APR
28
2002

Mosfet.org on Desktop Elegance

Recently, there have been some comments in the press regarding KDE's look and feel which were, to say the least, rather unflattering. The comments centered mainly around KDE's icons and the overall elegancy of the desktop. Like many of us, Mosfet felt these comments were unwarranted and somewhat misinformed, but he took the extra step of writing up a public response. I'm glad someone did. A lot of people have always enjoyed KDE's default look and feel, but with sites like KDE-Look.org (includes icon themes), appsy's theme section, as well as the new dedicated themes section on freshmeat, there are now more possibilities than ever to adjust KDE to your personal liking. KDE 3.1 will offer even more.

Comments

This guy lives in Korea.
He work for a Korean company.
That company has just sold 120,000 units of its software to the Korean govt.
He wants to learn to speak the Korean language.
Even his wife is Korean!

So how does he explain comments like "And the letter 'K' is kind of offensive"!?


By Just Me at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Believe it or not, some people don't use the latin alphabet :-)

In the latin alphabet the K is very angular, which is what I suppose he dislikes in some way.
I kind of agree, although as Mosfet says, the icons are easily changed.


By abdulhaq at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

The letter F is even more angular, but on the other hand the letters U and C are rounded and curved. The angular letters represent the musculine principle and the curved letters represent the feminine principle.
Thats why the word FUCK is so beautifully balanced. Naturally so.


By reihal at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Take the time to meet some Koreans...

Ask them about the traditional spelling (before the Japanese invasion).

Then you will understand why all the Coreans held up signs saying "Corea" at the World Cup this year...


By D Herring at Sun, 2002/09/08 - 5:00am

I have the opposite opinion. KDE's beauty is *unmatched* by any desktop out there free or commercial. I am visually crippled when I try to use another desktop. Don't get rid of the K ever.


By ac at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

YES,

and thanks for the icons
(symbolic, ease to understand and beautiful)


By thil at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I especially like the KDE 3.0 startup screen, it's the nicest I've ever seen. All that needs work is the icons, but beyond that, let's admit KDE is up there with XP and OS X.

Peace out, JohnFive
PS Keep up the good work K Developers!


By JohnFive at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Darn right. Keep the K. It stands, after all, for Karl's Desktop Environment!!!


By Karl at Thu, 2002/05/09 - 5:00am

Mosfet:
Also, being a free software project, if he wanted a KDE with alternate names to applications he could of done so easily.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For an example, look at Lindows and its apps WordPublisher and Spreadsheet Pro. They may look familiar. ;-)

Not that there's been a lot of people paying $339 for KWord...


By Otter at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

They know why they renamed the programs! Not, because the letter K in particular was offensive, but people who don`t know KDE usually find it strange when programnames start with a letter that does not really belong to the words used in the names.

I keep getting asked "what`s this K for?". It`s probably a benefit for the whole KDE which becomes well known this way, but it`s not making the program names attractive. In fact it makes them hard to pronounce and look unfamiliar to novices.

It would already be nicer if the K was somehow separated, like k-word or k-presenter, so people see it is just word or presenter, but a special version called k-*.

Stefan


By Stefan Heimers at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Probably the slickest way to do that would be with capitalization, like kWord, kPresenter, ...er .. kCookiejar?

I'm way leery of this 'Lindows' thing.

I feel that if any 'clutter' was to be reworked in KDE, maybe reorganizing the parts of kControl, and combining and refining some of them.


By Juln at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

How about KDE Word, KDE Presenter
A well-known big company solved it easy.
MS Word

The program is word, but it comes from the KDE project instead of MS...
Just my ?0.02


By Syllten at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for hurted feelings, offended people, flamewars, infected computers with Windows installed on it, damaged computers, stolen girlfriends and drunken guinny pigs.

Also, this is not intended as a flame or troll.

