KDE is a free Environnement of office used mainly with the operating systems GNU/Linux and BSD such as FreeBSD. It is also theoretically available under Darwin (Mac OS X), some others UNIX like Windows via Cygwin/X.
Because of its similarity with the interface of Windows in its configuration by defect and of the Software big number of S available for this environment, it is installed out of standard by many distributions. Of German origin (but its developers are currently distributed on all the sphere), KDE is translated into 65 languages.
KDE is with GNOME the principal free alternative and general public to the interfaces of the conventional operating systems (Microsoft Windows and Mac OS). Its software is generally published under the license GNU LPG, its libraries under GNU LGPL.
The mascot of the project is a green dragon called Konqi, which appears in various applications, in particular when the user leaves a session.
Origin of the name
KDE is the Sigle of “ K Desktop Environment ”, the K not having really significance. At the beginnings of KDE, the word “ Kool ” was used, but the developers of the project gave up this mot. They are satisfied from now on to notice that in the Latin alphabet, K is close to the L of Linux. This name evokes CDE ( C ommon D esktop E nvironment), the very widespread graphic environment on the Unix machines in the neighborhoods of 1990.
Project KDE was launched in October 1996 by Matthias Ettrich, which wished to offer to the users systems Unix a unified interface, which gums the differences between the many graphic toolboxes of use under the system X Window. The choice of the library Qt, which at the time was not free, and to a lesser extent the importance of the language C++ in the development of KDE, led to the creation of the competitor project GNOME in August 1997.
The following year, KDE 1.0 left. This version contained a panel (bars tasks and launcher of applications), an office on which to deposit icons, the manager of files Kfm and a great number of utilities. KDE 2.0, left in 2000, was the occasion of an almost complete rewriting. This version introduced the graphic Shell Konqueror, and several technologies intended to integrate the applications between them, to start with KParts and DCOP. The panel was also replaced by Kicker offering more functionalities.
Version 3.0, published in 2002, is an evolution of KDE 2. KDE 3.4, left in March 2005, is an evolution which brings its batch of corrections of bugs and improvements to all the levels like the more complete support of the various versions of CS by KHTML, of accessibility in particular via KTTS for the Voice synthesis or the beginning of the use of HALL and DBUS to follow the recommendations of Freedesktop.
The current major version of KDE is the 3.5 (exit in November 2005), whose last version is the 3.5.8. This version should be the last of the branch 3.x KDE 4 should succeed in December to him 2007 and will use Qt 4. It will be the occasion of a recasting of the multi-media system, graphical interface and several other components.
History of the versions
- 1996 : creation of the project. To see proclamation of Matthias Ettrich
- 1998: version 1.0, the project comprises a text editor, a terminal, a manager of windows, an explorer of files, etc
- October 23rd, 2000: version 2.0, a large work is made on the infrastructure, with the appearance of the explorer of files, navigator Internet and universal bill-poster Konqueror, as well as technologies KIO, KParts, DCop, ARts… the applications remains on the other hand poor, the users of KDE thus use many external applications
- February 26th, 2001: version 2.1
- August 15th, 2001: version 2.2
- April 3rd, 2002: version 3.0, the infrastructure was installation at the time of the second version of KDE. The third version is that of maturity, with a progressive improvement of ergonomics and simplicity and the appearance of a whole series of excellent applications.
- January 28th, 2003: version 3.1.0
- February 3rd, 2004: version 3.2.0
- August 19th, 2004: version 3.3.0
- March 16th, 2005: version 3.4.0
- November 29th, 2005: version 3.5.0
- May 22nd, 2007: version 3.5.7
- October 17th, 2007: version 3.5.8 Current version
- May 11th, 2007: version 4.0 alpha 1 (3.90.1) first unstable préversion (alpha) of KDE 4
- July 4th, 2007: version 4.0 alpha 2 (3.91) second unstable préversion (alpha) of KDE 4
- August 2nd, 2007: version 4.0 Beta 1 (3.92) third unstable préversion (beta) of KDE 4
- September 6th, 2007: version 4.0 Beta 2 (3.93) fourth unstable préversion (beta) of KDE 4
- October 17th, 2007: version 4.0 Beta 3 (3.94) fifth unstable préversion (beta) of KDE 4
- October 30th, 2007: version 4.0 Beta 4 (3.95) sixth unstable préversion (beta) of KDE 4
- November 20th, 2007: version 4.0 Release Candidate 1 (3.96) first version candidate for the exit of KDE 4
The detailed history of the versions of KDE is available on the site of KDE.
See also: KDE4
The developers envisage the exit of KDE4 for on December 11th, 2007. This new major version will be the occasion of material changes, like:
- the passage to Qt 4, more rapid, less greedy in memory, with graphic capacities largely improved thanks to its new engine of returned, Arthur;
- recasting of Kicker (the instrument panel of KDE), Kdesktop (the application which manages the bottom of screen) and of SuperKaramba (an application allowing to use the bottom of screen to post mini-programs being able to give the weather, the number of emails not read, the contact list connected, etc) in only one and single application: Plasma;
- Creation of Tenor, a system allowing to create and index relations between the objects. Concretely, one will be able to know that such image was downloaded on article KDE of Wikipédia, then was e-mailed with such contact. Moreover, Tenor will allow the fast search for files, following the example Spotlight of Apple;
- a new topic of icons per defect named Oxygen (of the icons) more “refreshing”;
- the integration of a multitude of visual effects, gathered under the name of Coolness;
- a work on the Ergonomics of KDE;
- Intégration of a new interface of abstraction enters the applications and the engines multimedia (GStreamer, ARts, Xine,…) with the project Phonon;
- the project Solid, for a better integration of the material.
Most of these projections are gathered within the Appeal project. One can find Mock-up of KDE 4 here and other ideas for KDE 4 here. A version dedicated to the developers of applications for KDE ( Technical Preview ) left in October 2006. The purpose of it is to make it possible the latter to familiarize themselves with the news Application program interface (API) and to carry their applications on the latter.
A version of development (Krash code name) is available for various distributions, like Kubuntu or OpenSUSE. It is still highly unstable and is intended for the developers.
Applications KDELet us note that any application coming from GNOME (like GIMP or Inkscape) or of third party (like Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.org or Éclipse) can be used under KDE. But the richness of KDE is the profusion of applications which were written especially for him, and thus are particularly well integrated and light when they are used under KDE (respect of conventions and the characteristics of this environment and re-use of the libraries and other components already present in memory).
Among the applications specific to KDE, one can quote:
Manager of personal informations (PIM)The manager of personal informations, customer of email, discussion forums, reader RSS…, named Kontact , contains:
- a customer of Email (KMail);
- an address book (KAddressbook);
- a diary (KOrganizer);
- a manager of the tasks (KArm);
- a management of the notes (KNotes);
- an alarm clock (KAlarm);
- a agregator of flow RSS (Akregator);
- synchronization of the data with Palm OS (KPilot);
- synchronization of the data with a telephone (Kandy).
a Navigator Exploring Web and of files: multi-media Konqueror
- of the readers (AmaroK, JuK, Kaffeine, KMPlayer…) ;
- a compatible customer of Instant messaging AIM/ICQ/IChat, Gadu-Gadu, Jabber, IRC, MSN and Yahoo! Messenger (Kopete);
- a BitTorrent customer: Ktorrent;
- a software of discussion for IRC (Kvirc, Konversation).
- a software of engraving: K3b
- a reader of newsgroup (Knode, Klibido);
- of the text editors (KWrite, Kate, KEdit);
- of many plays (KAsteroids, KAtomics, KLines, Kmines, Ktetris);
- a customer for the dictionary dict (Kdict);
- an English/Japanese dictionary and of Kanji Kiten;
- a console (i.e. a terminal) multiviewport highly skeletal, Konsole;
- a Environment of development integrated, KDevelop;
- a software of layout of functions KmPlot;
- a software of development Web Quanta more;
- and well of others still (the complete listing is available on the site of KDE).
The KOffice continuation
See also: KOffice
KOffice is the most important sub-project of KDE. It is about a office automation Suite made up of many components, among which appear a Word processing (KWord), a software of image processing (Krita) and a software managing of the databases (Kexi). Each component is usable also as an independent application.
To produce and make use a office automation Suite is an extremely difficult task, especially for a project like KOffice having financial and human resources very limited. Also KOffice until today incomplete (in particular with regard to its spreadsheet), immature and little was a long time and still used.
The sector is indeed encumbered by two mastodons:
- Microsoft Office in data processing in general;
- OpenOffice.org in free data processing in particular.
It is certain right now that however waited version 2 of KOffice will not be able to compete with these two continuations in terms of functionalities. For nevertheless finding its niche of use, the KOffice project continued as from 2005 the following strategy:
- To propose integration with its environment of predilection KDE where it cannot be competed with. As true application KDE, an any application KOffice brings to the user of KDE the following benefit: standardization of the behaviors, the menus, the icons, the short cuts keyboards; transparency network thanks to technology KIO; integration with other applications in particular Konqueror thanks to technology KParts; lightness because of re-use of the libraries of KDE. However let us note that an ambitious project integrates OpenOffice.org with KDE, to see kde.openoffice.org;
- To bet on the success of OpenDocument. If Microsoft Office reign as a Master on the sector, it is also because of omnipresence of its different formats from file owners of this continuation which reinforces its monopoly and reciprocally (see Externalité positive). KOffice does not have as OpenOffice.org the extenuating circumstance to be a last expert in the handling of these formats .doc which it is very complicated to open perfectly. Also, to break this insulation, KOffice its format of open file gave up but which was clean for him. David Faure took part in the definition of OpenDocument. While being the first continuation right before OpenOffice.org to announce a support (variable according to the components) of this format, KOffice enables him to be more than simply the format of OpenOffice (any standard must be the subject of two distinct implementations) and will be able on its side surfer on a possible success of OpenOffice.org in particular under Microsoft Windows;
- To innovate as regards ergonomics. Not very known compared to the two mastodons largely more complete and known, KOffice will not be able to find its way that if it simplifies the life of its users, in particular for the simple tasks and the large documents. Conscious of this, the KOffice project launched a contest, with rewards with the key, to give to KOffice 2.0 a singular and practical interface. The best contributions, selected at the beginning of March 2006, were considered to be very interesting.
