GNOME, meet 'GNOME Do.' Also: KDE is soooooooo terrible.

If you're a Linux user, you are aware that there are two main competing desktop environments: KDE and GNOME. To this day, I cannot understand why people use KDE. GNOME has never been "too simple," as some claim and its usability is high. It's fucking awesome. GNOME is awesome! GNOME is the reason that Ubuntu is the top Linux distro. GNOME is a reason to get up in the morning. GNOME "just works." GNOME is the Light and the Way. But enough about that; there are fish to fry in this post.

My brother was getting excited about KDE 4 back when they were announcing some of the features of plasma; it let him down. It let him down so bad that he no longer even fucks with Linux. He has become a Windows Guy. I weep for him. But back to KDE: can someone please explain to me what about Plasma was supposed to be impressive? It's likely that KDE is slowly eroding the Linux market share that has taken so long to build up. Sometimes people buy a Mac and then realize their desktop doesn't have to be ugly. This understanding spreads throughout the populace -- even to Linux users, who are (wrongly) assumed to have the aesthetic sense of Robocop.

It seems that Apple has set off a trend where users have become aware that their desktop can be great looking and pleasant and, increasingly, should be pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, KDE is pretty much the visual equivalent of Noia 2 eXtreme, and I can't really think of any worse user interface insult than that. Seriously. They have a lot in common. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of KDE users also use a Noia 2 Extreme theme in their web browsing in Windows because they "miss the look and feel." I wouldn't trust a KDE user to be Stevie Wonder's fashion consultant. KDE might just be open source software's worst enemy. We have met the enemy and he is us.

But this post isn't about why KDE isn't good. It's about why GNOME is made even better with GNOME Do. As I understand, it's based on Quicksilver for Mac and a little like Launchy for Windows, if you're familiar with either one of those. Launchy is pretty bad, but that's to be expected of Windows software. Quicksilver was okay when I tried it -- but Docky is better for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you've heard of GNOME Do. But have you updated it recently? Do you use it? Have you given it a chance? Or are you just another Linux Curmudgeon?

Around the start of 2009, Do got a big update in the form of Docky. What Docky consists of is basically an OSX style Dock with all the powerful abilities you've come to expect from Do. It's a much better dock than Avant Window Navigator, which, until Docky, was the best choice for those of us who wanted a nice GNOME dock. Recently, an update to Docky was announced on one of the developers' blogs. If you follow the directions on the page, you can upgrade to the latest version of Docky. If you've read this far, you know you want to do it. If you can't figure it out maybe leave a comment here and I'll try to help you out. To make things short, Do is even better here than it is in most official software repositories. It has an intelligent hide feature that hides the dock based on whether or not the focused window would be obstructed by the dock. This is smart usability. Docky is the end of your frustrations about the lack of polish in your open source desktop software. Docky is aesthetically pleasing. Truly, Docky is the Light and the Way.

here's a pretty bad picture of docky.


Anonymous said...

KDE 4 is good by design, that's why it takes time for it to mature. Gnome has a very messy code under the hood, and it is full of ugly hack.

And I guess you didn't know that GNOME 2.0 sucked more than KDE 4.0 didn't you? I took more than 3 years to make Gnome 2 series a bit usable. I hate the fact that now Linux is just like Windows, full of clueless stupid user..

Anonymous said...

Linux elitist spotted

Why don't you go write your own desktop manager and only share it with your best buds

Parag K. Mital said...

I can smell the flames from across the sea

teras said...

Gnome Do is awesome - AND it works on KDE. Gnome does feel more polished though, at least on Ubuntu. KDE seems to focus a bit too much on visual effects rather than good design.

Anonymous said...

teras: you can say that again :)

but then again, "good" design is subjective...

skaioquer said...

Sorry, I'm a GNOME person, and a very, very demanding programmer when it comes to elegance--sad but true, GNOME _is_ full of ugly hacks.

GTK+ is awesome, it's great OOP... And that seems to confuse contemporary GNOME programmers somehow.

Most of the best *new* software for GNOME out there is being developed using MONO (and GTK#), which is basically a M$ based technology.

Most of the hard-core GNOMErs out there insist on developing "M$-free" versions of those already existing great pieces of software simply out of "principle".

I find this both annoying and pointless.

Annoying because of it's utter stupidity and lack of willingness to embrace a larger world.

Pointless because of the large amount of man-hours being thrown down the drain attempting to reinvent the wheel.

KDE ain't so bad. Specially 4. It looks amazing, and it's starting to shape up.

Frankly, if it where for GNOME alone I'd have crossed over a long time ago.

I'm a GNOME person. But what I really am is a GNOME + GNOME-Do + Compiz + Global Menu person.

Wanna know who the real enemy of FOSS is? Fanaticism. Which, by the way, is all over your post.


Anonymous said...

Opinions are like assholes..everyone has one

All I use is KDE(as I write this now actually) IMO Gnome looks crippled(Gnome 3) or dated(Gnome 2)

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