The following may come as a shock to you all: I had originally written another blog, filled with kute kommentary kompletely katagorizing the klear advantages kurrently available in the new KDE 4.2, and how well it runs on the lightning-kwick Fedora 11.
But after being up all night with this version of Fedora 11, I deleted most of it. I’m not going to go there — not with the “k” thing which, since 1996, has probably been the mainstay of jokes around the desktop environment; jokes which those close to KDE find beyond tiresome by this time, I’m sure.
“Up all night” sounds bad, too, as if I were nursing a sick child with a fever. That’s not the case here. On the contrary: The reason I was up all night with KDE is that, as predominantly a GNOME user, I was enthralled by the desktop environment and its accompanying programs. Enthralled probably isn’t the best word here, and neither is enamored because neither word does justice to how impressed I am overall with KDE 4.2’s offerings and performance on Fedora 11.
A caveat: There are programs that I still prefer over the ones K provides on KDE. For example, while KOffice is an adequate program, you can have my OpenOffice when you pry my cold, dead fingers from it, and I installed it and tested with it. While I am an unequivocal OOo user, I do think that KThesarus is an excellent addition to KOffice. Konqueror, though adequate, tends to falter when it comes to some sites — Facebook and Gmail come immediately to mind. So Firefox was installed as well.
Having said this, though, there are programs on here that I like very much and would use going forward. I put Konversation through its paces during the Fedora Ambassadors IRC meeting on Tuesday evening, and it gained me as a convert. Also, KMail was very easy to set up and use and is a viable alternative — and in many ways a superior one, once you find your way around it — to Evolution.
[Note: I'm still on the fence when it comes to KsCD, but with the hour being what it was last night I wasn't able to crank up the Judas Priest -- played, of course, for testing purposes only. No, really. Just for testing . . . ]
Despite the digital stumble KDE 4 arguably may have been, KDE 4.2 tends to make up for it and goes way above and beyond the call. Further, KDE is clearly worth considering if you’re installing Fedora 11, whether or not F11 is the first time you’re using Fedora.
Coming tomorrow: Divine inspiration in using Fedora 11 with the Xfce desktop.
(Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)