.comment: A (P)review of KDE2 - page 2
A New Look as Well
The experienced KDE user will find a wealth of familiar applications in KDE2; most of them have been ported over, and in many cases improved. The big stories are KOffice, the first integrated, open-source, full-featured, GPL'ed office suite and one that, were there others, would likely be the best, and Konqueror, the delightful file manager and network and web browser. I'm writing this in KWord, the KDE2 word processor, as I have all of these columns. I have written about both KOffice and Konqueror in the last few weeks; you can find the KOffice story at http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/1849/1/ and the Konqueror piece at http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/previews/1901/1/.
But it doesn't stop there. KMail, to pick an application with which I am intimately involved on a daily basis, has grown tremendously into a full-featured email application (yes, it reads HTML mail; no, it doesn't do anything to keep this from being a bad idea, unless you enjoy spam) with a new, prettier, and far more elaborate configuration routine, message threading (important if you're on mailing lists and your email program is more like a newsgroup reader), child folders, and more.
There is a new newsreader, KNode. There is an AOL Instant Messenger program, Kit. There are new toys (eyecandy apps). The Pixie image management system, written by Daniel M. Duley, the legendary Mosfet, shows enormous promise. KMenuEdit, the menu editor, has managed to become even more weird and complicated, but longtime KDE users have found other ways to edit their menus anyway (about which I'll write a piece in a few weeks; if I forget, remind me). In keeping with the "tips on startup" philosophy that is found in the Gimp and in commercial applications that crash frequently, there is a tip application that actually contains useful information. There is said to be Java support in many places, but it doesn't work very well in KDE2, anymore than it does elsewhere. (Do I get to say it yet? Java may be a good idea someplace, but the desktop isn't that place.) The multimedia engine has been rebuilt from the ground up, with a selection of applications and even an application builder.
The Personal Information Manager, KOrganizer, has received a much-needed overhaul and now can tie in with KMail, serving as its addressbook among other things.