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KDE 2.2. Is Out

Aug 15, 2001, 06:14 (42 Talkback[s])


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Free KDE Desktop Ready for Enterprise Deployment

KDE Ships Leading Desktop with Advanced Web Browser and Development Environment for Linux and Other UNIXes

August 15, 2001 (The INTERNET). The KDE Project today announced the immediate release of KDE 2.2, a powerful and easy-to-use Internet-enabled desktop for Linux. Consistent with KDE's rapid and disciplined development pace, the release of KDE 2.2 features an impressive catalog of speed/performance enhancements, feature additions and stability improvements. KDE 2.2 is available in 34 languages and ships with the core KDE libraries, the core desktop environment, and over 100 applications from the other base KDE packages (administration, multimedia, network, PIM, development, etc.).

"The productivity tools and interface improvements in the new KDE desktop provide a powerful client environment," said Kent Ferson, vice president of Compaq's Tru64 UNIX Systems Division. "We're pleased to offer KDE 2.2 on Tru64 UNIX and to enhance our Linux-Tru64 UNIX affinity capabilities for interoperability and application mobility. Compaq acknowledges Dr. Tom Leitner of Graz University of Technology and the KDE development team for their support in delivering this affinity capability."

KDE 2.2 will be complemented later this month by the stable release of KOffice 1.1, a comprehensive, modular, component-based suite of office productivity applications. This combination is the first to provide a complete Open Source desktop and productivity environment for Linux/Unix.

KDE and all its components are available for free under Open Source licenses from the KDE server and its mirrors and can also be obtained on CD-ROM.

"Thanks to the high quality of the KDE 2 development framework and the invaluable feedback of our users we are delivering a more polished, better integrated and more feature-rich desktop experience in a relative short time. With the pending release of a stable KOffice this month, KDE offers a complete high-quality desktop and development platform without the costs and restrictions associated with proprietary desktops," said Waldo Bastian, release manager for KDE 2.2 and a SuSE Labs developer.

Dave Richards, the System Administrator for The City of Largo, Florida who recently spearheaded the successful roll-out of KDE on 400 thin clients serving 800 users in City offices, explained why the City selected KDE and Linux: "All city terminals log into one big 'desktop' system to get the KDE desktop. Since uptime of this server is so critical, we picked Linux. KDE gave us an excellent presentation layer with which to run all of the City applications that are running on other servers (both Unix and Windows)."

"It is important for enterprises to realize that the huge cost savings they can obtain immediately upon conversion to KDE do not require any sacrifice in terms of software available to their users," added Andreas Pour, Chairman of the KDE League. "The capabilities of Konqueror, the expansive array of free software available for KDE/Qt and the large number of other Open Source projects will solve most if not all problems natively. For those applications only available for Windows at this juncture, several alternative products, both commercial and Open Source, exist: running Windows terminal sessions in KDE, running Windows applications natively under KDE/Linux, and providing remote desktop sessions. There is no reason companies cannot today shed themselves of at least a substantial portion of wasteful licensing fees for their desktop users."

KDE 2: The K Desktop Environment. Konqueror is KDE 2's next-generation web browser, file manager and document viewer. The standards-compliant Konqueror has a component-based architecture which combines the features and functionality of Internet Explorer/Netscape Communicator and Windows Explorer. Konqueror supports the full gamut of current Internet technologies, including JavaScript, Java, XML, HTML 4.0, CSS-1 and -2 (Cascading Style Sheets), SSL (Secure Socket Layer for secure communications), and Netscape Communicator plug-ins (for Flash, RealAudio and RealVideo, and similar technologies; Konqueror also supports some ActiveX controls, such as Shockwave Player. Support for all these features is provided through KHTML, a KDE library widget which is available to all KDE applications as either a widget (using normal window parenting) or as a component (using the KParts technology).

In addition, KDE offers seamless network transparency for accessing or browsing files on Linux, NFS shares, MS Windows SMB shares, HTTP pages, FTP directories, LDAP directories, digital cameras and audio CDs. The modular, plug-in nature of KDE's file architecture makes it simple to add additional protocols (such as IPX or WebDAV) to KDE, which would then automatically be available to all KDE applications.

Besides the exceptional compliance with Internet and file-sharing standards mentioned above, KDE 2 is a leader in compliance with the available Linux desktop standards. KWin, KDE's new re-engineered window manager, complies to the new Window Manager Specification. Konqueror and KDE comply with the Desktop Entry Standard. Konqueror uses the XBEL standard for its bookmarks. KDE 2 largely complies with the X Drag-and-Drop (XDND) protocol as well as with the X11R6 session management protocol (XSMP).

The KDE 2.2 release features a number of enhancements which remove any potential obstacles to widespread, productive enterprise adoption of the free KDE desktop:

  • up to 50% improvement in application startup time on GNU/Linux systems using an experimental object file pre-linking method;
  • stability and capabilities of HTML rendering and JavaScript;
  • increased stability and capabilities of HTML rendering and JavaScript;
  • the addition of IMAP support (including SSL and TLS) to KDE's mail client KMail;
  • a new plugin-based print architecture with integrated filter and page layout capabilities (currently supports LPR, CUPS, RLPR, external command, generic LPD and pseudo-printers such as print-to-fax or print-to-email gateways);
  • enhanced startup speed and user feedback;
  • a number of new plugins for Konqueror, including a Babelfish translator, an image gallery generator, an HTML validator and a web archiver;
  • native iCalendar support in KOrganizer, KDE's PIM tool; and
  • a new personalization wizard.

