Disillusioned by the Community

There are times when I don’t want to admit that I use and love Linux.

It’s true…at times, I’m embarrassed to tell people that I’m part of the community as a whole.

You may wonder when these times are…right now is one of those times.  I despise infighting found in free and open source software…specifically, I really don’t like it when people have one sided experiences and apply their experience to ALL areas of Linux and open source software.  Case in point is this blog post on KDE 4.6 experience in Ubuntu.  For everyone out there, please be advised that Ubuntu is not equivalent with ALL Linux.  In fact, Ubuntu does Gnome very well…but it doesn’t do KDE well at all.

If you truly want to know what KDE 4.6 is like, you need to go with a KDE specific distribution like Mandriva and ride that cutting edge.  I can guarantee you won’t be greeted by crash handlers and all sorts of nonsense that you’ll get inside Ubuntu when you install KDE along side of your Gnome install.

Posts like the one I linked to above make me angry…it’s like driving a Volvo compact car and then dismissing every other car company that makes a compact car as equivalent the experience on the Volvo.  To me, you need to drive each implementation (each companies interpretation) and make an informed decision as to what you find.  Taking a test drive of a Volvo compact and then bad mouthing all compact cars is ignorant…and in my opinion, that is what the person above does with KDE 4.x

I’m a staunch defender of KDE 4.x and I’ve blogged about ignorance surrounding it in the past.  Not all gripes about it are ignorant…but a majority of people’s problems they have with it are simply people band-wagoning together to trounce something because it’s cool to do so.  Much the same is M. Night Shyamalan’s Airbender movie…people talked so much crap about the movie and him as a director, I thought that the movie was going to be the worst movie of all time.  It wasn’t near as bad as people were making it out to be and Shyamalan isn’t the worst director out there by any means.

I think overall, KDE 4.x has become the M. Night Shyamalan of the Linux world…a very talented director(project) that everyone was accustomed to making great movies(desktops) that doesn’t want to be pigeon holed into fitting what others feel it should fit.  KDE 4 is not KDE 3 and for good reason.  It’s being coded and made into something different yet subtly similar because it’s 2011 and not 1996.  If you don’t like it, don’t use it.

IF you don’t use it…don’t trash talk it.

If you want an HONEST representation of it, go to a distribution that prides itself on providing a good implementation of it.  Saying “Ubuntu is the most popular and people are going to try it out on Ubuntu” is wrong…because I don’t know of many end users that will enable a PPA repository and possibly jack up their Gnome install to give it a go…when they can just pop in a Live CD and give it a try….I think the poster of the blog entry above forgot about the magic of Live CD’s for his ‘review’.  It’s too bad that he feels Ubuntu’s lack of attention to all things KDE are representative to KDE as a whole…and it’s too bad his attempt at ascribing this notion comes off as troll-like.

I don’t use Ubuntu at all yet you don’t see me trolling the Ubuntu boards talking about how crappy I feel it is.  If you use Linux you are a part of the Linux community as a whole.  This community encompasses all distributions and all desktop environments.  You have a responsibility therefore; if you want to see Linux succeed, be tolerant and understanding of opposing distros/desktops. Talking trash about other opposing opinions is irresponsible and juvenile.  I hope someday people take this inherent and implied cordiality to heart.  Until then, we have posts like the one above…whether inadvertently geared to bash KDE or absolutely geared to bash KDE…it nonetheless bashed it.  I hope we can grow past things like this in the future.

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About

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix administrator, a Technical Writer, and a System Analyst during his 10 years working with Technology.

  • Debianero

    I’m disillusioned by being human everyday but I love machines running Debian ^_^

    P.S. Better with KDE!

  • http://fitzcarraldoblog.wordpress.com/ Fitzcarraldo

    Actually, I’m weary of most blog ‘reviews’ of distributions these days, because more and more of them seem to consist solely of cursory use of the distribution on a LiveCD/DVD/USB, or in VirtualBox (not in this particular ‘review’, I know). I can download an ISO and install it on a pen drive or run it in VirtualBox to play with it. The kind of review I would value would be from someone who has installed the distribution and used it for a while, and who actually bothers to learn something about it, its package manager, etc. before putting fingers to keyboard. I mean, I’ve read criticisms by people who have not even bothered to understand the functionality or the basic commands of a package manager they have not used before. Of course software must be designed to be easy to use and to assimilate, but some things require some learning; it’s not always possible or reasonable to try things out blindly like a bull in a china shop. More haste, less speed.

