Fedora 9 and the road to KDE4

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Fedora 9 will include KDE 4.0.3 by default, so this is a look at the progress of one of the major free desktop environments. KDE 4.0 was released January 11, 2008 after a couple of years of discussions and hype. The initial release was followed by a succession of minor releases that fixed many of the glaring bugs. The project that was initiated on October 14, 1996, so its developers have nearly a decade of experience now. While a lot of things have changed, there is still a familiar feel from its initial days. So what has changed?

Interface changes

The user interfaces changes are immediately visible uponlogin. The Oxygen theme introduces a new look and feel and adopts the freedesktop.org icon naming specification. The hot spot on the top right corner that looks like a golden cashew nut allows you to add widgets—called plasmoids–to your KDE desktop . With the ability to run Windows® Vista® and Mac OS desktop equivalents in the near future, plasmoids can be very attractive and functional. The picture frame plasmoid, for example, would fit very well into a home desktop. The ability to move plasmoids between the panel and desktop seamlessly is a bonus.

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