Today KDE released the first release candidate for its renewed Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. Thanks to the feedback from the betas, KDE has already improved the quality noticeably. Further polishing new and old functionality will lead to a rock-stable, fast and beautiful release in January, 2013. One particular change in this RC is an updated look to Plasma Workspaces.
Some of the highlights of 4.10 include:
- Qt Quick in Plasma Workspaces -- Qt Quick is continuing to make its way into the Plasma Workspaces. Plasma Quick, KDE's extensions on top of QtQuick, allow deeper integration with the system and more powerful apps and Plasma components. Plasma Containments can now be written in QtQuick. Various Plasma widgets have been rewritten in QtQuick, notably the system tray, pager, notifications, lock & logout, weather and weather station, comic strip and calculator plasmoids. Many performance, quality and usability improvements make Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces easier to use.
- New Screen Locker -- A new screen locking mechanism based on QtQuick brings more flexibility and security to Plasma Desktop.
- Animated Wallpapers -- Thanks to a new QtQuick-based wallpaper engine, animated wallpapers are now much easier to create.
- Improved Zooming in Okular -- A technique called tiled rendering allows Okular to zoom in much further while reducing memory consumption. Okular Active, the touch-friendly version of the powerful document reader is now part of KDE SC.
- Faster indexing -- Improvements in the Nepomuk semantic engine allow faster indexing of files. The new Tags kioslave allows users to browse their files by tags in any KDE-powered application.
- Color Correction -- Gwenview, KDE's smart image viewer and Plasma's window manager now support color correction and can be adjusted to the color profile of different monitors, allowing for more natural representation of photos and graphics.
- Notifications -- Plasma's notifications are now rendered using QtQuick. Notifications themselves, especially concerning power management, have been cleaned up.
- New Print Manager -- Setup of printers and monitoring jobs was improved thanks to a new implementation of the Print Manager.
- Kate, KDE's Advanced Text Editor received multiple improvements regarding user feedback. It is now extensible using Python plugins.
- KTouch -- KDE's touch-typing learning utility has been rewritten and features a cleaner, more elegant user interface.
- libkdegames improvements -- Many parts of libkdegames have been rewritten, porting instructions for 3rd party developers are available.
- KSudoku now allows printing puzzles.
- KJumpingCube has seen a large number of improvements making the game more enjoyable.
More improvements can be found in the 4.10 Feature Plan. As with any large number of changes, we need to give 4.10 a good testing in order to maintain and improve the quality and user experience when users install the update.
KDE is running an extra detailed Beta Testing Program throughout the 4.10 beta and RC releases. To participate, get the latest KDE 4.10. Instructions for installing the latest test release can be found here.
Some areas of KDE deserve extra testing attention this time around. We have checklists for testing in general, and recommendations for special attention on the wiki.
The KDE Beta Testing Program is a way for anyone to contribute to the quality of KDE software. You can make a difference by carefully testing the programs that are part of the KDE 4.10 beta and assist developers by identifying legitimate bugs. This means higher quality software, more features and happier users and developers.
The Beta Testing Program is structured so that any KDE user can give back to KDE, regardless of their skill level. If you want to be part of this quality improvement program, please contact the Team on the IRC channel #kde-quality on freenode.net. The Team Leaders want to know ahead of time who is involved in order to coordinate all of the testing activities. They are also committed to having this project be fun and rewarding. After checking in, you can install the beta through your distribution package manager. The KDE Community wiki has instructions. This page will be updated as beta packages for other distributions become available. With the beta installed, you can proceed with testing. Please contact the Team on IRC #kde-quality if you need help getting started.