated desktop. I know this will bring forth an avalanche of "What about Ratpoison, Windowmaker, etc, etc, etc?"

    Exactly. Run what you like and let the pundits amuse themselves.

    • by slackergod (37906) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:41PM (#35724364) Homepage Journal

      I think his underlying point was that many of us users do (or will) miss the old choices.

      I used to prefer KDE 3. Then KDE4 came along and replaced it; and the new design just made too many fixed assumptions about things I wanted to configure, and constantly threw in my face things I didn't want to *have* to configure. I never really cared about the stability / completness issue of the early 4.x series - I respect it took a while to refactor all that code. Still, with the fundamental interface changes they made, even today, I just don't want to use KDE4.

      So I migrated to Gnome 2. I liked it ok. It's not as configurable, but I could get it close enough to how I like to do things. But instead of polishing it, and fleshing out the details, Gnome seems obsessed with removing features unless 80% of the users are using it (and everyone has some feature that's in that 20% category, so it slowly annoys the whole userbase). But it's at least currently usuable for me.

      Now Gnome3 comes along. I appreciate everyone's trying to improve the desktop metaphor. But personally, I'm a spacial person - I remember where my virtual desktops are relative to eachother, what windows I put where, it maps nicely to an actual desktop you just can see only a part of. Gnome3's workspaces break that spacial mapping for me, and make it much harder to use.

      And then there's XFCE. I like XFCE, it's been hanging on for a long time. But I'd like a little more integration and polish than it offers (I respect the fact that they're trying to be minimal. They've done a great job, given their goals).

      But all that comes down to the fact that, for me and others: linux may be choice, but I feel like my choices are being taken away, as when Gnome2 goes away to bitrot, there won't be a desktop that I consider usuable. And forking and picking up the codebase of one of these environments is just way too big a task for individual coders - the only way it'll happen is if one of the projects has a schism, and they all seem way too in agreement for that to happen.

      It feels like we're heading towards 15 years ago, when all the desktop environments were either incomplete, or different for different's sake.

      • I used to prefer KDE 3. Then KDE4 came along and replaced it; and the new design just made too many fixed assumptions about things I wanted to configure, and constantly threw in my face things I didn't want to *have* to configure. I never really cared about the stability / completness issue of the early 4.x series - I respect it took a while to refactor all that code. Still, with the fundamental interface changes they made, even today, I just don't want to use KDE4.

        May I suggest trying out LXDE? It's very much like Windows 2000 & KDE3 in terms of minimalist fluff. It does have a few usability issues (PCManFM is nowhere near what Dolphin is at the moment, Menu modifications still require editing a text file) but overall it's lightweight, rock solid and still heavily developed.

    • by Rob Y. (110975)

      There is no whole idea of Linux, and if there were, it would certainly not be a vague idea like 'choice'. I'd say the best candidate for the whole idea would be freedom. And, yes, I suppose freedom includes freedom of choice. But choice of multiple, marginally compatible desktop layers is probably not what Linus (or Stallman, etc) had in mind. Sure it's good that it's possible. It's just not good that it's inevitable. Nor is it good that no 'choice' has been good enough for everybody to finally say -

    • by MrNemesis (587188)

      The point is that desktop environments often forget the point :) The user is there to run applications, not to gawp at the eye candy. Any DE that gets in the way of people using their apps in the way to which they're accustomed will be shouted at repeatedly. To most people, the computer is for clicking the blue E or the swirly orange/blue thingy and facebooking their twitterspherespacetube recreationally, or words docs and outlook at work.

      No innocent parties here, pretty much every DE has put themselves bef

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:19PM (#35724124)

    Having been in both communities, I characterize the Gnome community as very MS-like in these more modern times.

    While working at MS, I saw a lot of the same "Not invented here" crap that I see in the gnome community on a daily basis. I also saw the same political maneuvering, the same tribal fears, and in general the same of what is in my own personal opinion a great lack of regard for others over their own projects/groups/goals.

