back to article KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm and confusion

The latest major release of KDE Plasma is here, a decade after KDE 5. This is only the fifth February 29 since KDE 4 in 2008, making this a rare event. After months of anticipation, what the KDE team is calling the Megarelease 6 has arrived, complete with new versions of the underlying KDE Frameworks 6.0 and the separately …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "At least the wretched cashew nut widget hasn't come back."

    You're being very polite, Liam. It was alternatively known as the golden turd.

  2. pPPPP

    I'm a former Plasma user. It was the ability to reduce menus to a button on the title bar that attracted me in the first place. Ultimately it was the bloat and the poor performance that steered me away.

    I still use KDE connect (on cinnamon) though. Great application.

    1. druck Silver badge

      For me it was the en-flatso-ifcation that drive me away. The screen shots of the Q4OS look much nicer than Plasma version including 6.

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        [Author here]

        > For me it was the en-flatso-ifcation that drive me away.

        Interesting. I don't like flat look UIs and I particularly don't like KDE's default looks, but the flat KDE is _so much_ less ugly than KDE 4.x that I embraced that aspect with enthusiasm.

        I dislike GNOME too, but Jakub Steiner is _really_ good.

        https://jimmac.eu/

        His themes, icons and so on for GNOME are some of the best in the industry, alongside Danielle Foré and Elementary OS.

        1. Fursty Ferret

          On the other hand the face that Jakub's personal website is utterly confusing and impossible to navigate says an awful lot about the current state of UI on Linux.

      2. Zolko Silver badge

        Aqua

        en-flatso-ifcation

        I understand, and I suggest you try QtCurve style, I've been using it since ... ever (since I discovered it) and never looked back. My widgets look like ~MacOS X Leopard, the best ever MacOS : 3D but not the preposterous Aqua style

    2. Manolo
      Happy

      Bloat?

      The time that KDE was a memory and CPU hog was at least 15 years ago.

      It is (especially for a full featured desktop environment) quite lean now.

  3. Proton_badger

    The article mostly presents KDE Plasma as a confounding complex mess but then Liam very frequently mentions he finds KDE confusing. I always found KDE to be simple and straightforward, maybe except for Settings but they're not too bad with a bit of poking around and I don't go there daily. I never even noticed those mentioned inconsistencies, I guess I don't pay attention or they don't matter much for me.

    But then after decades of having to use so many operating systems, I feel comfortable with almost any GUI, I guess people have different temperaments and tolerances, and that's ok too.

    Plasma 6 is very slick on Wayland though and I'm enjoying the experience. I'm following the work done on the Cosmic desktop with great interest and am considering contributing some code, but it'll probably be a while before the good people at System76 get it all together, though they're moving quickly I'm guessing the first release will be quite simple in terms of features.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we feel that this is a prime candidate for a global setting,

    [X] Win98 Style

  5. cornetman Silver badge

    > Here at The Reg FOSS desk, we strongly dislike hamburger menus

    You and me both. One of the biggest issues for me on Linux Mint MATE edition is the bizarre mixture of styles, some with hamburgers, some with proper menus. The ones without real menu bars stick out like a sore thumb.

    Personally, I can get along with pretty much any standard but I do insist that a platform is consistent.

  6. ldo

    3D Effects FTW!

    I remember when KDE 4 first came out, integrating the 3D effects from Compiz. This was the time of Windows Vista, with its much-ballyhooed “Aero Glass” to try to bring some of the same pizzazz to Windows.

    This was also the time I got my Asus Eee 701 PC (remember those?). I could run KDE 4 with realtime 3D effects just fine on that. Meanwhile, Vista could only manage its 3D effects on expensive, high-end hardware. Microsoft used the terms “Vista-capable” and “Vista-ready”, one for systems that could run Vista without the effects, and one for those that could manage the effects. I forget which is which, and users couldn’t understand the difference either, which led to lawsuits.

