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Updated: 3 hours 41 min ago

digiKam Sprint 2014

14 hours 53 min ago

digiKam is a mature open-source project (more than 14 years old now) that provides a digital asset management application oriented to photography post-production.

The Event

It had been almost three years since the last time the digiKam team had an opportunity to meet, talk, code and spend some time together. Gilles Caulier, the lead coordinator, was a victim of a serious car crash two years ago and was thus unable to organize or attend such an event. Now, we finally had an opportunity to meet again. After a lot of effort finding a suitable place and a date suitable for all developers to work together under optimal conditions, the digiKam coding sprint 2014 finally took place in Berlin, between November 14th and 16th 2014.

Before going through what happened during these days, we give sincere thanks to Digia, the company in charge of Qt development, for hosting the event, and also in particular Tobias Hunger, who welcomed us at Digia's offices located in the South of Berlin. Many thanks also to KDE e.V. for financial support that made the sprint possible.

People participating in the sprint (below, from left to right) :

What happened during the sprint

The next major task is to port digiKam to Qt5. Approximately 10% was already ported by Gilles before the sprint, and the objectives for this coding sprint were as follows:

  • Specify timeline for porting digiKam.
  • Identify priorities (what should be ported first).
  • Delegate porting tasks to developers (who does what?).

Long discussions evolved around these topics. Gilles explained the experience he already gained with this sort of work, which tools are available to facilitate the porting, and where manual work is required. The libraries which are part of the digikam project were prioritized for the port, and tasks were assigned.

There were also discussions about the KIPI framework and its plugins. After many years of development, some plugins are essentially unmaintained and no longer needed by digiKam as their functionality was superseded or moved, leaving them out of the porting task. We also talked about APIs to provide better integration between KIPI and digiKam for a task-based framework such as digiKam's batch queue manager. The KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) port seems like the right time to integrate binary incompatible as well as architectural changes where needed.

Shourya Singh Gupta worked on implementing the KIPI tools functionality in the Batch Queue Manager (Tools Settings). To do this, there were discussions regarding what API changes must be done to the stack to facilitate a generic way to plug kipi-plugins into BQM. By the end of Coding Sprint, there were changes made to APIs to allow a generic way to plug kipi-plugins' settings widgets into the user-interface, tested by converting two plugins (DNG converter and KIO export tool) to take advantage of this feature. Later, the background processing part of DNG converter—responsible for doing the real work—was also ported. This work is currently still in its separate feature branch, waiting to be merged after the frameworks porting branch becomes more stable.

Marcel worked on memory consumption problems with the database functionalities as well as several reported memory leaks. As soon as he could reproduce the problems under valgrind, many cleanups and fixes were committed. Among other fixes a long-standing bug (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=205776) was fixed.

He also worked to complete the Removable Collection support. The goal is to show thumbnails from disconnected media without actually having access to the full file, as this information is stored by the digiKam in its internal metadata database. In practice this means that users can continue to search and preview collections with thumbnails and other metadata. Feedback to the user is provided to indicate items and collection that are not available for editing (See bugs https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=191494 and https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=114539). This feature was completed during the train ride back from Berlin, and committed Sunday evening following the Sprint.

Gilles polished the whole libkgeomap public API to be ready for the KF5 port. A lot of changes have been applied to reduce binary compatibility issues. This is especially needed if a library is to become a KF5 library to be more easily reused by other projects. A similar move has recently been made to libkface to make it available for KPhotoAlbum.

Veaceslav worked on porting libkdcraw from the old KDE4 Threadweaver API to the new KF5 Threadweaver implementation. Unfortunately, the new API was not quite stable nor documented, and Gilles decided to port it one more time to use a pure Qt thread pool implementation.

Teemu fixed some crashes as well as some small annoyances and introduced his plans to work on cleaning up the codebase, starting with cleaning up the CMakeLists and moving misplaced source files to their proper places. This will be an on-going process.

Dmitry, who is a long time digiKam user and who has written the famous Recipes Book, reported the need to have digiKam be less dependent of the KDE desktop so that it can be more suitable elsewhere. This does not mean losing KDE support, but rather wrapping properly all specific KDE features used by digiKam as optional when it's possible. Dmitry took lots of photo of the event and shared user experience with developers, which introduced some long and instructive discussions about photographer methodologies and workflow.

After long days of coding, the tired developers went out in search for food in the quarter around the hotel at Rosenthaler Straße. Sushi on Friday and Vietnamese food on Saturday managed to sustain the developers for the following day of coding.

