The KDE Challenge

This week I decided to migrate my whole desktop to KDE, using what I called, the KDE challenge. I decided to use only and exclusively KDE apps.

After almost 4 days using KDE only, I came to the conclusion that their apps are very, VERY good.

For years the gnome users have told the linux users that KDE is too complex and unusable. I used to believe that, and maybe is true. However on the flipside is very very limited and un-configurable. The preference panel is extremely simplistic and that is bad.

If most Linux users are tweakers, and if you are windows tweaker or a mac tweaker then you will love KDE. Lots of preferences make the software very configurable. And the best thing is that is actually beautiful, there is no complexity about the file picker, no buttons trying to be paths.

At the end I think the KDE apps are very innovating since apps such as Amarok organized greatly the songs and use XML-RPC to sync with the net repositories.

On the flipside KDE still pretty buggy specially GNOME apps find themselves lost when runnin on top of KDE, this is harsh specially when using Gimp, Inkscape etc.

Also KDE seems to choke on kopete startup and I keep going to Ksysguard and you have to kill the apps. Kmail also give me some headache to my readers since it doesn’t render right and even Opera says that it will be limited on the keyboards shortcut because is reserved for KDE.

The virtual keyboards are hard (or havent find) how to switch from within the keyboard.

All in all the KDE enviroment feels much more like a dekstop, the Fish utilities are also very programmer oriented and with great apps like Quanta, Cervesia and KDevelop I found that KDE is a great desktop to have around the house.

Lesson learned:
– KDE is NOT difficult for the average linux user
– KDE is NOT unusable and I think GNOME got it wrong
– KDE support is not very spread out
– KDE file management is great

KDE have a new wave of apps and Qt4 stuff under Plasma, it seems that they will integrate it more with the MacOSX platform and it seems that KDE future will actually be more desktop oriented than gnome which sounds more like and more like a ‘my first desktop’ enviroment.

Disclaimer: I am an XFCE4 long time desktop user and I use mostly gnome apps for about 3 years now. I will probably come back to gnome but will keep a desktop just for KDE stuff.