Applications

  • Happy 20th Birthday, GNOME! (GNOME)
    ORINDA, CA. Today, the GNOME Project proudly celebrates its 20th Birthday. Founded by Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero on August 15, 1997, GNOME has since become a pillar of the Free Software community. There have been 33 stable releases since the initial release of GNOME 1.0 in 1999. The latest stable release, GNOME 3.24 […]
  • GNOME Board of Directors Announced for 2017-2018 (GNOME)
    ORINDA, CA. The GNOME Foundation welcomes its new Board of Directors for the 2017 – 2018 term: Alexandre Franke Allan Day Carlos Soriano Cosimo Cecchi Meg Ford Nuritzi Sanchez Zeeshan Ali Congratulations! This year we had 225 registered voters, 110 of which sent in valid ballots. Elections ran during the months of May and June, and […]
  • Randa Meetings 2017: It's All About Accessibility (KDE)


    Attendees of the 2016 Randa Sprint in the Swiss Alps.

    Randa 2015 was about bringing touch to KDE apps and interfaces. At Randa 2016, developers worked on building frameworks that would allow KDE apps to work on a wider range of operating systems, like Windows, MacOS and Android.

    Randa Meetings 2017 will be all about accessibility.

    At KDE, we understand that using an application - be it an email client, a video editor, or even educational games aimed at children - is not always easy. Different conditions and abilities require different ways of interacting with apps. The same app design will not work equally well for somebody with 20/20 vision and for somebody visually impaired. You cannot expect somebody with reduced mobility to be able to nimbly click around your dialogue boxes.

    This year we want to focus on things that have had a tendency to fall by the wayside; on solving the problems that are annoying, even deal-breaking for some, but not for everyone.


    Beta tester trying out new features during the 2015 sprint.

    To that end, KDE developers will be gathering in the quietness of the Swiss mountains and will push several different projects in that direction. David Edmundson, for example, plans to spend his time improving navigation on Plasma for those who prefer, or, indeed, need to use a keyboard over a mouse. This will help users with reduced mobility that find moving a mouse around cumbersome. And Adriaan de Groot will be working on Calamares, an application that helps install operating systems. Adriaan will make Calamares more accessible to visually impaired users by improving integration with the Orca screenreader. Sanjiban Bairagya will be working on text-to-speech on Marble, KDE's mapping application. He wants to make the app's turn-by-turn navigation experience more intuitive by integrating Qt's Speech module.

    Apart from the projects mentioned above, we will also have developers from Kdenlive, Kubuntu, KMyMoney, Kontact, Kube, Atelier, KDEEdu, digiKam, WikiToLearn and Krita, all working together, intent on solving the most pressing accessibility issues.

    But to make Randa Meetings possible, we need your help. Please donate to our funding campaign so we can make KDE more accessible for everyone.

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  • Akademy 2017 in Retrospect (KDE)

    The 2017 edition of Akademy was held in Almería, Spain. Starting officially on the 22nd of July and ending on the 27th, the weekend was dedicated to talks, as is customary. The rest of the following week, from Monday to Thursday, was dedicated to workshops and BoFsBirds of a Feather — sessions in which community members interested in the same things meet and work together.

    This year's event attracted over 110 attendees. Attendees traveled mainly from Europe, but also from North and South America, and Asia. Over the weekend, visitors were able to attend over 40 different talks on all kinds of topics, ranging from developing applications for mobile phones to best ways for collaboration between communities.


    Attendees of the 2017 Akademy. Click on the image
    to see a larger, interactive version with
    participants' names.

    From Monday to Thursday, Akademy was dedicated to BoFs and workshops where a specific topic or area is focused on. For most participants, this part is a primary motivation for attending Akademy, since it gives them the chance to sit down with their colleagues in the flesh. They can discuss and code together without having to relay messages over email or IRC. Each day attendees met, discussed, and worked side by side, pushing KDE forward.

    One of the hottest topics was Plasma. Plasma is KDE's graphical desktop and mobile environment. Dedicating a large chunk of the meetings to Plasma makes perfect sense. Although most KDE apps work on a wide range of platforms (including Windows, MacOS and Android), the first platform KDE developers would want to target is their own. With as much time dedicated to mobile frameworks, such as Kirigami and Halium, as to Plasma on desktop computers, it is clear the developers are very seriously committed to the effort of taking over smartphones and breaking the Android/iOS duopoly.

    KDE developers know very well that a rich software catalogue is essential to attract end users, hence many of the talks and BoFs where dedicated to app development. There were slots on how to port applications to the upcoming Wayland display server protocol which, like winter, is definitely coming someday. Aleix Pol dedicated time to explaining how developers could package apps for Flatpak, a universal packaging system for all GNU/Linux distributions. Scattered throughout the week were also several sessions and talks about QML, Qt 3D, and other KDE-related technologies.

    As for the steps the applications should actually go through — from concept to working utility on the desktop or your phone's screen — during Akademy 2017 the community reached an agreement on the new Applications Lifecycle Policy. The overhaul of this policy had already been discussed at some length on KDE's Community mailing list, but the conversation hadn't reached a satisfactory conclusion. However, a few hours of face-to-face negotiation led to an acceptable solution which Jonathan Riddell announced on Wednesday in the half-day wrap-up session.

    According to Jonathan, the new policy...

    "[D]efines how projects enter KDE, which is either through Incubator for projects which started outside KDE, or just starting it in Playground. It defines the sort of things that get reviewed in KDEReview and it explains how to choose where to put the application, (Frameworks, self released, Applications, Plasma) which in turn defines how and when it gets released. Finally, it defines options when a project is no longer useful: either ask the Gardening team to update it or move it to unmaintained."

    On the non-technical front, there were all-important discussion on how to make KDE technologies more accessible to end users, and how to make the community more open to potential contributors. Improving communication aimed at non-technical users, reaching out and cooperating with other communities, and implementing policies that promote inclusiveness were some of the areas participants pledged to work on.

    This was another solid Akademy. Knowledge was shared, agreements reached, and code got written. Even though the KDE community discussed a wide variety of topics, there was clearly a common underlying theme of how members of KDE want to shape the world of tech to their vision — the vision of a world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy.

    After this year's hot Andalusian sun, Akademy will be moving next year to the heart of Europe: Vienna. See you there in 2018!

    About Akademy

    For most of the year, KDE — one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

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  • How KDE's Open Source community has built reliable, monopoly-free computing for 20+ years (KDE)

    Hostingadvice.com runs a story How KDE’s Vast Open-Source Community Has Been Developing Technologies to Bring Reliable, Monopoly-Free Computing to the World for 20+ Years. The article gives background to the how and why of KDE, and includes an interview with KDE's Sebastian Kügler for some more in-depth insights. From the article:

    At the time, Sebastian was only a student and was shocked that his work could have such a huge impact on so many people. That’s when he became dedicated to helping further KDE’s mission to foster a community of experts committed to experimentation and the development of software applications that optimize the way we work, communicate, and interact in the digital space.

    “With enough determination, you can really make a difference in the world,” Sebastian said. “The more I realized this, the more I knew KDE was the right place to do it.”

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  • Plasma rocks Akademy (KDE)

    KDE's yearly world conference - Akademy - was held last week in Almería, Spain. Lots of interesting things happened in the Plasma-verse during Akademy 2017.

    State of the Union


    Sebastian Kügler and Marco Martin.

    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).

    Plans for the future of Plasma include getting the Wayland port ready for end-users, and thereby delivering on the promise of smoother graphics, a leaner graphics stack, better protocol semantics, improved high-DPI support and more features for touchscreens and convertible devices (such as edge-swipe support).

    Plasma's Vision

    Another talking point which deserves a special mention is Plasma's vision statement. The statement had been discussed on Plasma's mailing list and on KDE's Phabricator collaboration tool over the last couple of months, and it is now finalized. Plasma's vision statement reads:

    "Plasma is a cross-device work environment by the KDE Community where trust is put on the user's capacity to best define her own workflow and preferences.
    Plasma is simple by default, a clean work area for real-world usage which intends to stay out of your way. Plasma is powerful when needed, enabling the user to create the workflow that makes her more effective to complete her tasks.
    Plasma never dictates the user's needs, it only strives to solve them. Plasma never defines what the user is allowed to do, it only ensures that she can.
    Our motivation is to enable actual work to happen, across devices, across different platforms, using any application needed.
    We build to be durable, we create to be usable, we design to be elegant."

    Its cornerstones are stability, usability (which includes features to make the users' lives easier) and elegance, meaning that the team aims to create stable software that helps users get their job done elegantly, but swiftly and with pleasure. For a more detailed explanation of Plasma's vision, head over to sebas' weblog.

    Halium Unifies Mobile Linux

    Bhushan Shah, maintainer of Plasma's user interface for mobile devices, talked in detail (slides) about the latest endeavour - Project Halium. Halium is a collaboration that aims to share the development effort among several groups. By creating a common base, Project Halium wants to make it easier to bring Plasma Mobile to a wider range of devices. In just a few months, Halium has not only allowed Plasma Mobile to run on its new reference device (the Google Nexus 5X), but has also provided the basis for ports to the Fairphone 2 and a few other handsets.

    With other Free software mobile stacks (such as Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS) being discontinued, Plasma Mobile positions itself as the best option to create truly Free and community-developed mobile devices. While its development is not very fast-paced, its continued improvements begin to bear fruit. This makes Plasma Mobile an increasingly attractive platform for people and companies that want to escape the Duopoly of today's smartphone market and bring something entirely new to the table.

    Kirigami Makes Convergence


    System Settings' new user interface.

    Most of today's applications are written using QWidgets, which is still the most powerful tool for certain kinds of applications. QWidgets does have some graphical limitations, which may sound bad, but this limitation leads to more consistent UIs across applications. Using QWidgets makes it difficult to deviate from the human interface guidelines (HIG) too much, thus enforcing visual consistency.

