KDE at 20: Plasma 5.8 LTS Beta. Here for the Long Term.

<!– video

–>


KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS

KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS Beta

Thursday, 15 September 2016. Today KDE releases a beta of its first Long Term Support edition of its flagship desktop software, Plasma. This marks the point where the developers and designers are happy to recommend Plasma for the widest possible audience be they enterprise or non-techy home users. If you tried a KDE desktop previously and have moved away, now is the time to re-assess, Plasma is simple by default, powerful when needed.

Plasma’s Comprehensive Features

Take a look at what Plasma offers, a comprehensive selection of features unparalleled in any desktop software.

Desktop Widgets


Desktop Widgets

Desktop Widgets

Cover your desktop in useful widgets to keep you up to date with weather, amused with comics or helping with calculations.

Get Hot New Stuff


Get Hot New Stuff

Get Hot New Stuff

Download wallpapers, window style, widgets, desktop effects and dozens of other resources straight to your desktop. We work with the new KDE Store to bring you a wide selection of addons for you to install.

Desktop Search


Desktop Search

Desktop Search

Plasma will let you easily search your desktop for applications, folders, music, video, files… everything you have.

Unified Look


Unified Look

Unified Look

Plasma’s default Breeze theme has a unified look across all the common programmer toolkits – Qt 4 & 5, GTK 2 & 3, even LibreOffice.

Phone Integration


Phone Integration

Phone Integration

Using KDE Connect you’ll be notified on your desktop of text message, can easily transfer files, have your music silenced during calls and even use your phone as a remote control.

Infinitely Customisable


Infinitely Customisable

Infinitely Customisable

Plasma is simple by default but you can customise it however you like with new widgets, panels, screens and styles.

New in Plasma 5.8

Unified Boot to Shutdown Artwork


Unified Boot to Shutdown Artwork

Unified Boot to Shutdown Artwork

This release brings an all-new login screen design giving you a complete Breeze startup to shutdown experience. The layout has been tidied up and is more suitable for workstations that are part of a domain or company network. While it is much more streamlined, it also allows for greater customizability: for instance, all Plasma wallpaper plugins, such as slideshows and animated wallpapers, can now be used on the lock screen.

Right-to-Left Language Support


Right-to-Left Language Support

Right-to-Left Language Support

Support for Semitic right-to-left written languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, has been greatly improved. Contents of panels, the desktop, and configuration dialogs are mirrored in this configuration. Plasma’s sidebars, such as widget explorer, window switcher, activity manager, show up on the right side of the screen.

Improved Applets


Context Menu Media Controls

Context Menu Media Controls

The virtual desktop switcher (“Pager”) and window list applets have been rewritten, using the new task manager back-end we introduced in Plasma 5.7. This allows them to use the same dataset as the task manager and improves their performance while reducing memory consumption. The virtual desktop switcher also acquired an option to show only the current screen in multi-screen setups and now shares most of its code with the activity switcher applet.

Task manager gained further productivity features in this release. Media controls that were previously available in task manager tooltips only are now accessible in the context menus as well. In addition to bringing windows to the front during a drag and drop operation, dropping files onto task manager entries themselves will now open them in the associated application. Lastly, the popup for grouped windows can now be navigated using the keyboard and text rendering of its labels has been improved.

Simplified Global Shortcuts


Global Shortcuts Setup

Global Shortcuts Setup

Global shortcuts configuration has been simplified to focus on the most common task, that is launching applications. Building upon the jump list functionality added in previous releases, global shortcuts can now be configured to jump to specific tasks within an application.

Thanks to our Wayland effort, we can finally offer so-called “modifier-only shortcuts”, enabling you to open the application menu by just pressing the Meta key. Due to popular demand, this feature also got backported to the X11 session.

Other improvements


Plasma Discover's new UI

Plasma Discover’s new UI

This release sees many bugfixes in multi-screen support and, together with Qt 5.6.1, should significantly improve your experience with docking stations and projectors.

KWin, Plasma’s window manager, now allows compositing through llvmpipe, easing the deployment on exotic hardware and embedded devices. Now that there is a standardized and widely-used interface for applications to request turning off compositing, the “Unredirect Fullscreen” option has been removed. It often lead to stability issues and because of that was already disabled for many drivers.

Now that Kirigami, our set of versatile cross-platform UI components, has been released, we’re pleased to bring you a revamped version of Plasma Discover based on Kirigami.

We have new default fonts, the Noto font from Google covers all scripts available in the Unicode standard while our new monospace font Hack is perfect for coders and terminal users.

We’re in Wayland!


Plasma on Wayland Now with GTK+ support

Plasma on Wayland Now with GTK+ support

Plasma on Wayland has come a long way in the past months. While our long term support promise does not apply to the fast-evolving Wayland stack, we think it is ready to be tested by a broader audience. There will still be minor glitches and missing features, but we are now at a point where we can ask you to give it a try and report bugs. Notable improvements in this release include:

  • Support for xdg-shell, i.e. GTK+ applications are now supported
  • Much improved touch screen support
  • Support for touchpad gestures – the infrastructure is there, there aren’t any gestures by default yet
  • The “Sliding Popups” effect is now supported
  • Clipboard contents are synced between X11 and Wayland applications

Full Plasma 5.7.95 LTS changelog

Plasma 5.8 announcement


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.

