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KDE and GNOME: KDE Frameworks 5.55, Rhythmbox 3.4.3, Files 3.30 and More

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  • Android Notifications Coming To KDE Frameworks 5

    Beginning with February's KDE Frameworks 5.55 release, there will be an Android notifications back-end introduced.

    KDE developer Volker Krause has been working on wiring up an Android notification back-end as part of KF5Notifications for being able to display alerts on Android phones/tablets as part of the native Android notification system.

  • KF5 Android Notification Backend

    With the ongoing work on realtime data access in KDE Itinerary we need a way show notifications in case of delays or other trip changes. That’s what KF5Notifications is for, which unfortunately isn’t supported on Android yet. Since an Android specific code path in KDE Itinerary for that would be quite ugly, I did look into adding Android support for KF5Notifications. How hard can it be? Wink


    With the ongoing work on realtime data access in KDE Itinerary we need a way show notifications in case of delays or other trip changes. That’s what KF5Notifications is for, which unfortunately isn’t supported on Android yet. Since an Android specific code path in KDE Itinerary for that would be quite ugly, I did look into adding Android support for KF5Notifications. How hard can it be? ;)Starting with KF5 5.55 we will have basic support for notifications, notification interaction and notification actions on Android. There’s probably still a number of features and flags in KF5Notifications that can be better mapped to Android’s native system, and there’s still work to be done to improve compatibility with a wider range of Android versions, but it’s a good start. But maybe even more importantly, we now have a template for integrating Android Java code in KF5 frameworks.

  • Alternative Toolbar Plugin Updated for Rhythmbox 3.4.3 (PPA)

    Alternative toolbar plugin released a new bug-fix version today with the latest Rhythmbox music player 3.4.3 compatibility.

    Alternative toolbar is a third-party plugin for Rhythmbox. It replaces the default header bar with Gnome-style client-side decoration. And the standard toolbar replaced by a compact toolbar.

  • Files 3.30 in Ubuntu 19.04 Daily Builds
  • Lucid

    I still remain as emotionally invested in the GNOME and Flatpak communities as ever - I just won’t be paid to contribute, which is no bad thing for an open source project.

Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 4

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I've said this a hundred times before. Plasma has the basics right. But the second and third and ninth order of coolness and integration is where things go wrong. Everything has to click, and it's the convoluted paths of need and necessity that bring out the worst in software. Like keyboard shortcuts or online accounts. Imagine if you could really have a seamless, transparent desktop-cloud Plasma experience? You may never want it, but the technical possibility should be there. Or a consistent stack of programs that really look and behave the same?

If I compare this experience with a typical Windows 7 box, Plasma is far less transparent. I do have to invest more time fiddling and tweaking. But then, it's also easy to forget the initial setup time and configs that I invested in every Windows machine I have ever set up. And it wasn't trivial, at all.

I am pretty sure that the intrusive interactiveness of the configuration will slowly ebb, not that I do not enjoy these reports - and hopefully they will ultimate make the Linux desktop experience better for everyone, should anyone happen to read them and take heed. So our work isn't done here. All in all, Plasma is about 93% there, but summa cum laude happens at the 100% mark. To be continued.

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Also: KDE Privacy Sprint

Kdenlive 18.12.1 released

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You can now import keyframes to your effects and use them in other projects. On the usability front the “Gain” effect is now in the correct “Audio correction” category and theming issues in the AppImage are now fixed. Speaking of AppImage, we now have a fully automated build system ready so devs can focus on coding gain.
Don’t forget to check our nightly refactoring branch version which received many fixes during the holidays and is ready for another round of testing.

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KDE Plasma 5.14 Desktop Reaches End of Life, Plasma 5.15 Arrives on February 12

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Initially scheduled for the 1st of January 2019, the KDE Plasma 5.14.5 point release is here to add a final round of improvements to the KDE Plasma 5.14 desktop environment, which probably many of you out there are using right now. It contains a total of 61 changes across various components like Plasma Workspace, Plasma NetworkManager, Breeze GTK, Plasma Discover, and Plasma Desktop.

The biggest improvements include a default cursor theme to the Breeze cursors theme, more stability improvements to the firmware update mechanism of the Plasma Discover package manager, better support to the KDE Plasma comics widget, a bigger Info Center window size, better Mozilla Firefox integration, as well as a much-improved weather widget.

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This week in Usability & Productivity, part 52

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This week in Usability & Productivity, the KDE VDG worked very intensively on aesthetics. The Breeze icon theme gained a lot of attention, resulting in many improvements, and we now have a good number of icon designers diligently working through a backlog of issues. More is on the way too, with several enthusiastic new VDG members who combine an eye for design with strong technical abilities. Expect good things to come of this!

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KDE: Chakra Updates, Martin Gräßlin on KWin, Filipe Saraiva on LaKademy 2018 and Plasma on Librem 5

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  • Chakra: Frameworks 5.53.0, Plasma 5.14.4, and Applications 18.12.0 by KDE, and Qt 5.12.0, Linux 4.19.12 with the ck patchset, and systemd 239.303 are now available
  • KWin and shadows for client side decorated windows

    Quite regularly we see bug reports or user support questions about why KWin does not add its shadows to client side decorated windows such as GTK’s header bars. As this topic comes up so often I think it’s time to write a blog post to explain the situation.

    First of all: this is a big misunderstanding. KWin does not have any shadows. KWin does not add shadows to any windows at all. There is no such thing as a generic shadow which KWin would add. Due to that of course KWin cannot add shadows to client side decorated windows.

  • LaKademy 2018

    Past October 2018, Florianópolis hosted the 6th edition of LaKademy, the Latin-American KDE sprint. That moment is an opportunity to put together several KDE developers – both veterans and newcomers – from different projects in order to work for improve their respective software and plan the promotional actions of the community in the subcontinent.

    In the technical side, I worked with Cantor, Sprat, the KDE Brasil and LaKademy websites.

    For Cantor, I researched some new ways to implement backends, specifically the use of websockets. It is my old idea for a recommended approach to be used in order to support all backends in all platforms. But, like in previous attempts, I am in doubts if it is a interesting way and if the objectives could be achieved by it. Well, definitively it needs more research.

    Sprat is a text editor aimed to write scientific papers. The software implements the Amadeus methodology for writing papers and it is more like a collection of common sentences to be used in specific sections of a paper. Sprat is my toy project and I expect to release this year and turn it a KDE project in near future.

  • 2018 Summary

    Thanks to Purism, I’m looking forward to receiving my Librem 5 development kit, on which I will be able to finally test Plasma Mobile regularly on a touch screen. Halium devices will of course still stay supported in debian-pm, although I might shift my focus a little more to mainline supported devices. Fuchsia coming nearer to entering the market means that its uncertain whether we can support many devices with Halium in the long term. In the worst case, all fuchsia drivers need to be manually reverse engeneered and rewritten for linux. If we are lucky though, more fully open-source linux devices will be released in this and the following years. See Marius Gripsgrad’s blog post for more information on the fuchsia topic.

    A Plasma Mobile sprint is planned for February. If you want to join, you can find more information in the phabricator ticket.

KBibTeX 0.8.2

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KBibTeX 0.8.2 has been released as a bug fix release on 0.8.1. It fixes a number of known and reported bugs (see below) as well as some other minor issues. Online search engines that were broken should work now again.

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Qt/KDE: KDE Plasma 5.15, Krita 'Toying with iOS', and Copy Date/Time To Clipboard Is (Apparently) Back on KDE Plasma 5

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  • KDE Plasma 5.15 Pre-Beta Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.15 in a Pre-Beta state and it looks great! Enjoy!

