Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gnome vs. KDE pt 1

For those who are just joining us, the Gnome vs. KDE argument is one @vmearl and I have somewhat regularly. My opinion is more or less the same as Linus Torvalds', but with less shouting. The article I linked to there is actually biased against Linus' position, so this is definitely not astroturfing.


@dreamrock Man I have no idea, I tried KDE back in January with Kubuntu. My impressions were that Gnome was for power users more.

I suppose forcing users to download a third party app or edit config files by hand in order to do something basic like adding programs to a menu could be considered "for power users," but I see it as needless hand-holding.

In KDE, if I want to make a chance, I right-click on it, and—voila!—I have access to make whatever changes I want.

Admittedly, I haven't used Gnome on a non-Debian-based platform in a long time. However, even on the non-Debian-based distributions I've used, Gnome seems incredibly dumbed down. On one hand, it's clearly copying a lot of Mac OS design ideas (the annoying permanent menu bar at the top being my least favorite element of that arrangement), but on the other hand, they organize the menus in a really bizarre fashion that makes it hard to find things.

It's never clear to me where they put things, and their tools (like network configuration, etc.) seem to be really hampered by a mentality that "Oh, that's too complex a concept for you lowly users. Let us pick the best option for you and let's just pretend there weren't any other ways to do it."

I can work with the command line and make changes that way, but I would rather my window manager not treat me like an especially dumb child. For all their talk about making things simpler for users who don't know how to use a computer, I think they've actually made things a great deal worse.

If you have to send your grandma to the command prompt to do more than the five things the Gnome folks deemed useful and easy enough for the "uneducated hill folk" to understand, you're probably going to have a very upset grandma. And understandably so. After all, sure it was a pain to get Wifi working in Windows, but at least she didn't have to curse the text box with the evil spells to get on the glorious tubes.

Also, have they improved Nautilus yet? The old KDE file manager was brilliant and didn't need updating, but KDE wasn't content with that and replaced it with Dolphin. Nautilus was outdated by NT4 standards when I used it five years go. Ugh, I hate Nautilus so much.