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KDE Project Ships Development Release

Thursday, 11 July 2002


KDE Project Adds Popular New Features, Ships Development Release of Leading Open Source Desktop

The KDE Project Ships a New Feature Release for the Third-Generation of the Leading Desktop for Linux/UNIX, Offering Users a Glimpse of Progress and an Opportunity to Provide Timely Feedback

The KDE Project today announced the immediate availability of KDE 3.1 alpha1, the first development release of a significant feature upgrade for KDE 3 (screenshots). KDE 3 is the third generation of KDE's free, powerful and easy-to-use Internet-enabled desktop for Linux and other UNIXes. KDE 3.1, scheduled for final release in October 2002, will provide substantial improvements to the KDE desktop experience. As the KDE 3 API is frozen for binary compatibility, KDE 3.1 will be binary compatible with KDE 3.0.

KDE 3.1 alpha1 ships with the core KDE libraries, the base desktop environment, and hundreds of applications and other desktop enhancements from the other KDE base packages (PIM, administration, network, edutainment, development, utilities, multimedia, games, artwork, and others).

The primary goal of the 3.1alpha1 release is to engage experimental KDE users who would like to comment on the current progress or who simply prefer to enjoy some of the many great new KDE 3.1 features now. Instructions for maintaining a KDE 3.1 alpha installation side-by-side with a stable KDE release are available here.

KDE, including all its libraries and its applications, is available for free under Open Source licenses. KDE can be obtained in source and, for stable releases, in numerous binary formats from the KDE http or ftp mirrors, and can also be obtained on CD-ROM or with any of the major Linux/UNIX systems shipping today.

For more information about the KDE 3 series, please view the KDE 3.1 alpha1 screenshots (!), or read the KDE 3.0 announcement, the list of KDE 3.1 planned features and the KDE 3.1 release plan.

New Features / Enhancements

KDE 3.1 promises a number of welcome improvements and additions (* indicates a work in progress):

Web browser. By popular request, the web browser (Konqueror) offers tabbed browsing! (screenshot). SSL certificate policies can now be defined on a domain name basis.

Email client. The email client (KMail) has merged in several privacy and security enhancements - namely S/MIME, PGP/MIME and X.509v3 support - in collaboration with the Aegypten project, an IT security project sponsored by the German government (screenshot).*

File browser. The file browser (Konqueror) has gained a number of new features:

  • folder icons which reflect a folder's contents;
  • a new video thumbnail generator, in the multimedia package (kdemultimedia);*
  • an optional 256x256 image preview in an image tooltip;
  • use of a pre-generated thumbnail by the image thumbnail generator if available within an image;
  • a number of KFile plugins now provided enhanced information about various file types (such as .diff, .cpp, .rpm, .deb, .html and .tiff files) (screenshot);
  • a detailed list view with meta-information about files in the side-bar;* and
  • integration of file meta-information and multimedia files searches in file search utility*

Desktop sharing. A new VNC-compatible desktop sharing framework allows KDE users to share a KDE desktop across multiple machines (screenshot).* Both a desktop-sharing server (KRfb) and a client (KRdc) have joined the network package (kdenetwork).

New games. A number of new games have been added to the games package (kdegames), including a golf game (Kolf) (screenshot), an Atlantik and Monopoly-type game (Atlantik), a Blackjack game (Megami). and a Same-like game (Klickery).

Download manager. A new download manager (KGET), which integrates fully into Konqueror, has joined the network package (kdenetwork). It manages any number of downloads in one window, where transfers can be added, removed, paused, resumed, queued or scheduled. A dialog displays transfer status, including progress, size, speed and estimated time to completion.

Multimedia. The multimedia framework (kdemultimedia) includes a new framework for video. In addition, a new multimedia player (Noatun) plugin for searching lyrics (Lyrics Plugin) has joined the addons package (kdeaddons).

Address book. The address book (KAddressbook) has gained the ability to fetch contact information from one or more LDAP servers. It can also print contact information and import industry-standard vCards.*

Desktop panel. The panel (Kicker) supports fully customized menus, such as may be desirable in a kiosk or office environment.* Moreover, the panel can now be set to hide underneath other windows and raise itself when the mouse pointer covers the panel's area. (screenshot).

Theme manager. The theme manager provides improved theme style and color decoration previews (screenshot).

