Back to KDE and forward to 4.1

I have been using Gnome at home and KDE at work for the last two months, both with the latest version of Ubuntu. I have decided to go back to KDE for several reasons. By the way, I was able to remove Gnome and install KDE without even rebooting. =)

  • The default torrent client in KDE is much more advanced than transmission.
  • The system settings in Gnome are spread out on a menu rather than all in one dialog like KDE.
  • Integration seems to be better in KDE. For example, using sftp or ftp works by default in most KDE applications and file managers.
  • Kontact
  • Quanta is much better than bluefish in my opinion.

But I still can't live without GNU cash, =)

Of course, this is all meaningless. If you use Linux, you do not have to choose. You can have both KDE and Gnome installed on your box and choose which one you want to use every time you login. You can install KDE applications in Gnome and Gnome applications in KDE. Because of the libraries required, your installation size will be much bigger. This was a problem back in the day when disk space was expensive, but not today.

I am absolutely thrilled with Linux because I am a technology enthusiast, I love to tinker with thinks including my operating system and because Linux is about openness. Linux and Ubuntu are about open source, open standards, choice and community.

Many people I know believe I hate Microsoft. I don't hate Microsoft. Microsoft has released some very great products and, in the past, has been very innovative and progressive. They make a fairly stable and feature-full mobile operating system and are real players in the car market.

I dislike closed standards. Specifically, I dislike it when any company locks your data into their proprietary format. I dislike it when any company leverages their market share and forces consumers into anything, especially for a profit. And Microsoft is notorious for this.

Do you want to edit the file your friend sent you, foo.docx? You will need to purchase the new version of Office. Do you want to purchase a computer with Windows XP on it? Soon, this will not be an option. It's too bad because Microsoft has done some innovative things in the past. They have lost their way as shown with Vista and their plans for a subscription based, "cloud computing" model that may be Windows 7, due out next year already. It's not enough to lock your data into a proprietary format, now it will be locked into their systems and accessible for a monthly fee.

So if I choose, I can use KDE or Gnome or enlightenment or xfce. I can have them all installed and switch between them at will.

In fact I just installed KDE 4.1 and I like it quite a bit. It is lacking in some very basic things, like screen savers, extracting files using a right click and some other issues, but the interface is so polished, it is unreal. And I have three widgets that won't be leaving my desktop any time soon.

I will write more about KDE 4.1 soon, but I am very impressed. I switched back to KDE 3.5 and found the interface unappealing. It's similar to going from DVD to VHS.