The only thing I'm trying to reach with posting this message is to get a visually more attractive KDE (standard looks) so that the new users will like it too and we can forget about the horrible Windows

KDE is a great piece of software, it's very nicely written, it's code is easy to understand, and the internals are great (Microsoft can learn a lot from you KDE guys ;)

However, KDE is all about the _desktop_ and making it easier for users to use Linux (clicking and dragging instead of typing long texts in the console).
Until some time ago, Linux and KDE was mostly used by one type of people: programmers.

Now with all of the new users coming to Linux and KDE every year, there will be a lot less programmers and more 'normal' users.
These 'normal' users are only interested in a few things: speed, stability, nice looks and games :o)
Well, Linux itself is pretty fast and very stable.
Normal users don't use the command line, they want a visual environment to use, so they try KDE (or GNOME or whatever).

- This is the most important part, read this very carefully -

The new user starts KDE, and 20 seconds later the user starts to scream and running around the room.
Why? Simple, because he'll see the most ugliest color combinations, window theme and widgetstyle he has ever seen.

This, is also known as the 'first impression'.

If the first impression is not good, the user won't use the software and run back to Micro$oft.

Now most people will say: hey but it's only the default look! you can change that easely!
Yes, I know that, but new users (those coming from Windows) have no idea about how to change a theme/style or other thingies, even when there's a large button yelling at them where the control center is.
(believe me, I've seen my father and mother working with Windows and he wouldn't be able to find out how to change a style/theme in KDE
Heck, they couldn't even found the mousecursor back the first time! :)

If the default theme/style would be beautiful, and those other people would like to have a 'ugly' desktop again, they can easely change it back because they DO KNOW how to change the settings.

- You may read less carefully now -

Now, my point is that programmers and some other people don't really care about how their desktop looks, they only care about the internal workings (usually) and most of them can't combine colors and have a very bad visual taste (nofi).

Normal users expect to see something nice when starting a new program or in this case; Linux with KDE.

So please, let the programmers do what they're good at (and they are)
And let the REAL (non-wannabee) artists do what they're good at (Everaldo, you're the best!)

I've read at the KDE-artists mailing list that Everaldo will probably be making new standard icons for KDE 3.1 ..
Well, I really hope that will happen (along with a new default theme and style) because KDE really deserves it to look nice!

Internally it's a wonderful DE, so let's make it visually attractive too.
That way, Linux+KDE beats Windows (including XP) in 2 ways: internal and visually.

God/Allah bless Tux, Linux, KDE, all of it's programmers and other people, Mosfet (but not for the standard theme/style ;) and Everaldo ;)

Thanks for reading this message.
Amen.

ps. Replace the HTML tags yourself while reading this message, dot.kde doesn't allow me to use HTML encoding for my message :/


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Are you sure you've used KDE? The first thing a new user sees is KPersonalizer which lets you choose whatever look you want for your desktop.

I strongly recommend the default which beats all desktops hands down.


By ac at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I've used KDE 1.x, 2.x and I've just switched completely to Linux with KDE 3.0, 3 weeks ago so I'm now using KDE everyday.

KPersonalizer is a nice idea, but it doesn't let the user choose a *nice* look, and by pressing Next -> Next -> Next without choosing anything (like the average user does) will give you an uber-ugly-desktop :/

Users should see the desktop and say: "Wow! That's cool! I wanna use this forever and I'll ditch Windoze!"

They'll definitly not say that with the default theme/style(s).

Also, this default theme/style is used in magazines, ads and other things, so that's another reason why it should look *good* (to attract new people)


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

But it does look good. Which looks good to you? Aqua? I think Aqua is a stupid waste of resource.


By ac at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Sorry, but IMNSHO it doesn't..

Aqua does look much better, but it's not how KDE should look (KDE should have it's own 'identity' so that people can recognize it).

Altough the dropshadows would be a good idea because they make the windows stand out instead of making everything flat so you can easier pick a window to move, close or whatever.

And what you are talking about (waste of recources) is something very different than I was talking about (redesign of theme/style/iconset to make it better looking, not extra features)

Shadows wouldn't waste that much resources btw
(if it were possible to use alpha channels with X - long live DirectFB/Berlin :)


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

XRENDER is really cool.


