KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 Is Out

The KDE Community is happy to announce the first preview for the upcoming KDE 4.1, due in late July. KDE 4.1 is based on Qt 4.4's goodness, bringing performance improvements, WebKit, widgets-on-canvas and other goodies. Also new is Dragon Player, a KDE 4 port of the codeine video player which is famous for its simplicity and ease of use. KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 ships with Akonadi, the new data storage framework for our beloved PIM applications. KDE-PIM will also see its first KDE 4 release with 4.1, but is not yet based on Akonadi. More planned and already implemented features can be found in the KDE 4.1 Feature Plan. The Plasma desktop shell has just undergone major surgery, so expect some additional breakage there.


Dragon's okay at what it does, but KDE 4.0 didn't have a DVB tuner app, and it looks like 4.1 won't either.

I fully realise this falls under the category of pet feature requests, perhaps only with niche appeal, but Kaffeine was the killer app for me in 2003 that brought me to Linux full-time. Well, that and hideous DVB software on Windows.

By NJ Hewitt at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

Kaffeine has its own release schedule and while work on the KDE 4 version has been announced about 2 months ago there's no ETA yet. It may very well be that a new Kaffeine version will be released during the 4.1 lifecycle and in the meantime Kaffeine 3 still works I presume :-)

By Erunno at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

Yes, Kaffeine 3.x still works, and works quite brilliantly in KDE 4 (compared to crap like mplayer, the difference is night and day). But you already knew that. ;-)

By Just Some Guy at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

Crap like mplayer? Think you could explain your ignorance?

By Joe at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

I absolutely love mplayer personally. There are a variety of front-ends for it, but the engine is great!

By T. J. Brumfield at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

I agree with you concerning Mplayer's engine. There are things that Mplayer manage much better than Xine but Kaffeine has the most beautiful frontend IMO. I use both but I would love a Kaffeine that can do both what Mplayer and Xine can.

By Bobby at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

I've never used mplayer, but if you believe it is carp perhaps you can work on it and improve it. That or not judge the applications people make freely available to you. I am sure many people prefer mplayer over the rest.

By anon at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Hey, if you think mplayer is crap and kaffeine is better, why should you work on improving mplayer? Just because it's provided to you for free doesn't mean you have to like it! I'd just leave it and use kaffeine.

By Johhny Awkward at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Yes, most KDE3 apps are slow in the conversion, the reasons I do not know. It could be that they see no stable KDE so are waiting or the task is big.
And running kde3 apps inside kde4 is not the same as running a full converted program, it's more like running a pure-qt or gtk app.

Anyway, I miss kaffeine, k3b, amarok, quanta+, kdevelop... Did anyone else noticed the list IS BIG? :-(
I wonder what could be done to help porting those apps to qt4/kde4. Maybe a good tutorial/howto?

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

People are working on all those applications and more and are making lots of progress. Working against a permanently shifting KDE api and an often shifting Qt4 api has cost lots of time. Hopefully we're past that hurdle now. What is needed are hands. Hackers. Developers. More people who are prepared to spend a few dozen hours a week of their leisure time doing the actual work.

By Boudewijn Rempt at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Porting is a big job, and I bet Amarok isn't alone in using this opportunity to refactor our code.

By Ian Monroe at Fri, 2008/05/02 - 5:00am

- port quanta+ to KDE4 (there are two items about quanta, but it does not seems like a kde4 will be made soon)
- bluetooth support in phonon

Also, hoping for some items to be made before 41 final as gstreamer support.

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

Bluetooth supports sounds like it would fall into the domain of Solid (hardware abstraction) and not Phonon (multimedia abstraction).

By Erunno at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

...which is only a semantic problem, but the wishlist is nevertheless valid... especially Bluetooth. I'm missing this, too!

By Noname at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

Duh, indeed.
Thanks for the correction :)

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

There is plan to port Quanta, but well, we would need some extra developers to make it in time. Maybe I should blog or post a separate article...

By Andras Mantia at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

I find that there is a project to port LINDA:


to C++:


for Linux.

LINDA does explicitly what a compiler designed to run code on a multiprocessor system would do implicitly. It is not the same as multiple threads because it will automatically scale for any number of processors.

