Gisteren is versie 4.2.0 van K Desktop Environment uitgebracht, de tweede zogeheten 'feature release' uit de 4.x-serie. KDE is een populaire desktopomgeving voor onder andere GNU/Linux, FreeBSD en Solaris en wordt met een standaarddesktop geleverd, inclusief vijftien pakketten met applicaties, waaronder een personal information manager, programma's voor multimedia, administratie- en netwerkbeheer en spelletjes. Deze release bevat geen grote veranderingen, maar bouwt verder aan de in versie 4.1.0 geïntroduceerde functies, waaronder de Plasma-desktop. Een visueel overzicht van de belangrijkste veranderingen in deze release kan op deze pagina gevonden worden. Hieronder zijn release-notes voor versie 4.2.0 te vinden:
Desktop Improves User Experience
Moreover, support for several new languages have been added expanding the number of users for whom KDE is available in their native language by roughly 700 million people. Newly supported languages include are Arabic, Icelandic, Basque, Hebrew, Romanian, Tajik and several Indian languages (Bengali India, Gujarati, Kannada, Maithili, Marathi) indicating a rise in popularity in this part of Asia.
- Further refinement of the Plasma desktop interface makes organizing your workspace easier. New and improved applets include a Quicklauncher, weather information, newsfeeds, comics, quick file sharing via "pastebin" services. Plasma applets can now be used on top of the screensaver, for example for leaving a note while the owner is absent. Plasma optionally acts as traditional, file manager-like desktop. Previews for the file icons and persistant locations of icons have been added.
The Plasma Panel now groups tasks and display multiple rows. The enhanced system tray now tracks longer running tasks such as downloads. System and application notifications are displayed in a unified fashion via the system tray. To save space, system tray icons can now be hidden. The panel can now automatically hide in order to free up screen space. Widgets can be displayed in panels as well as on the desktop.
- KWin offers smooth and efficient window management. In KDE 4.2 it employs motion physics to give a natural feel to old and new effects like the "Cube" and "Magic Lamp". KWin only enables desktop effects in the default setup on computers that are able to handle them. Easier configuration allows the user to select different effects as window switcher, making changing windows most efficient.
- New and improved workspace tools increase productivity. PowerDevil supports mobile life by bringing modern and unobtrusive power management to laptops and mobile devices. Ark offers smart extraction and creation of archives, and the new printer tools allow the user to easily manage printers and print jobs.
Applications Leap Forward
Platform Accelerates Development
- File management becomes faster and more efficient. The Dolphin file manager now has a slider to easily adjust the icon size. Further user interface improvements include tooltips with previews and a capacity indicator for removable media devices. These changes have also been applied to the file dialogs in KDE, making it easier to spot the right file.
- KMail's email list views have been reworked by a Google Summer of Code student. The user can now configure the display of additional information optimizing the workflow for each individual folder. Support for IMAP and other protocols has also been improved making KMail much faster.
- Web browsing becomes better. The Konqueror web browser improves support for scalable vector graphics and receives many performance enhancements. A new find dialog makes for less intrusive searching inside webpages. Konqueror now shows your bookmarks on start-up.
- Technology previews of various KDE applications for Windows and Mac OS X are available, some applications are nearing release quality already, while others need some work depending on the functionality they implement. Support for OpenSolaris is upcoming and approaching stable quality. KDE4 on FreeBSD continues to mature.
- After Qt will be released under the terms of the LGPL, both the KDE libraries and beneath it Qt are available under those more relaxed licensing terms, making for a more compelling platform for commercial software development.