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.

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fold this thread Doug Jenkins  Friday, 7 March 2008 o godz. 8:57 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +11

I always enjoy the reviews and news from this site…there is a wonderful kind of polish to polishlinux…hee hee.

Thanks for the update as we close in on kde4.1 !


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fold this thread chair  Saturday, 8 March 2008 o godz. 12:14 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +6

Thank you!

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fold this thread Raul Zay  Saturday, 8 March 2008 o godz. 12:21 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +4

Very nice and smart review.

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fold this thread Tomas  Saturday, 8 March 2008 o godz. 1:47 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +9

Quote: “In the configuration options I could not select the engine of choice anymore (before I could switch between Phonon and Xine).”

It’s not a bad thing at all. What they are making is that, you could choose what backend Phonon will use system wide. Will it be xine, gstreamer, windows subsystem, mac os. The same amarok source code does not change, just phonon backends change.

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fold this thread artie  Sunday, 9 March 2008 o godz. 10:58 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Where can i find that wallpaper from the first screenshot. it’s just … wooow

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fold this thread obi_gl  Sunday, 9 March 2008 o godz. 5:14 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +3
fold this thread tracyanne  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 7:00 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +4

My last, probably only reservation about KDE4 has been removed, the Classic Menu system requires nothing more than a simple mouse click to enable it.

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fold this thread susegebr  Friday, 21 March 2008 o godz. 11:15 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Hear Hear commensense in the end

now transparancie of the panel and change the layout of the panel

fold this thread Beat Wolf  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 7:35 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  --4

kickoff is freely resizable since a week or so, and the panel is resizable since even longer, strange that you have such old screenshots.

But other than that, nice post :-)

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fold this thread tt  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 8:25 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  --42

better than vista… but still gay.


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fold this thread droetker  Tuesday, 6 May 2008 o godz. 2:16 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

hm – “FTW” – Feeds The Weird?

fold this thread Sudheer  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 8:39 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Hi Bastion,

Thanks for the review of the latest KDE release. If not today, I will sure try KDE some day. Hopefully sometime in the 4.x series.


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fold this thread John Smith  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 12:24 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --11

I wonder no one so far realized that the GFX is a Max OSX copy by 90%: bars, symbols, colors, proportions….
Nevertheless, I like it.

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fold this thread droetker  Tuesday, 6 May 2008 o godz. 2:26 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Do you know one OS that doesn’t copy? Windows Vista? copies Widgets from Mac.
Oh, and Max OSX, the original. Hm – I think they have a little BSd inside, don’t they – and the windows (which were copied later from Windows(tm) as well) – maybe are they from an very old Xerox OS?
Noooo, can’t be, they all are originals… But KDE copies, tha bad thing.

Everyone copies from anyone.
And the thing is: YOU can change it. Make KDE better.

fold this thread Spencer  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 1:41 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --7

meh.. fluxbox ^_^

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fold this thread anon  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 3:25 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --44

KDE4 SUCKS BIG TIME! It wants to be a Vista copy, but never reaches that level of complexity. And black is bad!

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fold this thread Eruaran  Monday, 5 May 2008 o godz. 7:43 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Get a life you pitiful Microsoft shill. The Vista desktop shell sucks moldy eggs through a straw compared to KDE 4.x. And the black is just a plasma theme you dumbass… If you don’t like it, just select a different theme, or make one of your own…

fold this thread droetker  Tuesday, 6 May 2008 o godz. 2:18 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --1

KDE4 can be black, ping or qellow if you like that. And like a chameleon change it’s style – but you just don’t get that i think.
“KDE4 SUCKS BIG TIME!” – you mean the theme? Go on and create your own if you can, and stop laming.

fold this thread www.kde4.de  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 3:27 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +3

Thanx for that visual changelog. There are many improvements since the first release

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fold this thread Yir Buh  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 5:27 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

My first thought was that looked like a mix of vista black and osx chrome. Not to my taste at all, but im sure that can be changed easily.

Userbilitywise it is a difficult process, and i really hope it stays simple and fast. Otherwise i can only agree with:

meh.. fluxbox ^_^

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fold this thread qwertyu  Thursday, 20 March 2008 o godz. 8:59 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --3

Yir Buh, I must agree.
I have used KDE for work and fun for a long long time.
But KDE4… I am not sure I like where it is going.
All the added bling has _not_ improved the usability. I personally think that the KDE team has gone the wrong way and copied the crappiest parts from the usability joke called Vista and then some ugly and useless parts from OS X.
Have you used the new “Kickoff”? Pffff… it is as useful as a turd! And you need 3+ times more clicks to launch a app. Brilliant!

I am not trolling. I am just sad that the KDE4 looks and feels like a total fcuk up!


fold this thread Arne Babenhauserheide  Friday, 21 March 2008 o godz. 12:38 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I’ve been using KDE 4 for some time, now, and for me it feels just great.

I eagerly wait for 4.1 to include KDE PIM, so I can completely switch to KDE 4.

The polished parts of KDE 4 not only look good, they also “feel” good to me, and I like working with it.

The only thing I changed is the colortheme, since I wanted a darker color for my window borders.

This is what it looks like (4.0.1): http://draketo.de/files/2008-02-06-fullscreen-settings-dolphin.png

For people speaking german I also wrote a short article about it: http://draketo.de/deutsch/freie-software/licht/kde/kde4

fold this thread anoj  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 6:29 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +4

Can’t wait for KDE 4.1. It is an amazing effort and the KDE team and the opensource community should get a pat on their backs.

PS: Amazing wallpaper. I didn’t find it in the official KDE 4 wallpaper pack. Where is it from?

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fold this thread vilke  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 9:10 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --3

Glad to see it is evolving. I like the new cron gui.

But those icons in the tray, “recently used” icon and strangely positioned ’10′ and ’11′ in the clock widget are just … ugly, ugly, ugly… :(

PS: Round minimize, restore, close buttons are ugly as well

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fold this thread frits  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 9:12 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --3

I really must say the new KDE looks fantastic. Just one question thogh: why do all these configuration screens have both an OK and an Apply button? What’s the point?

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fold this thread FishB8  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 10:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +6

The apply button allows you to test and see what the changes you made will look like before committing to them. If you are messing with some obscure setting that is ten layers deep, make a change and hit “ok” only to find you don’t like it, it really sucks to have to go all the way back through those layers to get where you were before to change it back.

The apply button allows for a quick preview without exiting the dialog.

This shouldn’t be anything new… KDE3 has it. Hell, windows has it.

fold this thread MamiyaOtaru  Tuesday, 11 March 2008 o godz. 12:26 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

OP must be a Gnome guy. They get away without an apply button by changing the setting as soon as you select something in the dialogs. You can see the effect right away without selecting apply or ok or anything, and if you don’t like it select something else or whatever you had previously. Hijacking your words: “(this) allows for a quick preview without exiting the dialog.”

I’m not sure what I think of it. Having my actual desktop wallpaper actually change each time I select an image instead of being able to see a small preview, or having my desktop wide widget set change with each one I select instead of seeing a preview, seems like a lot of unnecessary change. Then again, how often does one change settings?

fold this thread Tyler  Monday, 10 March 2008 o godz. 9:44 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +7

Very nice post, thanks. KDE is looking better and better everyday.

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fold this thread diego  Tuesday, 11 March 2008 o godz. 1:28 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +5

beautiful, thanks kde developers ;)

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fold this thread Lennon Jesus  Tuesday, 11 March 2008 o godz. 2:31 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +4


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fold this thread http://angrykeyboarder.livejournal.com/  Monday, 17 March 2008 o godz. 10:46 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --3

It’s getting better. It’s gorgeous. But it’s not yet “release” quality.

Releasing 4.0 was total BS on the part of KDE. It’s not quite ready for prime time.

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fold this thread anonymous  Thursday, 20 March 2008 o godz. 8:00 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

very neat =)

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fold this thread bobo  Friday, 21 March 2008 o godz. 7:35 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

i hope that some happy day near Christmas KDE team will assimilate the thought that buttons OK, Apply, Cancel and so on doesn’t want and doesn’t need icons
:) ))

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fold this thread dan  Friday, 21 March 2008 o godz. 11:43 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +3

whoa, nice…. i’m getting that. better than anything on the current market, and everything else is trying to copy this by the sound of it… anyone who thinks this sucks has their head drilled in the wrong way and is actually looking at the blank wall opposite. (LOOK IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!)

Seriously super.

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fold this thread wespire  Saturday, 22 March 2008 o godz. 2:53 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Amazing wallpaper. I didn’t find it in the official KDE 4 wallpaper pack. Where is it from?

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fold this thread Miha  Sunday, 23 March 2008 o godz. 8:54 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +3


I got following message, while trying enable kwin’s effect:

Compoziting was disabled at compile time. Probably Xoeg development headers weren’t instaled.

I compile kde from source, but what can i do now (i installed xorg-dev after compiling). Recompile kdebase will work?

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fold this thread john  Monday, 24 March 2008 o godz. 1:12 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

I’m currently trying kde 4 for the first time on kubuntu 8.whatever beta. Seems to me like a huge upgrade to kde 3. I can only say I look forward to kde 4.1.

I do have two things which niggle: one is the scroll bar and progress bar look ugly to me. The other is main menu. As a long time mac user I’m used to being able to launch an app in one click it generally is taking at least 3 which feels like waste.

However I can see that all this represents a massive amount of work and I think many congratulations are due.

Well done KDE Project!!!

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fold this thread toim  Thursday, 10 April 2008 o godz. 3:57 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

nice review og KDE 4.More love 4 KDE :D

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fold this thread ales  Friday, 2 May 2008 o godz. 1:23 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

great job!!! keep it up

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fold this thread irrdev  Friday, 4 July 2008 o godz. 7:23 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I am currently running KDE 4.1 Beta 2 alongside Gnome on my Ubuntu desktop. KDE 4.1 is a MAJOR improvement over 4.0, and is nearing a good level of stability. I am finding that the missing features are actually due to the applications bundled with KDE, rather than KDE itself. Konqueror has problems handling flash, OpenOffice uses Qt3 theming, and the GTK-QT4 theme engine still has some rough edges. The actual KDE 4 libraries (Photon,Plasma etc.), are in themselves already quite stable, and it is now only a matter of time for the applications to catch up. I am really looking forward to the future of KDE 4! Great job, KDE developers!

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fold this thread dml  Sunday, 3 August 2008 o godz. 2:19 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I’ve always wondered how we’re supposed to react to Linux UI; are we supposed to commend a group of disparate volunteers, or are we supposed to actually comment on how it looks? I am not a UI guy, but — sorry — I know how it feels to look at something and know that I would have to go back 10 years to feel impressed. There is more functionality, no doubt, but the look is poor and there is little attention paid to clarity.

1. “KDE 4 Desktop” looks like a poor Vista clone. Is Vista the pinnacle KDE is trying to achieve? And besides, who still uses analog clocks when there’s a large-font clock in the lower right-hand corner? Can no one think of a better “widget” to show off?

2. “Configure Taskbar” shows that, alas, dialog box writers neglect to read Strunk and White; it should be “Show tasks only from…” not “Show only tasks from…” Also (as a previous poster has pointed out), what’s up with virtually the same icon for Ok and Apply? At the very least, why is Ok blue and Apply green?! The title of the dialog box seems like it would be important, and yet it’s cut off without any indication that it is. This could be quite problematic in general. Or perhaps the KDE designers believe no one is reading the dialog titles.

3. Kickoff: aren’t we ready to move past these kinds of start-menus? Mac OS X no longer has them, and they’re a pain to navigate. Evidently, KDE’s approach is “make it bigger.”

Just a few Kickoff menu comments:

a. “Multimedia” is antiquated.
b. I don’t understand why “System Settings” is showing up in the “Computer” view.
c. Why include the user and host name on the start menu? And why include a KDE plug when you could make kickoff sleeker?

4. “Configure Launcher” seems too complex to me. I’m not 100% sure what an Application Launcher is, but I presume it is a level of indirection from the application itself (e.g., to add some commandline arguments). In general, this is unnecessary and confusing.

5. “Coverswitch” looks like it is not well-incorporated. I never got much out of this visualization anyway, especially as an application switcher, but, again, if Vista is what KDE is striving for…

6. “KGet” – You’re telling me that the default column widths are set such that the speed is 3x wider than it needs to be but status is too narrow to display in full?! Also, the “transfer details” are confusing; the information moves (and no longer matches the columns), and it turned the window from a big gray blob into a huge blue blob to add the full path information. Not a huge return-on-investment.

7. “Kolor lines” – why is there such a *HUGE* gray blob at the top of this game? So much wasted space!

8. “Task scheduler” – I haven’t seen an uglier task scheduler in years. This is effectively the same as scheduling a calendar appointment (where the appointment is a program), so why is it such a huge leap backwards from calendar UIs?

9. This one’s nitpicky: “Marble” I’m not exactly sure why a maps program would be considered part of a desktop environment (or the games for that matter), but I suppose you want flashy apps to try to attract people to you. Whatever the case, why would users not lean toward Google Earth?

10. Amarok: I’m not impressed with this UI, either. There are large unused spaces, and then super-dense spaces. Also, I can’t imagine using anything with a logo on permanent-display.

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fold this thread crf  Sunday, 3 August 2008 o godz. 2:34 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

This gui looks outdated and old. I mean really it looks like 5 months old in this age of things changing so quickly, that is unacceptable.

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fold this thread nitrofurano  Friday, 26 September 2008 o godz. 2:47 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Developers, please bring back KDE 1.1

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fold this thread zézette pleine de poils péripatéticienne  Sunday, 22 June 2014 o godz. 7:01 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Un imposant bravo au webmaster du blog

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fold this thread double pénéTration dp hard  Tuesday, 22 July 2014 o godz. 1:08 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Mon petit doigt me ɗit qսe ceet article va atterrir sur moon site web

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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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