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KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

If it hasn't happened already it seems poised to happen sooner or later, albeit usability is to some extent in the eyes of the beholder. My basis of this expectation is personal experience of KDE4 improvements thus far and observation of future trends for both platforms.

GNOME is facing a fairly major shift next year with GNOME 3.0 and the introduction of GNOME Shell, possibly comparable to the shift KDE had with its 4.0 release. I could argue that the GNOME shift would be even more dramatic, thus taking an even larger risk. Fundamentally, in terms of user interaction with the system KDE4 actually didn't change all that much. It remained a somewhat Windows-like interface with a typical panel-desktop paradigm. It has "merely" upgraded it and rebuilt the gears behind the scenes which is where the most revolutionary changes and most potential seems to lie.

Perhaps the biggest change visible to the user is making everything into a widget, but the default and typical configuration of those widgets still resembles a typical paradigm, and that seems to sit well with the users. At least it does for me. I'm increasingly finding it more natural to have a single panel at the bottom with all of the stuff I need immediately available than to alternate between upper and lower panel.

GNOME 3.0 on the other hand promises to completely do away with the typical main menu currently resembling Mac OS X and replace it by something that probably wont be very familiar to neither Windows nor OS X users. Upon pressing of the "activity" button an entire screen transforms. It's not just another menu, it's a whole new "mode" of operation. It's yet to be seen how are users to respond to this as they begin to test it in day-to-day use, but I am somewhat skeptical and tend to side with some of the Bruce Byfield's commentary. Furthermore, as he points out, it doesn't appear that the GNOME Shell is getting enough opportunity to be tested by users for valuable feedback. This increases chances of GNOME 3.0 becoming a similar scenario to KDE4.0.

In short, as KDE4.0 rapidly becomes more and more comfortable in its new skin, improving significantly with each release and unfolding it's potential like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly GNOME is facing a major shift with an interface change that seems to go beyond what KDE4 underwent.

Speaking of usability improvements there are a few KDE4 features which are rapidly becoming a kind of a "killer app" for KDE, some of which have existed even in previous KDE generations and some of which have been introduced by KDE4.

KDE is known to allow the user to adjust far more options than GNOME (which has been known to hide options for the sake of usability). KDE3 therefore often ended up seeming complex and overwhelming yet KDE4 appears to be succeeding in blending this flexibility with ease of use as is perhaps best testified by its new control panel, but also to some degree the various configuration dialog styles across the system.

Take for instance the dialog for configuring toolbars in dolphin (and some other KDE4 applications such as Dragon Player).


KDE4 toolbars configuration

A whole slew of available toolbar actions are available on the left, but a typical set of what most users may want is already selected on the right. To add new buttons all you need to do is select the desired action and drop it to the desired position for the toolbar, and if you prefer you can also use the arrow buttons. It's pretty simple, yet it didn't require hiding options. So at the same time KDE4 here succeeds at tremendously empowering the user and keeping things simple.

It's this sort of thing why I am beginning to love and prefer KDE4. In GNOME, things sure are simple, but that goes at the expense of flexibility. KDE4 gives me both without the extra flexibility feeling like too big a burden.

This theme seems fundamental to what may thrust KDE4 towards overtaking GNOME in terms of usability. Consider for instance KDE's traditional ability to choose what to do with the file you're drag and dropping. The menu appears on the destination, right when you need to make a choice. I've always envied this about KDE when using GNOME.


KDE4 drag and drop menu

Again, giving me options without feeling like a burden. They're there right when I actually need them. I know countless of times that I wanted to make a bunch of shortcuts on the desktop in GNOME and always needed to make a shortcut (right click > make link) in the current directory and then move it to the directory I wanted them in because GNOME seems to offer no way to do this in a single operation. There might be tweaks that allow doing that, but they're not enabled by default and most people don't know how to enable them.

Not only that, but GNOME insists on naming the short cuts "A link to x" rather than just "x" so after moving the links I also have to rename them. Furthermore, if the short cut is on the other partition, I also have to delete the duplicate because in partition-to-partition operations GNOME's default operation is to copy, rather than move. Yet in KDE a single menu popping up with choices right when I need them deals away with all of these issues conveniently.

Another good example of flexibility that aids usability is KDE4's ability to select and deselect files and folders by just clicking on "+" or "-" emblems. This allows me to use one-click launch of folders and files without it getting in the way of selections. Without this feature the only way to select a single file without launching it as well is to draw a rectangle over it or press ctrl. Now I can simply click "+". No ctrl or rectangles needed. Single-click operation suddenly becomes a no-brainer as now there are no disadvantages to it. Awesome.


KDE4 select emblem

I could go on and on. There are many interesting details. Just think of krunner, kick off, options for window manager buttons, wallpaper modes etc. In any case, whereas GNOME so far made sacrifices to flexibility and power in order to improve usability KDE4 is succeeding in having its cake and eating it too. They merge flexibility with ingenious design to create a desktop environment in which having lots of options to choose from doesn't impair the ease of use and in some cases as seen above actually aids it. The advantage over GNOME's approach seems clear to me. I'd rather have both power and ease, then just ease and a sense of lack.

I only wish Kubuntu was given more attention in the Ubuntu development process. It still does to some extent feel like a second class citizen, yet I think it is more deserving of spotlight than ever before.

Comments

Screen Real Estate

 

I am a huge minimalist and for years have used only full screen and tiling WMs.

I do test the DEs occasionally. KDE does seem more polished with the stable. Followed by XFCE and gnome. E17 is excellent. But it crashes too often for comfort. (And yeah. E17 is a bat. It is not a bird nor an animal. Not a DE nor a WM, but just a shell)

However, the gnome 3.0 perspective is brilliant since it offers the full screen for the user. No menus, no taskbars. Nothing. It is good. I have only my windows on the screen now. This is the one reason I use something like ratpoison or dwm.

But all DEs has for ages been slow and opening and hiding the activities at the moment feel a little sluggish. It is a major productivity hit. I think that by 3.1, all that will be sorted out and it will be really smooth.

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

My biggest complaint when using GNOME are those quirks like Nautilus for example.
If you click a file where Nautilus doesn't know what to do with, it just throws you a filesystem dialog (in the home-dir by default as if you would find the application there, NOT).
How much do new users know about the filesystem to find the directory where the application is found that could handle the file?
In KDE you get a dialog that resembles the start menu and more often than not you can find the application there.
I have Gnome on one computer but it is one of those things that really gives me reason to get frustrated easely. I'll prefer KDE over Gnome anyday.

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

Select some files in nautilus, press Alt, drag them whenever you want, enjoy your "Move/Copy/Link Here" contextual menu.

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

first of all: I've been using GNOME ever since using linux (Ubuntu & ArchLinux). This is due to several reasons: 1.) KDE3 was awful. 2.) My machine is way too old to run KDE4 properly(!). 3.) Linux is modular enough to customize almost everything you want, that means, my Desktop is more of a "custom Desktop" with a GTK/GNOME-base than a pure GNOME Desktop. It doesn't even run gnome-panel anymore.

However: I doubt that GNOME-Shell / GNOME3 will do any good to GNOME's reputation. It is a completely different approach than what one has seen so far in other popular Desktop-/Windowmanagers/shells/etc, which from my point of view is a risk far too... well... risky to take.
I've tested GNOME-Shell for some hours and found that I didn't like it (mind: it isn't finished yet): I didn't like the look, I didn't like the way recent documents are managed and I found myself unable to find a way to change its settings.
GNOME-Shell (together with Zeitgeist) might be a nice *choice* for a little percentage of users, but a user should be allowed to choose his favourite Desktop-Manager, instead of being enforced on using a specific one with specific settings and specific (unchangeable) behaviour.
I don't think gnome-shell was a bad idea, but it will need a lot of time for users to "re-educate" / to get used to a new way of interacting with their "Desktop", which they probably do not even want to (because it might not bear results good enough to consider changing their own behaviour).

So, if I had the choice between KDE4 and Gnome-Shell I'd probably opt for KDE (if I had a more modern machine).

P.S.: Most people writing about "Why I like X and not Y" accuse "Y" of not being capable of doing something "X" can do, though "Y" too, is, seem to be too "X"-centered to have a closer look at "Y".
P.P.S.: I hope you understood what I wanted to say, as my english is not the best (aswell as my concentration, atm Laughing out loud)...

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

Re: Screen Real Estate. This is good for more advanced users, such as yourself, but sit granny in front of it and you'll be nagged to no end with "how do I get to my solitaire?" However, put her in front of Gnome 2.2.x and she has a much higher chance of figuring it out (especially if you link her favorite apps right on the toolbar.) GNOME 2.2 is very user stupid; I don't use it myself, I actually use KDE4 and E17 currently, but for granny? She loves it.

100% agreed...

 

QUOTE: My biggest complaint when using GNOME are those quirks like Nautilus for example.
If you click a file where Nautilus doesn't know what to do with, it just throws you a filesystem dialog (in the home-dir by default as if you would find the application there, NOT).
How much do new users know about the filesystem to find the directory where the application is found that could handle the file? :ENDQUOTE

100% agreed... I get this in firefox (gtk) and Thunderbird (gtk) even though I use kde. And so when I get the gtk browser style dialogue when I try to open a file in either of the above programs, I am dropped to a location that has nothing to do with any program to open the file. I am lost!!! So, I end up exiting the dialogue, downloading the content, browsing there with my KDE file browser (Dolphin, now), then single click to open the file, because KDE knows what to do with the file.

Dulwithe, The Dark Shadow

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

1. Linux should be different looking then Windows or OS X because it is different, otherwise it looks like a poor windows or OS X clone.

2. KDE4 more custmizable then Gnome? What the heck have you been drinking? Gnome is far more customizable then KDE4 (granted idk about Gnome3 yet sense its not out) but as it stands it is.

3. KDE4 lacks a GUI based Touchpad Utility at the very least there isn't one that deals with the Dell Touch Pads where is Gnome does have such utility and has had it for a long while.

While Gnome3 may not be perfect either at least with it your OS won't seem like just some poorer looking Windows clone.

Re: Screen Real Estate

Anonymous wrote:

I am a huge minimalist and for years have used only full screen and tiling WMs.

I do test the DEs occasionally. KDE does seem more polished with the stable. Followed by XFCE and gnome. E17 is excellent. But it crashes too often for comfort. (And yeah. E17 is a bat. It is not a bird nor an animal. Not a DE nor a WM, but just a shell)

However, the gnome 3.0 perspective is brilliant since it offers the full screen for the user. No menus, no taskbars. Nothing. It is good. I have only my windows on the screen now. This is the one reason I use something like ratpoison or dwm.

But all DEs has for ages been slow and opening and hiding the activities at the moment feel a little sluggish. It is a major productivity hit. I think that by 3.1, all that will be sorted out and it will be really smooth.

That's a good point, but as the other anonymous said:

Anonymous wrote:

Re: Screen Real Estate. This is good for more advanced users, such as yourself, but sit granny in front of it and you'll be nagged to no end with "how do I get to my solitaire?" However, put her in front of Gnome 2.2.x and she has a much higher chance of figuring it out (especially if you link her favorite apps right on the toolbar.) GNOME 2.2 is very user stupid; I don't use it myself, I actually use KDE4 and E17 currently, but for granny? She loves it.

And I think most users in general aren't that crazy about real estate either.

Anonymous wrote:

My biggest complaint when using GNOME are those quirks like Nautilus for example.
If you click a file where Nautilus doesn't know what to do with, it just throws you a filesystem dialog (in the home-dir by default as if you would find the application there, NOT).
How much do new users know about the filesystem to find the directory where the application is found that could handle the file?
In KDE you get a dialog that resembles the start menu and more often than not you can find the application there.
I have Gnome on one computer but it is one of those things that really gives me reason to get frustrated easely. I'll prefer KDE over Gnome anyday.

