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KDE

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.

KDE: Plasma Accessibility, Randa Report, KMarkdownWebView 0.1.0, and PureOS

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KDE
  • Plasma accessibility updates

    Marco Martin recently posted about some of the improvements in krunner, today I want to show some of the effort into navigating the Plasma panels.

    This video shows a user navigating the plasma panel using voice and keyboard. A shortcut focusses the panel, and then one can use tab and cursor keys as normal. In future we will improve our key-focus visual indicators, and allow for richer interaction.

  • Randa Report: The Fall of KDateTime

    The main goal for me and Volker for this year Randa Meeting was to port KCalCore, our calendaring library, away from KDateTime. KDateTime/KTimeZone are classes for handling date, time and time zones which were used back in the KDE4 (and earlier) days when Qt’s QDateTime wasn’t good enough for us, mainly due to missing time zone support.

    In Qt5 QDateTime finally gained all the necessary features we need which made it possible for us to leave KDateTime behind. But we couldn’t just go and replace “K” with “Q” everywhere – there are many subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences in API, behavior and some missing features of QDateTime that required us to carefully consider each step. The fact that we started working on this over 2 years ago shows how challenging task this was.

  • KMarkdownWebView 0.1.0

    The KMarkdownWebView software provides a KParts plugin for rendered display of Markdown files, using web technologies (webpage with JavaScript library which creates HTML from the plaintext handed in). This enables KParts-using applications (like the archiving tool Ark or the file manager Krusader) to show Markdown files in the target format. It is also prepared for the upcoming “Live Preview” plugin for KTextEditor-based applications like the editors/IDEs Kate & KDevelop (see introduction).

  • ​KDE is partnering with Purism to create a Linux smartphone

    Most people are happy to use Android smartphones. Others love their Apple iPhones. But there's some folks who really want a free-software smartphone without a trace of proprietary code or firmware. For these folks, Purism and KDE are partnering to create the Purism Librem 5 smartphone.

KDE: More on Plasma 5.11 Beta and KDE Plasma Mobile

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KDE
  • Plasma 5.11 Beta

    Thursday, 14 Sep 2017. Today KDE publishes a testing release of this autumn's Plasma feature release, KDE Plasma 5.11, to be released in mid-October 2017. Plasma 5.11 will bring a redesigned settings app, improved notifications, a more powerful task manager. Plasma 5.11 will be the first release to contain the new “Vault”, a system to allow the user to encrypt and open sets of documents in a secure and user-friendly way, making Plasma an excellent choice for people dealing with private and confidential information.

  • KDE Plasma 5.11 Rolls Into Beta With New System Settings, Better Wayland Support

    The beta is now available of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.11. There have been many changes baking for the Plasma 5.11 milestone.

    Plasma 5.11 is rolling out a new system settings design, notification history, task manager improvements, Plasma Vault for making it easy to deal with file encryption, app launcher menu improvements, and better Wayland support.

  • Help us create a privacy-focused Free software smartphone!

    The news is out! KDE and Purism are working together on a Free software smartphone featuring Plasma Mobile. Purism is running a crowdfunding campaign right now, and if that succeeds, with the help of KDE, the plan is to deliver a smartphone based on Plasma Mobile in January 2019.

  • KDE Plasma Mobile Is Coming to the Purism Librem 5

    KDE Plasma Mobile is coming to the Purism Librem 5. Purism and KDE have today announced a partnership that will see both projects work together to bring Plasma Mobile to the Librem 5 handset with the pooling of resources, developers and expertise.

KDE Plasma 5.11 Enters Beta, Introduces Plasma Vault, Revamped Settings and More

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KDE

Today, the KDE project launched the Beta version of its upcoming Plasma 5.11 desktop environment for personal computers, giving the KDE community the first glimpse of what to expect from the final release later this fall.

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Plasma Mobile and Purism's Librem 5 Free Smartphone

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KDE

Purism, Todd's company, produces the Librem computers, laptops with components that, where possible, are guaranteed to be respectful of the user's privacy. Their covers sport two hardware kill-switches, for example. One shuts off the camera. The other closes down WiFi and Bluetooth.

And, although not all components are open hardware,
Purism is perfectly transparent about this, recognizes it's not ideal, and aims to replace them when it becomes possible. Purism's ultimate aim is to achieve what they call Purism Purist state, in which every single chip and board is totally free and open, with all the schematics published under a free licence.

Read more

Also: KDE Joins Purism in an Attempt to Build World's First Privacy-Focused Smartphone

Librem 5 Smartphone Now Plans To Ship With KDE Plasma

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • Initial Retpoline Support Added To LLVM For Spectre v2 Mitigation
    The LLVM code has been merged to mainline for the Retpoline x86 mitigation technique for Spectre Variant 2. This will be back-ported to LLVM 6.0 and also LLVM 5.0 with an immediate point release expected to get this patched compiler out in the wild. The compiler-side work -- similar to GCC's Retpoline code -- is to avoid generating code where an indirect branch could have its prediction poisoned by a rogue actor. The Retpoline support uses indirect calls in a non-speculatable way.
  • Teen Hacker Who Social Engineered His Way Into Top-Level US Government Officials' Accounts Pleads Guilty To Ten Charges
    The teenage hacker who tore CIA director John Brennan a new AOL-hole is awaiting sentencing in the UK. Kane Gamble, the apparent founder of hacker collective Crackas With Attitude, was able to access classified documents Brennan has forwarded to his personal email account by posing as a Verizon tech. Social engineering is still the best hacking tool. It's something anyone anywhere can do. If you do it well, a whole host of supposedly-secured information can be had, thanks to multiple entities relying on the same personal identifiers to "verify" the social engineer they're talking to is the person who owns accounts they're granting access to. Despite claiming he was motivated by American injustices perpetrated around the world (Palestine is namechecked in the teen's multiple mini-manifestos), a lot of what Gamble participated in was plain, old fashioned harassment.
  • The Guardian view on cyberwar: an urgent problem [Ed: Lists several attacks by Microsoft Windows (but names neither)]
    The first known, and perhaps the most successful of these, was the joint US/Israeli Stuxnet attack on the Iranian nuclear programme in 2009. Since then there has been increasing evidence of attacks of this sort by Russia – against Estonia in 2009, and then against Ukraine, where tens of thousands of attacks on everything from power supplies to voting machines have opened an under-reported front in an under-reported war. Across the Baltic, the Swedish government has just announced a beefed-up programme of civil defence, of which the most substantial part will be an attempt to protect its software and networks from attacks. Meanwhile, North Korean state hackers are blamed by western intelligence services for the WannaCry ransomware attacks which last year shut down several NHS hospitals in the UK. Persistent reports suggest the US has interfered in this way with North Korea’s nuclear missile programme.
  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #143
  • Don’t Install Meltdown And Spectre Patches, Intel Warns It Would Increase System Reebots
  • On that Spectre mitigations discussion
    By now, almost everybody has probably seen the press coverage of Linus Torvalds's remarks about one of the patches addressing Spectre variant 2. Less noted, but much more informative, is David Woodhouse's response on why those patches are the way they are.

Tails 3.5 Anonymous OS Released to Mitigate Spectre Vulnerability for AMD CPUs

Tails, the open-source Linux-based operating system designed to protect user's privacy while surfing the Internet, also known as Anonymous OS, was updated today to version 3.5. Coming only two weeks after the Tails 3.4 release, which included patches for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities publicly disclosed earlier this month, today's Tails 3.5 update is here to bump the Linux kernel to version 4.14.13 and include the microcode firmware for AMD CPUs to mitigate the Spectre flaw. Read more

Graphics: Freedreno, Gallium3D, AMDGPU, RadeonSI, Mesa

  • Code Aurora Working On Adreno 6xx Support For Freedreno
    The Qualcomm-aligned Code Aurora is working on supporting the latest-generation Adreno A6xx graphics hardware with the open-source Freedreno+MSM driver stack.
  • Work Revised On Adding SPIR-V Support To Clover Gallium3D
    Last May we reported on a Nouveau developer adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's OpenCL state tracker. Finally the better part of one year later, Pierre Moreau is ready with the second version of these patches to accept this IR associated with Vulkan / OpenCL 2.1+ within Clover.
  • Trying Out DRM-Next For Linux 4.16 With AMDGPU On Polaris & Vega
    I have spent some time this weekend trying out the DRM-Next code slated for inclusion in Linux 4.16 when its merge window opens next week. The DRM-Next state of the AMDGPU driver appears to be in good shape, at least for the RX 580 and RX Vega cards used for my initial testing.
  • RadeonSI NIR Back-End Picks Up Support For More OpenGL Extensions
    It was just a few days ago that Valve Linux developer Timothy Arceri enabled GLSL 4.50 support for RadeonSI's NIR back-end after previously taking care of tessellation shaders and other requirements. Now he has taken to implementing some other extensions in RadeonSI's NIR code-path.
  • mesa 18.0-0-rc1
    The first release candidate for Mesa 18.0.0 is now available. The plan is to have one release candidate every Friday, until the anticipated final release on 9th February 2018. The expectation is that the 17.3 branch will remain alive with bi-weekly releases until the 18.0.1 release. NOTE: Building the SWR with LLVM 3.9 is currently not possible. Please use newer LLVM version until the issue is resolved. Here are the people which helped shape the current release.
  • Mesa 18.0 Now Under Feature Freeze With 18.0-RC1 Premiere
    Feature development on Mesa 18.0 has now ended with the release today of 18.0-RC1 following the code-base being branched. Emil Velikov of Collabora just announced the availability of Mesa 18.0-RC1. As usual, he's planning on weekly release candidates until the 18.0.0 stable release is ready to ship. Velikov tentatively expects to ship Mesa 18.0.0 around 9 February, but as we know from past releases, it might end up slipping by some days.

Using Dual 4K Monitors Stacked With GNOME

The setup for my main production system that is still on Fedora Workstation 26 with GNOME Shell 3.24.3 has been working out fine. The two displays are the ASUS MG28UQ monitors that work out well on their own and do work with AMDGPU FreeSync on Linux. A GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is enough to power the dual 3840 x 2160 displays for desktop tasks mostly limited to many terminals, Firefox, Chrome, Thunderbird, and other GNOME desktop applications. Certainly that lower-end Pascal GPU isn't fast enough for 4K gaming, but it's not like I have the time for any gaming and for a purely desktop system it's working out fine paired with the 387.34 proprietary driver on Fedora 26 paired with Linux 4.14. Read more