New KDE Release Is a Major Advance for Linux Desktop

[ Thanks to Richard Moore
for this link. ]



New KDE Release Is a Major Advance for Linux

Next Generation of Leading Desktop for Linux and Other
UNIXes Ships

October 23, 2000 (The INTERNET). The KDE Team today announced the release of
KDE 2.0 (named Kopernicus), KDE’s powerful, modular,
Internet-enabled desktop. This highly anticipated release
constitutes the next generation of the award-winning KDE 1
series, which culminated in the release of
KDE 1.1.2
just over a year ago. Kopernicus is the work product
of hundreds of dedicated developers originating from over 30

“With the experience gained from developing KDE 1, we almost
completely re-engineered KDE 2 to make it even more intuitive,
powerful and user friendly,” explained Matthias Ettrich, founder of the KDE
project. “We think that current KDE users will be pleasantly
surprised with the remarkable improvements we have achieved. KDE 2
offers the desktop user the benefit of standards compliance and an
array of new technologies, from Konqueror,
a full featured web browser and file manager, to KOffice, an integrated office suite, as well as a
slew of usability enhancements, such as KDE’s expanded themeability
and configurability and a new KDE Help Center. It also offers
developers an assortment of powerful new tools — from KParts, KDE’s component object technology, to
KIO, KDE’s network transparent I/O architecture
— for rapid development and deployment of first-rate free or
proprietary software.”

“KDE 2.0 is an important release,” stated Ransom Love, president
and CEO of Caldera Systems,
“Our customers are anxious to migrate not only their
servers but also their desktops to the Linux technology. KDE 2.0
will be a key component of OpenLinux eDesktop, our solution for a
seamless and cost-effective transition strategy.”

“SuSE Linux views KDE 2 as one of the key milestones to vault
Linux to the same landslide success on the desktop that it already
has in the server space,” added Dirk Hohndel, CTO of Suse AG. “We are excited to be able to
offer KDE 2.0 as the default desktop with our next version of the
SuSE Linux OS. I am confident that third party developers will
realize the enormous potential KDE 2 offers and will migrate their
applications to Linux/KDE.”

“As Linux-Mandrake focuses on making Linux easy to use, we are
very pleased to include KDE 2, a major evolution of the already
superb KDE 1, in our upcoming Linux-Mandrake 7.2 release”, added
, co-founder of Mandrakesoft. “With KDE 2 and
KOffice, the KDE team demonstrates again their deep commitment to
make Linux a viable desktop alternative for all users.”

“Corel has had a long, successful relationship with the KDE
project, and the release of KDE 2.0 is an important milestone for
Linux,” said Rene Schmidt, Executive Vice President for Linux
Products, Corel Corporation.
“We believe that our customers will be ecstatic over the
improvements and new features of this landmark version. The
enhancements to the framework provide power for the desktop in the
simple and elegant fashion that our customers have grown to

Kopernicus includes the core KDE libraries, the core desktop
environment, the initial release of the KOffice suite, as well as
the over 100 applications from the other standard base KDE
packages: Administration, Games, Graphics, Multimedia, Network,
Personal Information Management (PIM), Toys and Utilities.
Kopernicus is currently available in 15 languages and translations
into 20 additional languages will be available in the coming

All of KDE 2.0 is available for free under an Open Source
license. Likewise, Trolltech’stm
Qt® 2.2.1, the GUI toolkit on which KDE is based, is
now available for free under two Open Source licenses: the
Q Public License
and the GNU General Public

More information about KDE 2 is available in a slideshow
and on KDE’s web
, including an evolving FAQ to answer questions
about migrating to KDE 2.0 from KDE 1.x, a number of screenshots, developer
and a developer’s
KDE 1 – KDE 2 porting guide

KDE 2: The K Desktop Environment.
Konqueror is KDE 2’s
next-generation web browser, file manager and document viewer.
Widely heralded as a technological break-through for the Linux
desktop, the standards-compliant Konqueror has a component-based
architecture which combines the features and functionality of
Internet Explorer®/Netscape
Communicator® and Windows Explorer®.
Konqueror will support the full gamut of current Internet
technologies, including JavaScript, Java®, HTML 4.0,
CSS-1 and -2 (Cascading Style Sheets), SSL (Secure Socket Layer for
secure communications) and Netscape Communicator®
plug-ins (for playing FlashTM, RealAudioTM,
RealVideoTM and similar technologies). The great bulk of
this technology is already in place and functional for KDE 2.0.

