by May 1, 2005 0 comments



The latest release of KDE in the 3.x series has finally arrived and we’ve provided all the necessary RPMs (not SRPMs) for it on this month’s PCQXtreme DVD. You can also download it from /pub/kde/stable/3.4/RedHat/Fedora3/ on any KDE mirror site. If you are using PCQLinux 2005 and have not been updating it with the ‘up2date’ agent, then you can get some dependency errors. To solve this, either go ahead and perform a full update of PCQLinux 2005/FC3 (using up2date) or simply download and install the following five RPM files from
http://rpmfind.net:

ruby-1.8.1-7.i386.rpm,ruby-libs-1.8.1-7.i386.rpm, xmms-1.2.10-9.2.1.fc3.rf.i386.rpm, arts-1.4.0-1.i386 .rpm and libstdc++-4.0.0-0. 40.i386.rpm. 

Direct Hit!
Applies to:
Linux desktop users
USP:
Removes dependency errors; installs on PCQLinux 2005
Links:
http://kde.org/info/3.4.php,/pub/kde/stable/3.4/RedHat/Fedora3/,
http://rpmfind.net,http://download.yahoo.com/dl/unix/gtkhtml-0.8.tar.bz2
On PCQXtreme DVD:
system\cdrom\linux\KDE

In the given URL, type in the exact name of the RPM file in the search field and hit Search. These packages won’t take much time to download. Install them by running:

#rpm -Uvh

Dependency issues
You might face issues while installing KDE 3.4 on some deployments of Linux such as the ‘Developer’s workstation’ of PCQLinux 2005. 

For this, you might get an extra dependency for gtkhtml. You can download it from
http://download.yahoo.com/dl/unix/gtkhtml-0.8.tar.bz2.
To install it, you must issue and run the following commands:

# tar -jxvf gtkhtml-0.8.tar.bz2
# cd gtkhtml-0.8
# ./configure
# make
# make install 

Installing KDE 3.4
KDE 3.4 is now ready to be installed on your machine. Create a folder in your home directory called KDE. From the PCQXtreme DVD, copy all files from
/media/cdrom/system/cdrom/linux/KDE/noarch and /media/cdrom/system/cdrom/linux/KDE/i386 to this directory as follows: 

# mkdir ~/Kde
# cp /media/cdrom/system/cdrom/linux/KDE/noarch/* ~/KDE -rf
# cp /media/cdrom/system/cdrom/linux/KDE/i386/* ~/KDE -rf

Now go to your KDE folder and run the following commands to upgrade/install your machine with KDE 3.4.

# cd ~/KDE
# rpm -Uvh * –force –nodeps

Don’t forget to use the ‘–force’ and ‘–nodeps’ swit- ches or you will be struck with a lot of inter-related dependencies that we really don’t need to bother about. 

Now you can enjoy the SVG wallpapapers in the 
KDE 3.4

Within 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the speed of your machine, KDE 3.4 will finish installing. Now just login with KDE as your session type and you will be greeted with the new KDE 3.4 popup.

It’s fast
This KDE release has very few add-ons; instead they have tried their best to make it the fastest desktop environment available on Earth. Now testing the exact speed of KDE is not possible but according to some newsgroups the speed of KDE 3.4 beta1 was double the speed of its previous release KDE 3.3. So, if you have used KDE 3.3 you can imagine the speed. On a 512 MB RAM AMD 2200+ notebook, it took four seconds to start KDE. Opening of folders and My Computer icon took one second each, which is significantly high. You will also find an increase of speed when executing cached programs, doing Windows movements (including maximizing and minimizing), and of course while using Konqueror for accessing the local file-system. A good thing that we noticed was that Konqueror crashes far lesser than it used to in KDE 3.3. 

Accessibility enhancements
Another area where KDE has focused more on, is its usability and accessibility options. This move seems to have been prompted by resource requirements given by Gnopernicus, which is the default accessibility tool of GNOME. This time KDE includes ‘KSayIt’ which is a text-to-speech software that uses the same open source voice engine ‘Festival’ which is used by GNOME’s Gnopernicus. This tool is capable of reading out text either written in its own window or directly from Klipper (The KDE Clipboard) but ksayIt doesn’t support screen reading yet. That support would have been a very important feature for the visually challenged. The point to note here is that Gnopernicus has the facility to read the screen texts. KDE had also included some high contrast themes for those with impaired vision. 

Lot of new emoticons make chatting and e-mailing fun with kopete and kmail

Other enhancements
Some other enhancements in KDE 3.4 are that now kmail supports RSS feeds and you can finally configure Kwallet without a password. Kpersonalizer has built-in accessibility options, some specific Logitech mouse features have been added and now konqueror can support the middle mouse button for scrolling. You can also drag and drop icons between panels. KDE has also added a new Reboot option, kscreensaver has autolock functionality, KDE wallpapers can now be SVG files, and you have lot of new downloadable emoticons for kopte and kmail. For a complete list of changes, you can visit
http://kde.org/info/3.4.php

In a nutshell
Given the speed improvements, KDE 3.4 is definitely something every Linux user would want. Plus, there are new SVG wallpapers, emoticons and themes for kopete and kmail. But if your search is for a highly accessible desktop environment, then don’t forget that we are seeing just the first step of KDE in this direction, and it still has a long way to go to compete with the other already available open source accessibility tools. 

Anindya Roy

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