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Sunday, March 28th 2004, 10:06pm

Why I gave up on KDE

I am a newbie who for the last six months has struggled to figure out Linux. Most of my energy has gone into grasping KDE. Linux line commands were easy. You typed "man" with the command you wanted, and you could figure it out. But KDE was a nightmare. The documentation was all over the place. Error messages didn't make any sense. Configuration settings were located in all sorts of strange places. Programs crashed. I had to spend hours going through forums to find fixes for bugs.

Then, last week, I discovered Blackbox. It was a revelation. Yes, I know it lacks many of the features of KDE and certainly isn't as pretty. But it's quick, intuitive, highly configureable, and even with the meager documentation that exists is easy to figure out. I was just going over all the recent posts in this forum and laughing because with Blackbox, I don't have to struggle with any of these issues.

What I am saying is that KDE is a mess. I know the people who are working on it are doing their best and probably making no money, but it seems to me they've developed a GUI that is a hodge-podge of applications, rather than a coherent system. I think the real problem is that they've shot for the moon without making sure the basics were in place first. Does anyone need all the configuration settings in Konqueror? Why should you have one way of installing new icons, another for styles, and another for splash screens? It's amazing to me that we have Cervisia and kwalletmanager, but KDE still doesn't deliver users clear, easy-to-understand error messages.

I am sure that the KDE programmers are hard at work on improvements, but my fear is that these improvements will only add to the complexity and bloat. What's desperately needed is a halt to the development of new applications and a return to the basics, where the emphasis is on bringing order and coherence to this GUI. Unless this is done, KDE is always going to be an absolutely daunting prospect for newbies looking to try out Linux. My prediction is that sooner or later a private company will come along, steal the best parts of KDE and market an alternative GUI that will cost us a lot of money, but be so much better than KDE because it's easy to understand, much quicker, and bug free. And this will be a tragedy because Linux is supposed to bebased on the idea that anyone -- even in the poorest nations -- can use this system at no cost.

I know I am going to get flamed for this post (if anyone takes the time to read it), but remember, this is not the usual post where I am saying I am abandoning Linux and going back to Windows. It's Linux all the way for me. I'm just giving up on KDE.



Posts: 622

Location: Sydney

Occupation: Student

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Monday, March 29th 2004, 1:15am

Re: Why I gave up on KDE


Original von lawrencegoodman

I know I am going to get flamed for this post (if anyone takes the time to read it)

This forum isn't about why kde is better than <insert DE or WM here>. It is about helping the people who want to understand it, who like it and who want to learn. I am sorry to hear that your experience with KDE is as you have described, but likewise, i had bad experiences with WM such as blackbox and iceWM.

Better luck in the future.


Monday, March 29th 2004, 2:05pm

well, you must be unlucky person. i gave kde a try few months ago, just before kde 3.2 was released and i'm gonna stay with it because my experience is just opposite. it's stable, all the configuration is in one place, the number of errors i got is extremely low and it's fast.




Monday, March 29th 2004, 6:20pm

partly right

IN the last time so often the help me or KDE is not my thing posts are annoying me because we can do it better but in a few points we not! So another point writing my KDE report 3.2 to present a big range of user meanings form the board here...

Starting date is in two weeks! I hope so and then I want to bring much feedback good written to the developer ... I will contact them to have someone here and make it rounded up.

As answer:
Maybe you can post something here and we can help you and maybe you should give KDE another try in the next time...



Posts: 1,273

Location: Graz, Austria

Occupation: Software Developer

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Monday, March 29th 2004, 8:38pm

Re: Why I gave up on KDE


Original von lawrencegoodman

The documentation was all over the place. Error messages didn't make any sense.

Documentation and error messages are things where contribution from non-developer users are a great gain for the project.

It is extremly difficult for us developers to decide if an error message, tooltip ot "what's this" help is understandable by users without developer background.

Sometimes there is some resistance among developers again simplifications of strings because we like details :) but usually our usability overlords like Aarong Seigo have good arguments to get them through.

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