KDE 4.1: Visual Changelog (rev 783000)

[ Friday, 7 March 2008, Bastion ]

You don’t always see this in the official changelogs but the KDE 4 development is progressing in an extraordinary speed. After a deep look at rev 777000 we are presenting you a new visual review of changes made to KDE 4 during the last couple of weeks.

Author: Korneliusz Jarzebski

KDE 4 Desktop – rev 783000


The taskbar gained a new option: "Show only tasks from the current screen". This option has been requested by the users with more than one monitor for whom it is a crucial matter.

Configure Taskbar


The Kickoff menu went thourght some cosmetic polishing which made it look more than neat. As of new features, in the upper-right corner of the menu we can now notice a handle allowing to resize the whole thing to fit any size we can think of (the function has been already available in KDE 3 version of KickOff, for instance in the latest builds of Mandriva).

Let’s take a look at the KickOff menu from all angles…

Kickoff : Favourites

Kickoff : Applications

Kickoff : Computer

Kickoff : Leave

Kickoff : Search

Configure Launcher


Coverswitch is yet another visual effect for KWin. Its purpose is to enable nice switching between open apps. It works in a similar way to Cover Flow, known from Compiz-Fusion project or Mac OS X.



Last time I wrote about new web interface for KGet enabling you to remotely administer your downloads (regular one and torrents). Since then, except from bug fixes, the program experienced some lifting and it indeed looks better than last time.

KGet – main window, downloading details

KGet – the web inteface

Kolor Lines

I haven’t noticed too many visible changes in KDE games package. What I have noticed is only a new visual theme for Kolor Lines.

Kolor Lines

Kolor Lines – choosing theme


Much more interesting stuff happened to Marble, which has already become a huge and respectable geography app. A new view has been introduces so now we can watch the maps using: Globe, Flat and Mercator views.


Another new feature is the introduction of current weather conditions which can be displayed straight on the views. It is automaticlaly activated when we zoom into the map long enough to be able to display the local weather conditions. A vert nice add-on, indeed!

Marble – Globe view

Marble – Globe view + the clouds

Task Scheduler

Especially for those of you who "are afraid" of planning the computer tasks directly in croni, a special management panel has been created to cover the common repetable tasks. Works fine and is easy enough to use.

Task Scheduler

Setting a new task


The multimedia app of choice, Amarok, change its looks and feel once again. This time it got actually pretty close to the planned Oxygen look. In the configuration options I could not select the engine of choice anymore (before I could switch between Phonon and Xine). I suspect that Phonon will be the unchangeable default from now on.


One more applet has been added to the current Plasma applets. It’s the one displaying the information obout currently performing artist basing on Wikipedia.

Amarok – Wikipedia

Amarok – Services

Amarok – "Internet" tab

For the first time in KDE 4 I was able to connect to my Last.fm profile and search for similar artists. This is pretty neat.

Amarok – Last.fm Servcie

Amarok – Similar artist search

Amarok – Search results

This is all folks, as far as the tested build is about. It seems the KDE guys are doing a remarkable job to deliver a stable and feature-rich environment for the KDE 4.1 release. You can expect a new update of KDE 4 next month, on polishlinux.org.

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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