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

By Robin 'Roblimo' Miller on March 21, 2008 (6:00:00 PM)

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COMMENTARY -- I used KDE as my primary desktop from 1996 through 2006, when I installed the GNOME version of Ubuntu and found that I liked it better than the KDE desktop I'd faced every morning for so many years. Last January, I got a new Dell Latitude D630 laptop and decided to install Kubuntu on it, but within a few weeks, I went back to GNOME. Does this mean GNOME is now a better desktop than KDE, or just that I have become so accustomed to GNOME that it's hard for me to give it up?

A significant barrier to Linux adoption is a natural human resistance to change. The vast majority of the world's computer users are now used to the Windows XP desktop and are not eager to give up something that works reasonably well for them in favor of something new, whether that "something" is Linux or Microsoft's own Windows Vista.

Apple runs millions of dollars worth of clever TV ads touting the superiority of Mac OS, but still has only a tiny percentage of the personal computer marketplace.

KDE and GNOME are as different as Windows and Mac

A switch between KDE and GNOME (or the other way around) is nearly as major, in a user experience sense, as a switch from Windows to Mac. GNOME, as typically installed by default, has a Mac-like "top of the screen" toolbar, while KDE keeps its controls on the bottom of the screen in a more Windows-like fashion.

A person who works on computers all day -- as I do -- and relies on muscle memory for routine tasks such as opening an application or clearing applications windows from their desktop is especially hard-hit by GUI changes. When I first started using GNOME on Ubuntu as my primary desktop, for example, I repeatedly clicked the Show Desktop button in the lower left corner of my screen, where KDE and Windows have Menu buttons, when I wanted to log out or switch users, even though the button for these tasks in GNOME on Ubuntu is in the upper right corner.

I am not saying one location for logoff and shutdown-type buttons is better than another. Windows, KDE, Mac, and GNOME usability people can have that argument without me butting in. All I'm saying here is that whatever screen layout we have grown accustomed to is easier for us to use than its alternatives until (unless) we retrain our fingers to dance in a new pattern.

Most people use the defaults

I've included a screenshot of my current GNOME desktop. It's obviously customized to my taste. The few files you see are ones I'm currently working on. All others are hidden. (My desktop backgrounds tend to change frequently, but are almost always Florida beach or sailing photos.)

Desktop customization takes only a few minutes in GNOME, and is nearly as fast in KDE. And yet, when I'm at computer conferences, most of the laptop computer screens I see display default backgrounds and themes, no matter what operating systems are behind them. Since I tend to go to conferences that are fuil of programmers and IT people, usually with a high percentage of Linux users among them, we can't say they don't know how to personalize their displays. They know how. They just don't do it.

Default screens seem to have a major impact on how people pick Linux distributions, too. Over and over, I see online comments (and get email) about this or that distribution's default appearance. Sometimes these comments puzzle me. I use Ubuntu these days, not because of its brown default desktop background and theme, but despite the way it looks "out of the box." Since I am in the habit of making my desktop over almost as soon as I install it, I don't care much about the default scheme. But others do. And I suspect that a lot of operating system and desktop decisions are made purely on appearance. ("Ooh, that new Mac OS is pretty -- I want it!")

Some real differences between KDE and GNOME

One shocking difference I found between "normal" (GNOME) Ubuntu and (KDE-based) Kubuntu was in the way they handled wireless connections. In plain Ubuntu, my laptop's built-in Intel wireless "just worked." In Kubuntu, it did not. Even with help from a skilled sysadmin (thanks, Matt Moen), it was a puzzlement. In the end, we got painless wireless connectivity by installing the GNOME Network Manager.

Another difference was the Adept GUI software installation utility included in Kubuntu, which I did not like nearly as much as Synaptic. But then, I find Synaptic superior to the "Install and Remove Applications" utility included in straight-up Ubuntu, too.

A third difference, which still puzzles me, is that I never completely succeeded in making Thunderbird my default email application in Kubuntu. I consulted online guides and scrounged around in the KDE Help files and did what I thought they told me to do, but I still couldn't click on a mailto link in a Firefox window and have a Thunderbird "compose mail" window open automatically. I know, I know -- in KDE I'm supposed to use KMail, just as in GNOME I should use Evolution. I have friends and coworkers who use and love both email managers, but I prefer Thunderbird for my email. And I prefer Firefox as my Web browser too, no matter what desktop environment -- or even what operating system -- lies beneath them.

KDE has it all -- and wants you to have all of KDE

The KDE push toward an integrated KOffice applications suite is laudable. New, non-sophisticated Linux users will no doubt love having all the software most of them need for day-to-day use in a single package, with matching themes and a unified set of attractive icons. But then there are the grumpy oldsters (like me) who have programs they've grown accustomed to using over the years, and who don't want to trade in their favorites for equivalent KOffice components.

This KDE bent toward "all KDE all the time" may be why I had trouble making Thunderbird my default email app in Kbuntu. Without my pro-Thunderbird prejudice, I'm sure my Kubuntu experience would have been happier. But I am not necessarily the target market for KDE and KOffice. A new Linux user (who wasn't already accustomed to using Thunderbird on Windows) would probably be happy with KMail.

One thing that has improved in KDE in the last few years is that most of the included applications actually work. In the past, KDE apps were hit-or-miss. Some were stable and fully realized, while some were not quite "there" yet. I believe KDE would have been better off, and would be in better shape today, if there had been a little more discrimination exercised in package selection for a default KDE install. Packages and projects "that aim to bring you..." may be laudable and worth support, but for an everyday work PC we need software that works today, not software that may work in the future.

GNOME, too, has bits and pieces that don't work as well as they should -- or, at least, the way I personally want them to work. For example, I don't particularly like gedit, the default GNOME text editor. But then, I don't like the KDE text editor either. Most of my writing appears on the World Wide Web, and Bluefish is the perfect text/HTML editor for my kind of work on any desktop.

This does not necessarily mean Bluefish is superior to its competitors. Many people like Quanta Plus as much as I like Bluefish, and would find it hard to switch from Quanta Plus to Bluefish -- or to any other text or code editor. But that's my point: we get accustomed to certain tools, and switching to other tools, even tools that may be better in some ways than the ones we're used to using, can be painful.

Windows and Mac: Not to my taste at all

I tried Mac OS X. Several versions. I tried to like it. And I failed. After more than a decade of GNU/Linux use, Mac OS seemed alien and unintuitive. And the software had funny names, and even humble things like the closest application I could come on a Mac to my beloved Bluefish editor cost money, even though they were no better than -- and in many cases not as good as -- the free software to which I had grown accustomed.