    Nowadays I think Microsoft et al are trying to deprecate 3D effects as somehow out of fashion, because they know they’ll never run as well on their platforms as on the Linux desktop.

    Oh, and yes, it was always the Meta (aka Alt) key for the Plasma shortcuts by default, not Super.

    1. Ethan Strongtower

      Re: 3D Effects FTW!

      I just assumed that a substantial motive behind Microsoft’s embrace of a flat GUI without 3D effects was to mimic browser content. Thus the distinction between desktop and cloud is blurred in furtherance of Microsoft’s software as service/cloud ambitions.

    2. Jr4162

      Re: 3D Effects FTW!

      3d effects can be challenging on cloud instances. Not all RDP versions do 3d efficiently and take more bandwidth to do it, which makes it more expensive for them to provide the service. The most efficient 3d rendering windows rdp server uses a gpu to send mpeg4. The recipient would also need a gpu. The gpus that a cloud provider would need to support multiple mpeg4 sessions on a single server would be expensive.

  7. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

    I'll try anything once...

    I'm sad to hear that KDE 6 is not too different from KDE 5, but I'll likely still give it a test run when it's officially released. I love options and customization potential, so it seems like KDE should be right up my ally, but a year or so ago when I last tried Plasma, I didn't love it. It seemed overcomplicated and fragile.

    1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I'll try anything once...

      It WAS officially released, on Wednesday Feb 28th 2024.

      That's why the article was posted!

      1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

        Re: I'll try anything once...

        I realized that shortly after posting that, but I'll still wait until it shows up in the repos of a rolling-release distro before giving it a try. I think Arch usually waits until the first update patch to roll out a new major version of a DE. I kinda like that. You wait an extra month or so, but get a decent chunk of bugs fixed before you try it.

        1. peterhoeg

          Re: I'll try anything once...

          NixOS has it in its rolling release form (the unstable channel).

  8. bofh1961

    I was hoping they'd finally come up with the goods

    Last time I checked out Plasma I thought it roughly on a par with the Windows 10 UI, it doesn't sound like it's changed much. You'd think they'd glance over at Gnome and see a big opportunity but that doesn't seem to have happened. I'll give it a test drive on the spare laptop anyway, you never know, I might like it this time around. Cinnamon will be staying on the main machine for the time being.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I was hoping they'd finally come up with the goods

      "You'd think they'd glance over at Gnome and see a big opportunity"

      The opportunity you see by glancing over at Gnome is to head in a completely opposite direction. Those who want to use something like Gnome will use Gnome, The entire point of having different desktops is to suit oneself, not to be herded into a single option that doesn't work well for a given use case.

      I don't know why you might have thought it looked like W10 unless someone had played a few customisation tricks. It's true there are a lot of W10-like themes that can be downloaded so as not to frighten refugees from the Microsoft world but to make it really like W10 would require some menu customisation. Quite easy to do, if a little laborious, but it would be rather sadistic.

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: I was hoping they'd finally come up with the goods

        [Author here]

        > The opportunity you see by glancing over at Gnome is to head in a completely opposite direction.

        I mean, you're right, but I think if you consider it in terms of project leadership, yes, there are lessons to be learned.

        # One aspect: style, themes, looks, layout

        GNOME 2 was rather chaotic. 2 panels, for no good reason just to look a bit less like Win9x. But you could combine them into one and save half the space. You could have them on the sides, although it was horribly clunky. You can have one menu or lots of menus or no menus. You could have pinned launchers or just menus. You could have a task switcher with buttons, or icons, or both, or a list, or all of the above.

        There was no cohesive overall look. You couldn't easily look at a GNOME 2 desktop and go "oh, yes, that's GNOME all right."

        Ubuntu achieve this by using brown themes, which nobody else used -- I loved them -- and themed wallpapers and tribal drums and things. They didn't push the GNOME brand, they pushed the Ubuntu brand. Smart move.

