Friday, April 23. The day when decisions wanted to be taken, because things happened. Not much did happen, and nothing really important, but I am short-fused at times. Also, Linux is about freedom, they say.

1. Just a normal day in Arch-based Salient OS

I forgot I disabled the updates notifications, so when I installed a tiny shit using Pamac, not pacman, I had to accept all the available updates. All of a sudden, I got hit by progress.

Konsole looked like this before the update, being at version 20.12.3 (in a KDE 5.21.4 environment):

After the update, Konsole fired up like this, being it now at version 21.04:

I thought something went terribly wrong, and Arch start shipping something else in their repos.

The explanation is simple. Despite having become usable in the last couple of years, KDE Plasma is, conceptually, as shitty as GNOME3 or 40. The fundamental framework of the distro can be at version 5.21.4, but the apps can be 20.12.3, the same way GNOME 40 ships in most distros with apps versioned 3.38.2. The can be disconnected, yeah. Now that they launched KDE Gear 21.04, I got hit with the latest and greatest “improvements” in KDE’s associated apps!

Well, I wanted a rolling-release distro, didn’t I? With Debian Stable or Ubuntu LTS, I’d be stuck with an antiquated version of a desktop environment, and KDE is still very much “evolving”… I mean changing. Take a look (and keep scrolling down!) at This Week in KDE: you’ll see tons and tons of bugs getting fixed all the time, meaning they existed in the first place, to the point one must ask themselves how the fuck is KDE loved by so many people?! (The GNOME idiots were cunninger: they tried to get rid of the bugs by cutting features, such as the Compact view in the file manager.) So when they fix a bug in Dolphin or in anything important, I’d rather like to have them reaching my system, which in a version-frozen distro is unlikely to happen.

The thing in Konsole was listed in Highlights from 2020. Yup, it was implemented before December 31, 2020, and even in Arch, it only reached the public in the second half of April 2021!

Konsole gained a variety of useful new features such as inline previews for images and HTML color codes that you hover the cursor over, the ability to assign custom colors to tabs, and a new on-by-default toolbar. Also, paths in grep output are now clickable to jump directly to that line of code in the file!

Yup, someone called for features such as “Display thumbnails with alt + mouse hover” and “Display a toolbar in Konsole.” I suppose there weren’t more important fixes to do in KDE. The proposed toolbar was different, but they implemented something.

Since we’re at “let’s implement crappy things instead of fixing old bugs”: the news for January 15, 2021: This week in KDE: text reflow in Konsole! Wow, c’est quelque chose de jamais vu!

This week a huge new feature landed in Konsole: it now reflows the text when you resize the window! This feature can be turned off if you don’t like it, but comes on by default. It works really well. Thanks very much to Carlos Alves and Tomaz Canabrava for this work! It will be released in Konsole 21.04.

Guess what: the MATE Terminal, that disparaged GNOME2 clone ported to GTK3 and very slowly improved, but otherwise so passé, has text reflowing on window resize since version 1.9.0 of May 20, 2014, because it was built against libvte 0.36 (the first vte version to fix the reflow)! And the missing of reflow-on-resize in Konsole is a bug first reported in June 2009, yet the fucktards chose to implement tons of stupid features instead of fucking fixing this bug earlier!

2. The anger keeps building up

Why on Earth did I say sometime last year or the year before, “OK, let’s accept that KDE is finally usable, after all these years”?! After the years I simply hated the stupid KDE4 as much as I hated GNOME3, after the brain strokes I tried not to have when seeing plasmoids on a screen? It should have been obvious that the way KDE3 was abandoned only to create a non-functioning KDE4 wasn’t any different from dropping GNOME2 to create the abysmal GNOME3, and that even if the product becomes more usable at some point, it can’t be ignored that it was started by a moronic decision to abandon something that worked only to offer something that doesn’t! Idiots are idiots, no matter they’re sponsored by Red Hat or by SUSE.

I was having nightmares with this kind of shit for years:

Back to Konsole, here’s how to hide that bloody toolbar:

  • Right-click, check Show Menubar.
  • In the menu, Settings, Toolbars Shown, uncheck both Main Toolbar and Session Toolbar.
  • Now you can disable Show Menubar, unless you really want a menu.

But trust in KDE was lost forever. I was blind. I tried to accept that maybe I was wrong to keep holding a grudge against KDE, but I was wrong to forget why I stopped trusting them in the first place!

