JAN
26
2011

KDE Puts You In Control with New Workspaces, Applications and Platform

KDE is delighted to announce its latest set of releases, providing major updates to the KDE Plasma workspaces, KDE Applications and KDE Platform. These releases, versioned 4.6, provide many new features in each of KDE's three product lines.

Some highlights include:

KDE Plasma Desktop, Gwenview and KRunner in 4.6
KDE Plasma Desktop, Gwenview and KRunner in 4.6


Plasma Workspaces Put You in Control

The KDE Plasma Workspaces gain from a new Activities system, making it easier to associate applications with particular activities such as work or home tasks. Revised power management exposes new features but has a simpler configuration interface. KWin, the Plasma workspace window manager, receives a new scripting and the workspaces receive visual enhancements. Plasma Netbook, optimized for mobile computing devices receives speed enhancements and becomes easier to use via a touchscreen interface. For more details read the KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.6 announcement.


KDE’s Dolphin Adds Faceted Browsing

Many of the KDE Application teams have also released new versions. Particular highlights include improved routing capabilities in KDE’s virtual globe, Marble, and advanced filtering and searching using file metadata in the KDE file manager, Dolphin: Faceted Browsing. The KDE Games collection receives many enhancements and the image viewer Gwenview and screenshot program KSnapshot gain the ability to instantly share images to a number of popular social networking sites. For more details read the KDE Applications 4.6 announcement.


Mobile Target Makes KDE Platform Lose Weight

The KDE Platform, on which the Plasma Workspaces and KDE Applications are built also gains new capabilities available to all KDE applications. The introduction of a "mobile build target" allows for easier deployment of applications on mobile devices. The Plasma framework gains support for writing desktop widgets in QML, the declarative Qt language, and provides new Javascript interfaces for interacting with data. Nepomuk, the technology behind metadata and semantic search in KDE applications, now provides a graphical interface to back up and restore data. UPower, UDev and UDisks can be used instead of the deprecated HAL. Bluetooth support is improved. The Oxygen widget and style set is improved and a new Oxygen theme for GTK applications allows them to seamlessly merge into the Plasma workspaces and look just like KDE applications. For more details read the KDE Platform 4.6 announcement.

Comments

I like the announcement! Clear, to the point and easy to understand.

Now, what I miss are non-plasma workspaces :)

(that’s only from the announcement text: It sounds like KDE could support workspaces which are not plasma — is something planned in that direction: A generic API a KDE workspace has to support?)

Lose weight is likewise cool! Is the mobile target suited to low-power desktops, too?


By Arne Babenhauserheide at Wed, 2011/01/26 - 3:06pm

> Now, what I miss are non-plasma workspaces :)

> (that’s only from the announcement text: It sounds like KDE could support workspaces which are not plasma — is
> something planned in that direction: A generic API a KDE workspace has to support?)

Well, KDE applications can run under many different shells/DEs whether they are X11 based (like Gnome, XFCE, Maemo/Meego etc.) or something different (OS X, Windows, even Haiku).

While it would be possible to create one, I'm not aware of a non-Plasma workspace currently developed by the KDE community. The beauty of Plasma is that you can mix and match the various plasmoids, containments, data engines, etc. to create workspaces that look and behave quite differently from each other but still share a large proportion of their codebase - Plasma is basically a toolkit for creating different workspaces.

Even if you want to produce something totally different to what is currently available you could still save yourself a huge amount of time and effort by reusing common components and only implementing the relatively few bits that would be required to make your workspace unique. (Consider how different the desktop and netbook workspaces look and feel.)


By matt at Wed, 2011/01/26 - 4:26pm

Some places where you can vote and share the news:
Reddit — http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/f9d9t/kde_software_compilation_46...
Digg — http://digg.com/news/technology/kde_software_compilation_4_6_0_released
FSDaily — http://www.fsdaily.com/EndUser/KDE_Software_Compilation_4_6_0_Released

And don't forget to dent and tweet and facebook and others.


By Jure Repinc at Wed, 2011/01/26 - 3:24pm

Fixed, thanks.


By pinotree at Wed, 2011/01/26 - 5:04pm

In the dolphin article, the link to "Various Improvents to the Service Menus" is also broken.. Can you can fix it? :)


By vdboor at Thu, 2011/01/27 - 9:11am

Fixed


By Albert Astals Cid at Fri, 2011/01/28 - 12:27am

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this release!

I haven't installed it yet (give me time!), but from the screenshots it looks like there is a lot of polish in this release.


By matt at Wed, 2011/01/26 - 4:23pm

I did install it already on 4 systems running Kubuntu.

Take it from me, it is really an excellent release. Faster, No issues so far and over all very nice.

I specially like being able to switch between Desktop & Notebook interface on the fly when using my laptop.


By Abe at Wed, 2011/01/26 - 11:13pm

Screenshots, new wallpaper and overall looks are wonderful!

What I really like about this releaase is the KWin performance improvements. On my old white MacBook the responsiveness / painting speed has greatly improved. All applications react faster! This is a big win for this release!


By vdboor at Fri, 2011/01/28 - 12:08pm

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=262339

Really sad news, it's a really annoying bug... Sure Kde devs use kdepim 4.6 and so don't see the bug...

And for beta realease, all distrib was shiping Kdepim 4.6... So no one notice this bug :-/


By Cédric Bellegarde at Thu, 2011/01/27 - 10:31am

KDEPIM 4.4.10 is just around the corner. Maybe they fixed that in there?

Regards


By Marc Deop at Thu, 2011/01/27 - 11:18am

In fact, this google akonadi agent that is broken.


By Cédric Bellegarde at Thu, 2011/01/27 - 11:53am

Honestly, the more we go up in the numbers, the least I am eager for the newest version to come up.
Maybe its a sign of stability and the jumps arent as dramatic as the previous versions.

That said, there is one option that KDE has yet to add and that is the size of the System Tray icons.
I do home support for two dozens friends and family (i still spend less time than I use to supporting 5 Win machines my parents and family used.) as well as a community center we helped recycle old computers and that's a lot of seniors.

They love KDE because I can modify everything to their liking... which is BIG.
I know the UI fanatics would have heart attacks but 18pt fonts, 1 inch taskbars and huge icons is the norm. Everything can be made bigger but the System Tray icons.
So for many people, its a question of hit and miss where the only difference between the light blue of Kopete and the light green of Skype's icon is minimal (I just hope the monochrome option can be changed back).
Every single time I am asked that I offer a magnifying tool but these people arent blind... they just want the icons to be able to expand as the taskbar gets bigger.
And while Im not old, I wear glasses and find the micro-size mania to be annoying.

Im not saying to change defaults (i hate the default themes and windows decoration on KDE but who cares, I got plenty of options like Slim Glow and Plastik) just allow those icons to be bigger if the user so wishes. Ive noticed other widgets that use icons have the options to be made bigger but not the system tray.

The only reason I feel a need to upgrade is the faint hope that this oversight has been corrected. But I also have this feeling that the problems that nearsighted folks have seeing the system tray will continue.


By zeke at Fri, 2011/01/28 - 3:33pm

We're working towards this, but it's not yet possible.

The "old" systemtray protocol just specified 22x22px images, which we'd have to use, no control whatsoever about size, theming, etc.

The new protocol does the rendering in the workspace shell (as opposed to the app owning the system tray entry). So we can now do things such as theming. The infrastructure to make systray icons bigger is there, but nobody has done it yet.

Did you file a wishlist item on bugs.kde.org about that? Otherwise, how should developers be aware of this desire? Our crystal balls are pretty good, but they don't show every single wish of our users. We need help by mundane communication once in a while. :-)

(And no, pointing it out on the dot is not an alternative to bugs.kde.org, because it will inevitably just get lost here, while bko is being actively tracked by the developers.)


By Sebastian Kügler at Fri, 2011/01/28 - 4:35pm

Its been reported already as bug 133936.


By matt at Fri, 2011/01/28 - 10:53pm

obviously, both your cristal balls and your bugtracker failed because they seem to just ignored the community in this case.

If I would take you by the word, somebody should have done something about this bug aready: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=262339

It would be nice if you would not blame the users for articulating here when they see themselves ignored on the bugtracker.


By Rob at Sat, 2011/01/29 - 10:23pm