Is there hope?

I‘ve been working so much on Vista and XP lately that I forgot about the release of the first beta for KDE 4.2, so naturally, I decided to download the latest binaries (“Neon”). Barring any bugs, I have to say I’m impressed. The following I felt were worth mentioning:

  1. There’s an interesting fade out from initial boot-up screen to Desktop. It’s subtle but extremely effective.
  2. The Taskbar is finally looking good, and yes, it does actually auto- hide. Grouped applications are shown actually better than in Windows: KDE shows them stacked with a number of open ‘grouped’ windows. There’s plenty of more settings you can finally set: however, I’m not sure if I like the way how you have to set and move sliders to resize the Taskbar.
  3. The KDE Main menu has been overhauled (more ‘blackish’) and there’s a (once again) subtle change in the ‘hover over’ tabs in there
  4. The ‘Cover flow’ like Screen Switcher works smooth and perfect, even on lower-end graphical system.
  5. There’s a whole bunch of notification popping up when some actions finish. I don’t like them all (the less the better), but it’s (generally) visually ‘pleasing’.
  6. Wallpapers can be made dynamic: actually, these are more or less plug-ins now, which means that you can have running slideshows and even running Mandelbrots…

If you happen to run KDE 4.1, the easiest way to upgrade is to add the following line to your sources.lst file:

deb intrepid main

Then run a normal apt-update followed by an ‘sudo apt-get install kde-nightly’. Remember to log-out and select the KDE-nightly session at the boot screen and you should be good to go.

12/23/08: KDE 4.2 beta gets high marks from ArsTechnica

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