Interesting comment and confirms what I have observed…
There is a subgroup of (particularly Linux( users to whom speed is really, really important - such that they will have a top of the line Intel i7 (6 core?) and then proceed to run Mate or Xfce to maximise speed.
I also note that the same users seem to display the characteristics of INTP's on the Myers-Briggs typology scale.
Linux Torvalds is an INTP - knowledgeable, technical, outspoken, does not hold back and values high intelligence in others alone with efficiency and rationality. [They tend to get extremely narked if they think someone is being irrational or just plain stupid.]
Note that Linus Torvalds always gravitates back to GNOME and he has never been a fan of KDE.
Brief description here:
I am an INFP - only one letter difference but it makes a big difference! We are much, much more sentimental and do not value efficiency as much as creativity and romanticism.
So I end up winding the INTP's up (always have done!) by, in essence saying, "I know it doesn't make sense. I know it's backwards. Yes, I do know the issues… I just want to do it this way."
INFP's are the ones who actively choose a Citroen 2CV over a Porsche. (And I would given the chance!)
In regards to KDE…
Well, I have a saying; "A man's desktop is his castle." Some gets to choose however their laptop (I've given up talking about 'computer' since these days average Joe just thinks of 'laptop' rather than computer) behaves and looks like.
I have made one exception where there was a coworker who had the MOST AWFUL picture of a Korean drama star - a guy, and it was horrible and I approached her and said; "Normally I would say 'a man's desktop is his castle' and you can set your laptop up anyway and I have no right to complain. But I make one exception here. That wallpaper has to change!"
She actually took my point and changed it immediately!
But I am not known for making such judgements so I was taken seriously!
But generally… I don't begrudge anyone's use of any particular DE. To my mind it''s akin to arguing over one's preference of hot beverage.
The thing with KDE is that there is no 'KDE way of doing things.' Everything is configurable. You want single click to start - you and have it. Double click? Fine. Want desktop shortcuts? OK. Want rid of desktop shortcuts? Fine. Don't like the default menu - switch to two other modes. Don't like the theme - change it. Don;t like the icons - change them. Don't like the colors - change them, Want a panle at the bottom of the screen. Fine. What it at the top. OK. Want two panels - one on top and one on the bottom - OK Sir...
KDE is malleable.
Also, as I say, there is a subset if Linux user to whom speed is everything!
But it's not me and not Joe Public. Most of us are OK with 'fast enough.'
KDE has already run for three years on this little netbook and been fine. It's still faster than any version of Windows.
My wife took the netbook from me on the grounds it was so fast! And she loved (and loves) KDE!
For KDE offers the following benefits:
For my purposes it is fast enough. I do not actually need sped for most of my work. I need portability and battery life more.
I can set up hotkeys with ease in KDE - more than any other DE - though I would like to look at Cinnamon more closely, I have not been afforded the opportunity. I can save huge amounts of time by just pressing a key and opening up my apps and folders as needed without endlessly navigating via mouse and drilling down directory trees. It also impresses students! And eye candy is important to many - though I always turn off effects in any DE but KDE has the 'wow' factor that impresses people.
KDE and QT are tightly intergrated and this shows in the KDE apps. Everything in KDE feels like a whole with Kaffine, K3B, Okular all seeming to match seamlessly and behaving the same way. Also, I use the power of these apps.
That, by the way, is the paradox. I don't need speed for much of my work… I don't play games for a start… but am a content producer and I tend to need that little bit extra power in my apps over average Joe. Because KDE caters to the power users, I generally find the default KDE apps have what I want from the start. Does it mean the apps run a bit slower than their GTK equivalents. Maybe but I don't have to jump from small app to another and another to get what I wanr. Dolphin, for instance, is extremely powerful and I can tailor it to my needs. I don't care if it runs that bit slower than say, Thunar (which I have installed) because I have a one stop shop!
I can change the screen colors. Most users don't care. I can barely think of any users who bother to change their screen colors from the default in any OS! But it's important to me because I choose shades to reduce glare and save my eyes!
And, my video editor of choice… Kdenlive… was written with KDE in mind. While it will run with the QT libraries in Mate… I have gone with the DE the app was written for.
Re: Touchscreen - there I agree with you. Tactile feedback is critical for real world.
But, let's be straight… Average Joe doesn't want buttons! The takeover of the tablet, Chromebook and smartphone has proven that Average Joe's utter hatred/fear of computers has never gone away. Once he was given access to a single purpose 'Facebook' device Jo dropped the desktop and the laptop like a hot brick and embraced his lovely 'internet/comms only' device.
If all you wan to do is send text messages, go on Facebook and watch online movies - a touch screen with big, friendly buttons on the left hand side that just do that… is what 'you' want.
It's an issue when you want to produce something. But, let's be straight, outside of the office, how many users produce even a single page of A4 text? The most they produce is an occasional letter - and often at work.
Touchscreens are those who, at heart, just want a smartphone. Canonical have plugged into that desire with Unity. When I ask the totally technophobic whether they would wan to use a OS that behaved like a smartphone they have been delighted!
Anyway, it's all good. You can run Mate with an eye on speed and I'll run KDE on my netbook.
Bear in mind that I can of a (gentle) contrary nature. I've run Word for Windows on an 8086 in 64K of RAM. No, seriously. Windows 3.0, Word for Windows 1.0.