With Unity getting most of the attention lately in Ubuntu and the feature-freeze coming in tomorrow, I decided to take the latest <a href="http://www.kubuntu.org/">Kubuntu</a> alpha for a spin and see how KDE 4.8 for netbooks looks and behaves. But first, a little about 12.04 as a whole.
One of the most often mentioned concerns at the KDE booth at LinuxTag was the question if Plasma would force the user to have a black panel. While we did have a second machine showing another theme to resolve all doubts it showed that not all users now yet the power of Plasma theming.
The KDE development community has issued the first official KDE 4.1 beta. This release includes the Kontact PIM suite and significant improvements to KDE's Plasma desktop layer. Many of the components in beta 1 are extremely unstable and subject to frequent crashes, but the overall level of polish and functionality in the environment is increasing at an extraordinary pace.
So I've chosen to become Shane's Personal Plasma Steward. This in turn makes me much more aware of things, that I personally take for granted which aren't so natural (yet) to others. One of those things is "How does this thing work?" (for "plasma" as value of thing). Let me explain on a high level how you can use Plasma and make the most of it, starting with a default Plasma desktop.
When KDE 4.0 was officially released in January, there were a lot of gaping holes in basic functionality. During the past few months, the codebase has matured considerably, and the environment is steadily approaching the point where it will be sufficiently robust for widespread day-to-day use. Although there are still many features missing, version 4.0.2—which was released last week—offers an improved user experience. We tested KDE 4.0.2 with the recently released Kubuntu 8.04 alpha 6.
If you’re not a fan of the large borders on the default KDE 4.0 Plasma theme, you’re in luck. The first themes for Plasma are starting to appear. Here’s how to install the new Slim Glow theme in KDE 4.0:
There has been a lot of talk recently about the need for more KDE4 testers. This howto tells you how to get KDE4 installed in Ubuntu Gutsy, importantly with the normally unavailable Plasma widgets from the 'playground' part of KDE, all using Ubuntu's package management, meaning no damage to the system.