    This is about to change. Qt is investing heavily into QML, which has fewer graphical limitations, putting more power into developers' hands. A side-effect, however, is that it makes it (too) easy to create applications visually and interactively inconsistent with each other.

    Kirigami was born both as a human interface guideline (HIG) and a framework implementing it. Kirigami has been stabilized over the past year and will be released together with KDE Frameworks 5 starting August 2017.
    Kirigami provides the skeleton for applications, allowing developers to write visually and interactively consistent applications with little effort. While it seems that Kirigami limits the endless flexibility that QtQuick-based UIs offer, it solves common problems of in-app navigation. Moreover, it solves the lack of consistency across applications, providing uniformity and reducing the need to 'learn' a new application. In order to think outside of the box, you need a box in the first place, and Kirigami provides that box.

    One example of a Kirigami app is Koko, a simple QML-based image viewer. Although Koko never received any real designer input, it has been resurrected as a Google Summer of Code project by Atul Sharma, and has been redesigned to be a textbook case for Kirigami. Other Kirigami-based applications are Discover (Plasma's software center), the new System Settings user interface (to be released with Plasma 5.11), and of course, Kirigami's first adopter: Subsurface Mobile, an application for logging scuba dives. Kirigami provides a morphing UI, which allows creating applications that work equally well on desktop and mobile. With Kirigami, creating a convergent application is a breeze.

    The main target platforms for Kirigami are Plasma Desktop and Plasma Mobile, with the convenient side-effect of working nicely on Android. While we care a lot about following the look of Material on Android, we're not interested so much in the feel. With Plasma Mobile, we want to innovate without the legacy that Android and iOS have on their top-heavy UIs. Such interfaces are very hard to use with a single hand on big screen phones, and this is something we want to avoid.

    Kai Uwe Broulik wins Akademy Award for Plasma

    Kai Uwe Broulik, a Plasma Hacker extraordinaire, was lauded an Akademy Award this year for his work on Plasma. As the developer behind features like the App Menu, web-browser integration, and many other cool features big and small, Kai is a tireless and positive force that many of his teammates follow as a role model. The award, which also reflects positively on the rest of the Plasma team, is well-deserved and received gratefully.

    Swapnil Bhartiya interviewed Kai shortly after the Akademy Awards ceremony. In this interview, Kai reveals his ideas and thoughts on Plasma and the desktop in general. It's well worth watching.

    Birds-of-a-feather

    On Monday, the Plasma team held a day-long birds-of-a-feather (BoF) session. BoFs are collaborative meetings where everyone with the same interest is welcome to participate. The sessions are focused on making plans and finding solutions for problems that need face-to-face interaction. Naturally, they are also a great opportunity to look into the developers' kitchen. Let's take a peek!

    The Plasma team plans to improve support for convertible devices (laptops with touchscreens and detachable keyboards). In order to do that, some improvements to the virtual keyboards are planned.

    Other aspects that need improvement include screen rotation, sensors support, and the appearance of the UI when used with one's finger. Furthermore, the team talked at length about structuring the (somewhat dynamically grown) battery of QtQuick imports in a more logical way.

    Finally, a BoF session on Wayland resolved a number of problems in applications using Wayland, leading to direct results. For example, KMail will support the Wayland display server natively in an upcoming releases.
    Changes planned for Plasma Mobile include a more efficient and clean implementation of the top panel, better backend-sharing between desktop components and mobile UIs, and better support for third-party applications, especially those left in the rain by the demise of Ubuntu Touch.

    Akademy provided a great opportunity to prepare for the next big leaps in different areas of Plasma. As always, it was also a wonderful opportunity for the Plasma team to get together, socialize, and keep working as a team of friends.

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  • KMail User Survey (KDE)

    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.

    The survey won't take more than 5 minutes and it will be a big help.

    Please share the survey with your family members, friends and colleagues who use KMail too!

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  • Akademy 2017 -- Day 2 (KDE)


    Antonio Larrosa advocates building
    intracommunity relationships.

    Antonio Larrosa kicked off Sunday with his talk on The KDE Community and its Ecosystem. He expressed concern about what he perceived as an increase in the isolation of certain communities and laid out the advantages of working on intra-community relationships.

    Later on in the day, Kevin Ottens gave his audience a taste of what Qt's 3D API can do in his talk Advances in Qt 3D. There are more and more applications that rely on 3D everyday, especially with the increase in popularity of virtual reality. Ottens introduced the tools Qt developers looking to include 3D into their programs and even treated attendees to a preview of a feature that is still in the works and that helps manage shader code.

    Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen gave a very entertaining talk on Supporting Content Creators or Satisfying Your Inner Capitalist. Leinir laid out ways app developers could make enough money to be able to sometimes eat, while at the same time still feed their craving for developing cool stuff under free licenses.

    Jonathan Riddell gave a demonstration of what Neonception would be like by running Neon inside Neon using Docker images. The point being that, apart from looking cool, as Neon comes in various experimental flavours, developers can run unstable versions in a container without endangering their main set up.

    Jonathan gives a good explanation himself in the following video:

    Ivan Čukić rounded off the day, invoking the Cthulhu of programming languages. In his talk C++17 and 20, he reviewed some of the more interesting features included into C++17, as well as those planned for C++20. Although some attendees would probably prefer C++ lay dreaming a few aeons more, new things like ranges, concepts, and coroutines may just convert some developers over.

    About Akademy

    For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. Join us by registering for the 2017 edition of Akademy today.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

  • Wednesday Akademy BoF wrapup (KDE)

    Wednesday is the third and for many people last day of BoFs, as people start to head off home. However hacking and some smaller meetings will happen tomorrow between those still here

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  • Tuesday Akademy Wrapup Session (KDE)

    The second day of Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking has just finished. There is a wrapup session at the end so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

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  • Plasma's Vision (KDE)

    Sebastian Kügler writes on his blog about Plasma's vision statement, which names durabililty, usability and elegance as its corner stones.

  • Akademy Monday Wrapup Session Video (KDE)

    Akademy has had its first full day of BoFs, group sessions discussing our plans for the next year. The wrapup session has just finished so watch the video to find out about what Plasma devs are working on, what tutorials happened and how we avoided a fist fight to the finish.

  • Akademy Awards 2017 (KDE)

    Every year at Akademy we celebrate some of our hardest working achievers in the community. The prizes are selected and awarded by the previous year's winners. The winners this year are:


    Kai-Uwe

    Application Award

    Kai Uwe Broulik for their valuable work on Plasma.




    Cornelius Schumacher

    Non-Application Contribution Award

    Cornelius Schumacher for their long term contributions to KDE.



     
    Olaf and Martin

    Jury Award

    Martin Konold & Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer for their work on the KDE Free Qt Foundation.
    Honourable mentions also go to Lars Knoll and Tuukka Turunen for their work on the Qt side of the foundation which controls Qt's licensing.




    Thanking the Akademy organisers

    The organising team were also given a certificate and thanked for their hard work. The organisation has been led by Kenny Duffus who has helped for over a decade making the events appear to run smoothly. The local team have worked hard this year led by Rubén Gómez and Ismael Olea to bring us a fabulous event.


    Lukas Hetzenecker

    Akademy continues for another four days with meetings, workshops and hacking from teams within KDE to discuss their work over the forthcoming year.

    One final announcement was made at the end of the talks. The location for next year's Akademy was announced to be in Vienna, Lukas Hetzenecker introduced what he assured us was a beautiful and welcoming city.

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  • Akademy-es 2017 Fue Muy Bien (KDE)


    Akademy-ES 2017

    On the 20th and 21st of July, KDE España held, with the invaluable help of UNIA, HackLab Almería and the University of Almería, and with the sponsorship of Opentia, its 12th annual gathering: Akademy-es 2017.

    As it always happens when Akademy takes place in Spain, Akademy-es 2017 became a prelude of the international event and many well-known KDE developers attended.

    Throughout two days, talks were offered covering many different topics, including Plasma, programming (C++, Qt, mobile), exciting projects like Kirigami, proposals for the future such as KDE on automobile, encouragement to use KDE software and contribute to KDE, and information about KDE España.

    People who could not attend should not be worried as videos of the talks will be available online.


    Akademy makes the news

    The local newspaper stopped by for a photo shoot and to write a story on the world gathering of KDE developers that was about to happen.

    Attendees also got a chance to play around with Slimbook Ultrabooks such as the well-known KDE flavour or their new Pro edition.

    As usual, KDE España members gathered to celebrate their AGM. If you wish to find out what goes on in there, or if you wish to help us out organizing events like Akademy-es and getting the word out in Spain about KDE, please consider joining KDE España. It is now easier than ever!


    KDE España board, Baltasar, Adrián, Antonio, José commonly knows as Los Guapos


    Slimbook Talk by Alejandro

  • Akademy 2017 -- Day 1 (KDE)

    During the first day at the Akademy, everything went according to plan and nearly everything was on time. Kudos to the organisers.

    The weather was balmy at the beginning of the day and, although Aleix Pol said it was not hotter than a hot day in Barcelona, many of the Scandinavian and Scottish attendees were visibly wilting under the sun. Fortunately for them, the venue is equipped with air-conditioning.

    Little known fact about Almería: it is situated in the biggest desert in Europe, the Desert of Tabernas. A better known fact is that that same desert has been used as a location for many spaghetti westerns, including the seminal Sergio Leone movies "For A Fistful of Dollars" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". What is more interesting for some KDE members is that Tabernas has also been used in the filming of at least one Doctor Who episode ("A Town Called Mercy"). Unsurprisingly, the whovians amongst us quickly got busy and organised a trip to the place of the shoot for later in the week.

    The Talks


    Robert Kaye has managed to woo both an active
    community of volunteers and the industry with MusicBrainz.

    Robert Kaye did not disappoint and delivered an entertaining keynote on how MusicBrainz, a community-powered non-profit, has managed to be THE database of musical metadata. MusicBrainz's data is used by Google, the BBC, YouTube, Amazon, and nearly everyone else (including most FLOSS media players).