KDE at FISL 2016

The 17th edition of the International Free Software Forum (FISL) took place, as usual, at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul’s Convention Center, city of Porto Alegre, from 13th to 16th July. FISL is the largest FOSS conference in Latin America and a quite traditional venue to get a comprehensive panorama of all sorts of FOSS-related new topics: technical advances, adoption cases, FOSS and education, hacker culture, just to mention a few.

This year, FISL started an effort which aims at strengthening the respect for diversity in FOSS communities. Many activities were led by and/or had the participation of minority groups, emphasizing the need for respect and diversity regarding gender identity, special needs, sexual orientation, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status.

Another novelty in FISL 2016 was the micro-conferences: whole day meetings devoted to specific FOSS communities. Five communities held their micro-conferences at FISL 2016: PyLadies Brazil, Drupal, Mozilla Brazil, PostgreSQL, and ‒ of course ‒ KDE. The KDE micro-conference was named Engrenagem (‘gear’ in Portuguese) and was a nice way to enhance KDE visibility through a set of talks presented by our special guest and by Brazilian KDE contributors. This year we had the pleasure of having David Edmundson opening our micro-conference with his talk: Plasma 5 ‒ Infinity and Beyond.


David Edmundson at FISL 2016

Our micro-conference continued with Aracele’s talk, entitled “20 Years of KDE: from Desktop to FOSS Umbrella”. Aracele presented how KDE emerged in the GNU/FOSS panorama in the early nineties and provided a nice overview of the many changes our community has undergone over the many years of its existence. Then, Fernando Teles talked about his experience as a student of Season of KDE, working on Cantor. He highlighted the importance of such a mentoring program and gave some tips on how to succeed in a first-time FOSS contribution experience. Henrique Sant’Anna presented a quite rich talk about all the versatility and power provided by KDE Plasma 5. Adapting Plasma to many users’ workflows and using some not common features were some of the highlights of his talk.

Ícaro Jerry talked about the first steps and the many opportunities for contribution in KDE. Illustrated by his own story, he presented the main obstacles and tips to overcome the usual initial barriers faced by newcomers in FOSS communities. In the talk “Stubbornness, Campus Party and KDE”, Lays Rodrigues talked about her journey (and perseverance) into FOSS communities and KDE in particular. A different perspective about contributing to FOSS communities was presented by Rafael Gomes, in his talk “Contributing as a Sysadmin in KDE”. He presented the particularities of working in this area and the current main demands in KDE. Ícaro Jerry was again on the stage to present an overview talk about KDE-Edu, where practical cases for some educational applications were presented. Our micro-conference finished with two talks presented by Sandro Andrade. The first one was about Minuet ‒ the KDE-Edu software for music education, where he presented the motivations, technical aspects and roadmap for this applications. Then, he concluded with a talk about mobile applications development with Qt, where the main features for developing Android and iOS applications with Qt were demonstrated.

As last year, we had a nice booth at FISL, amazingly decorated with all the bells and whistles KDE deserves to celebrate its 20 years of existence. This year, we had a considerably higher number of people coming to talk to us about KDE in our booth. Some of them had done some port of an old KDE game to JavaScript, while others were interested in knowing more about mobile development and KDE contribution in general. We hope that this somehow turns into more contributors joining KDE in the next months.


KDE booth at FISL 2016

On Friday evening, we had an amazing commemorative cake and a lively 20 years party at our booth. KDE turns 20 at 14th October 2016, but we couldn’t fail to celebrate such an important achievement at FISL. As when sharing knowledge :), people rapidly lined up for taking their piece of cake and enjoyed our celebration.


Commemorative cake for the 20th anniversary of KDE

Check the full set of KDE at FISL 2016 photos.

See you at FISL 2017!

Akademy Awards 2016


Winners Kenny, Dan, Christoph, Dominik, Aleix

QtCon talks closed with our annual awards ceremony, the Akademy Awards. Given each year to the most valued and hardest working KDE contributors, they are awarded by the jury from the previous year. This year’s winners are:

Best Non-Application Contribution

Aleix Pol who for many years has worked hard not just on KDE code but also on the community with KDE e.V. as a board member and KDE España.

Best Application

Dominik Haumann and Christoph Cullmann for their work making Kate and the related parts. We all rely on a quality text editor and KDE has the finest one.

Jury Award

To Daniel Vrátil and the KDE PIMsters for creating and maintaining the largest suite of communication applications in the world.

The Organisers

As is traditional, an award was given to the organisers of Akademy, this year represented by Kenny Coyle who has been helping out for nearly a decade running the videos and many other tasks.

