Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KDE 4.2 RC

KDE will be releasing KDE 4.2 this month, but before that, it's a good idea to release one RC version. This will enable users to give feedback needed by the developers to see if the current build is suitable enough for them and whether there are bugs lurking on the code which hasn't been caught by the tester during development cycle.

Here's the highlight of this release:
  • The KDE 4.2 series will offer considerable improvements in stability, feature-completeness and performance over its predecessors in the KDE4 series.
  • The Plasma desktop shell has gained many feature that users were still missing in earlier KDE4 revisions.
  • Applications shipped with KDE 4.2 Beta 2 have many features added and bugs fixed
  • The KDE development platform has seen significant improvements on non-Linux platforms such as BSD, Windows and Mac OSX, making more applications available to users of those Operating Systems.
  • Writing KDE applications and add-ons in scripting languages such as Python and Ruby is easier than ever.
Improvements on this release:
  • Compositing desktop effects are enabled where hardware and drivers support it, with a basic default setup. Automatic checks confirm that compositing works before enabling it on the workspace.
  • New desktop effects have been added such as the Magic Lamp, Minimize effect, Cube and Sphere desktop switchers. Others, such as the desktop grid, have been improved. All effects have been polished and and feel natural due to the use of motion dynamics. The user interface for choosing effects has been reworked for easy selection of the most commonly used effects.
  • Central elements of the desktop experience have seen significant improvements to give a usable and coherent experience. These include grouping and multiple row layout in the task bar, icon hiding in the system tray, notifications and job tracking by Plasma, the ability to have icons on the desktop again by using a Folder View as the desktop background. Restored features and minor tweaks round out the work, such as the return of panel autohiding to maximise your productive screen space, icons now remain where they are placed in the Folder View, the location of new applets is improved, and window previews and tooltips are back in the panel and Task Bar.
  • New Plasma applets include applets for leaving messages on a locked screen, previewing files, switching desktop Activity, monitoring news feeds, and utilities like the pastebin applet, the calendar, timer, special character selector, a quicklaunch applet, a system monitor, among many others.
  • KRunner, the "Run command..." dialog has extended functionality through several new plugins, including spellchecking, konqueror browser history, power management control through PowerDevil, KDE Places, Recent Documents, and the ability to start specific sessions of the Kate editor, Konqueror and Konsole. The converter plugin now also supports quickly converting between units of speed, mass and distances.
  • The Plasma workspace can now load Google Gadgets. Plasma applets can be written in Ruby and Python. Support for applets written in JavaScript and Mac OS dashboard widgets has been further improved.
  • Wallpapers are now provided plugins, so developers can easily write custom wallpaper systems in KDE 4.2. Available wallpaper plugins in KDE 4.2 will be slideshows and of course regular static images and solid colors.
  • Theming improvements in the Task Bar, Application Launcher, System Tray and most other Plasma components streamline the look and feel and increase consistency. A new System Settings module, Desktop Theme Details, gives the user control over each element of various Plasma themes.
  • Multi-screen support has been improved through the Kephal library, fixing many bugs when running KDE on more than one monitor.
Updated Applications:
  • Dolphin now supports previews of files in tooltips and has gained a slider to zoom in and out on file item views. It can now also show the full path in the breadcrumb bar.
  • Konqueror offers increased loading speed by prefetching domain name data in KHTML. A find-as-you-type bar improves navigation in webpages. It also gained the option to use your bookmarks as the start page by means of the new Bookmarks KIO slave.
  • KMail has a powerful and attractive message header list, and reworked attachment view.
  • The KWrite and Kate text editors can now operate in Vi input mode, accomodating those used to the traditional UNIX editor.
  • PowerDevil, the new KDE4 power management infrastructure brings a modern, integrated tool for controlling various aspects of mobile devices.
  • Ark, the archiving tool has improved UI, gained support for password-protected archives and is accessible via a context menu from the file managers now.
  • A new printing configuration system brings back a number of features users have been missing in KDE 4.0 and 4.1. The components "printer-applet" and "system-config-printer" are shipped with the kdeadmin and kdeutils module.
  • KRDC, the remote desktop client improves support for Microsoft's Active Directory through LDAP.
  • Kontact has gained a new planner summary and support for drag and drop in the free/busy view.
  • KSnapshot now stores the window title as meta data when saving screenshots, making it easier to index them using search engines.
  • The secure file transfer protocols SFTP and FISH are now also supported by KDE on the Windows platform.
  • Killbots is a new game shipped with the kdegames module. Other games have improved user interaction and added themes and levels.
  • Educational apps such as KAlgebra, KStars, KTurtle and Parley have seen major improvements in UI and feature sets.
  • Okteta, the hex editor has significantly improved various aspects of its user interface.
See the details on the Changelog.

KDE 4.2.0 will be released in January, 27th 2009, 6 months after KDE 4.1. KDE 4.2.0 will be followed up by a series of monthly service updates and followed up by KDE 4.3.0 in summer 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment