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KDE

The Many Features of the KDE Plasma 5.21 Desktop Environment

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KDE

KDE Plasma 5.21 promises to ship with a new look and feel called consisting of a new “Breeze Twilight” global theme that features a Dark mode for Plasma and a Light mode for apps, smaller shadows for inactive windows, more distinct colors for Plasma pop-ups, notifications and windows, as well as colorful icons for sidebars in settings windows.

Apart from the new look and feel, under the hood, KDE Plasma 5.21 promises faster startup and load times due to the use of the systemd init system on GNU/Linux distribution where it’s available.

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KDE Bug-squashing

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KDE

  • This week in KDE: Continuous bug massacre

    This week the bug squashing continues at full speed! We’ve made short work of tons of bugs throughout our software stack, including the infamous login sound bug, some very important and longstanding issues with extended attributes, and a ton of quality-of-life improvements for the Plasma Wayland session.

    But we also managed to add a few nice new features that I think you’ll like.

  • KDE Saw A "Bug Massacre" This Week With Better NVIDIA Wayland Experience, Many Fixes

    The bug fixing in KDE land continues and ends the month with a "bug massacre", for how KDE developer Nate Graham describes it in his weekly recaps. 

    Graham also commented of this week's KDE efforts as "bug squashing continues at full speed!" Some of the work that got addressed this week for KDE includes: 

    - The KDE Plasma Wayland session no longer requires manually setting an environment variable to make NVIDIA GPUs with the proprietary driver properly function. This change is with KDE Plasma 5.20.2 for offering a better KDE Wayland out-of-the-box experience on NVIDIA's proprietary driver. This is addressed by automatically detecting the NVIDIA proprietary driver and EGLStreams rather than making the user set KWIN_DRM_USE_EGL_STREAMS. 

Resource management in KDE

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Development
KDE

Edmundson started by explaining that the job of a desktop environment is deliver applications to the user. Users "need to be in control", he said. That role has become more complicated in recent years. Some time ago, when a user was running a web browser like Firefox or a chat application like Kopete, the management of running processes was easy. The user could run a ps command and would see just one line of output for each of those applications. This was easy to understand and self-explanatory.

Now, the situation is "very different". When a user opens a Firefox instance they can get a dozen processes; Discord in a Flatpak ("because it is cool now") launches 13 processes. The ps output is unreadable; it consists of "random names doing random things". Just understanding that output is difficult; aggregating the results to get an idea of how much CPU time or power the application is using has become even more challenging. There is thus a need to track processes properly in desktop environments, since the available data no longer means anything. We "need some metadata", Edmundson concluded.

Fairness is also an increasingly important issue. Edmundson gave an example of Krita, an advanced graphics application. It performs some heavy processing, all contained within a single process. On the other hand, Discord has those 13 processes, many of which will be making heavy use of the CPU "because it is written in Electron". The system's CPU scheduler will see those two applications as 14 opaque processes, not knowing what they correspond to. This means that Krita could get only 1/14 of the available CPU time, even though it represents half of the applications running. Metadata about running applications needs to propagate through the whole software stack to be available to the scheduler, he said.

One of Plasma's tasks is mapping windows to applications. More precisely, it tries to map windows to their associated desktop files — the configuration files containing metadata that are used, for example, to create menu entries. Applications open windows and "we hope we can match it all up". The Plasma developers use a lot of hacks and heuristics to perform this matching, but "we do not like guessing", he said. He made an example of a Firefox window being used to watch an Akademy talk like his. There is an audio icon inside that window, but this icon is not managed by the same process as the one controlling the outer window, he explained. Plasma needs to find the link between them, and "it is an arbitrary guessing game".

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KDE.org migrated to Hugo

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KDE
Web

KDE.org now uses the Hugo. Hugo is a fast and modern static site generator written in Go. It provides a few improvements over the old system that was using plain PHP. A large part of the work was done by Anuj during GSoC 2020. This was a massive work, converting the repository storing more than 20 years of KDE history.

The website is now generated once and no longer use PHP to generate itself at runtime. This improves the loading speed of the website, but the speed boost is not significant, since the PHP code used before was quite small and KDE’s servers are powerful.

But the biggest improvement is in terms of features. We are now working with markdown files instead of raw HTML files, this makes the life of the promo team much easier.

The internalization of the website now creates a unique URL per language, this should allow Google to link to the version of the website using the correct language. A french, ukrainian, catalan, Dutch, and a few more languages are already available. There is also a proper language selector! We also don’t need to manually tag each string for translations.

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Krita 4.4.1 Released

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KDE
Software

Despite an extra-long beta period during which we got awesome feedback from our community, 4.4.0 was released with several regressions, that is, bugs that weren’t present in 4.3.0. So today we’re releasing Krita 4.4.1 with the following fixes...

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Qt Creator 4.14 Beta released

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KDE

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.14 Beta!

The biggest change in Qt Creator 4.14 is one that you hopefully won't notice: We switched the build of our packages completely to the CMake build system! Other changes behind the scenes include adaptations to the code needed for building Qt Creator with Qt 5 and Qt 6, which is still an ongoing process. But here follows a summary of functionality fixes and changes...

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digiKam 7.2.0-beta1 is released

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KDE

Just a few words to inform the community that 7.2.0-beta1 is out and ready to test one month later the 7.1.0 stable release.

After a long time to integrate the student codes working on faces management while this summer, we are now ready to propose a first beta with the the new improvements planned since a very long time about the usability and the performances of faces tagging, faces detection, and faces recognition, already presented in July with 7.0.0 release announcement.

We also fight against plenty of bugs, and after a long triaging stage, this new version come with more than 140 bug-fixes since last stable release 7.1.0 and look very promising. Nothing is completed yet, as we plan one more beta version before Christmas, when we will publish officially the stable version. It still bugs to fix while this beta campaign and all help will be welcome from the community to stabilize codes.

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KDE Plasma 5.20.2 Desktop Released with More Than 25 Bug Fixes

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KDE

Coming just one week after the first point release, KDE Plasma 5.20.2 is here to further improve the overall stability and reliability of the latest KDE Plasma 5.20 desktop environment series by addressing about 30 bugs in various core components and apps.

Among the highlights, KDE Plasma 5.20.2 improves the consistency of the lid behavior on some laptops, fixes a bug affecting some user profile fields not being saved unless they all have unique new values, makes Tilde expansion work again in KRunner, and improved screen casting and screen capturing support.

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Plasma Breeze theme with black fonts - My Brooze edit

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GNU
KDE
Linux

One of the most common topics to land in my inbox is Linux fonts. And more often than not, people ask me about what I normally do to make font clarity and contrast higher in this or that distribution. Then, more prevalent than all are questions about my modified Plasma Breeze theme, aptly titled Brooze.

[...]

This is all it takes to have pure black fonts and enjoy good text clarity in Plasma. I don't understand why low-contrast fonts are such a fad. Hint: Plasma is actually doing a relatively decent job. In general, most distros and desktop environments come with atrociously pale fonts, gray on gray. But then ergonomics has never been strong in the Linux desktop, as it's not typically developed as a product, and certainly not with the end user in mind, unless the end user is a dark-theme-loving software developer. Anyway, if you are someone who actually spends a lot of time reading or writing, and values their eyes, then you may want to implement Brooze. I hope you find this innocent little article useful.

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This week in KDE: so many bugfixes

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KDE

Though Plasma 5.20 was overall a very smooth release, we spent a lot of time fixing some of the bugs we missed, as well as some older ones in Frameworks and apps too. It may not be very sexy, but bugs are what drive users crazy, and we want them fixed! So, fix them we did.

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Also: KDE Seeing More Bug Fixes Following Plasma 5.20

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Day 2: Perl is dead. Long live Perl and Raku. – Raku Advent Calendar

    ‘Perl is dead’, is a meme that’s just plain wrong. Perl isn’t dead. It’s just dead to some programmers. Complicated regexes? Sigils? There’s more than one way to do it (TMTOWTDI)? Sometimes when programmers encounter Perl in the wild they react with fear. “WTF!?”, they cry! But fear needn’t be a Perl killer. If you take the time to see past Perl’s imperfections and walk the learning curve, there are rich rewards: Perl is an imperfect but pragmatic and expressive language that for 30+ years has helped programmers get the job done. When Larry Wall designed Raku he fixed most of Perl’s imperfections and doubled down on Perl’s DNA. Perl values pragmatism, expressivity, and whipupitude and Raku does too! Why stop at sigils ($@%) when you can have twice the fun with twigils ($!, %!, @! etc)? For some programmers, however, the mere sight of a twigil can induce fear. Like Perl, Raku’s expressive power is a double-edged sword – potentially stopping other programmers in their tracks. A Raku programmer’s, “DWIM” (do what I mean) can be another programmer’s “WAT!?”

  • Deriving Patterns of Fraud from the Enron Dataset

    Enron filed for bankruptcy on December 2, 2001. Arthur Anderson, one of the “Big Five” accounting firms, which audited the financial statements was dissolved as a result of the Enron scandal.

    The Enron email and financial datasets are big, messy treasure troves of information, which become much more useful once you know your way around them a bit. Enron’s complete data may be downloaded from this link here, and the refined pickle files may be downloaded from the following Github repository along with the complete code used in this article.

