KDE Software Compilation 4.11 has been released – the major components being Plasma Workspaces, KDE Applications, and the basis on which those are built, the KDE Platform. The new KDE SC 4.11 is more of an intermediate release cycle while the developers concentrate on the technical transition to “KDE Frameworks 5” (the evolution of the current KDE Platform).
The release of KDE Platform 4.11 has a focus on stability, bugfixes and performance improvements. Basically, the platform libraries have been feature-frozen since 4.9 already. New features are being implemented for the future KDE Frameworks 5.0. (with an exception made for further optimizations to the Nepomuk framework which went into the stable release).
From a packaging point of view, the most prominent change is a further splitting of the big packages into multiple smaller individual program packages. This time, the affected “meta packages” are kdeadmin, kdetoys, kdesdk and kdenetwork.
It looks like Slackware-current (and therefore Slackware 14.1) is sticking with KDE 4.10.5 because that is rock stable and an upgrade to 4.11.0 may introduce compatibility issues we do not want when Slackware 14.1 is somewhat visible on the horizon already. This means that those of you who feel adventurous and want to run the latest KDE always, will need to visit this blog on a regular basis to stay informed about updates in the KDE 4.11 series for Slackware 14.1/current. What are you waiting for? Plan an upgrade from your trusted Slackware 14.0 to -current (and eventually to 14.1) right now!
And since “The Plasma Workspaces 4.11 will receive long term support as the team focuses on the technical transition to Frameworks 5. This then presents the last combined release of the Workspaces, Applications and Platform under the same version number” (quote from the release announcement) I can’t really tell you how future versions of KDE are going to be numbered. For now, the KDE 4.12 roadmap is available at the usual place, telling us that KDE 4.12 should be released in December of this year.
What’s new in KDE 4.11?
For those interested in the in-depth information, my tip is to check out the feature plan page for the KDE 4.11 series. Highlighted changes are the expansion of the use of Qt Quick (the application framework which includes the interpreter language QML), faster Nepomuk indexing (many people keep complaining about Nepomuk… but really guys, give the “evil triplet” of Nepomuk/Akonadi/Strigi the change they deserve), many Kontact improvements, and the start of support for the Wayland compositor in KWin (the window manager of KDE) as well as OpenGL improvements.
Speaking of Wayland support. I feel compelled to mention this interesting article explaining how the next release of X.Org could become a real alternative to Wayland by implementing the new DRI3 and Present extensions – it shows that X.Org development is very much alive!
How to upgrade to KDE 4.11 ?
You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script. Earlier blog posts have more information on rebuilding from source and upgrading from Slackware’s own KDE. Another post explains the inner workings of KDE.SlackBuild for all you re-compilers.
You are strongly advised to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!
Where to find packages for KDE 4.11 ?
Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/4.11.0/ and packages in /current/4.11.0/ subdirectories). Using a mirror is preferred because you get more bandwidth from a mirror and it’s friendlier to the owners of the master server!
- http://alien.slackbook.org/ktown/ (the master repository), rsync URI: rsync://alien.slackbook.org/alien/ktown/
- http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/ (my fast US mirror), rsync URI: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/
- http://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/ (willysr’s Indonesian mirror), rsync URI: rsync://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/
- http://slackware.org.uk/people/alien-kde/ (fast UK based mirror, run by Darren Austin), rsync URI: rsync://slackware.org.uk/people/alien-kde/
Have fun! Eric
On a personal note: the FOSS Force site is running a “best personal Linux or FOSS blog competition” and one of the condenders is my very own blog (no idea how I got on the list). I’d feel honoured if you would take the time and vote for my blog if you appreciate my writings: http://fossforce.com/2013/08/who-will-be-best-personal-linux-or-foss-blog/