|Main Screen, Widgets, and Lancelot Launcher|
I have applied the Oxygen KDE theme to Mozilla Firefox and have installed the Oxygen style to OpenOffice.org. I also wanted GTK+ applications to better integrate with KDE 4.5, so I installed the GTK-Qt engines and the QtCurve theme, but try as I might, other GTK+ applications (e.g. Pidgin, the Mint tools) would not look right (though the color scheme, if not the theme itself, was applied properly). Maybe I'm still doing something wrong, but I've run out of ideas regarding how to fix the problem.
|Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.org, and the Update Manager|
So what exactly do I still find wrong with KDE 4.5? There are a couple of things, one of which I just mentioned (GTK+ applications not integrating well with KDE).
The Lancelot menu takes up a little too much space but doesn't leave enough room for favorites (as the menu of application categories is listed alongside favorite applications (instead of as a separate, clickable pane as in the MintMenu)).
The neat Folder View trick I mentioned in my comparison of KDE distributions where I can hover over a folder to view its contents and subfolders (which can also be hovered over to do the same thing) is gone, and I haven't found a solution in terms of restoring that very useful functionality.
The shutdown functionality is screwy, as even when I change the default logout option to shutdown as opposed to logout, the system still logs out (and I have to shutdown from GDM) when I just want to shutdown straight.
The DE in general seems a bit slow, as doing things like the desktop cube seems slower in KDE/KWin than in GNOME/Compiz. (Also, if you noticed in the above picture, there appears to be a strange artifact of the Linux Mint GNOME wallpaper displayed in virtual Desktop 1. I haven't seen it until today, and it seems rather strange.) Furthermore, Dolphin, whose virtues I have extolled numerous times, seems a lot slower in KDE 4.5 than in previous releases.
That's really all that I don't care for in KDE 4.5. There are other reasons for why I'll switch back to GNOME for daily use, and these have to do with speed and comfort, as (Linux-wise) I cut my teeth into GNOME, not KDE.
I like the idea of Activities, but I don't really see the point as I don't really use many widgets, and the ones I do use end up being applied on all Activities.
There are a few KDE applications that are better than their GNOME counterparts. For example, I prefer the KDE games over the GNOME games for the wider selection available. I like Gwenview better than Eye of GNOME as the former seems to be the same speed and it has more features in terms of editing and categorizing images. It reminds me of the awesome (but, sadly, Microsoft Windows-only) IrfanView image viewer. I like Okular better than GNOME's Evince for the same reason. KolourPaint (as a simple image creator and editor) has all the features of Microsoft Paint and more, and it doesn't have a GNOME counterpart that comes close to matching it in features, usability, or stability. (GIMP is not a fair comparison here, as GIMP's KDE counterpart would be Krita.) KSnapshot has a lot more options than GNOME's screenshot tool in terms of selecting regions of the screen and time delays. I'm still not sure whether I would use Amarok or Rhythmbox, but I'm leaning towards the more powerful Amarok. Finally, digiKam is a lot better than Shotwell and F-Spot in terms of image processing and editing power.
Other than that, however, GTK+ and other applications just seem snappier, more feature-filled, or both compared to their Qt counterparts. I would rather use Mozilla Firefox over Konqueror, OpenOffice.org over KOffice, Pidgin over Kopete, Nautilus over Dolphin, and GNOME MPlayer or Totem over Dragon Player, and these are the applications I use most often. Again, part of this has to do with familiarity, while part of it has to do with features and/or speed.
As I don't really use things like Activities or Desktop View that make KDE 4.5 special, I don't see the need to ditch the GNOME desktop either. In terms of beauty, while KDE 4.X's default looks easily beats GNOME 2.2X's default looks any day of the week, Linux Mint does a superb implementation of GNOME, and I've seen an even better implementation in the form of the Elementary desktop (and this brings with it Nautilus Elementary, which is a cleaner, easier-to-use (and many would say more Mac OS X Finder-like) version of Nautilus). Elementary is simply a package of icons, desktop and application themes, and some other things to make the GNOME desktop look a lot more professional. I think I may try it sometime. Until then, aside from all the KDE applications I mentioned that I really like, I'll probably totally remove KDE 4.5 from my desktop and switch back to GNOME.