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Qt for MCUs 1.0 is now available

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KDE

Qt for MCUs enables creation of fluid graphical user interfaces (GUI) with a low memory footprint on displays powered by microcontrollers (MCU). It is a complete graphics toolkit with everything needed to design, develop, and deploy GUIs on MCUs. It enables a unified technology approach for an entire product line to create a consistent and branded end user experience. Watch the Qt for MCUs video showcasing different use cases.

Qt for MCUs 1.0 has already been adopted by lead customers in Japan, Europe and the US, who have started developing their next generation product. This release has been tested on microcontrollers from NXP, Renesas and STMicroelectronics. The software release contains Platform Adaptations for NXP i.MX RT1050 and STM32F769i as the default Deployment Platforms. Platform Adaptations for several other NXP and STM32 microcontrollers as well as the Renesas RH850 microcontroller are available as separate Deployment Platform Packages. On request, Qt Professional Services can provide new Platform Adaptions for additional microcontrollers.

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A better Qt because of Open Source and KDE

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Development
KDE

The development framework Qt is available both as Open Source and under paid license terms. Two decades ago, when Qt 2.0 was first released as Open Source, this was exceptional. Today, most popular developing frameworks are Free/Open Source Software1. Without the dual licensing approach, Qt would not exist today as a popular high-quality framework.

There is another aspect of Qt licensing which is still very exceptional today, and which is not as well-known as it ought to be. The Open Source availability of Qt is legally protected through the by-laws and contracts of a foundation.

The KDE Free Qt Foundation was created in 1998 and guarantees the continued availability of Qt as Free/Open Source Software2. When it was set up, Qt was developed by Trolltech, its original company. The foundation supported Qt through the transitions first to Nokia and then to Digia and to The Qt Company.

In case The Qt Company would ever attempt to close down Open Source Qt, the foundation is entitled to publish Qt under the BSD license. This notable legal guarantee strengthens Qt. It creates trust among developers, contributors and customers.

The KDE Free Qt Foundation is a cooperation between The Qt Company on the one hand and KDE on the other hand. KDE is one of the largest Free Software communities for general purpose end-user software, founded in 1996. In case of ties, KDE has an extra vote, ensuring that The Qt Company does not have a veto on decisions.

My in-depth presentation below provides an overview of the history of the Foundation and describes its importance for Qt today. It explains in detail why the existence of the Foundation has a positive influence on the long-term market success of Qt.

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Legislating is patch review

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Development
KDE

Patch review is a process by which newcomers and experts debate proposed changes to a codebase–a textual description of how a particular human-created system is to function. In KDE, we use Phabricator for this, but we’re switching to GitLab soon. Both serve the same purpose: to provide a forum where proposed changes can be discussed, revised, and decided upon.

[...]

Rushing isn’t such a huge deal as long as you have a QA process and discrete releases. These tools provide time for regressions to be fixed and rough edges to me smoothed out. When patches can be evaluated in a safe sandbox of sorts and subsequently tweaked before their effects are released to users, it’s not so bad to move quickly. But you can’t expose your users to the churn stirred up by a fast process; it needs to be contained internally.

Lesson for politicians: You don’t need so much process surrounding lawmaking if you don’t roll out all approved changes immediately. Before new bills take effect, let them simmer for a while in a “release branch” where they can undergo QA so that regressions can be found before they’re inflicted on unsuspected citizens (users)!

As software people, there are lessons we can take from our governments’ successes (and more often these days it seems, their failures), because this aspect of our professions overlaps quite a bit. It also exposes an uncomfortable truth: changing the rules and behaviors of a system that effects everyone is inherently political. That’s why we invented patch review processes: to make sure that important voices are heard, that the system doesn’t become inhumane for people who depend on it, and that its overall trajectory is positive.

Personally I’m a lot more sanguine about the prospect of this in software than government right now, and I think that’s something that needs to change. The efficacy and positive societal impacts of our governments’ lawmaking seems to be at a bit of an ebb at this moment in time. But there may come a point in time when our experience in patch review becomes useful on a larger stage, and benefits not only users of KDE software, but also the people of the world. We shouldn’t shy away from politics. Our everyday experiences in KDE are in fact the prefect preparation! Far from being distant and scary, it’s something we’re engaging in–and succeeding at–every time we contribute to KDE.

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Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 11

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KDE
Reviews

The Slimbook remains a smart, useful choice. I am amazing that a whole year's gone by. The laptop is holding amazing well. I'm using it outside quite some, and yet, there are no scratches or dents or anything, and neither the heat nor the cold phase it, and the battery change remains full and fresh, as good as new. People are also drawn to its sleek, understated look, and often comment and ask me about the name.

Kubuntu 18.04 is also top-notch. I do have some small struggles, and I'd like to see several outstanding issues polished. But then, all in all, you get a slick, aesthetic product, it looks like something you could pay money for and feel it's the right thing to do, and overall, it's highly consistent and robust. That would be all for this episode. No great drama or fuss, which is exactly how I like my productivity. Take care.