 

KDE Software Store

KDE Store
At this year’s Akademy, KDE announced The KDE Store. The new store replaces the services provided by openDesktop.org with a Free-as-in-Freedom software sharing platform.
A Bit of History
OpenDesktop, founded in 2001 was one of the first of it…

KDE e.V. Joins Advisory Board of The Document Foundation

Today we are delighted to announce that KDE e.V. is joining the advisory board of The Document Foundation, the foundation backing LibreOffice and the Document Liberation Project. The Document Foundation also joins KDE e.V.’s group of advising community…

QtCon Call for Papers

QtCon 2016 Call for Papers is open. The event will assemble KDE Akademy, VideoLAN Developer Days, Qt Contributors’ Summit, FSFE Summit and KDAB Qt training day. We invite contributors to these projects to present their work and insight at QtCon 2016. T…

KDE Plasma 5.6 Release

KDE Plasma 5.6 Video

Plasma 5.6KDE Plasma 5.6

Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Today KDE releases a feature-packed new version of its desktop user interface, Plasma 5.6.

This release of Plasma brings many improvements to the task manager, KRunner, activities, and Wayland support as well as a much more refined look and feel.

 

Slicker Plasma Theme

Breeze Color Scheme SupportBreeze Color Scheme Support

The default Plasma theme, Breeze, now follows the application color scheme allowing for a more personalized experience. A new ‘Breeze Light’ together with ‘Breeze Dark’ theme can be used to bring back the previous behavior. Additionally, tooltip animations have become more subtle.

 

Supercharged Task Manager

Copy ProgressCopy Progress

Multitasking has just become easier. The much improved task manager in Plasma 5.6 now displays progress of tasks, such as downloading or copying files.

Media Controls Media ControlsMedia Controls in Panel and Tooltips

Moreover, hovering a music or video player shows beautiful album art and media controls, so you never have to leave the application you’re currently working with. Our media controller applet that shows up during playback also received some updates, notably support for multiple players running simultaneously.

Jump List Using Firefox Jump List Using Firefox Jump List Using SteamJump List Using Steam

Not only did we improve interacting with running applications, starting applications gets in your way less, too. Using Jump Lists you can launch an application and jump, hence the name, to a specific task right away. This feature is also present in the application launchers.

 

Smoother Widgets

KRunner Folderview in PanelKRunner’s Smoother look and Folderview in Panel

There are many refinements to the overall visuals of Plasma in this release. KRunner gained support for drag and drop and lost separator lines to look smoother while icons on the desktop traded the solid label background for a chic drop shadow. Users that place a folder applet in their panel can enjoy improved drag and drop, support for the back button on a mouse as well as choosing between list and icon view. On the more technical side, many small fixes to hi-dpi scaling have found their way into this release.

 

Weather

Weather WidgetWeather Widget

 

Another feature returns from the old days, the weather widget.

 

On the road to Wayland

WaylandPlasma using Wayland

With Plasma 5.5 for the first time we shipped a Wayland session for you to try out. While we still do not recommend using Wayland as a daily driver, we’ve made some significant advances:

  • Window decorations are now supported for Wayland clients giving you a beautiful and unified user experience
  • Input handling gained all features you’ve come to know and love from the X11 world, including ‘Focus follows mouse’, Alt + mouse button to move and resize windows, etc
  • Different keyboard layouts and layout switching

Tech Preview System Integration Themes

We are trailing a tech preview of Breeze themes for Plymouth and Grub, so Plasma can give you a complete system experience from the moment you turn your computer on.

Also previewed in simple systemtray, an experimental systemtray replacement. Plasma Media Center remains in tech preview but work is ongoing for Plasma 5.7.

Full Plasma 5.6.0 changelog

Installing the MATE desktop

Before the purists raise their fists and light the flambeau, let’s look at some reasons to have a secondary desktop in your Fedora. Just for fun.  Because it’s nice to try new things. To have an alternative in case of failure.  If… Continue Reading →

Installing KDE Plasma 5

KDE Plasma 5 is one of the main desktop spins in Fedora. It’s under heavy development and a lot of things are changing. There are plenty of new features, bug fixing, and optimizing code. It’s an expansive desktop environment with… Continue Reading →

Luca Toma KDE Interview


Luca Toma

Google Code In is our annual project to give tasks to school pupils to contribute to KDE projects. One task this year is to write a Dot article and top Code In student Stanford L has interviewed WikiToLearn contributor and Sysadmin Luca Toma.

Please tell us a little about yourself
I am a second year physics student studying at the University of Milan Bicocca. I’ve been passionate about computers since the age of 10, especially the part of sysadmin / networking.

What do you do for a living?
Currently, I am a student and I work within an office that deals with management of business systems and website development.

What do you do for KDE?

At this time my contribution in KDE is WikiToLearn, my role is the system administrator. I take care of the maintenance of the infrastructure and server project.

How did you get into computer programming?
I started programming when I was 12 years of age, I was intrigued by a friend working on a GNU/Linux distribution using Bash, just like in the movies. I started with VB6, after which was passed on to C / C ++, in order and PHP.

Do you have any advice for people who would like to pursue computer programming as a major?
My advice is to write the code on what you know to be able to understand what you want and to be able to make the most out of it.

Who is your role model, and why?
I do not have a well-defined role model because I try to take inspiration from the best of all. Einstein created a model for what concerns thinking in their own way and I think it is extremely important to be able to solve problems in the best way.

What are some ways you motivate yourself?
One thing that motivates me is to do my best.
I think if each one of us always did their best in situations, it would be the best for everyone.

Do you have a vision, like where do you want KDE in general to be in 5 years and sysadmin in particular?
I hope that KDE will become a reference point for all those who want to learn computer science.
A community that is able to support projects (e.g. WikiToLearn) while providing all necessary resources, both in terms of computing power, and that of access to the necessary knowledge but also as a community in which to grow.
From the perspective of a sysadmin, to be able to provide the right environment is necessary to continue and pursue their development

FOSDEM: Announcing KDE neon

At FOSDEM this weekend KDE is announcing our newest project, KDE neon. Neon will provide a way to get the latest KDE software on the day its released.
More than ever people expect a stable desktop with cutting-edge features, all in a package which is…

KDE and Google Summer of Code 2015 Wrapup

The combination of Google’s Summer of Code program and students working on numerous KDE projects during it  has served as a long and successful tradition for KDE. KDE, being a big organization with a large community associated with it and hosting many projects of different facets provides a lot of opportunities for students to participate in this program and to contribute to an open-source project that they are interested in.
Hence it is no surprise that this year also many students decided to be a part of the world of KDE. 
 
Be prepared for a long, detailed post about many interesting projects and the great results achieved during the season of GSoC ’15.
 

1. Porting activities
Many KDE projects are still in the process of porting the code to the new frameworks Qt5/QtQuick and KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) – the next generation of KDE libraries, modularized and optimized for easy integration in other applications. This year several students helped to make this transition smoother and complete.
 
Aroonav Mishra ported a considerable portion of Amarok to Qt5/KF5 and the porting of the media player is in continuation. R. Harish did this for Kopete.
 
GCompris consists of several activities, wherein each activity is aimed to teach children a different educational lesson. This year Sagar Chand Agarwal and Siddhesh Suthar helped port a couple of GCompris’ activities to QtQuick. Almost all the work has been integrated to the master branch and will be available in the next release. 
The educational entertainment software GCompris welcomes any form of help to finish this move.

Mohamed Anwer did his project on digiKam. In digiKam, the communication with the database was done in KIO-slaves, running in separate process. To increase the portability of the application and to reduce the serialization of data between different processes, the decision was made to change the architecture and to move it to Qt5’s threads. The new thread-based implementation done during this summer resulted in a much better performance. Also, in numerous other segments of the source code a wrapper for all KIO-related stuff was provided.  The implementation behind this wrapper, which optionally doesn’t use KIO anymore, now allows compilation of digiKam as a pure Qt-application without any dependency on KIOFor more information,visit: https://mohamedanwer.wordpress.com/tag/gsoc15/

Vyacheslav Matyushin ported KSystemLog,a utility showing different system protocols to KF5.  While porting the code, he also fixed many bugs and memory leaks. In addition to that, many new features were added like the support for local and remote journald,  filtering of the log entries by priority, improved configuration dialog and more.
Main window showing log entires colored according to their priority. By default, all priorities are displayed. User can select priorities to be displayed
Journald mode configuration widget allows to add remote journals
 
A porting project of a different kind was taken up by Gábor Péterffy who ported Marble to Android. Marble Maps is available now in Google Play and provides navigation and routing functionality using OpenStreetMap’s content. Distance measurements, interactive route planning  are available in the first version of Marble on Android.
 
2. KDevelop
 
KDevelop got a new “checker framework” contributed by Laszlo Kis-Adam who you might also know as dfighter. The idea behind this project was to provide a general framework for different static code analysis tools and profilers that can be used in KDevelop. This framework aims to unify and simplify the code infrastructure and to provide a consistent and user-friendly GUI for using such tools in KDevelop. Some existing plugins for cppcheck, Valgrind and Krazy were ported to this framework. The support for code analysers clang-check and pylint was added. The final report contains a lot of detailed information on this as well as a video demo of this amazingly useful functionality.
 
During GSoC2014 clang was integrated into KDevelop in order to use it for source code indexing, syntax checking and highligting instead of KDevelop’s own complex implementations for these tasks. Despite the ginormous progress attained last year, there was and is still a lot to do in the area of kdev-clang plugin for KDevelop – bug fixing, adding features, stabilizing the code. This year Sergey Kalinichev worked on the project “Further Clang integration in KDevelop” and extended the feature-set of this plugin with regard to code parsing, syntax highligting, code completion and refactoring. See his final report with couple of examples on this https://sklin0.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/gsoc-2015-final-status-report/.
This plugin is a must try for all KDevelop users!
 
