With the first release of KDE4 framework, KDE 4.0 just few days away — as the above counter shows, the next few articles will have a look at some of the features new to KDE 4.0
In case you’re still wondering what the KDE4 hoopla is all about, then keep reading. KDE4 is the next-generation of the immensely popular K Desktop Environment. KDE seels to fulfill the need for a powererful yet easy to use desktop for UNIX and Linux workstations. The aim of the KDE project for the 4.0 release is to put the foundations in place for future innovations on the Free Desktop. The many newly introduced technologies incorporated in the KDE libraries will make it easier for developers to add rich functionality to their applications, combining and
connecting different components in any way they want.
KDE4 introduces and updates many of KDE’s core components, notably a port to Qt 4. It will contain a new multimedia API, called Phonon, a device integration framework called Solid and a new style guide and default icon set called Oxygen. It will also include the new desktop and panel user interface tool, called Plasma, which will have support for desktop widgets, similar to SuperKaramba or Apple’s Dashboard widgets. The port to Qt 4 will facilitate support for non-X11-based platforms, including Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. One of the overall goals of KDE 4 is to be more easily portable to different operating systems.
Taking a sharp departure from the earlier KDE3 icon set, KDE4 will use icons, themes and sounds provided by the Oxygen Project. Oxygen icons will have a better look. There will also be a new set of human interface guidelines for a more standardized layout.
Plasma is a rewrite of several core KDE applications, like the desktop drawing and most notably the widget engine. Plasma will allow for a more customizable desktop and more versatile widgets.
KWin, the KDE Window Manager, will provide its own compositing effects, similar to Compiz.
There are some really useful Plasma available already, like the Hard Disk Monitor, KGet(download manager drop box),Hardware info, Temperature Monitor. We can expect some really innovative Plasmas in the days ahead.
Oxygen Icon Set
As mentioned above, KDE4.0 and successive releases will use the Oxygen Project for all the themes, icons and sounds too!
A look at some Oxygen Icons: