KDE 4 is coming closer, and the 3rd party programs are busy porting. Amarok now unveiled that they will reuse some Plasma techniques to create appealing effects while Digikam reported a first version running on KDE 4.
Amarok and Plasma
The Amarok team decided to implement the context view for the upcoming Amarok-KDE 4 version in Plasma:
we have been considering moving to Plasma for the context view (the big display in the middle) in Amarok.
[…] there are the great possibilities that Plasma offers us: Ability to include scriptable Plasmoids, fancy SVG rendering, and theming.
While this includes trashing almost the entire existing code the developers are looking forward to this solution and estimate that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Aaron Seigo mentioned in this regard that Amarok will use static linkage: Amarok will come with Plasma included in their own code and therefore not sharing the Plasma engine of the desktops. However, this is necessary since Amarok decided to have no dependencies on kdebase. Also, Aaron refuses to give binary compatibility in the Plasma API before the KDE 4.1 release – wasn’t aware of that, btw.
One of the other big, 3rd party applications for KDE besides Amarok is Digikam. And the porting of the applications has started as well some time back. Today it was reported that it works on KDE 4 indeed:
Today, after 5 weeks of intensive work to port source code (and one million of commits on svn), digiKam compile fine now under QT4/KDE4.
Porting in general
Porting these applications is an important step for KDE 4 because it is the Litmus Test of the APIs and the general concept of KDE 4. Porting such big applications will unveil if there are APIs which still need a change or design concepts which simply don’t work in the real work.
Besides Digikam and Amarok there are other port efforts going on at the moment: ktorrent is working actively on a port. Kile will start porting directly after the release of Kile 2.0 (I’m not sure when that will be, but hope it will come soon). Another “big” 3rd party program is K3B, but I’m not sure about current porting efforts.
Speaking about 3rd party: as it currently looks like Kopete might not be part of the official KDE-Network module at release time because the port might not be ready. This would make kopete a 3rd party app, and I think that could be a chance for Kopete: I always had the feeling that the fixed release schedules were too tight for an app like Kopete (which has to react to protocol changes sometimes quite fast and out of any release cycle). But that’s not sure yet.
In any way its pretty clear that some big programs will already be ported at KDE 4 release date, and that some will come later. But if the current Gamma plans are accepted by the broader KDE community some of the yet-not-ported apps have some extra time for porting.