    I see the KDE group as entirely different. They work as a team, have the same common goals (in general) and let good ideas thrive even if it violates somebodies pet project or personal goal.

    Posting AC an not mentioning the company by name for obvious legal reasons, but consider your here I figure your smart enough to get what I'm trying to say.

    • by Aighearach (97333)

      but consider your here I figure your smart enough to get what I'm trying to say.

      Indeed.

      "h8 gnomes" or something. We get you.

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      Gnome community (..) a great lack of regard for others over their own projects/groups/goals.

      I see the KDE group as entirely different. They work as a team, have the same common goals (in general) and let good ideas thrive even if it violates somebodies pet project or personal goal.

      I think GNOME's problem is a result of its heritage. GNOME started as a GNU project (officially it still is but in reality it's not) with a narrow goal: Just be a truly free alternative to KDE1. If one wanted to create something overlapping with GNOME feature, he/she was advised to set up another GNU project (not a sub-project in GNOME).

      This means that GNOME does not have a real infrastructure for what KDE calls Extragear: Different applications than in the main Software Compilation -- some applications may

  • by Chas (5144) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:20PM (#35724142) Homepage Journal

    Funny! All these desktops look the same from inside a command prompt.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Funny! All these desktops look the same from inside a command prompt.

      There was an interval in the 00s (or was it the 90s?) where the only way to get a tabbed console was from KDE's Konsole. Now even the XFCE terminal has it.

  • It doesn't matter and hasn't for years. You can install Gnome & KDE apps side-by-side and they just work. It's even gotten to the point where many distros can be set up to use Gnome or KDE icons across the board, no matter the family. In fact, Canonical's Unity 2D project is based on qt and uses many gtk libraries as well. It's all about the tools and what works the best.
  • There are others out there. Has it finally come to it that people can only gasp the concept of pro or contra?

    And isn't choice a GOOD thing?

    I don't run either as a Desktop and am grateful there are others that do what I want it to do. I do run KDE and GNOME programs as well as any other that does what I want.

    • by spauldo (118058) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:43PM (#35724402)

      What others?

      There's a billion window managers, but very few desktop environments in the sense that GNOME and KDE are.

      A few of them:

      • CDE - what XFCE used to try to look like before they got some sense. It's based on Motif and there's never been a free version of it. Even the commercial Unix companies have mostly abandoned it.
      • Enlightenment (as a desktop environment, not just the WM) - it's still being worked on. Raster's got some good ideas - I hope to live to see them.
      • GnuSTEP - a project to make a free version of the NextSTEP environment. It's slow going because these days, nobody remembers what NextSTEP looked like or why it was cool.
      • Openlook - yeah, it's gone, gone, gone. It was kinda cool for the early 90's though. Sun dumped it for CDE (and then dumped CDE for GNOME)

      I'm probably missing one or two, but that's pretty much it. Running some window manager with a few KDE or GNOME programs doesn't give you the full experience of the desktop environment. That's fine for some, like me and you, but a lot of people really want the integration and whatnot.

      The argument is important not so much to the Linux world, where most distros give you the flexibility to run either, but to the commercial Unix world and companies who use commercial Unix software or inhouse software. For example, Sun went with GNOME starting with Solaris 10 (I think). That was a big blow for KDE at the time, because anyone writing commercial apps for Solaris pretty much had to switch to GNOME. Sure, you could run KDE on Solaris, but try convincing your customers to switch desktop environment just for your little program.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by firewrought (36952)

      And isn't choice a GOOD thing?

