Akademy Day 4

Today continued the BoFs, meetings and hacking sessions. For an overview of what happened today you can watch the wrap-up session video

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

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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Akademy 2015 videos available

Video recordings of the Akademy talks are now available in a low quality version to enable them to be released quickly. Higher quality version will be available later.
You can find these linked from the talks schedule or look through the video files di…

Akademy Day 3 the start of BoFs, meetings and workshops

Akademy Awards


Each year the KDE Community presents Akademy Awards to people who have made special contributions. The jury this year was made up of recipients from last year.

Last night the 2015 recipients were announced:

  • Best Application: Milian Wolff and the KDevelop team
  • Best Non-Application: Jens Reuterberg and the Visual Design Group for the Breeze interface design
  • Jury’s Award: Albert Vaca for the KDE Connect application.
  • Jury’s Award: Scarlett Clark for her work advancing the continuous integration infrastructure to more platforms and modules

BoFs, meetings and workshops

Following the weekend of talks inspiring and informing the community, the focus shifted today to working on details.

For an overview of what happened today you can watch the wrap-up session video

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

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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KDE Arrives in A Coruña for Akademy

Photo by slideshow bob

KDE is de-camping to the far west of Europe today to A Coruña in Galicia. In this north west corner of the Iberian Peninsula the sun is warm and the air is fresh. KDE contributors of all varieties will be spending a week in talks, discussions, hacking, renewing old friendships and getting to know people new to our KDE Community.

Topics will include our flagship Plasma desktop but also an exciting announcement from the Plasma developers which will take Plasma beyond the desktop again. We’ll be hearing about the next version of e-mail and calendar middle layer Akonadi. KDE is moving out of its transitional desktop ecosystem as seen in a talk about WifiFM. One of our flagship but new to the community applications is Kdenlive and we’ll be reviewing the previous 10 years of this application and looking at the next 10. A project called Shashlik, which has been exciting the social media world, will be revealed.

A week of Birds of a Feather sessions follows the talks including some bling in VDG UI Design Open Session, a little je ne sais quoi in KDE France BoF, our desktop and beyond in Plasma General Topics, a day for planning life beyond X with Wayland and two half days planning for life in the leaderless Kubuntu.

DSC_0009
Deep in the code at Akademy-ES

IMG_5931
Alex Talks at Akademy-ES

The fun has already started with the annual conference in Spain, Akademy-ES which is happening yesterday and today. Spain has one of the most dynamic and active free software communities and Akademy-ES always fills up with talks for those who habla Castellano. Talks have included discussing Microsoft’s attitude to standards and documenting, the history of search frameworks Baloo, behind the code by Victor the Sysadmin and lighting talks including one on the successful Barcelona Free Software Hackers meetup.

Also today is the Annual General Meeting of KDE e.V. our legal body. Here we have voted on a new board member Sandro Andrade from Brazil. Sandro has been talking about KDE and Qt at conferences across the continent such as FISL and organising Lakademy, he recently finished his PhD and was looking for new challenges to fill in spare time, KDE e.V. has just filled that slot. We also voted on new board members of the KDE League, reviewed the outcome from Lydia’s Evolving KDE questionnaire and heard from the sysadmin and community working groups about their work for the last year. A video from our treasurer Marta reviewed the accounts over the last year which while full of challenges are in a pleasingly stable state.

DSC_0016
The Annual KDE e.V. Beauty Contest Ended with Sandro (centre) as Your New Board Member

811829974_75499
The Galacian Opening Ceremony to Welcome Absent Friends Video

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

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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Akademy 2015 Keynote: Matthias Kirschner

At Akademy 2015, one of the most awaited keynotes this year will be that by Matthias Kirschner and here we have a conversation with his charming self in person.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey there, I am Matthias from Berlin, I work for the Free Software Foundation Europe, and I love it. Describing oneself is one of those really difficult tasks, you will hopefully know a little more about me after this interview. Or better still, why don’t you just find out for yourself at this year’s Akademy!


Matthias Kirschner

Which was the first ever Linux Distribution you’d used and how did you chance upon it? And what made you never turn back to your previous non FOSS system?

