Since Linus Torvalds feels free to weigh in on the on going flame war between KDE and Gnome, I guess its all right for me to do the same. So here goes: Gnome stinks, use KDE. Why does Gnome stink you ask? I’m delighted to tell you.
1) Its ugly and you have to work really hard to make it not ugly. The base icons are ugly, the base color selections are ugly, the dialog boxes are ugly everything about Gnome right out of the box is ugly. Can Gnome be made to look better? Yes, but its a struggle because of reason 2,
2) The designers have gone out of their way to make customization difficult. Even such a small detail (not small to me) as turning off the annoying “spatial interface” in Nautilus cannot be done by checking a dialog box, you must do the equivalent of a registry hack to make Nautilus behave in a rational manner. One of the reasons for this lockdown is because Gnome is run by,
3) Open source religious zealots. Gnome uses GTK instead of QT because QT, by virtue of its dual license, is impure. Oddly enough these zealots are reinforced by corporate types who prefer GTK so that their commercial products do not require license fees to Trolltech. As a result we get the worst of both worlds, sandal wearing hippies allied with big corporate types, both of which are control freaks. This makes for the ultimate irony,
4) Introducing Microsoft technology back into the mix when what Linux and Gnome were supposed to be about was open standards. In this case it is the burgeoning use of Mono, introduced by Novell, as a core part of Gnome. How open and standrd will that be over the long run? How long until Microsoft makes .Net non-interoperable with Mono (the only real reason for Mono) leaving Mono hung out to dry. Which brings us to the last reason,
5) Konqueror. KDE has it, Gnome does not. This is reason enough to consider KDE superior to Gnome even without the design and Open Source Nazis. Konqueror is so flexible and, with the plugins and KIO slaves, so extensible that I would not dream of computing without it. All is not excellent in Konqueror land, Konqueror still lags behind Firefox in usability as a web browser, but as a GUI file management tool Konq is alone and supreme.
What about Ubuntu you ask? Do they not produce a beautiful Gnome desktop that you don’t have to work to get. The Ubuntu base desktop is indeed pretty, if you’re into browns and if you don’t mind the ugly Gnome Icons and the dialog boxes. But Ubuntu is run by the same sort of Open Source Nazis that run Debian and Gnome. Nothing you really want to use is installed by default like the ability to play dvd’s, acrobat reader, flash plugins, mp3 support, codecs to play wmv streams and on and on. Heck, you are even on your own when it comes to getting the current version of Firefox.