      Not to pick on you in particular but I am sooooooo tired of hearing the claim that "choice is a good thing". It's not. In fact, a good way to frustrate people is to give them too many choices [scientificamerican.com]. Moreover, the wide choice of windows managers is an example of Linux market failure. People don't use computers to run various windows managers, they use computers to run applications that perform tasks. The fragmentation of low-level libraries for sound, graphics, UI, packaging, etc.,

      • Oops... here's a non-paywall'ed article about the tyranny of choice [economist.com].
        • The economist article looks at problem of having a huge choice (pick one of thousand), in desktop environments there is what? 4 variants at most. The rest is for those, who know what they are doing.
          I don't lose any sleep over all the cheese I can by or other DE that are out there. How do I do that? I just pick one and live with it. If one day I start to care or get curious, trying out other options is quite easy.
          And for those, who just wand a computer, will live with whatever is given to them (Windows, Ubun

      • Back in the MS-DOS days, people used to complain about how non-user-friendly Unix was. It had too many commands, and that was soooo confusing. Much better to have MS-DOS, where there weren't very many commands, and half of them didn't work.

        Now, Macintosh people could get away with saying Unix wasn't user-friendly, because their system really was.

        These days, you're mostly using any of these systems to run a browser and a media player, and you deal with the media player by clicking on a file name, so it har

  • I think the free software community has really shot itself in the foot by continuing this division between Gnome and KDE.

    Around ten years ago, I was interested in building some GUI apps for Linux, but there was no clear path as to which of the two GUI APIs I should learn. I found the lack of a clear path to be enough of a discouragement that I ended up losing interest. I doubt that I'm the only one who has felt that way about it.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Choice is the whole point. Learn the one you like, people can install the libs and run your KDE app on their gnome desktop or the other way around.

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      There's no division, it's two separate projects with separate origins.

    • However this is a problem that the entire software field faces. java tried to solve this problem with the jvm, but then Microsoft released .net and created another choice for developers and companies. i think choice is more good than bad. the alternative means you are stuck with what is there.
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:43PM (#35724396)

      Around ten years ago, I was interested in building some GUI apps for Linux, but there was no clear path as to which of the two GUI APIs I should learn. I found the lack of a clear path to be enough of a discouragement that I ended up losing interest. I doubt that I'm the only one who has felt that way about it.

      You're doing it wrong. Go with whatever API / toolkit you prefer. I'll use your software if its good even if it isn't 100% with my desktop environment of choice. In fact, I'm more likely to continue using your excellent software no matter how much taste might change and motivate me to move to a different environment.

      I understand that this seems strange to someone from a different environment. But this is Linux. The chaos is a feature.

      • by linuxpyro (680927)

        I agree. I'm a Gnome user, but I use both Gnome and KDE apps. The compatibility isn't perfect, but it still ends up working well.

    • That's like saying the "proprietary software community" shot itself in the foot by continuing the division between Windows and MacOS.
      Gnome and KDE are large software stacks built on completely separate foundations, by separate teams skilled in different programming environments, and there's no unifying the codebases without throwing one of them away. Developers involved in freedesktop.org have been working on interoperability for the last 11 years, I'm not sure what more you could expect.

      • by kurisuto (165784)

        This is precisely my point: the free software community should have thrown away one of the two APIs ten years ago.

        Choice is not always a good thing. Would you be better off if you had a "choice" of different voltages and socket types for your various household appliances? Is it important to be able to choose a hair dryer which runs on 60vDC and a toaster which runs on 150vAC? Oh, sure, you could have all kinds of voltage adapters for "interoperability", but there's no need for any adapters if everything

  • oh noes (Score:5, Funny)

    by MikeyO (99577) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:24PM (#35724200) Homepage

    We better figure this one quick, seeing as how this is going to be the the year of the Linux desktop...

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      We better figure this one quick, seeing as how this is going to be the the year of the Linux desktop...

      Again? Whew. Good thing, too. I've been doing this since '97 and I'd hate to give up my Linux desktop environment because it all stopped.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      No, it's two year's from now -- 2013.

      Next year is 2012, and the world will come to end before the year the Linux Desktop arrives.

