KDE 4.6 Beta1 Brings Improved Search, Activities and Mobile Device Support

KDE releases 4.6 beta1 of Workspaces, Applications and Development Frameworks,
bringing significant improvements to desktop search, a revamped activity
system and a significant performance boost to window management and desktop
effects. Efforts all across the KDE codebase pay off by making KDE’s
frameworks more suitable for usage on devices. The release provides a testing
base for a stable release in January 2011.

Plasma 4.6 Beta1 Previews Mature Themable Widget Set to QML

* Libplasma, KDE’s framework for user interfaces for devices, can now be used
as widget and component library from applications and widgets written in QML,
the Qt Quick declarative UI. Plasma’s new QML bindings offer a mature set of
touchscreen-friendly widgets, SVG-based theming and access to Plasma’s rich
set of data-engines.

* The Plasma Desktop reintroduces Activities, a mechanism that helps
organizing the workspace and grouping applications by their context.
Applications can be started and stopped as part of an Activity and widgets
used can vary per activity. This way, the desktop provides an easy way to
organize and ease the users’ workflows. For normal desktop usage, Activities
are entirely transparant and opt-in.
* The KWin compositing manager has seen major optimizations in rendering and
plugin handling, leading to a smoother window management experience and even
more stunning desktop effects to enhance the users’ workflow. KWin’s new
scripting interface allows to script more complex window management workflows
using Javascript.

Plasma Desktop’s new Activity Manager

These are only some of the improvements the Plasma Team delivers with 4.6
coming January. This release being a first beta version, we encourage users to
give it a try and report your findings back to us via KDE’s bug tracker.
Dolphin File Manager 4.6 Beta1 Introduces Faceted Browsing

* The KDE Applications 4.6 Beta1 which is released today, adds exciting new
features throughout the applications. Among the most striking of a large
number of applications that are released as part of the KDE software
compilation is Dolphin, which has made leaps forward in it’s searching
capabilities and user interface:

* The Dolphin file manager now searches inside files even when the Nepomuk
semantic desktop is disabled. Nepomuk adds faceted browsing, a mechanism that
uses the files’ metadata to filter results and directories, or to display
files in directories recursively.
Columns in the file manager now match the filename’s length, making for a
clearer overview.

* The newly developed Git plugin for Dolphin serves as a sign for the
impending migration of most of KDE’s source code to Git.

Faceted Browsing in Dolphin

Another big ticket item is the introduction of Akonadi in Kontact 4.6,
including a mobile version of the powerful groupware client. Many more new
features coming with 4.6 can be found in the Feature Plan for 4.6.
These are only some improvements the Plasma Team delivers with 4.6 coming
January. This release being a first beta version, we invite testers to
participate in the bug-hunting season via KDE’s bug tracker. Many more
bugfixes and other improvements complement these bigger changes, many of which
can be found in the Feature Plan for 4.6.

* KDE Frameworks 4.6 Beta1 Previews Support for upower, udisks and udev
The two most significant changes in the KDE development frameworks 4.6 release
targets the move away from HAL, which is being phased out by many Linux
vendors, towards the u* hardware abstraction components.

* The introduction of device targets makes it easier to customize build and
installation of KDE’s frameworks, providing leaner install options for mobile
target devices. By reducing dependencies between libraries that together form
the KDE Platform, these parts become usable individually, thanks to a higher
degree of modularization.

* KDE’s Solid framework, a Qt-based API for hardware interaction adds support
for upower, udev and udisks, allowing applications and the workspace to run
without HAL. The power management framework, Powerdevil 2.0, introduces
extendable actions for power-related events, making it easier to customize
power management behavior for a certain device or use case. Applications using
the Solid framework do not need to be changed to benefit from the new
backends.

Many more bugfixes and other improvements complement these bigger changes,
many of which can be found in the Feature Plan for 4.6. This release being a
first beta version, we encourage users to give this release a try and help us
improve these frameworks via KDE’s bug tracker, but not use it in production
environments, as the stabilization phase is still under way.

Read more: http://kde.org/announcements/announce-4.6-beta1.php


sebas

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