 
3. Multimedia
 
Gurjot Singh worked on extending the animation capabilities of Kdenlive to allow smoother animations as opposed to the traditional keyframes technology. Before this, Kdenlive had support for only linear interpolation of keyframes for few effects and transitions. With the support for animation properties in the open-source multimedia framework MLT, which is used by Kdenlive, and with the integration work done during this GSoC by Gurjot, almost any entity can be now be animated in Kdenlive. Gurjot added configuration widgets for different interpolation types used for animations –  which can be discrete, linear, smooth spline or a mix of them. Read more here: https://kdenlive.org/node/9443 
 
Krita got a new tangent normal brush engine. Read more on Wolthera van Hövell tot Westerflier‘s blog http://wolthera.info/?p=770 who was the GSoC student working on Krita.  Wolthera also addressed Krita’s widget for picking a colourspace (http://wolthera.info/?p=783).
 
Veaceslav Munteanu continues to contribute to digiKam for the third GSoC-program in row. This year, he implemented Advanced Metadata Hub – a new component that gives the user more control over the metadata management in digiKam. With this component it is possible now to define in addition to digiKam’s default namespaces new user-specific namespaces. It is also possible to edit new namespaces, disable them temporarily and to change their order which influences the search results in digiKam. Furthermore, lazy metadata synchronization was introduced to digiKam. When changing the metadata (applying a tag, rating or comment to an image), the synchronization process could slow-down the system for bigger image collections on slower (or remote) hard-disks. With the new lazy method the synchronization can be optionally postponed to a later point and the user doesn’t experience any immediate slow-down on metadata changes.
 
 
 
4. Education
 
KStars, the outstanding open-source astronomy software, is now able to display artistic drawings for all modern constellations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_modern_constellations_by_area) – thanks to the work done by M.S. Adityan during this summer. One of the main parts of the project was to understand how to map the image onto the sky map. The screenshot below shows art images for all 88 modern constellations that can be optionally switched on and off.
 
Daniel Leu contributed a job scheduler to KStars that will help automate astrophotography sessions. A job is specified as per the information provided by the user such as the object under observation, altitude, angular distance to the moon and the execution starting and finishing times and the job triggered by the scheduler communicates with the teleskop via the Ekos interface (http://api.kde.org/4.x-api/kdeedu-apidocs/kstars/html/namespaceEkos.html) and performes a slewing of the teleskop, loading of the sequence and its execution. To simplify the selection of the object to be observed, the user can now provide a FITS image and the object coordinates are determined out of the information stored in the FITS file.
 
 
David Kolozsvari joined the Marble team this summer and implemented a couple of nice features. He improved rendering of labels (street names, building names etc.) that are now drawn along the curved street paths. Before this, the labels were just shown “somewhere” on the map. As a result of his work:

Besides this, some smaller improvements and bug fixes were made by him. He has started working on improving Marble’s Print support as an extension to his contribution to Marble during GSoC. Check out his blog for demos and more (http://koldavidgsoc.blogspot.de/2015/08/gsoc-2015-summer-with-marble.html).

 
The second Marble-related GSoC-project was about the handling of OpenStreetMap (OSM) files. Marius Stanciu added support for opening OSM-files, viewing, editing and exporting them. The main part of the project was to provide an OSM editor for Marble. Plenty of features can be implemented in such an editor and Marius implemented it for tags and relations. Tags allow annotation of the placemarks to provide information on them beyond the location coordinates. With the help of relations, logical relationships between different points on the map can also be modeled. Take a look at Marius’ blogs for more screenshots and examples.http://mariusoc.blogspot.de/2015/08/wrapping-things-up.html
 
 
LabPlot, the data plotting and analysis tool for KDE had 3 students this year.
Minh Ngo added visualization of 3D-data to LabPlot by utilizing the very powerful library VTK. Different data source sources are supported – external files with 3D-data, LabPlot’s spreadsheets with column-based organisation of data and LabPlot’s matrices with matrix-like data structure. The data can be visualized as points in 3D-space, curves and surfaces. A lot of options for the 3D-plots are availble and can be adjusted by the user in a user-friendly GUI. Furthermore, several zooming functions were implemented that allow a comfortable navigation through the data. Because of the huge complexity of this topic, not everything could be implemented in such a short period of time. Minh is eager to contribute further to the projects and continues working on 3D-part of LabPlot with the aim to push LabPlot’s 3D-functionality to much higher level.
 
Ankit Wagarde added a very useful tool to LabPlot that allows to extract data from images – the Datapicker. After import of an image and setting the reference points, the user start to select the data points on the image that get automatically converted into numbers. Those numbers can be used in your own plots where you can e.g. combine your own results with results of another work where the imported image was taken from. Different scalings are supported as well as data point with error bars. Arbitrary number of curves on the plot from the imported image is supported whereas different symbol styles can be used to differentiate the appearance of the curves
 
 
Currently, LabPlot is lacking any scripting functionality and has a very limited set of features to generate new data. On the other hand, Cantor – another KDE-education software – unifies the usage of different open-source computer algebra systems (CAS) like Maxima, Octave, etc. in a single program. Garvit Khatri integrated Cantor into LabPlot. This allows now to perform calculations, to produce and to analyze data with the CAS of your choice, to plot the generated data and to modify the appearance of the plot directly in LabPlot. The user benefits now from the very powerful CAS languages and from the numerous editing features for plots in LabPlot. The screenshot below shows a simple calculation done in python3 with scipy/numpy and the visualization of the calculated data in LabPlot’s manner.
All in all – a very nice example for how two open-source projects can collaborate and bundle the man-power and the available features two produce software of much greater value.
 
5. Misc
KDE’s universal document viewer Okular was extended by Saheb Preet Singh to support PDF tags, layers and linearized documents. PDF tags allow to add additional description to different structures in a PDF document. Information can be stored on different layers of a PDF file – a feature allowing to make some content visible or invisible in the document. In Okular, tags and layers are shown in a tree-like view and can be searched and filtered for. The third new feature in Okular, the support for linearized PDF documents, make viewing over the internet faster – the document is streamed over the network and the user can start to read the document without the need to wait until the complete file is downloaded. 
 
balooctl, the command line tool to control Baloo, KDE’s indexing and search framework, got a lot of useful features allowing to get a better overview of the current state of Baloo. The main part of the project taken by Pinak Ahuja was the Baloo Monitor – a GUI tool showing Baloo’s current state, file being indexed, total progress and estimated remaining time
and a button to suspend/resume indexing. On the way to these results, Baloo’s architecture needed to be partially redesigned and re-factored to make the interaction of this tool with Baloo’s back-end possible.
This work went far beyond the original proposal and was done in close collaboration and with the help of the project mentor. The monitor has been added as a KCM to KInfoCenter.
 
 
Aleksandr Mezin improved the KDE System Settings by adding a new configuration module for pointing devices. This module unifies now the functionality that was previously spread between Mouse and Touchpad KCMs.
With the help of KDE’s visual designers Aleksandr was able to create a nice looking UI where the pointing devices can be configured at the same place. Currently, all properties of libinput driver can be configured in this new module for X11 as well as for Wayland (with patched version of KWin), whereas a better and more complete support for evdev and synaptics drivers is to be expected in the near feature. 
 
Ranveer Aggarwal worked on the implementation of an interface for installing 3rd party plugins for different KDE applications like additional codecs for k3b, KIPI-plugins for Gwenview, etc.
3rd party plugins can be fetched from the system packages manager, the installation is handled with the help of PackageKit that unifies the handling of different package management systems.
Ranveer’s final report exemplifies the usage of this new interface for couple of KDE applications:
 
KDE Connect https://albertvaka.wordpress.com/ is a very useful application for KDE and smartphone users that allows to control your KDE desktop with the smartphone, to receive the phone notifications on your computer or to interchange data between different devices. This year Vineet Garg improved the secure communication over the network and added the support for TLSv1.2 to KDE Connect. By the way, the first version of KDE Connect was written during GSoC2013.
 
The KDE infrastructure got a new very nice service – KDE Reportshttps://reports.kde.org/. In this web app, contributed by Ahmed AbouElhamayed, graphical reports for KDE related statistics are shown. Charts for the current number of bug reports, total average time taken to resolve a bug, number of commits, review requests, social media activities and for many many other things allow you to get better insights into the ongoing KDE activities. 
Check out recent Ahmed’s blogs for a number of useful examples
 
Besides the porting activities mentioned above, Kopete got help from two more students this year. Nikolaos Chatzidakis worked (and is still working on it even GSoC is already finished, on a GnuPGP-plugin for Kopete to allow secure encrypting, signing, decrypting and verifying of messages via GnuPGP. Joseph W Joshua contributed to a new history plugin for Kopete based on a SQL-database. The idea behind this plugin is to store the messages in a database and to provide an interface for quick and advanced searching in the history.
 
Final remarks:
For many students participated in this year’s GSoC, the contribution to the open-source community and especially to KDE didn’t end with the final reports written in August. Many students are still in touch with their mentors, continue to work on their projects or are even looking for new tasks. All in all, a great GSoC season for KDE with remarkable achievements. We’re looking forward for GSoC2016!
 

KDE Plasma 5.5: The Quintessential 2016 Review

KDE contributor Ken Vermette has written The Quintessential 2016 Review of Plasma 5.5 which was released last month, a 9 page cover of the good, the bad and the beautiful.

Plasma 5.5 marks the beginning of the lifecycle where the vast majority of pe…

Plasma 5.5 With Beautiful New Artwork


Plasma 5.5

Plasma 5.5

Tuesday, 8 December 2015. Today KDE releases a feature update to its desktop software, Plasma 5.5.

