It started to hit me yesterday as I spent 3.5 hours in this year’s KDE Google Summer of Code mentor’s meeting (thanks again sebr!!). KDE4 just plain rocks, and it feels good to start getting excited about it again. And I don’t just mean KDE 4.0. Don’t get me wrong, KDE4.0 is a nice little release. It’s not perfect and there are some things that are irritating about it and keep me from using it as my main DE. But like Aaron has been saying over and over and over again, KDE4.0 is not KDE4. KDE4.0 is more of a preview of things to come, and what I see coming just plain kicks butt.
I am finally getting excited about our PIM space again, and that feels really, really good. KMail, KOrganizer, KPilot, and the rest of our PIM suite was what drew me to KDE in the 3.x series. (Well, that and quite honestly I find the intentional dumbing-down and lack of configurability of the other large, free DE irritating to the point of exhaustion.) But lately our PIM apps have suffered from lack of care and have started to look seriously unsexy compared with Thunderbird, Sunbird, and even *gasp* Evolution. But KDE4 gives us a chance to remedy that, in my mind, and looking at this year’s Summer of Code projects, I’m hoping we get some really nice improvements done. There’s a few really sweet ones that I’d love to see get accomplished: the Google Contacts/Calendar integration into Akonadi and thusly KDE PIM, the enhanced KMail view, and (nearest and dearest to my heart) getting KPilot fully functional, and rock solid for KDE4.
And going through the SOC-sorting meeting made me realize all over again how fantastic a community it is that we have in KDE. There’s a lot of respect and comaradarie and friendliness that I just don’t see in some other communities. Not to mention the quality of talented people that we have. PIM might have drawn me to KDE, but it’s the people and our awesome community that we have that has kept me. =:)
Anyway, I just had to say that it feels really, really good to be excited about KDE4 again. In my mind, it’s a really unique opportunity to do something fresh and new and fun and exciting again. It’s a chance to learn from past mistakes and do better. It’s a chance to take the fantastic functionality that we have and rethink how our users can best interact with it. It’s a chance to not be bound to the past and to not have to be stuck with the same old presentation layer we have just because we don’t want to make drastic changes to our applications.
As the pretty graphic says, KDE4 is truly a chance to be free. =:)