Said user, myself, finally went ahead and installed a fresh Ubuntu 7.10 and then quickly installed KDE4. Why? Curiosity mostly. But I also wanted to keep up with the proverbial “Joneses”. And from what I had been reading, KDE4 was cooler, smoother, and faster than any UI yet.
I was excited about what I would find.
I was, unfortunately, disappointed by the reality.
Truth be told KDE4 is NOT ready. What I experienced was no better than a beta release that crashed constantly, had little to offer, and (much to my surprise) looked a little too much like a combination of the iPhone interface and Windows Vista.
What gives? Why in the world take something that was, up to this point, one of the more solid of the feature-rich Desktops in the computing world and turn it into, well, the opposite? I understand the “widget-ing” of the PC world – it was inevitable (thanks, but no thanks, to Dashboard.) But within the world of Linux? Remember, Linux was the last bastion of true creativeness in the computing world (at least from my perspective.) Linux still has Enlightenment, AfterStep, and a host of other desktop environments/window managers.
Of course what this did for me was to remind me just why I migrated to Enlightenment so many years ago. Enlightenment is reliable (well, e16 is), fast, pretty, and doesn’t take up huge amounts of space. Now, granted it seems like years since e16 has been with us (8 to be exact) and e17 seems to perpetually be in development. But even in development phase, I’ll take e17 over KDE4 any day.
I hate to say this but I am really disappointed in the KDE team for releasing to the public what, to me, is nothing more than Beta software. They should have held it back and squashed what is probably a HUGE amount of bugs before they brought it to the public.
So, if you’re jonesin’ for KDE4, wait until the KDE developers come to a more reliable conclusion with a new release. And once there are plenty of, shudder, widgets to add KDE4 just might be an outstanding desktop. But I seriously doubt it will ever replace Enlightenment for me.