A new development build of KDE Frameworks 5 is now out and the developers are making great progress. If things continue to evolve according to the plan KDE has laid out, we should see this new desktop environment pretty soon.
“This beta features multiple bug fixes, and the finishing touches required to ease the transition for developers to the newest iteration of the KDE Frameworks. This process has included contributions back to Qt5, the modularisation of the kdelibs, and general improvements to the components that developers can use to improve their applications and user experience.”
You might know that Okular has a plugin system, for adding support for more document formats. And you might know that Calligra since years also provides a plugin to Okular, which adds support to view slides from files in the OpenDocument Presentation (ODP) format. And not only for the ODP format: by simply using the Calligra import filters for PPT and PPTX you can also view the slides locked away in those formats.
The different apps of Calligra used to be built on the KParts system, so any files in formats supported by them would be also viewable in KPart-embedding programs like Konqueror or KDevelop. But due to the currently on-going creation of a new MVC-oriented foundation for the Calligra programs this has changed, the Calligra modules are no more KParts.
The KDE4 series is still actively developed (in August we will see the release of KDE SC 4.14) but the KDE developers have been working long and hard at the next generation desktop. I wrote some generic phrases in the past about KDE Frameworks 5 (the successor to the KDE Platform aka kdelibs) and Plasma Next (the Qt5 based successor of the Plasma Workspaces of KDE4 which uses Qt4 for its graphical splendor).
Also: Bringing KDE forward
The KDE Applications 4.13 announcement highlighted the delightful new capabilities of Palapeli, the KDE jigsaw puzzle application. What the announcement did not mention is that the Palapeli maintainer, Ian Wadham, is celebrating 50 years of software experience. He’s ready to hand off Palapeli and his other KDE software development responsibilities. Albert Astals Cid called attention to Ian’s achievements and suggested a Dot interview.
The most famous and loved will always be the balad of the Active lands of Plasma where the society became so enlightened they managed to expel the Royal Society for Putting Things on top of other things.
What the future (KF5) brings?
Ok, stopping with the story now.
KActvities are back in the world of semantic linking, this time without Nepomuk, and without any unnecessary performance overhead. The new service implements all the features Nepomuk provided for activities, but also goes a bit further than that.
The previous week i was working on the Activity Switcher (it is the sliding button on right of your screen), which is written in QML2. The activity Switcher is reusing the activities component for managing the activities. So the only real difference between the Activity Switcher and the desktop Activity Manager, is its layout which has been created with QML2.
Two years ago the Qt3D module was showing lost of promise for 3D support within the popular, cross-platform toolkit. However, just before the Qt 5.0 release, Nokia shutdown their Qt Brisbane office that among other Qt modules was responsible for the work on Qt3D. Nokia's late actions with Qt prior to selling it off to Digia was a a big blow and led to Qt3D being demoted. Fortunately, Qt3D 2.0 is coming along as a maintained, rewritten version of the 3D support for Qt.