Dinsdag is de finalrelease van versie 4.3.0 van K Desktop Environment uitgebracht. KDE is een populaire desktopomgeving die primair voor Linux, FreeBSD en Solaris wordt ontwikkeld, maar er bestaan ook versies voor Windows en Mac OS X. Het wordt met een standaarddesktop geleverd, inclusief vijftien pakketten met applicaties, waaronder een personal information manager, programma's voor multimedia, tools voor netwerkbeheer en spelletjes. Waar in versie 4.2 de nadruk lag op de ervaring voor eindgebruikers, is bij de ontwikkeling van versie 4.3 de aandacht meer uitgegaan naar thuisgebruikers en kleine kantooromgevingen. Een uitgebreid overzicht van de veranderingen in versie 4.3.0 is op deze pagina te vinden; hieronder staan de belangrijkste wijzigingen:
Desktop Improves Performance And Usability
Below you can find a short list of improvements to the KDE Desktop Workspace.
Applications Leap Forward
- The Plasma Desktop Shell introduces a new default theme, Air. Air looks much lighter and fits better with the default application theme. Plasma also has seen large performance improvements. Memory usage has been reduced, and animations are smoother. Activities can now be tied to virtual desktops, allowing users to have different widgets on each of their desktops. Furthermore, Plasma has improved upon its job and notification management. Running jobs are grouped in a single progress bar to prevent the popup of too many dialogs. Animations are used to signify that jobs are still running by smoothly sliding dialogs into the systemtray and animating the notification icon. Smaller changes in Plasma include fully configurable keyboard shortcuts and more extensive keyboard navigation, the ability to create a plasma widget when you drag or copy content on the desktop and many new and improved Plasma widgets. The folderview widget now allows the user to peek into a folder by hovering it and the new Translatoid widget translates words and sentences right on your desktop using Google Translate. Furthermore, KRunner made its plugin features easier to discover by having a 'help' button showing the syntax of commands in the result area. Actions also have a small configuration allowing for example to start applications under another user account.
- The file manager Dolphin shows small previews of files within a folder and video thumbnails to help the user identify items. The trash can now be configured from the Dolphin Settings menu, and various configurable limitations on the trash size help make sure the disk does not fill up with deleted files. The menu which is shown on a right mouseclick on a item is configurable and the configuration dialog in general has been redesigned to be easier to use. The new network:/ location shows other computers and services on the network (currently limited to those announced by DNS-SD/zeroconf protocols, more will be supported in future versions).
- Further refinements to the workspace tools make it easier to work with your computer. A faster SystemSettings introduces an optional treeview for the configuration and several improvements to settingsdialogs. New effects like 'Sheet' and "Slide Back" and better performance in KWin make window management more smooth, while integration with the Plasma themes creates a more consistent look. Klipper, a tool which keeps a history of things copied to the clipboard, can now act intelligently on the content. It automatically determines a list of applications which can handle a object copied to the clipboard and allows the user to start them right away.
Together they form a comprehensive set of desktop essentials that run on most modern operating systems. Below you will find a selection of improvements to some of these Application Suites.
Platform Accelerates Development
- The KDE Utilities have seen many improvements. Among other things, KGpg, the privacy tool used for encryption and signing files and emails integrates Solid for detecting the availability of a network connection and has improved its key import dialog. Ark, a file compression and decompression application now supports LZMA/XZ, has improved support for zip, rar and 7zip and works better with drag'n'drop. KDELirc, a frontend for the Linux Infrared Remote Control system (LIRC), has been ported to KDE 4 and is included again. Okteta, the KDE hex editor gained a checksum tool, a filesystem browser sideview and a bookmarks sidebar. Lokalize, the KDE translation tool, introduces support for scripts, new fileformats and the translation of ODF documents.
- The KDE games now use a similar Egyptian-style theme in many of the games. KGoldrunner introduces a new game, "Curse of the Mummy" and improves gameplay with more accurate pause, resume and recording and replaying of games. KMahjongg introduces 70 new user-submitted levels and a new game, KTron, has been introduced. Some games introduced new features like the Vaporizer action in Killbots and a better AI in Bovo. Thanks to work on file loading and saving the state of scalable images many games start and run faster.
- The KDE Personal Information Management applications have seen improvements in various area's like performance and stability. Instant messenger Kopete introduces an improved contact list and KOrganizer can sync with Google Calendar. Kmail supports inserting inline images into email and the Alarm notifier gained export functionality, drag and drop and has an improved configuration.
- In case something goes wrong with a KDE application and it crashes, the new Bug Report Tool will make it easier for the user to contribute to the stability of KDE. The bug report tool provides a three-star rating of the quality of the data it gathered on the crash. It also gives hints on how to improve the quality of the crash data and the bug report itself while guiding the user through the process of reporting. During the Beta cycles for this release the new bug report tool has already proven itself by the increased quality of bug reports.
- The KDE 4.3 Application Development Framework introduces the beginnings of Social Desktop integration, bringing the worldwide Free Software community to the desktop. Offering an open collaboration, sharing and communication platform, the Social Desktop initiative aims to allow people to share their knowledge withouth giving up control to an external organisation. The platform currently offers a DataEngine for plasma applets supporting aspects of Social Desktop.
- The new system tray protocol developed in collaboration with the Free Desktop initiative is a long-overdue overhaul of the old systray specification. The old systemtray using small embedded windows did not allow for any kind of control by the systemtray over its contents, limiting the flexibility for the user and application developer at the same time. While the new systemtray supports both the old and new standard, application developers are encouraged to upgrade their applications to the new specifications. For more information check this blog or find more information on TechBase.
- The Plasma Desktop Shell introduces a Geolocation DataEngine using libgps and HostIP which allows plasmoids to easily respond to the location of the user. Other new DataEngines provide access to Akonadi resources (including mail and calendar), Nepomuk metadata and keyboard state besides the various improvements to existing DataEngines. Read about using and discovering DataEngines on TechBase.
- The KDE Application Development Framework introduces a PolicyKit wrapper making it easy for developers who want their application to perform privileged actions in a secure, consistent and easy way. Provided are an authorization manager and an authentication agent, and an easy library for developers to use. Read here on TechBase for a tutorial!
- Akonadi, the Free Desktop PIM storage solution has been deemed ready for more widespread usage. Besides the availability of the DataEngine for plasma, application developers are encouraged to have a look at the TechBase page if their application needs access to or store chat logs, email, blogs, contacts, or any other kind of personal data. As a cross-desktop technology Akonadi can provide access to any kind of data and is designed to handle high volumes, thus allowing for a wide range of usecases.
KDE 4.3.0 desktop, klik op de afbeelding voor een grotere versie.