KDE SC 4.7 released
Six months after the 4.6 release, the KDE Community has announced the arrival of version 4.7 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). According to the developers, the major update provides performance and stability improvements to the open source K Desktop Environment (KDE) platform, the applications compilation and the plasma workspaces, while also adding many new features.
Version 4.7.0 of the popular Linux and Unix desktop manager offers updates to the Kontact groupware solution, including version 2.0 of KMail which now uses the Akonadi framework, and brings user interface changes to the Dolphin file manager to give it "a cleaner default appearance"; the search interface has also been improved. Improvements to KWin, the window manager for the KDE Plasma Desktop, include better performance on mobile devices and the addition of support for OpenGL-ES 2.0.
Other changes include updated Oxygen icons, better network management in the plasma workspaces with experimental support for NetworkManager 0.9, and Zeitgeist support in the Phonon media framework. The Marble virtual globe application, which is similar to Google Earth, adds support for offline address search. KDE's login manager, KDM (KDE Display Manager), now works with the Grub2 boot loader. Version 2.0 of the digiKam digital photo management application is also included; at the time of writing, an official 2.0 release announcement has yet to be made on the digiKam web site.
A "technical preview" of the new Instant Messaging solution for KDE has also been announced. It offers support for IM services such as Google Talk and Facebook Chat. As it is still in its early stages, the KDE-Telepathy developers note that "this project is not yet mature enough to be part of the big KDE family". Users can download it as a separate package; installation instructions are provided.
More details about the major update can be found on the KDE 4.7.0 Info Page and in the official release announcement. Source packages for self-compilation and binary packages for various Linux distributions are available to download from the project's web site. 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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