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KDE

GNOME and KDE: GNOME 3, LaTeX or ConTeXt in GNOME, Outreachy, LAS 2019 and Plasma Mobile

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KDE
GNOME
  • GNOME 3 won’t unlock

    Every couple days something on my RHEL 7 box goes into a swapstorm and uses up all the memory. I think it’s Firefoxe, but I never figured out why, generally I have four different Firefoxes running with four different profiles, so it’s hard to tell which one’s failing (if it even is that). Anyway, sometimes it makes the screen lock crash or something, and I can’t get in, and I can never remember what process you have to kill to get back in, so here it is: gnome-shell. You have to killall -9 gnome-shell, and it lets you back in. Also killall -STOP firefox and killall -STOP "Web Content" are handy if the swapstorm is still under way.

  • LaTeX or ConTeXt for writing documents

    If I wanted to re-implement GNOME LaTeX, it would target the ConTeXt language instead. If there are any ConTeXt user reading this, I would be interested to know what application you use for writing ConTeXt documents, and what features are important to you.

  • GNOME Outreachy 2019

    The Outreachy program provides internship to work in Free and Open Source Software. This year I've proposed two projects as part of the GNOME project and we've two interns working for three months, so we'll have a lot of improvements in the following months!

    I'll be mentoring these interns, so I will need to spend some time helping them to work on the existing codebase, but it worth it, if this makes more people to collaborate in free software development and if this help us to improve some useful apps.

    These two projects are Fractal and the GNOME translation editor. You can take a look to the list of outreachy interns.

  • Barcelona: LAS 2019

    This November I was in Barcelona for the Linux App Summit 2019. It was awesome \o/. I really liked that the conference was a joint event by GNOME and KDE, I met so many cool new people. During the conference I volunteered to show the “time left” signs to speakers, and helped out at the registration desk.

    Aside from normal conference stuff I also managed to do quite a bit of hacking during the week. I made my first contribution to Gnome Initial Setup, and cleaned up Teleport a bit so I can hopefully get a new release out soon.

    I’m bad at taking pictures, so here’s a picture of a tree in the middle of the stairs on the slopes of Mount Montjuic.

  • Plasma Mobile: weekly update: part 9-10

    Calindori, the calendar application, now offers a flat event view which allows to show all events in single card list view. The events are sorted by start date.

Plasma Pass 1.1.0

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KDE

Plasma Pass, a Plasma applet for the Pass password manager version 1.1.0 is out.

There’s only one bugfix, but an important one - the applet now no longer freezes during filtering, so searching for your passwords is faster and more comfortable. The new release also contains new and updated translations.

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Plasma 5.17.4

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KDE

Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.17.4. Plasma 5.17 was released in October 2019 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

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Also: KDE Plasma 5.17.4 Desktop Environment Released with Nearly 50 Fixes, Update Now

KDevelop 5.4.5 released

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KDE

We today provide a bugfix and localization update release with version 5.4.5. This release introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using a previous version of KDevelop 5.4.

You can find the updated Linux AppImage as well as the source code archives on our download page.

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Skrooge 2.21.0 released

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KDE

The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.21.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

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The Road Towards KF6 & SPDX License Identifiers

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KDE
Legal

With KF6, I want to see SPDX license identifiers being introduced into KDE frameworks in order to ease the framework re-use in other projects. This follows the same approach e.g. the Linux Kernel took over the last years.

The problem that the SPDX markers address is the following: When publishing source code under an open source license, each source code file shall explicitly state the license it is released with. The usual way this is done is that a developer copies a license header text from the KDE licensing policies wiki, from another source file, or from somewhere else from the internet and puts it at the top of their newly created source code file. Thus the result is that today we have many slightly different license headers all over our frameworks source files (even if they only differ in formatting). Yet, these small differences make it very hard to introduce automatic checks for the source code licenses in terms of static analysis. This problem becomes even more urgent when one wants to check that a library, which consists of several source files with different licenses, does only contain compatible licenses.

The SPDX headers solve this problem by introducing a standardized language that annotates every source code file with license information in the SPDX syntax. This syntax is rich enough to express all of our existing license information and it can also cover more complicated cases like e.g. dual-licensed source files.

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Improved GNOME/KDE Integration (CSD Support)

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KDE
GNOME

  • This week in KDE: GTK CSD support and more!

    I’ve got big news today. Something major landed: full support for the GTK_FRAME_EXTENTS_ protocol, which hugely improves the user experience for running GTK apps that use client-side decoration headerbars! This includes GNOME apps and an increasing number of 3rd-party GTK apps too. In particular, these apps now display window shadows and have proper resize areas without needing to use a thick border.