In 1999, my family had two computers at home: an Intel Pentium II MMX and an Intel 486. For the Pentium we had a modem, and there was an Ethernet connection to the 486. One day I wanted to send e-mails from the Pentium to the 486 without the internet connection. It did not make a lot of sense, as both computers were in the same room, but I was eager to see, if I could make it work. Although both computers had “email programs” installed, I was not able to figure out how to directly end mails from one computer to the other.

When I complained about this in school, a friend suggested a solution and brought me some SuSE 6.0 floppies, CDs and books the next day. That’s how it all started. Several hours later I had my first GNU/Linux installation. To be more precise, at the beginning I just had a command line, no working X server, no audio setup, nor a working printer.

Together with some friends we visited the LinuxTag in Stuttgart and afterwards founded a local Free Software user group. We helped each other to install Free Software on our computers, configuring them to be routers, mail/print or file servers. I enjoyed learning with others, exchanging ideas, trying to fix problems. I subscribed to many mailing lists, and was eager to participate in Free Software events.

So I ended up installing every GNU/Linux distribution I could get my hands on. I did not have a dual boot on these computers, but a quintuple or sextuple boot. The only limitation at that time was disk space; and I did not want to waste it with a non-free operating system.

I read some where that you studied Political and Administrative Science and yet are so deeply involved with technology. How did the two seemingly diverging domains fit together in your head and how exactly are they interlinked as far as you are concerned?

I got active in politics because of Free Software.

After some time using Free Software, learning more about computers on a technical level I stumbled over the GNU GPL. Reading the preamble made me curious. I wanted to know more, therefore I read the GNU philosophy pages with all the articles by Richard Stallman. This made me realise: Free Software is a political as well as a technical issue.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that software freedom is crucial for a democratic society. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives. I am convinced that this technology has to empower society not restrict it. It would represent a great danger to democracy if software were controlled by only a small group. We need to balance power, as we do in a democracy. For me, the best safeguard for this is software freedom.

When did you get started with FSFE and how did that happen?

During my studies at the University of Konstanz we had to do a 7 month internship to gather work experience. A friend of mine, who is a Debian Developer, suggested the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the Free Software Foundation Europe.

I could not find any information about internships with the FSFE, but the more I read, the more I was convinced that I wanted to get to know this place. The first response I got was that FSFE had never had an intern before, and that they did not have an office. I replied that I would still be interested. The next reply was that they could not pay me, to which I replied that I still wanted to do it.

Then Georg Greve, the president at that time, replied that my “perseverance deserved a qualified and fair evaluation and reply”. Sometime afterwards when I’d already subscribed myself to several public FSFE mailing lists, he sent me his travel schedule, and we agreed to meet at the Geneva airport for an internship interview. As a chance coincidence, and a spotting of his GNU pin, we bumped into each other on the train to Geneva. At the start of it, we had a long talk about the internship, but very soon bifurcated to talks about all kinds of Free Software details.

When Georg boarded his plane, we both knew we wanted to work together. It was an amazing experience. Georg and I worked together in his small one-room apartment: he at the desk, I with my laptop on the sofa. I also traveled with Georg to Istanbul, Dublin and other places.

After the end of my internship, Georg convinced me to switch from the university of Konstanz to Potsdam, so that I could do volunteer work for FSFE in Berlin. It was so much fun that most of the time I ended up studying even more owing to my work for FSFE rather than the other way around. Finally, I was hired by the FSFE in 2009 and set up its Berlin office.

Would you call yourself a tech geek? Any instances or examples from your lifestyle (besides the obvious ones) to support your claim?

That’s a difficult one, because I know so many people who are way more into tech than I am.

When I am at FOSDEM; I wouldn’t dare to call myself a tech geek. But when I am in the parliament; I am seen as one.

Also, in the past, a lot of people did call me a nerd or a geek. For example in school I was carrying around a huge laptop, which was not exactly considered cool at that time. At university I often was the only one using a laptop in the seminar. I was “the guy with the laptop”, and later fellow students thought I was geeky because I was using tiling window managers, several xterms, running mutt, and writing my university notes in Latex with VI, VI, VI the editor of the beast.

What is a normal day in your life like?

Our baby son was born at the end of last year, so at the moment there is no such thing as a normal day. Every day something new happens, and I love it that way.

As the Vice President of FSFE, which is a huge position, what does your work basically involve?

There are many different tasks involved: lots of e-mail discussions, giving talks and convincing new audiences about the importance of software freedom, analysing policy drafts, speaking with politicians and civil servants, writing articles, newsletters, blog entries, press releases and answering press inquiries, meeting and discussing issues with other Free Software contributors, moderating internal discussions, trying to get rid of problems for volunteers and staff so they can do their work, brainstorming about new activities or managing ongoing activities, or convincing people to donate to FSFE.

Could you give a brief overview of what your keynote at Akademy is going to be about?

My keynote at Akademy is about the threat to the computer as a universal machine and how companies arbitrarily limit what we as a society can do with those machines, and how they use technical measures to take away rights from us, which we usually receive when we buy a product. I will give an overview about those developments, and raise some questions which I hope will lead to good discussions during Akademy.

Any thing special that first pops up into your head when you hear the word KDE? Or Akademy?

First thing that pops up is sitting in front of my computer seeing my first “K Desktop Environment” (I think it was version 1.0) when I first successfully got it running after a long phone support session with a friend.


KDE 1.1

The next thing which pops up are all those people I know in KDE who form this community. Lydia, who often comes to the KDE office in the evening, Claudia with whom I searched for a shared office for KDE and FSFE in Berlin and with whom I worked in the same space for over 4 years. And also the many interesting discussions with lots of KDE contributors at Free Software events in the last decade come to mind.

Could you tell us about your alter ego’s ‘Into the Wild’ foray? Any memorable incidences related to your hobby of conducting wilderness seminars, which you’d like to share?

In my spare time I assist in wilderness first aid seminars.

Since I was a child I have loved outdoor activities. I liked caving for several years, later hiked with little equipment and far away from a power plug. In my caving team I heard about an accident where someone in the team died in the cave. And I knew then that first aid can be crucial in such situations when it takes the doctor a long time to arrive.

To prepare myself for the worst case, I participated in a wilderness first aid seminar organised by a German non-profit organisation. In realistic scenarios you learn how to evaluate the situation, how to check for consciousness, breathing, pulse, how to detect shock, dyspnoea, and hypothermia, as well as a detailed examination, immobilisation, wound treatment, and how to organise an evacuation, or an emergency camp.

From there on I participated at least every two years and have become part of the team. Beside enabling others to save lives, the seminars have led me to amazing places and experiences, like sleeping in the snow at the polar circle or plunging myself into the WhiteWater torrents at a swift water rescue technician training.

On an everyday note, I somehow often end up helping with emergencies on the streets or subway lines of Berlin.

How, in a brief summary, would you say is Free Software so intricately linked to the progress and development of society?

Free Software allows everybody to take part. There are no artificial barriers, so people from all over the world can learn, and can come up with new ideas. We will be able to solve many problems of our world with software, because we have intelligent people with new ideas and the will to change something for the better. It is crucial that no central entities can dictate to others what they can and cannot do with software.

Your favourite books and music?

To keep it short: First there is Lawrence Lessig’s “Code and other laws of cyberspace”, which helped me a lot to understand the connection between software and politics. Second, the comic book Transmetropolitan is just brilliant, and if you have not yet read it, I strongly recommend that you do and am a bit jealous that you still have that pleasure before you.

For music, I am a big fan of the German band “Die Ärzte”. Some FOSDEM visitors might have had the bad luck of eating mussels in the same restaurant where several FSFE folks were singing “Die Ärzte” songs, while Reinhard Müller was simultaneously translating into English. This has been followed by doing Monty Python’s silly walk back to our Brussels hotel. My apology to everybody who suffered under this; but it might happen again at Akademy…

If these reasons seem like a lure enough to you, come to Akademy in A Coruña, and do not forget to attend Matthias’ keynote!

