Tuesday, 14 April 2015. Today KDE releases a beta release of Plasma 5, versioned 5.2.95.
Enhanced Power Management
Power management settings can be configured differently for certain activities
Laptop will not suspend when closing the lid while an external monitor is connected (‘cinema mode’, by default, can be turned off)
Power management inhibitions block lock screen too
Screen brightness changes are now animated on most hardware
No longer suspends when closing the lid while shutting down
Support for keyboard button brightness controls on lock screen
KInfoCenter provides statistics about energy consumption
Battery monitor now shows which applications are currently holding a power management inhibition for example (‘Chrome is currently suppressing PM: Playing video’)
Better Bluetooth Capabilities
New Bluetooth applet
Bluedevil was ported to a new library from KDE, BluezQt
Added support for blocking and unblocking Bluetooth
Connected devices with Browse Files (ObexFTP) support are now displayed in the file dialog’s Places panel
A touchpad configuration module has been added
Improved Plasma Widgets
Clipboard applet gains support for showing barcodes
The Desktop and Folder View containment codebases were
unified, and have seen performance improvements
The Recent Documents and Recent Applications sections in
Application Menu (Kicker) are now powered by KDE activities
Comics widget returns
System monitor plasmoids return, such as CPU Load Monitor and Hard Disk usage
Plasma Media Center – Tech Preview
Plasma Media Center is added as a tech preview in this beta. It is fully stable but misses a few features compared to version 1. You can log directly into a Plasma Media Center session if you want to use it on a media device such as a television or projector or you can run it from Plasma Desktop. It will scan for videos, music and pictures on your computer to let you browse and play them.
Big Steps Towards Wayland Support
Plasma 5.3 makes a huge step towards to supporting the Wayland windowing system in addition to the default X11 windowing system. Plasma’s window manager and compositor KWin is now able to start a nested XWayland server, which acts as a bridge between the old (X11) and the new (Wayland) world. X11 windows can connect to this server as if it were a normal X server, for KWin it looks like a Wayland window, though. This means that KWin learned to handle Wayland windows in this release, though full integration is only expected for Plasma 5.4.
In addition KWin gained new output modes for Wayland allowing to start a nested KWin on X11 and to start KWin directly on a framebuffer device, which will be the fallback for the case that OpenGL and/or kernel mode settings are not supported. A rendering backend on kernel mode settings is expected for Plasma 5.4. More information about these new backends and how to test them can be found in the KWin wiki pages. Please keep in mind that this is only a development preview and highly experimental new code.
Bug Fixes Galore
348 bugs were fixed giving fewer crashes and more reliable use.
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.
In February 2015 the Plasma developers met in the Blue Systems office in Barcelona to discuss and plan out where we would take Plasma over the duration of the next year. The sprint consisted of active Plasma developers and visual designers from around …
April 8th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Attention prospective Google Summer of Code students: the student applications window has begun.
If you haven’t contacted the relevant KDE subproject yet (including umbrella projects Kubuntu and Calamares) to submit your proposal for review, it is high time to do so. Take a look at our Google Summer of Code project ideas page, pick one or more of our exciting project ideas, dazzle us with your proposal and hack your way to ultimate glory this summer! A nice paycheck is also part of the deal.
If you have already received feedback and you feel your proposal is in good shape, we encourage you to officially submit it now to Google Melange.
Submitting early means your proposal might get more attention, and you will be able to edit it until the end of the student applications period. The deadline for student applications is March 27, 2015.
Mentors: interest from prospective students has been significant, and we’ll need to match those students with mentors. Offering more mentors might increase the number of student slots we get from Google, so if you are an established KDE developer and you are interested in giving a helping hand with Google Summer of Code, please sign up to be a mentor on Google Melange as soon as possible.
March 17th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Linux.com interviews KDE e.V. president Lydia Pintscher. She talks about what KDE’s legal body does and why it is important for open source communities to have a charity to represent them. She also discusses the difference between company and commun…
March 12th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
The KDE student programs team is happy to announce that KDE has been accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2015. This will allow students from around the world to work with mentors on KDE software projects. Successful students…
March 6th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
digiKam is a mature open-source project (more than 14 years old now) that provides a digital asset management application oriented to photography post-production.
