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GSoC Funds for Krita Development and Outreachy for Summer 2019

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KDE
Google
  • Our 2019 Google Summer of Code Students

    Krita, part of KDE, takes part in the fourteenth edition of Google Summer of Code. Four students will be working on a wide variety of  projects. Here’s the shortlist:

    Sharaf Zaman will be working on porting Krita to Android. In fact, he already has a port of Krita for Android that already starts on some devices! The port is still missing libraries, scripts to automate building the dependencies and Krita: the first goal of the project is have a dependable, reproducible way of building Krita for Android. Initially, we won’t do much if any work on a nice tablet GUI.

  • Outreachy Summer 2019 Participants & Projects Announced

    In addition to Google announcing the accepted GSoC 2019 summer projects, the Outreachy organization on Monday also announced their accepted participants and projects for this internship effort that encourages women and other under-represented groups in technology to get involved in the open-source movement.

KDE: KDE’s Usability & Productivity Report, Elisa 0.4 Beta and Thoughts on Bookmarks

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KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 69

    It’s time for your weekly dose of KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative!

    But first, I want to draw everyone’s attention to our Plasma 5.16 wallpaper competition. In addition to getting their wallpaper used as the default background for millions of users of KDE Plasma 5.16, the winner also receives a Slimbook One computer! So what are you waiting for!? Go and submit an awesome wallpaper! Here are the rules.

  • Elisa 0.4 Beta Release and More New Features

    It is a goal to have a first class support of Android in Elisa. Currently, the only thing really done is the support for discovering your music on Android.

    Android provides a service a little bit similar to Baloo allowing an application to query all the music files on a device. Elisa is supporting that and a very simple interface allow to see that.

  • How I put order in my bookmarks and found a better way to organise them

    I have gone through several stages of this and so far nothing has stuck as ideal, but I think I am inching towards it.

    To start off, I have to confess that while I love the internet and the web, I loathe having everything in the browser. The browser becoming the OS is what seems to be happening, and I hate that thought. I like to keep things locally, having backups, and control over my documents and data. Although I changed my e-mail provider(s) several times, I still have all my e-mail locally stored from 2003 until today.

    I also do not like reading longer texts on an LCD, so I usually put longer texts into either Wallabag or Mozilla’s Pocket to read them later on my eInk reader (Kobo Aura). BTW, Wallabag and Pocket both have their pros and cons themselves. Pocket is more popular and better integrated into a lot of things (e.g. Firefox, Kobo, etc.), while Wallabag is fully FOSS (even the server) and offers some extra features that are in Pocket either subject to subscription or completely missing.

    Still, an enormous amount of information is (and should be!) on the web, so each of us needs to somehow keep track and make sense of it Smile

    So, with that intro out of the way, here is how I tackle(d) this mess.

KDE Partition Manager 4.0

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KDE

After 1.5 years in development I would like to announce a new version of KDE Partition Manager and KPMcore library.

The main highlight of this release is that GUI does not need to run as root user. Instead we use KAuth framework (note that in the future we plan to use lower level Polkit API directly but this work is not started yet). GUI runing as unprivileged user also makes our Wayland port work perfectly fine. As part of porting Partition Manager to KAuth we also did the following ports:

KPMcore backend was ported away from libparted to sfdisk (part of util-linux). Many thanks to util-linux maintainer Karel Zak who promptly fixed most of the sfdisk bugs that I noticed during porting.
Caio Jordão Carvalho ported S.M.A.R.T. code away form unmaintained libatasmart to smartmontools.

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Also: KDE Partition Manager 4.0 Released After Modernization Improvements

KDE Partition Manager 4.0

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KDE
Software

After 1.5 years in development I would like to announce a new version of KDE Partition Manager and KPMcore library.

The main highlight of this release is that GUI does not need to run as root user. Instead we use KAuth framework (note that in the future we plan to use lower level Polkit API directly but this work is not started yet). GUI runing as unprivileged user also makes our Wayland port work perfectly fine.

