This work by Vasco Rafael Sousa Dias is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless stated otherwise.
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another blog about stuff?? oh yeahh
My distro of choice is Arch linux, it is simple, doesn’t try to do things i don’t tell it to do, keeps the user in control, pacman (the package manager) is powerfull enough for what i need, uses a rolling release model, has a great wiki and a great community. Much more could be said, just try it if you want (it’s linux, it’s free, why not?) and/or search for the many reviews out there (reading the install guide is a MUST).
Some years ago i was always distro hoping and believe me when i say that i tried almost everything until i found arch. Nothing compares. Even today sometimes i try the latest fedora o ubuntu but they just can’t do it for me. They are cool to test new features without destroying my arch system but besides that i just can’t live with them.
By now you should be able to understand a little what i look for in software in my computer. It should be simple, well defined, modular, do what is told to, replaceable, etc. I like to know what the system is doing, why it is doing it and how. I should be able to understand how each component interacts with each other in order to understand the whole system better.
I think the first desktop environment i used/saw was probably kde 3, some old version that came with a really old Suse cd i got from a magazine (my first linux contact or close to it :)), and later in a Caixa Mágica distro (a portuguese linux distribution).
My feelings were that i didn’t really liked it. I can’t exactly explain the feeling, maybe i was overwhelmed by so many options in those control panels that i couldn’t understand why they were there or simply because i didn’t like the themes that existed at the time. Long story short, i got more experience in that linux world, started playing with distros and desktop environments and used gnome without really liking it too.
But why didn’t i like it? I’m also not really sure. I know now that i like gnome/GTK themes more than those used in kde/Qt world. So that was not the reason at the time i’m sure. For some reason i associated kde to bloated software. Surprise surprise, i don’t like bloated software.
And what do i consider as bloated software? It’s not hard to know. Think of those times when you want to do something simple like opening the file manager or simply opening the menu to launch an application or even when you simply login and in those simple things that should be quick you wait forever and forever and the computer simply stops. You go crazy, i go crazy, the world goes crazy (yeah i know i’m exaggerating :P).
Then a sane person remembers “let’s see what’s happening here”. Thinking as a sane person, i open htop and see lots of strange processes and weird daemons that i don’t understand why were launched just because i launched the file manager (here put any “appname” you want). There are things i can tolerate such as if the software really is using those features that other daemons are providing but if there are processes running just for the sake of being running, i’m sorry, but i don’t like it.
Conclusion for all of this, i used Xfce 4.4 for a long time before and then Openbox for some time too.
But if i used Xfce for so long and liked it where in the story does kde enters? I bought a laptop and entered university and needed a system where i wouldn’t spend much time configuring stuff. Installed Arch in the laptop along with kde 4.0 that was new and shiny at the time (maybe it was 4.1, more stable i think). I wanted to try new features, new theming capabilities (Qt4), a more coherent system, all that talk about a semantic desktop, etc. Well bad choice, i spend so many time configuring stuff, disabling things that i didn’t need, fighting against applications crashing all the time… In the end the time i spent with it was not worth to throw away and start everything again with another desktop environment.So i stayed.
Here are some things that i quickly remember that are bad about current kde:
There are so many other things that i kept enduring that i don’t remember or were fixed.
I’m not trying to say that kde is bad software. I think kde is a very good software with very good developers behind it and useful for many users. I know that many of the features i don’t use are used by others and they like them. I’m not saying anybody to change. It is just not for me, at least yet. So with so many choice that rules over the linux world i’ll be changing to Xfce.
And why not gnome you ask? Because many of the same mistakes are also there. It is bloated and it is changing into something that i don’t see myself using (new gnome 3 or the unity interface by canonical, you choose). Xfce is the perfect choice for me here. It’s simple, elegant, not too bloated and i can control it.
There are applications that i still need to change or maybe i’ll keep them because i like or because there is no real choice. Kmess, Akregator, Choqok, Kwooty and Konversation are the ones in this situation.
So, you should use what you like, what you want and what is useful for you. You should be the one able to answer those questions not anybody else. Choice and freedom are the important words here. There are great developers everywhere and everyone works their best to make their dreams come true.
(This is a personal blog, this is my point of view/my wanna be rant. Please do not start flame wars.)