KDE on Windows

I’ve tried KDE on Windows Vista on my laptop previously (4.2.2), but various issues prevent me from seriously recommending it to anyone. I’ve decided to give it another try to see how things have improved in the last minor release (4.2.3).

Any complaints I can say about the installer have already been said by many others, so I’ll skip those ones. What I will say is that as long as there are aspell and internationalization packages littering the package selection list, they should be grouped into a tree, and other packages (such as kdegames and kdeedu) should also be tree items allowing selecting only certain programs from the package.

Below, I’ve taken a simple look at some of the software available as part KDE. Things mostly look good. There are issues in the libraries, but I’m certain those will be smoothed out during the year.

Konqueror

With Internet Explorer 8 (I’ve used 7, but not 8), Firefox 3 (I used up to 2.something when it was just too sluggish; is 3 any snappier?), Opera 10 (my browser of choice), and Chrome (which I haven’t used), I don’t see where there’s any chance for Konqueror as-is as a Windows browser.

Konqueror

That said, Konqueror is fairly snappy even on my laptop which is slow when running Windows.

Konqueror: File Chooser

I imagine it’s because of being based on the Qt framework that Konqueror uses Vista’s file chooser when used under Windows Vista. This is where Qt outshines other toolkits such as GTK, as programs written in Qt will take on the look and feel of the environment they’re run in.

Dolphin

Dolphin

I use Dolphin in Linux for most file management, but sometimes I need to use Konqueror because Dolphin is simply too limiting (such as a lack of splitting views). For Windows Vista, Explorer looks to be a better program for the most part. The points on Dolphin’s side seem to be the ability to select multiple files using only the mouse, and tabs, both found also in Konqueror.

GwenView

Gwenview

I don’t use Gwenview, but it looks like a decent image viewer with light editing capabilities. I haven’t checked if the rating and description have interoperability with setting that data in Explorer.

KWrite and Kate

KWrite is a feature-light advanced text editor. I don’t know much about it, as I don’t use it.

KWrite

Kate is a feature-filled advanced text editor, and its my text editor of choice.

Kate

Both will outdo Notepad. A default Windows Vista install does not provide an advanced text editor.

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