K3B. Polished, useful, clean software for Linux

28 10 2005

In my ongoing quest for “Really Good Software”, I tend to get grumbly about the vast quantity of software around for Microsoft platforms that ‘just plain works’. It’s polished, clean, and looks great. Occasionally though, I come across gems under Linux that are just as good.
In this case, we’re not talking just as good as Windows. We’re talking “Far better than 90% of the crud out there”. I’m talking about K3B the KDE CD/DVD Kreator.
Anyone who has done CD burning under Linux knows that there’s tons of tools for command line manipulation of volumes, but woefully few that run in GUI space, let alone do it well. K3B has the benefit of an outstandingly complete, polished, and well-designed interface, on top of the fact that ‘it just plain works’.
I recently used K3B to burn a copy of KnoppMyth to a CD on my T40 Laptop. I originally grimaced at the thoughts of what this might entail, but a quick ‘apt-get install k3b’, plus another install of ‘cdrtao’ (which K3B thoughtfully told me I needed – not in a crash and text output, but in a dialog saying ‘You’re going to need this’), and I was off. Speed was high, the interface was intuitive, and in 15 minutes I had my burned CD. And it worked.
K3B embodies what CAN be done if developers take the time to complete and polish their apps. There’s nothing like this in the Windows world – all the ‘tools’ I’ve seen for Windows (that are proprietary and usually cost money) are pale shadows compared to K3B. Bravo!

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One response

3 11 2005
ceo

I’ve played with it, and it certainly beats the pants, underwear and socks off of XCDRoast, the Gnome CD burner. Whoever designed XCDRoast’s UI needs to be beaten with sticks; it’s opaque, unintuitive and overcomplicated even by Linux standards.

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