  • Toying with iOS

    Qt’s documentation was excellent, and pretty soon I had the Tablet example application running on the iPad. It looks a bit weird, because that’s a QWidget-based application, but that’s fine. ClipStudio Pro on iOS also is a compleat Desktop Application, with popup dialogs and menus and everything, so I am sure Apple wouldn’t mind… And the Pencil was supported really well, so that’s very hopeful.

    Now I only had to make one more experiment before starting to tackle maybe porting Krita: port the Tablet example to CMake, load that in Qt Creator and use Qt Creator to build it and deploy it to my iPad.

  • Copy Date/Time To Clipboard Is (Apparently) Back on KDE Plasma 5

    Did you use copy date/time to clipboard feature on KDE 4? I did that a lot and I loved that. That was one thing I missed since the inception of KDE 5. But, fortunately, and personally shockingly, I met this again starting from my updated KDE 5.13.5. It made me very happy and shocked in the same time when I ran latest Plasma 5.14.4 few days ago: "amazing, since when did this feature come back?" like that. When I went back to my Plasma 5.13.5, it's there too, and finally I obtained information that it's available again since Plasma 5.13.0 from April 2018. So let's see how is it now. Enjoy!

Introducing Kasa - The personal finance tracker for the hashtag era

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Kasa - The personal finance tracker for the hashtag era. Randomized testing data displayed.
It's that time of the year again when daylight is only seen from office windows and the darkness of evenings comes way too early. Getting much more home time, I wanted to finally get a better overview of my spending. Fortunately we live in the age of apps - you need something? There's an app for it. I searched for some of that do-it-all-for-you apps, but privacy was my primary concern. Pretty much all the popular personal finance apps take your financial data and upload it to some server to crunch it. I find that completely unnecessary. It's just a bunch of numbers, why does it need to live on a remote machine where I have zero control over it and zero control over who has access to what I spend my money on? All I want is to get the transactions file from my bank every week, throw it at some app, put some tags on things and see where my money goes. Simple enough to not require any fancy servers right?

So I turned my search into the open source ranks as I know there are some popular apps like KMyMoney or GnuCash. I tried all of them and I wasn't happy with any of them. KMyMoney and Skrooge, the duo from KDE Applications suite, are swiss-army knives that I personally find hard to navigate for my simple needs. Skrooge especially - after the import it generates a dashboard with 22 random sized widgets in no particular order. It felt so overwhelming and intimidating that I knew it's not for me and I had to close it immediately (sorry Skrooge). GnuCash takes 7 seconds to load for whatever reason and I couldn't figure out how to categorize transactions, which is the most important feature to me. Then there's HomeBank. This one came closest to what I was looking for but it was missing some features that I wanted, one of which is showing the actual amounts for tags. Also the categorization feels needlessly complicated. I feel like all the pieces are there, they're just not put together the way I wanted.

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KDE: Akademy, BSD, Krita and Lays Rodrigues

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  • Me, at Akademy 2018 - Winds of Change - FOSS in India Recap (late post

    Akademy is an annual conference organized by the KDE Community. It’s the place where contributors of all kinds from past and present meet, showcase their work and discuss things that shape the future of the KDE Software. This year's Akademy was held in the TU Wien, in the beautiful and historic city of Vienna, Austria.

    First of all, I'd like to apologize for being late on this post as just after reaching home, I had a minor motorcycle accident, and which was followed shortly by prolonged illness.

    I've been a KDE guy since the beginning of my technology career as an open source evangelist, entrepreneur, and developer. This year, I got the opportunity to showcase my work in front of the great people I've always admired.


    The current state of India in regards to Free and Open Source Software is somewhat optimistic, with more and more states of India bringing in IT policies which gives priority to free and open source solutions.

  • Modern KDE on FreeBSD

    New stuff in the official FreeBSD repositories! The X11 team has landed a newer version of libinput, opening up the way for KDE Plasma 5.14 in ports. That’s a pretty big update and it may frighten people with a new wallpaper.

