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KDE and GNOME: Elisa, Krita, Five or More and Canta

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  • 0.3 Beta Release of Elisa Music Player

    This feature improves two different cases. The first is to allow usage of Elisa with a small window. In this case, only minimal information is shown in a possibly small window. The second is to implement the “party” mode that was originally designed by Andrew Lake.

  • KDE Bugsquad – Kickoff with Krita! – Part 1 on September 15th, 2018

    More long and thoughtful posts like the prior one will be coming. But right now I have an important announcement! I have resurrected the KDE Bugsquad, and we have our first official Bug Day on Saturday!

    The KDE Bugsquad is back! We can think of no better way to celebrate than joining forces with the Krita team as part of their Squash All the Bugs fundraiser!

  • Introducing Digital Atelier: a painterly brush preset pack by Ramon Miranda with tutorial videos!

    Over the past months, Ramon Miranda, known for his wonderful introduction to digital painting, Muses, has worked on creating a complete new brush preset bundle: Digital Atelier. Not only does this contain over fifty new brush presets, more than thirty new brush tips and twenty patterns and surfaces.

  • Five or More GSoC
  • Canta: Best Theme And Icons Pack Around For Ubuntu/Linux Mint

    If you are a person who changes themes on your Linux system frequently then you are on the right page. Today, we present you best theme under development so far for Ubuntu 18.04/Linux Mint 19, it has variants in light and dark with different styles: normal, compact and square. If you are a fan of material design or not, most probably you are going to like this theme and icons pack. The initial release of Canta was back in March, 2018 and released under GNU General Public License V3. Canta theme is based on Materia Gtk theme.

KDE A Look at Okular and at KMail

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  • Okular – A Universal Cross-Platform Document Viewer

    If there is one thing the open source community is not short of it is document viewers. We have published articles on a couple of them in the past not excluding Buka, Bookworm, and Easy Ebook Viewer.

    Today, we introduce to you another document viewer you can use to read ePub ebooks and PDFs and it goes by the name of Okular, is an open source and cross-platform KDE-developed document viewer and it ships together with the KDE application release.

    This means that if you run KDE then you probably have Okular installed on your system. The document viewer has support for a variety of document formats including PDF, ePub, XPS, DjVu, CHM, and Postscript, among others.

    With PDF documents, users can add comments, highlight sections, and add several shapes without affecting the original file. Okular also features an inbuilt reading service (Jovie), along with the ability to extract text from eBooks into separate text files.

  • Unified Mailboxes in KMail

    Today KMail has gained a new cool feature that has been repeatedly requested in the User survey last year as well as on forums and social networks: Unified mailboxes.

    Unified mailboxes offer not only a unified inbox – a single “Inbox” folder showing emails from inboxes of all your accounts, it also provides unified sent and drafts folders by default. But we did not stop there: you can create completely custom unified mailboxes consisting of any folders you choose. You can even customize the default ones (for example exclude an Inbox from a particular account).

Slimbook Pro2 + Kubuntu 18.04 - Superb match

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Overall, Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver works really well on the Slimbook Pro2. Hardware compatibility is top notch, performance and responsiveness are excellent, you get good battery life, and I was able to stock up the desktop with apps without any problems. HD scaling can be better, but that's something I will talk about separately. Again, fully doable. There were some cosmetic niggles and issues, plus two rather naughty crashes. These are things that stand between Kubuntu and perfection, and somehow, the last few pieces always elude the creators. It's almost like self-induced masochism, a fear of finishing one's work, which is why artists and poets rarely ever say they're done. That, or bad QA.

But let's not forget the Slimbook. This fine laptop is matching and exceeding all my expectations, hand in hand with the operating system. I did have to invest a little of energy polishing everything up, but it was a fun process, you will also gain from it a range of guides and tutorials, and in then end, I have a robust, beautiful systems that should hopefully serve me well for years to come. To sum it up: If you're looking for a Linux-based or Linux-friendly laptop, Slimbook seems cool. If you need an OS to match, Kubuntu 18.04 Beaver is a very reasonable and modern choice. Finally, this is not the end. Our journey has only just begun, so expect a whole range of articles to follow.

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Release of KDE Frameworks 5.50.0

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  • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.50.0

    KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.50.0.

    KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

  • KDE Frameworks 5.50 Brings Big Updates For KTextEditor, Improvements To KWayland

    Released this weekend was the monthly update to the KDE Frameworks 5 collection of libraries that complement Qt5.