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

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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June Update for KDE Applications 15.04

KDE App Dragons
Today, the KDE Community is happy to announce the release of KDE Applications 15.04.2.
More than 30 recorded bugfixes include improvements to Gwenview, Kate, Kdenlive, the Kontact Suite, Konsole, Marble, KGpg, Kig, the KDE Telepathy cal…

Full Circle Magazine #97

Only three more issues then we hit the big 100! This month: * Command & Conquer * How-To : Run Android Apps in Ubuntu, LibreOffice, Using LaTeX, and Programming JavaScript * Graphics : Inkscape. * Chrome Cult * Linux Labs: IP Camera with Powerline Adapter * Ubuntu Phones * Review: KDE Plasma 5 * Ubuntu Games: This War of Mine plus: News, Arduino, Q&A, and soooo much more. Get it while it’s hot! http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-97/

Plasma 5.3.1 Fixes Important Bugs


Plasma 5.3

Plasma 5.3

Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.3.1. Plasma 5.3 was released in January with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

This release adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important for example:


Full Plasma 5.3.1 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.

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.

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Qt – 20 years leading cross-platform development

Today we celebrate 20 years since the first release of Qt was uploaded to sunsite.unc.edu and announced, six days later, at comp.os.linux.announce. Over these years, Qt evolved from a two person Norwegian project to a full-fledged, social-technical world-wide organism that underpins free software projects, profitable companies, universities, government-related organizations, and more. It’s been an exciting journey.

From the early days of Trolltech in 1999, through an evolution of licensing (from the original FreeQt, to QPL, to GPL, to LGPL today), corporate cooperation from Nokia and Digia, Open Governance, and leading edge technology refinements, Qt has supported the spirit of free software, thriving communities, and high quality products.

The KDE Community thanks everyone who helps keep Qt rocking; we share our pride in being part of this history. Since 1997, Qt has provided the foundation upon which KDE has developed its workspaces, applications, and development environments. Moreover, Qt has contributed to a fruitful symbiosis where goals, contributions, and discussions blur the boundaries between the Qt and KDE projects. As a result, today KDE is the biggest Qt showcase in the world, and there’s evidence that this successful and long-running partnership will continue.

The Qt/KDE partnership

There are several fundamental aspects of this strong relationship.

  • KDE has always worked hard to keep Qt free and open through the KDE Free Qt Foundation. Since its creation in 1998, the Foundation makes continuous updates in its statutes, aiming not only at more precise and complete terms but also to accommodate new situations involving Qt’s development.
  • KDE people make 40-60% of the weekly commits in the QtBase repository. As in every major transition between Qt versions, KDE had close and active participation during the development of Qt 5, contributing many new features and enhancements which expanded benefits to the whole class of Qt applications. Furthermore, since Qt adopted the Open Governance model in October 2011, contributing to Qt has become even easier, not only for KDE people but for anyone interested in the project’s trends, roadmap, and technologies.
  • Conceiving KDE Frameworks 5 as a set of fine-grained and independent Qt 5 add-on modules demonstrates our confidence in Qt’s commitment to KDE efforts. In turn, KDE Frameworks 5 contributes to the entire ecosystem of Qt developers by making available many high-quality libraries—based on over 18 years of KDE experience in building Qt applications.
  • Many people interested in Qt development start their efforts in KDE projects with seasoned mentors. KDE offers several opportunities for young people to do real-world work. As a consequence, over time, KDE is the first Qt experience for a growing number of highly skilled Qt developers, who have learned the Qt way of doing things from the beginning.

Congratulations!

Because of all this, we say again with much appreciation: congratulations to all of Qt. Thank you, and keep counting on KDE!

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Performance and Animation: Krita Kickstarter Kicks Off

Last year, we held the first Kickstarter campaign for Krita. We raised more than €20,000 for Krita development, blowing past the fundraising goal. Thanks to this funding, a year later a dozen new features have been implemented, ranging from transform masks to High Dynamic Range (HDR) painting, from layer styles to improved vector objects. The Krita team did all that was promised…and much more.

It was a great year for Krita all-round, with the Steam release, a booth at SIGGRAPH, and the Artists’ Choice award in ImagineFX magazine.

Now, it’s time for another Kickstarter! This year, we’re even more ambitious. If there’s one thing that’s always held back free graphics software, it’s raw interactive performance. That’s true for Krita as well. So that is what we’ll focus on first!

Next is extended animation support. Together with Google Summer of Code student Jouni Pentikäinen, we’ll be putting hand-drawn 2D animation right into the core of Krita. That will require many of the optimizations Dmitry Kazakov will be working on.

And if we go over the initial goal—well, there are 24 stretch goals. For every additional €1500 over the initial goal another stretch goal will be added. After the dust settles, the backers will be asked to vote for their favorite goals!

Help us spread the word and make this campaign a big success!

Check out the Krita Kickstarter video. Here’s a video of Krita in action (Layerstyles Work in Progress).

https://www.krita.org/kickstarter

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Plasma 5.3 Adds Improved Power Management and Media Center Preview

Today KDE makes a feature release of Plasma 5, versioned 5.3.Plasma 5.3
Highlights
Battery applet now informs what is blocking power savingNew energy usage monitor
Enhanced Power Management
Power management settings can be configured
differently for ce…

LaKademy 2015 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


LaKademy 2014

The KDE Community in Brazil will host LaKademy 2015 June 3rd through 6th. The conference is an opportunity for KDE users and contributors to meet in person to make plans, work on software and other aspects of KDE technology. There will also be outreach to potential new contributors. The group is raising money for conference expenses and to offset travel costs for attendees.

Brazil has had great success with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiatives, often due to the leadership of KDE people. LaKademy is a way to continue this advocacy, while making technical advances and strengthening the KDE presence. Certainly LaKademy provides local benefits. But the value created also has wider consequences. Brazil joins Spain and India in promoting the global reach and stature of KDE technology.

The fundraising goal is modest—R$ 10,000 (slightly more than € 3000). The LaKademy 2015 video features previous editions of LaKademy as well as more information about the upcoming conference. Please support this important event.

Information about LaKademy and donating in Spanish.

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KDE Applications 15.04 Adds KDE Telepathy Chat and Kdenlive Video Editing




Kdenlive is the leading video editor on Linux

Today KDE released KDE Applications 15.04 our suite of 150 applications. Notable additions in this release include Kdenlive the leading video editor on Linux and KDE Telepathy the chat application to unify your instant messaging.

Kdenlive is one of the best non-linear video editing software available. It recently finished its incubation process to become an official KDE project and was ported to KDE Frameworks 5. The team behind this masterpiece decided that Kdenlive should be released together with KDE Applications 15.04. Some new features are the autosaving function of new projects and a fixed clip stabilization. For the future the team plans to refactor big parts of the application and to bring back the MacOSX and Windows versions.

KDE Telepathy is our app for instant messaging. It was ported to KF5 and Qt5 and is a new member of the KDE Applications releases. It comes along with KAccounts which is a new system for setting up all your online accounts at one place.




KAccounts lets applications connect to internet accounts

The KDE Education team have been busy. Andreas Cord-Landwehr turned Rocs upside down: he rewrote the graph theory core and reworked many other things. KHangman was ported to QML and given a fresh coat of paint in the process. Cantor got some new features around its Python support. And KAnagram received a new 2-player mode and the letters are now clickable buttons and can be typed like before. In addition several of the KDE Games were ported to KF5.

This release continues the new style of releases, introduced with the latest KDE Applications 14.12 release. Along with this release is KDE Workspaces 4.11.18 as part of the LTS version of our Plasma 4 desktop which will end in August and the KDE PIM applications in their 4.14.7 versions.

Half the applications have now been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5), bringing the total to 72. The complete list of the applications is available on the KDE Applications 15.04 release notes.

Looking forward to August it is planned to see the first KF5-based versions of Dolphin and the Kontact Suite.

See the full list of changes in KDE Applications 15.04.


