KDE 3.5 is a vivid platform. We looked at some reasons why three weeks ago and also last week. Today, we look at the photo-manager digiKam, the plotting application QtiPlot, the LaTeX-dreamteam Kile and KBibTeX and the upcoming KDE 3.5.3 release.
If you have a digital SLR or other high-quality digital camera, you have probably noticed that the photos stored on it are not just simple JPEGs. High-end cameras offer the RAW file format, which stores the unmodified data from the cameras sensors. This means no quality is lost, and you can get 100% clarity out of your pictures. Many cameras also offer 12 bit and 16 bit colourspaces. Unfortunately, GIMP doesn't support these colourspaces and also cannot handle LCMS colour schemes.
Now, KDE provides not only Krita which supports both 16 bit colours and colour profiles, but also digiKam which fully supports these advanced features!
There is also now the possibility to geo-reference your pictures. Have a look. As you can see, you can mark where a picture was taken. For more pictures take a look at the new galleries of digiKam 0.9!
If you want to shorten the time until digiKam 0.9 is finished you can test 0.8.2 which includes some small improvements over 0.8.1 including CMYK colourspace for .jpg-pictures.
Kile is KDE's LaTeX-editor of choice. Version 1.9 was released on March 17 and makes Kile even better. The author not only fixed over 50 bugs, but also made Kile easier to use. The two most noteworthy changes are auto-completion of (La)TeX commands and compiling, converting and viewing your document with one click. Finally, KBibTex can now be used from within Kile.
QtiPlot is a tool that is useful for everyone who needs scientific plots ready for publication. It supports error bars, value fitting, multi-peak fitting and many other advanced techniques for analysing your data. Since November 2005, the author has released no less then eight new versions, each providing you with even more features and of course many bugfixes.
Apropros KBibTeX, a BibTeX editor for KDE which is now integrated in Kile. Last week, the author released version 0.1.4 which offers you an incredible list of changes. While the version 0.1.4 might sounds like experimental code I can promise you that KBibTeX is indeed very mature.
KDE 3.5.x itself
Last not least, KDE itself is a reason why KDE 3.5 is alive! Until KDE 3.5, when a KDE-release was frozen in preparation to be released, new features and new user-visible text ("strings") were not allowed in later releases in the series in order to make sure that no new bugs were introduced and no translations were broken. For KDE 3.5 this is different.
Since the KDE 4.0 development cycle will take longer than typical due to the scope of the changes and improvements being undertaken, the developers want KDE 3.5.x to be the best possible KDE for users in the meantime. Therefore, KDE 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 not only fixed a lot of bugs (see 3.5.1-fixes 3.5.2-fixes), but the developers were also allowed to change some strings in KDE so that many usability-improvements and updates in documentation found their way into KDE 3.5.x.
KDE 3.5.3 will even include some new features. When a new feature is already in the upcoming KDE 4-code, well-tested and known to work in KDE 3.5, the author of the code can ask for inclusion in KDE 3.5.3. If no other developer objects, the new feature can be added. Therefore, you will see some new stuff in KDE 3.5.3. (This list is constantly being updated and not yet complete.)
Stay tuned for KDE 3.5.3 at the end of the month!