Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. bss at iguanasuicide.net
Tue Dec 8 13:02:02 GMT 2009


On Tuesday 08 December 2009 04:44:31 spir wrote:
> Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at gmail.com> dixit:
> > >> That was the whole "KDE thing": customization and
> > >> usability. KDE 4 breaks with that tradition. I know the reasons why. I
> > >> even agree with most of them.
> > >
> > > Could you, or someone else, point to docs on the topic?
> 
> For information, I'm a kind of "design guy" and as such *very* and *really*
>  interested in any kind of doc exposing reasons behind design choices. For
>  instance, I would enjoy to read _why_ kde guys used to think that
>  ├╝ber-customization is a Good Thing -- while indeed other designers think
>  the opposite. And I would enjoy to read why, if only, or how much, they
>  changed their mind on this topic.

I don't think older versions on KDE reflected some attitude that uber-
customization is a Good Thing.  Rather, it was more like unchecked feature 
creep.  If someone wanted a configuration option for <whatever> and there 
wasn't a technical reason to avoid it, it was added.

KDE 4 was meant to be a more "holistic" approach to the software than any 
previous version of KDE.  Design issues were actually considered and 
discussed.  A lot of "big picture" ideas were discussed, mulled, and discarded 
before (much) code was written.

The result is very different from older versions of KDE.  I've gotten used to 
it now.  I learned to live without some customizations, and different ways to 
apply others.  I think it is better, but it is certainly a shock.  The vast 
possibilities of KDE settings that were exposed via the GUI is initially what 
attracted me to KDE over Gnome.  I don't think I'm alone in this.  Many 
existing KDE users will have tweaked MANY of these settings, and will have 
memorized the 200+ step process from blank KDE 3.5 (which they probably find 
only marginally more useful than blank Gnome) to *their* KDE 3.5.  When moving 
to KDE 4 and finding their familiar configuration items removed from the 
dialogs or, nearly as bad, moved to some other "non-obvious" location... it's 
quite a shock.

I understand that having too many options presented to the user can result in 
confusion which make the user experience and productivity worse.  I don't 
think KDE 3.5.10 actually suffered from that problem.
-- 
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr.           	 ,= ,-_-. =.
bss at iguanasuicide.net            	((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy 	 `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/        	     \_/
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