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Mon, Mar. 16th, 2009, 02:54 am
KDE 4.2, Or, How I Love A DE That Doesn't Use ...

I recently decided to give KDE a try on my Fedora 10 box. I was a nearly instant convert because it is the only desktop environment I have ever used that gets the task manager right when you place a panel on the right side of the monitor. Every other desktop I have ever used seems to think that I care about the icon and not the name of the application. They come up with all sorts of ways to compress the space that make the entire task manager absolutely useless to me.

I like the initial organization where the display is split along the spaces with it faded away. You can still read enough of the window title to get the context you need to know what to click on. When I first saw this I worried that it would just end up like the Gnome picture because it was so similar in structure, but the lack of ellipses alone was actually an improvement.

Here we see the task manager with a whole lot of windows open. This is absolutely perfect. Every icon is still essentially visible in case that matters. The opening text of the window is still clearly readable. The KDE task manager here tries very very hard to make sure that all of these window titles never turn into a bunch of meaningless "..." crap.

As a note, normally KDE would group these windows up. I actually disdain grouping as well and have turned it off.

In essence, I'm switching to KDE because of the task manager. These are the only guys that get it right for me, and, in my not so humble opinion, the only guys that get it right from a usability standpoint for us precious few that like vertical panels. Thank you KDE people. You are awesome. Should I meet you, I will buy you a drink of choice.