From the fourth to the sixth of July, the Calligra team got together in sunny Deventer (Netherlands) for the yearly developer sprint at the same location as the last Krita sprint. Apart from seeing the sights and having our group photo in front of one of the main attractions of this quaint old Dutch town in the province of Overijssel, namely the cheese shop (and much cheese was taken home by the Calligra hackers, as well as stroopwafels from the Saturday market) we spent our time planning the future of Calligra and doing some healthy hacking and bug fixing!
Before heading into the weekend I thought about writing a small update about the KDecoration2 status. Since my last blog post I started integrating KDecoration2 into KWin. This was partially easier and partially more difficult than anticipated. Especially ripping out the old decoration code is rather complex. There are quite some design differences which make the transition complex and especially values inside KWin core are using enums defined in the decoration API – e.g. the maximized state is kept as a KDecorationDefines::MaximizedMode. This will need further work to move the enums and so at the moment the old decoration library is still compiled although the library is no longer in use.
With the Plasma 5.0 release out the door, we can lift our heads a bit and look forward, instead of just looking at what’s directly ahead of us, and make that work by fixing bug after bug. One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell.
The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.
This is the year of Linux for the everyday user.
I have already written reviews for Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17 and they are both exceptionally good for the average computer user.
This review is about Netrunner 14.
There are two versions of Netrunner available. This article looks at the Standard Release which is based on Kubuntu 14.04. The other version is a rolling release based on Manjaro.
One of the most disliked features of the early KDE SC 4 releases was the developers' attempt to establish the semantic desktop. The tools to further this goal are Nepomuk and Akonadi. While Nepomuk tries to interconnect meta data from different desktop applications, Akonadi is a service that stores and retrieves data from PIM applications like mail, calendar and contacts. Together, they pave the road to allow users to find data, structured and connected by tags, ratings and comments, covering different file formats. On top of that, Strigi performs the indexing that enables users to find data with simple search terms in KDE's file manager Dolphin.
From ratpoison to Unity, I must have tried just about every Linux desktop environment available. The best Linux desktop, in my view: my main computer continues to run KDE's Plasma. No other alternative can match its design philosophy, configurability, or its innovations on the classical desktop.
Nor am I alone in my preferences. At a time when the Linux desktop offers six main alternatives (Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, Mate, Unity and Xfce), KDE Plasma consistently tops reader polls with an average of 35-40 percent. In such a diverse market, these figures indicate a broad appeal that other Linux desktop alternatives can't match.
I believe that one of the main reasons for this appeal is the KDE design philosophy. GNOME and Unity may offer a more aesthetic-looking default, but only at the cost of simplifying both the desktop and the utilities in the name of reducing clutter.
Being done as part of a Google Summer of Code project this year is porting KDE's Plasma Active to their newer technology stack.
Plasma Active is the user interface targeting all types of devices from tablets to smart TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Antonis Tsiapaliokas, a student developer and open-source/KDE fan, has been working on porting as much of Plasma Active as he can over the summer to using the newest stack: the Qt5 tool-kit with KDE Frameworks 5.