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…

Akademy 2015 Call for Papers and Registration open

Akademy is the KDE Community conference. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE or Qt, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from 25th-31st July in A Coruña, Spain. The days for talks are Saturday and Sunday, 25th and 26th July. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.


Akademy 2014 attendees

What we are looking for

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

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

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

The submission deadline is 31st March, 23:59:59 CEST.

Registration Open

Anyone can attend Akademy for free. But registration is required in order to attend the event. Please register soon so that we can plan accordingly.

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 who are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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Kontact Kolab Now

Kolab Systems has recently announced substantial improvements to their support for Kolab Groupware, today’s release of Kolab 3.4, recently released Kolab Enterprise 14 and the upgrade of the hosted Kolab Now solution for Enterprise 14. Since the start of Kolab in 2002 as a Free Software project sponsored by the German Federal Office for Information Security, KDE people have played a significant role in its development. Kolab is enterprise-level software that includes group email, calendaring, contacts, file sharing, and task management. Its features also appeal to many individuals.


A little history

The initial release of Kolab was called Kroupware (notice the “K”, it means something ;^) The Kroupware Client was the result of enhancements to KMail and other KDE PIM (personal information management) software, and later became known as Kontact. About 10 years ago, KDE developers were interviewed about the evolution of the projects and provided details about Kontact, the Personal Information Management Suite from KDE. Currently Kontact is the favored client for Kolab; other popular clients are supported as well. Despite its longevity, KDE PIM continues to evolve.

Email still going strong

Despite the rise of social networks and messaging apps, email continues to be the dominant mode of written electronic communication. Over the next few years, email use will continue to grow in the business world and decrease by less than 4% each year for consumers. The average business worker will have to deal with 140 emails a day by 2018, up from 120 emails a day now. (Thanks to theconversation.com)

Approximately 108 billion business emails are sent each day. Email is critical to communication in organizations.

Security and privacy more important than ever

Kolab was designed with a security centric architecture from the beginning. With the revelations of government spying over the past few years and other dangerous electronic invasions, this aspect of Kolab has grown in importance to many people. It was one of the primary considerations for the Munich city government when Kolab was selected for implementation in February 2014. In addition, the City of Munich has implemented the KDE Desktop as part of LiMux – The IT evolution, migrating the City to free and open source software. Privacy and security are essential requirements to organizations, and highly important to many individuals as well.

Kolab Now

Recent reports of government intrusions—involving organizations such as the U.S. NSA and the U.K. GCHQ—are cause for alarm by some individuals. U.S.-based email providers such as Google and Microsoft have been required to release information to government agencies without notifying the people involved. Encryption and other privacy measures can’t be trusted to such arrangements.

Kolab Now provides enterprise-class Kolab capabilities and support for individuals and smaller groups. The secure email and collaboration services are based in Switzerland. Individual data is “protected by a unique combination of terms of service, laws, operational principles and technology. Kolab Now will never put you under surveillance to sell your data or profile and there will be no advertisements. Enjoy the convenience of the Cloud without compromising freedom and openness.” (from the Kolab Now website)

Kolab Systems and KDE

Kolab Systems provides enterprise level support for Kolab Groupware. The company actively supports development of various aspects of Kontact; some Kolab Systems employees are paid to work on Kontact. Through this symbiosis, Kolab Systems has access to one of the best full-featured desktop clients (Kontact), while scalability and other benefits flow to one of KDE’s premier applications. For example, Christian Mollekopf recently wrote about progress with Akonadi. Kolab Systems is an important player in the KDE ecosystem and is a strong advocate for Free Software. Their work with organizations such as the City of Munich reflects well on KDE’s value in large scale deployments.

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Calligra 2.9 Brings Biggest Krita Release and New Kexi Partnership

We are happy to announce the release of final version 2.9 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of changes which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.

What’s in the Box?

ImagineFX Artist Choice AwardThe 2.9 release is so far the biggest release for Krita, the award-winning free and open source digital painting application. Eleven out of twelve of the features were requested by users and funded by Krita’s first Kickstarter action and the twelfth feature will come in 2.9.1!

  • Support for loading and showing multiple images in one window, and viewing any given image in multiple views and windows.
  • Fully integrated the G’Mic set of image manipulation tools, enabling artists to, for instance, greatly speed-up their workflow.
  • Greatly extended support for painting in HDR mode, making it a truly creative tool.
  • New perspective painting assistants to new color selectors, improved transform tools and non-destructive transformation masks, brush engine improvements, workflow improvements, new filters, support for creating and installing resource packs (brushes, gradients, patterns) and many more.
  • More details on krita.org

Professional artwork by David Revoy made with Krita (http://www.peppercarrot.com)

Professional artwork by David Revoy made with Krita (http://www.peppercarrot.com)

The debut of Calligra Gemini, a novel mix of a traditional desktop app and a touch-friendly tablet app.
It encases Calligra’s word processor and presentation apps. (details)

Text document edited on laptop computerThe same text document in tablet mode

The same text document edited on laptop computer and in tablet mode

Kexi, visual data-oriented apps builder received over 150 improvements that make it extra stable and easy to use.

  • Newer technologies have been employed for the tabular (data grid) views and forms.
  • Report Designer, Query Designer and data import assistants have improved substantially. (details)
  • All that is spiced with a dedicated support for KDE Plasma 5’s look and feel.
New table view in Kexi 2.9

New table view in Kexi 2.9

Unmatched integration: Displaying office documents in Okular, KDE’s universal document viewer. For displaying many types of documents Calligra Office Engine has been used, the same that forms a pillar of document viewers on Nokia N9 and Jolla smartphones, COffice Android app and more. (details)

Calligra document plugin for Okular

Calligra document plugin for Okular
showing a DOC file

Dozens of general improvements in common Calligra features as well as Calligra Sheets, Words are present in the 2.9 series. For details jump to the Beta 1, Beta 2 and Beta 3 change logs.

Milo Solutions

At the organizational level awesome news is that Kexi gained a corporate partner, Milo Solutions! (details)
This internationally active software house is focused on cross-platform software solutions with special emphasis on the Qt framework, the same that forms a pillar of Kexi, Calligra and hundreds of other KDE apps. Milo’s proficiency in web, mobile and design does not hurt too in this partnership.

To ensure smooth ooperation, Kexi maintainer Jarosław Staniek acts as a liaison in the FOSS space for Milo, something he already practiced 12 years ago with other companies when Kexi project emerged. The outcome for the community is noticeable; numerous works of the first fully devoted to Kexi software engineer from Milo, Roman Shtemberko, can be already found in the 2.9 release. (read Roman’s experience) So far it looks like a perfect blend of creativeness, technology and cooperation.

Plasma 5.2 Bugfix Update

Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.2.1. Plasma 5.2 was released in January with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.
This release adds a month’s worth of ne…

We love the projects around us!

Today the Free Software Foundation Europe reminds us to thank and celebrate all those in Free Software we love and whose work we enjoy and built upon. In KDE, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Everything we do in some way depends on Free Software w…

Meet KDE at FOSDEM this Weekend

KDE will be at Europe’s largest gathering of free software developering this weekend, taking over the city of Brussels for FOSDEM. We start with the traditional beer event on the Friday, sampling 100 flavours of beer while we mingle with old friends …

Plasma 5.2 Is Beautiful and Featureful

Today KDE releases Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components, many new features and many more bugfixes.

New Components

KScreen dual monitor setup
This release of Plasma comes with some new components to make your desktop even mor…

Akademy 2015 – A Coruña, Spain – 25-31 July

For more than 1800 years, the Tower of Hercules has guided ships sailing near A Coruña. Soon it will beckon KDE users and contributors, when Akademy—the annual KDE community meeting—is held in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain) 25–31 July. The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.


Free software user group GPUL is the local team


What is the local connection?

GPUL (Grupo de Programadores y Usuarios de Linux) is the local organization that is working with the KDE Akademy Team to produce the conference. GPUL is formed by students, professors, IT professionals and people in general who share a passion for free and open software. There is a common view that society should own the software that people use, a practical philosophy that is actively promoted. So GPUL organizes activities to inform people and help them make the change to free and open software. GPUL has produced or helped to produce other free and open technology events, because working with the free software community is quite satisfying. There is always an awesome atmosphere; there have been really great experiences collaborating with free software communities in managing events like Akademy-es 2008 and GUADEC 2012 (the Gnome Users and Developers European Conference). KDE is one of the largest and most effective communities of free software users and developers in the world. Many GPUL members use KDE software. So holding Akademy in A Coruña is something that the Group totally wants to do. GPUL members are honored to be host to Akademy 2015.


Photo courtesy of Triatlon Sin Drafting

A Coruña and Akademy

A Coruña is the second largest city in Galicia with about 250,000 inhabitants. Located in the northwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, it’s a city—surrounded by ocean—that has attracted diverse peoples and cultures for over 2000 years. They have left a legacy of legends, myths and history in every corner of the town. It’s a feast for the senses. The city has many sights, such as Tower of Hercules (World Heritage Site), Castle of San Anton, the Promenade, Coruña Museum of Sciences, Maria Pita Square, Garden of San Carlos and San Pedro Park & Ascensor Panorámico (magnifique views of the Rias Altas coast), wonderful beaches such as Riazor and Orzán, and some of the best seafood in the world.

The Venue at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Universidade da Coruña (FIC) is perfectly suited for hacking, presentations, BoFs and working together. Free software events have been held here since 1998. The recommended accommodation near the Venue has enough room for all attendees and free transportation to the city.

The combination of the Faculty of Computer Science, the accommodation, the KDE community, the local free software community and the city itself is a perfect match for Akademy.

About GPUL

GPUL is a Free Software user group based in the Faculty of Computer Science in A Coruña. The group has been working to promote free software in our university and in the local society since 1998 (in fact GPUL is celebrating its 2^2^2 anniversary). There are currently more than 400 members.

About Akademy

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. Intense workshops at the conference bring those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are exploring possibilities involving free and open source technologies.

In 2015, once again a few hundred Free Software enthusiasts will gather for 2 days of talks and 5 days of workshops and coding sessions. For more information, please contact the Akademy team.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 16th November 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Gwenview gains “Recent Files” option
Cantor sees multiple backends (R, Lua, KAlgebra/analitza, Maxima, Qalculate) and KLetters ported to Qt5/KF5
Refactoring in of the custom defines and includes plugins in KDevelop: th…

Plasma 5.2 Beta out for Testing

Today KDE releases a beta for Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components and improves the existing desktop. We welcome all testers to find and help fix the bugs before our stable release in two weeks’ time.

New Components

KScreen d…

KDE Applications 14.12 – New Features, Frameworks Ports

Today KDE released KDE Applications 14.12, delivering new features and bug fixes to more than a hundred applications. Most of these applications are based on KDE Development Platform 4 but the first applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5. Frameworks is a set of modularized libraries providing additional functionality for Qt5, the latest version of the popular Qt cross-platform application framework.

KDE app dragons

This release marks the beginning of a new style of releases replacing the threesome of KDE Workspaces, Platform and Applications in the 4 series which ended with the latest KDE Applications update last month.

  • The Platform has now morphed into KDE Frameworks 5, releasing new features and bugfixes monthly.
  • The Workspaces have become Plasma 5, delivering feature releases every 3 months and monthly bug fixes in between.
  • The remaining applications and supporting libraries make up KDE Applications with feature releases expected every 4 months and monthly bugfix releases in between. We expect the porting of applications to Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 to happen over the next year or two.
  • The KDE software on independent release cycles will remain as is, with porting to Frameworks 5 and Qt5 coming at various points in time. Examples include many well known open source applications like Kdenlive, Calligra, Amarok, Kile, Tellico and some new projects like GCompris and Rkward.

The release includes the first KDE Frameworks 5-based versions of Kate and KWrite, Konsole, Gwenview, KAlgebra, Kanagram, KHangman, Kig, Parley, KApptemplate and Okteta. Some libraries are also ready for KDE Frameworks 5 use: analitza and libkeduvocdocument.

Libkface is new in this release; it is a library to enable face detection and face recognition in photographs.

