JUL
29
2008

KDE 4.1 Released, Dedicated to Uwe Thiem

6 months after the release of KDE 4.0, the KDE community today announced the released of the second feature release in the KDE 4 era. Lots of changes have gone into this release and the KDE community hopes to be able to make most early-adopting users happy with this release. Lots of feedback from people trying out KDE 4.0 has gone into KDE 4.1, filling most of the gaps people experienced with the 4.0 releases. Highlights of KDE 4.1 are the KDE PIM suite, which has returned in its KDE 4 incarnation, a more mature Plasma desktop and many, many new features and applications. Make sure to take some time to read through the high-level changelog or even the more detailed feature plan on Techbase. Before you try KDE 4.1, please read the KDE4 End User FAQ and make an educated guess whether KDE 4.1 is for you.

The release is dedicated to KDE's contact in Africa, Uwe Thiem. Uwe passed away after a kidney failure two weeks ago. Africa's new press contact for KDE is AJ Venter, a friend of Uwe's who stepped up on short notice to help with filling the gap Uwe's death leaves in the KDE community.

Meanwhile, KDE's Release Team scheduled a number of bugfix and translation updates. KDE 4.1.1 will be made available on September 3rd, 4.1.2 will be out on October 1st, and 4.1.3 will be there on November 5th. KDE 4.2.0 will in 6 months, the release date is set to January 27th 2009.

Comments

I've been running kde4 from svn trunk for a while, and it just keeps getting better and better. This release truly marks kde's position as the leading desktop out there!

A big round of applause to everybody involved and thank you for making my desktop that much better :-)


By Trond at Tue, 2008/07/29 - 5:00am

Simple awesome!

Beautiful, gorgeous!

Congrats to all involved.

Thank you guys!


By Edney Matias at Tue, 2008/07/29 - 5:00am

Thanks for your hard work KDE developers, you rock our worlds =D

KDE4 is better than ever, it's beautiful, functional, and it rocks... IT'S THE BEST DE EVER =D


By Diego Viola at Tue, 2008/07/29 - 5:00am

Hello,

Redhat was using Gnome because initially it was not possible to distribute KDE binaries due to the license conflict of Qt. Others like Mandrake and Suse cared a lot less about the license issues, but e.g. Debian did too, purely for legal reasons.

At the time KDE was getting an acceptable license, Gnome already was sufficiently developed and indeed always has had and will have distinct differences to KDE.

Not the least of it being that GTK 2.0 has binary compatibility from 2.0 release until today, with no breakage allowed ever. Only now discussion of GTK 3.0 is under way which would do that, but it's not yet accepted. That is a feature that ISVs appreciate very much so, very old binaries can still run unchanged on modern GTK.

On the other side, Qt has since 2.0 changed binary compatability several times. Due to being a C++ library, the ABI has changed even in minor releases, and has been affected when e.g. the C++ ABI in gcc was changed. That's nothing I would blaim Trolltech about, for Free Software it's OK to recompile. But these major migrations have caused the constant need to keep your applications up to date.

I am willing to bet that a LGPL licensed Qt would not be more popular with Redhat or ISVs, and it would be lacking binary ABI stability. Where it's not a matter of trivial recompile (e.g. Qt3->Qt4 needs at least build changes), Qt is out of the question for some things.

So, what's good about Gnome? It's a nice ABI stable platform that Redhat, Ubuntu, etc. can use. And good about KDE is that it's a rapidly developed API stable platform. In fact, the mere existence of Gnome takes away the pain from KDE to comply with needs that Gnome fulfils.

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Tue, 2008/07/29 - 5:00am

> Due to being a C++ library, the ABI has changed even in minor releases, and has been affected when e.g. the C++ ABI in gcc was changed.

No, this is wrong. Qt never breaks binary compatibility in minor releases and neither does KDE.


By Andreas at Tue, 2008/07/29 - 5:00am

Hello,

well yeah you are correct, sorry for the mistake. The point was that the ABI and even API is supported longer.

That benefit of longer support sure has a price that I personally wouldn't want each Free Software desktop to pay.

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Qt3 was released 2001 even before GTK 2.0. So, no idea where you ddi get your information from but they are probably incomplete ;)


By Sebastian Sauer at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

And to add to that, KDE 3.0 was released on 3 April 2002 while GTK 2.0 was released on 20 November 2002 (dates taken from Wikipedia), it's kinda surprising that the KDE 3.0 series was started so long ago.


By Kit at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Wow, six years of KDE3. Well served, I would say. At this pace, KDE5 should be out in 2014. So when they say that 4.0 was only the start, they were not joking.