        I think RH and GNOME didn't like that, and thus, GNOME Shell: you can't rearrange stuff, you can't clutter the panel with icons and things. It's instantly recognisably GNOME Shell. They got their way.

        Ubuntu responded by changing to another bold colour scheme, purple and orange, and adding a permanent dock a bit like the Unity dock -- so still, the single recognisable GNOME distro is Ubuntu.

        # The other aspect: design rigour

        I don't like the GNOME design, but it does have one and it's recognisable. You have a panel at the top, and in an app, that's all. You have a dock thing that's visible on the left but only in the overview.

        Fullscreen app launcher. Search mode.

        You have CSD title bars and hamburger menus. You have dialog box buttons at the top, in that bar. (WTF? I read top to bottom myself. I need to read that dialog before I decde.)

        But hey, it's a thing. It's consistent.

        KDE...

        You want menu bars? Sure! You want hamburger menus? Sure! You want CSD? OK! You want title bars? Yes! You want a Win7 style menu? Yes! You want a Win10 one? Yes! You want a Win8 full screen one? Yes! You want one panel? OK then! Two panels? Yes! 12 panels? Sure! (Top/left/right/bottom, start/middle/end: 4x3)

        If you want to present a cohesive desktop and a set of apps for it, exert some control. Tell app vendors how the app should look. Make them follow. Not uniform? Then you're not in our app store. Conform or get out.

        GNOME does this right. I don't like its HIG style, but it has one and it enforces it, and that is good. It herds lots of disparate developers in the same direction and that is good.

        KDE doesn't. Whatever you want, we will try to do it. Unless you want title bars on the side, or as tabs, or display-panel spanning, because those are too hard so we removed them. Get stuffed.

        If KDE embraced the customisation thing _right_ then the _users_ would get to pick the UI, not the developers.

        I want a button that says "give me a Win7 layout" and it makes all KDE apps conform. No hamburger menus, no CSD, no ribbons, menu bars and freely-movable toolbars everywhere, a cascading Start menu, and I want it in one click.

        Xfce customises the whole desktop layout in one click. Zorin does it. This is doable. It is feasible and it's been done.

        But KDE has umpteen options in umpteen different places and it tries to be all things to all people and the result is an inconsistent mess.

        1. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: I was hoping they'd finally come up with the goods

          > I want a button that says "give me a Win7 layout" and it makes all KDE apps conform. No hamburger menus, no CSD, no ribbons, menu bars and freely-movable toolbars everywhere, a cascading Start menu, and I want it in one click.

          Yeah, you get it! Give the flexibility to the user, *not* the developer. If the application has to code the application attributes (menus etc) in more abstract ways, then that allows the platform to present that in a number of different ways. It also removes a lot of the design decision burden from the application writer.

        2. jaypyahoo

          Re: I was hoping they'd finally come up with the goods

          I think Cinnamon and Budgie got that better UX wise.

  9. Adam Trickett
    Linux

    I think it looks good

    I watched a long detailed review from a long time KDE user who said was mostly great, and he showed all the places small niggles have been removed and how slicker an more integrated it is. It's clearly not perfect and there are still annoying issues to be fixed.

    He also made a point that while many things can still be changed and your defaults will be left in place if you upgrade, on a clean new install KDE6 will follow the behaviour of Windows to better facilitate their inward migration to the Linux fold - these new defaults may annoy long time Linux users and even KDE fans.

    If you didn't like KDE5 then you probably won't like KDE6 as the changes are mostly deep and technical and the surface changes are much more modest in this release. If you do like KDE5 then you should find that KDE6 is visually the same and slightly better, but should be even faster and even more stable than before.

    The review seems to start from the position of not liking KDE5 and from that point on can only find fault in KDE6. While I do think it's good to have an outside view on something, I'm not convinced that the review is as helpful as it could have been.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: I think it looks good

      [Author here]

      > The review seems to start from the position of not liking KDE5 and from that point on can only find fault in KDE6.

      Not really, no.

      I was a keen user of KDE 1.x and published articles about how to build and install it.

      KDE 2.x was a bit bloated to me, but Corel and Xandros tamed it and made it work well, and I used them and liked them.

      In 2002, KDE 3.x was an ugly mess and just 2 years later, Ubuntu came out and I switched to that. Ubuntu made GNOME 2 much more appealing than KDE ever was and while I never liked GNOME 2 much, it worked.

      KDE 4 was an explosion at the sewage works, and even loyal KDE users hated it. KDE 5 at least tamed it by making it flat.

      Look at my answer to @Doctor Syntax directly above yours and I try to explain my position there.

      KDE 5 was an incoherent mess of a desktop. The gap from KDE 5 to KDE 6 is the longest the project has ever had since it started. This is the first major release in a decade. The team had lots of time to do a critical analysis of their design, in the light of rival designs, some much more successful, and work out what they could do to improve and consolidate and make it lean and mean again.

      They did not.

      What was once my favourite FOSS desktop has, after 10 years, produced more of the same old same old, with no real improvements. As is betrayed by the fact that the biggest new features in the desktop are the spinning cube they removed 3 years ago, and a floating panel.

      It is an extremely poor effort, and it will only tempt existing users and nobody else.

      That is what I was criticising.

      I mean, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but I feel that they've let their users and the FOSS world down very badly.

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: I think it looks good

        > 3 thumbs up & 5 thumbs down

        More "downs" than "ups".

        Is nobody going to explain why? If I am wrong and you can tell me why, I am listening.

        1. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: I think it looks good

          why the downvotes ?

          1) no mention of Kwin which is probably currently the best Linux window manager.

          2) no mention of Dolphin, which is currently the best file manager on the planet, including ANY other OS

          3) no mention of Kmail which is currently the best Linux mail app

          4) as for the looks, KDE (or Plasma) can be made to look and behave like any modern or oldtimer DE (including CDE ! try that on Windows) ... if you spend enough time to optimise your desktop

          in short, you look at the defaults but most users either make their own configs or use themes found online.

      2. Scaine

        Re: I think it looks good

        >> The review seems to start from the position of not liking KDE5 and from that point on can only find fault in KDE6.

        >Not really, no.

        <snip>

        > KDE 5 was an incoherent mess of a desktop.

        Okay bud.

  10. RatX
    Linux

    3024 - the year of the Linux desktop

    Over the course of the past few days, I've been tinkering with replacing Windows 11 on my Thinkpad with some or other flavour of Linux. I first tried Debian and then Fedora - the default Gnome config on both is dull and horrible. No minimise button - who ever thought that was a good idea?? Two or more clicks to get to any kind of useful app menu. I guess that isn't so uncommon elsewhere, but the way it is executed feels jarring. I tried Gnome Classic but that truly looks like something out of the 90's, missing only the checkerboard desktop and prominent Xeyes shortcut. I read with interest the hoopla around Plasma 6 and this morning loaded KDE neon, which is basically KDE's spin on Ubuntu 22.04. It isn't instantly detestable, which is more than I can say for the other two. I guess on a positive note on all 3 everything worked out of the box. That is all I have to say, now I must go find my flameproof suit.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: 3024 - the year of the Linux desktop

      Try Deepin or Ubuntu Kylin. They are much prettier and do the same overall design much better. :-)

  11. nightflier
    Happy

    Evolution brings results, not perfection

    Liam correctly points out a lot of inconsistencies in KDE. I had to check on those and yes, definitely there. I just got so used to my daily workflow and it never bothered me.

    Only time I left KDE was between 4.0 and 4.9, a period best forgotten. In that time I kept trying other environments but none felt as good as old KDE. I went back and by then it was good again. Going to KDE5 was annoying. I don't like change. After ten years with v 5 I'm now on autopilot and seeing that KDE6 will not force a big change in the way things work is great news for me.

  12. chololennon
    Thumb Down

    KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

    I used to like your articles, but your hate for KDE is too much for me. Every time you write about it, it is from a negative perspective (listing the same things you don't like). I know, it is not the desktop of your choice, but please, at least, as a journalist, try to be more neutral. KDE is a great DE (one of the best by far), but reading your articles it seems that it simply sucks.

    1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

      Re: KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

      Yeah, how dare he have a consistent opinion about a subjective matter that differs from yours.

      1. chololennon

        Re: KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

        > Yeah, how dare he have a consistent opinion about a subjective matter that differs from yours.

        Yeah, the same opinion in every article about KDE, c'mon.

        1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

          > Yeah, the same opinion in every article about KDE, c'mon.

          Yes, this is the definition of consistent. Any other words you need help with? If they didn't change the things that led to his opinion, why should the opinion change?

        2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

          > Yeah, the same opinion in every article about KDE, c'mon.

          I will be happy to change my opinion about KDE when the KDE project fixes the problems and issues I am describing with KDE.

          6 was a chance to clean this up. They didn't. It's more of the same. That fixes nothing. So my opinion does not change.

          I don't want Trinity either.

          If there was an option to use a modern KDE 1 then I might. Since then: bloat layered upon bloat, with 23456 redundant alternatives.

          Again, as I keep saying and keep writing, this is because people don't know their history.

          https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/16/what_is_unix/

          KDE imitated the then-dominant Windows UI of the time. That was Windows 98.

          Win98 was Microsoft's arse-covering attempt to justify why it bundled IE for free with Windows, when the real reason was that MS wanted to knife Netscape in the back. (A quotation from the then CEO, Mr S Ballmer.)

          https://www.theringer.com/tech/2018/5/18/17362452/microsoft-antitrust-lawsuit-netscape-internet-explorer-20-years

          https://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/mar/22/web-browser-came-back-haunt-microsoft

          So, for example, Win98's "Active Desktop" took 1 taskbar and offered lots. It had taskbars in your taskbar ("Quick Launch toolbar"). It had secondary taskbars ("Channels bar"). It had a web page as your wallpaper (the official "active desktop"). It had floating toolbars ("channels bar").

          KDE blindly copied all this, not realizing it was pointless features to justify embedding an HTML renderer into the desktop so the DOJ would not break MS up.

          Lawrence Lessig proved this stuff in court:

          https://www.wired.com/2002/10/lessig-3/

          MS was not happy:

          https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/week/011398microsoft.html

          Links because I am not just making this stuff up.

          https://guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/win98

          The core desktop design was there to be seen in Win95A and Win95B and NT 4 as shipped. The folders, icons, menus, etc. Filer windows show contents directly.

          But KDE unwittingly copied the bloated-out version not realising it was an attempt to dodge antitrust legislation.

          So, Win95's Explorer shows window contents directly. Win98 renders them to HTML and then an embedded HTML renderer displays them.

          Broken by unnecessary indirection, in an attempt to justify illegal restraint of trade by bundling a free rival to a commercial rival company.

          You can remove all this stuff and the tools to do it are still out there for free!

          https://www.litepc.com/98lite.html

          This shows it's not part of the core UI if you can remove it and it still works.

          But KDE copied the borked up bloated version because they did not know their history.

          One good thing has come out of KDE: KHTML, later WebKit, later Blink.

          The rest... Nothing very useful.

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

      > KDE is a great DE (one of the best by far), but reading your articles it seems that it simply sucks.

      That's not what I said at all.

      I definitely don't agree it's one of the best. Oldest, longest-standing, biggest mindshare, biggest app collection, sure.

      If you don't care about looks and just want a Win9x like desktop, Xfce does it better.

      If you just want Win9x but small and light on resources, LXQt is much smaller.

      If you want Win9x and you like it to look good, DDE or UKUI implement the same desktop style but look far more attractive, and Ubuntu Kylin or Ubuntu DDE will give you that without any nervousness about possible Chinese telemetry.

      The reason I criticise it is that the problems are real, they are verifiable, they are not being addressed or fixed by the developers, and not a single other article I've seen about KDE 5 or 6 anywhere else on any other site has even _mentioned_ these issues.

      They need to be brought to greater awareness, IMHO, and they should have been fixed by now. The team has had a decade, and it's done nothing productive with it. A desktop cube and a floating panel is _nothing_ to show for a decade's work and a whole new release.

      1. Zolko Silver badge

        Re: KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

        @Liam : I agree somehow that you seem to miss some of the killer features of KDE each time, and you concentrate on the default aesthetic look-and-feel (which is important I agree, but not solely) :

        1) Kmail, Korganiser, Kontact: this is the ONLY usable Linux mail and calendar app that is professionally capable. From what I see, it's on par with what MacOS can propose (dunno about MS Outook). What other Linux offering do you know of that can sync with a Zimbra server online and on your Android phone ? (use DavX) Thunderbird used to sort-of do some of it but it's mostly unmaintained.

        2) Kio-slaves: this is even better, because you can use your local desktop (the Dolphin file manager) for remote accesses to FTP, SFTP ... servers as if you were local. I've not seen anything approaching this in usability, surpassing anything that Windows or MacOS can provide.

        3) Dolphin can also be made to be used as the legendary MidnightExplorer file manager, including remote server access: what other modern DE do you know that offers natively such a workflow ?

        1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm "and confusion"

          > I agree somehow that you seem to miss some of the killer features of KDE each time

          The thing is this: one man's "killer feature" is another's "useless bloat".

          > and you concentrate on the default aesthetic look-and-feel (which is important I agree, but not solely)

          I will get to your specific points in a second, but only as examples. The key thing you're missing here is that I have other tools that I prefer to the tools you happen to prefer. Taking those tools out of the equation, what's left is not merely substantially less attractive, it's sub-standard.

          Secondly, as some of these comments suggest they are from regular readers, then regular readers might remember that _I worked for SUSE_ for four years. SUSE is a hotbed of KDE fans, because until Attachmate (not Novell: keep your eyes on the ball, not the distractions) SUSE was arguably KDE's #1 backer.

          If 4Y at SUSE didn't turn me into a KDE fan, I don't know what else would.

          So, point by point:

          > 1) Kmail, Korganiser, Kontact: this is the ONLY usable Linux mail and calendar app that is professionally capable.

          No it isn't. This is false.

          Firstly, again, former SUSE staffer. Of _course_ I tried it. I hated them. They are clunky and bloaty just like the rest of KDE. I don't like the UI, I don't like the feel, I don't like the features. While I accept the theoretical point that in theory, mail/contacts/calendar are separate functions and don't need to be in 1 app, in actual fact, MS swept the rest of email and groupware into a rounding error with Outlook. While I personally detest Outlook, I deployed and maintained a lot of it back in the day and I know it fairly well. It set the bar for this stuff.

          I tried _every FOSS email client and agent in the openSUSE repositories_ when I joined SUSE. I also evaluated KDE, GNOME, and every other major full desktop in the repos.

          In the end, I came back to Xfce, the same as I'd used on Fedora at Red Hat. It does what I need and it gets out of the way. It's simple, clean and unbloated. I don't care if it's plain and not pretty if it does the job.

          Kmail was clunky, ugly, did not do the job well, and was a pig to configure as well.

          So, after a 6-month grand tour of desktops and messaging clients, I ended up back on Thunderbird.

          The only email client I stayed on for a while was CLAWS, a better fork of Sylpheed. Both have good UI. Both are small, clean, fast, simple. But Claws while rough around the edges talked to POP3, IMAP, GroupWise, and Exchange. It implements stuff Sylpheed doesn't do because the Sylpheed author is too proud to accept the patches to his baby.

