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KDE Plasma 5.16 Beta: Your Three Week Notification for a More Tidy and Composed Desktop

Thursday 16th of May 2019 04:43:50 PM





KDE Plasma 5.16

Thursday, 16 May 2019.

Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.16.

In this release, many aspects of Plasma have been polished and
rewritten to provide high consistency and bring new features. There is a completely rewritten notification system supporting Do Not Disturb mode, more intelligent history with grouping, critical notifications in fullscreen apps, improved notifications for file transfer jobs, a much more usable System Settings page to configure everything, and many other things. The System and
Widget Settings have been refined and worked on by porting code to
newer Kirigami and Qt technologies and polishing the user interface.
And of course the VDG and Plasma team effort towards Usability & Productivity
goal
continues, getting feedback on all the papercuts in our software that make your life less
smooth and fixing them to ensure an intuitive and consistent workflow for your
daily use.

For the first time, the default wallpaper of Plasma 5.16 will
be decided by a contest where everyone can participate and submit art. The
winner will receive a Slimbook One v2 computer, an eco-friendly, compact
machine, measuring only 12.4 x 12.8 x 3.7 cm. It comes with an i5 processor, 8
GB of RAM, and is capable of outputting video in glorious 4K. Naturally, your
One will come decked out with the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop, your
spectacular wallpaper, and a bunch of other great software made by KDE. You can find
more information and submitted work on the competition wiki
page
, and you can submit your own wallpaper in the
subforum
.

Desktop Management





New Notifications





Theme Engine Fixes for Clock Hands!





Panel Editing Offers Alternatives





Login Screen Theme Improved

  • Completely rewritten notification system supporting Do Not Disturb mode, more intelligent history with grouping, critical notifications in fullscreen apps, improved notifications for file transfer jobs, a much more usable System Settings page to configure everything, and more!
  • Plasma themes are now correctly applied to panels when selecting a new theme.
  • More options for Plasma themes: offset of analog clock hands and toggling blur behind.
  • All widget configuration settings have been modernized and now feature an improved UI. The Color Picker widget also improved, now allowing dragging colors from the plasmoid to text editors, palette of photo editors, etc.
  • The look and feel of lock, login and logout screen have been improved with new icons, labels, hover behavior, login button layout and more.
  • When an app is recording audio, a microphone icon will now appear in the System Tray which allows for changing and muting the volume using mouse middle click and wheel. The Show Desktop icon is now also present in the panel by default.
  • The Wallpaper Slideshow settings window now displays the images in the selected folders, and allows selecting and deselecting them.
  • The Task Manager features better organized context menus and can now be configured to move a window from a different virtual desktop to the current one on middle click.
  • The default Breeze window and menu shadow color are back to being pure black, which improves visibility of many things especially when using a dark color scheme.
  • The "Show Alternatives..." button is now visible in panel edit mode, use it to quickly change widgets to similar alternatives.
  • Plasma Vaults can now be locked and unlocked directly from Dolphin.


Settings





Color Scheme





Application Style and Appearance Settings

  • There has been a general polish in all pages; the entire Appearance section has been refined, the Look and Feel page has moved to the top level, and improved icons have been added in many pages.
  • The Color Scheme and Window Decorations pages have been redesigned with a more consistent grid view. The Color Scheme page now supports filtering by light and dark themes, drag and drop to install themes, undo deletion and double click to apply.
  • The theme preview of the Login Screen page has been overhauled.
  • The Desktop Session page now features a "Reboot to UEFI Setup" option.
  • There is now full support for configuring touchpads using the Libinput driver on X11.


Window Management





Window Management

  • Initial support for using Wayland with proprietary Nvidia drivers has been added. When using Qt 5.13 with this driver, graphics are also no longer distorted after waking the computer from sleep.
  • Wayland now features drag and drop between XWayland and Wayland native windows.
  • Also on Wayland, the System Settings Libinput touchpad page now allows you to configure the click method, switching between "areas" or "clickfinger".
  • KWin's blur effect now looks more natural and correct to the human eye by not unnecessary darkening the area between blurred colors.
  • Two new default shortcuts have been added: Meta+L can now be used by default to lock the screen and Meta+D can be used to show and hide the desktop.
  • GTK windows now apply correct active and inactive colour scheme.


Plasma Network Manager





Plasma Network Manager with Wireguard

  • The Networks widget is now faster to refresh Wi-Fi networks and more reliable at doing so. It also has a button to display a search field to help you find a particular network from among the available choices. Right-clicking on any network will expose a "Configure…" action.
  • WireGuard is now compatible with NetworkManager 1.16.
  • One Time Password (OTP) support in Openconnect VPN plugin has been added.


Discover





Updates in Discover

  • In Discover's Update page, apps and packages now have distinct "downloading" and "installing" sections. When an item has finished installing, it disappears from the view.
  • Tasks completion indicator now looks better by using a real progress bar. Discover now also displays a busy indicator when checking for updates.
  • Improved support and reliability for AppImages and other apps that come from store.kde.org.
  • Discover now allows you to force quit when installation or update operations are proceeding.
  • The sources menu now shows the version number for each different source for that app.

Read the full announcement

Bring the Linux App Summit 2019 home

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 06:18:38 AM

The GNOME and KDE communities are looking for locations for the Linux App Summit (LAS) 2019, an event that will be held sometime between September and December 2019.

The Linux App Summit is an evolution of the Libre Application Summit and has a specific focus on the creation of applications that target Linux devices. By co-hosting the conference, KDE and GNOME want to create a space for a more widespread collaboration and work towards a common goal: make the Linux application ecosystem flourish.

If you are interested in hosting LAS 2019 in your town, send us an e-mail to appsummit@lists.freedesktop.org by May 15th with your proposed location. This will allow the organizing committee to establish contact with you and give you assistance as you put together a bid later on.

For more information on relevant deadlines, please check out the LAS website.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Announcing Akademy 2019 in Milan, Italy (September 7th - 13th)

Wednesday 24th of April 2019 10:35:02 AM

Akademy 2019 will be held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, from Saturday the 7th to Friday the 13th of September.

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.

KDE e.V. is organizing Akademy 2019 with unixMiB — the Linux User Group of the University of Milano-Bicocca. unixMiB aims to spread Open Source philosophy among students.

Akademy 2019 Program

Akademy 2019 will start with 2 days of talks on Saturday and Sunday (7th and 8th of September), followed by 5 days of workshops, Birds of a Feather (BoF), training and coding sessions.

Call for Papers

The goal of the conference section of Akademy is to learn and teach new skills, and share our passion around what we're doing together at KDE.

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 have an idea or a story that you would like to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please encourage them to get in touch. For more details, see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers.

The submission deadline is 31st May, 23:59:59 CEST.

About Milan

With a population of over 1.5 million inhabitants, Milan has a rich history that stretches back to 600 BC. The city boasts interesting museums, fascinating archaeological sites and breathtaking architecture and monuments. It is also renowned for its excellent food and wine.

Milan is considered a global city, with strengths in the field of the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, and tourism. It is the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three. It is also the wealthiest among European non-capital cities.

Apart from being recognized as the world's fashion and design capital, Milan has a strong IT-based sector and is home to powerhouses such as Disney and SUSE. The adjacent towns are home to IBM Italia, Samsung and the CILEA supercomputing center, one of the most advanced HPC centers in Europe.

About the University of Milano-Bicocca

Akademy will be held in the halls of the University of Milano-Bicocca. Milano-Bicocca is a public university that provides undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education in a wide range of disciplinary fields including Economics, Informatics, Statistics, Law, Education, Sociology, Medicine and Surgery, Maths, Natural Sciences, Physics and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Biotechnology, and Psychology.

The university is located to the north and east of the center of Milan and can easily be reached by bus and metro/underground.

About Akademy


Akademy 2018, Vienna

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 that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

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KDE Applications 19.04 Released

Thursday 18th of April 2019 12:00:00 AM

The first new applications bundle release of the year adds stability, coherence and new features that help users become more comfortable and more productive using KDE software.

KDE's file manager, Dolphin, can now show previews of more types of files, including Microsoft Office files, Blender 3D scenes, and EPUB eBooks. Continuing in the same department, previews of text files containing code or markup will now show syntax highlighting. All of the above will help users identify the contents of a file even before opening it. Other usability improvements include the option to choose which split to close when clicking the Close Split button, smarter tab placement, and a more practical way of tagging files.

Okular, KDE's document viewer, now lets users verify PDFs that have been digitally signed. Digital signatures are used in official documents to confirm that the document comes from the right source, and that it has not been tampered with. Okular also lets you edit LaTeX documents directly in the viewer and has improved touchscreen compatibility, making it much easier to use it in presentation mode.

Kontact has also improved, with KMail receiving most of the changes. Starting with this release, KMail can correct your grammar in the texts of your messages. A new thing you will find in this version of Kontact is KItinerary, a travel assistant developed by Volker Krausse that advises you on how to best get to your destination using meta-data from your e-mails.

Many other apps have been improved: Konsole has made using tabs easier, Spectacle gives you more options when taking and saving screenshots, and Kdenlive has overhauled the timeline, making editing video easier and more fun, just to mention a few changes.

As always, you can read more about KDE Applications 19.04 in the official announcement. Many distributions are currently packaging Applications 19.04 ready for update and install. For the first time, you can install many of the apps on any distro directly from the Snap Store.

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Visit our Booth at OpenExpo Europe

Saturday 2nd of March 2019 12:02:00 PM

On the 20th of June, KDE will be attending OpenExpo Europe 2019.

The event is held in Madrid, Spain, and the organisers have kindly given us a space on the exhibition floor. We will be showcasing the best of what KDE has to offer in the business world. This will include devices that will show off the versatility and potential of Plasma and Plasma Mobile on everything - from mobiles, embedded devices, SBCs and low-powered devices (like the Pinebook), to its capability for adapting to vehicle infotainment systems and high-end ultrabooks, like the KDE Slimbook.

We will also be running videos and slide shows demonstrating the flexibility of Plasma, Plasma Mobile and all our applications on all platforms, and informing attendees how KDE Frameworks, such as Kirigami, can be useful for fast and flexible multiplatform development.

This is an event aimed mainly at businesses that want to work with other businesses, so if you or your company would like to get in touch with other IT companies, especially Spanish ones (which is what we want to do), this may be a good chance to broaden your market.

For those looking to share their knowledge, the OpenExpo Europe CfP (Call for Participation) is also still open and they are looking for speakers.

Mark your calendars, come and visit our stand, and keep up to date with all the new stuff KDE is working on!

Google Summer of Code 2019

Wednesday 27th of February 2019 09:10:36 AM

The KDE Community is happy to announce that we have been selected to participate in Google Summer of Code. This will be our our 14th year of mentoring students.

Attention students: If you are a student who would like to work with KDE this summer you can apply to SoC, find more info on the KDE GSoC wiki page. Please note that your project proposal will need to link to some commits to the KDE codebase, so get started now fixing some bugs! If you are wondering what you can work on, also check out our ideas page.

Come and talk to the team on Matrix at kde-soc:kde.org, on IRC in the #kde-soc channel or join the student mailing list.

KDE is adding Matrix to its instant messaging infrastructure

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 12:00:00 AM

KDE is adopting non-proprietary and decentralized instant messaging services and is now running its own community-managed instance of Matrix.

Matrix works fine on mobile as well.

KDE has been looking for a better way of chatting and live-sharing information for several years now. IRC has been a good solution for a long time, but our channels are currently on servers KDE cannot control. It also lacks features users have come to expect from more modern IM services. Other alternatives, such as Telegram, Slack and Discord, although feature-rich, are centralized and built around closed-source technologies and offer even less control than IRC. This flies in the face of KDE's principles that require we use and support technologies based on Free software.

However, our search for a better solution has finally come to an end: as of today we are officially using Matrix for collaboration within KDE! Matrix is an open protocol and network for decentralised communication, backed by an open standard and open source reference implementations for servers, clients, client SDKs, bridges, bots and more. It provides all the features you’d expect from a modern chat system: infinite scrollback, file transfer, typing notifications, read receipts, presence, search, push notifications, stickers, VoIP calling and conferencing, etc. It even provides end-to-end encryption (based on Signal’s double ratchet algorithm) for when you want some privacy.

All the existing rooms on Matrix (and their counterparts on IRC, Telegram and elsewhere) continue to exist. The new service provides a dedicated server for KDE users to access them using names like #kde:kde.org.

For more information go visit our wiki page which contains details and instructions on how to get started.

You can also try KDE's Matrix service right now by checking in to KDE's webchat or by installing a Matrix client like Riot and connecting to the kde.modular.im server!

KDE releases a new version of the Plasma desktop environment

Tuesday 12th of February 2019 10:33:09 AM

Say hello to Plasma 5.15, the newest version of KDE's acclaimed desktop environment.

This February release of KDE Plasma comes with a wide range of new features and improvements. The main focus of developers has been stamping out all minor problems and papercuts of the desktop, aiming to make Plasma smoother and easier to use.

Plasma's configuration interfaces have been redesigned, expanded and clarified to cover more user cases and make it simpler to adapt Plasma to everybody's needs. Plasma has also improved the integration of non-native applications, so Firefox, for example, can now optionally use native KDE open/save dialogs. Likewise, GTK and GNOME apps now respect the global scale factor used by high-DPI screens.

Updating your system is now easier and more reliable with the new and improved Discover.

Developers have also been hard at work on Discover, Plasma's built-in software manager. Options for upgrading your distribution are now included in Discover's Update Notifier widget, which will also display a "Restart" button if a restart is recommended when updating is done. Talking of updates, it is now possible to uncheck and re-check all available updates to make it easier to pick and choose the ones you want to apply. Another improvement is that repository management in Discover is now more practical and usable, especially for Ubuntu-based distros.

We have also solved problems with text readability and icon clarity. KDE designers have improved a variety of Breeze device and preference icons, including the multimedia icons and all icons that depict a stylized version of a Plasma wallpaper. The Places, Vault and Python bytecode files all have redesigned icons to make them easier to identify.

There are literally hundreds more improvements and tweaks included in this release, all implemented to make your life as a Plasma user much more enjoyable. Read the official announcement and check out the Plasma 5.15 changelog for more details on this new version of the Plasma desktop.

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Red Hat's Wayland Agenda and AMD Begins Queueing Graphics Driver Changes For The Linux 5.3 Kernel

