Since for (network) testing purposes I've rigged a spare partition on my desktop as a virtual duplicate of my laptop, but obviously s/ati/nv/ and Linux is smart enough to take care of the rest. To make the most of it, I also swapped a few things around to the latest packages. For dependency reasons Gnome is installed; like wise KDE for old times sake and Xfce for completeness. I decided that since I needed a desktop session to test the 'common' web browsers, that I may as well take KDE for a spin.
So far, I've tried about four or five versions of KDE since 4 went public, all but one of them was a release version. Taking a count from the moment the KDM wall paper is replaced by my blanked Xfce one, my meagre laptop loads Xfce into a usable state by "The count of three", and has Dropbox and some applets loaded by five seconds. By contrast, on my waaay more powerful desktop, not only did I give up counting at the second mark of the startup splash screen: I dropped my water bottle and had to fish around in the dark to retrieve it from under the table. By then, KDE still had not gotten half way through it's start up splash srcreen 8=). I like KDE, I've even used some versions of 3.4 on a piddly 500Mhz system once upon a time. But KDE 4 is just slow, freaking slow!
However, I must admit that KDE offers a very pleasant and polished visual appearance. Its like looking at a sleek sports car, only better. Their new desktop metaphor as it were, is likely a grand improvement over the traditional desktop. Compared to wrapping ones noodle around Deskmate or living with the UI that has plagued Windows for the last 15, if not 25 years, it is also argubly easier to use. No doubt about it, a first load of KDE is a hell of a lot more straight forward than a straight load of modern (or classic) Windows.
While it's all so well done now, and as much as I remember enjoying KDE(3), if KDE(4) is the way the future desktop will be, me thinks that I will be continuing to use a keyboard and terminal emulator more often than a mouse, keyboard, and GUI applications!
It's nice stuff, but hell, if it's going to be that slow, why even use more than an xterm?