Documentation Desktop Beat

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KDE

Fedora 17 features the KDE 4.8 Software Compilation. KDE features three components. KDE Platform is the foundation for all KDE-based applications. KDE Plasma Workspace provides you with ways to manage how you use applications. KDE Applications use the Platform and Plasma Workspace to give you a fully-integrated experience.

KDE Platform

The KDE Platform provides services for all KDE-based applications and the Plasma Workspace. KDE Platform 4.8 features some new technology along with dramatic increases in performance and stability.

KDE now offers QtQuick. QtQuick is an easy way to make small applications (applets) for Qt environments like KDE. KDE has Plasma QtQuick Components that help you write KDE Plasma Workspace applications quickly.

KSecretService is a new, secure password-storage system. KWallet manages passwords for KDE applications, and KSecretService makes those passwords available to non-KDE applications.

KDE Plasma Workspaces

The KDE Plasma Workspaces are two desktop environments that manage how you work with applications. The Plasma Desktop Workspace has a more traditional appearance, and the Netbook Plasma Workspace has a modified appearance for smaller screens and mobile devices.

The Window Switcher now has six possible layouts. You can choose between layouts in the System Settings application.

The KWin window manager is improved. Kwin offers significantly improved performance.

The "Power Management" pane of System Settings is redesigned and simplified. Power management settings now work on computers with multiple display devices. You can also now modify power management settings to change when you are in a certain "Activity."

You can use the new Icon Tasks Plasma widget to manage your applications on a taskbar as an icon, like in other popular operating systems.

KDE Applications

The KDE Applications are all of the basic applications, and many advanced applications, that you need.

Dolphin is the file management application. Dolphin now displays files more accurately, adapts to different computer hardware, and is more visually appealing.

Gwenview is the image viewing application. You can see your position in a zoomed-in image with the new, translucent position indicator. You will also notice minor visual and performance improvements.

Okular is the text document viewing application. You can now select text more easily. Several bugs are fixed, and multi-column text is selected properly.

The Kate text editor features a new "Search and Replace" plugin, indicators of changed lines, and a new "modelines" editor that uses document variables. Fedora 17 has new documentation for Kate, accessible through the applications' "Help" menus.

Cantor is an application for mathematics packages. Cantor now supports Qalculate and Scilab.

The Marble virtual globe and atlas application is now integrated with KRunner. You can search GPS coordinates and Marble bookmarks through KRunner. You can also view route elevation information, track earth satellites, and display OpenStreetMap files in vector format.

GNOME

Fedora 17 features the GNOME 3.4 desktop environment.

Some highlights of GNOME 3.4 include:

  • Some applications' menus are now integrated with the GNOME Shell. The new menus reduce visual clutter and help unite applications' appearance.
  • Boxes is a new GNOME 3 app. You can use Boxes to access other computers and virtual machines on the same or another computer.
  • The existing Documents app is improved. New features include collections, support for removable devices, support for sharing documents, support for printing documents, portrait mode, and integration with the GNOME Shell overview search box.
  • The high constrast and high contrast inverse theme icons are more consistent with standard theme icons.
  • Users with low vision can customize the brightness and contrast of their display through GNOME Shell.
  • The network panel is redesigned. New features include easily knowing whether you are connected to the Internet, an "airplane mode" switch to disable network activity, a "forget network" button to remove unwanted connections, and an integrated password dialog.
  • GNOME Keyring dialogs are now integrated with GNOME Shell.
  • New features for users with "Wacom" graphics tablets include the ability to:
    • calibrate the tablets
    • configure button mappings
    • assign monitors to the device
    • configure multiple tablets
    • store unique configurations per device
    • identify tablets and their capabilities
  • More configurable settings for the built-in GNOME Shell magnification feature.

Sugar

Fedora 17 features the Sugar 0.96 desktop environment. Some features include:

  • Removal of HippoCanvas for move to GTK+ 3
  • Support for NetworkManager 0.9
  • sugar-toolkit based on GTK+ 3
  • Initial support for PyPi
  • New Browse Activity using GTK+ 3, webkitgtk, and gobject-introspection
  • New Read Activity using GTK+ 3 and gobject-introspection
  • Fixes for various bugs and improvements to several Activities