3. Let’s keep fooling around: the *buntu 21.04 family was just released!

OK, so I tried them all. Well, except for Ubuntu Studio and Ubuntu Kylin, both being too specific.

Lots of different disappointments in most of them. (On the positive side, they fully support my wife’s HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop TG01-1304ng out of the box, whereas ArcoLinux, Salient OS, Debian Testing, Debian Sid don’t when it comes to rtl8821ce, used for WiFi and Bluetooth. UPDATE: On May 2, RebornOS has added support for Realtek RTL8821CE in the regular and the LTS ISOs.) Sure thing, Kubuntu is very usable. Almost all of them are usable, except that I’d never use again the father of them all, Ubuntu. But there’s even worse: Ubuntu Budgie!

I don’t remember what was my first experience with Budgie in Solus 4.1. Unsatisfactory for sure, but I only remember the stupidity of this right-side notification: surely the calendar and the audio player can’t be considered that important? Well, yes, they were and they are!

What is worse in Budgie than in GNOME and than in everything else is the impossibility to have a proper window list: some way to show you the active programs or windows and to help you switch between them knowing what’s there! All you have in Budgie is:

  • The dock, which groups all the windows of an app under a single icon, and when you click on it, it’ll show them all! (I could never use a dock anyway, because active programs and pinned programs are looking almost the same, which is against usability! Here, running apps have an almost invisible blue dot under the icon. Pathetic.)
  • The crappy “small circles” notification widget that must be clicked to show the list of windows!

You don’t even have a view of all the windows, like in other DEs, but only the Alt+TAB icons, à la Windows 3.1:

How idiotic is that?! They managed to create something less usable than GNOME! Oh, wait, they use Nemo for a file manager, and that’s millions of times better than GNOME Files, simply because it has a Compact List view, and other nice features. But then… why not using Cinnamon altogether?!

Or, since we’re at GTK environments made popular by Mint… why not MATE? I have revisited it in sections 8, 9, 10 of my previous post, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, that’s the best flavor of the 21.04 line, hands down:

Most definitely, a nice distro.

4. Out of the blue, let’s curse Pamac

Well, after having revisited apt, and Synaptic (out of nostalgia, even aptitude!), I remembered what’s the thing in Pamac that I hate even more than its CSD “let’s move shit at the top” design. This one:

No, you don’t have to update the kernel to get this notification. It can be almost everything, possibly a library; but Pamac never suggests you log off and log on again. It can also be something that can be solved by using systemctl, but Pamac likes to show Microsoft Windows types of messages, and that’s raising my blood pressure!

5. TAKE HOME MESSAGE

  • I’m too old for this shit.
  • While I [might constantly] want newer versions of some major software applications, and bug fixes for everything else, I don’t want my system to feel like moving sands. After all, there’s a reason so many people kept using Windows XP and Windows 7 for years and years: they worked. People only updated other software, but not the OS.
  • Knowing Linux and NetBSD/FreeBSD since end-1994/beginning-1995, I’m sick of this attitude of “getting bored” with something that works and “inventing” something new. Even if nowadays many people love GNOME3 and KDE5, it’s been catastrophic for the Linux desktop. Without GNOME3 and KDE4, Linux would have had a larger market share today.
  • I’m so old that I’ve seen dozens of great distros dying, hundreds of worthwhile projects getting abandoned, several “vendors” getting shitty (at least Red Hat and SUSE are shitty). I’ve seen chronic stagnation in some projects (say, Xfce) and “distros” (everything *BSD). But even the venerable Slackware is inadequate for our times, Gentoo doesn’t have a raison d’être, and Arch isn’t fucking able to have a proper installer!
  • I don’t like to be a guinea pig, I don’t like to be considered stupid, I don’t like to be called names by idiots (only by true geniuses), and I am not a fan of anything (brand, distro, DE, product, anything at all), anymore.
  • Because I’m too old, and I’m sick of all this shit.

BTW, I fell out of love with Arch. Or with its derivatives. My quest for a “keeper” distro, started about ten months ago, made me revisit dozens of distros. It was truly helpful. For once, I managed to spend some quality time with the Arch family, despite my chronic distaste of pacman‘s stupid commands and flags. It’s usable, but it makes no sense whatsoever. Some brain-damaged people managed to design a good thing, except for the flags required in operation.

But it’s time to move on, to something that makes sense to me. Something more stable, more familiar, something that lets me focus on the changes in the external programs, not those in the desktop environment!

It’s like going back from Windows 10 to a maintained (and ported to newer libraries) version of Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows NT 4.

Now, what could that be?