Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the first in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. Starting with the next Applications and Development Platform release, 4.12.2, there will also be a main…
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
The KDE Community is proud to announce a Tech Preview of KDE Frameworks 5. Frameworks 5 is the result of almost three years of work to modularize, review and port the set of libraries previously known as KDElibs or KDE Platform 4 into a set of Qt Addons, separate libraries with well-defined dependencies and abilities, ready for Qt 5. This gives the Qt ecosystem a powerful set of drop-in libraries providing additional functionality for a wide variety of tasks and platforms, based on over 15 years of KDE experience in building applications. Today, all the Frameworks are available in Tech Preview mode; a final release is planned for the first half of 2014. Some Tech Preview addons (notably KArchive and Threadweaver) are more mature than others at this time.
What is Frameworks 5?
The KDE libraries are currently the common code base for (almost) all KDE applications. They provide high-level functionality such as toolbars and menus, spell checking and file access. Currently, ‘kdelibs’ is distributed as a single set of interconnected libraries. Through KDE Frameworks efforts, these libraries have been methodically reworked into a set of independent, cross platform classes that will be readily available to all Qt developers.
The KDE Frameworks—designed as drop-in Qt Addon libraries—will enrich Qt as a development environment with functions that simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of Qt development. Frameworks eliminate the need to reinvent key functions.
The transition from Platform to Frameworks has been underway for almost three years and is being implemented by a team of about 20 (paid and volunteer) developers and actively supported by four companies. Frameworks 5 consists of 57 libraries: 19 independent Qt addons not requiring any dependencies; 9 that require libraries which themselves are independent; and 29 with more significant dependency chains. Frameworks are developed following the Frameworks Policies, in a vendor neutral, open process.
This KDE News article has more background on Frameworks 5.
The tech preview made available today contains all 57 libraries that are part of Frameworks 5. Of these, two have a maturity level that shows the direction of Frameworks: ThreadWeaver and KArchive. Developers are invited to take all of the libraries for a spin and provide feedback (and patches) to help bring them to the same level of maturity.
KArchive offers support for many popular compression codecs in a self-contained, featureful and easy-to-use file archiving and extracting library. Just feed it files; there’s no need to reinvent an archiving function in your Qt-based application! ThreadWeaver offers a high-level API to manage threads using job- and queue-based interfaces. It allows easy scheduling of thread execution by specifying dependencies between the threads and executing them while satisfying these dependencies, greatly simplifying the use of multiple threads. These are available for production use now.
The team is currently working on providing a detailed listing of all Frameworks and third party libraries at inqlude.org, the curated archive of Qt libraries. Each entry includes a dependency tree view. Dependency diagrams can also be found here.
Working towards a final release
The team will do monthly releases with a beta planned for the first week of April and a final release in the beginning of June.
Plans for this period include tidying up the infrastructure, integration with QMake and pkg-config for non-CMake users, getting CMake contributions upstream, and a final round of API cleanups and reviews. Frameworks 5 will be open for API changes until the beta in April.
Those interested in following progress can check out the git repositories, follow the discussions on the KDE Frameworks Development mailing list and contribute patches through review board. Policies and the current state of the project and plans are available at the Frameworks wiki. Real-time discussions take place on the #kde-devel IRC channel on freenode.net.
KDE will be at FOSDEM in Brussels on 1&2 February this year. We will have a stall both days showing off the latest builds of Frameworks 5 and Plasma 2. Saturday will see our Desktop devroom which is shared with GNOME, LXDE and Unity. There will be a a panel discussion with the governing bodies of the GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. (the association that supports KDE), a presentation about KDE Frameworks 5, and a personal account of challenges and triumphs—“Do you have to be brain damaged to care about desktop Linux?.
If you want to help out in the KDE stall or in the desktop devroom, please sign up on the KDE at FOSDEM wiki page.
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Install KDE 4.12 SC(Software Compilation) in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy/Ubuntu 12.04 Precise/Linux Mint 16/13 and KDE 4.11.3 in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring/Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal/Linux Mint 15/14/ and other Ubuntu derivativesKDE is an international team co-operating on development and distribution of Free, Open Source Software for desktop and portable computing. Our community has developed a wide variety of applications […]
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
The KDE community has a Christmas gift for you! We are happy to announce the release of KDE’s Plasma Media Center 1.2—your first stop for media and entertainment created by the Elves at KDE. Plasma Media Center is designed to provide an easy and comfortable way to watch your videos, browse your photo collection and listen to your music, all in one place. This release brings many refinements and a host of new features, making consuming media even easier and more fun.
New Features and Improvements
Working with feedback from users since the previous release, the team has implemented many cool new features and a variety of improvements and bug fixes.
Improved Music Mode
Artist and Album Cover Retrieval
Folder Previews for Picture Browsing
Keyboard bindings for media control
Multiple Playlist Support
Shiny new icons for controller
If you requested a feature that is not listed above, feel free to contact us! The team might be working on it already, or might not know about it if there was not a feature request on bugzilla (see “Bugs and Feature Requests” below). You can also leave comments and requests on this article.
Videos and Screenshots Of What’s New
Below is a video of what’s new in this release. You can also click through to Youtube directly.
There are more screen shots of Plasma Media Center 1.2.
For binary packages, check to see if your distro has them. If you are a packager (or know someone who is), the team can help with any questions regarding packaging. Currently, ArchLinux (AUR), Fedora, OpenSuse and Ubuntu have packages for Plasma Media Center.
Learn More and get involved
Bugs & Feature Requests
Thanks to our Google Code-In students:
The team is already hard at work on the next release of Plasma Media Center! Some things to expect in the next release:
For detailed release and feature plan of PMC 1.3.0, please take a look at this wiki page.
Thanks to all the developers, testers and people for giving useful feedback on improving Plasma Media Center. The team hopes you are as excited as they are and will enjoy this release!
KDE’s Plasma Team presents a first glimpse at the evolution of the Plasma Workspaces. Plasma 2 Technology Preview demonstrates the current development status. The Plasma 2 user interfaces are built using QML and run on top of a fully hardware accelerated graphics stack using Qt5, QtQuick 2 and an OpenGL(-ES) scenegraph. Plasma 2 is a converged workspace shell that can run and switch between user interfaces for different formfactors, and makes the workspace adaptable to a given target device. The first formfactor workspace to be demonstrated in this tech preview is Plasma Desktop, showing an incremental evolution to known desktop and laptop paradigms. The user experience aims at keeping existing workflows intact, while providing incremental visual and interactive improvements. Some of those can be observed in this technology preview, many others are still being worked on.
Architecture & Roadmap
While the underlying graphics stack changes fundamentally in the new Plasma edition—moving it to a fully hardware accelerated OpenGL(ES) scenegraph—the user interface components have been ported to make use of this new technology. As such, this is not a rewrite from scratch, but a port to a new graphics system. Plasma 2 Technology Preview builds on top of Qt 5.2, QtQuick2′s OpenGL scenegraph and the KDE Frameworks 5.
KDE Frameworks 5 is a modular version of the KDE Libraries and will be released independently from the Workspace. A preview of KDE Frameworks 5 has been postponed slightly to early 2014, a first stable release is planned for later that year. Together with Plasma’s converged Workspace shell, which supports switching between different, modular device-adaptable Workspaces, Plasma is more suitable for deployment on a wider range of devices. The team planses to release the first stable version of Plasma 2 this summer, with an end-user ready desktop Workspace. More formfactor Workspaces, such as Plasma Active and Plasma Mediacenter are planned to be added as they reach stable ports to Qt5, KDE Frameworks 5 and the Plasma 2 Framework.
Plasma 2 is in heavy development; this tech preview reflects a snapshot of this process. While the basic functionality is there, it contains many known and unknown bugs. The team is working on completing and improving the underlying infrastructure and smoothing out the user experience in more and more workflows. Plasma 2 is “dog-foodable”, but not yet fit for wider testing of its functionality. The Plasma team will open the issue tracker in the coming weeks, after most of the show-stoppers have been fixed. Session- and power management services have been ported and are functional. Components that together make up the desktop, such as the task manager, launcher menu, notification area, clock and calendar have basic, but functional ports available. The coming weeks and months will be spent on finishing this functionality, ironing out bugs, visual polish and applying some smaller architectural updates to a number of parts of the workspace experience.
Plasma 2 Technology Preview starts up with a basic default desktop layout, providing an application launcher, a pager to manage and switch between virtual desktops, a taskbar, notification area and a clock. It comes with a number of example widgets. All of these components are basically functional, and will be further polished in the coming weeks and months.
KWin Window Manager and Compositor
The window manager and compositor of the Plasma Workspaces, KWin, has reached a close-to-production-grade quality in this technical preview. This is a very important milestone, given that KWin was the application most difficult to port by the KDE community.
The porting of KWin was difficult because it made heavy use of low-level windowing system specific API inside the Qt libraries, which was removed due to the introduction of the Qt Platform Abstraction in the Qt 5 releases. More details about the required changes are available in the KWin maintainer’s Akademy talk. Most of the required API changes were already incorporated in the 4.11 release.
The Qt plugin for the X11 windowing system switched from XLib to XCB. This required rewriting large parts of the event filter inside KWin – a step which could only be done after porting to Qt 5. It was completely unknown what kinds of problems would be hit by such a port. There are not many window managers and compositors which have been ported to XCB. During the port the KDE team needed to add new features to Qt, was hit by regressions and bugs both in Qt and the XCB protocol bindings. Given that KWin had to be rebased on top of a new windowing system abstraction inside Qt, it is a great achievement to have a near-production-quality X11 window manager and compositor after such a short time.
A third area of unknown issues was the usage of OpenGL inside the compositor and QtQuick. This introduced a completely new area of threading related issues, which are explained in more detail in this blog post. Overall these issues are mostly solved, though the Aurorae-based window decorations have not reached production-ready quality; the Oxygen window decoration is recommended at the moment.
Although there was lots of porting involved, there are also new features which became available in the technology preview. The window decorations are now able to follow the color scheme of the decorated window—an important feature for the excellent image and photo applications Krita and digiKam by the KDE community that prefer a dark color scheme. This feature is also available through the window rules framework.