Video of Plasma 5.5 highlights

We have been working hard over the last four months
to smooth off the rough edges, add useful new workflows, make
Plasma even more beautiful and build the foundations for the future.


Breeze Icons

Breeze Icons

Updated Breeze Plasma Theme

The Breeze Plasma widget theme has been updated to make it more consistent.

While the Breeze icons theme adds new icons and updates the existing icon set to improve the visual design.

Plasma Widget Explorer

The Plasma Widget explorer now supports a two column view with new widget icons for Breeze, Breeze Dark and Oxygen

Expanded Feature Set in Application Launcher

Context menus in Application Launcher (‘Kickoff’) can now list documents recently opened in an application, allow editing the application’s menu entry and adding the application to the panel, Task Manager or desktop. Favorites now supports documents, directories and system actions or they can be created from search results. These features (and some others) were previously available only in the alternative Application Menu (‘Kicker’) and have now become available in the default Application Launcher by sharing the backend between both launchers.


Color Picker Plasma Applet

Color Picker Plasma Applet

New Applets in Plasma Addons

Color Picker

Not only have we restored support for the Color Picker applet, we’ve given it an entire new UI refresh to fit in with Plasma 5.

The color picker applet lets you pick a color from anywhere on the screen and automatically copies its color code to the clipboard in a variety of formats (RGB, Hex, Qt QML rgba, LaTeX).


User Switcher Plasma Applet

User Switcher Plasma Applet

User Switcher

User switching has been updated and improved and is now accessible from the Application Launcher, the new User Switcher applet and in the lock screen. It shows the user’s full name and user set avatar. This is very useful for offices with shared desks. More info in the developer blog.

Disk Quota

Plasma 5.5 sees a new applet designed for business environments or universities. This applet will show you usage assessed not around the real disk usage, but your allowed quota by your system administrator.

Activity Pager

Done for users whose use case of activities partly overlaps with virtual desktops: it looks like a pager, it behaves like a pager but uses activities instead of virtual desktops. This gives a quick glimpse of what activities are running and how many windows are associated to each activity.


Legacy Systray Icons

Legacy System Tray Icons

Restored Legacy Icons in System Tray Support

In response to feedback, we’ve rewritten support for legacy applications not using the StatusNotifier standard for system tray icons.

Bug Stats

In the run up to the Plasma 5.5 beta an incredible over 1,000 bugs were fixed.

OpenGL ES Support in KWin

Support for switching to OpenGL ES in KWin returns. So far only switching through an environment variable and restarting KWin is supported. Set environment variable KWIN_COMPOSE to ‘O2ES’ to force the OpenGL ES backend. Please note that OpenGL ES is not supported by all drivers. Because of that it’s not exposed through a configuration mechanism. Please consider it as an expert mode.


Screen Locker

Screen Locker

Wayland Progress:

With Plasma 5.5 a basic Wayland session is provided. Wayland is the successor of the dated X11 windowing system providing a modern approach. The system is more secure (e.g. key loggers are no longer trivial to implement) and follows the paradigm of ‘every frame perfect’ which makes screen tearing very difficult. With Plasma 5.4 the KDE community already provided a technology preview based on the feature set of the Phone project. With Plasma 5.5 this is now extended with more ‘desktop style’ usages. Important features like move/resize of windows is now supported as well as many integration features for the desktop shell. This allows for usage by early adopters, though we need to point out that it is not yet up to the task of fully replacing an X session. We encourage our more technical users to give it a try and report as many bugs as you can find.

A new screen management protocol has been created for configuring the connected screens of a Wayland session.

Also added are some protocols for controlling KWin effects in Wayland such as window background blur and windows minimize animation

Plasma on Wayland session now features secure screen locking, something never fully achievable with X. Read more about fixing this 11 year old bug on the screenlocker integration developer blog.

Please also see the list of known issues with Wayland on the Errata page.


Discover

Discover

New Discover design

With the help of the KDE Visual Design Group we came up with a new design that will improve the usability of our software installer.


Noto Font

Noto Font

New Default Font

Our default font has switched to Noto a beautiful and free font which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel.


File Indexer Status

File Indexer Status

Info Center

A status module for the file indexer was added.

Plasma Networkmanager

There have been several improvements to our network manager applet. WPA/WPA2 Enterprise validation was added, it uses a new password field widget and OpenVPN has more options.

Wallpapers

We have a new selection of wonderful wallpapers
from RJ Quiralta, Martin Klapetek, Timothée Giet, Dmitri Popov, Maciej Wiklo and Risto S for the Plasma 5.5 release.

Full Changelog


Full Plasma 5.5.0 changelog

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • del.icio.us logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Google+ logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo

Randa Meetings 2015 – Huge Success Again

The Randa Meetings 2015 came to a successful end a while ago, so it is time to look back, see what we achieved and give you a little summary of the events that took place in the Swiss Alps this year. As usual we had quite a collection of meetings in on…

KDE at USENIX/LISA2015 Conference

USENIX, in cooperation with LOPSA (League of Professional System Administrators), presented the 2015 LISA (Large Installation System Administration) Conference in Washington, D.C. USA from 8 November to 13 November. Two members of the KDE Community represented KDE at the Conference Expo, connecting with many of the 1,060 attendees to discuss successful large scale deployment and other KDE goodness.

Yash Shah and Michael Pyne demonstrated the features of the Plasma 5 desktop and underlying KDE Frameworks, with a focus on how those features can help meet enterprise IT needs.


Yash Shah


Michael Pyne

Many users visited the KDE exhibit space with fond memories and reported about how they use KDE technology and how they’ve deployed it within their own organizations. Several people said that they have used KDE since version 1.0. For the most part, the LISA attendees were Linux savvy and well acquainted with KDE.


KDE’s exhibit space – Simple by Default. Powerful when needed.

The demos were well received, especially by users who had not recently used KDE software. They were surprised by how much the desktop had advanced since they last used it.

Attendees showed interest in KDE’s cross-platform support (especially on FreeBSD), and its configurability (especially to run on hardware with less computing power). Several people made feature requests as well. The few complaints were invariably about changing or removing configurability. On the other hand, some happy users said that configurability is something that they enjoy and that it keeps them using KDE technology.


KDE fans

The similarity in user experience between recent versions of the KDE 4 desktop and Plasma 5 made for a good story about the ongoing stability of KDE desktop technology. This stability, along with KDE’s classic customizability, appealed to technical staff people who just want to get work done.

Demonstrations

Yash and Michael demonstrated and discussed many aspects of KDE software, including:

  • KWin’s windowing capabilities and effects, along with the ability to fallback to XRender or disable compositing if necessary to improve performance,
  • Kate’s SQL plugin,
  • Plasma 5’s seamless support for KDE 4 applications, featuring the Krita digital painting application and other leading edge capabilities (the “KDE ASCIIquarium” screensaver was surprisingly popular),
  • KDevelop5 for Plasma 5 with semantic highlighting,
  • KDE Kiosk (a library feature useful for sysadmins deploying many desktops),
  • KDE Connect,
  • Ease of porting Qt4/KDE4 code to run on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5, and
  • The extensive Qt & KDE symbiosis.

The LISA Conference

The LISA Conference has long served as the annual vendor-neutral meeting place for the wider system administration community. Recognizing the overlap and differences between traditional and modern IT operations and engineering, the highly-curated 6-day program offers training, workshops, invited talks, panels, paper presentations, and networking opportunities around 5 key topics: Systems Engineering, Security, Culture, DevOps, and Monitoring/Metrics.

Thanks

Many thanks to USENIX for the generous support of KDE at the LISA 2015 Conference. Special thanks to the USENIX staff; they are superb.

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • del.icio.us logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Google+ logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo

What’s New in Fedora 23 KDE Plasma Desktop Spin

Fedora 23 KDE Plasma Desktop Spin brings you the best and the latest of Fedora and KDE Plasma Desktop. KDE Plasma Desktop is a modern and a familiar desktop environment for your everyday computing needs. Fedora 23 KDE Plasma Desktop features Plasma… Continue Reading →

KDE Signs the User Data Manifesto 2.0

KDE, through its legal body KDE e.V., is one of the launch partners and initial signatories of the User Data Manifesto 2.0. The User Data Manifesto defines basic rights for people to control their own data in the internet age:

  • Control over user data access
  • Knowledge of how the data is stored
  • Freedom to choose a platform

KDE e.V. President Lydia Pintscher explains “I believe that in today’s world where more and more of our daily life depends on technology it is crucial that people have control over that technology. You should be empowered to know what your technology does and you should be empowered to influence it. This is at the core of Free Software. Unfortunately it is not at the core of most of the technology people interact with every day – quite the opposite – walled gardens and locks wherever you look with few exceptions.

“KDE is working hard to provide you with technology that you control every single day so you are empowered and the one ultimately in charge of your technology, data and life – the basis for freedom for many today. This is written down in the first sentence of our manifesto: “We are a community of technologists, designers, writers and advocates who work to ensure freedom for all people through our software.”

“Do you want to join us in providing more people with more access to Free technology? Today is a good day!

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • del.icio.us logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Google+ logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo

KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.2, bugfix Release for October

<!–


Plasma 5.4

Plasma 5.4

–>

Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.4.2.
Plasma 5.4 was released in August 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 and include:

Full Plasma 5.4.2 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.


  • href=’https://community.kde.org/Plasma/Packages’>Package download 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.

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • del.icio.us logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Google+ logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo

Plasma 5.4.1 Bugfix Release for September


Plasma 5.4

Plasma 5.4

Tuesday, 08 September 2015. Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.4.1. Plasma 5.4 was released in August 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 and include:

  • Fixes for compilation with GCC 5
  • Autostart desktop files no longer saved to the wrong location
  • On Muon Make sure the install button has a size.

Full Plasma 5.4.1 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.

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • del.icio.us logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Google+ logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo