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Posted Dec 02, 2004

Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source

by George Staikos

KDE 3.3.2 was tagged today, so we should see a new bug fix release of KDE in the first or second week of December. Earlier this past week, the plans for a KDE 3.4 release were also finalized. This will be the last major KDE 3 release before KDE 4. KDE 4 will make use of the Qt 4 library which promises to be quite a revolution for KDE and all Qt applications, but will break binary compatibility with previous releases.

The release schedule for KDE 3.4 plans for an alpha release December 3, a beta release January 7, and a final release March 16 2005. The 3.4 release will bring a large number of features and functionality enhancements over previous KDE 3 releases. Here are some of the features already implemented:

Hardware Support

- Support for special keyboard keys on Dell Inspiron and ASUS laptops.
- A new battery monitor (under development).
- media:/ addition to the KDE I/O subsystem to list devices on the system.

KHTML and Konqueror


- KHTML has undergone major work lately, though much of it will appear in KDE 3.3.2. Merging with Safari fixes continues, alone with new work and fixes by KDE developers. Site compatibility continues to improve, stability is very much improved, and KWallet no longer blocks Konqueror while waiting for a password.
- Support for multiple site logins with KWallet (for all protocols, but not HTML form completions yet) added.
- A notifier was added to visually indicate when user-agent spoofing is active.
- KHTML plug-ins are now configurable, so the user can selectively disable ones that are not used. This does not include Netscape-style plug-ins.
- Netscape plug-in in CPU usage can be manually lowered, and plug-ins are more stable.
- Over the past couple of months, confirmed KHTML and Konqueror bug reports have been on a significant decline as bugs are fixed more rapidly and fewer are reported.

E-Mail and Personal Information Management

- Major improvements in synchronization, including support for synchronizing between two PCs.
- Enhanced support for groupware servers, including Exchange 2000, OpenGroupware, Kolab 1 and 2, SLOX, Groupwise, and eGroupware.


- XFace support for associating faces with mail and news articles.
- Blogging and journal support.
- KMail supports KWallet.
- Client-side IMAP search support.
- Improved drag and drop in KMail.
- Improved anti-spam support in KMail.
- Uncountable other e-mail, organizer and address-book enhancements.


- Novell Groupwise and Lotus Sametime protocol support added.
- Support for adding URLs to bookmarks.
- Drag and drop of files and contacts.
- The NetMeeting plug-in now allows the use of arbitrary applications to start a chat.
- Support for incoming MSN messages that are handwritten.
- An adium look-alike chat window style.


- KPDF includes new numerous new features including:
- New rendering engine.
- Optimizations and enhancements for zoom, search, and thumbnails.
- Better printing (using Postscript directly).
- Support for password protected PDFs.
- Image extraction support.
- Nicer user interface in general.


- QCA - A complete cryptography architecture.
- Usage of GCC 3.4 symbol visibility functionality for much improved application startup time.
- Optimizations of various styles and other components.
- Cleanup and reworking of KJSEmbed to make it much more functional.
- Password dialog gives feedback on the relative strength of new passwords.

Desktop / General

- KDM theme support.
- Numerous window manager enhancements, including indicators for remote applications.
- Major Kicker panel reworking, with support for hiding tray icons.
- Empty password support (password-less wallets) in KWallet.


- Support for setting the clock with NTP.
- Completely redesigned, more flexible trash system.

Other Cool Things We Might See

All of these features are under development and may make it into KDE 3.4:
- Support for Apple's DNS based service discovery.
- Network availability module.
- Support for the next generation Mozilla/Netscape plug-in mechanism.
- Reworked and enhanced WIFI manager.
- Subversion support.
- Wizard for easily connecting to network resources.

KDE 3.4 shows great promise already, and with three weeks until the feature freeze, we can expect to see more great things. This is by no means a complete feature list, but it does highlight some of the most important features we will see. As a developer working on a daily basis with what will become KDE 3.4, I have to say I'm already addicted, and it's hard to imagine working without some of these new features.

George is a software developer from Toronto, Canada. He has been actively involved with the KDE project for over 5 years, developing KDE code and attending conferences to discuss and promote KDE and Linux on the desktop. He is presently the North American press contact for KDE, and is still an active developer. George has contributed to many different areas of KDE including the libraries and I/O subsystem, Konqueror, KMail, and various other applications.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 1, Interesting)
by Anonymous on Dec 02, 2004 - 01:35 PM
ai, but what about Hall/udev/d-bus? any automatically mounting/starting of appropriate applications/etc?

except for this, I am looking forward for KDE 3.4!

Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Dec 02, 2004 - 01:53 PM
Apple's DNS based service discover byitself is worthwile the upgrade!

Looking forward for KDE 3.4!! I cannot wait.

Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Dec 02, 2004 - 07:02 PM
QCA is complete already? Cool, I was worrying about how I was going to get it done in time for KDE 4, let alone 3.4!


Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 2, Interesting)
by Anonymous on Dec 02, 2004 - 10:18 PM
Thanks, it's very cool to read about what's coming. I had checked the KDE 3.4 feature plan long ago, and the thing that catched my attention was a KDM improvement which this doesn't talk about. Am I misunderstanding, or is
"Proper session-on-demand implementation including fast user switching."
a super improvement? I didn't test 3.4 yet.

Philippe Cloutier

Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 0, Interesting)
by Anonymous on Dec 03, 2004 - 12:49 AM
Any chance for KDEBlueTooth to ship with KDE-3.4 by default?

Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 3, Funny)
by Anonymous on Dec 03, 2004 - 03:19 AM
I'm looking forward to see the 7-Zip archives supported by default (there is a patch for 3.3, but it's always better to have all integrated ;-]).

Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 3, Interesting)
by Anonymous on Dec 03, 2004 - 04:13 PM
can't wait seeing KDE 3.4 running on FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE

Re: Preview of KDE 3.4 / KDE: From the Source (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Jan 05, 2005 - 01:19 AM
What I appreciate the most is the adoption of *** Subversion *** !!!

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