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KDE 4.2 out, not just for enthusiasts say developers

By   |  January 28, 2009

It’s been a while in the coming but KDE 4.2 is here. The latest release of the popular desktop environment packs a truck-full of improvements over earlier releases and developers are saying that KDE 4.2 is the best choice for all users, not just KDE enthusiasts.

Previous releases of KDE 4x have sparked controversy in the open source community over its suitability as a general purpose desktop.

With this release, however, KDE is hoping that the best of its new features will come to the fore and users will begin to to see the benefits of years of design that have gone into the latest release.

Some of the major changes in this release include:

– Further refinement of the Plasma desktop interface to make organising workspaces easier with Plasma now including better applets for the desktop. Plasma applets can now also be used on top of the screensaver, for example for leaving a note while the owner is absent.

– Managing running applications has also been improved with the Plasma Panel now grouping tasks and being able to display multiple rows. The enhanced system tray also tracks longer running tasks such as downloads.

– KWin, underlying the desktop, offers smoother and more efficient window management, says the KDE team. In particular, KDE 4.2 uses motion physics to give a natural feel to old and new effects like the “Cube” and “Magic Lamp”.

– Dolphin, the KDE 4 file manager, also has a number of new tweaks that promise to make it faster and more efficient. Among those are better tooltips, media capacity indicators, and a slider for managing icon sizes.

On the application front, KMail includes a number of interface improvements, in part thanks to the Google Summer of Code, and improvements in IMAP mail performance.

The Konqueror web browser now supports scalable vector graphics as well as benefiting from performance enhancements.

A visual guide to many of the new features in KDE 4.2 can be found ,a href=’”>here and an overview of the new features here.

Celebrate the KDE 4.2 release in Cape Town

South African KDE fans will be celebrating the release of KDE 4.2 with a release party in Cape Town on January 30. KDE’s AJ Venter says that the party is happening at the Starlite Diner in Rondebosch, Main road, Cape Town from 6pm on Friday January 30th.



18 Responses to “KDE 4.2 out, not just for enthusiasts say developers”

  1. Alastairo
    January 28th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

    Sounds good – now I’m ready for the change to kde4
    I believe the windows version is progressing as well.

  2. Jason
    January 28th, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    Actually on both Mandriva 2009 and OpenSUSE 11, even KDE4.1 was good enough for me (I’d call myself a general user.)

    Very looking forward to 4.2 nonetheless.

  3. Benjamin Huot
    January 28th, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

    I already have tried the KDE 4 live CD based on openSUSE 11.1 in Vmware Fusion and it looks and feels much better. I have been using Ubuntu lately for most my Linux work, but I am very happy so far with 4.2. I will definitely consider switching. One thing I miss from Ubuntu is the breadth of applications – think especially some of the lesser known latex converters, some of the GTK applications like WineFish and BlueFish, some of the media players like VLC and Mplayer and religious applications like BibleTime, GnomeSword, and Zekr. If I knew I was getting all of them, I would consider buying the boxed version.

  4. Crazy Henaway
    January 28th, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    Well, I tried out 4.2 final last night.

    What impressed me? Improvements to KWin. It’s a lovely window manager. Very slick and smooth.

    What didn’t impress me? Slow like a dump truck. I don’t know what the deal is, but it actually made me feel like I was trying to run Vista for a minute. Brutally, unusably slow for me. Could be the old hardware, but Gnome doesn’t give me any grief with it. Even Windows 7 (that doesn’t support my video card and used the Generic Win Driver) was astonishingly fast on the machine.

    I’ve been holding out hope with each KDE4 release that I might re-join the userbase … but I guess I’ll wait on 4.3 now and try again then. Or maybe Gnome has finally won me over the way KDE did back in the 2.x era.

  5. Shane
    January 29th, 2009 @ 1:28 am

    The day Slackware officially supports KDE4.0 is the day I’ll make the move. Slackware is known to release Stable apps and kernel versions given its conservative approach of release candidates.

  6. sims
    January 29th, 2009 @ 1:43 am

    KDE4.2 is certainly a good release. However, KDE3.5 users should still not expect everything they had. It still is sparse in many areas. However, it doesn’t crash as much and you can actually use it without hacking at it. Some perfectly working graphic cards are blacklisted. I’m not sure why. So just because you can play Quake doesn’t mean you will have desktop FX.

  7. Mr. Pink
    January 29th, 2009 @ 3:54 am

    Just tried it. Still sucks major ass.

  8. Arthur
    January 29th, 2009 @ 4:07 am

    I liked the old KDE3.5 me better.

  9. Nonya
    January 29th, 2009 @ 9:14 am

    So in other words, its still not ready for release yet. Sound like the developers are imitating M$…expecting to use the general public as alpha testers.

  10. TonyY
    January 29th, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

    Those as like KDE4.2, enjoy it……no problems from where I stand. From my business perspective however, my experiences with 4.1 and the conflicting views about 4.2 have convinced me that as yet, KDE4.2 is not yet ready for me to use on “mission critical” computers…….It’s getting there, it’s pretty, and it’s slow, slow, slow, slow, slow…that last comment about speed reduction is one that I have now seen a number of times on various sites and certainly KDE4.1 on my computer was slow, slow…….

    No doubt I will move eventually, but I am thinking it will be version 4.3 or 4.4 that finally gets my vote. Provided KDE4x can be made to behave more or less like KDE3.5 (and apparently this is getting much closer), then the learning costs become minimal…….. For the moment, I prefer KDE3.5’s speed, reliability, stability and simplicity. What everybody fails to remember is that “bling” and “pretty pretty” are NOT required by business users, despite the crows of delight from cutting edge enthusiasts. Mind you, go for it if rotating screens and 3D effects are your thing, no worries from me, and have fun……..but I don’t need it.

  11. Benjamin Huot
    January 29th, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    @TonyY: I have turned all that off as I don’t like single click and I didn’t enable any of the effects as that doesn’t attract me, but the requirements may be pretty steep still – when I was installing, I had to give the OpenSuse 1 GB of RAM in Vmware to install the 4.2 LiveCD and I have an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. But it seems much more stable than 4.1 and finally I can find an interface that doesn’t get in the way/bug me, which is hard even with all the Gnome and KDE themes.

  12. Andrej
    January 29th, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    While 4.1 was far from ready for me, KDE 4.2 has finaly enabled me to upgrade to fourth generation of this desktop. In fact it works so nicely that it would be hard to imagine to go back to the old series. And it looks so damn hot it even attracted my girlfriend, who didn’t like Linux at all before (showing her other desktops as options also didn’t help). So it looks like KDE 4.2 has a potencial to convert at least one more user from Windows to Linux. And if version 4.3, which will be out in only six months, has about the same amount of change as 4.2 has compared to 4.1, then 4.3 will totally rock. Great job KDE people!

  13. Surja
    January 29th, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

    Tried it. Looks good. Slow as hell. Didn’t crash though. KDE 3.5 is way better. The KDE team should simply give up on KDE 4 and keep developing KDE 3.5 futher. Sorry but it’s just how I feel about this.

  14. rob
    February 3rd, 2009 @ 2:51 am

    I tried 4.1 — not usable. I have tried the 4.2 beta. It is a beautiful desktop with great improvements. But, I am switching back to Gnome as we speak. (two machines, both kubuntu linux with kde 4.2) For starters, the display does not turn off, no matter what power settings I try. The screen goes blank, but the monitor is still running. Also, when coming back to my desktop, the sound is always messed up and I have to reboot each time. The digital clock in the task bar is only a 24-hour display. I want a 12 hour digital clock. I am an American, this is what I am use to seeing, and I should have the option. It is currently not available.
    On booting and logging in, the network takes a minute to connect (one wireless and one wired.) The desktop widgets that require internet access, like rss feeds and weather applet, show unable to load data for the first thirty minutes since they load before the network. Also, I had lots of random crashes over the last week, mostly minor.

    One last thing, this new KDE experience feels like Vista to me. It looks and feels very similar. The desktop widgets are very similar to the sidebar and applets in Vista.

    Lastly, I have tried to make KDE 4.x work for me, but so far it does not. I truly miss kde 3.5 and the feel of that desktop environment. I will say that the desktop looks promising, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I will stick with Gnome for now and check back in on KDE in a year or so.

  15. Raoul
    February 4th, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    I’ve also installed 4.2 on my Kubuntu machine. Granted I’m running a dual-core 64-bit processor and have 1 gig of RAM, but KDE has been smooth and fast for me. The visual improvements have been good – I am especially glad to have my rotating cube back. Other improvements have been in Kontact/Kmail and some small bits here and there, like in the File dialogs.

    The lack of Bluetooth is a little irritating in Kubuntu, but I hardly use it in any case. Also, I’d like all my panel styles back. There were about 4 or 5 of them in 4.1, and now I only have the default one again – a rather Vista-esque look which I am not particularly fond of.

    In my opinion, KDE 4.2 is an improvement on 4.1, and is an excellent desktop.

  16. Wogan
    February 5th, 2009 @ 9:20 am

    I’m with Surja on this. 3.5 was perfect – clean, professional, flexible, and didn’t cost a world of RAM.

    Just because Vista came out with an enhanced start menu, desktop widgets and glossy black task bar doesn’t mean that KDE has to come up with their own enhanced start menu, desktop widgets and glossy black taskbar. The whole point of being a different GUI is to be a different GUI, not just to imitate someone else’s stuff in a worse way.

    February 9th, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

    Tectonic » KDE 4.2 out, not just for enthusiasts say developers…

    It’s been a while in the coming but KDE 4.2 is here. The latest release of the popular desktop environment packs a truck-full of improvements over earlier releases and developers are saying that KDE 4.2 is the best choice for all users, not just KDE …

  18. dd
    April 26th, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

    KDE 3.2 was the best. They should have improved there.

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