NOV
12
2002

KDE 3.1 RC3: Last Dance?

The KDE Project today released KDE 3.1 RC3 with fixes for several severe bugs in RC2. This RC is likely the last before 3.1 although there remain a few items on the TODO list for KDE 3.1. If you find a showstopper problem in this release candidate not yet listed on bugs.kde.org, please file a report as soon as possible. The download links are up as usual on the KDE 3.1 Info page.

Comments

The Problem ist, that I showed this to some friends of mine that use computers on a irregular basis and they thought I was mocking them. They are supposed to get a computer set up by me and now I have the problem of convincing them all over again that KDE is something to be taken seriously (and useable!) because crystal looks like lego blocks (age 1-8 recommended) and the keramik bit clouds usability under a thick thick layer of gradients and misconceptions.

regards
Charly


By Charlyw at Sun, 2002/12/01 - 6:00am

Show your friends kpersonalizer and their jaw will drop.


By ac at Sun, 2002/12/01 - 6:00am

They won't come that far. Heck, I won't because the default style could drive off a blind donkey. In my experience (>20 years working on computers of all sorts and sizes) the first impression counts and the average user will turn away in absolute disgust from the formerly brilliant KDE and never discover a way of turning the uggly duckling it now is into something useable again.

regards
Charlyw


By charlyw at Sun, 2002/12/01 - 6:00am

> They won't come that far.

Funny, because kpersonalizer is the first KDE program started for a new KDE user.

> Heck, I won't because the default style could drive off a blind donkey.

You sound like a troll, no you're apparently one. We all now know your opinion, stop repeating yourself over and over again refering to your supposed super computer competence.


By Anonymous at Sun, 2002/12/01 - 6:00am

You're insane. I can't get enough of Keramic/Crystal. It's about time KDE did something modern. The default KDE 3.0 look (and Redhat's Bluecurve) is about Windows 95 quality. Boring, boxy, drab. Very ugly, seven years behind the times. Everyone I've shown Keramic/Crystal to drools over it and can't wait to get it on their own desktops. With Keramic/Crystal, it looks to me like KDE has finished copying Windows design and moved on to copying OSX, which is a very, very good thing. I find myself staring at my desktop from the couch because it's the best looking desktop I've seen on an X86-based pc to date.

Maybe it's an age thing. You sound like you're pretty old.


By Maq at Tue, 2002/12/03 - 6:00am

Well I have seen more elaborate designs fail and everything is more elaborate than gradients used all over the place as it is in keramik - gradients are a bad designers resort if they don't have a new idea; which they being bad never have. And fail for reasons. I was hoping that KDE wasn't going the way of the dodo but now it seems it will. Not that it matters but this is the third design change in short succession. How do you expect people will react to that? It would have been ok to have a new default design in KDE 4.0 with the new keramik in as a choice to see if it succeeds. If (let's say half a year after it has become available as an option) a vote was taken what to make the default but simply switching is sending the wrong impression: Let's tinker here, tinker there sometime we'll get it right sometimes we won't but does it matter? No, so what the heck let's have black text on a black background because it's cool.

About the age thing: Just turned 38. And I do like clean and crisp but not overloaded designs. Luna, OS-X and now keramik are really some sort of an misconception. It's not a thing of usability if gradients and special effects make finding the controls some sort of hide and seek, hampered by sluggishness on anything slower than next years computer.


By Charlyw at Tue, 2002/12/03 - 6:00am

>>>gradients are a bad designers resort if they don't have a new idea; which they being bad never have.

Please provide the readers of this topic a link showing some of your 'correct' interface designs, just to back your trolling. You sound like a 15 year boy to me.


By IR at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

Well I didn't yet have had the need to design an user interface as the designs I used weren't that bad. I on the other hand have a lot of experience with graphic design and people working in the trade. They all agree on one point and that's the cited poor man's design rule: "If all else fails take a gradient to draw the attention of the customer."

The problem with keramik is that with all these gradients in and around any control it becomes hard to use as the difference between background and foreground get's obscured. The gradient that surrounds the important bit of that control draws the users attention to itself. Instead of presenting the information in the foreground keramik manages to present itself instead. The background should by all means NEVER be more eye catching than the foreground. It's the same bad design as having a word break larger than the line break in text formatting. Why's that: if the word break is larger than the line break the reading rythm of the reader is broken by the tendency to follow the text standing closer, which in this case is in the next line instead of the next word.

