2008-07-17

KDE 4.1 RC1 - Yet Another Top Release

Another KDE release!!! After I finally installed the 4.1 beta 1, both myself and the Mrs who use the EEE have decided that 4.1 is stable enough to replace 3.5x. This is a big step for us, because the wife works all day on the laptop ( until we get a desktop ), so it needs to be rock solid. And that it was. Two updates later, and here we are, still running 4.1, but now the first release candidate.

We've changed a few things around. Thanks to a suggestion on my 4.1 beta 1 review, I set the task bar to the desktop as a widget, but then moved it back to a side panel :P Its great on the desktop, but does reduce my productivity a lot, and the wife agrees, so screen space is sacrificed. Another thing I have done since the release candidate 1 is started using kopete from KDE 4. The reason it wasn't in use before was because of random crashes ( which it still sometimes does, esp when trying to make chat windows sit in certain tab groups ), but more because I was too lazy to migrate the accounts. I eventually did, and still am not 100% convinced its better yet, but its getting there, and its good enough for general usage.

One feature that I really really love with KDE ( this came in the 3.5 series i think ) is the common "Get Hot New Stuff" usage. I think this is fantastic, and will help new users pick themes for icons, emoticons and even now ( which makes me smile a lot ) plasma themes and widgets! This is so kewl, I spent some time dl'ing plasma stuff, and playing around with it, altho I still couldnt figure out where the dl'd widgets went? It is odd, I cant still see that it says it has downloaded it when I try again, but its not in my widget list, so its sort of vanished in a place that plasma knows where it is. Weird. But still kewl that you can :)

The Desktop Effects are so kewl. The task switchers are amazingly fast when XGL is running, and I was really impressed. Sadly, some apps were causing the XServer to crash completely, so I had to change back to good ol' XOrg. The reason the XGL + Desktop Effects impresses me so much is because its really great looking ( the one being a vista style alt + tab ), and it performed so quickly on my little Asus EEE. Obviously some really efficient code there to make that work, well done again to the KDE guys n girls.

So another succesful release, I really think that anyone who hasn't switched because they thought that it wasn't mature enough at KDE 4.0 release, its about time to consider it. 4.1 is not only mature, but it's also stable. Soon enough, the beauty of the KDE 4 series is going to start to outshadow competition, and with the desktop experience being most important to the end user, more smaller businesses and casual home users might start to switch, just to see KDE 4. The more real information there is about what Linux and KDE are, and what KDE looks and feels like, the more people will want to use it.

PS: No screenshots this time, since its virtually identical in appearance to my last review, but when the XGL issue is fixed I might do a screencast. 

1 comment:

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