My space in the world

Code is poetry

Posted by Sayak
December - 19 - 2008

KDE 4.2 beta 2 is out! The official announcement can be found here.
Got this upgrade to KDE 4.2 beta 2 (KDE 4.1.85) on 18th midnight. After a ~108 MB upgrade and a reboot, there have been many positive changes. Of the numerous upgrades, I noticed these:

1. The systray notification daemon fix. Earlier, the daemon showed a green up/down arrow in the systray for showing/hiding the daemon. Clicking on the notification window/pausing the transfer would crash the whole plasma workspace. Now, there is a modification to the appearance of the daemon. The notification is *much* stable. It does not crash anymore. I can successfull stop, pause and resume my transfers from the daemon itself.
Notification daemon

2. Thumbnail previews for folder-view have been fixed. Earlier, it would not successfully show thumbnails for some png’s and jpeg’s. Now everything looks perfect. I can choose which thumbnails to display and which not (choose, as in select the file formats to display the thumbnail for).
Preview

3. Keyboard shortcuts have been fixed. Now all my global shortcuts work. That means I can take screenshots by pressing “Prt Scr” … yay!!

4. The calendar plasma widget has been modified to look better. Earlier, it was a cluttered look, but now, it looks better. What I see is the spacing has been increased and made uniform:
Calendar

5. Gwenview crop tool has also been fixed. Now when I crop a portion of an image, the selector does not go out of the image scope (boundary). Earlier, I had to be careful in cropping a portion of an image close to it’s boundary.

6. KWin effects: Significant changes have been made to the kwin effects. They now work smoother with EXA rendering method. I have now removed the forcing of XAA. Even gtk apps like firefox also do well with EXA.
I also see a bunch of new plugins working, like the desktop sphere, cylinder, the magic lamp (though this was working in beta 1 also).

7. Grouping has been polished. Manual grouping still is broken, but forcing of rows and auto grouping works perfectly.

8. The plasma menu (the cashew at the top right side) has also been fixed. Now it does not become bigger each time it is opened!

9. KRunner has added functionality viz spell checking, web-history, a smart unit converter, calculator and many more:
KRunner

10. Pinheiro‘s AIR wallpaper looks great. With the latest trunk, you would see this wallpaper as a new addition.
Air

^^ This was a screeny from my friend neverendingo‘s desktop posted here at the KDE forums.

So that would be what all I could notice in a day. With added stability, beta 2 is a must try. It has so much more than the 4.1.x releases that you will definitely be surprised and more importantly, pleased! It works like a charm on this old laptop of mine with a GMA900 onboard πŸ˜€
Now I’m eagerly waiting for the final release πŸ˜‰

9 Responses to “A glance at KDE 4.2 beta 2”

  1. Michael says:

    KDE would be the thing that made me switch from Windows. It’s user interface is sophisticated and very good looking! I think it should be the default in ubuntu

  2. Mike Turner says:

    I tried KDE 4.2 beta 2. It is truly amazing. The only problem is that bluetooth is still broken.
    Plus, very well written review! πŸ˜‰

  3. Praveen says:

    Nice review. I am a KDE user since 2.something. As superkaramba emerges to plasma, KDE 4.2 has many such great unspoken features that your posts tell us!

  4. Vincent says:

    This is a great review. I absolutely love the Air wallpaper and oh well, trunk rocks. Plasma is better, ever. I have fallen in love with KDE 4.2 beta 2 πŸ™‚

  5. Hey there, great review.

    I am a very long time gnome user. I tried kde 4.1 but i returned to gnome.

    kde 4.2 looks really amazing and i really want to switch. But i have some questions, if you can answer them it would be really sweet πŸ™‚

    For example i found a script like QuickLook at OS X ( https://launchpad.net/gloobus ). I can’t add a shortcut key to the nautilus and i really hate it πŸ™‚ Is it possible to add shorcuts to dolphin ?

    I have 6200 nvidia TC gpu and i have compiz working fine. But in kde 4.1 kwin effects were not so smooth. Is compiz faster than kwin at kde 4.2 ?

    I have a M$ keyboard which has many mm keys on it. Gnome use those mm keys by default but i could not use them at kde 4.1. Is there a way to use those keys ?

    I am now using Ubuntu 8.10 which i upgraded from 8.04 via update-manager. I tried kde 4.1 with installing it on my ubuntu with package manager. Should i do the same way if i want to switch or should i install a fresh kubuntu 8.10 ?

    Sory for the long questions but i really want to actually use kde and it is mainly because of your blog posts πŸ™‚

  6. Ryan says:

    When I first used beta 1, I didn’t expect it to be a package full of surprises! Beta 2 is yet again better. KDE developers are doing great job!!

  7. Tuomas Koski says:

    Cool thing. Nice screenshots!

  8. Sayak says:

    Is it possible to add shorcuts to dolphin ?

    Certainly! You can either right click -> Create New -> Link to file, or you can drag and drop the file and select “Link here” to the menu that appears.

    Is compiz faster than kwin at kde 4.2 ?

    You can switch to XAA rendering in that case. Edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and add the following line (in bold) here:
    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”
    Option “AccelMethod” “XAA”
    EndSection

    Otherwise, you can always use compiz with KDE if you like.

    I have a M$ keyboard which has many mm keys on it. Gnome use those mm keys by default but i could not use them at kde 4.1. Is there a way to use those keys ?

    Global shortcuts have been fixed in KDE 4.2 beta 2. You can easily configure and use them (KMenu->System Settings -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Global Shortcuts)

    I am now using Ubuntu 8.10 which i upgraded from 8.04 via update-manager. I tried kde 4.1 with installing it on my ubuntu with package manager. Should i do the same way if i want to switch or should i install a fresh kubuntu 8.10 ?

    Either way you do, it would have the same effect. If you want to completely remove Gnome after installing KDE, you can take a look at this: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/purekde

    Sory for the long questions but i really want to actually use kde and it is mainly because of your blog posts

    KDE will definitely not let you down πŸ™‚
    If you face any problems, just post it on http://forum.kde.org — We’ll try our best to get it resolved! πŸ˜€

  9. Gerry says:

    @Guney Can Gokoglu,

    If you haven’t already found it the Nvidia Beta 180.17 solves all the 6200 problems, (or, it did for me)

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About Me

A son, brother and friend. Enjoys scripting and making small bits of apps here and there. Wants to conquer the world (well, who doesnt). A geek who has an obsession for ponies. Loves acoustic and wants to play guitar sitting on the Hollywood hill one day!

A Word About KDE

KDE is a versatile software compilation for all platforms. It is an intuitive and powerful desktop environment that focuses on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems, and creating a vibrant, open atmosphere for experimentation.

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