KDE SC 4.5 has now reached its first beta today for both the desktop and netbook versions. The final release is expected in August this year.
KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1 comes with some new improvements:
New Notification Area – KDE SC 4.5 now has a reworked notification area which creates a uniform look and consistent interaction scheme across applications and toolkits.
KWin – KWin has a new tiling mechanism to automatically place windows next to each other. Advanced graphical effects, such as blurring the background of translucent windows are also included.
WebKit in Konqueror – Users that prefer WebKitover the KHTML rendering engine currently used in Konqueror, now can install the WebKit component and switch Konqueror to use WebKit as rendering engine for web sites.
A notable component missing from this release is KMail, which is being reworked to make use of Akonadi. The new version of KMail will be delivered as part of the monthly bug fix update.
KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1 is not yet available for Ubuntu. We will update as soon as it is available in the Kubuntu Beta PPA.
KDE developer Nikhil Marathe is currently working on bringing extensions to Rekonq. The good thing about this is that the Rekonq extensions are based on Google Chrome’s extension API. This means that once completed, you will be able to use Google Chrome extensions in Rekonq.
In another Rekonq related news, Rekonq is getting its first beta release on 25 May as Rekonq 0.5. The extensions will not be there in the beta though. If you are using Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, Rekonq 0.4 is already present in the repository. You can try it out with the command:
KDE Plasma Netbook Shell first made an appearance with KDE SC 4.4. The second version is already on its way with KDE SC 4.5. KDE developer Marco Martin, gave a brief preview of what to expect from the KDE Plasma Netbook Shell 4.5.
Here it is:
The Shell has been receiving a lot attention to make it faster. The Shell, along with the Launch and Search activities, have undergone several optimizations. This should make the interface a lot faster and responsive.
All the Plasma scroll areas, uses brand new code to handle the touch and the flicking in a much better way. To improve both the looks and the usability of it, the widgets now appear perfectly aligned in a 2×2 grid, although you can still create a custom number of rows and columns. Interacting with widget will make it expand to take up to the whole screen height, so offering a “maximized” view of it.
Search and Launch
A different way to fetch the data used in the menus is being used to make it more accurate.
Drag and Drop
Drag and drop support has been added extensively to make the interface more intuitive and touch-screen friendly.
Marco also published a couple of videos showing some of the things mentioned above:
In the Ubuntu Developers Summit, Aurelien Gateau presented a project that he has been working on for the next Kubuntu release i.e. Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. He introduced a Global Menu for KDE SC following the announcement of Global Menu for GNOME that Mark Shuttleworth made earlier. However, the feature is being developed for KDE SC 3.x and has not been ported to KDE SC 4.x yet.
The Global Menu implementation uses D-Bus, which means that GTK+ applications running in KDE will also have its menu bar in the Global Menu. As Shuttleworth pointed out when he introduced the Global Menu earlier, this is mainly aimed at Netbook users to maximize the vertical pixel usage at the expense of horizontal space.
KDE has enjoyed great success over the years and today marks another important step in the evolution of our growing community. Many years ago when KDE was just beginning we had a small user base and similar expectations of how the software should work. But with growth and success also comes new users and new expectations. As an effort to meet the growing demands of our user community KDE has identified 3 key areas in which we would like to better cater to users’ needs. In order to achieve this it has been determined that there will be, going forward, 3 separate releases of each Software Compilation tailored to these areas.
Here are the three editions of KDE SC that is going to be available:
Ultimate Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who prefer full customization in everything. This edition will come with a double, triple and quadruple tabbars to make all the settings accessible quickly. If you want to play around with your computer this is the edition for you.
Dwarfed Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who love open-source softwares but cannot handle all the decisions makings that setting up an open-source software requires. This edition will come with all the normal softwares that KDE SC usually comes with.
Basic Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who have just migrated to KDE SC and open-source. This edition will provide a rock solid stability without any customization. To make sure it is as simple as possible, it will be closed-source and root level functionalities are disabled.
This is what KDE chief Matthias Ettrich told a press conference in Hamburg:
It’s not often that we come across such a perfect fit. Where would you find a prominent person whose name and surname both begin with K? She’s the perfect choice to promote KDE. She will give us exposure like nobody else can.
As our web page says, we have a strong focus on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems and creating a vibrant atmosphere open for experimentation,” Ettrich said. “What could be more innovative than getting this big K to promote KDE?
Apparently this move by KDE SC has made the people at GNOME worried and are also trying to get a celebrity to promote GNOME as well.
OpenOffice 3.2 has been out for about a month now. It has various improvements over the previous version like faster startup time, support for open standards like ODF and better compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007.
Although it has been out for more than a month, it is still not (and probably never be) available in the official repository for Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. As OpenOffice.org makes the source available at the time of the release, it is possible to install it using the source right at the time of release in Ubuntu Karmic as well. However, installing from source cannot exactly be called user friendly and you will not get updates if you installed from the source. So, even if you had installed it from source earlier, it is recommended that you install it with this method.
The OpenOffice.org Scribblers team in Launchpad has however packaged and put up OpenOffice 3.2 in their PPA. So, to install OpenOffice 3.2 in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, follow these steps:
Add the PPA using the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openoffice-pkgs/ppa
Update the software list with the command:
sudo apt-get update
If you have installed OpenOffice 3.2 from source, remove it with the command:
Amarok 1.4 was probably one of the best media players for Linux, and arguably one of the best media players around. Amarok 2.0 was a radical departure from its previous versions and was not well received by quite a lot of Amarok users. If you’re one of the folks who feel that Amarok 1.4 should not have been touched upon, well this new ongoing project might interest you.
If you’re new to KDE4 or KDE for that matter, you might be a little bit lost in trying to customize it, especially when it comes to themes and wallpapers. Here’s how you can change them.
Right-click on the desktop and left-click “Desktop Activity”
Desktop settings opens up.
From the above screenshot – you’ll see two options – open, and Get New Wallpapers. By clicking on Open you can browser to the directory where all your images are stored, select it and set it as your wallpaper.
Once you’re chosen your required wallpaper, hit apply, and your selected image will be set as the wallpaper.
If you don’t have too many wallpapers on your system, or prefer getting some excellent wallpapers from outside sources, KDE4 provides a neat way to get and install them. At the Desktop Settings screen, click on the Get New Wallpapers button.
You’ll get the Plasma Addon installer screen. The screen gives you various options to get your desired wallpaper. You can sort by highest ratings, downloads, most popular, or just enter a search criteria of your own. Once you’ve selected your wallpaper, just click on the Install button, and the wallpaper will be ready to be installed.
Hit the close button to head back to the previous screen. You’ll see that the wallpaper is available, just select it, and hit Apply. Your new wallpaper is ready!
Let us have a look at how you can change themes. Like wallpapers, you can change themes by downloading from the Internet or by using the Get Hot New Stuff interface. We’ll use the Get Hot New Stuff interface. The screen for changing themes is a bit hidden, we’ll have to goto Desktop settings (read: Personal Settings / Configure Desktop) first. Once there, click on Appearance.
Once in Appearance, click on Styles and Workspace tab. Then proceed to click on Get New Themes.
Select a theme which you like, and click on the install button. Then click on close to go back to the theme selection screen. Click on the theme and click Apply. That’s it, your new theme is installed!
If you want to change individual aspects of the theme, mix and match best elements of multiple themes, head back to Personal Settings, and click on the Advanced tab, and from there select Desktop Theme details
Once in, mix and match and customize till you’re happy with the final results!
The openSUSE Marketing team today made a surprising announcement, stating that KDE SC 4.3.5 will be pushed to users as an online update, rather than an optional update from the openSUSE build service. The team mentions that the fact that this release fixed many bugs convinced the team to make it available via the online update service.
As a consequence of this, the KDE4.3 repository ( Build Service KDE:43 ) will no longer be in use and users are requested to remove this repository from the installation sources, present in YaST.