In the scope of Google Summer of Code, the configuration module for Desktop Effects was rewritten. It is making strong use of the new QtQuick Controls to enable a more flexible configuration. One of the first new features added to this configuration module is the integration of video previews of the effects. These videos have been created by Google Code-In students.
Getting the Plasma 2 Tech Preview
We recommend building Plasma 2 Tech Preview from our git repositories. Git tags for this tech preview have been created. Packagers can pull the source code with the “plasma2tp” tag from the respective git repositories. Most people will want to regularly update to the latest version of the KDE Frameworks 5 in order to get a constant stream of improvements. This is best achieved with kdesrc-build, which automates the fetching, building and installing and updating of the respective source code modules. Regular testing ISO images have become available, and are in the process of receiving the last set of updates that have gone in.
Where is the next Akademy? In Czech, “KDE je příští Akademy?” as ‘kde’ means ‘where’ in Czech.
Brno, Czech Republic
How did your team get involved in Akademy? What are your connections to KDE? Please tell us about yourselves.
The Brno Team
Daniel Vrátil, Iveta Šenfeldová, Jan Grulich, Jaroslav Řezník, Jozef Mlích
Luigi Toscano, Lukáš Tinkl, Martin Bříza, Martin Holec, Martin Kolman
Why do you want to help organize Akademy? What do you expect?
Tell us about Brno. Why is it the place for Akademy?
Brno is a beautiful city with many historical attractions, such as the Veveří castle from 11th century, the Špilberk castle from 17th century, St. Peter and Paul Cathedral originally built in 11th century and many others. There will be plenty for Akademy attendees to do when they break for leisure.
With 13 universities, 33 IT departments and research facilities, and over 120,000 students, Brno is a center of education and science—a great place to attract new people to KDE. Akademy will take place at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication at Brno University of Technology, about 20 minutes from the city center by public transportation.
Akademy Venue at Brno University of Technology
For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Intense workshops at the conference bring those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are exploring possibilities involving free and open source technologies.
2014 will see the 12th edition of Akademy, when once again a few hundred Free Software enthusiasts will gather for 2 days of talks and 5 days of workshops and coding sessions. For more information, please contact the Akademy team.
The KDE Community is proud to announce the latest major updates to KDE Applications delivering new features and fixes. With Plasma Workspaces and the KDE Platform frozen and receiving only long term support, those teams are focusing on the technical t…
On December 12th, the Qt Project released Qt 5.2. Congratulations to the Qt community for this great milestone! This version will form the foundation of Frameworks 5, the upcoming modularized release of the KDE libraries. As part of the Frameworks effo…
The KDE Community participated in the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) for the first time this year. It was more successful than expected. KDE got many great applications and mentored 4 students contributing to Free Software. The Outreach Program for Women encourages women to get involved in free and open source software. It provides a supportive community to begin contributing any time throughout the year, and offers focused internship opportunities twice a year with several free software organizations. Unlike the Google Summer of Code (GSoC), the Outreach Program for Women is open to non-students and non-coders.
KDE was glad to attract KDAB as a sponsor for one program slot. 2 other places were supported financially by the OPW sponsor pool that included many prestigious organizations such as Bloomberg, Google and several others. GNOME started OPW and has more information about the program.
One of the KDE projects that participated in OPW was Krita. Maria Far and Chinkal Naglpal did a great job for Krita this summer as OPW interns. They set up a webshop selling Krita-branded merchandise and helped manage the website. They created a coordinated system for the webshop, filled it with great items, created a database of artists who use Krita, integrated a variety of social networks, and fixed many issues with the website.
Mentor Boudewjin Rempt said:
Another project that also offered opportunities for OPW participants was Artikulate. Artikulate is a young project, born in the KDE Education playground less than a year ago, and still on the way to its first end-user release. Despite its age, this pronunciation training application attracted two people, Magdalena Konkiewicz (OPW participant) and Oindrila Gupta (GSoC participant). Their projects had the goal to help drive Artikulate to the first release. Their mentor Andreas Cord-Landwehr said:
The most visible contributions—though only a small piece of their work—can be seen in the new configuration dialogs, import mechanisms for courses, and learning statistics. As an immediate result of the work done in OPW, a preview release of Artikulate will be released soon.
The OPW participation was a very rewarding experience for the KDE Community. The close collaboration between interns and mentors also helped to integrate the new contributors into KDE’s work and to create a pleasant team experience for them. All four participants want to continue contributing to their respective projects as they unanimously felt very welcome. Myriam Schweingruber, OPW coordinator for the KDE Community together with Lydia Pintscher, said:
Project Neon, the daily builds of KDE Frameworks 5 and KDE Plasma 2 for Kubuntu, has started releasing ISO images for testing. These are very early previews of the next generation of KDE Software. It is strongly recommended not be installed on a produc…
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KDE has made available the Release Candidate of the new versions of KDE Applications and Development Platform.
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KDE has released the third beta of the 4.12 versions of Applications and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. Your assistance is requested.