  • Qt Quick MultiEffect

    If you read the recent Qt Marketplace blog post, you may have noticed that something called Qt Quick MultiEffect has become available. This blog post gives more details on what Quick MultiEffect actually is and why you might want to consider using it in your Qt Quick projects. Let's start with a bit of background information. Qt Graphical Effects module contains a set of effects which can be used in Qt Quick user interfaces. These cover blur, shadow, mask, contrast etc. effects which can be easily applied into Quick items. When you need a single effect, these are great. But when you want to use multiple effects at the same time, performance is not optimal, because each effect renders into FBO texture which next effect then uses as its source. Because of this separation of effects, shaders also can't share calculations and textures. So multiple Qt Graphical Effects increase GPU and memory usage a bit more than desired.

  • Graylog provides end-user advancements in latest platform update

    Server Side Public License-Beginning with v4.0, Graylog Open Source will be licensed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL). First introduced by MongoDB, the SSPL license provides similar open source rights to GPL v3, and additionally extends those rights to cover cloud and SaaS offerings.

  • WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate 2 – WordPress.org

    WordPress 5.6 is slated for release on December 8, 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.6 yet, now is the time!

  • 4 talks from Bootlin at Live Embedded Event, December 3

    As we announced back in October, Bootlin has participated to the organization of a new online conference around embedded systems: Live Embedded Event, which will take place on December 3. The registration is totally free, and the event will propose 4 tracks throughout the day, covering a wide range of topics. We encourage you to register and participate to the event!

  • Librem 14 Status Update: EVT2 Sample Is Almost There – Purism

    We truly think of the Librem 14 as our dream laptop here at Purism, and because of that and because this is a brand new design compared to the Librem 13 we find ourselves nitpicking a bit more than usual as our design becomes a reality. As part of this nitpicking process we make EVT (Engineering Verification Test) samples which allow us not only to fine-tune our manufacturing process, it also allows us to physically examine the laptop. Using kill switches, using the keyboard, examining the print on the case and keyboard–all these and other tests help us refine things so that the final product is something we are proud of. In addition to the more cosmetic bugs we list below, it also helps us find larger bugs. For instance we discovered issues not just with the microphone but also an issue that limited the 2nd SO-DIMM slot to 16GB RAM. We needed to re-do the PCB to address both of these issues. We know a lot of people have been interested to see pictures of the actual Librem 14 instead of just renders. We have made the second round of EVT samples a few weeks ago and have finally gotten a chance to take some high-quality pictures to share. We are almost there! There are just a few more tweaks we want to make that will only add a few weeks to our shipping plan, but we think it’s important to get everything perfect. With the holidays this will likely mean shipping won’t start until the beginning of January.

  • DIY Pi KVM: An easy and cheap KVM over IP for Raspberry Pi

    Traditional IP-KVM systems may cost you hundreds of dollars. DIY Pi KVM over IP is a very simple and fully functional Raspberry Pi-based KVM over IP that you can make yourself. If you do not know what IP-KVM is, it stands for keyboard, video, and mouse. It allows you to connect to a computer or a server remotely. With this, you can fix problems such as configuring the BIOS or reinstalling the OS using a virtual CD-ROM or flash drive.

  • Sparky news 2020/11

    The 11th monthly Sparky project and donate report of 2020...

  • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in November 2020 · utkarsh2102

    Here’s my (fourteenth) monthly update about the activities I’ve done in the F/L/OSS world. [...] This was my 23rd month of contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March last year and a DD last Christmas! \o/ Apart from doing a bunch of activitites like attending KubeCon + RubyConf (blog to follow!), et al and simultaneously giving my undergrad exams, I did (relatively) more work than I had really anticipated!

  • FOSS Activities in November 2020

    Second month of doing these posts. In short not much has been happening the past weeks, but that would be a slight lie. I have sponsored rgacognes Trusted User application. The application was posted to the mailing list, and it’s currently being voted and decided by a weeks time. There has also been some discussion for years about bringing debug packages into Arch. This has largely been stalled but I brought it back to life again. Essentially the problem might be solved by utilizing the new debuginfod project, and we can later distribute the packages itself when we understand the new mirror requirements. There is currently a discussion on [arch-dev-public] about it. Along with the above, chugging along nicely with packages. Python has been rebuilt for the Python 3.9 release. This means there hasn’t been as many python package updates. Currently everything is in testing and we should see packages move to the stable repositories early next week. I simply haven’t been bothered going through the hoops of releasing package updates into stable and then deal with a rebuild for python 3.9 for testing.

  • A New Endeavour | LINUX Unplugged 382 | Jupiter Broadcasting

    A problem that just kept getting worse and worse. What it was, and why it led us to "check in" on EndeavourOS.

  • Top 10 Tools to Automate Linux Admin Tasks – Linux Hint

    If you are a Linux administrator, or you want to become one, there are certain tasks that can become repetitive and boring. In fact, back in the day, some tasks were so incredibly repetitive that it became very hard to keep track of all the servers; this is why automation tools were created to help with such tasks. These tools help you manage and administer different servers or systems at once, and some of them allow you to do a particular task with only a click or a command line. These tools mentioned below will definitely help you automate some of the tasks of a system administrator so that you can concentrate on other interesting concepts and tasks. Here are the top 10 Linux Admins to boost office productivity and ease of access. Click on the links to visit the homepage.

  • Google Anthos Gets Edgy on Bare Metal Servers - SDxCentral

    Google’s Anthos hybrid cloud platform now runs on bare metal servers. The move targets enterprise workloads running in on-premises data centers or edge locations, and the announcement preempts a ton of new products and capabilities that rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) will undoubtedly rollout at its annual re:Invent, which kicks off today. Anthos is Google’s fully managed, Kubernetes-based platform that allows users to manage their data and applications in an on-premises environment or across cloud platforms from rivals like AWS and Microsoft. Google announced the platform at its Cloud Next event in 2018, and made it generally available last year.

  • Mandriva Linux Chronicles: Good-bye, ZaReason!

    The best laptop I have ever owned (and still own, despite being purchased 6 years ago) is a ZaReason Strata. It is still working great, but I was one of these days fishing the market for Linux laptops, just in case. When I visited the ZaReason page several months ago this year, I saw that they had very few products. This year has been tough.

  • Oil and gas industry embraces open-source collaboration, encourages greener energy solutions [Ed: Greenwashing plus Openwashing]

    Krebbers and Liz Dennett (pictured, left), lead solutions architect at Amazon Web Services Inc., spoke with Rebecca Knight, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the AWS Executive Summit. They discussed how the Open Group OSDU Forum is reinventing the energy data platform. (* Disclosure below.)

Proprietary Software and DRM Travesty

  • Internet Explorer fails to make the cut, banished from Microsoft Teams for good

    As of today, the Microsoft Teams web app no longer supports Internet Explorer 11, as the Windows giant foretold in August. Microsoft says that customers using IE 11 with Teams can expect either degraded capabilities or the inability to connect at all. Redmond noted earlier this year that Teams usage had surged with so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The end of Teams support for Internet Explorer is a prelude for a broader abandonment of Microsoft's legacy browser planned for August 17, 2021, when the other Microsoft 365 apps and services shut the door on the creaking software.

  • Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack for $27.7 billion

    Salesforce is paying $27.7 billion for Slack, according to the press release. “Under the terms of the agreement, Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $27.7 billion based on the closing price of Salesforce’s common stock on November 30, 2020,” the announcement reads.

  • Dana Walden Reorganizes Disney TV Team; Karey Burke Moves to 20th as Craig Erwich Adds ABC Entertainment

    Disney Television entertainment chief Dana Walden is reshuffling her executive team as she consolidates the company’s programming operations. The moves will see Disney streamline its three distinct studios into two and integrate programming teams at ABC and Hulu.

    Karey Burke will move from her role as head of ABC Entertainment into a new position as president of studio 20th Television. Craig Erwich, longtime head of originals at Hulu, will add oversight of ABC Entertainment to his purview. Burke and Erwich will continue to report to Walden.

  • Quibi Is Officially Dead

    In October, Quibi announced that its board had decided to shut down the company, less than seven months after its April 6 debut. The startup, led by Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, had promised subscribers a daily dose of “quick bite” originals, chopped into episodes of 10 minutes or less, featuring recognizable Hollywood talent.

  • ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Is Spotify’s Most Popular Podcast

    There’s a reason Spotify shelled out millions to bring Joe Rogan’s podcast exclusively to its platform. The Joe Rogan Experience was the most popular podcast on Spotify in 2020, the audio streamer revealed as part of its year-end Wrapped campaign.

    Spotify has been investing aggressively into podcasts in recent years, buying up audio-first studios and striking exclusive deals with top podcasters. In May, the company made its biggest bet yet on a podcasting personality when it inked a reported $100 million deal with Rogan to bring his show to its listeners.

    The often controversial Joe Rogan Experience hit Spotify on Sept. 1 and becomes exclusive to the platform in December. After making its debut on Spotify, it quickly rocketed to the top of the service’s podcast rankings and, in just three months, has become the most popular audio show of 2020 among its global listenership.

