Friday, November 11, 2011

A Cycle of Desktop Environment


When KDE 4 replaced KDE 3 I was excited. I had a great working environment with the earlier version and expected much more from the newer model. The crashes came and I was forgiving; baby's first steps after all, I said. Patches came, KDE minor versioning increased but still the crashes went on. 

I went back to the previous version but I knew KDE 3 was done for.  It was just a matter of time. And at that time, I realized, it was a time for change. It is good to look at the past for reference; better to hold on to what is now; but sooner or later, it is time to push forward. I evaluated my choices and realized that I had to wait for KDE 4 to mature; I can wait but my productivity cannot; that was the day I switched to the GTK side. Gnome, I decided, was the only choice after KDE.

After two years since that fateful day, I was comfortable with Gnome thanks to Linux Mint (and even had a short and pleasant experience with XFCE 4.6). KDE 4 went past 4.5 marker, still I waited. The day when Gnome 3 was announced was the day I realized the cycle had started anew. Like the story of KDE, Gnome has to mutate. So must I change.

I started with a netinstall of Debian Squeeze then choosing KDE as the environment. Good looking but awkward.

After reading the Distrowatch review I gave Simply MEPIS 11 a shot. It was also good looking but it was solid and very stable as well. It now resides permanently in my external USB HDD. The only weakness SM11 possessed was its very own strength -- its linked to Debian's growth pattern. The price of stability is fewer incoming changes. So I went looking for a new resident OS to my desktop.

Then Kubuntu 11.10 came and tried it. Pretty but freezes sometimes and consumes much more memory than SM11. The search continued.

I tried Salix, liked its low memory consumption and speed. KDE version was still 4.5/4.6 and has to be upgraded. While doing so, it came to me that upgrading to KDE 4.7.x was by using a Slackware unofficial repository. Hmm ...

The solution was simple. I went back to my first distro, Slackware. It felt like coming home.

It's still less than a month since my shift to KDE 4.7.x and I am very happy with it. There are some adjustment of course. I miss Nautilus and Gnome-Do. I realized that I like Yakuake better than Guake. Amarok I avoid, using Audacious instead. I never use Gnome AbiWord but KDE KWord I like (writing this with it right now). I am delighted with KDE Activities more than the plasmoids.

That's the story so far 'cause the cycle never stops.

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