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      Good point on that…you’re right, most people don’t take the time to do a proper review anymore.

  • Z

    Very well written, I agree 100%.

  • Shocky

    Funny, I’m on Mandriva right now, using KDE4, and I see crash handlers on a pretty regular basis. Not quite as many as in that blog post you mention, but way more than there should be.

    The biggest problem with KDE4 is that you guys will not listen to the legitimate complaints and bug reports of your users. The KDE4 Sacred Cow cannot be questioned. Everyone who does is a troll. It is perfect, and no criticism will be allowed.

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      I’ve been running KDE 4.5 on Unity…based on Mandriva…and have yet to see a crash handler in the past 6 months. Seriously. Maybe Unity Linux just does KDE better…who knows?

      The biggest problem with KDE4 is that you guys will not listen to the legitimate complaints and bug reports of your users. The KDE4 Sacred Cow cannot be questioned. Everyone who does is a troll. It is perfect, and no criticism will be allowed.

      Um…no, that’s not what this article is saying.

      I’m not saying “don’t question things” or that nothing is wrong with KDE4…I’m just saying that someone running a non-KDE centric distribution isn’t going to have the best experience running KDE. Your experience on a KDE-centric distribution is a poor one with crash handlers and whatnot…Mine isn’t. However, I’m certain that both our experience is better than someone running KDE on top of Ubuntu. That’s my point.

  • Bender

    While you may have problems with KDE on Mandriva i on the other hand have no problems whatsoever on a GNOME specific distro being Fedora and to add a cherry on the top i am using an unofficial repository to get the latest and greatest (since about 4.3 ;) KDE. And guess what, i don’t get crashes at all (well maybe when i shutdown but that is a minor annoyance).

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      Fedora does a GREAT job on most of their stuff. We pull heavily from Fedora for fixes on KDE4 into Unity Linux.

  • A

    Some people just don’t realize that different distros have different redeeming qualities. I tend to be one of those crazy guys who actually switches to another distro every once in a while and sticks to it for a month. It’s how I’ve gone from the Ubuntu/Gnome/Compiz addiction of a newbie (not saying that it’s a bad thing) to a minimalist Arch install with Awesome. While I’m not a huge KDE user, I have used it in the past. It always had its problems on Ubuntu, but it worked just fine when I tried it on Arch.

    • http://linux-blog.org devnet

      I find Arch EXCELLENT in all areas…it’s my favorite slack-like distribution out there and since I got my start on slackware I often find my way back to Arch to experience the RC goodness :D I agree, KDE on arch is excellent…I really do’t know how they continually produce great base installs in Arch but they do.

  • not_a_fanta

    Good article, and the comments all bring something to think about to the table. I wasn’t aware though that the writer was responsible for KDE4, I thought he was just a supporter who is active in the development of the distribution of his choice . . Which leads me to how funny it is that having an opinion can suddenly make you responsible for EVERYTHING involving that which you have an opinion on. I imagine that is just yet another facet in becoming disillusioned with the community. The rabid attitude of many toward distributions in general has pushed me away from the natural affinity I have for Linux. I love everything about Linux but I get angry when people start talking smack about everything but their favorite, then I start feeling like I don’t like it so much anymore. This has progressed to avoiding the online communities which is sad because it limits what I can learn about something I enjoy.

    You may say that people like me are too sensitive and that we should just grow a thicker skin but I don’t think that is the answer. Most people online take on something far more aggressive for a personality than they would ever dream of having in person. Why do we feel that hiding behind a screen and a sarcastic little moniker makes it OK act like a jerk and treat everyone like they are a moron? To me that is the ultimate in cowardice. It takes a person of substance to step back and treat every interaction individually, always treating others with respect. I know you think I sound like your Grandmother and it’s never gonna happen, but you really can’t deny as a mature adult, that’s the way it should be, all the time, everywhere. —Sorry, I had to step up on my toadstool :P

  • not_a_fanta

    ———————–
    Also, I am not an expert user, but I have installed and watched the install of probably hundreds of operating systems. When figuring in whether a distro/platform just does or doesn’t work we have to keep in mind that EVERY PC is different. Sometimes hardware can be the issue, and I know that has to do with development and all as well but that can be the difference between something running like a dream on a hundred PCs and then like crap on yours. I don’t necessarily think that not being 100% compatible with all hardware makes it a piece of crap . . just something to keep in mind.

  • http://www.opensourcesoftwareforwindows.com Open Source Software for Windows

    Definitely agree. Well said, and great read.