The second beta release of the main collection of software produced by the KDE community, aka KDE SC 4.4 beta 2, was released last week. There are OpenSolaris packages available thanks to the compilation efforts of the Pavels; since we’re still not very good at publishing the packages in a standard repository, nor in managing smooth upgrades, you can find the packages here.
This set of packages includes Qt 4.6.1, which is a marked step up in stability; also Virtuoso support has been added if you build from source, but not in the packages. We’re still wrestling a bit with the C++ stack, as some things still use the older Cstd STL and “our” stack uses the newer Apache stdcxx4. In OpenSolaris, things are supposed to move to the Apache stack, but that takes some time and needs careful coordination, for instance because enchant plugins need to be moved over, but that implies that all of GNOME (the parts of it that use a C++ API anyway) also needs to be recompiled.
The first time I started up 4.4 beta 2 was a real eye-opener, from the new artwork to various bits of polish applied to the desktop (well, on OpenSolaris that includes things like “you can now start an application from the K-Menu again”, which was broken in all the recent versions). Since then I’ve started jotting down comments about aspects of the default installation that bother me — mostly little things, and it’s another indication that the packaging is coming together pretty well on OSOL that little bits that lack in polish are able to attract attention again.
Once I’ve got a more substantial list I suppose I’ll blog about them. That’s a little tricky to do, since many of them might be a “designed that way, but incompatible with [ade]” thing that I just don’t know about and I don’t want to come across as whiny or demanding (I’ll save that for licensing issues). And I don’t think that things like “Akonadi startup screen gets in the way” are worth filing a bug over, not until there’s some consensus that it is a bug. See also the “logout sound” thread on KDE core-devel right now, that feels similar.
Anyway, it’s good to see that the next release will be pretty solid, also on OSOL; if you want to take a peek, bother me at FOSDEM this weekend (just before the 4.4.0 release!).