By odinhuntr at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Well, the problem with the XRENDER Extension is that you won't get an alpha channel.. (afaik)

For example, you cannot have 2 translucent windows, where one window is hovering over the other window, while the contents in the lower window (ie. a progressbar, or a movie, etc) are being updated (so you can see it through the upper window)
Well, you can.. but with the XRENDER extension the lower window wouldn't be updated.

That's why it's currently not possible to use dropshadows because the contents behind the shadow wouldn't be updated when nessecary (when moving a window, etc)


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I think this is precisely what XRENDER _does_. It gives you true transparency, whereas in the past all we've had is that fake, pseudo-transparency.


By Tack at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Sorry but I wasn't talking about the pseudo 'fake' transparency (stippled) and 'real' transparancy (aka alpha blending) cases.

Believe me, XRENDER does NOT allow you to have nice alpha blended ('real transparency') (drop)shadows behind your windows.
(maybe static, but that would be plain ugly when moving anything)


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Yeah, the Translucent Window Extension is what I meant.. but AFAIK that's not usable yet.. :/


By rve at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that anything that has to do with
looks is a matter of personal taste ? I have not seen any form of survey, let
alone a study that you or anyone else did that shows people choose a particular desktop system only and simply based on looks!!! For crying out loud people this is getting old. This same thing gets hashed over everytime a new version of KDE is released.

I personally like the default look and feel. I use the Slick icons because they well work better for me. Period. I can guarantee you 100% that if the default kde-look is changed to whatever you think is "uber cool", there will be as many people crying it is "butt ugly"!!! Then what ? What is the condition for passing the "uber-cool" level ? And this is exactly why the thing is configurable. You do not like it. Change it. If the use is so close minded as to not at least ask someone if this is changable, well then perhaps (s)he should stick with what they know. The default look of KDE has steadly improved and is looking more refined every release, but the day it goes for uber-colness is the day of its downfall.

Regards,
Dawit A.


By Dawit A. at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

You do not like it. Change it.

This quote only tells me that you haven't read my original post very well..

Anyway, like I've already said in another post, I think there should be some compromises between the 'ugly' and 'nice' looks (unfortunately, there is no nice look, yet) to create a new default look that appeals everyone.

That way, everyone can be happy, and we all have what we want: a perfect Desktop Environment with a default nice/ugly look :)

And it doesn't have to be 'uber-cool' ..

You guys probably think I would like to see something like the XP or Keramik style as the default look.. but I wouldn't.
Altough they look spiffy, they're not really usable for daily work.

What I personally would like to see is a look that's cleaner than the current one, designed by a (non-wannabee) artist instead of a programmer, better color combinations and better use of gradients (and not overuse).

And XP or Keramik doesn't come even close to the previous description (and windoze neither)


By rve at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Why don't you design a style and contribute it to the KDE project?


By KDE User at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Heh I knew someone was going to say that :)

That's indeed a very good idea!

I'll see what I can come up with in the next few months, and post it at kde-look.org

If people like it (at least a score of > 90%), I'll contribute it to the KDE project.
If not, I'll shut my mouth and I won't complain anymore.

Deal?


By rve at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Deal! Hooray!


By KDE User at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Normal users don't use the command line, they
want a visual environment

this is very true...for linux to push it's way onto the desktop
users should NEVER come into a situation where they HAVE to use
the command line...(that dosn't stop the rest of us from using it though!)

he'll see the most ugliest
color combinations, window theme and widgetstyle
he has ever seen.

I don't think it's quite that bad...still better than gnome in my opinion

new users (those coming from Windows) have no
idea about how to change a theme/style or other thingies

what's your point? i know a LOT of windows users who don't know
how to change windows themes and can just barely check their email?
does that mean we need to make kmail easier for windows users too?

Linux+KDE beats Windows (including XP) in 2 ways: internal and visually.

