dyfet wrote:I agree a KDE "default" desktop tends to initially confuse and confound new KDE users. Having a default desktop with a folder view widget and with unlocked widgets is what I would choose to note in particular. Having something that, for a user that has never experienced KDE before, but likely has experienced other desktop environments, as you simply mouse over the desktop strange things suddenly happen (the folderview widget toolbar popping out, for example) can be very jarring. Enough so that I found people who were first introduced to KDE in this way for a long time afterward feel it is in some way "unnatural" or "strange", and this really does kill initial KDE adoption. This is the desktop version of the problem of the "uncanny valley", I think...
I would suggest a very different initial default desktop experience. Even the KDE netbook desktop (and with locked widgets) actually seems to feel less "uncanny" and unfamiliar to new users than that initial default desktop experience does. Perhaps a default that uses the folder layout desktop with the panel, plain and old fashioned as it might be to some, and especially with widgets initially locked, would I think be far less jarring for new KDE users. Another thing that could be nice for an initial user's KDE experience would be to pre-populate the dolphin places with the xdg shortcuts.
This has been exactly my experience with KDE, including a recent install of SolydK. Although, I can say that I found KDE to feel just as light and snappy as Xfce, which was very surprising to me. It seemed much more polished than the previous versions I have tried, but I still find myself confused and lost by the whole experience.
I can't really fault KDE though, because it is a very personal thing as to which DE you "synch" with. For instance, I find Openbox to be very intuitive and easy to use, even without a panel, but I find Fluxbox to be confounding. In the end, Xfce is my favorite, and I especially like solydX, Mint, and MX-14's version of it. I think the default Xfce install is pretty ugly though!