The Switch to KDE : Day 3

By | 2007/02/21

Well I am happy to report that my third day with KDE has shaped up better than the second.  I’ll admit that by the end of yesterday I was just counting the days until I could switch back.  Today is a different story.

Now that I’ve resolved some of my main concerns things are shaping up well.  Klipper “actions” is quite cool although all I’m using it for so far is to get links out of konsole.  What are some of the other cool features I should know about?

I still really like katapult.  Sweet idea.  Can this be run in gnome without the bulk of the KDE library installed?

So here is what I am using regularly.

  1. Firefox for browsing.  I depend on a few plugins, but I do want to give Konquerer another chance.
  2. Konsole.  I do all of my instant messaging over ssh, into screen & on irssi + bitlbee.  Works great now that I can use Klipper actions.
  3. Akregator within Kmail.  Clean. Nice. Organized.  Good app.  Is there a way to specify opening links within the browser (Firefox) vs the integrated browsing?
  4. Kate for editing.  I haven’t used it much but it does seem clean & easy enough.  Any thoughts on Kate vs gedit?

I do think I prefer Synaptic over Adept.  I do most of my package management on the command line but for those hard to find packages Synaptic does seem a little more comprehensive.  Thoughts?

Tonite I will finally give Amarok a try (first time ever).  I hear a lot of good things about it–sounds like the media king.  Any suggestions on what I should look for, why its the best, or limitations?

I really can’t think of any complaints at the end of day 3.  I think I can say that at this point the desktop that I end up on is up in the air.  You might convert me yet.  Of course I’m not finding any limitations in gnome, just sweet apps in KDE that I never knew existed.

(You’re right nixternal, some parts of KDE do rock my socks off!)

Category: KDE

25 thoughts on “The Switch to KDE : Day 3

  1. Sionide

    Amarok is good, but Songbird is the up and coming king of media if you ask me…

  2. ltmon

    Akgregator: Use the “Settings” menu, “Configure Akregator” and then click on the “Browser” category. By default it uses the “Default KDE Browser”, but you can change this. You can change the browser KDE uses system wide in “System Settings” -> “Default Applications”.

  3. Mike

    I’m a Gnome user who loves Amarok. I would HIGHLY recommend, if you don’t have one already, that you get an account with . Amarok works brilliantly with, and it can really enhance your listening experience beyond just the music you have.

  4. eric

    If you write documents in LaTeX, Kile is wonderful. Of all of the LaTeX front ends I’ve used on Windows, OSX, and Linux, it is by far the most intuitive. Along similar lines, I strongly prefer KPDF, and KDVI to their Gnome equivalents because of their speed and interface.

    Nice things about Kate:
    Alt+left or right arrows switches between open files. Built-in terminal for compiling, testing, and debugging code, open remote files via ftp. I can’t remember which of these are also available in Gedit.

    I’d second the suggestion to try Yakuake. It’s a terminal that hides at the top of the screen. Press F12, and it slides down. Slides back out of the way when you switch to another application (occasionally annoying, but usually useful when going back and forth between, say, an Ubuntu Tutorial and the command line.

  5. Paul Hoch

    Kate is by far my favorite text editor. Even though I’m presently using Gnome I have to use Kate. My reasons are as others stated – the embedded console for one. Block selection mode – way cool for fixed length record files. Don’t forget export as HTML as that’s a cool feature too. Way too many more features to list in my opinion.

  6. Someone

    In akregator, right click to see a menu offering to open as a tab or in an external browser (I prefer slashdot in konqueror, for example, since then the threads can expand in place).
    Amarok is a jukebox, you have to build a collection and then you make selections out of it, it has smart modes, etc, which you should check out. Oh, and super+[zxcvb] are previous track, play, pause, stop, next track, globally (so it doesn’t need an omnipresent tiny interface)

  7. Alex Lowe

    My favourite thing about KDE: fish. I know it’s just like SSHFS, but it’s just so much easier when you just quickly want to access something remotely. And it works seamlessly across KDE apps.

    If you use Bittorrent, try KTorrent. I used to use Amarok, but since 1.2, KTorrent does everything I need (and more), but it’s native C++ code.

    And about Amarok: The best (and probably mos obviously lacking in other players for me now) feature is its collection management. No longer is the collection just a playlist. It’s now separately managed. Much easier if I want to run together a short, custom playlist.

  8. Rick

    Just a gnome version of katapult you can check out is gnome-launch-box. I use that in my Ubuntu install. The one thing I do miss from when I used KDE is yakuake. It was just nice to have my konsole sessions managed that way. You should check that out.

  9. Diederik

    > but I do want to give Konquerer another chance.

    One of the biggest advantages of Konqueror is desktop integration. I don’t experience much problems with sites and Konqueror. If such thing occurs “File -> Open with Firefox” is the fastest way out. The neat things of konqueror are:
    – it starts and renders fast.
    – dragging an image to the desktop works.
    – the file open dialog is the same as the rest.
    – posting a smb://.., ftp:// or even http:// file in a file upload box works because of KIO.
    – view source opens kwrite (this is btw just another shell for the same katepart).

    Konqueror also supports adblock. I’m only using Firefox for development because of it’s Web Developer and Firebug extensions.

    A neat side effect of the KIO support, did you try to open a ftp://, sftp://, man:/ or http:// url in Kate already? 🙂

    For combining Akregator and KMail, consider using Kontact. It also embeds the addressbook used by KMail, and KOrganizer, the calender app.

  10. Karsten König

    You can change the standard browser as stated above in the Options Menu

    One cool thing to open a message is to dblclick it, then it opens up in the browser you specified (I noticed that by accident, kde should create a “Did you know” page for every application with cool but unknown features…
    (like autoscrolling in konqueror, press the down key and shift same time then the text autorolles, or “/” + text searches without a searchbox

  11. Karsten König

    For the open link in other browser thing
    You can change the standard browser as stated above in the Options Menu

    One cool thing to open a message is to dblclick it, then it opens up in the browser you specified (I noticed that by accident, kde should create a “Did you know” page for every application with cool but unknown features…
    (like autoscrolling in konqueror, press the down key and shift same time then the text autorolles, or “/” + text searches without a searchbox

  12. Diederik

    Oh and other recommended apps:
    – kuickshow for fast image browsing.
    – FileLight for finding disk usage.
    – KPDF for PDF viewing.
    – K3B for burning CD’s.
    – YaKuake for fast console access.

    Another fast way to start apps and url’s:
    – Alt + F2, or paste an URL + enter, type an app name, or type gg: for Google search.

  13. Jakob Petsovits

    Another vote for yakuake, it’s teh awesome (even if the name is, erm, slightly suboptimal).

    Other gems you might want to use:
    – RSIBreak. Try it out and make your friends think you’re strange 😉
    – Kile, Basket and K3b seconded. Given, you can’t really NOT stumble over K3b, but make sure you check out its CD ripping functionality as well. Also, MP3 support is hidden in the k3b-mp3 package on Ubuntu. The upcoming K3b 1.0 also has great DVD video ripping built in, but is not yet packaged afaik.
    – In case you love music, you probably want to have a SoulSeek client. Museeq is a worthy replacement for Nicotine, on the other hand has a user interface that doesn’t live up to KDE standards. You might want to try it anyways – it’s not (yet?) in the default Ubuntu repositories, but they maintain an own repository for your convenience.
    – Konversation is a must anyways, I guess you’re already running it at the moment. If not, now is the time.

  14. adrian

    well, i think nobody said this…
    for opening links in external apps first you configure which external app in the menu, then middle-click the link.
    there is also another option:
    if you rigth click the feed, choose “edit feed”, in advanced tab you have the option to load the full web page in the articles view, quite cool!

  15. Ralesk

    Well, in Configure Akregator, Browser tab, switch the left and middle clicks around to your preference 🙂

  16. anon

    I also recommend checking out YaKuake instead of Konsole. But it doesn’t have to disappear – you can change the default behavior and pin it down so it stays on top if you switch to other apps, and you make it disappear manually. Very useful! Also, the hotkey doesn’t have to be F12, it can be anything you want (I have mine set to the “~” key). If you’ve already gotten Konsole set up the way you like it, there’s an option when you right-click that says “Use Konsole’s Settings” so you can use the defaults you already set up.

  17. Nick

    Amarok will do podcasting, although it isn’t immediately obvious. Here the typical KDE desktop is actually ahead of MS–Windows Media Player still knows nothing of RSS.

    So in Amarok click the “Playlists” tab on the left. You’ll see “Podcasts”. If you click the secondary mouse button to bring up a context menu and choose “Add Podcast” you’ll be able to add an RSS feed here.

    In case it’s of interest to anyone reading here, here are some in vorbis format I’ve found:

    It’s not like browsing at iTunes, but at least you _can_ take a feed, unlike WMP. Obviously, if people, despite Richard Stallman’s warnings, want to compromise their souls with MP3s (*grin*) there is plenty more radio-on-demand out there, if you’re prepared to hunt it down. I’d specially recommend:

  18. Nanda

    It was mentioned before, but I’ll repeat it for emphasis – make sure you check out the keyboard shortcuts for amarok, its what keeps me from using any other media player. You can keep amarok minimised into the system tray and without maximising it you can quickly pause, scroll through tracks, etc. really easily when you are busy doing something else and don’t want to go clicking all over the place.

    Also album cover downloads are really easy (right click on the cover place holder and download from amazon). If you open the cover manager you can have amarok automatically download all covers for all your albums with one click.

    amarok has so many cool features its crazy…

  19. nosrednaekim

    Nice to see that your third day went better. I also use Firefox, since it seems to render pages faster on my dial-up connection.

    Kate is the king of text editors, beat Emacs(and gedit) in a poll. Only beaten by VIM (command line freaks…..) 😉

    I also prefer synaptic to adept. Synaptic always seemed a whole lot leaner, although I do appreciate adept’s ability to add repositories. The one feature that really keeps me using synaptic is its ability to do download scripts…very cool.

    I am a”best of breed” kind of guy. I use whats best, regardless of “kde vs Gnome”
    Interestingly, thats why I use KDE 😉

  20. matti

    yakuake well that’s all I want to say. forget about konqeror for browsing the net it’s a piece of crap, well that’s what I say as a great KDE fan

  21. Znurre

    You should use kwrite instead of kate if you want a simple editor with the same functionality as gedit, kate is a little bit buffy.

  22. David Wagoner

    I actually switched to KDE from Gnome recently. For ages I used several KDE apps and finally decided to take the plunge and have been pretty happy so far. Windows resize so much faster, fonts look nicer and the apps in general have tons of features available.

    The only 2 GTK apps i still use though are synaptic and firefox. I just dont like the interface of adept and well i really like firefox as a browser.

  23. George

    I suggest you try some eye-candy also.
    Right click on a title bad –> configure window behaviour –> translucency –> enable. Enjoy increased productivity! (needs x composite extension I think).
    Also, try other window setting,like putting more spaces between minimise/maximise/close buttons so you can hit them easier , you can even put a shading button up there if you use that often 🙂 .
    Must-try: Amarok’s Global Shortcuts. This is a killer feature that I can’t live without for quite some times.It saved precious ours of my life so far.
    Also,for switching desktops and moving windows to other desktops I’d reccomend you to try Kcontrol’s keyboard shortcuts. Those can save quite a lot of your time 😉 .
    About adept … I find it faster to use since to search a package you need much less effort , and you can filter your packets with additional quick filters (or others..) very fast. Gets the job done quick 🙂 .
    Amarok: if you have a really large collection , I’d recommend you to try to install a mysql server and make a user/database for amarok,and submit them in amarok’s settings. Organising you collection will be much faster . (sqlite-default db manager- is slower than mysql for large collections).
    Oh…and don’t forget about the shortcuts I’ve been bugging you about :)) .

  24. John

    I have found Kate to be the best Linux editor and even use it under Gnome. Biggest advantage to me over Gedit or even the new Scribes is the ability to search & replace selected text (Gedit only allows item by item or the entire file). Also moving between a bunch of files available on the side in Kate is easier than the continual scrolling of files on the top tabs in Gedit

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