Skip to content

KDE 1.0-beta4 Release Announcement

Sunday, 19 April 1998

           T H E   K   D E S K T O P   E N V I R O N M E N T


                                Beta 4
                            April 19, 1998

    An integrated Desktop Environment for the Unix Operating System

  We  are  pleased  to announce the availability of the fourth public
  beta "Kirkland" of the K Desktop Environment.

  KDE is a powerful graphical desktop environment for  Unix  worksta-
  tions.   The  KDE desktop aims to combine ease of use, contemporary
  functionality and outstanding graphical design with the technologi-
  cal superiority of the Unix operating system.

  KDE  is  a  completely  new desktop, incorporating a large suite of
  applications for Unix workstations. While  KDE  includes  a  window
  manager,  file manager, panel, control center and many other compo-
  nents that one would expect to be part of  a  contemporary  desktop
  environment, the true strength of this exceptional environment lies
  in the interoperability of its components.

  Beta 4 highlights:

        o New KFM configuration options.

        o Improved html page viewing in KFM.

        o Smart window placement options.

        o New, greatly improved, bookmark management.

        o Generally, much  improved  configurability  of  the  entire

        o KLyx, the document processor is compatible with Beta 4.

        o Improved centralized configurability via the KControl Cen-

        o Wide use of geometry management in dialogs.

        o KDE now actively supports 20 different languages.

        o Countless bug fixes.

  KDE Free Qt Foundation:

    The  KDE Free Qt Foundation was announced on April 08, 1998.  The
    purpose  of this foundation is to guarantee the  availability  of
    Qt, the graphical tool kit used for building KDE, for free  soft-
    ware development now and in the future. Please visit

    for more information on the KDE Free Qt Foundation.

  Key KDE features:

        o Transparent Network Access:

          Most  KDE  components  are inherently Internet aware. KDE's
          folder windows are in fact web browsers. You can open  URLs
          and  view  HTML pages, download files by dragging them from
          the folder windows onto your desktop or  even  edit  remote
          documents by simply dragging them from a remote site opened
          in a folder onto KDE's editor.

        o Session management:

          KDE supports elaborate session management.  You  can  leave
          documents  and  applications open when you log out and ses-
          sion management aware  applications  will  be  restored  to
          their previous state on your next log in. KDE offers pseudo
          session management for legacy X11 applications.

        o Configurability:

          Most, if not all settings are  configurable  through  intu-
          itive  GUI dialogs rather then the traditional cryptic con-
          figuration files.  The configuration files  are  of  course
          human readable.

        o Vast pool of KDE applications:

          A  great  number  of applications have already been written
          for the KDE project. Some are supplied with the base  pack-
          ages available for download from, others
          can be found in the 'apps' directory on and its
          many mirrors.  We proudly offer applications ranging from a
          postscript viewer to a CD player, a calculator to  a  sound
          system,  and even a finite element analysis application. We
          are confident you will be pleasantly surprised by the broad
          spectrum of applications available today.

        o Internationalization:

          Most  of KDE's core components and many of the KDE applica-
          tions are internationalized. That is, they will operate  in
          many  languages.  We consider this a key feature in gaining
          acceptance among a wide audience. In fact,  at  present  we
          support  already  as  many as 20 languages. Please consider
          helping  us  translate  more  of  our  applications.  Visit
  for  more  information on the
          internationalization project.

  Screen Shots:

          Screen shots of a typical K desktop and some  of  its  core
          components can be found at

          We are certain you will like what you see.

  Where to get KDE:

          You    can    download   the   KDE   base   packages   from
  or  one  of  its  many  mirrors.
          Please  visit  our  web site at for more
          info. The precise locations of the beta 4 packages are:

  Supported platforms:

          KDE was primarily developed under the GNU/Linux variant of  the
          Unix operating system. However it is known to compile with-
          out, or with very few, problems on most Unix variants.

          At the moment we explicitely support  GNU/Linux (Intel , Alpha,
          Sparc)  and Solaris (Sparc) and we have success reports for
          FreeBSD, IRIX, OSF, SunOS, HP-UX. and others.

  KDE Development:

          KDE was developed by a world-wide  network  of  programmers
          during the past 18 months. In fact the release of the first
          beta coincided roughly with KDE's first  birthday,  October
          16th 1997.

          KDE  development is open to everyone. Please consider join-
          ing the KDE project. If  you  are  a  programmer,  consider
          writing  applications  for  the  KDE  project. If you are a
          graphical design artist consider creating icon sets,  color
          schemes, sound schemes, logo's and other supporting art. If
          you enjoy writing, you are invited to join  our  documenta-
          tion  project and help creating help documentation, tutori-
          als and other supporting documentation in the K  documenta-
          tion  project  (KDP). Please visit our web site for further
          information on how you can help make  KDE  an  even  better
          environment than it already is.

          To the expert:

          KDE's  development  model differs deliberately from that of
          other known desktop projects in that it  does  not  try  to
          follow  preconceived  handed-down  specifications.  We have
          recognized the availablilty of an existing and usable desk-
          top  at  all stages of development as paramount to the suc-
          cess of the project. Only in this fashion we  are  able  to
          attract the large number of developers necessary for a pro-
          ject of this enormous scale.  KDE  improves  on  an  almost
          daily  basis in an iterative cycle of design, coding, test-
          ing, revision, redesign, leading   to  constant  excitement
          and  concrete  tangible  results  at any given time. We are
          convinced that we have chosen the right  development  model
          prerequisite  to running a successful Internet project, and
          accommodating  the special circumstances arising  from  the
          fact  that  all development is done on a strictly volunteer
          basis. Please give KDE a try, we believe that  the  results
          speak for themselves.


          The KDE libraries are licensed under the LGPL, to allow for
          the development of commercial  applications  for  KDE.  KDE
          applications  are  licensed under the GPL.  KDE is based on
          the Qt GUI library which is free for the X  Window  System,
          provided  the  applications  developed with it are released
          under a free license such as  the  GPL.   More  information
          about Qt may be found at

  What does the 'K' stand for?

          Nothing.  It is simply named the "K Desktop Environment".

  Lastly: KDE is NOT a Window Manager

          KDE  is  not  just another window manager trying to imitate
          the look of an existing desktop environment, but rather  an
          integrated environment of which the window manager provided
          with KDE is only a small part. In fact if you so desire you
          can continue to use your favorite window manger, however we
          strongly encourage you to use the KDE  window  manager  and
          enjoy the functionality afforded by the interoperability of
          the KDE components. The KDE window manger provides all  the
          functionality you need and more.

          Additionally,  KDE  is  not  a  CDE, Windows or OS/2 clone.
          While some ideas may have originated  from  these  systems,
          KDE  is unique and we have no intentions of cloning another

  Bug Reports:

          Please submit your bug reports at  .
          Consider  subscribing to our mailing lists in order to stay
          in contact with the latest developments.

  Mailing Lists:

           kde-announce   (announcements)
           kde            (general discussion)
           kde-devel      (development issues)
           kde-look       (look and feel issues)
           kde-licensing  (licensing issues)
           kde-user       (end user discussion)
           kde-patches    (daily patches)

          To subscribe (unsubscribe), send mail to


                 subscribe (unsubscribe) [your-email-address]

          in the Subject: line of the message. A mailing list archive
          is provided at:



          We  would  like  to thank Troll Tech AS
          for creating Qt  and  our  sponsors  for  making   KDE  ONE
 in Arnsberg, Germany possi-


          We sincerely believe that we have initiated a new  era  for
          the  Unix  operating  system  and  hope  you will share our
          excitement. We hope that KDE will allow  you  to  get  your
          work  done  faster  and  more efficiently than ever. Please
          consider joining and supporting the project.

  The KDE Core Team



          As during previous beta releases, expect to  be
          rather busy.  Please take note of the list of official mir-
          rors of available here: