KDE 4.0-alpha2 Released

The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the second alpha release of the K Desktop Environment. This release comes straight out of Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland where aKademy is currently taking place. Hundreds of KDE hackers are working like crazy to hunt down bugs, complete features for KDE 4.0 and sit together developing and finishing new and exciting applications for the new major version of the leading Free Desktop.

The most exciting new development is currently going on in Plasma, KDE 4's new shell for the desktop. Plasma provides krunner, an application to directly launch programs and start other tasks. Plasmoids are applets that display information such as the time, information about hardware devices and also provide access to online resources, for example showing RSS feeds, images or providing dictionary lookup.

System Settings, the replacement for KControl is an improved user interface hosting various modules for configuring the desktop and other aspects of the system is another addition worth mentioning.

The upcoming weeks will be spent on further stabilizing and streamlining the underlying KDE libraries to provide a stable interface for programmers for the whole KDE4 lifecycle. Furthermore, the focus will shift to finishing the applications that are shipped with the base desktop and polishing their user interfaces.

The end of July will see a full freeze of the kdelibs module, manifested in the first beta release of KDE 4.0 with the final release currently planned for the end of October this year.

For the bravehearts who want to try KDE 4.0 Alpha2, please refer to this page to find ways to have a peak at the current status yourself. As the pace of development would outdate screenshots very quickly, the best way to find out about progress is to refer to sites such as The Dot or Planet KDE, the collection of KDE developers' weblogs.