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KDE

KDE Plasma Review: The Swiss Army Knife of Desktops

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KDE
Reviews

As the long-standing rival to GNOME, KDE Plasma is another one of the most popular Linux desktop environments. It’s a lot of the things people may not like about GNOME: resource efficient, unbelievably customizable, and as minimal or complex as you want it to be. This KDE Plasma review will cover performance, user interface, customization, and recommendations on how to use and who should use KDE Plasma.

[...]

As great as the defaults are, the strength of KDE lies in its customizability. It’s “have it your way” to the extreme.

If you don’t like the default Breeze theme, it’s very easy to change it with the “Global Theme” application. You can choose from any that come preinstalled, or you can choose to go out and download more to suit your needs. The customization options are all about choice, and you can easily customize it to any look you want.

Under System Settings, you can change almost every single aspect of the system, including global themes, window themes, icon themes, and more. You can make Plasma look like the following.

[...]

The beauty of all the customization Plasma offers is that everybody can use Plasma. It starts out spartan-simple, but you can change it to suit any workflow or appearance you want. You can make a very resource-efficient Windows or macOS clone. Additionally, those looking to try out Wayland without using GNOME should try out Plasma. It’s the only other full Desktop Environment that supports Wayland (with the addition of some other packages), and it’s a great place to test and experience Wayland on your system.

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KDE’s July 2020 Apps Update Improves KTorrent, KMyMoney, KDiff3, and Others

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KDE

KDE Applications 20.04.3 is now available as the third and last point release to the latest KDE Applications 20.04 series. It brings various improvements to some of the most popular KDE apps, including the KTorrent BitTorrent client, KMyMoney personal finance manager, and KDiff3 file comparison tool.

KTorrent 5.2.0 enables faster downloads of your torrents due to the improvements made to the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) functionality. On the other hand, KMyMoney 5.1.0 adds support for the Indian Rupee symbol ₹, the ability to view all account types in the Budget view, as well as a new “Reverse charges and payments” option to OFX imports.

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Direct: KDE's July 2020 Apps Update

Qt Creator 4.12.4 released

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KDE

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.12.4 !

In this release of Qt Creator we fixed C++ debugging on iOS devices, and adapted MCU support to the new Qt for MCU 1.3 release. Have a look at our change log for a more complete list of improvements.

The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under "Qt Creator", and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.12.4 is also available as an update in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

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KDE Plasma 5.19.3 Desktop Environment Arrives with More Than 30 Changes

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KDE

Packed with more than 30 changes, the KDE Plasma 5.19.3 update is here to make the logout action in the Lock/Logout widget work again, improve the deletion of multiple application shortcuts in the new Global Shortcuts page, and fix a very annoying bug affecting scrolling in a GTK app, which stopped working when a Plasma notification appears.

Moreover, GNOME’s Nautilus file manager is now listed in the Default Applications page under System Settings when it’s installed, and the System Settings no longer crashes when there are no file managers installed and you open the Applications page.

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Direct: Plasma 5.19.3

24 Excellent KDE Plasma Widgets (Updated 2020)

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KDE

After desktop hopping for many years, I’m fairly settled on KDE Plasma 5. It’s a lightweight (yes these days it really is lightweight) and responsive desktop which is full-featured and beguiling to the eye. In my opinion, one of the aspects that stands KDE Plasma head and shoulders above its desktop peers is extensibility. Plasma lets you configure the desktop to your specific preferences.

KDE Plasma widgets (also known as plasmoids) are a smart way of customizing the desktop. There’s an abundance of widgets available that act like building blocks, constructing a desktop that’s perfect for your needs and requirements. I’ve tried the vast majority of KDE Plasma widgets.

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Also: Week #5 Status Report [Preset Editor MyPaint Engine]

This week in KDE: A little bit of everything

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KDE

A lot of exciting things are happening behind the scenes these days, but in terms of what landed this week, we focused on bugfixing–including a few nice high DPI fixes–and also got a few nice Dolphin and Konsole features.

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KSnip and Spectacle

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KDE
Software

Switching back-and-forth between the tabs gives me a “pixels moved” sense, and that’s really useful. KSnip’s wide selection of annotation tools – it’s nearly a specialized drawing application – helps, too: I tell people to draw big red arrows on screenshots pointing to problems (because describing things is difficult, and a glaring visual glitch to you may be totally invisible to me).

With KSnip, adding detail to a screenshot is child’s play.

That’s not to say that KSnip doesn’t have its issues. But a blog post is not a place to complaing about someone else’s Free Software: the issue tracker is (with constructive bug reports, not complaints).

