It's now several years later and the distro teams have lots of experience polishing the GNOME environment so they aren't likely to look at anything else.
Of course this does stop KDE from being so good that the distros simply can't ignore it but there you go.
If KDE took an objective look at themselves and made a real attempt to fix it's problems, then KDE might become the dominant DE, rather than an "alternative desktop choice".[/QUOTE]I really want to like KDE, it looks better than Gnome, the KDE application suite is better than Gnome, QT is better than GTK and the overall desktop experience is more polished.
However, to sit there and tell me that all 5 of my PCs that ran KDE poorly are "isolated incidents" is laughable. Even when it runs OK, it certainly doesn't run well. I actually ran Kubuntu for a while once, bit that was on a Pentium M machine with a IGP. That machine had slow graphics in general, but it was by far my best KDE experience.
For better or worse KDE has taken the stance that driver bugs get fixed in the drivers not in KDE. IMO this is the right decision as it makes everybodies life more pleasant in the long run. Unfortunately the driver situation in Linux leaves a lot to be desired. Enlightenment uses it's own custom software compositor that has been over 10 years in the writing and compiz uses a much older GL path than KWin and doesn't expose the same hardware bugs. The nVidia team have so far been best at fixing their drivers to work as advertised... The NeauVou drivers that I briefly tested were quite pleasant (Because I my work I have only really two choices - Binary nVidia drivers or use Windows). Intel have has been a bit patchy.
Personally I find it pretty sad that the OpenGL spec is 4.2 and some drivers still having difficulty implementing OpenGL 2 level functionality - but Like the KDE Dev team most of the open source driver developers are volunteers so my hats off to them for the amount they have achieved we would be a lot worse off without them.
I switched from Gnome 2 to KDE 4.7 about a month ago, so I guess I tested enough.
I liked gnome, except for it's look. It did everything I wanted. But with Ubuntus latest move to Unity and the new Gnome 3 interface, I was looking for an alternative: KUbuntu or XUbuntu (another distribution was no choice for me).
And honestly, I like KDE a lot. The only thing I really dislike is KIO. It's just so much inferior to gvfs from a user's point of view. And well, there are a few bugs of course (I think AmaroK is worst wenn it comes to bugs), but there were also bugs in gnome. The difference is simply, that I'm used to work around them in gnome and have to get used to do the same for KDE too. Just as I'd have to on Windows (and I think there are a lot more usability-glitches in Windows than any of the modern Linux desktops)
But the overall-experience of KDE 4.7 is pretty good, IMO. Better than gnomes. And when it comes to functionality and features, KDE is definitely superior (well, except for kio/gvfs..).
And btw: I am on a AMD Radeon HD6870. I used fglrx for a while and I'm now with the opensource radeon driver. Both work perfectly with KDEs default settings. And the effects are smooth. All of them (at least all I tried).
But these are kde tweaks, they are not distro-specific. So if you don't like Kubuntu, choose another distro with kde 4.6 or 4.7 and give it a test. I think these tweaks will make huge difference on your machines. On mine ati/amd machine they do
Besides, GNOME has nothing like the power and flexibility of KDE's Plasma desktop.
Not even close.
Last edited by hal2k1; 10-13-2011 at 04:58 AM.
1. Booted up, it's a bit jittery with white flashes, I have no desktop effects, and that little piano riff played waaaaaay too late.
2. I manually enable desktop effects, I receive notification that basically every effect can't be turned on.
3. I disable Vsync. Now I have desktop effects.
4. I turn off oxygen animations, now I get a soft-crash warning and some occasional screen corruption. Because of this I forget to follow your step #4.
5. I uncheck "Use opengl2 shaders". The overall desktop seems reasonably fast and stable now. I proceed to test a few of the desktop effect hotkeys.
6. I immediately lose my entire screen. I CTRL+ALT+SYSREQ+K it, which pops up some weird error. I hit enter a couple times, and now I'm at a terminal. startx gives an error saying X is already running. Not really caring anymore, I issue the shutdown command.
Before I tested Kubuntu's live CD, I'd already tested and did a clean install of Ubuntu 11.10 on the same PC. It works pretty well, I can't really fault it on anything. It's fast and stable, especially for having just come out today.
If KDE's official position is that my desktop should be broken, and somebody else should fix it, then I will continue to use Unity and/or Gnome, and I will continue to encourage others to do the same.