Applications

  • GNOME acknowledge AWS Sponsorship (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation wants to recognize AWS for donating credits that have allowed us (GNOME) to taking advantage of the multitude of services Amazon provides. In particular, the GNOME Infrastructure utilizes AWS S3 service as a file store for the multitude of Docker images that are generated or updated daily. GNOME uses GitLab as its […]
  • GNOME AWS Sponsorship (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation wants to recognize AWS for donating credits that have allowed us (GNOME) to taking advantage of the multitude of services Amazon provides. In particular, the GNOME Infrastructure utilizes AWS S3 service as a file store for the multitude of Docker images that are generated or updated daily. GNOME uses GitLab as its […]
  • Linux Application Summit 2019 about to start in Barcelona (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is very excited that Linux Application Summit 2019 is about to start in Barcelona, Spain. Linux App Summit 2019 (or LAS) is a joint collaboration between GNOME and KDE which will feature 3 days of talks from prominent members of the Linux developer community from Tuesday 12th November to Thursday 14th November, […]
  • Linux Application Summit 2019 about start in Barcelona (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is very excited that Linux Application Summit 2019 is about to start in Barcelona, Spain. Linux App Summit 2019 (or LAS) is a joint collaboration between GNOME and KDE which will feature 3 days of talks from prominent members of the Linux developer community on Tuesday 12th November to Thursday 14th November, […]
  • Apps Update for November (KDE)

    LabPlot

    The big release this month has been LabPlot 2.7. LabPlot is fast becoming one of KDE's highest profile apps. It is an application for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data. LabPlot provides an easy way to create, manage and edit plots. It allows you to produce plots based on data from a spreadsheet or on data imported from external files. Plots can be exported to several pixmap and vector graphic formats.

    In this release we made the user experience while working with LabPlot easier and more fun. Entering and working with data in spreadsheets is slicker and when reading live data from file sources you can now use a relative path to find a live data source. This allows you to, for example, copy the folder containing the project file together with the data file or files across different folders on your computer without losing the connection to the file or files. In the Project Explorer you can now move top-level objects to different folders via drag & drop.

    The data picker, which allows you to digitize data points on images, has had an overhaul in 2.7. The devs have greatly simplified the overall workflow and the process of digitizing data points as you can see in this video.

    Check out the Labplot YouTube channel for more videos on using this advanced application.

    Bugfixes

    Alternative panel Latte Dock got a bugfix release, 0.9.4. It fixes autoloading in some distros such as Manjaro.

    KDevelop is on its monthly bugfix release which tidied up CLang support for some distros.

    Over 100 apps gets released as part of the KDE Applications bundle which has just had its 19.08.3 bugfix releases and includes:

    • In the video-editor Kdenlive, compositions no longer disappear when reopening a project with locked tracks.
    • Okular's annotation view now shows creation times in local time zone instead of UTC.
    • Keyboard control has been improved in the Spectacle screenshot utility.

    Snap Store


    Kdenlive Snap

    Snaps are one of the new container-based package formats for Linux. KDE has over 50 apps published on the Snap store and ready to be installed on almost any Linux distro. On many Ubuntu flavors and derivatives, they come ready to be used. On others you may need to use your package manager to install snapd first. This is usually as simple as running a command such as sudo dnf install snapd or sudo pacman -S snapd. Most of KDE's Snap packages are built by the KDE neon team on their servers and the aim is to get packaging and building integrated more directly with app's repositories and continuous integration setups. This means they are updated more frequently and the moment changes are made so you always get the latest and greatest features and fixes.

    New this month in the Snap store is KDE's video editor, Kdenlive.


    Coming Up


    KTrip

    We have a couple of nice progressions towards stable releases from KDE apps. First, the mobile journey search app KTrip has moved into kdereview, meaning the authors want it checked over for sanity before making a stable release. In a first for KDE developer Nicolas Fella, he worked out how to get KTrip into F-Droid, the free software app store for Android.

    Then, the developer tool ELF Dissector passed kdereview, meaning KDE has approved it as something we are happy to put our name on when it gets released. It's a static analysis tool for ELF libraries and executables. It does things like inspect forward and backward dependencies (on a library or symbol level), identify load-time performance bottlenecks such as expensive static constructors or excessive relocations, or size profiling of ELF files.

    Help Out

    By getting KDE's apps into the most popular of channels like the Windows Store, Google Play and F-Droid, we can reach more users and boost KDE's adoption through its software. Now that Kate is successfully shipping in the Windows Store, Kate developer Christoph Cullmann wrote a guide to Windows Store submission. Check it out.

    KDE's All About the Apps Goal has loads of other things you can do to help get our applications to users, so come along and give us a hand.

  • Locations for GUADEC 2020 and 2021 announced! (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is excited to announce that GUADEC, the annual GNOME conference, will be held in Zacatecas, Mexico in 2020, and in Riga, Latvia in 2021. GUADEC brings together hundreds of users and developers every year to further the GNOME Project, and it is one of our longest-standing and most noteworthy events. For the […]
  • Consistency Update (KDE)

    By Niccolò Venerandi

    It's been a month since Consistency was announced as an official goal for KDE at Akademy. During this time, we have focused on setting up all the tools needed to support the goal and tracking already active consistency tasks. Here's an update on what we have done so far and the main tasks we're working on.

    Community Page

    We have created a Consistency page on the community wiki where you can learn what the consistency goal is and find out how you can easily get involved in it. Check it out, regardless of your level of technical expertise!

    Matrix Channel

    There is also a Consistency channel on KDE's Matrix instance. Access it through the webchat page or at consistency:kde.org. You are welcome to come in and join us to discuss anything related to the consistency goal!

    Sprint!

    A sprint is in the works. If you would like to participate, join in the discussion and come and discuss the time and the place on the Matrix channel as well.

    Phabricator Workboard

    We created a Consistency workboard so you can track all the tasks and keep up with their development. You can add yourself as a member or watcher to receive Phabricator updates.

    Tasks are organized into the following categories:

    • Reported shows consistency problems that still need to be addressed, but are currently not being worked on, or are not actively developed yet
    • VDG Discussion lists tasks that the VDG (Visual Design Group) are discussing
    • HIG Specification shows tasks that are waiting for an HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) specification so they can be developed in a consistent way
    • Under Apps Implementation you can find tasks that are actively being worked on
    • Meta contains all the tasks that are not exactly consistency problems, but are related to the consistency goal in some way
    Current phabricator status
    The Consistency goal's workboard.

    Consistency Tasks

    There are already many tasks in the Consistency project. Some tasks are new, some existed before. Many of these tasks are quite interesting, so read on to get an idea of what lays ahead for this goal.

    Unify Highlight Effect Style

    This task was already in progress when the Consistency goal was selected, but it is nevertheless a great example of what we'd like to see happen in the goal.

    Currently, Plasma has a discrepancy in its highlight effect. The first kind of effect is a plain rectangle using the highlight color, while the second one is a rounded rectangle with an outline and semi-transparent background. Although the former is more common, we think the latter is more appropriate to use in all situations.

    Here's the correct highlight effect in Plasma
    Here's the correct highlight effect in Plasma
    Current dolphin
    Here's what it looks like in Dolphin now.
    Dolphin mockup
    Dolphin mockup showing correct highlighting.

    A few more examples of what the new highlight could consistently look like in various use-cases:

    Big icons sidebar highlight
    Big icons sidebar highlight.
    In plasmoids
    In plasmoids.
    In menus
    In menus.

    This is a great example of what consistency can be: not simply applying the same style everywhere, but finding something that a single app does very well, and bringing that to all the other apps. Noah Davis is actively developing this task, and he's doing a great job!

    Unify Sidebar Navigation and Appearance

    These tasks originated directly from the Consistency goal.

    Sidebars are used in many applications and it would be great that they were consistent. There are two main aspects to this: the type of sidebar (system settings-like lists, big square icons, etc.) and the navigation within the sidebar (tabs, combo boxes, etc.).

