Getting Korganized korganizer, kdes native calendar and scheduling application, has received a number of improvements, including better support for the iCal calendar-sharing format and support for accessing Microsoft Corp.s Exchange 2000-based calendars. It appears that Korganizer uses the same WebDAV, or Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, interface to access Exchange that Ximian Inc.s Evolution does, but we werent able to get this feature working with the same Exchange account weve been able to access with Evolution.We were intrigued to find Desktop Sharing functionality in KDE 3.1 similar to that in Windows XP but which is based on VNC (virtual network computing). VNC clients are freely available for most platforms, and after downloading the client software for Windows, we were able to connect to our test system. Based on the options we chose, we could either view or control that machine from Windows. New in KDE 3.1 is a framework for managing and locking down application configuration options, an important feature for enterprise deployments. We could lock down the appearance and start menu entries of our test system by modifying text files. According to the KDE Project, KDE 3.2 will include a graphical tool for configuring these options. Among other new interface niceties, KDE 3.1 now allows for fuller customization of the KDE task bar. We particularly appreciated the option to fade out the handles attached to individual task bar elements, which in previous KDE versions tended to clutter the task bar. Along with support for tabbed browsing, Konqueror now boasts a nice download manager, called Kget, that enabled us to more effectively monitor and control file downloads. Along similar lines, KDEs Kio data access architecture now enables users to access remote file systems securely using Secure Shell. Also improved, primarily in its clarity of organization, is KDEs control center application, but theres still room for improvement. For example, separate modules exist for adjusting style, window decoration and theme, and without some experimentation, its not immediately clear which module does what. Of course, a measure of added complexity goes along with added options, and in KDE, the trade-off is generally worthwhile. The control center now features a utility for adjusting monitor resolutions, an activity thats generally undertaken by vendor-specific utilities. Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward, the associated Kroupware project aims to extend this functionality to support Exchange mail as well, similar to the support that Ximians Evolution now provides.