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I have been dabbeling around with both Gnome and KDE (3.5.9) the last while, and while they both offer an enjoyable desktop experience, I noticed something odd in KDE:
When in Gnome, if I run an application, such as Opera of Firefox, the Gnome file picker displays when I want to open up a file. However, in KDE, it seems that each application has its own file picker, which naturaly, becomes very confusing. KDE has its own file picker, but it only seems to come up when accessing pure KDE applications.
Is there any way to make the KDE desktop more ubiquitous?
Your problems do not seem to be strictly KDE related. Firefox uses GTK2 which is the same toolkit used in GNOME. This means that when you are using GNOME, Firefox fits in well with other GNOME/GTK2 apps, but when you use any other desktops, Firefox won't fit in well because it still uses GTK2 instead of their native toolkits and file picker. I've never know Opera to fit well with GNOME or KDE because although its based on Qt (which is thwe toolkit used to build KDE), it uses the Qt file picker instead of the KDE file picker or the GTK2 file picker.
There is no one-size-fits-all-solution for enforcing a common look on everything.
Only way would be to rewrite the relevant GTK, GTK2, QT3, QT4, KDE libraries, and just for completeness also most other GUI libraries like FLTK, Fox-Toolkit, Allegro, G2, etc, etc and as such getting a common look. That would be a lot of work, and even if make it available under all those different licenses, in the end you will only get complaints about bugs, design, etc.
I guess it's easier and more rewarding to get used to diversification on open source systems.
You do have a point there. However, perhaps a better solution instead of rewriting GUI library code, would be to create a middle layer between applications and the GUI libraries. Accordingly, applications and libraries would only need to interact with this layer.