KDE App Dragons

Spread the Word

Non-technical contributors are an important part of KDE’s success. While proprietary software companies have huge advertising budgets, KDE depends on people like you talking with other people! Even for those who are not software developers, there are many ways to support our community and our product. Report bugs. Encourage others to join the KDE Community. Or support the non-profit organization behind the KDE community.

Please spread the word on the Social Web. Submit stories to news sites, use channels like Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Twitter. Upload screenshots of your new set-up to services like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa and post them to appropriate groups. Create screencasts and upload them to YouTube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. Please tag posts and uploaded materials with “KDE”. This makes them easy to find, and gives the KDE Promo Team a way to analyze coverage for the 15.04 KDE Applications release.
Follow what is happening on the social web at the KDE live feed, buzz.kde.org. This site aggregates real-time activity from Twitter, YouTube, flickr, PicasaWeb, blogs, and other social networking sites.

Plasma 5.3 Beta Improves Power Management and Adds Media Centre Preview

Tuesday, 14 April 2015. Today KDE releases a beta release of Plasma 5, versioned 5.2.95.


Plasma 5.3 Beta

Plasma 5.3 Beta


Highlights


Inform what is blocking power saving

Battery applet now informs what is blocking power saving


Energy Usage monitor

New energy usage monitor

Enhanced Power Management

  • Power management settings can be configured differently for certain activities
  • Laptop will not suspend when closing the lid while an external monitor is connected (‘cinema mode’, by default, can be turned off)
  • Power management inhibitions block lock screen too
  • Screen brightness changes are now animated on most hardware
  • No longer suspends when closing the lid while shutting down
  • Support for keyboard button brightness controls on lock screen
  • KInfoCenter provides statistics about energy consumption
  • Battery monitor now shows which applications are currently holding a power management inhibition for example (‘Chrome is currently suppressing PM: Playing video’)


Bluedevil

The new Bluedevil Applet

Better Bluetooth Capabilities

  • New Bluetooth applet
  • Bluedevil was ported to a new library from KDE, BluezQt
  • Added support for blocking and unblocking Bluetooth
  • Connected devices with Browse Files (ObexFTP) support are now displayed in the file dialog’s Places panel


Configure your Touchpad

Configure your Touchpad

A touchpad configuration module has been added


Application Menu can access contacts

Application Menu can access contacts


Application Menu can show recent contacts

Application Menu can show recent contacts

Improved Plasma Widgets

  • Clipboard applet gains support for showing barcodes
  • The Desktop and Folder View containment codebases were
    unified, and have seen performance improvements

  • The Recent Documents and Recent Applications sections in
    Application Menu (Kicker) are now powered by KDE activities
  • Comics widget returns
  • System monitor plasmoids return, such as CPU Load Monitor and Hard Disk usage

Plasma Media Center – Tech Preview


Plasma Media Center

Plasma Media Center

Plasma Media Center is added as a tech preview in this beta. It is fully stable but misses a few features compared to version 1. You can log directly into a Plasma Media Center session if you want to use it on a media device such as a television or projector or you can run it from Plasma Desktop. It will scan for videos, music and pictures on your computer to let you browse and play them.


Plasma is now able to start a nested XWayland server

Plasma is now able to start a nested XWayland server

Big Steps Towards Wayland Support

  • Plasma 5.3 makes a huge step towards to supporting the Wayland windowing system in addition to the default X11 windowing system. Plasma’s window manager and compositor KWin is now able to start a nested XWayland server, which acts as a bridge between the old (X11) and the new (Wayland) world. X11 windows can connect to this server as if it were a normal X server, for KWin it looks like a Wayland window, though. This means that KWin learned to handle Wayland windows in this release, though full integration is only expected for Plasma 5.4.

  • In addition KWin gained new output modes for Wayland allowing to start a nested KWin on X11 and to start KWin directly on a framebuffer device, which will be the fallback for the case that OpenGL and/or kernel mode settings are not supported. A rendering backend on kernel mode settings is expected for Plasma 5.4. More information about these new backends and how to test them can be found in the KWin wiki pages. Please keep in mind that this is only a development preview and highly experimental new code.

