About a month ago, I was fed up. My laptop was behaving erratically, KDE apps were crashing on me. I was done. I went to Gnome. I already had Gnome installed out of necessity for certain applications. So, I just…went.
After some help from my friends at DistroStop, I realized that I needed to install some packages. I stalled the gnome-power-management tool and the Gnome file manager Nautilus. From there, I believe I had full functionality. I fully customized my desktop (removed one of the toolbars, added all my shortcuts) and used it like a banshee.
I really loved the desktop navigation. The combo of ctr+alt+arrow to move up or down through the desktop procession was a great move. This was an old sturdy friend that I could rely upon. Power management seemed to work well, but the battery gauge wouldn’t always correctly report the remaining percentage (leaving me in a pickle once or twice). Rhythmbox played my iPod playlists well and everything worked fine. What bothered me were these two things.
- Random pauses on mouse actions. I would randomly have to wait seconds (doesn’t seem like much until you’re eating your way through stuff and then nothing happens entirely breaking a flow of productivity). This was unacceptable.
- Widgets. The only widgets available (that I knew of) were the Google Gadgets which ran in Qt anyway. The Twitter widget was poor while the KDE Twitter widget seems much more reliable.
In truth, I really also liked the feel of KDE more. The usefulness and responsiveness were undeniable. So…I switched back.
Here I sit. Fully updated with my x86_64 version of KDE 4.2.x watching the sleek battery meter and the Twitter widget. There are some features of customizability I wish I had back, but all in all, I’m surviving much more happily. What keeps making KDE so much more useful to me is really the toolset. Kontact is impeccable for me. I live with the calendaring and “to-do” components. Konqueror is slow to me, but why use it. Dolphin is an excellent work as is Digikam. KATE is still my text editor of choice, although I see the complete usefulness of the older Quanta for HTML/CSS applications. Honestly, I was using Konsole while in Gnome and AmaroK really is very good.
I might add, that if you’re looking to get away from the black on black themes inherent to KDE, look for the Sabre Tiger theme when you download ones, it’s quite excellent.