Trinity Desktop Environment — 1

Some time was spent reminiscing about KDE 3 and the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) with the hope of breaking away from GTK as much as practical.

The file picker dialog was superior to anything the GTK file picker could hope to be.

As a file manager nothing compared to Konqueror. An expandable detailed tree view in the file pane. Preloaded. Fast. Tabs. Bookmarks. Separators in the bookmarks. A web browser. A flexible multi-purpose navigation pane. Viewing man pages as HTML. Possibly Konqueror was a classic “killer” app back in the day.

Konsole was a practical terminal emulator with bookmarks. Bookmarks with a terminal emulator — such a simple productivity feature. That the idea never caught on with many other terminal window emulators is a mystery.

KMail was a functional mail client supporting maildir long before Thunderbird and still supports local spool mail.

KAlarm was a handy reminder tool without the overhead of a full featured calendar.

Kate, KWrite, and KEdit all were decent text editors.

No music player rose to the status of the original Amarok.

Regardless of what developers thought about the internal code of KDE 3, the entire desktop ran wonderfully well. KDE was designed with users being in control rather than ivory towered developers. TDE retained that tradition.

In hindsight there is much to miss. Software tools and work flows that might have rendered computer usage more enjoyable.

Some people might argue that TDE is a security nightmare. Possibly, but other than soap-box arguments nobody seems to have posted qualified audits. TQt3 might be old but that does not necessarily mean full of vulnerabilities. The original Konqueror is out-of-date as a web browser, but there are other web browsers. The old Konqueror remains a superior file manager.

Some people might argue that TDE is an eventual dead-end. Conversely, for many people desktop needs seldom change radically through the years — mostly the software apps change. Perhaps one day TDE will be unable to be compiled easily because of evolving tool chains but that day is not today.

Despite alleged concerns about TDE, there is one observation that many people seem to agree. TDE is based on one of the more complete desktop environments ever — KDE 3.5.10. There are many glowing and warm comments about that. If something is not broken then do not fix.

There are many GTK tools that could be replaced with TDE:

  • Caja/Thunar file manager-->Konqueror
  • Xfce4/MATE terminal window-->Konsole
  • Sylpheed for local spool mail-->KMail
  • Lightning Calendar-->KAlarm
  • Geany and plugins-->Kate, KWrite
  • Meld-->Kompare, KDiff3
  • Parcellite clipboard manager-->Klipboard
  • Xfce Timer Applet-->KTeatime
  • Xfce Sound Mixer-->KMix
  • Atril Document Viewer-->KPDF
  • Clementine-->Amarok
  • Galculator-->KCalc
  • Eye of MATE Image Viewer-->Kuickshow, KView, Gwenview
  • Engrampa archiver-->Ark
  • NetworkManager applet-->KNetworkManager
  • Work space switcher-->KPager
  • Remmina-->Krdc
  • Brasero-->K3B
  • Xfce Timer Applet-->KTimer, KTeatime

Not a bad start for reducing GTK frustrations.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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