  • Hans de Goede: Wayland itches summary
    1. Middle click on title / header bar to lower the Window does not work for native apps. Multiple people have reported this issue to me. A similar issue was fixed for not being able to raise Windows. It should be easy to apply a similar fix for the lowering problem. There are bugs open for this here, here and here. 2. Running graphical apps via sudo or pxexec does not work. There are numerous examples of apps breaking because of this, such as lshw-gui and usbivew. At least for X11 apps this is not that hard to fix. But sofar this has deliberately not been fixed. The reasoning behind this is described in this bug. I agree with the reasoning behind this, but I think it is not pragmatic to immediately disallow all GUI apps to connect when run as root starting today.
  • Hans de Goede: Better support for running games under Wayland (with GNOME3/mutter as compositor)
    First of all I do not want people to get their hopes up about $subject of this blogpost. Improving gaming support is a subjects which holds my personal interest and it is an issue I plan to spend time on trying to improve. But this will take a lot of time (think months for simple things, years for more complex things).
  • AMD Begins Queueing Graphics Driver Changes For The Linux 5.3 Kernel
    Being past the Linux 5.2 kernel merge window, AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver developers have already begun queuing changes anticipated for Linux 5.3 via a work-in-progress tree. Given the short time that this 5.3 WIP tree has been around, there isn't too much exciting about the changes -- yet. But surely over the weeks ahead it will get interesting. Making things particularly interesting is that we are expecting initial Navi support to make it for Linux 5.3... In recent weeks AMD began pushing AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end changes for GFX10/Navi and we expect the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver enablement to come for Linux 5.3. Linux 5.3 will already be arriving after the rumored release of the first Navi graphics cards so having to wait past 5.3 for mainline support would already be tragic. But given the recent LLVM activity, we expect AMD to push out the Navi kernel driver changes soon. For that likely massive patch-set to be reviewed in time, the Navi patches would need to make their debut within the next few weeks.

today's howtos and programming

Fedora 30 Workstation review - Smarter, faster and buggier

Fedora 30 is definitely one of the more interesting releases of this family in a long-time. It brings significant changes, including solid improvements in the desktop performance and responsiveness. Over the years, Fedora went from no proprietary stuff whatsoever to slowly acknowledging the modern needs of computing, so now it gives you MP3 codecs and you can install graphics drivers and such. Reasonable looks, plus good functionality across the board. However, there were tons of issues, too. Printing to Samba, video screenshot bug, installer cropped-image slides, package management complications, mouse cursor lag, oopses, average battery life, and inadequate usability out of the box. You need to change the defaults to have a desktop that can be used in a quick, efficient way without remembering a dozen nerdy keyboard shortcuts. All in all, I like the freshness. In general, it would seem the Linux desktop is seeing a cautious revival, and Fedora's definitely a happy player. But there are too many rough edges. Well, we got performance tweaks after so many years, and codecs, we might get window buttons and desktop icons one day back, too. Something like 6/10, and definitely worth exploring. I am happy enough to do two more tests. I will run an in-vivo upgrade on the F29 instance on this same box, and then also test the distro on an old Nvidia-powered laptop, which will showcase both the support for proprietary graphics (didn't work the last time) and performance improvements, if they scale for old hardware, too. That's all for now. Read more

Events: Automotive at LF, Linux Clusters Institute, Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC)

  • Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan Keynote Speakers and Schedule Announced
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source has announced the speaker line up for Open Source Summit Japan and Automotive Linux Summit. One registration provides access to all content at both events, which will be held July 17-19 at the Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo. Open Source Summit Japan (OSSJ) and Automotive Linux Summit (ALS) will bring together top talent from companies on the leading edge of innovation including Toyota Motor Corporation, Uber, Intel, Sony, Google, Microsoft and more. Talks will cover a range of topics, with ALS talks on everything from infrastructure and hardware to compliance and security; and OSSJ sessions on AI, Linux systems, cloud infrastructure, cloud native applications, open networking, edge computing, safety and security and open source best practices.
  • Register Now for the 2019 Introductory Linux Clusters Institute Workshop
    Registration is now open for the 2019 Linux Clusters Institute (LCI) Introductory Workshop,which will be held August 19-23, 2019 at the Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center in New Brunswick, NJ. This workshop will cover the fundamentals of setting up and administering a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster and will be led by leading HPC experts.
  • Additional early bird slots available for LPC 2019
    The Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) registration web site has been showing “sold out” recently because the cap on early bird registrations was reached. We are happy to report that we have reviewed the registration numbers for this year’s conference and were able to open more early bird registration slots. Beyond that, regular registration will open July 1st. Please note that speakers and microconference runners get free passes to LPC, as do some microconference presenters, so that may be another way to attend the conference. Time is running out for new refereed-track and microconference proposals, so visit the CFP page soon. Topics for accepted microconferences are welcome as well.