Applications

  • 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. For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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  • 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.

  • User Question: With Some Free Software Phone Projects Ending, What Does Plasma Mobile's Future Look Like? (KDE)

    Q: With some free software phone projects ending, what does Plasma Mobile's future look like?

    A: The future is rosy. While it is true that Plasma Mobile used to be built on the Ubuntu Phone codebase, that was superseded some time ago. The recent events at Ubuntu and other mobile communities have not modified the pace of the development (which is pretty fast) or the end goal, which is to build frameworks that will allow convergence for all kinds of front-ends and apps on all kinds of devices.



    The "converged" KAlgebra app running on an Android phone.

    That framework for apps already exists. It is called Kirigami. Usually an operating system gains traction because of its apps. Think back when Android was the underdog to iOS, what did Google do? Lower the bar and put in place incentives for developers to create apps for Android.

    The plan is that Kirigami will make the underlying platform irrelevant. If developers can port their apps with minimal hassle, and users can run their apps the same on all platforms, including the desktop, the possibility of having a shot at grabbing a slice of the mobile market becomes much more realistic. Even for new players, the main hurdle at the point of entry, i.e. having a well-stocked app store, disappears.

    In the last couple of weeks Plasma Mobile developers have been working with some other mobile communities and has now announced the Halium project. This project aims to develop a common free, open and community-backed base-layer for all GNU/Linux-based mobile operating systems, including Ubuntu Phone which lives on through the UBports project. This interface will allow all operating systems to interact with the Android subsystems that control hardware and other low level components.

    As you can see, the Plasma Mobile developers are working on bringing a common framework both to the UI side front and to the base layer. Interestingly, they are doing this, not only for the benefit of Plasma Mobile, but, in true Free Software fashion, for every community with a mobile project. This was already the goal before what happened at Ubuntu, by the way.

    So, as I said at the beginning, the future for Plasma Mobile is bright.

    Dot Categories:

  • Akademy 2018 Call for Hosts (KDE)

    Akademy, KDE's annual conference, requires a place and team for the year 2018. That's why we are looking for a vibrant, enthusiastic spot in Europe that can host us!

    A Bit About Akademy

    Akademy is KDE's annual get-together where our creativity, productivity and love are at their peak. Developers, users, translators, students, artists, writers - pretty much anyone who has been involved with KDE will join Akademy to participate and learn. Contents will range from keynote speeches and a two-day dual track session of talks by the FOSS community, to workshops and Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions where we plot the future of the project. Friday is scheduled for the KDE e.V. General Assembly and a pre-Akademy party/welcoming event. Saturday and Sunday covers the keynotes, talks and lightning talks. The remaining four days are used for BoFs, intensive coding sessions and workshops for smaller groups of 10 to 30 people out of which one day is reserved for a Day Trip of the attendees around the local touristic sights. Hosting Akademy is a great way to contribute to a movement of global collaboration. You get a chance to host one of the largest FOSS community in the world with contributors from over the world and be a witness to a wonderful inter-cultural fusion of attendees in your home town. You'll also get great exposure to Free Software. It is a great opportunity for the local university students, professors, technology enthusiasts and professionals to try their hand at something new.

    What You Need to Do

    Akademy requires a location in Europe, with a nice conference venue, that is easy to reach, preferably close to an international airport. Organizing Akademy is a demanding and a resource intensive task but you’ll be guided along the entire process by people who’ve been doing this for years. Nevertheless, the local team should be prepared to spare a considerable amount of time for this. For detailed information, please see the Call for Hosts. Questions and applications should be addressed to the Board of KDE e.V. or the Akademy Team. Please indicate your interest in hosting Akademy to the Board of KDE e.V. by June 1st. Full applications will be accepted until 15th June. We look forward to your enthusiasm in being the next host for Akademy 2018!

  • GUADEC 2017 Call for Papers (GNOME)
    GUADEC is GNOME’s main annual conference. This year it is being held in Manchester, UK, from 28 July to 2nd August, and the call for papers is open until April 23rd. This is a great opportunity to share your ideas with the GNOME project, as well as the wider open source community. You don’t have […]
  • GNOME 3.24 Released (GNOME)
    GNOME 3.24, the latest version of GNOME 3, is now available. Introducing an updated platform and applications, the release includes a number of major new features and enhancements, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. 3.24 represents another step forward for GNOME, and has much to offer both users and developers. Night Light […]
  • Plasma Team Discusses Web-browser integration, Bundled Apps and new Features (KDE)

    In February, KDE's Plasma team came together in for their yearly in-person meeting. The meeting was kindly hosted by von Affenfels GmbH, a webdesign agency in Stuttgart, Germany. The team discussed a wide variety of topics, such as design, features new and old, bugs and sore points in the current implementation, app distribution, also project management, internal and outward-facing communication and Wayland.


    Plasma team at the sprint: Clemens, Ronald, Martin, Kai Uwe, Sebas, Jonathan, Martin, David, Bhushan, Dan, Aleix, Roman, Ken

    New features...

    KDE is experimenting with new ways to deploy applications. Under consideration are technologies such as Flatpak, Snap and AppImage, which all have their distinct advantages. Support for bundled applications is being built into Discover, Plasma's software management center, and the KDE Store. An idea is to allow software developers more control over their applications' lifecycle, and to get updates shipped much quicker into the hands of users. Similar as with packages automatically created from our Git code repositories. This can dramatically cut down on the complexity of the deployment chain.

    Browser integration in Plasma will be improved by integrating notifications and download progress and multimedia natively into Plasma by providing a browser extension that relays this information to the Plasma shell.

    The Plasma team also discussed using touchpad gestures to control the window manager, so users can use specific multitouch gestures to trigger effects like the "desktop grid", "present windows" or swiping between virtual desktops.

    Plasma Mobile Ported to Nexus 5X

    Plasma Mobile, KDE's ongoing product to provide a Plasma implementation suitable for mobile phones was made to run on the Nexus 5X. The previous reference device, the Nexus 5 (sans "X") was getting a bit dated, and since it's not easily available on the market anymore, a new reference device that people can get their hands on was needed. Bhushan Shah solved the last problems keeping us from using this newer and faster device as a development platform. Images will be appearing shortly, and the team is looking forward to receiving (and addressing) feedback about Plasma on the 5X.

    New Website

    While not strictly Plasma, the team made a final push to getting KDE's websites at www.kde.org updated. A tireless effort by Ken Vermette with the help of Harald Sitter and a few more helping hands lead to the shiny new design being revealed during the course of the sprint.

    Soft Internals

    On the less technical side, a sprint such as this is always a good opportunity to talk about how we work together, and how we present ourselves to the outside world. While we have made great strides to improve our software by applying more thorough review processes, continuous testing and integration and paying more attention to the wishes and problems of our users, we want to put more focus on stability. One way to achieve this is to move bigger feature merges more towards the beginning of a development cycle, thereby increasing the amount of time we have for testing and ironing out problems.

    Thanks!

    Sprints like this are only possible with the support of our community. We would like to thank the KDE e.V. for making this sprint (as many others before) possible. A special note of appreciation goes out to all those who donated to KDE e.V., without your support, we cannot get together in person to discuss and work. Personal interaction, while not necessary on a daily basis helps us to improve our collaboration, communication, team-work, and not at least the software we create for our users.

    Linux Action Show

    The Linux Action Show did an interview with the team at the sprint, watch this episode from 5 minutes in to meet the crew.

    Dot Categories:

  • Akademy 2017 Call for Papers (KDE)

    Akademy is the KDE Community conference. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE or Qt, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from 22nd-27th July in Almería, Spain. The days for talks are Saturday and Sunday, 22nd and 23rd July. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.

    What we are looking for

    The goal of the conference section of Akademy is to learn and teach new skills and share our passion around what we're doing in KDE with each other.

    For the sharing of ideas, experiences and state of things, we will have short Fast Track sessions in a single-track section of Akademy. Teaching and sharing technical details is done through longer sessions in the multi-track section of Akademy.

    If you think you have something important to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please encourage them. For more details see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers.

    The submission deadline is 10th April, 23:59:59 CEST.

    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.

    Dot Categories:

  • GNOME to participate in Google Summer of Code 2017 (GNOME)
    We are happy to announce that GNOME has been accepted to participate in Google Summer of Code 2017. GNOME has participated in the program every year since its inception in 2005 and it’s a pleasure to be participating once again! Google Summer of Code allows students to work for the summer on a Free Software […]
  • Akademy 2017 - Almería, Spain - 22-27 July (KDE)

    This year's Akademy will be held at the Universidad de Almería (UAL) in Almería, Spain, from July 22nd to 27th.

    The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

    This year Akademy is being organized together with UNIA and HackLab Almería. Together they have organized various free software events including the successful PyConEs 2016

    Akademy-es

    Akademy-es is the KDE event organized every year by KDE España, this year it is teaming up with the international event and Akademy-es 2017 will also be held in Almería from 20th to 21st of July.

    Almería and Akademy

    Almería a city of about 200,000 inhabitants located in the south-eastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, it's a city that has attracted diverse peoples and cultures for thousands of years. The city has around 3000 hours of sun every year, so come prepared with lots of sun screen. It has nice sights such as Alcazaba and the Cathedral. Not far from Almería one can enjoy the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) the driest location in Europe.

    About HackLab Almería

    HackLab Almería is a collective of technological, social and creative experimentation.

    At HackLab we all nurture everyone, sharing information and ideas. It is the perfect place to experiment and create new projects through working groups bringing together experts in different fields.

    About UNIA

    UNIA (Universitarios Informáticos de Almería) is an association that promotes participation and learning.

    Founded in 1993, it is the oldest of the student associations of the University of Almeria. Of deep entrepreneurial spirit it has always aimed at enriching the university life in different areas. It founded the first UAL university newspaper, CAMPUS, a computer magazine and has organized events about Computer Science for several years.


    Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

    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.

    Dot Categories:

  • GUADEC 2017 Registration is Open! (GNOME)
    This year, the GNOME project’s annual European conference will be taking place in Manchester, UK. Happening between 28th July and 2nd August, it will be the biggest and most important GNOME event of 2017. The conference will provide an opportunity to find out about the latest technical developments, learn new skills and tools, attend talks […]
  • KDE Talks at FOSDEM (KDE)

    KDE had 4 talks at this year's FOSDEM conference. Here's the recordings.

    From Gtk to Qt: A Strange Journey, part 2

    The continuation of the original talk from Dirk Hohndel and Linus Torvalds about the port of Subsurface from Gtk to Qt, now with mobile in mind.

    Kube

    The next generation communication and collaboration client

    Bundling KDE

    Where does KDE land in the Snap and Flatpak world?

    KDE SlimBook Q&A

  • How to Create a Look and Feel Theme (KDE)
  • Interview: Thomas Weissel Installing Plasma in Austrian Schools (KDE)


    A lab running Thomas' current rollout of Plasma 4.

    With Plasma 5 having reached maturity for widespread use we are starting to see rollouts of it in large environments. Dot News interviewed the admin behind one such rollout in Austrian schools.

    Please introduce yourself and your work

    Hi, my name is Thomas Weissel. Among many other things I'm a free open source software enthusiast, teacher, web developer and father - not necessarily in that particular order. I studied computer science in Vienna/Austria at the TU Wien and I teach computer science, philosophy and psychology for living. Currently i am working on a secure exam environment for Austrian schools based on Linux and KDE Plasma.

    You say you will roll out Plasma into your school. Which users will get it?

    About 34 classrooms, 2 consulting rooms, the room for teachers and one computer lab just got upgraded to a custom "distribution" based on Kubuntu and KDE neon. At least 75 teachers are going to work with the system. Most of the 700+ students are not going to touch these computers (because they are locked away) but in their 5th grade every one of them gets a live USB flash-drive in order to work with the very same system in the computer lab. The system has been extended by a lot of custom applications to allow students for example to copy their bootable USB flash-drives with a mouse click or to reset the configuration to the defaults. Next week I'm going to make the basic system "life" bundled with the secure exam environment "life-exam" available online and I hope many other people (schools) are going to use the system in the future.

    What hardware do you use?

    In most classrooms we still have aged Asus eee PCs. We switched to more powerful Acer laptops with 4-8 GB of memory for new acquisitions. One of our computer labs just got an upgrade to new HP desktop PCs with big Samsung screens. On these computers everything works like charm.

    What distro will you use?

    KDE neon !

    What problems do you anticipate as part of installing Plasma?

    We had a slight problem "mirroring" the displays to the projector without losing the configured widgets but this bug is fixed now in plasma 5.9.2 thanks to Marco Martin. Other than that getting rid of problems was the reason why i migrated to Linux in the first place. For one and a half years now we are working with Linux and Plasma 4 in the classrooms and from a system-administrator's point of view the migration was a huge success. Three to five support calls every week because of weird system problems with Windows 7 suddenly were reduced to one or two per week but not a single one was due to a problem with the system itself. We used live USB flash drives in the classrooms and the teachers unplugged them all the time despite a big sticker with a "do not remove" warning. That was the source for those support calls. We fixed that by installing the system to the hard drive last week :-) The only problem i anticipate now is not with Plasma but with the office suite. We had a lot of conversion (layout) problems with docx, pptx, and xlsx. One source of the problem is the extensive use of proprietary fonts like "Calibri". Automatically replacing "Calibri" with "Carlito" (metric-compatible) is a good start but a lot of the problems remain. I installed Word Online and Excel Online as Chrome-Apps to work around this problem. Most Teachers just installed LibreOffice to make sure everything works well but PowerPoint is still a better program than Impress in my opinion. WPS Office Presentation is very good alternative for pptx files (but not free as in free speech).

    How did you pick Plasma rather than any other desktop or operating system?

    As well as all the small problems with our Windows installations, hours lost in updating Java, Flash, Quicktime, Silverlight and so on, Microsoft turned off the KMS server in Vienna and this introduced new problems with the key management service. Let's make it short -- I wanted to get rid of Windows in the classroom and enforce free and open standards. I have this weird belief that proprietary pseudo-standards like OOXML Transitional and expensive software like Photoshop, MS Office and so on have no reason for existence in public schools. Therefore Gimp, Calligra Suite and LibreOffice took over and the world keeps spinning. I bet on Plasma because I can easily make it work and look like Windows 7 and this was very important for the acceptance of the teachers. I also chose Plasma because I wanted to present the best possible and most customizable desktop to the students. I wanted them to like working with the system and Plasma made that easy. The first hour working with students is all about 3D effects, custom fonts, widgets and custom themes. After half an hour every single student desktop looks completely different and the students start to see it as "their own" system. In the classrooms this is different of course. It is absolutely necessary that everyone leaves the computer in a usable state for the next teacher. That's yet another reason why i picked Plasmashell: The KIOSK system. I reported a lot of issues with the KIOSK system and Plasma developers did an amazing job finding and fixing all the bugs i've found for 5.8. We now have a desktop that is completely locked to make sure nobody accidentally removes or reconfigures important parts of the user interface.

