My two days with the Kubuntu 11.04 beta have been a mixed bag, with some trivialities that needed addressed, but mostly positive experiences.
I can honestly say that after about 48 hours of learning what equates to what in k-series software, there’s quite a bit I like, and some things I don’t.
For one thing, I feel a preference for KPackageKit over the obtuse Add/Remove software tool in Gnome Ubuntu, although I don’t really know if they equate or not.
KPackageKit seemed to be better prepared to find and install things, while the Gnome add-remove tool used to be vaguely useful, but took a giant step backward a year or two ago. Nowadays I just go straight to Synaptic.
Rekonq, if that’s the right name, almost supplanted Firefox for me, except that I had problems with its ad blocking system, and I unfortunately prefer an ad-less Internet.
I did, for a short while, use them side-by-side though, and didn’t find either one to be tangibly superior.
On the other hand, I had major problems with the screensaver in Kubuntu. Enabling any screensaver would behave as normal until I moved the mouse or otherwise tried to waken the desktop.
At that point the machine would fall back to a tty screen, flicker twice, then return to the login screen — killing everything that was running in the background, as well as the network connection.
After the first or second stunt, I just disabled the screensaver altogether.
Every desktop comes with its eccentricities though, and my homemade ones are no exception. And years of experience have taught me that 90 percent of these weirdnesses come at my own hand.
I still think, as I have long thought, that anything KDE comes up with is heads and shoulders above Gnome in terms of attractiveness and flexibility.
And so long as the Gnome philosophy says I can’t be trusted, then I’ll probably continue to avoid it. That, and its unnecessary weight, are the least attractive points about it.
So Kubuntu wins points this time around. Next, I’m going to revisit an old acquaintance.
I am cringing, even as I type.