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From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on March 22, 2008 04:32 AM
I've been something of a desktop slut over the years, my beloved desktop changing fairly frequently. The different Linux desktops have different emphasis and philosophies, but what ever I'm using (short of screen) tends to end up looking the same, with a KDE style toolbar running across the top of the screen (or screens on my workstation) and there's a lot to be said for being able put things where you expect to find them. I love the simplicity of a lot of the gnome applications, brasero and thoggen being some of my favourites, but when simplicity comes at the expense of functionality then we've got a problem. For a long time I couldn't work out how to get metacity to behave how I wanted, eventually CompizFusion solved that problem so I'm using Gnome a lot more, but try tearing me away from amarok and there be a fight.

At the end of the day you can use both Gnome and KDE apps one the same desktop quite happily. My Eee is the prime example of this, it runs XFCE, pidgin, KNetworkManager, Thunar, Emacs22, Yakuake or just screen and Emacs if I'm in one of /those/ moods. You don't need to be confined to just Gnome or KDE apps, it's maybe not the most space efficient approach, but it beats being restricted to someone else's idea of what you should be doing.

I think I more than upset Jono Bacon a few years back when he was takling about Jokosher because I was able to show how in the space of 2 minutes you ran into brick walls with synchronising multiple audio sources, yet it has a wonderful interface and is spoilt by not being able to grow in complexity as a user begins to demand more. Maybe the way forward is to default to being so simple and clean to use that it takes all of 5 minutes to understand, but allowing customisation that takes the application way beyond the simple defaults. Sometimes you just can't hide all the complexity from a complex task.


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