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Updated: 13 min 43 sec ago

KDE Applications 14.12 - New Features, Frameworks Ports

Wednesday 17th of December 2014 09:37:36 PM

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 release includes the first KDE Frameworks 5-based versions of Kate and KWrite, Konsole, Gwenview, KAlgebra, Kanagram, KHangman, Kig, Parley, KApptemplate and Okteta. Some libraries are also ready for KDE Frameworks 5 use: analitza and libkeduvocdocument.

Libkface is new in this release; it is a library to enable face detection and face recognition in photographs.

The Kontact Suite is now in Long Term Support in the 4.14 version while developers are focusing on a port to KDE Frameworks 5 with renewed energy.

Some of the new features in this release include:

See the full list of changes in KDE Applications 14.12.

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,, 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, This site aggregates real-time activity from Twitter, YouTube, flickr, PicasaWeb, blogs, and other social networking sites.

Learning more and getting started

Find more details and download links in the announcement on the KDE website.

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Plasma 5.1.2 Bugfix Release

Tuesday 16th of December 2014 02:43:49 PM

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 PowerDevil now updates correctly.
  • VirtualBox shell resizing fixed.
  • The free space notifier icon hides correctly when space becomes available again.
  • Dr Konqi updated for future proofing.

This is the final update to Plasma 5 for this year, we'll see you again next year with a new feature release at the end of January.

Release of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0

Friday 12th of December 2014 09:42:36 AM

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 introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

  • Use all of QT_PLUGIN_PATH paths rather than just QLibraryInfo path to look for plugins
  • Fix plugin loading with KDE_INSTALL_USE_QT_SYS_PATHS ON
  • Restore KStandardGuiItems to get consistent icons and tooltips
  • Introduce KEmailAddress class for email validation
  • Use more robust implementation of MIME codecs taken from the KMime library
  • Add KCodecs::encodeRFC2047String()
  • Fix PageUp/Down actions in the completion popup box
  • Add KTextToHTML class for plaintext->HTML conversion
  • Add KPluginMetaData::metaDataFileName()
  • Allow to read KPluginMetaData from .desktop files
  • Kdelibs4Migration now gives priority to distro-provided KDE4_DEFAULT_HOME
  • Use Qt's method of blocking for component completion rather than our own
  • Make it possible to delay initialization of object incubated from QmlObject
  • Add guard when trying to access root object before component is complete
  • Add KEmoticonsIntegrationPlugin for KTextToHTML from KCoreAddons
  • A number of forward-ported fixes from kdelibs, no API changes.
  • Fix Size columns being empty in the KFileWidget detailed views
  • Do not drop ASN passed to KRun when executing desktop files
  • Fix passing of DESKTOP_STARTUP_ID to child process in kioexec
  • Fix compilation with Qt 5.2, which also fixes a race condition
  • KFileItem: cleanup overlay icon usage
  • Implement back/forward side mouse buttons to navigate in the history
  • Allow user to cancel out of the certificate accept duration dialog box.
  • Fix compilation with Qt 5.2.0
  • Also allow absolute filepaths for configfile parameter.
  • Fix compilation on Windows
  • Make KNotificationPlugin a public class
  • KPassivePopup - Set default hide delay
  • Add a simple cli tool to run a query on all runners
  • Fix KPluginTrader::query() for old JSON
  • Deprecate kservice_desktop_to_json for kcoreaddons_desktop_to_json
  • Implement KPluginTrader::query() using KPluginLoader::findPlugins()
  • Fix KPluginInfo::entryPath() being empty when not loaded from .desktop
  • Fix bug #340212: incorrect soft-tabs alignment after beginning-of-line
  • Add libgit2 compile-time check for threads support
  • Add class KSplitterCollapserButton, a button which appears on the side of
  • a splitter handle and allows easy collapsing of the widget on the opposite side

  • Support monochrome icon themes (such as breeze)
  • Add KStartupInfo::createNewStartupIdForTimestamp
  • Add support for more multimedia keys
  • Add support for initial mapping state of WM_HINTS
  • Drop incorrect warnings when using KXMessages without QX11Info
Plasma Framework
  • Fix compilation with Qt 5.2.0
  • Fix the platformstatus kded module
  • Migrate BusyIndicator, ProgressBar to QtQuick.Controls
  • Add thumbnailAvailable property to PlasmaCore.WindowThumbnail
  • Fix warning: No such signal org::freedesktop::UPower::Device...
Extra cmake modules
  • Set CMAKE_INSTALL_SYSCONFDIR to /etc when CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX is /usr (instead of /usr/etc)
  • Enable -D_USE_MATH_DEFINES on Windows
  • Implement standardButtonText().
  • Fix restoring the view mode and sizes in the file dialog

GCompris Joins the KDE incubator and Launches a Fundraiser

Thursday 11th of December 2014 11:30:09 AM

GCompris has joined the KDE incubator. GCompris is the high quality educational software suite comprising numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10, and well known by parents and teachers all over the world.

GCompris was started in 2000 by Bruno Coudoin as a Free Software project. Originally written in GTK+, the project developers decided in early 2014 to make a radical change and rewrite it in Qt Quick. The main motivation is the ability of the Qt platform to address the desktop and the tablet market from a single code base.

In order to get the great level of support from a strong developer community, GCompris joined the KDE incubator.

The rewrite is going smoothly; 86 educational activities of the 140 have been ported to Qt Quick. A release on Android is planned for December 2014 with the help of the KDE translation teams to make sure it is properly localized. Other platforms will follow.

Fundraiser for graphics redesign

Currently the graphics are one of the weakest parts of GCompris, as they were mostly done by the developers, using free graphics assets and sparse graphic artist contributions.

To address this problem, Timothée Giet, a talented graphics artist proposed himself to work on a complete graphics redesign. He is a long standing Free Software contributor, active member of the Krita team and recognized member of the KDE community. Making new graphics for more than 100 activities is a big task, so a fundraiser has been set up.

The project is not only about creating new background images but consists of a whole graphical rework. At first a graphics charter will be defined as none currently exists in GCompris. This will drive the project towards a unified style that it lacks today. Usability will be a primary emphasis, so that children find their way easily in each activity.

If you want to help, please consider making a donation.

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Randa Meetings 2014 - Another Great Success

Monday 8th of December 2014 10:23:24 AM

It's been quite some time since the Randa Meetings 2014 and even this year's edition of the KDE Community Summit called Akademy has already happened, but it's still nice to look back and see what was accomplished at this KDE Tech Summit in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

And before we tell you about the seven groups that participated in the meetings this year (and because of the different participating groups and thus a collection of several meetings under the same roof, the event is called "Randa Meetings" with a plural s ;-), we send a big thank you to all the supporters and people who made this gathering possible. It's because of you that we were able to work hard for a whole week and make the software you love even better. There was a range of participants of various ages, countries and KDE projects. The group picture shows that some KDE contributors brought their families and non-techie partners; they didn't need to decide between either family holidays or hacking for KDE.

2014 Group picture, by Martin Klapetek (CC-BY-SA) The KDE Edu group brought students and mentors together

From the KDE education group we had people from Rocs, the graph tool, from Kig, KDE's geometry teaching tool, from Artikulate, the new language acoustic learning tool, from KStars, the KDE astronomy tool and of course from Marble, which doesn't need any explanation ;-). Two Google Summer of Code students for Marble saw their mentors for the first time in Randa and thus got a stronger bonding with our awesome community. At least one of them found another playground in KDE: GCompris.

GCompris is a new and still young (at least for the Qt version) member of the KDE family. Bruno Coudoin and his colleagues met in Randa to make great progress on porting the more than 140 activities in GCompris to Qt and KDE technologies. Their main focus is currently to finish a first version for Android and thus Smartphones and Tablets. Bruno even did some live user-testing (of course with kids!) during lunch time. But besides the normal hacking on KDE educational software one other focus was the porting of the applications to KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5). Some of the them will be released as a KF5-based version in December as part of the KDE Applications 14.12 release.

Different applications ported to KDE Frameworks 5

One other application that was ported to KF5 is KMyMoney, one of our finance tools. The developers also worked on their Windows port. Other applications are Gwenview, which has since gained a new maintainer and Jungle, a fresh video player.

