KDE 4.2 out, not just for enthusiasts say developers
It’s been a while in the coming but KDE 4.2 is here. The latest release of the popular desktop environment packs a truck-full of improvements over earlier releases and developers are saying that KDE 4.2 is the best choice for all users, not just KDE enthusiasts.
Previous releases of KDE 4x have sparked controversy in the open source community over its suitability as a general purpose desktop.
With this release, however, KDE is hoping that the best of its new features will come to the fore and users will begin to to see the benefits of years of design that have gone into the latest release.
Some of the major changes in this release include:
- Further refinement of the Plasma desktop interface to make organising workspaces easier with Plasma now including better applets for the desktop. Plasma applets can now also be used on top of the screensaver, for example for leaving a note while the owner is absent.
- Managing running applications has also been improved with the Plasma Panel now grouping tasks and being able to display multiple rows. The enhanced system tray also tracks longer running tasks such as downloads.
- KWin, underlying the desktop, offers smoother and more efficient window management, says the KDE team. In particular, KDE 4.2 uses motion physics to give a natural feel to old and new effects like the “Cube” and “Magic Lamp”.
- Dolphin, the KDE 4 file manager, also has a number of new tweaks that promise to make it faster and more efficient. Among those are better tooltips, media capacity indicators, and a slider for managing icon sizes.
On the application front, KMail includes a number of interface improvements, in part thanks to the Google Summer of Code, and improvements in IMAP mail performance.
The Konqueror web browser now supports scalable vector graphics as well as benefiting from performance enhancements.
A visual guide to many of the new features in KDE 4.2 can be found ,a href=’http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.2/guide.php”>here and an overview of the new features here.
Celebrate the KDE 4.2 release in Cape Town
South African KDE fans will be celebrating the release of KDE 4.2 with a release party in Cape Town on January 30. KDE’s AJ Venter says that the party is happening at the Starlite Diner in Rondebosch, Main road, Cape Town from 6pm on Friday January 30th.