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The Linux Desktop Evolves With KDE 4.4

More Usability

  • February 9, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner
Sean Michael Kerner

Ever since the first KDE 4 release in 2008, the KDE open source desktop has been evolving to provide a different type of experience for Linux users

With the KDE Software Compilation (SC) 4.4 release today, KDE's desktop evolution continues with more than 1,400 new features and nearly 7,300 bugs fixed.

"KDE SC 4.4 is about both incremental evolution as well as continuing to make great strides forward in our pursuit of power and elegance," KDE core developer Aaron J. Seigo told InternetNews.com. "While there have been many performance improvements and defect fixes along with incremental improvements such as multi-touch support, we also have a lot of new things in KDE SC 4.4 ranging from applications such as Blogilo, to the over 20 new plugins for Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook, new semantic desktop features and a number of tools for large and managed deployments of KDE software."

<em>Konqui</em>
Konqui

The 4.4 version comes six months after the KDE 4.3 release, which itself provided more than 10,000 bug fixes. Seigo noted that KDE has adopted a time-based release schedule for all releases since the KDE v4.0 release, and the release cycles for versions 4.3 and 4.4 were identical in length.

"We release a new feature upgrade every six months and a patch-level release every month that brings bug fixes, performance improvements and new translations to the last feature release," Seigo said. "This certainly gives a sense of rapid motion to all involved and has been quite successful for KDE in bringing the KDE 4 series to maturity."

One of the biggest items to impact KDE 4.4 was Nokia's release of Qt 4.6 in December 2009. The Qt open source GUI framework is the core user interface framework used by KDE. Qt 4.6 brought KDE 4.4 a number of significant advancements, including noticeable performance improvements and a new animation framework, Seigo noted.

While KDE 4.3 included features for users to connect to social networks, KDE 4.4 goes a step further.

"Most significantly, the Social Desktop widgets for the Plasma Desktop and Netbook systems have been extensively expanded and refined in terms of usability," Seigo said. "They make it easier than ever to interact with other KDE users."

KDE 4.4 also includes the new Blogilo blogging client and improvements to the micro-blogging desktop widget for Twitter and identi.ca.

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