    Jean-Baptiste Mardelle introduced us to the new features, back end and interface of Kdenlive, KDE's video editing software. Apart from having cleaner code and being more stable, upcoming versions of Kdenlive will sport intelligent clip cutting, resizing and inserting, making life for video editors much easier.

    As expected Aditya Mehra's talk on the Mycroft plasmoid was another of the highlights of the day. The topic, after all, is intrinsically interesting -- there is something about issuing voice commands to an AI assistant on your desktop that appeals to everybody.

    During the mid-afternoon Ask Us Anything session, attendees had the chance to... well, ask anything to the KDE e.V. board members. Questions ranged from governance to how donations were used, passing through the process of getting elected to the board. Talking of which, it was a chance to properly meet the new board member, Eike Hein, who stepped in for Marta Rybczynska.

    Eike, among other things, maintains and develops Konversation, a user-friendly IRC client for KDE. He is also in charge of Yakuake, an original spin on the traditional terminal. Yakuake sits hidden at the top of your desktop and you can unfold it like a blind when you need it. He discovered KDE when test running Corel Linux (does anybody else remember that rather bizarre distro?) back in the 90s and started contributing in 2005.

    In the evening, Timothée Giet gave us an update on GCompris, the suite of educational activities and games for young children. The improvements in design and to the number of features are turning GCompris into a free, safe and privacy-protecting suite of educational programs as opposed to some of the proprietary alternatives out there.


    Eike, the new member of the KDE e.V. board,
    answering attendees' questions.

    Agustín Benito, on the other hand, pointed to new sectors KDE should probably be looking into. Agustín has been working on Free Software on embedded devices for the automotive industry for some time now and reckons this is an area in which KDE could grow and even become a mainstream technology.

    At the very end of the day, in the very last session, there was a lively debate on writing and how developers could better describe their projects to a larger audience. The discussion was animated enough to make us forget the time and, finally, we were all thrown out.

    Day 2 promises to be equally fun.

    About Akademy

    For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. Join us by registering for the 2017 edition of Akademy today.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

  • KDE Arrives in Almería for Akademy 2017 (KDE)


    KDE Chartered Flight to Almería

    We have travelled from across the globe to meet for our annual gathering where we plan and discuss the next year's activities creating free software to share with the world. Almería is in the south east of Spain, a country which has long been a supporter of free software and collaboration with its creators. The sun here is hot but the water is also warm for those who make it to the beach to discuss their work with a pina colada and a swim. Over the last year KDE has run conferences in Brazil, India, Spain, Germany and sprints in Randa in Switzerland, Krita in the Netherlands, Marble in Germany, GSoC in the US, WikiToLearn in India, Plasma in Germany, Kontact in France, and sent representatives to OSCAL in Albania, FOSSASIA in Singapore, FUDCON in Cambodia, HKOSCon in Hong Kong and more.


    Tapas y Sangria

    Today we meet from around the globe, KDE contributors have flown in from Taiwan, US, all over Europe and British Isles, India, Brazil, Canada.

    We have completed Akademy España, talks in Spanish to the community.

    We also met for the formality of KDE e.V. Annual General Meeting.

    The Community Working Group reviewed issues they had to deal with and were pleased there were fewer firefighting issues than in previous years and they could concentrate on gardening community.


    We are KDE

    Our outgoing treasurer Marta reported on the year's finances which were pleasingly balanced and with ample reserves. The Financial Working Group reported how they had supported this and that their main task is to support the incoming new treasurer.

    The Sysadmin Working Group reported on the pleasing developments retiring old machines, old software such as Drupal 6 and old operating systems. They are moving towards Ansible for system deployment and were pleased at the new multi-platform CI system which is now running.

    We heard from the Advisory Board Working Group who now have regular meetings with representatives from supporting companies and large deployments of KDE software.

    The KDE Free Qt Foundation controls the licencing of Qt with representatives from both KDE and Qt company. In the last year they have concluded the relicensing of all Qt parts as Free Software. All parts of Qt are available under the GPLv3 or under a compatible license. Most parts are also available under the LGPLv3 and under the GPLv2. The last remaining code to be relicensed was the Qt Quick Compiler. This is now deprecated and replaced with an open source solution since the release of Qt 5.9.


    Your new KDE e.V. board

    Finally we voted on replacement board members for the three who's terms came to an end. Marta the treasurer did not renew her term. Holding one of the most important but least thanked tasks in KDE we owe her much gratitude for keeping out books balanced and our payments prompt. Lydia Pintcher and Aleix Pol i Gonzàlez both stood for the board again and were re-elected for another three years. And long term KDE developer Eike Hein was elected as a new board member, hoping to bring in more representation to the community from Korea where he lives. We thanked the outgoing and new board members with the traditional thanks of a fancy dinner.

    Tonight we drink sangria and wine under the stars at a welcome party meeting old friends and new, eating tapas of salmorejo, croquetas, tortillas and rice, looking forward to the week ahead.

  • What to Expect from Akademy 2017 on Day 1 (KDE)


    I'm going to Akademy

    There's less than a week until the beginning of Akademy 2017 (if you still haven’t registered, do so now) and this is what you can expect from your first day at the event:

    Keynotes and Master Talks

    Akademy opens on Saturday, July 22 at 10 am with Robert Kaye, the brains behind Musicbrainz. We talked with Robert a few days ago, and he will tell us all about his projects and how he managed to marry FLOSS activism with the pragmatism of having to make money in order to keep them alive.

    Sebastian Kügler will follow with an overview of the most important things that happened over the last year in the development of Plasma. He will talk about current features, future plans and goals, what to expect on your desktop over the next year, and how to help and get involved.

    Meanwhile, in the next room, Jos van den Oever will examine Calligra and its native support for ODF. He'll look at a number of areas of ODF and see how well they are supported compared to other office suites.

    At 11:50, Mirko Boehm will review the governance norms applied in FSFE, KDE and Wikimedia in his talk Why we Fight. He will examine how the norms developed over time and how current debates reflect their evolution.


    Kdenlive, KDE's video editor, now comes with a new, re-vamped user interface.

    At the same time, Volker Krause will present the UserFeedback framework, which provides ways to engage users from inside the application itself, including the collection of system or usage statistics, as well as asking an interested set of users that match a specific set of criteria to participate in an online survey.

    Continuing on with a similar topic, at 12:30 Aleix Pol will talk about the challenge of developing for users employing bundled systems. We'll see what impact shortening the path between the development and users being able to run the software will have.

    At the same time, Emma Gospodinova will tell us how she plans to add support for Rust, the promisingly popular programming language, to KDevelop during her Google Summer of Code project. Emma plans to include standard features any IDE should support for a language, such as semantic highlighting, code completion, refactoring, debugging and project management.

    From there, we will move onto the light entertainment, which is movies. Or more like movie-editing. In Kdenlive, rewriting the timeline, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle will show us the new, polished Kdenlive 17.08, which now uses QML for many parts of the UI.

    On a more technical note, Ivan Čukić will talk about how functional programming can improve our day-to-day work, make our code safer, cleaner and more correct.

    Lightning Talks

    After lunch, at 15:30, we'll have a bunch of lightning talks. The first one will be about Mycroft, the Alexa-like AI, and Aditya Mehra will explain how you can turn it into a Plasma widget and really enhance your life by having something you can boss about.

    Volker Krause will then take the stage and tell us all about KF5::SyntaxHighlighting, a syntax highlighting engine that was originally tied to Kate, but can now be used anywhere.

    Then Albert Astals Cid is up, and he will explain the work being carried out on Clazy, a compiler plugin which allows Clang to understand Qt semantics.

    Marco Martin will then have ten minutes to explain how the feedback generated from the design and implementation of applications significantly improved the quality of Kirigami, KDE's user interface framework for developing applications that work both on mobile and desktop computers.

    Finally, Vasudha Mathur will talk about Ruqola, the first generic chat application based on Rocket.Chat. Ruqola is a Qt/QML/C++ app and provides multi-platform portability. Ruqola will currently run on both desktop and mobile (Android) platforms.

    ... Back to Regular Talks

    At 16:30, Sandro Andrade will be talking about preliminary implementation of a modular and flexible framework for building Qt mobile applications. He will also explain how you can use code generators and a plugin-based architecture to automate the implementation of recurrent tasks.


    Babe allows you to add music from multiple sources, including YouTube.

    At the same time and next door, Camilo Higuita will be introducing Babe, a contextual multimedia desktop app. Babe uses online resources and AI to find relationships between the music metadata and its context in order to generate personalized queries and suggestions.

    Lydia Pintscher and the rest of the KDE e.V. Board will then sit down for an Ask Us Anything session with the audience at 17:10. If you want to find out what the board really gets up to and hear the plans for KDE as a community moving forward, here's your chance.

    Meanwhile, Dmitri Popov will be teaching you how to take your digiKam skills to the next level by mastering its advanced functionality. Dmitri's talk will introduce several useful features and tools, such as filtering, batch processing, and curve presets.

    At 17:55, John Samuel will be talking about Wikidata and how it can play an important role for the visibility of KDE applications. He will show how developers can build tools to integrate their applications with Wikidata to present an up-to-date view of their applications and their cool features.

    At the same time, Arnav Dhamija will introduce you to the KIO (KDE Input Output) library. KIO is what allows your KDE apps to access data from a number of different protocols, such as local file systems, ssh, https, samba shares, ftp, and network file systems. Arnav will explain the need for KIO, how KIO works, KIO slaves, and how to develop for the same.

    At 18:35 Timothée Giet will be taking us down the long road to GCompris-qt 1.0. GCompris, the collection of educational games and activities for children, has finally officially released the new Qt-based version. Timothée will show us the progress the team has made to get there, as well as some shiny new activities.

    In the next room, David Edmundson will be explaining the Binding loop detected for property "title"" error, an annoying and cryptic error everyone developing QML has experienced at some point or another. He will talk about what this warning really means and how you can tackle even the most complicated loops.

