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Plasma Got Tricks – I like big tricks and I cannot lie

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KDE
Reviews

The Plasma desktop is fun. Rich, detailed, with loads of goodies to explore and discover and play with. I haven’t really gotten bored with it even after a couple of years of rigorous daily testing. There’s always something new and exciting and useful to do, and you constantly come across fresh, handy aspects of desktop usage you haven’t really thought about. The discovery is progressive, which also helps navigate the Plasma environment, without getting a sensory overload of too many choices.

This article showcases only a small portion of what Plasma can do. But the best part about it is: you can completely ignore all of the above and just use it like a traditional desktop. On a day you feel adventurous, it will welcome you into its fold and uncover its many cool facets. In general, the desktop should be a background thing, a canvas to let you get things done. But it does not have to be boring. In this regard, Plasma proves that practicality and functionality do not have to come at the price of fun. You do not need to sacrifice. On the contrary. It’s one giant basket of Easter eggs. Happy hunting.

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KDE/Qt: This Week in KDE, Qt Creator, Krita Sprint, GCompris

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KDE
  • This Week in KDE, Part 3 : Touchpad KCM, Mouse KCM, Libinput

    The previous days were full with discussions since the changes I’m working on will affect the user experience directly. At last, we decided to ship the changes as it is and apply the other changes part by part. I did a Touchpad KCM UI redesign in Kirigami and I would do it for Mouse KCM too but Mouse KCM had some name changes last time so small problem occurred in my system. (KCM’s are part of the KDE Plasma Desktop so changes may be affected by other things.) The code is ready. After solving the problem, new Mouse KCM will be shipped My first coding phase plan of GSoC is kind of finished, too. My next task will be about Libinput so currently, I’m working on a bug to get used to Libinput hacking and to introduce myself to the Libinput community (actually better to say Wayland community).

  • Qt Creator 4.7 Enters Beta, Uses Clang Code Model By Default

    The Qt Company has issued its first public beta today of the Qt Creator 4.7 Qt/C++ integrated development environment.

    One of the biggest changes for the Qt Creator 4.7 cycle is the Clang Code Model is now enabled by default. This Clang-based C/C++ integration in Qt Creator succeeds the homegrown C/C++ Code Model previously employed by the IDE. Clang is being leveraged due to the C++ standards advancing much quicker in recent years, more flexibility, and greater performance.

  • Qt Creator’s Clang Code Model

    Starting with the upcoming Qt Creator 4.7, the Clang Code Model is enabled by default. That’s a great time to look at the differences between our old code model and the new Clang Code Model. But first things first.

  • Qt Creator 4.7 Beta released

    The greatest improvements were again done for our Clang based C++ support. First of all we made the Clang code model the default for Qt Creator 4.7. That is quite a milestone after years of experimenting and developing, so Nikolai has wrapped up the history and current state in a separate blog post. I’ll just summarize some of the most important changes in 4.7 here.

  • Krita Sprint: long fight with jaggy lines on OSX
  • [GCompris] GSoC 2018: Week 2 & 3

KDE Development: KWin, VDG, an Falkon

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KDE
  • Stepping down as maintainer

    After long consideration I decided that I am no longer in a position to
    be a maintainer. I currently do not follow up on reviews and hardly
    contribute any code. Given that I think it's time to pass on the torch.
    KWin is currently in a good position we have new developers working on
    various areas of KWin and my suggestion would be to split the task of
    maintainership on many shoulders, specialized for various areas.

    My lack of work lately was not just the lack of time, but to a larger
    degree a lack of motivation. I searched a lot for the reasons for the
    lack of motivation and I think I identified two core areas where KDE is
    currently heading to and where I just disagree with these directions.
    Please don't take my explanation personal, you are doing awesome work,
    it's just that I don't approve these directions. Lately I had a feeling
    of doing fundamental opposition to changes the community wants to do.
    Granted I think these changes are wrong, but I don't want to stand in
    the way, if that's what the people doing the work want.

    What I identified as the core issues is the way the VDG currently acts
    and the usability project.

  • Martin Flöser Steps Down As Maintainer Of KDE's KWin

    Martin Flöser (nee Gräßlin) who has been the maintainer of KDE's KWin since 2010 is leaving his post.

    Martin Flöser has announced he is stepping down as the maintainer of KWin. He wrote he has not been following up on code reviews and hardly contributes any code recently and so is now passing on the torch. No successor has yet been named but he suggests that it be split amongst several individuals.

