what you can't see is the cool fade in animation. (thanks Zack Rusin, you rock!)
zoom icons are now gone as per the plan. the bugs just kept mounting on them and they were looking dated. not to mention this trumps those annoying (and IMHO ugly) yellow tooltips that would obscure buttons. i'll also be able to get rid of another, now unnecessary, layer in the class hierarchy. this new bit of eye candy should also help give KDE a more distinct (and therefore recognizable) look.
truth be told, i'd love to see these new mouse overs dressed up even more. i'd like kicker to look nicer in general. which is why in KDE4 it will receive a new theme engine (along with cool things like floating panels, the groundwork for which has already been laid). the configuration dialog is way too complex and a lot of that is because the theming is so primitive. witness the tiles settings, and the transparency and background and... making kicker look more modern will hopefully make KDE4 more appealing, but it will also help with the configuration problem.
since i'm no artist, kde-look.org is going to be running a series of contests this spring to get (implementable and usable) concepts to spiff up the look and feel of kicker in KDE4. and speaking of kde-look.org, they are running a very cool SVG background competition. i'm on the judging panel to help select the four pieces of art that will end up in KDE 3.4, so i'm doubly excited.
and as if that weren't enough, there was a beta of Qt4 released today. and boy is Qt Designer a disaster at the moment.
and of course, Christmas is but a few days away. there are a lot of things i don't like about the Christmas season, but there are a lot of things i do. it struck me today that i should pick one of those things that i do like and do it again when the weather warms up. random happiness.