    What applications will you run with it?

    The whole list is too long for this interview. In the classrooms LibreOffice and Firefox are probably the most used applications. In the computer lab we start programming in Scratch (Byob) - later we code in Kate, edit photos in Gimp, animate in Synfig Studio. The school's OwnCloud server is widely used to sync and access private files.

    What has the reaction been from your users so far?

    Most students just don't care - some are completely hooked because of the endless possibilities you have with Plasma and Linux - others just install Steam and Minecraft on their flash drives and are satisfied. The teachers don't care either. I think most of them didn't even realize that i switched the operating system underneath the user software. The only thing they want is their documents to be rendered correctly. As a person who observes this "format war" for many years now i can tell that this problem is not going away. The only "real" solution to this is to stop using those formats and completely switch to the "open document format". Shouldn't be a problem in a public school but the individual vendor lock-in of the teachers is not to be underestimated. Installing Microsoft fonts and the newest version of LibreOffice and teaching the teachers how to export to PDF helped a lot. The idea is that students and teachers are empowered to use the same software they use in school at home without the need to invest a lot of money in order to do so.

    What is the attitude to Free and Open Source Software in Austria generally?

    The education authority in Lower Austria recommended a Linux based live USB system as well as the Microsoft solution for secure exam environments. There was the LinuxAdvanced project that provided the idea for LIFE and there is the desktop4education project that aims to replace any complex Windows infrastructure and as far as i know the Free Software Foundation is very active in Vienna. Other than that I'd say that the situation in Austria is not really good. Wienux (a selfmade Linux Distribution) that should replace Windows XP in Vienna's administrations was killed before it even started. Schools get Microsoft licenses for Office and Windows whether they want them or not. There are contracts in place that run for 3 years and usually get extended for additional 3 years and so on. There even is a EU directive to use free and open standards wherever possible in public institutions but no one seems to even know (or care) about this.

    How can communities like KDE bridge the gap from the enthusiast world to the mass market?

    Plasma 5.9 is a wonderful piece of software. KDE Connect is a feature that wows everybody and even NetworkManager is nowadays a tool Windows-admins look at with envy. With Google searching for a way without Linux for their future OS, Apple that is never going to think different and Microsoft going into the cloud with Windows I don't see a world where everybody is using KDE and Linux. But the mass market suitability is already here. In my opinion the way to get to a wider userbase is through public services and schools. There is absolutely no need to use any other software in schools than free open source software. If our schoolchildren realize that they can do everything with free software they will consider using it later in life when they start their own company. IMHO that's the way to go therefore I'm working on it :-)

    Discussion about this and similar projects takes place on the KDE Enterprise mailing list.

  • Stay with Free Software, City of Munich! (KDE)

    The city of Munich is currently considering a move away from Free Software back to Microsoft products. We consider this to be a mistake and urge the decision makers to reconsider.

    For many years now the City of Munich has been using a mix of software by KDE, LibreOffice and Ubuntu, among others. Mayor Dieter Reiter (a self-proclaimed Microsoft-fan who helped Microsoft move offices to Munich) asked Accenture (a Microsoft partner) to produce a report about the situation of the City of Munich's IT infrastructure. That resulted in a 450-page document. This report is now being misused to push for a move away from Free Software. However the main issues listed in the report were identified to be organizational ones and not related to Free Software operating systems and applications.

    The City of Munich is of course free to decide on their IT infrastructure. Nonetheless we believe the move away from Free Software would be a big mistake and feel compelled to speak up. Specifically the move away from Free Software will

    • not actually fix the issues identified in the report by Accenture
    • remove vendor-independence which was one of the core arguments for moving to Free Software in the first place
    • incur estimated costs of €90 Million to be paid by tax-payer money. Another €15 Million are expected to be spent on replacing or upgrading hardware that cannot cope with the requirements of Windows 10 but runs fine with Linux.

    The City of Munich has always been a poster child of Free Software in public administrations. It is a showcase of what can be done with Free Software in this setting. The step back by the City of Munich from Free Software would therefore not just be a blow for this particular deployment but also have more far-reaching effects into other similar deployments.

    That said, we take this opportunity to invite all other administrations to leverage the work done by the City of Munich over the last years and are willing to help resolve remaining issues in the City of Munich related to our software.

    Lydia Pintscher
    President, KDE e.V.

    Please also read the statement by The Document Foundation.

    Dot Categories:

  • Beautiful New Design on kde.org (KDE)

    KDE's main website www.kde.org has gained a beautiful new design.

    While in KDE we pride ourselves on making beautiful software our website has lagged behind modern requirements and trends. Visual Design Group member Ken Vermette has quietly worked away with key stakeholders to create a design and update the content. The new site uses correct HTML5 and is responsive to working on mobiles and tablets. It includes an introduction to our products, community and how you can get involved.

    The scope of KDE projects continues to grow as we evolve from the original desktop environment to become an umbrella organisation hosting projects as diverse as WikiToLearn academic textbook collaboration or KDE Store content distribution site. The new website reflects this change in direction while still focusing on our flagship Plasma desktop.

    This change is only to the front pages and many more pages on kde.org still use the old theme but these will be transitioned over in the weeks to come. Many other websites under kde.org are expected and encouraged to adopt the new theme.

    If you find problems please check for them and report them on our bug tracker or discuss on kde-www mailing list.

  • Beautiful New Design on kde.org (KDE)

    KDE's main website www.kde.org has gained a beautiful new design.

    While in KDE we pride ourselves on making beautiful software our website has lagged behind modern requirements and trends. Visual Design Group member Ken Vermette has quietly worked away with key stakeholders to create a design and update the content. The new site uses correct HTML5 and is responsive to working on mobiles and tablets. It includes an introduction to our products, community and how you can get involved.

    The scope of KDE projects continues to grow as we evolve from the original desktop environment to become an umbrella organisation hosting projects as diverse as WikiToLearn academic textbook collaboration or KDE Store content distribution site. The new website reflects this change in direction while still focusing on our flagship Plasma desktop.

    This change is only to the front pages and many more pages on kde.org still use the old theme but these will be transitioned over in the weeks to come. Many other websites under kde.org are expected and encouraged to adopt the new theme.

    If you find problems please check for them and report them on our bug tracker or discuss on kde-www mailing list.

  • Neil McGovern Named New Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation (GNOME)
    ORINDA, CA. The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Neil McGovern as its new Executive Director. McGovern officially starts work for the GNOME Foundation on February 15, 2017 and will operate from the United Kingdom. McGovern is an experienced leader in Free Software projects and is best known for his role as […]
  • Neil McGovern Named New GNOME Foundation Executive Director (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Neil McGovern as its new Executive Director. McGovern officially starts work for the GNOME Foundation on February 15, 2017 and will operate from the United Kingdom. McGovern is an experienced leader in Free Software projects and is best known for his role as Debian Project […]
  • Plasma 5.9 Kicks off 2017 in Style (KDE)



     



    KDE Plasma 5.9

    KDE Plasma 5.9

    Tuesday, 31 January 2017. Today KDE releases this year’s first Plasma feature update, Plasma 5.9. While this release brings many exciting new features to your desktop, we'll continue to provide bugfixes to Plasma 5.8 LTS.


    Be even more productive



    Spectacle screenshot notifications can now be dragged into e-mail composers (including web mail)

    Spectacle screenshot notifications can now be dragged into e-mail composers (including web mail)

    In our ongoing effort to make you more productive with Plasma we added interactive previews to our notifications. This is most noticeable when you take a screenshot using Spectacle's global keyboard shortcuts (Shift+Print Scr): you can drag the resulting file from the notification popup directly into a chat window, an email composer or a web browser form, without ever having to leave the application you're currently working with. Drag and drop was improved throughout the desktop, with new drag and drop functionality to add widgets directly to the system tray. Widgets can also be added directly from the full screen Application Dashboard launcher.





    Icon Widget Properties

    Icon Widget Properties

    The icon widget that is created for you when you drag an application or document onto your desktop or a panel sees the return of a settings dialog: you can now change the icon, label text, working directory, and other properties. Its context menu now also sports an 'Open with' section as well as a link to open the folder the file it points to is located in.





    Muting from Panel Task Manager

    Muting from Panel Task Manager

    Due to popular demand we implemented switching between windows in Task Manager using Meta + number shortcuts for heavy multi-tasking. Also new in Task Manager is the ability to pin different applications in each of your activities. And should you rather want to focus on one particular task, applications currently playing audio are marked in Task Manager similar to how it’s done in modern web browsers. Together with a button to mute the offending application, this can help you stay focused.





    Search Actions

    Search Actions

    The Quick Launch applet now supports jump list actions, bringing it to feature parity with the other launchers in Plasma. KRunner actions, such as “Run in Terminal” and “Open containing folder” are now also shown for the KRunner-powered search results in the application launchers.

    A new applet was added restoring an earlier KDE 4 feature of being able to group multiple widgets together in a single widget operated by a tabbed interface. This allows you to quickly access multiple arrangements and setups at your fingertips.


    More streamlined visuals





    New Breeze Scrollbar Design

    Improvements have been made to the look and feel of the Plasma Desktop and its applications. Scroll bars in the Breeze style, for instance, have transitioned to a more compact and beautiful design, giving our applications a sleek and modern look.


    Global Menus



    Global Menus in a Plasma Widget

    Global Menus in a Plasma Widget


    Global Menus in the Window Bar

    Global Menus in the Window Bar

    Global Menus have returned. KDE's pioneering feature to separate the menu bar from the application window allows for new user interface paradigm with either a Plasma Widget showing the menu or neatly tucked away in the window bar.





    Neater Task Manager Tooltips

    Neat Task Manager Tooltips

    Task Manager tooltips have been redesigned to provide more information while being significantly more compact. Folder View is now able to display file emblems which are used, for example, to indicate symlinks. Overall user experience when navigating and renaming files has been greatly improved.


    More powerful Look and Feel import & export

    Look and Feel Themes

    The global Look and Feel desktop themes now support changing the window decoration as well – the 'lookandfeelexplorer' theme creation utility will export your current window decoration to the theme you create.

    If you install, from the KDE store, themes that depend on other artwork packs also present on the KDE store (such as Plasma themes and Icon themes) they will be automatically downloaded, in order to give you the full experience intended by the theme creator.

    New network configuration module





    Network Connections Configuration

    Network Connections Configuration

    A new configuration module for network connections has been added to System Settings, using QML and bringing a new fresh look. Design of the module is inspired by our network applet, while the configuration functionality itself is based on the previous Connection Editor. This means that although it features a new design, functionality remains using the proven codebase.


    Wayland

    Pointer Gesture Support


    Touchpad Configuration

    Wayland Touchpad Configuration

    Wayland has been an ongoing transitional task, getting closer to feature completion with every release. This release makes it even more accessible for enthusiastic followers to try Wayland and start reporting any bugs they might find. Notable improvements in this release include:

    An ability to take screenshots or use a color picker. Fullscreen users will be pleased at borderless maximized windows.

    Pointers can now be confined by applications, gestures are supported (see video right) and relative motions used by games were added. Input devices were made more configurable and now save between sessions. There is also a new settings tool for touchpads.

    Using the Breeze style you can now drag applications by clicking on an empty area of the UI just like in X. When running X applications the window icon will show up properly on the panel. Panels can now auto-hide. Custom color schemes can be set for windows, useful for accessibility.

    Full Plasma 5.9.0 changelog

  • KDE and Slimbook Release a Laptop for KDE Fans (KDE)

    Today KDE is proud to announce the immediate availability of the KDE Slimbook, a KDE-branded laptop that comes pre-installed with Plasma and KDE Applications (running on Linux) and is assured to work with our software as smoothly as possible.

    The KDE Slimbook allows KDE to offer our users a laptop which has been tested directly by KDE developers, on the exact same hardware and software configuration that the users get, and where any potential hardware-related issues have already been ironed out before a new version of our software is shipped to them. This gives our users the best possible way to experience our software, as well as increasing our reach: The easier it is to get our software into users' hands, the more it will be used.

    Furthermore, the KDE Slimbook, together with KDE neon, offers us a unique opportunity to isolate and fix issues that users have with our software. When something in Plasma, a KDE Application or some software using a KDE Framework does not work as intended for a user, there are at least three layers that can cause the problem:

    • The KDE software itself
    • The operating system
    • The hardware or its drivers

    Of course KDE always tries to reduce bugs in our software as much as possible. Problems can occur in any of the aforementioned layers, however, and often times it is difficult for us to pin-point exactly where things are going wrong. Last year, KDE neon joined the KDE community with the promise to give us control over the operating system layer. This does not mean we won't make our software available on other distributions or operating systems, of course, but it allows us to eliminate that layer as a possible source of a problem.

    This left us still with one layer we had zero control over, though: The hardware layer.

    Fast-forward to late last year, when the Spanish laptop retailer Slimbook approached KDE with the idea to offer KDE-branded laptops that come pre-installed with Plasma and KDE Applications. We were excited about the idea, and put our designers and developers to the task of creating a branding for such a device and making sure that KDE neon runs without any hardware-related issues on it.


    For now, the KDE Slimbook will always come pre-installed with KDE neon, but we are open to offering other distributions that come pre-installed with Plasma for customers to choose from.

    The KDE Slimbook is for people who love KDE software, regardless of whether or not they are active contributors to KDE.

    For more information, visit the KDE Slimbook website.

  • Meet KDE at FOSDEM Next Month (KDE)

    Next month is FOSDEM, the largest gathering of free software developers anywhere in Europe. FOSDEM 2017 is being held at the ULB Campus Solbosch on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of February. Thousands of coders, designers, maintainers and managers from projects as popular as Linux and as obscure as Tcl/Tk will descend on the European capital Brussels to talk, present, show off and drink beer.


    You won't believe what the KDE community's next weird collaboration is about. Find out at FOSDEM.

    KDE will have a stall in building K where we will demonstrate our latest software including KDE neon running on Docker, the newest build of Plasma Mobile using Android Open Source Project, and a very exciting mystery announcement.

    Our Saturday parties have become legendary and this year's party has a new location at Le Magic Rubens in the city centre. Sign up on the wiki page if you'd like to come.

    We will be taking part in the Desktop devroom on Sunday where several presenters will give talks about KDE.

    Bundling KDE - Where does KDE land in the Snap and Flatpak world? by Aleix Pol Gonzalez (apol)

    How we are integrating the Snap and Flatpak packaging systems into Plasma and what steps we've had to take to get KDE applications packaged and working on Flatpak and Snap.

