KDE Ships January Updates to Applications and Platform 4.12

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…

KDE Commit-Digest for 22nd December 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KStars adds support to online plate solving using astrometry.net web services API, optimizes memory usage
Umbrello adds duplication of diagrams
KWin adds an option in oxygenrc to disable window background
Krita adds th…

Frameworks 5 Tech Preview

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.

Available today

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 KDE Frameworks and their dependencies (overview is a work in progress)

There is a full list of the Frameworks; tarballs with the current code can be downloaded. Binaries are available as well.

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.

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KDE at FOSDEM 2014

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.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 15th December 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Marble adds support for cyclestreets.net bicycle routing, showing journey duration for OSRM routing
KHelpcenter adds alphabetical sorting for modules and category reorganization to make it easier to use
Akonadi speeds …

KDE Commit-Digest for 8th December 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Artikulate enables initial learner profile support
Marble gets implementation of movie capturing
Calligra gains Apple Keynote document import filter
Choqok gets initial Pump.io implementation
KWin improves icon handlin…

Install KDE 4.12 in Ubuntu/Linux Mint/other Ubuntu derivatives

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 […]

KDE Commit-Digest for 1st December 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
KDevelop adds advanced features for string formatting completion in Python
Kate’s vim mode gains even more options
Amarok can read lyrics from tags
KDE Telepathy supports haze/sipe protocol via a new plugin
Rekonq adds…

Plasma Media Center 1.2 Released In Time For Christmas


Welcome to PMC 1.2

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.


PMC Artist Images

Improved Music Mode
A lot of effort went into improving the All Music mode so that you will have a good time navigating through your music—search by artist, album or just see it all.

Artist and Album Cover Retrieval
From now on, your collection will look better and it will be quicker to locate that album you want to listen to. While PMC already used album covers contained in your music files, this new release enables PMC to go to last.fm and fetch new album covers and artist images!

Folder Previews for Picture Browsing
While browsing for pictures, you can now see thumbnails of pictures that are inside folders, making it easier to identify which folders are interesting. This feature was much requested and the team is glad to be able to deliver it in this release.


PMC Folder Previews

Keyboard bindings for media control
It’s not always convenient to use the mouse or media buttons to control your media playback. You can now also use the keyboard; default shortcuts include (N)ext, (Z)Previous, and space for Play/Pause.


PMC Playlist

Multiple Playlist Support
You want to listen to different kinds of music in different moods and situations. For this it was essential that you be able to create your own playlists to manage your music. This is now possible as the team has built an interface to create and manage these playlists.


PMC Icons Were Updated

Shiny new icons for controller
The controller icons didn’t work well on darker screens so a change was needed there. The new icons are much easier to distinguish.

Please ask

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.


PMC showing photos from Flickr

Installation

You can get the source here. Please follow these instructions to install Plasma Media Center on your machine.

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

To know more about Plasma Media Center, check out the wiki. If you want to contribute, this page will get you started.

Bugs & Feature Requests
Found any bug in PMC or want to have your favorite feature included in future release? File a bug to bugs.kde.org. You can use the same link to request features; please indicate “Wishlist” in Severity.


PMC with more photos

Thanks to our Google Code-In students:

  • Egor Matirov for fixes to Picture Strip
  • Ilkin Musaev for designing icons for the media controller
  • Oskar Jauch for displaying system time on the home screen

Coming Up

The team is already hard at work on the next release of Plasma Media Center! Some things to expect in the next release:

  • Local File Browser Searching
  • Settings screen for:
    • Configuring media locations (for indexing)
    • UI Customization
    • Ignoring media like very small images (icons) or very short audio files (audio from games, apps etc)
  • Navigation improvements to Picasa
  • Detailed info about Youtube videos

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!

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Plasma 2 Technology Preview

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.

Plasma Shell

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.


Clock and Calendar

Current Status

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.


File Transfers

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.


Network Management

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.

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Akademy 2014 – Brno, Czech Republic

Where is the next Akademy? In Czech, “KDE je příští Akademy?” as ‘kde’ means ‘where’ in Czech.
Akademy 2014, the annual KDE community summit, will take place from 6-12 September in Brno, Czech Republic.


Brno, Czech Republic

How did your team get involved in Akademy? What are your connections to KDE? Please tell us about yourselves.
We are a group of open and free software enthusiasts. Some are students; others work as software developers, testers or have other roles in various open source projects. We all share one passion—KDE. Some of us work or have worked on KDE as part of our day jobs, some of us contribute in our spare time. Some are KDE users; what would be a better way to start participating in the KDE community than organizing Akademy? Many of us are members of the Fedora KDE SIG—the team responsible for KDE on Fedora. In the past, some of us participated in organizing other events. Bringing the KDE community to Brno has been our dream for a long time. We finally had the opportunity and happily grabbed it.


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?
We see our effort as just another kind of contribution to KDE. As active contributors, we understand the need for community members to meet in person to discuss and plan for the future. From past years, we know that Akademy is not just about software. It’s first of all about the people. The KDE community is unique. We want to express our gratitude for people’s hard work by hosting this event, and giving all the great KDE people a way to foster friendships and relationships that shape the community. And thanks to many college and university ICT departments and IT companies located in Brno (and elsewhere in the Czech Republic), we believe that Akademy in Brno is a great opportunity for students, experts and others in the local community to get in touch with KDE people and benefit from KDE’s work. We are also certain that KDE will benefit from all the experiences in Brno—people, culture, hospitality.

Tell us about Brno. Why is it the place for Akademy?
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. It’s the administrative center of the South Moravian region and the Czech capital of judicial authorities: the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and others.

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

About Akademy

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.

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KDE Releases Applications and Development Platform 4.12

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…

Qt 5.2 – Foundation for KDE Frameworks 5

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…

KDE Commit-Digest for 24th November 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:

  • Device notifier works in Plasma 2, Power Devil ported to KF5/Qt5
  • Gwenview gains RAW preview
  • In KIPI, new GoogleDrive and Dropbox export plugins are available
  • New option in configuration Appearance->Borders->Scrollbars Visibility controls scrollbar visibility in Kate
  • Work continues on urlbar in rekonq
  • There are many new optimizations: Akonadi database structure changes, memory usage in Trojitá, mail directories accesses in KMail
  • Akonadi removes unneeded Strigi and ODBC/Virtuoso backends support.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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A First – KDE and the Outreach Program for Women

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.

Krita

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:

I have really felt the results of their work both in terms of new contributors joining and in terms of new users. Financially, the shop isn’t bringing in much yet — drawing people there turns out to be tricky. I particularly enjoyed the series of artist interviews they did — and are continuing with! It’s been a learning experience for me, too!

Artikulate

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:

During the last three months, Magdalena and Oindrila did great work in polishing the user interfaces, establishing workflows for contributors, creating course material and documentation, and much more. With their work and successful recruiting of new contributors, Artikulate really made a big step forward.

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.

Rewarding outcomes

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:

It was a great experience to see the many interesting applications when the program started, and the contagious enthusiasm the four interns showed throughout the duration of the project. I am confident that all of them will continue to be great contributors to our community.

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Early KDE Plasma 2 Images Now Available

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…

KDE Commit-Digest for 17th November 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
In KDE Frameworks 5, multiple modules and applications ported, including the Locale Systemsettings module
Plasma Calendar now uses lazy loading
Multiple improvements in Kate plugins, especially in the Python ones
Kooka…

KDE Ships Release Candidate of Applications and Platform 4.12

KDE has made available the Release Candidate of the new versions of KDE Applications and Development Platform.
In the past, major releases usually included all three elements of the complete software family produced by KDE. This release does not includ…

KDE Commit-Digest for 10th November 2013

In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
In KDE Frameworks, new KColorSchemeManager supports changing color scheme in apps
Kate adds an option to flash matching brackets
Krita allows multibrush to use an angled axis and have an option to show the axis; new im…

KDE Ships Third Beta of Applications and Platform 4.12

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.
In the past, major re…