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KDE/Qt: Qt 5.13 Plan, Kdenlive and Craft

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KDE
  • Qt 5.13 Will Still Try To Ship In May

    The third beta of the Qt 5.13 tool-kit is now available for testing as the developers try to get this update ready to ship as stable in May. 

    Jani Heikkinen of The Qt Company announced this third beta today. A fourth beta is expected as they are still working to update from OpenSSL 1.0 to 1.1 this cycle. Following that, a release candidate will come once their blocker bugs are addressed. As of writing, there are just nine blocker bugs at present ranging from Android crashes to pulling in new Chrome patches to WebAssembly issues.

  • FOSSPicks

    Kdenlive is one of those applications that catches you by surprise. One minute it seems little more than a quick Qt-built GUI wrapped around some command-line tools to concatenate video files, and the next minute it's spending months on hiatus being rewritten and refactored into something that can genuinely start to compete with Final Cut Pro on macOS. This is what's happening with Kdenlive; you'll find the all new version in the KDE Applications 19.04 release. To be fair, it already was the best open source video editor available, barring perhaps Blender if you needed absolute power and had the patience to master its idiosyncratic user interface.

    Many who have perhaps not used Kdenlive for a while won't realize that it now includes some rather advanced features. One, for example, allows you to use low quality copies of a clip as proxies for edits you want to make. This saves CPU and storage resources and is perfect for our 8K future. There's also a brilliant Title Editor toolbar that enables you to create 2D text frames without having to resort to an external package. This important function is always overlooked in open source video editors, as they often focus on performance and clip editing. However, adding titles is equally important. You only have to look at the most popular YouTube videos to see how words, spacing, shadows, gradients, and images are spliced into video segments to create a professional and snappy video. Dropping an alpha-blended Gimp text render doesn't really cut it, unless you're creating a video about Gimp. Kdenlive has done all this for some time, which has perhaps been our only criticism: It was difficult to see where new developments were taking the project.

  • Craft: Platforms and Compiler

    While my last post was still about the new cache and which compilers we should support, the pre built binaries for Craft (the cache) are now 2 years old. They are used for continues integration and to speed up user builds.

    We now provide binaries for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

KaOS 2019.04

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GNU
KDE
Linux

As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.57.0, Plasma 5.14.4 and KDE Applications 19.04.0. All built on Qt 5.12.3.

A new Glibc 2.29/GCC 8.3.0/Binutils 2.32 based toolchain is among the many changes to the base of the system. Updates to Systemd, LLVM, MariaDB, Protobuf, Mesa, Polkit and Qt required the rebuild of a large percentage of the KaOS repositories. The removal of Python2 from the KaOS repositories is ongoing, many more packages are now build on Python3 exclusively, goal is to be Python2 free by fall/early winter 2019.

Highlights of KDE Applications 19.04 include an extensive re-write of Kdenlive as more than 60% of its internals has changed, improving its overall architecture, Dolphin introduces smarter tab placement and KMail comes with support for language tools (grammar checker).

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KDE: Kate, Krita and Privacy Sprint in Leipzig

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KDE
  • Kate Language Server Protocol Client

    The Language Server Protocol (LSP) allows the integration of stuff like code completion, jump to definition, symbol search and more into an application without manual re-implementation for each language one wants to support. LSP doesn’t fully allow an integration like KDevelop or Qt Creator do with the libclang based tooling aimed for C/C++ but on the other side offers the possibility to interface with plenty of languages without a large effort on the client side.

    If one takes a look at some current LSP clients list, a lot of editors and IDEs have joined the LSP family in the last years.

    In the past I was always scared away to start implementing this in Kate, as no readily available library was around to do the low-level work for the client. Whereas you get some reference stuff for the JSON based protocol for JavaScript and such, for Qt nothing was around.

  • Krita Interview with Locke

    I’ve been hearing about Krita for a long time and desperately wanting to try it, but, as a Mac user I didn’t have access to the program until it became available at the end of last year. I went and downloaded it as soon as I found out there was a Mac version.