There are ways to fiddle some Linux apps into working on Mac OS, much as Wine can make some Windows apps run in Linux, but this is a lot of trouble. I ended up using a $2,000+ MacBook Pro as a fancy Ubuntu (and for a while, Fedora) platform. What a waste! The only thing I do that needs lots of computing power is video editing, and it's the only thing I do that requires proprietary software, at least on a professional level, and I'd just as soon use Windows-only Sony Vegas as Apple's Final Cut Pro, so I turned in the MacBook Pro in favor of a much less expensive Dell laptop, dual-booting Ubuntu GNU/Linux and Windows XP.

And here's the funny thing: Windows feels a lot more Linuxlike to me than Mac OS. In many ways it seems as if it's a slightly clumsy knockoff of KDE. But it also has a lot more in common with GNOME than Mac OS does. The applications menus are structured in a similar manner. Ditto the way you store and find individual files, for which Windows uses the same "folders and subfolders" metaphor as both KDE and GNOME, and Windows gives me a Linux-style horizontal list of open programs across the bottom of my screen, which Mac OS does not.

Backing up my data in Windows is lots harder than backing up a /home or /username directory in Linux, because Windows seems to scatter data all over the place. Why this is I do not know, but no doubt someone at Microsoft could tell me why this inconvenience is a good thing, not a bad one, just as I'm sure they could tell me why all kinds of annoying pop-up balloons that interfere with my work (instead of letting me concentrate on what I'm doing) make my life easier instead of harder.

I could go on and on here, but I won't. I'll just say I treat my one dedicated Windows machine as a slightly touchy video editing appliance that connects to the Internet only through one of my Linux boxes -- and from behind a Linux-based router at that. Windows is supposed to be less virus-prone than it was a few years ago, but the only way to keep malware off of Windows (that I know of) is to not connect it to the Internet -- and to watch it like a whole flock of hawks when it is online, even if it is well-protected (by Linux) from the Internet's raw fury.

Conservative by nature

I was at an older friend's house yesterday, showing him how to get pictures from his digital camera onto his Windows computer -- except he doesn't know what Windows is, just that his computer is a Dell, because it says so on both the monitor and on the black rectangular box that sits under his desk.

This person, who suffered from several virus infestations before a kindly local computer repair joint sold him a proprietary antivirus package, would be a natural candidate for Linux. He does nothing with his computer he couldn't do as well -- or better -- with Linux. Except for one thing: as far as he knows, he doesn't connect to the Internet or use email software. He connects to AOL, which to him is the Internet. Including email.

We're talking here about a man who, when I told him to right-click on a photograph to send it to me as an email attachment, said, "I'm not sure about right-clicking. I'm a left-click kind of guy."

This is someone who, by nature, ought to have a Mac. At least he wouldn't get confused by multiple mouse buttons. But then again, he'd be confused by almost everything else, and would take endless hand-holding to make the conversion.

And Linux? I'm sure I could teach him to use GNU/Linux, especially KDE. But when would I have time? My friend has had a home computer for three years, and used desktop computers at work for at least 10 years before he retired, and he still hasn't figured out how to right-click and use the little menus that that act typically brings up. He has several advanced degrees, but computer functions are alien to him, and learning what little he does know has caused him so much stress, and has taken so long, that I am scared to alter his computer-using routine in any way.

Not only that, he would resist the change. He was worried about Firefox, which I downloaded and installed for him, because it operates in slightly different ways from the AOL and Internet Explorer combination he has learned to use. He promised he'd try to use the new ("What did you call it? A browser?") thingie, but I have little hope that he will master it without intense instruction.

Am I really any better, though? I have programs and procedures and habits that get me through my days of computer use without thinking about them. I've developed those procedures and habits over many years, and not all of my computing habits are good ones. But they're mine, and I'm used to them.

I continue to advocate increased GNU/Linux and FOSS use, partly for licensing and freedom reasons, and partly because I believe open source, overall, leads to better software in the long run. But I no longer expect everyone who comes into my office and sees Linux on a desktop for the first time to suddenly yell, "Hallejulah! I have seen the light and will henceforth use nothing but GNU/Linux and Free Software!"

Instead, I have more luck helping people who want to be helped move toward open source software one step at a time, starting with programs like Kompozer, which another friend has now used to make a simple Web site for his wife's acupuncture practice, and OpenOffice.org, which is a great, cost-free alternative to Microsoft Office for the many aspiring writers and poets in my neighborhood. And yes, I've even moved a few people to Linux, but only a few, because I don't have time for much intense hand-holding, and that's what it takes to teach people who are not naturally computer-inclined how to use any new operating system or software.

Habits are hard to break. Even bad ones. Maybe especially bad ones. Now please excuse me while I light another cigarette.

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

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.32.198.160] on March 21, 2008 06:57 PM
Please be aware that the author doesn't actually compare GNOME and KDE, but Ubuntu and Kubuntu. The latter has much less manpower and support behind it. The author's issues with KDE would most likely not exist in a KDE-centric distribution.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.167.5.97] on March 21, 2008 09:30 PM
The few issues the author mentioned, would not have been a problem, had he simply installed Ubuntu, and then installed the "kubuntu-desktop" on top of it..
That would have given him the gnome-network manager,and synaptic. And also have the choice of booting into either Gnome or KDE. Mind it would use up more diskspace, but the size of todays hard drives would it really matter that much?

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Re(1): From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 170.140.122.224] on March 22, 2008 12:55 AM
network-manager-kde works for me. I'm using a Dell Latitude D630 with a self installed Atheros AR5418 wrieless adapter. I had to compile the madwifi-ng drivers, but NetworkManager in Kubuntu gutsy picked it right up.

Also, prior to using Kubuntu gutsy, we tried Ubuntu gutsy. The compiz windowing manager simply did not work; opened windows did not have a windowing manager widget. Someone suggested removing compiz, which should have caused GNOME to go back to whatever default windowing manager, but this also did not work. We gave up on Ubuntu and tried Kubuntu instead. Kubuntu took care of all the stuff we weren't intersted in dealing with.

We settled on Kubuntu amd64 to handle the 4GB of RAM. Multimedia works well enough: sound, flash, DVD, audio CDs. I'm impressed at how far along the Linux desktop environment has come. Usually, I just use fluxbox and let the fun stuff be damned.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.131.187.184] on March 23, 2008 09:20 PM
The Author compares a very old Kubuntu version with the new Ubuntu. A year ago I installed Kubuntu and had absolutely no problems with the wireless connection, everything works automatically. On the contrary, I think is much better and easy to use as the one in Ubuntu.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.58.25.27] on March 21, 2008 06:59 PM
I think it all boils down to ones personal taste. I personally use KDE becouse it seems to be working "faster", but that could be just me...

D.