By Haakon Nilsen at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

No, I think they were not. It is also quite enlightening to look back at some old screenshots (still available at the KDE website) of older KDE versions from the 3 series. If you realize how the 3 series developed over the years and where the 4 series are now, you can only conclude that KDE 4 will rock the socks off the desktop as we know it.


By Andre at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Hello,

oh wow, indeed. You know, I witnesses KDE 2.1 -> 2.2 -> 3.0 and it feels like yesterday. Actually I thought GTK 2.0 was much older.

Well, yeah but using C++ has lost the ABI advantage big time in the past. In 2004 gcc 3.4 changed the ABI. In 2005 it did again, but only for minority platforms. And I think it did in 2003 as well. So in practice, old binary programs didn't run on the newest flavor of anything after a few years.

With the stable ABI and LSB desktop in place, it's safe to say though, that the Qt4 ABI will achieve a much higher age.

I was just trying to say that Redhat was in its inital choice not primarily driven by license issues, but a better situation of the C library back then.

That's what I think is unfair.

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

> I am willing to bet that a LGPL licensed Qt would not be more popular

Maybe so... see also:
http://www.j5live.com/2008/07/16/flames-welcome-is-a-qt-gnome-desirable/


By Rex Dieter at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

> "Not the least of it being that GTK 2.0 has binary compatibility from 2.0 release until today"

2.x is compatible with 2.x? Stop the presses! :-)

> "Due to being a C++ library, the ABI has changed even in minor releases"

Not true, not true at all. Binaries compiled against Qt 4.0.0 run just fine with Qt 4.4.0 libraries. I think you are referring to the frequent ABI changes in GNU G++. That is a different topic, and it is a real problem. But it also affects gtkmm, sigc++, and other GNOME libraries.


By David Johnson at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Hello,

yes indeed: The frequent changes are what made me think of Qt as good library for maintained software, but really bad for receiving a binary from a random guy that thinks it should run on our machines too.

And Qt4 is by far not as old as GTK 2.0 and it would appear to become much older even. And Qt3 is unsupported now. I wasn't aware that Qt3 was intended to be a ABI stable platform, check e.g. how many people shiped statically linked binaries not so long ago. As I said before, with LSB desktop and stable C++ ABI that's a welcome change.

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

"Redhat was using Gnome because initially it was not possible to distribute KDE binaries due to the license conflict of Qt."

No one had any problem distributing anything.

"Not the least of it being that GTK 2.0 has binary compatibility from 2.0 release until today, with no breakage allowed ever."

That's funny, because Qt 3.x and KDE 3 were out before GTK 2.x and Gnome 2 and they've kept binary compatible all that time.

"That is a feature that ISVs appreciate very much so"

What ISVs would they be exactly? Yes, ISVs appreciate it which is why Qt has been ABI and API stable itself, but ISVs appreciate good development tools even better ;-).

"I am willing to bet that a LGPL licensed Qt would not be more popular with Redhat or ISVs"

No it wouldn't, and it certainly wouldn't with ISVs as they wouldn't see the pace of improvement they are now.

"So, what's good about Gnome? It's a nice ABI stable platform that Redhat, Ubuntu, etc. can use."

That's about all it offers unfortunately.


By segedunum at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Hello,

of course there were legal concerns:

http://developer.kde.org/documentation/books/kde-2.0-development/ch19lev...

There are 2 distributions that really try to stay pure of uncertainty in legal matters. Redhat and Debian did both not include KDE before these concerns were addressed.

For Redhat (and Debian) at the time the issue was clear. A non-Free vs. a Free desktop was a clear choice and their investment was geared to make the Free one match the non-Free one.

Once both were Free the issue was of course moot, but investments were done already.

Also note that nobody is (should be) claiming that the investment that Redhat puts into Gnome today doesn't benefit KDE, because:

a) Gnome helped produce a couple of interesting libraries that KDE uses. Some of this is under the Free Desktop umbrella. Its use benefits KDE absolutely.
b) Gnome helped convert users away from the Windows desktop, from where it was a smaller distance, but certainly much easier to interact. If you ever got an ODF file that you open in KWord from a Gnome user, you know what I mean. It could have been a MS Word document too.
c) Gnome tries out several ideas, project or software ideas. Some of them worked, some not. KDE certainly benefited in its own decisions from other guys that do a similar job, but have other solutions and success rates. If only to avoid a trap here or there.

I personally gave up the Windows desktop in 2000 (was on Linux server before) because Gnome was supposed to be better scripted in Perl, something KDE had a much harder time with (C++ bindings were somehow rare for many years) then. I liked it, and still remember e.g. back then you would install with "lynx -source go-gnome.org | sh" to get a graphical installer of "Helix Gnome".

The only thing bad about Gnome is that those how enjoy to put other people down, use it as a target. Without contribution to anything, it's quite easy to disrespect others. Like soccer fans that could hardly hit the ball, but would talk down to other soccer club fans. Actually the analogy holds for another thing: Who do you play with, if everybody joins your club?

I invite everybody to respect even those that are second best. It's still quite good place to be.

Yours,
Kay


By Debian User at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

I have been compiling and recompiling the latest versions of KDE4 on my FreeBSD system the last week(s) and I must say that the desktop overall is really great.
Unfortunately FreeBSD-support is really lacking behind.

I somehow have the feeling that there is more people working on KDE for Windows than on KDE for BSD, which is a rather sad thing for a free Desktop.

In general am I looking very forward to KDE4 as a Desktop though and think that many groundbreaking work in the area of Desktop computing has been achieved.


By Hannes Hauswedell at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

If the desktop is great if you just compile it, what should KDE developers support on it? KDE on Windows needs more people because it is more different from a Linux system than a BSD, and is built on an other Qt version, without X.


By Grósz Dániel at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

How much you are paid by Microsoft?


By anon at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

What kind of weird response is this? It simply doesn't make any sense at all. If you want to start a flame war, please be a man and at least don't post anonymously.


By Andre at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

I don't like MS and Windows at all but I think it's good that KDE libs are ported to Windows because then developers who want to develop cross-platform applications can use the KDE libraries. Of course FreeBSD port is also important but it's probably much less a deal than the porting to Windows because a FreeBSD environment is much more similar to a Linux environment.


By Grósz Dániel at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

I fully agree with Hannes' point. Indeed its very sad to see instead of getting the KDE working on BSDs, these developers sweat day and night to get it working on Microsoft Windows and Apple which they already have very well established, very well developed desktop environments fully supported by those mega companies.

Once the KDE is also managed to get fully run on Windows and Mac OSX, people have no reason at all to switch to BSDs or Linux, not even to know such things exists, because the Windows comes free with your hardware, all the drivers you need available for Windows, KDE is also run very well, best of all you do not need to donate money for BSD and Linux efforts anymore, Microsoft is so rich they can even give you money for using Windows.

What Microsoft and Apple need is open source bloody fools to sweat day and night to develop software for them FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.


By anon at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Only KDE libs and some applications are ported to Windows, and not the desktop environment. I don't think many people would switch to Linux because of the KDE applications.


By Grósz Dániel at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

sure, what kde developers really needed was someone to tell them what to do with their FREEEE time...


By ac at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

That's the freedom to try to take freedom from others ;)


By Sebastian Sauer at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

The reason is simple: there are more people using Window$ than people using *BSD. Also, they don't (they are actually right) think that it would be as difficult to get KDE running on *BSD, since it is fairly close to Linux.

As for the aformentioned (and sure to be more) flames about people not having any reason to switch to Linux or *BSD: name any reason why Linux or *BSD is better (I'll name some: stability, security, and lack of DRM). That is a reason, besides KDE, to switch. The familiarity gained by having used various applications far outweighs the desire to switch to a new OS for a particular application or application suite. Also, the desktop itself is not being ported to Window$ or Mac, only the framework.


By Michael "trying... at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

If there are not many BSD developers, this means there are not that many BSD users.
We would love to have more developers working on BSD. Basically this means, download FreeBSD (or DesktopBSD), install it on your machine (you need a primary partition for that) and build KDE from svn.
Then find out what doesn't work and start fixing it. That's really all there is to it. You will get helping hands I guess e.g. from Ade (and maybe from me, but I'm no BSD expert).

Alex


By Alex at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

> I somehow have the feeling that there is more people working on KDE for Windows than on KDE for BSD, which is a rather sad thing for a free Desktop.

Disregarding debates on KDE for Windows/Mac, if there are more people working on KDE for those platforms, it is because more people have volunteered to work on it.

KDE is a free software project composed of volunteers. Unless that developer is employed by a company to work on a particular part of the project, there is no one that will dictate what a volunteer should or should not work on. That is why Anon's comment that "Indeed its very sad to see instead of getting the KDE working on BSDs, these developers sweat day and night to get it working on..." shows a distorted understanding of how KDE, and most free software projects, are developed. If these developers work hard on that aspect, it is because that is what they want to work on, what they feel they need. No one is going to tell them otherwise and magically assign them to some other part of the project.

If there are very few people working on KDE on FreeBSD, then it just means that very few people have stepped up and taken responsibility to actually help in improving that.

