First KDE 4.3 beta released for testing

Better PIM data options appear

KDE 4.3 beta 1 sports an improved user interface

KDE 4.3 beta 1 sports an improved user interface

The much-publicised KDE 4 release cycle has stepped up a gear with the availability of 4.3 beta 1 which brings more features and application integration.

KDE is an open source desktop environment for Linux and Unix-like systems and 4.3 beta is meant for testers and developers and kicks off the project's “Bug Hunting Season”.

Spokesperson for the KDE project Sebastian Kugler said the list of new features and improvements is “long and impressive”, including a new tree view mode in System Settings, more visible desktop search, and more polishing in user interfaces.

“While KDE 4.3 already looks nice and stable, the KDE team wants to shake out as many bugs as possible before KDE 4.3.0 will be released in late July,” Kugler wrote on the official KDE blog.

Notable new features coming in KDE 4.3 include integration of new technologies like PolicyKit and geolocation services, new window animation effects, a more usable “run command” application, and new and improved add-ons in Plasma, the desktop shell.

Other improvements are a streamlined hardware integration and multimedia experience, a “fully themable” look that takes advantage of modern graphics hardware by combining the Oxygen artwork with Plasma, and a development platform that supports C++, Python, Ruby and JavaScript.

For personal information management, there is now an updated contact list in the Kopete instant messaging application, the alarm notifier supports export and drag-and-drop, syncing Akonadi with Google Calendar, and support for inserting in-line images into e-mails in KMail.

KDE 4.3 beta 1 can be downloaded (source and binary packages) from them information page.

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