Gray Flannel Dwarf


Goodbye KDE, hello Xfce

Well, the love affair with KDE was torrid, full of passion, but it was short-lived, and in the end, wasn’t meant to be.

I liked it… and still kind of do… but it was like, I dunno… too much whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Too rich an environment, Too many menu items, even when I slimmed stuff down, just… “Too.

Also, I got annoyed at how often I would end up inadvertently closing an applet by right-clicking too fast or something, and having KDE think I wanted to close it. Little thing I guess, but it started to rub at me.

So anyway, I decided to check out Xfce, and I think I really have found what I’m looking for (cue Bono). Zippy as hell and has the right balance of customisation without all the confusion. After the initial hiccups of trying to get functional menus — although I still haven’t found a way to make them autopopulate and I don’t think such a feature yet exists — I was up and running.

There are still a few glitches. I run several Gnome applets and the occasional KDE applet still, and the KDE applets will, on occasion, end up in the corner of my screen versus the system tray when I restart the a session. Oh, and I had to build xfce4-smartpm-plugin from scratch since it doesn’t (yet?) seem to be available in Fedora. Also, the menu editor won’t allow me to move a launcher outside its current grouping to another. For example, I’ve got a few things that are, to me anyway, miscategorized. I can’t move something from, say, “Accessories” to “System”. without just rewriting an entry from scratch.

Overall, however, I think Xfce is the way to go, especially if you want something that’s lightweight. My system isn’t particularly slow at all, but Xfce feels a lot more responsive; I can only imagine the improvement on a slower system. In fact, I know it’s better — my first stab at Xfce was on a vmware image, now that I think about it, a decision which was specifically made due to the nature of the beast.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 9:29 pm


Almost a KDE convert.

A few weeks back, I installed Amarok on my home desktop, and thought it was a pretty nifty program — this, despite being a “dreaded KDE application”. Maybe it planted a seed in my head.

So today, something — I can’t remember what — made me decide to check out KDE again. Last time I used it was about 3 years ago, when I ran it on a lab machine because Gnome was too CPU-intensive for this hunk o’ junk. I really couldn’t stand it too much, but at that point KDE was the easiest to configure and was better than nothing at all.

In any case, I’ve configured my laptop to use KDE, and after a little bit of growing pain, I think… I really like it! It’s fast, slick, intuitive and stuff seems to work (so far).

A few holdovers I’m thus far maintaining:

  • Thunderbird and Firefox, because I’m not a KDE zealot, and I like those apps. Of course, doing so means one should install gtk-qt-engine so that the fonts and stuff used by these (and other) GTK apps match your font selections in KDE reasonably well.
  • add a shell script for nm-applet to the ~/.kde/Autostart directory because I also like the Gnome NetworkManager applet.
  • … maybe more things later, I’ll continue to update this entry.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 11:43 am