I exhort you, as well as anyone who is truly passionate about KDE on FreeBSD, to gird up and help in making it happen. That's really the only way things will change.


By Juan Carlos Torres at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

> Disregarding debates on KDE for Windows/Mac, if there are more people working on KDE for those platforms, it is because more people have volunteered to work on it.

While this is true in general, KDE as huge FreeSoftware Project with part-commercial backing does have some possibility of influencing development focus.
But that isnt really the point and if neither volunteer-devs nor commercial supporters are interested in making KDEonFBSD work, than maybe it will just take longer.

Also my post was not meant to flame against the kde-windows project, I was just trying to point out that right now there is REALLY MANY freebsd-users waiting for kde4 (which apperently has NOT led to really many freebsd-devs) while the only Windows users desperately awaiting KDE-Apps probably already use GNU/Linux as one of their main architectures.

> I exhort you, as well as anyone who is truly passionate about KDE on FreeBSD, to gird up and help in making it happen. That's really the only way things will change.

Yeah, I know. I am on kde-freebsd and I try help where I can, but it seems all of the work really depends two or three people there.
I hope that at least Bug-reports related to FreeBSD are taken seriously by KDE-Linux-devs...


By Hannes Hauswedell at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

"KDE as huge FreeSoftware Project with part-commercial backing"

Commercial supporters are interested in Linux, not in BSD.

"there is REALLY MANY freebsd-users waiting for kde4"

Then FreeBSD devs should build it and package (or how it is done on BSD) it, shouldn't they? KDE devs produce the source, and don't compile neither for Linux distributions nor BSDs. It's the distributors' task to build and package it. KDE devs work on Windows and Mac OS X only because it needs some source modifications. But if I understand correctly what Hannes wrote, it already compiles and works on FreeBSD so no source modifications are needed (which is not surprising as both systems are mostly POSIX compatible and X11 and Qt for X11 are available on both).


By Grósz Dániel at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

> Then FreeBSD devs should build it and package (or how it is done on BSD) it, shouldn't they?

Hm... what a great idea! I suppose nobody thought of that yet! [/sarcasm]

> But if I understand correctly what Hannes wrote, it already compiles and works on FreeBSD so no source modifications are needed (which is not surprising as both systems are mostly POSIX compatible and X11 and Qt for X11 are available on both).

You misunderstood. It compiles mostly, but it doesnt "work". At least not to the extent where its useable.

> KDE devs produce the source, and don't compile neither for Linux distributions nor BSDs.

Hm, the produce source without ever building it? They must be better than I thought ;)
No, seriously. Most KDE-devs work and build on GNU/Linux, so of course KDE works better on GNU/Linux or at least gets done for GNU/Linux faster. That makes sense and is good since, since most FreeSoftware users are GNU/Linux users.
However I feel, that other *free* platforms play a very small role on KDE's agenda. There is constant news of updates for this and that, bugfixing here and there, Screenshots for KDE-Apps on Windows, Screenshots for KDE-Apps on OSX. And maybe one report about OpenSolaris.

Anyways I dont want to sound like a whiner. I hope KDE-devs are open to cross-platform porting issues and help porters wherever they can.

Other than that I should maybe spend more time in helping porting myself than talking ;)

See you.


By Hannes Hauswedell at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

> It compiles mostly, but it doesnt "work". At least not to the extent where its useable.

That is not right! KDE 4 works on my FreeBSD system (7-STABLE amd64) pretty well. Actually it IS usable, very fast (faster than KDE 3 ever was) and really rocks! I really love it because it works very well on FreeBSD.

I do not know what goes wrong with your system but your experience is certainly NOT the general experience of all FreeBSD KDE users. I never experienced your strange problems (you mentioned on kde-freebsd@kde.org list) and it must be something particular to your individual setup / machine.

Well, that does not help you. But it is true. There are some problems because of non portable code, some linuxisms etc. That should be spotted and reported to the KDE developers. That is what FreeBSD porters / committers are already working on but it needs more KDE developers attention.

You should also notice many things are done under the hood (area51 repository, private mails, IRC, IM) which are not communicated publicly (via mailing lists etc.). I personally do lots of testing but communicate issues directly and do not discuss them publicly.

There are some more testers and contributors than you may be aware of. Especially since my call for contributors, testers etc. through freebsd-ports@freebsd.org mailing list. Of course we could really have more of them. But the 'KDE 4 on FreeBSD' project is now in a much better shape than it ever was before and some folks are working very hard to further improve it.

I agree with you on one point. That is that some KDE developers are actually not very interested in issues with non linux platforms. I think some of them have a very questionable attitude, especially if they tell you in private if you have problems with KDE you should put away your 'crappy' operating system and you should use the 'wonderful' linux instead, because it works for them on linux.

That kind of short sighted attitude makes me really angry and I do not understand those folks. But there are also some KDE developers who are very interested in cross platform issues and will take your issues serious.

Regards


By Sticky Bit at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

Please have also a look at this blog post 'KDE4 on other platforms' from Adriaan de Groot:

http://people.fruitsalad.org/adridg/bobulate/index.php?/archives/621-KDE...

It describes the situation pretty well.

Regards


By Sticky Bit at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

Quoting myself here, but more in response to Hannes: there *is* no agenda. There is no steering committee saying "we need to support FreeBSD" (or any other OS). There are contributors who are stepping up and making a difference. On FreeBSD, that's David and Max and Martin and others. Through their efforts, KDE gets better on that platform and because they work constructively with the KDE project through some KDE committers, awareness slowly spreads. The EBN helps a little, but could certainly use more tools checking for cross-platform things. There was a little FreeBSD BoF at the KDE4 launch event; there will be some Solaris / Studio tools workshops at Akademy. Those things work to show everyone that a (sub)community is alive and working towards getting KDE4 out there in more places.


By Adriaan de Groot at Fri, 2008/08/01 - 5:00am

I repeat, that IN NO WAY I wanted to abate the work done by the KDE-devs in general and especially not the work done by the poeple currently porting KDE to FreeBSD.
I have been using KDE long time and really digg the free software spirit. I know the results (and sometimes problems) of volunteer work.

I really only wanted to bring FreePlatform-diversity into the discussion. Sticky Bit has mentioned some of the problems I tought about. He also seems more qualified to make these statements than me, I think, so I'll just stop complaining now.


By Hannes Hauswedell at Mon, 2008/08/04 - 5:00am

It's not that bsd developers not suddenly use windows and make kde work there. Those ae mostly windows developers that discovered kde for themselves and now try to get it work on their platform. So, the freebsd problem is a problem of the freebsd users/developers, they have to step forward and make kde work, not the windows developers, since they have no idea about freebsd


By Beat Wolf at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Hannes I use KDE4 RC1+ under FreeBSD 7.0 without any problemes. Seems you have some local problems.

Best ./anton


By Et at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

Thanks, i test it the svn version some weeks ago, and it was great
downloading...
anyone have slackbuilds 0_0?


By Lostshell at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Its not often in this day and age that you get what you expect from any type of consumer good, its even less often that you get more than you expect.

I must say that today is one of those rare occasions. I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of KDE 4.1 since 4.0 was released.

I cannot begin to express a heartfelt thanks to each and everyone who had a hand in this latest development.

Truly a paramount effort, its all the little touches that show the true quality.


By Terry Brown at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

well said!


By same here at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Everything that you said, I agree with. A heart-felt ++.


By Michael "100% a... at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

Anyone have an idea how long the KDE4 for OS X will take to be released? I'm very keen to replace some of my apps with the KDE4 equivalents.


By AndyC at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

mac.kde.org

It may take some day before they will be updated, so take a look often.


By Emmanuel Lepage... at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Thanks - that was the first website I checked when I found out 4.1 had been released! I didn't expect an OS X release (though I did hope), but I thought there might be an announcement.

Just curious how long to expect (day/weeks/months)?

Anyway, I guess I'll just have to put up with inferior apps until then ...


By AndyC at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

I want to thank all the kde community for all the efforts to make this release rock!

I was trying the newly introduced add panel functionality and have accidentally removed the main panel. Does anyone know how to restore it?


By Jean Pierre at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

cp ~/.kde4 ~/.kde4.backup

rm -rf ~/.kde4/share/config/plasma

*it may be .kde, it depend on distro

or you can just right click on desktop, add a panel and add some widget in it.


By Emmanuel Lepage... at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

$ ls /home/ax4/.kde4/share/config/plasma*
~/.kde4/share/config/plasma-appletsrc
~/.kde4/share/config/plasmar

Are the two files to wipe if adding it back doesn't work. Do make a backup first!


By A. L. Spehr at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

right click on the desktop -> add panel, configure to taste.


By Aaron Seigo at Thu, 2008/07/31 - 5:00am

I would also like to express my deepest gratitude towards all involved in creating such an amazing desktop experience that leads us into a new era of desktop computing!

Simply amazing work!

Congratulations to all of you!

Nassos


By Nassos Kourentas at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

Thank you very much!


By Heja AIK at Wed, 2008/07/30 - 5:00am

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