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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Another KDE success story – the Incubator – Part 4




Kdenlive is the leading video editor on Linux

To wrap up the KDE Incubator success stories, here’s a bit from the Kdenlive folks.

Kdenlive, one of the rare free-as-in-speech video editors, started its life more than 12 years ago using KDE3 libraries. At that time, it was mostly the effort of a single person—coding, fixing bugs, publishing releases, managing the website. There was no real connection with the KDE Community. Good contributions came in from other people, but no team was built, a risky situation. In 2013, the main developer, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle, was not able to work on the project, so it was on hold for several months and had some technical problems. We tracked him down like a “Giant Spy” to get the project running until his return! That taught us a lesson. When Mario Fux presented the KDE Manifesto, it was the exact answer to our problem.

Kdenlive had already started to use KDE git, forums and translation power after its first contact with the KDE Community at the Randa Meetings in 2011 (where we heard about the KDE Manifesto). Completing the incubation process in 2014 allowed us to benefit from all offered help. Transferring the website (with mailing lists) to the KDE sysadmin team was a great relief for us, the overbooked non-specialists. Joining KDE Applications a few months ago gave us relief from the release tasks, which lets us put the code in good shape 4 times a year instead of once.

We had heard plenty about KDE being much more than a set of libraries or a technical infrastructure, that it is a community. The Kdenlive team needed to experience it. Now that we’ve been to the Randa Meetings and Akademy, we understand why it is worthwhile to interact with people in real life, in focused coding jam sessions. It greatly boosts motivation (smileys can’t beat real smiles), helps us build a clear vision for the future (I’m not developing for myself only, but can’t satisfy everyone…what should the focus be?), and offers opportunity to build bridges with other applications (want to work with drawn animations? Hey, Krita is doing that!). These contacts with many different people—designers, artists, developers, project managers, and users—who are contributing to KDE are also valuable feedback and a source of ideas to make our project evolve in exciting directions.

Kdenlive raised some money in 2013 to fund a huge refactoring task that is only coming out now. However we had refused other donations since then as we were not sure we could use that money fairly. Now we have tasted in-person meetings, but we can’t spend all our pocket money. So no problem; every single cent is welcome 😉

Please donate to the KDE Sprint fundraising campaign. You’ll be helping Kdenlive and other important KDE projects as well.

Thanks to Vincent Pinon and Jean-Baptiste Mardelle for this report.

Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

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KDE Applications 15.08 – Kontact Suite Technical Preview and Dolphin 5




Dolphin’s new look – based on KDE Frameworks 5

Today KDE released KDE Applications 15.08, the collection of more than 150 applications. This release features the Kontact Suite and Dolphin ported to KDE Frameworks 5.

Kontact Suite technical preview

Over the past several months, the KDE PIM team put a lot of effort into porting Kontact to Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. In addition, data access performance has been improved considerably by an optimized communication layer. The KDE PIM team is focused on further polishing the Kontact Suite, and would appreciate feedback. For detailed information about KDE PIM changes, see Laurent Montel’s blog.

Kdenlive and Okular

This release of Kdenlive includes fixes in the DVD wizard, along with many bug-fixes and other features, including the integration of some bigger refactorings. More information about Kdenlive changes can be seen in its changelog. Okular now supports Fade transition in the presentation mode.




KSudoku with a character puzzle

Dolphin, Edu and Games

Dolphin was ported to KDE Frameworks 5. Marble now has improved UTM support as well as better support for annotations, editing and “KML overlays.

Ark has had numerous commits including many small fixes. Kstars commits include improving the flat Analog to Digital Unit (ADU) algorithm and checking for out of bound values, saving Meridian Flip, Guide Deviation, and Autofocus HFR limit in the sequence file, and adding telescope rate and unpark support. KSudoku just got better, with commits that include: add GUI and engine for entering in Mathdoku and Killer Sudoku puzzles, and add a new solver based on Donald Knuth’s Dancing Links (DLX) algorithm.

Other Releases

This release continues the new style of releases, introduced with the latest KDE Applications 14.12 release. Along with this release, KDE Workspaces (aka Plasma 4) will be published for the last time in its Long Term Support version (version 4.11.22).

More than half of the KDE Applications have now been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5). The complete list of the Applications is available on the KDE Applications 15.08 release notes.

See the full list of changes in KDE Applications 15.08. In the next three months, there will be smaller bugfix releases for the KDE Applications, and then a next bigger release in December.


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 products. 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 15.08 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.

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You can help making KDE technologies even better!

Modern life has become increasingly dependent on software systems. Many daily used devices rely on Free Software for their basic functionality or additional services. TV sets, ATMs, smartphones, media centers and in-flight entertainment systems are ex…

Randa – Bring Touch to KDE

About a year ago, we talked with several people who were going to work together in Randa, Switzerland. These people were united by a love of KDE and had common motives—to make KDE technology better and have tons of fun while doing it!

The 5th edition of the Randa Meetings high in the Swiss Alps in August 2014 was a huge success, with many new features and major new additions to KDE technology, through the dedicated efforts of about 50 KDE developers taking a week out of their busy lives to bring great software to users.

Among the attendees last year was Călin Cruceru, an enthusiastic Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014 student working on Marble, the virtual globe and world atlas. He was one of the youngest members of KDE, and worked ardently in Randa along with his mentors and fellow GSoC students during the week. The 2014 Randa Meetings were productive for the Marble project, and quite an experience for Călin who was in his first KDE sprint.

All of this was possible because of your donations to the fundraiser for the Randa Meetings. We are asking you to continue with your financial support this year; we are excited about the Randa Meetings in 2015 with the theme Bring Touch to KDE.

This year the campaign has been expanded to raise funds for all KDE sprints. The Randa Meetings are big, but they are only one of the sprints that KDE sponsors throughout the year. The KDE Community is centered around development, and sprints allow for in-person coding that is much more effective than working online and communicating by email. Sprints involve hard work and long days, but it’s exhilarating, not tiring. During sprints, developers accomplish more in a few days than they thought possible. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by committed, top KDE developers. So while the focus of this fundraising campaign is on the Randa Meetings, all money raised will go towards the high quality, innovative KDE technology that sprints produce.

In this interview, we go back in time for a glimpse into Călin’s excitement and eagerness before he attended Randa Meetings 2014 and his anticipation for it. With your support and donations, you can help other newcomers have their first Randa experience this year!

We look forward to bringing you the stories and results from the Randa Meetings 2015.


Călin Cruceru – Marble Developer

Hi Călin, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Călin Cruceru and I’m in my second year studying Computer Science and Engineering at Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania. I am passionate about technology and I love contributing to open-source projects and surrounding myself with optimistic people.

You’ve just started being involved with open source. Why did you pick KDE? What were your expectations and have they been fulfilled?
Indeed, I just started contributing seriously to open-source projects about 6 months ago. In fact, ‘just’ is not the best word here, because it certainly does not feel like a short period of time. It all began with a thought that it might be a good experience for me to work on an application which is useful to many people. I had been using KDE as my desktop environment for a year by then and so I thought that the best choice would be something I use often, something I’d been a ‘user’ of.

To me it was fondly named ‘Marble’. And here I am; helping Marble be a better product since February 2014. I’m considering contributing to other KDE projects, but due to limited time this summer I haven’t been able to do so.

Regarding my expectations, I think that everything went even better than I could have possibly imagined. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical about my chances of getting involved because I thought I wasn’t technically prepared. But my doubt turned out to be an illusion; especially when I received so much help from such a friendly community.

Getting selected for Google Summer of Code to work on a Marble project as well as the feeling of really doing something useful for the application is how I know that all my expectations have been fulfilled.

How difficult is it for you to manage your school work and involvement with KDE?
It is not easy for sure and I usually do not have a lot of spare time; but I’m trying to get the best of both. And I think I am managing it pretty well.

How has your experience been with real world programming, especially contributing to software used by millions of people around the world?
There is an enormous difference between writing code for school/personal projects and real world applications. Like many other students, I’ve done a lot of coding for academic projects but getting involved with the development of a real application used by millions of people is a completely different experience. You get to know what it feels like to be a part of a big community, which you can’t normally do while working on school projects. You learn how to write code responsibly, knowing that every single line will have an impact on users. Also, you discover ‘best practices’ when writing real world applications, which improves your skills as a programmer.