Already does!!!
i have been using Linux/KDE for 4 years and i all i can say is that it has
really come a long way in such a short period of time, and is only getting
better at exponental rates.

KDE rocks!


By Brad at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

this is very true...for linux to push it's way onto the desktop users should NEVER come into a situation where they HAVE to use the command line...(that dosn't stop the rest of us from using it though!)

Indeed, the commandline is very handy and should always be there of course :)

I don't think it's quite that bad...still better than gnome in my opinion

Yes, but this isn't about GNOME ;)
GNOME 1.x is even more ugly, dark and gloomy (IMNSHO)..

what's your point? i know a LOT of windows users who don't know how to change windows themes and can just barely check their email? does that mean we need to make kmail easier for windows users too?

Often when I say the default KDE theme/style/iconset is ugly, people tell me I can change everything myself.
But those Windows users can't and even don't want to configure everything theirselfes to make it look better.
They want to install and use it right away (remember the talk about the 'first impression' in my first post?).

KMail is something different, it's not a configuration thingie but a program for daily use and not comparible to a few settings.

Already does!!!
i have been using Linux/KDE for 4 years and i all i can say is that it has really come a long way in such a short period of time, and is only getting better at exponental rates.

I agree, it has indeed come a long way in a very short period of time and it's getting much better every year.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to install KDE 3.1 with (probably, not sure yet) default icons made by Everaldo.. it's a large step in the right direction :)


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I agree with you. I find it strange that Gart calls KDE ugly but not GNOME which is 10 times worse. This is biggest sign something is not right.


By ac at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

gnome 2 will be the worst shit ever released on this planet. a pile of shit that totally looks inconsistent. i recall that havoc pennigton dude shittalk on /. with which he slapped his own face with.

you dont belive me ?

install gnome 2 beta 4 and start some default applications that comes with it. look at the menues, different heights, look at the menu entries, look at the pixelspaces between arranged buttons etc. they simply nailed their shit on a window and let the use be happy with what they offer them. kde has a clean overviewable ui. i dont know how long it takes to nail out all these issues. the people on gnome say things like 'report a bug' 'supply patches' ... ok but as soon as something gets changed again you can supply patches and report bugs again its a neverending loop. gnome badly failed. they may have a nice new codebase but thats almost all.


By garnome at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Ugly?
Frankly it is a matter of taste: once I spent many looking for replacement of the default look, but now I let the defaults as they are.

But I installed Windows XP recently on my computer (no flame please, it is for games), the default look was UGLY, it had some kind of fisher price look-and-feel, the colors were flashy, UGLY! I was quite relieved to find that you can make it look normal..

OTOH I saw recently a laptop with MacOSX: quite beautifull really.

So I find KDE's default look quite nice.

For me the real main problem for KDE/Gnome are:
- consistency: many different toolkits..
Could everyone stop using Tk ?
Thanks. :-) Porting NEdit to Qt would be nice too: I hate Motif.

- fonts: the fonts on Unix are ugly compared to Windows fonts, and I think that even when you use Windows fonts the rendering is not so nice (or maybe I didn't select a good set of fonts).
Fidling with fonts is not very pleasant too: you find a nice looking font at 12pt and after you think it's too small: you increase its size at 14pt--> ugly you have to select another font and 14pt a font is not the same that for another font..

- performances: the desktops under Linux feel heavier than Windows GUI..


By renox at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

But I installed Windows XP recently on my computer (no flame please, it is for games), the default look was UGLY, it had some kind of fisher price look-and-feel, the colors were flashy, UGLY! I was quite relieved to find that you can make it look normal..

I agree, but it does look more professional in some way.
(but I don't like it either)

For me the real main problem for KDE/Gnome are:
- consistency: many different toolkits..
Could everyone stop using Tk ?
Thanks. :-) Porting NEdit to Qt would be nice too: I hate Motif.

Yeah, that's an even bigger problem, Motif should be moved to /dev/null :)

- performances: the desktops under Linux feel heavier than Windows GUI..

The reason why the Linux desktops feel so heavy is because X is very, very slow..

