Kde 4.7 Released And In The Wild
July saw the release of KDE SC 4.7. Like all recent KDE releases, this is a combination of updates to the bundled applications, underlying desktop and associated technologies. Canonical have already pushed 4.7 through to Kubuntu desktops.
If you are a 4.6 user who has just upgraded, don’t expect to be aware of major changes the first time you reboot. Some of the core applications have been updated, but most of the work has gone into improving the underlying frameworks. The applications themselves have been shifted to a greater reliance on Akonadi, the PIM storage framework and NEPOMUK, the semantic information database.
Kontact is the KDE PIM suite that includes email, contacts and appointments. Again, don’t expect to see many apparent differences when using the applications as most of the changes take the form of a switch to Anakondi for data storage. The mail component, Kmail is an example of this as it has been rechristened Kmail 2, although it looks almost identical to the previous version.
Of course, the the usual caveats about relying on a database rather than standard file formats have to be considered. On the one hand, it’s not quite clear what happens if you have to recover a broken system as you can’t simply peer inside a set of standard files. On the other, a unified approach looks set to pay off in the future, and it was always part of the over-arching plan for KDE4.
Increasingly, if you update contact or scheduling information in one application, that information will be updated in every KDE application, and this will include all of your synchronized devices and services. However, if you’re the type of user who prefers to use a suite of independent applications that utilize industry standard methods of storing their data, the KDE of the future isn’t going to be for you.
Photo manager, digKam is once again a core application, and it’s an example of an application that does have improvements that are visible on the surface. As for the application itself, it will probably continue to be divisive. On the one hand, it harks back to the KDE3 era in that it is a complicated application with loads of features. On the other hand, it’s at odds with the KDE4 aim to simplify user interfaces wherever possible. I’d challenge anyone who has not used it before to be able to figure it out at first glance, in contrast to the intuitive layout of F-Spot or Picasa. It’s a techy application application rather than a pure photo browser, and some people will want to see it stay that way.
digiKam - it's complicated.
File manager Dolphin is an application that has had its user interface simplified slightly and can now operate without a menu bar. Looking at the screenshots that demo a few different configurations, I have to say that I’m still not much of a fan. All files are still locked to a grid and the icons are uniform in size. Its predecessor, Konqueror managed to mix icons of varying sizes with larger icons for media that could be previewed as a thumbnail.
Dolphin. The way it handles previews still hasn't won me over.
I wonder if I’m the only long-term KDE user who hasn’t delved into what task orientated workspaces have to offer? For one thing, I want to be sure that it all works flawlessly before digging in. Perhaps I’m just getting old.
On the surface, KDE4.7 might seem like a minor upgrade, however, a lot of work has been carried out improve the frameworks such as Phonon, NEPOMUK and Anakondi. This release leverages the power of those frameworks to take KDE4 closer to what it was always intended to be, a closely integrated set of applications and services tied together with a user interface that it is easy to use. What KDE4 represents won’t, therefore, please all Linux users or even all desktop Linux users.
Having overcome the difficult birth of the initial release, KDE4 is now a powerful and mature desktop. In the future, in some respects, it will pull further away from what traditionalist Linux users expect from a desktop experience, and on the other hand, KDE4 will soon begin to offer integrated approaches and ways of working that make it stand out against all of the other desktops that are available.
The complete overview of changes on the KDE website seems to be split onto three main pages: applications, Plasma Workplace and the underlying platform changes.
UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.
|Happy Birthday Linux||Aug 25, 2016|
|ContainerCon Vendors Offer Flexible Solutions for Managing All Your New Micro-VMs||Aug 24, 2016|
|Updates from LinuxCon and ContainerCon, Toronto, August 2016||Aug 23, 2016|
|NVMe over Fabrics Support Coming to the Linux 4.8 Kernel||Aug 22, 2016|
|What I Wish I’d Known When I Was an Embedded Linux Newbie||Aug 18, 2016|
|Pandas||Aug 17, 2016|
- Happy Birthday Linux
- Downloading an Entire Web Site with wget
- ContainerCon Vendors Offer Flexible Solutions for Managing All Your New Micro-VMs
- Updates from LinuxCon and ContainerCon, Toronto, August 2016
- New Version of GParted
- What I Wish I’d Known When I Was an Embedded Linux Newbie
- NVMe over Fabrics Support Coming to the Linux 4.8 Kernel
- Tor 0.2.8.6 Is Released
- A New Project for Linux at 25
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide