QtCon Keynote: Software as a Public Service

P1012552_juliareda_portraitQtCon is happy to welcome Julia Reda, the closing keynote speaker. Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party and Vice-Chair of the Greens/European Free Alliance. Reda’s legislative focus is on copyright and internet policy issues.

As a member of the European Parliament and together with Max Andersson, Julia Reda initiated the pilot project “Governance and quality of software code – Auditing of free and open source software” in 2014 as a reaction to the so-called “heartbleed” bug in OpenSSL. The idea turned into the pilot-project “Free and Open Source Software Auditing“ (FOSSA) that is aiming at improving the security of those Free Software programs that are in use by the European Commission and the Parliament.

Although the implementation of this project did receive some feedback for improvement, Reda will explain why this project is important and how it takes use one step further towards understanding FLOSS as a public service: “If free/libre open source software belongs to the public, the public needs to take responsibility for it.”

Julia Reda’s talk will leave participants at QtCon with an inspiring and forward-looking talk about Free Software, security and public responsibilty.

Happening on: Sunday, 2016-09-04, 15:45 – 16:45 CEST, BCC Germany

Canonical Releases Massive Mir 0.24.0 Display Server Update for Ubuntu Linux OS

Mir 0.24.0 is a feature and bugfix release that adds lots of enhancements, resolves some of those critical bugs reported by users since the previous maintenance update, and bumps most of the ABIs to new versions. The improvements implemented in Mir 0.24.0 are currently relevant for Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet owners, and they’ll be

Building Fedora Rawhide images with Imagefactory

Introduction ImageFactory is a tool, built on Oz, that is suitable for generating various types of operating system and cloud images. These images can be generated in a variety of different formats. Those include the Docker image format and the qcow2 image… Continue Reading →

Treasure Hunter | Clairvoyance

Test your second sight with Clairvoyance on Treasure Hunter!

Canonical Announces Snapcraft 2.15 for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Many New Features

We reported earlier on the release of the major Mir 0.24.0 display server for the Ubuntu Linux operating system, and now we would like to inform you about the latest Snapcraft 2.15 tool for packaging apps in the Snap universal binary format.

Snapcraft 2.15 has been released recently, but it already received a first point release, version 2.15.1, and it looks like also landed in the main software repositories of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system (see below to learn how to install the new version or update your Snapcraft installation).

As for the new features, we can tell you that Snapcraft 2.15 adds built tags support to the Go plugin, lets you set fine grain control of parallel building per part, as well as to set constraints when using the Python2 plugin, and permits the in tree snapcraft.yaml file to also ref…

Drupal 8.2, now with more outside-in

Over the weekend, Drupal 8.2 beta was released. One of the reasons why I’m so excited about this release is that it ships with “more outside-in”. In an “outside-in experience”, you can click anything on the page, edit its configuration in place without having to navigate to the administration back end, and watch it take effect immediately. This kind of on-the-fly editorial experience could be a game changer for Drupal’s usability.

When I last discussed turning Drupal outside-in, we were still in the conceptual stages, with mockups illustrating the concepts. Since then, those designs have gone through multiple rounds of feedback from Drupal’s usability team and a round of user testing led by Cheppers. This study identified some issues and provided some insights which were incorporated into subsequent designs.

Two policy changes we introduced in Drupal 8—semantic versioning and experimental modules—have fundamentally changed Drupal’s innovation model starting with Drupal 8. I should write a longer blog post about this, but the net result of those two changes is ongoing improvements with an easy upgrade path. In this case, it enabled us to add outside-in experiences to Drupal 8.2 instead of having to wait for Drupal 9. The authoring experience improvements we made in Drupal 8 are well-received, but that doesn’t mean we are done. It’s exciting that we can move much faster on making Drupal easier to use.

In-place block configuration

As you can see from the image below, Drupal 8.2 adds the ability to trigger “Edit” mode, which currently highlights all blocks on the page. Clicking on one — in this case, the block with the site’s name — pops out a new tray or sidebar. A content creator can change the site name directly from the tray, without having to navigate through Drupal’s administrative interface to theme settings as they would have to in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.1.