    What is the best solution? That part is currently under discussion. We welcome everyone's opinions on the matter or, even better, an expert assessment on the feasibility of each of the options.

    Let's quickly illustrate some options:

    For the sidebar appearance, the current main option relies on using lists and big square icons, depending on the number of elements:

    Sidebars
    Sidebars.

    On the other hand, the option for navigating sidebar views includes tabs that become icons-only when horizontal space is insufficient, vertical tabs on the left, and combo boxes:

    Option 1
    Option 1.
    Option 1b
    Option 1b.
    Option 2
    Option 2.
    Option 3
    Option 3.

    Furthermore, Nate Graham is focused on making sure that all big icons displayed in sidebars are colorful. He has already fixed a lot of them, and only a few are missing that we know of. Finally, there's also a task to create an HIG specification for sidebars as soon as the discussion settles. We welcome help with any of these tasks. :-)

    Website Redesign

    This task was already ongoing when the Consistency goal was chosen and it aims to modernize old web pages that follow obsolete styles. There are many of them and some are well-hidden. Carl Schwan created and works on this task alongside many other contributors. Check it out and see if you too can find any old websites that need updating!

    That's the end of this update!

    If you would like to help out, come join us in the matrix room and let's make KDE software more consistent together!

  • GNOME files defense against patent troll (GNOME)
    Orinda, CA – 2019/10/21 A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll for developing the Shotwell image management application. It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last. Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop […]
  • GNOME opens recruitment to support Coding Education Challenge (GNOME)
    Orinda, CA. Today, October 18th 2019, the GNOME Foundation has announced two positions it is recruiting for to help drive the GNOME project and Free Software on the desktop. As previously announced, this is in support of our Coding Education Challenge, as well as the project more generally. The Foundation is currently recruiting for two […]
  • GNOME Shell 2019 Hackfest concludes in Leidschendam Netherlands (GNOME)
    The GNOME Shell 2019 Hackfest which took place in Leidschendam, Netherlands have concluded. During the Hackfest various discussions was held and work was done to improve Wayland integration with GNOME Shell, mixed DPI densities, Xwayland-on-demand, and more! Thanks go out to the Revspace Hackerspace for the venue. Reports from the Hackfest is available on the […]
  • conf.kde.in Is Coming Back In 2020 (KDE)

    Join us for conf.kde.in from the 17th to 19th of January 2020 in Delhi, India.

    conf.kde.in 2020 will focus on promoting Free and Open Source software, including (but not limited to) Qt and KDE products.

    The Venue

    conf.kde.in 2020 will be held in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, located in Rohini, Delhi, India. MAIT was established by the Maharaja Agrasen Technical Education Society and promoted by well-known industrialists, businessmen, professionals and philanthropists. The aim of MAIT is to promote quality education in the field of Technology.

    MAIT endeavors to provide industry-relevant education and training through its well-crafted and practical training programs for the students in different semesters of their courses. The campus is composed of 10 blocks with a learning resource center. MAIT has been ranked as the 10th best private engineering institute in India by the Dataquest T-School Survey. MAIT always supports Free and Open Source communities and tech-related activities.

    About conf.kde.in

    conf.kde.in started in 2011 at RVCE in Bangalore as a 5-day event with 300 participants. This kicked off a series of KDE events in India. We held a KDE Meetup in 2013, and another conf.kde.in 2014 at DA-IICT. In 2015, the third conf.kde.in was held at Amrita University in Kerala, and in 2016 at LNMIIT Jaipur. The Jaipur conference attracted members of the KDE Community from all over the world. Attendees from different backgrounds came to meet each other, give talks, and share in the spirit of KDE. The 2017 conference was held in IIT Guwahati, Assam and sought to cater to new members of KDE, as well as to seasoned developers.


    KDE Meetup 2014

    All of these events have been successful in attracting a lot of Indian students to mentoring programs such as Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Season of KDE, and Google Code-In.

    conf.kde.in 2020 will generate even more interest and participation by creating a fertile environment for people to get started with KDE, Qt and FOSS through numerous talks, hands-on sessions and demonstrations.

    Call For Papers

    Join us! Submit a paper, explain the content for a 30-minute presentation or a workshop on any aspect of KDE, Qt or any other FOSS topic you want to cover, and become a conf.kde.in Speaker.

    Remember to include all pertinent information about your background, other talks you've given, and anything else that gives a sense of what attendees can expect from your presentation.

    See you in 2020 in India!

  • Plasma 5.17 is out! (KDE)

    KDE launches the new version of its acclaimed desktop environment, Plasma 5.17.

    Plasma 5.17 is the version where the desktop anticipates your needs. Among many new features and improvements, your desktop now starts up faster; Night Color, the color-grading system that relaxes your eyes when the sun sets, has landed for X11; your Plasma desktop recognizes when you are giving a presentation, and stops messages popping up in the middle of your slideshows; and, if you are using Wayland, Plasma now comes with fractional scaling, which means that you can adjust the size of all your desktop elements, windows, fonts and panels perfectly to your HiDPI monitor.

    The best part? The hundreds of improvements that have made their way into Plasma 5.17 do not tax your hardware! Plasma 5.17 is as lightweight and thrifty with resources as ever.

    Check out the official release announcement for more features, improvements and goodies, or browse the full Plasma 5.17 changelog to read about every single change. You can also experience Plasma 5.17 for yourself and install one of the many distributions that offer Plasma.



    Guillermo Amaral

    The Plasma 5.17 series is dedicated to our friend Guillermo Amaral. Guillermo was an enthusiastic KDE developer who rightly self-described as 'an incredibly handsome multidisciplinary self-taught engineer'. He brought cheer to family, friends and colleagues. He lost his battle with cancer last summer, but will be remembered as a friend to all he met.

  • Akademy 2019 Talks Videos (KDE)

    We now have the Akademy 2019 videos ready for you to enjoy, see the previous summary of talks on the dot for some inspiration on what to watch. The talk schedule has the full list

    We had keynotes on Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! by Leonardo Favario and Towards Qt 6 by Lars Knoll

    We also got updates on KDE Community's goals

    Another thing to check out are the previously announced BoF wrapups letting you know what went on during the week following the talks

    Recommendations

    Here are some talks recommended by attendees:



    What we do in the Promos
    Piyush: i attended Paul's talk. It was really nice to have an insight on promo's day to day tasks and challenges!



    Strengthen Code Review Culture: rm -rf ‘Toxic Behaviors’
    Philip: I liked the code review one
    Valorie: and I agree, Aniketh's Code Review talk was excellent




    Software Distribution: lightning talks & discussion
    Jon: Software Distribution talk! (although I prefer my original name for it of Getting KDE Software to Users)



    Taking KDE to the skies: Making the drone ground control Kirogi
    Ivana: I nominate Eike's talk about Kirogi. It was such a cool talk that told the story of developing an app in a way that even non-devs could understand, and I think it really showcased how KDE is still going strong and taking the lead in the innovation game
    Hannah: The talk was horrible.... It made me want to buy a drone



    Mycroft on Plasma Automobile Demo
    Bhushan: Automative demo one



    About Akademy


    Akademy 2019, Milan

    For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online 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 Asia Summit 2019 to take place this weekend in Gresik, Indonesia (GNOME)
    GNOME Asia Summit 2019 will take place this weekend in Gresik, Indonesia. The main focus is primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also applications and platform development tools are covered. The summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments and businesses to discuss the present […]
  • KDE is All About the Apps: October Update (KDE)

    KDE is all about the Apps!

    We are a community of thousands of contributors who make hundreds of Apps using collaborative open source methods. Our apps run on Linux with Plasma, of course, but also fit in well with GNOME, Enlightenment, XFCE, or any other desktop you happen to be using. Many of our apps run on Windows, Android and macOS.

    A new goal for the KDE community is to push how we are All About the Apps. We will be highlighting our best software and promoting it to increase its adoption outside the circle of current KDE fans (who we still love very much!). This is a monthly update of what's new in our apps. If you'd like to help out with this community goal, take a look at the All About the Apps workboard, and join us in our Matrix chat channel.

    App Updates

    The elite painting app Krita received a monthly bugfix release, 4.2.7. The developers have improved the layout and functionality of the color selection dialog, and made it possible to save group layers to file layers even if they are empty. The sort order of images imported as frames was fixed, a bunch of crashes removed, and dozens of other bugs tidied up.

    To celebrate, the Krita team also made a video with artist Ramon Miranda that offers some advice for improving your sketches. Krita is available in your favorite Linux distribution, for Windows, macOS, as a Linux AppImage, on Flathub, and in the Snap store.

    KMyMoney, the app for managing your finances, also got a new release - 5.0.7. This release introduces updates required for the new regulations of the Payment Services Directive, which affects the online capabilities for German bank users.

    To make KMyMoney compatible with those regulations (especially the strong customer authentication part), developers had to adapt it to updated APIs of the Gwenhywfar and AqBanking libraries which provide the banking protocol implementations.

    Coming from KDE and used by many of us, the distributed compiler cluster Icecream and Icecream Monitor have been updated. The new release improves Objective C and C++ support, removes hardcoded compiler paths, and fixes job preloading to again allow sending one extra job to a fully busy node. In the monitor app several new ice cream flavors have also been added, we're not quite sure what this means but it sounds delicious.

    In the last month, Latte Dock (panel for the Plasma desktop) had two new releases, making improvements to its new Win Indicator look.

    KDevelop, the discerning coder's IDE, published a bugfix release - 5.4.2. You can get it from your Linux distribution or as an AppImage, and you can also compile versions for Windows and macOS.

    RSIBreak, the app that helps you prevent damage to your wrists got a new release versioned 0.12.11.

    Photo management and editing app digiKam released the version 6.3. The highlight of the new release is the G'Mic plugin.
    G'Mic is the image processing library with over 950 different filters, so you can make all your photos truly beautiful. digiKam can be installed from your Linux distro, AppImage bundles, macOS package, and Windows 32/64-bit installers.

    Telescope and astronomy app KStars also had a new release, versioned 3.3.6. The KStars Live Video window can now show debayer frames in real-time, making it possible to create color video streams.

    The weather data can be directly displayed in the Observatory Module, and the user interface has been improved in a number of ways. As one of the most feature-rich free astronomy apps, KStars caters to a wide variety of use cases, so you will surely find tools that are useful to you regardless of your level of experience. KStars is available pretty much everywhere - as a Windows installer, macOS installer, Android app, Snap package, and in your Linux distribution.

    Bug Fixes

    We are continually improving our apps, so plenty of bug fixes have been made. Here are some highlights.

    • Our document viewer Okular gained support for HighDPI screens. This one-line fix to add automatic scaling based on the pixel density of the monitor will make viewing documents on fancy monitors so much better.
    • The advanced text editor Kate was similarly updated to work with HiDPI screens throughout.
    • The chess game Knights had a one-line fix in version 19.08.2. Thanks to the fix, you can now start a game when the second player is a computer engine again.
    • Video editor Kdenlive fixed screengrabs in Linux to eliminate crashes, and in Windows to correctly grab the audio.
    • CD burner app K3b fixed a crash where it couldn't find the supporting command-line tool mkisofs.

    Supporting Bits

    Libraries and artwork support our apps to make our software work beautifully.

    The Breeze icon theme got new icons for activities, trash, batteries, QR codes, and more. Libical, which is used by Kontact to talk to iCalendar protocols and data formats, had a bugfix release (3.0.6).

    Snorenotify is a notification framework supporting Linux, Windows and macOS. Snoretoast is a command-line application used within Snorenotify for Windows Toast notifications. It is also used in Quassel and Tomahawk, and the good news is that it got a new release this month (0.7.0).

    New in App Stores

    Our software is increasingly available directly through app stores. To celebrate and highlight this (and to help you find them more easily!), this month we added Windows Store links to the KDE Applications web page.

    More KDE applications found their way to the Windows Store:

    Welcoming New Projects

    New projects are started in the KDE community all the time. When those projects are ready for wider use, they go through a process called "KDE review", where other KDE contributors will check them for code quality, features, licensing, and how well they work on different platforms. Last but not least, we decide whether we are happy to give it the KDE stamp of approval.

    In KDE review this month is Ruqola, a chat app which talks on the Rocket Chat network and uses the Kirigami UI framework. For the more technically-inclined, Elf-Inspector is an app providing tools for inspecting, analyzing, and optimizing ELF files (the executable file format used on Linux).

    Saying Goodbye

    Sometimes, apps are left behind when their code does not keep up with the rest of the world.

    This month, a new version of our multimedia library Phonon was released. In this version, we removed Qt4 support - sensible enough, as Qt4 hasn't been supported since 2015. As a result, the music player app Amarok has become deprecated (at least for now). Don't lose hope, though: the Qt5 port is progressing, but it's not there yet.

    The web browser Rekonq was marked as unmaintained, meaning it's unlikely to ever come back. However, the work carries on in Falkon, so make sure to check out and support the project if you are interested in lightweight web browsers. Also considered unmaintained is the bootup configuration tool systemd-kcm.


    Enjoy your apps from KDE, and stay tuned for more updates!

  • Meet KDE e.V.'s New Board (KDE)

    Akademy 2019 brought the KDE community some exciting news and major changes. The new community-wide goals have been announced, and KDE contributors presented new ideas and projects they are working on.

    One important change that took place during Akademy 2019 is related to the KDE e.V., the foundation that legally represents the KDE community. Members of KDE e.V. elected two new members for the KDE e.V. Board. For the next couple of years, they will be the people who will legally represent the KDE community and manage the day-to-day running of KDE e.V.

    Let’s meet the new members of the KDE e.V. Board!


    Aleix Pol

    Aleix Pol is KDE e.V.'s new President. Aleix has been involved with KDE since he was a student back in 2007. In those early days, he worked on KDevelop in several Google Summer of Code projects, and has gone on to create and maintain Discover, Kalgebra, and other high-profile KDE projects. Aleix's whole adult life has been linked to KDE one way or another and, among other things, he co-founded and was one of the first presidents of KDE España, the Spanish KDE association. Aleix has been a KDE e.V. Board member and vice-president since he was elected to the post during the 2014 Akademy held in Brno, Czech Republic.


    Lydia Pintscher

    Lydia Pintscher has moved on from the presidency, staying on the Board as vice-president. Lydia, a computer scientist with a degree from Karlsruhe University and Product Manager for Wikidata, has been a member of the board since 2011 and president of KDE e.V. since 2014. During her tenure, KDE has evolved and developed a vision statement, and instated the "Goals" initiative that gives the community clear targets to work towards.

    KDE also started scaling up during Lydia's presidency, which resulted in employing promotion and documentation experts who are helping with community growth. In a similar bid, the Board headed by Lydia started building up a network of like-minded organizations and companies around KDE that led to the constitution of the Advisory Board.

    Lydia has now moved on to a vice-presidency post, alongside Eike Hein. Eike is also the Treasurer of KDE e.V.. Since Eike has become Treasurer, KDE has received an unprecedented number of donations and new sponsorships - not only proof that more and more companies see KDE as a reliable FLOSS project, but also a testimony to Eike's persistence. Eike also maintains Konversation, KDE's IRC/IM client, and has written many core UI pieces of the Plasma 5 desktop, such as the taskbar, the menus, the desktop icon file management, and more. He recently started a new pet project, Kirogi: a ground control application for piloting drones.


    Andy Betts

    The outgoing Board members are Andy Betts and Thomas Pfeiffer. Andy, who has a a Master in Business Administration, brought his management skills to his post and helped KDE e.V. improve its processes. He is also a talented graphics designer, and has provided advice and skills to the Visual Design Group and Promo and Communications team. Unfortunately, Andy had to give up his seat to tend to other time-consuming matters.


    Thomas Pfeiffer

    Thomas, on the other hand, has been an expert in UX (User Experience) and Usability, the branch of design that seeks to make tools and computer interfaces easier to use, since his university days. On the KDE e.V. Board, Thomas was instrumental in setting up the Advisory Board and managed it, ensuring a healthy communication with our industry and community partners. He was also key in supporting the process towards defining KDE's vision statement, and started the discussion about reducing KDE e.V.'s environmental footprint, which is still ongoing. Apart from his work on the Board, he provided feedback and helped improve the interfaces of Plasma and many of KDE's applications.

    The new members stepping in for Andy and Thomas are Neofytos Kolokotronis and Adriaan de Groot.


    Neofytos Kolokotronis

    To describe Neofytos’ tenure within KDE as "meteoric" would be an understatement. He became active in the community in 2017, proposed a community goal, Streamline Onboarding of new community members, and managed to get it picked. He was then elected as a member of the Financial Working Group, and now, in 2019, is a Board member of KDE e.V..

    But Neofytos is not a newcomer to the FLOSS world by any means. Although he studied medicine and holds a degree in psychology, his day job revolves around consulting in technology and innovation, mostly doing project management. He uses those skills to improve the communities he works with.


    Adriaan de Groot

    While Neofytos is a relatively new hand within KDE e.V., Adriaan de Groot is anything but. Indeed, Adriaan is a KDE veteran who already served on the Board 10 years ago. If you have had any contact with KDE at events at all, you may have met him: he is the tall, congenial KDE-booth staffer and master-of-ceremonies at the BoF wrapups during Akademy. Adriaan is the main developer of Calamares, the universal distribution installer. Calamares is what allows you to easily install Manjaro, Neon, Netrunner, Open Mandriva, and so many other independent distributions. Adriaan is also a diehard FreeBSD hacker and user, among many other things.

    Leading a community as large and diverse as KDE is not an easy task. Thankfully, the Board has always been made up of talented, persistent and savvy people, and this new iteration is no exception. With Aleix, Lydia, Eike, Neofytos and Adriaan at the helm, KDE is guaranteed a bright future. Congratulations to the new Board members! We can’t wait to see what the community will achieve with their support!

  • GNOME Foundation facing lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation has been made aware of a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC over patent 9,936,086. Rothschild allege that Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager infringes this patent. Neil McGovern, Executive Director for the GNOME Foundation says “We have retained legal counsel and intend to vigorously defend against this baseless […]
  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2019 Registration is now open (GNOME)
    We’re excited to announce that the Registration for GNOME Asia Summit 2019 is now open at https://2019.gnome.asia/#/registration GNOME Asia Summit 2019 which will take place between 13-14th  October in Gresik, Indonesia.  The main focus is primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also applications and platform development tools are covered. The summit brings together the GNOME […]
  • Plasma 5.17 Beta Out for Testing (KDE)



    Plasma 5.17 Beta

    KDE Plasma 5.17 Beta

    Thursday, 19 September 2019.

    Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.17.

    We've added a bunch of new features and improvements to KDE's lightweight yet full featured desktop environment.

    Plasma's updated web page gives more background on why you should use it on your computer.



    Guillermo Amaral

    Guillermo Amaral

    System Settings has gained new features to help you manage your fancy Thunderbolt hardware, plus Night Color is now on X11 and a bunch of pages got redesigned to help you get your configuration done easier. Our notifications continue to improve with a new icon and automatic do-not-disturb mode for presentations. Our Breeze GTK theme now provides a better appearance for the Chromium/Chrome web browsers and applies your color scheme to GTK and GNOME apps. The window manager KWin has received many HiDPI and multi-screen improvements, and now supports fractional scaling on Wayland.

    You can test the Plasma 5.17 beta for the next three weeks until the final release in mid-October. Give it a whirl with your favorite distribution!

    The Plasma 5.17 series is dedicated to our friend Guillermo Amaral. Guillermo was an enthusiastic KDE developer who rightly self described as 'an incredibly handsome multidisciplinary self-taught engineer'. He brought cheer to anyone he met. He lost his battle with cancer last summer but will be remembered as a friend to all he met.


    Plasma



    <a href='https://unsplash.com/'>Unsplash</a> Picture of the Day

    Unsplash Pic of the Day



    <a href='https://unsplash.com/'>Unsplash</a> Pic of the Day

    KRunner now converts fractional units



    Improved Notifications widget and widget editing UX

    Improved Notifications widget and widget editing UX

    • Do Not Disturb mode is automatically enabled when mirroring screens (e.g. when delivering a presentation)
    • The Notifications widget now uses an improved icon instead of displaying the number of unread notifications
    • Improved widget positioning UX, particularly for touch
    • Improved the Task Manager's middle-click behavior: middle-clicking on an open app's task opens a new instance, while middle-clicking on its thumbnail will close that instance
    • Slight RGB hinting is now the default font rendering mode
    • Plasma now starts even faster!
    • Conversion of fractional units into other units (e.g. 3/16" == 4.76 mm) in KRunner and Kickoff
    • Wallpaper slideshows can now have user-chosen ordering rather than always being random
    • New Unsplash picture of the day wallpaper source with categories
    • Much better support for public WiFi login
    • Added the ability to set a maximum volume that's lower than 100%
    • Pasting text into a sticky note strips the formatting by default
    • Kickoff's recent documents section now works with GNOME/GTK apps
    • Fixed Kickoff tab appearance being broken with vertical panels


    System Settings: Thunderbolt, X11 Night Color and Overhauled Interfaces



    Night Color settings are now available on X11 too

    Night Color settings are now available on X11 too



    Thunderbolt device management

    Thunderbolt device management



    Reorganized Appearance settings, consistent sidebars and headers

    Reorganized Appearance settings, consistent sidebars and headers

    • New settings panel for managing and configuring Thunderbolt devices
    • The Night Color settings are now available on X11 too. It gets a modernized and redesigned user interface, and the feature can be manually invoked in the settings or with a keyboard shortcut.
    • Overhauled the user interface for the Displays, Energy, Activities, Boot Splash, Desktop Effects, Screen Locking, Screen Edges, Touch Screen, and Window Behavior settings pages and the SDDM advanced settings tab
    • Reorganized and renamed some settings pages in the Appearance section
    • Basic system information is now available through System Settings
    • Added accessibility feature to move your cursor with the keyboard when using Libinput
    • You can now apply a user's font, color scheme, icon theme, and other settings to the SDDM login screen to ensure visual continuity on single-user systems
    • New 'sleep for a few hours and then hibernate' feature
    • The Colors page now displays the color scheme's titlebar colors
    • It is now possible to assign a global keyboard shortcut to turn off the screen
    • Standardized appearance for list headers
    • The 'Automatically switch all running streams when a new output becomes available' feature now works properly


    Breeze Theme



    Window borders are now turned off by default

    Window borders are now turned off by default

    • The Breeze GTK theme now respects your chosen color scheme
    • Active and inactive tabs in Google Chrome and Chromium now look visually distinct
    • Window borders are now turned off by default
    • Sidebars in settings windows now have a consistent modernized appearance


    System Monitor



    CGroups in System Monitor

    CGroups in System Monitor

    • System Monitor can now show CGroup details to look at container limits
    • Each process can now report its network usage statistics
    • It is now possible to see NVidia GPU stats


    Discover



    Discover now has icons on the sidebar

    Discover now has icons on the sidebar

    • Real progress bars and spinners in various parts of the UI to better communicate progress information
    • Better 'No connection' error messages
    • Icons in the sidebar and icons for Snap apps


    KWin: Improved Display Management

    • Fractional scaling added on Wayland
    • It is now once again possible to close windows in the Present Windows effect with a middle-click
    • Option to configure whether screen settings apply only for the current screen arrangement or to all screen arrangements
    • Many multi-screen and HiDPI improvements
    • On Wayland, it is now possible to resize GTK headerbar windows from window edges
    • Scrolling with a wheel mouse on Wayland now always scrolls the correct number of lines
    • On X11, it is now possible to use the Meta key as a modifier for the window switcher that's bound to Alt+Tab by default


    Full Plasma 5.16.90 changelog


    Live Images

    The easiest way to try it out is with a live image booted off a USB disk. Docker images also provide a quick and easy way to test Plasma.

    Download live images with Plasma 5
    Download Docker images with Plasma 5

    Package Downloads

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

    Get KDE Software on Your Linux Distro wiki page

    Source Downloads

    You can install Plasma 5 directly from source.

    Community instructions to compile it
    Source Info Page

    Feedback

    Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

    You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the Plasma Matrix chat room, 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.

  • Akademy 2019 Wednesday and Thursday BoF Wrapup (KDE)

    Wednesday continued the Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking in the morning followed by the daytrip in the afternoon to Lake Como, to have some fun, get away from laptops and get to know each other better. Thursday was back to BoFs, meetings and hacking culminating in a wrapup session at the end covering the last two days so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

    Watch Thursday's wrapup session in the video below

    Dot Categories:

  • GNOME 3.34 Released (GNOME)
    The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features. Check out our release video at https://youtu.be/qAjPRr5SGoY! Highlights from this release include visual refreshes for a number of applications, including the desktop itself. The background […]
  • Akademy 2019 Talks: Here's What You Missed (KDE)

    According to the now traditional schedule, Akademy 2019 started with two days of conference talks. Hosted by unixMIB at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, the central conference of the KDE community attracted more than a hundred attendees during this past weekend. Many of them were attending Akademy for the first time ever, which is always a reason to celebrate.

    For those of you who were not able to join us, we've prepared a recap of all the talks from this year's Akademy. The conference program on both Saturday and Sunday was split into two tracks after the lunch break, and included plenty of time for socializing (and hacking!) in between.

    Day 1 - Saturday, September 7: Goals, Reports, and the Future of Qt

    Akademy 2019 started in the morning of September 7 with an introductory session by Lydia Pintscher, President of KDE e.V., followed by the first keynote. In the keynote, Lars Knoll from Qt presented the path towards Qt 6 all the way from the very beginning of the project. Lars also spoke of what upcoming changes in Qt 6 may potentially impact the KDE ecosystem.

    The next batch of talks was dedicated to the KDE community goals. Ivan Čukić started by presenting the progress of the Privacy and Security goal in his talk "Everything to hide: Helping protect the privacy of our users". Ivan pointed out that security and privacy should come before usability, even if some users hate it, because it's our duty and responsibility to protect them.


    Ivan shows how to capture a password from an insecure application.

    Eike Hein talked about the Usability and Productivity goal and wondered: "Are we there yet?". Massive improvements have been made to KDE software as part of this goal, and Eike emphasized the importance of communicating this progress (as illustrated in weekly blog posts by Nate Graham). The achievements of the third community goal - Onboarding New Contributors - were presented by Neofytos Kolokotronis, who listed the adoption of Matrix as a communication tool, the on-going adoption of GitLab, and the creation of the KDE Welcome team as some of the major moments.

    After looking back at the previous set of goals, it was time to look forward to the new ones. During the panel with Ivan Čukić, Eike Hein, and Neofytos Kolokotronis, Lydia Pintscher announced the three new goals that the KDE community is going to focus on. The creators of the goal proposals spent some time talking about their plans and tasks that will kick off the new goals.

    In the afternoon round of quick talks, Adriaan de Groot presented QuatBot, a meeting-managing bot he wrote for the Matrix IM service, and talked about the power and versatility of KDE Frameworks. Attendees also got a chance to hear how Carl Schwan brought in new contributors from Reddit and Aleix Pol dispensing valuable advice on how to organize a sprint.

    Over in the Security track, Albert Astals talked about the cool ways developers can use oss-fuzz to test their code, and encouraged KDE developers to use it for projects such as Baloo, kfilemetadata, and PIM-related code. Volker Krause presented parts of the work carried out for the Privacy goal in his talk "Secure HTTP Usage", and warned about the importance of having secure defaults in KDE software.

    The Community session included a talk on building developer portals by Ivana Isadora Devcic, followed by Ray Paik's talk on making a difference in the community. As a Community Manager at GitLab, Ray shared his experience with identifying crucial community metrics, attracting new contributors, and improving leadership and inclusivity efforts.

    Meanwhile, the tech talk session continued with Marco Martin and Bhushan Shah discussing the future of Plasma on embedded devices. They rightfully pointed out that the assumption your software will only be used on a desktop is not true anymore, and explained how KDE Frameworks enable creating software for different platforms. Aleix Pol talked about the details of optimizing Plasma to run fast on low-end hardware; more specifically, on the Pinebook. Aditya Mehra presented a demo of Plasma and Mycroft being used to voice-control a car, and Kai Uwe Broulik gave an in-depth look into the overhauled notification system shipped with the latest version of Plasma.


    Aditya shows us how some day KDE tech may control your car.

    The first day of Akademy 2019 closed with reports by Google Summer of Code students developing fresh new code for KDE, and the KDE e.V. Board and Working Group reports that provided an insight into growth and health of the KDE community.

    Day 2 - Sunday, September 8: New Technology, FOSS Revolution in Italy, and Akademy Awards

    The second day of Akademy 2019 opened with a keynote "Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start" by Leonardo Favario from the Team Digitale IT. Leonardo presented the work that his team has been doing to establish guidelines for Free and open source software distribution in the Italian administration. Continuing on a similar topic, Michiel Leenaars talked about NGIO (Next Generation Internet Zero); a EU initiative focused on helping non-profit organizations build a better Internet for everyone.

    The tech talks on Sunday were fascinating, with new, innovative technology introduced left and right. Cristoph Haag explained how Collabora made Plasma desktop usable in a Virtual Reality environment, and set up demos that the attendees could play with during the day. Trung Thanh Dinh showed how AI face recognition can be used in digiKam, KDE's photo management app, and Eike Hein presented a completely new KDE application called Kirogi, which provides a FLOSS ground control for consumer drones that works on mobile devices.


    Eike points to the skies, which is where KDE is going next with Kirogi.

    In the afternoon sessions, Katarina Behrens from the Document Foundation talked about integrating LibreOffice products with KDE Plasma, while Timothée Giet and Aiswarya Kaitheri Kandoth told the story of how a single floppy disk with LaTeX on it resulted in schools using GNU/Linux and GCompris in Kerala, India.

    Volker Krause gave two more talks - one about the development and usage of KPublicTransport, a framework for interacting with data from public transport operators; and another on how the limitations of the Android development platform impact KDE Frameworks. In another developer-oriented talk, Daniel Vràtil gave his perspective on using C++ to build APIs. Attendees also heard from Caio Jordao Carvalho, who presented the progress on kpmcore, the heart of KDE's partitioning and disk management tools.

    Meanwhile, a session on different ways to package and distribute KDE software was chaired by Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, with participants explaining advantages and shortcomings of different solutions (AppImage, Flatpak, Snap, Steam, Google Play...).

    The session was followed by two community-related talks. In "What We Do in the Promos", Paul Brown gave a realistic look into how people outside the FOSS bubble perceive (or do not perceive) KDE software, and explained the reasoning behind activities carried out by KDE Promo. Afterwards, Aniketh Girish explained how code reviews can be toxic and put off new contributors, so he offered some advice to prevent that. Last but not least, Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen presented the "Get Hot New Stuff" project and its development.

    Following the lightning talks from Akademy 2019 sponsors, the second day of the conference closed with the announcement of Akademy Awards winners:

    • Best Application: Marco Martin for work on the Kirigami framework
    • Best Non-Application: Nate Graham for persistent work on the "KDE Usability & Productivity" blog
    • Jury Award: Volker Krause for long-term contributions to KDE including KNode, KDE PIM, KDE Itinerary and the UserFeedback framework

    The organizers win a special award for an excellent Akademy.

    Akademy 2019 continues this week with daily BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions, meetings, and various activities that help us strengthen the community bonds. The recap video of the first BoF day is already available - stay tuned for more. And for something completely different, take a look at the sketchnotes from Akademy 2019 talks by Kevin Ottens.


    Kevin sketches Akademy talks.

    About Akademy


    Akademy 2019, Milano

    For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online 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.

  • Akademy 2019 Tuesday BoF Wrapup (KDE)

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

    Watch Tuesday's wrapup session in the video below

    Dot Categories:

  • Akademy 2019 Monday BoF Wrapup (KDE)

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

    Watch Monday's wrapup session in the video below

    Dot Categories:

  • KDE Decides the Three New Challenges: Wayland, Consistency, and Apps (KDE)

    Lydia Pintscher, Eike Hein, Ivan Cukic and Neofytos Kolokotronis discuss the results of the past goals.

    The KDE Community has spoken! On the first day of Akademy 2019, Lydia Pintscher, President of KDE e.V., announced the three new goals we will prioritize over the next 2 years.

    The goals were selected by community vote from a dozen proposals, all created by community members. Read on to learn more details about each of the new goals.

    Finalize the transition to Wayland and embrace the future of desktop

    Despite its many merits, the X server has become very long in the tooth, and Wayland is poised to become a more modern and dependable alternative. However, KDE's software is still quite far off from being completely implemented on the newer protocol.

    "As technology and the needs of modern computer users advance, X server has been proven less and less capable to keep up", says Fanis Bampaloukas, author of the first proposal. "I propose to make our goal to migrate the core of the Plasma desktop, and make X server an optional compile and runtime dependency".

    To achieve this goal, Fanis says KDE will have to fix major breakages and implement missing features.


    Jonathan Riddell and Niccolò Venerandi explain their ideas for new KDE goals.

    Improve consistency across the board

    As KDE relies on "volunteers, each with different ideas and "scratching their own itches", there is often a lack of organization and consistency within the app ecosystem" says Niccolò Venerandi, author of the second goal proposal. Niccolò points out that inconsistencies are not only found in the design of applications, but also in their features. Tabs, for example, are implemented differently on Falkon, Konsole, Dolphin and Kate, making them confusing for users and difficult to fix for developers.

    To solve inconsistencies, Niccolò suggests the unification of behavior in app elements (such as sidebars, hamburger menus and tabs), ending the fragmentation of apps with overlapping features (like having several multimedia players), and laying down criteria for hosting application websites, among many other things.

    KDE is all about the apps

    "KDE has over 200 applications and countless add-ons, plugins and Plasmoids" says Jonathan Riddell, author of the third proposal. "But much of the support we offer has fallen short; until recently there wasn't even an up-to-date website listing them all".

    The importance of KDE's app ecosystem cannot be stressed enough. Often it is the gateway to other apps, the Plasma desktop, and to becoming a member of the KDE community. In his proposal, Jonathan recommends modernizing the platforms through which KDE developers communicate with users, improving the way each app is packaged, and continuing with reworking to the documentation and metadata supplied with the apps.

    Past Goals

    The previous three goals were chosen by the community back in 2017.

    All goals have had a net positive impact on the community. The Onboarding initiative, for example, has led to a substantial increase in the number of new contributors - especially young students - that has brought a renewed vigor to the community.

    The Privacy project has encouraged developers to implement measures for keeping users secure and their data private.

    Finally, the Usability project has removed hundreds of design flaws and niggling papercuts. As a result, using Plasma and KDE applications in general is now a much more enjoyable experience.

    KDE goals give the community focus and solve problems that otherwise may not be fully addressed. The same way 2017 proposals helped make KDE a better community with better software, this year's goals will help push the project towards a brighter future.


    About Akademy


    Akademy 2018, Vienna

    For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online 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.

  • Google Summer of Code 2019 concludes (GNOME)
    After nine weeks, Google Summer of Code 2019 has concluded. During the summer, nine students have worked on a range of projects which will yield great benefits to upcoming versions of GNOME. There no there is no doubt that this represents a substantial amount of effort and we hope that all of the students will […]
  • Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! An Interview with Leonardo Favario (KDE)


    Leonardo Favario, Open Source Project Leader at the Italian Digital Transformation Team.

    Leonardo Favario is the Open Source Project Leader at the Italian Digital Transformation Team. Italy has an ambitious agenda to move government IT to open source. In principle, all software written by government should be published as open source. This is a big change from the past and requires many changes in how software is being developed.

    Leonardo will present this work to the KDE community in an Akademy keynote on Sunday, September 8. We were interested in hearing more about this initiative, and Leonardo kindly sat down with us for an interview.

    Jos van den Oever: Hello Leonardo, you’re the speaker of the second keynote at Akademy 2019. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. We’re very happy to have a keynote from our Italian host with such wonderful Free Software developments.

    Leonardo Favario: Hello Jos and thanks for contacting us! I can do an interview even though it's been quite hectic lately.

    Jos: Your bio on the Team Digitale website is wonderfully written. You have been in software and even Free Software from an early age. Do you contribute to any FOSS communities?

    Leonardo: Yes, I must admit that for me the Free Software movement was love-at-first-sight! I immediately felt it was a natural tool to empower people and I really enjoyed the thriving communities that were flourishing around even small pieces of wonderfully written code. As such, as many youngsters do, I jumped from channel to channel trying to fit all the small pieces together and get the complete puzzle in place. Soon I decided that lurking was not my way of being, so I started to create communities around Free Software, getting friends to work together. I am particularly fond of communities striving to improve education by using technology and that’s where I have been active lately, especially in Italy. One example is the Open edX community where it’s possible to find a great combination of actors, ranging from full stack devs to educators, all trying to work together on the future of education. That’s something that I love about FOSS communities.

    Jos: You have a background in education and communication, which seems like a good fit for the work that Team Digitale does. How did you get into the team and what is your role there?

    Leonardo: I am a computer engineer by training, but I decided to get my PhD in Control and Computer Engineering to dive deeper into the research world and understand the ways we can still improve the world we live in through software.

    Well, Team Digitale does exactly that! Formally speaking, its name is the “Italian Digital Transformation Team” and I felt a strong connection with each of those words. I was lucky to join this awesome combination of extremely talented folks at the very beginning of this year as an Open Source Project Leader. My role, as the name suggests, is focused on drafting strategies regarding Free and open source software for everything related to Developers Italia, the community of public service developers.

    Jos: Can you tell us more about Team Digitale? How did it come to be and where is it going?

    Leonardo: The Italian Digital Transformation Team (from now on Team Digitale) was born at the end of 2016 to build "the Operating System” for the country. We refer to the OS to indicate a series of fundamental components on top of which we can build simpler and more efficient services for the citizens, the Public Administration and businesses, through innovative digital products.

    We are now exactly at the end of the third year of operations and a lot has been accomplished so far. First and foremost, the Team consists of around 35 people, generally way younger than the average age of the Italian Public Administration employees. These young people did not have a formal experience in government before joining. This allows us to tackle every issue from a different perspective, and I believe this is a great advantage in order to come up with innovative solutions.


    The Digital Transformation Team.

    From an organizational standpoint, Team Digitale is divided into subteams, each one focused on different topics ranging from APIs to Data Analytics.

    Jos: Your presentation will cover publiccode.yml, a way to describe software projects. Can you give us a bit of background on this project, and tell us where it's headed?