  • KDE Now Deals With GTK CSD Headerbars - Improving GNOME App Integration On Plasma

    There is an exciting improvement to the GTK client side decoration handling ahead of the KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS release due out in February.

    Some of the KDE improvements ending out November include:

    - KDE now better supports GTK applications relying upon client-side decoration headerbars. In particular, GTK_FRAME_EXTENTS protocol support and this should yield more GTK/GNOME applications looking quite well integrated with the KDE desktop.

    - The background frame is configurable now for all KDE Plasma widgets.

KF6 Sprint in Berlin

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Development
KDE

Last week I arrived on a rainy Thursday evening in Berlin to attend the KDE Frameworks Kickoff sprint. The next three days were spent with discussions and ideas about the future of the libraries that are the base of most of the software of the KDE Community.

After arriving at MBition GmbH on Friday we started with reviewing the policies that were in place the last few years for KDE Frameworks 5. This includes for example the release model or on which Qt version to depend. After lunch David Edmundson and Eike Hein gave talks about the KDE community in general and about the advantages using KDE Frameworks libraries can bring to the employees at MBition. In the afternoon that the discussion switched from the past to the future and our goals and design principles that we have in mind for KDE Frameworks 6. Later we already outlined problems with specific frameworks and how our goals will impact them.

After a needed dose of sleep Saturday started right where Friday left off. We split in small groups to investigate how our design goals (further simplification of dependencies, seperation of UI and logic and seperation of framework and implementation) would influence each library and what has to be done to achieve those goals. To this end each group discussed a single library at a time and after eight libraries in total the results were presented to the whole group. For this we started with the Tier 3 Frameworks which have the most complicated dependencies (Tier 1 Frameworks only depend on Qt).

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KDE: Season of KDE 2020, KDE Itinerary and Q_PRIVATE_SLOT

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KDE
  • Announcing Season of KDE 2020

    Focused on offering an opportunity to anyone (not just enrolled students) contributing to the KDE community, this is a program that is comparable to the well-known Google Summer of Code, with some special differences. A key difference is that SoK projects are not limited to code-focused work, but any that benefit our community. For instance, projects can be about documentation, reports, translation, system administration, web and other types of work as well as code. Each contributor will work with a mentor and within a team that will also help the contributor.

  • October/November in KDE Itinerary

    Time for another bi-monthy status update around KDE Itinerary! Since the last report plenty of things have happened again, ranging from multi-ticket support to integration with the Plasma Browser Integration plug-in, most of which you’ll find in the upcoming 19.12 release.

  • Q_PRIVATE_SLOT with new connect syntax

    When using PIMPL, we sometimes want to move implementation of slots into the private class as well. In order for Qt to be able to invoke those slots that formally exist only in the private class (which usually is not a QObject), we use the Q_PRIVATE_SLOT macro in the main class. It allows Qt to invoke the slot method, even though it exists in the private class.

KDE: LaKademy 2019, KDE Frameworks 6, Plasma and Krita

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KDE

  • Aracele Torres: My participation in LaKademy 2019

    Hi, people! Here I am again telling about how I love this community and like to be part of every activity we organize. Almost two weeks ago we had a new edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, which we’ve been organizing in Brazil since 2012. This edition was held in Salvador, Bahia, for the second time (the 2015 edition was there too).

  • KDE Frameworks 6 sprint

    Last week I took a train to Berlin for the KDE Frameworks 6 kickoff sprint. A lot has been said about it by my fellow attendees already, so I won’t go into detail much.

    Work on Qt 6 has begun and with Qt 6 a version 6 of the KDE Frameworks is due. This will gives us the opportunity to clean up and redesign some of our API.

    Main goal for the sprint was to discuss the major design principles for KF6. I personally focussed on two aspects. First, we want to better separate logic from the user interface to allow different UI implementations for desktop and mobile uses. Futhermore, we want to reduce the amount of dependencies our libraries have. While we are doing fine for a lot of frameworks some have very ugly dependency structures. Probably our worst offender here is KIO, the framework that powers Dolphin and many more KDE applications.

  • Plasma Edit Mode refinements

    Editing, moving and customizing widgets in Plasma Desktop improved a lot in 5.17, and then in 5.18 it will get a brand new edit mode, to be really efficient editing your desktop layout (and have less visual noise by default).

    This week another new feature landed in the edit mode for 5.18: it’s possible to set some plasmoids without background and a nice drop shadow, for an extra clean and modern look for your desktop.

