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KDE and GNOME: KUnity, Presentations, GitLab and Flatpaks

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GNOME
  • A year as a KDE developer | The KUnity Setup

    It has been more than a year that I had push rights for all the KDE repositories. So this is an obligatory anniversary post.

    I got introduced to Linux while searching for development environments that came with all sorts of compilers & interpreters by default and I don't have to manually install those stuff. It was 2012 as far as I remember, Ubuntu 12.04 just came out and it was the first solution suggested by the search engines. Though the unavailability of a proper internet connection meant, that I had to wait a couple more years when one of my friends downloaded a copy of Ubuntu 14.04 for me.

  • FOSDEM and Plasma Mobile Sprint 2020

    This was the 20th anniversary for FOSDEM, I first attended 15 years ago, but this year was the first time I actually managed to present a talk there. The subject was, unsurprisingly, KDE Itinerary. You can find the slides and the video recording on the corresponding FOSDEM talk page.

    KDE had a very busy presence at FOSDEM, Plasma Mobile draw a lot of attention, as did efforts for truly free and user-controlled mobile platforms in general. I’m particularly happy seeing the cross-community collaborations going on in that space.

    FOSDEM is a great place to connect and coordinate with other communities, and by now that’s probably one of the main reasons for me to attend. The collaboration with Nextcloud on integrating itinerary extraction into Nextcloud Hub started there last year for example.

    FOSDEM two years ago saw the first successful flight using a KDE Itinerary rendered boarding pass, this year we had the first ever Thalys ride with a ticket presented in KDE Itinerary. We also made a bit of progress with decoding Thalys binary barcodes, more samples would help a lot here though.

  • Presentations Archive

    Some time ago I ran across remark-cmake, a CMake framework for building remark.js-based presentations. Since I’m a sucker for CMake I started using it, even if my presentations are rarely big-and-complicated enough to warrant a build-system.

    Since then I’ve submitted a few pull-requests to remark-cmake, but also given eight (8) presentations using that framework at four (4) different conferences in four countries on two continents. Current scheduling suggests that one more continent and at least four more talks will be added before summer.

  • Clean and linear history with GitLab

    Many GNOME projects still use clean and linear commit history without merge commits even after porting to GitLab. That means that each commit represents one comprehensive feature or bug fix and there are not any side branches. I am not about to discuss the pros and cons of this approach here, you can find many and many posts on this topic on the internet. I would like to explain some common issues for newcomers when using GitLab forks.

    To make some contribution, one has to create a fork of some repository, push desired changes in a new branch and create a merge request to the original project. Please be sure that the “Allows commits from members who can merge to the target branch” checkbox is checked when creating the merge request (or later using the “Edit” button on the top of the page). This is needed to simplify the consequent workflow for the contributor (and maintainers as well). One of the reasons, why this is needed is the fact, that the changes need to be often rebased before they can be merged (to ensure the linear history). Maintainers can’t do this when this feature is not enabled and have to ask contributors to do so. Another reason is that the maintainers can do some changes when the contributor needs help or doesn’t have time to do the changes itself.

  • Robocode and others

    As expressed in a previous post, I prefer to spend my free time with my kids than with technology (for technology I already have my job). However, when there is an exception to that, I do like to do some sort of smaller projects, like “porting” stuff to Flatpak.

    I did my share of Debian and RPM packaging in the past, and honestly I have never enjoyed it (for a number of reasons not really interesting for this post). But “flatpaking” stuff is completely different to me. Maybe it’s my early involvement with it, or maybe it’s my admiration for how its designed, but the feeling when making a Flatpak is of reward, rather than a chore.

WebKitGTK 2.28 Seeing Flatpak Sandbox Support, WebGL + WebAudio

  • WebKitGTK 2.28 Seeing Flatpak Sandbox Support, WebGL + WebAudio By Default

    Following this weekend's GNOME 3.36 beta, WebKitGTK 2.27.90 is available as a snapshot of this GTK-catered version of the WebKit layout engine on its path towards version 2.28.

    With WebKitGTK 2.27.90 there are many new features baking for WebKitGTK 2.28: Flatpak sandboxing support, WebGL and WebAudio are finally enabled by default in WebKitSettings, support for same-site cookies, support for the webkit-font-smoothing CSS property, support for inspecting service workers to the remote inspector, and various other changes.

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Development Boards and Open Hardware/Modding

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    Yesterday, I wrote about LilyGO TTGO ESP32-S2 WiFi IoT board, but one commenter mentioned it missed one of the key features of ESP32-S2 chip: a USB OTG port. While USB OTG is accessible through the header pins, it’s not the most convenient to use. I also quickly mentioned Cucumber ESP32-S2 development board in that post, but I did not expand too much since I thought it should only ship within Thailand. But the board does include two USB Type-C ports, one for the usual USB UART connector, and the other for USB OTG, and I found out the board is available worldwide.

  • TTGO ESP32-S2 WiFi IoT Board Comes with Optional MicroSD Card and Battery Support

    All ESP32-S2 boards I’ve seen so far were from Espressif Systems themselves including ESP32-S2-Saola-1 and ESP32-S2-Kaluga-1, but LilyGO TTGO ESP32-S2 is the first third-party board for sale so far. The tiny board is somewhat similar to ESP32-S2-Saola-1 board and comes in two versions with a similar form factor, but a completely different pinout and the presence of a MicroSD card socket and a battery connector on one of the boards. [...] The boards are a bit more different than I expected at first look. Please note that specifications should be seen as preliminary, as there were obvious mistakes such as Bluetooth support (not available for ESP32-S2) which I did not included in the specs above, but there may be others which I missed.

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Software: NetworkManager, Google's Chrome/Chromium, Best Linux Remote Desktop Tools, RapidDisk and Mastodon

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  • Experience With Mastodon
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