    Leonardo: Exactly, I will talk about Developers Italia and the new open source catalog that we have been building during the past months. In fact, in order to make open source software easily discoverable and indexable, the Team created a catalog which is automatically populated by a crawler every night. As such, you may understand that we needed to collect information regarding each piece of software in a standard way to later publish them in our catalog. That’s why we crafted a metadata specification, called publiccode.yml. This helps to achieve exactly that goal. Consequently, by creating a specific publiccode.yml file for the software and inserting it into the source code repository, the government entity that is publishing the software can transparently communicate the metadata. Our crawler can automatically recognize it, extract the information from the file, create the related info page, and show the information in the catalog.

    Technically speaking, the specification format is interesting because it can be written and read by non-tech experts as well; for example, by Public Administration (PA) managers. This can help its adoption in wider circles.

    Jos: How is this information you collect used by Italians?

    Leonardo: Right now, there are packages in the catalog that are already reused by many local administrations. See for example the one for managing a public call or the software to insert and manage events.

    The existence of the catalog itself is a big change, because it is necessary to evaluate, study, and test an application before actually reusing it. The absence of a real browsable container makes such tasks difficult to accomplish. Since we started the catalog in late May of this year, we are witnessing a positive spread among different players, and this is reflected in the discussions arising in various communication channels.

    Jos: KDE projects have an AppStream description. Is this comparable to publiccode.yml?

    Leonardo: Yes and no. As far as I can see, the AppStream description goes into details which are relevant for packaging, managing dependencies, and so on. The publiccode.yml format, instead, is designed for reusability: it contains standard metadata (which may overlap with some of the typical entries of AppStream like, title, description, development state...). However, the publiccode.yml format introduces some information that a PA expects to find, such as the maintenance contracts together with the contractor details, or the information regarding the legal context in which the software has been designed.

    Furthermore, it contains information regarding the tree of forks (which is useful for understanding the root that originated the current version) or information regarding the dependencies, which can be open or closed. This is crucial when deciding if a piece software can be reused inside a PA environment.

    Additional keys have been specifically crafted to endorse the PA use cases in order to be able to easily fulfill all the possible needs during the selection and validation phase.

    Jos: Is the Italian government pushing towards having most off-the-shelf and custom software published in the open? Do you have any insight into the percentage of the tax money that is spent on code that goes public, versus the code that stays closed?

    Leonardo: Well, I want to say that the Italian legislation regarding Free and open source software is one of the most advanced in the world (but I’m happy to be proven wrong). In fact, we have the Digital Administration Code which states - in articles 68 and 69 - that PAs must prefer FOSS in the acquisition phase, and must always release their code when developing something from scratch. Team Digitale played a consistent role in this initiative. The new guidelines regarding the acquisition and reuse (which are the topic of my talk) reinforce those statements, and underline how to properly complete the process of releasing software. As such, the Developers Italia catalog is a strong action in this direction - helping PAs find and publish open source software.

    Jos: Do you see communities forming around government source code? Are they mostly Italian or also international?

    Leonardo: I would say that in the last two to three years, something started happening, and I am not just happy but optimistic about this. In many conferences and events around the world, the phrase “Open Government” has been circulating a lot. If we don’t start to understand that we have to go FOSS-by-default, it will continue to be a just buzzword. So yes, I am excited to see that some communities are starting to form, and I am also proud to state that we are going exactly in this direction with Developers Italia. For example, our chat channel has more than 2600 people subscribed, and the Forum reached nearly 90 000 page views in the last month. This clearly indicates that if we put private citizens, Public Administrators, and small/medium enterprises all together in the same channel, it is possible to start a chain reaction that can lead to positive outcomes. I personally believe that we are still in the very early stages of this sort of community building, but the future looks golden.

    Jos: The Government of Belgium is extending the Public Sector Information directive to cover computer programs so even if code is not actively published, citizens can still request it. What is the status of Italy in this regard?

    Leonardo: As I already mentioned above, our legislation framework is quite strong when it comes to the ad-hoc designed software, or when dealing with an acquisition of an already existing one. However, a lot of software has not been released yet and this has to change in the future.

    There are many reasons why this is happening; we could have a discussion around this for weeks. But, I believe that the freshly published guidelines go exactly in the right direction, since they contain practical down-to-earth guides on how to design, write, and maintain software in the open. This practical approach is starting to pay off: in just a few weeks, we have already collected more than 40 software packages in the catalog, and many more are coming.

    I believe it’s a matter of getting things started, and finding a way to provide support where and when it’s needed. Let’s catch up in a year and I’ll let you know if my optimistic view was correct. :)

    Jos: I've worked in the Dutch government and that is still mostly a Windows environment. It's impossible to do work when avoiding proprietary software. How does Team Digitale solve this problem?

    Leonardo: We prefer Free and open source technologies when they are available, according to our national policy. Our initiative is mainly focused on ensuring that custom software developed by or for the government gets released as open source, since the expense for custom software is huge and its quality is quite low. We push this FOSS route by showing that it’s convenient and it delivers quality.

    That said, our team members don’t have particular restrictions regarding the OS or the software they use, and this freedom allows each one of us to pick the tools that best fit our needs.

    Jos: Can Team Digitale help reduce the dependency of government on proprietary cloud solutions?

    Leonardo: Right now the Italian panorama is highly fragmented with regard to IT infrastructure, and a strong cloud migration strategy is needed to improve the reliability of services and their security. So we have a dedicated team handling such issues, tracing possibilities for different use cases.

    Of course, the team’s mission is to facilitate the migration while avoiding the introduction of new vendor lock-in or strong dependencies on proprietary software.

    Jos: Do you use any KDE software and if so, what are your impressions? What do you hope to achieve with your presentation and your presence at Akademy?

    Leonardo: Personally, yes. I’ve been using KDE for many years and I just can’t live without Kdenlive! Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute to it in the future.

    Regarding Akademy I’m excited, it’s a great opportunity to get to know the great KDE community, show what we’re doing for the FOSS ecosystem, and learn a lot! See you there!


    About Akademy


    Akademy 2018, Vienna

    For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online 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.

  • Lars Knoll, CTO at Qt and Keynote Speaker at Akademy 2019 (KDE)


    Lars Knoll at the Qt Company's headquarters.

    Lars Knoll has been working on Qt for a long time. It is now 20 years since he joined Trolltech and even longer since he started developing crucial pieces of the KDE ecosystem. In that time, he went from theoretical physicist to software engineer to project leader, and survived the many roughs-and-tumbles Qt went through, including the event that nearly killed the project brought on by a certain company from Redmond.

    Lars will be delivering the opening keynote at this year's Akademy and he kindly agreed to talk to us about the past, present and future of Qt.

    Paul Brown: Hello Lars, how are you this morning? You seem very busy...

    Lars Knoll: Hi Paul, I'm doing good. There's more than enough to do, but I had a good weekend.

    Paul: Great! So tell me a bit about yourself. Looking over your résumé, you seem to have been in software production forever. Is this something you always wanted to do, since you were young?

    Lars: No, not really. Of course I played around with computers a bit when I was young. I had a Commodore 64 back then, but I mostly used it for games.

    I actually went and studied physics when I went to University, and had quite a few years where I did very little with computers.

    Things started picking up again during my masters and PhD thesis time in Heidelberg. I needed to use computers a lot to analyze the data that we collected during our experiments. We used Linux computers and Unix machines at that time, and I had to do quite a bit of my programming in Fortran. I really didn't like that language, so I started teaching myself C and some C++ to have a better language to work with. That was around 1996, 1997, if I remember correctly.

    At that time, I also read about KDE for the first time, as a project to create a Desktop for Linux. That was something that also triggered my interest, and I started looking into it a bit and started subsequently to use it, as it was way easier than FVWM which is what I was using before.

    Paul: So... Wait a second... It was KDE that led you to Qt and not the other way around?

    Lars: Yes, I heard about KDE before Qt. I found creating a desktop for Linux interesting and started looking a bit into what was happening there.

