KDE • Community • Announcements

KDE 1.90 Release Announcement



KDE Desktop Available for Linux®

Beta Preview of Advanced Linux® Desktop

May 11, 2000 (world, Internet). The KDE Team today announced the release of KDE 1.90, codenamed "Konfucious", a beta preview of KDE's next-generation, powerful, modular desktop. Following on the heels of the release of KDE 1.89 (Krash) in December 1999, Konfucious is based on Qt 2.1 and will include the core libraries, the core desktop environment, the KOffice suite, as well as most of the other standard base KDE packages: kdegames, kdenetwork, kdetoys and kdeutils. Konfucious is targeted at developers and interested users. For those compiling from source, please consult the compilation instructions.

"With KDE 2.0, Linux will be ready to tackle the corporate and consumer desktop," predicted Waldo Bastian, a core KDE developer. "This release presents a great opportunity for developers to prepare for the KDE 2.0 release and for users to preview and contribute to one of the most anticipated Open Source releases," added Kurt Granroth, KDE core developer and evangelist.

For the developer, KDE 1.90 provides a stable API which will enable developers to commence serious development of their application so they may time the release of their software to coincide with the release of KDE 2.0, scheduled for September 2000. It is anticipated that with the exception of aRts, the budding KDE 2.0 multimedia engine, and the KDE style engine, there will be few binary incompatible and fewer, if any, source incompatible changes in the core libraries through the 2.0 release. Further development will focus on finalizing aRts, fixing bugs, complying with the KDE Standards and Style Guides and maximizing performance, as well as completing testing of the other KDE base packages (kdenetwork, kdegames, etc.).

Konfucious offers a large number of major technological improvements to developers compared to the critically acclaimed KDE 1.x 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 the standards-compliant HTML rendering engine (KHTML).

  • DCOP is a client-to-client communications protocol intermediated by a server. The protocol supports both message passing and remote procedure calls. The technology is used in KDE 1.90, for example, to direct application requests to instances of the application which are already running, thereby preventing multiple occurrences of the same application from running concurrently.

  • KIO implements i/o in a separate process to permit a non-blocking GUI. The class is network transparent and hence can be used seamlessly to access HTTP, FTP, Gopher, 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 (described below).

  • KParts, the KDE component object model, allows one process 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.

For the interested user, KDE 1.90 offers a fairly stable desktop suitable for a non-critical environment. Users who would like the opportunity to contribute to the further development of KDE can use this release as a basis for offering suggestions and bug reports, or those who are curious can evaluate the new frontier of the *nix desktop.

The attractions of Konfucious to users are manifold and impressive. The principal benefits to users lie in KDE's enhanced customizability, the KOffice suite, the cutting-edge technologies provided by Konqueror, and full Unicode support.

  • KDE's customizability touches every aspect of this next-generation desktop. Konfucious benefits from Qt's style engine, which permits developers and artists to create their own widget designs down to the precise appearance of a scrollbar, a button, a menu and more, combined with development tools which will largely automate the creation of these widget sets (note that the configuration files for the style engine will change in an incompatible way prior to the next KDE release scheduled for June 2000). Just to mention a few of the legion configuration options, users can choose among: numerous types of menu effects; a menu bar atop the display (Macintosh®-style) or atop each individual window (Windows-style); icon styles; system sounds; key bindings; languages; toolbar and menu composition; and much much more.

  • The KOffice suite, long ago heralded as a "killer app", is one of the most-anticipated Open Source projects. The suite consists of a spreadsheet application (KSpread), a vector drawing application (KIllustrator), a bitmap drawing application (KImageShop), a frame-based word-processing application (KWord), a chart and diagram application (KChart), a formula editor (KFormula) and a simple image viewer (KImage). Native file formats will use XML, 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 the KParts technology, the KOffice suite will provide all the necessary functionality to all but the most demanding power users, at an unbeatable price -- free.

  • Konqueror stands tall as the next-generation web browser, file manager and document viewer for KDE 2.0. Widely acclaimed as a technological break-through for the Linux desktop, Konqueror has a component-based architecture which combines the features and functionality of Internet Explorer®/Netscape Communicator® and Windows Explorer®. Konqueror supports all major Internet technologies supported by KHTML. In addition, Konqueror's network transparency offers seamless support for browsing Linux® NFS shares, Windows® SMB shares, HTTP pages, FTP directories as well as any other protocol for which a KIO plug-in is available.

  • KDE 2.0 will support Unicode at its very core, the outstanding Qt toolkit. In addition, KHTML support includes bidirectional scripts, such as Arabic and Hebrew, and Far Eastern languages (Chinese/Japanese/Korean). Combined with the 21 separate teams actively translating KDE into other languages, KDE 2.0 will truly be an international desktop.


Konfucious source packages can be downloaded from: ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/distribution/tar/src

Or one of its mirror sites.

Konfucious requires the recently released version 2.1 of the Qt toolkit. The source package of Qt 2.1 is available at this location for your
convenience. Please note that this stable version of Qt has been officially released by Trolltech and is not part of the beta testing of KDE 1.90.

Konfucious does NOT work with Qt 1.x or Qt 2.0.

If your compilation of the sources does fail at some point please have a look at the Compilation FAQ.


Konfucious binary packages will are be available later this week from:


Currently you can find there rpms for Caldera 2.4 and Redhat 6.2.

Or one of its mirror sites.

About KDE

KDE is a collaborative project by hundreds of developers worldwide to create a sophisticated, customizable and stable desktop environment employing a network-transparent, intuitive user interface. Currently development is focused on KDE 2, which will for the first time offer a free, Open Source, fully-featured office suite and which promises to make the Linux desktop as easy to use as Windows® and the Macintosh® while remaining loyal to open standards and empowering developers and users with Open Source software. KDE is working proof of how the Open Source software development model can create 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:
United States: Kurt Granroth
(1) 480 732 1752
Europe (French and English): David Faure
(44) 1225 471 300
Europe (German and English): Martin Konold
(49) 177 7473 202

Global navigation links