KDE 4.1: Better Than Any Mac Or Vista
KDE 4.1 has some of those cool features that make Vista and Mac look like kids!
This is going to give a hard time to any Vista or Mac. KDE brings to GNU/Linux the cool and bling factor with a complete arsenal of applications and tools with which you can conquer even Mars. While Windows enjoys the rich ecosystem where third-party players sell applications at a heavy price for the platform, in the world of Linux, everything is being created by a huge community which may outnumber the entire workforce of Microsoft. And all these applications and tools in Linux are available for free (free in terms of cost as well as freedom to modify it the way you want).
Several years ago, people used to complain that Linux was not much user-friendly. But today they find using Linux to be as simple as taking a walk in a park. For a non-Linux user, KDE or GNOME is a desktop environment which he actually uses to interact with programs. In layman's terms, for example, XP's desktop environment is different from that of Vista or Mac. This desktop environment typically consists of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers and desktop widgets. In addition, it also includes full set of applications like movie player, Internet browsing, music player, word processors and many more.
Now, let's come to the KDE 4.1.0 release. This release is the second feature release of the KDE 4 series, sporting new applications and newly developed features on top of the pillars of KDE 4.
KDE 4.1 is the first KDE 4 release to contain the Personal Information Management suite, KDE-PIM, with its E-Mail client KMail, the planner KOrganizer, Akregator, the RSS feed reader, KNode, the newsgroup reader and many more components integrated into the Kontact shell. Furthermore, the new desktop shell Plasma, introduced in KDE 4.0, has matured to the point where it can replace the KDE 3 shell for most casual users.
While KDE 4.1 aims at being the first release suitable for early adopting users only, some features you are used to in KDE 3.5 are not implemented yet. The KDE team is working on those and strives to make them available in one of the next releases. While there is no guarantee that every single feature from KDE 3.5 will be implemented, KDE 4.1 already provides a powerful and feature-rich working environment.
Now, for those who have already been using KDE, while stabilising the new frameworks in KDE 4.1, more emphasis has shifted towards end user visible parts. Read on for a list of improvements in KDE 4.1.
The new features include the return of KDE-PIM which contains the applications necessary for your personal information and communication. It also includes Dragon Player, an easy to use video player enters the stage; Okteta, the new well-integrated and feature-rich hexeditor; Step, the physics emulator makes learning physics fun and easy; KSystemLog, which helps you keep track of what is going on in your system; New games such as KDiamond (a bejeweled clone), Kollision, KBreakOut and Kubrick make taking a break from your work irresistible. That is not all. There is now Lokalize which helps translators make KDE4 available in your language (if it's not amongst the 50-odd languages KDE4 already supports) and then KSCD, the resurrection of desktop CD player.
OpenSolaris support in KDE is currently straightened out. KDE mostly works on OSOL, although there are some showstopper bugs left. Windows developers are able to download previews of KDE applications for their platform. The libraries are relatively stable already, although not all features of kdelibs are available on Windows yet. Some applications already run quite well on Windows, others might not. Mac OSX is another new platform KDE is entering. KDE on Mac is not yet ready for production use. While Multimedia support through Phonon is already available, hardware and search integration is not finished yet.
For KDE 4 series, it is just the beginning of the journey, currently it is for those users who want to use bleeding edge technology or experience, but we hope soon KDE 4 series will take on the world.
For full list of features, please visit: http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.1/
To download your free copy of KDE 4.1.0, check http://www.kde.org/download/#v4.1
-- Swapnil Bhartiya, assistant editor, EFYTimes.com
[Note: KDE 4.1.0 is not recommended in production level or other critical working environments. KDE 3.x series should be used in those environments, until KDE team recommends so.]