I have to agree with those who say KDE is lacking in usability. While there are plenty of users who acknowledge that KDE usability sucks, not enough are able to become developers and make the changes themselves. Which is why KDE needs more corporate support.
There are plenty of users who also claim that Gnome usability sucks. Linus Torvalds is probably the most famous of them (I remember a flame war of sorts where Linus almost outright said "Gnome sucks").
Usability is subjective. There will always be people that find shortcomings in *any* environment. If I try to think about what I don't like in KDE, the result are shortcomings in things that are not part of it: Thunderbird, Firefox, Compiz.
As for going political, I like that KDE is based upon something that is fully GPL instead of LGPL. I support the viral nature of the GPL and its mentality. LGPL is a compromise for me.
Neither of the big desktop environments come out of the box just the way I like them. The thing is, with Gnome, it seems I have to fight tooth and nail to get it where I want it - With KDE (3.* and 4.*, >=4.0.3) it's just a few simple clicks away.
I'm excited. I was playing with /trunk up until beta 2, but a hard drive failure and laziness kept me from going further. I liked what I saw, and, at least for me, KDE4 is finally ready for prime time. I can't wait to leave Konqueror 3 behind me (it's been good to me, but it's edges are rough and there's no hiding them). Think I'll start compiling tomorrow.
It's usable, but still nothing to rave about. There are still many things that you can't easily change. Having no proper front ends for laptop power management tools really sucks too. The composition manager is nice, but it "feels" heavier than Compiz. Still, I think one could easily use it as a 24/7 DE, but I personally will still stick to 3.5 for a while.
Heh, and on the other end many others feel the exact opposite. Gnome I find personally horrid at usability. There are not to many things I change from the defaults on KDE (detailed list view instead of annoying icon view or classic menu vs the new kicker menu for example). While I can appreciate the "less is more" philosophy of gnome, it becomes too big of a barrier for me in it's restrictions to the point where it actually is frustrating and painful to use, leaving me with the impression that it would be better suited for my kids toy computer then a real working environment.
Originally Posted by stan
It's funny.. we have people complaining that Gnome isn't customizable enough, while KDE is too customizable. There are people perfectly content at both ends of the spectrum. Imagine if desktop Linux only had one choice. It's a shame that development is split between two camps, but we are probably gaining more this way!
Re: KDE 4.1.
It is a huge improvement over 4.0, but there is still work to be done, and the Nvidia drivers need to be fixed yesterday. It is ready for tinkers (not just developers), but not ready for the masses yet.
KDE has too much options? I can't find enough!
Jokes aside, I really hate the way that Gnome cuts my productivity. It's even worse than Windows.
There is some very nice ideas in gnome, but the fact that my dual-core system feels horribly sluggish (even when not using compiz) compared to every other DE I have ever tried... well, there ya go.
I haven't looked at KDE4.1 yet, but 4.0 had some promise, but actually disappointed me. And still no ports of the best application ever (Amarok)!!!
I don't use KDE as my main DE, but do use some KDE programs. The 3 issues I've been having a) the input line randomly playing piano sounds when I type in it, b) phonon telling me that a device failed and it's going to fallback to the same one, and c) knotify4 growing up to 100mb all were not fixed.
So... it came, and went for me. :(
(oh yeah, and now I get to officially laugh that KDE 4 has no finished HIG. Haha)
Then it would be more popular. Iniform GUI (like Windows and OS X). Still, that would not be enough since we also need a uniform way of doing other stuff too (installing packages, changing system settings).
Originally Posted by mmmbop
With Linux like it is today, it will be "not ready for the desktop" forever. See, my grandma doesn't want to know the advantages of deb/rpm/portage/Gnome/KDE. She wants to click buttons and have that email sent to my grandpa.
That's why you don't tell them about deb/rpm/portage/Gnome/KDE.
Install whatever you like, and that's it. It's that simple.