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Trinity KDE - An alternative to KDE4, Gnome 3?

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Software

You know I'm considering ditching Gnome for good, especially after sampling the latest version, Gnome 3. While the Fallback Mode offers some solace, it's a far cry from the fully usable desktop that I want and need. It's also a manifestation of a disturbing trend of equating power computing with the touch-screen nonsense of inferior mobile computing, but more about later.

I'm looking at all kinds of alternatives. The most prominent one is KDE4, which has turned great with version 4.6. Featured in Pardus 2011 and openSUSE 11.4, it's a streamlined, well-packaged environment that can almost turn a Gnome head around, back to the glory days when KDE reigned supreme. But there's another project you may want to test, and it's called Trinity KDE.

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Anybody wanna know what a KDE user thinks?

I agree with you about Gnome 3. Desktop users who continue to use Gnome after this change have no one but themselves to blame for their increasing irrelevance.

But I don't agree about Trinity. I reluctantly switched to KDE4, and I had made it all the way up to KDE4.6. But then, I had an old computer start to malfunction in that it no longer could recognize an IDE hard drive, but I could still run it with a live CD. I chose slax, which is the easiest live CD to customize. Slax hasn't been upgraded in a while, and it still uses KDE3.

And I discovered that I really do like KDE3 better. The biggest reason is simply that KDE3 doesn't make me think about the desktop all that much. The options and features that KDE4 pioneered are often great ideas that many Desktop users will want to explore, but this user has explored them, and I'll trade them for a simpler (albeit uglier) interface that doesn't break the desktop metaphor.

In KDE3, the panel is more interactive and flexible. Text on the desktop can be provided with a blank background that makes it readable with any wallpaper. There are features, like the K-Pager display of virtual desktops, that work better with different window managers and other GUIS than the KDE4 equivalent. (I started using KDE applications with Fluxbox before I became a fan of the whole Desktop environment).

But the biggest one thing is Konqueror, KDE's awesome webrowser/file manager. In KDE3, Konqueror was the only file manager, but it could do anything. It could surf the web, and it even had its own application menus. In KDE4, Konqueror was replaced by Dolphin. A lot of rabid Konqueror fans have complained that Dolphin sucks, it's crap, it's unusable... well, that's all nonsense. Dolphin is very good. It's easily the second best file manager I've ever used.

Konqueror and Dolphin both have the ability to host the kind of launcher icons that other desktop environments like gnome can only mount on the desktop. This allows me to run Desktop icons from any directory in the filesystem, and to use desktop icons in light, flexible file managers like fluxbox and fvwm.

But only Konqueror could do it all, and in KDE4 Konqueror can't do it all anymore. The ability to mount and launch removable devices (kioslaves) is gone. In the meantime, KDE tried to position Konqueror as the web browser for KDE, even though it's not a very good web browser. The new Konqueror is always in default web browsing mode, which often means a little hiccup getting out of web browsing mode and into file managing mode, even if you never use Konqueror as a web browser.

But these are explanations after the fact, not reasons for my decision. After a year with KDE4, KDE3 feels better, and I know what feels better. If you want me to tell you why, I'll do my best. Mostly, KDE3 doesn't make me think about the desktop as much. There are a lot of good ideas in KDE4, including a couple that I wish I had in KDE3, but overall, I'm better off not having all these options to think about.

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