  • I switched to Jolicloud and haven't looked back
    • O'really? Jolicloud doesn't have anything to switch to; Its a web page that stores your browser bookmarks and thats pretty much it. I can do the same thing in firefox, without using that proprietary software, and get the same functionality without needing to worry about not having the software I want to run. Jolicloud doen't offer anything special, and it provides no value whatsoever for most people.
  • by jspenguin1 (883588) <jspenguin@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:25PM (#35724212) Homepage

    XFCE, LXDE, EDE, Enlightenment, ...

    plus all of the alternative window managers like Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, FVWM, twm ...

    • Brilliant! You're right! We'll all just point at this, say "this is why we can't have nice things," and standardize on twm. All debates about good desktop environment design will end. It's a perfect world.
  • I've left desktop managers altogether. They were so full of crap -- even the light ones. I admit many of them are great for some people, but I just build my Linux desktop from the ground up, with every single component being thought out -- it runs, because I told it to run.
    • by oakgrove (845019)
      +1

      I find a combination of feh, openbox and fbpanel with a few config changes is just about perfect. Much faster than kwin or metacity, runs blazingly fast on my Acer Aspire One and just plain stays out of my way.

      On the subject of Gnome vs KDE, Gnome seems to be easier to beautify especially with emerald and compiz but it is just so slow and memory hungry. KDE4.x is very powerful with a plethora of whiz bang features and I do appreciate the aerosnap thing they borrowed from win7 but again, it is just so

  • Boy, it would be awfully nice to have screen shots to show us what the ()*&*(&%^&^ GUI looks like.

    My problem with KDE (and, this was like a decade ago, so it's likely meaningless) was the ridiculous obsession with "K"s (bolor with a K? Silly bunt) and at the time, a lot of the apps were really, er, incomplete.

    At the time, it also felt like KDE was trying for a much more uniform (and annoyingly Windows 3 interface), and on the system I had at the time, many of the K* apps were more like placehol

    • by jonescb (1888008)

      KDE doesn't emphasize on putting Ks into the application names anymore. The new file manager is Dolphin, other K-less apps include Marble, Gwenview, and there's the whole Plasma interface. That said, you still have apps like Konsole and Kmail, but there are several that don't have the K.

      As for the feel of the apps, that's entirely up to you. You'll have to give KDE 4.6 a run to see for yourself.

    • Remember, you can't spell One True Window Environment without twm!

      The obsession with prefixes was really a dot-com era thing. I'm pretty konfident they've gotten past that now. Really, they've totally kleaned up their act and accepted standard spelling konventions for their application names. Don't believe me? Konsider the evidence for yourself [kde.org]!
    • by Teun (17872)

      At the time, it also felt like KDE was trying for a much more uniform (and annoyingly Windows 3 interface),

      Exactly the reason I went with KDE!

      I found nothing more frustrating than the mess of Gnome, every application did the basic operations their own way.

      You will no doubt remember the days things like copy and paste or the recycle bin didn't work between Gnome applications.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:30PM (#35724260) Homepage Journal

    The whole desktop thing is overblown. I have very little use for widgets or what what ever your desktop calls program updated icons. As far as customization that can also go too far. I want a nice clean UI elements and wall paper. The big weakness for the desktop right now are notifications. What it really comes down to is the API as far as I am concerned. Your desktop environment is used to launch apps and maybe manage files. Everything else is just fluff. The API that it offers the developer is the key IMHO. Yes having complete scripting control is cute but who cares? I use a computer to do thing.

  • Workstation Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Kurt (92864) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:33PM (#35724284)

    I run an architecture firm entirely on Linux. All our workstations have two reasonably big screens and use Gnome. I have used Gnome since its earliest inception in various flavers of Redhat, Fedora and Ubuntu.

    I have to say that as much as I don't want to, we are going to have to change to Xfce or some other alternative. Gnome shell is a disaster for the way we work. I can't believe that the developers and UI designers have completely failed to take into account those of us that are actually using our workstations to do heavy duty computational, graphic and design work.

    We have spent the last 20 years moving to ever larger and multiple screens because we need the real estate. Now we are supposed to work as if we were using a cell phone? What a joke.

    The developers need a good whack will a clue stick. As does Redhat. The least they could do is have a fall back to the Gnome 2 series.

      We don't want to be the subject of an experimentet about how we "should be working."

    This is serious business to us and has a big effect on our bottom line.

    Kurt

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      We have spent the last 20 years moving to ever larger and multiple screens because we need the real estate. Now we are supposed to work as if we were using a cell phone? What a joke.

      Care to articulate this a little more? I'm curious since I'm going to be upgrading some VMs, and I'm curious what to expect.

      Have people just gone with overly simplified GUI interfaces that don't let you actually use the screen well? That sounds kinda dumb, but I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're referring to.

      I know

      • by Yaa 101 (664725)

        Exactly as the man says, just one big glorified app store instead of a desktop.

        I wish people working on these projects stop going after every fad that is made up by Apple or MS, it's childish and shallow.

    • by diegocg (1680514) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @04:03PM (#35724668)

      100% agree. IMO, gnome shell wouldn't be that bad if it was configurable, but users aren't allowed to configure anything. My feed reader has a systray icon with a number that tells me the number of unread posts. With a traditional desktop the systray icon is always visible and I know if I have unread posts, but gnome-shell decided that the systray must be an extra lower panel that hides automatically. The upper panel has a lot of unused space 100% of the time, and the systray could be put there, but configuring things is not allowed in the default configuration. Even the accesibility icon can't be removed.

      Now I understand why Linus called them "interface nazis". Gnome shell makes OS X look like a OS for geeks.

    • by jaminJay (1198469)
      Fedora 15 Alpha has a "force fallback to 2.3" option and will do so automatically if no composite modes are available.
  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:35PM (#35724306) Homepage Journal

    One was too austere, they other over-eye-candied. Neither had any significant impovemnets in functionality over earlier versions.
    Now, Gnome and KDE just get in the way of using my desktop environment to complete actual work.

    Hello to IceWm and LXDE.

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:40PM (#35724354)

    Byfield acknowledges that he's heard rave reviews about GNOME 3, but disagrees: 'I suspect that the majority of users are more likely to be satisfied with KDE 4.6 than GNOME 3.'"

    I've actively sought out reviews and have yet to read a single positive review of Gnome 3. Not one. In fact, they are as universally bad as they are universally duplicates of each other. They all seem to very quickly identify and cite the same core problems with Gnome 3's usability, the specific and seemingly broken process which yielded Gnome 3, but also touch on Gnome's process failures and general lack of specification and healthy process.

    I'm personally excited to see what all the brouhaha is about with Gnome 3 (hell, can always revert to Gnome 2 or KDE), and I say that as a current Gnome 2 user, but frankly, based on a wide number of reviews, I have exceptionally low expectations of Gnome 3.

    Seriously, if you know of some good, unbiased Gnome 3 reviews, please post them here. Thus far, I've never read a single one.

    • by diegocg (1680514)

      Gnome shell is not that bad. It has at least one good thing, it is not confusing. The user always know where he can find things and how to operate the desktop. But it is very, very annoying, it imposes a determined behaviour, and you can't escape from it. Either you surrender to it, or you hate it.

      As I said in other post, it wouldn't be that bad if it was configurable, I could configure it to make it work as I want. But developers seem to think that alternative use cases shouldn't be allowed.

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        Hmm...I'm trying to reconcile your statements.

        Gnome shell is not that bad.

        I will add, in most application changes or even a relationship or marriage, you must make concessions for a healthy relationship.

        Either you surrender to it, or you hate it.

        But if we run with my relationship metaphor above combined with your statements, don't we wind up with something like: Concessions make for a healthy relationship and surrendering yourself is basically a life of slavery or indentured servitude. In what way does that jive with, "is not that bad." lol.