          But Claws is single-threaded. I get a *lot* of mail. If I am mid-compose I need my client to fetch stuff in the background. Claws can't. So Claws went.

          Thunderbird was in my professional opinion a better tool at doing what you claim only Kmail et al can do.

          > From what I see, it's on par with what MacOS can propose

          I don't use the macOS tools either. I use Thunderbird.

          But at least the macOS tools are slim, fast and elegant. Kmail etc is the opposite.

          > (dunno about MS Outook).

          Horribly, ugly, broken ,but the industry standard.

          > What other Linux offering do you know of that can sync with a Zimbra server online and on your Android phone ?

          I use Gmail TBH. It's less work. I collect half a dozen other accounts into it.

          > Thunderbird used to sort-of do some of it

          Does all I need and more.

          > but it's mostly unmaintained.

          Also a bare-faced lie. It is in more active development than in years and I write about it regularly.

          > 2) Kio-slaves: this is even better, because you can use your local desktop (the Dolphin file manager) for remote accesses to FTP, SFTP ... servers as if you were local.

          I don't want that. That's bloat to me.

          If I want FTP, I use an FTP client. If I want a file manager I want a file manager that is nothing else.

          The fact that Dolphin is, as Konqueror before it, trying to be 346 clients to 341 types of service _is the reason I do not like it._

          If I want a filesystem tool then I will map the remote resource into my filesystem, which is the Unix way of handling this stuff. I absolutely _do not want_ a file manager that tries to do this for me. That is the opposite of what I want.

          > I've not seen anything approaching this in usability, surpassing anything that Windows or MacOS can provide.

          I find the reverse. There is so much cruft like this in the UI that it gets in the way of the one core task I demand.

          > 3) Dolphin can also be made to be used as the legendary MidnightExplorer file manager,

          Why in the blue blazes would I want that?

          I don't want tool A that can do the jobs of B through Q and also imitate R to Z!

          If I want ssh I will use an ssh client. If I want telnet I use a telnet client. If I want 3270 I use a 3270 client. My file manager should keep its nose *out* oif everything except files.

          > including remote server access:

          I want it not to do that. I want the underlying OS to do that, and if my file manager gives me a wrapper to make that a bit nicer that's fine.

          > what other modern DE do you know that offers natively such a workflow ?

          I don't want that workflow. I find it hard to imagine why anyone would but if they do I want a nice sleek clean non-redundant UI over it so I can ignore that stuff.

  13. Jeff3171351982

    The KDE neon release with Plasma 6 was not ready.

    Initially, it broke the shutdown & restart options on the menu on the panel. Nate Graham from KDE has since apologized "It should be fixed now with a new Neon snapshot. But I’m really sorry this happened. The roll-out of Neon’s packaging of Plasma 6 was unacceptable, and we’ll be conducting an investigation to determine how it happened and make sure it doesn’t recur." https://discuss.kde.org/t/shutdown-button-not-working-after-switching-to-kde-6-on-kde-neon/11025/14 They offer Testing, Unstable, and Developer editions, but I use the User Edition because it is supposedly "Ideal for everyday users." This was ridiculous. I'm a KDE neon user who only hit update because a red light indicated security update (I only updated on a testing a machine, but still). On X11, the panel now doesn't appear for 22 seconds after the desktop appears after boot. The panel has other weird non-responsiveness and behaviors now. My custom shortcut for dim inactive has been moved, and while not deleted, it was made non-functional (so I had to relearn how to make it work). Wayland appears to be a reason for a number of changes. Lovely. I know it doesn't quite fit here, but LP's recent statement that "It makes X11 look very overcomplicated, and it makes Wayland look like it was invented by Microsoft." was going through my mind while I was trying to deal with KDE neon's bad update. https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/21/successor_to_unix_plan_9/

    1. ianbetteridge

      Re: The KDE neon release with Plasma 6 was not ready.

