[ Thursday, 9 April 2009, Bastion ]
Finally the day has come, when the curiosity about the KDE4.3 development branch took the better of me. Unfortunately the gap between what I was blogging on caused some confusion on what is really new out there. So the review will be a little unusual, more like a shooting in the dark ‘oh this looks like it’s not in 4.2′ If anything, you’re welcome to send corrections just in case.
KRunner’s New Face
First visible change concerns the different presentation style of the search results in KRunner. Previously these were presented ‘checkerboard’ style, now however, they are simply listed out. Interestingly, I haven’t found any setting to make it work ‘old style’. However KRunner has an impressive list of available plug-ins expanding its functionality, which is cheering us up.
Quicksand might be a good option for the future – so far it is far from being handy and intuitive. Maybe someday …
Mixing Oxygen with Nuno gives us… Air
A while ago, Nuno has presented mock-ups of the new, default Plasma style for KDE 4.3 commonly dubbed Air. Today I took the first closer look at it… But let me talk about experience later on.
Just to let us compare the key elements, let’s try to remind ourselves the Oxygen style:
and now, how they look Air style :
Well Personally, I think Air is heading in the right direction, as an alternative for “the darkey”
A Hundred And One Desktop Styles
So far, KDE 4 only let us choose one of the two desktop styles : the traditional Plasma applet container or the Folder View. Now, we can choose from Blank Desktop, Black Board or Cluttered Desktop. The most interesting of the three, I think, is Black Board, allowing to draw any shapes on the desktop, allowing to perform presentations directly from the desktop On Cluttered Desktop, the (I think the only) difference is, you cannot create icons there.
Other than that, there is now more options on the wallpaper manipulation. It can be a static image, or a slide show (from a given directory). New stuff includes animated wallpapers, drawing fractals or one displaying the Earth or a map from Marble educational program.
The file manager has been enhanced with multimedia preview (e.g. playing the movie in the information panel or directory preview in the information cloud). Small changes are these, but very nice.
Kopete and Skype – going along
Kopete can now communicate with Skype users. Well the plug-in is still a wrapper, communicating with Skype via their special API, so still the installed Skype is needed – launched in need. Notably for Gadu-Gadu users – Kopete employs libgadu.
The Lancelot is meant to be a replacement of the standard menu for KDE 4 – however the development lasts ever since the KDE 4 premiere, and show no prospect of being finished soon. Well it is usable all right – but sadly, doesn’t fit my expectations. Not. Handy. At. All… After all, who on Earth uses the menu, having KRrunner? But as it is there, you might as well see what it looks like :
Google Widgets for KDE
A nice feature seems to be the possibility not only to show Plasma applets, but also the Google widgets; Browsing, installation and adding them to the desktop is a child’s play.
It’s raining Plasma applets
There is a bunch of new Plasma applets, let me show you just the most interesting ones.
Like it or not, KDE 4.3 will be a great leap forward in this environment’s development. I won’t hesitate to say, it will be a bigger one than KDE 4.1 to 4.2. Interestingly enough, my compilation of development snapshot worked stable and jerk-free – no major issues there.
This article originates from authors’ blog /dev/santyago, available according to terms of Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Unported license.
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