  • KDE Developer On Martin Flöser's Departure: VDG Does Not Exist

    KDE developer Alessandro Longo has penned a response about the KDE "Visual Design Group" with Martin Flöser announcing earlier today he is stepping away as KWin maintainer in part due to his frustrations with the VDG.

  • VDG does not exist

    VDG (originally Visual Design Group, now just V Design Group) was created by Jens Reuterberg during the KDE4-Plasma5 transition, it included experts from different areas and they did a great work, with a solid and coherent vision about UI/UX. Since KDE4 times, developers did an awesome work both implementing visual and usability changes and improving Plasma’s performance and stability.

  • Third week of coding phase, GSoC'18

    API consumed a humongous time of both me and my mentor David. This exposes the Falkon c++ methods of TabWidget class as singleton Falkon.Tabs and methods of WebTab class as uncreatable type Falkon.Tab.

    This time I am not including the WebExtension compatibility table as the APIs developed are not similar to the WebExtension APIs. Also, I am very thankful to my mentor David Rosca for always helping me.

KDE and GNOME: This Week in Usability & Productivity, Krita, Pitivi and More

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KDE
GNOME
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 21

    Another week, another dose of Usability and Productivity in KDE land! We picked up a lot of great improvements to Discover, a much-requested change to allow Kate and Dolphin to be run with the root user account again, and quite a lot of important bugfixes.

  • A Progression of Drawing Devices

    Some time ago, I compared 2:1 devices, which was a new form factor back then. This time, triggered by an experiment with a Wacom Mobile Studio Pro during the last Krita sprint, I want to look into the various drawing devices I’ve used over the years, and which ones worked well, or not.

  • Other People’s Work

    Most of my writing on this blog is about FreeBSD, KDE, or Calamares. So it gives a bit of a one-sided view of what I do. There’s lots of pictures of rhubarb crumble, for instance, that never see the bloggy light-of-day. But I can build more than just software! Two months ago an unusually heavy storm blew down part of the fence in my back yard, which wasn’t really good for the privacy of that yard.

  • Not just Krita at the 2018 Krita Sprint

    At the 2018 Krita Sprint we had a special guest: Valeriy Malov, the maintainer of the Plasma Wacom tablet settings module. We’ve asked him to write about his experience at the sprint, so over to him!

    Hello,

    This is my Krita 2018 sprint report and general report / pre-release announcement for new version of wacomtablet.

  • Bringing slow motion to Pitivi

    Last year, I worked on the project ‘Pitivi: Color correction interface using three chromatic wheels’ as part of my Google Summer of Code. This year again, I’m working on Pitivi under the GNOME organisation. Mathieu Duponchellle and Thibault Saunier are mentoring my project this time.

  • Input Event Handling in Nautilus

    Gestures like these is now how almost all input is handled in Nautilus. The exception is the stuff that has no event controller counterpart in GTK+ 3.

    This summer I’m working on porting Nautilus to GTK+ 4 as part of Google Summer of Code, and I’ve spent the entirety of the time on getting rid of deprecated 3.x API and obsolete ways of handling events. Despite slightly hack-ish ways of working around deprecations, it’s been smooth sailing so far – No Regressions™! Almost ready to switch†!

Semi-Automatic LaTeX: KDE’s Kile

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KDE
Software

One reason that I appreciate KDE is that I am always discovering new applications. In fact, I make a point of regularly searching for them. My most recent discovery is Kile, a graphic editor for LaTeX. Kile is not the first of its kind, but, unlike the better known LyX, whose interface resembles a word processor, it makes no attempt to hide the structure that shapes the output. Instead, like the Bluefish editor, it is what I think of as a semi-automatic editor. Instead, users add markup from a list of options in a display in which tags are visible. With this approach, Kile eliminates the drudgery of typing markup while making both troubleshooting and the learning of LaTeX easier.

LaTeX, of course, is one of free software’s legendary applications, with a history that predates Linux. Before the code for OpenOffice.org was released, it was the most sophisticated tool on Linux for complex formatting of text. It remains popular today in academia, largely because of its ability to layout formulas. Despite the fact that the principle behind it is similar to any markup language like XML or HTML,X has a reputation for being difficult to learn. The main difficulty, though, is not so much in the basic concept, or even the fact that tags are not in pairs so much as finding the right markup or extension libraries among the dozens that are available. One advantage of Kile is that it displays a thorough (although possibly not exhaustive) list of tags that are always available in the interface, so that users do not have to remember all the available choices.

