KDE 4.1- a KDE that suits you?

With KDE 4.1 final out soon many users again ask themselves if it is the right KDE version for them. While many features missing in KDE 4.0 are now available, the KDE project published a paper to help the users with the decision.

When KDE 4.0 was released it was targeted at specific users and developers – it wasn’t a release for everyone, especially because KDE 3.5 was (and still is) a strong and still maintained desktop. However, due to communication problems, misunderstandings and also due to some very curious users who didn’t read the release notes almost everyone gave KDE 4.0 a try, and many people complained that specific features they depended on were missing.

So to make it easier for the users to decide in advance if the release fits their needs the KDE team has created a special page highlighting the pros and cons of the release, or better said, the changes and the still missing features in comparison to KDE 3.5/KDE 4.0.

Basically, there are two areas users should have a look at: the applications and the desktop. While KDE comes with many good applications, the real power lies within the 3rd party apps. And there many are not in KDE 4 land yet: digikam (currently beta), Konversation (in development), Amarok (currently alpha), KOffice (currently alpha 8) and k3b (in development).
The desktop on the other side is what you would expect it, however the panel does not support auto-hiding, and currently the feature for having different wallpapers on different virtual desktops is missing. Also, FolderView is there, but the icon-handling is not as most users are used to from KDE 3.5. So in case users cannot stand FolderView they should better wait for KDE 4.2.

In the end, the page only summarizes what is already known, but it does make sure that every user can easily see if a feature important to him/her is missing. Maybe such a page will be shipped with every release in the future. It does at least highlights a fact many users seem to forget: you don’t have to use KDE 4.1 – there is still KDE 4.0.x – and of course KDE 3.5.9, which works fine for many users out there, and will be supported in the next years.


12 thoughts on “KDE 4.1- a KDE that suits you?”

  1. interesting, there ist a statement that the “mac os-like menu bar” is not available. however, will it be available in the forseeable future? that’s a feature i got so used to, i can’t imagine to give it up…

  2. A newer version that has fewer features than the older version? That sounds somewhat like Apple. Maybe some OS X developers are contributors to the KDE project?

    Disclaimer: Mac user who dabbles in Linux

  3. The suggestion to use 4.0.x instead of 4.1.x is bizarre, because all the issues listed for 4.1 on that page affect 4.0 just as much, except the FolderView ones, but the desktop icons in 4.0 are even more broken.

    For all the listed “missing applications”, Fedora 9 ships the KDE 3 versions which work just fine in a KDE 4 desktop, so I don’t see how that would be a real issue. Some of them will probably be available in a KDE 4 version in Fedora 10.

  4. @Ivan -> that’s great news. I can’t wait 😀
    @connectionfailure -> KDE 4.x is a brand new platform. People have to catch up with it. Also imho it’s better than the utopian ToPaZ.

    Also don’t forget that KDE 3.x is still around. Nobody forces you to use KDE 4.x . I was a Gnome only user until Kde 4.1 and right now i switched. I just love Dolphin and Dragon.

  5. Kevin, the “KDE 4.0 instead of KDE 4.1” is quite bizarre, but it is an option if you want to avoid FolderView.
    And about the missing applications: they do work, and they can even be made lookalike if you choose the right theme – but in the end they are not fully integrated. Some people care about that, although it’s debatable how much sense that makes.

  6. liquidat: i really have to agree that the “use 4.0” recommendation is really strange, bordering on poor advice. there are so many problems in 4.0 resolved in 4.1 that it really hardly makes sense to run 4.0 for a user’s system.

  7. Well, the idea was to write along the official techbase paper – and there KDE 4.0 was mentioned as well until recently.
    Anyway, I crossed it out to make it clearer.

  8. From a system administrator->desktop point of view KDE4 as it is, it’s fully functionable in productive environment. vital 3rd party works great. the big problem right now is in customization area and some underlying technologies that did not merged yet or not 100%. Otherwise KDE4 is a JEWEL that is being polished, and it will shine like sun in one year or so. Many thanks and for all those neysayers two words: c’mon….c’mon. ;).

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