Originally Posted by B Nietsnie
KDE or Gnome? Why? Which is better?
In short: the differences between the two, these days, as far as a user is concerned, are cosmetic.
If you're going for Gentoo, Gnome builds a bit faster. KDE applications start up a bit faster. It really boils down to what you're most familiar with, and whether you prefer a C (gnome) or C++ (KDE) foundation.
I'm a long-time KDE fan, and although I think Gnome is fine, I know exactly how to set up my KDE for maximum productivity and eye-candy. So for me, it's KDE. For a new user, I say: try both! On a reasonably-fast system, like my Dell 9300, I can build both fairly quickly.
Both WM's have their plusses, minusses, annoyances, and great features. They routinely "borrow" features from one another
The original reason for the creation of Gnome was that KDE, though robust and excellent at the time, was encumbered by a high-quality but "non-free" library (TrollTech's QT). Eventually, TrollTech GPL'd QT, but rather than dry up, as many thought Gnome would, support for it grew.
It partially boils down to your philosophy, too. Gnome has several big industry players behind it (Sun and Novell, for instance). KDE, on the other hand, was created by hackers for hackers, and although it's received financial backing in various forms from many companies, and has a very slick interface, there's no major company like Sun pushing for its adoption as a corporate desktop.
* Ximian/Novell's Evolution is a feature-for-feature competitor to Microsoft Outlook. If you're an Outlookian, you may want Gnome for this alone.
* KDE's Konqueror is faster, more standards-compliant, and lighter-weight than the Mozilla suite powering Nautilus and most Gnome desktop web browsers. It's an integrated file and web browser, with great drag-and-drop integration and amazing abilities to browse bizarre remote file shares (try "fish://" as a protocol for SSH connections). Konqueror was also the basis used to write Apple's Safari web browser, so Mac OS users will notice some rendering similarities.
Note: the "standards-compliant" claim above for Konqueror is subject to debate. Most folks find the Mozilla (Gecko) engine better-supported across the Web.
* Gnome has a very unique default look and feel. Quite "UNIX-y". KDE has several styles, and by default most closely resembles Microsoft Windows.
* One of KDE's killer apps is "Quanta Plus", a web development tool which compares favorably with Dreamweaver.
The simple fact is, you can run Gnome apps under KDE, and vice-versa. I use "gaim" as my instant messenger client, and it works equally well under either environment. I say build 'em both, use 'em both, and then settle on whichever one suits the way you work best.