KDE 3.0beta2 Ready for Testing

by Heather Mead

The KDE Project announced that the beta2 version of KDE 3.0 is available, and they are looking for testers. Core KDE libraries, the desktop and more than 100 applications and packages are included in the beta2 release.

The project is especially interested in testers' queries and input on this beta, as a group of KDE developers will be meeting in Germany at the end of February to prepare the final release of KDE 3.0, which is currently scheduled for Spring 2002. Dirk Mueller, the KDE 3 release coordinator, said that the group is interested particularly in feedback concerning support for right-to-left languages, the functionality of features new to KDE 3.0 and compatibility with application being ported to KDE 3.0.

Improvements from KDE version 2.2 to version 3.0 include better Javascript/DHTML support in Konqueror. Regarding this, David Faure, a developer for Konqueror and KOffice, said, "The DOM 2 model, used to render an HTML page, is now mostly implemented and changes to the DOM tree are handled much better. The Javascript bindings and support are almost complete, faster and more stable than [they were] in KDE 2. These changes result in a much-improved rendering of dynamic web sites."

In addition to previously announced improvements to the underlying Qt library, new features of KDE 3.0 include:

  • support for multi-key shortcuts (Emacs style)

  • improved service activation

  • improved CUPS printing support

  • added WebDAV support

  • KHTML (HTML rendering engine)

  • major improvements to the JavaScript implementation

  • a smarter "window open" JavaScript policy

  • improved dynamic HTML / increased compatibility with other browsers

  • a GUI for configuring animated images

  • a new directory feature in the sidebar's directory tree and

  • added the kuick plug-in (for fast copying/moving)

  • Noatun (multimedia player)

  • export to plain text files

along with many other Ktools, bug fixes and upgraded applications.

Precompiled KDE 3.0beta2 packages are available for the most recent versions of SuSE, Mandrake, Slackware and a few other distributions. Go to the official KDE 3.0beta2 release announcement to view the complete list of precompiled packages, as well as to download these packages or the source code tarballs. The packages can also be obtained from the /pub/kde/unstable/kde-3.0-beta2/ directory at one of the many KDE FTP server mirrors. The KDE Project recommends checking the servers periodically over the coming days and weeks, as more binary packages will likely become available over the coming days and weeks.

Heather Mead is Associate Editor of Linux Journal.

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