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KDE Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Ask Slashdot: Is KDE Dying? 515

A long-time loyal KDE user "always felt that it was the more complete and integrated of the many Linux desktop environments...thus having the most potential to win over new Linux converts." And while still using KDE exclusively without any major functional issues, now Slashdot reader fwells shares concerns about the future of desktop development, along with a personal opinion -- that KDE is becoming stale and stagnant: KDE-Look.org, once a fairly vibrant and active contributory site, has become a virtual ghost town... Various core KDE components and features are quite broken and have been so for some time... KDEPIM/KMail frankly seems targeted specifically at the poweruser, maintaining over many years its rather plain and arguably retro interface. The Konqueror web browser has been a virtual carcass for several years, yet it mysteriously remains an integral component...

So, back to my opening question... Is KDE Dying? Has innovation and development evaporated in a development world dominated by the mobile device? And, if so, can it be reinvigorated? Will the pendulum ever swing back? Can it? Should it?

The original submission has some additional thoughts on Windows 10 and desktop development -- but also specific complaints about KDE's Recent Items/Application Launcher History and the KDE theming engine (which "seems disjointed and rather non-intuitive".) The argument seems to be that KDE lacks curb appeal to fulfill that form-over-function preference of the larger community of users, so instead it's really retaining the practical appeal of "my 12 year old Chevy truck, feature rich for its time... Solid and reliable, but definitely starting to fade and certainly lacking some modern creature comforts."

So leave your own thoughts in the comments. Does desktop development need to be reinvigorated in a world focused on mobile devices -- and if so, what is its future? And is KDE slowly dying?
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Ask Slashdot: Is KDE Dying?

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  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @11:38PM (#52741041)

    Perhaps the users have spoken and most prefer the Gnome2/MATE/Cinnamon style interface. The rest of us are on Awesome, Xfce or something else.

    • Fits all my and family's needs. Most of my GUI apps are GTK but QT ones fit in fine.

    • by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @03:56AM (#52741785) Homepage

      The 'people' didn't choose Gnome, much in the same way the 'people' haven't chosen systemd. The distribution packagers chose to make Gnome their default and the 'people' once presented with a choice tend to stick to that choice.

      Until the last 5-10 years there were only a couple of distro's that really took the effort to showcase KDE, mostly Mandrake and SuSE.

      The sad thing was Gnome was never up to KDE's maturity and cohesion. It was launched and chosen as the default because of baseless fears over the licensing of Qt back in the 90's, not technical ability.

    • I used to be a big fan of KDE, It was my first desktop environment back in the 90's and I used to follow their blogs, and even made a few contributions. I marveled at their frameworks and clean code. As the years went by, KDE developers improved the code more and more. Every iteration of the desktop had better and better frameworks, and that is all it had. Usability seemed to be an after thought for most KDE developers. They added features that while impressive, were ultimately not particularly usefu

  • It better not be. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @11:38PM (#52741047)

    KDE is the Gold standard in Linux Desktops. It has the most utilitarian behavior of all of the existing Linux desktops.

    • Re:It better not be. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn&earthlink,net> on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:40AM (#52741257)

      KDE3 was the gold standard for my use. KDE4 never seemed as "solid". I preferred Gnome2. When I saw KDE5 on Ubuntu I immediately reinstalled Debian.

      XFCE is pretty good, so is LXDE. The last time I tried Mate I wasn't really impressed, but that's 6 months ago. Cinnamon seemed to have caught some sort of disease from Gnome3 when dealing with panels. Trinity doesn't seems to work well with the current series of applications.

      But currently what I use is KDE4. I like it, it's just never felt as solid as KDE3 did....but I preferred Gnome2 to KDE4, so I'm not sure why Mate hasn't felt like a reasonable choice.

      • I feel like Mate (or Gnome 2 in things like RHEL 6 and Open Solaris variants) is very susceptible to a theme or icons being slightly off. It can look crappy, or slightly like crap.
        Mint exists as a whole distro to provide a theme for Mate and its GTK siblings :), even there there's a tiny little bit of variation available by default and that's all. You may slightly tweak the font rendering or hide a few desktop icons etc. rather than messing too much with the themes. If you thought Ubuntu 8.04 or Debian lenn

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        When I saw KDE5 on Ubuntu I immediately reinstalled Debian.

        Uproariously silly non sequitur. You can run basically ANY of the DEs and WMs on ANY distro. There are these convenient things you may have heard of called packages and meta-packages.

      • Re:It better not be. (Score:4, Informative)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday August 21, 2016 @06:09AM (#52742123) Homepage Journal

        KDE3 was the gold standard for my use. KDE4 never seemed as "solid". I preferred Gnome2. When I saw KDE5 on Ubuntu I immediately reinstalled Debian.

        XFCE is pretty good, so is LXDE.

        xubuntu. lubuntu.

        But currently what I use is KDE4.

        kubuntu.

        Not that I really give a crap, but there was no need to install debian. You could have just installed a different -desktop package.

        • Re:It better not be. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SLi ( 132609 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:36PM (#52743217)

          Have you tried KDE on Ubuntu? It's in such a sorry state that I consider it a wonder if it starts at all. Even trivially fixable bugs that make a package unusable for everybody go unheeded for the best part of a decade, which is presumably because Ubuntu is not run by that many people. That has been the Ubuntu way as long as I remember, but their KDE support has only gone from bad to nonexistent.

          I installed (K)Ubuntu at work, and regret it. At home I run Debian unstable, which mostly just works, but breaks in all kinds of interesting ways once every two years or so. I cannot afford that at work, so I thought I'd give the hyped Ubuntu with its rolling releases a try. (Before you tell me I should try Debian stable, consider that Debian doesn't generally fix /any/ bugs for a stable release, no matter how broken they make the package, unless it's a security issue. And that's a feature. Debian testing is a lot like unstable, but with the added downside that fixes are delayed by a random time after they get to unstable.)

          For Ubuntu, presumably they will eventually get any KDE fixes from Debian, but for issues which for some reason happen to be present in Ubuntu but not in Debian, you are out of luck. Moreover, the KDE packages in Ubuntu seem to be essentially an entirely randomly timed snapshot of Debian unstable KDE packages. If KDE was entirely broken in Debian unstable at that point, then it will be in Ubuntu. Nobody cares.

  • I'm not sure how active desktop development needs to be for a single *nix desktop environment. I am a big KDE user myself, and I'm happy with where it is. Sure, some of the applications from the KDE team have been neglected quite a but but they're not fully broken either. KDE runs GNOME stuff quite well when there are GNOME applications that I just can't get by without.

    That and of course I still do a huge part of my most important work from the command line. That won't change any time soon, so as far as that is concerned it matters not at all whether or not any additional new features are ever incorporated into the environment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JoeMerchant ( 803320 )

      I don't know that maintaining a web browser in the face of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera and the rest makes any sense?

      Also, a standalone mail client? I haven't used one of those in nearly 5 years now. So, do I care that it hasn't updated? Do its users want it to become more like Outlook? I think probably not.

      My gripe with KDE the last time I tried to use it was lack of font scaling support for 4K screens... I assume that KDE5 is addressing that, but how well? Next time I set up a desktop I might try it,

      • I don't know that maintaining a web browser in the face of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera and the rest makes any sense?

        I can tell you from experience that Konqueror is a browser with a vastly smaller footprint than Chrome or Firefox. There are times when this can make a really big difference, particularly if you are in a situation where you need to X-forward a browser session over the internet; Chrome and Firefox might be particularly painful while Konqueror could be usable.

        Opera I haven't used in a long time, and the last time I tried to use it I found it quite broken in *nix. Maybe it's better now? As for Edge, I'm not aware of a system upon which you could have both KDE and Edge. If you know of such a beast, feel free to enlighten me.

        Also, a standalone mail client? I haven't used one of those in nearly 5 years now. So, do I care that it hasn't updated? Do its users want it to become more like Outlook? I think probably not.

        There is still demand for a standalone mail client, though I can't say I've used KMail much. I use Thunderbird religiously. I most certainly do not want it to look any more like Outlook, in fact I value how much it looks like the old Netscape Communicator.

        My gripe with KDE the last time I tried to use it was lack of font scaling support for 4K screens.

        Holy first world problems, batman. If I ever find myself with that much disposable income ...

        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          I wouldn't know what to do without a decent mail client like Thunderbird that keeps a local copy and thus allows offline reading and answering.
          Access to mail via the web invariably misses options.
          As a long time KDE user I'd love to use Kmail, it is solid and like most thing KDE it has a pleasant interface.
          But there's just this one issue that doesn't get fixed, I want to specify per sender who's allowed to display html and or pictures, Kmail can only handle it as a global switch, all or none.

          The fact T
      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        A standalone mail client is absolutely essential. I looked at Kmail, but it was laughably incomplete. Thunderbird and Claws Mail fill my needs OK.

        A mail client has to be configurable with an arbitrary number of separate email accounts - not separate users; separate accounts. A unified inbox is a very nice feature, but not absolutely essential. It needs to have very rapid searching on metadata such as "to", "from", "subject", etc. It must not bog down with many tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of r

    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Precisely. Lack of activity can mean death or maturity.

      I use KDE because I can make it behave exactly the way I want (with about three exceptions that aren't outright bugs), it doesn't try to hold my hand longer than I want, doesn't talk down to me, and doesn't deliberately try to be oversimplified or minimal or trendy.

    • I'm not sure how active desktop development needs to be for a single *nix desktop environment.

      Back in the day, it was the difference between useful and soon to be useless, but these days not very.

      It's also not really that vital that all the applications I use are the ones provided by my desktop environment. So Konqueror hasn't really kept up? Big deal, I mostly use a mix of Firefox and Chromium anyway. KMail old and ugly? Doesn't matter, I never use an email client these days. And if I did, it would likely be Thunderbird anyway.

      So all I truly need from a desktop environment is that it looks and beha

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @11:50PM (#52741081)

    As long as you remember it.

    • by swalve ( 1980968 )
      It was a hell of a thing when Spock died.
      • Psssh. He was never really dead. You knew there'd be another movie bringing him back somehow.

      • Im glad at least one person got the Seinfeld tie-in!

  • by Skewray ( 896393 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @11:55PM (#52741097) Homepage
    I never got over the KDE3 to KDE4 transition, and switched to something else. I think KDE4 was too complex to survive long-term.
    • Good thing they're working on KDE5, then.

    • I just posted basically the same thing below. I think that's where it started dying.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, it didn't survive.

      KDE4 sucked. It sucked so hard and the developers wouldn't admit to it. They first blamed the distributions for shipping 4.0, which was supposed to be "Beta quality," except that there were a whole 2 years of 3.9-BETAs and 4.0 had a big release party from KDE themselves when it went gold. It was a bullshit excuse. Then they kept saying "4.2 will have feature parity with KDE3", followed by "4.3" then "4.4" etc...

      Finally, when KDE4 was still a pile of shit 2 years after release, they sta

    • by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 ) <`moc.eticxe' `ta' `ggef'> on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:21AM (#52741195)

      The KDE transition sure seemed to coincide with developers losing interest. Sure there's Krita [wikipedia.org], and Konqueror makes for a pretty good file explorer, but in the list [wikipedia.org] of apps made for KDE, there's nothing that's, you know, killer. Instead, most K apps that don't look derelict look more like demos, half-baked to show off a feature of the toolkit-under-development rather than something you'd actually have confidence to rely on for the foreseeable future.

      This is disappointing. I've used it for years in the 2.0-3.0 days and always felt that KDE had the edge over GNOME. But for one reason or another, the apps aren't there, so a K desktop is basically a K window manager + file explorer, on which you run GTK apps and LibreOffice (i.e., another GTK app), even though the K team posts one announcement [kde.org] after another [kde.org] how KDE's underpinnings are cutting-edge.

  • We're All Dying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm ( 1072588 ) <thecosm3@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday August 20, 2016 @11:55PM (#52741101)
    Face it. We are dying off. The contributors. The hackers (in the 70's sense of the word). KDE is a thing of the prior decades. Sit down and ask yourself: How many people under 30 know what KDE is? Is it a higher or lower percentage than last decade? The decade prior?

    Smart phones got better. Distractions got more distracting. The canonical hacker breed is dying. You feel it. We all feel it.

    Where's that fucking apps appidy app guy when you need him. He's got it right you know. The borg-like proliferation of technology has reached the point such that there is no wonder to the up and coming generations in terms of "how can I make this better", moreover it's become "how can I get moar"

    Is this new? No. Bread and circuses have existed for decades. But the rate of new bread and new circuses is unprecedented. Enjoy tomorrowland. It will be fucking lame and owned by Pepsi and Microsoft.
    • not true, their are good desktops that have taken over from the archaic relics of the past decades (GNOME, KDE).