    ... And a last Blast of Lightning Talks

    At 19:15 we'll have the last three Lightning talks of the day. First up will be Agustín Benito with his Opening new doors presentation, in which Agustín will explain why he thinks KDE should jump into the embedded-for-automotive fray. Should he have called his talk Opening car doors? Definitely.

    Then Annu Mittal will talk about all the application domains and various programs currently running in KDE, namely: Season of KDE, Summer of Code, and Outreach Program for Women. She will follow up by explaining the various ways you can get involved with KDE, both from the technical and non-technical point of view.

    Finally, yours truly will help you look for love (for your projects) by explaining in ten minutes flat three simple steps that will improve your communication and increase your audience's appreciation for your project.

    ... And that is just day one.

    Register here and don't miss Akademy 2017, one of the most important Free Software conferences this year.

    Dot Categories:

  • Antonio Larrosa -- Dragons, Doom and Digital Music (KDE)


    Antonio Larrosa, President of KDE España.

    Antonio Larrosa is the current president of KDE España and he and I have been friends for quite some time now. It may seem logical, since we both live in Málaga, are passionate about Free Software in general, and KDE in particular. But in most other respects we are total opposites: Antonio is quiet, tactful, unassuming and precise. Enough said.

    But that is what is great about Antonio; that and the fact he is very patient when troubleshooting. I know this because he has often helped me out when I have unwittingly wrecked my system by being an idiot and installing what I shouldn't. When he quietly muses "¡Qué cosas!" (which roughly translates to "That's interesting") you know you've messed up good.

    Antonio will be delivering the keynote on the 23rd of July at this year's Akademy, so I caught up with him and asked him about stuff I didn't already know. Turns out that is quite a lot.

    Enjoy.

    Antonio Larrosa: Hi!

    Paul Brown: Good morning Antonio! Long time no see.

    Antonio: Good morning! Yes indeed. Heh heh!

    [We had talked the day before]

    Paul: I think you are aware that the other keynote speaker is Robert Kaye from Musicbrainz, right?

    Antonio: Yes, I know. It's quite an honor to have him at Akademy this year and I hope to meet and talk to him, since I love the Musicbrainz project.

    Paul: I understand you worked on a project that ties MusicBrainz to a KDE app...

    Antonio: Actually, it's not really a KDE app. Some months ago, I learnt about Picard (which is MusicBrainz's music tagger) and I wanted to use it, but it lacked a few features that were important to me. So I had a look at the code and was excited to see it was using Qt, so I decided to contribute to it.

    Paul: What did you change?

    Antonio: I fixed a small function in Picard's script language to better support multivalue tags. I also improved the support for cover art, like allowing drag & drop from a web browser, a nice way to see differences between old and new covers before saving the changes, better visualization of albums with different covers in different tracks, etc. The fact that it's written in Python and has a very good design made it easy to start contributing fast. The community was quite friendly too, which always helps.

    Paul: You have also contributed to Beets. What is that and what did you do?

    Antonio: Yes, Beets is (I quote from its web page) "the media library management system for obsessive-compulsive music geeks". Who wouldn't like to use it with that description? It has auto-tagging support which also uses Musicbrainz's metadata (like Picard), but the tagging is not as advanced as Picard, so I tried to improve its multivalue support so at least it could read and perform queries on all tags written by Picard. Apart from very simple patches, the important patches I submitted to Beets are still in the review queue, but I hope they'll get merged soon.

    Paul: You are a mathematician, not a programmer, by training. Correct?

    Antonio: That's correct.

    Paul: How did you get started in programming?

    Antonio: I got started when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I had a Dragon 64 and it was almost impossible to find games for it. So, when I got tired of playing the ones I had, I learned to write my own, and found it was great.


    The Dragon 64, Antonio's first computer.
    Photo by Miguel Durán - Dragon 64, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

    Paul: BASIC?

    Antonio: Yes, BASIC and a bit of assembly.

    Paul: What sort of things did you program on the Dragon? Games? Anything to do with school work? I remember writing a function plotter for the Commodore 64, for example.

    Antonio: Really? That's interesting, I did a graph plotter for the Dragon and one of those old text-based RPG games. But no, not really school-related.

    Paul: What did you have to do in your text-based adventure?

    Antonio: I don't remember very well -- I was around 8, but it was probably something related to killing dragons.

    Paul: Of course. If I remember right, the Dragon was quite limited even for the day. What did you upgrade to next?

    Antonio: A 286 running at 6Mhz with 640 KBs of RAM and a great big 20 MBs hard disk.

    Paul: 20 MBs! Did you have the sensation of: "Wow! I'm never going to fill that up."?

    Antonio: Of course! There was plenty of space for so many applications in there!

    When I was 12, I created a calculator that parsed mathematical expressions, and then calculated and enunciated the result through the sound card

    Paul: How old were you at this stage? Were you already at university? Because those machines were expensive! I don't see a parent buying a 286 for a twelve-year-old.

    Antonio: Not at all, I was still at school, maybe 10 years old or so. But I have an older brother who would have been about 15 by then. My father, being a car plater, never used computers, I would go as far as saying he hated them, but he had a good eye for seeing what would be important in the future for us.

    Paul: What did you use the 286 for? More games?

    Antonio: Yes, I have to admit that I played games when I was 10. But also I learned Pascal and Assembly. When I was around 12 (just before high school) I created a calculator that parsed mathematical expressions, and then calculated and enunciated the result through the sound card. In order to do that, I used Assembly, learned about IRQs, DMA, memory addressing with segments and offsets... It was quite fun. I even had to do my own audio editing application, in order to cut my voice saying different numbers which would then be concatenated together by the calculator.

    Paul: Wow! You did all that when you were 12 and on a 286?

    Antonio: Yep.

    Paul: What did you do in high school? Hack into WOPR?

    Antonio: Hah hah hah! No. I wrote and refactored up to 7 times a general purpose object oriented database that I used to store the contents of all my floppy disks so I could search where a file was quickly. Note that I learned about the word "refactor" much later, but that's basically what I did, although at that time I called it "throw everything away and rewrite it better".

    Paul: Of course. After all, you probably didn't know about version control then. What year was this?

    Antonio: Maybe 1992 or 1993.

    You could say that Doom influenced my choice of careers.

    Paul: When you say floppies, are we talking about the real thing, those 5 and 1/4 things that often got chewed up in the drive?

    Antonio: Yes! 5 1/4 and 3 1/2, in fact. When I started using the application to catalogue CDs, I remember having lots of problems with memory addressing since data structures flooded over segment boundaries. After all, it was a windows 3.1 application.

    Paul: Ok. You're now at university, but you decide to go for Mathematics instead of Computer Science. Why?

    Antonio: I read back then a now defunct magazine called Dr. Dobbs Journal. One of the special issues was dedicated to 3D rendering as used in games such as Doom. I saw that you had to know a lot of mathematics to understand the articles, and I thought I could learn by myself what was interesting to me from computer science (as I had been doing for many years) but mathematics was different, so I decided to study mathematics.

    Paul: Doom influenced your choice of career?

    Antonio: Yes, you could say that in a way, it did.

    Paul: Why am I not surprised. When did you first hear about free software?

    Antonio: I was finishing high school, and my brother, who studied computer science, came home with a bunch of floppy disks containing a new operating system. It was Linux 1.x.

    Paul: Linux 1.x! So you guys installed it?

    Antonio: Of course! If I remember correctly, it was around 1995 and it was a Slackware distribution.

    Paul: Let me guess, you had to dig out your monitor manual and work out the vertical frequency.

    Antonio: Yes, finding out the specific horizontal frequency of your monitor was a nightmare, indeed. I also remember having troubles with the 20th something floppy and having to start again, inserting and swapping floppies. But I was excited that I could for the first time write a program in which I could reserve a block of memory of more than 64 KB of memory and just address any byte in it without caring about segments and offsets. Definitely those were other times.

    Paul: Did you install it on your 286?

    Antonio: No, by that time I had a 486.

    Paul: Were you aware of the "Free as in Freedom" thing back then?

    Antonio: I read about it, but of course I couldn't understand the importance of "Free as in Freedom" until some years later. At that time, I only knew that I had the sources for everything that run on the computer, and that allowed me to change things to make them work the way I wanted.

    Paul: That was exciting, wasn't it? So different from the constraints of other OSes.

    Antonio: Exactly! At that time I had an electronic keyboard with a MIDI interface which I used to connect to my windows 3.1 system. The keyboard didn't support the General MIDI standard, but windows 3.1 had configuration parameters so I could configure it to work. Once Windows 95 was released, they removed those options so my piano wouldn't work any more. But I had this operating system with all the sources for the MIDI player (playmidi at that time). You can guess what happened.

    Paul: So when did you discover KDE?


    Antonio's first KDE project: KMid.

    Antonio: The playmidi author didn't accept my changes because the sources differed a lot from what I used. I sent him a real letter with an actual floppy disk since I didn't have Internet access back then. He didn't release any newer versions with different implementations either. So I decided to do my own MIDI player, but instead of doing a terminal application I wanted to make an X11 app. I looked through the options, which at that time included Athena widgets, Motif, and so on. I found KDE searching for alternatives, and absolutely loved it.

    Paul: And the rest is history...

    Antonio: Yes.

    Paul: What projects have you worked on, apart from your personal MIDI thing?

    Antonio: Apart from KMid, I worked on KPager, which was the application that showed the virtual desktop miniatures, and parts of kdelibs, specifically the library version of KMid and the icon loader classes which I maintained for several years. I also worked on all sort of applications fixing bugs everywhere I could.

    Paul: Your day job is being a developer at SUSE, right?

    Antonio: That's right.

    Paul: Is there any overlap between your job at SUSE and KDE?

