KDE 4.6.1

A few weeks ago, I upgraded to KDE 4.6.1 in Fedora 14 from KDE 4.5.  The first login after reboot dumped me into Gnome.  What the heck was going on?  Apparently, in GDM, the entry had changed from KDE4 to KDE Plasma Desktop.  Once I logged in that way, I was able to see the new KDE.  The biggest change I saw was that notifications looked much nicer.  It’s hard to quantify in what way they looked nicer, but something they changed about the appearance is makes it more appealing to my eyes.  Also, the way it animates really helps a lot.  For example, when two of my contacts sign into IM networks at the same time, the second notification is smaller so that my desktop is not overwhelmed with notifications.  If I mouse over the second one, it grows and the first one shrinks.

In fact, overall, all of the Plasma animations and interactions look and feel better.  The desktop feels a lot more responsive and first class.  I’d say that if 4.7 also maintains this level of polish while adding on some features, KDE 4.x will be perfect.  The only danger there is developers becoming bored and adding all kinds of ridiculous glitz once everything works perfectly.  I know that, generally, different developers work on different projects, but now that the desktop is working great, I’d like to see some more work on getting Nepomuk, Akonadi, Kontact and other auxiliary programs up to the same level of quality.  More likely, I’d like to see them continue to refine Activities and make them more powerful.

When I first upgraded, the Plasma desktop was a lot crashier.  Since then there’s been a Fedora patch that may have fixed it.  I’ve also been spending a lot less time in front of the computer in the past week, so maybe it’s still there.  At any rate, KDE 4.6.2 is already out and will hopefully land in Fedora soon and fix additional bugs.

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

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