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KDE

KDE Plasma 5: The Silent Revolution

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KDE

For years, I fell into the habit that the age of innovation in desktop environments had ended because of users protesting new releases of GNOME and KDE, and the lukewarm response to Ubuntu's Unity. After about 2012, the largest innovations on the desktop appeared to be coming from Linux Mint, half of whose efforts were devoted to MATE, a fork of GNOME 2, which was first released in 2002, and half to developing Cinnamon as a full- featured desktop,a process now well-advanced.

Armed with this view, I frequently characterized Plasma 4 as a kitchen-sink desktop, more concerned with cramming in any remotely useful feature than in improving the user experience. In marked contrast to GNOME 3, Plasma 4 frequently repositioned features. Particularly in the Systems Settings, new features were dumped in an Advanced tab, and took several releases to be suitably positioned.

Meanwhile, Plasma 5 came out in 2014. It was discussed mostly in terms of updating Plasma to use the Qt 5 toolkit and streamlining the code. Moreover, because KDE projects have different releases schedules, most distributions were slow to switch to Plasma 5. I saw it in virtual machines, but I rarely used it for prolonged periods.

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Also: Akademy 2017 in Retrospect

KDE and Qt: GCompris, Krita, Qt and QML

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KDE
  • GCompris- Digital Electricity

    The Digital Electricity activity in GCompris aims at creating and simulating a digital electric schema. Currently, there exists a “Free Mode”, where a user can freely create and check the working of a circuit on their own. During the final month of the GSoC period, I will be adding a “Tutorial Mode” alongside the existing free mode. The tutorial mode is aimed at teaching the users how the individual components work in a digital circuit.

  • Krita 3.2.0: We Have a Release Candidate!

    After last week’s rollercoaster ride (if you haven’t seen it, check the news, then the update!), it was hard to get back into making releases and writing code. Yet, here is the release candidate for Krita 3.2.0.

  • New in Qt 5.10: Diagnostics when breaking QML bindings

    Property bindings are one of the most interesting features of the QML language. In QML, when we set a value on a property, the right hand side expression isn’t evaluated just once to produce a value, like in a ordinary imperative language.

  • Qt talks at CppCon 2017

    CppCon is the annual conference for the C++ community: five days packed with over 100 talks, as well as inspiring keynotes, panel discussions, hallway chats, fun evening events and much more. CppCon is a project of the Standard C++ Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to support the C++ software developer community and promote the understanding and use of modern, standard C++ on all compilers and platforms.

  • If your software should be cross platform and accessible, forget about Qt

    A few years ago, I started to write software which primary audience is going to be blind musicians. I did a small presentation of the UI at DebConf15.

    Most of the functionality is in a compiler-alike backend. But eventually, I wanted to create a user interface to improve the interactive experience.

    So, the problem again: which toolkit to choose which would be accessible on most platforms? Last time I needed to solve a similar problem, I used Java/Swing. This has its problems, but it actually works on Windows, Linux and (supposedly) Mac. This time around, my implementation language is C++, so Swing didn't look that interesting. It appears there is not much that fullfils these requirements. Qt looked like it could. But since I had my bad experiences already with Qt claiming accessibility they really never implemented, I was at least a bit cautious. Around 10 years ago, when Qt 4 was released, I found that the documentation claimed that Qt4 was accessible on Linux, but it really never was until a very late 4.x release. This information was a blatant lie, trying to lure uninformed programmers into using Qt, much to the disservice of their disabled users. If you ask a random blind Windows user who knows a bit about toolkits, they will readily tell you that they hate every app written in Qt.

KDE: Neon, ISO Image Writer, Akademy 2017, Mycroft Plasmoid and More

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KDE
  • Neon CI was down, Why?

    This post is public service announcement regarding the KDE Neon infrastructure.

