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I’ve used GNOME for as long as I’ve been using Linux.  My first distro was Ubuntu 7.04 and I’ve only tried out other desktops for short periods of time.  This year however, I tried KDE 4 and found myself using it more and more.  I loved the user interface, especially the widgets.  Unlike GNOME, I felt that KDE really had a chance at looking better than Mac OS X.

GNOME is great.  It’s fast, stable, and it doesn’t look like it’s from 1998.  GNOME is still my favorite desktop environment.  The only issue is, it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere.  GNOME still looks like it did two years ago.  Yes, it’s a little slicker, but the base appearance is still the same.  On the other hand, KDE 4 is a complete redesign from KDE 3.5.

I really like how KDE looks and acts as a desktop environment.  It’s user friendly, fast, and functional.  I did have a little issue with the way fonts looked at first, but it turns out that I needed to turn on sub-pixel hinting.  Now, everything looks much better.  KDE also has another advantage.  Everything is integrated with the user interface.  When I download a file using Konqueror, the notification system pops up from the taskbar, showing the progress of my downloads.  This and other little things make KDE feel complete.

KDE with Twitter Client and Notepad

The desktop effects really make KDE shine too.  While I do think that Compiz Fusion has better effects, KWin is really close in comparison.  It’s just one more thing that improves the user interface.  The window borders look clean, as does the taskbar.  KDE is way ahead of GNOME in appearance in my opinion.

The KDE applications are good.  GNOME does have a little advantage here, but if you don’t include Firefox or Pidgin, they match up very well.  Konqueror is much better than Epiphany, but Firefox is much better than both.  So much better in fact, that I’m using it instead.  Amarok used to be the best audio player, but the new interface is not that great.  According to various sources though, this will be fixed in future releases.  KDE’s Twitter widget is awesome and is my favorite application included with KDE.

Not much is wrong with KDE in my opinion.  The font issue I had was probably my fault and I experienced no other bugs.  KDE is slower than GNOME.  There is no argument about that.  GNOME has the speedy interface down.  But, if you want something different, KDE is not a bad option.  It’s not as good as GNOME for me, but I’m using it because there is something about it I like.  It just “feels” right to me.  So, if you hate KDE, that’s fine, but don’t judge a book by its cover.  If you haven’t tried it, give it a whirl.  You might like what you see.

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One Comment

  1. Yay for choice. Good for you to try something new as well.

    If you’re into “productivity” hacks, look into customizing krunner (Alt+F2 by default) – I’d be curious to see how you find it compared to Gnome Do – I saw a blog post to that below this one.


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