    With KDE Frameworks 5.50 there are a lot of notable improvements on top of the usual smothering of fixes and various improvements to these dozens of add-on libraries.

Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta 1 released

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We are happy to announce the release of Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta 1. It is available via the online installer. Here’s a quick summary of the new features and functions in 2.1.

For detailed information about the Qt 3D Studio, visit the online documentation page.

For data inputs, we are introducing a new data type; Boolean. Related to this, elements now have a Visible property which can be controlled with the Boolean data input. When item visibility is controlled by a data input, the eyeball icon in the timeline palette changes to orange to illustrate this.

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Also: Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta Released With Various Improvements

KDE: KDevelop, Akademy, Konsole, "Days in Munich Are Numbered"

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  • From code to related bug report or review in just a hover & click

    Work on those patches has been picked up again the last week, and they have now reached Merge Candidate state and are ready for final review, targeting KTextEditor of KF 5.52 (to be merged right after tagging 5.51) and KDevelop 5.4.

  • Akademy 2018

    This year I was in Vienna to attend Akademy 2018, the annual KDE world summit. It was my fourth Akademy after Berlin’2012 (in fact, Desktop Summit ), Brno’2014, and Berlin’2016 (together with QtCon). Interesting, I go to Akademy each 2 years – let’s try to improve it next year.

    After a really long travel I could meet gearheads from all parts of world, including Brazil, old and new friends working together to improve the free software computing experience, each one giving a small (and someone, giant) parts to make this dream in reality. Always I meet these people I feel me recharged to continue my work on this dream.

    I loved the talk of Volker about KDE Itinerary, a new application to manage passbook files related to travels. It think an app just to manage all kind of passbook files (like tickets for concerts, theaters, and more) like this could be a interesting addition to KDE software family, and a step behind KDE Itinerary. Anyway, waiting for news from this software.

    The talk about creating transitions in Kdenlive make me think on how interesting could be a plugin to run bash (or python, maybe) in order to automate several steps in some works performed by editors in this software. Maybe use KDE Store to share it… well, ideas.

  • Continuous Work on Konsole

    Half a month ago when I landed my patch that replaced the old Konsole tabbar with a newer QTabWidget approach, I made a lot of people unhappy, but a lot of people happy too. And I want to make more people happy by fixing the issues I created.

    Now, Whenever code is changed there’s a possibility of new bugs arriving and there’s nothing wrong with that. The wrong thing (and that happens a few times with any software) is ignoring the bugs and pretending that they don’t exist.

  • My Days in Munich Are Numbered

    A big reason for the move to Germany was because of specific experiences with German people that I personally had. People in KDE who first helped me hone my technical skills and then my social skills. People who came up to me in San Francisco - where I was at a developer conference - and said "Hey, you're Indian right? Happy Diwali!" People who knew nothing about me whatsoever, heard that I was moving to Germany, took me aside for two whole hours and told me about life in their country, things I should be careful about, things I should do and things I should not. After all of that, the experience I had in Munich was nothing short of shocking. I often wondered, where the people who made me want to move here were. Because they definitely weren't where I was.

KDE: Slackware, KDE Plasma 5.14 and Akademy

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  • KDE Plasma5 Sep’18 release for Slackware

    The September release of KDE Plasma5 for Slackware contains the KDE Frameworks 5.50.0 (just released today), Plasma 5.13.5 and Applications 18.08.1. All this on top of Qt 5.11.1. Many bugs fixed and stability increased with these updates, but there’s no real new functionality on board compared to last month.

    My updates in the ‘extras’ section for Applications are new versions for ‘krusader’, ‘kstars’, ‘ktorrent’, ‘okteta’ and the KDE Development packages ‘kdevelop’, ‘kdev-python’ and ‘kdev-php’.

  • KDE Plasma 5.14 Offers A Hibernate Option From The Logout, HiDPI Dolphin Improvements

    It's been another busy week for the crew polishing up the Plasma desktop and other KDE components. Say "hi" to HiDPI and hibernation work this week.

    First up, the KDE Plasma 5.14 logout screen will now show a "hibernate" option on systems that support it... There's long been the suspend button there and there has been a hibernate option from the application launcher, but this simple button was finally added this week.

  • My first Akademy in retrospect

    Last month KDE Akademy was held in Vienna. It was the first Akademy I visited and there wasn’t yet time to write a bit about the impression I got from it, judging what was nice and what could be improved from the point of view of someone new to it. Time to catch up on that.