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Also: Last Month in AtCore / Atelier

Kubuntu 18.04 LTS Review: The Friendly Operating System

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KDE
Reviews
Ubuntu

Kubuntu 18.04 LTS is complete and full-featured system ready for all desktop purposes. It's easy to use, really, without experimental changes that frequently happens like what we see on Ubuntu, for both long-time and new Kubuntu users. It's complete with all applications included, and it's full-featured with all conveniences and abilities you get including easy access to available software via Discover and Muon. If you use it, you will have 3 years of support of the KDE components plus 5 years of support (from Kubuntu Team) of the Ubuntu base components (from Canonical). Finally, happy using Kubuntu!

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KDE and GNOME Leftovers

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KDE
GNOME
  • A Quick Look At What's Coming To KDE Connect
  • Second week of coding phase, GSoC'18

    The week was totally involved in developing QML APIs similar to WebExtension APIs.

  • Shadows in Window Screenshots

    Every few months there is a review about Plasma by dedoimedo and one critic point is that screenshots include the shadow. As I’m rather annoyed of these complaints about this I’m now doing a blog post to explain the situation so that in future this can be skipped.

    Shadows in the screenshots are not a bug, but an intended feature. It was implemented by me in 2010 on request by Nuno Pinheiro, our Oxygen god. Before screenshots did not support shadows and looked really, really bad as the window decorations are round and contained black corners. Shadows were part of the design and that was completely lacking. So we came up with a rather decent solution on how to screenshot the window with shadows included. I first mentioned this new effect in this blog post from August 2010.

  • Summary of my first two weeks at GSoC
  • Five or More Modernisation Overview

    Before jumping right into the Five or More implementation plan and details, I would like to keep you updated with the progress made thus far.

    I started working on some project-related tasks during the community bonding period, to cover up for the upcoming exam and research session and any other time frame in which I might not be as active as I would like to. Also, during this period, I had a previously announced one week trip, which kept me from working more on the project.

    [...]

    Then, I intend to create a basic Vala app and window based on the template generated by GNOME Builder, only using the UI file that already exists in the Five or More repository. If everything goes as planned, I will start adding one component at a time in the short run, starting with the application menu, the callbacks for the UI buttons, the preferences window, the score and the preview widgets, and lastly, the game area.

  • LAS @ GiNA Planning + GNOME 3.26 Release Party in SF

    GNOME in North America (this isn’t official, but it’s the name we’re proposing for the event in North America that is a consolidation of the Boston Summit and the West Coast Summit)

Krita Interview with Răzvan Rădulescu

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KDE
Interviews

Hi! My name’s Răzvan Rădulescu, I’m from Romania. I’ve had an interest in drawing since I was little. Unfortunately Romania is one of those countries that can crush creativity at a very early stage. At the time I was also interested in computers and started learning programming by myself, finally ended up doing physics in college and about three years ago I started playing with the idea of digital drawing and painting. The first two years have been painting on and off different things to get the hang of it, but about a year ago I decided to think about this path as more than just a hobby.

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Also: Krita Manual Updated

2018 KDE Connect Development Sprint

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KDE

Between the 23rd and 25th of March, KDE Connect developers gathered in Verse's offices in Barcelona to work together for a weekend. It was the first meeting KDE Connect had in a while, and it was very productive!

It's been some time since the sprint, and the work carried out there has already started to trickle down into our devices. Nevertheless, we wanted to shed some light on our accomplishments, and encourage everyone to participate.

Holding discussions and making decisions is much easier in person. We kicked off the sprint by going through our backlog of ideas to decide what was worth implementing. That helped us set the focus for the sprint and resume some blocked tasks.

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Also: Application Modernization and Migration Tech Talk + Scotland JBug Meetup

Plasma 5.13 – Amazing Tux, How Sweet Plasma

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KDE
Reviews

Plasma 5.13 is (going to be) a very nice release. It builds on the solid foundation that is the LTS edition, and adds cool, smart touches. The emphasis is on seamless integration of elements, which is what separates professionals from amateurs. It’s all around how the WHOLE desktop behaves, and not individual programs in isolation. And Plasma is making great strides, offering a polished version of an already mature and handsome product, with extra focus on fonts, media and browser connectivity and good performance.

There are some rough patches. Apart from the obvious beta issues, those goes without saying, KDE Connect ought to be a true multi-phone product, the network stack really needs to be spotless, and that means full Microsoft Windows inter-operability, Spectacle should allow for configurable shadows and alpha channel, and I want to see if the decorative backend has been cleaned up, i.e. can you search and install new themes and icons without encountering useless errors and inconsistencies.

