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.