KDE is already the most feature filled desktop available for Linux today, but now KDE has just gotten even better. The KDE 4.10 release marks the first major stride in the KDE desktop's conversion to Qt Quick. The focus of this release is to improve integration of Qt Quick and the Plasma desktop. Here I will be taking a look at Qt Quick, and many of the changes brought by 4.10.
Qt Quick is an emerging application framework designed to quickly create unique and stylish user interfaces. KDE will now be using Plasma Quick which is the KDE version of Qt Quick. The Plasma desktop is slowly being redesigned to incorporate the new features offered by Qt Quick.
The use of QT Quick should speed up creation of modern user interfaces. Advanced customization options are available giving developers the ability to create a new breed of user interfaces for mobile devices, media players, and much more.
The QML Scripting Language is used along with the QT libraries to perform complex functions in a convenient way.
KWin gets some fun new features for this release, though nothing I find spectacular. KWin is already great, it doesn't need to get much better.
KWin will now detect if you are using a virtual machine and automatically enable OpenGL compositing. The proprietary AMD driver will now include support for OpenGL 2 as well.
Fun new effects, animations, and scripts are now available for users to experiment with. This includes animations for maximizing windows, and custom window switching scripts. Users can download these effects using the KWin Get Hot New Stuff tool.
KWin will no longer offer the built in window tiling ability due to conflicts with other desktop components. Instead this feature will be reintroduced in a future release, likely as a plug-in which should make development and maintenance easier.
Support for color correction has been added to many of the KDE applications allowing users to customize them from the color profile manager. Profiles can be created for each monitor, or even printers, and soon even for individual windows.
Nepomuk now offers a cleaner that will help detect duplicate or invalid data. This tool is known to provide a speed increase when it is used after performing a system upgrade.
Strigi will no longer be the default Indexer for Nepomuk due to its large code base. Nepomuk will instead be using a new tool which can only be seen referred to as “The New Indexer”.
The new indexer will also offer improved performance and faster indexing. Basic file information will be indexed as soon as a file becomes available. Full data indexing will then wait until the system is idle or connected to AC power.
The new air theme for KDE Plasma was created to offer a more fluid design with less wasted space.
Unfortunately the new theme is not nearly as astonishing as one might think. In general, it is basically more of the same. I do like the light glow that appears around windows, although I am unsure if that is part of the theme, or a separate desktop effect.
The print manager gets some major improvements in the areas of setup and task control. Most importantly, users will now encounter fewer problems when attempting to setup printing devices.
The printer setup wizard will now automatically detect and install the required drivers if possible. The print manager is also compatible with newer versions of CUPS.
Here are some of the smaller and less important changes made for the KDE Plasma Desktop 4.10 release. Aside from the endless list of bug fixes, there have been a number of minor changes that users will notice along the way.
A newly created screen locker has been added for this release. The new screen locker is based on QML, part of the QT Quick upgrade. This tool is designed to improve desktop security when users are away from their systems.
Like many other parts of the KDE Plasma Desktop, the wallpaper engine was also updated to use QML. This upgrade means that it should now be easier for users to create animated wallpapers.
The notification system has been upgraded for 4.10. Mostly power management notifications have been changed, but there have been minor changes in other areas as well.
The Task widget now offers a cleaner and more stylish look for window groups. Most of the changes are simple aesthetic adjustments to create a more refined look.
Many of the applications available in KDE were upgraded for the 4.10 release, including Gwenview, Okular, and Marble. We have previewed all the new features and provided some cool new screenshots for users to check out.
Surely there are many users interested in trying this release as soon as possible. You are in luck. Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04 users are able to install KDE 4.10 at any time with little trouble.
Installation instructions are provided for users that cannot wait. Enjoy KDE 4.10 and all of the latest features. Enjoy KDE 4.10!
Tags: desktop, kde plasma