The KDE developer team has just pushed version 4.11 of the Software Compilation suite out the door, and as always, it’s well worth taking the time to upgrade. With this 11th major KDE 4 release upon us, I couldn’t help but look to see how far we are into its life, and I was surprised to see that it’s been five-and-a-half years since the initial version. Time sure flies! At the time of its release, Windows Vista was Microsoft’s latest OS, and what a winner that was.
A major focus for KDE 4.11 was general polish, and that comes to us in a couple of different ways. Most notable is the fact that the taskbar has been ported to QtQuick, ridding a bunch of long-standing bugs, and also ensuring more consistent and fluid behavior. A couple of applets have been improved quite a bit as well, such as the notifier, battery and sound mixer – the latter of which is now able to control multiple media players, such as Clementine, Amarok (why you’d ever run both, I have no idea) and Tomahawk.
KDE’s windows manager, aptly named KWin, has move away from some older technology, adopting the “XCB” communication protocol (a project that began back in 2001). In addition, OpenGL 3.1 and OpenGL ES 3.0 support has been added. And on the topic of displays, KScreen is a brand-new application that anyone with multiple monitors will want to check out. It’s designed to make management of additional displays a breeze. Given I have three monitors connected to our test bench, I think I’m going to have to give KScreen a try in the near-future.
In addition to all of what’s been mentioned so far, a number of KDE-specific applications have been updated for this release, as per the usual. You can learn more about these through the official release page.