It had been almost three years since the last time the digiKam team had an opportunity to meet, talk, code and spend some time together. Gilles Caulier, the lead coordinator, was a victim of a serious car crash two years ago and was thus unable to organize or attend such an event. Now, we finally had an opportunity to meet again. After a lot of effort finding a suitable place and a date suitable for all developers to work together under optimal conditions, the digiKam coding sprint 2014 finally took place in Berlin, between November 14th and 16th 2014.
Before going through what happened during these days, we give sincere thanks to Digia, the company in charge of Qt development, for hosting the event, and also in particular Tobias Hunger, who welcomed us at Digia’s offices located in the South of Berlin. Many thanks also to KDE e.V. for financial support that made the sprint possible.
People participating in the sprint (below, from left to right) :
The next major task is to port digiKam to Qt5. Approximately 10% was already ported by Gilles before the sprint, and the objectives for this coding sprint were as follows:
Specify timeline for porting digiKam.
Identify priorities (what should be ported first).
Delegate porting tasks to developers (who does what?).
Long discussions evolved around these topics. Gilles explained the experience he already gained with this sort of work, which tools are available to facilitate the porting, and where manual work is required. The libraries which are part of the digikam project were prioritized for the port, and tasks were assigned.
There were also discussions about the KIPI framework and its plugins. After many years of development, some plugins are essentially unmaintained and no longer needed by digiKam as their functionality was superseded or moved, leaving them out of the porting task. We also talked about APIs to provide better integration between KIPI and digiKam for a task-based framework such as digiKam’s batch queue manager. The KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) port seems like the right time to integrate binary incompatible as well as architectural changes where needed.
Shourya Singh Gupta worked on implementing the KIPI tools functionality in the Batch Queue Manager (Tools Settings). To do this, there were discussions regarding what API changes must be done to the stack to facilitate a generic way to plug kipi-plugins into BQM. By the end of Coding Sprint, there were changes made to APIs to allow a generic way to plug kipi-plugins’ settings widgets into the user-interface, tested by converting two plugins (DNG converter and KIO export tool) to take advantage of this feature. Later, the background processing part of DNG converter—responsible for doing the real work—was also ported. This work is currently still in its separate feature branch, waiting to be merged after the frameworks porting branch becomes more stable.
Marcel worked on memory consumption problems with the database functionalities as well as several reported memory leaks. As soon as he could reproduce the problems under valgrind, many cleanups and fixes were committed. Among other fixes a long-standing bug (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=205776) was fixed.
He also worked to complete the Removable Collection support. The goal is to show thumbnails from disconnected media without actually having access to the full file, as this information is stored by the digiKam in its internal metadata database. In practice this means that users can continue to search and preview collections with thumbnails and other metadata. Feedback to the user is provided to indicate items and collection that are not available for editing (See bugs https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=191494 and https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=114539). This feature was completed during the train ride back from Berlin, and committed Sunday evening following the Sprint.
Gilles polished the whole libkgeomap public API to be ready for the KF5 port. A lot of changes have been applied to reduce binary compatibility issues. This is especially needed if a library is to become a KF5 library to be more easily reused by other projects. A similar move has recently been made to libkface to make it available for KPhotoAlbum.
Veaceslav worked on porting libkdcraw from the old KDE4 Threadweaver API to the new KF5 Threadweaver implementation. Unfortunately, the new API was not quite stable nor documented, and Gilles decided to port it one more time to use a pure Qt thread pool implementation.
Teemu fixed some crashes as well as some small annoyances and introduced his plans to work on cleaning up the codebase, starting with cleaning up the CMakeLists and moving misplaced source files to their proper places. This will be an on-going process.
Dmitry, who is a long time digiKam user and who has written the famous Recipes Book, reported the need to have digiKam be less dependent of the KDE desktop so that it can be more suitable elsewhere. This does not mean losing KDE support, but rather wrapping properly all specific KDE features used by digiKam as optional when it’s possible. Dmitry took lots of photo of the event and shared user experience with developers, which introduced some long and instructive discussions about photographer methodologies and workflow.
After long days of coding, the tired developers went out in search for food in the quarter around the hotel at Rosenthaler Straße. Sushi on Friday and Vietnamese food on Saturday managed to sustain the developers for the following day of coding.
The digiKam release planhas been discussed and published. As many kipi-plugins are still not yet ported to Qt5, digiKam 5.0 must be delayed until the end of the year. Christmas sounds like the right moment to offer code to the user community.
