First Bugfix Release for KDE 4

Feb 06, 2008

The new KDE Version 4.0.1 is now available for downloading from the KDE project homepage. The release mainly comprises bugfixes, removing errors discovered in version 4.0.0, improving system performance and adding some new visual features.

All told, KDE 4.0.1 is more stable than its predecessor – if you are already using KDE4, the developers advise downloading the update. A list of mirror servers has been posted on the KDE download page.

The project announcement refers specifically to Konqueror bugfixes. Numerous improvements to the HTML rendering engine, KHTML, help the default KDE browser achieve better performance and improve stability. For example, Konqueror no longer crashes on calling the "window.close()" JavaScript function with multiple tabs open. KJS, the browser's JavaScript engine has also been revised. For example, boundaries have been introduced for the LibPCRE stack space following overflows caused by regular expressions.

Besides corrections to various components that all KDE 4 applications access, the KDE developers have mainly focused on removing visible errors. KWin, the KDE window manager now has improved Composite support with temporary transparency supported on moving windows. Although the panel width cannot be changed, you can at least adjust the height, and position the panel either at the top or the sides of the screen. This said, there is still no function for dropping widgets onto the panel. A new "Show Desktop" function in the panel reveals the complete desktop without windows and without the control bar. On restoring a session, active applications from the previous session are restored exactly as left.

Visual changes also affect Plasma, which has handled desktop element management since KDE 4.0. - plasmoids are the most obvious new feature in KDE 4. The developers now offer two separate buttons for rotating and expanding widgets. At the same time, users are no longer restricted to keeping the aspect on scaling plasmoids. Most widgets now have a right-button drop-down menu. Icons from GTK applications that normally nest in the system tray no longer crash.

A bug that caused the keyboard to freeze on pressing the [Alt+Shift+Tab] shortcut has been removed. Users seem to miss various features from the previous KDE version. For example, the developers have reinstated the autostart folder in the KDE directory below a user's home directory and revoke some other minor changes that KDE users don't seem to want to be without. KMail and co. are still missing.

Bug hunters have also investigated the games and education sectors. The Marble geography tool is now far faster and includes a satellite view. The developers have also removed memory holes. The KStars virtual planetarium has seen various minor improvements. As always, the Changelog has an overview (if not a complete one) of the changes. If you are interested in trying out the new version, you can simply run the updated ISO image provided by the KDE 4 Live project, which is based on OpenSuse 10.3. A torrent is available here. Sebastian Kügler has announced another bugfix release, which will probably become available in March.

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