    Akademy came at a bad point in time for me. I was right in the middle of writing code for a larger feature in KWin’s Wayland session: drag-and-drop support between Wayland native and Xwayland windows. When I began the work on this feature back in July I hoped that I could finish it until Akademy. Not being able to do so felt demotivating, but I have to admit my plan was way too optimistic anyways. Only now, several weeks after Akademy, I feel comfortable enough about my code to use it on my work system without constant anxiety for fatal session crashes. But anyway, I went to my first Akademy with a bit less enthusiasm, as I otherwise probably would have shown. On the other side this gives me maybe also a more neutral take on it.

    Akademy is basically split into two phases: the talks at the beginning on Saturday and Sunday and the BoFs for the rest of the time from Monday till Friday.

KDE: Modders, Usability & Productivity, KDE Itinerary

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  • KDE Plasma should be a heaven for modders

    At the previous aKademy, one of the unformal discussions we had were about Plasma mods.

    One thing I always liked about the mobile platforms like Meego (Nokia N9) and Sailfish that were/are based on Qt/QML, is that there are many available mods for them created by the community.

    With QML, you basically have a lot of source files for an application (or shell) UI that get compiled when the application is run. This means that changing the look and behaviour of an application on your system is often as easy as editing a file with your favourite text editor like Kate or Vim.

    Sometimes modding gets so popular that some brave community member decides to create an application that allows automatic application of these mods. This was one of my favourite things about Sailfish OS.

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 35

    For this week’s Usability & Productivity report, we’ve got oodles of goodies, including some new features, a whole bunch of visual improvements related thumbnail previews in Dolphin, the open/save panels, and desktop icons (i.e. Folder View), icon improvements throughout KDE apps when using a High DPI screen, and lots of other miscellaneous goodies! We haven’t forgotten about Samba, and another very important fix landed.

  • KDE Itinerary - Writing Custom Extractors

    Following the look at how KDE Itinerary does data extraction, this post will cover custom data extractors in a bit more detail. Custom extractors are needed where we are unable to obtain the information we are interested in from structured annotations, or add information to incomplete structured data (such as boarding pass barcodes).

The Slimbook Pro2 is here - Very, VERY nice

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The Slimbook started just fine. Everything seems to be in perfect order. The system firmware was up to date, and the BIOS/UEFI was already configured for VT-d. Furthermore, both TPM and Secure Boot were disabled, which actually suits me well. The internal disk is labeled ubuntu, though. And the reason is ...

The Slimbook team also installed Ubuntu on the disk (they mentioned it alongside hardware upgrades), to make sure everything worked fine. I had the option to use their installation with a generic root/slimbook account combo, or wipe everything and start fresh. I had ordered the machine without any OS, and intended to do the setup myself, primarily because I also wanted to use full-disk encryption. Another downside of having a preinstalled system is that there's no two-part OEM setup for Ubuntu, so the vendor must configure the user side for you too. No matter, it's going away anyway.

Now, the actual operating system choice - Linux. As I mentioned in the past, ever since my love-at-first-sight encounter with Kubuntu 17.04, I wanted to deploy Kubuntu in my production setup, and this purchase finally allowed me to do so. I grabbed the ISO, etched it to a thumb drive, and let the system boot. There were no issues. All the hardware was correctly initialized, including the Wireless.

I did a bunch of speed tests, and I get a full, flat 80 Mbps rate that matches the test line, in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. No issues whatsoever, and this is important. In comparison, my significantly cheaper, older and driver-problematic Lenovo G50 with the Realtek card only does about 40 Mbps under the same conditions.

I had been worried regarding the Wireless - but then I thought, the Slimbook guys wouldn't be selling this hardware if there were problems, now would they? Of course, if you type any which Wireless card into a search engine, and then add the string linux, you will get tons of forum posts, bug threads and whatnot detailing a neverending story of problems. With my Slimbook Pro2, it was smooth sailing.

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Also: KDE Connect on IRC and

KDE: Akademy 2018, Krita and KDE Plasma

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  • Akademy 2018 - Vienna, Austria - 11-17 August

    The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

    Akademy 2018 is being organized together with Fachschaft Informatik (FSINF). Apart from representing and counseling computer science students, they engage in diverse political topics e.g. FOSS, Privacy and social justice.

  • Akademy 2018 Videos Posted For KDE's Annual Developer Conference

    Taking place last month in the beautiful city of Vienna was KDE's annual developer conference, Akademy. Session recordings are now available if you are interested in the latest work happening in the KDE desktop space.

