KDE Frameworks

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KDE Frameworks
KDE Mascot Konqi for KDE Frameworks.png
Original author(s)KDE
Developer(s)KDE
Initial release1 July 2014; 5 years ago (2014-07-01)
Stable release5.60.0 (July 13, 2019; 39 days ago (2019-07-13)) [±][1]
Preview release5.0 beta 3 (June 5, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-06-05)) [±][2]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++ (Qt)
Operating systemCross-platform (including "partial" support for Android,[3][4] Windows,[5] macOS and Haiku)
Type
LicenseGNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)[6]
Websiteapi.kde.org/frameworks/index.html

KDE Frameworks is a collection of libraries and software frameworks by KDE readily available to any Qt-based software stacks or applications on multiple operating systems.

They offer a wide variety of commonly needed functionality solutions like hardware integration, file format support, additional graphical control elements, plotting functions, spell checking and more and serve as technological foundation for KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

Overview[edit]

Current KDE Frameworks are based on Qt 5, which enables a more widespread use of QML, a simpler JavaScript-based declarative programming language, for the design of user interfaces. The graphics rendering engine used by QML allows for more fluid user interfaces across different devices.[7]

Some source code was moved from being part of KDE Frameworks 5 to being part of Qt 5.2 and later.

Since the split of the KDE Software Compilation into KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications, each sub-project can pick its own development pace. KDE Frameworks are released on a monthly basis[8] and use git.[9][10]

It should be possible to install KDE Frameworks alongside the KDE Platform 4 so apps can use either one.[11]

API and ABI stability[edit]

Platform releases are major releases that begin a series (version number X.0). Only these major releases are allowed to break binary compatibility with the predecessor. On the other hand, releases in the minor series (X.1, X.2, ...) will guarantee binary portability (API & ABI). This means, for instance, that software that was developed for KDE 3.0 will work on all (future) KDE 3 releases; however, an application developed for KDE 2 is not guaranteed to be able to make use of the KDE 3 libraries. KDE major version numbers mainly follow the Qt release cycle, meaning that KDE SC 4 is based on Qt 4, while KDE 3 was based on Qt 3.

Supported operating systems[edit]

The repository of each framework should contain a file named metainfo.yaml.[12] This file documents the maintainer of the framework, the type, the supported operating system and other information. The currently supported platforms are Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Android.

Software architecture[edit]

Structure[edit]

The Frameworks have a clear dependency structure, divided into "categories" and "tiers". The "categories" refer to runtime dependencies:

  • Functional elements have no runtime dependencies.
  • Integration designates code that may require runtime dependencies for integration depending on what the OS or platform offers.
  • Solutions have mandatory runtime dependencies.

The "Tiers" refer to compile-time dependencies on other Frameworks.

  • Tier 1 Frameworks have no dependencies within Frameworks and only need Qt and other relevant libraries.
  • Tier 2 Frameworks can depend only on Tier 1.
  • Tier 3 Frameworks can depend on other Tier 3 Frameworks as well as Tier 2 and Tier 1.

Components[edit]

The KDE Frameworks bundle consists of over 70 packages. These existed as a single large package, called kdelibs, in KDE SC 4. Kdelibs was split into several individual frameworks, some of which are no longer part of KDE but were integrated into Qt 5.2.[13]

KDE Frameworks are grouped in four different tiers according to dependency on other libraries. Tier 1 frameworks only depend on Qt or other system libraries. Tier 2 frameworks can depend on tier 1 libraries, Qt and/or other system libraries and so forth.[14]

Software packages[edit]

Linux distribution use some package management system to package the software they distribute. Debian for example distributes KGlobalAccel under the package name libkf5globalaccel,[16] while Fedora distributes it under the name kf5-kglobalaccel.[17]

Release history[edit]

The 5.0 release was preceded by a technology preview, two alpha releases, and three beta releases.[18][19][20][2]

Frameworks 5 releases
Version Date Notes
Old version, no longer supported: 5.0 7 July 2014[21] Initial release, requires Qt 5.2.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.1 7 August 2014[22]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.2 12 September 2014[23]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.3 7 October 2014[24]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.4 6 November 2014[25]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.5 11 December 2014[26]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.6 8 January 2015[27] New frameworks: KPackage and NetworkManagerQt
Old version, no longer supported: 5.7 14 February 2015[28]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.8 13 March 2015[29] New frameworks: KPeople and KXmlRpcClient
Old version, no longer supported: 5.9 10 April 2015[30] New framework: ModemManagerQt
Old version, no longer supported: 5.10 8 May 2015[31]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.11 12 June 2015[32] New framework: BlueZ-Qt (cf. BlueZ)
Old version, no longer supported: 5.12 10 July 2015[33]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.13 12 August 2015[34] New frameworks: Baloo (replaces NEPOMUK) and KFileMetaData, now requires Qt 5.3.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.14 11 September 2015[35]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.15 10 October 2015[36]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.16 13 November 2015[37]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.17 12 December 2015[38]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.18 9 January 2016[39]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.19 13 February 2016[40]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.20 13 March 2016[41]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.21 9 April 2016[42] New framework: KActivities-stats, now requires Qt 5.4.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.22 15 May 2016[43] New framework: KWayland
Old version, no longer supported: 5.23 13 June 2016[44]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.24 9 July 2016[45]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.25 13 August 2016[46] Now requires Qt 5.5 or above.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.26 10 September 2016[47]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.27 8 October 2016[48]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.28 15 November 2016[49] New framework: KSyntaxHighlighting[50]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.29 12 December 2016[51] New framework: Prison
Old version, no longer supported: 5.30 14 January 2017[52] Add KNewStuff support for KPackage
Old version, no longer supported: 5.31 11 February 2017[53] Many modules now have Python bindings, now requires Qt 5.6 or above
Old version, no longer supported: 5.32 11 March 2017[54]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.33 8 April 2017[55]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.34 13 May 2017[56]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.35 1 June 2017[57]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.36 8 July 2017[58]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.37 13 August 2017[59] New framework: Kirigami, now requires Qt 5.7 or above
Old version, no longer supported: 5.38 9 September 2017[60]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.39 14 October 2017[61]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.40 11 November 2017[62]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.41 10 December 2017[63]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.42 13 January 2018[64]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.43 12 February 2018[65] New frameworks: KHolidays and Purpose
Old version, no longer supported: 5.44 10 March 2018[66]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.45 14 April 2018[67] requires Qt 5.8 or above
Old version, no longer supported: 5.46 12 May 2018[68]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.47 9 June 2018[69]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.48 15 July 2018[70]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.49 11 August 2018[71]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.50 8 September 2018[72] New framework: Syndication
Old version, no longer supported: 5.51 15 October 2018[73]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.52 10 November 2018[74]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.53 9 December 2018[75] requires Qt 5.9 or above
Old version, no longer supported: 5.54 12 January 2019[76]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.55 9 February 2019[77] requires Qt 5.10 or above
Current stable version: 5.57 13 April 2019[78]
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

History[edit]

The source code of KDE Frameworks has been around since KDElibs 1. The first release as KDE Frameworks was with version 5, to account for the fact that the code base was that of KDE Platform version 4 (the only major version of KDE Platform).

The transition from KDE Platform to KDE Frameworks began in August 2013, guided by top KDE technical contributors.[7]

After the initial release of KDE Frameworks 5.0, the developers focused on adding new features to the components in KDE Frameworks 5,[79] an example being better integration of Firefox into KDE.[80]

The major improvement of Frameworks 5 is its modularization. In earlier KDE versions, the libraries were bundled as a single large package. In Frameworks, the libraries were split into individual smaller packages. This facilitates utilization of the libraries by other Qt-based software, since dependencies can be kept at a minimum.[7]

While KDE 4 was based on version 4 of the Qt widget toolkit, Frameworks 5 is based on version 5.

Adoption[edit]

Besides the KDE Software Compilation, there are other adopters such as the desktop environments LXQt, MoonLightDE or Hawaii.

Version 3.0 of Krita, the raster graphics editor of the Calligra Suite, which was released on May 31, 2016, depends on KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt 5.2.

With Kirigami, there is also increased usage by applications such as Amarok, Avogadro, Trojitá or Subsurface.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Release of KDE Frameworks 5.60.0". KDE. July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "KDE Ships Third Beta of Frameworks 5". KDE. 2014-06-05.
  3. ^ https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.24.0.php
  4. ^ https://community.kde.org/Android
  5. ^ https://api.kde.org/
  6. ^ "First release of KDE Frameworks 5". 2014-07-07.
  7. ^ a b c Howard Chan (2013-09-04). "KDE Release Structure Evolves". KDE. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  8. ^ "Release schedule for KDE Frameworks 5".
  9. ^ "Git workflow for Frameworks".
  10. ^ "KDE Frameworks5 API documentation". Archived from the original on 2014-08-22.
  11. ^ "Coinstallability with KDE Platform 4".
  12. ^ "metainfo.yaml of KConfig".
  13. ^ Jos Poortvliet (2013-12-17). "Qt 5.2 - Foundation for KDE Frameworks 5". Dot.kde.org. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  14. ^ Howard Chan (2013-09-25). "Frameworks 5". Dot.kde.org. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
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  16. ^ "KGlobalAccel in Debian".
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  50. ^ "KSyntaxHighlighing: A new Syntax Highlighting Framework". KDE. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
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  70. ^ "Release of KDE Frameworks 5.48.0". KDE. 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  71. ^ "Release of KDE Frameworks 5.49.0". KDE. 2018-08-11. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  72. ^ "Release of KDE Frameworks 5.50.0". KDE. 2018-09-08. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  73. ^ "Release of KDE Frameworks 5.51.0". KDE. 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  74. ^ "Release of KDE Frameworks 5.52.0". KDE. 2018-11-10. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
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  79. ^ "KF5 Update Meeting Minutes 2014-w28". 2014-07-08.
  80. ^ "Firefox + KDE integration: Getting FF to use Dolphin reliably". 2014-07-03.

External links[edit]