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KDE Says Its Next Plasma Desktop Release Will Start a Full Second Faster

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According to the developer, the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment release will start a full second faster than previous versions because of the removal of the QmlObjectIncubationController component, which apparently slowed down the entire desktop, and promises to let users pin apps on the panel that contain spaces in their desktop file names.

Goodies are also coming to the upcoming KDE Applications 18.04 software suite this spring, which makes creating of new files with the Dolphin file manager instantaneous, improves drag-and-drop support from Spectacle to Chromium, and lets users configure the Gwenview image viewer to no longer display the image action buttons on thumbnails when they hover with the mouse cursor over them.

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KDE: Calamares, Qt, KDE Bugzilla, Kdenlive, KWin

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  • A Day on Krypton

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a shiny stable-yet-bleeding-edge KDE Plasma distro!

    Since Calamares has to run all over the place, and is used in derivatives of all of the “Big Five” Linux distributions, I regularly switch distro’s as a development platform. Also because I inevitably blow up the VM while running Calamares, or because an update renders the system useless. At FOSDEM I had the pleasure of chatting with the folks from the SUSE stand about OpenQA and OBS.

  • Exporting 3D content for Qt 3D with Blender

    At the heart of every 3D application is geometry. Qt 3D-based 3D applications are no different and require the user to either generate geometry or provide asset files for Qt 3D to load. This blog post demonstrates how Blender and its Python API could be used to write an exporter that generates geometry for Qt 3D.

  • KDE Receives Pineapple Fund Donation, Red Hat Decision Manager, Chef's InSpec 2.0 and More

    KDE has received a $200,000 donation from the Pineapple Fund: "With this donation, the Pineapple Fund recognizes that KDE as a community creates software which benefits the general public, advances the use of Free Software on all kinds of platforms, and protects users' privacy by putting first-class and easy to use tools in the hands of the people at zero cost."

  • KDAB’s City Lights Display with Qt 3D

    The City Lights demo is an example of Qt 3D being put to novel use to implement a deferred rendering pipeline.

  • It’s now much easier to be a bug triager

    We’ve just rolled out a significant and welcome policy change to KDE’s Bugzilla bug tracker: Everyone with an account may now edit any bug without prior permission. This means that every KDE Bugzilla user can now be a bug triager anytime they want!

  • New Kdenlive Beta is Available for Testing

    A new beta of Kdenlive the popular open source video editor is available for testing. The beta is based on a 'refactored' codebase and available as an App Image.

  • There's Experimental Work On A Vulkan Renderer For KDE's KWin

    There is an experimental branch of KDE's KWin window manager / compositor with support for Vulkan compositing.

    Over the past week Fredrik Höglund has begun work on KWin Vulkan support so this low-level, high-performance graphics API could be used for compositing rather than OpenGL. So far he charted out a lot of the fundamental Vulkan code and the necessary infrastructure work along with some basic features like for being able to render window shadows and porting some other window effects over to Vulkan.

KDE neon 5.12 review - Living on the edge

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KDE neon 5.12 is a reasonable distro. It is MUCH better than Kubuntu Aardvark but not as sweet as my 2017 favorite, Zesty Zebra. That said, it had none of the horrible problems that I saw in the 17.10 release. It's fast, there were no real errors, you get multimedia playback out of the box, reasonable smartphone and network support, and the bleeding edge of what Plasma can deliver.

On the other hand, there are some really life-sapping annoyances in the system, which do not belong in year 2018, or even 2008 for that matter. Better hardware support is needed. The decorations need a cleanup. The software arsenal is thin. Discover needs a miracle. Overall, neon behaves like a developer-focused system, and it has that rough, test-commit feel about it. It does try to balance the best of all worlds - an LTS base combined with the latest Plasma, but that's no excuse for sloppy work or bugs.

It can do better, and we have the most splendid Kubuntu 17.04 as the golden benchmark from now on until the end of times, we few, we happy few, we band of geeks, for he who tests with me together, shall be my code brother, may his git ne'er be so vile, and the persons of all genders now in bed shall feel themselves accursed, and hold their VR sets cheap ... I think you get the idea. I got carried away. Let's summarize. KDE neon 5.12, fresh, cool, sleek, needs more apps, better package management, better overall peripheral support. But there's a lot of potential and hope, and I think we will see cool things in Plasma this year. 7.5/10. Worth checking.

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KDE and GNOME Leftovers

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  • Kdenlive Café tonight and beta AppImage

    The last months for Kdenlive have been very quiet from the outside – we were not very active on the bugtracker, did not make a lot of announcements, and the 17.12.x release cycle only contained very few minor bugfixes.

    The main reason for this was the huge work that went behind the scenes for a major code refactoring that was required to allow further developments. So after more than a year working on it, we hope to get ready for the 18.04 release!