Yes, absolutely. I experienced that as well and I like the way KDE handles it.

Anonymous wrote:

Select some files in nautilus, press Alt, drag them whenever you want, enjoy your "Move/Copy/Link Here" contextual menu.

Thanks, I might try that next time I'm in GNOME. But see.. how obvious is such an option to a user? Most people would like me assume it's impossible. Come to think of it gconf has lots of options in there, but they're hidden and therefore as good as gone as far as most users are concerned.

Anonymous wrote:

first of all: I've been using GNOME ever since using linux (Ubuntu & ArchLinux). This is due to several reasons: 1.) KDE3 was awful. 2.) My machine is way too old to run KDE4 properly(!). 3.) Linux is modular enough to customize almost everything you want, that means, my Desktop is more of a "custom Desktop" with a GTK/GNOME-base than a pure GNOME Desktop. It doesn't even run gnome-panel anymore.

However: I doubt that GNOME-Shell / GNOME3 will do any good to GNOME's reputation. It is a completely different approach than what one has seen so far in other popular Desktop-/Windowmanagers/shells/etc, which from my point of view is a risk far too... well... risky to take.
I've tested GNOME-Shell for some hours and found that I didn't like it (mind: it isn't finished yet): I didn't like the look, I didn't like the way recent documents are managed and I found myself unable to find a way to change its settings.
GNOME-Shell (together with Zeitgeist) might be a nice *choice* for a little percentage of users, but a user should be allowed to choose his favourite Desktop-Manager, instead of being enforced on using a specific one with specific settings and specific (unchangeable) behaviour.
I don't think gnome-shell was a bad idea, but it will need a lot of time for users to "re-educate" / to get used to a new way of interacting with their "Desktop", which they probably do not even want to (because it might not bear results good enough to consider changing their own behaviour).

So, if I had the choice between KDE4 and Gnome-Shell I'd probably opt for KDE (if I had a more modern machine).

P.S.: Most people writing about "Why I like X and not Y" accuse "Y" of not being capable of doing something "X" can do, though "Y" too, is, seem to be too "X"-centered to have a closer look at "Y".
P.P.S.: I hope you understood what I wanted to say, as my english is not the best (aswell as my concentration, atm Laughing out loud)...

I wont necessarily write off GNOME Shell at this point. What I wanted to say is that it presents at least as big if not bigger of a shift than KDE4 had and therefore quite a bit of risk and based on that, the current trend of KDE4 and my experience concluded there's a possibility KDE4 approach will win in terms of usability in the time to come.

About being X centered, I have to note I have been a "faithful" user of GNOME for years. It's been my primary desktop environment. So it's not like I'm talking about something I only gave a cursory look at.

Anonymous wrote:

1. Linux should be different looking then Windows or OS X because it is different, otherwise it looks like a poor windows or OS X clone.

2. KDE4 more custmizable then Gnome? What the heck have you been drinking? Gnome is far more customizable then KDE4 (granted idk about Gnome3 yet sense its not out) but as it stands it is.

3. KDE4 lacks a GUI based Touchpad Utility at the very least there isn't one that deals with the Dell Touch Pads where is Gnome does have such utility and has had it for a long while.

While Gnome3 may not be perfect either at least with it your OS won't seem like just some poorer looking Windows clone.

If KDE4 is a clone of Windows look I think it's not poorer looking, but better looking! Eye But really, GNOME could be said to be a poorer clone of OS X then. Ultimately I don't really care if there are similarities so long as it actually works and is easy to use. There are only so many possibilities in terms of basic desktop paradigm. You only have four corners on the screen to make any use of. I don't think that putting the panel on the bottom automatically means it's all like Windows. Dig a little deeper and the experience is quite different. KDE4 is far more flexible and powerful than a Windows GUI.

