The KDE Community and the release team have put together a release plan for the long anticipated version 4.0, which is planned to be released in October 2007. KDE 4.0 will be a major milestone for the Free Desktop, as it offers a new foundation and set of frameworks that will shape the desktop user experience for years to come. Users will benefit from improved speed through Qt 4, integration of hardware through Solid, multimedia performance via Phonon, usability enhancements by close collaboration with OpenUsability, new real-time communication options with Decibel, spell-checking with Sonnet, comprehensive desktop search through Strigi and Nepomuk, a new desktop metaphor through Plasma and, last but not least, a completely new artwork experience called Oxygen.
KDE 4.0 will likely contain initial versions of all the major subsystems that have been described in recent Dot articles. These "Pillars" of KDE set the stage for desktop and application growth and maturity over the life of the KDE 4 series. The release schedule contains a number of milestones and dates, the most important of those being:
- April 1, 2007: Subsystem Freeze
From this date forward, no new KDE subsystem or major changes can be committed to kdelibs.
- May 1, 2007: Alpha Release + kdelibs soft API Freeze
Alpha will be a source-only release without translations. The kdelibs API is "soft-frozen", meaning that changes can be made but only with the consent of the core developers.
- June 1, 2007: trunk/KDE is feature frozen
Trunk is frozen for feature commits. Internationalised string changes are allowed. A list of main modules that will be included in the final release will be made.
- June 25, 2007: Beta1
Beta 1 is prepared and released after some initial testing. The incoming bugs will be reviewed for their severity. After this release, a new Beta version will be released every month.
- September 23, 2007: Total Release Freeze
This is the very last date for committing anything that isn't reviewed on the development lists.
- September 25, 2007: Release Candidate 1
Targetted date for first release candidate. Only regressions (breakage caused by the KDE 4 port) or grave bugs can be fixed. Starting with this Release Candidate, a new Release Candidate will be put out every two weeks until the codebase is sufficiently stable and all showstopper bugs have been fixed.
- October 23, 2007: Targetted Release Date
As always, the KDE community welcomes involvement with translations, documentation, testing and promotions. Developers who want to contribute to make KDE 4 even more rocking should check out techbase.kde.org, the new platform for all development-related information about KDE and its technologies.