    Earlier we KDE neon developers decided that we should build the armhf and/or arm64 packages on Neon CI itself instead of the different Plasma Mobile specific Jenkins Instance. First step to make this happen was the adding ARM architecture in the KDE Neon package archive. We are using the Aptly for serving the packages.

  • ISO Image Writer Alpha 0.2
  • Akademy 2017: it’s great to be part of KDE.

    I am pleased with the Akademy Awards this year. All were well deserved but I am specially happy of the one received by Cornelius Schumacher for his contributions throughout many years to KDE. I am specially proud of having shared with him two years at the KDE e.V. Board of Directors, having him as leader (President). The award received by the KDE representatives in the Free Qt Foundation was well deserved too. Olaf and Martin has done a terrific job over the years to ensure Qt remains open no matter who develops it. KDE needs to promote more the relevance of this foundation and the benefits for the entire KDE and Qt ecosystems. Thanks Olaf and Martin.

  • Akademy 2017.. and 2018!

    The talks were genuinely informative, I especially enjoyed the wonderful future we will see in Plasma Mobile, and how we can enlarge our (developer) community by supporting further international writing systems. Features of new C++ releases were shown, we got on overview on how we can make use of functional constructs and got some insight into debugging QML. There were so many informative talks, I unfortunately can’t list all of them!

  • [Video] Mycroft Plasmoid Version 2.0

    Introducing The Updated Mycroft Plasmoid Version 2 for KDE Plasma Desktop.

  • Mycroft Plasmoid Version 2.0 & My First Akademy

    I’d like to start this blog by thanking the KDE e.V. and the awesome KDE community for giving me the opportunity and sponsoring my travel to showcase and present my work on Mycroft at KDE Akademy, 2017 in Almeria, Spain this year. It was a very insightful experience where I got to learn about other interesting projects in KDE and also an awesome opportunity to meet other community members. I also got the chance to hold a Birds of a Feather session on Mycroft on the desktop where I gained some very valuable feedback and talk opportunities for integrating with other interesting projects to which I look forward too.

  • Keyboard Layouts the way Sun Microsystems Intended Them

    Anyway, I still use the Sun keyboard most of the time, but it is a decade old by now, and starting to show its age. And sometimes I use other hardware, like the KDE Slimbook, which has the control-key in the wrong place (next to the penguin, or meta-key). I have had a setxkbmap + xmodmap script that I have used since forever, but really that it a bit foolish: there are KDE settings to achieve the same thing.

  • GSoC-Second month analysis

How KDE’s Vast Open-Source Community Has Been Developing Technologies to Bring Reliable, Monopoly-Free Computing to the World for 20+ Years

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KDE

In 1996, Matthias Ettrich found himself frustrated with the absence of a user-friendly, inexpensive work environment for the Linux operating system. Most people employing Linux at the time were running it on Unix; however, the platform didn’t offer a workspace that presented an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that was both effective and easy on the eyes.

Matthias had the idea and the basic framework for an improved alternative in mind, but he knew he’d need help to create the platform. So he posted a call to action asking the Linux development community to join him, and, thus, KDE was born. Matthias’s note eventually resulted in the creation of KDE’s flagship product, Plasma — a cross-device, customizable work environment that gives users full control over workflows.

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Software: CloudBerry Backup, Gitano, Krita, GCompris

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KDE
Software
  • CloudBerry Backup for Linux: Review and Installation

    When it comes to backups, experience says it’s better to be safe than sorry. Better to have much than not enough – you get the point. In this article, we will present CloudBerry Backup for Linux, a cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery software.

  • Gitano 1.1

    Today marks the release of Gitano 1.1. Richard(s) and I have spent quite a lot of time and effort on this release, and there's plenty of good stuff in it. We also released new versions of Lace, Supple, Luxio, and Gall to go alongside it, with bugfixes and improvements.

  • Krita Foundation: Update

    When we posted the news about our tax wrangle yesterday, we did expect to make some waves. We didn’t expect the incredible response from all of you! A day later, over 500 awesome people have donated a total of €9562 (at the time of writing, check the fancy progress bar we’ve finally managed to create!). Fourteen people have joined the development fund, too! Thank you all!

  • Milestone Report 2: GSoC’17 Tasks Implementation
  • GCompris at Akademy 2017

    I didn’t blog yet about my experience during this year’s Akedemy, the annual conference and gathering of the KDE community.

    This time it was in Almería, Spain. The organizers made a wonderful work, and everything went perfectly good. The event was well covered locally, with at least three newspaper articles.

Plasma rocks Akademy

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KDE

Right after the first day's keynote (slides), Marco Martin and Sebastian Kügler caught the general audience up in their presentation "Plasma: State of the Union". Sebas talked about how the architecture around Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 worked out very well, and how the 5.8 LTS release was received positively, especially by the users who value stability and predictability.

Marco then presented a number of new features that have been added to Plasma since last year's Akademy and that are planned for the upcoming 5.11 release. There is the improved integration for web browsers, better support for touchscreens, enhancements in the taskbar, return of the App Menu (Global Menu), encrypted volumes through Plasma Vault, more elegant artwork, a redesign of the System Settings user interface, and many more.

The KDE Store has gained a lot of traction since its relaunch at Akademy 2016, and now even allows its contributors to receive donations directly from happy users. (Full disclosure: Your editor was able to buy a pizza last week from donations coming through this new feature in the KDE Store).

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KDE Needs Help (Dot and Krita), SoK, and KMail User Survey

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KDE
  • More KDE Twits

    I also stepped down from Dot and KDE promo stuff after getting burnt out from doing it for many years hoping others would fill in which I hope they now will.

  • Krita Foundation in Trouble

    Even while we’re working on a new beta for Krita 3.2 and a new development build for 4.0 (with Python, on Windows!), we have to release some bad news as well.

    The Krita Foundation is having trouble with the Dutch tax authorities. This is the situation:

    In February, we received an audit from the tax inspector. We were quite confident we wouldn’t have any problems because when we setup the Krita Foundation in 2013, we took the advice of a local tax consultant on how to setup the Foundation and its administration. We registered for VAT with the tax authorities and kept our books as instructed by the consultant.

    However, the tax inspector found two problems springing from the fact the Foundation sells training videos and books, so it is not 100% funded by donations. This means that the tax authorities see the Foundation is as partly a company, partly as not a company.

  • SoK journey so far
  • KMail User Survey

    Do you use KMail or Kontact? The KDE PIM developers want to get more knowledge about how KMail is used so they can better know where they should focus and how they should evolve Kmail and Kontact. They want to make the best user experience possible and you can help by filling out a short survey.

  • KMail User Survey Asks Which Features Need improvement

    Do you use Kmail, the KDE email client? If so be sure to add make your feedback on heard by taking the short Kmail user survey.

GNOME and KDE: Recipes, GUADEC, and Latte dock

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KDE
GNOME
  • Recipes turns one year old

    I’ve given a presentation today and explained that recipes turns one year old at this GUADEC in Manchester. That is of course nothing compared to GNOME, which turned 20, so we send our congratulations:

  • My talk at GUADEC 2017

    Thanks so much to the GNOME Foundation for its support to the events I do to spread the GNOME word in my local community in Peru. I have had the opportunity to share my work done in 2016 and 2017 at GUADEC 2017.

  • [Video] Latte dock - different layouts per activities

KDE: Akademy 2017, Cutelyst 1.8.0, KDE PIM, LabPlot, and Policy Updates

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KDE
  • Akademy 2017 in Almería, Spain: Wrap-up

    Akademy, KDE’s annual developer conference, is over — and as always, it was a great experience! Thanks a lot to the local organization team, and of course to all the nice people attending and discussing things.

  • Cutelyst 1.8.0 released

    Cutelyst the Qt Web Framework, has another stable release, this release is mostly filled with bug fixes, the commit log is rather small.

    It got fixes on Cutelyst-WSGI to properly work on Windows, QtCreator integration fixes, properly installing dll’s on Windows, fix returning the right status from views (this allows you to know if for example View::Email sent the email with success).

  • KDE PIM on Akademy

    Me and Volker sat down and went through all KDE PIM wikipages on community.kde.org, userbase.kde.org and techbase.kde.org. Most of our wiki pages are horribly outdated, so we tried to clean them up, remove pages that are no longer relevant or useful. With fewer pages to take care of and better overview of what all content we have, we should be able to keep them more up-to-date than we did in the past years.

    [...]

    We will be meeting soon again in Randa. Our main plan for the sprint is to continue with removal of KDateTime from our code, and thus making KDE PIM free of kdelibs4support.

  • Live data features alive in LabPlot

    Hey guys. It's been a while since my last post here, but we did a good job meanwhile. Beside implementing the features I have described in my previous post I have implemented some other useful features/additional options. Let's see what we have here.

  • A new Beginning
  • GSoC Second phase analysis

    The month took a rough start with me getting ill from the very start of the month. I decided to get the relatively “easy” job done within the first month, so that I can fully focus on the topics that require much more concentration once I start recovering. I started out by refactoring the code and using nodeWidth and nodeHeight and keeping the same generation node within the same vertical level. Also, I made sure that the changes get reflected with change in the dimensions of the activity.

  • Policy Updates

    KDE is getting good at writing statements on visions  and missions and values which define who we are. But less sexy and more technical is our various policies some of which are getting out of date.  Pleasingly at Akademy we’ve been able to update two of these policies to comply with current practices and define our activities better.

    Application Lifecycle policy defines how projects get into KDE and how they die.  The new version adds in Incubator our method of bringing projects into KDE from elsewhere. It also says what is allowed to be done with Playground projects, you can make an alpha release but if you want to make a beta or final release it should go through kdereview.

Qt/KDE: QML vs. HTML5, Kalendar, Sway 0.14 Supports KDE Server Decorations Protocol,

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KDE
  • QML vs. HTML5

    Mobile devices have set the standard in terms of responsiveness and user-friendliness for HMIs across industries. Manufacturers of cars, medical equipment, industrial automation systems and consumer electronics now want to replicate this great user experience for their embedded devices. To find out which technology strategy we should select we set up a test where one of our developers was allocated 160 hours to create a demo application of an embedded system using Qt & QML and same number of hours to create the very equivalent application using HTML5.

  • Qt QML Is Better Than HTML5 For User Interfaces?

    Get the popcorn ready as this should be an interesting discussion item: is using Qt QML better than HTML5 when designing user-interfaces?

    Engineering firm Sequality believes Qt QML is better than HTML5 when designing user-interfaces for embedded devices and have published some of their findings in a post entitled Qt vs. HTML5.

    Right now they are referring to Qt being better than HTML5 for embedded/mobile, but if this is from the same trashed PR messages from a few days ago representing this independent firm, they seem to have their sights wider than that in the long run.

  • Kalendar – A Minimal Calendar App for Efficient Time Management

    Kalendar is a cross-platform Gregorian calendar application with a focus on simplicity, ease of use, and KDE desktop. It is written in C++ and has its GUI built with the Qt5 library.

    The project was started from scratch by echo-devim who after being inspired by gnome-calendar, aims to keep the app simple in order to avoid “annoying dependencies (so you can easily install it everywhere)”.

    It features a simple UI geared towards intuitive event management and TODOs. You can add events by clicking once on a date and right-clicking to delete.

  • Sway 0.14 Supports KDE Server Decorations Protocol, Mouse Button Bindings

    Sway 0.14 is now available as the latest release of this i3-compatible Wayland compositor that's quite popular among Linux enthusiasts who are fans of the i3 tiling window manager.

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