KDE Archive

KDE Plasma 5.0 released

KDE proudly announces the immediate availability of Plasma 5.0, providing a visually updated core desktop experience that is easy to use and familiar to the user. Plasma 5.0 introduces a new major version of KDE's workspace offering. The new Breeze artwork concept introduces cleaner visuals and improved readability. Central work-flows have been streamlined, while well-known overarching interaction patterns are left intact. Plasma 5.0 improves support for high-DPI displays and ships a converged shell, able to switch between user experiences for different target devices. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered around an OpenGL(ES) scenegraph. Plasma is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5.

This is a pretty major release, and while the cosmetic stuff isn't all cleaned up yet, I like the new design direction the team is taking - not a huge departure from what came before, but they seem to be making it look a little less... KDE-ish, if that makes any sense.

I'll be waiting on a few point releases, but I definitely want to try this out. I've always been a fan of KDE - stumbles notwithstanding - because it puts a lot of control in the user's hands to shape the user interface into what she wants. That's a very rare thing to come by these days, and we should cherish it.

KDE Frameworks 5 released

The KDE Community is proud to announce KDE Frameworks 5.0. Frameworks 5 is the next generation of KDE libraries, modularized and optimized for easy integration in Qt applications. The Frameworks offer a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. There are over 50 different Frameworks as part of this release providing solutions including hardware integration, file format support, additional widgets, plotting functions, spell checking and more. Many of the Frameworks are cross platform and have minimal or no extra dependencies making them easy to build and add to any Qt application.

The release candidate for Plasma 5 has also been released.

Where KDE is going, part II

And this is the second part of the future of KDE. We already covered part one.

This is the second half of the 'where KDE is going' write-up. Last week, I discussed what is happening with KDE's technologies: Platform is turning modular in Frameworks, Plasma is moving to new technologies and the Applications change their release schedule. In this post, I will discuss the social and organizational aspects: our governance.

Where KDE is going

This article explores where the KDE community currently stands and where it is going. Frameworks, Plasma, KDE e.V., Qt5, KDE Free Qt Foundation, QtAddons - you heard some of these terms and want to know what all the fuss is about? A set of articles on the Dot aims to bring some clarity in the changes and constants of the KDE community in 2014 and further. This is the first article, diving into the technical side of things: Plasma, applications and libraries.

An update on where KDE stands today.

KDE ships first beta of next generation Plasma workspace

KDE today releases the first Beta version of the next-generation Plasma workspace. The Plasma team would like to ask the wider Free Software community to test this release and give any feedback . Plasma Next is built using QML and runs on top of a fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack using Qt 5, QtQuick 2 and an OpenGL(-ES) scenegraph. Plasma Next provides a core desktop experience that will be easy and familiar for current users of KDE workspaces or alternative Free Software or proprietary offerings.

Plasma 2 Technology Preview released

Plasma 2 Technology Preview demonstrates the current development status. The Plasma 2 user interfaces are built using QML and run on top of a fully hardware accelerated graphics stack using Qt5, QtQuick 2 and an OpenGL(-ES) scenegraph. Plasma 2 is a converged workspace shell that can run and switch between user interfaces for different formfactors, and makes the workspace adaptable to a given target device.

Plasma 2 is not a complete rewrite; it's a port to a new graphics system (a fully hardware accelerated OpenGL(ES) scenegraph).

Status update on KDE Frameworks 5

According to a recent article on dot.kde.org, work is proceeding well on the modularization of KDElibs. Instead of being one large static library, KDElibs is being divided into a multi-tiered module system that consists of three framework categories.

These modules will be able to be used by any Qt application without the need to pull in unneeded code as was often the case with version 4 of KDElibs. This change from one large library to a set of smaller but interlinked modules has necessitated a name change from KDE Platform to KDE Frameworks for this aspect of the larger KDE Project.

From the article:

The Frameworks can be divided into three categories:

Functional elements have no runtime dependencies. For example, KArchive handles compression and decompression for many archive formats transparently and can be used as a drop-in library.

Integration designates code that requires runtime dependencies for integration depending on what the OS or platform offers. For example, Solid supplies information on available hardware features and may require runtime components to deliver some of the data on some platforms.

Solutions have mandatory runtime dependencies. For example, KIO (KDE Input/Output) offers a network-transparent virtual filesystem that lets users browse and edit files as if they were local, no matter where they are physically stored. And KIO requires kioslave daemons to function.