Aftermath<?h2?>

The digiKam release planhas been discussed and published. As many kipi-plugins are still not yet ported to Qt5, digiKam 5.0 must be delayed until the end of the year. Christmas sounds like the right moment to offer code to the user community.

MySQL support is disabled by default for now because it's not fully functional and still experimental. MySQL support is still fully available, but as an optional feature. The plan is to find a student to work on it with the goal to stabilize code, and to add PostgreSQL support through Qt SQL plugins.

digiKam core (and the libraries it depends on) is now mostly ported to Qt5/KF5. It's compilable and running, although there is still ongoing effort to port away from KDE4 support libraries that are currently used. The port is not yet ready for prime-time and one can encounter bugs caused by porting, but in the near future there will be beta releases to get reports from end-users about regressions.

However, there is still a lot of work required especially with kipi-plugins, of which only a small part (about 20%) is currently ported. For people who want to try out and help with development, the code is available in the Frameworks branches of corresponding projects. The contribution page has more information.

The build-system (CMake) structure is currently being cleaned up to make the codebase more maintainable for the future as well as making writing unit tests a breeze. At the same time, the dependencies of different parts are being investigated and cleaned up, to allow easier compilation on Windows and OSX.

Final Words

digiKam is planning to participate once again in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) this year. There are some new ideas available in the wiki to attract new contributors. We suggest that anyone interested in working on digiKam this summer should start getting familiar with the project already.

Once more, thank you to the folks at Digia (and Tobias) for your hospitality and to KDE e.V. for sponsoring the event!

digiKam in action. More photos from the event are available on Flickr.

conf.kde.in 2015 - divine

Wednesday 4th of March 2015 06:44:02 PM

Building on the success of conf.kde.in 2014 at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Community Technology (DA-IICT) in the land of Gujarat, the horizon of the KDE Community is broadening and shifting south. conf.kde.in 2015 takes place on the 17th and 18th of April at Amritapuri in Kerala, India. As in previous years of the conference, conf.kde.in 2015 will promote the spirit of free and open source software (FOSS) and offer ideas to build awareness about FOSS culture at the collegiate level, the time when most technology students have their first interactions with Open Source. There will be particular emphasis on KDE technology, and on Qt, the popular cross-platform application framework.

The Venue

Amritapuri is renowned as a spiritual center, named after the humanitarian and spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi. The major university of the town, Amrita University, is known for its efforts in promoting FOSS culture among the students; an ideal place for hosting conf.kde.in 2015. The University has had extensive involvement with FOSS in the past, the latest being DebUtsav (a Debian conference) in October 2014.


Amrita University About conf.kde.in

conf.kde.in started in 2011 at RVCE in Bangalore as a 5 day event with 300 participants, initiating a series of such KDE events in India. There was a KDE Meetup in 2013 and conf.kde.in 2014 at DA-IICT, which brought in members of the KDE Community from all over the world to attend the event, give talks, and share the spirit of KDE. The 2015 conference will cater to new members of KDE as well as seasoned developers, providing updates about what is going on in the KDE Community and teaching newcomers how to start making meaningful contributions. These events have been successful in attracting a lot of Indian students to mentoring programs such as Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Season of KDE and Google Code-In.

This year, the conf.kde.in 2015 organizers intend to generate even more interest and participation by creating a fertile environment for people to get started with KDE, Qt and FOSS through numerous talks, hands-on sessions and demonstrations.

Call For Papers

If the event seems exciting and valuable, this is an opportunity to join in.

How to be part of it?
Submit a paper explaining the content for a presentation of not more than 30 minutes on any aspect of KDE, Qt or other FOSS topic that you want to cover. Please include pertinent information about your background, other talks you've made (if any), and anything else that gives a sense of what attendees can expect from your presentation. The organizers await your innovative proposals, and are looking forward to an abundant gathering of the KDE Community.

Submit your proposals here.

The proposal submission period closes on March 20, 2015.

Registration for attending the event as a participant will open soon.

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Akademy 2015 Call for Papers and Registration open

Wednesday 4th of March 2015 04:49:06 PM

Akademy is the KDE Community conference. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE or Qt, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from 25th-31st July in A Coruña, Spain. The days for talks are Saturday and Sunday, 25th and 26th July. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.


Akademy 2014 attendees What we are looking for

The goal of the conference section of Akademy is to learn and teach new skills and share our passion around what we're doing in KDE with each other.

For the sharing of ideas, experiences and state of things, we will have short Fast Track sessions in a single-track section of Akademy. Teaching and sharing technical details is done through longer sessions in the multi-track section of Akademy.

