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KDE

Inside KDE: leadership and long-term planning

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KDE

Based on my post about KDE’s anarchic organization and the micro-not-macro nature of my This Week in KDE series, you would be forgiven for having the impression that KDE is directionless and has no leadership or long-term planning capabilities. In fact the opposite is true, and I’d like to talk a bit about that today, since this information may not be obvious to users and the wider community.

Now, since KDE is so vast, I can only provide my personal perspective based on the projects I’m most heavily involved in: the VDG, Plasma, and a few apps.

[...]

KDE doesn’t lack for strategic long-term goals and direction, so I think that part can be pretty solidly marked as a success. As for tactical leadership and direction within and between individual projects, I also think things are pretty rosy overall. KDE’s maintainer-led projects generally have excellent maintainers. The variety of KDE apps using this model model is a testament to how successful it can be with a high-quality maintainer–especially our professional-class apps like Krita. And in my opinion, KDE’s council of elders projects also have very good leadership today

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Plasma 5.20 is an exceptionally refined desktop

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KDE

There you go. I have to say, this is the best Plasma release in a long while. I would say since 5.12. In fact, this should have been the LTS. You get everything: speed, stability, consistency, beautiful looks, highly functional software. And now, the challenge: this ought to remain, without regressions, for three releases.

There are some small niggles here and there, but all in all, there's nothing cardinally wrong with this edition. Quite the contrary, it brings massive improvements on many levels, and infuses joy into my jaded soul, a ray of hope that has been absent for many months now. If you're contemplating Linux, or contemplating replacing your desktop environment, then Plasma 5.20 offers the freshest, most elegant solution by a huge margin. Worth testing and using - and hopefully, there will be some long-term version available somewhere, so that people need stability and minimal change can settle in and enjoy a refined, pleasant desktop. That's my wish for the new year, and now off you go testing. Bottom line: awesome. Bye bye.

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Accessibility in GTK 4

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KDE

The big news in last weeks GTK 3.99.3 release is that we have a first non-trivial backend for our new accessibility implementation. Therefore, now is a good time to take a deeper look at accessibility in GTK 4.

Lets start with a quick review of how accessibility works on Linux. The actors in this are applications and assistive technologies (ATs) such as screen readers (for instance, Orca), magnifiers and the like.

The purpose of ATs generally is to provide users with alternative ways to interact with the application that are tailored to their needs (say, an enlarged view, text read out aloud, or voice commands). To do this, ATs need a lot of detailed information about the applications UI, and this is where the accessibility stack comes into play—it is the connecting layer between the application (or its toolkit) and the ATs.

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KD Chart 2.7.2 released!

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KDE

KDAB has released KD Chart 2.7.2, the final release in the KD Chart 2.7 series. This is a very minor release; however, it’s significant in that it may be the final release of KD Chart that will support Qt 4.

KD Chart is a comprehensive business charting package with many different chart types and a large number of customization options. We are constantly improving the package, and have been doing so for years.

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KDE Plasma 5.20.1 – First Point Release is Here

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KDE

KDE Plasma 5.20 was released last week and it came with a couple of bugs. So, to address those the KDE team announced the first maintenance update on the 5.20 series i.e. KDE Plasma 5.20.1.
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KDE Plasma 5.20 Desktop Gets First Point Release, 45 Changes Included

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KDE

KDE Plasma 5.20.1 is here only a week after the launch of KDE Plasma 5.20, which is one of the biggest and most polished releases of all time, to fix various annoyances or issues that might block the Plasma desktop from functioning correctly.

There are several Wayland fixes in this first point release to prevent the session from crashing when killing XWayland, correctly clip the mouse cursor clip, and forcing windows to re-open in the same state they were before being closed.

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Videos/Shows: GNU World Order and Amarok Linux 2.1 XFCE

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GNU
KDE
Linux
  • GNU World Order 376

    Listener email and a look at GNU Nano from the **ap** package set of Slackware Linux.

  • Amarok Linux 2.1 XFCE

    Today we are looking at Amarok Linux 2.1. It is an XFCE distro based on Debian 10, Linux Kernel 5.4, and uses about 600-700 MB of ram when idling. It is beautiful also, just need to smooth out a light theme. Enjoy!

  • Amarok Linux 2.1 Run Through - YouTube

    In this video, we are looking at Amarok Linux 2.1.

A few thoughts on Plasma/Wayland, KWinFT

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KDE

There's a lot of intense, opinionated debate on the current state of Plasma's Wayland session these days. This seems to be fueled by mainly two events, Fedora's announcement to flip to Wayland by default for version 34 of their KDE variant, and a a recent fork of KWin and a few other components of Plasma, KWinFT.

On the first, I think it's a great move. Concerns of a repeat of the "shipped before it's ready" situation of early KDE 4 releases aside (for now; more on this in a moment), it certainly feels like it makes sense for Fedora in particular - it's a bold, technology-focused early adopter move, something I think the Fedora user audience generally appreciates the distro for. Plus other Fedora variants default to Wayland already, so there's an appreciable desire to make the various offerings more consistent.

Distros should understand the user audiences they're trying to cater to, and if a distro believes there's a market for a particular flavor of desktop, it's certainly fine to challenge upstreams to provide the needed software. I think as far as Plasma on Wayland is concerned, the challenge is thoughtfully timed - it's coming after the KDE community voted to declare good Wayland support a community-wide goal, after all. I think there's every reason to believe this decision will lead to good things if the two (and overlapping) communities collaborate to make a good showing. Nice.

It's 2020, for crying out loud! Why is this taking so long?

A lot of us have some things in common. For example, if you're reading this, chances are you are the sort of person who is not indifferent to technological progress, even easily excited by it. Many of us also are also drawn to competition.

So people really care about how far down the road to Wayland adoption every of the competing projects is, and theories abound on what the comparison says about them. This is set against a backdrop of Wayland also still maturing as an upstream technology, driven forward by the same competing projects working together.

One particular claim that's been popping into the conversation lately is that Plasma not having the Wayland conversion safely in it's rear-view mirror yet is evidence of a project that's somehow fundamentally flawed, and unable to focus on what matters and make good long-term plans and roadmaps. If you didn't encounter this in one of the heated debates on social media yet it probably sounds a bit breathless to you, or maybe not really worth acknowledging - but it's actually my main reason to write this blog post, because it's an interesting excuse to talk about recent Plasma history!

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Top 11 New Features of KDE Plasma 5.20

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KDE

The long wait is finally over. KDE Plasma Desktop 5.20 is released and now available to the masses for download. The KDE team describes Plasma Desktop 5.20 release as an "absolutely massive one." Released on October 13, 2020, the KDE Plasma Desktop comes loaded with many features. That is quite expected considering the four months of development poured into these releases. For KDE Neon users, Plasma Desktop 5.20 is already available for download.

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This week in KDE: Plasma 5.20 released, and looking forwards

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KDE

We released Plasma 5.20 this week and I think our QA generally paid off–it seems to have been one of the smoothest releases I can remember despite all of the changes! That said, Neon experienced some packaging issues that affected users on the release day, which we’re investigating, and we’ll figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. those issues have all been fixed now, so it should be safe to upgrade, if you haven’t done so yet. And of course we spent a lot of time fixing the few regressions in Plasma 5.20 that did manage to slip through, but also working on the next versions!

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Also: More KDE Wayland Fixes Heading Into Plasma 5.20.1

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