Plasma Next Beta Ready for Testing

KDE is pleased to announce that Plasma Next Beta 1 has been released. Plasma Next is the codename for the new version of our beautiful desktop workspace built on KDE Frameworks 5. It features the same familiar layout you will be used to but with a si…

KDE Ships May Updates to Applications and Platform

Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the first in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.13 series. This release contains only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for e…

KDE Commit-Digest for 30th March 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Baloo reduces I/O usage during initial indexing; introduces a new database wrapper which adds features such as combining a writable + read only db and many convenience functions
Plasma Framework makes the desktop scrip…

KDE Commit-Digest for 23rd March 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KDE Frameworks changes default font settings to Oxygen font
KDevelop improves Custom Buildsystem Plugin, and it is now possible to define macros and add include directories/files through GUI and the GUI is always acces…

KDE Commit-Digest for 16th March 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KWallet adds support for pam-kwallet in kwalletd
KWin introduces a X-KWin-Internal in kwineffect services
Krita shows rulers in pixel units by default (user can change this)
Smb4k implements permanent (re)mounting of s…

KDE Commit-Digest for 9th March 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Plasma Desktop can highlight currently open applets
Plasma framework adds an optional EGL/X11 backend for WindowThumbnail QQuickItem
KDE-PIM can create calendar events from e-mail
Kate substantially improves highlighti…

Akademy-es 2014: Visit Málaga and learn about KDE

From May 16th to 18th, Málaga is hosting Akademy-es 2014 in Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieria de Telecomunicación of Universidad de Málaga. This event is organized by KDE España, Linux Málaga and Bitvalley, and represents the return of a KDE event to Málaga 9 years after it hosted Akademy 2005.

This Akademy-es will have a wide range of talks from informing users about KDE software to programming with QtQuick and ASAN. There will also be introductory talks for people who want to start contributing to KDE.

As always the event is free to attend, but you should register to make it easier for the organization and to get a printed badge instead of a handwritten one ;).


Akademy-es 2013 group photo (click for larger)

Thank you to Gold Sponsors Digia, Opentia and openSUSE for helping make this happen!

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KDE PIM 2014 Spring Sprint

We continue the tradition of having the PIM sprint in a place that starts with a “B”. The last 3 PIM sprints were in Berlin (twice) and Brno. The Spring edition of this year took place in Barcelona, continuing the tradition. Add to this the name of the company hosting us which conveniently starts with a “B” as well (BlueSystems).


From left to right, top row: Martin Klapetek, Christian Mollekopf, Mark Gaiser, Alex Fiestas
Bottom row: Vishesh Handa, Daniel Vrátil, David Edmundson, Sergio Martins, Sandro Knauß

KOrganizer love

One of our regular attendees, Christian Mollekopf, had a nice surprise for us at the sprint. He works for Kolab Systems and told us about some of their plans in terms of the upcoming deployment of KDE PIM in the city of Munich. This should bring some usability improvements, including work on KOrganizer which should be able to better address a situation where a user literally has access to thousands of calendars. Kolab Systems is also working on bug fixes, stabilization improvements and optimizations throughout the KOrganizer product and entire KDE PIM application. The best thing is that all changes will be sent back for the KDE community to enjoy. The regular KDE software user will begin to see these changes in the KDE Applications release 4.14.

Frameworks

With the upcoming releases of KDE Frameworks and Plasma 2014.06, there is a need to port the heart of PIM applications to Qt 5. Some sprint attendees started work in that area which will make it possible to do things such as KMail running on top of Plasma 2014.06. We also decided that applications without a maintainer won’t be ported to Qt 5. Applications that will probably not be ported are KNode and KAddressbook. The latter is currently being rewritten in a GSoC project.

Bugs and performance

A habit in sprints is to take a look at those pesky issues that are difficult to figure out alone. Quite a few bugs were resolved and performance has been improved throughout the PIM applications. Many of these changes are already available in the recently released KDE Applications 4.13.

Donations

KDE software is developed mostly by volunteers. Most sprint attendees are volunteers (and some are fortunate to do KDE software development as a daily job). We spend much of our free time improving the experience of our users. Having a sprint is made possible by a company willing to host us and our KDE e.V. organization willing to cover the traveling and hotel costs. We are rely on your donations to continue this. If you want to support KDE software development and have the financial means, please consider hitting the donations link.

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Akademy 2014 Call for Papers

Akademy is the KDE Community conference. It is where we meet, discuss plans for the future, get inspired, learn and get work done. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from September 6-12 in Brno, Czech Republic. The main days for talks are Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of September. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.


Akademy 2013 attendees (click for larger) by Knut Yrvin

What we are looking for

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

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

If you think you have something important to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please nominate them. For more details see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers. The submission deadline is Sunday 18th May, 23:59:59 CEST.

About Akademy 2014 Brno, Czech Republic

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those who are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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KDE Ships second April Updates to Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces

Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the fifth in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.9. Both releases contain only bugfixes…

KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd March 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Parley adds support for sound in multiple modes, allows the use of image instead of word for flashcard training
Okular adds Magnifier and play/pause in the presentation mode
KDE-PIM adds KAccounts support to Google res…

KDE Commit-Digest for 23rd February 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KDevelop Clang support adds refactoring / renaming of variables and functions
Kate adds jump to next/previous change function and a plugin that allows you to launch the replicode executable with specified settings
KDE-…

Interview with Aaron Seigo About Bodega Appstore


Welcome to the Bodega store!

The openSUSE News site features an interview with Aaron Seigo about Bodega, a content store technology developed under the KDE umbrella. We replicate the KDE-relevant parts of the article here.

What is Bodega?

First off, let’s find out what Bodega is all about. Aaron explains:

Bodega is a store for digital stuff. In fancy words: it creates a catalog of metadata which represents digital assets.

The most important thing is of course the ‘digital asset’ term. That can be anything. For example, applications. Applications can be self contained – think how android does its APK files. Of course, things on Linux are often more complicated. Apache isn’t exactly a self-contained thing. And look further – perl, php, ruby, they all have their own addons like gems that need managing. Generalizing further, there are manuals. And books in general. Music, movies, pictures, you can go on.


Setting up a Bodega account

Of course, the competition has these too – look at Apple or Google.

And how about Linux…

Linux does not have a store where you can get such a wide variety of things. For a game, you can use Appstream, get it from Apper or GNOME’s software center. They all give a view on applications. Unfortunately, that is only useful for desktops and can handle things barely above the level of Angry Birds. If you want a python module as developers – these fancy tools won’t help you. Nor are they useful on servers. For those you have to rely on command line tools or even do things completely by hand. And it is all different between distributions.

Going further, where do you get documentation? For openSUSE, that’s activedoc or the forums or our support database on the wiki. Not from zypper. Music – you can get that from Magnatune and so on.

What if you can have one place where you can get a book, game, applications, isn’t that nice? That is what Bodega is.


The main screen of the store

How is Bodega different?

So, Bodega offers a digital store which can handle a wider variety of things than our current solutions. But what sets it apart from proprietary technologies like the Playstore and of course Canonical’s store solution? Aaron:

Most Linux solutions like Appstream assume their audience are users who play Angry Birds and use spreadsheets. Fair enough. Bodega takes a different approach and is far more ambitious.

Bodega has all the meta data in one place and offers ‘stores’ which are views on that data. That means you can have a software developer store, for example listing all languages and their addons separate; and a server section etc. And a separate UI for the angry-bird-and-spreadsheet crowd. All from the same bodega system, filtered by tags (not static categories!).

Talking about Appstream, Bodega can of course benefit from the metadata gathered for Appstream. And GNOME’s Software Center could be reworked to be a front-end to Bodega, adding books, music and lots of other digital data to its store. This is not meant to be a rewrite of what is there, or an isolated effort!


An application in the store

And why would you build on Bodega?

Bodega is open: everybody can quite easily add their own stores; or their own data sources; and add content and even sell it through their channels. It is not a closed system, on the contrary.

Open is a must, especially for Linux:

Take the 440.000 users of openSUSE. That would be a minimal amount of sales… The top-10 of paid apps in ubuntu makes less than a $100 per month of sales. Not really worth the effort. But if we could aggregate the sales between distributions, it would become relevant for third-party developers. Bodega as a cross-distribution is important!

And Bodega is useful for people outside of Linux. You can have your store on your own website so it is realistically possible for a independent author to sell their books in a bodega instance on their own website and never even SEE Linux. Yet the openSUSE users can get the books and benefit from the larger ecosystem…

The beauty of it is that it is all Free and Open Source Software, front and back. You can self-host all you want.


Preview of a wallpaper

Current state

You might be eager to find out what is there, today. Well, if you’ve seen the screenshots to the side, you know there is an app to access the store. It is build for touch screens but works just fine and you can get it in openSUSE through software.opensuse.org. Once installed, you can fire it up typing “active-addons” in a run command dialog.

Shawn Dunn (of cloverleaf fame) is putting together a more traditional desktop UI, while maintaining these packages as well. You will be able to have a conversation with him as he’s going to be at the openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik this month where he will present a session about Bodega! He is known as SFaulken online and pretty much always hangs in the #opensuse-kde channel on Freenode where you can ask how to get things running or how to help him break stuff anytime. He’s also yelling at the world on google plus.


Famous books included!

Bodega now contains the entire book set of Project Gutenberg (thousands of awesome, free books) as well as a number of wallpapers and applications. Aaron:

There is work to be done to include all openSUSE Software in Bodega. The store can use a little work too, but is based on QML which makes it very easy to improve. If you’re interested in helping out, let us know!

You can contact Aaron on IRC as aseigo in the #plasma active channel on Freenode, ping him on Google+ or shoot him a mail on aseigo on the KDE.org servers.

