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Created April 17, 2015 18:42
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Shit that sucks

List of Current Gripes With Various Open-Source Software

This document is an ever-evolving list of shitty usability in open-source software. It's not meant as a "list of shame", but as a piece of evidence for FLOSS not putting enough effort towards creating usable GUI applications.

All of it

  • Apparently no standard or widespread bad implementation of standard for system theme colour detection and application-specific overrides configuration. Many applications assume light background colour and dark font colour and have some of those colours hardcoded, but not others. This leads to some applications with dark system colours ending up with black text on dark background, e.g. the ksysguard detailed memory information dialogue.

    • A lack of a proper standard but a lot of application-specific colour settings also means there is no way to quickly switch all applications from a dark theme to a light theme, e.g. when taking your laptop outside.

    • Switching colour themes often requires restarting applications. Just create a proper standard and send an event to the applications saying that the colour theme changed and they need to repaint or whatever they have to do.

All of Gtk


  • Inkscape 0.9 uses mm as default unit for document dimensions, but pixels for everything else. This "improvement" was only introduced recently. There is no option to change the default unit.

  • Smooth nodes sometimes refuse to be draggable and thus create a handle on one side. There is no indication as to why this happens. It can be resolved by changing the node types of the surrounding nodes.

  • In Inkscape 0.9, the bitmap export window was moved into the sidepanel, thus occupying space even if you almost never need it.

  • Bitmap export defaults to "Drawing" instead of "Page", and gives the default export location an obscure garbage name derived from some object Id in the document.


  • Right Click defaults as select. There is no excuse.

  • Three button emulation uses Alt as modifier key to produce a middle mouse click with Alt + Left Click, however, this is often already used by the window manager as the way to drag windows.

  • The colour scheme does not have enough contrast for the text.

  • File save dialogue occupies the entire window.

  • File save dialogue save button and filename input line are on the top, as opposed to the traditional choice of being on the bottom of the dialogue.

KDE Plasma 5

  • Breeze does not allow a highlit colour in the title bar for active windows.

  • Progress indicator eats 100% CPU when using Optimus through PRIME because it's busy spinning really really hard.

  • Breeze radio buttons look like shit on high DPI displays.

KDE Frameworks

  • kio unnecessarily duplicates the functionality of mounting a network remote, only that everything then launched by e.g. double-clicking on a file then either has to speak kio, that specific protocol (e.g. smb) or kio will have to download the entire file before opening it. Why not just... mount?


  • Does not open .zip or .rar files containing images the same way it opens .cbz or .cbr files, despite them being identical apart from the filename extension. Has been reported


  • Does not appear to have a way of showing the directory an album is stored in in the collection view, thus likes to display the same album twice in the list without showing you which one's the FLAC version you downloaded a while ago.

  • Volume control is hardcoded to be a black circle. Not only do circles suck, black circles suck especially when using a dark system theme.

  • Awkward handling of artist names for remixes or featurings. (No, "foo ft. bar" is not its own artist, you stupid piece of shit.)


  • No way of moving all playback channels to a different device.


  • Switching playback devices is unnecessarily complicated for no fucking reason.

Quassel Client

  • Website hover preview does not mute audio by default.

  • Does not use alternating background colour in nick list.

  • Has no keyboard shortcut for showing and hiding nick list.

  • If a user renames himself, then quits, then joins with the old nick again, any open query with said user will still have the wrong nick.


  • There's so much wrong with this one I don't even know where to start, and I think I'm just preaching the choir when I'm saying "GIMP has shit usability".


  • vi-mode does not implement block selections.

  • vi-mode does not implement change inside tag (keycombo cit)

  • No way to automatically continuuously apply static word wrap while typing a document.


  • Does not use standard APIs for notification popups.

  • Gradient on tabs assumes dark text colour on light background colour.

  • Does not use or allow to use alternating background colours in inbox list, making it harder to visually navigate than it should be.


  • If a spellcheck dictionary is chosen but not installed, spellcheck will pretend that all spelling is proper, as opposed to displaying a warning message.


  • Instead of opening a local .swf file on Linux, it tries to download it. This is due to some faulty mine rule thing and can easily be fixed.

  • The no border hackery confuses KDE's kactivity mechanisms and makes Chromium occupy all activities by default.

  • Apparently, no way to store a set of tabs as a session and reload them later.


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