      MATE and CINNAMON is where it's at. XFCE4 is quite good too

      • And there's pcmanfm-qt 0.10, which I found out is in the Ubuntu 16.04 repos.
        wow! This thing is fast. Just a file manager. Worth a try even if you're running a GTK 2 / GTK 3 desktop, actually it's a bit better since you will not mistake it for your main file manager.

      • by donaldm ( 919619 )

        not true, their are good desktops that have taken over from the archaic relics of the past decades (GNOME, KDE).

        MATE and CINNAMON is where it's at. XFCE4 is quite good too

        You do know that Xfce and KDE [wikipedia.org] were first started in 1996 and Gnome [wikipedia.org] released in 1999. So saying that KDE and Gnome are relics compared to Xfce is totally wrong. Basically as far as computing goes all Desktops and/or Session Mangers either stagnate or evolve and most including KDE have evolved. Of course, personal preferences are at play here.

        In case you are wondering MATE [wikipedia.org] and CINNAMON [wikipedia.org] are both spinoffs of Gnome.

        As for which desktop is better, personally I like KDE plasma and I have used pretty

        • Re:We're All Dying (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 21, 2016 @04:16AM (#52741831)

          I went Windows 98->RH w/GNOME 1 (for about 3 days)->RH w/Afterstep->RH or Gentoo w/WindowMaker (for about 10 years)->Gentoo w/KDE (~6 months?)->Windows 7->OS X (ongoing).

          One day I just got annoyed with poor integration in WindowMaker and decided to try KDE, purely for decent drag & drop between apps. Found a few other apps which were better integrated, like Amarok. Strangely, it was frustration with Amarok which eventually made me try Win7.

          Over the WindowMaker period I tried many variations of GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Enlightenment and many others I've simply forgotten. Never for serious work (WindowMaker filled that niche the best), just to see how they were doing. Never been impressed with GNOME - it feels like an unrelated grab bag of apps with some common skin elements, configuration and integration is extremely inconsistent, the DE itself is the same. Xfce feels like an beta-release of a pimped TWM, featuring annoying UI/font scaling errors and occasional code bugs, with the bare features of WindowMaker but none of the polish. E was nice to look at but lacked functionality, especially during the 12-year release hole. KDE was the only contender and it was basically Windows XP with double-bevelled buttons and slightly buggy IPC.

          In the end I realised I was spending more time getting KDE to work properly than using it (Amarok at the time, but there were a collection of annoyances) that it was just easier to buy and use Windows. I still had Linux servers and Xmingw worked on Windows, so why not?

          What I'd like to know is why all those big open-source projects which everyone in the early 2000s thought would be Windows-killers "real soon now", turned out to be utter UI and usability train wrecks - GNOME, KDE and Firefox would be the best examples. In each project there seems to be a turning point where the devs went from heavily-engaged in the community to preaching their own virtues from ivory towers, releasing unusable crap or just pissing people off. Around the same time, myself and (it seems) many others decided that it was all too much pain and went elsewhere.

          What happened there? Why?

          • Your path is pretty close to mine. Here's me:

            I went Windows 95->Windows 98->Slackware w/Elightenment (2 years)->Gentoo w/KDE (8 years)->OS X (ongoing)

            (Note: many of the years with Slackware/Gentoo I also dual-booted some version of windows for games)

            KDE3 was seriously great. I was a Qt programmer at the time... and it felt *powerful*. I could string together new apps in no time... or customize something to be just the way I wanted it.

            These days I make my money doing massively parallel scienti

          • by DogDude ( 805747 )
            Because humans work in groups in certain ways, and the open source organizational structure generally doesn't work. It's the same reason people tend to paid up in couples, and organizations of people that work well tend to have strict hierarchies. It's basic sociology, and the open source high priestesses believe that they're somehow more special than most people and the human organizational paradigms don't apply to them. They were (and still are) wrong.
    • Re:We're All Dying (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:10AM (#52741147) Homepage
      The "hacker" crowd is most definitely not dying, it's simply facing demographic changes. We used to be everything there was when it came to computers, both users and contributors. Now, there are billions of end users who don't give a toss about how it works so long as it does. We're no longer the majority, or even a dominant force.