See GUI and Functionality Design Competition for KOffice 2 - Brainstorming for the future of Koffice
KDE is a great project. Completed work can be measured in some figures:
the reference frame SVN of the source code of KDE contains currently approximately 4 million lines of code. (To carry out a small comparison: core 2.5.71 of Linux contains approximately 3.7 million lines of code);
- Plus of 800 contributors helps with the development of KDE;
- the team of translation to it alone consists of approximately 300 people;
- KDE has more than 17 official mirrors Web in more than 12 countries;
- KDE has more than 106 official mirrors ftp in more than 39 countries.
These figures can seem impressive, but the extent of the task is even more. A project like OpenOffice.org, equivalent with a simple sub-project of KDE (KOffice) is with him all alone slightly larger in terms of lines of code. The explanation advanced by project KDE is a well thought architecture, an aspect seldom noticed by the users, but who makes the developers productive. This architecture breaks up into several subsystems:
- at the base, the free library Qt produced and supported by the business enterprise Trolltech;
- KIO, a technology of abstraction of the input-outputs. It allows Konqueror and other applications KDE to reach filesystems networks (by HS for example), the peripherals Bluetooth, the compressed files, etc without these applications having to notice that of normal files it is not a question. The uses are numerous, either by the applications in an internal way, or by the user. ;
- KParts : a system allowing to create and re-use software components;
- DCOP (for Desktop Communication Protocol ) deals with the communications between programs KDE. The advanced user wishing to avoid repetitive handling can also make use of it to control any application. DCOP will be replaced by Dbus in KDE 4;
- Kiosk: useful system in a controlled environment, allowing to decontaminate certain functionalities of KDE at will;
- KHTML : a Driving of returned HTML, mainly used by the Navigator Web Konqueror, but any application can make use of it with the example of Amarok which makes use of it to post the bibliographic records of Wikipédia. It is also used by Apple for its navigator Safari;
- KConfigXT: product starting from a file XML the source code dealing with managing the configurations of the application, in particular its interaction with its box of configuration;
- XMLUI: allows the definition of elements of the interface (small, dialog box) in a file XML;
- Ktts ( text-to-speech ): voice synthesis;
- Arts: multi-media platform and waiter of sounds, which will be replaced by Phonon in KDE 4.
KDE and GNOME
KDE and GNOME have an approach different from what must be an graphical interface:
- KDE wants to be complete in the integration and the possibilities of configuration (collection of all the applications installed at the time of launching, in order to forget some no).
- GNOME wants to be purified, and puts in front of the applications and of the functionalities to the detriment of others.
It happens that the partisans of KDE and GNOME launch out in sterile long discussions having for origin such or such troll opposing the two environments, like the least greedy in resource memory or processor.
Instead of taking part in these sterile discussions, important actors of GNOME and KDE launched Freedesktop.org, a zone abstract of collaboration between them (but opened with the others), aiming at harmonizing the common infrastructure like the short cuts keyboards, the detection of the material, the exchange of information between applications (as with the Copy-sticking, Cut-to stick and Slip-to deposit), etc
Today (February 2006), applications KDE function under GNOME and conversely. There remain nevertheless different choices of ergonomics and functionalities always correctly not integrated.
In 2005, Linus Torvalds made speak about him when in the mailing list of GNOME, he encouraged people under GNOME to pass under KDE. He wrote in another message that Gnome seemed to be programmed by “Nazis of the interface”. This made following an argument on the addition or not of functions advanced in the software of impression of GNOME. This attack was not taste of the persons in charge of KDE and Aaron Seigo (an important developer of KDE) called with calm by saying that it was normal and necessary that the two environments make different choices of interface. And that the denigration of an office did not contribute to reinforce the other, but on the contrary, harmed to him via the polemic that this kind of interventions inevitably generates. While at the same time Gnome and KDE have to work together, in particular to obtain the support of the companies of development independent, of better pilot, the improvement of X11 and more functional Freedesktop.
|Random links:||High-pass filter | Photo answers | The Extremist | Season Leagues Magnus 1990-1991 | Liza manili|