In UI design this is equivalent to have something like keramik which draws the attention of the user from the foreground (which is important) to the background (which should only guide the user from control to control). This need leads to backgrounds and control designs that might in the first moment look boring but being boring they serve a purpose. By trying to be visually interesting keramik defeats it's main purpose!

regards
Charlyw

P.S.: I resent the fact that I am supposed to be trolling. I am trying to make a case for the old tried and tested design (which wasn't that old and boring to begin with) that was nilly willy replaced by the latest fad driven design. The one thing I resent the most is that the people who are using KDE on a daily bass (as opposed to the ones developing it) were never given the chance to voice their preferences. Now new KDE users will be presented with an IMHO unbearable design and they will turn away from it because the normal user hasn't got enough perseverance to change from any default. Normal users have an attention span that lasts from noon to midday and manuals are for loosers.

It happens easily that a developer is drawn to foregone conclusions if he is involved in a project.

I have been developing software for more than 20 years now and have caught myself more than once being convinced that what I was doing was the only way to do it and that this new direction was the best there ever was, when in fact I was utterly and completely wrong. Admitting ones mistakes is a hard thing to do.


By Charlyw at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

If I really like the design (and I am not the only one), do I need to care about your technical explanation why it is a bad design?


By IR at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

You don't have to care but you should understand that there are people who have a different opinion. One thing you should do though is trying that if critics voice their opinion you can't simply dismiss them as trolls. Only the original designers could do that but if they do I really hope they can deliver a technical explanation why they think their design is good. And "it's cool" doesn't count here.

regards
Charlyw


By charlyw at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

>>>Well I didn't yet have had the need to design an user interface as the designs I used weren't that bad. I on the other hand have a lot of experience with graphic design and people working in the trade.

Following this logic, untill you show me something I like better than Kermik (and improving on the old to my taste) created by yourself, Im sticking with Keramik and consider you a mouth full! Sorry for the namecalling, but your writing style seems not as 'professional' as your invisible 'design skills'.

>>>P.S.: I am trying to make a case for the old tried and tested design (which wasn't that old and boring to begin with)

Look this is how you make your 'case':
- I haven't seen something as uggly in my life (not even the grotty first version of Windows was that bad).

- It simply looks as if some child was given a set of crayons and the result was integrated.

- I can't honestly recommend using the new style as this is unbearable for anyone older than 10-12 years of age.

- On Windows XP (have to use it at times) my first thing of customizing is disabling the "design service" which makes it revert to the w2k look and feel as XP's luna is a nightmare in itself again.

- now I have the problem of convincing them all over again that KDE is something to be taken seriously (and useable!) because crystal looks like lego blocks (age 1-8 recommended)

- They won't come that far. Heck, I won't because the default style could drive off a blind donkey.

- the average user will turn away in absolute disgust from the formerly brilliant KDE

This makes people like me curious to your elite alternative design skills! I cant wait till you give some links so I can publicly call your designs blind donkey lego blocks.


By IR at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

Hello,

your comments are truely up to the mark of someone who hasn't got a clue what I am talking about. In my first post I was voicing my disgust at something that is thrown at new and old users of KDE as if it were the salvation from M$. That was an emotional (as intended) account of what I and people I know think of the new design. Then you accused me of being a troll. in reply gave you a technical explanation of what is wrong. I obviously lost you here completely. But to sum up (in simpler terms) what is wrong with keramik:

- important information is hidden by background design.
- slow even on modern computers.
- second new design in short succession. This either means that the first new design (KDE-3.0 look) wasn't that good either or that there is no control over the developers. Neither is a good sign to the normal public.

I never would have objected if keramik would have been an optional component for the lifetime of KDE 3.1 destined to become default in 3.2 because that would have encouraged comments on the design and would have given people like me the cance to comment and avoid the obvious mistakes.

Please refrain from namecalling as this really is something completely unnecessary. I didn't call the developer names and neither should you call me as a critic names just because my opinion doesn't match your's. And as to the design: please show me your superior design that proves that you are competent calling me names in the first place.

regards
Charlyw


By charlyw at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

What are *you* talking about? There was never a Keramik for KDE3.0; the "KDE-3.0 look" was just a slight re-adjustment of KDE2.x look.

The performance of Keramik has been studied carefully, and the code has been optimized a lot. Is it slower than HC? Yes. Is it slower enough to be noticeable on even an extraordinarily low-end machine? No. Tre are some initial setup costs on network links; but beyond that the drawing speed is good even on remote links.

And your stuff about gradients is hillarious -- the KDE2 look after all is virtually entirely gradients. And of course, any continuous transition of colors is technically a gradient.


By Sad Eagle at Thu, 2002/12/05 - 6:00am

>>>your comments are truely up to the mark of someone who hasn't got a clue what I am talking about.

same here


By IR at Fri, 2002/12/06 - 6:00am

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