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New Direction for KDE 4.6

Behind the scenes

December 8, 2010

The next release of KDE 4.6 promises substantial changes both under the hood and in the user interface.
Bruce Byfield

KDE 4.6 will be slightly more ambitious than the last couple of releases. Judging from the recently-announced first beta, it will include the usual behind-the-scene enhancements, and additions of interest to developers. But it will also include some concrete improvements to the desktop, especially with the changes to the Dolphin file manager and the so-called re-introduction of Activities.

You can download the source code for the beta from the usual mirrors. However, the beta, officially numbered 4.5.80, has already been packaged by many distributions, including Kubuntu (Ubuntu's KDE distro), openSUSE, and Fedora.

The Kubuntu packages were prone to crashes when I tested, but that will probably change by the time you try them. By contrast, the live image for Rawhide, Fedora's development repository, was slow to load but stable.

Behind the scenes

Many of the changes in the beta are of interest mainly to developers and not directly observable to casual users, although the changes may affect development in future releases.

Some of these changes are designed to extend the use of KDE to mobile devices. The beta supports QML, a language for developing interfaces for mobile devices. Similarly, Solid, KDE's engine for hardware interaction, is moving away from reliance on HAL, the Hardware Abstraction originally developed for workstation desktops and adds support for...

Read the rest of Bruce Byfield's KDE 4.6 analysis at Datamation.com

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