Maybe this division makes more sense in German, I’m not sure, but to me this is hard to get my mind around. I understand separating behavior from appearance, but I think that all appearance related entries should be combined in the same place. Who’s to say that all users can, or need to make the distinction between Plasma and the desktop theme?
I should also mention that it looks and acts a heck of a lot like the system settings panel from KDE 3.5, which is the product of a much by-gone era.
3 Dynamic Default Theme
Oxygen is a fitting name for the default KDE theme. It’s beautiful, elegant, and it’s (it was) a breath of fresh air for many users. KDE has always had a certain ‘clunky snappiness’ to it, and while that doesn’t seem to have changed much, the smooth curves, gradients, and subtle divisions of widget elements make it seem as smooth as butter. Gray or platinum does get boring after a little while though. How about a splash of color in the title bar, or how about some official transparency that makes good use of your graphics card and Kwin? Even with the unofficial transparency effect added to Oxygen on KDE 4, there is still much left to be desired. A hack is not what we need here. We need something fresh that blows everything else away.
4 Stay The Course
Desktop environments are clamoring over the idea of touch and are completely redesigning their desktop environments to suit this brave new world. Gnome 3 is a drastic departure from the 2.x series, and even though it’s starting to gain mind-share with Gnome 3.4, it still fails as a mechanism to manage windows with. This is where KDE really shines. It has all the icing of a modern desktop environment, but can act like a more contemporary, standard one.
Some of you may call KDE a Windows-clone. This is fine, and maybe it is to some degree, but there is one fact that might be hard for you to deny. Microsoft was really on to something when they designed the taskbar and the start button. This tried and true panel is extremely efficient for the desktop user and has yet to be surpassed by anything. Even Mac OS X can get a little hard to handle once you have several programs running. The Plasma iteration of the Kpanel in KDE 4 is still a boon for us who use the computer for productivity. Let’s be honest, if you spend most of your time in a web-browser and use little to nothing when it comes to offline apps, you really could use any desktop environment. For me, this is impossible.
We don’t need any fancy, full-screen launchers. Of course, if you are looking for a suitable way to interact with your device, you can already try KDE activities! Plasma-active will soon be a selectable activity in KDE, before 5.0. So if you need to use it on a tablet, and the traditional desktop paradigm is not working for you, KDE has got you covered. Working an a small screen, like a netbook? Switch to the netbook activity, which optimizes the full KDE desktop for your limited device.
So, stay the course KDE. Cater to everyone with activities and you will never abandon your audience!