More Changes Afoot at KDE

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 06, 2013

It's been a real hub of activity over there at the KDE camp this week. First, they announced the release of KDE 4.11.1 bug fix and stabilization update on September 3. Then, on September 4 Howard Chan blogged about the new refined KDE release structure. And, as if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, Carl Symons announced the release of Plasma Active 4 today. All this makes one wonder what tomorrow will bring.

KDE 4.11.1 Released

Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE community manager, announced the September monthly updates to KDE 4.11. He said KDE 4.11.1 received over 70 bugfixes including "improvements to the Window Manager KWin, the file manager Dolphin, and others." He also said users can expect the desktop to start up faster, Dolphin to scroll smoother, and overall less memory use. Poortvliet continued, "Improvements include the return of drag-and-drop from taskbar to pager, highlighting and color fixes in Kate and MANY little bugs squashed in the Kmahjongg game. There are many stability fixes and the usual additions of translations." See his post or the official announcement for more.

KDE Release Structure Refinement

Howard Chan starts by reminding users that Plasma Workspaces 4 is in maintenance mode as developers have moved on to what I refer to as KDE 5 with Qt 5. KDE had been discussing a three month release schedule for major releases, but Chan's September 4 post muddies the waters a bit. He said, "With the upcoming Frameworks 5, the KDE Release Team will decouple the release cycles of Workspaces, Applications and Platform. While Applications will have more releases in the 4.x series, the Plasma Workspaces team has decided to focus on Workspaces 2. The recently released 4.11 version of Plasma Workspaces will have Long Term Support. Meanwhile, work on Frameworks 5 is progressing, making KDE technologies ready for the future." (If you're still confused, try Rob Zwetsloot's interpretation.)

After a full explanation of terms and conditions, Chan posted the following schedule:

KDE Frameworks 5 preview - December 1, 2013
KDE Frameworks 5 release - first half 2014
KDE Workspaces 4.11 - released August 14, 2013 (LTS for two years)
KDE Workspaces 2 preview - 1st quarter 2014
KDE Workspaces 2 release - 2nd quarter 2014
KDE Applications 4.12 - December 18, 2013
KDE Applications 4.13 - Q2/Q3 2014

Plasma Active 4 Makes Appearance

Carl Symons today posted of "the release of Plasma Active 4 (PA4)." He continued, "Plasma Active 4 is a stabilization and performance release, the result of developers focusing on fit and finish throughout. This release is intended to complete the evolution of Plasma Active to a polished product relative to its proof of concept first release."

Some of the new features include:

* Groupware in email and calendar
* Integrated touch friendly media player and viewer
* eBooks and PDFs support
* Office suite documents viewing
* Local file storage and cloud sync
* Tagging and other user-defined metadata

This release is faster and smoother with lots more functionality. Improvements to the filemanager and tagging make working with files easier and faster. A new media center puts all types of multimedia support in one package. Lots of interface and application appearance and functionality tweaks make Plasma Active 4 more enjoyable to use overall.

See Symons' post for more detail, and tune in tomorrow for As the KDE Turns.