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

The quest for a dock

I’ll confess something: I like docks. Am I weird? I don’t know, although if the three most popular operating systems in the world are any indicative the answer is no. In the last two years Canonical created Unity, which includes a dock-taskbar hybrid, and Microsoft followed suite, and then Gnome 3, and almost all other Desktop Environments have some sort of dock. Needless to say, Apple uses a dock in Mac OS X. But not KDE. While reproducing Microsoft’s hybrid taskbar is as easy as pie finding a dock is rather hard. Not to sound negative, what they’ve done is… Continue Reading

Linux desktop environment showdown

Normally, at the end of the year, I do my usual Linux distro showdown. But I have never really done a proper desktop environment comparison, regardless of which operating systems run them, even though in the Linux world, quite often, it is hard to separate the two. Well, it seems to me, this is a great opportunity to give you a comprehensive head-to-head clash between the leading desktop environments that bless our distros. Before we begin, it is important to make a humble statement. There’s desktop environment, there’s desktop manager, and there’s window manager. Sometimes, the definition and distinction of… Continue Reading