KDE 2 also ships with the highly anticipated initial release of
the KOffice
. The integrated suite consists of a spreadsheet
application (KSpread), a vector drawing application (KIllustrator),
a frame-based word-processing application (KWord), a presentation
program (KPresenter), and a chart and diagram application (KChart).
Native file formats are XML-based, and work on filters for
proprietary binary file formats is progressing. Combined with a
powerful scripting language and the ability to embed individuals
components within each other using KDE’s component technology
(KParts), the free KOffice suite will soon provide all the
necessary functionality to all but the most demanding power

In addition, KIO’s network transparency offers
seamless support for accessing or browsing files on Linux, NFS
shares, MS Windows® SMB shares, HTTP pages, FTP
directories and LDAP directories. 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.

KDE 2 introduces a new multimedia architecture based on aRts, the Analog Realtime Synthesizer. ARts enables
playing multiple audio or video streams concurrently, whether on
the desktop or over a network. ARts is a full-featured sound
system, and includes filters, a modular analog synthesizer and a
mixer. Its architecture allows developers to create additional
filter plugins and users to apply sequences of filters using a
graphical drag-n-drop approach. Video support is available for MPEG versions
1, 2 and 4 (experimental), as well as the AVI and DivX formats.

KDE’s customizability touches
every aspect of this next-generation desktop. KDE’s sophisticated
theme support starts with Qt’s style engine, which permits
developers and artists to create their own widget designs. KDE 2.0
ships with over 14 of these styles, some of which emulate the look
of various operating systems, and additionally does an excellent
job of importing themes
from GTK and GNOME. Other configuration options permit users to:
choose among icon themes and system sounds (using a simple
drop-and-replace approach); configure key bindings; select from
over 30 languages; customize toolbar layouts and entries and menu
composition; employ single-click or double-click to activate
desktop items; navigate the desktop using a keyboard instead of a
mouse; and much, much more. Moreover, KDE 2 fully supports Unicode
and KHTML is the only free HTML rendering engine on Linux/X11 that
features nascent support for BiDi scripts such as Arabic and

Besides the exceptional compliance with Internet and
file-sharing standards mentioned above,
KDE 2 achieves exceptional compliance with the available Linux
desktop standards. KWin, KDE’s new re-engineered window manager,
complies to the new Window Manager
. Konqueror and KDE comply to the
Desktop Entry Standard
. KDE 2 generally complies with the
X Drag-and-Drop
(XDND) protocol
as well as with the X11R6
session management protocol (XSMP)

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

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

KIO implements application I/O in a
separate process to enable a non-blocking GUI without the use of
threads. The class is network 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.

KParts, KDE 2’s component object model,
allows an application to embed another within itself. The
technology handles all aspects of the 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.

The XML GUI employs XML to create and
position menus, toolbars and possibly other aspects of the GUI.
This technology offers developers and users the advantage of
simplified configurability of these user interface elements across
applications and automatic compliance with the KDE Standards
and Style Guide
irrespective of modifications to the

KHTML is an HTML 4.0 compliant rendering and
drawing engine. The class will support the full gamut of current
Internet technologies, including JavaScriptTM,
Java®, HTML 4.0, CSS-2 (Cascading Style Sheets), SSL
(Secure Socket Layer for secure communications) and Netscape
Communicator® plugins (for viewing
FlashTM, RealAudioTM, RealVideoTM
and similar technologies). The KHTML class can easily be used by an
application as either a widget (using normal X Window parenting) or
as a component (using the KParts technology). KHTML, in turn, has
the capacity to embed components within itself using the KParts

Downloading and Compiling Kopernicus

The source packages for Kopernicus are available for free
download at http://ftp.kde.org/stable/2.0/distribution/tar/generic/src/
or in the equivalent directory at one of the many KDE ftp server
mirrors. Kopernicus
requires qt-2.2.1, which is available from the above locations
under the name
. Kopernicus will not work with older
versions of Qt.

For further instructions on compiling and installing Kopernicus,
please consult the installation
and, if you encounter problems, the compilation FAQ.

Installing Binary Packages

Some distributors choose to provide binary packages of KDE for
certain versions of their distribution. Some of these binary
packages for Kopernicus will be available for free download under
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.

Kopernicus requires qt-2.2.1, the free version of which is
available from the above locations usually under the name
qt-x11-2.2.1. Kopernicus will not work with older versions of

At the time of this release, pre-compiled packages are available

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

About KDE

KDE is an independent, collaborative project by hundreds of
developers worldwide 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.

For more information about KDE, please visit KDE’s web site.

Press Contacts:
United States: Kurt Granroth
(1) 480 732 1752
Andreas Pour
(1) 718 456 1165
Europe (French and English): David Faure
(44) 1225 837409
Europe (English and German): Martin Konold
(49) 179 2252249

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