KDE 4.6 Has Arrived, with Many Enhancements for Users and Developers

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 28, 2011

The KDE community has announced the arrival of its latest set of releases, including major updates to the KDE Plasma workspaces, KDE Applications and the KDE Platform. KDE remains one of the most popular desktop environments, and the new releases bring a raft of new features. The KDE team has supplied an info page that details some of the additions and bug fixes. Here are some of the enhancements.

KDE Plasma Workspaces now feature a new Activities system, designed to make it simpler to associate applications with particular activities such as work or home tasks. KWin, the Plasma workspace window manager, also has a new scripting core, and the workspaces also have a number of  visual enhancements. Do you work on a netbook? Plasma Netbook is optimized for mobile computing devices and has a number of speed enhancements. There is also a touchscreen interface. For more details read the KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.6 announcement.

As is typical upon new releases of KDE, there are many new enhancements to applications. These include improved routing capabilities in KDE’s virtual globe, Marble, and advanced filtering and searching use of file metadata in the KDE file manager. Dolphin also has enhanced faceted browsing. The KDE Games collection also has many additions and the image viewer Gwenview and screenshot program KSnapshot now have the ability to instantly share images to a number of popular social networking sites. There is a rundown of these additions in the KDE Applications 4.6 announcement.

Plasma Workspaces and KDE Applications are built on the KDE Platform, which is also newly enhanced. Application developers can take advantage of a new "mobile build target" for deployment on mobile devices. Developers can also use the Plasma framework for creating desktop widgets in QML, the Qt language, and there are new Javascript interfaces for working with data.  Nepomuk, the technology behind metadata and semantic search in KDE applications, now provides a graphical interface to back up and restore data, and there is enhanced support for Bluetooth wireless technology. If you're interested in more on the platform additions, read the KDE Platform 4.6 announcement.

Windows users interested in KDE should also see our recent post on packages for Windows.