KDE 2: The K Development Environment. KDE 2.2 offers developers a sophisticated IDE as well as a rich set of major technological improvements over the critically acclaimed KDE 1 series. Chief among the technologies are the Desktop COmmunication Protocol (DCOP), the I/O libraries (KIO), the component object model (KParts), an XML-based GUI class, and a standards-compliant HTML rendering engine (KHTML).

KDevelop is a leading Linux IDE with numerous features for rapid application development, including a GUI dialog builder, integrated debugging, project management, documentation and translation facilities, built-in concurrent development support, and much more. This release includes a number of new features, including a setup wizard, code navigation, a console, man page support and colored text, as well as a number of new project templates, including KControl modules, Kicker (panel) applets, kio-slaves, Konqueror plugins and desktop themes.

KParts, KDE 2's proven component object model, handles all aspects of application 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.

KIO implements application I/O in a separate process to enable a non-blocking GUI without the use of threads. The class is network and protocol transparent and hence can be used seamlessly to access HTTP, FTP, 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.

DCOP is a client-to-client communications protocol intermediated by a server over the standard X11 ICE library. The protocol supports both message passing and remote procedure calls using an XML-RPC to DCOP "gateway". Bindings for C, C++ and Python, as well as experimental Java bindings, are available.

KDE also provides a number of language bindings. In particular, KDE kdejava provides full Java bindings for KDE and Qt, which look and behave identically to a C++ version, including access to the C++ signals/slots.

Installing Binary Packages

Binary Packages. All major Linux distributors and some Unix distributors have provided binary packages of KDE 2.2 for recent versions of their distribution. Some of these binary packages are available for free download under http://master.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/2.2/ or under the equivalent directory at one of the many KDE ftp server mirrors. Please note that the KDE team is not responsible for these packages as they are provided by third parties -- typically, but not always, the distributor of the relevant distribution (if you cannot find a binary package for your distribution, please read the KDE Binary Package Policy).

Library Requirements. The library requirements for a particular binary package vary with the system on which the package was compiled. Please bear in mind that some binary packages may require a newer version of Qt and other libraries than was included with the applicable distribution (e.g., LinuxDistro 8.0 may have shipped with qt-2.2.3 but the packages below may require qt-2.3.x). For general library requirements for KDE, please see the text at Source Code - Library Requirements below.

Package Locations. At the time of this release, pre-compiled packages are available for:

Please check the servers periodically for pre-compiled packages for other distributions. More binary packages will become available over the coming days and weeks.

Downloading and Compiling KDE 2.2

Library Requirements. KDE 2.2 requires qt-2.2.4, which is available in source code from Trolltech as qt-x11-2.2.4.tar.gz. In addition, for SSL support, KDE 2.2 requires OpenSSL >= 0.9.6x; versions 0.9.5x are no longer supported. For Java support, KDE 2.2 requires a JVM >= 1.3. For Netscape plugin support, KDE requires a recent version of Lesstif or Motif. Searching local documentation requires htdig. Other special features, such as drag'n'drop audio CD ripping, require other packages.

Compiler Requirements. Please note that some components of KDE 2.2 will not compile with older versions of gcc/egcs, such as egcs-1.1.2 or gcc-2.7.2. At a minimum gcc-2.95-* is required. In addition, some components of KDE 2.2 (such as the multimedia backbone of KDE, aRts) will not compile with gcc 3.0 (the problems are being corrected by the KDE and GCC teams).

Source Code/RPMs. The complete source code for KDE 2.2 is available for free download at http://master.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/2.2/src/ or in the equivalent directory at one of the many KDE ftp server mirrors. Additionally, source rpms are available for the following distributions:

Further Information. For further instructions on compiling and installing KDE 2.2, please consult the installation instructions and, if you should encounter problems, the compilation FAQ. For problems with source rpms, please contact the person listed in the .spec file.

About KDE

KDE is an independent, collaborative project by hundreds of developers worldwide working over the Internet to create a sophisticated, customizable and stable desktop environment employing a component-based, network-transparent architecture. KDE is working proof of the power of the Open Source "Bazaar-style" software development model to create first-rate technologies on par with and superior to even the most complex commercial software.

Please visit the KDE family of web sites for the KDE FAQ, screenshots, KOffice information and developer information. Much more information about KDE is available from KDE's family of web sites.

Corporate KDE Sponsors

Besides the valuable and excellent efforts by the KDE developers themselves, significant support for KDE development has been provided by MandrakeSoft and SuSE. Thanks!

Trademarks Notices. KDE, K Desktop Environment and KOffice are trademarks of KDE e.V. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Unix and Motif are registered trademarks of The Open Group. Trolltech and Qt are trademarks of Trolltech AS. MS Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer and ActiveX are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Shockwave is a trademark or registered trademark of Macromedia, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Netscape and Netscape Communicator are trademarks or registered trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries and JavaScript is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation. Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. Flash is a trademark or registered trademark of Macromedia, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. RealAudio and RealVideo are trademarks or registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc. All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.

Press Contacts:
United States: Eunice Kim
The Terpin Group
(1) 650 344 4944 ext. 105
Kurt Granroth
(1) 480 732 1752
Andreas Pour
KDE League, Inc.
(1) 917 312 3122
Europe (French and English): David Faure
(44) 1225 837409
Europe (English and German): Ralf Nolden
(49) 2421 502758