I was very curious about KDE 4.2 since this was the first release cycle in which I had started working with KDE team. And today I installed KDE 4.2 after its release from the Kubuntu-experimental repos. I am seriously over excited this morning to see the way KDE 4.2 is working.
A bit about my KDE 4.1 experience. I started using KDE from 4.1 and it was really awesome, but there were problems here and there which used to irritate me a lot. One of them being not highlighting the minimized windows on the bottom task bar when ever there is some new message or something. It used to highlight, but it was almost not visible, since we could not make out the difference. Even though 4.1 was much faster and efficient than 4.0 it was slow enough to run on my single core Pentium 4 machine. So I used to switch b/w GNOME and KDE very frequently.
But yesterday's release has changed it all for me. KDE 4.2 is much faster and efficient. Runs without any glitches on my single core P4 machine. The artwork in 4.2 is simply mind blowing. It left me speechless as soon as I saw it. There are no more words about it. Support for GTK apps is much better and they look great now. Since I cannot live without FireFox and Pidgin, this was very much required for me. As I said above highlighting the window in the background by flashing in the task bar for which there is a new message is really awesome! But it can still be improved. The white background/grey flash with dark grey background is not very suitable. I think KDE can directly take this from GNOME's brown background with black text combination. There is nothing wrong I feel, since its all free software and we are free to take the ideas :P
Finally the greatest feature I noticed is, very much like FireFox restores its previous session, KDE 4.2 restores Desktop session. What an awesome feature. Who would have thought about this? Hats off to the person who proposed this idea. It is ultimately helpful for people like me. It just means this, if your Desktop crashes or if you shut down/logout from your machine without closing the apps, when you login to a new session you have all the apps running. Great, eh?
But however KDE 4.2 is not free of bugs. After all its a Software and there should be something that must be done for the next release :P So it has some bugs and lacks few features. One of the main problem I noticed is, whenever I maximize a window which is either restored/minimized while the window repaints itself its edges flicker a lot, which causes a lot of irritation to the eyes. Another problem is that, FireFox tab shortcuts no more work. This is again painful for FireFox devotees. There are other minute problems too, but almost all are excusable for giving us such a great Desktop Environment. Thanks KDE team, thanks one and all who contributed to give us such a great computing Environment to work on!
-- Happy hacking,