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GNOME vs. KDE: the Latest Round

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the keep-it-above-the-belt dept.

GNOME 344

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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344 comments

I'm not convinced by either (2)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724042)

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.

Re:I'm not convinced by either (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724130)

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 is. If it isn't damn near perfect, off to KDE I go ...

Re:I'm not convinced by either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724456)

exks-eff-ceee-eeeeeeeeeee!!
ding!!

Are there only two desktop environments for Linux? (1)

folderol (1965326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724812)

Thought not. I don't use either. Neither are sufficiently configurable to be truly productive environments.

Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724044)

Next on Slashdot: vi vs Emacs, GPL vs. BSD, red vs. blue.

Me, I use KDE. But as long as you uninstall the stuff that depends on Mono, I have no big problem with GNOME.

Re:Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724052)

vim, GPL, and blue

Re:Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724088)

INFIDEL! emacs, GPL, blue.

Re:Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (2)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724140)

true infidels go with Emacs/BSD

Re:Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724312)

That would be hard to do, seeing as it's already GNU/Emacs. GNU/BSD just seems unnatural. (oh wait)

Re:Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724332)

oooh, kinky

try again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724788)

this is your last chance. ... are you red or blue on this?

Re:Mod TFS "-42 Flamebait" (3, Funny)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724550)

Green!
Purple!

And? (0)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724048)

*sigh* who cares? Most distros toss skins on top of them that make them indistinguishable anyhow.

Re:And? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724150)

No, they don't.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724172)

Not really, Gnome is essentially uncustomizeable. Some people don't like to deal with a million f-ing options. Some do (then you can use KDE). If we could unify GTK and QT, and make Gnome and KDE applications play together nicely, there would be no problem. It is good to have two different desktop environments. It is bad that they don't play together well.

Re:And? (0)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724246)

Ah, you're right, I was thinking GTK+ and Qt being skinned to look nearly equivalent.

Still though, the differences are almost entirely cosmetic. Why bother fighting about it?

Re:And? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724488)

Use the new GNOME Shell for a while and say "the differences are almost entirely cosmetic."

It's a little deeper than that.

Re:And? (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724520)

It used to be differences in compiler technology (C vs C++) made Gtk+ based applications and frameworks much faster in start up and also a slight edge in run time. Add to the fact KDE traditionally tried to be an extremely crappy Windows wanna-be, most naturally gravitated toward Gtk+ (meaning Gnome).

These days, compiler improvements have come a long ways and KDE (Qt) applications no longer have performance penalties. Furthermore, KDE has grown considerable beyond their windows wanna-be days. By all accounts, they are an excellent framework/desktop in their own right. Both have strong offerings both in features and applications. In fact, despite me being a Gnome user, as a developer, Gtk+ absolutely sucks compared to Qt - although Qt has some real kludges and warts. Though I've not recently looked and more recent versions of Qt may address some or all of these - really not sure.

Which means, now, the appeal is largely based on user entrenchment and application preference. It wasn't so long ago memory was still a deciding factor and running two frameworks was not a satisfactory solution which further forced users into one camp over the other - again, based on application preferences. These days, with 16G become more and more common, the overhead of mixing and matching doesn't pose anywhere near the downside it once did. As such, running Gnome desktop and some KDE apps, or the inverse, is far more likely to be much more palatable. I predict this to become more and more common over the next couple of years.

Why bother fighting about it?

I agree with you. Historically there were good reasons to be in one camp over there other. These days, IMOHO, it large boils down to available memory and the preferred application mix. I strongly suspect Gnome 3's ability to hit or miss at time of release will potentially mean a massive influx of KDE users. And based on all reviews I've read to date, I strongly suspect KDE will prove the real winner once Gnome 3 is finally released. Of course, I'm hoping that's not the case. But either way, as you point out, ultimately, it may not matter one way or the other.

Re:And? (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724538)

Gnome is essentially uncustomizeable

Canonical might disagree with that statement.

It's possible to customize GNOME, it's just not as easy as it is in KDE. That said, out of the box, GNOME doesn't seem to offer all the interesting little interface ([inconsistencies|features]-delete whichever is inappropriate), so there's a reason for that.

While we're at it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724056)

vi is better than emacs... :D

Re:While we're at it... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724376)

Butterflies you dilettante!