But all in all, I’m quite impressed. The changes are big and noticeable, and above all, meaningful. You don’t just get features for the sake of it, you get things that improve the quality and consistency of the desktop, that maximize fun and productivity, and there’s deep thought in orchestrating it all together. It ain’t just a random bunch of options that happen to work. I like seeing patterns in things, and I’m happy when there’s functional harmony. This spring season of distro testing hasn’t been fun, and Plasma 5.13 is balm for my weary wrists, so hurting from all that angry typing. More than worth a spin, and highly recommended. Full steam on, Tuxers.

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Also: This week in Usability & Productivity, part 20

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More in Tux Machines

Servers: Kubernetes, Oracle's Cloudwashing and Embrace of ARM

  • Bloomberg Eschews Vendors For Direct Kubernetes Involvement
    Rather than use a managed Kubernetes service or employ an outsourced provider, Bloomberg has chosen to invest in deep Kubernetes expertise and keep the skills in-house. Like many enterprise organizations, Bloomberg originally went looking for an off-the-shelf approach before settling on the decision to get involved more deeply with the open source project directly. "We started looking at Kubernetes a little over two years ago," said Steven Bower, Data and Infrastructure Lead at Bloomberg. ... "It's a great execution environment for data science," says Bower. "The real Aha! moment for us was when we realized that not only does it have all these great base primitives like pods and replica sets, but you can also define your own primitives and custom controllers that use them."
  • Oracle is changing how it reports cloud revenues, what's it hiding? [iophk: "probably Microsoft doing this too" (cloudwashing)]
     

    In short: Oracle no longer reports specific revenue for cloud PaaS, IaaS and SaaS, instead bundling them all into one reporting line which it calls 'cloud services and licence support'. This line pulled in 60% of total revenue for the quarter at $6.8 billion, up 8% year-on-year, for what it's worth.

  • Announcing the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 for ARM
    Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 for the ARM architecture.
  • Oracle Linux 7 Now Ready For ARM Servers
    While Red Hat officially launched RHEL7 for ARM servers last November, on Friday Oracle finally announced the general availability of their RHEL7-derived Oracle Linux 7 for ARM. Oracle Linux 7 Update 5 is available for ARM 64-bit (ARMv8 / AArch64), including with their new Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 based on Linux 4.14.

Graphics: XWayland, Ozone-GBM, Freedreno, X.Org, RadeonSI

  • The Latest Batch Of XWayland / EGLStream Improvements Merged
    While the initial EGLStreams-based support for using the NVIDIA proprietary driver with XWayland was merged for the recent X.Org Server 1.20 release, the next xorg-server release will feature more improvements.
  • Making Use Of Chrome's Ozone-GBM Intel Graphics Support On The Linux Desktop
    Intel open-source developer Joone Hur has provided a guide about using the Chrome OS graphics stack on Intel-based Linux desktop systems. In particular, using the Chrome OS graphics stack on the Linux desktop is primarily about using the Ozone-GBM back-end to Ozone that allows for direct interaction with Intel DRM/KMS support and evdev for input.
  • Freedreno Reaches OpenGL ES 3.1 Support, Not Far From OpenGL 3.3
    The Freedreno Gallium3D driver now supports all extensions required by OpenGL ES 3.1 and is also quite close to supporting desktop OpenGL 3.3.
  • X.Org Is Looking For A North American Host For XDC2019
    If software development isn't your forte but are looking to help out a leading open-source project while logistics and hospitality are where you excel, the X.Org Foundation is soliciting bids for the XDC2019 conference. The X.Org Foundation is looking for proposals where in North America that the annual X.Org Developers' Conference should be hosted in 2019. This year it's being hosted in Spain and with the usual rotation it means that in 2019 they will jump back over the pond.
  • RadeonSI Compatibility Profile Is Close To OpenGL 4.4 Support
    It was just a few days ago that the OpenGL compatibility profile support in Mesa reached OpenGL 3.3 compliance for RadeonSI while now thanks to the latest batch of patches from one of the Valve Linux developers, it's soon going to hit OpenGL 4.4. Legendary open-source graphics driver contributor Timothy Arceri at Valve has posted 11 more patches for advancing RadeonSI's OpenGL compatibility profile support, the alternative context to the OpenGL core profile that allows mixing in deprecated OpenGL functionality. The GL compatibility profile mode is generally used by long-standing workstation software and also a small subset of Linux games.

