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25 January 2012, 17:46

KDE SC 4.8 arrives with enhanced power management

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KDE logo As expected, the KDE developers have published version 4.8.0 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). The major update to the open source K Desktop Environment includes changes to the KDE Platform itself as well as the KDE Applications and Plasma Workspaces.

Most striking of the changes is the redesigned KDE Power Management System Settings which simplify the user interface but also no longer rely on user-created profiles. The user is now offered three presets, On AC Power, On Battery and On Low Battery. The power management system is now also aware of multiple screens and user activity and can be configured, for example, to never dim the display when a Photo or Video activity is taking place. The KWin Plasma window manager and composer has been optimised for better performance and the Window Switcher, usually mapped to Alt-Tab, now has six selectable layouts to display the available windows. The first Qt Quick-based Plasma widgets have, by default, also been included in Plasma Workspaces.


Zoom The Dolphin file manager and Gwenview image viewer
Source: KDE
The Dolphin file manager in KDE SC 4.8.0 is said to be much "faster and prettier" thanks to a new display engine that works better with large directories; it also no longer truncates displayed filenames. The Gwenview image viewer has been fine-tuned to improve its ease of use with a translucent navigation area that makes scrolling easier when zoomed in. The Kate text editor includes new features such as a Search & Replace plugin, and the Okular document viewer now has advanced text selection features. The Marble virtual globe has also been greatly enhanced with KRunner integration and the ability to view elevation profiles, track satellites, and import OpenStreetMap files in vector format.

KSecretService now includes optional shared password storage, allowing other applications to access saved passwords. A first beta, version 0.3 "Ninja", of the open source Telepathy instant messaging (IM) client for KDE, part of the Real-Time Communication and Collaboration (RTCC) project, is also included in the release.


Zoom KDE SC 4.8 Plasma Workspaces and Applications
Source: KDE

Further information about the update to the popular Linux and Unix desktop manager can be found in the release announcement and on the KDE SC 4.8.0 Info Page. Binary packages for various Linux distributions and source packages are available to download from the project's web site. Users are advised to use the 4.7.4 or 4.8.0 version of Qt "in order to get the most out of these releases". KDE is licensed under a combination of the LGPLv2, BSD, MIT and X11 licences for core libraries and the GPLv2 or GPLv3 for applications.

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