    The first thing I did was triggered by a need I had. I had my computer hooked up to a modem and wanted to use that as an answering machine for my phone. There were some command line based apps and tools available for Linux, but nothing graphical. So I started writing my own app, and I used the KDE/Qt libraries to do that. That's how I then slowly got involved with KDE. I started reading the newsgroups and mailing lists and fixed some bugs in different parts of KDE. Mainly in the apps I used myself, like KMail and the file manager for example.

    Paul: The famous "scratching your own itch" that gets most people started down the road to Free Software.

    Lars: Pretty much. At least at the beginning that's what got me started.

    KDE had in it's first versions a small web browser based on a library called khtmlw. It was doing HTML 3.2 quite ok, but was getting old pretty fast. That's when HTML 4 was announced and websites started using more and more CSS and Javascript.

    I still remember that around '98, Martin Jones, who was contributing a lot to KDE at that time and later went on to work for Trolltech, sent a mail to the kfm-devel mailing list saying that we needed to rewrite that engine. I didn't react at that time, but half a year later, I had some time and interest and sat down and read through the HTML and CSS specs and started writing some code trying to generate a DOM API from the IDL in the specs.

    It worked out pretty well and I announced that on the mailing list almost exactly 20 years ago. That was basically the start of khtml, which became a HTML 4 compatible browser engine. As most people in the KDE community know, it got picked up by Apple in 2002 for their web browser and finally became the basis for the WebKit open source project.

    In any case, I guess that got me lots of contacts with different people in the KDE community. I went to one of the first KDE meetings (they weren't yet called Akademy back then) and I met many community members in person for the first time there.

    Matthias Ettrich, who founded KDE, went to work for Trolltech in '98 or '99. In Winter of '99, I got a call from Eirik Chambe-Eng, one of the founders of Trolltech. He invited me over for a job interview.

    I had about 6 months of my PhD left, and was open to working abroad for some time after that. I went to Oslo in March and really liked the company and signed up there and then. I started working for them in July of 2000.

    Paul: Wow. Just to think there may be some of your code still floating around in Webkit...

    Lars: My copyright is certainly still there. So is the copyright of many of the old KDE people that worked on it with me.

    Paul: Have you contributed anything else to KDE since then?

    Lars: Not directly. I worked on khtml until around 2003 in KDE. After that I contributed some bug fixes and smaller things here and there until around 2005. But most of my work has involved contributing to Qt. I still felt very connected to KDE, but I also saw that the work I did on Qt was helping KDE a lot as well.

    And then, in 2005, my daughter was born, and that also naturally left a lot less time to do coding in my spare time.

    Paul: Qt has gone through a lot and you have been on it for nearly all of it. What has made you stick with it?

    Lars: The 20 years with Qt have certainly sometimes felt a bit like a roller-coaster ride. We've gone through lots of ups and downs. Especially combining open source and a business has not always been easy and is a constant balancing act.

    But there's been lots of things that made me stay around. One thing is the technology that I really love. When I first came in contact with Qt during the KDE years, I really fell in love with the framework. It is something that made it easy and fun to develop with. Developing that further and thinking about how to make the lives of other developers easier is something I find very gratifying.

    The other part is certainly the people I've been and am working with. Lots of incredibly talented people work on Qt and it's fun and interesting to work with them, both in our office, but also remotely through the Qt project and open governance.

    Another part that kept me around is that my work is very varied. In my current position, I do quite a lot of different jobs, from presentations to low level programming. In addition, with Qt being such a wide framework, there's always something new to look into and learn about.

    Paul: You have lived through a lot of, let's say... interesting moments: the buy out of Trolltech by Nokia, then the Nokia-Microsoft fracas, then Nokia went from being the most important mobile phones manufacturer to... well... whatever it is today, and Qt was then sold off again... What was the most tense moment?

    Lars: That's a difficult one to answer. There have been quite a few tense moments. If I have to pick something, I'd say the year from the Nokia-Microsoft announcement until we were sold to Digia was the most tense.

    After the Microsoft announcement I was extremely close to quitting my job. I had worked very hard to try to get Nokia to move into the right direction. Just when we were starting to see the first successes, with Symbian phones having Qt on it, a working App Store and the N9 almost out, Nokia completely changed direction and threw it all into the trash can.

    I only stayed because some people convinced me to stick around with Qt. We got sold out of Nokia a year later after the final project we were working on got canceled. I had another tense three months where our future was uncertain and I tried hard to keep at least some of the good engineers around.

    Paul: Ah yes! I remember reading about the exodus of engineers.

    Lars: That's what happens when things are uncertain and there's a need for good engineers around. In Oslo for example, pretty much everybody immediately got lots of calls from different recruiters.

    But yes, after we came out of Nokia, we had quite a few scars and lost many good people, but we were able to start building things up again.

    Things weren't all that easy in the first Digia years either. Qt and the rest of Digia had very different business models. With all of Qt being available under LGPL v2 it wasn't even clear whether we could build a business on top of it. At least not whether that business could live from selling the product and not consultancy.

    Building the business on doing consultancy was not an option we wanted to take, as it would have stalled product development to a very large degree, leading to a model that would not have been sustainable in the long term.

    Paul: Fast forwarding to the present... so how are things today? What is your business model now?

    Lars: As with any business, things are never really easy. But we've been managing to grow the business over the years. But we still don't have as many engineers working on the product as we had in Nokia times. This also means that we need to grow further to make this sustainable.

    The business model is basically the same as what we had in Trolltech times: we have a product that is dual licensed and available under (L)GPL and also a commercial license. The OSS licenses help us create, maintain and grow a large ecosystem and we earn a living from the people that need a commercial license for various reasons.

    To help us get here, we've been changing the license of Qt to LGPLv3 (after negotiating a new agreement with KDE), and are introducing some of the new functionality we develop under GPL.

    Paul: Talking of which. What new stuff are you and your team working on now?

    Lars: Well, some of that is going to be the focus of my talk at Akademy. We are now looking into the next major version of Qt, Qt 6.

    Paul: There's a lot of buzz about that...

    Lars: I've recently posted a longer blog post about some of my ideas for it. To name a few here: We need to do quite a bit of work on our graphics stack. OpenGL isn't the only 3D API in town anymore, and we need to make sure Qt can work with Vulkan, Metal and Direct3D. In addition, many users want to easily integrate 3D content into their UIs and we need to prepare Qt for that.

    QML has been really important for Qt's success over the last years, but we see that there are quite a few things we could have done better. We are now looking into developing the next generation of the QML language, one in which we can improve on some of those things.

    I also would like to make it a lot easier to integrate UX designers into the workflow. This is something that we've been working on already for some time, but my goal is that Qt 6 helps us take the next steps there.

    Paul: What do you mean by that? Making Qt Creator friendlier for designers?

    Lars: Qt Design Studio is exactly that: it's Qt Creator made designer-friendly.

    Paul: Right.

    Lars: Other things for Qt 6 will be upgrading to C++17 and see what we can use from the new C++ standards, hopefully expose some of the concepts that we added in QML to C++ (especially the concept of bindings), and of course do some house cleaning.

    Paul: How do you think this will affect KDE?

    Lars: That's a good question, and something I hope to be able to discuss with people at Akademy. My goal for Qt 6 is that it be mostly source compatible with Qt 5.15 so KDE should be able to easily port over to it. But traditionally, major version changes in Qt have also triggered larger changes in KDE. Let's see if this happens again this time.

    Paul: Fascinating stuff, Lars. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us!

    Lars: Of course! It's been a pleasure talking to you.

    Paul: We all look forward to your keynote. See you in Akademy 2019!


    About Akademy


    Akademy 2018, Vienna

    For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online 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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13:26 Mon portable quand je le boot sous windows (j'ai honte) Il passe
son temps a s'eteindre et s'allumer tout seul !!! C'est quoi le
problème (à part Windows bien sûr) ?
13:27 13:26 tu clignes des yeux ?