  • Privacy Sprint in Leipzig

    Our three main goals for the general direction we want to take KDE in the next couple of years are: Top-notch Usability and Productivity for Basic Software, Streamlined Onboarding of New Contributors, as well as Privacy Software. The first sprint dedicated to one of our goals, Privacy Software, took place in March in the City of Leipzig. It took place in the former “Fernsprechamt” (telephone exchange), quite a fitting location when it comes to privacy, isn’t it?

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 68

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KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 68

    Welcome to week 68 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! Like many others, this one is full of nice little quality-of-life fixes that should make your experience of using KDE software nicer.

  • KDE Plasma 5.16 Will Stop Resetting Your HiDPI Scaling When Changing Displays

    KDE Plasma right now is affected by an annoying bug where connecting or disconnecting a monitor will end up resetting your HiDPI scaling factors. Fortunately, that is now fixed for Plasma 5.16.0.

    KDE's HiDPI scaling support has been in good shape but an annoying bug is that anytime a display is connected/disconnected will lead to all display scaling be reset to a scaling factor of one.

Bringing KContacts and KCalCore to KDE Frameworks

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KDE

Both KContacts and KCalCore actually used to be part of the KDE Frameworks predecessors since the KDE 2 and KDE 4 era respectively (kdelibs and kdepimlibs). However during the KF5 era they initially ended up in the KDE Application release, mainly due to dependencies on legacy code like the old KDateTime classes from KDELibs4Support.

With the legacy dependencies removed since the 2017 Randa sprint, it’s finally time to get those libraries back to that level with all the KDE Frameworks guarantees on API and ABI stability. This is particularly useful for components that aren’t part of the KDE Application release cycle currently, such as Zanshin or Calindori. Following the KDE Frameworks policies makes libraries much easier to consume, while the monthly release cycle enables us to get improvements deployed quickly and continuously to our users.

To make the transition as smooth as possible for distributions, the plan is to follow the same approach that was already used previously when moving KHolidays and Syndication to KDE Frameworks. That is have one final release with KDE Application that already uses the same naming and ABI as the final framework, and then start doing KDE Framework releases, so we have a drop-in replacement for the last KDE Application release. Distributions can then transition to the framework release whenever it’s convenient for them and without impact on the depending applications.

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Ultrabook & Bionic - Running Plasma

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KDE
Reviews

The more you use a system, the more you detect potential problems. Mind, I haven't come up with seven Slimbook combat reports for no good reason (so far). That said, Trusty gave me no grief at all, so I am a bit miffed that there were some glitches, both with Unity and Plasma here. Mostly isolated problems that did not recur, so these could just be the ghosts after the upgrade. Nothing major, and overall, 'twas a good test and post-upgrade experience.

The good side of the coin is - the Plasma desktop environment is stylish, you can run it in the nostalgia mode if you like, it's super fast, it's super efficient, with great responsiveness and low battery usage, it works well, and offers a wealth of goodies. This is definitely a setup I'm comfortable with, and I can use it for important, real productivity tasks. Now, the ideal state of things would be Trusty Forever, but that's not possible. Looking across the entire spectrum of operating systems, the golden days of stability and quality seem to be behind us. But while perfection may be half an asymptote away, my Vivobook running Plasma is a very sensible solution for everyday needs. In a way, Plasma has proven itself once again. And on that note, we end.

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More KDE: New Features in Elisa: part 2

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Best Open Source Android Alternative OS for Smartphones

As most of the trade and technology-loving persons already heard about the US-China Trade War and Huawei-Google fight. Now, so many Huawei device users and Android enthusiasts are wondering what will be the next Android alternative OS (Operating System) for smartphones. Without Google and its services, the Android platform is difficult to run properly on a smartphone. But we also know that Huawei is a giant company and their research and development is so much effective. That means Huawei will survive with their own OS. But if you think about the different alternative operating systems that are running and available in the market. Here is the list of best Open Source Android Alternative OS for Smartphones which you can use easily. All the mentioned Android alternative operating system are open source based. These options are available to us. Read more

