A few weeks after Ubuntu 8.04 officially came out, I decided to download it and install a fresh version, since I’d sort of mucked up the updated Beta version I’d already had installed.
Instead of going for one of the Kubuntu versions like I did last time, I went with just plain Ubuntu. After discovering that the crash problems I experienced under Gnome with Firefox seemed to be fixed, I decided to challenge myself to stick with Gnome. I felt I hadn’t given it a fair shake in my last couple Linux posts, and I wanted to give it another shot.
Unfortunately, I still felt the window decorations were overly bland. All the themes that come with Ubuntu just aren’t very interesting. I’m not just talking about the “human” theme Ubuntu comes with (calling that bland is like calling a black hole dark; it’s too self-evident to bother mentioning), I’m talking about all the themes. Some are better than others, but none come off as very slick. So, one is forced to improvise. With some help from the Ubuntu forums, as well as Gnome-Looks, and the Avant Window Navigator, I ended up with a setup I was happy with. And honestly, it lasted me a good long while.
There was just one problem: online flash video. I’ve brought this up before, and I’ve started to come to the conclusion that it’s more my computer’s fault than Gnome’s. However, the simple fact is that I get a lot of frame tearing with online flash video when I’m running Gnome that I just don’t get when I’m running KDE. So, after a while, it just started to annoy me too much. I installed the kubuntu-desktop package, and booted back up into KDE 3.5.
And, I’m sorry to say this, but while Gnome needs tweaking to look slick, KDE looks slick right out of the gate. I don’t get the compiz effects by default, but I don’t feel I need them as much under KDE. I miss the Avant Window Navigator, but I’m comfortable doing without it. I know I could get both these things working under KDE, but I don’t feel the overriding need for them, like I do with Gnome.
My previous criticism that KDE apps didn’t start up as fast under Gnome as Gnome apps started in KDE was somewhat baseless, in retrospect. And I certainly have a much more favorable opinion of Gnome overall than I used to.
But, I’m back to using KDE 3.5 for the time being. It’s simple, stable, and slick enough for me. And since I don’t have cable, and all my major video comes to me via online flash video, I’m pretty much always going to fall back on the setup that gives me the best performance on that front.