      However, that does not mean that the crowd is shrinking. Proportionally, it might be, but in absolute terms it's far more likely to be growing and to keep growing as more and more people have access to a computer from a young age, therefore exposing them to technology and allowing them to choose this path if they feel an affinity with it. Things are definitely changing, but don't go tombstone shopping just yet.
      • by cosm ( 1072588 )

        Now, there are billions of end users who don't give a toss about how it works so long as it does. We're no longer the majority, or even a dominant force

        My point reiterated.

    • Re:We're All Dying (Score:5, Insightful)

      by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:42AM (#52741267)

      I think it's more that hobby contributors have been replaced by corporate paid, "my way or the highway" contributors. That has had both positive and negative effects but, to me, the most noticeable effect is that projects have formed agendas that in *no way* reflect the actual users of those projects. You see it happening in almost all the big projects now. Users hate Gnome 3? Too fucking bad. Users hate KDE4? Too fucking bad. Users hate the loss of functionality in Wayland? Too fucking bad. Systemd has consumed the userland? Tough shit.

      Maybe it's just the changing of the old guard to the new guard but, frankly, I have no desire to live in the world that the new guard is creating. They aren't improving things, they are taking a page out of the Microsoft playbook and trying to co-opt them for personal or corporate gain.

    • I represent someone in that demographic from a small engineering school. Among my admittedly non-mainstream group of friends I'd guess at least half know what KDE is. I'm not sure how many actually use it vs. GNOME, but it's common for them to have a Linux or Mac laptop. Laptops have become work devices -- they're what you take to project and study groups. *nix works great for that, and easy to get everyone using the same software (within a college student's budget, no less). I'm sure other places are diffe

  • For me, KDE was too feature rich with more sizzle than steak. I gave it up when KDE 3 was launched and moved to Icewm, then to LXDE, and now using LXQT.

  • FOSS developers are free to do what they like. I was quite happy with KDE3, although it was getting a bit outdated. However starting with KDE4 it seemed like too much attention was being given to gimmicks and core functionality and stability were suffering. I tried to go back a few times but never could. IMO that was the beginning of the end. I've run most of the major desktop environments on linux, and many of the minor ones, and for workstation use I'm currently happy with i3. On laptops Gnome is fine or Unity is acceptable. I'm not a teenager/20-something who cares about customizing everything on every computer anymore. I just want something stable and that works consistently across releases.
    • I definitely mark the beginning of their decline as their transition away from KDE3. Several excellent, mature apps were either effectively killed (i.e. Konqueror) or neutered (i.e. Amarok). Lots of customizability (arguably KDE's key feature) disappeared, and for a long time, lots of core functionality was broken. This wouldn't have been as much of a problem had certain distros not decided to jump to KDE4 way too early in its life cycle leading to bad experiences for both new and existing users. I don'

  • Subject (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:11AM (#52741153)

    Honestly, yes. KDE was the first desktop environment I tried when I started dabbling around in Linux back in the late 90's. I continued to use KDE for several years into the 3.0 series because compared to Gnome it just felt more polished and capable. As a matter of fact I remember at some point one of the big Linux groups (may have been a branch of Red Hat) announced that they'd be adopting Gnome as their "official" platform and I immediately though "Well, that's the end of Linux as a desktop option, because Gnome sucks.".

    Somewhere along the way though KDE did indeed stagnate, and Gnome and even XFCE started to feel just a little more put together. Eventually Gnome went a little off the rails too but thankfully Mint forked off Cinnamon and it is wonderful IMHO (though I did successfully use XFCE for a bit while Cinnamon was still stabilizing). I still will download and boot into some of the other DE's like KDE every now and then, but none of them feel right. Cinnamon on the other hand has manged to keep pace with technology and looks like not trying to upend the entire UI paradigm.

    Unless it changes drastically though, I no longer have any interest in KDE - and my interest in Gnome is limited only to backporting the useful bits into Cinnamon.