        Seriously, I'm sure I'm being far to

        • by diegocg (1680514)

          It is not "that bad" because I can use it, even if I don't enjoy it. It feels similar to Windows, I can use it, but I would prefer not to. What I mean is that it's not going to be a major obstacle for gnome users, only annoying (of course, for many geeks "annoying" is a big problem)

    • by Yiliar (603536) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @04:23PM (#35724932)
      I have been looking at Gnome 3 on Fedora for a few weeks now.

      I have made a concerted effort to 'use' it instead of just berate it. Learn the keystrokes, re-learn desktops up and down instead of right or left, etc.

      Here are the things that I just cannot seem to come to grips with, yet:

      1. Lack of configuration choices.

      A. I hate tools bars! If they are really necessary, PLEASE allow me to hide it/them.

      B. I had to use gconf-edit to set focus on mouse instead of click to focus. Ridiculous!

      C. Adding an extra click to launch an application is NOT intuitive. Its like START/REALLY START?

      D. Automatically compressing desktop spaces when the last application in that space closes is very frustrating. Start 20 or so apps in various desktops and get everything just how you like them. Then add an extension to Firefox and you need to restart it. And watch your carefully laid out desktops contract. :( Now you get to start Firefox in the bottom desktop instead of desktop two, where it belongs! What are you supposed to do, start all 20 apps again and get them all the way you want, every time you need to restart Firefox or Thunderbird? REALLY?

      E. It is obvious and understandable that GNOME 3 is getting a lot of development right now. But it is VERY frustrating to users when significant changes are made to the GNOME configuration data bases and config files. You may carefully set up back ground and theme choices to have your entire desktop fail to load because of an incompatibility with an updated GNOME preference. Lets please settle on configuration choices before final release, pretty please?

      2. Assumptions -- you know what they say about assumptions ...

      A. All users may really not want the exact same things showing on the top tool bar. On a smart phone we have limited space, but even there users have choices. On GNOME # desktops everyone has a long, boring, and almost empty tool bar. (and it won't hise! Oh wait, I already said that) Why?

      B. You cannot, and MUST not assume that all users will read a howto web site, or take a class on Gnome 3 before trying to shut down their personal system. That is the only way to learn how to do it properly. (Hold the ATL key down while in your personal menu to see Logout change to Shutdown, and press Shutdown to see Reboot ...) Sad ... Other things like running and app from the desktop/window manager, need training before it can even be guessed at. (ALT F2) Just a bit arbitrary, don't you think? "Hey we need to allow a command input somehow. Lets just stick it on ALT F2, that's not used yet is it?"

      3. New features, or features that have not been done before or better

      ... Maybe I just don't get it.

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        D. Automatically compressing desktop spaces when the last application in that space closes is very frustrating. Start 20 or so apps in various desktops and get everything just how you like them. Then add an extension to Firefox and you need to restart it. And watch your carefully laid out desktops contract. :( Now you get to start Firefox in the bottom desktop instead of desktop two, where it belongs! What are you supposed to do, start all 20 apps again and get them all the way you want, every time you need to restart Firefox or Thunderbird? REALLY?

        Holy shit, that really does sound like a complete cluster fuck. Linus' comments about them being interface nazis seems extremely well justified.

        Any idea if they have plans to fix what is very clearly a bug? Or is this the type of bug which is to be a fuck you, you're too stupid to see its a feature?

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      I've actively sought out reviews and have yet to read a single positive review of Gnome 3. Not one.

      Strange, I've read a positive review not long ago: https://kamikazow.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/short-review-of-gnome-shell/ [wordpress.com]
      What you may even find more surprising is that that review was written by a KDE dude and published via Planet KDE.
      It cites negative points like it's still GNOME so you can forget to find decent configurability via GUI but overall he gave GNOME Shell a B+ which is pretty good considering it's just a dot 0 release.

    • > hell, can always revert to Gnome 2 or KDE

      In theory, yes. In practice, most users will get a brand new DE with their next Ubuntu/Fedora/X-distro upgrade and will not have the time/patience/expertise to switch to a past version. Past versions will not be in the official repository, and for sure will break several GUI apps.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @03:40PM (#35724358)

    'I suspect that the majority of users are more likely to be satisfied with KDE 4.6 than GNOME 3.'

