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Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 4

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KDE
Reviews

I've said this a hundred times before. Plasma has the basics right. But the second and third and ninth order of coolness and integration is where things go wrong. Everything has to click, and it's the convoluted paths of need and necessity that bring out the worst in software. Like keyboard shortcuts or online accounts. Imagine if you could really have a seamless, transparent desktop-cloud Plasma experience? You may never want it, but the technical possibility should be there. Or a consistent stack of programs that really look and behave the same?

If I compare this experience with a typical Windows 7 box, Plasma is far less transparent. I do have to invest more time fiddling and tweaking. But then, it's also easy to forget the initial setup time and configs that I invested in every Windows machine I have ever set up. And it wasn't trivial, at all.

I am pretty sure that the intrusive interactiveness of the configuration will slowly ebb, not that I do not enjoy these reports - and hopefully they will ultimate make the Linux desktop experience better for everyone, should anyone happen to read them and take heed. So our work isn't done here. All in all, Plasma is about 93% there, but summa cum laude happens at the 100% mark. To be continued.

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Also: KDE Privacy Sprint

More in Tux Machines

MellowPlayer – multi-platform cloud music integration

With my CD collection spiraling out of control, I’m spending more time listening to music with a number of popular streaming services. Linux offers a great range of excellent open source music players. But I’m always on the look out for fresh and innovative streaming players. Step forward MellowPlayer. MellowPlayer offers a web view of various music streaming services with integration with your desktop. It was developed to provide a Qt alternative to Nuvola Player. The software is written in C++ and QML. Read more

Some Thoughts on Open Core

Nothing is inherently anti-business about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In fact, a number of different business models are built on top of FOSS. The best models are those that continue to further FOSS by internal code contributions and that advance the principles of Free Software in general. For instance, there's the support model, where a company develops free software but sells expert support for it. Here, I'd like to talk a bit about one of the more problematic models out there, the open core model, because it's much more prevalent, and it creates some perverse incentives that run counter to Free Software principles. If you haven't heard about it, the open core business model is one where a company develops free software (often a network service intended to be run on a server) and builds a base set of users and contributors of that free code base. Once there is a critical mass of features, the company then starts developing an "enterprise" version of the product that contains additional features aimed at corporate use. These enterprise features might include things like extra scalability, login features like LDAP/Active Directory support or Single Sign-On (SSO) or third-party integrations, or it might just be an overall improved version of the product with more code optimizations and speed. Because such a company wants to charge customers to use the enterprise version, it creates a closed fork of the free software code base, or it might provide the additional proprietary features as modules so it has fewer problems with violating its free software license. Read more

Linux 4.20 Allows Overclockers To Increase The Radeon TDP Power Limit

The AMDGPU Linux kernel driver for a while has now offered command-line-driven OverDrive overclocking for recent generations of Radeon GPUs. This has allowed manipulating the core and memory clock speeds as well as tweaking the voltage but has not supported increasing the TDP limit of the graphics card: that's in place with Linux 4.20 Up until now with the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver there hasn't been support for increasing the TDP power limit beyond its default, but has allowed for reducing that limit should you be trying to conserve power / allow your GPU to run cooler. A change was quietly added to the Linux 4.20 kernel to allow increasing the power limit when in the OverDrive mode. This change wasn't prominently advertised but fortunately a Phoronix reader happened to run across it today and tipped us off. Read more

Games: Zombie Panic! Source, Dicey Dungeon, NVIDIA RTX, Steam Play, Battle Motion, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, Feudal Alloy

  • The Beta of Zombie Panic! Source was updated recently, should work better on Linux
    Zombie Panic! Source is currently going through an overhaul, as part of this it's coming to Linux with a version now in beta and the latest update should make it a better experience. [...] I personally haven't been able to make any of the events yet, so I have no real thoughts on the game. Once it's out of beta and all servers are updated, I will be taking a proper look as it looks fun. No idea when this version will leave beta, might be a while yet.
  • Dicey Dungeons, the new unique roguelike from Terry Cavanagh and co introduces quests
    We have a lot of roguelikes available on Linux (seriously, we do) yet Dicey Dungeons from Terry Cavanagh, Marlowe Dobbe, and Chipzel still remains fresh due to the rather unique game mechanics. I still can't get over how fun the dice mechanic is, as you slot dice into cards to perform actions. It's different, clever and works really well.
  • Quake 2 now has real-time path tracing with Vulkan
    If you have one of the more recent NVIDIA RTX graphics cards, here's an interesting project for you to try. Q2VKPT from developer Christoph Schied implements some really quite advanced techniques.
  • Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts
    Now that Steam has the ability officially to override a Linux game and run it through Steam Play instead, let's take a quick look at some differences in performance. Before I begin, let's make something clear. I absolutely value the effort developers put into Linux games, I do think cross-platform development is incredibly important so we don't end up with more lock-in. However, let's be realistic for a moment. Technology moves on and it's not financially worth it to keep updating old games, they just don't sell as well as newer games (with exceptions of course). As the years go on, there will be more ways to run older games better and better, of that I've no doubt.
  • Battle Motion, a really silly massive fantasy battle game will have Linux support
    Sometimes when looking around for new games I come across something that really catches my eye, Battle Motion is one such game as it looks completely silly.
  • Ravva and the Cyclops Curse looks like a rather nice NES-inspired platformer
    Another lovely looking retro-inspired platformer! Ravva and the Cyclops Curse from developer Galope just released this week with Linux support.
  • Become a fish inside a robot in Feudal Alloy, out now with Linux support
    We've seen plenty of robots and we've seen a fair amount of fish, but have you seen a fish controlling a robot with a sword? Say hello to Feudal Alloy.