Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kubuntu

For Feisty, just to learn something new, I thought I'd try Kubuntu (KDE Ubuntu) instead of Ubuntu this time around.

And... and... I think I'm a believer.

For what I've done so far, the extra information KDE provides is very well thought-out, just what I need to know when I need to know it. For instance...
  • When I want to remove a USB drive or somesuch, but something is still using it, Ubuntu (like Windows, including Vista) only tells me that something is using it. Kubuntu tells me what is using it.
  • Alt-Tabbing through my open windows gives more information than just the icon of each running program - enough so that I can distinguish between my eight different command prompt windows.
  • Hovering over an icon pops up the file properties. Nice! I mean, why else would I be hovering over an icon, except that I was fumbling for the right-mouse button so I could find out more?
  • Clicking my networking icon provides all the information I need to choose at a single glance, and then one more click connects me. Also, Kubuntu seems to jump to conclusions and do the right thing for networking - when there's only one wireless network around, Kubuntu just connects me without waiting to be asked.
The downsides I've found so far...
  • I really liked Ctrl-+ to increase the font size of GNOME windows. That's important when trying to read laptop screens in adverse environments (like outside). I haven't found a KDE equivalent.
  • The built-in text editor, Kate, bungles the spaces/tabs in Python files. That's one good reason to install Komodo (free editor or the real thing) immediately.
Real gurus can discuss the relative strengths of KDE and Gnome for hours, of course, and I thank God that I've never been caught in such a debate. I'm just saying that KDE is making a really good first impression on me, and that's after years of Gnome experience.

1 comment:

Andy Todd said...

I flip flop between the two as I don't have a particular favourite.

If you want to simplify greatly, KDE has many more configuration options and therefore allows you to break it in oh so many more interesting ways. Gnome (these days at least) fits into the family of opinionated software [1] and that works well for some people.

On the editor front, just install Vim or Emacs. You aren't a serious nerd until you know at least one of them ;-)

[1] http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch04_Make_Opinionated_Software.php