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KDE: Plasma 5.11 in Kubuntu 17.10, Krita 3.3, Randa and Evolution of Plasma Mobile

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KDE
  • KDE Plasma 5.11 Desktop Will Be Coming to Kubuntu 17.10 Soon After Its Release

    KDE kicked off the development of the KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment a few months ago, and they've already published the Beta release, allowing users to get a first glimpse of what's coming in the final release next month.

    Canonical's Ubuntu Desktop team did a great job bringing the latest GNOME 3.26 desktop environment to the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, and it looks like the Kubuntu team also want to rebase the official flavor on the forthcoming KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment.

  • Krita 3.3 Digital Painting App Promises Better HiDPI Support on Linux & Windows

    Work on the next Krita 3.x point release has started, and a first Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Krita 3.3 version is now ready for public testing, giving us a glimpse of what's coming in the new release.

    In the release announcement, Krita devs reveal the fact that they were forced to bump the version number from 3.2.x to 3.3.x because the upcoming Krita 3.3 release will be introducing some important changes for Windows platforms, such as support for the Windows 8 event API, thus supporting the n-trig pen in Surface laptops.

  • Randa-progress post-hoc

    So, back in Randa I was splitting my energies and attentions in many pieces. Some attention went to making pancakes and running the kitchen in the morning — which is stuff I take credit for, but it is really Grace, and Scarlett, and Thomas who did the heavy lifting, and Christian and Mario who make sure the whole thing can happen. And the attendees of the Randa meeting who pitch in for the dishes after lunch and dinner. The Randa meetings are more like a campground than a 5-star hotel, and we work together to make the experience enjoyable. So thanks to everyone who pitched in.

    Part of a good sprint is keeping the attendees healthy and attentive — otherwise those 16-hour hacking days really get to you, in spite of the fresh Swiss air.

    [...]

    You can read more of what the attendees in Randa achieved on planet KDE (e.g. kdenlive, snappy, kmymoney, marble, kube, Plasma mobile, kdepim, and kwin). I’d like to give a special shout out to Manuel, who taught me one gesture in Italian Sign Langauage — which is different from American or Dutch Sign Language, reminding me that there’s localization everywhere.

  • The Evolution of Plasma Mobile

    Back around 2006, when the Plasma project was started by Aaron Seigo and a group of brave hackers (among which, yours truly) we wanted to create a user interface that is future-proof. We didn’t want to create something that would only run on desktop devices (or laptops), but a code-base that grows with us into whatever the future would bring. Mobile devices were already getting more powerful, but would usually run entirely different software than desktop devices. We wondered why. The Linux kernel served as a wonderful example. Linux runs on a wide range of devices, from super computers to embedded systems, you would set it up for the target system and it would run largely without code changes. Linux architecture is in fact convergent. Could we do something similar at the user interface level?

KStars 2.8.4 aka Juli is released!

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KDE

Less than two weeks after the release of KStars 2.8.3 comes another minor bugfix release. Download KStars 2.8.4 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

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Beautify Your KDE Plasma 5 Desktop Environment with Freshly Ported Adapta Theme

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KDE

Good morning! It's time to beautify your KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment, and we have just the perfect theme for that as it looks like the popular Adapta GTK theme was recently ported to Plasma 5.

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Linux Foundation’s Open Source Networking Days and KDE's Randa

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KDE
Linux
  • Introducing The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Networking Days

    One of my primary goals at The Linux Foundation is to foster innovation across the entire open source networking ecosystem. This involves coordinating across multiple open source projects and initiatives and identifying key areas for collaboration to create an open source networking stack.

    We are working across the entire ecosystem with industry-leading partners — from developers to service providers to vendors — to unify various open source components and create solutions that will accelerate network transformation. As part of this journey, I am pleased to introduce Open Source Networking Days (OSN Days), a series of free events that are hosted and organized by local user groups and The Linux Foundation members, with support from our projects, including DPDK, FD.io, ONAP, OpenDaylight, OPNFV, PNDA, and others.

  • Randa news, release update

    Last week, from wednesday to saturday I attended KDE’s annual Randa sprint organized by wonderful people. This was an occasion to work fulltime on Kdenlive.

Qt 5.6.3 Released

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KDE

I am pleased to inform that Qt 5.6.3 has been released today. As always with a patch release Qt 5.6.3 does not bring any new features, just error corrections. For details of the bug fixes in Qt 5.6.3, please check the change logs for each module.

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Events: KDE/Randa 2017 and Linux Foundation

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KDE
Linux
  • KMyMoney’s Łukasz Wojniłowicz in Randa

    Please read the following guest post from Łukasz who joined me last week in Randa to work on KMyMoney.

