Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ubuntu Announces Rebranding

If any of you out there are Ubuntu fans like me, you'll be over the moon to read Jono Bacon's announcement about Ubuntu's rebranding! Here's the short version: the colour palette has shifted from brown with orange accents to a lovely aubergine with orange accents, and the whole visual style has been designed around the theme "light". Some hardcore Ubuntu-ites are already crying out for the loss of their beloved brown, but I for one see the change as welcome, and the look overall is more professional and polished than before. The new colours and style make Ubuntu look sleek and modern, and will help promote its position as one of the "big" mainstream operating systems.

Here are a few shots from the branding wiki page (which at the time of posting was only intermittently available, due to "technical constraints or capacity issues"!):

Well done to Jono and the team!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Real Reason I Can't Bring Myself to Switch to KDE

I have tried KDE now, three times. And I've actually managed to get some great eye-candy out of it...In fact, in terms of looks, I do ADORE KDE. Some examples of what I've done with it in the past:
From Screenshots
From Screenshots
However, there's one little thing that means I can never quite stick with it! You might be forgiven for thinking it was one of the following:
  • It is too resource-heavy compared to Gnome
  • It annoys me slightly that the panel never matches the windows
  • The zoom out feature is still a bit buggy
  • The customisation settings, while more extensive than stock Gnome, are more difficult to get a grip of
  • That damn KDE wallet asks me for my password every time I come back from suspend
...and so on and so forth. But in the end, all of these things are just little niggles, things that you would get over in time, just by using the desktop environment, and getting to know it better.

So what is it, then, you ask? Don't laugh...

Native KDE applications all have ridiculous names!!!

They all appear to be contrived to contain a "K" in some way, like when high school kids decide that it's not "wicked", it's "wikid". Or they just get lazy, and stick a "K" on the front of a literal name describing exactly what the application does. All you have to do is take a look at KDE's website to see what I mean:

So let's examine the evidence, and compare some Gnome and KDE default applications:
  • Web browsers: Firefox vs. Konqueror
    I suppose Konqueror is more than just a web browser, so maybe that's what they were going for with the whole "conqueror" epithet, but it doesn't excuse the "K". It's up there with "Hed Kandi", "Krazy Glue" and "Krazy Kamp" (the musical my middle school put on in the 7th grade).
  • Mail Clients: Evolution vs. KMail
    The lack of imagination here is just staggering. Could we not come up with a better name than "KMail" for a mail client in KDE?
  • BitTorrent Clients: Transmission vs. KTorrent
    See above. Come on, guys, let's have a little naming creativity here!
  • Music players: Rhythmbox vs. amaroK, now Amarok
    This one is arguably the weakest example, since the name actually means something in another language ("wolf" in Inuktitut), so the "K" is a transliteration anyway. Also, the dev team get points for seeing the light and fixing the capitalisation issue, which is what landed it on my list in the first place.
  • Feed readers: n/a vs. Akregator
    In fairness, this isn't quite an even comparison because Gnome doesn't ship with a default feed reader. But "Akregator"?! Come on, it's "aggregator", so at the very least, it should be "Akkregator" or something...Basically, there's no excuse for this one...
Now, I can't be completely one-sided here, as Gnome has its fair share of awkwardly-named applications, like gedit, but it's nowhere near the volume that KDE has.

What it all comes down to is that I get embarrassed telling people that I use applications with such ridiculous names. All the major OSes, including Windows and MacOS, put a lot of thought into the names of their applications, and I wish KDE would do the same. If they could crack that, they'd pretty much have a convert!