Current KDE svn already comes along with the first bits of the future task and system bar. While the current version is not functional yet it shows that we can soon expect news about that topic.
One of the big, still missing bits of KDE 4 is the kicker replacement. KDE 4 Beta 1 was still shipped with a broken kicker and the new system bar is expected any day now. And first bits are already visible (while of course not yet exciting because they are only bits in heavy development).
In my local KDE compiled from the current SVN version I saw today this after the boot:
It lay behind the usual kicker (which didn’t crash this time) and tried to hide. As you can see it doesn’t show that much and has some problems with the embedded Plasmoids. Also it was just a plain area and nothing fancy – yet. As usual the important bit is that there is something working, and that the foundations are there. While the design will also be very important the first step is the foundation which have to be ready. And I have no doubt that the Oxygen people will come up with something fancy in that regard.
You can get a better impression with a screenshot I found at annma’s blog:
There you can already see a working task bar and a clock (which is a Plasmoid I think). I guess in that shot the system bar works better because some of the stuff is developed in some playground directories of the SVN while I only checkout the main directories.
I’m looking forward to see the new working system bar – and I’m especially looking forward to the possibilities of dragging&dropping of Plasmoids between the desktop and the system bar. Also I do really hope that the new base for the system bar is now flexible enough so that other developers can develop their own in the future!