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This week in Usability & Productivity, part 51

Filed under
KDE

Week 51 of KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is here! Most people are still out on vacation these days, so like last week it’s a bit lighter than usual.

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KDE: digiKam 6.0.0 Beta 3, Kid3 3.7.0, Latte Dock 0.8.4

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KDE
  • digiKam 6.0.0 beta 3 is released

    Dear digiKam fans and users, following the first beta release published in October, we are proud to announce the third and last beta of digiKam 6.0.0, before the final release planed in February 2019.

    [...]

    With this release, 40 new files have been closed since 6.0.0 beta2. The total files closed for next 6.0.0 final release is more than The reports already closed 600 files now, and we are now close to the final 6.0.0 release planed in Febrary 2019.

    The next stage while January will be to stabilize all implementations. No new features are planed and the application will be ready for a major update by translator teams about internationalization.

  • Kid3 Tag Editor 3.7.0 Comes with Complete Playlist Editor

    Kid3 is a free and open source audio tagger runs on Linux (KDE/Qt), MacOS, Windows and Android. With Kid3 you can easily tag multiple formats of audio files without typing the same information again and again. This is very handy tool when you need to tag huge volumes of audio files for various purposes. Kid3 supports almost all popular audio file formats – MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, MP4/AAC, MP2, Opus, Speex, TrueAudio, WavPack, WMA, WAV and AIFF files (e.g. full albums).

  • Latte bug fix release v0.8.4

    Latte Dock v0.8.4 has been released containing important fixes and improvements!

KaOS 2018.12

Filed under
GNU
KDE
Linux

Two years after initially starting the move to OpenSSL 1.1 has this update now been possible. All downstream libraries and applications have caught up, so the move was now smooth, without the need to have a mix of OpenSSL versions in the repositories. This move required a very large rebuild, combine that with a move to Perl 5.28.1, FFMPEG 4.1, LLVM/Clang 7.0.1 and Qt 5.12.0, it is clear a new ISO is needed.

The artwork saw an update to the Midna SDDM theme, gone are the QML sliding effects, instead a cleaner and simpler layout with the addition of several warnings when num lock or capslock are activated.

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Patching Qt5Network for Christmas

Filed under
Development
KDE

Qt5 and KDE Plasma 5 have been running smoothly on my workstation desktop for a year or more. I have a kind of boring desktop: there is one CPU, one graphics card, two network interfaces, and I use the default settings for just about everything. .. and everything (that I need) just works.

But it didn’t work for everyone: there was this one weird bug report that when the system had VLANs defined, that most Qt5-based applications would crash or refuse to start up. That first manifested itself there as a build failure of kf5-syntaxhighlighting. After some discussion with Volker, I ended up with a workaround: don’t validate the schema’s during the build. That takes away the networking dependency, and things were OK again.

Other similar bug reports trickled in. They’re now all closed as duplicates of this original. Some patches trickled in, which I didn’t particularly like because they were of the “comment this bit out and things work”. Thankfully the original reporter of the kf5-syntaxhighlighting build failure, Ting-Wei Lan, did a great deal of debugging work. Enough to give me a handle on where to continue looking. I hemmed and hawed, tried blaming the run-time loader, but really all the evidence pointed at memory corruption from inside Qt5Network.

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KWin in 2018

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KDE

This year was a very interesting year in the development in KWin. After having been the maintainer for several years, I knew that I would not be able to continue being maintainer for personal reasons. Personally I had tried to lower my contributions for quite some time already and encouraged others to do reviews, keeping out of some reviews completely. In 2018 several of such code contributions landed which I hadn’t looked at all and which work out greatly – an example is the new excellent blur effect which I didn’t look at the code at all.

When I stepped down as maintainer I had to read many negative and fearful comments doubting the future of KWin. Personally I was very positive that me stepping down would not have a negative impact, in fact I even hoped for positive impact as it gives new blood the chance to fill up the gap and bring in new ideas. I had become very conservative over time.