  • A view from a user (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frank Burly ( 4247955 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:25AM (#52741217)
    I no longer follow Aaron Siego's blog or planetkde very closely, but KDE seems to be improving and remains the least annoying DE for me. However, the curb appeal is an issue and Konqueror does indeed seem dead and I don't think there are enough developers who want it working to revive it. I think most of the problems are from the heavy redevelopment for Plasma 5+ combined with the lack of a major distro to underwrite it. We see Gnome flailing around and paying developers to do the things users hate, and a small contingent of hobbiests and grantees keeping Mate going. KDE is trying to push things forward with a similarly small developer base. I don't think there are many users who want to return to KDE 3.5 (as good as it was). Kontact/Kmail is retro looking, but only marginally compared to the Evolution screenshots I just looked at. The problem with Kmail is the backend, Akonadi, which frequently misbehaves and offers no practical advantage (except to developers, who could access the unified backend if they were working on PIM programs, which they aren't.)
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:27AM (#52741223)

    One of the problems with anything desktop-related is the fact that it's all getting drowned out by people beating the phone-and-tablet drum. Developers are cargo-culting the mobile design paradigm, even on applications that are aimed at desktop users. I do systems integration work with a focus on end user computing, so I see lots of user-facing software from many vendors. I swear that the big offshore code shops have all just started using the same "touch-first" AngularJS user interface framework and swap in company logos when they build a new web front end for something.

    I'm a big desktop fan - and a big terminal/command line fan. People laugh at me for using Midnight Commander for file operations on my various computers...but it's way faster than navigating a GUI or the command line if you know what you're doing! The problem is that the desktop and even the laptop form factor isn't the default anymore for most people. They've become almost a niche now, even in businesses. Most people want the Surface-style convertible tablets now where I work, and I've still got my boring ThinkPad collection.

    I'm also a cross-platform kind of guy, but I find myself on Windows machines most of the time. Microsoft actually did the right thing with Windows 10, walking back some of the 8.x "touch-only, tablet-only" craziness. It's not Windows 7, but in my mind it's a good compromise between the two worlds. If most people are mashing the screens on their Surface, you can't get away with Windows 7-sized user interface elements. I wish they'd let people theme Windows 10, but that's a different story. On the Linux side, I do wonder if having several choices for desktop environments, all with extremely different ecosystems, is the right thing. It's nice to have a million ways to do things, but Apple was able to do a decent UI on top of UNIX that hides everything UNIXy about MacOS until the user gets down into the details. The fragmentation of the Linux desktop is one of the things slowing adoption. Some of the more modern Linux desktop environments have gotten more love recently, and are a better choice for the new user. But, just like CDE on the old UNIX platforms, I'm sure KDE will be kicking around for ages. Just like me and my Midnight Commander...

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @01:23AM (#52741379)

      A lot of tech people tend to forget that for most people, a computer is not an end unto itself. It's just another tool for getting their real work done. Why "advocate" a desktop if people can get their work done on a tablet or phone? A desktop system has a lot of complexity that, for most people, probably tends to get in the way of actually getting their work done as much as it helps them. I say, just use the simplest tool fit for the job, nothing more.

      People laugh at me for using Midnight Commander for file operations on my various computers...but it's way faster than navigating a GUI or the command line if you know what you're doing!

      I'd argue that very few people's productivity is measured in how efficient their file operations are. It's sort of like believing you're going to be vastly more efficient as a programmer if you memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts or type 60wpm instead of 30. Unlike the movies [hackertyper.com], programming isn't about how fast you type.

      If it works for you, fantastic. But don't kid yourself... you use it because it's what you know and you're comfortable with it. People hate change, because change forces cognitive dissonance, meaning you have to focus more on the task rather than the work you're trying to get done until the new system is committed to muscle memory. That means many people hate change even if it's change for the better, let alone if it's just change for change's sake.

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        I say, just use the simplest tool fit for the job, nothing more.

        So give them a pencil and a pad of paper, right? Simpler is not always better. Even for someone who hunts and pecks, a keyboard with properly designed local software is a lot more productive for most people than laggy, underpowered touchscreen devices coupled with badly designed SaaS interfaces.

        If it works for you, fantastic. But don't kid yourself... you use it because it's what you know and you're comfortable with it. People hate change, because change forces cognitive dissonance, meaning you have to focus more on the task rather than the work you're trying to get done until the new system is committed to muscle memory. That means many people hate change even if it's change for the better, let alone if it's just change for change's sake.

