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This week in Usability & Productivity, part 57

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KDE

Get ready for a humongous monster week 57 for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative and there’s a metric tonne of stuff!!! So go make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and settle in for a long list of improvements.

But first I want to mention that we’re working on fixes for Discover users in Plasma 5.14.5 who are stuck unable to update. We’ve pushed a fix into the 5.14 branch that should cause the stuck backend to time out after one minute, allowing everything else to work. We’ll be releasing a Plasma 5.14.5.1 bugfix release, inclusing this fix. Fear not, we won’t leave you out in the icy cold blackness of night… alone, hungry, and unable to upgrade your software using a GUI application?

Also it’s already fixed in Plasma 5.15.

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Now in Phoronix

  • KDE Applications 19.04 To Support eBook Thumbnails, Allow Ripping CDs To Opus

    With the feature freeze for KDE Applications 19.04 happening next month in order to meet the planned 18 April release date, KDE developers are busy getting their new features ready and reviewed for this next round of application updates.

    The newest feature that has made its way into KDE Applications 19.04 is finally allowing the ability to rip audio CDs to the Opus audio format with that support working its way into the KIO code as a new plugin. That Opus codec support honors a feature request that had been open since January 2013. This applications bundle also will now support thumbnails on eBook epub/fb2 files. Also on the thumbnail front is supporting some Windows XPS / Office files with thumbnail support.

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More in Tux Machines

Variscite unveils two i.MX8 QuadMax modules

Variscite announced Linux-powered “VAR-SOM-MX8” and “SPEAR-MX8” modules with an up to an i.MX8 QuadMax SoC plus up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC. It also previewed a VAR-SOM-6UL COM. At Embedded World next week in Nuremberg, Germany, Variscite will showcase its Linux and Android driven i.MX8-family computer-on-modules, including new VAR-SOM-MX8 and SPEAR-MX8 modules that feature NXP’s highest-end i.MX8 SoC up to a QuadMax model (see farther below). We have already covered most of the other showcased products, including the 14nm fabricated, quad -A53 i.MX8M Mini based DART-MX8M-Mini. When we covered the DART-MX8M-Mini in September, Variscite didn’t have an image or product page, but both are now available here Read more

Android Leftovers

Programming: Developer Happiness, Rblpapi 0.3.8 and Python

  • Developer happiness: What you need to know
    A person needs the right tools for the job. There's nothing as frustrating as getting halfway through a car repair, for instance, only to discover you don't have the specialized tool you need to complete the job. The same concept applies to developers: you need the tools to do what you are best at, without disrupting your workflow with compliance and security needs, so you can produce code faster. Over half—51%, to be specific—of developers spend only one to four hours each day programming, according to ActiveState's recent Developer Survey 2018: Open Source Runtime Pains. In other words, the majority of developers spend less than half of their time coding. According to the survey, 50% of developers say security is one of their biggest concerns, but 67% of developers choose not to add a new language when coding because of the difficulties related to corporate policies.
  • Rblpapi 0.3.8: Keeping CRAN happy
    A minimal maintenance release of Rblpapi, now at version 0.3.9, arrived on CRAN earlier today. Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required). This is the ninth release since the package first appeared on CRAN in 2016. It accomodates a request by CRAN / R Core to cope with staged installs which will be a new feature of R 3.6.0. No other changes were made (besides updating a now-stale URL at Bloomberg in a few spots and other miniscule maintenance). However, a few other changes have been piling up at the GitHub repo so feel free to try that version too.
  • Episode #200: Escaping Excel Hell with Python and Pandas
  • Testing native ES modules using Mocha and esm.

Games: Steam, Devil Engine, City Game Studio and More