Let's hope (X)DirectFB and/or Berlin (both way faster than X) are ready for use next year (and let's hope NVIDIA will finally release those specs for their gpu's).

I'm actually really looking forward to (X)DirectFB ( http://www.directfb.org ), it even allows you to have 3D objects on your desktop (in the background, whatever you want) while staying fast, very fast.


By rve at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Are you simply bullshitting, or just repeating some untrue FUD you heard somewhere?


By Bob at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

No, I'm not bullshitting.. try moving a window and see for yourself: it's far too slow.

It's impossible to smoothly move a window in X on any computer (which IS possible in Windows, BeOS, DirectFB and OSX)

And it's definitly not bullshit.


By rve at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Are you sure you are using an accelerated xserver? Because I have never seen windows move so smoothly in Windows as I can see in X. On the other hand, KDE apps are really slow to redraw for which Qt is mainly to be blamed I guess.

BTW, KDE apps take way too much time to load. This HAS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! My favourite app is gqview - just look how fast it loads!


By mac at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Are you sure you are using an accelerated xserver? Because I have never seen windows move so smoothly in Windows as I can see in X. On the other hand, KDE apps are really slow to redraw for which Qt is mainly to be blamed I guess.

Yes, I'm using a hardware accelerated server (with a GeForce3 Ti 200)
However, I've tried it on many other different systems and it's the same on all of them, no matter how fast the system is.

And what you mean with the 'slow KDE apps' is probably what I meant with the slow X server ;)
(note: I'm not trying to bash XFree, I like it very much, it's just the slowlyness that's irritating me)

BTW, KDE apps take way too much time to load. This HAS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! My favourite app is gqview - just look how fast it loads!

That's because the standard GCC linker isn't very good for C++ programs.
It should be faster whith GCC 3.1..
(or just use the free Intel compiler + linker)


By rve at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

> If the first impression is not good, the user won't use the software and run back to Micro$oft.

To be honest: I prefer the KDE2.2.2 default style to all commercial desktops. Win 9.x/NT looks boring, while WinXP looks too childish (i hate the XP colors).

MacOSX looks beautiful, but the window decoration buttons don't show what they are good for, so novices have to try them for some time until they know how to handle them.

In contrast, KDE 2.2.x looks clean, nice, professional and is intuitive to use.

When I installed a KDE 3.0 release candidate I was really disapointed about the XP style logout and screen lock icons, which just wouldn't fit in the rest of the KDE desktop.

Stefan


By Stefan Heimers at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

>> If the first impression is not good, the user won't use the software and run back to Micro$oft.
> To be honest: I prefer the KDE2.2.2 default style to all commercial desktops.

That's my opinion as well, maybe MacOS being an exception. However KDE's default widget and window manager styles are excellent IMHO. They are not too childish, it's an excellent compromise of good look and usability which a bit "I'm used to this look" for Windows users thrown in.

I personally do not know any alternative icon set which is even close to being able to rival KDE's standard icons - and I have checked quite a few.

> When I installed a KDE 3.0 release candidate I was really disapointed about the XP style logout and
> screen lock icons, which just wouldn't fit in the rest of the KDE desktop.

Full ACK. Both of these icons do not only look somehow strange, they do not even sligtly match the style of the other icons... I wonder what the reasons where to include these...
The new sound mixer icons in another candidate - although the old icon admittedly looked a bit ugly the new one is not really better... It looks more blurred like the GNOME icons which - while many of them look really nice by itself - are IMHO not too useful as icons which I prefer to have some contrast and a clear border to the surroundings. KDE's default icons do that quite well...

Greetinx,

Gunter Ohrner


By Gunter Ohrner at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Hi! Let me start off by saying that KDE is great software! I have a lot of respect for it and admire both its internals and a lot of its visuals. I'll also make a disclaimer and say that I usually use GNOME.

Decrem basically said that he didn't like the aesthetics of KDE. He is entitled to that opinion, and no one need share it. Many people think KDE looks great as is.

Mosfet's response isn't very constructive, however. First, Mosfet made at least one (repeated) cheap shot: he kept pointing out Eazel's demise and the money it spent in the process. Frankly, Eazel's money-spending habits don't have anything to do with KDE's look. Eazel is not a valid point when discussing KDE default appearance. The fact that Nautilus was originally developed by a company (with the help of volunteers) and that Konqueror was developed mostly by volunteers also has nothing to do with KDE's look.

Secondly, Mosfet mentions the beauty of C++ over C in ease of development. This may be true, but again, what does this have to do with KDE's look? Your average end-user doesn't give a rat's butt about the programming language in which the desktop environment was written. Sad to say, but true.

Third, there are many ways to change KDE's default look, as Mosfet pointed out. Will the average end-user (a) know how to change this look or (b) ever bother to do so? Many would say that the end-user would not understand how to do this (no matter how easy it is to do so) and that even more never bother to even try. The problem is that people will take a first look at the desktop to decide whether they want to use it. They don't stop to think how easily the default appearance can be changed. Is that criterion stupid for choosing a desktop? Yes, I think so, but I also think that it is true.

So, before jumping all over Decrem, it might be a good idea to take a long careful look at KDE's default look and try to decide if it can be improved to be more aesthetically pleasing for the masses. Maybe it's great as is. Maybe it isn't. Think about Decrem's criticism before jumping all over for him.

That said, KDE is a great desktop. Keep up the good work.


By aigiskos at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Gart said that KDE was butt-ugly. That was constructive? Everything was a carefully calculated slam of KDE to sully a good name. Mosfet did the right thing by questioning Gart's motives and purposes for attacking KDE. Look and feel goes way deep in KDE and is core to what KDE 2 and above is all about. The average user just has to use KPersonalizer the first time, but there is no GNOME look yet. For 3.1 maybe there will but this will not shut up Gart.


By ac at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

You're right: "butt-ugly" was certainly not constructive. He apologized on Slashdot for saying that, by the way. My question: why would he want to slam (in a carefully calculated way, no less) KDE? Seriously, what does he have to gain by that? Hancom Office would integrate much better into KDE than into GNOME, since Hancom Office uses Qt and not GTK+. He has nothing to gain currently by slamming KDE (or by preferring GNOME's look). It sounded to me like he was just voicing his opinion, which he should have put more diplomatically (or perhaps just kept to himself entirely).

I'm not sure what you mean that there is no GNOME look yet. GNOME 1.x already has a look (some people think it's too dark and dreary; some think it's pretty). GNOME2 will look a lot like GNOME 1.x except that there will be new stock icons, greater use of the menu bar, and lots of UI clean-ups. Its UI will be by no means perfect, but it will be a "GNOME look," whatever that means. :-)

At any rate, you're right that Decrem was not being constructive. On the other hand, that fact does not mean that a constructive discussion cannot result from his statement, right?

Cheers!


By aigiskos at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

> I'm not sure what you mean that there is no GNOME look yet.

there is no GNOME look [option into kpersonalizer] yet.
For [KDE]3.1 maybe there will but this will not shut up Gart.


By GermainGarand at Wed, 2002/05/01 - 5:00am

You may want to read the paragraph starting with "Sound good, but how does this affect end users?"... And the cost and manhours it takes to develop applications definitely effects users, too.


By ac at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

> Decrem basically said that he didn't like the aesthetics of KDE.

He said it was butt ugly and he didn't like the use of the K among other things. He seemed to offer it a grudging admission that it was pretty good nonetheless. Given his high visibility his comments are fair game for further commentary and he ought to know it as should you. Also Mosfet is right that he should try to make more diplomatic statements. I mean, the letter K? Come on. That's just lame.

> Mosfet's response isn't very constructive, however. First, Mosfet made at least one (repeated) cheap shot: he kept pointing out Eazel's demise and the money it spent in the process. Frankly, Eazel's money-spending habits don't have anything to do with KDE's look.

But what about the other way around? Mosfet asks a relevent and entertaining question if if fact we are to believe what Decrem said. That is, was Eazel's money spent just because the visual aesthetics of KDE were disliked? If you actually have a historical view the Eazel team went out of their way to find unfavorable comments about KDE that positioned their product well. Look up their Linux Magazine interview. In the end they are forced to admit it's pretty good but not before the requisite digs. I always wander if people are telling the real reason when they behave that way and when they make PR announcements that sound like they are producing the first user friendly interface tools for Linux. I personally suspect part of the decision was that KDE was pretty far along with konqueror and they could come in and be heros with GNOME replacing GMC. I mean let's face it, the opportunities given the current state of software were not the same.

> Eazel is not a valid point when discussing KDE default appearance.

No but it is when discussing Bart Decrem's opinions because it looks like he's still walking around with some residual unresolved attitudes... still in the "what can we say bad about KDE" Eazel mode.

> Secondly, Mosfet mentions the beauty of C++ over C in ease of development. This may be true, but again, what does this have to do with KDE's look?

Once again perhaps you should go read up on what you are commenting on. Mosfet explained how it worked regarding impacting graphics but you must have skimmed over that part. Much of KDE's smooth and fast gradient processing and more is directly related to C++ and visuals. Further more if you have seen his Liquid scheme and read about it you would know that he replaces what is typically bitmaps in most theming engines and replaces it on the fly with efficient code he wrote in C++ that results in more even appearance and far better scalability for different reslutions.

> Your average end-user doesn't give a rat's butt about the programming language in which the desktop environment was written. Sad to say, but true.

Well are you average? By and large you may be right about computer users but at least proportionally Linux users seem to be more technically oreinted. Remember they keep telling us that it's not a mainstream desktop. Besides I know what Mosfet has done for open source (as compared to say... you) so even if I knew nothing about it I'd at least give it a read with some interest. I'd also have not missed the last question as you did. ;)

> Third, there are many ways to change KDE's default look, as Mosfet pointed out. Will the average end-user (a) know how to change this look or (b) ever bother to do so?

Well gee, I wonder? If you actually bothered to fire up KDE for the first time (and your distro left it in) you would see kpersonalizer which would allow you to set your eye candy level out of the gate. Also anyone who opens kcontrol and looks at look and feel would. So the answer is those who are curious and those who use it the first time. Besides I find it offensive someone would suggest we make a bunch of decisions for people because they lack initiative. If you were running an older system you would not be happy if KDE automatically set up all the eye candy it could and your system crawled. KDE is done visually to make it productive for new users. I think they did a good job. An example of a bad job is XMMS which opens by default for me in black with a bitmap scheme that is so small I can't read it on my 19 inch monitor with 1280x1024. I figure out how to double size it and it's hideously pixelated and still near impossible to figure out what's where. No thanks!

> So, before jumping all over Decrem, it might be a good idea to take a long careful look at KDE's default look and try to decide if it can be improved to be more aesthetically pleasing for the masses. Maybe it's great as is. Maybe it isn't.

At the risk of sounding rude that is a bit ludicrous to say as there have been a number of people working on that look (which I think is beautiful and functional) for years now. That has to beat your considerations by at least a couple man hours. There's even a web site, mailing list and group of people focused just on KDE's looks. Given the critisism of KDE for supposedly looking like other software I think it further illustrates that KDE is willing to utilize good ideas from other designers. In fact is is when you begin to use KDE and reazlize that it is highly efficient and pliable that you begin to see the real beauty

> Think about Decrem's criticism before jumping all over for him.

I think people have. It was pretty crass. It sounded to me like a dumb excuse to say he doesn't use it because he doesn't like the look since he shoudl know how to use it. I could understand his bias based on his history but it sounds like the same old thing to me... looking for some lame excuse to say it's not quite there. In the first place beauty is subjective so it's an opinion to try to avoid anyway because there is no persuading people or arguable better or worse. At least with KDE they have focused on what can be measured and what should be focused on. That is usability, even though I think it's very attractive besides.


By Eric Laffoon at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

This opinion is brought to you by the letter K and the number 3.0.0

I read both opinions. Then, I read everyone's opinions here. Bart was being a jerk, and Mosfet replied with a VERY mature and reasoned response. 3 cheers for Mosfet. Next time you're in Atlanta, I'll buy you a beer.

The technical merits have been covered quite well by people more technically adept than myself. However, I want to look at Bart's conclusion that he didn't like the letter K. I think the art on kde-look.org proves you can do some amazing things with the 11th letter of the alphabet. Besides, this seems more eye-catching than the muddy footprint of a gnome.

The letter K is no sillier than the infamous red-hat or my personal hero, Geeko (SuSE). Mandrake, Debian, and every other project in the OS that got off the ground and into code has a mascot. Its half the fun and joy of this OS. Heck, is K any sillier than E?

In conclusion, I think it is out of place for someone who writes a QT app, who runs an OS that looks like a Penguin to be that concerned with our use of the 11th letter of the alphabet.

Long live the K.

--dru

PS, the default looks great. If you don't like it, switch to liquid with the conectiva icons....it looks much prettier than most everything.


By Droobiedoobiedoo at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Unfortunately I think that aigiskos's views seem to be in the minority, but I for one tend to agree with him. Normally I don't post to these types of discussions because it tends to encourage hotheads. However, I would like to say a few things:

It doesn't matter who says what about KDE, the mature people will always listen to the criticisms made and ask if they have a point or not. This separates the bigots from the people who seriously want a good desktop.

I personally like kde to develop with, but prefer the look of gnome for reasons I have never been able to work out; my wife who is totally computer illiterate agrees.

The way to go is not to emulate windows features but to try and find the best way to work and use the applications. Too many desktops (gnome included) try to copy windows features, ignoring the fact that it may not be the best way.

I am a professional software developer, who has also desktop, UNIX and networking support experience, so I am not what you would class a "user"; but I never forget that one of the aims of desktops like KDE is to spread the use of Linux to ordinary users (like my wife) who think windows 95 is hard and would panic at seeing the Kpersonaliser (misspelt on purpose).

It would be nice to get away from the politics of gnome; I for one call Linux Linux and not GNU/Linux. If we were to give credit for all the diverse parts of Linux we would say GNU/Xfree86/KDE/Gnome/QT/.../Linux.

Basically to summarise:

Remove the politics, listen to people (however abrupt they may be) for possible criticisms and even though you may be a super brain, don't forget the users.


By John at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

I tried this experiment in my college, where I have installed a linux server in the lab (fresh install of Mandrake 8.1 standard with samba ). The people who use the computers in the lab, mostly use it as a sort of cybercafe, to casually browse the net in their spare time, apart from practicals (which are done using turboC on windows). These people mostly have never heard of linux. I left the machine on running various desktops (Gnome, KDE and Enlightenment) and observed the guys and gals who would visit to browse.

The people who accessed the machine with KDE on it immediately started exploring around. If by chance they managed to start a konqueror window, or it was running, they would immediately start using the browser, or they would take quite some time to realize that the machine was not running a version of Windows. On other desktops, the immediate reaction usually was "What the heck is this?" or "how do I get out of this?". I would have to explain that they could start galeon or netscape to browse, but still they would remain confused.

I am using KDE3.0 at home, while the one in college is 2.2.1. 3.0 is great to use, but even 2.2.1 proved intuitive enough for newbies (esp. those who thought computers would run only with windows on it). I think this speaks a lot of the userfriendliness of kde.


By Rithvik at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Hi!

Although I really like KDE and it's the only desktop environment I currently use I can't totally agree...

> I think this speaks a lot of the userfriendliness of kde.

It merely shows that KDE is the most Windows-like environment you tested. Whether this really is a good thing remains to be discussed.

I think if you repeat this experiment with people having another computer-related background you may get different results...

Greetinx,

Gunter Ohrner


By Gunter Ohrner at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

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