The Kontact Suite is now in Long Term Support in the 4.14 version while developers are focusing on a port to KDE Frameworks 5 with renewed energy.

Some of the new features in this release include:

See the full list of changes in KDE Applications 14.12.

The April release of KDE Applications 15.04 will include more new features, as well as more applications ported to the modular KDE Frameworks 5.

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 nonprofit 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, ipernity 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 14.12 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.

Learning more and getting started

Find more details and download links in the announcement on the KDE website.

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Plasma 5.1.2 Bugfix Release

Plasma 5.1.2 is the December output from our desktop team. It’s a bugfix release which adds several dozen fixes and the latest translations.
Some highlights include:
The Breeze icons licence has been clarified as LGPL 3+.
The remaining battery time in …

Release of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0

KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0.
KDE Frameworks are 60 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an …

GCompris Joins the KDE incubator and Launches a Fundraiser

GCompris, the high quality educational software suite comprising numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10 well known by parents and teachers all over the world, joined the KDE incubator.

GCompris was started in 2000 by Bruno Coudoin as a Free Software. Originally written in GTK+ the project decided in early 2014 to make a radical change and rewrite it in Qt Quick. The main motivation is the ability of the Qt platform to address the desktop and the tablet market from a single code base.

In order to get the great level of support from a strong developer community, GCompris joined the KDE incubator.

The rewrite is going on smoothly, 86 educational activities of the 140 have been ported to Qt Quick. A release on Android is planned for December 2014 with the help of the KDE translation teams to make sure it is properly localized. Other platforms will follow.

Currently the graphics are one of the weakest part of GCompris, as they were mostly done by the developers, using free graphics assets and sparse graphic artist contributions.

To address this problem, Timothée Giet, a talented graphics artist proposed himself to work on a complete graphics redesign. He is a long standing Free Software contributor, active member of the Krita team and so part of the KDE community. Making new graphics for more than 100 activities is a big work, so a fundraiser has been set up.

The project is not only about creating new background images but consists in a whole graphical rework. At first a graphics charter will be defined as none exists for now in GCompris. This will drive the project towards a unified style that it lacks today. An emphasis will be done on usability, making sure the children find their way easily in each activity.

If you want to help, please consider making a donation.

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Randa Meetings 2014 – Another Great Success

It’s been quite some time since the Randa Meetings 2014 and even this year’s edition of the KDE Community Summit called Akademy has already happened, but it’s still nice to look back and see what was accomplished at this KDE Tech Summit in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

And before we tell you about the seven groups that participated in the meetings this year (and because of the different participating groups and thus a collection of several meetings under the same roof, the event is called “Randa Meetings” with a plural s ;-), we send a big thank you to all the supporters and people that made this gathering possible. It’s because of you that we could work hard for a whole week and make the software you love even better. In the group picture you see KDE’s diversity, and how this year some KDE contributors could bring their families and partners and thus didn’t need to decide between either family holidays or hacking for KDE.


2014 Group picture, by Martin Klapetek (CC-BY-SA)

The KDE Edu group brings students and mentors together

From the KDE education group, we had people from Rocs, the graph tool, from Kig, KDE’s geometry teaching tool, from Artikulate, the new language acoustic learning tool, from KStars, the KDE astronomy tool and of course from Marble, which doesn’t need any explanation ;-). Two Google Summer of Code students for Marble saw their mentors for the first time in Randa and thus got a stronger bonding with our awesome community. I know of at least one of them who found another playground in KDE: GCompris.

GCompris is a new and still young (at least for the Qt version) member of the KDE family. Bruno Coudoin and his colleagues met in Randa to make great progress on porting the more than 140 activities in GCompris to Qt and KDE technologies. Their main focus is currently to finish a first version for Android and thus Smartphones and Tablets. Bruno even did some live user-testing (of course with kids!) during the lunch time. But beneath the normal hacking on KDE educational software, one other focus was the porting of the programs to KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5). Some of the applications will release a KF5-based version in December as part of the KDE Applications 14.12 release.

Different applications port to KDE Frameworks 5

Other applications that either started a port to KF5 or worked on it were KMyMoney, one of our finance tools. The developers also worked on their Windows port. Gwenview, which has since gained a new maintainer and Jungle, a fresh video player.

