I downloaded The Kubuntu-KDE4-RC2 live CD tonight, was only about 422MB of ISO.
I am sorry to say that although I think KDE4 will be a fenominal success (as long as most KDE3 users stick to it) but I am rather disappointed by KDE4 RC2 =/
I do not care much for the Oxygen look and feel as used by default in the Live CD and I especially dislike how there is little distinction between the window and it's title bar / decore thing. That top bar with the mini/maxi mize buttons and close, e.t.c. or what ever you call it. I did like however the up/down looking buttons for minimize and maximize rather then some of the other things I have seen. As long as Keramik is still available (it was on the live cd as a window decore) I'll probably be happy.
Konsole seems little changed other then settings->configure konsole it is replaced by editing ones profiles; This will probably cause a small level of new-user confusion but it is worth the clean up to the actual configuration dialog.
I don't know if it is the way konqueror is done in KDE4RC2 or the way Kubuntu has it set up on the disk but loading any webpage seems to cause a massive flood of download boxes as it loads every page (probably image files). I suspect the problem is Kubuntu's configuration but didn't take the time to poke around, got other things to attend to tonight. I was also happy to see that Konquerors configuration system is still very abundant but a lot better organized now in regard to using it as a File Manager, Web Browser, or Both ;-)
Kontact id almost the same as I remember it only looking better. Kwrite worked well, did not see Kopete or KOffice apps so I can only guess it is Kubuntu, I've often heard that Kubuntu is often pretty bare bones compared to Ubuntu when listing in #kde; which is why I would probably use Ubuntu and apt-get KDE if I swung that way ;-)
The panel applets seem to be smoothly and very nicey integrated into the system, I plan to look further at them when I have more time to 'play'. I fear that KDE4 RC2 seems to show less configuration options to the user then the KDE 3.4.3 through KDE 3.5.7 that I am used to.... However the Control Center has a make over that makes it a lot easier to find what you are looking for, much appreciated in my case but I don't think it blends in with other or past KDE apps very well. It actually reminds me of the classic style Windows control panel but done in a more integrated way.
The K-Menu is drastically different, not sure if it is an improvement or not... I like the tabbed thing but dislike the focus-follows mouse usage there; it also remembers what 'sub' elements you were in when you reopen it, a matter of taste if you like or hate it. But it is rather nice to see a new idea! Or at least, as new as I've never seen it before, I used to collect Window Managers for a brief time, along with Terminal Emulators and Shells before settling on my current styles.
I like how the task manager thing in the panel had an icon and a label, I did not try to run a lot of applications to see how it collapses but it is nice the way they show it.
The only thing that really annoys me about the K-Menu is the ability to configure it by a quick right-click didn't seem available... I don't think that I will like KDE4 as much as KDE3.. Yet when we get to KDE 4.2 or KDE 4.3 it might be more to my style.
I got to try dolphin the new file manager.... From screen shots that I had seen of its KDE4 port I thought I would love it but after trying it on KDE4RC2 I am very un-amused. It presents a very nice user interface, I always found Konqueror a bit cluttered without stooping to custom profiles for file management and web browsing -- A very damn nice feature of konqueror!!! The big killer for dolphin for me, was seeing a large lack of configuration options compared to konqueror or most major KDE applications. Which I could probably stand since it looks like a great program for being able to use effectively for it's task (file management). The lack of a traditional type the file path address bar was a big let down; I will have to dig deeper into it to see if I can enable that. The alternative method I found in Kubuntu's setup is a great setup compared to Windows Explorer, which I guess defaults to none... Looking at my moms user settings =/
For me, it is critical to be able to type /path/to/directory/ and go there in any file manager because it is what, like 1,000 times faster then clicking your way through? At least for me -- I type at around 70 WPM on typing tests I've tried and when composing my self, I can type as fast as I can think; and some times faster as my speeellling show cases often enough on Forums. The primary reason use the Command Line Interface (CLI) for 99% of file management tasks on *nix systems is because the CLI is so much more useful then command.com/cmd.exe that it blows even konqueror away for file management: Most times I do things with file management I would really much rather type it out and use tab-completion then click 20 thousand times to do things. Dolphin and Konqueror however are *very good* file managers as far as GUI File Managers go and I have never found one that I like more then Konqueror (with a custom profile xD) unless I do actually drop to a shell prompt.
I'll probably end up using KDE4 when it becomes the norm but I think so far, I'd rather have KDE3 as my Desktop with KDE4 applications around it if I could.... Amarok on Windows would probably be worth the concession since the only decent media players I have used are Amarok, MPlayer, Kaffeine, and VLC (which crashes a lot on me in Windows XP).
KDE is one of the projects that I would really like to help in the future, like FreeBSD and Ruby. The main reason I have never tried to get involved with KDE is that I hate C++ and doubt if I could be much use without touching any of it. For KDE I could almost stand working with C++ because I really love KDE. I don't think I am looking forward to using KDE4 =/ I do however hope that it is the biggest greatest thing to hit the Unix based Desktop since OpenBSD in 1996, Vim (text editor) and the Linux kernel in 1991. Which are the best things I've ever bumped into hehe.
Gnome, is not my style and is contrary to my way of doing things. Although Ubuntu 6.06 had a very attractive look/feel with it hehe. I am a KDE User and most of my favorite graphical programs are KDE based or merely front ends to other ones or both in KMPlayers and KPlayers cases xD.
I think for a world of people KDE 4 will revolutionize the desktop when it matures but I am not to sure if it can beat out the matured KDE 3 in my books :-)