Terminal emulator. The terminal emulator (Konsole) can now bookmark commands which start a new shell, such as ssh:// It also displays an information dialog now when the user presses Ctrl-s, as some users do not realize this action can activate scroll locking. The emulator's copy-to-clipboard behavior has been modified to conform to the KDE standard (now one must select the Copy entry in the Edit menu to copy to the secondary "Windows" clipboard, while highlighting continues to copy to the primary "X11" clipboard) (screenshot).

Advanced editor. The advanced text / programmer's editor (Kate) provides improved code folding and translucent menus (screenshot).

Application finder. The application finder (KAppfinder) provides a nice tree view for selecting the applications to include in the KDE desktop menu hierarchy.

Japanese reference. (Kiten) has joined the edutainment package (kdeedu).*

User notifications. The desktop now has two new user notification methods to provide non-obtrusive informational messages: a passive popup widget (KPassivePopup), which pops up next to the application's taskbar window entry, without stealing the focus, as well as a window information class (KWindowInfo), for displaying messages in a window's title [ and icon ]. Moreover, a new notification dialog (KNotifyDialog) provides an easy method for users to select for which events an application should provide notifications.*

KDE usability. The KDE Usability Project has made some usability enhancements to the panel (Kicker), the desktop calculator (KCalc) and the screenshot utility (KSnapshot).

Eye candy. On the glitzy side, KDE 3.1 will ship with a new default theme style, Keramik. And, for something to look forward to, the post-KDE 3.1 alpha1 CVS sports attractive drop shadows for menus (screenshot).

Installing Binary Packages

Binary Packages. Due to the experimental nature of this release, binary packages are not being made available via the KDE mirrors. Some distributions may provide binary packages on their website, however, so please check there if you are looking for binary packages.

Compiling Source Code

Library Requirements / Options. KDE 3.1 alpha1 requires Qt 3.0.3 for X11. In addition, KDE can take advantage of a number of other optional libraries and applications to improve your desktop experience and capabilities.

Compiler Requirements. KDE is designed to be cross-platform and hence to compile with a large variety of Linux/UNIX compilers. However, KDE is advancing very rapidly and the ability of native compilers on various UNIX systems to compile KDE depends on users of those systems reporting compilation and other build problems to the responsible maintainers.

With respect to the most popular KDE compiler, gcc/egcs, please note that some components of KDE will not compile properly with gcc versions earlier than gcc-2.95, such as egcs-1.1.2 or gcc-2.7.2, or with unpatched versions of gcc 3.0.x. However, KDE should compile properly with gcc 3.1.

Source Code. The complete source code for KDE 3.1 alpha1 is available for free download. These source packages have been digitally signed with GnuPG using the KDE Archives PGP Key (available from the KDE Signature page or public key servers), and their respective MD5 sums are listed on the KDE 3.1 Info Page.

Further Information. For further instructions on compiling and installing KDE 3.1 alpha1, please consult the installation instructions and, if you should encounter compilation difficulties, the KDE Compilation FAQ.

KDE Sponsorship

Besides the superb and invaluable efforts by the KDE developers themselves, significant support for KDE development has been provided by MandrakeSoft and SuSE. In addition, the members of the KDE League provide significant support for KDE promotion, and the University of Tübingen provides most of the Internet bandwidth for the KDE project. Thanks!

About KDE

KDE is an independent project of hundreds of developers, translators, artists and other professionals worldwide collaborating over the Internet to create and freely distribute a sophisticated, customizable and stable desktop and office environment employing a flexible, component-based, network-transparent architecture and offering an outstanding development platform. KDE provides a stable, mature desktop, a full, component-based office suite (KOffice), a large set of networking and administration tools and utilities, and an efficient, intuitive development environment featuring the excellent IDE KDevelop. KDE is working proof that the Open Source "Bazaar-style" software development model can yield first-rate technologies on par with and superior to even the most complex commercial software.

Trademarks Notices. KDE, K Desktop Environment, KDevelop and KOffice are trademarks of KDE e.V.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Monopoly is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc.

Trolltech and Qt are trademarks of Trolltech AS.

UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.

Press Contacts:
United States:Andreas Pour
KDE League, Inc.
(1) 917 312 3122

Europe (French and English):David Faure
(33) 4 3250 1445

Europe (English and German):Ralf Nolden
(49) 2421 502758

Europe (English):Jono Bacon

Southeast Asia (English and Indonesian):Ariya Hidayat
(62) 815 8703177