KDE 4.2 is due to be released at the end of January 2009. This is another significant milestone in the ever improving and evolving KDE4 series. KDE 4.2 is the result of the hard work of hundreds of developers, artists, documenters, translators, bug triagers and other technical experts.
Vision for the future computer interface remains the focus of the KDE4 series. KDE 4.2 brings new improvements and possibilities for interaction with your computer and workspace that were never possible in the KDE 3.5 series.
For the most part, the workspace will behave as a user familiar with KDE3.5 expects. Improvements in that area since KDE4.1 include:
- The panel can be resized easily.
- Panels support the autohide feature.
- Widgets can be moved on the panel, from the panel to the background, and from the background to the panel.
- The 'desktop background' can be used for icons in the same way as KDE3.5 behaved (that is, without a smaller folderview plasmoid, and with a background image).
- Icons on the desktop background or folderview can be freely moved around, and are no longer required to be arranged in a grid.
- Network manager will not be part of the official KDE 4.2 release, but will be available through a collaboration with downstreams at some point in the KDE4.2 cycle when distributions release their next stable versions (Spring/Summer 2009).
- Many rendering issues with nVidia cards are gone since a fixed NVidia driver has been released.
Remaining Issues in KDE4
Some issues still remain in KDE4 which will not be fixed in time for KDE4.2. If these are still large issues for some users, KDE3 is still available, usable and supported on some distributions.
- Printer Configuration
- KDE4 uses the Qt4 printer system directly. It has not yet been extended to all of the functionality present in the KDE3 print system.
- Systray rendering
- Some icons still do not render correctly on some configurations. Updates to freedesktop.org systems, or porting those icons to plasmoids will see this situation improve. Additionally, KDE supports a new window manager hint which will improve the situation when new versions of Qt and Gtk are released and distributed.
All applications in the KDE official modules have seen many improvements, bugfixes and new features. As in the case of KDE4.1, some applications familiar to users of KDE3.5 are not yet ported to KDE4 and some of these follow their own release schedules. Users should note however, that KDE3 versions of these applications do still work flawlessly alongside KDE4 applications and in a KDE4 workspace.
Since the release of KDE 4.1, Amarok 188.8.131.52 has been released. Other notable and popular applications are under continuous development, and some of them may be released near the time of KDE4.2 release including Digikam and KOffice.
KDevelop is still under heavy development, and will not be ready for a release in time for KDE4.2. However, a compromise of releasing a beta of KDevelop with KDE4.2 has been reached. KDevelop is expected to see a full KDE4 release several months after release of KDE4.2.
Other applications such as Konversation, Kaffeine and K3B do not yet have KDE4 versions, but work is continuing on bringing them to KDE4.
Projects with a different release schedule than KDE 4.2
Project (Current Version - Final Release Date)
Krusader is an advanced twin panel (commander style) file manager.
Binaries are available for all three major platforms. The developers are looking for volunteers to help put together screenshots for visual changelogs.
- k3b 1.1 (Pre-Alpha - Unknown)
An alpha release of 1.1 (the KDE 4 port) is forthcoming, but not yet released.
- Kaffeine (Pre-Alpha - Unknown)
The KDE4 port is under way but requires major rewriting to support Phonon and other new features. No releases scheduled at this time.
- KPlayer 0.7 (Released January 11 2008)
KPlayer 0.7 is the KDE4 port of KPlayer that was released on the same day as KDE 4.0. KPlayer 0.7.1 is planned for fall 2008 and will include a KDE4 port of its multimedia library which still used KDE3 compatibility layer in version 0.7.0.
- Basket (184.108.40.206 (KDE3) - Released June 30 2008)
The KDE4 port of Basket is currently in a pre-alpha state.
- Konversation 2.0 (Pre-Alpha - Unknown)
The KDE4 port will not be released to sometime after version 1.1, which will be the last KDE3 release.
- There are also several KDE games that do not have a KDE 4 port yet. Among these are kasteroids, kfouleggs.
- KDevelop 4.0 (Pre-Alpha - Unknown)