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KDE 4.3? Wow. Just... wow.





Fire Boar
KDE fans, rejoice. Anyone remember KDE 4.0? Sorry, didn't mean to stir up a bad memory there. Let's just forget that ever existed.

Okay, what about KDE 4.1? Well, it was a lot better than 4.0, but really, nowhere near ready for use as a viable desktop environment, let's be honest.

KDE 4.2 rolled in next. And the upgrade was mindblowing. Suddenly it worked, and while there was a fair bit of instability, it was really very good.

And now we have KDE 4.3. I've just tried a special build of Kubuntu 9.04 with it on, and I have to say that the jump is similar to the difference between Windows Vista and Windows 7. The difference is, KDE 4.2 wasn't actually bad at all.

Even from the live CD, it was snappy, responsive and demonstrated plenty of nice features. It's now also incredibly easy to theme just how you like it, and the default theme, "Air", is much nicer than "Oxygen" was.

So what's so nice about it? Probably the best thing, in my opinion, is its notifications system. They've improved this quite a lot. Notifications appear briefly by the taskbar, as a small unobtrusive box, then vanish. You can bring them up to have a look by clicking on an icon, which causes it to stay visible until you dismiss it. And notifications can be anything, from someone sending you a message in Kopete, to a simple file copy operation.

Kopete, the multi-protocol instant messenger application, has also seen a much needed improvement: now, you should only ever see one notification per person. Of course, you can still turn these off. But I think it's quite nice to have them on, if you have a large screen, because the notification is pretty unobtrusive and goes away automatically.

What else? Now we have some widgets which are actually useful! I like the pastebin widget myself: simply drag some text or a picture on it and it will give you an url to either pastebin (for text) or imageshack (for an image). Combine that with the peek feature of the "folder" widget. This allows you to hover over a folder to see inside it, you can do this recursively. Once you mouse out of it, they all disappear. So, you can use this to quickly find an image, drag it to the pastebin widget and suddenly you have an imageshack url. All this, and you haven't opened a single window yet!

There have also been a great many fixes and improvements to other applications - NetworkManager being a notable example. Its taskbar interface is a lot more slimline, and several bugs have been fixed. The whole thing just feels a lot more polished now, offering a nice-looking desktop that goes out of its way to stay out of your way.

So is there anything to complain about? Probably, but I haven't encountered it yet. Or if I have, it was so insignificant that I can't remember what it is. Everything worked out of the box, as usual, though that's something I've come to expect from the high profile Linux distributions anyway, and since this is basically kubuntu with some different packages, that's not surprising at all.
AftershockVibe
Any thoughts on the latest Kubuntu compared to older versions?

I've always thought (and many people agree) that the KDE version of Ubuntu was lacking compared to regular Ubuntu and other primarily KDE distributions (like, say, OpenSUSE) and always came across as a bit klunky.
Fire Boar
I would definitely agree there - Ubuntu regular gets a lot more love despite KDE being a great desktop environment. Mind you, the KDE 4.3 I was using was only an unofficial build of kubuntu - the packages were simply swapped out to provide a 4.3 desktop rather than a 4.2 one.

I think Kubuntu Karmic Koala *koff koff* will have it in though.
harismushtaq
With the given description, I think it is time for Miscrosoft to consider using KDE for Windows desktop. What do you think? There were so many explanations that were difficult to understand for a lay man like me. It would be good if you would have posted some screenshots.
Diablosblizz
harismushtaq wrote:
With the given description, I think it is time for Miscrosoft to consider using KDE for Windows desktop. What do you think? There were so many explanations that were difficult to understand for a lay man like me. It would be good if you would have posted some screenshots.


Well we all know that's never going to happen. Windows uses Aero, so Microsoft has already created a GUI for Windows (well... duh..). I'll admit, KDE 4.3 looks nicer than older versions but I still prefer Gnome as of right now.
Fire Boar
There are some screenshots of the default theme on the KDE 4.3 announcement, but it can of course be themed in just about any way you like.
Fatality
I have been running Win7 on my laptop since beta. Before that I was running Ubuntu, but I think I may have to try the new Kubuntu. I really like how far Linux has come in the past few years. Thanks for bringing this to my attention again.
Diablosblizz
Same with the Windows 7, although I'd really like to VM this. Does Kubuntu have the latest KDE? I'd honestly have a dual-boot for Linux if it had more support for games. Hopefully in a couple of years manufactures will realize that Linux has come pretty far.
Arty
Now I will get dual boot Kubuntu on my new computer. Very Happy

KDE looks better than Gnome right now, though you can't say that one is better than the other, right?
william
You know, KDE 4.3 just might make me switch away from GNOME. It does seem pretty nice. And unlike KDE 4.2, it seems to use less RAM than GNOME as well.
AftershockVibe
As the Qt Toolkit (from which the KDE GUI is built) is now cross platform having KDE on Windows isn't such a far fetched idea. Of course, it's not going to be MS's choice of Window Manager any time soon!

You can check it out here:
http://windows.kde.org/

I can't wait until they get it to the point where I can Amarok properly on both my OSs.
Fire Boar
Diablosblizz wrote:
Same with the Windows 7, although I'd really like to VM this. Does Kubuntu have the latest KDE?


Not yet, but it will soon!

I'm using a modified Kubuntu 9.04, but 9.10 which will be out on 29th October will have KDE 4.3.1 by default. Possibly even 4.3.2 since that was released recently, though I haven't heard any word that this will be the case.
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