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Plasma Browser Integration 1.7.5

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KDE

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

Filed under
KDE
BSD

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

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
KDE
  • 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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KDE

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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KDE

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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KDE

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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KDE: Forking Qt, Plasma Bigscreen and Release of Latte Dock 0.9.11

Filed under
Development
KDE
  • More Open-Source Participants Are Backing A Possible Fork Of Qt

    This week's bombshell that future Qt releases might be restricted to paying customers for a period of twelve months has many open-source users and developers rightfully upset. Qt so far only provided a brief, generic statement but several individuals and projects are already expressing interest in a Qt fork should it come to it.

    The hope is first and foremost that The Qt Company and KDE / KDE Free Qt Foundation can reach a mutual agreement without this embargo on future releases, which would effectively close up its development. But should an agreement go unresolved and The Qt Company go ahead with their plans in the name of boosting short-term revenues stemming from the coronavirus, developers are expressing a willingness to fork should it come it.

  • New Linux integrity checker from Microsoft, Raspberry Pi smart TV replacement from KDE, and more open source news

    I recently bought a new TV and, if you haven’t been in the market lately, it’s hard to find “dumb” televisions. I didn’t want a smart TV because I worry about the manufacturer abandoning the software and what the device might do with my data. So KDE’s recent Plasma Bigscreen announcement caught my eye.

    Plasma Bigscreen takes the KDE Plasma interface I use every day and combines it with Mycroft AI to turn single-board computers into a smart TV. The beta, released last month, includes support for the Raspberry Pi 4 (Model Cool.

  • Latte bug fix release v0.9.11

    Latte Dock v0.9.11 has been released containing important fixes and improvements!

Qt and Free Software Contention

Filed under
Development
KDE
  • The growing disconnect between KDE and the Qt Company

    Here's a message posted by Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer to the kde-community mailing list detailing the current state of discussions between the KDE community, the Qt development project, and the Qt Company. It seems they are not going entirely well. "But last week, the company suddenly informed both the KDE e.V. board and the KDE Free QT Foundation that the economic outlook caused by the Corona virus puts more pressure on them to increase short-term revenue. As a result, they are thinking about restricting ALL Qt releases to paid license holders for the first 12 months. They are aware that this would mean the end of contributions via Open Governance in practice."

  • Qt and Open Source

    There have been discussions on various internet forums about the future of Qt open source in the last two days. The contents do not reflect the views or plans of The Qt Company.

    The Qt Company is proud to be committed to its customers, open source, and the Qt governance model.

  • The Qt Company Provides A Brief Comment On Open-Source

    Yesterday a KDE developer who serves on the board of the KDE Free Qt Foundation commented that The Qt Company is evaluating restricting new releases to paying customers for 12 months. That was said to be under consideration due to COVID19 / coronavirus impacting their finances and needing to boost short-term revenues. The Qt Company has now come out with an incredibly brief statement on the matter.

    Obviously many are concerned that The Qt Company could be erecting a wall around new Qt releases with this possible year delay before going out cleanly as open-source. This comes months after The Qt Company already shifted to make Qt LTS releases customer-only, among other steps to boost their commercial business at the beginning of the year.

Qt and KDE Development

Filed under
Development
KDE
  • New Qt Releases Might Now Be Restricted To Paying Customers For 12 Months

    With an apparent blame on the novel coronavirus, The Qt Company is said to be considering restricting new Qt releases to paying customers for a period of twelve months in an effort to boost their near-term finances.

    Earlier today The Qt Company published a 2020 Qt road-map while following that a Phoronix reader tipped us off to the latest discussions between KDE, the Qt project, and The Qt Company.

    KDE and the open-source Qt folks have been in discussions with The Qt Company especially with the restrictions announced back in January by The Qt Company that LTS point releases might only be available to commercial customers, Qt Accounts being needed for binary package downloads, etc.

  • Qt, Open Source and corona
    Dear KDE community,
    
    the relationship between the KDE community, the Qt project and The Qt Company 
    has always been close and beneficial for all three.
    
    * The Qt Company benefits from having a large and healthy community of 
    contributors, developers and experts around their product.
    * KDE benefits from being able to use Qt and to contribute directly to Qt.
    * The Qt project benefits from having the company as a steward and very large 
    contributor, and having KDE as a large and well-known sub-community.
    
    Last December, I published a document explaining the win-win-win-relationship: 
    http://www.olafsw.de/a-better-qt-because-of-open-source-and-kde/
    
    
    Unfortunately, The Qt Company is currently considering to stop this healthy 
    cooperation.
    
    Fortunately, the KDE Free Qt Foundation exists, which secures the continued 
    existence of Open Source Qt:
    https://kde.org/community/whatiskde/kdefreeqtfoundation.php
    Together with Martin Konold, I represent KDE in the board of the foundation.
    
    
    I will now give you a bit of background information.
    
    During the past two years, there have been negotiations between The Qt Company 
    and the KDE Free Qt Foundation for updating the contract.
    
    Our goals in negotiations:
    * helping the company increase their revenue without harming the Qt project or 
    the KDE community
    * strengthening the protection of the Qt project and of the KDE community
    * avoiding a parting of ways between The Qt Company and the Qt+KDE communities
    
    Concrete areas included in the negotiations are:
    
    * Fixing the incompatibility between paid Qt license terms and using or 
    contributing to Open Source
    (“Prohibited Combination” in https://www.qt.io/terms-conditions/ )
    * Fixing the license incompatibility between the Qt Design Studio (which is 
    only partly Free Software) and our existing contract with the company
    * Making our contract with the company stronger, requiring them to make 
    immediate Free Software releases of Qt (currently, they are allowed to delay 
    by 12 months) to ensure the availability of LTS security fixes for KDE
    * Updating our contract to include Wayland
    * Evaluating contract changes suggested by the company aimed at making the Qt 
    business more profitable, for example the option of selling bundles of Qt with 
    other software, or making integrations with proprietary third-party software 
    possible
    
    
    One setback in the negotiations has been an announcement of The Qt Company in 
    January: https://www.qt.io/blog/qt-offering-changes-2020
    They announced that LTS releases of Qt will only be available for paid license 
    holders. It is still unclear what this implies for contributions to Qt and for 
    the sharing of security fixes between the various parties (including The Qt 
    Company, the many Qt experts contributing, the KDE community, and Linux 
    distributions).
    
    At an in-person meeting in Frankfurt on March 6, we nevertheless managed to 
    lay the groundwork for a possible path forward, continuing with an approach 
    beneficial to all sides.
    
    
    But last week, the company suddenly informed both the KDE e.V. board and the 
    KDE Free QT Foundation that the economic outlook caused by the Corona virus 
    puts more pressure on them to increase short-term revenue. As a result, they 
    are thinking about restricting ALL Qt releases to paid license holders for the 
    first 12 months. They are aware that this would mean the end of contributions 
    via Open Governance in practice.
    
    Obviously, it cannot be in the middle- and long-term health of The Qt Company 
    to separate itself from the very strong Qt + KDE communities.
    
    We hope The Qt Company will reconsider. However, this threat to the Open 
    Source community needs to be anticipated, so that the Qt and KDE communities 
    can prepare themselves.
    
    The Qt Company says that they are willing to reconsider the approach only if 
    we offer them concessions in other areas. I am reminded, however, of the 
    situation half a year ago. We had discussed an approach for contract updates, 
    which they suddenly threw away by restricting LTS releases of Qt instead.
    
    
    What does this mean for the future of Qt and for the future of KDE?
    
    All software changes in Qt will still be available at as Open Source as 
    required by our contract – maybe with a delay of 12 months if the company 
    decides to part ways with the communities.
    
    We will continue to work on a contract update that helps all sides. But even 
    if these negotiations were to be unilaterally stopped by The Qt Company, Qt 
    will stay Open Source, and KDE will be able to use it. I am also absolutely 
    sure that the Qt + KDE communities will continue cooperation on new features, 
    bug fixes, and security fixes, even should The Qt Company decide to forgo the 
    benefits of cooperation.
    
    I invite The Qt Company to stay with us. It will be worthwhile.
    
    
    Best regards,
    
    Olaf
    
    
  • Learn PyQt: Packaging PyQt5 & PySide2 applications for Windows, with PyInstaller

    There is not much fun in creating your own desktop applications if you can't share them with other people — whether than means publishing it commercially, sharing it online or just giving it to someone you know. Sharing your apps allows other people to benefit from your hard work!

    The good news is there are tools available to help you do just that with your Python applications which work well with apps built using Qt5. In this tutorial we'll look at the most popular tool for packaging Python applications: PyInstaller.

    This tutorial is broken down into a series of steps, using PyInstaller to build first simple, and then increasingly complex PyQt5 applications into distributable EXE files on Windows. You can choose to follow it through completely, or skip ahead to the examples that are most relevant to your own project.

  • Virtual KDE PIM Sprint April 2020

    Last weekend would have been the traditional annual KDE PIM meeting in Toulouse, but with travel being largely shut down in Europe we had to do this virtually. That meant missing out on the culinary treats of being in France, but we got a few things done nevertheless.

    [...]

    Nico has been working on this, eventually enabling platform calendar abstraction behind the KCalendarCore API. So the same application code could be using a calendar from Akonadi on a desktop system and the Android calendar on a phone.

    We hopefully managed to sort out the remaining conceptual questions for this (modeling hierarchies, lazy population of expensive calendars, separate classes for the calendar metadata or not).

    Moving PIM modules to KDE Frameworks

    KDAV is nearing completion for transitioning to Frameworks after the 20.04 release (so in May or June). A final review pass resulted in a few more improvements and API cleanups.

    Following KDAV the possible candidates are the KGAPI library, which is already used externally and thus would benefit most, as well as the various email frameworks (MIME, IMAP, SMTP).

Qt 5.12.8 Released

Filed under
KDE

I am happy to inform you we have released Ot 5.12.8 today.

As earlier informed Qt 5.12 LTS is in 'strict' phase and so on it will receive only the most important bug fixes. But still this 8th patch release to Qt 5.12 LTS contains ~150 changes including fixes to more than 30 bugs. Please check most important changes from Qt 5.12.8 Changes Files.

Qt 5.12.8 can be updated to existing online installation by using maintenance tool. For new installations, please download latest online installer from Qt Account portal or from qt.io Download page. Offline packages are available for commercial users in the Qt Account portal and at the qt.io Download page for open-source users. You can also try out the Commercial evaluation option from the qt.io Download page.

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Also: The Qt Company Publishes A 2020 Roadmap Culminating With The Qt 6.0 Release

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