Events: Linux Plumbers, SUSE in Germany and LibreOffice Paris HackFest

  • Linux Plumbers Earlybird Registration Quota Reached, Regular Registration Opens 30 June
    A few days ago we added more capacity to the earlybird registration quota, but that too has now filled up, so your next opportunity to register for Plumbers will be Regular Registration on 30 June … or alternatively the call for presentations to the refereed track is still open and accepted talks will get a free pass.
  • Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference Frankfurt 2019
    In a week’s time, team SUSE will be heading to Frankfurt, Germany for this year’s Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference. Hundreds of attendees from all around Europe will be paying Kap Europa Congress Centre in Frankfurt a visit – to network, speak to exhibitors, pick up valuable nuggets of information from the Gartner analysts, attend sessions to learn more about the latest happenings in IT infrastructure and operations and enjoy all that the beautiful city of Frankfurt has to offer.
  • LibreOffice Paris HackFest
    The LibreOffice Paris HackFest 2019 will take place on the weekend of July 5th-6th, at le 137, which is at 137 Boulevard Magenta, Paris 10e, France. The event is sponsored by INNO3, hosting the hackfest in their building, and The Document Foundation, providing reimbursement for travels and accommodations. LibreOffice Paris HackFest will start on Friday at 10AM. During the day there will be an informal meeting of the French community, to discuss local activities, while developers and other volunteers will hack the LibreOffice code. The venue will be available until 2AM. On Saturday the venue will open at 10AM, to allow people to continue working, and share hackfest results. The event will officially end at 8PM, but on Sunday there will be a city tour.

Security: GNU/Linux in Space (After Windows Viruses), Fingerprint Pseudo-Security, Mainframe Security and Slackware Updates

  • Space: New cybercrime battlefield? [Ed: Space has already dumped Microsoft Windows and moved to GNU/Linux (Debian) for security reasons. The famous incident has just been mentioned here.]
    In the same vein, is it believable for a virus to infect a space station orbiting at a distance of over 330 km above the earth? It shocked astronauts on board to find their Windows XP-based laptops on the International Space Station (ISS) infected with a virus called W32.Gammima in 2008. Gammima.AG worm is a malware that gathers and transmits sensitive gaming data to an attacker. Investigations later revealed that unsuspecting Russian cosmonauts had inadvertently carried infected USB storage devices aboard the station spreading computer viruses to the connected computers. The damage by the malware to the computer systems of the ISS is unknown to date.
  • OnePlus 7 Pro Fingerprint Scanner Hacked By Classic Hacking Technique
    OnePlus has recently launched its much-awaited OnePlus 7 Pro which is considered as one of the best smartphones of 2019 by many. Packing the latest Snapdragon processor, triple camera setup, UFS 3.0 and a 30W Warp Charging, the smartphone is a complete package but how safe is it? Speaking of safety, a YouTuber has managed to hack the in-display fingerprint scanner of OnePlus 7 Pro within a few minutes. Going by the name Max Tech, this YouTuber deployed the classic print molding hacking technique to get past the fingerprint reader. If you have bought the smartphone or you’re a potential buyer then I must tell you that OnePlus 7 Pro is not the first device to be hacked by this technique.
  • Just how secure are mainframes?
    The days of mainframe security by obscurity are long gone. Everyone – especially hackers – knows that there are lots of valuable data sitting on mainframes. So, how aware are mainframe-using organizations about what it takes to secure all the components of a mainframe environment? Key Resources Inc has announced the findings from a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting carried out in February 2019. The survey questioned 225 IT management and security decision makers in North America.
  • [Slackware] April ?19 release of OpenJDK 8
    Early May I was confined to my bed, immobilized on my side and under medication, after I had incurred a second back hernia in four months’ time. And so I missed the announcement on the OpenJDK mailing list about the new icedtea-3.12.0. Why again is that important? Well, the IcedTea framework is a software harness to compile OpenJDK with ease. Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) who is the release manager still did not update his blog with this announcment, but nevertheless:  the new Java8 that we will get is OpenJDK 8u212_b04. This release syncs the OpenJDK support in IcedTea to the official April 2019 security fixes for Java. I built Slackware packages for Java 8 Update 212 so that you do not have to succumb to the official Oracle binaries which are compiled on God-knows what OS.

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