As promised, here are some of my thoughts about the first release candidate of KDE4.
I am not going to comment on the artwork or plasma at this point in time, because I know that it has been significantly improved in SVN, so when RC2 comes out in a few days, it should be in a better state for review.
Dolphin is a very nice file manager. The breadcrumb navigation resembles GTK+’s file dialog, but is much more powerful. Being able to click the little arrow to navigate to other directories is great. It does take a little while to get used to the fact that you can’t
ctrl + t to open a new tab, but Konqueror is still available, seemingly as powerful as ever.
Konsole’s configuration has gotten an overhaul. Customising the appearance is now much more streamlined.
These are all great. The SVG graphics are a real improvement upon the older pixmap ones in KDE3. Gameplay is the same as before, just in a slicker interface.
Kuickshow has been replaces by Gwenview, which has a nicer interface. Unfortunately it wasn’t stable, crashing multiple times. For PDF viewing, KPDF has been superceded by Okular, which has a nicer interface and actually seems to render documents faster.
That is about all there is for now. I haven’t had the opportunity to try any of the EDU, PIM, multimedia or office applications. Neither have I attempted to try any of the new fancy technologies like Phonon, Solid or Strigi. If Plasma is in a good state by the next release, I can see that KDE4 will be a solid release. It will not be as feature complete as KDE3, since many important applications still need to be ported and polished, but it should provide a base for my desktop environment for quite some time.
Like many people, I often use Mozilla’s browser and email client, but find that without some customisation, they are not to my liking.
The first task is to get them both to fit into my desktop environment. Since I use the Tango icons, using the Tango Firefox theme and Thunderbird theme is only natural. Note that Thunderbird will crash if you have the mail notification feature enabled, so best disable that.
Then some settings must be added in about:config, so that both programs can talk to each other. Open about:config in Firefox, right click and add network.protocol-handler.app.mailto. Set it to xdg-email and it will now open up whichever email program you set as default 😀 (make sure that you have emerged xdg-utils otherwise xdg-* won’t exist)
A similar method exists for Thunderbird. Edit => Preferences => Advanced => Config Editor… will get you to the about:config equivalent. Then add network.protocol-handler.app.http and network.protocol-handler.app.https and set both to xdg-open. Now when you click on links in Thunderbird, they should open up in your browser.
Then you get onto extensions. Now, I don’t use an excessive number, just a few that I have found useful.
In Firefox the ones I recommend are:
- All-In-One Gestures to let me have control of many browser featuress by just moving the mouse
- omploader, adds ‘Ompload!’ to the right click menu, allowing you to easily upload any file type to omploaer
- Finally, not one that I am using currently, but one that is certainly very interesting is vimperator which makes Firefox behave like the best editor in the world, Vim :>
In Thunderbird I use:
- enigmail, for all my PGP needs
- moztraybiff, which adds a system-tray icon for Thunderbird that notes how many new messages you have
Hopefully somebody will find some of this useful :p