  • Randa 2017 – Databases are back to KMyMoney

    On the morning of Day 5 we chased and fixed a problem that was introduced a long time ago but never caused any trouble. The code goes back into the KDE3 version of KMyMoney and was caused by some changes inside Qt5. The fix prevents a crash when saving a transaction which opens an additional dialog to gather more information (e.g. price information). With the help of other devs here in Randa, we were able to drill down the problem and update the code to work on KF5/Qt5 keeping the existing functionality.

  • Randa 2017 – Days 3 and 4

    On Day 3, we started out at 7:02 as usual with the team responsible for breakfast meeting in the kitchen.

    KMyMoney wise, we worked some more on keyboard navigation and porting to KF5. The dialog to open a database and the logic around it have been rewritten/fixed, so that it is now possible to collect the information from the user and proceed with opening. The database I have on file for testing does not open though due to another problem which I still need to investigate.

  • Watch the Keynote Videos from Open Source Summit in Los Angeles

    If you weren’t able to attend Open Source Summit North America 2017 in Los Angeles, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up the following keynote presentations so you can hear from the experts about the growing impact of open source software.

  • uniprof: Transparent Unikernel for Performance Profiling and Debugging

    Unikernels are small and fast and give Docker a run for its money, while at the same time still giving stronger features of isolation, says Florian Schmidt, a researcher at NEC Europe, who has developed uniprof, a unikernel performance profiler that can also be used for debugging. Schmidt explained more in his presentation at Xen Summit in Budapest in July.

    Most developers think that unikernels are hard to create and debug. This is not entirely true: Unikernels are a single linked binary that come with a shared address space, which mean you can use gdb. That said, developers do lack tools, such as effective profilers, that would help create and maintain unikernels.

KDE and GNOME: Kubuntu Site, Marble Maps, Kube in Randa, and UX in GNOME

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KDE
GNOME
  • Call for design: Artful Banner for Kubuntu.org website

    Kubuntu 17.10 — code-named Artful Aardvark — will be released on October 19th, 2017. We need a new banner for the website, and invite artists and designers to submit designs to us based on the Plasma wallpaper and perhaps the mascot design.

  • Randa 2017 Report – Marble Maps

    Just came back home yesterday from Randa Meetings 2017. This year, even though my major motive for the sprint was to use Qt 5.8’s Qt Speech module instead of custom Java for text-to-speech during navigation, that could not be achieved because of a bug which made the routes not appear in the app in the first place. And this bug is reproducible both by using latest code, and old-enough code, and is even there in the prod app in the Google Play Store itself. So, although most of my time had gone in deep-diving on the issue, unfortunately I was not able to find the root-cause to it eventually. I will need to pick up on that in the coming weeks again when I get time, to get it fixed.

  • Kube in Randa

    I’ve spent the last few days with fellow KDE hackers in beautiful Randa in the Swiss Mountains.
    It’s an annual event that focuses on a specific topic every year, and this time accessibility was up, so Michael and me made our way up here to improve Kube in that direction (and to enjoy the scenic surroundings of course).

  • Usability testing for early-stage software prototypes

    In this article, Ciarrai Cunneen and I describe how to do a paper-based usability test, using an early redesign of the GNOME Settings app as an example. The updated Settings features in GNOME 3.26, released on September 13.

    When writing open source software, we often obsess about making our logic elegant and concise, coming up with clever ways to execute tasks and demonstrate ideas. But we sometimes forget a key fact: Software is not useful if it is not easy to use.

    To make sure our programs can be used by our intended audience, we need usability testing. Usability is basically asking the question, "Can people easily use this thing?" or "Can real people use the software to do real tasks in a reasonable amount of time?" Usability is crucial to the creative process of building anything user-based. If real people can't use our software, then all the hard work of creating it is pointless.

    [...]

    In early 2016, GNOME decided to make a major UI update to its Settings application. This visual refresh shifts from an icon-based menu to drop-down lists and adds important changes to several individual Settings panels. The GNOME design team wanted to test these early-stage design changes to see how easily real people could navigate the new GNOME Settings application. Previously, GNOME relied on traditional usability tests, where users explore the software's UI directly. But this wouldn't work, since the software updates hadn't been completed.

KDE: Plasma Mobile in Randa, Calligra Suite Rant, Kubuntu Updates

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KDE
  • Plasma Mobile in Randa(aaaaaaaa)

    Last week I had a chance to attend the Randa meetings 2017, my plan was to work on the Plasma Mobile during the sprint, improve the state of current images.

  • Progress On KDE Plasma Mobile From Randa 2017

    KDE contributor Bhushan Shah has shared some highlights of Plasma Mobile progress made from this year's Randa Meetings in Switzerland.

    At this annual KDE developer event in the Swiss mountains, some of the Plasma Mobile advancements worked on or reviewed included:

    - Plasma Mobile images are now being assembled by the KDE Neon build system rather than the Plasma Mobile CI.

