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A KDE Love Story: Translating Kalzium into Chinese

Wednesday 14th of February 2018 10:07:02 AM


Today is "I Love Free Software Day"!

We're celebrating by shining a spotlight on our contributors and on our collaboration with other FOSS communities and organizations. Free Software is an integral part of our lives, and it's important to show appreciation, support, and gratitude to everyone who works on making it better every day.

One of those people is Franklin Weng, a KDE contributor who started his Free Software journey by translating Kalzium. Franklin's contributions led him to amazing opportunities and projects. Read on to find out why he loves KDE so much.

Kalzium – The Start of An Amazing Journey

by Franklin Weng

When I was a high school student, chemistry was not my cup of tea. My grades in chemistry were not bad either, but I hated memorizing those organic compounds. Then, I decided to major in computer science at university, and from that moment, destiny tightly bonded me and Free and Open Source Software.

Around 2001 or 2002, I started to use and later contribute to KDE. However, Kalzium is the start of another amazing story for me. It happened in 2007...


A throwback to the old look of Kalzium - in Chinese!

I started translating KDE software around 2005. At the time, the Traditional Chinese language packages had almost been abandoned by KDE because of the very slow translation rate. Some senior FOSS community members called to others to "save" Traditional Chinese, and finally we did. From that moment on, I kept translating KDE because I simply asked myself: "Since I'm using this desktop environment, why not do it?"

So I translated everything in KDE. Everything. I started with KMail because I wanted a mail client that would reside in my system tray. Then I translated more KDE PIM applications, KDE Multimedia, KDE Graphics, KDE Games,... even KOffice. And of course, KDE Edu applications - from the simple, lovely ones, like KTuberling, KTouch, and KHangman, to huge ones like KStars and KGeography (that last one is enormous). Kalzium was just another one for me; I even translated KMyMoney - without any accounting background.

Then in 2007, I got an email.


Franklin's credits as the translator of the app.

"I saw you translated the Kalzium software. Could we meet and talk about that?"

That email was from my now friend, Eric Sun, who was (and still is) the Executive Secretary of the Open Source Software Application Consulting Center (OSSACC), a project launched by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. The project promotes free software for use in primary and high schools. At first I had no idea why this guy would like to meet me. Would he discuss chemistry with me? I wasn't a chemistry-aholic at all!

We met at a Burger King in Taipei. He introduced himself and told me about his idea, which made me appreciate him a lot! He, as the Executive Secretary and also an FOSS enthusiast like me, wanted to introduce educational Free Software applications to teachers and students to help them acquire knowledge from many different fields, without any financial cost.

To promote those Free Software applications, the first step is, of course, to localize them. Teachers and students, especially in primary schools, would never accept software with English interfaces. He noticed that there had been some software with Traditional Chinese translations, and he was curious about who did it. Bingo! It was me.


This is what Kalzium looks like these days.

We started a series of plans. The main plan was a customized Linux distribution named ezgo - which I have already introduced here in October of 2013.

After that, we have also done a lot of work together, mostly introducing public domain educational resources, including FOSS to schools. I became one of KDE e.V. members and the president of the BoD of Software Liberty Association Taiwan, an NPO which promotes FOSS in Taiwan. In recent years, we have helped Taiwan governments to migrate to LibreOffice and ODF.

Thinking about the past 10 amazing years on the road of promoting FOSS, the start point was that I translated Kalzium. Of course, I wasn't aware that contributing translations to KDE would give me such an amazing tour in my life. Nevertheless, I always use this as an example to tell my young friends in Taiwan: "See? Chemistry is not my thing, but translating Kalzium (and many other KDE applications) made my life wonderful!"

Big thanks to Franklin for contributing to KDE for so many years, and for spreading the word about our software and its educational potential!

Do you have a story about how you fell in love with KDE? Let us know in the comments!

The New KDE Slimbook II: A sleek and powerful Plasma-based Ultrabook

Thursday 8th of February 2018 05:03:37 PM

There is a new KDE Slimbook on sale as from today. The KDE Slimbook II is svelte and smart on the outside, but powerful and fast on the inside.

To start with, it comes with a choice between an Intel i5: 2.5 GHz Turbo Boost 3.1 GHz - 3M Cache CPU, or an Intel i7: 2.7 GHz Turbo Boost 3.5 GHz with a 4M Cache. This makes the KDE Slimbook II 15% faster on average than its predecessor. The RAM has also been upgraded, and the KDE Slimbook now sports 4, 8, or 16 GBs of DDR4 RAM which is 33% faster than the DDR3 RAM installed on last year's model.

Other things to look forward to include:

  • a crisp FullHD 13.3'' screen,
  • the dual hard drive bay that gives you room for a second hard disk,
  • a bigger multi-touch touchpad that supports all kinds of gestures and clicks,
  • a slick backlit keyboard, more powerful WiFi antennas,
  • and 3 full-sized USB ports, one of which is the new reversible USB-C standard.
  • You can check out the KDE Slimbook's full specs here (note that the Katana II is made by the same people and is the same hardware, but does not come with KDE neon pre-installed and pre-configured).

    The KDE community has worked closely with Slimbook to make sure that everything works as it should. After test-running the KDE Slimbook II extensively, we can confirm it is sleek, we can confirm it is powerful, and we can confirm that beginners and power users alike will enjoy this full-featured and modern Plasma-based laptop.

    Plasma 5.12 is out, and it is faster, stabler, and has more features than ever

    Tuesday 6th of February 2018 11:46:48 AM

    Although performance and stability have been the prime goals for this version of Plasma, some of the new features include spring-loaded folder views, improved Wayland support, interactive notifications, and more.

    Plasma 5.12 LTS is the second long-term support release from the Plasma 5 team. Developers have been working hard, focusing on speed and stability for this release. Boot time to desktop has been improved by reviewing the code for anything which blocks execution. The team has fixed bugs in every aspect of the codebase, tidied up the artwork, removed corner cases, and ensured cross-desktop integration. For the first time, Plasma offers experimental Wayland integration on long-term support, so you can be sure it will continue to improve the Wayland experience.

    Also, you can now control music playback from the lock screen, interact with notifications, use "spring-load" folders to move files around without actually opening Dolphin, and change your applications to use global menus à la macOS.

    Read more about the release of Plasma 5.12 LTS here.

    More in Tux Machines

    today's leftovers

    • MX Linux Review of MX-17 – For The Record
      MX Linux Review of MX-17. MX-17 is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. It’s XFCE based, lightning fast, comes with both 32 and 64-bit CPU support…and the tools. Oh man, the tools available in this distro are both reminders of Mepis past and current tech found in modern distros.
    • Samsung Halts Android 8.0 Oreo Rollouts for Galaxy S8 Due to Unexpected Reboots
      Samsung stopped the distribution of the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system update for its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones due to unexpected reboots reported by several users. SamMobile reported the other day that Samsung halted all Android 8.0 Oreo rollouts for its Galaxy S8/S8+ series of Android smartphones after approximately a week since the initial release. But only today Samsung published a statement to inform user why it stopped the rollouts, and the cause appears to be related to a limited number of cases of unexpected reboots after installing the update.
    • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian
      The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.
    • Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started
      A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available.
    • LunarG's Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier
      Introduced as part of LunarG's recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory. The Vulkan Layer Factory aims to creating Vulkan layers easier by taking care of a lot of the boilerplate code for dealing with the initialization, etc. This framework also provides for "interceptor objects" for overriding functions pre/post API calls for Vulkan entry points of interest.

    Logstash 6.2.0 Released, Alfresco Grabbed by Private Equity Firm

    • Logstash 6.2.0 Release Improves Open Source Data Processing Pipeline
      The "L" in the ELK stack gets updated with new features including advanced security capabilities. Many modern enterprises have adopted the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack to collect, process, search and visualize data. At the core of the ELK stack is the open-source Logstash project which defines itself as a server-side data processing pipeline - basically it helps to collect logs and then send them to a users' "stash" for searching, which in many cases is Elasticsearch.
    • Alfresco Software acquired by Private Equity Firm
      Enterprise apps company taken private in a deal that won't see a change in corporate direction. Alfresco has been developing its suite of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) technology since the company was founded back in June of 2005. On Feb. 8, Alfresco announced that it was being acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

    Servers and GPUs: Theano, DevOps, Kubernetes, AWS

    • Open Source Blockchain Computer Theano
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    • Enterprises identify 10 essential tools for DevOps [Ed: "Source code repository" and other old things co-opted to promote the stupid buzzword "devops"]
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    • The 4 Major Tenets of Kubernetes Security
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    • GPUs on Google’s Kubernetes Engine are now available in open beta
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    • AWS lets users run SAP apps directly on SUSE Linux
    • SUSE collaborates with Amazon Web Services toaccelerate SAP migrations

    Chrome and Firefox

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    • Going Home
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