Python Leftovers

  • Python Queue – Linux Hint

    Python provides many built-in modules, functions, and statements that help the programmers to perform various complicated tasks easily. It also provides many built-in data structures like lists, tuple, and dictionaries, which ensure the efficient creation and management of data in applications. A queue is a data structure that stores and manages the data. It stores the data in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) order. The element that is inserted first will be removed first. We can understand the working of the queue from our daily life example. It‘s like a queue of customers; the customer who comes first is facilitated first.

  • Python Multi-line Comments – Linux Hint

    Every programming language provides a mechanism to add comments to projects. Comments are the simple lines in computer programs that are ignored by the compiler or interpreter. Comments are often written in natural language to increase programmer comprehensibility. Developers use comments to ignore some parts of the code in the debugging or testing phase. Writing comments in Python can be very simple, and creating a comment in Python begins with the ‘#’ symbol. This article explains how to create multi-line comments in Python.

  • How to Join Lists in Python – Linux Hint

    Lists are an important data structure in Python, used to store multiple elements in a single container. Python lists can store both similar types and heterogeneous types of elements. In Python, you can join or concatenate two or more lists. Joining a list merges numerous lists into a single list. This article explains the joining or concatenation of Python lists in several ways.

  • Python Zip File – Linux Hint

    Python is a general-purpose programming language. It is widely used in machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and data sciences projects. Python is loaded with handy built-in modules, functions, and statements. Therefore, it helps the programmers a lot to perform many types of tasks. Performing the file related task in Python is super easy due to the availability of related modules. We can perform any type of file-related tasks, i.e., reading, writing, searching, and deleting a file. ZIP is a popular format of files that offers lossless compression. A ZIP file contains one or many compressed files and is a single file. The compression algorithms ensure that we can recreate the actual data from the compressed data without any loss. There are several benefits of using the zip file. By using the zip files, we can put all the related data in one single file with reduced file size. Encryption can also be applied while creating zip files. ZIP files are mostly created and used when we need to transfer data through online sources like social media applications and email. It ensures the fastest delivery of data. Python provides a built-in zipfile module to work on the ZIP files. In this guide, we will learn to perform various zip file-related tasks with examples.

  • Python Global Variables – Linux Hint

    In programming language, variables are used to store information. For example, in developing a student management software system, the name, email, and age of a student will be stored in the respective variables. Like other programming languages, Python has both global and local variables. In Python, global variables are declared outside of the function and can be used everywhere in the program. This article explains global variables in Python in detail with some examples. The scope of the global variable is very wide, and it is not limited to any specific function. These variables can be used both inside and outside of the function for storing and retrieving information.

  • Python getattr( ) Function – Linux Hint

    The vast variety of Python built-in modules, functions, and statements helps programmers to perform various tasks. The getattr() function is a Python built-in function that allows programmers to access the attribute value of an object. If the value is not found, then the getattar() function returns the default value. This is the reason why the getattr() function is used mostly to access the attribute values of objects. This article will provide a detailed explanation of the getattr() function with some examples.

Corporate "Open Source"

  • SUSE Completes Its Acquisition Of Rancher Labs - Phoronix

    Back in July SUSE announced its intention to acquire Rancher Labs. That deal has now closed for acquiring the Kubernetes focused cloud company. Just as they said back in July and reaffirmed today, they intend to keep Rancher's software "100% open-source" moving forward.

  • The Power to Innovate Everywhere

    Imagine powerful technology that is both leading-edge and reliable.

  • OpenUK Awards Looking for Judges – Jonathan Riddell's Diary

    OpenUK is looking for two charismatic and diligent individuals to be judges in the 2021 OpenUK Awards. After a successful first edition in 2020, OpenUK are looking to find two judges from the Community to judge the Awards with Katie Gamanji, our head Judge for 2021.

  • Released: Report on Our Member Survey [Ed: unscientific OSI with the Azure (Microsoft) person doing a ‘survey’]

    This year, OSI Board member Elana Hashman began a project to survey OSI's stakeholders. This was the first time in our history that we have formally surveyed people in our community. Some of the results were surprising and some were expected, but on the whole, the participants we spoke with want to see OSI do "more." Let's take a look at some of the highlights. [...] Elana Hashman, OSI Board Director said, "I'm very excited to present the report for the OSI's first members survey. As the Membership Committee Chair, I think it is crucial to seek input from our members in order to ensure that the OSI's strategy is informed and representative. Participants have put many hours into sharing their thoughts on how they view the OSI and how we can improve the organization, and I am so appreciative of the community's thoughtful responses and contributions."