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Gamechuck sponsors Krita

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KDE

Gamechuck, a new studio based in Zagreb, has just released the first trailer for their upcoming role-playing adventure game Trip the Ark Fantastic. Trip the Ark Fantastic is planned for release in 2022 on PC/Mac/Linux and consoles, and Gamechuck has created the game entirely with free software.

What’s more, they have also decided to sponsor Krita’s development!

Trip the Ark Fantastic is a story-driven roleplaying adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of both industrial and social revolution. The story follows Charles, a hedgehog scholar on a mission by the lion king to save the monarchy, but his decisions could end up helping reformists or even to bring about anarchy.

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Also: Interview with teteotolis

Akademy 2019

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KDE

At this year's Akademy I had great moments with new and already known people. Akedemy gives me much power for hopefully the rest of the year. I really enjoyed the daytrip to the lake. It was calm and beautiful environment. The daytrip helped me to calm down again. Together with Leiner, Florian and Valorie we sat down to discuss issues for newcomers attending Akademy the first time while having an amazing lunch. Is it often hard to remember how hard it can be to attend the Akademy the first time without knowing lots of people. The outcome of this discussion will feed back to community after some more cleanup of our notes. Hopefully we can make the next Akademy even better for newcomers next year!

My highlights from the first two days of great talks are Kirogi and "Developers Italia". I really enjoyed seeing that Open Source reaches more and more domains and now you can even control your drone with Open Source named Kirogi. The software itself looks already quite usable and I'm looking forward what features we will see there in future...

"Developers Italia" was an eye opener, in how governments can change the laws so administrations must invest in Open Source. In Italy, administrations are forced to search for an existing solution in Open Source and then use this solution. If the software does not work for them they can pay developers to implement their needed features, but still the code will be owned by the administration and they need to publish the code afterwards under an Open Source license. I'm very interested to see how this will develop in future, because at the moment I still have the bad feeling that some big companies may have the ability and also the desire to destroy this revolutionary idea, with the result that only some big companies will get all the big grants, and the result will be bloated unusable Open Source software. But none the less, let's give the Italy administrations a warm welcome and give them a hand to become good Open Source citizens.

I also enjoyed the talk by Albert about the status of fuzzing KDE software. Albert explained, that the first Frameworks are covered by fuzzing, and the results that were found by the fuzzer. The first days and weeks spit out a lot of interesting issues, but nowadays, the fuzzer takes a lot of time to find new issues. So it is time now to add the next set ready to be fuzzed. I talked with Albert about what would be the most valuable parts of KDEPIM that should be covered by fuzzing. The first set is KMime, KContacts and KCalenderCore as they handle input without any user interaction.

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Contributing to KDE is easier than you think – Porting websites to Markdown

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KDE

This will be a new series of blog posts explaining different ways to contribute to KDE in an easy-to-digest manner. I plan for this series to be parallel to my keyboard shortcuts analysis so that there can be content being published (hopefully) every week. I was also feeling a bit bad about the fact that this blog is available over planet.kde.org (a feed for blog posts made by KDE contributors that also shows a bit of their personal lives and projects), but my other series was focusing more on other DEs, despite also being a project to improve KDE.

The purpose of this series originated from how I feel about asking users to contribute back to KDE. I firmly believe that showing users how contributing is easier than they think is more effective than simply calling them out and directing them to the correct resources; especially if, like me, said user suffers from anxiety or does not believe they are up to the task, in spite of their desire to help back.

It is true that I had the initiative to contact Nate Graham and Carl Schwan through Reddit, but it is also true that, had they not shown me how contributing back can be done in several small, feasible ways too, I would likely not have started contributing back.

Out of respect and due to the current need for help with updating the KDE websites, my first post on this subject will document how to help Carl Schwan port older websites to Markdown, despite there being easier tasks than that. Currently, and as to my knowledge, Carl Schwan and Adrián Chaves Fernandez are the only two main KDE websites contributors, with help and mentorship from other KDE contributors such as Jonathan Riddell and, of course, the whole Promo team, who handles websites as well. This is quite the low number of contributors for such a huge amount of websites to be updated, you see; that’s why your help would be much appreciated!

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KDE Plasma 5.18 Makes It Easier to Enter Emoji

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KDE

A brand new emoji picker tool is currently in development for KDE Plasma 5.18. This smorgasbord of smilies will be accessible through a meta + . key binding (one assumes ‘meta’ is KDE speak for the super key, but you may want to check).

And below is a currently glimpse at what the glyph selection palette currently looks like...

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This week in KDE: Easy Emoji input and more

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KDE

Something cool this way comes… easy Emoji input! Speaking personally, lack of easy Emoji input on Plasma has been irritation for years. But no longer! Plasma now has a built-in Emoji chooser similar to the ones on other competing operating systems. Ours is invoked with the Meta+period keyboard shortcut.

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KF6: How We Organize The Work

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KDE

In the previous post, I mentioned the KF6 Workboard. I also promised that I would make a specific post once the workboard would be properly organized. I didn’t write it right away, so this post is now long overdue. Smile

If you clicked on the link above, you might be a bit scared by the massive board you’re seeing. Yes, this is a massive endeavor even if a bit less overwhelming than the kdelibs to KDE Frameworks transition (but just a bit really). Anyway, if you’re scared: I’m here to help.

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