  • [Krita] Interview with Christine Garner

    I did Archaeology in University and I love history, mythology, folklore and nature. I’ve always been drawing from an early age. I graduated in 2003 with an archaeology degree. I taught myself digital art and web coding skills for fun and practical reasons. I used to do self-employed web design and admin type jobs, but in 2013 I became disillusioned with my life and had depression. I took a Foundation art course in 2013 deciding to pursue my artistic passions instead.

  • Qt 5.11 Brings New Accessibility Backend on Windows

    Accessibility technology encompasses assistive tools such as screen readers, magnifiers and braille displays, as well as APIs and frameworks that allow applications to expose elements of their UI to such tools.

  • CSS Grid

    This would totally have been a tweet or a facebook post, but I’ve decided to invest a little more energy and post these on my blog, accessible to everybody. Getting old, I guess. We’re all mortal and the web isn’t open by its own.

    In the past few days I’ve been learning about CSS grid while redesigning Flatpak and Flathub sites (still coming). And with the knowledge of really grokking only a fraction of it, I’m in love.

Qt 5.11 Alpha Released

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Qt 5.11 Alpha is released today. As usual the official Alpha is a source code delivery only, but later we will offer development snapshots of Qt 5.11 regularly via the online installer.

Please check Qt 5.11 New Features wiki to see what new is coming with Qt 5.11 release. Please note that the feature list is still in progress and not to be considered final before the first Beta release.

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Also: Qt 5.11 Alpha Released With Many Toolkit Additions

KDE receives 200,000 USD-donation from the Pineapple Fund

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KDE e.V. is announcing today it has received a donation of 200,000 USD from the Pineapple Fund.

With this donation, the Pineapple Fund recognizes that KDE as a community creates software which benefits the general public, advances the use of Free Software on all kinds of platforms, and protects users' privacy by putting first-class and easy to use tools in the hands of the people at zero cost. KDE joins a long list of prestigious charities, organizations and communities that the Pineapple Fund has so generously donated to.

"KDE is immensely grateful for this donation. We would like to express our deeply felt appreciation towards the Pineapple Fund for their generosity" said Lydia Pinscher, President of KDE e.V.. "We will use the funds to further our cause to make Free Software accessible to everyone and on all platforms. The money will help us realize our vision of creating a world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy".

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KDE: Usability & Productivity, AtCore , Krita

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  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 6
  • AtCore takes to the pi

    The Raspberry Pi3 is a small single board computer that costs around $35 (USD). It comes with a network port, wifi , bt , 4 usb ports , gpio pins , camera port , a display out, hdmi, a TRRS for analog A/V out. 1GB of ran and 4 ~1GHz armv8 cores Inside small SOC. Its storage is a microSd card they are a low cost and low power device. The Touchscreen kit is an 800×480 display that hooks to the Gpio for touch and dsi port for video. To hold our hardware is the standard touch screen enclosure that often comes with the screen if you buy it in a kit.

  • Look, new presets! Another Krita 4 development build!

    We’ve been focusing like crazy on the Krita 4 release. We managed to close some 150 bugs in the past month, and Krita 4 is getting stable enough for many people to use day in, day out. There’s still more to be done, of course! So we’ll continue fixing issues and applying polish for at least another four weeks.

    One of the things we’re doing as well is redesigning the set of default brush presets and brush tips that come with Krita. Brush tips are the little images one can paint with, and brush presets are the brushes you can select in the brush palette or brush popup. The combination of a tip, some settings and a smart bit of coding!

    Our old set was fine, but it was based on David Revoy‘s earliest Krita brush bundles, and for Krita 4 we are revamping the entire set. We’ve added many new options to the brushes since then! So, many artists are working together to create a good-looking, useful and interesting brushes for Krita 4.

KDE: Qt, Cutelyst, Spectacle, Kirigami

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  • SFXR Qt noise buffer

    I was working on adding sounds to Pixel Wheels rescue helicopter, so I started SFXR Qt and after a few experiments I came up with a decent sound. Unfortunately it did not sound that good in the game. It was much more dull than in the app. Listening again to the sound in SFXR Qt I realized there were subtle variations between each plays, which made the sound more interesting.

  • Qt in Visual Studio: Improving Performance

    In the last post, we discussed a new approach to design time and build time integration of external tools in Visual Studio using MSBuild rules and targets. This will be included in the upcoming release of version 2.2 of the Qt VS Tools. In this post, we will discuss the performance improvements that are also included in this new version.

  • Cutelyst on TechEmpower benchmarks round 15

    Since this round took a long time and was scheduled to be release many times last year I decided not to update Cutelyst to avoid not having the chance to fix any issues and have broken results. Cutelyst 1.9.0 and Qt 5.9 were used, both had some performance improvements compared to round 14, and thus you can see better results on this round compared to 14, most notably the JSON tests went from 480K request/second to 611K req/s, also due this old Cutelyst release jemalloc was again not used due a bug we had in CMake files that didn’t link against it.