By JRT at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

It's an alpha 1 release, right? People complain that it isn't working right out of the box. People complain not every bug report has been seen to it, yet. People complain about rough edges.

What the fuck!

Have your parents never taught you manners? Did it never occur to you that a preview is - a preview?

What is your reason to be around here? Certainly not to provide criticism that leads to enhancing KDE. Stroking your own personality? Maybe.

You know, drag yourself out of OSS and go hunt deer. Or count your toes. Or watch TV, especially soapies. Don't go to a music concert - you won't understand that either.


By Uwe Thiem at Wed, 2008/04/30 - 5:00am

it's the me, me, me generation.

People want, they are impatient, and never give, they just take.

By anon at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Actually, I don't think most of the people complaining have downloaded, built or installed Alpha 1 yet. The complaints aren't that Alpha 1 isn't working yet. The complaints are about the direction for 4.1, which is supposed to be in stabilize mode, but instead is in major-shakeup mode. Will the shakeup help KDE 4 in the long run? Likely. Will 4.1 be more stable than 4.0.3 today? Perhaps not. That is what people are upset about.

By T. J. Brumfield at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

It's not in shake up mode. It is in Alpha mode. Alpha's are not meant to be stable, nor are beta's.

By anon at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

I'm just pleased it's called an alpha this time, instead of just releasing it as 4.1.0

By Johhny Awkward at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

KDE 4.0.0 had an alpha too. This isn't the final release of KDE 4.1.0, 4.1.0 will be released in July.

By Jonathan Thomas at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

4.1, as of today, is about as stable as 4.0.4, according to Aaron Seigo. It took them a little over a week to get from API-refactoring to this point. There are still several months to be spent bugfixing before 4.1 is released.

I wouldn't be worried or be upset about a thing.

By Jonathan Thomas at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Plasma != KDE

By Stefan Majewsky at Sat, 2008/05/03 - 5:00am

TJ: *please* *stop* *screaming* about plasma refactoring. Really. Please stop.

By Vide at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am


I used terms like "perhaps not", and explained the vantage points of others to clear up miscommunication.

By T. J. Brumfield at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Yes, screaming like a child, that's what passes from your posts. Plasma refactor was a planned and needed breakage which put an instability which will be debugged and corrected for sure before 4.1 final release, which will sport a more robust and flexible plasma than 4.0's. And you can see this just by compiling current SVN code and comparing it to 4.0.3 release (or 4.0.4 which has already been tagged, IIRC).
You're spreading FUD about plasma being refactored in a such way that will be for sure instable and work-in-progress when KDE 4.1.0 will be released. Instead, I'm pretty confident that 4.1 will be a fantastic plasma release, to be honest, the first "real" plasma release (I do see 4.0 as a work-in-progress release).
I mean, Plasma in 4.0-alpha1 was simply a joke (i think there weren't even a working panel). Currently, 4.1-alpha1 IMO is more usable than 4.0.3, so...

By Vide at Fri, 2008/05/02 - 5:00am

Someone is most certainly overreacting like a child here.

>Plasma in 4.0-alpha1 was simply a joke

Here is the funny thing. Anyone who was critical of beta builds and pointed out bugs was attacked. People insisted that the 4.0 release would be better, and you shouldn't judge progress on beta builds. Yet, most of the complaints that stemmed from beta builds were still quite valid when 4.0 launched. Many of those complaints are still valid today.

I've said (and attempted to clarify) that people aren't upset with the current 4.1 alpha status, but rather the rush to continue to make changes at this stage.

I'm eager to get to a fully-featured KDE 4 desktop as the next guy. I don't think it is prudent to push for more changes, when you've already added a ton of features on top of 4.0, and you need to finish fleshing out the QT 4.4 changes. Many popular/code KDE apps still haven't even been ported to QT4/KDE4. KDE 4 was in and of itself a major refactoring. I think it is prudent to take some time to assess the situation, squash bugs, stabilize, etc. Again, in git, you could have changes and new features more easily handled in other areas, while the main trunk is being stabilized.

By T. J. Brumfield at Fri, 2008/05/02 - 5:00am

> Yet, most of the complaints that stemmed from beta builds were still quite valid when 4.0 launched. Many of those complaints are still valid today.

Which complaints exactly? Like I said earlier, I haven't had any crashes with Plasma since KDE 4.0 Beta (and only one minor layouting bug with an exotic configuration which is already reported). Unless you say which complaints you are meaning, your post is just FUD [1].

[1] yet another entry for my dot.kde.org buzzword bingo ;-)

By Stefan Majewsky at Sat, 2008/05/03 - 5:00am

I just admire KDE developers for the courage in challenging what everyone takes for granted:

The application launcher problem: Kickoff, Lancelot and maybe later Raptor,

The Desktop paradigm: Plasma,

The way of interacting with your computer: Nepomuk and the social desktop.

It's Amazing to me that after seeing all this advances, people that have no clue of what is going on in the development just come here to trash about the release. What's more surprising is that this people (that for their comments is clear that haven't even read Planet KDE blogs or done anything to know what's going with KDE) thinks that they know better what's best for KDE and what the developers should do for the next release...

I just hope that developers understand that most of this people have no idea of what they are talking about and that they keep their motivation high so that they can continue with all this exciting new ideas.

By Raul at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am


A nice preview of KDE 4.1 alpha 1. Check it out.

By Ernesto Manríquez at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am


Looking forward to the screenshot tour!!

I'm going to have really nice dreams tonight. :D

By M at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

KDE Devs,please don't be discouraged by the comments that come from moronic not-knowing-what-they-say corners.

Thrust on with all your energy. Our good wishes are always with you !!

By From Pakistan at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

I'm looking forward to 4.1 as well, Go Go Devs we love youuuu!

By Peter at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

As far as I understand, the KDE Four LIve is updated whenever a milestone of KDE release cycle is reached. I'd like to know if there are similar alternatives with a slightly more frequent update (like the now discontinued daily image). My home PC is way too underpowered to do constant compilations from SVN, and I'd like to see recent snapshots so I can start including KDE4.1-aware items in the Plasma FAQ.

Thanks a lot.

By Luca Beltrame at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Well, it's not a live-cd but the opensuse guys are constantly updating their kde 4.1 snapshots. So you just need an opensuse installation, enter the kde4 unstable paths to your package manager and constantly do updates. They have new packages at least once a week, usually more often. So no need to compile yourself.

By Jens Uhlenbrock at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

All being well, KDE4Daily - 4.1 Edition will be up and running in the next couple of weeks or so - I've mainly been waiting for Hardy Heron (which will serve as the base, so we can get lots of up-to-date versions of dependencies) to come out and for the Plasma dust (or other particles(?)) to settle :)

By SSJ at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

That would be awesome! I hope you're going to submit a story on the Dot when that happens.

By Luca Beltrame at Fri, 2008/05/02 - 5:00am

I installed OpenSUSE on my underpowered laptop specifically for the KDE 4 trunk build service that they run. The builds aren't daily, but they do stay up to date.

By Ian Monroe at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Thank you for doing open development (both to the devs and the people publishing the news). Quite a few of us understand what it is and are excited about the future, not dismayed into ignorant attacks.

By Evan "JabberWok... at Thu, 2008/05/01 - 5:00am

Cool! :)

Congratulations to all, especially to the developers!

By P. at Sat, 2008/05/03 - 5:00am

Nearly all comments have to do with Plasma and Akonadi, but KDE 4 is much more. On behalf of all developers, artists, translators and other people working on KDE 4.1 I say thank you to some developers I have noticed in the last weeks:

Thank you, Vladimir Kuznetsov, for the physics simulator Step.
Thank you, Ian Wadham, for the rubic's cube game Kubrick. (By the way, Ian has just celebrated its 70th birthday.)
Thank you, Ralf Habacker, Christian Ehrlicher, and many others for your effort to bring KDE goodness to Windows users. (This also applies to all other platform people, for example Adrian de Groot for Solaris.)
Thank you, Pino Toscano, for a great document viewer.
Thank you, KOffice people. (Just too many to list them all.)
Thank you, Albert Astals Cid, for managing our translations (and inserting messages scripts virtually everywhere).

Thank you, KDE developers, for the best computing experience on earth

By Stefan Majewsky at Sat, 2008/05/03 - 5:00am