KDE developer Aaron J. Seigo on The Linux Box Show speaks of the new Appeal project and what that means for kde 4.0. He outlines three main principals for the Appeal project and that adds up to more eye candy and functionality for all.
The Appeals Project is a group of developers and contributers deciding what they'd like to see kde achieve. The three principals of the Appeal Project are "breath taking beauty", "clarity in the interface", and "technical creativity". What does that mean? It means they are striving for the most beautiful desktop with easier to interpret and navigate options, menus, toolbars and the like, all on top of the most technological advances possible.
KDE has hired some new talent towards that end. One area they are really exploring is wonderful possibilities of composite. We've had just a taste in kde 3.4, but they are hoping to really up the standards once again by combining beauty and functionality.
Seigo also says that it would be nice if qt and gtk apps work more in concert together, but they really can't put too much time into something in which they have so little control. He states that they are really just gonna leave that to freedesktop.org.
Also discussed were some of the new applications one might see in kde 4.0. Seigo seems excited about their new content manager that sounds by his description to be a file manager on steriods. He states, "People are really bad at keeping hierarchical structures in a sane structure, let alone navigating them after the fact. So the file system hierarchies really start to break down. So then instead of manually mapping, "Ok, this document is in this folder which is in this folder which happens to be in my home directory" you can now say, "Ok, I'm looking for office documents, and they came from Sean, and I think they came by email." Or, "Here's an image, where else did I use this image?" and bring up all the documents that that image appears in. So it's a way that's a more human way of browsing your information on the desktop." He further states this will not replace konqueror but will compliment it.
The kde team is hoping to revamp kcontrol as well. Seigo states that kde has grown to have possibly hundreds of user options and their present hierarchical representation is beginning to break down. I know that's true. Sometimes I have no idea where to find some setting. It's easier to edit the rc files at times.
Also being discussed are Kynaptic, koffice improvements, and a contextual linking engine called Tenor.
Seigo sums up by stating, "This isn't a closed project, a little cabal of 15 people. This is our first step. And hopefully in a year we'll have 50 people involved in twelve different projects working on whatever they do in KDE within these principles of beauty, interface clarity and technological creativity."
KDE 4.0 is approximately a year away, but hopefull we'll get some alphas to play with soon.
Transcript  of interview.