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

>>Gnome is far more customizable then KDE4
- Oh, then maybe you can tell me how I can rearrange the way files are shown in Gnome/Gtk dialogue windows (you know, "Open", "Save", etc.). I want the most recent files to be on top, not at the bottom like Gnome wants ;-)

 

GNOME still doesn't match KDE 3 in features or customizability. KDE 4 is a rewrite from the ground up, so it really is not even a sibling of KDE 3--only in name. And it doesn't even match KDE 3 in features or customizability.

Usability? What does that mean? Very subjective. It depends on what you want to do and even on how you as a user are capable of doing things. If you can't use a mouse for physical reasons, and your desktop environment requires one, is it usable?

At this point, after using KDE for more than six years, I am a desktop user without a home. XFCE is too sparse. GNOME is too restrictive. KDE 3 is a dead horse. And KDE 4 is a resource hog and too focused on form over function. It looks good, if you like how it looks. I works good, if you like how it does things and have a computer that can push it. But, if you don't like its looks or how it works, your options are much more limited compared to KDE 3. Same for GNOME. Same for XFCE.

Right now, for me, its GNOME that comes closest to KDE 3 in features and customizability. But I don't use it because I like it. It's just the lesser of three evils at this time. Maybe in the future the new desktop environment that calls itself KDE will get better. Or maybe GNOME 3 will win me over.

But for the first time in the 8 1/2 years I've been using it, I'm using Linux not because I like the software, but because it's not Windows.

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

Even easier than that, middle-click and drag.

Don't write-off Gnome 3 Yet...

 

Let's remember a few years ago: One of the major video game companies released the lowest-powered console on the market, with a silly-sounding name, and its only selling point being that you controlled the games by waving the controller around instead of pushing buttons. Much of the industry dismissed it as a novel curiosity, and few companies initially signed on to do games for it.

It turned out that Nintendo's "Wii" blindsided Microsoft, Sony and the entire video game industry. It became __THE__ present everyone wanted for three Christmases in a row, and many game companies wound up apologizing for having few games available at release and then rushing out crappy ones when they realized that Wii was going to own the video game market for the next few years.

Why did Wii deliver a decisive knock-out punch to XBox and PlayStation, despite being technologically inferior to both? It was the only one that was offering "more than just plain ol' video games."

I Don't know if Gnome 3 is going to be the next Wii once they finish tweaking it. What I can see, having tried Gnome Shell out myself: Even if Gnome keeps the sucky-looking 1995 default icons, it will be the only desktop out there offering "more than just the same ol' desktop paradigm."

(...and before anyone calls me a fanboi, I'm writing this from KDE4.)

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

"....KDE4 lacks a GUI based Touchpad Utility"

Yeah, OK.. but one can easily install Gnome's touchpad utility while running KDE. I did, and changed my touchpad settings ONCE. If you are constantly changing your touchpad settings, you probably need to go get yourself a mouse.

Anonymous wrote:

At this point, after using KDE for more than six years, I am a desktop user without a home. XFCE is too sparse. GNOME is too restrictive. KDE 3 is a dead horse. And KDE 4 is a resource hog and too focused on form over function. It looks good, if you like how it looks. I works good, if you like how it does things and have a computer that can push it. But, if you don't like its looks or how it works, your options are much more limited compared to KDE 3. Same for GNOME. Same for XFCE.

I really wasn't aware KDE is so resource hungry, but I haven't run it on any older or weaker computers. My machine is a Core2Duo 6320 with 3.5GB RAM and a Nvidia 9600GT.. so I guess I can't notice it.

Anonymous wrote:

Right now, for me, its GNOME that comes closest to KDE 3 in features and customizability. But I don't use it because I like it. It's just the lesser of three evils at this time. Maybe in the future the new desktop environment that calls itself KDE will get better. Or maybe GNOME 3 will win me over.

But for the first time in the 8 1/2 years I've been using it, I'm using Linux not because I like the software, but because it's not Windows.

Believe it or not I've been in that kind of mentality about Linux for some time as well. I used to be a purist so just the fact it was "free as in freedom" was enough of a reason. Now I no longer believe in the whole FSF propaganda and have actually came to like Windows 7 when I used its RC for a while, yet I come back to Linux (Ubuntu and Kubuntu) because I hate the idea of paying over $100 bucks for an operating system, plus dealing with malware... Luckily, the continuous advancements keep giving me hope and KDE4 has some of the sweetest ones, at least for me.

Getting an Nvidia card helped my Linux experience as well. AMD was just constant trouble with both free and proprietary drivers.

Anonymous wrote:

Let's remember a few years ago: One of the major video game companies released the lowest-powered console on the market, with a silly-sounding name, and its only selling point being that you controlled the games by waving the controller around instead of pushing buttons. Much of the industry dismissed it as a novel curiosity, and few companies initially signed on to do games for it.

It turned out that Nintendo's "Wii" blindsided Microsoft, Sony and the entire video game industry. It became __THE__ present everyone wanted for three Christmases in a row, and many game companies wound up apologizing for having few games available at release and then rushing out crappy ones when they realized that Wii was going to own the video game market for the next few years.

Why did Wii deliver a decisive knock-out punch to XBox and PlayStation, despite being technologically inferior to both? It was the only one that was offering "more than just plain ol' video games."

I Don't know if Gnome 3 is going to be the next Wii once they finish tweaking it. What I can see, having tried Gnome Shell out myself: Even if Gnome keeps the sucky-looking 1995 default icons, it will be the only desktop out there offering "more than just the same ol' desktop paradigm."

(...and before anyone calls me a fanboi, I'm writing this from KDE4.)

We'll see. I'm certainly open to the possibility and I'm gonna try the finished product as well, for sure. Curiosity is just too much. Smiling

What I wrote wasn't about entirely dismissing GNOME Shell as a failure. It's too early for that. I just pointed out that it's a big shift, even bigger than KDE4, and that it therefore could be quite a risky move. KDE4 right now has an edge. It's big shift is over and they're advancing in full gear, plus their "ease of use WITH power and flexibility" approach seems to be working, at least from my experience.

But GNOME certainly still has a chance to wow us in 2010/2011.

Re: 100% agreed...

 

It's an issue indeed.
It can be easily handled if a desktop protocol handler environment variable became standard.
In Xfce thunar handles all this
In GNOME gnome-open handles this I think
In KDE , I am not quite sure.

So in firefox I had to go in the about:config
network.protocol-handler.app.file : thunar
network.protocol-handler.expose-all : true

This helps avoid those dialogs completely.
As I previous mentioned a variable of $GENERIC_APP_HANDLER should exist to sort out issue's like this while holding modularity. ( As that would avoid having hundreds of /etc/alternative files and such hopefully too )

Gnome shell: really a large shift?

 

Though Gnome-shell certainly behaves much, much different to gnome 2.2, we have to keep in mind that all that's really changing is the window manager and panels.
In KDE, they had to port ALL their base applications to Qt 4, and sometimes even add completely new applications: Dolphin, Konqueror, Phonon (over aRTs), Nepomuk, Plasma, Dragon, Kopete, Gwenview, the new System Settings, all the games, the PIM suite, all their educational packages (and lets face it, KDE is the only desktop I know that comes with something like Marble made specifically for it)...

What I'm getting at is, Gnome 3 introduces a new window manager and panel system... and that's pretty much it. KDE, on the other hand, had to port or completely re-write just about EVERYTHING, and KDE comes with a LOT of applications as part of the DE, whereas most of Gnome's applications are just completely separate projects that needn't do anything to accommodate the change.

So even though it LOOKS like Gnome is making the biggest shift, in reality it seems to have been far much more work for KDE's shift.

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability? NO!

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

Nice to see all those brilliant, concrete examples of Gnome's usability over KDE... /sarc

Anonymous wrote:

Though Gnome-shell certainly behaves much, much different to gnome 2.2, we have to keep in mind that all that's really changing is the window manager and panels.
In KDE, they had to port ALL their base applications to Qt 4, and sometimes even add completely new applications: Dolphin, Konqueror, Phonon (over aRTs), Nepomuk, Plasma, Dragon, Kopete, Gwenview, the new System Settings, all the games, the PIM suite, all their educational packages (and lets face it, KDE is the only desktop I know that comes with something like Marble made specifically for it)...

What I'm getting at is, Gnome 3 introduces a new window manager and panel system... and that's pretty much it. KDE, on the other hand, had to port or completely re-write just about EVERYTHING, and KDE comes with a LOT of applications as part of the DE, whereas most of Gnome's applications are just completely separate projects that needn't do anything to accommodate the change.

So even though it LOOKS like Gnome is making the biggest shift, in reality it seems to have been far much more work for KDE's shift.

No denying that. Technically KDE4 shift was much more work. But when I say GNOME is making a bigger shift I am referring to the looks because I mean it in the sense that there's most for a user to get used to, that is, there's a paradigm shift. The visible change is what matters most to the user.

Cheers

Re: Gnome shell: really a large shift?

 

Isn't Gnome3 using GTK3? I seem to remember that being the criterion for a 3.0 release.

I would still call KDE4 unusable for n00b users. For example, the KDE4's Start Menu is a huge pain, and almost nothing in KDE4 are "obvious" to users unfamiliar with KDE4 (e.g., who knows what "Folder View" vs. "Desktop" exactly mean without google? they can be really good puzzles).

IMO KDE3 gets it much better, but KDE4 is still not the way to go. it's like they just want to be "flashy" but don't care about the learning curve (actually I would like to say "users" here but it would start a flame war Smiling).

Anonymous wrote:

Isn't Gnome3 using GTK3? I seem to remember that being the criterion for a 3.0 release.

Yes, and last I heard GTK3 wont add much of anything new and will start by just stripping it down of deprecated things from GTK2. Qt4 was more significant of a change.

I guess GNOME is making the biggest shift in what is visible, but less of a shift in what is behind the scenes..

Whistler wrote:

I would still call KDE4 unusable for n00b users. For example, the KDE4's Start Menu is a huge pain, and almost nothing in KDE4 are "obvious" to users unfamiliar with KDE4 (e.g., who knows what "Folder View" vs. "Desktop" exactly mean without google? they can be really good puzzles).

IMO KDE3 gets it much better, but KDE4 is still not the way to go. it's like they just want to be "flashy" but don't care about the learning curve (actually I would like to say "users" here but it would start a flame war Smiling).

Well, on the other hand it's at least familiar to Windows users. The main menu is where Windows users would expect it. So is the system tray. As for it being confusing I'm not sure if it's any more confusing than the Windows one.. About desktop and folder view, I guess if they don't get it they'll just stick with the defaults and I'd agree if folder view is on by default it could be a little weird to a new user and perhaps a bit of a turn off..

Ah.. as I said usability is to a large extent in the eyes of the beholder. I think you don't have to be an expert and perhaps not even an intermediate user to find KDE4 usability great, even better than GNOME. As for total noobs who never even touched a computer they're everybody's guess..

Re: 100% agreed...

 
Quote:

n GNOME gnome-open handles this I think
In KDE , I am not quite sure.

kde-open

Quote:

As I previous mentioned a variable of $GENERIC_APP_HANDLER should exist to sort out issue's like this while holding modularity.

The generic app handler is called xdg-open

Re: KDE4 overtaking GNOME in terms of usability?

 

> 2. KDE4 more custmizable then Gnome? What the heck have you been drinking? Gnome is far more customizable then KDE4 (granted idk about Gnome3 yet sense its not out) but as it stands it is.

I don't want to troll, but Gnome customizability is only through that ms-regedit-alike gconf-editor..

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