MySQL support is disabled by default for now because it’s not fully functional and still experimental. MySQL support is still fully available, but as an optional feature. The plan is to find a student to work on it with the goal to stabilize code, and to add PostgreSQL support through Qt SQL plugins.
digiKam core (and the libraries it depends on) is now mostly ported to Qt5/KF5. It’s compilable and running, although there is still ongoing effort to port away from KDE4 support libraries that are currently used. The port is not yet ready for prime-time and one can encounter bugs caused by porting, but in the near future there will be beta releases to get reports from end-users about regressions.
However, there is still a lot of work required especially with kipi-plugins, of which only a small part (about 20%) is currently ported. For people who want to try out and help with development, the code is available in the Frameworks branches of corresponding projects. The contribution page has more information.
The build-system (CMake) structure is currently being cleaned up to make the codebase more maintainable for the future as well as making writing unit tests a breeze. At the same time, the dependencies of different parts are being investigated and cleaned up, to allow easier compilation on Windows and OSX.
digiKam is planning to participate once again in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) this year. There are some new ideas available in the wiki to attract new contributors. We suggest that anyone interested in working on digiKam this summer should start getting familiar with the project already.
Once more, thank you to the folks at Digia (and Tobias) for your hospitality and to KDE e.V. for sponsoring the event!
digiKam in action. More photos from the event are available on Flickr.
March 5th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Building on the success of conf.kde.in 2014 at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Community Technology (DA-IICT) in the land of Gujarat, the horizon of the KDE Community is broadening and shifting south. conf.kde.in 2015 takes place on the…
March 4th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Akademy is the KDE Community conference. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE or Qt, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from 25th-31st July in A Coruña, Spain. The days for talks are Saturday and Sunday, 25th and 26th July. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.
Akademy 2014 attendees
What we are looking for
The goal of the conference section of Akademy is to learn and teach new skills and share our passion around what we’re doing in KDE with each other.
For the sharing of ideas, experiences and state of things, we will have short Fast Track sessions in a single-track section of Akademy. Teaching and sharing technical details is done through longer sessions in the multi-track section of Akademy.
If you think you have something important to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please nominate them. For more details see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers.
The submission deadline is 31st March, 23:59:59 CEST.
Anyone can attend Akademy for free. But registration is required in order to attend the event. Please register soon so that we can plan accordingly.
About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain
For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those who are looking for opportunities.
Kolab Systems has recently announced substantial improvements to their support for Kolab Groupware, today’s release of Kolab 3.4, recently released Kolab Enterprise 14 and the upgrade of the hosted Kolab Now solution for Enterprise 14. Since the start of Kolab in 2002 as a Free Software project sponsored by the German Federal Office for Information Security, KDE people have played a significant role in its development. Kolab is enterprise-level software that includes group email, calendaring, contacts, file sharing, and task management. Its features also appeal to many individuals.
A little history
The initial release of Kolab was called Kroupware (notice the “K”, it means something ;^) The Kroupware Client was the result of enhancements to KMail and other KDE PIM (personal information management) software, and later became known as Kontact. About 10 years ago, KDE developers were interviewed about the evolution of the projects and provided details about Kontact, the Personal Information Management Suite from KDE. Currently Kontact is the favored client for Kolab; other popular clients are supported as well. Despite its longevity, KDE PIM continues to evolve.
Email still going strong
Despite the rise of social networks and messaging apps, email continues to be the dominant mode of written electronic communication. Over the next few years, email use will continue to grow in the business world and decrease by less than 4% each year for consumers. The average business worker will have to deal with 140 emails a day by 2018, up from 120 emails a day now. (Thanks to theconversation.com)
Approximately 108 billion business emails are sent each day. Email is critical to communication in organizations.
Security and privacy more important than ever
Kolab was designed with a security centric architecture from the beginning. With the revelations of government spying over the past few years and other dangerous electronic invasions, this aspect of Kolab has grown in importance to many people. It was one of the primary considerations for the Munich city government when Kolab was selected for implementation in February 2014. In addition, the City of Munich has implemented the KDE Desktop as part of LiMux – The IT evolution, migrating the City to free and open source software. Privacy and security are essential requirements to organizations, and highly important to many individuals as well.
Recent reports of government intrusions—involving organizations such as the U.S. NSA and the U.K. GCHQ—are cause for alarm by some individuals. U.S.-based email providers such as Google and Microsoft have been required to release information to government agencies without notifying the people involved. Encryption and other privacy measures can’t be trusted to such arrangements.
Kolab Now provides enterprise-class Kolab capabilities and support for individuals and smaller groups. The secure email and collaboration services are based in Switzerland. Individual data is “protected by a unique combination of terms of service, laws, operational principles and technology. Kolab Now will never put you under surveillance to sell your data or profile and there will be no advertisements. Enjoy the convenience of the Cloud without compromising freedom and openness.” (from the Kolab Now website)
Kolab Systems and KDE
Kolab Systems provides enterprise level support for Kolab Groupware. The company actively supports development of various aspects of Kontact; some Kolab Systems employees are paid to work on Kontact. Through this symbiosis, Kolab Systems has access to one of the best full-featured desktop clients (Kontact), while scalability and other benefits flow to one of KDE’s premier applications. For example, Christian Mollekopf recently wrote about progress with Akonadi. Kolab Systems is an important player in the KDE ecosystem and is a strong advocate for Free Software. Their work with organizations such as the City of Munich reflects well on KDE’s value in large scale deployments.
We are happy to announce the release of final version 2.9 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of changes which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.
The 2.9 release is so far the biggest release for Krita, the award-winning free and open source digital painting application. Eleven out of twelve of the features were requested by users and funded by Krita’s first Kickstarter action and the twelfth feature will come in 2.9.1!
Support for loading and showing multiple images in one window, and viewing any given image in multiple views and windows.
Greatly extended support for painting in HDR mode, making it a truly creative tool.
New perspective painting assistants to new color selectors, improved transform tools and non-destructive transformation masks, brush engine improvements, workflow improvements, new filters, support for creating and installing resource packs (brushes, gradients, patterns) and many more.
The debut of Calligra Gemini, a novel mix of a traditional desktop app and a touch-friendly tablet app. It encases Calligra’s word processor and presentation apps. (details)
The same text document edited on laptop computer and in tablet mode
Kexi, visual data-oriented apps builder received over 150 improvements that make it extra stable and easy to use.
Newer technologies have been employed for the tabular (data grid) views and forms.
Report Designer, Query Designer and data import assistants have improved substantially. (details)
All that is spiced with a dedicated support for KDE Plasma 5’s look and feel.
New table view in Kexi 2.9
Unmatched integration: Displaying office documents in Okular, KDE’s universal document viewer. For displaying many types of documents Calligra Office Engine has been used, the same that forms a pillar of document viewers on Nokia N9 and Jolla smartphones, COffice Android app and more. (details)
Calligra document plugin for Okular showing a DOC file
Dozens of general improvements in common Calligra features as well as Calligra Sheets, Words are present in the 2.9 series. For details jump to the Beta 1, Beta 2 and Beta 3 change logs.
At the organizational level awesome news is that Kexi gained a corporate partner, Milo Solutions! (details) This internationally active software house is focused on cross-platform software solutions with special emphasis on the Qt framework, the same that forms a pillar of Kexi, Calligra and hundreds of other KDE apps. Milo’s proficiency in web, mobile and design does not hurt too in this partnership.
To ensure smooth ooperation, Kexi maintainer Jarosław Staniek acts as a liaison in the FOSS space for Milo, something he already practiced 12 years ago with other companies when Kexi project emerged. The outcome for the community is noticeable; numerous works of the first fully devoted to Kexi software engineer from Milo, Roman Shtemberko, can be already found in the 2.9 release. (read Roman’s experience) So far it looks like a perfect blend of creativeness, technology and cooperation.
February 26th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.2.1. Plasma 5.2 was released in January with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.
This release adds a month’s worth of ne…
February 24th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Today the Free Software Foundation Europe reminds us to thank and celebrate all those in Free Software we love and whose work we enjoy and built upon. In KDE, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Everything we do in some way depends on Free Software w…
February 14th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
KDE will be at Europe’s largest gathering of free software developering this weekend, taking over the city of Brussels for FOSDEM. We start with the traditional beer event on the Friday, sampling 100 flavours of beer while we mingle with old friends …
January 28th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
For more than 1800 years, the Tower of Hercules has guided ships sailing near A Coruña. Soon it will beckon KDE users and contributors, when Akademy—the annual KDE community meeting—is held in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain) 25–31 July. The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.
Free software user group GPUL is the local team
What is the local connection?
GPUL (Grupo de Programadores y Usuarios de Linux) is the local organization that is working with the KDE Akademy Team to produce the conference. GPUL is formed by students, professors, IT professionals and people in general who share a passion for free and open software. There is a common view that society should own the software that people use, a practical philosophy that is actively promoted. So GPUL organizes activities to inform people and help them make the change to free and open software. GPUL has produced or helped to produce other free and open technology events, because working with the free software community is quite satisfying. There is always an awesome atmosphere; there have been really great experiences collaborating with free software communities in managing events like Akademy-es 2008 and GUADEC 2012 (the Gnome Users and Developers European Conference). KDE is one of the largest and most effective communities of free software users and developers in the world. Many GPUL members use KDE software. So holding Akademy in A Coruña is something that the Group totally wants to do. GPUL members are honored to be host to Akademy 2015.
The Venue at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Universidade da Coruña (FIC) is perfectly suited for hacking, presentations, BoFs and working together. Free software events have been held here since 1998. The recommended accommodation near the Venue has enough room for all attendees and free transportation to the city.
The combination of the Faculty of Computer Science, the accommodation, the KDE community, the local free software community and the city itself is a perfect match for Akademy.
GPUL is a Free Software user group based in the Faculty of Computer Science in A Coruña. The group has been working to promote free software in our university and in the local society since 1998 (in fact GPUL is celebrating its 2^2^2 anniversary). There are currently more than 400 members.
For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Intense workshops at the conference bring those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are exploring possibilities involving free and open source technologies.
In 2015, once again a few hundred Free Software enthusiasts will gather for 2 days of talks and 5 days of workshops and coding sessions. For more information, please contact the Akademy team.
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Gwenview gains “Recent Files” option
Cantor sees multiple backends (R, Lua, KAlgebra/analitza, Maxima, Qalculate) and KLetters ported to Qt5/KF5
Refactoring in of the custom defines and includes plugins in KDevelop: th…
January 19th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Today KDE releases a beta for Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components and improves the existing desktop. We welcome all testers to find and help fix the bugs before our stable release in two weeks’ time.
January 13th, 2015 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
Today KDE released KDE Applications 14.12, delivering new features and bug fixes to more than a hundred applications. Most of these applications are based on KDE Development Platform 4 but the first applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5. Frameworks is a set of modularized libraries providing additional functionality for Qt5, the latest version of the popular Qt cross-platform application framework.
KDE app dragons
This release marks the beginning of a new style of releases replacing the threesome of KDE Workspaces, Platform and Applications in the 4 series which ended with the latest KDE Applications update last month.
The Platform has now morphed into KDE Frameworks 5, releasing new features and bugfixes monthly.
The Workspaces have become Plasma 5, delivering feature releases every 3 months and monthly bug fixes in between.
The remaining applications and supporting libraries make up KDE Applications with feature releases expected every 4 months and monthly bugfix releases in between. We expect the porting of applications to Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 to happen over the next year or two.
The KDE software on independent release cycles will remain as is, with porting to Frameworks 5 and Qt5 coming at various points in time. Examples include many well known open source applications like Kdenlive, Calligra, Amarok, Kile, Tellico and some new projects like GCompris and Rkward.
The April release of KDE Applications 15.04 will include more new features, as well as more applications ported to the modular KDE Frameworks 5.
Spread the Word
Non-technical contributors are an important part of KDE’s success. While proprietary software companies have huge advertising budgets, KDE depends on people like you talking with other people! Even for those who are not software developers, there are many ways to support our community and our product. Report bugs. Encourage others to join the KDE Community. Or support the nonprofit organization behind the KDE community.
Please spread the word on the Social Web. Submit stories to news sites, use channels like delicious, digg, reddit, and twitter. Upload screenshots of your new set-up to services like Facebook, Flickr, ipernity and Picasa, and post them to appropriate groups. Create screencasts and upload them to YouTube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. Please tag posts and uploaded materials with “KDE”. This makes them easy to find, and gives the KDE Promo Team a way to analyze coverage for the 14.12 KDE Applications release.
Follow what is happening on the social web at the KDE live feed, buzz.kde.org. This site aggregates real-time activity from Twitter, YouTube, flickr, PicasaWeb, blogs, and other social networking sites.
Plasma 5.1.2 is the December output from our desktop team. It’s a bugfix release which adds several dozen fixes and the latest translations.
Some highlights include:
The Breeze icons licence has been clarified as LGPL 3+.
The remaining battery time in …
December 16th, 2014 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed
KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0.
KDE Frameworks are 60 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an …
December 12th, 2014 | Category: KDE | Comments are closed