    What this means is that the graphical stack is once again on-par with what Plasma upstream expects, and we can get back to chasing releases as soon as they happen, rather than gnashing our teeth at missing dependencies. The KDE-FreeBSD CI servers are in the process of being upgraded to 12-STABLE, and we’re integrating with the new experimental CI systems as well. This means we are chasing sensibly-modern systems (13-CURRENT is out of scope).

  • KDE4 on FreeBSD, post-mortem

    The KDE-FreeBSD team has spent the past month or more, along with FreeBSD ports committers and maintainers who have other KDE4-related ports, in bringing things up-to-date with recent KDE-Frameworks-based releases, with hunting down alternatives, and with making the tough call that some things are just going away. Thanks to Rene for doing the portmgr commits to clean it up (r488762, r488763, r488764 and followups to remove KDE4-options from other ports) .

  • Interview with Phoenix

    What I love about Krita is that it doesn’t take up that much RAM compared to other softwares I have used. It makes it really easy to record speedpaints for YouTube.

  • [Krita] Statistics Are Fun!

    Collectively we removed 648,887 lines of code and added 996,142 lines of code. Of course… Lines of code and numbers of commits doesn’t say a whole lot. But we’ve currently got 580,268 lines of C++, 12,054 lines of Python code out of a total of 607,193 lines of code. There are 30 libraries, 151 plugins, 243 automated tests (of which 5 are failing).

  • New home page =D

    Using Vuetify framework, that is built above Vue.Js I was able to build a new landing page with information about me and the stuff that I do. On that page you will be able to find my projects, presentations and contact information. I’ve also added a page of Tips & Tricks with content that I think that has value.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE is adding Matrix to its instant messaging infrastructure

KDE has been looking for a better way of chatting and live-sharing information for several years now. IRC has been a good solution for a long time, but it has centralized servers KDE cannot control. It is also insecure and lacks features users have come to expect from more modern IM services. Other alternatives, such as Telegram, Slack and Discord, although feature-rich, are centralized and built around closed-source technologies and offer even less control than IRC. This flies in the face of KDE's principles that require we use and support technologies based on Free software. However, our search for a better solution has finally come to an end: as of today we are officially using Matrix for collaboration within KDE! Matrix is an open protocol and network for decentralised communication, backed by an open standard and open source reference implementations for servers, clients, client SDKs, bridges, bots and more. It provides all the features you’d expect from a modern chat system: infinite scrollback, file transfer, typing notifications, read receipts, presence, search, push notifications, stickers, VoIP calling and conferencing, etc. It even provides end-to-end encryption (based on Signal’s double ratchet algorithm) for when you want some privacy. Read more Also: KDE To Support Matrix Decentralized Instant Messaging

Android Leftovers

Canonical Is Planning Some Awesome New Content For The Snap Store

There I was, thoughtfully drafting an article titled "3 Things Canonical Can Do To Improve The Snap Ecosystem," when I jumped on the phone with Evan Dandrea, an Engineering Manager who just so happens to be responsible for the Snapcraft ecosystem at Canonical. As it turns out, that headline will need a slight edit. One less number. That's because I've just learned Canonical has some ambitious plans for the future of the Snap Store. Read more

Extensive Benchmarks Looking At AMD Znver1 GCC 9 Performance, EPYC Compiler Tuning

With the GCC 9 compiler due to be officially released as stable in the next month or two, we've been running benchmarks of this near-final state to the GNU Compiler Collection on a diverse range of processors. In recent weeks that has included extensive compiler benchmarks on a dozen x86_64 systems, POWER9 compiler testing on the Talos II, and also the AArch64 compiler performance on recent releases of GCC and LLVM Clang. In this latest installment of our GCC 9 compiler benchmarking is an extensive look at the AMD EPYC Znver1 performance on various releases of the GCC compiler as well as looking at various optimization levels under this new compiler on the Znver1 processor. Read more