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KDE/Qt: Qt 3D, Qactus 2 and KDE Plasma 5.19 Pre-Beta Run Through

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  • Why is my screen black?

    When building Qt 3D scenes that are designed to run on multiple platforms, materials need to provide multiple shaders targeting each specific version of OpenGL. Each version information is stored on QTechnique nodes attached to a QEffect node. Similarly, you can implement different algorithms (forward vs deferred rendering for example), so they get assigned filter keys which are key/value pairs. Finally, some algorithms require multiple passes, but may use different shaders in different passes. This pass information is stored in QRenderPass nodes (attached to the technique), also using filter keys.

    When Qt 3D comes to do the render it needs to select the technique based on the available hardware. It will also need to select the technique appropriate to the rendering algorithm that is used. And when it processes each render pass, it will also need to select the appropriate shader based on the render pass. This can be controlled by building a frame graph which QTechniqueFilter nodes and QRenderPassFilter nodes.

  • Qactus v2.0.0 is out!

    Qactus v2.0.0 has been released

  • KDE Plasma 5.19 Pre-Beta Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.19 Pre-Beta.

KDE Forks (KWinFT, Qt, CHMLib) and KPublicTransport

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  • KWinFT packaged for openSUSE, KWin-LowLatency updated

    First review: I don’t notice a difference to regular KWin – I guess that’s a good thing for a new project.

    I won’t submit the package to the KDE repository after they refused to accept KWin-LowLatency because they don’t want 3rd party packages there. They will just do the same again. If they ever change their minds, I’ll be happy to submit both again.

  • Commentary on the Qt situation

    A lot of things have been going on with Qt these days. It all started with The Qt Company trying to get an increase in their revenues, specifically this blog post. And just like a proper PR team, they didn't talk about the changes clearly for the open-source folks who use the product.


    These changes won't affect open source Qt that much, on the other hand, the last 2 points do make sense. The Qt company is paying for the server to host the builds, it would be wrong for us to expect them to do that for no charge. Other than that, the first point would mean the open-source community needs to do some extra work to backport security patches. A thing which distro packagers already used to do in the past when there were no LTS releases of Qt.


    If KDE forks Qt, it would be a huge task on the community to maintain it on their own, especially parts like QtWebEngine. Though we could always backport all the patches to the fork after a year along with ours. If companies which rely on the LGPL Qt, come together, an open-source Qt fork could surely be maintained under KDE. It might be a bit of trouble to organize everything but it is not impossible at all.


    This event at least made me realize a couple of things, one The Qt Company never acknowledges the open source contributions. I never saw a single mention of KDE in their blog post leave all other projects. Second don't rely on one thing too much. It is great that Qt makes C++ as easy as Java, but relying too much on it could have worse consequences.

  • Should KDE fork CHMLib?

    CHMLib is a library to handle CHM files.

    It is used by Okular and other applications to show those files.

    It hasn't had a release in 11 years.

    It is packaged by all major distributions.

    A few weeks ago I got annoyed because we need to carry a patch in Okular flathub because the code is not great and it defines it's own int types.

    I tried contacting the upstream author, but unsurprisingly after 11 years he doesn't seem to care much and got no answer.

  • Public Transport Line Metadata

    KPublicTransport gives us access to real-time departure and journey information for many public transport systems. However, the presentation of the result isn’t ideal yet, as we are missing access to the characteristic symbols/icons and colors often associated with public transport lines.

This week in KDE: our cup overfloweth with improvements

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Three main topics will hold the floor today: Dolphin and other file management stuff, Plasma polish, and Wayland–we’re making a bit of a push on Wayland stuff so you should see more Wayland fixes going forward! For all three, we’re concentrating on fixing longstanding issues. There’s more too, of course!

Also, as you’ve no doubt noticed, I’m going to try out sending these posts on Saturday morning Europe time, instead of Sunday. Hopefully it should be a nice way to start your weekend.

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Akademy 2020 and GUADEC 2020 Linux Events Move to Online Conferences

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Akademy and GUADEC events hosted by the KDE and GNOME projects have moved to online conferences.

If you had plans on attending Linux and Open Source conferences this year, think again because the coronavirus has changed the way we live, work, and communicate.

As I believed, various of the upcoming Linux events have either been canceled, delayed, or moved to online conferences. Of course, the latter is the best move organizers can do right now.

Earlier this month, when I reported about the release date for the forthcoming GNOME 3.38 desktop environment, due for release on September 16th, 2020, I told you that GUADEC 2020 might take place entirely online.

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Also: Daniel Stenberg: curl better – video

Plasma Browser Integration 1.7.5

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I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.7.5 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. I hope you’re all safe and well in these odd times. As you can tell from the version number this is a little more than just a maintenance release. It comes with an assortment of important bug fixes, refinements, and translation updates.

Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!

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FreeBSD progress on Slimbook Base14

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Two-and-a-half years ago, I got a KDE Slimbook, and it was an excellent machine – price-competitive with similar hardware, but supporting the Free Software world. I think it came with KDE neon pre-installed, but it has run many other things in the meantime.

This Christmas, my son’s second-hand Dell laptop power brick exploded (the battery was already dead) and so there was one obvious solution: get myself a new Slimbook, and hand down the KDE Slimbook to him. So he now has my Gitlab diversity sticker, and a nopetopus, and a KDE neon installation on a fine – but somewhat battered looking – laptop.

I have a new shiny thing, the Slimbook Base 14. Again, price-competitive, Free Software positive, and a nice shiny machine. It has a Purr sticker and also a Run BSD sticker, openSUSE and adopteunchaton. Cats seem to be the thing for this laptop.

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The KWinFT Project by Roman Gilg

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  • The KWinFT project

    I am pleased to announce the KWinFT project and with it the first public release of its major open source offerings KWinFT and Wrapland, drop-in replacements for KDE's window manager KWin and its accompanying KWayland library.

    The KWinFT project was founded by me at the beginning of this year with the goal to accelerate the development significantly in comparison to KWin. Classic KWin can only be moved with caution, since many people rely on it in their daily computing and there are just as many other stakeholders. In this respect, at least for some time, I anticipated to be able to push KWinFT forward in a much more dynamic way.

  • KDE's window manager KWin gets forked with 'KWinFT' to accelerate the development and better Wayland

    Stick a fork in it! KDE's window manager KWin officially has a full fork with a new project called KWinFT, with an aim to support modern development practices and further expand Wayland support.

    Announced by Roman Gilg, the same developer who became a contractor for Valve last year and part of that work was actually to improve KWin so it looks like this may have come as a result of that. What's interesting about KWinFT, is that it's supposed to be a "drop-in replacements for KDE's window manager KWin and its accompanying KWayland library" making it easy to get started with it.

    Gilg said they did this because "Classic KWin can only be moved with caution, since many people rely on it in their daily computing and there are just as many other stakeholders" so they can push through more advanced changes and overhauls.

  • KWinFT: KDE's KWin Forked To Focus On Better Wayland Support, Modern Technologies

    Longtime KDE developer and former Blue Systems engineer, Roman Gilg, has announced his forking of KDE's KWin window manager / compositor and the subsequent first release of this new KWinFT project.

    KWinFT is out with its first public release as a drop-in replacement for the upstream KWin window manager as well as its KWayland library. Replacing the KWayland library is Wrapland as its new fork. KWinFT + Wrapland has been underway since the start of 2020 to "accelerate the development significantly in comparison to classic KWin."

Don't miss Akademy 2020 — This Year KDE is going Online!

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The KDE Community will be hosting Akademy 2020 online between Friday 4th and Friday 11th September.

The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community. Participants will showcase, discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Members from the broader Free and Open Source Software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

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I Love my new KDE Plasma Desktop Layout, Here’s How I did it

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About a month or so ago, I decided to re-arrange my KDE desktop layout. I took a new approach, one that I came up with all by myself (using the customization options already graciously provided by the KDE desktop, of course). Then I made a few slight changes on the way, and I’m extremely happy with the results.

With the new setup, not only my desktop looks minimalist and beautiful (I think), but it’s easier to use as well. That being said, preference is highly individual, but I thought a short article about how I set it up might look appealing to someone other than myself.

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This week in KDE: Libinput scroll speed, Dolphin remote access improvements, and more

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This week’s update includes an eclectic collection of bugfixes and new features, some of them quite annoying or longstanding–such as being able to use Dolphin’s terminal panel on remote locations, set the scroll speed when using the Libinput driver (at least on Wayland), and connect to Samba shared on a workgroup with a space in the name. But wait, there’s more…

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