Bug Fixes Galore

348 bugs were fixed giving fewer crashes and more reliable use.


Full Plasma 5.2.95 changelog

Live Images

The easiest way to try out Plasma is the with a live image booted off a USB disk.

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.

Plasma Sprint 2015

In February 2015 the Plasma developers met in the Blue Systems office in Barcelona to discuss and plan out where we would take Plasma over the duration of the next year. The sprint consisted of active Plasma developers and visual designers from around …

Now accepting Google Summer of Code student applications

GSoC logo

Attention prospective Google Summer of Code students: the student applications window has begun.

If you haven’t contacted the relevant KDE subproject yet (including umbrella projects Kubuntu and Calamares) to submit your proposal for review, it is high time to do so. Take a look at our Google Summer of Code project ideas page, pick one or more of our exciting project ideas, dazzle us with your proposal and hack your way to ultimate glory this summer! A nice paycheck is also part of the deal.

If you have already received feedback and you feel your proposal is in good shape, we encourage you to officially submit it now to Google Melange.

Submitting early means your proposal might get more attention, and you will be able to edit it until the end of the student applications period. The deadline for student applications is March 27, 2015.

Mentors: interest from prospective students has been significant, and we’ll need to match those students with mentors. Offering more mentors might increase the number of student slots we get from Google, so if you are an established KDE developer and you are interested in giving a helping hand with Google Summer of Code, please sign up to be a mentor on Google Melange as soon as possible.

e.V. President Lydia Pintscher on the Role of a Nonprofit in Open Source Development

Linux.com interviews KDE e.V. president Lydia Pintscher. She talks about what KDE’s legal body does and why it is important for open source communities to have a charity to represent them. She also discusses the difference between company and commun…

KDE accepted to Google Summer of Code 2015

The KDE student programs team is happy to announce that KDE has been accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2015. This will allow students from around the world to work with mentors on KDE software projects. Successful students…

digiKam Sprint 2014

digiKam is a mature open-source project (more than 14 years old now) that provides a digital asset management application oriented to photography post-production.

The Event

It had been almost three years since the last time the digiKam team had an opportunity to meet, talk, code and spend some time together. Gilles Caulier, the lead coordinator, was a victim of a serious car crash two years ago and was thus unable to organize or attend such an event. Now, we finally had an opportunity to meet again. After a lot of effort finding a suitable place and a date suitable for all developers to work together under optimal conditions, the digiKam coding sprint 2014 finally took place in Berlin, between November 14th and 16th 2014.

Before going through what happened during these days, we give sincere thanks to Digia, the company in charge of Qt development, for hosting the event, and also in particular Tobias Hunger, who welcomed us at Digia’s offices located in the South of Berlin. Many thanks also to KDE e.V. for financial support that made the sprint possible.

People participating in the sprint (below, from left to right) :

What happened during the sprint

The next major task is to port digiKam to Qt5. Approximately 10% was already ported by Gilles before the sprint, and the objectives for this coding sprint were as follows:

  • Specify timeline for porting digiKam.
  • Identify priorities (what should be ported first).
  • Delegate porting tasks to developers (who does what?).

Long discussions evolved around these topics. Gilles explained the experience he already gained with this sort of work, which tools are available to facilitate the porting, and where manual work is required. The libraries which are part of the digikam project were prioritized for the port, and tasks were assigned.

There were also discussions about the KIPI framework and its plugins. After many years of development, some plugins are essentially unmaintained and no longer needed by digiKam as their functionality was superseded or moved, leaving them out of the porting task. We also talked about APIs to provide better integration between KIPI and digiKam for a task-based framework such as digiKam’s batch queue manager. The KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) port seems like the right time to integrate binary incompatible as well as architectural changes where needed.

Shourya Singh Gupta worked on implementing the KIPI tools functionality in the Batch Queue Manager (Tools Settings). To do this, there were discussions regarding what API changes must be done to the stack to facilitate a generic way to plug kipi-plugins into BQM. By the end of Coding Sprint, there were changes made to APIs to allow a generic way to plug kipi-plugins’ settings widgets into the user-interface, tested by converting two plugins (DNG converter and KIO export tool) to take advantage of this feature. Later, the background processing part of DNG converter—responsible for doing the real work—was also ported. This work is currently still in its separate feature branch, waiting to be merged after the frameworks porting branch becomes more stable.

