KDE 3.5 is the last KDE release before KDE 4. As you will know if you are into the Linux world, most projects reserve a major number change for possible imcompabilities. It’s part of the reason why Gnome is no longer following math and is at release 2.13, which is larger than 2.9. When Gnome finally switches to 3, it’s open season for breaking compatibility with all the GTK+ apps that work with the past few years of Gnome. It’s a chance for programmers to say, “Hey, when I made function foo, I had to use a hack to make it work with the Gnome 2.0 series. Now, I can rewrite the Gnome libraries to make it work with proper programming techniques so it works right.” The same will happen with KDE 4, which is having a rewrite of many of the core libraries.
Of course, as Techn0manc3r says, KDE is the 800 pound gorilla of Window Managers/Desktop environments. It’s a huge bugger – with three programs open, 192 MB of RAM is used up. Thankfully, this computer has 512 MB and that’s why I NEVER run KDE on my laptop. (It has 128 MB RAM) Even on this computer I usually run fluxbox for the beauty and simplicity. Also, flux tends to load faster and loads GTK apps pretty quickly too. But with KDE 3.5 out, I couldn’t resist seeing what they had changed.
In a word: sleek. KDE 3.5 is much sleeker! It’s always had the best eye candy in my opinion, and this release really cleans things up. For example, the KDE systray now blends seemlessly with the rest of the KDE taskbar. The programs on the taskbar also no longer have a border between them. I never thought it would make a difference, but it looks a LOT cleaner! Superkaramba is now officially part of KDE! I had to uninstall the previous version (easy to do with yum) for KDE to upgrade. It is no longer represent by a bomb icon, but a cool blue button. The tooltips look a lot nicer now as well. They are especially informative when highlighting over the pager as you can see below. The rest of KDE pretty much seems the same.
Above are pictures of my current desktop without too many enhancements. I haven’t spent the time necessary on KDE since I don’t use it often. Perhaps that will change as I tend to keep my desktops up for a while. Also, I’m trying out aKgregator as it got better reviews for RSS than Thunderbird, which I currently use.