I’ve been a dedicated Linux user since 2001, and during the past eighteen years, I’ve tried many different Linux distributions and many different desktop environments (or DEs for short). Of all of the DEs I’ve used and experimented with over the years, I think that the one I’ve enjoyed the most, was KDE 3.5.
I’m not discrediting all of the innovation and advancements that the modern day DEs bring to the table, but I think the perfect balance of flexibility, reliability, usability, resource management, and responsiveness all culminated in KDE 3.5. In my opinion, it was a real shame what happened to the KDE desktop when they redesigned it into their “Plasma” desktop. In an instant, KDE when from being flexible and responsive, to sluggish and unnecessarily frustrating to customize. The same thing happened to Gnome, thanks to Canonical and their Unity interface.
It was WindowMaker that was my default DE of choice after that. Although not as integrated as KDE 3.5 was, it provided me the flexibility and speed that I was looking for in a DE. But then, one day I stumbled across the Q4OS Linux project, when I learned that KDE 3.5 was still very much alive… it was just now called “Trinity”, or TDE (Trinity Desktop Environment). I learned that I was not alone in my opinion about KDE 3.5, as this fine group of people took KDE and forked it over into their own project, TDE. And, here, after all of these years, they’re still maintaining it and improving upon it. It is truly a modern version of KDE 3.5, and it’s one of the contributing factors to Q4OS’s popularity.
TDE is also a wonderful DE for those computer users who enjoyed using Windows-XP. It can be configured to look like and function very similar to Microsoft’s most popular OS. It also performs very well on both new and older computer hardware, and has some very powerful utility software that is easy to use.
Along with the standard desktop tools and interface, from KDE 3.5, the TDE team have also adopted most of the KDE-centric applications that contributed to KDE’s popularity. These applications include great titles like, Kaffeine, Gwenview, DigiKam, K3B, Kontact, and Amarok.
Each of these applications has a special Trinity version for them, included in the Q4OS software repository. So, you are not stuck running old, out of date versions of these applications. Rather you’re running updated builds of this software, specifically written for the Trinity DE.
To this day, K3B is my go-to DVD/CD burner, and in my opinion, the Amarok music player has no modern day equal.
Another under-appreciated feature that is provided with the Trinity desktop is excellent documentation. With the built-in documentation, provided and updated by the TDE developers, you have all the information you need to learn the more intricate functionality of the desktop and it’s associated application and utilities. You don’t have to go searching for this info on the Net; it’s all there provided to you in the Help screens.
About the only negative thing I can say about TDE is that Konqueror has not been very well maintained, at least when it comes to using it as a web browser. As a file manager, Konqueror is well equipped and intuitive to use. As a web browser, however, it has not aged well and can only properly render a small percentage of the web pages that are on the Internet, today. This is a real shame, as I really liked using Konqueror to surf the web, back in the early 2000s; It was one of the fastest web browsers out there. I also liked it’s integration of some really useful tools, like KGet and the FISH:// protocol; not to mention a really good user identity agent.
But, TDE’s web browser shortcoming is easily overcome by simply using one of the many capable web browsers available, like Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Chromium, or Firefox. All of these can be easily installed under the Q4OS operating system.
So, if you are a MS-Windows user who wishes you had a modern XP desktop installed on your PC, or a Linux user who’s fed up with all of the overly complicated and bulky desktop interfaces of today’s modern distributions, I highly recommend you check out Q4OS and the Trinity desktop environment. I think you’ll find it a very comfortable system to use, and you’ll settle in quite nicely.
Myself, I’m just very thankful that the folks responsible for TDE recognize good code when they see it and are working so hard to keep it alive. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Q4OS can be found at: http://www.q4os.com
You can learn more about the TDE project at: http://www.trinitydesktop.org
Since writing this article, I’ve migrated over from the Q4OS OS to Exe, which also installs TDE as it’s default desktop. Be sure to check out my most recent blog posts about Exe, the first one being HERE.