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Plasma5 for Slackware: KDE 5_20.05. Also, new Ardour 6.0

Filed under
KDE
Slack

A new batch of Plasma5 packages for Slackware-current is available now. The KDE-5_20.05 release is also the last monthly update you’ll see from me for a while in my ‘ktown‘ repository. I expect Pat to add Plasma5 to Slackware-current, but I am done waiting and have an urgent need to dedicate my spare time to other matters. With PAM finally added to the core distro, there should no longer be a showstopper for getting rid of KDE4 and replacing it with Plasma5.

And remember, these packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. Along with adding the May batch for -current, I have removed the old (KDE 5_17.11) Plasma5 packages that were still in my ‘ktown’ repository for Slackware 14.2. They have been un-maintained for two and a half years, who knows what security issues they cause. If you really want or need Plasma5, migrate to Slackware-current please.

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Plasma Mobile update: April-May 2020

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KDE

It’s been a while since the last status update on Plasma Mobile, so let’s take a look at what happened since then.

To assist new people in contributing, we organized a virtual mini Plasma Mobile sprint in April. During the three days, we discussed many things, including our current tasks, the websites and documentation, our apps and many other topics. Most of our important tasks have been asigned to people, many of them have been implemented already.

On Saturday, there was a training day, with four training sessions on the technology behind Plasma Mobile...

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Sunsetting XRandR Brightness

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KDE

One of the first features I added back then was smooth brightness changes. PowerDevil supports three ways of changing screen brightness: through XRandR configuration, through DDC (display data channel, for desktop monitors, experimental and not built by default), and by writing to sysfs (/sys/class/backlight or /sys/class/leds). Since the latter requires privileges and uses a helper binary through KDE’s KAuth framework, I only implemented the animation for the XRandR code path, which was executed in the same process.

Obviously, XRandR doesn’t work on Wayland, and it seems that modern graphics drivers don’t support changing brightness through it anymore either. I recently sat down and wrote a patch to have the helper binary execute a similar animation. KAuth works quite magically by exposing methods defined in an .actions file through DBus and then calling them as slots through Qt’s meta object. Unfortunately, the way it is designed doesn’t allow for delayed replies, which I wanted to use so the job only finished once the animation was completed in order to keep PowerDevil’s state consistent. I then found that KAuth randomly keeps its helper running for 10 seconds, more than enough for a 250ms animation.

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Wrapland redone

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
KDE

The KWinFT project with its two major open source offerings KWinFT and Wrapland was announced one month ago. This made quite some headlines back then but I decided to keep it down afterwards and push the project silently forward on a technical side.

Now I am pleased to announce the release of a beta version for the next stable release 5.19 in two weeks. The highlights of this release are a complete redesign of Wrapland's server library and two more projects joining KWinFT.

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Also: Two More Projects Join KWinFT Fork Of KDE KWin, Beta Milestone Reached

Interview with Clément Mona

Filed under
KDE
Interviews

I wanted to try someting different and a friend of mine showed me Krita in 2017.

I loved how intuitive Krita is, I handled the program very fast, more over my Wacom tablet worked perfectly on it, and that was not the case with oher applications at this time.

I love how fast I can paint with Krita. Also, the brush customisation is very nice and complete.

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KDE: Elisa, Krita and KDE Itinerary

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KDE
  • UPnP DLNA support in Elisa

    It has been a long time since I have written about Elisa. In the meantime, I have been busy working on Elisa and also some other personal side projects. I plan to write about them later.

    One area, Elisa is not fulfilling my needs is the support for UPnP DLNA. I am working actively on that but this is a lot of work and my plan is to probably release a preview of it in the next release to get feedback on it.

  • First Krita Beta for Android and ChromeOS in Play Store

    Thanks to the hard work of Sharaf Zaman, Krita is now available in the Google Play Store for Android tablets and Chromebooks (not for Android phones).

    This beta, based on Krita 4.2.9, is the full desktop version of Krita, so it doesn’t have a special touch user interface. But it’s there, and you can play with it.

    Unlike the Windows and Steam store, we don’t ask for money for Krita in the store, since it’s the only way people can install Krita on those devices, but you can buy a supporter badge from within Krita to support development.

  • Efficient Coordinate to Timezone Mapping

    For KDE Itinerary it’s crucial we know the correct timezone for each element in the timeline, precisely enough to also handle complex situations like daylight saving time changes during an international flight. How can we reliably determine the timezone though, e.g. given a geographic coordinate, offline and on a resource-constraint mobile device?

    [...]

    The use of an image format has the advantage that precision/cost trade-offs are pretty obvious, it’s very easy to create using the above mentioned timezone shapefiles and QGIS, and debugging can be done visually with an image viewer.

    This approach has been in use for the offline preparation of KDE Itinerary’s extractor engine knowledge base so far. Not so much for it’s runtime efficiency though (as we are using a gigantic 27942 x 13968 map), but for its ease of use.

    The efficiency of this comes from the run-length encoding of scanlines, which is very good at leveraging one-dimensional spatial proximity of the encoded features, ie. a typical scanline only contains few continuous regions, independent of the resolution. It however doesn’t use the same property in the second dimension at all. Image formats that exploit this like e.g. PNG achieve an even better compression, but at the cost of constant memory decoding.

This week in KDE: We have migrated to GitLab!

Filed under
KDE

After years of using Phabricator, KDE has officially begun the migration to GitLab! So far we are using it for patch review, and developer task tracking will be migrated soon. We are still using Bugzilla for bugs and feature requests as migrating those functions to GitLab is a significant project in and of itself! Already the KDE community is enjoying GitLab’s smoother workflow; why not take advantage of this and submit a merge request?

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Welcome PDF Quirk

Filed under
KDE
Software

How often have you scanned a letter, a certificate or whatever and looked for the right way to call $UTILITY to convert it to a PDF that can be shared via internet?

For this very common use case I could not find a tool to make that really easy for the Linux desktop. Given my mission to help making the Linux desktop more common in the small business world (do you know Kraft?) I spent some time starting this little project.

Please welcome PDF Quirk, the desktop app to easily create PDFs out of images from storage or directly from the scanner!

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Qt Creator 4.12.1 released

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.12.1 !

Aside from various other improvements, this release of Qt Creator fixes some crashes at startup when reading older Clang tools settings and when restoring Android kits after upgrading Qt.
Get Qt Creator 4.12.1

The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under "Qt Creator", and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.12.1 is also available as an update in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

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QML Online - First stable version!

Filed under
KDE

Finally, after working since October and learning a bunch about WebAssembly, CSS, HTML (sad, right ?) and emscripten, I can happily announce a stable version of qmlonline! In this post, I'm going to show the idea behind the project and some code that may help you with your future adventures.

Everything starts with QHot, that I describe as "Hot reload for nested QML files", a useful tool for anyone that likes to prototype UI elements or ideas with a real-time feedback of what you are typing in QML. I noticed that compiling the project or recalling qml/qmlscene tools just to test and check my ideas was pretty annoying and time-consuming, the desire to have something like godbolt or quick-bench started growing. My objective was something that was closer to these tools but for QML development, and that is how QHot was born.

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