  • Calligra Suite does not suit me

    It pains me to say so, but the split from KOffice to Calligra has given this program only a temporary infusion of hope, and looking back at my 2013 trial, it's not made any progress since. On the contrary. Calligra Suite is slow, difficult to use, and it comes with less than ideal file format support. My conclusion here is much the same regarding different Linux software, be it distros or desktop environments. 90% of it just shouldn't exist, and the effort must be focused on just one or two select programs with the highest quality and chance of making it big. The infinite forking doesn't do anyone any good.

    Calligra Suite has the potential, but it's far, far from realizing it, and the world of Plasma has left it behind. The interface split is bad, too much equity is taken by a confusing maze of options, the performance is dreadful, the stability flaky, and the rest does not scale or compare against LibreOffice, let alone Microsoft Office. I wish my findings were different, but it cannot be. Ah well. Like so many other flowers of the open-source world, this one must wilt. I'll keep an eye, but I doubt there is ever going to be enough focus or love to make Calligra into a serious competitor. Dedoimedo's sad prose out.

  • Plasma 5.11 beta available in unofficial PPA for testing on Artful

    Adventurous users and developers running the Artful development release can now also test the beta version of Plasma 5.11. This is experimental and can possibly kill kittens!

  • Kubuntu: Writing Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana) Easily

    On Kubuntu system, we can write Japanese easily using Fcitx-Mozc tool! This awesome tool eases you with word-suggestions popup on-the-fly, with ability to switch between Kanji-Hiragana-Katakana-ASCII as simple as one click. It's very well integrated to the whole screens inside KDE Plasma desktop, enables you to write Japanese in Firefox browser, LibreOffice, Kate text editor, and even Konsole terminal.

GNOME and KDE: Dash to Dock, GNOME Shell, Librem 5, Krita and Randa

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KDE
GNOME
  • Dash to Dock v61 Released with Unity-Style Launcher Backlights

    An updated version of Dash to Dock — the hugely popular desktop dock for GNOME Shell — is available to install.

    Dash to Dock v61 adds official support for the recent GNOME 3.26 release, an addition that will be of particular note to those of you running Ubuntu 17.10.

  • Replacement Telegram Tray Icons for GNOME Shell

    This posts shows you how to replace the colorful Telegram tray icon on Linux with a GNOME Shell colored white set. It's a simple tweak that anyone can do.

  • Librem 5 Crosses $400k In Funding After Plasma Mobile Announcement

    Since announcing earlier this week that KDE is working on Plasma Mobile support for the Librem 5, Purism has managed to raise over $100k more towards their goal of building a free software GNU/Linux smartphone, but remain around 1.1 million dollars short of their goal.

    The announcement of Plasma Mobile support -- while still planning to support GNOME on their device and it not being known yet if KDE/GNOME will be the default on the phone -- managed to gain a number of new supporters with crossing the $400k crowdfunding threshold this weekend.

  • David Revoy teaches Krita course at local university in Paris
  • Randa Report Part 2

    And now for the serious part: in my last blog post, I talked about achieving our main goal for this year’s Randa meetings – we successfully ported the entire Kontact away from the obsoleted KDateTime class. Since we finished this on Thursday, there was still enough time left to start working on something new and exciting.

    Volker and Frederik went on to work on a KWin plugin to simulate various kinds of color blindness which will help developers to see how visually impaired users see their software, I did a bit more code clean-up after the porting and a bit of code-review.

GNOME and KDE: Librem 5, KDE Accessibility, and GNOME 3.26 Release Video

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KDE
GNOME
  • Encrypted, Open Source Phone That Won’t Track Users Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

    Here’s the weird thing about ears: you can’t shut them. You can shut your eyes, but you can’t shut your ears.

    The same is true for our devices. While no one builds devices with built in covers for cameras, it’s easy to add one. Microphones are trickier. In fact, there’s a persistent conspiracy theory that Facebook constantly listens for buzzwords to trigger ads through the microphones on people’s phones.

  • ​KDE Partners With Purism To Create The “First Truly Free” Linux Smartphone

    Just last month, we told you about a new crowdfunding project launched by privacy-focused hardware maker Purism. The device was named Librem 5 and it was expected to ship with PureOS, an open source Debian GNU/Linux derivative.

  • Testing Applications for Color Blindness

    At the Randa Meeting 2017 Volker and I decided to write a little KWin plugin. Activating this plugin you can simulate various types of color vision deficiencies, either on individual windows or full-screen. The plugin works by running a fragment shader on the respective window/screen.

  • The Official GNOME 3.26 Release Video Has Arrived

    The GNOME 3.26 release arrived earlier this week, and now an official release video has popped out to help promote it.

    The 1 minute 51 second clip zips through all of the pertinent new details, including support for color emoji, many of the core app updates, and (of course) the spiffy new search layout and streamlined Settings app.

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Linux on Galaxy is Samsung's most impressive DeX app yet

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Skylake embedded computer has a thin 1U profile

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