  • Usability & Productivity highlight: Spectacle

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve done a lot of Usability & Productivity work for Spectacle, KDE’s screenshot tool. I’d like to share the progress! But first, a screenshot. Here’s how spectacle looks now:

  • This week in Discover (and Kirigami!), part 6

    This is going to be a double-header: today we’re discussing Discover as well as Kirigami–KDE’s UI framework that facilitates writing convergent apps that look and feel good on both the desktop and a mobile device.

    …At least that’s the idea. The truth is, KDE users have voiced a lot of criticism for how well this works out in practice. An especially common complaint is that the desktop user experience gets short shrift, and Kirigami apps feel like big phone apps.

Plasma – The road to perfection is paved with bugs

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There you go. Now, before you say “But Windows or Gnome also …” Wait. Stop. The purpose of this list is not to seek solace in failures or incomplete/imperfect implementations of desktop environment solutions that may exist out there. The purpose is to express my view, as an individual user, of the big and little things that do not seem to work well in Plasma. After all, the desktop is there to allow people to enjoy themselves, to have fun, to be productive, and whatnot. And every little papercut or inconsistency is detrimental to the experience.

It would be a nice exercise to actually do the same thing with … other desktop environments. I believe that Plasma probably has the fewest issues, as odd as it may sound after you’ve just consumed this long j’accuse list. But it is still not perfect, it’s still not good enough to everyday use, and there are many things that need to be improved. Then again, no one said creating a splendid desktop environment was going to be easy or boring, right. Take care, and perhaps in your comments, you will come up with a few more niggles that I missed. Let’s hear your thoughts. Spill them out.

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Also: Plasma 5 perfection: call for development

KDE: Plasma and Solus 4 Updates, Amarok Comes to Plasma 5

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  • Plasma and Solus 4 Updates | The Roundup #4

    Welcome to The Roundup #4, your bytes of Solus news. In this roundup, we’re talking updates to Kernels, Plasma, various items for Solus 4, and more!

  • Solus 4 To Offer Experimental GNOME Wayland Session, MATE UI Refresh

    The Solus Linux distribution has offered up some new details this week on their upcoming Solus 4 release.

    First up, their integration of Snap package management (snapd) has been deferred so it's no longer a release blocker. They will land the Snap support though still in the future when it's ready.

  • KDE Amarok Music Player Receives Revived Port To Qt5 / KF5

    While Amarok was once KDE's dominant music player, it hasn't seen a new release now in about five years and has yet to see a release based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5. But there's hope that might still happen.

    In the absence of a modern Amarok release there have been plenty of other KDE media players coming about like Elisa and Babe, but coming out today is an updated patch for bringing Amarok to a Qt5/KF5 world.

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Linux 4.9.88, 4.4.122, and 3.18.100, More Security Patches in Linux 4.16

Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS Will Ship with a New Default Layout Called "Familiar"

Ubuntu MATE's lead developer Martin Wimpress announced that the forthcoming Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system would sport a brand-new default layout for new installations. If you plan on installing or reinstalling Ubuntu MATE this spring, the upcoming 18.04 release sports a new default layout called "Familiar." According to Martin Wimpress, the new layout is based on the Traditional layout with the menu-bar replaced by Brisk Menu, which was used in previous Ubuntu MATE releases. The decision to replace the Traditional layout with the Familiar one was taken due to some technical issues when the development team tried to update it for Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). Traditional will still be available, but not enabled by default, and bears no changes. Read more

Atom 1.25

  • Atom 1.25
    Atom 1.25 has been released on our stable channel and includes GitHub package improvements, improved syntax highlighting and code folding, Python and HTML language improvements and more.
  • GitHub's Atom Hackable Text Editor Gets Performance, Responsiveness Improvements
    GitHub released a new stable version of their open-source and cross-platform Atom hackable text editor with a bunch of enhancements, bug fixes, a new Electron version, as well as performance and responsiveness improvements. Atom 1.25 is now available for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms, and it is packed with improvements for the GitHub package to let you stage and view changes affecting file mode modifications, additions to symbolic links, as well as the ability for the Diff view to no longer reset its scrolling position.

Linux Mint 19 'Tara' Cinnamon will be faster

Is Linux Mint slow? Hell, no! The operating system is plenty fast. Speed is in the eye of the beholder, however, and the Mint developers apparently thought app-launching seemed slow when using the Cinnamon desktop environment. They didn't have any proof, but they felt that both Mate and Xfce were faster in this regard. Well, rather than allow their feelings to remain unproven, the Mint devs decided to come up with a speed test to see if they were correct. Guess what? They were! Windows build time was four times slower with Cinnamon compared to Metacity, while recovery time was nearly four times slower too. So yes, app-launching on Cinnamon -- as of today -- is slow comparatively. The big benefit to pinpointing a problem, however, is that it is the first step in solving it. And so, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon will be faster as a result. Read more