Modules may be written in such a way that they require only limited tiers of dependency chains. This should allow Qt application creators to use only the aspects of KDE that they find useful for their application. This modularization will allow for leaner, cleaner code and opens KDE technology to many more platforms than was previously practical; especially in the embedded and mobile markets.

If you would like to know more about the work on KDE Frameworks 5 the KDE.org article offers many useful links; including work with upstream, a roadmap, and current progress.

KDE Software Compilation 4.11 released

The KDE Software Compilation 4.11 has been released.

Gearing up for long term maintenance, Plasma Workspaces delivers further improvements to basic functionality with a smoother taskbar, smarter battery widget and improved sound mixer. The introduction of KScreen brings intelligent multi-monitor handling to the Workspaces, and large scale performance improvements combined with small usability tweaks make for an overall nicer experience.

This release marks massive improvements in the KDE PIM stack, giving much better performance and many new features. Kate improves the productivity of Python and Javascript developers with new plugins, Dolphin became faster and the educational applications bring various new features.

This release of KDE Platform 4.11 continues to focus on stability. New features are being implemented for our future KDE Frameworks 5.0 release, but for the stable release we managed to squeeze in optimizations for our Nepomuk framework.

That name.

KDE Software Compilation 4.10 released

The KDE Community has announced the release of version 4.10 of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform. The 4.10 release contains incremental improvements to a large number of applications, and offers several new technologies. Several components of Plasma Workspaces have been ported to the Qt Quick/QML framework, and stability and usability have been improved. There's also an imnproved print manager and Color Management support. KDE Applications gained feature enhancements to Kate, KMail and Konsole. This release also makes it easier to contribute to KDE with a Plasma SDK, the ability to write Plasma widgets and widget collections in QML, changes in the libKDEGames library, and new scripting capabilities in KWin. Time to update my laptop!

Ode to Skulpture

I tend to believe that the best interfaces have already been made. Behaviourally, CDE is the best and most consistent interface ever made. It looked like ass, but it always did exactly as you told it to, and it never did anything unexpected. When it comes to looks, however, the gold standard comes from an entirely different corner - Apple's Platinum and QNX' PhotonUI. Between all the transparency, flat-because-it's-hip, and stitched leather violence of the past few years, one specific KDE theme stood alone in bringing the best of '90s UI design into the 21st century, and updating it to give everything else a run for its money. This is an ode to Christoph Feck's Skulpture.

Plasma Active Two Boosts Performance, New Features

"Mobile devices that adapt to who you are, reflecting what you are doing when you are doing it. This concept is at the heart of the Plasma Active user experience. Plasma Active One was released in October 2011, providing early adopters the first opportunity to experience Activities on a tablet. Since then, the design and development team behind this open source touch interface has been hard at work on an update. The fruits of their labor were released today, December 14, 2011 as Plasma Active Two."

Nokia N950 Running Plasma Active on Mer

MeeGo community member Vgrade. who is involved with the Mer Core project, describes his experiences with adapting Plasma Active for ARM architecture and running in on top of Mer. Even though Plasma Active One is targeted for tablets, it runs as a usable UX on a Nokia N950 handset. Mer itself is an open, inclusive, meritocratically governed and openly developed Linux core, providing a mobile-optimised base distribution for use by device manufacturers. The Plasma Active team plans to focus on a handset UI in Plasma Active Three, which is scheduled for summer 2012.

Aaron Seigo Talks About the KDE SC 5.0, More

"After years of focusing on further improving KDE4 two weeks ago the developers of the free desktop announced the next big step for their project: KDE Frameworks 5.0. But as long-time developer - and Plasma team leader - Aaron Seigo points out in an interview with derStandard.at/web, the source-incompatible changes shall be held to a minimum. Also calls Frameworks 5.0 only the "first step", new Applications and Workspace releases are to follow later, Seigo goes on to talk about the chances in the mobile market with Plasma Active and further areas of collaboration with the other big free desktop: GNOME."

KDE 4.7 Released

"KDE is delighted to announce its latest set of releases, providing major updates to the KDE Plasma Workspaces, KDE Applications, and the KDE Platform that provides the foundation for KDE software. Version 4.7 of these releases provide many new features and improved stability and performance."