With the Plasma 5.0 release out the door, we can lift our heads a bit and look forward, instead of just looking at what’s directly ahead of us, and make that work by fixing bug after bug. One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell.
The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.
This is the year of Linux for the everyday user.
I have already written reviews for Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17 and they are both exceptionally good for the average computer user.
This review is about Netrunner 14.
There are two versions of Netrunner available. This article looks at the Standard Release which is based on Kubuntu 14.04. The other version is a rolling release based on Manjaro.
One of the most disliked features of the early KDE SC 4 releases was the developers' attempt to establish the semantic desktop. The tools to further this goal are Nepomuk and Akonadi. While Nepomuk tries to interconnect meta data from different desktop applications, Akonadi is a service that stores and retrieves data from PIM applications like mail, calendar and contacts. Together, they pave the road to allow users to find data, structured and connected by tags, ratings and comments, covering different file formats. On top of that, Strigi performs the indexing that enables users to find data with simple search terms in KDE's file manager Dolphin.
From ratpoison to Unity, I must have tried just about every Linux desktop environment available. The best Linux desktop, in my view: my main computer continues to run KDE's Plasma. No other alternative can match its design philosophy, configurability, or its innovations on the classical desktop.
Nor am I alone in my preferences. At a time when the Linux desktop offers six main alternatives (Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, Mate, Unity and Xfce), KDE Plasma consistently tops reader polls with an average of 35-40 percent. In such a diverse market, these figures indicate a broad appeal that other Linux desktop alternatives can't match.
I believe that one of the main reasons for this appeal is the KDE design philosophy. GNOME and Unity may offer a more aesthetic-looking default, but only at the cost of simplifying both the desktop and the utilities in the name of reducing clutter.
Being done as part of a Google Summer of Code project this year is porting KDE's Plasma Active to their newer technology stack.
Plasma Active is the user interface targeting all types of devices from tablets to smart TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Antonis Tsiapaliokas, a student developer and open-source/KDE fan, has been working on porting as much of Plasma Active as he can over the summer to using the newest stack: the Qt5 tool-kit with KDE Frameworks 5.
Yesterday I blogged about why Breeze is not the default window decoration in KWin 5.0. The blog post touched a little bit the problems with our decoration API. In short: it’s QWidget based and that doesn’t fit our needs any more. It uses a QWidget as an X11 window. At the same time KWin intercepts the rendering and also input handling, redirects it and forwards it. So why use a QWidget at all? Also using a QWidget is quite a memory waste in the Qt5 world. The QWindow behind the QWidget uses a QXcbShmImage with the same size as the window. As explained in yesterdays blog post the window has the size of the managed window plus the decoration. So for a maximized window we hold an image of the size of the complete window while we just need the titlebar strip. We can do better
As I continue to work to kdepim* KF5, I need more scripts.
Savoir-faire Linux is proud to announce the immediate availability of SFLPhone 1.4.0. This release finally enables video by default. We have refactored the video implementation to be much more robust against a variety of conditions and made the configuration more flexible. It is also now possible to stream a variety of file types and even share your screen. Other interesting features include support for the JACK audio system used by audio industry professionals and hobbyists. Thanks to improvements in audio buffering, latency and resampling, audio quality is noticeably better. The KDE client now has much better Akonadi support. It can now act as a KAddressBook replacement for most phone related scenarios. There will probably be one final KDE4 release before officially making the switch to KF5. The SFLPhone-KDE logic backend, libqtsflphone, has been compatible with Qt5 for over a year, some of the UI dialogs have yet to be ported. As for SFLPhone in general, we plan to merge work that has been done in parallel for a while now to make the daemon more modular, easier to build, more secure and more portable to other operating systems.
Hello, this is my fourth report for my GSoC. This week I have ported the Panel for Plasma Active. The UI of the Active Panel has not changed much. As you can notice some of the Plasmoids are missing because they have not been ported yet (like the Homescreen Plasmoid), but there is no missing functionality from the Panel. Also the notification icons are invisible while they are inactive, as this is the expected behavior.
This week KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the third and last in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.13 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.11. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Beneath these releases KDE announced the second beta of the 4.14 versions of Applications and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. Your assistance is requested!
In keeping with the best-fit-only policy, the KaOS community deliberately keeps this distro's software stores limited. The current inventory is about 2,000 packages. The size will not grow beyond 2,200 packages. KaOS uses Pacman 4.1.2 as the package manager, with Octopi 0.4.0 as graphical front end. This is a good combination, as it's simple and effortless to add or remove software.
The much awaited Plasma 5 has been announced today, which marks a new chapter in the story of KDE software. Plasma 5 is the next generation desktop by the KDE community; it’s the evolution of KDE’s desktop which started taking a new shape with the release of ‘revolutionary’ KDE 4.0.
Plasma desktop uses the time-tested UI optimized for WIMP (windows, icons, menus and pointer) interface and with 5 it further improved that experience. A lot of work has gone in the code-base which makes the desktop sleeker and more polished. If you are thinking just think oh it’s just a different theme and new icons, it’s not true. Plasma 5 uses the brand new Frameworks 5 and Qt5 which not only improves user-experience but also allows developers to use KDE software in a manner not possible before.
July 15, 2014. KDE proudly announces the immediate availability of Plasma 5.0, providing a visually updated core desktop experience that is easy to use and familiar to the user. Plasma 5.0 introduces a new major version of KDE's workspace offering. The new Breeze artwork concept introduces cleaner visuals and improved readability. Central work-flows have been streamlined, while well-known overarching interaction patterns are left intact. Plasma 5.0 improves support for high-DPI displays and ships a converged shell, able to switch between user experiences for different target devices. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered around an OpenGL(ES) scenegraph. Plasma is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5.
Plasma 5.0 is wrapping up and we have all learned a LOT in the first few months of the Visual Design Group's existence. One thing is clear though. If any of us had any doubts about whether an open approach to visual design can produce great results, most of those doubts have been assuaged. I'm super-proud to be part of this community and the quality of the results we have produced. It is really exciting to see the participation and the optimism by everyone involved!
So one question some folks might be pondering is "What's next for the VDG?" Well I'm glad you asked. The core VDG group sat down and looked at the long term approach to supporting the Plasma desktop and KDE applications.
This is the first release of a new chapter of Plasma, in which a new release method will be used to celebrate the diverity of the KDE community.
We used to have a 6 months “big release” of all things KDE, called in the beginning just “KDE”, then “KDE SC”, but this release is not that anymore, because KDE grown a lot in the past years, is not just that anymore, and “a single release of everything” scales only so much....
For KDE desktop users unhappy with the level of integration with Mozilla's Firefox web browser, the situation might finally be changing.
There's been a bug going back to early 2002 about properly integrating Mozilla with KDE, "Mozilla has 'Windows Integration' on win32, I believe it should have such a thing on KDE as well (gnome folks, feel free to file your own bug). We should at least provide an icon in the KDE menu, perhaps we could even tell KDE that some file types can be opened with Mozilla..." That bug, Mozilla Bug 140751, has been open for the past twelve years and finally now might be inching closer to being resolved.
While KDE Frameworks 5 was just released this week, there's already new features and functionality sought after for future revisions of this modularized set of next-gen KDE libraries.
Covered in yesterday's KF5 update meeting were many changes/features still being desired by KDE developers. Among the highlights of future work include:
- Ensuring there is proper tooling and it's easy for developers to get started for developing applications on KDE Frameworks 5.