Switching from KDE to Gnome…
I finally got fed up of the plethora of inexplicable crashes on my Linux system (Kubuntu 10.10 x86-64 if you must know). The Kate text editor would crash every time you clicked the Tools menu. MySQL Workbench crashed every time you hit File -> Open (or CTRL+O, or the “Open” toolbar button), and some-to-most of the time doing about half a dozen other things. Video was atrocious (any app, any source, any renderer), latency was bad enough to make you click on and type in the wrong window at times, the aesthetics were depressing… you get the picture.
So on a lark I decided to try switching my window manager from KDE to Gnome (just sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop, I didn’t actually switch distros from Kubuntu to Ubuntu or anything). Let me just say WOW! Not only is the user experience a drastic improvement over KDE (IMO, of course), but I would say it’s better than Windows 7. I’ve never experienced such responsiveness, even with animations and 3D app, monitor, and tab switching turned on, and a fancy animated 3D dock for my launchers and open apps (AWN if you must know). And it’s not just the OS-level stuff that feels smoother; video is astounding. I played two 720p videos fullscreen simultaneously, one on each monitor, with VLC, and there wasn’t the slightest hint of stutter. I could even fast forward and skip without issues. Flash works everywhere, even in the browsers you Windows junkies have never heard of before, like Reconq. Web browsing is faster in Firefox, Konqueror, Chrome, Chromium… everything I’ve tried so far.
I used to really prefer KDE, but either something was woefully b0rk3d with it on my system, or the Gnome team just has its shit together that much better these days. Either way, since switching yesterday, I’ve found myself reaching for the Windows 7 computer less and less. Thanks, Gnome!