KDE today celebrates its semi-annual release event, making available new releases of the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, the KDE Development Platform and a large number of applications available in their 4.5.0 versions.
In this release, the KDE team focused on stability and completeness of the Desktop experience. More than 16,000 bugs have been fixed, and many feature requests have been filled. The result for the user is a system that feels faster, takes less time to "think", and works more reliably. The large number of bug fixes goes accompanied with many parts that have got an extra portion of tender loving care. Plasma 4.5.0's new notification system is one example here. It is designed to get less in your way, yet to support your workflow as smoothly as possible. Visually, the striking monochromatic icons make for a more consistent look in the notification area. A highlight of the KDE Applications 4.5.0 is surely Marble, which can now be used for map routing as well as viewing. The Konqueror web browser can now also use the WebKit engine to render its content. The KDE Development Platform 4.5.0 offers a new generic cache for applications that need high-speed access to certain data, such as icons or other pre-rendered artwork. The new KSharedDataCache speeds up loading of many components, while the new HTTP scheduler is optimized for concurrent access to web servers, and makes loading of pages in Konqueror and other parts using the KIO HTTP mechanism faster.
Today's releases are the first in the 4.5 series and will be followed with updated versions approximately monthly that will focus on fixing bugs. The next feature releases are planned for January 2011. If you would like to test-drive 4.5.0, you can do so by installing the packages that should be made available by your operating system vendor. You can also choose to build 4.5.0 from source, the nitty-gritty of that can be found on TechBase. For the impatient, there is also a Live CD available.