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.comment: A (P)review of KDE2 - page 3

A New Look as Well

  • August 2, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

At this point (I'm writing this based on a compile of CVS code from over the weekend), two configuration facts are evident: KDE2 will be tremendously configurable, more so even than the very configurable KDE-1.x, and it's been rewritten and rearranged to the extent that KDE-1.x configuration experience will be somewhat but not entirely useful. The new KDE Control Center manifests both increased power and considerable reshuffling. If you are among those who could without blinking change mouse focus policy in KDE-1.x, you'll enjoy some new exploration in KDE2. Some of the new options are mentioned above. Most of them are available in multiple locations--the Control Center and KMenu > Preferences, for instance. The new user and upgrader alike would well spend some time exploring the Control Center, not necessarily making changes but learning where changes are made.

The Bottom Line
I caught hell a couple of weeks ago when in this space I called KDE as close to a standard desktop as exists in the Linux world. To which I say: "Tough." If you purchase or otherwise acquire a Linux distribution and install it, chances are KDE is what you'll see when you boot it. And I think that this is a Good Thing. Moreover, it is a thing that will be better when KDE2 is released and becomes the standard (okay, "commonly encountered") desktop. I build the CVS code of KDE2 once a week or so, and I follow the developer mailing list. The extent to which these guys and Emily anticipate user needs and provide for them is truly amazing. If they were philosophers defining the meaning of life, I sometimes think they'd get it sorted out in a couple of weeks. These people are pretty good.

If you're using KDE-1.x in a production environment, now is not the time to switch over; some notions notwithstanding, KDE2 smells very good, but ain't soup yet. It will be by release time (though if you have proprietary apps written to QT-1.4x, you'll need to make provision for them). Now may well, though, be a time to download the source and take a look. You'll be pleased.

But I'm convinced that anyone given a computer with nothing on it but Linux and KDE2 could in very short order be doing useful work of many kinds. The KDE home page asks if Unix is ready for the desktop. KDE2 answers that question.

The answer is yes.

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