KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 was just released, and it looks very promising indeed! Here’s what bastion of PolishLinux had to say:
First thing worth noticing is the new looks of KRunner. Unfortunately, on the current stage, it behaves in an unpredictable manner. In some cases after typing one letter I had to wait a few seconds for KRunner to catch it and prompt me with a list of available choices. What is more, it randomly hung up completely, exceeding the maximum response time, forcing KWin to kindly ask me to kill it.
Dolphin — the file manager — eventually got the feature I’ve been waiting for: the tab support!
Amarok is getting closer and closer to its major release. The current changes mostly concern the looks of Plasma applets and streaming sources extensions. It’s however worth noting that the application itself proves to be much more stable than before. Amarok also now remembers previously added collections, playlists and — what is crucial — does not crash upon frequent interaction with the user
PolishLinux guys were not the only ones doing a preview of KDE4.1, ArsTechnica also has an article on it. Here’s some snippets:
One of the most significant changes in KDE 4.1 is the adoption of Qt 4.4, a new version of the toolkit which includes important features such as a built-in WebKit-based HTML rendering widget and support for placing widgets on canvases. These features will bring some new capabilities to KDE’s Plasma desktop shell.
In the new alpha release, Plasma has preliminary support for SuperKaramba and Mac OS X Dashboard widgets. Users can import these and add them to their desktops alongside regular plasmoids.
This alpha release marks the start of the 4.1 feature freeze, so virtually all of the remaining developer effort between now and the official 4.1 release in July will focus on bug-fixing, polish, and stability.
If the developers can deliver on all of this functionality and make it stable and robust, version 4.1 will offer a much better overall user experience than 4.0, and Plasma will come close to achieving functional parity with the KDE 3.5.x panel system.
For an indepth look at what KDE4.1 offers do read the articles at polishlinux and ArsTechnica. For a full overview of new features planned for the 4.1 release, check out the specification