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A week on Neon, my opinion.

MRK0017
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A week on Neon, my opinion.

Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:22 am
I really wanted to move away from Windows for years. I tried many distros, including Ubuntu, Mint Cinnamon, and a couple others, they all lacked some features here and there that eventually made me say f it and made me crawl back to Windows. I am not the type of user who needs to do some really specific and obscure computing or use weird hardware (I don't even have a printer, my only non standard device is a basic wacom tablet I use to sketch when I'm bored), but I have a very strict list of requirements that I consider mandatory for an operating system. For example I dropped Mint because I could not have a thumbnail view in the Firefox file picker, didn't allow me to search for files with ease (especially I had trouble searching and filtering by size, extension, and so on), i had issues mounting isos with ease, and the font rendering was too bad, I couldn't configure my **** tablet except from the command line (and even then I had issues because button numbering wasn't 1234 but something like 1389 or something like that); on top of that I had issues with the system taking an entire minute to boot (which was so weird because when I tested it in VIrtualbox within Windows it booted in 30 seconds), eventually made me drop it completely. Now I'm on Neon which I consider daily driver worthy, but it has some extremely annoying quirks.

Let me start by saying that the KDE Plasma desktop is a marvel, it's amazing what you can do with it and the amount of customization, at first I was blown away because this is miles ahead of anything I've ever seen so far, it was love at first sight. Eventually I started having problems, such as activating right click menu items by mistake (viewtopic.php?f=289&t=161733), not being able to properly configure when and how to update, not being able to install my wacom tablet (I managed after like 3 hours of messing around because it was not clear at all how or what I had to install), not being able to install Dolphin extensions to mount isos easily (viewtopic.php?f=224&t=161738&p=420298#p420298), installing the nvidia driver causing everything on my monitor to shrink and breaking any custom theme I had installed (eventually figured out how to fix it), and a bunch of other little inconsistencies and bugs and weirdnesses here and there.

And you know, this is really a shame, because the Plasma environment is incredibly impressive, it's miles ahead of anything I've seen so far (used Windows and Mac OS for 10+ years), the customization is mind blowing and the overall quality of the experience is pretty much flawless; but then you run into these annoyances that bring the whole thing down. Being forced to google for weird issues, and wasting so much time troubleshooting basic functionality (like the right click thing that I mentioned earlier) just demoralizes me to no end, and I assume this is why msot people stick to **** Windows 10, it's extremely annoying, spies on you, nags you constantly with weird questions ("would you recommend Windows 10 to a colleague or friend?") but at least the basics work fine. So far my experience on KDE Neon has been a rollercoaster, at first I discover I can add extensions to Dolphin and my mind is blown by the possibilities, something are actually quite genius and give you that "wow" feeling, then you install it but it doesn't work and you have to spend 30 minutes trying to figure out why until you accidentally stumble upon the solution on some random youtube video.

What I'm saying is, what's the point of having this amazing customization and expandability when the basics (such as installing said expansions) don't work? I've been using Windows and Mac OS for decades now, they're not perfect by any means and they have their super annoying quirks (for example I absolutely hate the Mac OS dock), but the difference between them and KDE Neon (or linux distros in general from what I tested so far) is that they have the basics down. The right click issue I mentioned earlier, for example, pretty much invalidates the whole OS for me, because that is a basic functionality and it has to be perfect imo, there's no point of having anything else if the lowest tier of basics don't work properly, you can have all kinds of super amazing and genius tier functionality but when you can't right click properly the whole experience is ruined. Take the wacom tablet thing, it can be perfectly integrated on the system settings and works flawlessly, except it took me 30 minutes to figure out wtf I had to do to install, especially if you consider that the damn package you need is not even in Discover (but there are a couple with the same name, except they don't work at all), again what's the point of having this perfectly working integration for the wacom tablet when it takes 30 minutes of excruciating trial and error to actually install it? Most people would give up and move back to Windows after searching "wacom" in Discover, installing and realizing it doesn't work.

I hope that whoever is maintaining these aspects of the OS takes notices and realizes that it's these little issues that can ruin the whole experience. I'd love to "convert" some more people to abandon Windows for good, but I can't do so when the alternative OS has basic functionality issues like this, I can't recommend something where you can't right click properly even if it has the best desktop experience out of every existing OS so far. It's like when you buy a smartphone with the latest and greatest tech inside it, you take photos and play games and do all kinds of stuff and then you realize you can't make calls because the speaker is too quiet, and no, it doesn't matter that KDE Plasma is free, it takes time to set up and configure (just installing the nvidia driver and troubleshooting all the weirdness that ensues after you install is a ****) and time is money, it's probably even worse to realize you spent 5 hours configuring your OS but it was all for naught because basic functionality is fundamentally broken.

So yeah, I'm still extremely impressed by Plasma and the Neon distro as a whole, so much so that I want to keep using it despite these ridiculous, baffling flaws. I just hope I won't be hit by a dealbreaker bug that makes me regret all the hours I spent tweaking and configuring my install, because that's what'll make me crawl back to Windows once again, and this time I might as well give up on GNU\Linux as a whole.
BulletDust
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Re: A week on Neon, my opinion.

Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:42 am
First of all, I've used KDE on and off for years, never had an issue right clicking. I recently made KDE Neon my full time OS, still don't have an issue right clicking.

Second of all, you don't need to schedule updates when the OS informs you an update is available but waits until you want to install it before doing so. The polar opposite to the updating process under Windows. In my experience the Linux method of updating is miles ahead of the updating process under either Windows or MacOS.

Thirdly, I just plugged my Daughter's Warcom tablet into my PC and it worked perfectly out the box - Didn't do anything. I'm tipping your messing about with the Warcom tablet is what buggered up your right click.