Software, KDE and GNOME Leftovers

  • Drawing Feynman Diagrams for Fun and Profit with JaxoDraw
    When first developed, theoretical physics was mostly done either with pen and paper or on a chalkboard. Not much thought was given as to how you could render these drawings within a document being written on a computer. JaxoDraw is meant to help fill in that gap in document layout and provide the ability to render these drawings correctly and give output you can use in your own documents. JaxoDraw is written in Java, so it should run under almost any operating system. Unfortunately, it isn't likely to be in the package repository for most distributions, so you'll need to download it from the project's website. But, because it's packaged as a jar file, it's relatively easy to run.
  • Kodi v18 Leia - Alpha 2
    We have been relatively quiet for a while and several months have past since the first pre-release Alpha build. Today we present you the second official Alpha build in this pre-release trilogy. It is a continuation of the first one which was released beginning of March and contains our continous battle against the dark side that consist of bugs and usability problems.
  • Kodi 18 Alpha 2 Released With Stability & Usability Improvements + New Wayland Code
    It's been a few months since the Kodi 18 Alpha while available today is the second alpha release of this major update to the open-source, cross-platform HTPC software. Kodi developers have been spending the past few months working on a range of stability and usability enhancements to this software formerly known as XBMC. Kodi 18's latest additions include live TV viewing improvements, Windows support improvements, continued Android integration enhancements, re-introducing Wayland protocol support, video player enhancements, and more.
  • LibreOffice color selector as GTK widgets
    Here's what the native GTK widget mode for the color picker looks like at the moment under Wayland. A GtkMenuButton displaying a color preview of the currently selected color and a GtkPopover containing the color selection widgetry.
  • TenFourFox FPR8 available
    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 8 final is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). There are no changes from the beta except for outstanding security patches. As usual, it will go live Monday night, assuming no changes.
KDE:
  • Latte Dock, Beta 1 for v0.8 (v0.7.95)
    Hello everyone Latte Dock v0.7.95 which is the first beta of v0.8 is here. Latte v0.8 is a huge release and one of its main goals is to make the user feel with it very natural and comfortable. [...] Important for contributors: Beta1 will last 10 days, during these days translators will be able to report string improvements at bugs.kde.org. English isnt my native language, (proof reading / simpler expanations) might be necessary. When Beta2 is released around 3 to 5 July the string freeze will take place. Beta2 period will last 10 more days. So v0.8 is scheduled for 13 to 15 Jully. During all these days improvements and fixes can be landed through review process at kde phabricator.
  • Musing About Communities Size And Activity
    If you remember my previous installment I raised a couple more questions which I pointed out as tougher to address and I'd keep on the side for a while. Well, I decided to look at something simpler in the meantime... which unexpectedly took more time than expected. First I thought I'd try to reproduce the cohesion graph from Paul's Akademy 2014 talk... but it looks like we have a reproducibility issue on that one. However hard I try I don't manage to reproduce it. What I get is very different, so either there's a bug in my tentative script or there was a bug in Paul's script or somehow the input data is different. So one more mysteries to explore, I'm at a loss about what's going on with that one so far.
  • Second Post and First Weekly
    Because of the last one, I have been refactoring related code in the last month. The refactoring is generally completed, with KisDlgInternalColorSelector being the last dependency that haven’t been moved to enable KisPaletteView to be used everywhere needed.
GNOME:
  • Ubuntu Developers Working On Improvements To GNOME Software Store
    Canonical/Ubuntu developers are working on improvements to the GNOME Software "app store" and recently held an in-person design sprint along with one upstream GNOME developer for coming up with improvements. The Ubuntu developers working on improvements to GNOME Software were joined by prolific GNOME contributor Richard Hughes for brainstorming improvements to better GNOME Software over the months to come.
  • App Launching From GNOME Shell Now More Robust Under Memory Pressure & Faster
    Right now on systems with low amounts of available system memory, GNOME Shell can sometimes fail to launch applications due to an error over not being able to allocate memory in the fork process. With the latest rounds of Glib optimizations, this should no longer be the case.
  • GNOME Web Browser is Adding a Reader Mode
    An experimental reader mode will ship in the next version of GNOME Web, aka Epiphany. The feature is already available to try in the latest development builds of the GTK Webkit-based web browser, released this week as part of the GNOME 3.29.3 milestone.

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