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GNOME vs. KDE vs. Unity: Performing Seven Basic Tasks

Nov 10, 2011, 14:01 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"Launching an Application

"GNOME 2 and KDE are the easiest desktops from which to start an application. Both support icons on the desktop, which are launched with one or two clicks, depending on your configuration choices. If an application is not on the desktop, then both average three clicks to open it from the menu. GNOME 2 edges out KDE because the default KDE menu may require some scrolling, which slows the launching.

"By contrast, the effort to launch an application in GNOME 3 varies considerably. If the application is on the dash, launching requires two clicks and a change of screen to the overview. Otherwise, you have to click Applications. With a fourth click, you can open some popular applications, but otherwise, you'll need a filtered search and another click to start the application. As the application starts, you return to the main screen, which may be confusing for new users.

"In Unity, you need one click if the application is on the dash, plus some scrolling if the icon is collapsed. If you've created folders on the desktop, you can start an application in two clicks using a document launcher. Otherwise, you need to click the Dash Home, and either click a common task or select another category, where you need another click and possibly some scrolling. Alternatively, you can search if you know what's likely to be available.

"Verdict: If you only consider defaults, GNOME 2 is the winner, followed by KDE. GNOME 3 and Unity can match the performance of the others, but only if you're lucky, so they are tied for third."

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