GNOME 100% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724102)

In the years I experimented with Linux in various distros, I always found KDE to be too busy, too ugly, and too rigid to be of any use to me. Gnome actually looks and feels user friendly.

And your point is???? (5, Informative)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724108)

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.

Re:And your point is???? (5, Insightful)

slackergod (37906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724364)

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.

Re:And your point is???? (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724646)

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.

Gnome is the MS of the OOS Desktop (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Gnome is the MS of the OOS Desktop (1)

pimpsoftcom (877143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724202)

I hate to say this, but having never worked at MS but having been given the opportunity, and based on my limited exposure to the recruiters and the people at the time, I have to agree with you. Somebody mod parent up as I lack the points to do so.

Re:Gnome is the MS of the OOS Desktop (1)

bkor (21535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724452)

You're posting AC for legal reasons?

I help out in GNOME, and don't see anything that you mention happening. I find it interesting that you mention that you worked in Microsoft, the GNOME community as well as KDE. Though I do not care which company someone works for, I think I'd at least remember.

Evolutionary is better than "revolutionary" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724134)

GNOME 2 or KDE 3.x with compiz were very close to the ideal desktop. If GNOME would have made 2.x's yelp help browser startup faster, it would have nearly been a perfect "minimal" desktop. KDE 3.x was a little further away but was still close to a perfect "power user" desktop. Now we are stuck with two less than optimal desktops that, despite the goal of being easier to use, seem more confusing for beginners. Devs MUST learn that past some point of complexity, evolutionary change is the only way to go.

Re:Evolutionary is better than "revolutionary" (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724672)

When travelling we have a company locked down XP laptop and it wont connect to the net.

So I always put a USB stick in it to get net access for those that don't carry their own computer.

Presently it runs the Kubuntu 11.4 beta (KDE4.6) and I've yet to find someone having trouble navigating it.

There's a difference? (3, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724142)

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

Re:There's a difference? (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724176)

Bahahahahahahahahaha! Me Too ...

Re:There's a difference? (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724224)

I suppose you /. with lynx? [wikipedia.org]

Re:There's a difference? (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724384)

Yes, and Facebook, too. It just looks like another terminal full of text to random higher ups cruising the floor.

Re:There's a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724532)

Thanks for pointing that cool program out! I was still telnetting into port 80 and using the get command...

Re:There's a difference? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724442)

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.

Gnome 3 vs KDE 4 vs reality (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724164)

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.

Re:Gnome 3 vs KDE 4 vs reality (4, Informative)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724700)

You can install Gnome & KDE apps side-by-side and they just work.

This is not the case, you probably missed the slashdot story on the drama between GNOME and Canonical [slashdot.org] . In particular see Aaron Seigo's rant [blogspot.com] on how GNOME ignored "status notifiers", a cross desktop specification submitted to Freedesktop.org and with an existing implementation by Canonical.

No more desktops please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724178)

We can do better.

Why only these two? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724182)

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.

Re:Why only these two? (3, Informative)

spauldo (118058) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Why only these two? (3, Insightful)

firewrought (36952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724840)

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., means that developers don't have a clear target for Linux apps. For open source efforts, this means wasted efforts on ports, plugins, and duplicate projects. For commercial ventures, it means that additional money must be invested to reach a more restricted market segment.

Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (1)

kurisuto (165784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724188)

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.

Re:Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724256)

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.

Re:Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724320)

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

Re:Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (2)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724330)

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.

Re:Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (5, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724660)

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.

Yep, it happens to every guy at some point ... don't worry about it.

Re:Gnome/KDE division discourages developers (1)

rantomaniac (1876228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724722)

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.

I like it. (1)

sstern (56589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724192)

I've just started using Gnome 3 on a laptop with Fedora 15. It was a bit of a shock -- where's my f$%#ing menu? But now I like it. I've added Avant Window Navigator and the combination is very Mac-like. http://www.sterndata.com/content/gnome-3-and-awn-new-desktop [sterndata.com]

Re:I like it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724702)

You added AWN to something that already has a dock? Just buy a Mac. You clearly don't get it.

Re:I like it. (1)

sstern (56589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724774)

But a hidden dock. I have to hover over "Activities" to get there. I get it. You're just wrong.

oh noes (4, Funny)

MikeyO (99577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724200)

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

Re:oh noes (1)

sstern (56589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724236)

Best. Response. Ever.

