Wednesday, June 30, 2010

KDE SC 4.4.5 released

Several months ago I put together a REVIEW on PCLinuxOS 2010. Those of you who read it know that I love this distro and that showed in my review. I was thoroughly pleased and surprised with all of its features and found very little weak spots.

PCLinuxOS 2010.1 continues to surprise me time and again, specially with its great and incredibly fast updates. KDE SC 4.4.4 upgrade took place a couple days before the KDE.ORG site posted that it was available. Today they have managed to do it yet again with KDE SC 4.4.5, and once again, there is still no news on the matter.


My current KDE SC 4.4.5 desktop

KDE SC 4.4.5

Because there is no official announcement about KDE SC 4.4.5 just yet, I have to assume this is another bugfix release for KDE SC 4.4 series. However, I did notice some new interesting features that I wanted to show you here.


The battery indicator has been integrated in the system tray in KDE SC 4.4.5

As you can see on the screenshot above, the system tray now acomodates two new items: the battery indicator and the device manager. I know there are people who argue that the KDE system tray is overcrowded, I have been there myself at some point. Having said so, I think I like these changes because they help free space from other areas.


The devices manager has also been added to the system tray.

I usually work with tablets or laptops, so battery indication is an important piece of information for me. As a result, I had to add the corresponding widget to either the panel or the desktop. I personally like the former option, so that widget was taking panel space already. Similarly, I had the device manager widget added to my panel and that one is also gone now. Furthermore, both icons are smaller in size now, therefore taking less space than the did before.


The devices manager in action.

The one thing I still don't like is that the system tray icons still look cheap, low resolution. I think this would have been a good time to renew those icons and set something up to par with some of the best icon themes out there.

Note that there may well be other new features as part of this release, but because there is no official release announcement yet, I am only covering here the couple that stood out for me.

BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD

A while back I talked about KDE and how I thought it was growing more mature, appealing and an overall better desktop manager. That trend has been maintained since and there seems to be no stopping it. KDE SC is becoming and incredibly good and attractive desktop environment and the old claims that it was slow or resource eating are no longer founded. Moreover, the QT improvements easily translate into KDE and the end result is a better performing and functional product... Can't wait for KDE 4.5!!

Thanks for reading

10 comments:

  1. I think that these widgets in the system tray are not nothing new in KDE SC 4.4.5. I think they've added this in 4.3, if I remember correctly. It looks like just the default settings for PCLinuxOS changed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Marjana: You sure about that? I have installed OpenSUSE 11.2 RC, Fedora 13, Pardus 2009.2 and several other distros with KDE SC 4.4.x and never saw these system tray icons??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just got home from work (don't have KDE or Linux here unfortunately :( ) and checked it out on my 4.4.4 version. it looks like that if you open settings of System Tray there is a special category (Plasma Widgets) where you can select which widgets are shown in system tray. but you can't drag arbitrary widgets into system tray. Just the ones there are on the list. Abd after searching a bit it appears this was added in 4.3 as I said, but there was no GUI for configuration → http://www.notmart.org/index.php/Software/A_system_tray_even_more_Plasma

    ReplyDelete
  4. Btw, I actually meant to say OpenSUSE 11.3 RC in my previous comment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Marjana: Thanks for the info!

    I checked on my KDE 4.4.4 on Pardus and I see that GUI you are talking about, but it is greyed out for me. It is weird, because it looks like it was meant for adding/removing those widgets in the list, but it doesn't seem to be enabled??

    Not sure why that is, but I like those widgets in the system tray better, regardless of whether that was a KDE or PCLinuxOS choice. I would find it weird if it was a PCLinuxOS thing, though, specially if it has been there since 4.3, as you say... Why wait until 4.4.5?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chema Martín: It is greyed because you have the widgets locked.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Chema,
    Awesome blog! A quick question (pardon my ignorance) - is that a default theme? The 'taskbar' looks a lot like the Windows 7 one... just wondering if that is by default, or a theme.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Abi: Thanks, glad you like it!

    No, that's not the default theme, but it is downloadable and within the "highest rated" ones, so you should find it easily.

    Not sure I understand what you mean about it being similar to Windows 7? I don't see any resemblance?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Martin, nice blog You have there.
    Can You please give a link to the wallpaper there?

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh! I forgot one more thing Martin!
    Please can I have a link to the theme also :D!
    Sorry if am asking for too much but those are some killer looks there!

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete