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KDE 2.0 Release Announcement

Monday, 23 October 2000


New KDE Release Is a Major Advance for Linux® Desktop

Next Generation of Leading Desktop for Linux® and Other UNIXes® Ships

October 23, 2000 (The INTERNET). The KDE Team today announced the release of KDE 2.0 KDE's powerful, modular, Internet-enabled desktop. This highly anticipated release constitutes the next generation of the award-winning KDE 1 series, which culminated in the release of KDE 1.1.2 just over a year ago. KDE 2.0 is the work product of hundreds of dedicated developers originating from over 30 countries.

"With the experience gained from developing KDE 1, we almost completely re-engineered KDE 2 to make it even more intuitive, powerful and user friendly," explained Matthias Ettrich, founder of the KDE project. "We think that current KDE users will be pleasantly surprised with the remarkable improvements we have achieved. KDE 2 offers the desktop user the benefit of standards compliance and an array of new technologies, from Konqueror, a full featured web browser and file manager, to KOffice, an integrated office suite, as well as a slew of usability enhancements, such as KDE's expanded themeability and configurability and a new KDE Help Center. It also offers developers an assortment of powerful new tools -- from KParts, KDE's component object technology, to KIO, KDE's network transparent I/O architecture -- for rapid development and deployment of first-rate free or proprietary software."

"KDE 2.0 is an important release," stated Ransom Love, president and CEO of Caldera Systems, Inc. "Our customers are anxious to migrate not only their servers but also their desktops to the Linux technology. KDE 2.0 will be a key component of OpenLinux eDesktop, our solution for a seamless and cost-effective transition strategy."

"SuSE Linux views KDE 2 as one of the key milestones to vault Linux to the same landslide success on the desktop that it already has in the server space," added Dirk Hohndel, CTO of Suse AG. "We are excited to be able to offer KDE 2.0 as the default desktop with our next version of the SuSE Linux OS. I am confident that third party developers will realize the enormous potential KDE 2 offers and will migrate their applications to Linux/KDE."

"As Linux-Mandrake focuses on making Linux easy to use, we are very pleased to include KDE 2, a major evolution of the already superb KDE 1, in our upcoming Linux-Mandrake 7.2 release", added Ga�l Duval, co-founder of Mandrakesoft. "With KDE 2 and KOffice, the KDE team demonstrates again their deep commitment to make Linux a viable desktop alternative for all users."

"Corel has had a long, successful relationship with the KDE project, and the release of KDE 2.0 is an important milestone for Linux," said Rene Schmidt, Executive Vice President for Linux Products, Corel Corporation. "We believe that our customers will be ecstatic over the improvements and new features of this landmark version. The enhancements to the framework provide power for the desktop in the simple and elegant fashion that our customers have grown to expect."

KDE 2.0 includes the core KDE libraries, the core desktop environment, the initial release of the KOffice suite, as well as the over 100 applications from the other standard base KDE packages: Administration, Games, Graphics, Multimedia, Network, Personal Information Management (PIM), Toys and Utilities. KDE 2.0 is currently available in 15 languages and translations into 20 additional languages will be available in the coming weeks.

All of KDE 2.0 is available for free under an Open Source license. Likewise, Trolltech'stm Qt® 2.2.1, the GUI toolkit on which KDE is based, is now available for free under two Open Source licenses: the Q Public License and the GNU General Public License.

More information about KDE 2 is available in a slideshow presentation and on KDE's web site, including an evolving FAQ to answer questions about migrating to KDE 2.0 from KDE 1.x, a number of screenshots, developer information and a developer's KDE 1 - KDE 2 porting guide.

KDE 2: The K Desktop Environment. Konqueror is KDE 2's next-generation web browser, file manager and document viewer. Widely heralded as a technological break-through for the Linux desktop, the standards-compliant Konqueror has a component-based architecture which combines the features and functionality of Internet Explorer®/Netscape Communicator® and Windows Explorer®. Konqueror will support the full gamut of current Internet technologies, including JavaScript, Java®, HTML 4.0, CSS-1 and -2 (Cascading Style Sheets), SSL (Secure Socket Layer for secure communications) and Netscape Communicator® plug-ins (for playing FlashTM, RealAudioTM, RealVideoTM and similar technologies). The great bulk of this technology is already in place and functional for KDE 2.0.

KDE 2 also ships with the highly anticipated initial release of the KOffice suite. The integrated suite consists of a spreadsheet application (KSpread), a vector drawing application (KIllustrator), a frame-based word-processing application (KWord), a presentation program (KPresenter), and a chart and diagram application (KChart). Native file formats are XML-based, and work on filters for proprietary binary file formats is progressing. Combined with a powerful scripting language and the ability to embed individuals components within each other using KDE's component technology (KParts), the free KOffice suite will soon provide all the necessary functionality to all but the most demanding power users.

In addition, KIO's network transparency offers seamless support for accessing or browsing files on Linux, NFS shares, MS Windows® SMB shares, HTTP pages, FTP directories and LDAP directories. The modular, plug-in nature of KDE's file architecture makes it simple to add additional protocols (such as IPX or WebDAV) to KDE, which would then automatically be available to all KDE applications.

KDE 2 introduces a new multimedia architecture based on aRts, the Analog Realtime Synthesizer. ARts enables playing multiple audio or video streams concurrently, whether on the desktop or over a network. ARts is a full-featured sound system, and includes filters, a modular analog synthesizer and a mixer. Its architecture allows developers to create additional filter plugins and users to apply sequences of filters using a graphical drag-n-drop approach. Video support is available for MPEG versions 1, 2 and 4 (experimental), as well as the AVI and DivX formats.

KDE's customizability touches every aspect of this next-generation desktop. KDE's sophisticated theme support starts with Qt's style engine, which permits developers and artists to create their own widget designs. KDE 2.0 ships with over 14 of these styles, some of which emulate the look of various operating systems, and additionally does an excellent job of importing themes from GTK and GNOME. Other configuration options permit users to: choose among icon themes and system sounds (using a simple drop-and-replace approach); configure key bindings; select from over 30 languages; customize toolbar layouts and entries and menu composition; employ single-click or double-click to activate desktop items; navigate the desktop using a keyboard instead of a mouse; and much, much more. Moreover, KDE 2 fully supports Unicode and KHTML is the only free HTML rendering engine on Linux/X11 that features nascent support for BiDi scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew.

Besides the exceptional compliance with Internet and file-sharing standards mentioned above, KDE 2 achieves exceptional compliance with the available Linux desktop standards. KWin, KDE's new re-engineered window manager, complies to the new Window Manager Specification. Konqueror and KDE comply to the Desktop Entry Standard. KDE 2 generally complies with the X Drag-and-Drop (XDND) protocol as well as with the X11R6 session management protocol (XSMP).

KDE 2: The K Development Environment. KDE 2.0 offers developers a rich set of major technological improvements over the critically acclaimed KDE 1 series. Chief among these are the Desktop COmmunication Protocol (DCOP), the I/O libraries (KIO), the component object model (KParts), an XML-based GUI class, and a standards-compliant HTML rendering engine (KHTML).

DCOP is a client-to-client communications protocol intermediated by a server over the standard X11 ICE library. The protocol supports both message passing and remote procedure calls using an XML-RPC to DCOP "gateway". Bindings for C, C++ and Python, as well as experimental Java bindings, are available.

KIO implements application I/O in a separate process to enable a non-blocking GUI without the use of threads. The class is network transparent and hence can be used seamlessly to access HTTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, NFS, SMB, LDAP and local files. Moreover, its modular and extensible design permits developers to "drop in" additional protocols, such as WebDAV, which will then automatically be available to all KDE applications. KIO also implements a trader which can locate handlers for specified mimetypes; these handlers can then be embedded within the requesting application using the KParts technology.

KParts, KDE 2's component object model, allows an application to embed another within itself. The technology handles all aspects of the embedding, such as positioning toolbars and inserting the proper menus when the embedded component is activated or deactivated. KParts can also interface with the KIO trader to locate available handlers for specific mimetypes or services/protocols. This technology is used extensively by the KOffice suite and Konqueror.

The XML GUI employs XML to create and position menus, toolbars and possibly other aspects of the GUI. This technology offers developers and users the advantage of simplified configurability of these user interface elements across applications and automatic compliance with the KDE Standards and Style Guide irrespective of modifications to the standards.

KHTML is an HTML 4.0 compliant rendering and drawing engine. The class will support the full gamut of current Internet technologies, including JavaScriptTM, Java®, HTML 4.0, CSS-2 (Cascading Style Sheets), SSL (Secure Socket Layer for secure communications) and Netscape Communicator® plugins (for viewing FlashTM, RealAudioTM, RealVideoTM and similar technologies). The KHTML class can easily be used by an application as either a widget (using normal X Window parenting) or as a component (using the KParts technology). KHTML, in turn, has the capacity to embed components within itself using the KParts technology.

Downloading and Compiling KDE 2.0

The source packages for KDE 2.0 are available for free download at or in the equivalent directory at one of the many KDE ftp server mirrors. KDE 2.0 requires qt-2.2.1, which is available from the above locations under the name qt-x11-2.2.1.tar.gz. KDE 2.0 will not work with older versions of Qt.

For further instructions on compiling and installing KDE 2.0, please consult the installation instructions and, if you encounter problems, the compilation FAQ.

Installing Binary Packages

Some distributors choose to provide binary packages of KDE for certain versions of their distribution. Some of these binary packages for KDE 2.0 will be available for free download under or under the equivalent directory at one of the many KDE ftp server mirrors. Please note that the KDE team is not responsible for these packages as they are provided by third parties -- typically, but not always, the distributor of the relevant distribution.

KDE 2.0 requires qt-2.2.1, the free version of which is available from the above locations usually under the name qt-x11-2.2.1. KDE 2.0 will not work with older versions of Qt.

At the time of this release, pre-compiled packages are available for:

Please check the servers periodically for pre-compiled packages for other distributions. More binary packages will become available over the coming days and weeks.

About KDE

KDE is an independent, collaborative project by hundreds of developers worldwide to create a sophisticated, customizable and stable desktop environment employing a component-based, network-transparent architecture. KDE is working proof of the power of the Open Source "Bazaar-style" software development model to create first-rate technologies on par with and superior to even the most complex commercial software.

For more information about KDE, please visit KDE's web site.

Press Contacts:
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Andreas Pour
(1) 718-456-1165

Europe (French and English):David Faure
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Europe (English and German):Martin Konold
(49) 179 2252249