With a little bit of extra time, I thought I would try out KDE4 to see how it’s progressing; if you’re on openSUSE, all you need to do is install the latest KDE4 packages which are always available. Alternatively, you could always try the openSUSE-based (which can be easily created with KIWI) live CD: KDE Four Live. My overall opinion: it’s looking really really great.
Since a review and screenshot tour of the overall desktop has been well-covered elsewhere, I thought I would just take a look at a few things, some of which particularly interest me.
The Desktop: Plasma
Plasma is actually progressing pretty well. You shouldn’t expect it to be bug-free, but I can really see everything coming together. Plasmoids are definitely going to take off, and I’m sure you’ll be able to eventually find one for just about anything you want. Obligatory desktop shot:
Kickoff is being developed in upstream KDE now, and Robert Knight is leading development of Kickoff in KDE4. There are some nice new touch-ups compared to the openSUSE version so far, including the raise animation on-hover, and a small graphic to represent disk usage:
JuK is progressing well and it’s incredibly speedy. Loading my 6000+ track playlist takes quite literally 2 seconds. It’s light, fast, very tidy, and has all the features you would need and expect: album cover art, tag guessing from Internet, etc.
Many others have blogged about KMPlot as well, but it’s really nice to see it becoming so mature, featureful, and quite genuinely an all-purpose function plotter. The layout has nicely improved, you can trivially plot first and second derivatives, show the integral, and a lot of other cool stuff around the place everywhere:
KGet: now with Metalink support!
I’m really beginning to feel that KGet is becoming the world’s best downloader. In KDE4 it has a plethora of modifications, while of course still remaining simple for the very general use-case of downloading a single file or document. One of the new features I’m most excited about is the Metalink support that it will come with. Metalink is an Open Standard that bundles the various ways (FTP/HTTP/P2P) to get files into one format for easier downloads.
In openSUSE we recommend metalinks a lot to users during release time, since it spreads the load on the mirrors and pretty much guarantees that they’ll be downloading at the maximum of their broadband’s capacity. Metalink support in KDE4′s KGet is working already, take a look below:
KDE4 is set to be truly awesome. What really makes things that extra bit wonderful is not only great new desktop innovations like solid, plasma and phonon — but even more so: the improvements in just about every single application (as you can see, with some examples, above). In this new release all of KDE is getting a full and much improved makeover.