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

Posted by: roblimo on March 21, 2008 07:52 PM
Exactly my point. In the end it comes down to personal taste and what we're used to more than anything else. :)

- Robin

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Re(1): From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 122.167.71.125] on March 22, 2008 09:48 AM
But I could see myself in your post. After about 5 years of redhat/centos usage, I switched to kubuntu some 2-3 years back and I have faced exactly the same 3 problems(wireless, thunderbird integration and adept). Though I am really pissed off with these issues, still I feel kubuntu is overall the best distro hence stick with it

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Re(2): From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.200.40.194] on March 24, 2008 06:13 AM
I agree. I was using RedHat for 5 years and after shifting to Kubuntu I do feel like going anywhere. I am not sure why Kubuntu uses Adept by default when Synaptic is there (probably because Synaptic might be using the GNOME libraries like GTK, GLib which the KDE people would not want to ship by default) .. otherwise KDE+Kubuntu rocks

- Gary

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 205.250.150.45] on March 21, 2008 07:10 PM
My suspicion is that some, if not all the KDE problems you refer to are simply because it's Kubuntu rather than Mandriva or SUSE. In fact I had numerous problems with Kubuntu that I haven't had with Ubuntu when testing it that simply don't appear in Mandriva or SUSE.

While I have no problem at all getting wireless to function using Mandriva or SUSE under KDE, as you report, in Kubuntu it's a major headache. I'm not partial to Thunderbird at all to be honest simply because I don't like how it works. As you say, old habits are hard to break and I much prefer Kontact.

KDE does have a bias towards all of KDE, as you say. GNOME, however, has a bias towards treating me like I'm an idiot, treats me to dialogs that are simplified to the point of uselessness which reminds me of, say the Windows Explorer file "manager". Add, to which, it's visually pug ugly.

I know many people prefer the GNOME approach and more power to them. I prefer an enviornment I can set up how I want to use it, make it as simple or complex as I wish and easily have the ability to do so or not. Hence, KDE.

The reality is that in functionality there is little to choose between the two and that apps written for one will almost always run on the other.

It all boils down to the finger training you refer to and what you want from a desktop.

Still, if you're gonna retry KDE, don't use Kubuntu to do it! :-)

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.73.47.138] on March 24, 2008 04:59 AM
I entirely agree with this comment. I hate Kubuntu even though I prefer KDE over Gnome by a wide margin. If you want a well-organised KDE distro you are much better to look at one that is centred on, or at least puts equal resources into KDE. Mandriva and Suse are both good options.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.79.37.173] on March 21, 2008 07:22 PM
> "I used KDE [...] I installed GNOME [...], liked it better than KDE [...], install Kubuntu [...], went back to GNOME. Does this mean GNOME is now a better desktop than KDE [...]?"

This is the most stupid conclusion one could draw out of this. I'm sure you're not meaning to say one of the two products is better than the other, but I really wish people would stop uttering such statements. Software does not behave like numbers, they are not ordered sets with clearly defined "better-than" or "bigger-than" relations. Yes, you can compare the features, you can run benchmarks and get real numbers out of it. But never can you claim that one is better than the other without specifying a very specific context, a situation, an opinion. You just prefer GNOME. Go use it and be happy, help others use it and tell everyone that it's good software. I use KDE myself, because it's my choice, but never would it cross my mind to say that KDE is any better than GNOME. I also used emacs when I started using linux and after I year I gave it up for vim which I love above all now. But this won't ever make me utter non-sensical statements like "vim is better than emacs". You hear that a lot, as well as the opposite, but it's at best just plain stupid, narrow-minded and maybe even unhealthy fanatism. My two Swiss Cents.

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What about Xfce?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 221.128.181.79] on March 21, 2008 07:23 PM
Dude have you tried Xfce (Xubuntu)? You might love it more than Gnome! I was a Gnome fan till very recently, when I switched to Xfce and got hooked to it. Xfce works faster for me, but that could be just me... All said,Gnome/KDE/Xfce , whatever it may be, they are all good. As the above poster said, "It all boils down to ones personal taste", period! Lets just leave it at that, shall we!

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Re: What about Xfce?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.202.73.18] on March 23, 2008 04:38 AM
I use Xfce on one of my boxes because it doesn't have the resources to run Gnome or KDE at anything faster than a crawl. However on my new box I use Gnome because I like it a lot better than either KDE or Xfce.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.171.149.166] on March 21, 2008 08:17 PM
His biggest problem is that he was using ubuntu's. Geeze get a distro thats worth something whether it uses Gnome or KDE!

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.229.233.47] on March 23, 2008 03:26 AM
Woh. Lets not dis Ubuntu. Whether you like it or not Ubuntu has been the dominant Linux distro for some time. I'm not an Ubuntu user (Xandros here) but that does not change the fact that their simplicity has gain mass appeal. I say keep up the good work!

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Re(1): From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.90.208.88] on March 23, 2008 05:33 PM
Ubuntu is not the dominant Linux distro, TiVO is. Red Hat installations outnumber Ubuntu in the server world. Ubuntu is popular on the desktop, but has a long way to go before it is "dominant."

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.202.73.18] on March 23, 2008 04:41 AM
FUD

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.70.10.75] on March 21, 2008 09:39 PM
I prefer Gnome to KDE, but I turn off the top tool bar and copy all the icons into the bottom one and make sure the 'off' button is in the bottom left corner. Go figure.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 153.2.246.30] on March 21, 2008 09:43 PM
Roblimo,
You know you draw into question your motives of an article like this when you make statements like "I used KDE as my primary desktop from 1996 through 2006" when KDE was announced in October of 1996 and KDE Beta wasn't released till a year later (Oct 1997) and 1.0 not till 2 years later (July 1998). I expect more from than this kind of spouting from linux.com E&C of OSTG ** http://www.kde.org/whatiskde/project.php#history **

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

Posted by: roblimo on March 21, 2008 11:10 PM
You're right. I made a mistake -- and for that sin, I deserve to have my "motives" called into question by someone of your august reputation, who has surely never made one. :)

- R

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Re(1): From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.108.142.115] on March 22, 2008 01:44 AM
I think it's fair for someone to question your motives, you did publish a false statement. Knowing how inflammatory this subject is it's reasonable to expect a journalist (yes I include bloggers in that description, sorry!) to check a basic fact. It is after all common to stretch the facts, to extend the impact of a claim that one is making, when you feel your claim may lack persuasion.