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Also: Third alpha release of my project

Bringing modern process management to the desktop

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KDE
Software

A desktop environment's sole role is to connect users to their applications. This includes everything from launching apps to actually displaying apps but also managing them and making sure they run fairly. Everyone is familiar the concept of a "Task manager" (like ksysguard), but over time they haven't kept up with the way applications are being developed or the latest developments from Linux.

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KDE and GNOME: Plasma 5.19 in Groovy Gorilla, GSoC and Fractal

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KDE
GNOME
  • Plasma 5.19 testing in Groovy Gorilla

    Are you running the development release of Kubuntu Groovy Gorilla 20.10, or wanting to try the daily live ISO?

    Plasma 5.19 has now landed in 20.10 and is available for testing. You can read about the new features and improvements in Plasma 5.19 in the official KDE release announcement.

  • GSoC Review 1 - Qt3D based backend for KStars

    In the fourth week of GSoC, I worked on adding support for Skybox which supports the projection modes implemented last week. I also added the grid implementation in KStars based on the prototype.

  • GSoC ’ 20 Progress: Week 3 and 4

    The past two weeks did not see as much progress as I would have liked because of my university exams and evaluations. Now, let’s focus on the work that I could do before I got swamped with the academic work and term exams.

    I started the third week by working on drafting a basic QML display of the subtitle model items, like the position of the subtitles in the timeline. I drafted a basic delegate QML model to display the start positions of each subtitle line. Then I began working on integrating the back-end part (which I had mentioned in the previous post) with the basic front-end part (displaying the position of the subtitles).

    In this process of integrating the subtitle model with the QML delegate model, I encountered a few logical errors with my code and some connections with the Subtitle Model which I had completely overlooked. It was also during this time that I realised I had missed out some key functions while writing the subtitle model class.

  • Google Summer of Code 2020 – week 4 and 5

    Hi, today I will talk about my week 4 and week 5 and bring some news!

    The last post was short but this one will make up for it, explaining some important bits, and changes, in the structure of mark that changed/improved during the first month of coding in GSoC.

    In week 4, I documented a huge part of the existing code, although there is still a need for some updates. Currently in week 5, I am fixing some bugs of the new logic and I will document the newly created Painter class (more information below), also start developing the logic for text annotation.

  • Fractal: Refactoring and the review process

    In this year GSoC, Alejandro is working on Fractal, moving code from the backend to the client, to try to simplify the code used to communicate with the matrix.org server and maybe in the future we can replace fractal-matrix-api with the matrix-rust-sdk. And then we'll have less code in our project to maintain.

    This is a great work, something needed in a project with a technological debt of several years. I created this project to learn Rust, and also I was learning about the matrix protocol during the project build. And other contributors do the same. So we've been building one thing on top another for a lot of years.

    In this kind of community driven projects it's the way to go. For some time we've people interested and developers think about the design and start change some parts or to write new functionality following a new design pattern. But voluntary developers motivation change in time and they left the project and the next one continues the work with a different vision.

KDE's Move to Gitlab and More

Filed under
Development
KDE
  • Why the KDE community is #MovingToGitlab

    The KDE community is #MovingToGitlab! After announcing the original decision to migrate to GitLab in November 2019, KDE has officially completed phase one of their migration, and contributors have begun to use GitLab on a daily basis at invent.kde.org. Read on to learn more about KDE's migration story.

  • KDE's GitLab is now Live

    After our final decision to adopt GitLab in November 2019, KDE started the work of tackling the many challenges that come with moving a whole development platform for a large open source community. KDE has now officially completed Phase One of the adoption and contributors have begun to use GitLab on a daily basis.

    [...]

    GitLab will also help us to achieve goals like "Consistency", as it will help our community members have a single solution to their needs. Now, we will be able to host and review code, manage projects/issues, communicate, collaborate, and develop software/applications on a single platform.

    By adopting GitLab as a platform, we will be adding stability to our framework, as we will count on the support of GitLab as a company. GitLab, Inc. has nearly a decade of experience behind it, releases new versions on a regular basis and, apart from its in-house team, counts on an active community of third party contributors. This guarantees that our new development platform will be updated and maintained throughout the years.

  • KDE Completes Transition To GitLab For Developer Portal

    KDE has completed its transition to its own self-hosted GitLab instance for Git hosting and other developer services for handling of bug reports and merge requests.

    KDE has followed the likes of GNOME, FreeDesktop.org / X.Org, and other projects on centering around GitLab for their Git serving and related hosting rather than relying upon the likes of GitHub.

  • Google Summer of Code 2020 - Week 3

    This week, I spent most of my time testing the Rocs graph-layout-plugin. I needed to test the method that applies the force-based layout algorithm to a graph, whose signature is the following.

    [...]

    Before going to the non-functional part, I decided to deal with the easy and familiar functional tests. I was not precise in my description of the method deliberately. Actually, there is at least one guarantee that it should provide: if we draw each node as a circle of radius nodeRadius with centers at the positions calculated by the method, these circles should respect a left-margin and a top-margin of length margin. This was a nice opportunity for me to try the QtTest framework. I wrote a data-driven Unit Test and everything went well.

    Back to the non-functional part, I decided to write a quality benchmark. The idea is to measure some aesthetic criteria of the layouts generated for various classes of graphs. The metrics already implemented are: number of edge crosses, number of edges that cross some other edges, number of node intersections and number of nodes that intersect some other node. Although there is no formal definition of a nice layout, keeping the values of these metrics low seems to be desirable. Currently, I already implemented generators for paths, circles, trees and complete graphs. For each one of these classes of graph, I generate a number of graphs, apply the layout algorithm a certain number of times to each of them, and calculate summary statistics for each one of the considered aesthetic metrics.

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More in Tux Machines

Open Hardware: Adafruit, Arduino, Librem 5 and More

  • RFCat N32 Long Range nRF52832 Bluetooth Board Delivers 30x the Transmission Power with an Amplifier

    Bluetooth 5.0 has two main new features: high speed (2Mbps) and long-range. But as we’ve seen in our nRF52840 vs nRF52832 vs nRF52810 comparison is that only nRF52840 supports Bluetooth 5.x long range. Bluetooth 5 long range is achieved with two new lower bit rates of 500 kbps and 125 kbps. So what do you do if you’d like a longer range and keep using the higher bit rates? You add a power amplifier and LNA to your board, and that’s exactly what Nikolaj (RFCat) did with RFCat N32 board based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 wireless SoC. [...] The board is pre-loaded with Adafruit NRF52 bootloader supporting OTA, FreeRTOS, and Arduino. Source code and samples are available on Github. The Arduino library is based on Adafruit nRF52 Arduino Core and for some reason, only shared as a zip file (rfcat.zip in the Github repo).

  • Meet MrK_Blockvader, a little mobile robot that’s lots of fun

    One of the simplest ways to make a mobile robot involves differential steering, where two wheels move at different speeds as needed to turn and a ball caster keeps it from tipping over. The MrK_Blockvader is an excellent take on this type of bot — demonstrated in the first clip below — featuring a nice blocky body comprised out of 3D-printed parts, RC truck wheels driven by tiny gear motors, and an integrated roller on its back. The MrK_Blockvader is controlled via an Arduino Nano, along with an nRF24 breakout that allows it to receive signals from a radio transmitter unit. The build includes LED lighting as well as a piezo buzzer for all the beeps and boops. It can also take advantage of various sensors if necessary.

  • PoE FeatherWing Brings PoE, Unique MAC Address to Adafruit Feather Boards (Crowdfunding)

    After the launch of Microchip SAMA5 powered Giant Board last year, Silicognition LLC (Patrick Van Oosterwijck) is back with another Adafruit Feather compatible board. PoE FeatherWing is an expansion board that adds PoE support to Adafruit Feather board and can handle up to 4 Watts of power. The expansion board also comes with a built-in globally unique MAC address. It’s similar to the official Ethernet FeatherWing, but with the addition of PoE and a unique MAC address. [...] Since the board re-uses the same WIZnet W5500 Ethernet controller, it is fully compatible with existing software written for the Adafruit Ethernet FeatherWing meaning it can easily be programmed with Arduino or CircuitPuthong using standard libraries.

  • Tiny modules unlock i.MX8M Mini and Nano

    Keith & Koep’s Linux-friendly 48 x 32mm “Myon II” and “Myon II Nano” modules feature the i.MX8M Mini and Nano with 8GB and 4GB LPDDR4, respectively, along with eMMC expansion, GbE, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and up to -40 to 85°C support. Germany-based Keith & Koep has added two new members to its 48 x 32 x 4.2mm Myon family of compute modules. While the Myon I runs Linux on a Snapdragon 4.0, the pin-compatible Myon II and Myon II Nano integrate NXP’s i.MX8M Mini and i.MX8M Nano, respectively. The company previously showcased the i.MX8M Mini in its larger, SODIMM-style Trizeps VIII Mini, which was announced last year along with an i.MX8M-based Trizeps VIII module. [...] Since Keith & Koep does not post press releases, we are not sure when the Myon II arrived, but they are listed as “new” and we have yet to see any coverage of the modules. Both the Myon II and Myon II Nano support Linux Kernel 4.14, Android 9, and Windows 10 IoT Core.

  • Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    The battery shipping with dogwood is 3600mAh, roughly 80% more battery than previous batches. Combined with early kernel optimizations usage is now measured in multiple hours, and with additional kernel work will continue to see leaps forward. A diffuser has been added between the screen and the indicator light. This makes notifications easier to notice at extreme viewing angles and overall better appearance. The volume buttons have become a volume rocker increasing usability. In previous versions, the headphone jack was recessed and not centered. In Dogwood it’s now flush with the top of the phone and centered in the frame.

Linux Kernel and the Linux Foundation: x86-64 micro-architecture, NVMe ZNS and Community Specification

  • Linux Might Pursue x86_64 Micro-Architecture Feature Levels

    Stemming from the recent GNU glibc work on better handling modern CPU optimizations with newer instruction set extensions across Intel and AMD product families, the concept of x86-64 micro-architecture feature levels is being talked about by open-source/Linux developers. The idea of these feature levels is breaking up the supported instructions beyond base x86_64 into that of what is supported at reasonable times by both Intel and AMD processors. While newer Intel/AMD CPUs generally support more instruction set extensions, there are other headaches involved in the current handling of x86_64 CPU capabilities considering the likes of modern Intel Atom CPUs only supporting a sub-set of the extensions supported by Core and Xeon CPUs, thus coming up with these reasonably sane feature levels is being talked about by Red Hat developers with input from Intel and AMD engineers.

  • NVMe ZNS Support Coming To Linux 5.9

    NVMe ZNS is for the Zoned Namespaces support that is part of the NVMe 2.0 specification debuting in H2'2020. ZNS is similar to existing SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) and ZBC (Zoned Block Commands) with allowing applications/software to control the placement of data on the NVMe SSD within zones rather than relying upon the SSD device exclusively for data placement. NVMe ZNS aims to improve solid-state drive lifetime with reducing write amplification, reducing latency, improving throughput, and potential TCO benefits.

  •        
  • Linux Foundation launches Community Specification for creating standards and specifications [Ed: This misses the point that the Linux Foundation outsourced this to Microsoft (Github) proprietary software and monopoly]

    According to the Linux Foundation, Open Standards are “specifications made available to the public, developed, and maintained via an inclusive, collaborative, transparent, and consensus-driven process.” These standards allow for interoperability and data exchange among different products or services.  The Linux Foundation believes it’s important to have a standards project because items like due process, balance, inclusiveness, and intellectual property clarity are important for developing open-source projects, and a standards project ensures there aren’t any surprises regarding intellectual property down the line.  “The Community Specification builds on these best practices and brings them to the Git repository development environments that developers are already using. And it makes it easy to get started. You can start using the Community Specification by bringing its terms into your repository and getting to work — just like starting an open source project,” the Linux Foundation wrote.

Python Programming

  • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #17: Linear Programming, PySimpleGUI, and More

    Are you familiar with linear programming, and how it can be used to solve resource optimization problems? Would you like to free your Python code from a clunky command line and start making convenient graphical interfaces for your users? This week on the show, David Amos is back with another batch of PyCoder's Weekly articles and projects.

  • Managing Python Environments with direnv and pyenv
  • wxPython by Example – Creating a wx.Notebook (Video)

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to add a wx.Notebook to your GUI application using wxPython. The notebook widget is how you would add a tabbed interface to your application.

  • 12+ Free (or Low-Cost) Websites to Empower Your Programming Education

    Although we still talk about programming as a standalone career, the dominance of technology in our lives makes it clear that coding is much more than a career path. In my opinion, computer science is more than a college major or a high-paid job - it’s a skill, essential for thriving in a modern-day economy. Regardless of what you want to do for a living - work in healthcare, marketing, business, or other fields - you will see more coding and have to deal with the growing number of technologies throughout your entire life. Now that we live in a tech-driven world, asking “Should I learn to program” is almost synonymous with “Should I learn to speak, read, or count?”. The short answer is: yes. How to start your journey in coding? The good news is, there are plenty of resources to support you all the way through. To save you the trouble of looking them up and choosing the right ones, I created my list of learning platforms that offer well-rounded programming education and help you stay competitive on the job market. Here are 12+ useful educational resources every coding student should check out.

  • A Hundred Days of Code, Day 003 - Methods

    My understanding about methods? They are functions in classes that help me manipulate the data the objects contain when they are created. I have been using something them subconsciously all along. The __init__ method, that is called/run automatically every time an object is created.

  • Another try at a new Python module for OpenPGP aka johnnycanencrypt

    Using OpenPGP from Python is a pain. There are various documentation/notes on the Internet explaining why, including the famous one from isis agora lovecraft where they explained why they changed the module name to pretty_bad_protocol. sequoia-pgp is a Rust project to do OpenPGP from scratch in Rust, and as library first approach. You can see the status page to see how much work is already done. Using this and Pyo3 project I started writing an experimental Python module for OpenPGP called Johnny Can Encrypt.

  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #4

today's howtos