gnome programs and gnome so far

I’ve been looking for some programs to restore functionality I lost when I left kde 3.5.

glipper is an ok clipboard history application. although each entry only gets 99 characters.

liferea is almost as good an RSS Reader as akregator-kde3 (and MUCH better than akregator-kde4).

evolution is a mixed bag. it’s great for contacts, calendars, and imap, but LDAP won’t work, so no corporate address book, which is going to be a problem. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with that yet, but I suspect I’ll end up using thunderbird and evolution simultaneously (after disabling thunderbird’s calendar completely)

one thing that has been nice about being in gnome is firefox! it’s nice to click on a link in an email again and having it open, instead of having to copy it from thunderbird and paste it in konqueror. plus when I want to use google maps, well, I already have firefox open instead of having to open firefox first.

another nice thing in gnome: the desktop in general is snappy and responsive. kde4 feels slushy by comparison (at least on my hardware). I can’t really compare to kde 3.5 any more, I’ve been running kde4 too long. but gnome feels more responsive than kde4.

so the experiment continues. Things I still need to investigate:

A way to add feeds to liferea from firefox like I used to be able to do with konqueror and akregator. (this is really a pretty minor, rare requirement, but it was one of the things that irked me about kde4 when it mysteriously went missing, both with ‘updated from 3.5’ configs, and with fresh empty configs)

random wallpaper applet so the background changes periodically from my huge pool of pictures

photo app for doing red-eye correction and possibly photo managing, to replace digikam

ldap lookups in evolution is still a sore spot.

my desktop at work has an additional problem; a couple keyboard mappings i put in don’t work, and I’m not sure why yet.

the strangest thing about gnome are the notifications. the new email and calendar alarms are perfect. they look similar to the ones from outlook (but better) but don’t interrupt your typing; so you see them, but you can keep typing on what you were doing with no interruption. that part is good. the bad part is the notifications from pidgin are too subtle; just a flashing icon on the panel, no pop-up like from evolution, so it’s easy to not even see it. there may be some options though, I haven’t looked yet.

kde vs. gnome

I can’t believe I’m typing this.

I’m logged in with gnome as my desktop.

I’m going to use it on all my computers for the next few days or a week and see how it goes.

KDE4 bothers me this much.

KDE4 keeps getting better, but I believe it will take at least another year to reach the polish of KDE 3.5. and I’m finding that in ubuntu, gnome is actually MORE polished than my beloved KDE 3.5!

A big draw, and pleasant surprise, has been evolution. last time I tried evolution, it sucked. that was about 5 years ago. These days I’ve been whining that there are no good Linux GUI email clients. Kmail sucks, in 3.5 or 4.0, its performance with IMAP is abysmal. Thunderbird is fast, but will not cache IMAP messages (plus its calendar sucks, with obnoxious notifications that are hard to dismiss). Evolution seems willing to cache IMAP emails, runs fast, and the calendar seems to work great (at least, I was able to import my calendar files seamlessly; the true test will come at work when I try to sync my work appointments to it).

Everything I’ve tried in gnome so far seems very smooth, polished, and lightning fast; this is on my old old workstation at home, where kde 3.5 runs acceptably but with flickery redraws, and kde4 is a tick slower than that.

the gnome clock even kicks kde’s clock’s ass! the gnome folks took all the ideas from the kde clock, improved on them, and ran with it. one click on the gnome clock gives me a current calendar, a list of appointments for the day, and current time and temperature in as many cities as I want.

and there is even a memory usage gauge on my gnome panel, something I was having trouble finding in kde4.

still some questions I need to answer: does gnome’s file manager work as well as konqueror or dolphin? does it support ssh, like the fish IOslave in kde? and I need a new RSS Reader for the gnome desktop to replace akregator. and then there is digikam, with the best red-eye correction I have yet found; I wonder if g-spot or f-spot or whatever the gnome photo collection program is called can match that. although, there is of course no reason why I can’t run digikam on my spiffy new (possibly) gnome desktop.

I thought I would have trouble replacing kdepim (kmail, korganizer, and kaddressbook) but evolution seems to handily take care of that.

we shall see.

viewmode buttons

I like KDE, and one of the reasons I prefer it over something like GNOME is the IOSlaves framework (fish is one of my favorites). basically, any part of kde can interact with any type of data or protocol as long as someone has written an IOSlave to handle it. a very powerful paradigm, which gives you lots of functionality in suprising places, much of which is unduplicated on any platform (yes, including Windows and Mac OS X). konqueror is KDE’s file manager and webbrowser. traditionally, I never use file browsers, preferring the command line. but fish has become a gateway application for me, in that I started using fish in konqueror (particularly reasonable when you consider having multiple konquerors open to different machines, allowing you to drag and drop files from one remote machine to another, all over ssh), and then found myself using konqueror to browse images on the local machine (rather than a dedicated application, like my old favorite gqview), and pretty soon I was using this gui file manager much more than any right-minded unix hacker would expect to! when I switched from gentoo to ubuntu, I noticed something was missing in konqueror. if you take a look at this old screenshot, you’ll see these three special little buttons: those buttons are the contents of the ViewMode Toolbar. With those three buttons, you can set the konqueror window to any of these views: Icon, MultiColumn, Tree, Info List, Detailed, Text view, Image View, File Size, or Cervisia (CVS front end). In Konqueror’s Settings menu, you can turn on or off any toolbar you like. but ViewMode was not listed as an option at all! The default file manager profile for konqueror: after some research on the Ubuntu Forums (it took a while because at first I didn’t even know my 3 missing buttons were called the ViewMode Toolbar), I finally found The Answer to the question of how to obtain those three buttons. What I think this means is that the normally fine folks who maintain the KDE packages for Kubuntu decided to disable the ViewMode toolbar entirely in ubuntu, with extreme prejudice. Why remains a mystery, but at least my most-used toolbar is restored in all its glory: Now I simply must show you the most interesting view modes, for perfect clarity. Icon view: tree view, list view, and detailed list view look very similar to each other; they mainly differ in the way they handle directories, so I’ll just show detailed list view here: now for the fun ones. image view: file size view (think gui ‘du’): Btw, this ‘frosty leaves’ image I keep showing here is a photo by a friend of a friend and for the final view I will show, I have to go to another directory. This one is cervisia which is a gui front end for the most ubiquitous revision control system around, CVS. I need to go to a CVS working directory.


today is the anniversary of my birth. The best part will be going to see the Zoo lights wife my wife and son. The stable linux kernel 2.6.0 was released late last night, just in time. I installed it on most of my computers today.

KDE desktop showing slashdot announcement of Linux 2.6.0
ocotillo running Linux kernel 2.6.0, and KDE desktop

I even have moderator access on slashdot today! Can’t get any better than this.