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Monday, June 5th, 2006, 5:12 am

Why I Love KDE

Pager in KDE
A KDE pager containing eight virtual desktops

KDE is a powerful and versatile desktop environment, which I have raved about for as long ago as I had known it (read GNOME vs. KDE, for example). Apart from its augmented support for virtual desktops, it boasts an almost infinite number of features that make it highly extensible. Here are some examples of things that any user is able to achieve with KDE.

  • Open a particular program, let us say the Web browser, consistently in desktop 8, always in shaded mode with opacity level 80% (20% translucent). These per-program features were added around version 3.4 of KDE.
  • Without any extensions, KDE enables the user to download fresh wallpapers off the Internet (primarily through kde-look.org), all with a single click. Then, the user is given the choice to select multiple wallpapers from the collection, revolve them (as in a slideshow) every number of minutes, with separate wallpapers assigned to different virtual desktops, at different changing intervals, and with effects like hue shifts applied to them ‘on the fly’.
  • Move and resize windows without reaching for their edges and corners, simply using the mouse pointer and the keyboard. Moreover, window focus policies, as well as new window placement, is highly customisable.
  • KDE supports XGL (or conversely so, as well GNOME, of course). XGL is hardware-accelerated nice ‘eye candy’, which does not necessarily enhance the pace and productivity of work.

So where is the competition? KDE appears to be best bar none, in terms of function. Many consider it user friendly since its look-and-feel is assimilated to that of Microsoft Windows.

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