Technology for the rest of us

KDE, Linux, technology.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Marketing for KDE

I just noticed on that KDE has formed a marketing effort.. Finally! For more times I can coun I have ran in to a situation where some user says "It would be cool if KDE had feature xxxxxx", only to be told by someone else, that KDE has had that feature for a long time. And several times I have seen GNOME-guys market some feature their desktop has, as greatest thing since sliced bread.... While KDE has had that feature for long time. Or I have seen them parade about implementing some piece of technology. While KDE-guys quietly implement the same stuff with minimium of fuzz.

You could say that the KDE-folks are focusing on important stuff: making their desktop better, instead of spending their time writing press-releases. But that work might be more or less wasted if others get the credit, or if the users don't know the feature exists. This problem might be related to the problem KDE has: It has so much options, features and clutter that the great features are buried beneath that layer of cruft. KDE is a powerful system that can do a lot for the user. But the user never realizes that, because all that greatness is buried beneath trivial clutter. In a way, KDE is not ruled by a powerful set of core-features, it's ruled by trivialness.

I like to talk about KDE's clutter. Mainly because it's an easy subject to talk about. It's everwhere. And it doesn't need to be that way. That clutter makes KDE look awkward, unsexy and... well, cluttered. It leaves bad first impression on the users mind. And first impressions are important. I can't stress this enough: first impressions are very, very important. They are important in meeting new people, and they are important in choosing your desktop. If the user has to choose between smooth, streamlined and uncluttered desktop (GNOME) and cluttered, confusing and chaotic desktop (KDE), he will propably choose the first one. This isn't just a question of usability and aesthetics: this is a question of marketing as well.

I also like to talk about the clutter because

a) it's relatively easy to fix
b) fixing it would remove the nr. 1 complaint people have about KDE.


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