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KDE- Hello Again

KDE LogoDear KDE-

It's been nearly 4 years since I ran you last back in my SuSE days. I loved how I could configure everything under the sun with you. I could make my windows, icons, fonts, styles, and everything look and feel the way I wanted. I never really tried Gnome or other window managers much except maybe for Fluxbox, and they didn't give me the flexibility that you did.

Then along came Ubuntu, and Gnome was the default window manager. Well, I was so caught up in the beautiful way that Ubuntu did things, I didn't even pay attention that I was using Gnome. Sure, I installed Fluxbox, Blackbox and other lightweight window managers as I really needed the system resources. However, the more I used Gnome, the more I realized how complex and bloated you were. Sometime around Breezy Badger, I think, I installed you again, and compared to Gnome, you felt very bloated and heavy. Maybe it was just the fact that you could do so much gave me that feeling. I don't know, but I am certainly singing a different tune now.

Lately, I've been growing tired of Gnome. After all, I just purchased some shiny new hardware to run my operating system on, so taking up system resources really isn't that big of a deal to me. More importantly, however, Gnome has been getting more and more buggy with crashes taking down X, and updates breaking other packages. Not to mention, I couldn't even suspend or hibernate properly without calling it from the terminal. Needless to say, Gnome was getting under my skin. So, last night, I decided to boot into KDE, and take another look.

Well, to say the least, I was pleasantly surprised. To start, you didn't feel bloated like you did a few years back. In fact, you felt leaner than Gnome. Whether or not that is the case, I don't know, but you certainly respond better than Gnome does. You pull up the desktop faster, you launch applications faster, and you look good. You have to admit that a few years ago, you were very.... "cartoonish". Now, you seem much more polished, even if you are tailoring your every look after Microsoft Windows. And can you believe it? You actually suspend when I close my laptop lid, where Gnome would fail every time.

Now, with that said, not all is peaches and cream. GTK apps look absolutely horrible in you. The first thing I did was pull up IceWeasel and IceDove, and well, let's just say that didn't last long. Luckily, Debian ships with IceApe (SeaMonkey (former Mozilla Suite)), and it looks gorgeous, even if it is GTK. Also, I have a 1680x1050 resolution, yet, by default, you give me the same real estate of 1440x900. I've brought down font size, and changed a few things to get that space back, but I think you need work there.

However, I have you configured just the way I like, including keyboard shortcuts, location of menus/panels, fonts and everything else that is important to me, and you look good. I'm happy. I'm glad I've rediscovered you after all these years. You've sold me, and I'm looking forward to your 4.0 release coming up shortly.

One Happy User

{ 16 } Comments

  1. Ben Lewis | September 27, 2007 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I've often tried switching to KDE from GNOME, then a few months ago I discovered exactly how wonderful KDE was, and after a clean reinstall with Kubuntu, I've loved KDE since.

  2. Jake | September 27, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I love KDE. I too started with KDE back in the SuSE days and loved it. Somewhere along the way I switched to GNOME for a few months. I finally realized how bad it was and now I'm back with KDE running almost all KDE software, except for Songbird and Firefox.

  3. Seth | September 27, 2007 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like it's flame-war week on Aaron's blog. 🙂

    Or maybe not; sometimes I get the impression there's not nearly as many Gnome die-hards out there as the KDE... Anyway, I personally don't like either. That having been said these screenies of KDE 4 are awful pretty.

  4. al | September 27, 2007 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like a love letter ... and next week he loves gnome again. give me a break.

  5. Terence Simpson | September 27, 2007 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Yep, KDE is pretty sweet and getting better all the time. You can really see the improvements from release to release.
    On the "GTK apps look ugly" subject, yeah, that's true. QtCurve can ease that though. For example Synaptic with QtCurve style looks much nicer, or at least more integrated.

  6. yay | September 27, 2007 at 11:18 pm | Permalink launch applications faster, and you look good.


    Looks good hahahah

    Gimme a Gilouche Equivalent.

  7. Lure | September 28, 2007 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Can you post some screenshots about GTK in KDE that bothers you? Sure gtk looks different in KDE, but I cannot say it looks ugly - or I just got used to it. 😉

  8. David | September 28, 2007 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    About gtk apps in kde, have you installed gtk-qt-engine it will make your gtk apps fit in better with kde. Its not perfect but its close.

    as for yay: yes you can have a gilouche equivalent. use qtcurve and a gilouche colour scheme. hope your enjoying WinXP 😛

  9. Hoàng Đức Hiếu | September 28, 2007 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Are you using the same versions of the same distro? Because blaming un-hibernateable on the desktop env makes no sense to me.

  10. fred | September 28, 2007 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Welcome back to KDE, my dear 😉

  11. Aaron | September 28, 2007 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    @Ben Lewis, @Jake- Everything in KDE thus far has been wonderful. I'm really looking forward to 4.0!

    @Seth- This is my typical writing style. I usually bring out the peanut gallery with my posts. 🙂

    @al- Thanks for your ever-so-insightful comment. It really adds to the discussion here.

    @Terence- Since using aptitude, I haven't pulled up Synaptic in a *long* time.

    @yay- Yes, it definitely runs faster, and I could make KDE look *exacly* like a Gilouche environment with little effort. By the way, how is Gilouche *any* different from ClearLooks?

    @Lure- Just run Firefox/Thunderbird in KDE, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    @David- Yeah, I think I'll just stick with mostly KDE apps though. IceApe doesn't look half-bad, however. Pleasantly surprised.

    @Hoàng Đức Hiếu- Who else should I be blaming. When my desktop environment cannot meet certain expectations, what am I to do? I'm am running Debian Sid.

    @fred- Thank you sweetheart. It's good to be back. 🙂

  12. onety-three | September 28, 2007 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Firefox/Thunderbird use their own toolkit with a little smoke and mirrors to look like GTK apps, that's why they don't really fit into Gnome either and prove to make integration into KDE even more difficult than Gnome apps.

  13. Terence Simpson | September 28, 2007 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Well, I tend to just use aptitude, but it was just an example app to show the difference.

  14. Wolfger | September 28, 2007 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home!

    In my early Linux days, I loved Enlightenment and Black/Flux-box. I couldn't see the appeal of either of the "big 2". Then around about the release of KDE 3.2 I tried KDE again, and I fell in... like. Not love yet, but the potential was there. K3b, Akregator, Digikam... wonderful apps that made me want a KDE environment. With my recent switch to Ubuntu, I too switched to Gnome. But it didn't give me the impression that KDE was bloated, it gave me the impression that I was now computing with handcuffs on. I couldn't do the things I wanted to do to customize my apps. My affair with Gnome only lasted a week and a half, and I swear it didn't mean a thing! Thankfully KDE took me back. 🙂

  15. James | September 28, 2007 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    "Who else should I be blaming. When my desktop environment cannot meet certain expectations, what am I to do? I’m am running Debian Sid."

    Hibernation isn't really handled by the desktop environment. I believe both Gnome and KDE throw the task to swsusp, uswsusp, or suspend2.

  16. Henrik Pauli | October 2, 2007 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I was somehow thinking you had been a KUser all this time! Colour me surprised! XD

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