Announcing KDE 3.4
March 16, 2005 (The Internet) - After more than a half year of development the KDE Project is happy to be able to announce a new major release of the award-winning K Desktop Environment. Among the many new features that have been incorporated, the improvements in accessibility are most remarkable.
For people with low vision, several high contrast themes including a complete monochrome icon set have been added. Other accessibility applications have been improved. KMouseTool which can click the mouse for people with, for example, carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis; KMouth to allow the computer to speak for the speech impaired; and KMagnifier to magnify sections of screen for partially-sighted users. Standard accessibility features including "Sticky Keys", "Slow Keys" and "Bounce Keys" are also available and are now more easily accessed via keyboard gestures. All of these features combine to open the world of computing to a much wider audience and to a section of the population that is often overlooked. The KDE project will continue its close cooperation with the accessibility community to reach even more people in the future.
Another milestone will be the improvements of KDE's personal information
management suite Kontact and of
KDE's instant messenger Kopete.
Kontact has improved usability including a new message composer and start
screen, and its support for the free software groupware solution
With KDE being based on an international community there are more than 49 translations available and even more to be expected for future service packs of KDE 3.4. This is why KDE serves best the needs of today's world wide Linux community.
KDE 3.4 is available for free under Open Source licenses and boasts eighteen packages of optional applications including accessibility, development, games, PIM, network, utilities, administration, edutainment, multimedia, graphics and more.
Reactions from the accessibility community
"With each new release, KDE continues to enhance its support for people
with disabilities", Janina Sajka, chair of the
Lars Stetten from the Accessibility User Group Linaccess said about the release: "The new accessibility features in KDE 3.4 are an important step for the future, to enable disabled people to get to know the KDE desktop and to join its community."
Highlights at a glance
For a more detailed list of improvements since the KDE 3.3 release, please refer to the
KDE 3.4 Feature Plan.
Getting KDE 3.4
Full information on how to download and install KDE 3.4 is available on
our official website at http://www.kde.org/info. Being free and
open source software, it is available for download at no cost. If you
use a major Linux distribution then precompiled packages may be
available from your distributions website or from
http://download.kde.org. The source code can also be downloaded from
there. Both ArkLinux and Kubuntu have targeted a release including KDE 3.4 right after the 3.4 release. If you prefer to build KDE from source you should consider using
KDE is an independent project of hundreds of developers, translators,
artists and other professionals worldwide collaborating over the Internet
to create and freely distribute a sophisticated, customizable and stable
desktop and office environment employing a flexible, component-based,
network-transparent architecture and offering an outstanding development
platform. KDE provides a stable, mature desktop, a full, component-based
office suite (KOffice), a large
set of networking and administration tools and utilities, and an
efficient, intuitive development environment featuring the excellent IDE
KDevelop. KDE is working proof
that the Open Source "Bazaar-style" software development model can yield
first-rate technologies on par with and superior to even the most complex
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