A new development build of KDE Frameworks 5 is now out and the developers are making great progress. If things continue to evolve according to the plan KDE has laid out, we should see this new desktop environment pretty soon.
“This beta features multiple bug fixes, and the finishing touches required to ease the transition for developers to the newest iteration of the KDE Frameworks. This process has included contributions back to Qt5, the modularisation of the kdelibs, and general improvements to the components that developers can use to improve their applications and user experience.”
You might know that Okular has a plugin system, for adding support for more document formats. And you might know that Calligra since years also provides a plugin to Okular, which adds support to view slides from files in the OpenDocument Presentation (ODP) format. And not only for the ODP format: by simply using the Calligra import filters for PPT and PPTX you can also view the slides locked away in those formats.
The different apps of Calligra used to be built on the KParts system, so any files in formats supported by them would be also viewable in KPart-embedding programs like Konqueror or KDevelop. But due to the currently on-going creation of a new MVC-oriented foundation for the Calligra programs this has changed, the Calligra modules are no more KParts.
The KDE4 series is still actively developed (in August we will see the release of KDE SC 4.14) but the KDE developers have been working long and hard at the next generation desktop. I wrote some generic phrases in the past about KDE Frameworks 5 (the successor to the KDE Platform aka kdelibs) and Plasma Next (the Qt5 based successor of the Plasma Workspaces of KDE4 which uses Qt4 for its graphical splendor).
Also: Bringing KDE forward
The KDE Applications 4.13 announcement highlighted the delightful new capabilities of Palapeli, the KDE jigsaw puzzle application. What the announcement did not mention is that the Palapeli maintainer, Ian Wadham, is celebrating 50 years of software experience. He’s ready to hand off Palapeli and his other KDE software development responsibilities. Albert Astals Cid called attention to Ian’s achievements and suggested a Dot interview.
The most famous and loved will always be the balad of the Active lands of Plasma where the society became so enlightened they managed to expel the Royal Society for Putting Things on top of other things.
What the future (KF5) brings?
Ok, stopping with the story now.
KActvities are back in the world of semantic linking, this time without Nepomuk, and without any unnecessary performance overhead. The new service implements all the features Nepomuk provided for activities, but also goes a bit further than that.
The previous week i was working on the Activity Switcher (it is the sliding button on right of your screen), which is written in QML2. The activity Switcher is reusing the activities component for managing the activities. So the only real difference between the Activity Switcher and the desktop Activity Manager, is its layout which has been created with QML2.
Two years ago the Qt3D module was showing lost of promise for 3D support within the popular, cross-platform toolkit. However, just before the Qt 5.0 release, Nokia shutdown their Qt Brisbane office that among other Qt modules was responsible for the work on Qt3D. Nokia's late actions with Qt prior to selling it off to Digia was a a big blow and led to Qt3D being demoted. Fortunately, Qt3D 2.0 is coming along as a maintained, rewritten version of the 3D support for Qt.
Bhushan Shah is the student open-source developer responsible for porting Plasma Media Center to Qt5/KF5 over the next few months. So far he's been able to port the Plasma Media Center welcome screen and media browser over to Qt Quick 2.0 and Plasma Next components. He's also done some cleaning of the source tree.
Manjaro 0.8.9, a Linux distribution based on well-tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and 100% compatible with Arch, has received its seventh pack in the series and the developers are working to release the next stable version the series, 0.8.10.
The Manjaro developers have already released quite a few update packs for this version of the operating system and they managed to extend the life of the distribution considerably. This seventh update in the series is a special one and comes with a very important set of packages that allows its users to test the next KDE Framework that is still under development.
“Our last stable update was a little bumpy. We hope we get this one better. New would be the addition of KDE5s first beta. You can install it side by side to KDE4 or as a single desktop. Please use: pacman -S kf5 kf5-aids To enjoy Plasma-Next packages you have to add Archs kde-unstable repository to your pacman.conf file. Use any Arch-Mirror for that repository,” said the developers in the official announcement...
I continued to work on KOrganizer and was blown away by the community. The people were helpful, passionate, and excellent in what they were doing. It felt like meeting old friends, although we didn't really know each other, and mostly only communicated via the Internet. Personal meetings came later, and the feeling of meeting friends has never gone away. It's part of the magic of free software.
Over the years I wrote a lot of code, maintained frameworks and applications. I learned a lot. I grew into the board of KDE e.V. and am serving as its president now. I met a lot of people in KDE and in many other communities. I got a job working on and with free software, and I'm still doing it. It has been an incredible ride.
One month ago we looked at the latest performance of Fedora 20, but with its more liberal update strategy -- especially with the long release time until Fedora 21 -- we're back with some more tests today as since last month the Linux 3.14 kernel has been added and other changes. This article has benchmarks of the Fedora 20 KDE spin out-of-the-box and then with all available updates as of this week to see how the performance has evolved in the half-year since the F20 release.
Chakra Linux 2014.05 is the first one in a new series called “Descartes” that will be following the KDE 4.13 releases, although the team will not settle for just a simple implementation of this desktop environment.
Unlike other developers who are using KDE as their desktop solution, the guys from Chakra didn't want a run-of-the-mill experience for users. They tried to give it a unique feel so that users know two things right from the start: they are using Chakra and a KDE variation.
The KDE community is working hard on the next major release of KDE software, most notably Framework 5 and Plasma Next. While Arch users can already play with KDE Framework 5 packages via extra repository and also run some components of Plasma Next via kde-unstable repo (which already has KWin), rest of those who can’t get Arch to work (though we have a very user-friendly tutorial), they can get a preview of Plasma Next using the live image of Fedora.
The last time KDE released a major revision of its interface, users protested bitterly, and the project took several years to live down the reaction.
Next time, you would expect that KDE would play it safer. And, at times, the newly released beta of the latest Plasma interface does just that. In many respects, it is more a matter of re-alignment and positioning than of overthrowing paradigms.
Yet, at the same time, some of the choices seem as likely to bewilder as assist users, at least in their present form. They make me wonder whether KDE might meet yet another round of hostile user reaction in what will eventually become either the latest round of releases in the fourth series, or else the first in the fifth release series.
Well, KDBUS landing didn't happen for the Linux 3.15 kernel. The merge window for the Linux 3.16 kernel will be open in June, but there's been no uptick in Linux kernel mailing list discussions about reviewing KDBUS or getting anything queued up for mainline nor is there any code for this kernel implementation of D-Bus living within linux-next. Greg's KDBUS repository also hasn't been touched in nearly one month. As soon as we learn anything more about KDBUS on approach for landing within the Linux kernel, you can expect to read about it on Phoronix.