    KDE is present on different platforms, but most notably on GNU/Linux and it's here where we're seeing the most changes lately. In this presentation I'll explain how we are integrating the Snap and Flatpak packaging systems into Plasma and then what steps we've had to take to get KDE applications packaged and working on Flatpak and Snap.

    From Gtk to Qt: An Strange Journey, part 2 - The continuation of the original talk from Dirk Hohndel and Linus Torvalds about the port of Subsurface from Gtk to Qt, now with mobile in mind.

    by Tomaz Canabrava

    As subsurface evolved from a Gtk Application to a Qt one, cutting a quarter of the codebase while still gaining new functionalities, a new question arose: "How do we get this desktop based application and run it on mobile, on a unified codebase?"

    How do we take a kernel developer application writen in kernel-style code for the desktop and make it universal, able to run in any operating system be it mobile or desktop?

    In this talk I'll present you piece-by-piece history on what we had when Subsurface started, the challenges that kernel hackers faced when creating a desktop application and why the choice was made to port away from Gtk into Qt - even though the main developer of subsurface back then loathed C++.

    After the initial port to desktop a new era began, the era of mobile applications, and Qt had launched it's new QML language that promised good integration on mobile and even desktop with minimal effort. We wanted to give it a try. At the same time the KDE hackers launched a new project "Kirigami", a library build on QML to simplify development of QML based software. Since we were already on the bleeding edge of things, why not give it a try?

    This is the tale of Subsurface, From Gtk to Qt to Mobile, from one of it's main hackers.


    Last year's KDE @ FOSDEM party to launch KDE neon, what will this year's party
    launch?

    Kube - The next generation communication and collaboration client by Christian Mollekopf

    Kube is a beautiful, modern communication in a reliable, high-performance native groupware application for your desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

    Kube is a next-gen communication and collaboration client built with QtQuick on a high performance, low resource usage core. It provides online and offline access to all your mail, contacts, calendars, notes, todos and more.

    With a strong focus on usability, the team works with designers and UX experts from the ground up, to build a product that is not only visually appealing but also a joy to use.

    While the initial focus is on the Linux desktop, the platform is built to run on all desktop systems as well as on mobile devices.

    This talk is giving an overview of what Kube is and strives to be, along with some history why this effort has been started in the first place. The talk will go into some technical detail, but is suitable for anyone interested in an alternative to the currently existing groupware clients.

    With over 8000 hackers attending to particulate in hundreds of lectures FOSDEM is one of the premier conferences to collaborate with other developers and be informed about the latest developments in the free software community. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • KDE releases Kirigami UI 2.0 (KDE)

    Today, KDE announces the public release of Kirigami UI 2.0 !

    All issues that were identified during the ten days of beta testing have been fixed, and Kirigami 2.0 is deemed ready for general use.

    Soon after the initial release of Kirigami UI, KDE's framework for convergent (mobile and desktop) user interfaces, its main developer Marco Martin started porting it from Qt Quick Controls 1 to Qt Quick Controls 2, the next generation of Qt's ready-made standard controls for Qt Quick-based user interfaces. Since QQC 2 offers a much more extended range of controls than QQC 1, the port allowed the reduction of Kirigami's own code, while improving stability and performance. Kirigami 2 is kept as close to QQC 2's API as possible in order to extend it seamlessly.

    Beyond the improvements that the port to QQC2 brings, further work went into Kirigami 2's performance and efficiency, and it also offers significantly improved keyboard navigation for desktop applications. On Android, Kirigami 2 integrates better visually with Material Design.

    Of course there are also smaller improvements in various places, such as better handling of edge swipes in the SwipeListItem or more reliable activation of the Overscroll / Reachability mode (which pulls down the top of the page to the center of the screen where it can be reached with the thumb).

    Discover (Plasma's software center), a quite complex application, has already been ported successfully to Kirigami 2 without much hassle, so we are confident that most applications can be ported easily from Kirigami 1 to Kirigami 2. Since Kirigami 2 requires Qt 5.7, which is not available on all Linux distributions yet, Kirigami 1 is still maintained (receiving fixes for critical bugs) for the time being, but won't receive any new features or improvements.

    You can get Kirigami 2.0 via its wiki page, or from your distribution's repository as soon as it is packaged there.
    If you want to try it out on Android, the Kirigami Gallery demo app is available on Google Play.

  • KDE Plasma 5.9 Beta Kicks off 2017 in Style (KDE)



    KDE Plasma 5.9 Beta

    KDE Plasma 5.9 Beta

    Thursday, 12 January 2017. Today KDE releases the beta of this year’s first Plasma feature update, Plasma 5.9. While this release brings many exciting new features to your desktop, we'll continue to provide bugfixes to Plasma 5.8 LTS.


    Be even more productive



    Spectacle screenshot notifications can now be dragged into e-mail composers (including web mail)

    Spectacle screenshot notifications can now be dragged into e-mail composers (including web mail)

    In our ongoing effort to make you more productive with Plasma we added interactive previews to our notifications. This is most noticeable when you take a screenshot using Spectacle's global keyboard shortcuts (Shift+Print Scr): you can drag the resulting file from the notification popup directly into a chat window, an email composer or a web browser form, without ever having to leave the application you're currently working with. Drag and drop was improved throughout the desktop, with new drag and drop functionality to add widgets directly to the system tray. Widgets can also be added directly from the full screen Application Dashboard launcher.





    Icon Widget Properties

    Icon Widget Properties

    The icon widget that is created for you when you drag an application or document onto your desktop or a panel sees the return of a settings dialog: you can now change the icon, label text, working directory, and other properties. Its context menu now also sports an 'Open with' section as well as a link to open the folder the file it points to is located in.





    Muting from Panel Task Manager

    Muting from Panel Task Manager

    Due to popular demand we implemented switching between windows in Task Manager using Meta + number shortcuts for heavy multi-tasking. Also new in Task Manager is the ability to pin different applications in each of your activities. And should you rather want to focus on one particular task, applications currently playing audio are marked in Task Manager similar to how it’s done in modern web browsers. Together with a button to mute the offending application, this can help you stay focused.





    Search Actions

    Search Actions

    The Quick Launch applet now supports jump list actions, bringing it to feature parity with the other launchers in Plasma. KRunner actions, such as “Run in Terminal” and “Open containing folder” are now also shown for the KRunner-powered search results in the application launchers.

    A new applet was added restoring an earlier KDE 4 feature of being able to group multiple widgets together in a single widget operated by a tabbed interface. This allows you to quickly access multiple arrangements and setups at your fingertips.


    More streamlined visuals





    New Breeze Scrollbar Design

    Improvements have been made to the look and feel of the Plasma Desktop and its applications. Scroll bars in the Breeze style, for instance, have transitioned to a more compact and beautiful design, giving our applications a sleek and modern look.


    Global Menus



    Global Menus in a Plasma Widget

    Global Menus in a Plasma Widget


    Global Menus in the Window Bar

    Global Menus in the Window Bar

    Global Menus have returned. KDE's pioneering feature to separate the menu bar from the application window allows for new user interface paradigm with either a Plasma Widget showing the menu or neatly tucked away in the window bar.





    Neater Task Manager Tooltips

    Neat Task Manager Tooltips

    Task Manager tooltips have been redesigned to provide more information while being significantly more compact. Folder View is now able to display file emblems which are used, for example, to indicate symlinks. Overall user experience when navigating and renaming files has been greatly improved.


    More powerful Look and Feel import & export

    Look and Feel Themes

    The global Look and Feel desktop themes now support changing the window decoration as well – the 'lookandfeelexplorer' theme creation utility will export your current window decoration to the theme you create.

    If you install, from the KDE store, themes that depend on other artwork packs also present on the KDE store (such as Plasma themes and Icon themes) they will be automatically downloaded, in order to give you the full experience intended by the theme creator.

    New network configuration module





    Network Connections Configuration

    Network Connections Configuration

    A new configuration module for network connections has been added to System Settings, using QML and bringing a new fresh look. Design of the module is inspired by our network applet, while the configuration functionality itself is based on the previous Connection Editor. This means that although it features a new design, functionality remains using the proven codebase.


    Wayland

    Pointer Gesture Support


    Touchpad Configuration

    Wayland Touchpad Configuration

    Wayland has been an ongoing transitional task, getting closer to feature completion with every release. This release makes it even more accessible for enthusiastic followers to try Wayland and start reporting any bugs they might find. Notable improvements in this release include:

    An ability to take screenshots or use a color picker. Fullscreen users will be pleased at borderless maximized windows.

    Pointers can now be confined by applications, gestures are supported (see video right) and relative motions used by games were added. Input devices were made more configurable and now save between sessions. There is also a new settings tool for touchpads.

    Using the Breeze style you can now drag applications by clicking on an empty area of the UI just like in X. When running X applications the window icon will show up properly on the panel. Panels can now auto-hide. Custom color schemes can be set for windows, useful for accessibility.


    Full Plasma 5.8.95 changelog

    Live Images

    The easiest way to try it out is with a live image booted off a USB disk. You can find a list of Live Images with Plasma 5 on the KDE Community Wiki.

    Docker images also provide a quick and easy way to test Plasma.

    Package Downloads

    Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

    Source Downloads

    You can install Plasma 5 directly from source. KDE's community wiki has instructions to compile it. Note that Plasma 5 does not co-install with Plasma 4, you will need to uninstall older versions or install into a separate prefix.

    Feedback

    You can give us feedback and get updates on Facebook or Twitter or Google+.

    Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

    You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

B: Quelqu'un a-t-il déjà fait fonctionner ce modem sous linux ????
G.P.: Je me demande si ça ne marcherait pas en faisant un proxy
avec un vieux PC sous Windows en réseau avec un PC sous Linux.
-+- in Guide de linuxien pervers : "le réseau, c'est simple comme un proxy"