Editing the site name using outside-in

Making adjustments to menus

In the second image, the pattern is applied to a menu block. You can make adjustments to the menu right from the new tray instead of having to navigate to the back end. Here the content creator changes the order of the menu links (moving “About us” after “Contact”) and toggles the “Team” menu item from hidden to visible.

Editing the menu using outside-in

In-context block placement

In Drupal 8.1 and prior, placing a new block on the page required navigating away from your front end into the administrative back end and noting the available regions. Once you discover where to go to add a block, which can in itself be a challenge, you’ll have to learn about the different regions, and some trial and error might be required to place a block exactly where you want it to go.

Starting in Drupal 8.2, content creators can now just click “Place block” without navigating to a different page and knowing about available regions ahead of time. Clicking “Place block” will highlight the different possible locations for a block to be placed in.

Placing a block using outside-in

Next steps

These improvements are currently tagged “experimental”. This means that anyone who downloads Drupal 8.2 can test these changes and provide feedback. It also means that we aren’t quite satisfied with these changes yet and that you should expect to see this functionality improve between now and 8.2.0’s release, and even after the Drupal 8.2.0 release.

As you probably noticed, things still look pretty raw in places; as an example, the forms in the tray are exposing too many visual details. There is more work to do to bring this functionality to the level of the designs. We’re focused on improving that, as well as the underlying architecture and accessibility. Once we feel good about how it all works and looks, we’ll remove the experimental label.

We deliberately postponed most of the design work to focus on introducing the fundamental concepts and patterns. That was an important first step. We wanted to enable Drupal developers to start experimenting with the outside-in pattern in Drupal 8.2. As part of that, we’ll have to determine how this new pattern will apply broadly to Drupal core and the many contributed modules that would leverage it. Our hope is that once the outside-in work is stable and no longer experimental, it will trickle down to every Drupal module. At that point we can all work together, in parallel, on making Drupal much easier to use.

Users have proven time and again in usability studies to be extremely “preview-driven”, so the ability to make quick configuration changes right from their front end, without becoming an expert in Drupal’s information architecture, could be revolutionary for Drupal.

If you’d like to help get these features to stable release faster, please join us in the outside-in roadmap issue.

Thank you

I’d also like to thank everyone who contributed to these features and reviewed them, including Bojhanyoroypwolaninandrewmacphersongtamaspetycompzsofimajor,SKAUGHTnod_effulgentsiaWim Leerscatchalexpott, and xjm.

And finally, a special thank you to Acquia‘s outside-in team for driving most of the design and implementation: tkolearywebchicktedbowGábor Hojtsytim.plunkett, and drpal.

Acquia's outside in team celebrating

Acquia’s outside-in team celebrating that the outside-in patch was committed to Drupal 8.2 beta. Go team!

Drupal 8.2, now with more outside-in

Over the weekend, Drupal 8.2 beta was released. One of the reasons why I’m so excited about this release is that it ships with “more outside-in”. In an “outside-in experience”, you can click anything on the page, edit its configuration in place without having to navigate to the administration back end, and watch it take effect immediately. This kind of on-the-fly editorial experience could be a game changer for Drupal’s usability.

When I last discussed turning Drupal outside-in, we were still in the conceptual stages, with mockups illustrating the concepts. Since then, those designs have gone through multiple rounds of feedback from Drupal’s usability team and a round of user testing led by Cheppers. This study identified some issues and provided some insights which were incorporated into subsequent designs.

Two policy changes we introduced in Drupal 8—semantic versioning and experimental modules—have fundamentally changed Drupal’s innovation model starting with Drupal 8. I should write a longer blog post about this, but the net result of those two changes is ongoing improvements with an easy upgrade path. In this case, it enabled us to add outside-in experiences to Drupal 8.2 instead of having to wait for Drupal 9. The authoring experience improvements we made in Drupal 8 are well-received, but that doesn’t mean we are done. It’s exciting that we can move much faster on making Drupal easier to use.

In-place block configuration

As you can see from the image below, Drupal 8.2 adds the ability to trigger “Edit” mode, which currently highlights all blocks on the page. Clicking on one — in this case, the block with the site’s name — pops out a new tray or sidebar. A content creator can change the site name directly from the tray, without having to navigate through Drupal’s administrative interface to theme settings as they would have to in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.1.

