BTW, TFB, it is not my intention to single you out personally. I respect your contributions here at OCN - Linux. It's just that this particular comment is common from Gnome Users who have yet to discover what KDE can do, and now, even some KDE v3 users, too. since v4 is a huge leap.
Originally Posted by TFB
You can do the same things really. It's just GNOME uses GTK and KDE uses qt. That doesn't really matter though since you can install qt in GNOME and I'm fairly positive you can use GTK in KDE.
Also, I should say another huge thing is the aesthetics, obviously. KDE is just ugly IMO and their menus just aren't as user friendly as GNOME.
If all one is concerned with is appearances, although KDE does have deeper control but it is also buried a little deeper and harder to find, but ultimately a determined person can make either look very similar, with only a few exceptions. I will let someone else note those exceptions because my money is going to the "engine" before the "rims"
I hated KDE v4 at first. Things I could do like easily create a link to an application, location, or URL on the desktop weren't anywhere near as trivial as they were on v3 and the first releases were like Super Massive Black Holes on resources, especially for the Unholy Three - akonadi, nepomuk, and strigi - the database powered engines of the new Plasma Desktop. At first I couldn't even see why I would want such a thing at any resource expense, let alone at the ridiculously high usage I first saw. I thought the new head of development for KDE had lost his way as well as his mind.
Do any of you remember when Windows 95 introduced HTML driven desktop? It was an annoyance at first but if you bothered to mess with it, you could do more things quicker and new things that had been impossible.
The power of this combination, this total integration into the Desktop that KDE has had the courage to jump (and I do mean jump!
) goes far beyond the miniscule step to HTML. If it had been just a small step it wouldn't have been (and in many cases still is) as hated as it has been. If it couldn't do so much than any other DE it wouldn't need the near doubling of running processes that even with vastly improved memory management still has a much larger footprint. If you wanna go fast or haul heavier loads, there is no substitute for "cubic inches" and Big Blocks eat more "gas". Simple physics. (./Cue TimAllenPowerPigGrunts.mp3)
Even the "simple" Run box is now so integrated that it has a huge configuration page because it can do so much.. Here is a screenie that even at 1280 x 720 can show less than half of the plugins for "Run" and none of the 2nd Tab for UI settings.
That screenie also shows 3 instances of one single Plasmoid, with which I am slowly going to either eliminate or vastly reduce Conky, since Plasmoids use far less resources to do the same job since they are integrated into the Plasma Desktop engine. Just that one Plasmoid, STDIN, can display any file or the output of any command and not only that it is integrated with Kontact so it can monitor schedules, events, communications, alarms. cron actions..... the list is amazingly long and useful and that's just one Plasmoid! There are nearly a hundred others already and more coming every week.
I don't wish to rave on and come off like some fanatical convert, but every bit of important software has been impacted to some degree by the mobile computing explosion and is trying to do more with less through smooth integration. Those like KDE that embrace that change will grow and likely flourish. Those that don't or can't, I think will fade.
KDE is attempting a sea change that is re-defining what a desktop is and can do. That drastic a quantum leap is by nature, painful since it comes with a serious learning curve. It took me, coming from v3 KDE, over 6 months for the "lights to go on" where I could see where they are headed and if that was any good for me. That is real innovation and represents great risk and courage. I applaud KDE and am really starting to get excited about where it is headed. It is also worthy of note that the support community outstrips any other DE by orders of magnitude. If you need proof, just go to any Linux friendly IRC server like Freenode and see for yourself.
It's easy to install on any Linux but I recommend at least a v4.5.x and give it some time on the first launch because the initial database creation is heavy but soon settles down to tiny updates. Then, be prepared for some pain and very worthwhile gain and it ain;t mere window dressing.