The first beta of what will become KDE 4.9 was released yesterday, just four day past due date. After the usual round of testing and more pre-stable releases, the final, stable version of KDE 4.9 should hit the proverbial shelves early August 2012. The complete release schedule is available here.
The list of planned features is very long and includes many UX and UI additions, improvements and bugfixes, but the two that I am looking forward to the most are KLook and StackFolder, two features already available by default on ROSA Marathon 2012 and also in ROSA Desktop 2012 beta.
KLook is a kde-baseapp, while StackFolder is a kdeplasma-addon. Both were contributed upstream by ROSA Laboratory’s developers. ROSA Laboratory is the Russian outfit behind ROSA Desktop/Marathon.
KLook, which I have written about here, and StackFolder, are major user-friendly additions to KDE. KLook brings a multi-MIME-type viewer integrated into Dolphin. Users will be able to view file-types supported by KLook straight from Dolphin without having to launch separate applications. Currently, KLook supports viewing audio, video, text and image (png and jpg) files. And it has a thumbnail and a fullscreen mode. The screen shot below shows KLook in thumbnail viewing mode.
StackFolder, the other feature, is a panel widget that offers quick file previews, making it easy to browse the contents of your home folder or any folder right from the panel without opening Dolphin, the file manager. A screen shot from a test installation of ROSA Desktop 2012 beta showing contents of the system’s home folder’s StackFolder.
The best part is that KLook has also been integrated into StackFolder, making it easy to view supported file-types from the panel. Here is a screen shot of a video file being viewed from a StackFolder, courtesy of KLook.
These are just two of many features that should be available on all KDE desktops, not just on ROSA Marathon and ROSA Desktop.