KDE – one of most functional desktop environment ever. It’s open source and free for use. 19 years ago, 14 october 1996 german programmer Matthias Ettrich has started a development of this beautiful environment. KDE provides the shell and many applications for everyday using. Today KDE uses the hundred thousand peoples over the world on Unix and Windows operating system. 19 years – serious age for software projects. Time to return and see how it begin.
K Desktop Environment has some new aspects: new design, good look & feel, consistency, easy to use, powerful applications for typical desktop work and special use cases. Name “KDE” is an easy word hack with “Common Desktop Environment”, “K” – “Cool”. The first KDE version used proprietary Trolltech’s Qt framework (parent of Qt) with dual licensing: open source QPL(Q public license) and proprietary commercial license. In 2000 Trolltech released some Qt libraries under GPL; Qt 4.5 was released in LGPL 2.1. Since 2009 KDE is compiled for three products: Plasma Workspaces (Shell), KDE Applications, KDE Platform as KDE Software compilation.
Pre-Release – 14 October 1996
Kool Desktop Environment. Word “Kool” will be dropped in future. In the beginning, all components were released to the developer community separately without any coordinated timeframe throughout the overall project. First communication of KDE via mailing list, that was called firstname.lastname@example.org-Tubingen.de.
KDE 1.0 – July 12, 1998
This version received mixed reception. Many criticized the use of the Qt software framework – back then under the FreeQt license which was claimed to not be compatible with free software – and advised the use of Motif or LessTif instead. Despite that criticism, KDE was well received by many users and made its way into the first Linux distributions.
KDE 2.0 – October 23, 2000
Major updates: * DCOP (Desktop COmmunication Protocol), a client-to-client communications protocol * KIO, an application I/O library. * KParts, a component object model * KHTML, an HTML 4.0 compliant rendering and drawing engine
K Desktop Environment 2.1 release inaugurated the media player noatun, which used a modular, plugin design. For development, K Desktop Environment 2.1 was bundled with KDevelop.
KDE 3.0 – April 3, 2002
K Desktop Environment 3.0 introduced better support for restricted usage, a feature demanded by certain environments such as kiosks, Internet cafes and enterprise deployments, which disallows the user from having full access to all capabilities of a piece of software.
K Desktop Environment 3.1 introduced new default window (Keramik) and icon (Crystal) styles as well as several feature enhancements.
K Desktop Environment 3.2 included new features, such as inline spell checking for web forms and emails, improved e-mail and calendaring support, tabs in Konqueror and support for Microsoft Windows desktop sharing protocol (RDP).
K Desktop Environment 3.3 focused on integrating different desktop components. Kontact was integrated with Kolab, a groupware application, and Kpilot. Konqueror was given better support for instant messaging contacts, with the capability to send files to IM contacts and support for IM protocols (e.g., IRC).
K Desktop Environment 3.4 focused on improving accessibility. The update added a text-to-speech system with support for Konqueror, Kate, KPDF, the standalone application KSayIt and text-to-speech synthesis on the desktop.
The K Desktop Environment 3.5 release added SuperKaramba, which provides integrated and simple-to-install widgets to the desktop. Konqueror was given an ad-block feature and became the second web browser to pass the Acid2 CSS test.
KDE SC 4.0 – January 11, 2008
The majority of development went into implementing most of the new technologies and frameworks of KDE 4. Plasma and the Oxygen style were two of the biggest user-facing changes. Dolphin replaces Konqueror as file manager, Okular – default document viewer.
KDE 4.1 includes a shared emoticon theming system which is used in PIM and Kopete, and DXS, a service that lets applications download and install data from the Internet with one click. Also introduced are GStreamer, QuickTime 7, and DirectShow 9 Phonon backends. New applications: * Dragon Player * Kontact * Skanlite – software for scanners * Step – physics simulator * New games: Kdiamond, Kollision, KBreakout and others
KDE 4.2 is considered a significant improvement beyond KDE 4.1 in nearly all aspects, and a suitable replacement for KDE 3.5 for most users.
KDE 4.3 fixed over 10,000 bugs and implemented almost 2,000 feature requests. Integration with other technologies, such as PolicyKit, NetworkManager & Geolocation services, was another focus of this release.
KDE SC 4.4 is based on version 4.6 of the Qt 4 toolkit. New application – KAddressBook.
KDE SC 4.5 has some new features: integration of the WebKit library, an open-source web browser engine, which is used in major browsers such as Apple Safari and Google Chrome. KPackageKit replaced Kpackage.
KDE SC 4.6 has better OpenGL compositing along with the usual myriad of fixes and features.
KDE SC 4.7 has updated KWin with OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible, Qt Quick, Plasma Desktop with many enhancements and a lot of new functions in general applications. 12k bugs if fixed.
KDE SC 4.8: better KWin performance and Wayland support, new design of Doplhin.
KDE SC 4.9: several improvements to the Dolphin file manager, including the reintroduction of in-line file renaming, back and forward mouse buttons, improvement of the places panel and better usage of file metadata.
KDE SC 4.10: many of the default Plasma widgets were rewritten in QML, and Nepomuk, Kontact and Okular received significant speed improvements.
KDE SC 4.11: Kontact and Nepomuk received many optimizations. The first generation Plasma Workspaces entered maintenance-only development mode.
KDE SC 4.12: Kontact received substantial improvements, many small improvements.
KDE SC 4.13: Nepomuk semantic desktop search was replaced with KDE’s in house Baloo. KDE SC 4.13 was released in 53 different translations.
KDE SC 4.14: he release primarily focused on stability, with numerous bugs fixed and few new features added. This was the final KDE SC 4 release.
KDE Plasma 5.0 – July 15, 2014
KDE Plasma 5.1: Ported missing features from Plasma 4.
KDE Plasma 5.2: New components: BlueDevil, KSSHAskPass, Muon, SDDM theme configuration, KScreen, GTK+ style configuration and KDecoration.
KDE Plasma 5.3: Tech preview of Plasma Media Center. New Bluetooth and touchpad applets. Enhanced power management.
KDE Plasma 5.4: Initial Wayland session, new QML-based audio volume applet, and alternative full-screen application launcher.