        That's just it. The foisting of mobile interfaces on everyone is a case of change for change's sake. This is an appeal to novelty. Newer isn't always better. Changing a long held process better come with some ser

        • So give them a pencil and a pad of paper, right? Simpler is not always better. Even for someone who hunts and pecks, a keyboard with properly designed local software is a lot more productive for most people than laggy, underpowered touchscreen devices coupled with badly designed SaaS interfaces.

          Not at all. "The simplest tool fit for the job." If that's a desktop, fine. But not all work is that complex, or requires what are literally the equivalent of yesteryear's supercomputers sitting on a desk. Maybe some people need a laptop, since they're on the go. Or maybe even just a tablet with detachable keyboard, if all they really need is a browser to run some lightweight web apps.

          My point is that we as techies really shouldn't be so attached to a particular form factor that not everyone requires.

  • KDEPIM/KMail frankly seems targeted specifically at the poweruser, maintaining over many years its rather plain and arguably retro interface.

    If 'power user' in this case means 'not technical but very proficient at using the computer', then there is no problem here. The last thing linux (or anything really) needs is yet another one of those stupid hipster interfaces with oversized widgets, wasted whitespace, reduced functionality, and 'cloud integration' user-hostility disguised as we-care-about-you plastered all over it.

    • Linux needs a stupid hipster interface. What it doesn't need is to eliminate all of the smart non-hipster interfaces. KDE is not meant for that crowd, and we need that diversity of purpose.

  • by Chris ( 4631445 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @12:46AM (#52741285)

    The only advancement to any desktop environment which seems to really exist compared to KDE 3.x is search. I'm seriously thinking of returning to KDE 3 and putting my money into helping the developers of the Trinity Desktop Environment (KDE 3.x) resurrect it. It needs some work to bring it up to speed, and more so properly maintain it, but it seems to have the most potential of all the desktop environments. I thought it was dead, but I'm no longer convinced of that. Mainly because it's not an impossibility, but it does need a financial backer with sufficient assets to make it happen.

  • Post Bait. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ElectricPrism ( 4235775 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @01:13AM (#52741347)
    This article is post bait. 1. Lure passionate people into highly upsetting or controversial hypothetical statement. 2. Popcorn 3. Watch the war break out between the factions 4. Profit SEO comments and data 5. Popularity++ KDE is not dying. On GamingOnLinux statistics KDE is the #1 used Desktop Environment https://www.gamingonlinux.com/... [gamingonlinux.com] Is the author blind? Perhaps specific tools and websites that were once cutting edge have gone stale, but seriously - Konqueror? You mean that thing that was replaced by Dolphin? Someone should tell the author there's a reason why X Y and Z tools have not been renovated - usually because there are better options available.
    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      Nails are rarely hit so squarely on the head. Slashdot is like buzzfeed for nerds these days.
  • And the ideal of "break everything, we have a new idea!" rose.

    Plasma took it further down that road.

    Plasma5 dug the grave

  • It never lived.
    It was ridiculously bloated and psychedelically confused from the absolute beginning, and it still is.
    They had a small windows of opportunity when Gnome was abusing its users in a most foul way, "starting all over again" and basically delivering a window interface lacking even the most basic functionality for a fairly long time. But that time has gone.

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Sunday August 21, 2016 @01:56AM (#52741493) Journal

    Despite the industries' desire to convince us that change for change sake is a good thing, if it isn't broke don't fix it, and don't screw with things just to add a new paint job. That kind of thinking gets us a 'new' version of windows that is just a Botox job and contains no real functionality. That kind of thinking gets us an all 'new' car model or a brand 'new' iPhone model every year despite the fact that there is really nothing new to add, just a newer model with a minimally incremental H/W upgrade. I think you might be confusing stale with stable and dependable. Should you really care that your desktop manager isn't exciting ?
    I could never understand the drive to upgrade to the latest and questionably greatest bleeding edge technology. Stay a year or two behind the bleeding edge and don't get cut, or pay the top dollar for something that really does very little more for you. You should only upgrade when there is a clear and definitive reason to do so, when you can't perform a task that you need to do. Does an extra second or two really justify the expenditure of so much resources ? Money, and time to learn a new interface, not to mention wasted resources and increased trash ?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since my transition from windows to linux 4 years ago I've been through a few environments with the following issues:

    * Ubuntu 14/Unity - Fast and not very buggy, but the interface is just - NO. Give me my taskbar, systray and start menu on the bottom. It works fine on a desktop.
    * Ubuntu 14/Cinnamon - Interface is OK, but I can't see my battery status and it doesn't warn me for low battery. Biggest problem with Cinnamon is that it's extremely slow - takes 20-90% cpu constantly. It's been the same on another

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @02:15AM (#52741537) Homepage

    I have preferred GTK applications mainly because they seem more structured from a user's standpoint. My preferred desktop experience is with Cinnamon.