If you think you have something important to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please nominate them. For more details see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers.

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

Registration Open

Anyone can attend Akademy for free. But registration is required in order to attend the event. Please register soon so that we can plan accordingly.

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those who are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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Kontact Kolab Now

Friday 27th of February 2015 07:34:42 PM

Kolab Systems has recently announced substantial improvements to their support for Kolab Groupware, today's release of Kolab 3.4, recently released Kolab Enterprise 14 and the upgrade of the hosted Kolab Now solution for Enterprise 14. Since the start of Kolab in 2002 as a Free Software project sponsored by the German Federal Office for Information Security, KDE people have played a significant role in its development. Kolab is enterprise-level software that includes group email, calendaring, contacts, file sharing, and task management. Its features also appeal to many individuals.

A little history

The initial release of Kolab was called Kroupware (notice the "K", it means something ;^) The Kroupware Client was the result of enhancements to KMail and other KDE PIM (personal information management) software, and later became known as Kontact. About 10 years ago, KDE developers were interviewed about the evolution of the projects and provided details about Kontact, the Personal Information Management Suite from KDE. Currently Kontact is the favored client for Kolab; other popular clients are supported as well. Despite its longevity, KDE PIM continues to evolve.

Email still going strong

Despite the rise of social networks and messaging apps, email continues to be the dominant mode of written electronic communication. Over the next few years, email use will continue to grow in the business world and decrease by less than 4% each year for consumers. The average business worker will have to deal with 140 emails a day by 2018, up from 120 emails a day now. (Thanks to theconversation.com)

Approximately 108 billion business emails are sent each day. Email is critical to communication in organizations.

Security and privacy more important than ever

Kolab was designed with a security centric architecture from the beginning. With the revelations of government spying over the past few years and other dangerous electronic invasions, this aspect of Kolab has grown in importance to many people. It was one of the primary considerations for the Munich city government when Kolab was selected for implementation in February 2014. In addition, the City of Munich has implemented the KDE Desktop as part of LiMux - The IT evolution, migrating the City to free and open source software. Privacy and security are essential requirements to organizations, and highly important to many individuals as well.

Kolab Now

Recent reports of government intrusions—involving organizations such as the U.S. NSA and the U.K. GCHQ—are cause for alarm by some individuals. U.S.-based email providers such as Google and Microsoft have been required to release information to government agencies without notifying the people involved. Encryption and other privacy measures can't be trusted to such arrangements.

Kolab Now provides enterprise-class Kolab capabilities and support for individuals and smaller groups. The secure email and collaboration services are based in Switzerland. Individual data is "protected by a unique combination of terms of service, laws, operational principles and technology. Kolab Now will never put you under surveillance to sell your data or profile and there will be no advertisements. Enjoy the convenience of the Cloud without compromising freedom and openness." (from the Kolab Now website)

Kolab Systems and KDE

Kolab Systems provides enterprise level support for Kolab Groupware. The company actively supports development of various aspects of Kontact; some Kolab Systems employees are paid to work on Kontact. Through this symbiosis, Kolab Systems has access to one of the best full-featured desktop clients (Kontact), while scalability and other benefits flow to one of KDE's premier applications. For example, Christian Mollekopf recently wrote about progress with Akonadi. Kolab Systems is an important player in the KDE ecosystem and is a strong advocate for Free Software. Their work with organizations such as the City of Munich reflects well on KDE's value in large scale deployments.

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Calligra 2.9 Brings Biggest Krita Release and New Kexi Partnership

Thursday 26th of February 2015 08:48:26 PM

We are happy to announce the release of final version 2.9 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of changes which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.

Support Calligra!

What’s in the Box?

The 2.9 release is so far the biggest release for Krita, the award-winning free and open source digital painting application. Eleven out of twelve of the features were requested by users and funded by Krita’s first Kickstarter action and the twelfth feature will come in 2.9.1!

  • Support for loading and showing multiple images in one window, and viewing any given image in multiple views and windows.
  • Fully integrated the G’Mic set of image manipulation tools, enabling artists to, for instance, greatly speed-up their workflow.
  • Greatly extended support for painting in HDR mode, making it a truly creative tool.
  • New perspective painting assistants to new color selectors, improved transform tools and non-destructive transformation masks, brush engine improvements, workflow improvements, new filters, support for creating and installing resource packs (brushes, gradients, patterns) and many more.
  • More details on krita.org


Professional artwork by David Revoy made with Krita (http://www.peppercarrot.com)


The debut of Calligra Gemini, a novel mix of a traditional desktop app and a touch-friendly tablet app.
It encases Calligra’s word processor and presentation apps. (details)

The same text document edited on laptop computer and in tablet mode


Kexi, visual data-oriented apps builder received over 150 improvements that make it extra stable and easy to use.

