Why do you prefer KDE?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Mon Dec 23 12:04:28 GMT 2013

Frank Steinmetzger posted on Mon, 23 Dec 2013 01:05:02 +0100 as excerpted:

> To me it's unbelievable that there are desktops out there that don't
> even let you choose another base font.

Back in 2001 when I switched to Linux instead of allowing MS their 
demanded remote-root ability with eXPrivacy, it was kde2 vs gnome1.  I 
could not /believe/ that gnome didn't have a way to set desktop and 
widget colors -- you had to do it via setting an entire theme, and to 
edit one color, you had to hand-edit the config-files for that theme.  
Even servant-ware MS allowed /that/, but gnome didn't.

For me, that was the single deciding factor.  Any DE that wouldn't let 
you set a simple color wasn't a desktop I was interested in using!  
Luckily, kde was available, with its policy of user choice! =:^)

But that said, I'm /extremely/ glad there's a project such as gnome 
around, if only because were it not there, some of those devs might get 
the idea of turning kde into an "our way or you're an idiot" DE, and 
that'd be horrible.  Let each have their own playground to work and play 
in, and they're less likely to do damage to one of the major target 
points for both users and devs, of the other one. =:^)

> KWin window rules are great, like “put mplayer always on top and on all
> desktops”. 3D effects are not only nice (some of them anyway), but also
> helpful, like seeing all open windows at once and filtering through
> them.


> Keyboard shortcuts allow for very fast interaction -- I assigned
> almost the entire alphabet to some action or application via the Meta
> key. And in almost every program you can assign keys to all sorts of
> actions.

I started out with something like that, but quickly found that I had more 
shortcuts I wanted to enable than keys, even with a fancy multimedia/inet 
keyboard with a bunch of "extra" keys!

But that was back on kde3, where it was possible to setup multi-key 
hotkeys, and what I ended up doing was setting up a couple of the extra 
keys as effectively custom menu launchers, such that hitting one of them, 
then a second key, would launch the desired app based on the second key.

Unfortunately kde4 broke that, tho apparently it was actually qt4 that 
didn't support the functionality that kde3/qt3 had.  There's still an 
open bug on it[1], but while apparently it wasn't easily fixed in qt4/
kde4, I've read that the kde devs made very sure qt5 supported that 
functionality early on, so hopefully it'll be back with kde5. =:^)

Which was one of the big issues I had with the kde4 upgrade, since it 
broke all my multikey hotkeys!

But while trying one of several third party hotkey apps that was supposed 
to support multi-key (which it did, tho I found out configuration was a 
major pain), it suddenly occurred to me that a serially invoked single-
key hotkey solution would be enough.  Once I had that insight, I set 
right to work hacking up such a thing in bash, which I happen to know 
reasonably well.

What I ended up with was a single kde4 hotkey assignment, triggered by 
one of those "extra" keys, that launched a special konsole profile, with 
my bash-based hotkey script in turn launched in that konsole window.

That script, in turn, displays a list of options along with associated 
hotkeys, then takes a single key as input, which it uses to select the 
desired action from the list, launching that action and then disowning it 
so it won't close along with the launcher window.

Using that script, I ended up with a three-key (or occasionally four-key) 
solution.  The first key is the "extra" key, configured in khotkeys to 
launch my script with my "category" menu.  There I hit a single key 
(g=games, c=config, p=power-control, f=file-management, etc), which 
reinvokes the script with the menu for that category.  So say I hit 
g=games, I then get a menu listing all my favorite games (p=kpat, 
P=palapeli, kde's jigsaw puzzler, etc), where I hit a third key that 
actually launches the selected game.

So it's <launcher><g=games><p=kpat>, in my head effectively: launch, 
game, patience.

For the configuration category, one choice is hotkeys, which simply pops 
up a menu that will load the selected hotkey menu file into my favorite 
text editor (mcedit in a konsole window), so that one sequence is four 
keys deep instead of three, effectively: launch, config, hotkeys, games, 
to load the game menu in the editor, for instance.

And I have a kwin rule setup to force that particular konsole profile to 
center-screen, always-on-top, specific size, so my hotkey menu always 
pops up in the same location at center-screen, so it doesn't interfere 
too much with normal "smart" window placement.

The biggest down side is that it's a bash implementation, and 
initializing the bash script at each menu launch isn't as fast as it'd be 
were it natively coded.  But I don't know C/C++/etc, only bash, and bash 
(plus the initial khotkeys launcher altho if kde were to break it like 
they broke my last solution with kde4, it'd be simple enough to switch 
that to a third party launcher, plus konsole, and the kwin rules) is 
enough! =:^)

Which goes back to my point about kde (and gentoo, and linux) being 
customizable.  I'm rather far from the docile "I'll take the black-box-
you-give-me-and-I'll-LIKE-it!" type user that's servantware's best fit.  
I'm a demanding user with rather high expectations, and while kde 
doesn't /always/ match them, it, and linux in general, are customizable 
enough that even in the extreme, I still get the chance to work around 
the problem, with hacked up bash scripts if that's what it takes! =:^)

[1] khotkeys4 broken multi-key support

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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