    I'm certain that the majority of users are likely to wish developers would stop fucking with the interface they're already comfortable and familiar with and find something more useful to do with their time.

    • by Alef (605149)
      On the other hand, the majority of people generally just dislike change in itself, so I'm not sure whether that reaction towards GNOME 3 is really indicative of its inherent quality (or lack thereof).
  • Moreover, 'the differences in KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3 (the latest releases)

    GNOME's latest release is actually 2.32. Version 3 wasn't released yet.

  • GNOME and KDE are the two extremes of GNU/Linux desktop environments, neither particularly good at what they set out to do. GNOME 3 tries to be different for difference's sake, while simultaneously presenting itself as fundamentally newbie-friendly. They did pretty good at being different, pretty much throwing out the desktop metaphor alltogether. However, they've also concealed and obscured most of the customisation tools and options, because people are intimidated by choice, right?

    KDE is at the other e
    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      From the start, you're hit in the face with dozens of overlapping and redundant choices

      I don't get that. What kind of choices are you referring to?
      Are you uncomfortable that KDE develops more than one workspace which means you have the choice between Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook? Of course if one develops more than one workspace their features also overlap but they are also targeted towards different form factors. Nobody would seriously suggest to use Plasma Netbook on a 30" screen, just as nobody would suggest Plasma Desktop on a 7" screen.

      KDE is also a big community which is sometimes

  • IMHO, and from a "power user's" perspective, there is just way too much clutter in KDE (from the break from 3.5 and onwards), and all of the background services, databases, yadda yadda yadda - just make for a more complex journey through the daily working. KMail and all that that entails are dreadfully slow, dreadfully NON-standard (especially with HTML and RTF mail); as well, I have a tendency to utilise ancient hardware for my own purposes - not the fancy dancey brand-new stuff, therefore, KDE moves like
  • by jfbilodeau (931293) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @04:21PM (#35724908) Homepage
    Go back two or three years, and I think you had the same situation when KDE 4 came out. Everyone and their dogs hated it and 'switched' to Gnome. Sounds like it's reverse that's happening here. For what it's worth, I appreciate it when developers exit the status-quo and create something new. Remember when Firefox first came out? Then Chrome? Diversity is a good thing in my opinion.
  • I think their programming models are getting more and more outdated, considering DHTML is becoming a better environment for application deployment every day.

  • by Junta (36770) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:13PM (#35726210)

    Deep in my heart I'm a WindowMaker/GNUstep guy. Unfortunately, that environment is particularly 'all or nothing' and without a reasonably browser, office suite, image editor, I have to use non-GNUstep apps and the experience breaks down quickly. I also really really don't want to go without 'scale windows with window title filter'/'present windows' now that I have it.

    XFCE/LXDE are nice enough, but lacking certain features I want that come with a larger user base.

    Gnome has been quite sufficient and gvfs with fuse does a *lot* for having arbitrary applications enabled for non-admin access to network resources. The problem has been they have been fighting a war against configurability. It's bad enough they don't want to present a UI, but they don't even want to add 'hidden' gconf options even when given patches. Gnome 3 has been the last straw for me, going too far in forcing the specific vision of the developers.

    Unity offers an alternative, but suffers the same fate of their way or no way (not even able to move their 'dock'.

    Currently I'm in the KDE4 camp. A lot of the defaults were not what I wanted, but I was able to configure it easily enough to fit my preferences. One issue I do have is they are on their high horse on KIO, and have outright refused to embrace some fuse based bridge to ease life on people forced to use applications that aren't KDE. This is even worse because out of the box most distros select the Xine phonon backend instead of gstreamer, meaning KDE's own media players cannot even use KIO. Embracing fuse out-of-the-box to provide a POSIX entrypoint into KIO would fully get me inte KDE.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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