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KDE 4.2 arrives, takes aim at free desktop 'answer'

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KDE

Almost a year to the day KDE 4 releases started with 4.0.0, the KDE project has been in damage control about how it handled the apparent developers release, but that all changed today with the second major release in the KDE 4 series, KDE 4.2.0, codenamed “the answer” aimed squarely at a whole new free desktop experience.

Plasma: it's all about the desktop

The KDE desktop shell, Plasma, has received a good makeover and includes many new widgets for uploading files to Web applications, system monitors, weather information, file previews and even a simple Web browser.

Thousands more widgets are now available on Plasma thanks to support for Google Gadgets and Mac OS X dashboard widgets.
Widgets can be written in Ruby, Python, JavaScript and C++ and KDE expects “many more” Plasma widgets will be available in the coming months.

Keyboard shortcuts can now be assigned to widgets for quick access and the Folderview widget allows files in any local (including the “desktop”) or remote location to be previewed or opened

Other desktop enhancements include the ability to zoom in and out of named desktops, a new System Settings module for fine-tuning Plasma themes, and the option to have the desktop background as a slideshow.

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