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07 December 2009, 10:00

KDE SC 4.4 Beta 1 adds tabbed windows

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The KDE project developers have released the first beta for version 4.4 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), code-named "Kompilation". The first preview release includes a number of important changes as well as bug fixes and stabilisation work. Probably the most immediately visible of these changes is the addition of tabbed windows in the KWin window manager. This allows a user to group different application windows together in a similar way to how modern web browsers allow multiple tabs for web pages.

KDE SC 4.4 Beta 1 also features improvements to the Nepomuk Semantic Search framework, such as a new storage backend and new user interface, and changes to the Plasma Desktop, including updated user interface elements, a new widget explorer and the ability to share widgets with other users over the network. The KWin window manager also gains the ability to snap windows to the screen edges for quickly laying windows out side by side.

New applications include the Blogilo rich-client blogging tool and two scientific applications for advanced maths and graph theory called Cantor and Rocs. Other applications, such as the Gwenview image viewer and the Dolpin file manager, have also received improvements. The new KAuth authorization framework has been added to the KDE Developer Platform for "easy and secure privilege escalation". The development platform has also gained support for the printing of odd and even pages, scanner support for the Windows platform and the first pieces of integration of the popular Webkit rendering engine.

More details about the release, including how to obtain binaries or compile the source code and a list of known problems, can be found in the release announcement and 4.4 Release Goals changelog. KDE is licensed under a combination of the LGPLv2, BSD, MIT and X11 licenses for core libraries and the GPLv2 or GPLv3 for applications. The final version of KDE 4.4 is scheduled to be released on the 9th of February, 2010.

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