Fourth, I've installed Nvidia drivers many times under KDE using the recommended Ubuntu PPA method and I've never had an issue. X11 runs perfectly, even with fractional scaling at 4k, and my desktop is silky smooth with no tearing whatsoever. For the record, you never install Nvidia drivers directly off the Nvidia site using the ancient .run method, you always install Nvidia drivers using the PPA method. If you're using a laptop with switchable graphics, as a tech I can assure you such systems don't work perfectly under Windows either.

Fifth, I always install Gnome-Disks under any distro I use which comes with easy to use GUI ISO mounting functionality - You do actually need to do some research sometimes to achieve what you want, Windows is absolutely no different in this regard.

Essentially all I'm hearing is the all to common complaint from Windows users discouraged with the direction Windows is headed so they blindly give Linux a go expecting a Windows clone - All surprised when they find out that Linux is by no means a Windows clone, nor should it be!

Windows wouldn't enjoy the popularity it does if it wasn't forced onto the device you buy by default, people don't necessarily use Windows because it's a 'great OS', on the contrary Windows is very much the McDonalds of operating systems and going backwards at an alarming rate. If you really want to rid your life of Windows, if you really want Linux to work, gather together everything you know about the 'Windows way' of using a PC and lob it all in the bin of your mind. Then start afresh and begin the exciting journey of learning something new.

Windows is most definitely not the benchmark by which all other operating systems should be judged. My experience with KDE Neon is that it absolutely destroys either MacOS or Windows, as a result I've got a fairly expensive Mac Mini here that I never use.
MRK0017
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Re: A week on Neon, my opinion.

Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:34 pm
Hey, thanks for answering and sharing your opinion. I agree with you, KDE destroys Windows and MacOS, in fact I said so, my point was that some small details made it unappealing. As for the right click thing, it's a design defect in the OS, I get this even in a virtual machine (installed on my work PC so I can mess with it during downtime) with a brand new installation of Neon, it's related to the fact you release the right click when the mouse is already on top of a menu item. It's explained very well in the bug report. I think I trigger it so often because I use a very fast mouse speed, so all it takes for my cursor to go from initiating the click to landing on the first item in the menu (for example cut if I'm using kwrite) is a split second, less than it takes to press and release the button. On Windows the right click menu doesn't appear until you actually release the button, on KDE it appears while the button is pressed, maybe I'm not good at explaining but it is 100% a design flaw, sure it may just become noticable to 1% of the users, but it's still there and to me looks very easy to solve (instead of button pressed->menu appears->button released you'd want to have button pressed->button released->menu appears I guess, or just make the button released event not trigger menu items, you can test it yourself in any menu).

The rest is just a case of me being very unlucky I guess, but I can reproduce the same exact issues (except the nvidia driver thing for obvious reasons) in a brand new install on a virtual machine, so I dunno, maybe they're all defects that happen if you install the latest version fresh, like the Dolphin services thing, I get the same exact issue in a brand new virtual machine. Can you install dolphin services? It would be pretty interesting to know why, if they install for you. Same with the Wacom thing, I cannot find the required package in Discover even in this brand new vm to get the wacom tablet to appear under input devices in system settings, but it does work if I install it via command line or muon.

Anyway other than the right click thing I found workarounds for every single issue I encountered so far, so it's not a big deal. My main point was that most people wouldn't bother to do all the troubleshooting I did, and would give up at the first sign of a defect. One of the reasons why I think the average users likes Windows (because let's face it, most people love W10 apparently) is that it has the basics down, it doesn't really matter if everything else is absolutely dreadful when the basics are there. Lots of people I talk with (I work in IT btw, as a Windows sysadmin) say that they stick to Windows because they tried Ubuntu once, had a problem (even an easy one such as not liking the default font) and gave up immediately. I only gave up when I found a deal breaking issue with the distro that cannot be solved (so far I haven't given up on KDE Neon despite the right click issue btw because everything else is pretty much perfect for me).
With more attention to details in matters of basic functionality distros that use KDE could get very close to perfection and bring more people to leave that abomination that is Windows 10 behind.
BulletDust
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Re: A week on Neon, my opinion.

Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:05 pm
I have experienced no more issues requiring workarounds than I have under Windows and if your click speed is turned up too high you most likely will encounter issues when right clicking, this also happens under MacOS, the fix is to set your mouse click speed to realistic levels. Under MacOS if you mouse click speed is set too high you cannot right click at all.

I can install via Dolphin Services, but you have to understand that quite a few of the packages under Dolphin Services are now very depreciated, the ISO Service Menu hasn't been updated for 5 years! You need to open the webpage and do a little research before installing packages like new services. As stated, I use Gnome-Disks and it mounts ISO images just fine.

You have to approach this logically: If you're running an OS you're not familiar with after what's most likely a lifetime of Windows conditioning, you're going to be encountering more problems that require you to search for solutions - Not due to the fact that there's anything wrong with the operating system, but totally due to a complete lack of familiarity.

This is why proprietary software should not be used in schools. Large capitalist corporations are conditioning our young to use their products so that when they leave school Microsoft and Adobe are all they know, it's ingrained, it's muscle memory and it's no mistake.

Windows admins are a perfect example of this, they don't use Windows because it's the most suitable tool for the job, they use Windows because it's all they know. I've gone to sites where they use Mac's and a Linux server and 'Windows only' techs have quoted on a complete new Windows SBS based server and Windows desktops due to a simple email issue! $40k to replace the enrire network as opposed to a simple fix to rectify what turned out to be an incorrect incoming server setting!

That's not a tech, that's not a sysadmin - That's a drone. If it wasn't for AD, Windows Server would have no purpose.

 
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