KDE 4.3 is here

That was fast. Yesterday, I reviewed the new KDE 4.3, and today it's out for everyone to use. You can download the freshest code now.

If sheer numbers impress you, KDE would like you to know that, "The KDE community has fixed over 10,000 bugs and implemented almost 2,000 feature requests in the last 6 months. Close to 63,000 changes were checked in by a little under 700 contributors. Read on for an overview of the changes in the KDE 4.3 Desktop Workspace, Application Suites and the KDE 4.3 Development Platform." Me, I'm not impressed by the numbers so much as I am by the overall improvement in its stability, speed, and flexibility.

I've been continuing to use KDE 4.3 and I'm quite happy with it. In fact, I'm using it at this very moment on my ThinkPad with openSUSE 11.1

KDE 4.3 at work

That said, some people seem to think that I like KDE 4.3 so much that I've given up on KDE 3.x. Ah, actually no, I haven't. Actually, I still like KDE 3.x and I'd still like to see development on it continue. So, yes, while I like KDE 4.3, I'd be happy to see KDE 3.x live on as a fork.

If enough developers agree with me, it will happen. If not, it won't That's how open source works. It's big enough for there to be multiple desktops, or any kind of application for that matter.

Other people are far more cranky than I am though about it. One wrote me, hat KDE 4.3 is hard to configure and that configuration is not consistent. I disagree. I didn't find it hard to configure and I haven't noticed any real consistency problems myself, but, and this is the important point, it is different. You have to buy into the KDE 4 way of doing things.

What's great about this release is that it's easy to do just that. The KDE developers have smoothed out the rough spots so you can pay attention to what the desktop itself is like rather than noticing its 'under construction' signs.

He also added that "most of the 3rd party applications that I normally use with KDE 3 aren't ported yet or they are alpha/beta quality. And it is heavy on my dual core 2GB RAM box." There, he's got some arguments.

While KDE 4.3 is quite good, and I understand that work is already moving along with KDE 4.4, I'd like to see some more programming time put in on some of the older KDE applications. I'd also like to see the code cleaned up. KDE 4.x is the only major Linux desktop that I'm not happy running on PCs with 512MBs of RAM. .

Yes, it's great that most of us have at least a gigabyte of RAM to play with and our processors are faster than fast, but that said, I think relying on users to have great hardware is a mistake. That was one of Microsoft's big mistakes with Vista, and I'd hate to see any Linux developers follow in their footsteps.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon