Monday, June 02, 2008

KDE 4.1!

I just came across a very interesting screencast hi-lighting the differences between KDE 4.0 and 4.1.
From what I have seen in the screencast it has really struck a cord with me, making me excited (at last) as to the direction the KDE team is taking with KDE 4.

Some features to note:

  • There is now much better support for plasma and plasmoids.
    It seems, from the cast, that there has been some mayor improvements in this department. I especially like the new plasmoid that lets you choose a few files to be placed on the Desktop, sort of a bookmark type view of short cuts to your data. Themeing plasma has also now been made easier with an own theme manager and on the whole it just looks like it might just work!
  • Seconds, they have given more attention to the taskbar/panel. Some of the biggest criticism was that you cannot configure it all, or the options is very limited. They have now addressed this and it seems like there are some more new features added to this. It's still not on par with KDE 3 and the massive amount of configuration you can throw at it, but it is moving ahead nicely. I predict that FULL customization is now only a matter of time, and as soon as they have the time I'm sure they will improve this even further.
  • It seems that kwin has also been revamped under the bonnet. One big flaw to the whole Compiz fad for me is that it renders your desktop useless for other GFX intensive tasks, like gaming. Try and game on a desktop that has Compiz enabled, it is impossible, so far. I hope they have at least tried and made the whole engine in kwin a bit more streamlined, it is stable, I have no doubt about that, but for gamers it is impractical. I have no idea how Vista handles it's eye candy, so maybe it is just possible to get around this?
    A thing that really bothered me was that transparency is only possible when you have Compiz enabled, and being a gamer I never had this enabled, short for a few test runs here and there. The whole "eye candy" argument and design of KDE 4 is heavily based on this, have they even given a thought to people who cannot use it because of said short comings??
On a whole I'm very excited and I'm sure you will be as well, here's looking to bright KDE future!

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