      I found the lack of a working restart button quite amusing, in a "how did they miss that one?" kind of way. Their Wayland implementation looks good to me -- but the issue that I have with KDE still remains, which is that even on a recent machine it feels just a little bit more sluggish subjectively than GNOME on the same hardware.

  14. danielfgom

    Looks the same

    Looks exactly the same to me. Overall KDE has a UI problem - it's a terrible UI for readability.

    And the lack of colour in the icons doesn't help because you can't make out what you're looking at!

    The Gnome (2 and above) UI is way better. Especially Cinnamon desktop, Mate and XFCE. Everything is legible and icons easily distinguishable.

  15. Smartypantz

    fluxbox

    Luckily fluxbox stilll works perfectly, nobody's touched it for decades.. Hurrah!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was always meant to look the same

    The point of KDE6 was to move to a more modern version of QT and a number of other improvements. It was a conscious decision to make it look the same so that bugs are easier to minimise. UI changes can be made in future releases. This was a technology release rather than a visual or functional release.

  17. man_iii
    Linux

    Numbering obsession

    What's with the versioning hate? Firefox made numbering literally useless and same thing for chrome and some other opensource software.

    Also I do feel the authors pettiness towards KDE not addressing HIS pet peeves while ignoring what a majority of KDE users would consider nothing burgers or actual features that KDE users want.

    We need better reviewers and reviews of Linux desktop UI based on different people different workflows.

    1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

      < We need better reviewers and reviews of Linux desktop UI based on different people different workflows.

      There are tons of reviews out there of Plasma 6 (as well as every other DE when a new version comes out). Search them out. We can't expect one author/publication to anticipate every possible workflow and use-case.

      As far as Plasma 6 goes, the theme I have noticed after reading/watching multiple reviews is this: People who already liked Plasma are generally pleased with the changes in the new version, while those who weren't fans before don't see enough change to entice them to switch. I was hoping it would be improved enough for my use, and I still intend to try it, but from what I've seen/read, I'm not optimistic that it will become my new go-to DE.

  18. fraggsta

    I ran Linux as a desktop OS about 20 years ago, when I had a Geforce 440 MX. Its drivers would make games BSoD in Windows, but I could run the same games just fine through WINE in Linux.

    It's been a long time, and I've usually kept a Linux partition around, but I finally find myself trying to use Ubuntu as a daily OS again. I've been trying Wayland which makes the Plasma desktop feel very smooth on variable refresh rate monitors. Even smoother than Windows 11 in fact. For years I had run GNOME. GNOME 2 was very customisable and worked just fine. KDE was never quite there. GNOME 3 took away most of the customisation, and made it very hard to get it to look the way you want. These days I find the Plasma desktop much better than GNOME. I always found it a frustration that especially in GNOME, it likes to do "smart" placement of windows, so when you open something you can never quite be sure which monitor it will appear on. KDE lets me tell windows that I just want them to remember their position, and open in exactly the same position and state as last time they were opened. Don't try to be smart. Don't try to be helpful. Just open where it was last time. The Dolphin file manager is really on par with Windows explorer now, very easy to use. It generates thumbnails, navigation is easy. I have to change the behaviour so that I can double click to open folders. Some of the snaps Ubuntu tries to install are just terrible. Steam wouldn't run some games through Proton until I uninstalled the snap version, and installed the deb package from Steam's own website. I'm old enough to have watched the WINE project get set up, and 20 years of progress to it gradually being able to run many games and programs. Proton makes it pretty easy to run most games now. Valve does feed their changes back to the WINE project, but they have really picked up the mantle of getting games to work well. It seems like they did this mostly for the Steam Deck.

    Anyway I don't really agree with the author that Plasma is a "confusing" "mess". Perhaps the UI is a bit busier than GNOME. Inconsistencies in the preferences programs? Yeah maybe. It's not exactly insurmountable though, and really no worse than Windows. For a user who knows what they're doing, it's probably a much better choice unless you want to go with some kind of minimalist WM, or something like XFCE etc.

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