So I just run some git stats [1] over the KWin repository to try to verify the assumption that me stepping down had no negative impact: In 2017 there were 614 non scripty commits. The author with most commits was me with 387. Overall 37 developers contributed to KWin.

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Plasma secrets: Make Kate more productive

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KDE

The Kate text editor is a nice, versatile piece of program. But it's not without issues. While I do like it, and I do use in the Plasma desktop environment, the reason why we gathered here, I am sometimes frustrated with how the program behaves. The tab management is tricky, some of the functions are too hidden, and we also had to deal with saving sessions, which also goes toward making Kate more efficient.

As part of my everyday Plasma usage journey, with Slimbook Pro2 and Kubuntu, I'm trying to expose and then fix all sorts of niggles and issues that may arise, which often stand in between perfection and professionalism on one end and the everyday humdrum that is the Linux desktop. Hopefully, today, I can give you some useful pointers that will make you not reach out for a WINE app like Notepad++ as a solution. Which is exactly what I did, as I told you in my Slimbuntu experience report deux. Follow me.

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Krita in 2018 and 2019

Filed under
KDE

At the end of the year, we looked back on 2017 and looked forward to 2018, it’s getting time to repeat the exercise! On the whole, 2018 was a better year for Krita than 2017. We hit some major milestones!

We released Krita 4.0, which included Python scripting, the new, but sadly underpowered text tool, switched from ODG to SVG for vector graphics — and much, much more.

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Reaching out

Filed under
KDE
Software
OSS

In the Linux community we’re portrayed as tribalistic quite often, there’s good reasons of that. Having been part of KDE day to day for years, I also must say that it’s clearly been blown out of proportion. There’s collaboration all over the place and we should celebrate when it happens. Sitting together and sharing visions is useful, which we did in the last Libre Application Summit in Denver.

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KDE: The Tale of Always-Latest KDE, Konsole Improvements and Compris Version 0.95

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KDE
  • The Tale of Always-Latest KDE Distros: Krypton, Neon, Chakra, KaOS, and Fedora KDE

    I love KDE. I want an article introducing GNU/Linux distros dedicated to latest KDE so I write this one after my list of XFCE distros. By latest here I mean a distro which the ISO image is produced often (say, daily) to contain latest KDE release in the all three components of the Plasma, the Applications, and the Frameworks. I selected 5 distros: KDE Neon, openSUSE Krypton, Chakra, KaOS, and Fedora KDE. I hope you find your favorite one here. Read on and enjoy!

  • KDE Gets Konsole Improvements & Other Polishing For Christmas

    It's been a lighter week of KDE development due to many developers taking time off for the holidays, but there still was a fair amount of new activity going into KDE around polishing it up and the never-ending process of usability improvements.

  • Release GCompris 0.95

    We are pleased to announce the release of GCompris version 0.95

This week in Usability & Productivity, part 50

Filed under
KDE

Holy moley, there are 50 of these Usability & Productivity reports?! Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

Speaking of having fun, this week is going to be a bit light what with the run-up to Christmas. Folks are spending some time with their families and recharging batteries!

Nevertheless, it was quite a week for some of the core KDE applications, which received a number of nice improvements and new features. More are on the way too, and the upcoming KDE Applications 19.04 release promises to be packed with much-requested goodies!

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More in Tux Machines

Essential System Tools: QDirStat – Excellent Qt-based directory statistics

This is the latest in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For this article, we’ll look at QDirStat, a graphical application to show what’s devouring your disk space and help you tidy up the disorder. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the summary page of this article. QDirStat is a continuation of the KDirStat utility. QDirStat is based on the latest Qt 5, and doesn’t need any KDE libraries or infrastructure. If you come from a Windows background you’ve probably tried WinDirStat, a Windows port of KDirStat, the predecessor of QDirStat. Read more

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