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Adriaan de Groot on KDE, FreeBSD and His Project Calamares

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KDE
BSD
  • FreeBSD end-of-year

    Since I wear many hats, there’s multiple end-of-year retrospectives to have.

    Huh, it seems like I’ve been a FreeBSD (ports) committer for a little over two years now. Time flies when you’re having fun and/or doing soul-crushing administrative busywork.

    It depends on how you see packaging and tool support – what does it mean and what is your relationship with upstream.

    The kde@ team maintains a bunch of C++ and toolkit infrastructure – CMake and Qt to name two – and that means that we have a lot of consumers that are not directly maintained by us. Changes in the infrastructure often affect other packages in some way – CMake no longer finds a specific package, or Boost gets away from us again, or changes in default C++ warning flags cause unmaintained code from 2002 to fail to build. All that is par-for-the-course when participating in a giant group project to maintain over 30000 packages.

  • Calamares end-of-year

    As 2019 draws to a close, I’d like to use a blog entry to look back at what happened in Calamares in this year. I’m not doing this on the Calamares website itself, since this is more of a personal-retrospective than anything else.

    In this year, there were 16 Calamares releases. There was at least one release every month except march (that one took a long time, and prompted a switch to “short cycle” later) and september (bracketed by august 30 and october 1 releases). I have tried to switch to “short cycle” releases (starting with Calamares 3.2.6) so that there’s faster turn-around on bugfixes and small features can be delivered more easily.

    The short-cycles are about three weeks, and that’s held up reasonably well. What I do notice is that the number of small things remains constant and a couple of big-ticket items are still languishing. That’s still something I don’t know how to deal with.

This week in KDE: holiday presents for you!

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KDE

Though KDE contributors are mostly enjoying a well-deserved rest during the holiday season (hence the late post today, sorry about that), the community’s tireless souls have been laboring anyway to bring you new features and bugfixes anyway!

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Also: KDE Picked Up A Few Improvements During Christmas Week

Ksnip – Qt based Screenshot Tool with Annotation Feature

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KDE
Software

Ksnip is a Qt based cross-platform screenshot tool with many annotation features. It works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

Ksnip works on X11 and Gnome on Wayland. Like other screenshot tools, it can take screenshot of selected rectangular area, full screen, active window with time delay support.

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KF6 Progress Report: December Solstice Edition

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Development
KDE

In my previous post on how we organize the KF6 work, I mentioned there would be blog posts announcing the work done by the team to get us closer to KF6. It is time for the first post on that topic!

What better time than the December Solstice for it? Yes… I know… I missed the actual solstice by a few days, but I started the draft around that time and it’s not that far in the past either!

An actual Qt 6 is not published yet and we didn’t branch for KF6 yet either. Still as can be seen on the KF6 Workboard there are plenty of tasks in our backlog which can be acted upon now. No need to wait to participate, all the work done now will make the transition to KF6 easier later on anyway.

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Also: Linux App Summit | Digital Personality

Plasma hidden gems: removable media

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KDE
Reviews

There we go. Another gem unhidden. If you don't care about this kind of thing, no harm done, ignore the options, and they won't bother you. However, if you do like the ability to control and tweak the behavior of your system, you will be pleasantly surprised by all the layers of excellence lurking in the dark and not-so-dark corners of the Plasma desktop.

Whether it's security, productivity or noise management you're after, the Removable Storage component of the Plasma Settings lets you govern these with fun and efficacy. I am amazed, given the fact I'm using this desktop daily, how many cool and useful things I'm still able to discover and like. Well, that brings us to the end of this article. I'm gonna go do some more hunting, who knows what other nice software I might find. In this modern age of cheap gimmicks, every little gem is precious.

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Linux doesnt have Photoshop

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KDE
Linux

One common rant I get to hear when I try to help someone to switch to Linux. It is almost 2020 and say what? people still agree with this statement. Of course, they are right, cause Adobe didn't port Photoshop to Linux. But are we as open-source software developers so incompetent that we can't even put together an image editing solution that people can look up to? Let's try to dig that a little bit.

A little bit of disclaimer first, I have been associated with Krita Development for the last year or so, nothing much just a volunteer developer who drops a random patch every now and then. So the post is obviously all about Krita and how it differs from the so-called “industry standard”.

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Latte Dock v0.10~ | Floating Docks And Panels

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KDE

Latte Dock v0.10~ is the development version of Latte which is going to end next summer as v0.10... Until then of course you can still enjoy it by building it yourself from Phabricator KDE or by searching in your distro repos if it is already built daily.

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Also: Latest Latte Dock Development Release Adds Floating Panels

Kubuntu Focus Laptop Christmas Unboxing

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KDE

Christmas is here, and the first review units of the Kubuntu Focus have begun arriving with the reviewers eager to get their hands on them.

Our own Kubuntu Councillor, and Community Manager Rick Timmis, who has been leading the project for the Kubuntu side, provides us with a, festive, sneak preview, and unboxing experience.

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digiKam 7.0.0-beta1 is released

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KDE
Software

Dear digiKam fans and users,

Just in time to get you into the holiday spirit, we are now proud to release digiKam 7.0.0-beta1 today. This first version start the test stages for next 7.x series planing while next year. Have a look at some of the highlights listed below, to discover all those changes in detail.

Deep-Learning Powered Faces Management

While many years, digiKam has provided an important feature dedicated to detect and recognized faces in photo. The algorithms used in background (not based on deep learning) was older and unchanged since the first revision including this feature (digiKam 2.0.0). It was not enough powerful to facilitate the faces management workflow automatically.

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KDE and GNOME: Cantor 19.12, GNOME Maps and More

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KDE
GNOME
  • Cantor 19.12

    Recently, the KDE community announced the release 19.12 of KDE applications, inlcuding Cantor. Many highlights of this release are mentioned in the release announcement. Today we’d like to highlight the development done in Cantor for the 19.12 release

    In the previos release 19.08 we mostly concentrated on improving the usability of Cantor and spent quite some effort to stabilize the already available feature set. This release comes with a big new feature, namely the support for Jupyter notebook format.

    Jupyter is a a very popular open-source web-based application that provides an interactive environment for different programming languages. The interactive documents are organized in “notebooks”. This application is widely used in different scientific and educational areas and there is a lot of shared notebooks publically available on the internet. As an example for a collection of such notebooks see this collection.

    For Cantor, which is very similar in spirit to Jupyter, we decided to add the ability to read and save Jupyter’s notebook format in order to benefit from the big amount of available content for Jupyter. The implementation required for this was mainly done by Nikita Sirgienko as part of the Google Summer of Code 2019 project. His series of blog posts contains many examples as well as implementational details that will be omitted here.

  • Marcus Lundblad: Christmas Maps

    To stick to the tradition I thought that I should write a little post about what's been going on since the stable 3.34 release in September. The main thing that's come since then for the upcoming 3.36 release is support for getting public transit route/itinerary planning using third-party providers. The basic support for public transit routing, based on OpenTripPlanner has been in place since 2017 with the original plan to find funding/hosting to set up a GNOME-specific instance of OTP fed with a curated set of GTFS feed. But since this plan didn't come to fruition, I repurposed the existing support so that it can fetch a list of known providers with defined geographical regions. First by utilising the existing OpenTripPlanner implementation (but rewritten to be instanciated per third-party provider). Later I have added plugins for the Swedish Resrobot and Swiss opendata.ch online API. These have yet not been activated in the service file (it's using the same service file as for tile and search providers). But this will soon be there, so stay tuned.

  • End of the year Update: 2019 edition

    It’s the end of December and it seems that yet another year has gone by, so I figured that I’d write an EOY update to summarize my main work at Igalia as part of our Chromium team, as my humble attempt to make up for the lack of posts in this blog during this year.

    I did quit a few things this year, but for the purpose of this blog post I’ll focus on what I consider the most relevant ones: work on the Servicification and the Blink Onion Soup projects, the migration to the new Mojo APIs and the BrowserInterfaceBroker, as well as a summary of the conferences I attended, both as a regular attendee and a speaker.

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