I plan to start working on the new search and replace dialog for Kate on the evening of 2007-08-08. It's actually not a dialog but a search bar showing up at the bottom of the document. I think the original concept behind this was to approach the problem that the search dialog is always in the way. (The other approach I have seen addressing this is the search dialog "intelligently" jumping around... terrible! See it live in Visual Studio 2005...) So a search bar at the bottom - I think it was Anders Lund introducing it(?) - is in my eyes a good solution to that problem.
That search bar was originally planned to offer incremental searching only but we - mainly Robert Buchholz - then realized that offering only incremental searching takes away power known from the past like the search history for example. It's just not possible to make some things go with incremental searching smoothly. So the current plan is to actually bring you two different bars: One as an incremental 1:1 clone of the search bar of Firefox and the other one being a powerful non-incremental Search/Replace tool similar to the old Search/Replace dialog... but also in the form of a bar. The engine inside will also be more powerful but more details on that at a later time...
I would love to hear some more ideas and feedback about this search bar thing. Best way to do this probably is writing to the kwrite-devel mailing list or leaving a comment right here at the blog. Please read the detailed plan before doing so. Thanks for your attention, I hope you enjoy your trip :-)
PS: Sorry for spamming you Planet KDE readers with my previous Windows-related post by mistake. I hope it was fun at least :-)