KDE 4.1: Visual Changelog (rev 777000)

[ Friday, 22 February 2008, Bastion ]



KDE 4.1 will be what everyone expected 4.0 to be — a fully functional revolutionary Linux desktop. I took a look at the revision 777000 of this desktop environment and what you get is a visual changelog describing the current progress in terms of look and feel and the features.

Author: Korneliusz Jarzebski

Desktop

This is how the default KDE 4.1 desktop looks like in rev 777000.


KDE 4 Desktop – Revision 777000

Plasma

Character Selector is a new applet for picking special characters. Its functionality is currently still very limited, but we could expect that in the future it will be a useful tool for picking special chars like euro sign, copyright sign, trademark or Greek alphabet letters.


Character Selector

Keyboard Leds is a very simple applet informing us about the state of the keyboard (e.g. whether the Caps Lock, Scroll Lock or Num Lock is pressed).


Keyboard Leds with Caps Lock on

The work around the new Lancelot menu has been started again. Its current state is shown on the following screenshots:


Lancelot — Applications


Lancelot — Computer

The Luna applet for watching the Moon (which we already know) has been enhanced. Now we can also choose which Earth Hemisphere we’re, since this changes the way the face of the Moon should be displayed. If we’re in the Northern Hemisphere the North Pole of the Moon should be at the top (right hand side lit in the first quarter), if we’re in the Southern atmosphere it should be at the botton (left hand side lit in the first quarter).
Thanks to Sheld Sunday for explaining this


Luna

Picture frame has been in KDE 4 from the very beginning. It allows to place a frame on the desktop which hosts and displays images inside.


Picture Frame


Picture Frame — Configuration

KGet — Download everything from any location

KGet is quickly becoming my favorite app for downloading files. It’s small, handy, and most of all it provides powerful features. As I’ve mentioned before, it enables downloading both file from the web and from the Bittorent network. It also handles mirror servers to increase the downloading speed. KGet in this particular revision gained one more interesting feature which is the web interface. It means that from now on we can remotely control KGet by adding new downloads, editing and removing the current positions directly from any web browser!


KGet — main windows


KGet — Bittorrent


KGet — multi-part download


KGet — web interface configuration


Using KGet remotely via web browser

Games

A new game has been added: KDiamond. The rules are fairly simple. You need to manipulate the diamond in such way to place the identical ones in lines of three or more (either vertically or horizontally).


KDiamond

System Settings

System Settings received some polishing and some features. First of them is emoticon configuration. We can select one of the default themes or install a new one directly from kde-look.org. For the time being I cannot however find an application that uses these emoticons. All apps that do use emoticons (like Kopete IM client) have their own implementation.


Appearance — Emoticons

Also, semantic Nepomuk desktop can be now configured in GUI. The options have been divided into two groups: basic and advanced.


Nepomuk — Basic Settings


Nepomuk — Advanced Settings

Libraries

In Phonon sound engine configuration a new option has appeared: GStreamer.


Phonon — Xine & GStreamer

It’s also worth noticing that the current development branch of KDE 4.1 requires qt-4.4 libraries to work.

General stability

The stability of this revision is very low. I experienced problems with windows scaling and drawing (in such case usually the minimize-maximize pattern used to fix it). Plasma was very unstable as well. It would crash completely in an unpredictable manner leaving a blank screen with no icons and toolbars whatsoever.

This article has been originally published on /dev/jarzebski blog. It has been translated and reprinted with author’s permission.

About the Author

Korneliusz Jarzębski

Free software enthusiast, KDE fan. Author of a popular blog: /dev/jarzebski (in Polish). Contributes to PolishLinux.org since October 2007.

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