Marcel worked on memory consumption problems with the database functionalities as well as several reported memory leaks. As soon as he could reproduce the problems under valgrind, many cleanups and fixes were committed. Among other fixes a long-standing bug (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=205776) was fixed.

He also worked to complete the Removable Collection support. The goal is to show thumbnails from disconnected media without actually having access to the full file, as this information is stored by the digiKam in its internal metadata database. In practice this means that users can continue to search and preview collections with thumbnails and other metadata. Feedback to the user is provided to indicate items and collection that are not available for editing (See bugs https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=191494 and https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=114539). This feature was completed during the train ride back from Berlin, and committed Sunday evening following the Sprint.

Gilles polished the whole libkgeomap public API to be ready for the KF5 port. A lot of changes have been applied to reduce binary compatibility issues. This is especially needed if a library is to become a KF5 library to be more easily reused by other projects. A similar move has recently been made to libkface to make it available for KPhotoAlbum.

Veaceslav worked on porting libkdcraw from the old KDE4 Threadweaver API to the new KF5 Threadweaver implementation. Unfortunately, the new API was not quite stable nor documented, and Gilles decided to port it one more time to use a pure Qt thread pool implementation.

Teemu fixed some crashes as well as some small annoyances and introduced his plans to work on cleaning up the codebase, starting with cleaning up the CMakeLists and moving misplaced source files to their proper places. This will be an on-going process.

Dmitry, who is a long time digiKam user and who has written the famous Recipes Book, reported the need to have digiKam be less dependent of the KDE desktop so that it can be more suitable elsewhere. This does not mean losing KDE support, but rather wrapping properly all specific KDE features used by digiKam as optional when it’s possible. Dmitry took lots of photo of the event and shared user experience with developers, which introduced some long and instructive discussions about photographer methodologies and workflow.

After long days of coding, the tired developers went out in search for food in the quarter around the hotel at Rosenthaler Straße. Sushi on Friday and Vietnamese food on Saturday managed to sustain the developers for the following day of coding.

Aftermath

The digiKam release planhas been discussed and published. As many kipi-plugins are still not yet ported to Qt5, digiKam 5.0 must be delayed until the end of the year. Christmas sounds like the right moment to offer code to the user community.

MySQL support is disabled by default for now because it’s not fully functional and still experimental. MySQL support is still fully available, but as an optional feature. The plan is to find a student to work on it with the goal to stabilize code, and to add PostgreSQL support through Qt SQL plugins.

digiKam core (and the libraries it depends on) is now mostly ported to Qt5/KF5. It’s compilable and running, although there is still ongoing effort to port away from KDE4 support libraries that are currently used. The port is not yet ready for prime-time and one can encounter bugs caused by porting, but in the near future there will be beta releases to get reports from end-users about regressions.

However, there is still a lot of work required especially with kipi-plugins, of which only a small part (about 20%) is currently ported. For people who want to try out and help with development, the code is available in the Frameworks branches of corresponding projects. The contribution page has more information.

The build-system (CMake) structure is currently being cleaned up to make the codebase more maintainable for the future as well as making writing unit tests a breeze. At the same time, the dependencies of different parts are being investigated and cleaned up, to allow easier compilation on Windows and OSX.

Final Words

digiKam is planning to participate once again in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) this year. There are some new ideas available in the wiki to attract new contributors. We suggest that anyone interested in working on digiKam this summer should start getting familiar with the project already.

Once more, thank you to the folks at Digia (and Tobias) for your hospitality and to KDE e.V. for sponsoring the event!

digiKam in action. More photos from the event are available on Flickr.

conf.kde.in 2015 – divine

Building on the success of conf.kde.in 2014 at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Community Technology (DA-IICT) in the land of Gujarat, the horizon of the KDE Community is broadening and shifting south. conf.kde.in 2015 takes place on the…