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The 7 Attractions of Gnome and KDE

GNOME and KDE Continue to Advance

  • March 9, 2010
  • By Bruce Byfield
Bruce Byfield
Despite all the talk about the mythical Year of the Linux Desktop, somewhere in the last few years, free software passed a milestone without anyone noticing. At some point, after years of struggling to rival proprietary desktops, both GNOME and KDE have caught up in features and narrowed the gap in usability. We are now at a point where free software is often an innovator on the desktop.

Of course, GNOME and KDE have long had features that Windows lacked, such as multiple desktops and finer controls for customizing the user experience. However, in the last few years, both major free desktops have added features that show not only an interest in usability, but, at times, an effort to anticipate what users might actually want. The focus is by no means consistent, yet scattered here and there are features that can make any user glad that they're using a open source desktop.

Your list of such features might vary, but here's my shortlist for both GNOME and KDE:

Seven Attractions in GNOME

In 2001, the GNOME Usability Study Report, sponsored by Sun Microsystems, made GNOME the first free desktop to examine the desktop experience. Since then, GNOME has codified usability in its Human Interface Guidelines.

These guidelines are sometimes applied too literally, or as though they were the only consideration. But over the years, they have given GNOME an understated look and a high degree of efficiency. Applied well, the guidelines have resulted in some welcome features:

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

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