Editing the site name using outside-in

Making adjustments to menus

In the second image, the pattern is applied to a menu block. You can make adjustments to the menu right from the new tray instead of having to navigate to the back end. Here the content creator changes the order of the menu links (moving “About us” after “Contact”) and toggles the “Team” menu item from hidden to visible.

Editing the menu using outside-in

In-context block placement

In Drupal 8.1 and prior, placing a new block on the page required navigating away from your front end into the administrative back end and noting the available regions. Once you discover where to go to add a block, which can in itself be a challenge, you’ll have to learn about the different regions, and some trial and error might be required to place a block exactly where you want it to go.

Starting in Drupal 8.2, content creators can now just click “Place block” without navigating to a different page and knowing about available regions ahead of time. Clicking “Place block” will highlight the different possible locations for a block to be placed in.

Placing a block using outside-in

Next steps

These improvements are currently tagged “experimental”. This means that anyone who downloads Drupal 8.2 can test these changes and provide feedback. It also means that we aren’t quite satisfied with these changes yet and that you should expect to see this functionality improve between now and 8.2.0’s release, and even after the Drupal 8.2.0 release.

As you probably noticed, things still look pretty raw in places; as an example, the forms in the tray are exposing too many visual details. There is more work to do to bring this functionality to the level of the designs. We’re focused on improving that, as well as the underlying architecture and accessibility. Once we feel good about how it all works and looks, we’ll remove the experimental label.

We deliberately postponed most of the design work to focus on introducing the fundamental concepts and patterns. That was an important first step. We wanted to enable Drupal developers to start experimenting with the outside-in pattern in Drupal 8.2. As part of that, we’ll have to determine how this new pattern will apply broadly to Drupal core and the many contributed modules that would leverage it. Our hope is that once the outside-in work is stable and no longer experimental, it will trickle down to every Drupal module. At that point we can all work together, in parallel, on making Drupal much easier to use.

Users have proven time and again in usability studies to be extremely “preview-driven”, so the ability to make quick configuration changes right from their front end, without becoming an expert in Drupal’s information architecture, could be revolutionary for Drupal.

If you’d like to help get these features to stable release faster, please join us in the outside-in roadmap issue.

Thank you

I’d also like to thank everyone who contributed to these features and reviewed them, including Bojhanyoroypwolaninandrewmacphersongtamaspetycompzsofimajor,SKAUGHTnod_effulgentsiaWim Leerscatchalexpott, and xjm.

And finally, a special thank you to Acquia‘s outside-in team for driving most of the design and implementation: tkolearywebchicktedbowGábor Hojtsytim.plunkett, and drpal.

Acquia's outside in team celebrating

Acquia’s outside-in team celebrating that the outside-in patch was committed to Drupal 8.2 beta. Go team!

KDE Plasma 5.7.4 Desktop Environment Is Out with Plasma Desktop and KWin Fixes

Today, August 23, 2016, KDE announced the release of the fourth maintenance update for the KDE Plasma 5.7 desktop environment, bringing multiple improvements and bug fixes.

KDE Plasma 5.7.4 is here three weeks after the release of the third point release in the latest stable series of the modern desktop environment used in numerous GNU/Linux operating systems by default, and it promises to address various of the issues reported by users since then.

“Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.7.4. Plasma 5.7 was released in August with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience,” reads today’s announcement. “This release adds three weeks’ worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors.”

Among the components that received improvements in KDE Plasma 5.7.4, we can mention Plasma Desktop, KWin, Plasma Workspace, Plasma Audio Volume Control…

Webinar: Industry 4.0 & IoT

We’ll be hosting our next webinar on Industry 4.0 and IoT! This webinar will explore the convergence of Operational and Information technology as one of the key benefits of the Internet of Things; and how to use this convergence as a way to build a new generation of integrated digital supply chains which are the […]

M10 Travel Light winners!