    In addition, a plasmoid can specify this backgroundless shadowed mode as its new default, like the digital clock now does (when is on the deskop)

  • Krita Weekly #4

    Phew, I am late this week for the update, kudos to my university exams nevertheless better be late than never. One more week passed, we are now closing on the 4.2.8 release. This week too we can see a steady decrease in the number of bugs. 17 bugs were reported and 23 were fixed, a net decrease of 6 bugs. The rate has gone down a little bit compared to the previous month, cause the folks are now mostly focusing on the resource rewrite.

  • Krita Weekly #5

    This week we got 13 new bug reports while 22 got fixed, a net decrease of 9 bugs. The bug tracker says that there are about 415 bugs remaining, so still a long way to go. And last week the 4.2.8 beta was released. Thanks to all the folks who participated in testing it. You can expect the 4.2.8 release this Wednesday.

    [...]

    Ivan fixed some inconsistency in the visuals of the line endings. And coming to the resource rewrite, Boud has been working on to make document storage work like bundles. Tiar has been busy with tagging, a working combobox can be found in the corresponding branch to filter resources. And Wolthera has been dabbing with the storage widget ui. Collectively they also fixed some missing parts of the API involved with the resources.

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today's leftovers

  • Arm Server CPUs: You Can Now Buy Ampere's eMAG in a Workstation

    Avantek offers the system with three optional graphics cards: AMD FirePro W2100, a Radeon Pro WX 5100, and the NVIDIA Quadro GV100. OS options are variants of Linux: Ubuntu, CentOS, SUSE SLES, and openSUSE.

  • A General Notification Queue Was Pushed Back From Linux 5.5 Introduction

    Red Hat has been working on a "general notification queue" that is built off the Linux kernel's pipe code and will notify the user-space of events like key/keyring changes, block layer events like disk errors, USB attach/remove events, and other notifications without user-space having to continually poll kernel interfaces. This general notification queue was proposed for Linux 5.5 but has been pushed back to at least 5.6. This Linux kernel general notification queue builds off a standard pipe and allows user-space applications to efficiently become aware of changes to block devices (disks), keys, USB subsystem happenings, and other possible events. The proposed documentation spells out more of the planned functionality and behavior.

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2019/48 & 49

    Once again I’m spanning two weeks; besides the normal work on getting you openSUSE Tumbleweed updated and timely delivered, the release team has been working together with the build service team to implement/stabilize the OBS-internal staging workflow. There is (should) not be any real noticeable difference for the contributors – except the new used URLs. The Factory Staging dashboard can now be found at https://build.opensuse.org/staging_workflows/1 During the last two weeks, we have pushed out 10 Tumbleweed Snapshots (1121, 1122, 1123, 1124, 1126, 1127, 1128, 1202, 1203 and 1204) containing those changes...

  • Rugged Coffee Lake PCs offer up to two PCIe slots and two HDD bays

    Nexcom’s fanless, Linux-ready “NISE 3900 Series” features an 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPU with triple display support plus M.2, mini-PCIe, 3x GbE, 10x USB, and 2x serial ports. Six different models have various combinations of PCIe, PCI, and SATA. Nexcom announced a new series in its NISE family of industrial computers that follows recent models such as the Apollo Lake based NISE 51. The rugged NISE-3900 Series systems run Linux Kernel 4.9 or Windows 10 on Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs, including the quad-core Core i3-8100T and the hexa-core, 2.1GHz i5-8500T and 2.4GHz i7-8700T.

  • More new books from The MagPi and HackSpace magazines

    If our recent release of Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi, Getting Started with Arduino, and Coding the Classics isn’t enough for you, today sees the release of TWO MORE publications from Raspberry Pi Press!

OSS Leftovers

  • Ardour Digital Audio Workstation Finally Adds Native MP3 Importing Support

    While lossy compression audio formats like MP3 are not recommended for use within professional audio tasks, for those using the open-source Ardour digital audio workstation (DAW) software as of today there is finally native MP3 import support. Obviously it's better working with lossless audio formats as source material for Ardour and other digital audio workstation software suites, but given how common MP3 content is, there certainly is relevance to being able to import MP3s into DAWs. But historically due to licensing/patent issues, MP3 support within Ardour hasn't been possible -- thus leading to common complaints/questions by users over the years.

  • Certbot Leaves Beta with the Release of 1.0

    Earlier this week EFF released Certbot 1.0, the latest version of our free, open source tool that helps websites encrypt their traffic. The release of 1.0 is a significant milestone for the project and is the culmination of the work done over the past few years by EFF and hundreds of open source contributors from around the world.