­Many students are introduced to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) through mentoring programs, and remain associated with it only during the mentoring project. What message do you have for students who want to contribute to FOSS, but who are waiting for acceptance into a mentoring program?
I think this happens mostly because a lot of students want to improve their resumes and they think that this can be done only by participating in well-known programs. I use the words ‘they think’ because this is certainly not true, since companies tend to appreciate any open-source contributions (even if they are not part of mentoring programs). I think it is more impressive to see a long-term pattern of contributions without getting any accreditation other than the credits for patches.

What I mention here is just a consequence of an essential ingredient: the sheer passion for FOSS, for the feeling that you too can write code which eases people’s lives in some way. So my advice for those students is to take some time and think of what they would prefer to do when their favorite application crashes: wait for the developers to first consider their bug report and then repair it (the only option in closed-source projects), or to get the application’s sources and try to fix the problem on their own. Which one describes the qualities of a ‘true programmer’?

When did you hear about the Randa Meetings and why do you want to be there?
I heard about the Randa Meetings after the registrations had closed, but Mario (the main Randa Meetings organizer) noticed me on IRC congratulating a Marble colleague for participating in Randa and mentioning my regret over not knowing of the event earlier. Mario contacted me and said he might still be able to find a place for me at Randa. After just a day, everything was a certainty.

I’m very enthusiastic about this meeting because I will finally get to meet in person a lot of great people with whom I’ve been in contact daily for a couple of months now, but only virtually. I am also eager to get involved in the discussions about the future plans for improving KDE. I obviously expect to write a lot of code too!

Have you got anything in particular planned for Randa?
Yes, I do. I want to work on the User Interface of the plugin I have been working on since the beginning of GSoC. I plan to do this in Randa because I can work alongside my GSOC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser. This is one of the most challenging parts of my project; face to face discussions about the UI will lead to a better looking and functioning solution.

What are you looking forward to in the Randa Meetings?
I am really looking forward to meeting the people behind these great applications, used by millions of people, including myself. To me they are superstars. I want to make new connections within this community that I want to be a part of for quite a long time. I am particularly interested in collaborating with the main people involved with KDE Edu (which Marble is a part of) and contributing to it.

As far as the targets of completion are concerned, I want to make sure that by the 9th of August, the first day at Randa, all the features I added during the summer are fully functional and polished.

What important things have you learned from the KDE Community?
I’ve learned that being able to work in a team is a great virtue. I’ve also discovered many tricks and ‘best practices’ applied in the design of applications. One more important thing is that I’ve developed an ability to ‘feel’ when a piece of code is, say, error prone or is a victim of bad design.

Why do you think meetings such as Randa are important for KDE?
Such meetings are very important for open-source communities such as KDE mostly because they are the only times when developers gather under the same roof to plan and design new features and to hack on them. A face to face conversation is usually much more productive than any form of virtual communication.

Why is it important for people to support these meetings? How has the support helped you?
I think that people should support free and open-source software development so that they can enjoy the software they love without paying for the software. Donations are a small price to pay for the value people receive; even small donations help. FOSS gives developers the opportunity to customize existing software without having to start from scratch. In my case, people’s support has really helped; if it were not for their donations, Mario could not have organized my participation in this years’ Randa Meeting.

How do you imagine your typical day in Randa?
Wake up; have breakfast; socialize until everybody is up; discuss what is of utmost importance to be improved/added; have lunch; continue these discussions; write some code; continue discussions, focusing on specific projects; breathe fresh air from the Alps to get refreshed; work more; have dinner; socialize more; sleep. That’s just the first day.

Any other thoughts?
I want to send a big thank you to Mario Fux. Without his help I would not have been able to be a part of the trip to Randa. I also want to send the heartiest thanks to my GSoC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser, as well as to my Marble GSoC fellows, Sanjiban and Abhinav, who encouraged me to participate in this meeting.

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Akademy 2015 coming to an end

For an overview of what happened in the BoFs, meetings and hacking sessions during the second half of the week, you can watch the wrap-up session video

Friday marks the end of Akademy as friends old and new return home, enthused and inspired.

What is KDE?

During the BoF days from Monday to Thursday, a great many tiny videos were shot of many of the attendees by Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen. These have been edited and cut up and turned into a video explaining, very shortly, what KDE really is. Being a community of people contributing to the development of software, the conclusion is straight forward. See the unsurprising conclusion in the video entitled What is KDE? (webm, mp4, vimeo), created as a tribute to the KDE community and all the amazing people in it.

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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