  • Last Month in Krita: August 2018

    We used to do a weekly development news post… Last Week in Krita. But then we got too busy doing development to maintain that, and that’s kind of a pity. Still, we’d like to share what we’re doing with you all — and not just through the git history! So, let’s try to revive the tradition…

    In August, we started preparing for our next big Fund Raiser. Mid-September to mid-October, we’ll be raising funds for the next round of Krita development. The last fund raisers were all about features: this will be all about stability and polish. Zero Bugs, while obviously unattainable, is to be the rallying cry! We’re moving to a new payment provider, to make it possible to donate to Krita with other options than paypal or a direct bank transfer. Credit cards, various national e-payment systems and even bitcoin will become possible. It’s up already on our donation page!

    We’ve already made a good start on stability and polish by fixing our unittests — small bits of code that test one or another function of Krita and that we run to see whether new code breaks something. We also fixed almost a hundred bugs. And, of course, the Google Summer of Code came to an end.

  • Konquering the World

    I had the pleasure of attending Akademy this year–my first time. Not only that, the organizers were actually crazy enough to let me give a talk! In it, I discuss my view of how we can systematically improve the competitiveness and reach of KDE Plasma and KDE apps, and what you can do to be a part of this effort. This master plan is what guides my KDE work. I talk about how the Usability & Productivity initiative fits into the plan, but the plan itself is much more ambitious. If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a method to my madness… here it is!

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Games: Hand of Fate 2, Rocket League, Reigns: Game of Thrones

today's leftovers

OSS Leftover

  • How an affordable open source eye tracker is helping thousands communicate
    In 2015, while sat in a meeting at his full-time job, Julius Sweetland posted to Reddit about a project he had quietly been working on for years, that would help people with motor neurone disease communicate using just their eyes and an application. He forgot about the post for a couple of hours before friends messaged him to say he'd made the front page. Now three years on Optikey, the open source eye-tracking communication tool, is being used by thousands of people, largely through word of mouth recommendations. Sweetland was speaking at GitHub Universe at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco, and he took some time to speak with Techworld about the project. [...] Originally, Sweetland's exposure to open source had largely been through the consumption of tools such as the GIMP. "I knew of the concept, I didn't really know how the nuts and bolts worked, I was always a little blase about how do you make money from something like that... but flipping it around again I'm still coming from the point of view that there's no money in my product, so I still don't understand how people make money in open source...
  • Fission open source serverless framework gets updated
    Platform9 just released updates to - the open source, Kubernetes-native Serverless framework, with new features enabling developers and IT Operations to improve the quality and reliability of serverless applications. Other new features include Automated Canary Deployments to reduce the risk of failed releases, Prometheus integration for automated monitoring and alerts, and fine-grained cost and performance optimization capabilities. With this latest release, Fission offers the most complete set of features to allow Dev and Ops teams to safely adopt Serverless and benefit from the speed, cost savings and scalability of this cloud native development pattern on any environment - either in the public cloud or on-premises.
  • Alphabet’s DeepMind open-sources key building blocks from its AI projects
  • United States: It's Ten O'Clock: Do You Know Where Your Software Developers Are? [Ed: Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP are liars. Dana Hustins says FSF "purport to convert others' proprietary software into open source software" in there. They paint GPL as a conspiracy of some kind to entrap proprietary s/w developers.]
  • Transatomic Power To Open Source IP Regarding Advanced Molten Salt Reactors [Ed: There's no such thing as "IP", Duane Morris LLP. There are copyrights, trademarks, patents etc. and Transatomic basically made code free.]
  • Code Review--an Excerpt from VM Brasseur's New Book Forge Your Future with Open Source
    Even new programmers can provide a lot of value with their code reviews. You don't have to be a Rockstar Ninja 10x Unicorn Diva programmer with years and years of experience to have valuable insights. In fact, you don't even have to be a programmer at all. You just have to be knowledgable enough to spot patterns. While you won't be able to do a complete review without programming knowledge, you may still spot things that could use some work or clarification. If you're not a Rockstar Ninja 10x Unicorn Diva programmer, not only is your code review feedback still valuable, but you can also learn a great deal in the process: Code layout, programming style, domain knowledge, best practices, neat little programming tricks you'd not have seen otherwise, and sometimes antipatterns (or "how not to do things"). So don't let the fact that you're unfamiliar with the code, the project, or the language hold you back from reviewing code contributions. Give it a go and see what there is to learn and discover.

Security Leftovers