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The 7 Irritations of GNOME and KDE

Seven Irritations in KDE

  • March 5, 2010
  • By Bruce Byfield
Bruce Byfield
Life in an Olympics-occupied city has left me grumpy. Ordinarily, I'm a tolerably contented desktop user, spending about three-quarters of my time in KDE and the rest in GNOME, with occasional forays into other desktops. But in the last two weeks, I've been noticing irritations in every interface I've used.

I'm not talking, you understand, about new features that annoy simply because they are unfamiliar. I'm always curious about innovations -- even failed ones -- and I know that some can take a while to appreciate. For instance, KDE's Folder View, which initially seemed a needless complication, now seems to be a structure that allows greater flexibility and customization. I suspect I will have the same sequence of reactions about GNOME-Shell when GNOME 3.0 gets released.

Instead, I'm talking about inconsistencies in the interface, design elements that are awkward or reduce users' abilities to customize their desktops. These irritations range from the minor to the major, and exist equally in both KDE and GNOME. Probably, some will always be present unless I have the chance to design my own desktop.

Seven Irritations in KDE

Holdouts still exist who find the whole of the KDE 4 series an irritant. By contrast, I never warmed to KDE until the KDE 4 series, which I consider the most innovative desktop available today. Still, even with my high level of satisfaction, I keep mentally barking my shins against certain features:

The Device Notifier Eject Button:

The Device Notifier is a widget that sits on the panel, listing external devices and suggesting actions to take with each device. But although this design generally works well enough, it has one flaw: If you plug a flash drive into a USB port, no eject button displays. That means that, if you suddenly realize that you have plugged in the wrong flash drive (and who doesn't have half a dozen lying around these days?), you have to arbitrarily choose an action before the button appears.

You can, of course, always just remove the flash drive, but, personally, I always have a second of apprehension before I remind myself that I can do so without dire consequences. Strangely, the problem does not exist with CD/DVDs...

Read the rest of this Linux desktop story at Datamation.com

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