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KDE Releases Alpha Version of Next-gen Plasma Workspace


Plasma Next: familiar yet polished

KDE today releases the first Alpha version of the next-generation Plasma workspace. This kicks off the public testing phase for the next iteration of the popular Free software workspace, code-named “Plasma Next” (referring to the ‘next’ Plasma release-see below “A note on versioning and naming”). Plasma Next is built using QML and runs on top of a fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack using Qt 5, QtQuick 2 and an OpenGL(-ES) scenegraph. Plasma Next provides a core desktop experience that will be easy and familiar for current users of KDE workspaces or alternative Free Software or proprietary offerings. Plasma Next is planned to be released as 2014.6 on the 17th of June.


The converged workspace

Modern day computing device abilities are starting to blend with each other. Tablets can be used with a keyboard, phones can stream their screen contents to a television, laptops have gotten flip and touch screens. To deal with this, Plasma Next has been designed as a converged workspace shell. It will be able to switch on demand between workspaces optimized for these different form factors, like a tablet user interface turning into a traditional desktop workspace when paired with a keyboard and a mouse. Plasma will be easily extensible as new form factors emerge.


Smoother Kickoff menu

The mechanism to adapt to different form factors is fully implemented and functional, but, as there is only one workspace available right now, it is not useful at this point. In the months to come, the Plasma team plans to make available additional workspaces, such as the tablet-oriented Plasma Active user experience, and the media-consumption-targeted Plasma Mediacenter.

A note on versioning and naming: The code name “Plasma Next” always points to the upcoming release of Plasma, KDE’s end user workspace. The current Alpha will become 2014.6, to be released in June of this year. If the team opts for a 6 month release cycle (still to be determined), Plasma Next will refer to the 2014.12 release once 2014.6 is out.

Ready for testing, not production

The workspace demonstrated in this pre-release is Plasma Desktop. It represents an evolution of known desktop and laptop paradigms. Plasma Next keeps existing workflows intact, while providing incremental visual and interactive improvements. Many of those can be observed in this technology preview, others are still being worked on. Workspaces optimized for other devices will be made available in future releases.

As an Alpha release, this pre-release is not suitable for production use. It is meant as a base for testing and gathering feedback, so that the initial stable release of Plasma Next in June will be a smooth ride for everybody involved and lay a stable foundation for future versions. Plasma Next is intended for end users, but will not provide feature parity with the latest 4.x release (although this is expected to be accomplished in a follow-up release). The team is concentrating on the core desktop features first, instead of trying to transplant every single feature into the new workspaces. The feature set presented in Plasma Next will suffice for most users, though some might miss a knob here and there. This is not because the Plasma team wants to remove features, but simply that not everything has been done yet. Of course, everybody is encouraged to help bringing Plasma back to its original feature set and beyond.


left-to-right, top-to-bottom: Wallpaper dialog, panel toolbox, notifications and network manager in the system tray

For developers

Plasma Next builds on top of Qt 5. With this transition, all QML-based UIs—which Plasma is built exclusively with—will make use of a new scenegraph and scripting engine, resulting in huge performance wins as well as architectural benefits, such as being able to render using available graphics hardware.

Plasma Next is the first complex codebase to transition to KDE Frameworks 5, which is a modular evolution of the KDE development platform into leaner, less interdependent libraries.

For users

Users testing this Plasma pre-release are greeted with a more refined visual appearance. The new Breeze Plasma theme debuts in this pre-release with a flatter, cleaner look. Less visual clutter and improved contrast make Plasma Next a noticeable improvement over the current stable Plasma workspaces. There has been some polish to much of Plasma’s default functionality, such as the system tray area, the notifications, the settings for the compositor and window manager, and many more. While it will feel familiar, users will notice a more modern workspace.


New Activities chooser

Installing and providing feedback

You can install Plasma Next directly from source. KDE’s community wiki has instructions. Some distributions have created packages; for an overview of Alpha 1 packages, see this page. You can provide feedback either via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. Plasma Next is also discussed on the KDE Forums. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

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KDE Ships First Beta of Frameworks 5

Today KDE makes available the first beta of Frameworks 5. This release is part of a series of releases leading up to the final version planned for June 2014 following the second alpha last month. This release marks the freeze of source incompatible ch…

KDE Ships April Updates to Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces

Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the fourth in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.8. Both releases contain only bugfixes…

KDE to Attend Freedesktop Summit 2014

Next week, from Monday the 31st of March to the 4th of April (Friday), developers from the major Linux desktops (GNOME, KDE, Unity and RazorQt) will meet in Nuremberg for the second Freedesktop Summit.
The summit is a joint technical meeting of develop…

KDE Ships Release Candidate of Applications and Platform 4.13

KDE has announced the Release Candidate of the 4.13 versions of Applications and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with find…

KDE Commit-Digest for 16th February 2014

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Amarok merges advanced track statistics importers (a GSoC project)
KDevelop allows language plugins to provide styles to formatters
Konsole stores terminal size in the profile, each profile can now set desired column a…

KDE Ships Third Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13

The KDE community today released the third beta of Applications and Development Platform 4.13. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with finding an…