Good Company

On December 9, facing the prospect of a mandatory upgrade to the controversial KDE4 if I upgraded to the latest version of Kubuntu, I asked for someone to “talk me down” from ditching KDE for GNOME:

Supposedly many of the crash bugs and other outright busted parts of KDE4 were fixed in the most recent release, KDE 4.1, which is the version that ships with [Ubuntu 8.10]. But it still feels like taking a giant leap into the dark — especially given that once you make the upgrade, there’s no way to roll back to KDE3 if you suffer upgrader’s remorse.

I got a few responses (including one from a developer of Amarok, one of my favorite pieces of Linux software), but none that offered a convincing argument as to why I should stick with KDE. So I didn’t. For the last few weeks my Ubuntu installation has been running GNOME instead.

And you know what? So far it’s worked out pretty well. There’s a few minor things I miss, but nothing particularly painful. So I don’t regret making the switch.

Today, I discovered that when it comes to being driven to GNOME by KDE4, I’m in pretty good company. Linus Torvalds told an interviewer from Computerworld that he made the same decision:

Another open source project that underwent a big change was KDE with version 4.0. They released a lot of fundamental architectural changes with 4.0 and it received some negative reviews. As a KDE user how has this impacted you?

I used to be a KDE user. I thought KDE 4.0 was such a disaster I switched to GNOME. I hate the fact that my right button doesn’t do what I want it to do. But the whole “break everything” model is painful for users and they can choose to use something else.

I realise the reason for the 4.0 release, but I think they did it badly. They did so may changes it was a half-baked release. It may turn out to be the right decision in the end and I will re-try KDE, but I suspect I’m not the only person they lost.

You suspect right.



January 25, 2009
11:01 pm

That’s funny. I just switched to ArchLinux+KDE4 from Ubuntu+Gnome and am loving it. I suspect its more because my ArchLinxu install is really slim. I boot up in 1/2 to 1/3 the time that Ubuntu used to take and the overall experience is a lot snappier and responsive. That’s on the same hardware!
I am liking the KDE App menu and dock/panels thing but I’m not actually running a lot of KDE apps (email, pim, etc).
I might give Gnome or maybe XFCE another try, as I find myself still running Firefox and Pidgin. I tried Kopete but its nowhere near as good as Pidgin.