I know, it’s a trick question because the answer is always the same.
- on who you ask.
- on your level.
- on your use case.
- on how you measure efficiency
- etc, etc, ad infinitum
For me, there is the question of what you expect from the overall experience. If you are in business, your expectations may differ from those of a full-time programmer, graphic designer, a new EOS user, a gamer and so on.
I flirted with KDE way back when it was the clunky Kool desktop, back in the late 90s. So you can imagine my surprise at the sheer features and granular configurability KDE Plasma, when I installed it a few weeks ago to replace my love-hate relationship with Gnome.
Once I found something that adapted to my workflow, that was it, I stick with it. It just depends on your level of curiosity, and my philosophy has always been “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, which is losing favor in a day where you can swap distros in minutes and restore just as fast.
But coming back to this efficiency question. Notice I did not say “productivity” or “ROI”, as these all depend on what you use your computer for.
Programmers I come across, seem to think DE’s get in the way of coding and are more focused on keybindings to window managers. Business people want all their tools at their fingertips with a GUI.
KDE Plasma seems to be shaping up as the most configurable, but does that necessaily make it the most efficient? Does it make it the most time consuming DE to get the way you want it?
Gnome 42 remains to be seen, as they have already disabled configuring features, but of course the community is no doubt crafting workarounds at this writing.
So what’s your take desktop environments as far as being efficient in your use case?