We had an awesome selection of entries for our #TravelLight competition! Given that the M10 tablet can also be your laptop, saving you 1.5kg compared to the average laptop, we asked you… What would you take with you on holiday if you had 1.5kg of extra space in your luggage? Thank you to all those […]

Android Nougat: Google releases new mobile operating system, saying it is its ‘sweetest yet’

Google is releasing the new version of Android – to some people. Android Nougat is being sent out to people’s phones around the world from today. It will initially arrive on Google’s own Nexus devices first, and soon arrive on the upcoming LG V20. Other phones will have to wait until their carriers and manufacturers

Artist Sylvia Ritter Painted All 25 Ubuntu Linux Mascots and They’re Astonishing – Exclusive

Artist Sylvia Ritter happily informs Softpedia about the availability of 25 wallpapers for mobile phones and tablet devices illustrating her vision of the mascots used for all the Ubuntu Linux operating system releases.

It’s not the first time we talk here about Sylvia Ritter, as back in March 2016 we published a story with the Ubuntu Linux wallpapers she managed to paint using the powerful, open-source, and cross-platform Krita digital painting software, but now Mrs. Ritter finished this unique project and unleashed all 25 Ubuntu mascots, or animals as she likes to call them.

“Hello Softpedia! I’ve just painted all 25 Ubuntu animals. They are also great phone and tablet wallpapers,” says Sylvia Ritter in an email, exclusively for Softpedia. “All known 25 animals have just been completed, starting with the Warty Warthog (Ubuntu 4.10) and finishing with the latest release, Yakkety Yak (16.10). The series will likely contin…

Double XP Weekend is Coming – 23rd September

Load up on materials now for a weekend of XP mayhem.

Double XP Weekend is Coming – 23rd September

Load up on materials now for a weekend of XP mayhem.

Linux Kernel 4.4.19 LTS Lands with CIFS, AMDGPU and AArch64 Improvements, More

After announcing the release of Linux kernel 3.14.77 LTS and Linux kernel 4.7.2, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of Linux kernel 4.4.19 LTS.

Linux kernel 4.4 is a long-term supported (LTS) branch, which is currently used by some of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and it will receive maintenance updates for a few more years than normal kernel series that aren’t marked as “long-term” on the kernel.org website. According to the appended shortlog, Linux Kernel 4.4.19 LTS is a major release that changes a total of 146 files , with 1709 insertions…

Fedora 25 Linux OS to Arrive on November 15, Ship with Wayland by Default

The Fedora Project is currently working very hard on the next major version of the popular GNU/Linux computer operating system, Fedora 25, bringing you all the latest and modern technologies.

Wayland is a modern technology, the next generation display server designed as a drop-in replacement for the old X.Org Server or X11 as many of you out there might want to call the display server almost all GNU/Linux distributions are currently using by default. But there are many security-released issues with X11 that for some reason can’t be fixed, so it’s time for the open-source ecosystem to adopt Wayland.

The Wayland adoption has been slowly but steadily growing, especially amongst open source software projects, in particular, those from the GNOME and KDE stacks, but also Enlightenment and other applications that aren’t distributed as part of a stack and are actively developed. On the other hand, Canonical is working on their own display server for Ubuntu Linux, called Mi…

Latest Slackware Version Doesn’t Cut Newbies any Slack

Slackware is one of those Linux distros often described as being difficult to use. The Slackware Project version 14.2 released on July 1 does little to change that view — at least, as far as installing it is concerned. Its KDE desktop is probably the most contemporary trait. Other than an update under the hood, it offers little that’s new in terms of usability and few new features.

QTS and Canonical Unveil Private, Fully Managed OpenStack Cloud

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS, and LONDON, U.K. (August 22, 2016) – Responding to increasing demand for flexible, open source and cost-predictable cloud solutions, QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) and Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu, the leading operating system for container cloud, scale out, and hyperscale computing) announced today a private, fully managed OpenStack cloud solution […]

Linux Mint 18 KDE Beta released

Clement Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has announced the availability of the Linux Mint 18 Sarah KDE edition. The KDE edition is the final official spin to get a beta release in the Mint 18 series. What is interesting about the KDE version this cycle is that users running Mint 17.3 KDE won’t

Flock 2016 in Krakow – Recap

The fourth annual Flock conference for Fedora contributors took place from August 2nd-5th in Krakow, Poland. Over 200 developers and enthusiasts from different continents met to learn, present, debate, plan, and celebrate. Although Fedora is the innovation source for a major Red Hat… Continue Reading →