  • Newer technologies have been employed for the tabular (data grid) views and forms.
  • Report Designer, Query Designer and data import assistants have improved substantially. (details)
  • All that is spiced with a dedicated support for KDE Plasma 5’s look and feel.


New table view in Kexi 2.9


Unmatched integration: Displaying office documents in Okular, KDE’s universal document viewer. For displaying many types of documents Calligra Office Engine has been used, the same that forms a pillar of document viewers on Nokia N9 and Jolla smartphones, COffice Android app and more. (details)


Calligra document plugin for Okular
showing a DOC file


Dozens of general improvements in common Calligra features as well as Calligra Sheets, Words are present in the 2.9 series. For details jump to the Beta 1, Beta 2 and Beta 3 change logs.

At the organizational level awesome news is that Kexi gained a corporate partner, Milo Solutions! (details)
This internationally active software house is focused on cross-platform software solutions with special emphasis on the Qt framework, the same that forms a pillar of Kexi, Calligra and hundreds of other KDE apps. Milo's proficiency in web, mobile and design does not hurt too in this partnership.

To ensure smooth ooperation, Kexi maintainer Jarosław Staniek acts as a liaison in the FOSS space for Milo, something he already practiced 12 years ago with other companies when Kexi project emerged. The outcome for the community is noticeable; numerous works of the first fully devoted to Kexi software engineer from Milo, Roman Shtemberko, can be already found in the 2.9 release. (read Roman's experience) So far it looks like a perfect blend of creativeness, technology and cooperation.

Plasma 5.2 Bugfix Update

Tuesday 24th of February 2015 02:35:57 PM


Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.2.1. Plasma 5.2 was released in January with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

This release adds a month's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include:

  • Don't turn off the screen or suspend the computer when watching videos in a web browser
  • Fix Powerdevil from using full CPU
  • Show the correct prompt for a fingerprint reader swipe
  • Show correct connection name in Plasma Network Manager
  • Remove kdelibs4support code in many modules
  • Fix crash when switching to/from Breeze widget style
  • In KScreen fix crash when multiple EDID requests for the same output are enqueued
  • In KScreen fix visual representation of output rotation
  • In Oxygen style improved rendering of checkbox menu item's contrast pixel, especially when selected using Strong highlight.
  • In Plasma Desktop improve rubber band feel and consistency with Dolphin.
  • In Plasma Desktop use smooth transformation for scaling down the user picture
  • When setting color scheme information for KDElibs 4, don't read from KF5 kdeglobals
  • Baloo KCM: Show proper icons (porting bug)

Full 5.2.1 changelog

Live Images

The easiest way to try it out is the with a live image booted off a USB disk. Images with Plasma 5.2 are available from Kubuntu development daily builds.

Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Source Downloads

You can install Plasma 5 directly from source. KDE's
community wiki has instructions to compile it. Note that Plasma 5 does not co-install with Plasma 4, you will need to uninstall older versions or install into a separate prefix.

Feedback

You can give us feedback and get updates on Facebook or Twitter or Google+.

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

We love the projects around us!

Saturday 14th of February 2015 10:41:21 AM


Today the Free Software Foundation Europe reminds us to thank and celebrate all those in Free Software we love and whose work we enjoy and built upon. In KDE, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Everything we do in some way depends on Free Software written by many other people - the huge ecosystem around us. Here are just a few of the thousands of them:

  • We Love Qt for being the best toolkit we could hope for to build our software on.
  • We love the GNU Toolchain (gcc, GNU binutils, ..) - the most used toolchain to bring our amazing software to the masses.
  • We love Valgrind and the GNU Debugger for helping us improve our software craftmanship.
  • We love CMake for keeping our project structures sane and for helping us shine on every platform.
  • We love Xorg and Wayland for giving us the ability to paint on the screen of many devices large and small.
  • We love git for helping us manage our future and past.
  • We love the KDE Free Qt Foundation for ensuring that KDE and everyone else can continue to rely on a free and open Qt.

Most importantly: we love all the *people* that help run these projects and organizations. Thank you for letting us stand on the shoulders of giants and ensuring together with us that more people have access to free software and control over the technology that shapes their life.

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