The Switch To KDE : Day 6

By | 2007/02/25

Today was a day full of meetings so I have been on this machine pretty much non-stop. It is even nearing one AM and I’m still here.. what a day.

During my full day on the computer things just didn’t feel right. I kept feeling restless, like I needed to tweak something or configure something but didn’t even know where to start. After the whirlwind of suggestions everyone had I just had so many options.. and it was all a little overwhelming. In any event I have decided that I am going to return to gnome when my term is done this week. Below I have some of the key reasons:

  1. No sound. I could not figure out why, and perhaps it is a limitation of Feisty + Kubuntu but I never could get more than the system speaker to come through. Trying a side-by-side installation of Feisty + Ubuntu and the sound works just fine. Also works in Xubuntu Feisty. Same machine. Same version. No sound.
  2. Garbage. Can someone tell me where in the world the trash is stored on KDE? I swear I looked all over the place and never could find it. I’d have deleted a few things, realize I need them again and have no idea where to go. The small trash icon in the gnome menu makes that pretty simple.
  3. Too Much. Everyone was quite right. You can tweak *everything* in KDE and for me that became a distraction. Do I want this little (read: insignificant) style / tweak / theme here? Maybe there? Maybe rotating. So many choices. I guess I’m just a simple guy. I like my desktop environment the way I like everything else. Not a lot of frills. Just effecient.

I know some of you will be disappointed that I didn’t stay. You all tried very hard to keep me there and I do appreciate all of the help that you offered. Without the help and suggestions I would have had a much more difficult week. Thank you.

Here are a few of the lessons that I learned over the past week:

  1. Integration. KDE has a very mature integration system in place for apps to communicate with each other. I think this is very nice and helps make for a good overall experience one app to the next.
  2. Development. KDE apps really opened my eyes to some cool features and options that I hadn’t ever dreamed of. Things like katapult, klipper, yakuake (say it with me, Yet Another Kuake–that’s the only way I could ever remember!) were all very cool and I hadn’t used anything like them before. Thanks to your suggestions I have found the gnome counterparts with glipper and tilda.
  3. Simplicity. In seeing how the other half live for a while I have realized what it is that I like. I like simplicity. I don’t like a lot of frills or a long list of options. I like to have choice, but not feel like I have to choose.. if that makes sense.
  4. Kmail vs Evolution. I did realize that I really like the way Evolution handles my email vs Kmail. Kontact did make a very good effort but it just wasn’t everything I wanted.

I am going to put myself to bed now but I wanted to get this out first. Day 6 with KDE was the day I realized what I really like, and I didn’t truly appreciate it until I saw how the other half live for a week. The best part of this whole experiment? I’m reminded again why open source is so amazing. It offers you choice. It gives you the freedom to do things the way you want, whatever that might be. With that I hope we all remember that we use what we do by choice and so does the next guy, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to tear down one vs another if you remember that. G’night.

19 thoughts on “The Switch To KDE : Day 6

  1. Jakob Petsovits

    Thanks for making an honest effort without prejudicing the one or the other, or giving up at the first problem you’d encounter.

    Though a genuine KDE fan, I’m not sad to see you go back to Gnome at all. Like, if you have the choice, you should be free to choose what you prefer, nevermind those (few) one-true-desktop fanboys I also noticed in the comments to your blog.

    You’ve got a serious advantage over most people – you tried out both, saw the advantages and disadvantages of both, and chose conciously. Not many can claim to have done so.

    That said, you might try again sometime after KDE 4 has been released πŸ˜€

  2. Thomas Schlesinger

    Did you start kmix and check the volume settings for at least Mater and PCM? You can switch the sound of by clicking in the “LEDs” above the volume settings (light green=on, dark green=off)

    Trash is in ~/.local/share/Trash

    Best regards,

  3. Nick

    “Can someone tell me where in the world the trash is stored on KDE?”

    Is it not in your home directory as .Trash?



    You’d have to enable hidden files to see it, but that’s true in GNOME–or OS X, as well:

    Not a problem, usually, as users can go to the trashcan icon in their panel/Dock.

  4. Someone

    1) Is most probably your fault, by choosing Feisty…
    2) There is a trashcan icon on the bar, or at least there is one in Dapper and Edgy, again, looks like choosing a development version got you.
    3) Don’t blame alcohol if you get drunk πŸ™‚ You’re never actually asked to choose, but it’s there if you want/need it (not everybody agrees on what is ‘efficient’, and the 80/20 rule doesn’t say that the 20% is always the same).

    For a honest test, you should have tried Dapper or Edgy (the latter was a so-so release, though, which needs a lot of tweaking to work well… but on all *ubuntu, I think). Or, wait and try it again when KDE4 comes out, it’ll be a huge change.

  5. Caesium


    In konqueror , type trash:/


    at the panel, right click ->
    add Applet to Panel ->
    Trash (amongst many other things).

    I do not know if I am right to say this:
    Ubuntu is Gnome centric, Kubuntu may not be the best distro to try out KDE as it is basically very Ubuntu.

    Anyway, one should just use what one feels comfortable with πŸ™‚

  6. dradul

    Well… I can relate to your quagmire. I’ve tried KDE on and off since the times of 1.x and it has always been my feeling that there is too much to configure. Even more so nowadays than GNOME in 1.x times (shudder!).

    Usually I try to get some work done when I’m at the computer and that’s why I rather use GNOME, GNUStep or, as of late, XFCE. You set them the way you like and off you go. But all those KDE frobs-and-knobs are too much of a temptation to not use them, I feel like I’m 4 a year-old again with a Fisher-Price Activity Center in front of me, yay! But that’s just my take on things. Choice and diversity cannot exist without tolerance and respect for everybody else’s differences.

    I agree with you there are great applications in the KDE desktop evailable at first go, such as Klipper and some great additions such as Yakuake. But *there are* equivalent applications for the GNOME desktop. Instead of Klipper use Glipper, and instead of Yakuake use Tilda.

  7. nosrednaekim

    did you ever even try amarok? even if you go back to gnome, you owe it to yourself to use Amarok even there….

  8. Lakin Wecker

    I completely understand your feeling of being overwhelmed by options. I made a blog post that was meant to convey this, . But I’m afraid my blogpost ended up being almost as much of flamebait as some of the original posts that prompted me to speak up.

    I appreciate your frank evaluation of them both. You have really nailed the advantages and disadvantages of both desktops and I enjoyed reading your story.

    I used to make it habit to try both desktops right after each release, just to see what I was missing. I usually spent at least 2 weeks in the new desktop before making my decision as to which I would use for the next few months. It wasn’t until my wife started to poke fun at the fact that I never got anything done on weekends because I was always busy “tweaking my desktop” that I realized what I wanted. I wanted something that chose simple, clear, and sane default options so that I never felt like I needed to tweak anything.

  9. Clay Weber

    I am happy you stuck through this for this long, it was a very unbiased look in my opinion, something from a different perspective that fellow KDE folks should pay attention to. I tried Ubuntu’s Gnome for a spell, but only lasted about 4 days.
    (I am quite set im my preferences I guess)

    I agree that there is a *lot* of configuration options in KDE, especially in relation to Gnome. Even to a KDE lover like me, it can be overkill at times. That’s why I use Kubuntu, as it fits me quite well as they have tried to simplify things without getting rid of functionality. The developers still have some tweaking to do, but for me they are on the right track.

  10. Luiz Henrique

    The location of the trash is

    but is way better to just use trash:/

    I, personally, love KDE. I can’t feel good using Gnome. It sounds like a boring, limitated, environment. Although I say that Gnome is boring, I cant say that is not good: I just don’t like it.
    Even loving KDE I can agree that in some specific places there are more configuration options than needed. KControl is an example.

  11. mathew

    You’re kidding about the Trash, right?

    Having just clean-installed Kubuntu, I can say for certain that the trash can is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, on the kicker bar. Just like in Gnome, in fact.

    Anyhow, sorry to hear you’re going back to Mono. I agree about KDE’s overconfigurability, though. The number of UI options is just totally out of control. In the end I just set the style to “Plastik” and stopped fiddling with it.

  12. nosrednaekim

    Lack of a trash can might be a consequent of going to fiesty B4 its time…

  13. Jeff Schroeder

    sudo apt-get install glipper
    System –> Preferences –> Sessions –> Startup –> Add and type glipper.

  14. elempoimen

    I applaud the way you’ve looked at KDE vs GNOME. Each has advantages and disadvantages. I find myself using KDE as a primary environment, with a few GNOME apps to fill in the gaps. The Freedesktop spec has really helped to make the two work together, allowing one to have the best of both worlds. I’ve used both DE’s, and can see advantages of both. Myself, I would set a new user up in GNOME, because of the simplicity. Most non-geek people use computers as appliances, and GNOME just gets out of the way. OTOH, I like the configurability of KDE over GNOME. I have to use discipline, of course–I relate to the Fisher-Price comments. But I’m not into eye-candy for the sake of eye-candy, so that helps my situation. Anyway, I digress…you’ve done a great job with the evaluation. What you’ve done here epitomizes what FOSS is all about.

  15. Wataru

    Evolution over KMail? I’d be interested in how you resolved the following two major weaknesses of Evolution: (1) Lack of keyboard shortcuts for going to unread messages across folders, and (2) lack of template variables. OK, the second one just snuck into KMail with KDE 3.5.6, but it really is essential in a mail client.

    So how did you like Amarok? You mean you didn’t even *try* Amarok? That’s like visiting a sushi restaurant and not trying their ootoro maguro.

  16. Mafield

    Its been interesting to follow this through…

    Thank goodness for choice….

    There can never be one perfect choice, and nor should there ever be. Our habits
    And personality will more closely reflect the direction to which gravitate.

    Long live freedom of choice.

    To use and analogy:- So folks like cars with automatic transmission, Aircon and cruise control, while other like a stick-shift with the windows rolled down.

    Oh, and there are those who are comfortable with either..


  17. nosrednaekim

    You have inspired me to do something.
    Try GNOME for a week, starting tomorrow.

    see my blog by clicking on my username

  18. g2g591

    glad to see an honest gnome fan try KDE. I started with gnome for about a week then switched to Kde. I guess I liked the configurability, and the general “feel” it gave me. I’ve also tried kde on other distros (opensuse, and fedora and Debian) and I like the Kubuntu experience the best, Adept beats out Yast and Kpackage by far, and the the tweaked Kcontrol is a can’t live without

  19. JC John SESE Cuneta

    Have similar questions lawl..

    I still prefer Ubuntu over Kubuntu. Kubuntu confuses me more than Ubuntu, but my siblings and other friends are more at ease with Kubuntu than Ubuntu.

    But I still play with Kubuntu, the only way to learn is if you play both Gnome and KDE ^_^

    I recommend Kubuntu for those who prefer a closer Windows-like environment. Ubuntu for those who can look at their PCs “as-if” they are a new computer user and willing to learn from the ground-up πŸ˜‰

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