Re:oh noes (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724438)

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.

Re:oh noes (1)

radicalpi (1407259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724806)

If I had been drinking something, it'd currently be up my nose. I second that this is the best post ever.

Joli (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724204)

I switched to Jolicloud and haven't looked back

Re:Joli (2)

pimpsoftcom (877143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724292)

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.

What about (2)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724212)

XFCE, LXDE, EDE, Enlightenment, ...

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

Re:What about (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724480)

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 don't use either -- none TBH (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724226)

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.

Re:I don't use either -- none TBH (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724484)

+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 darned slow. Even on a high end desktop, the effects stutter for me. Plasma desktop is too cool though. Just my 2Â.

Programmers are not designers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724228)

The fundamental flaw here is that programmers love to think they are designers. They are not.

Here is what programmers need to be doing:

Make it easier for designers to do cool things with your platform. Then, let the designers duke it out with the users.

Instead, we are getting many hard-coded designs by programmers. And the only reason real designers can't fix it is because it is so inaccessible from a designer perspective. What designer wants to code C++ and device drivers? Seriously?

Follow the success of the web. Use HTML+JavaScript. Let the web designers who already have a suite of awesome tools to come in and design the desktop. Allow users to install different designs (similar to add-ons/extensions in Firefox). Stop holding our desktops hostage because only a select few people actually understand the GNOME/KDE codebase well enough to code their ideas.

Re:Programmers are not designers (1)

chad.koehler (859648) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724380)

GNOME 3 is fully customizable via Javascript.

Re:Programmers are not designers (1)

bkor (21535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724490)

And you can use CSS as well :)

Screen shots would help .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724240)

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 placeholders that didn't do much.

Some of these seem to me like a bunch of people telling me that I should be using the One True Window Environment, and that if I've not drunk the Kool Aid and using the entire suite of KDE, I'm somehow missing out. It just never felt that way to me.

I've used Gnome for over a decade, and while I'm willing to concede that a lot has changed in the intervening years ... but I distinctly thinking that KDE felt like it was the simplest possible interface meant to be OK for everyone. To me it came across as somewhat lacking and pretty lame looking.

Re:Screen shots would help .... (2)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724356)

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.

Re:Screen shots would help .... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724526)

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] !

Re:Screen shots would help .... (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724782)

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.

they are almost the same (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724254)

As far as bugs.

It is the applications stupid, (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724260)

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.

to me gnome still has an edge... (1)

roubles (716740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724270)

because KDE4's new graphical UI (plasma is it?) is CPU intensive and does not run smoothly on old hardware - which is where I usually install linux on.

oh, that and the fact that you cant run a vncserver on kde 4, because once again the graphical UI, looks like crap: http://forum.kde.org/brainstorm.php#idea90400_page1 [kde.org]

Re:to me gnome still has an edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724468)

vnc, because oxygen style is a bit more modern and uses overal gradients, (like modern gnome defoult theme), vnc becomes slow on kde, solution is to use a more windows 3.1 like theme... the problem KDE has will be soon visible on gnome 3 aswell.

As far as the "UI looks like crap". Many dont agrea with you..

Re:to me gnome still has an edge... (1)

roubles (716740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724846)

What I was trying to say was that the UI looks like crap over VNC.

If you try it, you will notice small dots all over the screen. Here is one example screenshot I found: http://www.vigneras.name/pierre/wp/wp-content/uploads/screenshot5.png [vigneras.name]

Natively, I find the KDE4 UI very nice. A little futuristic, but nice. On older systems it runs slow. To me, the UI improvements from 3.5.X to KDE4 are not worth the loss of critical features like being able to run on old hardware, and being able to run out of the box over VNC.

Workstation Linux (5, Insightful)

Sir_Kurt (92864) | more than 3 years ago | (#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

Re:Workstation Linux (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724412)

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 over the last bunch of years, the direction of most WMs in general seems to occasionally evoke a "what the hell is this?" response from me.

Re:Workstation Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724560)

Isn't that the beautiful thing about Linux? That there is choice. If GNOME doesn't fit your firm anymore, you're able to switch to XFCE or anything else. The rest of the world may choose KDE 4 or GNOME 3 because they prefer it. There's no need for you to force your own preferences on others, as they don't force theirs on you!

