April 7, 2019

Lots Of Features and Improvements Coming In KDE Applications 19.04

The KDE Community has been busy gearing up for the release of KDE Applications 19.04. Set for release in a few weeks, 19.04 will bring with it many exciting new features, as well as a plethora of bug fixes and papercut love. The release candidate was announced on April 5th.

In addition, to date there are currently many KDE applications available as a Snap for easy installation and for users to try the latest and greatest applications without having two wait for individual applications' packages to arrive on your distribution of choice. We can assume more are on the way as well.

So far it's shaping up to be a rather exciting release, with new features and fixes coming to Dolphin, Gwenview, Okular, Kate, Konsole, Spectacle, KMail, KOrganizer, Kdenlive, and others. We can also expect additional applications to bring some changes as well that have not been documented as of yet.

Cha cha cha cha Changes (turn and face the strange) 🎶

Forgive me, I could not help but throwing in a David Bowie reference there. As far as the changes / fixes list, there are simply too many to list out here, and I do not want to steal the KDE Promo Team's thunder regarding this exiting release. 

However you can expect a detailed article when the full announcement comes out. Additionally, those of you who are stalwart KDE fans may well have been keeping up to date with Nate Gram's excellent blog series on Usability and Productivity. If you have, you likely already knows some of the many features and fixes that are coming, both within KDE Applications and KDE Plasma. If you haven't - well - do check his articles out. 


Snaps Everywhere


The snapcraft store is the place to find many KDE applications packaged for easy installation, with more coming in all the time
The snapcraft store is the place to find many
KDE applications packaged for easy installation,
with more coming in all the time

As mentioned earlier, many KDE applications are now available as a Snap for easy installation and quicker delivery. If you peruse the Snap Store, a quick search for KDE reveals the applications available for a quick and easy install using the command line or the Discover software Center. Highlights include kdenlive, Scrooge financial management, and KDE's own Falkon web browser. In addition to many others.

Being well aware of some people's opinions about containerized formats such as Snaps, appimages, etc., it is still worth noting that these formats are not going anywhere, and in many cases provide a superior way of application distribution and speed in delivering updates. Instead of waiting for a distributions package manager or maintainer to compile the new version of an application and make it available through various repositories, Snaps are unified and work anywhere so the effort only has to be made once to package updates. Where they can potentially really shine is with some more complex applications like Kdenlive,  for example, where the entire environment can be controlled and a unified user experience can be expected.

As a quick aside, it is also worth noting that in Plasma Discover, one can select the snaps as the preferred delivery method for installing applications.

Snaps can easily be installed on KDE using Discover
Snaps can easily be installed on KDE using Discover,
As well as the ability to set the Snap format as the
preferred way to install available KDE apps


Coming Soon

KDE applications 19.04 is set for release on April 18th 2019. Following that, the first point release will roll out to users on May 9th. Anticipation is certainly there for this upcoming collection, as many areas have been addressed across all applications under the KDE umbrella. 

If you have followed the announcements regarding upcoming features and fixes through various blog and media channels, what are you most excited about with 19.04?

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