Friday, December 5, 2008

KDE 4.2: What's new

Hi guys, after writing about KDE 4 in Italian, I'd like to share with worldwide friends what's new in the next KDE 4 release.


Plasma

What is new in Plasma? Maybe the fact that you can use a lot of type of Plasmoids: you can use as a plasmoid:
  • Google Gadgets
  • MacOS' Widgets
  • Enlightenment gadgets
  • plasmoids written in a large set of programming languages (like Python, Ruby, I don't know what else)
Some of the type of plasmoids installables
Some of the type of plasmoids installables
But it isn't the only news: others are:
  • keyboard bindings: all the plasmoids now support keyboard bindings (setting a global key to open the plasmoid, like Alt+F1 for opening the KDE K Menu (the same combination of key that you use to open the GNOME Application Menu, if I'm not wrong)
    Keyboard bindings settings
    Keyboard bindings settings
  • different view size: it means that if you're using the plasmoid in a panel large/height just 30px, maybe the plasmoid will simply show you a button on a panel, and when you'll press the button (or the key assigned to the plasmoid) you will show all the plasmoid. It is very useful for example for showing the weather on the panel the way GNOME does (showing simply the icon of the weather, e.g. a cloud for me... Milan's weather is really shitty today :( ). The most nice thing is that when you try to spread the panel it will make the icons bigger, and when it will be large enough for showing the plasmoid entirely, it will simply show :) . If you use the plasmoid added on the desktop, it will show in all of its size
    As you can see, the same plasmoid in the small panel is showed as an icon, and when you click on it it will show in its full size
    As you can see, the same plasmoid in the small panel is showed as an icon, and when you click on it it will show in its full size
  • reinvented plasmoids: about all of the plasmoids received a lot of love from the KDE4 developing team, and even the systray did! As you can see in this screenshot (taken from the Aaron Seigo blog)
    KDE 4.2 systray
    KDE 4.2 systray and taskbar
    now we have task grouping in the task plasmoid, and the systray now looks cool, can hide icons, and shows notifications in a very good-looking way! Maybe it should show a little more large notifications, because some times it is very difficult to read what's written in (other than the title of the notifications... you can see it even in the screenshot: you can read only the beginning and the end of the file name, and even the p and g of mpeg are cutted!!! Please, make it bigger!!!!!!).
    The comic plasmoid now support other comic sources, and you can add them using KDE-apps.org (or directly from the options of the plasmoid).
  • panel improved coolness: it is true: now you can have panels that autohide! And you will even get a very cool thing: when a panel is hide and you move the mouse pointer near the place in which the panel is staying hidden, you will see a little blowing color coming from the panel, as if it is saying "hey, mr, I'm here! please, come here!" :) Other than that, there's a more simple way to move and change panels' height and width, so now they are really usable


    Panel configuration (1)
    Panel configuration (1)



    Panel configuration (3)
    Panel configuration (2)

  • desktop activities: don't you like the normal plasma desktop? Do you want your icons back? Now you can do it chaning the desktop activity in the appearance options of the desktop, choosing for example to use the Folder View as the main desktop. Are you happy now, or you want your plasmoids-based desktop back? You can have and use both of them, changing from one to the other using the Activity plasmoid :)


    Plasmoids desktop
    Plasmoids desktop



    Activities
    Activities



    Activity selector (sorry, I've deleted the other activity, however it add the name of the other activity and you can reach it simply clicking on the name)
    Activity selector (sorry, I've deleted the other activity, however it add the name of the other activity and you can reach it simply clicking on the name)

  • desktop backgrounds: are you sick of using always an image as desktop background? Now you can use a slideshow, a fractal image autogenerated, a pattern, or even the Earth showed by Marble!!! What a cool update!
    Appearance properties
    Appearance properties
These are only the main changes in Plasma, of course...

KWin and Oxygen

Other things that changed are certainly the Oxygen theme, that was almost reinvented: finally a good-looking scrollbar! I'll soon add some screenshot, I assure you. Other than that, KWin finally has a lot of beautiful and useful effects, making it cooler than Compiz Fusion in some ways... Certainly because it support more hardware (allowing you to use XRender other than OpenGL, for example) and even because some effects are really better than what they are in Compiz! I would name the Present Window effect, for example... Other effects added are the so much asked effects used while changing workspace, showing you your desktop as a Cube, Sphere, Cylinder :)


The new Oxygen
The new Oxygen



The old Oxygen
The old Oxygen

Dolphin
Dolphin now has a slide below it allowing you to make icons bigger or smaller in no time, and even the Folder View plasmoid now has the capability to show the icon preview. Now I can't remember what else they added, I'm sorry :(

Dolphin File Manager
Dolphin File Manager

Akonadi and KDE-pim applications

Don't you know what Akonadi is? It is the manager of pim sources (as a iCalendar, vCard for contacts, etc.), and now it works correctly with about all KDE-pim applications, that changed really a lot, expecially KMail. It isn't so easy to say in words how much cooler now KMail is... It supports changeable visualizations (and if you want more than one it supports tabs too :D ), but this isn't too easy to explain without screenshots...

I'm sorry guys, I can't use my KDE4 build now... I'll add some information asap. For now, bye!

2 comments:

  1. Mmmh maybe I should try and add the right video... Do somebody know how to add blip.tv video here? Please, help me :(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mmmh maybe I should try and add the right video... Do somebody know how to add blip.tv video here? Please, help me :(

    ReplyDelete