    KDE seemed to have a lot of configuration, but many apps that were written for KDE, all look strikingly dissimilar from one another. It's not that they weren't "clean" because "clean" really means that we are removing useful functionality for the sake of over zealous artistic motivations or when people are too lazy to maintain the code under the buttons, but the applications lacked uniformity.

    I am sure that a lot of people really worked hard on it. It helped move the Linux desktop forward--especially in the late 1990s.

    There were questions as to whether or not it was really open, or perhaps Gnome wouldn't have been created.

    I wonder of the implications of a KDE failure, when a good number of applications use its toolkit.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @02:40AM (#52741597) Journal

    It has too many colors and skumorphism with 3d icons showing what the computer can do with even file menus!! eww like soo last decade.

    I want a cell phone interface. It needs to be like 1990 to be more modern with no multitasking and complete flat with low colors and blinding white in the background. Man, we just want to consume content and nothing elzse. These things like options are for old people. Why can't there be decisions made for us with humburger menus like our phones to emulate 5 inch screens.

    Man unhip and these things called desktops are so old school for old people who think you need to write scripts and thing and stuff. Guess they haven't discovered the app store to solve every problem

  • Why is lack of development necessarily a problem? Lots of very useful programs have seen little development recently because they already do well what they are supposed to do. In the case of user interfaces, it is far from clear to me that development represents progress. Personally, as someone who makes heavy use of the command-line and has zero interest in copying MS Windows, I was quite happy with the window managers of a decade ago and currently have to spend time setting up a new machine to configure G
    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      Lack of development is a problem when the underlying DE is changed (for good reasons) but development of the applications is not keeping up and they are no longer available on the new platform.
      Examples, the KIPI plugins, a couple of nice Plasma Widgets like Quick Access, weather, localize calender etc.
  • KDE is still my preferred Linux desktop. It does what I need and I find its features make my workflow more efficient. I still find valid users for lighter weight desktops, but day to day its KDE for me.

  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @03:43AM (#52741747) Homepage

    Once again, I think we can turn to Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org]: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." :)

    Haven't used KDE since the V4 release myself, but I still tend to suspect that Betteridge probably applies here.

  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @07:52AM (#52742347) Homepage Journal

    Who the hell has "gleefully adopted" Windows 10 apart from MS fanbois? It's so appalling I'm literally thinking of quitting .NET development rather than eventually being forced to use it.

    And no, its UI isn't even good. It's shitty monochrome icons and minimalistic 2d bullshit. Windows 7 and Mint Cinnamon look a lot nicer.

    • In the original submission the author says Windows 10 is finally a good UI. If he thinks that I don't really KDE to ever become a good UI :).
      Anyway, KDE 5 has gone to some extent in the direction of Win 10 so I'm not sure why he doesn't like it.
      Maybe I'm too old but I just can't understand why people think flat, with few colors, touch-oriented UIs are good for a desktop
  • by AntEater ( 16627 ) on Sunday August 21, 2016 @04:18PM (#52744035) Homepage

    I've been using Linux since '94 and I've used nearly every major desktop environment at some point along the way. In my experience, the biggest problem KDE has isn't features. KDE is everything I actually want in a desktop (other than using minimal resources like traditional window manager fluxbox). The problem is that the environment is buggy and/or unstable. Every once in a while, I will try to use KDE as my desktop and I will only last a few months before going back to Mate/gnome2, XFCE or something like icewm. The list of odd behaviors would be too long to post here but I've had endless problems with Kopete, Kmail, Korg, Konq (browser) and many others. In comparison, I can leave up a gtk based desktop for weeks to months at a time without thinking about it with a similar compliment of apps (Pidgin, Tbird, FF, etc.) and rarely run into any weirdness.

    They have the features, they just need to really nail down the stability, clean up the cartoon fonts, and set the default settings to something more usable. Admittedly, I'm overdue for a test run of plasma 5.

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