Review: Netrunner 13.12

After a very short delay the new version of Netrunner has arrived. All the new features and changes introduced on Kubuntu 13.10 are also part of Netrunner 13.12, so our review of the latest of version of Kubuntu is pertinent as well. But there’s much more than just Kubuntu in Netrunner. What’s new? The new Homerun Kicker (Main) Menu This is probably the first thing users coming from 13.06 will notice. Netrunner has abandoned the classical style kickoff menu for a new more modern one called Homerun Kicker. But fear not: Netrunner didn’t jump into the bandwagon of replacing self-explanatory… Continue Reading

They called it Trinity

As a kid, I loved Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies, especially the Trinity series. Still, even then, the speech always felt stilted and weird. It was only years later that I discovered that it was all in Italian and dubbed in English. Like learning Santa ain’t real. So what has this got to do with the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE)? Well, everything. The sense of disillusionment that happened when KDE 4.X came out, the attempt to revive a classic in an age that prefers a different kind of experience. Yup, it’s a remake of the old and trusted KDE… Continue Reading

Best KDE distro of 2013

Normally, at the end of the year, I tend to run my best annual distro roundups, choosing the finest among five operating systems or flavors thereof that showed the greatest promise in terms of stability, usability, elegance, support, and other curious items in the outgoing twelve-month period. But I have never dedicated much thought to selecting the best implementation of any one particular desktop environment, regardless of the system underneath. But when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Oftentimes, distributions rise and fall based on their desktop session, because that is what users see and interact… Continue Reading

What KDE can learn from Cinnamon

Well, this ought to be interesting. Battle royale, except we have no gentry, just the two seemingly and arguably dominant desktop environments for Linux. In my humble and narrow perception, there has been a dramatic shift in the Linux desktop usage in the past several years. Come the season of Gnome 3, a split happened in the community, breaking the decade old Gnome-KDE dominance. A whole generation of desktop environments was born, forked and knifed. Unity took its own path, Gnome 2 returned as MATE, and Gnome 3 was eclipsed by Cinnamon. Only KDE remained as it was, and now… Continue Reading

The future of mobile is cute

After testing the KDE Plasma Netbook workspace quite thoroughly over the last few weeks, I got myself thinking. Is there something inherently successful about KDE, or the enabling framework underneath the hood, called Qt? Not that I’m any big fan of mobile technologies, still, I can appreciate good, thorough design when it happens. So I decided to explore this venue, from the purely user space perspective. Examples, examples, examples This is much like Steve Ballmer’s Developers Developers Developers slogan, only different. Anyhow, without boring you with history lessons on how Qt came to be, purchased, sold and acquired by different… Continue Reading

KDE Search and Destroy, I mean Launch

In a galaxy far far away, long before there was Android en masse, long before touch was popular, I mean retro-popular, because we have been using the touch technology for at least two million years, long before there was any modern, simplistic interface for smartphones and tablets, there was KDE. It’s all in the name. KDE is one of the few remaining staple desktop environments of the Linux world. It’s been around forever, and it does not seem to be slowing down. In fact, it’s evolving and growing. So far so good. One big thing that sticks to KDE is… Continue Reading

What’s new in KDE 4.10

KDE’s transition from 3.5.x to 4.x was a traumatic experience for many users, many regressions happen and there’s a general consensus among observers that 4.x was released prematurely, an opinion not shared by some developers that argue they needed feedback and bug reports. Thankfully those times are behind us and I can assure you that the next big revision of KDE will not be traumatic at all, it will be exciting and stuffed with many new features. We will talk about the move to framework 5 and Plasma 2 as they get more mature, but today let’s enjoy a new… Continue Reading

Diverging paths: KDE v. Unity

Unity even 2 years and a half after it was introduced remains a contentious feature and source of constant debates. It seems like there’s no middle ground, either people love Unity or hate it. In this sense, and not in many others, Unity is like KDE 4. To better represent how these two compare we will try to explore them like a new user would, starting with KDE followed by Unity. KDE An empty desktop with a cashew and single panel containing a menu button, a system tray and a clock.┬áSeemingly as straightforward as it gets. The only apparently weird… Continue Reading