According to AbbreviationFinder, KDE is written almost exclusively in C ++, a language derived from the C programming language with some added functionality, especially in object-oriented programming. Despite criticism against this (initially less mature) language, its adoption by the KDE project has resulted in more dynamic development and shorter release cycles, while allowing efficient programs to be produced in fewer lines of software. code than those required for the same tasks using structured programming languages (for example: C).
KDE is built on the Qt Library for graphical application programming. Qt facilitates Object Oriented Programming and component creation, providing a solid foundation for building any type of graphical application.
It uses version 3 of the Qt 3 graphical libraries, and its sound system is a new version of the criticized aRts, already present in KDE 2. The KHTML Engine, used by Konqueror, also comes from KDE 2. For intercommunication of applications it was designed the DCOP system, although it was later replaced by its evolution D-BUS.
KDE 4 is based on the fourth version of Qt which, in principle, increases performance compared to the previous version. The revamped Libraries and compilation tools will also facilitate support for non-X11-based platforms, including Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, since one of the goals of KDE 4 is that it can be more easily ported to different Operating Systems. The first technical revision of KDE 4 coincided with the date of the KDE project’s tenth birthday. Much of the technical work was carried out at the aKademy 2006 held in Dublin. Some of its novelties are explained below:
- Faster and more memory efficient, thanks to the substantial speed and efficiency improvement in Qt 4.x and the internal enhancement of KDE’s own libraries.
- A rewritten HIG and style guides.
- A new theme for icons and visual styles, developed by the Oxygen Project, which will extend the use of SVGs.
- A completely new desktop and panels, collectively called Plasma, that will integrate the current Kicker, KDesktop, and SuperKaramba.
- A simplified interface for the Konqueror browser, which will no longer be the default file manager in favor of Dolphin.
- A new multimedia interface called Phonon, making KDE independent of a specific multimedia system.
- A new API for networks and portable devices, called Solid.
- A new communication system called Decibel.
- A new search and metadata system, probably called Tenor. You could incorporate Strigi as a service for indexing files, and Nepomuk for its integration into KDE.
- Facilitate the portability of libraries needed so that KDE applications can be easily ported and run on Windows and Mac OS X.
- A new spell checker called Sonnet, with automatic language detection. It will replace kspell to flag spelling errors that are commented out in any KDE application. One of the advantages over kspell, is along with a simpler design to maintain, the ability to detect and correct errors in texts with several different languages mixed within the text.
- ThreadWeaver as software to harness the power of multi-core CPUs and make it easier to parallelize processes.
- WebKit as an HTML engine for Konqueror.
During Google’s Summer of Code, an icon cache was implemented to optimize application startup speed, specially designed for KDE 4. The results were mixed, as an application that used hundreds of icons like Kfinder, started in at least a quarter of the time it used to take. While other applications and the entire KDE session managed to start a second faster which is important considering that new versions of software are generally heavier than their predecessors.
Below is a list of some applications that use the Qt Library and others that also use the KDE libraries. Although they work in any Desktop Environment or Window Manager, their execution under KDE is more efficient. Likewise, in KDE all kinds of applications can be loaded in addition to the ones listed below.
- Amarok – Audio Player.
- Dolphin – File Browser.
- K3b – Optical Media Recording Suite.
- Kate – Text Editor.
- Kdevelop – Integrated Development Environment.
- Konsole – Terminal emulator.
- Kontact – Manager of personal information, email accounts, RSS feeds, calendar, and more.
- Kopete – Multi-protocol instant messaging client.
- Konqueror – Web and file browser.
- KDELibs – Main Libraries.
- KHTML – HTML rendering engine.
- KIO – Allows access to files, websites and other sources with a simple and consistent API.
- Kiosk – Allows you to disable KDE features to create a more controlled environment.
- KParts – Component framework.
- KWin – Window manager.
- XMLGUI – Allows you to define user interface elements such as menus and toolbars through XML files.
Technologies added in KDE 4
- Akonadi – Personal Information Management Framework.
- Plasma – Desktop and panel rendering engine (GUI).
- Phonon – Multimedia Framework.
- Decibel – Communications Framework.
- Nepomuk – Semantic desk.
- Solid – Device integration framework.
- Sonnet – Spell Checker.
- ThreadWeaver – Liberia to use multiprocessors more efficiently.
- WebKit – HTML Engine.
Technologies Replaced in KDE 4
- aRts – sound server, replaced with Phonon
- DCOP – System for inter-process communication, replaced with D-Bus