    Antonio: To some extent: I'm a SLE (SUSE Linux Enterprise) developer working in the desktop team. As you may know, SLE is a term that refers to all the enterprise oriented distributions made by SUSE. The latest release only includes the GNOME desktop, so much of my work at SUSE includes fixing issues in GNOME. On the other hand, openSUSE not only comes with both KDE and GNOME, but openSUSE Leap uses KDE by default, so I also work on fixing KDE issues too.

    Paul: How many people work on KDE at openSUSE?

    Antonio: Really not as many as I'd like. In general there are around 10 people, but actively working everyday on KDE at openSUSE there are around 4 or 5 persons. If anyone reading this wants to help. We're always at the #opensuse-kde channel on Freenode.

    Paul: What about the openSUSE community, volunteers?

    Antonio: In general, everyone contributing to KDE packages in openSUSE is a volunteer. As I said, there are around 10 maintainers, of which I think only 2 or 3 are employed by SUSE. Fortunately, there are more community packagers helping with the near 1000 KDE/Qt packages available in OBS.


    The openSUSE Build Service is where the community creates packages of their favorite software.

    Paul: This is the openSUSE Build Service thing?

    Antonio: Yes. That's where we build all openSUSE distributions (Leap, Tumbleweed, Krypton, Argon, etc.) and where we develop all packages that users can install in their openSUSE systems from software.opensuse.org.

    Paul: And unofficial packages too, right? I mean, if there is something that is not in the official repos, you can look for it on software and it fetches and installs it from OBS, yes?

    Antonio: Yes, that's right. Users wanting to try the latest version of any package can search for it on software.opensuse.org and install it from there with a one-click installer.

    Paul: I imagine there is a warning that pops up when you try to install from an unofficial repo.

    Antonio: Yes. Installing unofficial packages is not recommended in general, since users can break their systems if, for example, they install a buggy glibc library, but it's possible to do so.

    Paul: Let's get back to the reason we are doing this interview: Is this your first keynote at an Akademy?

    Antonio: Yes, it is and I'm really very honored.

    Paul: Have you thought what you want to talk about?

    Antonio: I have a general idea. I want to talk about KDE and its ecosystem, everything that KDE is, and where KDE is at this moment/where we want it to get to.

    Paul: "Ecosystem" as in the people working on it? Or the state of the tech?

    Antonio: The state of the communities around KDE compared to KDE's own community and how we could improve it and make it grow.

    Paul: When you say "the communities around KDE", what communities are you referring to?

    Antonio: Distribution communities, the Qt community, communities from other projects that use KDE libraries...

    Paul: What is one thing we can learn from them?

    Antonio: Well, something I learned is that we (KDE) are not alone and everything we do affects other communities, while at the same time, everything they do affect also our beloved KDE community. If we want to prosper, we all need to learn to work with others and let others work with us so we all benefit from the shared work.

    Paul: And is that not happening?

    Antonio: That is happening, but there's always room for improvement. For example, we at openSUSE made a terrible job at requesting help from KDE developers some months ago and the request was interpreted by some KDE developers as a threat. Fortunately I think we solved those problems nicely and the misunderstanding is fixed now. But we really should have done a better job at communicating better.

    I started going to Akademys before they were called Akademys.

    Paul: Let's talk about the tech for a moment. What is, in your opinion, the most exciting KDE project right now?

    Antonio: Well, that's a personal opinion, and you might say that I'm cheating, but I'd say that the whole KDE Frameworks is great. If you ask me for an application, I'd probably say Mycroft. The author has a talk scheduled at Akademy that I hope to see.

    Paul: Ah yes, the Free Software alternative to Alexa-like AIs.

    Antonio: Correct.

    Paul: Have you been to all the Akademys?

    Antonio: Not all, but nearly. I started going to KDE meetings before they were called Akademys. My first one was KDE-Two, in 1999.

    Paul: Wait... Was that what it was called back then? Just "KDE" and a number?

    Antonio: Yes, the first meeting was "KDE One", the second "KDE Two", and so on.


    Antonio Larrosa, 2nd row, 2nd from right, at the Kastle KDE meetup in 2003.

    Paul: How did it change to "Akademy"? Were you in that meeting?

    Antonio: Well, it wasn't any kind of "special meeting". After the "KDE Three" meeting in 2002, we had a get-together in an old castle in the Czech Republic in 2003, so it was clear that we should call that one "Kastle". Then, in 2004, the meeting was organized in a "Filmakademie" film school, so we called it "Akademy", and in 2005 we thought that it was important to keep the same name every year to build a brand, so we decided to name it "Akademy" just like the previous year, and it was named “Akademy” from then on.

    Paul: And again history was made. Which has been your favorite Akademy so far?

    Antonio: Always the coming Akademy! But of course I have a special fond memory of the one we organized in Malaga in 2005.

    Paul: Almería is close to Málaga, so it may be just as good, right?

    Antonio: I'm sure it'll be even better! We've learned a lot about organizing events since then.

    Paul: Well, I for one look forward to your keynote. Thanks Antonio!

    Antonio: Thanks to you for the interview.

    Paul: It's a pleasure. See you in Almería.

    Antonio: You can count on it.

    About Akademy

    For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. Join us by registering for the 2017 edition of Akademy today.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

  • KDE at Asian FOSS conferences (KDE)

    It feels great to say that KDE has active contributors across the globe. Two KDE contributors recently presented talks in Asia about their work and encouraged new contributors to join us and get started.

    Hong Kong Open Source Conference 2017


    Heena in Hong Kong

    Heena Mahour presented a talk on ‘KDE : Journey of a SoK student to GCI organization administrator’ at Hong Kong Open Source Conference 2017.

    HKOSCon is an open source event held in Hong Kong which aims to showcase and promote open source projects and activities happening across the globe.

    Heena discussed her experience as a Season of KDE student which was her initial project and how she continued contributing to KDE afterwards. She also talked about recent trends in the community outreach program Season of KDE and her insight into the Plasma projects as an example of the vastness of KDE.

    Heena also discussed the contributions made by KDE in Google Code-In, encouraging the students to get started with it. She provided information about GCompris and Pairs and a word cloud from Season of KDE Twitter posts and listed the contributions she had made so far.

    It was amazing to help the new contributors join the KDE community in a similar fashion as to how her mentors helper her.


    FOSSASIA 2017


    Anu in Singapore

    Anu Mittal presented a talk on ‘K’oding with KDE at FOSSASIA 2017, Singapore.

    At the FOSSASIA conference, many communities showcased their hardware, designs, graphics, and software. Anu talked about KDE, what it aims at, the various programs that KDE organizes to help budding developers, and how they are mentored. She walked through all the steps to start contributing in KDE by introducing the audience to KDE bug tracker, the IRC channels, various application domains, and the Season of KDE proposal format.

    She also shared her journey in KDE, talked briefly about her projects under Season of KDE and Google Summer of Code. The audience were really enthusiastic and curious to start contributing in KDE. Overall her experience working in KDE has been very enriching. She wished to share her experiences to help budding developers get started.

    It was interesting to see an emerging interest to participate and contribute to open source. KDE is one of the projects students are keen to contribute to. We do hope we, together as a community, keep it blooming more.

  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 Call for Papers is now open (GNOME)
    GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 invites proposals for presentations at the conference. GNOME.Asia Summit is the featured annual GNOME Conference in Asia. The event focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also covers applications and the development platform tools. It brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments […]
  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 to be hosted in Chongqing China (GNOME)
    The GNOME.Asia Committee is proud to announce that the upcoming GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 will be hosted  in Chongqing, China on Oct 14-Oct 16. The GNOME.Asia committee has decided on the city of Chongqing because it uniquely represents an important theme: open source without any restriction of time, space, or location. Chongqing is located in the […]
  • The GNOME Foundation Statment on Immigration Ban (GNOME)
    The GNOME Project is responsible for the software that is used by hundreds of thousands of people, companies, and organizations around the world. Anyone can participate in the development of our software, and that equality of opportunity is an essential part of GNOME’s mission. Our project and our software exist thanks to the GNOME community: […]
  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 Call for Papers is now open (GNOME)
    GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 invites proposals for presentations at the conference. GNOME.Asia Summit is the featured annual GNOME Conference in Asia. The event focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also covers applications and the development platform tools. It brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments […]
  • Robert Kaye -- Music Buff, Entrepreneur, Akademy Keynote Speaker (KDE)


    Robert Kaye, creator of MusicBrainz

    Robert Kaye is definitely a brainz-over-brawn kinda guy. As the creator of MusicBrainz, ListenBrainz and AcousticBrainz, all created and maintained under the MetaBrainz Foundation, he has pushed Free Software music cataloguing-tagging-classifying to the point it has more or less obliterated all the proprietary options.

    In July he will be in Almería, delivering a keynote at the 2017 Akademy -- the yearly event of the KDE community. He kindly took some time out of packing for a quick trip to Thailand to talk with us about his *Brainz projects, how to combine altruism with filthy lucre, and a cake he once sent to Amazon.

    Robert Kaye: Hola, ¿qué tal?

    Paul Brown: Hey! I got you!

    Robert: Indeed. :)

    Paul: Are you busy?

    Robert: I'm good enough, packing can wait. :)

    Paul: I'll try and be quick.

    Robert: No worries.

    * Robert has vino in hand.

    Paul: So you're going to be delivering the keynote at Akademy...

    * Robert is honored.

    Paul: Are you excited too? Have you ever done an Akademy keynote?

    Robert: Somewhat. I've got... three? Four trips before going to Almería. :)

    Paul: God!



    MetaBrainz is the umbrella project under which all other *Brainz are built.

    Robert: I've never done a keynote before. But I've done tons and tons of presentations and speeches, including to the EU, so this isn't something I'm going to get worked up about thankfully.

    Paul: I'm assuming you will be talking about MetaBrainz. Can you give us a quick summary of what MetaBrainz is and what you do there?

    Robert: Yes, OK. In 1997/8 in response to the CDDB database being taken private, I started the CD Index. You can see a copy of it in the Wayback Machine. It was a service to look up CDs and I had zero clues about how to do open source. Alan Cox showed up and told me that databases would never scale and that I should use DNS to do a CD lookup service. LOL. It was a mess of my own making and I kinda walked away from it until the .com crash.

    Then in 2000, I sold my Honda roadster and decided to create MusicBrainz. MusicBrainz is effectively a music encyclopedia. We know what artists exist, what they've released, when, where their Twitter profiles are, etc. We know track listings, acoustic fingerprints, CD IDs and tons more. In 2004 I finally figured out a business model for this and created the MetaBrainz Foundation, a California tax-exempt non-profit. It cannot be sold, to prevent another CDDB. For many years MusicBrainz was the only project. Then we added the Cover Art Archive to collect music cover art. This is a joint project with the Internet Archive.

    Then we added CritiqueBrainz, a place for people to write CC licensed music reviews. Unlike Wikipedia, ours are non-neutral POV reviews. It is okay for you to diss an album or a band, or to praise it.

    Paul: An opinionated musical Wikipedia. I already like it.

    Robert: Then we created AcousticBrainz, which is a machine learning/analysis system for figuring out what music sounds like. Then the community started BookBrainz. And two years ago we started ListenBrainz, which is an open source version of last.fm's audioscrobbler.



    MusicBrainz is a repository of music metadata widely used by commercial and non-commercial projects alike.

    Paul: Wait, let's backtrack a second. Can you explain AcousticBrainz a bit more? What do you mean when you say "figure out what music sounds like"?

    Robert: AcousticBrainz allows users to download a client to run on their local music collection. For each track it does a very detailed low-level analysis of the acoustics of the file. This result is uploaded to the server and the server then does machine learning on it to guess: Does it have vocals? Male of female? Beats per minute? Genre? All sorts of things and a lot of them need a lot of improvement still.

    Paul: Fascinating.

    Robert: Researchers provided all of the algorithms, being very proud and all: "I've done X papers on this and it is the state of the art". State of the art if you have 1,000 audio tracks, which is f**king useless to an open source person. We have three million tracks and we're not anywhere near critical mass. So, we're having to fix the work the researchers have done and then recalculate everything. We knew this would happen, so we engineered for it. We'll get it right before too long.

    All of our projects are long-games. Start a project now and in five years it might be useful to someone. Emphasis on "might".

    Then we have ListenBrainz. It collects the listening history of users. User X listened to track Y at time Z. This expresses the musical taste of one user. And with that we have all three elements that we've been seeking for over a decade: metadata (MusicBrainz), acoustic info (AcousticBrainz) and user profiles (ListenBrainz). The holy trinity as it were. You need all three in order to build a music recommendation engine.

    The algorithms are not that hard. Having the underlying data is freakishly hard, unless you have piles of cash. Those piles of cash and therefore the engines exist at Google, Last.fm, Pandora, Spotify, et al. But not in open source.

    Paul: Don't you have piles of cash?

    Robert: Nope, no piles of cash. Piles of eager people, however! So, once we have these databases at maturity we'll create some recommendation engine. It will be bad. But then people will improve it and eventually a pile of engines will come from it. This has a significant chance of impacting the music world.

    Paul: You say that many of the things may be useful one day, but you also said MetaBrainz has a business model. What is it?

    Robert: The MetaBrainz business model started out with licensing data using the non-commercial licenses. Based on "people pay for frequent and easy updates to the data". That worked to get us to 250k/year.

    Paul: Licensing the data to...?

    Robert: The MusicBrainz core data. But there were a lot of people who didn't need the data on an hourly basis.

    Paul: Sorry. I mean *who* were you licensing to?

    Robert: It started with the BBC and Google. Today we have all these supporters. Nearly all the large players in the field use our data nowadays. Or lie about using our data. :)

    Paul: Lie?

    Robert: I've spoken to loads of IT people at the major labels. They all use our data. If you speak to the execs, they will swear that they have never used our data.

    Paul: Ah. Hah hah. Sounds about right.

    Robert:Anyways, two years ago we moved to a supporter model. You may legally use our data for free, but morally you should financially support us. This works.

    Paul: Really?

    Robert: We've always used what I call a "drug dealer business model". The data is free. Engineers download it and start using it. When they find it works and want to push it into a product they may do that without talking to us. Eventually we find them and knock on their door and ask for money.

    Paul: They pay you? And I thought the music industry was evil.

    Robert: This is the music *tech* companies. They know better.

    Anyways...

    Their bizdev types will ask: where else can we get this data for cheaper? The engineers look around for other options. Prices can range from 3x to 100x, depending on use, and the data is not nearly as good. So they sign up with us. This is not out of the kindness of their hearts.

    Paul: Makes more sense now.

    Robert: Have you heard the Amazon cake story?

    Paul: The what now?

    Robert: Amazon was 3 years behind in paying us. I harangued them for months. Then I said: "If you don't pay in 2 weeks, I am going to send you a cake."



    Amazon got cake to celebrate the third anniversary of an unpaid invoice.

    "A cake?"

    "Yes, a cake. One that says 'Congratulations on the 3rd anniversary'..."

    They panicked, but couldn't make it happen.

    So I sent the cake, then silence for 3 days.

    Then I got a call. Head of legal, head of music, head of AP, head of custodial, head of your momma. All in one room to talk to me. They rattled off what they owed us. It was correct. They sent a check.

    Cake was sent on Tuesday, check in hand on Friday.

    This was pivotal for me: recognizing that we can shame companies to do the right thing... Such as paying us because to switch off our data (drugs) is far worse than paying.

    Last year we made $323k, and this year should be much better. We have open finances and everything. People can track where money goes. We get very few questions about us being evil and such.

    Paul: How many people work with you at MetaBrainz, as in, are on the payroll?

    Robert: This is my team. We have about 6 full-time equivalent positions. To add to that, we have a core of contributors: coders, docs, bugs, devops... Then a medium ring of hard-core editors. Nicolás Tamargo and one other guy have made over 1,000,000 edits to the database!

    Paul: How many regular volunteers then?

    Robert: 20k editors per year. Más o menos. And we have zero idea how many users. We literally cannot estimate it. 40M requests to our API per day. 400 replicated copies of our DB. VLC uses us and has the largest installation of MusicBrainz outside of MetaBrainz.

    And we ship a virtual machine with all of MusicBrainz in it. People download that and hammer it with their personal queries. Google Assistant uses it, Alexa might as well, not sure. So, if you ask Google Assistant a music-related question, it is answered in part by our data. We've quietly become the music data backbone of the Internet and yet few people know about us.

    Paul: Don't you get lawyers calling you up saying you are infringing on someone's IP?

    Robert: Kinda. There are two types: 1) the spammers have found us and are hammering us with links to pirated content. We're working on fixing that. 2) Other lawyers will tell us to take content down, when we have ZERO content. They start being all arrogant. Some won't buzz off until I tell them to provide me with an actual link to illegal content on our site. And when they can't do it, they quietly go away.

    The basic fact is this: we have the library card catalog, but not the library. We mostly only collect facts and facts are not copyrightable.

    Paul: What about the covers?

    Robert: That is where it gets tricky. We engineered it so that the covers never hit our servers and only go to the Internet Archive. The Archive is a library and therefore has certain protections. If someone objects to us having something, the archive takes it down.

    Paul: Have you had many objections?

    Robert: Not that many. Mostly for liner notes, not so much for covers. The rights for covers were never aggregated. If someone says they have rights for a collection, they are lying to you. It's a legal mess, plain and simple. All of our data is available under clear licenses, except for the CAA -- "as is"

    Paul: What do you mean by "rights for a collection"?

    Robert: Rights for a collection of cover art. The rights reside with the band. Or the friend of the band who designed the cover. Lawyers never saw any value in covers pre-Internet. So the recording deals never included the rights to the covers. Everyone uses them without permission

    Paul: I find that really surprising. So many iconic covers.

    Robert: It is obvious in the Internet age, less so before the Internet. The music industry is still quite uncomfortable with the net.

    Paul: Record labels always so foresightful.

    Robert: Exactly. Let's move away from labels and the industry.

    Though, one thing tangentially, I envisioned X, Y, Z, uses for our data, but we made the data rigorous, well-connected and concise. Good database practices. And that is paying off in spades. The people who did not do that are finding that their data is no longer up to snuff for things like Google Assistant.

    Paul: FWIW, I had never heard of Gracenote until today. I had heard of MusicBrainz, though. A lot.

    Robert: Woo! I guess we're succeeding. :)

    Paul: Well, it is everywhere, right?

    Robert: For a while it was even in Antarctica! A sysadmin down there was wondering where the precious bandwidth went during the winter. Everyone was tagging their music collection when bored. So he set up a replica for the winter to save on bandwidth.

    Paul: Of course they were and of course he did.

    Robert: Follows, right? :)

    Paul: Apart from music, which you clearly care for A LOT, I heard you are an avid maker too.

    Robert: Yes. Party Robotics was a company I founded when I was still in California and we made the first affordable cocktail robots. But I also make blinky LED light installations. Right now I am working on a sleep debugger to try and improve my crapstastic sleep.

    I have a home maker space with an X-Carve, 3D printer, hardware soldering station and piles of parts and tools.

    Paul: Uh... How do flashing lights help with sleep?

    Robert: Pretty lights and sleep-debugging are separate projects.

    Paul: What's your platform of choice, Arduino?

    Robert: Arduino and increasingly Raspberry Pi. The Zero W is the holy grail, as far as I am concerned.

    Oh! And another project I want: ElectronicsBrainz.

    Paul: This sounds fun already. Please tell.

    Robert: Info, schematics and footprints for electronic parts. The core libraries with KiCad are never enough. you need to hunt for them. Screw that. Upload to ElectronicBrainz, then, if you use a part, rate it, improve it. The good parts float to the top, the bad ones drop out. Integrate with Kicad and, bam! Makers can be much more useful. In fact, this open data paradigm and the associated business model is ripe for the world. There are data silos *everywhere*.

