KDE 4 Alpha 2 released

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Forgive me, as I'm a few days late with this news, but the KDE Project have announced that Alpha 2 of the upcoming major KDE 4.0 release is now available.

The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the second alpha release of the K Desktop Environment. This release comes straight out of Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland where aKademy is currently taking place.

As I said, KDE 4.0 will be a major release for the desktop environment and will bring many architectural changes. There are, among other things, several new KDE APIs designed to make tasks such as multimedia, hardware support and new features such as Plasma (a native desktop widget implementation similar to Apple's Dashboard), a move to Qt 4 (the latest version of the toolkit underlying KDE) and native support for running KDE and KDE applications under Mac OS X and Windows.

The most exciting new development is currently going on in Plasma, KDE 4's new shell for the desktop. Plasma provides krunner, an application to directly launch programs and start other tasks. Plasmoids are applets that display information such as the time, information about hardware devices and also provide access to online resources, for example showing RSS feeds, images or providing dictionary lookup.

System Settings, the replacement for KControl is an improved user interface hosting various modules for configuring the desktop and other aspects of the system is another addition worth mentioning.

The upcoming weeks will be spent on further stabilizing and streamlining the underlying KDE libraries to provide a stable interface for programmers for the whole KDE4 lifecycle. Furthermore, the focus will shift to finishing the applications that are shipped with the base desktop and polishing their user interfaces.

For those brave souls who want to give KDE 4 Alpha 2 a try, you can take a look at this page.

The current targeted release date is late in October of this year, but as with all software in development, that date could well slip and we likely won't see KDE in new distributions until KDE distributions make releases in the new year.

You can find more information about KDE and the KDE 4 development process on their official site and their wiki.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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