The KDE project developers have announced the availability of version 4.4 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), code named "Caikaku". The major update to the free open source K Desktop Environment (KDE) addresses a number of bugs and includes several translation updates, stability improvements and new features.
KDE SC 4.4 is the first release that is based on Qt 4.6, which arrived early last December. Notable updates in KDE SC 4.4 include improvements to the GetHotNewStuff interface and the Nepomuk Semantic Search framework, which features a new storage back end to improve its performance and a new user interface (UI) to interact with the Nepomuk database. New applications include the Blogilo rich-client blogging tool and two scientific applications for advanced math and graph theory called Cantor and Rocs. Other applications, such as the Gwenview image viewer and the Dolphin file manager, have also been improved.
The Plasma Desktop has been updated, including updated user interface elements, a new widget explorer and the ability to share widgets with other users over the network. The Plasma Desktop also débuts a new alternative interface called Plasma Netbook that is specifically designed for notebooks and smaller notebooks. The new KAuth authorisation framework has been added to the KDE Developer Platform for "easy and secure privilege escalation, printing of odd and even pages, scanner support for the Windows platform and the first pieces of integration of the popular WebKit rendering engine".
Following several months of development and to celebrate the release of KDE SC 4.4, the KDE web team have also announced the relaunch and redesign of the KDE.org homepage and buzz.kde.org, the project's microblogging lifestream. The new KDE.org pages feature links to the latest news, community blogs and announcements, a new colour scheme and updated site navigation. The web team say that, following several months of work, the "final site is ready, aside from a few tweaks still pending".
More details about the release can be found in the release announcement, 4.4 Release Goals change log and on the KDE 4.4 Info Page. Source packages for self-compilation and binary packages for various Linux distributions are available to download from the project's website. KDE is licensed under a combination of the LGPLv2, BSD, MIT and X11 licenses for core libraries and the GPLv2 or GPLv3 for applications.
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