    Paul: I guess that once you have set up something like MusicBrainz, you start seeing all sorts of applications in other fields.

    Robert: Yes. Still, we can't do everything. The world will need more MetaBrainzies.

    Paul: Meanwhile, how can non-techies help with all these projects?

    Robert: Editing data/adding data, writing docs or managing bug reports as well. Clearly our base of editors is huge. It is a very transient community, except for the core.

    Also, one thing that I want to mention in my keynote is blending volunteers and paid staff. We've been really lucky with that. The main reason for that is that we're open. We have nothing to hide. We're all working towards the same goals: making the projects better. And when you make a site that has 40M requests in a day, there are tasks that no one wants to do. They are not fun. Our paid staff work on all of those.

    Volunteers do the things that are fun and can transition into paid staff -- that is how all of our paid staff became staff.

    Paul: This is really an incredible project.

    Robert: Thanks! Dogged determination for 17 years. It’s worth something.

    Paul: I look forward to your keynote. Thank you for your time.

    Robert: No problem.

    Paul: I'll let you get back to your packing.

    Robert: See you in Almería.

    Robert Kaye will deliver the opening keynote at Akademy 2017 on the 22nd of July. If you would like to see him and talk to him live, register here.

    About Akademy

    For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. Join us by registering for the 2017 edition of Akademy today.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

    Dot Categories:

  • Plasma 5.10, Simple by Default Powerful When Needed (KDE)



    Plasma 5.10

    KDE Plasma 5.10

    Monday, 30 May 2017. Today KDE has released Plasma 5.10 with new features across the suite to give users an experience which lives up to our tagline: simple by default, powerful when needed.


    Panel Task Manager





    Middle Mouse Click to Group

    Task Manager, the list of applications in the panel, has gained options for middle mouse click such as grouping and ungrouping applications.

    Several other improvements here include:

    • Places jump list actions in File manager launchers (e.g. pinned Dolphin in Task Manager now lists user places)
    • The icon size in vertical Task Managers is now configurable to support more common vertical panel usage patterns
    • Improved app identification and pinning in Task Manager for apps that rely on StartupWMClass, perl-SDL-based apps and more


    Folder View Is the New Default Desktop



    Spring Loading in Folder View

    Folder on the Desktop by Default

    After some years shunning icons on the desktop we have accepted the inevitable and changed to Folder View as the default desktop which brings some icons by default and allows users to put whatever files or folders they want easy access to. Many other improvements have been made to the Folder View include:

    • Spring Loading in Folder View making drag and drop of files powerful and quick
    • More space-saving/tighter icon grid in Folder View based on much user feedback
    • Improved mouse behavior / ergonomics in Folder View for icon dnd (less surprising drop/insert location), rectangle selection (easier, less fiddly) and hover (same)
    • Revamped rename user interface in Folder View (better keyboard and mouse behavior e.g. closing the editor by clicking outside, RTL fixed, etc.)
    • Massively improved performance in Folder View for initial listing and scrolling large folders, reduced memory usage
    • Many other bug fixes and UI improvements in Folder View, e.g. better back button history, Undo shortcut support, clickable location in the headings, etc.
    • Unified drop menu in Folder View, showing both file (Copy/Move/Link) and widget (creating a Picture widget from an image drop, etc.) drop actions
    • It is now possible to resize widgets in the desktop by dragging on their edges and moving them with Alt+left-click, just like regular windows


    New Features Everywhere

    Lock Screen Now Has Music Controls
    Lock Screen Now Has Music Controls

     

    Software Centre Plasma Search

    Software Centre Plasma Search offers to install apps

     

    Audio Volume Device Menu

    Audio Volume Device Menu

    There are so many other improvements throughout the desktop, here's a sample:

    • Media controls on lock screen
    • Pause music on suspend
    • Software Centre Plasma Search (KRunner) suggests to install non-installed apps
    • File copying notifications have a context menu on previews giving access to actions such as open containing folder, copy, open with etc
    • Improved plasma-windowed (enforces applet default/minimum sizes etc)
    • 'desktop edit mode', when opening toolbox reveals applet handles
    • Performance optimizations in Pager and Task Manager
    • 'Often used' docs and apps in app launchers in addition to 'Recently used'
    • Panel icons (buttons for popup applets, launcher applets) now follow the Icons -> Advanced -> Panel size setting in System Settings again, so they won't take up too much space, particularly useful for wide vertical panels
    • Revamped password dialogs for network authentication
    • The security of the lock screen architecture got reworked and simplified to ensure that your system is secured when the screen is locked. On Linux systems the lock screen is put into a sandbox through the seccomp technology.
    • Plasma's window manager support for hung processes got improved. When a window is not responding any more it gets darkened to indicate that one cannot interact with it any more.
    • Support for locking and unlocking the shell from the startup script, useful especially for distributions and enterprise setups
    • Audio Volume applet has a handy menu on each device which you can use to set is as default or switch output to headphones.


    Improved touch screen support



    Virtual keyboard on Log In and Lock Screen

    Virtual keyboard on Log In and Lock Screen


    Touch Screen Support has improved in several ways:

    • Virtual Keyboard in lock screen
    • Virtual Keyboard in the login screen
    • Touch screen edge swipe gestures
    • Left screen edge defaults to window switching
    • Show auto-hiding panels through edge swipe gesture


    Working for the Future with Wayland

    We have put a lot of work into porting to new graphics layer Wayland, the switch is coming but we won't recommend it until it is completely transparent to the user. There will be improved features too such as KWin now supports scaling displays by different levels if you have a HiDPI monitor and a normal DPI screen.

    Keyboard layout support in Wayland now has all the features of X11:

    • Layout switcher in the system tray
    • Per layout global shortcut
    • Switch layout based on a policy, either global, virtual desktop, application or per window
    • IPC interface added, so that other applications can change layout.


    Plymouth Boot Splash Selection



    Plymouth KControl Module

    Plymouth KControl Module

    A new System Settings module lets you download and select boot time splashes.


    Bundle Packages



    Selecting a file using file chooser portal, invoking openURI portal and notification portal

    Flatpak integration with xdg-desktop-portal-kde: selecting a file using file chooser portal, invoking openURI portal and notification portal

    Experimental support for forthcoming new bundle package formats has been implemented. Discover software centre has gained provisional backends for Flatpak and Snappy. New plugin xdg-desktop-portal-kde has added KDE integration into Flatpak packaged applications.

    Support for GNOME’s Open Desktop Ratings, replacing old Ubuntu popularity contest with tons of already existing reviews and comments.


    Full Plasma 5.10 changelog

  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 to be hosted in Chongqing China (GNOME)
    The GNOME.Asia Committee is proud to announce that the upcoming GNOME.Asia Summit 2017 will be hosted  in Chongqing, China on Oct 14-Oct 16. The GNOME.Asia committee has decided on the city of Chongqing because it uniquely represents an important theme: open source without any restriction of time, space, or location. Chongqing is located in the […]
  • Plasma 5.10 Beta, Slicker Desktop (KDE)

    Also available in:

    English | Català | Nederlands | Svenska | Українська



    Plasma 5.10 Beta

    KDE Plasma 5.10 Beta

    Monday, 15 May 2017. Today KDE has made a testing release of our desktop Plasma 5.10 with new features across the suite to give users an experience which lives up to our tagline: simple by default, powerful when needed.


    Panel Task Manager





    Middle Mouse Click to Group

    Task Manager, the list of applications in the panel, has gained options for middle mouse click such as grouping and ungrouping applications.

    Several other improvements here include:

    • Places jump list actions in File manager launchers (e.g. pinned Dolphin in Task Manager now lists user places)
    • The icon size in vertical Task Managers is now configurable to support more common vertical panel usage patterns
    • Improved app identification and pinning in Task Manager for apps that rely on StartupWMClass, perl-SDL-based apps and more


    Folder View Is the New Default Desktop



    Spring Loading in Folder View

    Folder on the Desktop by Default

    After some years shunning icons on the desktop we have accepted the inevitable and changed to Folder View as the default desktop which brings some icons by default and allows users to put whatever files or folders they want easy access to. Many other improvements have been made to the Folder View include:

    • Spring Loading in Folder View making drag and drop of files powerful and quick
    • More space-saving/tighter icon grid in Folder View based on much user feedback
    • Improved mouse behavior / ergonomics in Folder View for icon dnd (less surprising drop/insert location), rectangle selection (easier, less fiddly) and hover (same)
    • Revamped rename user interface in Folder View (better keyboard and mouse behavior e.g. closing the editor by clicking outside, RTL fixed, etc.)
    • Massively improved performance in Folder View for initial listing and scrolling large folders, reduced memory usage
    • Many other bug fixes and UI improvements in Folder View, e.g. better back button history, Undo shortcut support, clickable location in the headings, etc.
    • Unified drop menu in Folder View, showing both file (Copy/Move/Link) and widget (creating a Picture widget from an image drop, etc.) drop actions
    • It is now possible to resize widgets in the desktop by dragging on their edges and moving them with Alt+left-click, just like regular windows


    New Features Everywhere



    Lock Screen Now Has Music Controls
    Lock Screen Now Has Music Controls

     


    Software Centre Plasma Search

    Software Centre Plasma Search offers to install apps

     


    Audio Volume Device Menu

    Audio Volume Device Menu

    There are so many other improvements throughout the desktop, here's a sample:

    • Media controls on lock screen
    • Pause music on suspend
    • Software Centre Plasma Search (KRunner) suggests to install non-installed apps
    • File copying notifications have a context menu on previews giving access to actions such as open containing folder, copy, open with etc
    • Improved plasma-windowed (enforces applet default/minimum sizes etc)
    • 'desktop edit mode', when opening toolbox reveals applet handles
    • Performance optimizations in Pager and Task Manager
    • 'Often used' docs and apps in app launchers in addition to 'Recently used'
    • Panel icons (buttons for popup applets, launcher applets) now follow the Icons -> Advanced -> Panel size setting in System Settings again, so they won't take up too much space, particularly useful for wide vertical panels
    • Revamped password dialogs for network authentication
    • The security of the lock screen architecture got reworked and simplified to ensure that your system is secured when the screen is locked. On Linux systems the lock screen is put into a sandbox through the seccomp technology.
    • Plasma's window manager support for hung processes got improved. When a window is not responding any more it gets darkened to indicate that one cannot interact with it any more.
    • Support for locking and unlocking the shell from the startup script, useful especially for distributions and enterprise setups
    • Audio Volume applet has a handy menu on each device which you can use to set is as default or switch output to headphones.


    Improved touch screen support



    Virtual keyboard on Log In and Lock Screen

    Virtual keyboard on Log In and Lock Screen


    Touch Screen Support has improved in several ways:

    • Virtual Keyboard in lock screen
    • Virtual Keyboard in the login screen
    • Touch screen edge swipe gestures
    • Left screen edge defaults to window switching
    • Show auto-hiding panels through edge swipe gesture


    Working for the Future with Wayland

    We have put a lot of work into porting to new graphics layer Wayland, the switch is coming but we won't recommend it until it is completely transparent to the user. There will be improved features too such as KWin now supports scaling displays by different levels if you have a HiDPI monitor and a normal DPI screen.

    Keyboard layout support in Wayland now has all the features of X11:

    • Layout switcher in the system tray
    • Per layout global shortcut
    • Switch layout based on a policy, either global, virtual desktop, application or per window
    • IPC interface added, so that other applications can change layout.


    Plymouth Boot Splash Selection



    Plymouth KControl Module

    Plymouth KControl Module

    A new System Settings module lets you download and select boot time splashes.


    Bundle Packages



    Selecting a file using file chooser portal, invoking openURI portal and notification portal

    Flatpak integration with xdg-desktop-portal-kde: selecting a file using file chooser portal, invoking openURI portal and notification portal

    Experimentla support for forthcoming new bundle package formats has been implemented. Discover software centre has gained provisional backends for Flatpak and Snappy. New plugin xdg-desktop-portal-kde has added KDE integration into Flatpak packaged applications.

    Support for GNOME’s Open Desktop Ratings, replacing old Ubuntu popularity contest with tons of already existing reviews and comments.


    Full Plasma 5.10.0 changelog

  • KDE e.V. Community 2016 Report (KDE)

    The KDE e.V. community report for 2016 is now available. After the introductory statement from the Board, you can read a featured article about the 20th anniversary of KDE, and an overview of all developer sprints and conferences supported by KDE e.V. The report includes statements from our Working Groups, development highlights for 2016, and some information about the current structure of KDE e.V.

    Featured Article – 20 years of KDE

    In 2016, all of us celebrated 20 years of the KDE Community with a number of parties around the world. We participated in the awesome QtCon in Berlin, announced the book 20 Years of KDE: Past, Present and Future and the KDE timeline. In this featured article, Lydia Pintscher brings back the early KDE impetus for digital freedom that still remains alive in every contributor's soul.

    Supported Activities and Specific Reports

    The report provides summaries of eight KDE e.V. supported developer sprints and six trade shows and community events where the KDE Community had its presence. Specific reports from the KDE e.V. Working Groups and KDE España are also presented. Finally, the report contains development highlights for 2016, and a short overview of mentoring programs in which KDE has been involved.

    Results

    The report concludes with a list of contributors who joined KDE e.V. during 2016, and presents the current members of the KDE e.V. Board of Directors. We invite you to read the entire report!

    Dot Categories:

  • Have You Heard? KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 Now Available (KDE)

    The last two weeks have been busy for the KDE Community. On April 20 we announced the release of KDE Applications 17.04, and five days later we released a new set of bugfixes and translations for Plasma, officially versioned Plasma 5.9.5.

    Both new versions of our products have introduced several features and stability improvements to the overall KDE user experience. Here are some of the highlights from the latest KDE Applications and Plasma releases. As always, you can find a lot more information in their respective changelogs.

    What's New in File Management?

    If Dolphin is your file manager of choice, you will be happy to hear that it now allows you to interact with the metadata widgets in the tooltips. The Places panel now has better context menus, and opening a new instance of Dolphin using the "New Window" option will launch it in the same target folder as your current Dolphin window.

    A significant change that affects not only Dolphin, but also Kate and KWrite, is that launching these applications as root on Linux systems has been disabled by default. The reason for this is that it is a safety risk to run GUI apps with root privileges in the X Window System (X11).

    When it comes to viewing your files, Okular will be even better at it thanks to numerous improvements. You can now create bookmarks from the Table of Contents, resize annotations, and disable automatic search while typing.

    Finally, Ark - the application that lets you manage compressed files and folders - now has a handy plugin configuration dialog and a Search function to help you look inside your archives.

    What About Multimedia Applications?

    The biggest improvements in the multimedia department will be visible in Kdenlive, KDE's video editor. The profile selection dialog has been fully redesigned, and it is now much easier to tweak the framerate, screen size, and other details of your project. Perhaps the coolest new feature in Kdenlive is the ability to play your video directly from the notification you receive when rendering is completed.

    Other multimedia applications received some minor improvements, for example Gwenview now lets you hide the status bar in the application window.

    Don't Forget About KDE Edu!

    Our educational applications have seen some interesting changes. KAlgebra - the powerful graphing calculator and math-learning tool - has a new 3D back-end on the desktop, and its mobile version has been ported to Kirigami 2.0.

    If you love music more than math, the new version of Minuet will delight you. The music education tool now comes with more scale exercises and ear-training tasks, plus an entire Test Mode for practicing and monitoring your progress.

    KStars, our desktop planetarium, will now work much better on OS X, and KGeography now includes a map of Ghana.

    New Members of the KDE Applications Family

    We are happy to announce that K3b, the disk burning software, is now part of KDE Applications. In other great news, several applications have been ported from their old kdelibs4 base to KDE Frameworks 5. The list includes KCachegrind, Kajongg, kde-dev-utils and kdesdk-kioslaves.

    No longer included in KDE Applications is the unmaintained development tool Kommander.

    What About the New Plasma?

    The most obvious changes introduced in Plasma 5.9.5 are related to window decorations and other visual tweaks. Themes in the System Settings module are now sorted, Plastik window decoration supports the global menu, and Aurorae window decorations support the global menu button. KWin will respect theme colors in buttons, and you will be able to edit the default color scheme of your Plasma Desktop.

    Moreover, your Plasma session will correctly handle the event of disconnecting a primary screen and replacing it with a new one. The Media Controller Plasmoid has been fixed, and can now properly seek tracks longer than 30 minutes.

    Where Can You Get All These New Things?

    Both KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 are available in KDE neon. Linux distributions are expected to provide packages or update their existing ones in the coming weeks. Users of Arch Linux, Manjaro Linux, and Gentoo should already see our latest software in their repositories.

    If you can't wait for your distribution's packages, you can always download our source code and compile it yourself. We provide build instructions for both KDE Applications and Plasma.

    What's Next?

    Plasma 5.10 is expected at the end of May. If you have been following our developers' blogs, you might be aware of some upcoming features. Folder View will have a much more prominent role on the Plasma Desktop, and it will include practical spring-loading navigation.

    A lot more is in the works, and we will reveal some of the novelties as the release date approaches. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to keep up with all the news. If you're planning to celebrate the release of Plasma 5.10 by hosting a release party, start preparing now! Our Community Wiki has some tips on how to organize a local KDE event.

    In the meantime, let us know about your experience with KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 in the comments!

    Dot Categories:

  • Kirigami 2.1 is Out (KDE)

    Kirigami UI lets you easily design and create convergent apps that work on desktop and mobile environments. Platforms supported by Kirigami UI include Windows, Android, and Linux. Kirigami is especially indicated for KDE's Plasma Desktop and the upcoming Plasma Mobile platform, KDE's graphical environment for mobile devices. Apps developed with Kirigami will probably also work on MacOS X and iOS with minimal tweaking, although these platforms are not officially supported yet.

    In fact, today's release has benefited from the feedback from the Subsurface Mobile community -- the most prominent users of Kirigami outside of KDE at the moment. The Subsurface app, originally created by Linux creator Linus Torvalds, has successfully been ported to both iOS and MacOS X.

    Several new components have been added to today's release:



    The new Discover, KDE's graphical utility for searching and installing for apps, displays a customized ListView with a background picture.

    • ItemViewHeader is the standardized title for ListViews and can be customized with a background picture that will scroll with a nice parallax effect when the header adjusts. You can configure it to follow several different behaviours.
    • ApplicationItem is a root element for the QML application. You can use it in applications that are a hybrid of QWidgets and QML. The main view for these applications will be either QQuickView or a QQuickWidget.
    • PageRow is now a public element and you can use it directly in any application and in any context.

    Developers have also engaged in a comprehensive bug stomping campaign, correcting among other things:

    • The bug that affected the behaviour of the central scrollable column view
    • Spacing and margins, improving the sizing for bottom action buttons and drawer handles

    Other fixes specific to applications running on a desktop system include:

    • The Desktop mode bar has been rewritten, improving the behavior of the pages when loaded on a desktop app.
    • Improvements to icon management for icons coming from the system-wide icon theme when the application is running on a desktop system
    • Better mouse wheel support in the main item views
    • Bugfixes in the behaviour of the central scrollable column view

    To find out more about this release and learn more about Kirigami in general, visit our KDE techbase website. If you would like to get started developing your apps with Kirigami, visit the Kirigami2 API overview.

    You can also talk directly to the developers and become a part of the future of desktop/mobile convergence by visiting our forum, joining in the conversation on the Plasma IRC channel, or hanging out in our Telegram group.

> > Nous sommes heureux de vous signaler l'ouverture d'un nouveau site
> > "Multidesk OS" intermédiaire
> Dites, c'est pas bientôt fini ce spam ?
C'est mon Thread
-- Jayce - Non mais, qui c'est le chef ici ? --