Porting to and working on KDE Frameworks was a general focus at this year's Randa Meetings. We tried to push forward Windows and Mac (unfortunately we weren't able to bring many KDE Mac people to Randa this year) variants and worked on a more coherent developer story and thus a KDE SDK. The port of Kate and KDevelop to KF5 made great progress and their developers even achieved making it start on Windows. Besides the porting work, this group also got some GSoC students together with their mentors and thus there was some integration of their work on CLang support and QML/JS.

Picture of the new Randa Konqi: with a white star and an Edelweiss like on the flag of Randa. Thanks a lot to the artist Tyson Tan! The KDE Multimedia group worked on many different things

Alongside and integrated with all this work and groups some other teams participated at the meetings. They are almost part of the inventory of the Randa Meetings ;-). Amarok and the KDE Multimedia team worked on bug triage (cleaning up more than 200 bugs!), polishing their handbook and Phonon. During this intense week we saw the release of the GStreamer Phonon backend. KMix, the KDE mixer application got another strong push forward.

And another multimedia application found its way to Randa: Kdenlive, our great non-linear video editor. The project lacked some direction recently and so a face-to-face meeting of some old and some new contributors was a logical step to take. With Till Theato and Simon Eugster some oldsters of the project could help to document and explain the current code and state to the new maintainer Vincent Pinon. Interestingly enough we learned during the meetings that Vincent's wife Lucie is using Kdenlive in her professional work and as she was in Randa as well we took the opportunity to make a short interview with her (Thanks Françoise Wybrecht for doing the interview and Myriam Schweingruber for the translation. You can download the French version of the interview.

Lucie Robin lives in Voiron near Grenoble - France and works as a professional video maker with Kdenlive.
Lucie with her daughter and Konqi in the background

What brought you to open source?

Despite being an alien to the open source world, I discovered it through my Linux-using husband.

What pushed you to use free software?

As a video maker, I needed professional video software. Since most software in this field are over pricey, my husband suggested to try Kdenlive back in 2011.

After having used it for three years, what is your overall impression?

I got aware very quickly that Kdenlive is an answer to professional needs. But let's be honest, its use is full of pitfalls and inconsistencies, which could have discouraged me more than once. But luckily I discovered the philosophy behind free software which kept me going.

New energy for Kdenlive and a new KDE Book

The Kdenlive team spend most of their time discussing and setting the roadmap for the future. At the end of the meetings we decided to bring Kdenlive even closer to KDE and thus start an incubation process for them. And thanks to Françoise, Lucie and Kdenlive you can watch yourself how it looked at the Randa Meetings 2014.

Another group came to Randa to work on a new edition of our KDE Guide. After some problems with internet connectivity (ever heard of this problem at sprints or conferences? ;-) they decided to scratch the planned working process and to quickly develop a new one so they could work offline and integrate the new book directly with KDE source code and extract live snippets from it. They had a great start in Randa but it's not yet done. So if you're an expert in one of the KDE Frameworks, please help and submit a paragraph, short text or chapter.

In addition to these bigger groups some smaller teams and single developers were in Randa and worked on their projects. One of them is the Gluon group. Developing a way of creating and playing games, they worked on a KF5 port, and also had a lot of discussion of their future directions and plans. And QMLWeb, a JavaScript library, is currently a one man project with Anton Kreuzkamp working hard to improve the code and connect with new people.

An amazing event that should be repeated

Organization-wise we tried something new this year to connect the different groups participating at the Randa Meetings even more. During lunch and dinner one person of each group had to tell the others in a few sentences what they are currently working on. So everybody in Randa was more or less aware of what was discussed in the other groups and when they should connect and talk with them. But we learned something else too: doing this talks two times a day was not necessary and so we plan to do it only once a day in 2015.

For even more information about the Randa Meetings 2014 and some personal views, see a list of blog posts and picture collections. It was an amazing time and we got great feedback for the organizational work and thus are looking forward to 2015 and more very productive, successful and inspiring meetings and sprints. So please support us!

PS: There is another great summary in Portuguese of what happened in Randa this year.

[Updated Dec 8 2014: Clarified the variety of the Randa Meetings]

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KDE at LISA 2014 conference

Sunday 30th of November 2014 12:43:36 AM

KDE was one of about 50 exhibitors at the LISA (Large Installation System Administration) Conference November 12th and 13th in Seattle. The expo was part of the week-long conference for system administrators that has been held annually since 1986. Expo participants included big name tech companies and smaller niche organizations offering products and services to this audience of professional technical people. As we discovered, KDE is well known among this audience.

