Hey – everyone is welcome to the party! And we are all here to provide feedback and data.
[Er, long post as I cover a number of points. I do this on occasion!]
I'm a little confused, or you're confused! It's one of us!
Kdenlive does mean KDEnlive!
The editor was written specifically for QT and KDE and it is now formally part of the official KDE Plasma software package. That is why I now get Kdenlive updated with all the other KDE components and software like clockwork in Neon. It's rather nice. If Kdenlive is a priority then Neon is a good distro to run with. The speed with which Kdenlive is developing now – aided now by being part of the official KDE software collection – is also a factor in Neon's favor in that it pumps out KDE updates with great speed. I'm liking the new functionality and new effects in Kdenlive.
I have no idea about Knoppix but I can understand the silence on the Kdenlive forums as it's really about running Kdenlive and not about support under a particular distro. It's more a "Linux Questions" kind of question as it's a distro/install issue that video editors are not going to be able to answer!
As you note, for Mint 17/Plasma 4 the latest version of Kdenlive that can be run is actual 0.9.10 as you note but I begged the Mint team not to update the repositories because 0.9.10 has a load of nasty bugs. By the time 0.9.10 was being developed the Kdenlive team's focus was clearly Plasma 5 and formally joining up with KDE and they got sloppy on the last Plasma 4 release.
I think what you are saying is that you have managed to 'crowbar' a Plasma 5 rendering of Kdenlive which seems an odd thing to do when you can upgrade to any >"Trusty" distro with the Plasma 5 run times. I mean, it's free. You can also test with a VM. of course, it depends on your use case, mind...
Regarding Neon – I was under so much work pressure that I just had to grab a distro I could install on new laptops and know would have full support NOW! So my hand was forced. As it stand, for me, Neon is proving a winner. Yes, installing the build libraries and the like are a little bit of a pain but Ubuntu itself is a minimal distro where you have to do the same thing so it's not a biggee. Once everything is installed Neon runs effectively the same as Mint KDE for me … and my wife … and the local orphans I managed to get a collection to donate two laptops and an HP printer/scanner which I had to set up with… well, it had to be Neon. I was hanged if I was going to install Mint KDE and then it dropped as a supported DE. Yes, it can be argued it does not mean a lot and KDE can be installed alongside Xfce – in fact I have done just that in the past – but it is screaming for user confusion later.
I will explain my case in some detail for posters to see why I have made the call I have and what considerations can impact choice of DE.
WORDS ABOUT MY USE CASE (Re: KDE vs Cinnamon et al.)
Now, I think my use case is different to most people's here. A lot of Linux users are power users with massive tower block desktops running multiple monitors and all "mod cons." For both cost and practical reasons I just use an aging Atom n2840 netbook/laptop. The sad thing is that I something of a 'power user' in terms of functionality: I do far more than browse the internet and watch online movies. But the hardware I have to use has to be 'entry level.'
I did buy a newer Acer ES1-132 but my wife discovered that she did need portability and battery life after all and took it off me!!! She did give me her N3060 15" job but it's big and heavy and not suitable for my daily use outside of student doing research or watching anime. So it's back to the (t)rusty ASUS X200M
Re Screen glitches and the like:
Soooo… others seem to be having troubles with multiple monitor support of desktop effects in Neon and other KDE distros but I do not use these things so I have no idea whether these glitches are distro or Plasma 5 issues.
I did have a problem with menu flickering in Neon (and not Mint, mind) but it turned out to be compositing which I just switched off. I have been so busy this year setting up my business that I have not had the time or the will or do any diagnostics. I haven't got Mintstick to work under Neon yet but I have found alternatives and I am still spending around 18 hours a day asleep from sheer exhaustion. It's been relentless this year… When I have some real time and my brain is in less of a fog I will go flicking switches and seeing what happens in Neon and then give proper feedback. Right now, it works well enough. For now, just staying awake six hours a day is enough. No hyperbole there. This year has been back breaking.
For me KDE is a must because:
1) The general workflow suits me. That is important. I feel that both Mac and Windows have gone insane when it comes to UI. Though I always switch to Kickstart 'Application Menu' mode.