    Certbot was first released in 2015 to automate the process of configuring and maintaining HTTPS encryption for site administrators by obtaining and deploying certificates from Let's Encrypt. Since its initial launch, many features have been added, including beta support for Windows, automatic nginx configuration, and support for over a dozen DNS providers for domain validation.

  • Open Repos provides code metrics on open source projects

    GitClear is offering Open Repos as a free product, though it is not open source. GitClear’s paid product offers many of the same insights and more. Long-term plans include allowing projects to embed an Open Repos view of a project in their site, and “improving data quality before adding features.”

  • Improvements in LibreOffice’s PowerPoint presentation support

    LibreOffice’s native file format is OpenDocument, a fully open and standardised format that’s great for sharing documents and long-term data storage. Of course, LibreOffice does its best to open files made by other office software as well, even if they’re stored in pseudo-“standards” with cryptic and obfuscated contents. Compatibility with PowerPoint PPT(X) presentations is therefore a challenge, but developers are working hard on improvements… A few months ago, we announced an initiative to improve the support of PPT and PPTX files in LibreOffice. Lots of great work happened since then and the results are collected below!

  • People of WordPress: Jill Binder

    Jill Binder never meant to become an activist. She insists it was an accident. Despite that, Jill has led the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training working group in the WordPress Community team since 2017. This group is dedicated to increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups who are stepping up to become speakers at WordPress Meetups, WordCamps, and events. [...] The following year her internship advisor, who had become a client, was creating the first ever BuddyCamp for BuddyPress. He asked Jill to be on his organizing team. At that event she also moderated a panel with Matt Mullenweg. Then, Jill was invited to be on the core organizing team for WordCamp Vancouver. Part of this role meant reviewing and selecting speakers. From 40 speaker applications the team had to pick only 14 to speak.

  • Mint: Late-Stage Adversarial Interoperability Demonstrates What We Had (And What We Lost)

    In 2006, Aaron Patzer founded Mint. Patzer had grown up in the city of Evansville, Indiana—a place he described as "small, without much economic opportunity"—but had created a successful business building websites. He kept up the business through college and grad school and invested his profits in stocks and other assets, leading to a minor obsession with personal finance that saw him devoting hours every Saturday morning to manually tracking every penny he'd spent that week, transcribing his receipts into Microsoft Money and Quicken.

    Patzer was frustrated with the amount of manual work it took to track his finances with these tools, which at the time weren't smart enough to automatically categorize "Chevron" under fuel or "Safeway" under groceries. So he conceived on an ingenious hack: he wrote a program that would automatically look up every business name he entered into the online version of the Yellow Pages—constraining the search using the area code in the business's phone number so it would only consider local merchants—and use the Yellow Pages' own categories to populate the "category" field in his financial tracking tools.

today's howtos

Programming: Kotlin, Python and More

  • Android’s commitment to Kotlin

    When we announced Kotlin as a supported language for Android, there was a tremendous amount of excitement among developers. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of developers using Kotlin. Today, we’re proud to say nearly 60% of the top 1,000 Android apps contain Kotlin code, with more and more Android developers introducing safer and more concise code using Kotlin. During this year’s I/O, we announced that Android development will be Kotlin-first, and we’ve stood by that commitment. This is one of the reasons why Android is the gold partner for this year’s KotlinConf.

  • Google Reaffirms Commitment To Kotlin Programming Language For Android

    Google is continuing to embrace Kotlin programming for Android, making more Android APIs accessible by Kotlin, Jetpack Compose as a UI toolkit catered to Kotlin, and Kotlin extensions for more Google libraries. Google is also working to offer more Kotlin + Android learning material, working with JetBrains on improving the Kotlin code compiler, speeding up the build time of Kotlin code, and other improvements.

  • Comparing equivalent Python statements

    While teaching one of my Python classes yesterday I noticed a conditional expression which can be written in several ways. All of these are equivalent in their behavior...

  • Serving Files with Python's SimpleHTTPServer Module

    Servers are computer software or hardware that processes requests and deliver data to a client over a network. Various types of servers exist, with the most common ones being web servers, database servers, application servers, and transaction servers. Widely used web servers such as Apache, Monkey, and Jigsaw are quite time-consuming to set up when testing out simple projects and a developer's focus is shifted from producing application logic to setting up a server. Python's SimpleHTTPServer module is a useful and straightforward tool that developers can use for a number of use-cases, with the main one being that it is a quick way to serve files from a directory. It eliminates the laborious process associated with installing and implementing the available cross-platform web servers. Note: While SimpleHTTPServer is a great way to easily serve files from a directory, it shouldn't be used in a production environment. According to the official Python docs, it "only implements basic security checks."