To reply with an ad-hominem attack aimed at belittling someone about whom you know nothing does rather add to his argument. It makes you seem rather touchy and pompous.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.212.118.183] on March 21, 2008 10:28 PM
What do you crazy linux people do to your windows computers? I generally do not run a virus scanner at all or anything of the sort. Just a Vista (used to be XP) machine connected through a low end retail gateway. Guess what? I haven't had a virus since... I want to say like 2001. What sordid holes are you sticking your windows computer into? Are you loading it up with totally sweet pirated software and CRACKZ and HACKZ and such? Why don't you just use open source software on your XP PC? My XP system runs firefox, thunderbird, openoffice.org, and netbeans for development. And it doesn't complain a bit about using 3rd party applications as system defaults. And if you REALLY think your PC is a timebomb or something, just get clamav or Free AVG. You need to run bluefish? Why not just write your web pages in Firefox? Bah, ridiculous. Why juggle around linux distros when you can have the best of both worlds?

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.125.19.47] on March 21, 2008 10:48 PM
you THINK that you don't have a virus or spyware. How do you know that you actually don't. The point is, even with a good anti-spyware or anti-virus,
you will NEVER conclusively know whether your system is secure. For all you know, you may have a root kit.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 206.207.51.11] on March 21, 2008 10:46 PM
I have a Dell laptop right now, and I'm using Gnome. However, I really favored KDE on Suse due to some really excellent apps: Kile ( the best solution for LaTex I have found) and KTorrent. I plan on going back to Suse and KDE after I finish my dissertation because I don't want to invest the time.

Also, one other thing. I think the top and bottom bar takes up way, way too much space on the desktop, especially when I am writing and want to see a full page. I have moved my menu bars to the right and left sides. However, this is an incomplete solution because the document titles are rendered incorrectly. I wish there was more effort put into the side menu's, as they are much more practical on the modern rectangular laptop screen than top and bottom menu bars.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.29.133.230] on March 21, 2008 10:47 PM
Muscle memory - good way of thinking about habitual use. Thanks. I use XP/Vista and Ubuntu on different dual boot machines. I've done years more on Windows, only eight years tinkering with Linux, which now I like better than Windows or Mac. But I can't break the Windows habit - not only because of software issues, but also working effectively at speed under pressure, because my hand eye coordination / muscle memory work with much less conscious effort on Windows, which I've had to use lots more. Thank heavens for OOO, Audacity and Firefox. Nearly the same on top of both o/ses - but slicker on Linux these days - I'm sure it's not just that I'm used to them - feel the attraction!

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 210.48.84.165] on March 21, 2008 10:48 PM
I'm neither a KDE nor GNOME person, using E17 here. However almost everyone I know who does not use either one of these desktops prefers the GTK/GNOME versions of applications to the K-versions. The main reason, KDE program seem to assume that you use the full KDE desktop. The only KDE program I use is digikam, it's a great program and lightyears ahead of anything similar available on linux. It takes almost a bloody minute to load though, just because it loads all KDE libs. The GNOME programs ususally only load the part of the gnome libs they need, for KDE they just put all functions in 2 or 3 libs so they all get loaded once you start a KDE application. This is the main reason which keeps me away from KDE programs. Why do the libraries have to be so desktop centric, why not make a small library which fulfills the need instead of making one huge all purpose library? I think the GNOME people actually realized this and are trying to make libraries less centred around one desktop, what I've read about GVFS sounds it's a lot less supposed to be a gnome lib and more a GTK lib. Anyways just my 2 cents

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.119.188.9] on March 21, 2008 11:20 PM
Well, it does seem like a bit of philosophical mastu . . . um, introspection, but no, this really wasn't a comparison of KDE and Gnome (which is what I was kinda looking for from the slashdot title. Hard to imagine a misleading /. title, i know - <G>), but he there is a lot to be said for simply being aware of just how much force there is behind the term 'force of habit'. I know I found Ubuntu to be a wonderful thing for helping me get out of windows because it *doesn't* mean "Hey, I'm a complete idiot . . . again . . ." the way I felt when I was trying to learn linux via slackware.

Of course, I honestly think the largest single improvement in Ubuntu over XP is synaptic/apt-get. (Okay, Debian, I know.) Auto updates for everything are wondrous things

Pug.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.178.34.143] on March 21, 2008 11:27 PM
The author is certainly right about biases caused by system defaults. Way too many people make their choices based on a default look, even though it can easily be changed. I also STRONGLY agree with the poster above regarding GTK vs. Qt (KDE's gui toolkit). Qt programs are hideous, slow, and clumsy under another environment, while GTK programs work just fine anywhere. I personally like to use Xfce or Fluxbox, because they are lightweight, and Qt apps are a disaster.

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

Posted by: Erunno on March 22, 2008 01:53 AM
GTK+ programs look fine under KDE because the KDE developers took the time to write a QT-GTK theme engine which makes GTK apps use the native KDE theme. GNOME developers on the other hand couldn't obviously be arsed with trying to integrate QT/KDE applications somewhat at least into their desktop evironment and that's why KDE applications look, well, unfavourable under GNOME.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.29.3.93] on March 21, 2008 11:40 PM
I wouldn't compare desktop environments the way the author has.If you want to compare gnome and kde (like in this case) you should at least try them out in multiple distributions.For example, take openSuSE and Ubuntu.My ati video card on suse worked out of the box, while in ubuntu.. i still can't get it to work as i want to.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.234.245.149] on March 22, 2008 12:06 AM
I think the best for you is to use fvwm, adjust the colors, menus and whatever, once and for all times (easy text file to copy to every system), and avoid any fully blown dte. But thinking about dtes there is one experience i made with windows (explorer, the xp-dte, i don't know the vista one till now) and apple aqua alike: they don't invite one to understand what they do, and they don't provide a coherent view of the name space in your file system. That are related issues. The Windows "explorer" is not a starting-point, you get some shortcuts to some default places on the desktop, but you don't get an idea where you are in the file system - except if you know where to look, that is right-kicking on the "start" button and starting "explorer". Abstraction is powerful, and normal users don't know their place in the file system even using fvwm - what's the virtual terminal you're on? what is a virtual terminal? what is the root-console? why should i be interested in it? That are just matters for console-freaks with coding in mind, but normal users don't care, and they're right. But is this a reason to hide everything from them? Think of applications like "Mediaplayer" in Windows, or apples ipod software, i forgot the name, they produce another extra-view of the files system: That's not user-friendly, that's confusing and leads to usability-problems. A good dte should invite you to understand it's function, it's not good to give a user choices like "small company network" wile he is trying to connect to the internet, give him a technical descriptive choice, even a choice like "how does your internet-cable look?" is better than microsofts setup questions. I hope kde and gnome don't make the mistake to emulate microsoft or apple just because they are so popular. The reason for the popularity is not that they are good dtes, the reason is that they dominate the market, everybody has to learn these dtes because everybody needs to earn some money. On the other hand there are the ones who pay the money: they don't want to pay much, best not anything. They are not interested to educate anybody, they want everybody to work, quick and cheap, that's the reason for the success of the stupid abstractions in the most successful dtes. The Open Source Community's interest is better off with Desktops which invite to understand instead of Desktops which take the need to understand just to push intensity of workload.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.79.60.21] on March 22, 2008 12:27 AM
TROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL ! ;-)

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 207.92.202.172] on March 22, 2008 12:42 AM
I migrated from Windows 98 to RH9 four years ago, and am currently running Ubuntu on an AMD 64 at home. Last summer, I started using XP at work, and I spent my first few weeks on the machine trying to find freeware utilities to make it work more like my Ubuntu box. (dirbox and launchy, I luv u). I hate the way XP scatters files at random, but have managed to cope otherwise. I would be a lot sorrier for myself if I couldn't run Firefox on my work box.

In that time, I've tried KDE several times, and finally even ran Suse for a while since I kept reading that I didn't like KDE because it wasn't supported properly by my distros of choice. Each time, I wander back to Gnome, even though there are some things I really like about KDE. For example, I like kate better than gedit, but not enough to load the libraries. And I used to trust k3b more than any other burner, but have been happily using brasero recently without any problems.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.69.222.144] on March 22, 2008 01:00 AM
A picture of a woman in Abaya on your desktop!!??

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.170.228.33] on March 22, 2008 01:20 AM
I use Kubuntu. A few months ago I tried to get Gnome to work but it didn't seem to like the fact that my PC (back then) used an on-board video. The result was a very unhappy Gnome experience.

I use Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice. I think KDE should ditch its K-based browser/email/office suite for these alternatives, but I haven't had any problem in installing or running them.

Moreover, I'm very much an untergeek. I rarely, if ever, use the command line and I use my PC mainly to surf the net, send emails, blog and as a word processor.

http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.241.79.177] on March 22, 2008 01:38 AM
Interesting, I had a very similar experience. Gnome seems to be much easier to use. I also tried the SUSE version of KDE and also found it to be "non-intuitive". I have all my Linux machines working now with some version of Gnome. Bob B

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 137.186.204.65] on March 22, 2008 01:56 AM
Its called "LOCK IN" It exists and it is real. Everyone in the industry already knows this.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.84.177.212] on March 22, 2008 02:26 AM
Maybe I am de-evolving but I started on KDE, switched to Gnome, moved to XFCE and am now running Fluxbox. I am afraid where this might end.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.165.57.43] on March 22, 2008 03:51 AM
Looks as though you're headed for screen on a TTY. I'd recommend trying ion3 though; since I started using it, everything else is painfully inefficient and counterintuitive.

Trouble is, distro packages tend to suck so you might need to compile from source (hint: it requires the x11/xorg-dev package, but doesn't mention that in the readme).

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.65.20.69] on March 22, 2008 03:44 AM
I think the author hits a point: when you have taken habits, it is very difficult to change them!

I personaly choose GNOME and although KDE is a very nice GUI, I still prefer GNOME for it is easy to use and mostly because I have my little habits.
I'll probably give a try to KDE 4, but I'm (so far) not sure I'll leave GNOME.

By the way, I never got Suse or OpenSuse installed on my PC's... the installation stalled and I never found why... so after having used Fedora Core 3 for a while, I began to use Ubuntu Hoary (5.04)... since then, I stick to Ubuntu... Now I use the 64bit version of Gutsy (7.10).

Nice article.
Cheers.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.114.8.135] 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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WRONG TITLE: Should have been "I am getting Old and cant change Habits"

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 165.21.155.10] on March 22, 2008 07:19 AM
Wrong title for the article. You should have named your article "Ubuntu vs Kubuntu" or Maybe, "Old Habits Die Hard"

The "problems" you list are all Canonical's "kubuntu" related bugs and not really KDE related.

As others have noted, the KDE devs have put in effort to have a nice user experience for non-KDE apps, which probably is not true wrt the other camp (GNOME)

Apart from that, I'd list a few more factor in favour of KDE: The devs are very approachable. I have found KDE easiest to use for Windows users.

I think KDE is more Power User friendly. (think of IOSlaves) If you are like me and are particular about details, only KDE has the options (eg: Yellow blinking cursor in a Black konsole with off-white text? Yes, that's what *I* must have)

My advice: Wait until Jul/Aug and switch back to KDE 4.1 . KDE4.x is fantastic, I am using it since Jan2008. Fast, simple, functional.

Regards
Anand Vaidya

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.35.72.42] on March 22, 2008 10:37 AM
Right click vs. Left Click

I work with 2 recent college graduates. I asked one of them recently to 'right click', and she looked at me as if I were insane.

Amazing how this latest generation is equally clueless as the past. Perhaps this middle generation of geekery is the apex?

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.210.222.32] on March 22, 2008 10:49 AM
A few weeks ago i installes kde4. It sucks in mine opinion. It just does not work. The application menu is counter intuitive and i just don't understand the way icons are managed on the Desktop. Not to mention the shitload of bugs in the beta release.

I say -> Gnome + Screenlets + Compiz makes a very usable and good looking desktop.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 90.144.9.108] on March 22, 2008 10:56 AM
I use Gnome because KDE wouldn't fit on the screen of the Sony Vaio C1XD that was my workhorse for several years. And because I was familiar with it I kept on using it when I got a new computer (the Vaio still works just fin 7 years on). Before that I was a WindowMaker guy, all my previous desktops had WM on them.

My Gnome used to be themed to look like MacOS because I came to Linux from MacOS and I have always had a Mac around with legacy apps. So I find that Linux is more MacOS X like than windows like because I had it tweaked to look that way and work like MacOS as it can. Using the theme helped productivity because switching from one OS to another often in the day you need to find things where you are used to finding them. At one time I had a KVM and was switching back and forth between OSs.

Tony

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.232.105.110] on March 22, 2008 12:10 PM
If only there were a DE with the best of both Gnome and KDE, then all would be perfect. As it stands, however, I always feel like I'm missing several important and basic features with both. Because of this, I switch ever so often, and although I'm currently pretty happy with KDE, after having used Gnome for the previous year, I'll probably switch back to Gnome one day in the future. Right now, though, it's KDE that better fulfills my needs, but I do miss several Gnome features. I just find that with KDE there are far fewer instances where I need Gnome, compared to the other way around.

You're older friend sounds like a spot-on description of my father, which I didn't think existed. I've often considered switching him to Linux (he'd actually let me without a fight!), but despite that I could set it up to be easier, I'm certain that the unfamiliarity of a different desktop would be too much for him. I won't switch him to Vista for this reason either, and since he doesn't connect to the internet much, security isn't a big concern, so he'll probably stick with what he has for the rest of his life. My current challenge with him is trying to get him to comprehend that the reason he always receives a bunch of blank pages, when printing a Word document, is because all of those blank pages are not really blank. As far as he's concerned, there's nothing on them, so they shouldn't be printed, which actually makes a little sense, when you think about it.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.21.42.226] on March 22, 2008 12:17 PM
I use KDE because its layout is more efficient--everything is at the bottom of the screen and my cursor does not have to fly around the screen to get things done. Of course with Gnome, you have some stuff at the bottom and some at the top. Last summer -- partially as an experiment and partially out of necessity (I screwed up the K part of Kubuntu)--I reconfigured Gnome to look like KDE: got rid of the top toolbar, relocated all of the buttons I needed to the bottom. It worked pretty well, but I just could not get past the point that some Gnome tools don't seem to have the capability that KDE's tools have (the menu editor comes to mind).

So I am back on KDE in Kubuntu and loving it...

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

Posted by: M Henri Day on March 22, 2008 12:52 PM
«And I prefer Firefox as my Web browser too, no matter what desktop environment -- or even what operating system -- lies beneath them.» Even a left-clicker, Roblimo - provided he or she is using a Linux distro - might be advised to try the Swiftweasel optimisation of Firefox. It is a joy to use, and does not require the re-patterning of muscle memory....

Henri

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.39.79.163] on March 22, 2008 02:45 PM
KDE and its powerful apps give me a reason to use Linux. Gnome does not offer me anything I cannot have in Windows, with the advantage of using, like it or not, the standard in desktop computing. For me, Gnome has no value.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.71.23.228] on March 22, 2008 02:48 PM
Habits indeed are hard to break. But I think people don't take time in taking advantage of the customizability of the major Linux desktop environments.
I went from KDE/RH8 -> GNOME/RH9 -> Xubuntu/Dapper -> Xubuntu/Edgy -> Xubuntu/Fiesty
For each installation, I do customization of the desktop layout to suit my taste. But I still install KDE/GNOME to have the best of the 3 worlds.
As for habits, my xterm (gnome-terminal OR xfce's Terminal) is customized to have the keyboard bindings of Konsole! this habit dated back during KDE/RH8.


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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.1.39.138] on March 22, 2008 03:00 PM
... I caught the title... then started the article. then laughed my butt off. Kubuntu is a joke that's no longer funny. If you want to try a real KDE based desktop, check out Mepis Linux 7, PCLinuxOS, or Mandriva. I'm actually fairly surprised that Rob would look to Ubuntu in any way to provide a good KDE product. They haven't, and they probably never will. In my own opinion, the developers behind Kubuntu would be better off working on Mepis if they want to help a good KDE Debian based Linux.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.55.110.141] on March 22, 2008 03:57 PM
I tried to follow your reasoning.

"Windows feels a lot more Linuxlike to me than Mac OS. "

Here's where I gave up. You, sir, have no clue.

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When you give up smoking, I will give up video games

Posted by: ted61 on March 22, 2008 04:11 PM
I change distributions and habits regularly. One habit I keep is having at least one up to date MS Windows machine for games. To me Gnome and KDE are interchangeable. I do not like distributions that make me use some cryptic sudo user to install software or plug in an MP3 player.

Your article clearly shows the outlook for many of us Linux users who seem to bailing people out of their latest disaster all of the time.

I seem to favor Mandriva these days becuase they have superman (Adam Williamson) as a forum ranger.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.215.149.96] on March 22, 2008 04:32 PM
Loved the article! It was a very very entertaining read!

I was a die-hard Gnome fan for ages. I've just switched to KDE because I have a few days where I'm not so busy and I have to say that I love it! But maybe it's just my love for novel things... who knows... maybe that's the reason why we're all so distro crazy too!

I say, once you pop, you can't stop... but I agree with you, it's the initial pop that's the hardest. And some pop easier than others ;o)

Willie Wang, UK

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.16.14.100] on March 22, 2008 05:33 PM
KDE for me. Gnome just doesn't do it for me but that is my personal opinion after trying lots of distros using both. IMO comparing the two on ubuntus is not much use. Ubuntu is Gnome centric and Kububtu is a fork with little support. I'd suggest comparing an os that defaults to KDE such as pclos, sabayon, mandriva and then see if there are any issues. I for one have had no probs with using Tbird etc. Then you can bung the bar at the top or do whatever you want. That is what makes kde so great. It is so customisable. Ubuntu and it's stallmates are not the be all and end all. I try the new releases and get all frustrated then go back to a better distro.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.161.90.224] on March 22, 2008 07:15 PM
The first sensible and well written article on the subject for years...
And what a killer ending...
How refreshing...
Too many shmucks with opinions these days...

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Yeah, I agree, Use a real KDE based distro

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.144.149.129] on March 22, 2008 07:47 PM
If you want to use KDE. Personally I like it well enough and I never can understand why people constantly want to switch. I just run Mandriva/KDE and it works and as Roblimo says "Old habits die hard". Just don't really get what all the rukus is about with this dte vs that one, and this distro vs that one, etc. I started using Linux in the pre-1.0 kernel days and learning new distros is to me just a time waster, lol. If I had a really specific technical reason to say use Gnome, then OK, I'd bite the bullet and do it. Both do the basic stuff fine, and the rest is fluffy details that I could care less about really.

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Desktops- premade choices vs. configurability

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.33.61.128] on March 22, 2008 07:49 PM
I, too went from Win98 to RedHat 7.2- then 8 then 9. I had customized my Win desktop to put the "panel" at the top of the screen. RH came with Gnome as default, but I found that KDE was more to my liking (perhaps because it was more "Windows like?").
I agree that far too much is made of the default "look" on different distributions. I mean- who cares what the default background or color scheme is? Unfortunately, many people judge by things like that.
I'm now running Debian Etch and using KDE, though I have just about all of the desktop/WM's installed, and work with them every now and then, but I still come back to my comfort zone with KDE (I have KDE4 installed on a Debian Sid test box, but I'm not comfortable with it at all, yet...)

While Debian isn't nearly as user friendly in installation and configuration as the distros based on it (like Ubuntu, et. al.)- I only have to install and configure it once- and most users never install an OS- a couple of hours and it was just like I wanted- nVidia drivers and all.

But... I actually like the KDE integrated components better than most others- I went from T-Bird to K-Mail (while still missing Eudora), and rave about Kate and the KDEWebdev suite. For me the integrated components just work- though I do use some Gnome applications.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 190.137.177.26] on March 22, 2008 08:58 PM
How you dare to say you used KDE 10 years (BTW I don't believe you used KDE in 1996... KDE 1.0 came out in mid-1998, I guess the first pre-1.0 versions came out in 1997...), yet are unable to tell you want to use Thunderbird? :-)
Control Center/Components/Component Selector/E-Mail Client/Use a different mail client/[type the name of the app, or the complete path, or use the nearby button to pick from the K Menu). The only chance is, KUbuntu is broken in several places, I'm not sure if this isn't broken too.
In the same submenu, File Associations provides a comprehensive tool to pick the available and default way to manage most type of files and stuff, from the file browser (mime: inode/directory), to most Office formats (mime: application/...) to image and media files (image/... media/...)
See? KDE doesn't force anybody :-)

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

Posted by: Dummy00001 on March 22, 2008 10:30 PM
Can anybody recommend Debian-based KDE-centric distro?

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.217.130.92] on March 23, 2008 12:29 AM
try sidux.... for the poster above me

I've gone from gentoo to rh8 to mandrake to suse 9.something or other...blah blah blah... gnome and kde each have their strengths, so do flux and xfce...e16 and e17 also...boils down to a matter of taste

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 220.245.32.241] on March 23, 2008 03:30 AM
Both KDE and GNOME are very fine desktop environments. I love both of them, but I use GNOME at home.

A good article, though I think it was a little unfair to use Kubuntu to represent KDE. Kubuntu is a long way behind Ubuntu, in my opinion, of course.

-LostOverThere
http://cheesemedia.net

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.17.187.231] on March 23, 2008 03:50 AM
Old habits are hard to break, but sometimes its worth it. I used the Mac from 1985 until 1999, when I had a brief fling with BeOS R5. I went back to OS X but got bored of it 6 months ago. Now I just love Vista Business x64. Change was a bit scary at first, but now I cant imagine using anything other than Vista.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 165.21.154.94] on March 23, 2008 04:28 AM

Kubuntu is already a second class citizen in UbuntuLand, maintained by a huge team of kde developer (namely, jriddell, Jonathan Riddell, Jonathan, Riddell, he, him , the guy, that guy etc.)

The only lucky thing for Kubuntu is that the kde developer guy is doing a damn good job.

Do you want to compare KDE and GNOME in Slackware? Get real !!

If only someone can get a better job for Jonathan Riddell (hey, developer needs to eat you know?), and stop this Kubuntu non-sense.

It would interest me if DEBIAN drops Gnome and adopt KDE as its default,
then let's see how Ubuntu(GNOME) and Debian(KDE) really compares :-)

Sad day for KDE.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.238.150.66] on March 23, 2008 09:11 AM
I have a problem with DTE's: I'm very strongly left handed. All DTEs install with the defaults set for right-handers, which makes them less than optimally useful for me. I've been with KDE since version 1.0.0 and I can set KDE up quickly. My occasional stouches with GNOME put me right off, especially when parts of it can't be reconfigured.
While KDE remains as configurable as it is, I'll stay with it.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.92.53.125] on March 26, 2008 01:38 AM
As a left hander trying to make as much "right-to-left" as possible (shame my geeko now looks out of the screen than into into it) I strongly agree with this one. I'd also like to reverse everything on tabbing and menus, but a) I don't have the skill and b) I can't complain.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.102.83.26] on March 23, 2008 01:03 PM
Kubuntu is not a good presentation of KDE or its capabilities. The author would have been far better served with a distribution that focuses on KDE, like PCLinuxOS, Sidux, or Mepis. Like Microsoft, Canonical is simply trying to be all things to all users in its attempt to remain "number one" (i.e., the reason there are so many official or Canonical sanctioned Ubuntu derivatives.) The jack of all trades is obviously master of none and it should focus its resources on creating THE best gnome based distribution while allowing the myriad of other distributions to do the same for their desktops of choice.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 220.245.83.233] on March 23, 2008 02:20 PM
it just means that kubuntu slaughters kde, nothing else.

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GNOME is like a Catholic!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.93.35.12] on March 23, 2008 07:42 PM
to all kde !users: kde is a big bloat even with 4.x svn version :)
if u really want to get a taste of what kde can do-try kdemod-yes kde+modular ONLY available with archlinux!

I still remember my experience with GNU/Linux.the guy showed me both Gnome and kde in Redhat 7.1 .asked me,which one would u choose?as a n00b .I soon asked default Gnome.Gnome is simply gr8 guys!we all,after sometime becomes pro in Linux,want more configurability wanting to try kde!
seriously!Gnome can do whatever customization as possible(dont ask me those extra things like window manager with compositing support by default!waiit...metacity on Gnome-2.22 supports this!).the thing is they have a superior database called gconf.

Gnome HIG team knows better than me or U(?) about usability to a average Linux user.
those users dont want that extra functionality and millions of options to configure it as is shown in kde.
bashing Gnome is a common hobby of many including http://tuxmagazine.com also :x
for happy it is RIP now :D
Gnome is criticized by Linus etc.but Gnome devels kept calm like Catholic does with Protestant/pentecostal fanatics(kde?) .I am proud of Gnome and its users.

I sincerely hopes kde project should shutdown and the developer power should be used with Gnome and may be a gtk3+ too :D
In a word,as a kdemod and Gnome user,I felt kde is confusing and many times bloated,useless thing!
while Gnome after so much bashing from kde fanboys lives improving with each release without any fanfare(like kde4 does!).
So?GNOME FTW!

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.12.245.193] on March 23, 2008 09:32 PM
Oh stop it. The last thing the Internet needs is another KDE/Gnome debate, FFS.

Why not try a dual-boot KDE/Gnome system? That's what I've got because I like the different look and feel of both Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS. Yes, they've both got different desktops, but why not take advantage of that? Coming from a Windows world and working with the same layout day in, day out, isn't it liberating to have that choice?!

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.222.125.84] on March 24, 2008 01:39 AM
I pretty much idolize Linus T., but I can't understand what he has against Gnome. I find everything about it much easier to use than KDE, and on my machines, it is faster, too. And I have used at least 20 different distros (purely a hobbie, not for work).

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.62.17.118] on March 24, 2008 02:31 AM
I am not a GNOME fan boy and haven't found a perfect GUI indeed. KDE could be the perfect one but the things I against from KDE: feel like on a brainwashing program that I have to face another "K" for everything I do. Please don't force to put K in front of all the actions. I know Amarok is one of KDE's awesome job without naming it as Kine.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 90.129.9.82] on March 24, 2008 10:32 AM
I have been using Linux distros for about 2 years now. I am happier with KDE (more to my taste esthetically and so far providing all the desired technical features).

I am usually considered as computer savy. Well to be honest I think that it is beacause my friends and relatives are not. Anyway, the point I am making is that I am ok with PC's and not afraid of new things.
Yet I regularly crank up at Linux (but I do and will stick to it as I can taylor my OS and nothing compares to this) because it never works out of the box and unless you seriously invest time in learning how to configure/compile a kernel, you will at some point or another mess the setup you had and end up re-installing the whole package.

So to me the issue that some people may have with linux is that it evolves constantly and requires too much personal involvment from people who just want to switch the thing on and off for very specific needs. Form that perspective the eee is a good move: it appeals to the non-tech crowd and does not require to stick your head under the booth.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.226.173.248] on March 24, 2008 01:33 PM
What in the world are you putting Linux on/doing to your install that requires recompiling the kernel? I've been using Linux for only about a year now, over the course of installing it on about eight machines of different makers and models, I've _never_ had that kind of trouble.

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

Posted by: sombragris on March 24, 2008 02:04 PM
"A third difference, which still puzzles me, is that I never completely succeeded in making Thunderbird my default email application in Kubuntu. I consulted online guides and scrounged around in the KDE Help files and did what I thought they told me to do, but I still couldn't click on a mailto link in a Firefox window and have a Thunderbird "compose mail" window open automatically."

My goodness, Roblimo! Have you tried going to the KDE Control Center (kcontrol), and then selecting KDE Components > Component Chooser > Email client?

Have you ever tried KDE Components > File Associations , for office formats?

Preferring GNOME to KDE is OK for me. I respect personal preference and even though KDE is my choice since 2000 onwards, I regard GNOME as a terrific desktop environment. But offering such lame excuses on issues easily solvable simply does not cut.

Best regards,

Eduardo
(running KDE 3.5.7 from a Celeron 466, using Slackware 11.0)

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.47.230.235] on March 25, 2008 01:49 AM
The author answered his own question. It is because he is used to GNOME. We like what is familiar because we know how to get around in what is familiar.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.69.22.214] on March 25, 2008 02:10 PM
The author doesn't seem to know anything except what he's familiar with. I know OS X fairly well and I noticed several errors just in the brief reference he made to the OS. Here are the two most glaring ones:

"There are ways to fiddle some [standard Unix] apps into working on [OS X], much as Wine can make some Windows apps run in Linux ..."

Eh? Installing X11 so that you can run standard Unix applications on OS X is not in the least like installing an emulation environment. X11 is a window manager not an emulator.

http://developer.apple.com/opensource/tools/X11.html

Also, I use OS X as often as I use Linux -- in fact, more often -- and I can't imagine where he got the idea that you can't have subdirectories. I use them all the time.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 151.188.0.139] on March 25, 2008 02:29 PM
I used to use GNOME and preferred it over KDE back in the GNOME 1.4 days. It just seemed to make more sense to me. However, when KDE 3 came out, that's when I really started liking it. I've been using (primarily) KDE ever since, with the occasional GNOME usage just so I remember how it works.

I've recently moved a couple of Latin Americans over to Kubuntu Gutsy, and I moved my Dad over to CentOS 5 (KDE). I do notice that, with Red Hat-based distros, there is a strong built-in GNOME bias, which I had to overcome in order to make KDE useable for my Dad. I was successful, but it was a pain dealing with all the built-in GNOME-isms. If Kubuntu Dapper Drake LTS had, say, 5 years of desktop support instead of 3 (CentOS has 7 years, like RHEL), then Dad would've gotten Kubuntu Dapper, which I find to be a mighty fine distro.

To me, it doesn't really matter which desktop, or even OS, that someone uses. What *does* matter is that the members of the public understand, at a fundamental, gut level, that they really do have a choice, and that computer vendors make that fact clear. They can go with Free Software, they can go with MS Windows, they can go with Mac OS, or they can even roll their own if they're "l33t" enough. Dell's admittedly timid foray into selling Ubuntu-preloaded PC's is a good thing, but companies like ZaReason and System76 are the ones really carrying on this cause.

--SYG

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.109.116.39] on March 25, 2008 02:51 PM
I also am using Gnome again after a lot of years with KDE, The last time I used Gnome was around redhat 8.0, Redhat decided to make the switch and so did I so I tried Knoppix and loved it and had been using KDE since. I installed KDE4 on my Ubuntu dell laptop and found it very much like Gnome but with almost no reconfigurability, I also noticed that Gnome seemed to run much faster-"SMOOTHER" and like the author I had the same issues with the KDE-network-manager ALSO like the author I did install kubuntu over ubuntu...on a different note I recently installed E17 and WOW , when I click on Firefox it opens instantly. Now if only we could get KDE, GNOME and Enlightenment people working together could you imagine what would come out of that!!!

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Gnome is easy!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.93.9.62] on March 26, 2008 04:21 PM
Gnome is easy!period!
kde is for those who still wants the window$ like environment

although qtlibs may be superior to gtk2+,kde sucks in usability standards when compared to Gnome!

Gnome-2.22:-
http://library.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/2.22/
-prakash

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.7.147.33] on March 26, 2008 04:26 PM
Change is a good thing to try and make work . I must work on multiple platforms at work and run Linux by choice to be different? Go figure this gets me thru my day a little more plesntly than being locked into an unplesent rut of tasks . Try something new you might like it . Or learn to learn a new way of doing which might lead to a new way of thinking?

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.176.85.143] on March 27, 2008 06:26 PM
Author's comparison of Gnome and KDE is not about Gnome and KDE, but, as another comment states, is about Ubuntu vs. Kubuntu.

I have tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and many other distributions. Kubuntu, quite simply, has always been fraught with difficulties, including my final forray with Kubuntu when it wouldn't install.

I have tried many Gnome and KDE based distros and have learned that for me, KDE is more suitable. I have zeroed in on PCLOS and Mandriva, but PCLOS is my main distro now (at work and at home).

Just goes to show you, don't believe everything you read. The good thing about the present internet and blogging is anyone can voice an opinion, the bad thing is anyone can voice an opinion (even if it is terribly misinforming).

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 143.195.150.42] on March 31, 2008 04:57 AM
I personally use Gnome. I tried KDE, but it seemed way too Windows-like and less intuitive than Gnome to me. I might just naturally be better suited to two bars as in Gnome, however. I used Windows for half my life, but after using Gnome for 6 months, I can't see how I ever got by with a single bar on the bottom.
I can't stand KDEs obsession with fading things out and gradients either...
As for menus, I like Gnome's multiple menus. Launching I use a keyword launcher (Gnome Do, Katapult, Launchy) on any platform, so muscle memory is helped in that way.

I think that the main point of the article is that Familiarity is nice, but not required. Sometimes things are just better for some people.

Daniel

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.252.62.180] on March 31, 2008 04:29 PM
fluxbox r0x!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.41.197.163] on April 05, 2008 02:46 PM
Ubuntu is ruining The KDE world. I'l respect Ubuntu if and only if they stop releasing Kubuntu.
KDE is perfect. GNOME needs still a year to be perfect.

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

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.167.213.74] on April 11, 2008 07:36 AM
I use Mandriva, so I don't see the majority of problem described here, they seem to be specific to Ubuntu.

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