Visitors included people who have been "using KDE since version 1.0" and other long time users and supporters. Several people said that they have been contributing code and money for many years. We encouraged visitors to check out the year-end fundraising campaign.

The big KDE logo attracted people to the exhibit space where we covered KDE mentoring programs, answered questions and shared information about current KDE activities. The Krita demonstrations by Oscar Baechler generated a lot of fascinated attention too. It is obvious that Krita offers much more to real artists than GIMP or Inkscape. The large artwork of an Emperor Penguin done in Coast Salish style also drew admiring comments; people liked the tie-in between the Pacific Northwest aboriginal art and free/open technology.

We had intended to have a slide show featuring various aspects of KDE. It didn't work out as planned...fortunately. Instead, people had the opportunity to experiment with the latest KDE goodies—KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 running on a high performance machine. The system performed well. Several attendees were amazed at the story behind the story: a near complete re-do of the KDE Development Environment and the up-to-date Plasma Workspace. This was an audience that appreciated the effort, the professionalism and the results of KDE's innovations.

Andrew Lake of the KDE Visual Design Group put together a slide show for his big screen, featuring design principles and examples, along with a visual explanation of the technical structure of Frameworks and Plasma.

KDE excitement
photo by ogbog

Some members of the Seattle KDE group discussed possibilities of more regional KDE outreach. Valorie Zimmerman and Andrew Lake are part of this group; the Meetup organizer, Aaron Peterson, was also in the booth space.

The LISA conference has long served as the annual vendor-neutral meeting place for the wider system administration community. Recognizing the overlap and differences between traditional and modern IT operations and engineering, the highly-curated 6-day program offers training, workshops, invited talks, panels, paper presentations, and networking opportunities around 5 key topics: Systems Engineering, Security, Culture, DevOps, and Monitoring/Metrics.

LISA was an excellent opportunity to connect with people who know KDE well, as well as people who appreciate KDE software and what the Community stands for.

Many thanks to USENIX for the generous support of KDE.

Google Code In 2014 : Call for Participation

Friday 28th of November 2014 11:14:07 AM

The Google Code-in is a contest to introduce pre-university students (ages 13-17) to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible. The contest runs from December 1, 2014 to January 19, 2015. For many students the Google Code-in contest is their first introduction to open source development.

KDE is selected among the 12 organizations, who are selected as a mentoring organization for Google Code In 2014.

Who can mentor?

Well, we need mentors to help the students with tasks. Mentors should be developers of KDE and should be aware of the tasks they would be creating.

Why KDE?

KDE focuses on the development and distribution of free and open source software for desktop and portable computing, has been a proud GCI mentoring organization for the last four years.

Who can participate ?

Pre-university students 13-17 years old from all over the world can choose from a large pool of code, documentation, research, quality assurance and user interface tasks. The pool is created by the mentors of the participating open source organizations who continue to add to it throughout the contest. A task is a set of work in one of the above five categories that can be completed in a short time, taking approximately a few hours to a day to complete. In addition to self-contained tasks, task series are also created where similar work is split into several tasks or related work is split into sequential tasks. This way all sorts of work can be converted into manageable pieces for open source newbies.

Directions for mentors :
Discuss tasks with the related team to let others know what you are up to. Subscribe to kde-soc-mentor. Create a mentor account at Google Melange

Directions for students (from 1 December onwards)

Create a student account at Google Melange. Go through the tasks provided by KDE. Explore the issue and discuss any queries with the assigned mentor and #kde-soc as required. Complete the task and repeat.

KDE Commit-Digest for 22nd June 2014

Thursday 27th of November 2014 08:28:17 AM

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • Marble can preview Geo Data files (GPX, OSM, KML, ESRI) in the file manager or file dialogs
  • Plasma workspace introduce a list of apps that are limited to single notification only to limit the number of notifications the user sees
  • KDE-PIM gains an initial implementation of native Gmail resource
  • Krita allows global selection masks to be shown in the Layers docker to be used with other tools; implements drag & drop of multiple layers
  • First approach to a KF5 port of KDE Connect.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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