Porting to and working on KDE Frameworks was a general focus at this year’s Randa Meetings. We tried to push forward Windows and Mac (unfortunately we weren’t able to bring many KDE Mac people to Randa this year) variants and worked on a more coherent developer story and thus a KDE SDK. The port of Kate and KDevelop to KF5 made great progress and they even achieved making it start on Windows. Besides the porting work, this group also got some GSoC students together with their mentors and thus there was some integration of their work on CLang support and QML/JS.


Picture of the new Randa Konqi: with a white star and an Edelweiss like on the flag of Randa. Thanks a lot to the artist Tyson Tan!

The KDE Multimedia group worked on many different things

Alongside and integrated with all this work and groups some other teams participated at the meetings. They are almost part of the inventory of the Randa Meetings ;-). Amarok and the KDE Multimedia team worked on bug triage (cleaning up more than 200 bugs!), polishing their handbook and Phonon. During this intensive week we saw the release of the GStreamer Phonon backend. KMix, the KDE mixer application got another strong push forwards.

And another multimedia application found its way to Randa: Kdenlive, our great non-linear video editor. The project lacked some direction recently and so a face-to-face meeting of some old and some new contributors was a logical step to take. With Till Theato and Simon Eugster some oldsters of the project could help to document and explain the current code and state to the new maintainer Vincent Pinon. Interestingly enough we learned during the meetings that Vincent’s wife Lucie is using Kdenlive in her professional work and as she was in Randa as well we took the opportunity to make a short interview with her (Thanks Françoise Wybrecht for doing the interview and Myriam Schweingruber for the translation. You can download the French version of the interview.

Lucie Robin lives in Voiron near Grenoble – France and works as a professional video maker with Kdenlive.


Lucie with her daughter and Konqi in the background

What brought you to open source?

Despite being an alien to the open source world, I discovered it through my Linux-using husband.

What pushed you to use free software?

As a video maker, I needed professional video software. Since most software in this field are over pricey, my husband suggested to try Kdenlive back in 2011.

After having used it for three years, what is your overall impression?

I got aware very quickly that Kdenlive is an answer to professional needs. But let’s be honest, its use is full of pitfalls and inconsistencies, which could have discouraged me more than once. But luckily I discovered the philosophy behind free software which kept me going.

New energy for Kdenlive and a new KDE Book

The Kdenlive team spend most of their time discussing and setting the roadmap for the future. At the end of the meetings we decided to bring Kdenlive even closer to KDE and thus start an incubation process for them. And thanks to Françoise, Lucie and Kdenlive you can watch yourself how it looked at the Randa Meetings 2014.

Another group came to Randa to work on a new edition of our KDE Guide. After some problems with internet connectivity (ever heard of this problem at sprints or conferences? ;-) they decided to scratch the planned working process and to quickly develop a new one so they could work offline and integrate the new book directly with KDE source code and extract live snippets from it. They had a great start in Randa but it’s not yet done. So if you’re an expert in one of the KDE Frameworks, please help and submit a paragraph, short text or chapter.

In addition to these bigger groups were some smaller teams and single developers in Randa that worked on their projects. One of them is the Gluon group. As a way of creating and playing games, they worked on a KF5 port, and also had a lot of discussion of their future directions and plans. And QMLWeb, a JavaScript Library is currently a one man project with Anton working hard to improve the code and connect with new people.

An amazing time that should be repeated

Organization-wise we tried something new this year to connect the different groups participating at the Randa Meetings even better. During lunch and dinner one person of each group had to tell the others in a few sentences what they are currently working on. So everybody in Randa was more or less aware of what was discussed in the other groups and when they should connect and talk with them. But we learned something else too. Doing this talks two times a day was not necessary and so we plan to do it only once a day in 2015.

For even more information about the Randa Meetings 2014 and some personal views, see a list of blog posts and picture collections. It was an amazing time and we got great feedback for the organizational work and thus are looking forward to 2015 and more very productive, successful and inspiring meetings and sprints. So please support us!

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PS: There is another great summary in Portuguese of what happened in Randa this year.

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