The KDE Community announces the latest major updates to KDE Applications delivering primarily improvements and bugfixes. Plasma Workspaces and the KDE Development Platform are frozen and receiving only long term support; those teams are focused on the transition to Plasma 5 and Frameworks 5.
In the past, KDE has jointly released the three major divisions of KDE software—Plasma Workspaces, KDE Development Platform and KDE Applications. The KDE Development Platform has been reworked into KDE Frameworks. The monolithic libraries that comprise the Development Platform are now independent, cross platform modules (KDE Frameworks 5) that are available to all Qt developers. Plasma Workspaces has been moved to a new technology foundation based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5. With the 3 major KDE software components moving at different paces, their release schedules are now separated. For the most part, 4.14 involves KDE Applications.
Plasma 5 was recently released after 3 years of work; it is on its own release schedule with feature releases every three months and bugfix releases in the intervening months. The Plasma team has built a solid foundation that will support Plasma Workspaces for many years.
KDE Applications 4.14 is not about lots of “new and improved stuff”. Many KDE developers are focused on the Next Experience (Plasma 5) or porting to KDE Frameworks (based on Qt5). Mostly, the 4.14 release is needed by aspects of our workflow (such as translations). This release offers more software stability, with little emphasis on new and less-proven stuff.
Most previous releases had highlights of new features and prominent applications. This gave some people the impression that KDE developers favored new-and-shiny over quality, which is not true. So for this announcement of the 4.14 Release, developers were asked for details—small, incremental improvements and bugfixes that might not even be noticeable to most users. These are the kinds of tasks that most developers work on, the kinds of tasks that allow beginners to make meaningful, mostly invisible contributions.