2) KDE is essentially the only DE where you can change the workflow
. This is essential because, after many years of battling pirate Windows here in Indonesia, I finally have converts. But the trouble with converts is that they are always restless and want things to work exactly as they expect or… it's back to Windows! So I always get…
"Can Linux do…?"
"Can I set it so…?"
With KDE the answer is always "YES!" With any other DE it's training time and trying to prevent the rush back to Windows as people resist learning or changing old habits. With KDE I can flick a couple of switches and the convert is surprised and happy. I actually believe that, contrary to popular opinion, KDE is the best DE for a Linux newbie because the learning curve can be minimized. It also helps when I show that KDE can do more than Windows! It makes the (often FORCED) change more palatable. No way was I giving the orphans Windows. They had one old laptop that was running Windows 7 that was unusable due to the viruses and pirate software that is a staple here in Indonesia.
3) KDE's keyboard shortcut support is second to none and essential for my needs. I literally use my laptop on planes, trains and automobiles and am moving the aging machine around the house all the time. A desktop is useless to me. As such, user defined keyboard shortcuts are a lifesaver for me! I barely touch the kickstart menu.
[This is also a huge boon when it comes to introducing people to Linux. Instead of explaining a process to start an app or run a script I can just say; "Press this." User writes the keyboard shortcut down and I have no calls asking; "How do I… again?" You can imagine how KDE's import and export of keyboard shortcuts is an essential for me.]
I think this is different to most other people's use case scenarios where the mouse figures a great deal.
Switching to Cinnamon or Mate would be hard on me as they are still mouse centric UI's. Nothing wrong with that and they do come with user defined keyboard shortcuts but the support does not fit my very specific needs. I have something like 50 keyboard shortcuts to access apps and data on the move. I need to be as mouse/touchpad free as I realistically can.
4) Yeah, although Kdenlive is used by me more for entertainment than serious use, it's still a critical piece of software for me. Given it was written for KDE it rather makes sense to use the software under it's native DE. But also, I find the KDE apps are excellent! I like the KDE approach of "Simple by default. Powerful when needed." KDE does not assume the user is dumb and provides powerful software by default and design but with basic functions on display only by default and the the advanced user can add to the toolbar, menu or switch in "Advanced" mode as required. The only KDE software I have found I have not taken to has been Calligra Office. I find for other DE's take more minimal approach with their apps. I understand why but it's not for me. I will willingly sacrifice speed for functionality. I note a LOT of users here put a major premium on speed... such that you have users with sigs stating that they are using 6 core i7's with 16GB of RAM and running XFCE!
5) I think Dolphin is a lovely file manager. I do not like the defaults but with a couple of switches Dolphin is THE file manager for me! Nemo comes close but lacks that user definability that I find a huge boon. Given the file manager is the DE to a large degree this counts for a lot.
All this does mean that KDE is not the nippiest DE on a minimal laptop and, I have to say that while Plasma 4 actually positively flew on this old machine, Plasma 5 lags a little. (Running on the more up to date N3060 or even the N3350 has been fine though – with all desktop effects turned off mind!)
I mention this to explain my use case scenario which I suspect is VERY different to most other users here
. Very few would bother trying video editing on what amounts to a dual core atom. Also, I suspect most users here work with power machines that sit in one place rather than being lifted from room to room dropped into a backpack or run on a train. I have sat on the floor of a local airport and done some video editing while waiting for flights. Battery life and portability outweigh speed for me!
Soooo… for those weighing whether to jump to another distro or DE it depends on use case. I figure if one's day to day operation is mouse centric and working on a fixed location laptop or desktop then switching to another DE should not be much of a problem and I figure a lot of Mint KDE users can switch to Cinnamon without much hassle especially if people are having glitches with KDE. As I say, I think my use case is the utter inverse of most users here and so I am not hitting these troubles.
I would argue, though, that ironically enough, KDE is best for minimal spec netbook where portability and use without a mouse is most important! Neon is also worth considering if one uses the KDE app base a lot – which I do. So you can rather see that, in my case, the DE comes before the distro.
Some thoughts for you (all.)
As I say, when my brain is clearer and I can delve into Neon a bit more I will give a full review of Neon. Not there yet.