Re:Workstation Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724630)

hear hear, I fully agree. GNOME Shell looks dreadful.
GNOME 2.32 is a wonderful workstation environment.

Re:Workstation Linux (4, Insightful)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Workstation Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724680)

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

Just don't upgrade to latest versions if the current one is ok for you.

Re:Workstation Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724804)

Definitely try out XFCE, 4.6 or 4.8 specifically. They made the interface even more customizable, it's actually quite easy to make it look exactly like Gnome or KDE if you wanted to.

Re:Workstation Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724836)

You guys do all realize that gnome-panel/metacity will still be available for GNOME3, right? Although Xfce is clearly the more logical escape route than KDE4 if the panel was to go tits up.

neither - LXDE (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724304)

Part of the Lubuntu distribution, which works great on netbooks or laptops with minimum RAM (128 meg) or processor speed (1000 MHz). In June 2010 Jim Lynch reviewed Lubuntu 10.04, saying, "One thing youâ(TM)ll notice about using the Lubuntu desktop is that itâ(TM)s fast. Very, very fast. Even on an underpowered machine, Lubuntu should perform very well. Itâ(TM)s one of the best things about this distro; it leaves behind the bloated eye candy that can sometimes bog down GNOME and KDE..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LXDE [wikipedia.org]

I Gave Up on Both Years Ago (2, Insightful)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724306)

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.

He's being overly polite... (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:He's being overly polite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724620)

You could always review it yourself. They put ISO's up for just this purpose.

http://www.gnome3.org/tryit.html

Re:He's being overly polite... (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724816)

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.

Close, but no banana (4, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Close, but no banana (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724498)

Which kinda means they have to ditch KDE and GNOME, and switch to lxde or englightenment, or xfce...

Re:Close, but no banana (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724574)

Amen!

KDE 3.5.x ftw!

KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, XFCE, Ratpoison... (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724426)

And yet, nobody mentions Fluxbox...

Wake me when KDE finally gets usable drag 'n' drop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724430)

Until then, GNOME is the only option. I can't stand a desktop that harasses me with a popup every time I want to move a file (95% of drag 'n' dropping) because it's afraid I might want to copy or link (5% of drag 'n' dropping). And which gives me NO way to change that behavior short of making my own fork of KDE. Forget it. Worse usability decision EVER.

Re:Wake me when KDE finally gets usable drag 'n' d (1)

princeley (245197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724796)

KDE supports modifiers like Windows and OSX for drag-and-drop, it only asks if you do not use a modifier. It is better to ask rather than move files by default like some older versions of Windows used to. Sorry, but this is good thing that prevents accidents without getting in the way of power users.

NON - STORY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724434)

i mean .. who gives a shit .. i mean really ?
the only people who get turned on about this 'great debate' are, er ..
need free minds too .. or want to seem cooler than someone else.
dulllll.......... the desktop wars are well over. did no one tell you ( the OP ) ?

Latest releases (1)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724542)

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.

Neither of those (1)

san_SS! (1964930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724604)

Everytime they change something in the interface to make it more loaded and complex, it really annoys me and it takes longer to load the desktop. So after going back and forth between GNOME and KDE for years I switched to Xmonad, that was the best thing i could do. Of course, it took a week or 2 to get used to it. But after that, it's amazing how efficient it is, specially for work. I'm not going back to GNOME or KDE!

Gnome 3 rocks (0)

MM-tng (585125) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724638)

The shell is awesome. Linux has needed it's own visual style for a long time. Hey you guys still like the win95 look, I still have a disk for you here somewhere.

KDE rubbish UI design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724748)

The thing that turns me off KDE the most is not the technologies, which are usually excellent, but the consistently crap UI. Try to add a contact to the address book: form disaster! Use Dolphin or KWord: massive toolbars and small content area. Gnome may not have the same sweet underpinnings, but it does seem to pay more attention to usability and design.

Two extremes (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724760)

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 end of the spectrum. From the start, you're hit in the face with dozens of overlapping and redundant choices, superfluous GUI elements that don't appear to serve any particular purpose, and generally a ton of "look, we can do this!" features.

I find both desktops envirnments to be profoundly bloated and useless to my work process. I much prefer a smaller DE or WM, such as openbox or LXDE.
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