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An observation about KDE and Gnome applications

KDE has done a big improvement for its look with 4.x series. In 3.x series time I used to say that choosing KDE over Gnome because of its look cannot be true. KDE 3.x looks ugly, PERIOD! But 4.x looks pretty good, pretty chic. I never coded with Qt but I can tell the reason that if a Qt application looks bad on 4.x it is mostly because of the developer himself. KDE still does not look as good as Gnome applications, though. Also from the point of view of user experience with GUI, it is not even close to Gnome!

But there is something which makes KDE applications preferable over Gnome applications. Most KDE applications tend to work correctly when it comes to the basic needs of the user from the application. They do the job which they supposed to do, right, and suck at the other details (almost at all other details). In contrast, Gnome applications are very good at every other thing but suck at the very basic function it is supposed to do. I saw this again when I was trying feed readers and decided to write this entry. I tried 3 or 4 feed readers and 2 of them worth mentioning. I first tried Liferea which is written with GTK+ and then some other feed readers which are written in GTK+ again but were in so early development stage and useless… And lastly Akregator which is written with Qt for KDE. I stayed with Akregator although I hate running KDE applications when working with Gnome. Here is why:

The bad things of Akregator (some of them were configurable via settings, but still…):

– It sorts the articles in alphebetical order by default. Who in the world would use his news reader to read news in alphabetical order? This can be changed easily but I am pointing out the fact how KDE application developers’ brains work.
– When closing and then opening from tray icon you have to maximize it manually every time.
– The tree view widget shows a scrollbar on the bottom although it is not needed and you can change its position too (I’m saying, it is not even disabled!).
– It mentions KDE, too much. I’m using Gnome not KDE. And even if I was using KDE, I would like it to mention the operating system’s name (Ubuntu for example) not the desktop environment’s name.
– Why would I need “About KDE” in every application? There should be only “About AppNameHere”.

These were the annoying things I saw in first 5 minutes of usage. Now, the good thing of Akregator (Yes, just 1):

– It marks the news as read correctly.

The good things of Liferea:

– Its user interface is almost perfect.
– Every widget is in the place I would want it to be.
– It has all the configuration I would ever want to change. And the default settings are almost always good as they are.

The bad thing of Liferea (Yes, just 1):

– It shows some of the news I read, over and over again as unread. Once, it marked all the news in a feed as unread and I couldn’t mark them as read ever.

And that just 1 good thing about Akregator was important enough for me to use Akregator. When reading news, marking the news you read correctly is so crucial that I can ignore all the bad things about Akregator and all the good things about Liferea.

You can apply this situation for not all of the applications but a lot of them. I think, Gnome application developers should more concentrate on making the application fulfill the basic job it supposed to do and then add the other small details which make the user even happier, in time.


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