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KDE: QtWayland, FreeBSD, Kolorfill

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  • DMA-Buf Support in QtWayland for Client Buffers

    Sharing buffers between Wayland clients and the Wayland compositor is a good idea to avoid unnecessary buffer copies. For doing buffer sharing, however, descriptors are needed that explain the client’s buffer memory layout to the compositor (look here for more details about DMA buffer modifiers and look here for more background about buffer sharing). For dealing with this task, there is a Wayland protocol extension called “linux_dmabuf_unstable_v1”, which introduces a communication interfaces between Wayland client and compositor to provide buffers in the form of file handles and to describe them with so-called buffer modifiers, such that the compositor is able to understand the memory organization of the received buffers.

    During the hacking hours of last Akademy I started to look into this topic and how to introduce the DMA client buffer handling interface into the QtWayland compositor framework. My main focus for this protocol extension was not on the rendering speed aspect alone though, but to make QtWayland based compositors available on the i.MX6 hardware with the etnaviv open source driver (for details why linux_dmabuf_unstable_v1 is required for this, see this blog post about making Weston compatible with etnaviv).

  • KDE4ward on FreeBSD

    KDE4 is deprecated in FreeBSD. Even more: kdelibs4 doesn’t build on 12-STABLE because of changes in OpenSSL. The KDE-FreeBSD has decided not to put any effort into reconciling long-EOL’ed software with current dependencies.

    Of course, we don’t want to lose software if we can help it. So there is a wiki page detailing which packages there are and what we are doing about it. (The Debian wiki page for the same is quite useful, too; both wiki pages address the broader issue of removing Qt4)

  • Kolorfill 0.1.0 released

    Continuing in Aurelien Gateau‘s release month, where I recently joined in with Kookbook, I’m now also following up with Kolorfill, an app I also described in the past.

    It is a simple flood filling game written using the amazing Kirigami framework.

Cantor 18.12 – KDE way of doing mathematics

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Curious to read about Cantor on LabPlot’s homepage? This is easy to explain. Cantor has got quite a lot of development in the last couple of months, also with great contribution from LabPlot developers. There is a close collaboration between these two KDE projects which we hope to intensify even further in future and to make better use of the common code and human resources in order to provide a strong computational and visualization platform for scientific purposes.

In this blog post we want to highlight the more striking new features in Cantor 18.12 that was recently released. Since Cantor can run embedded in LabPlot (see the LabPlot 2.3 release announcement for couple of examples), all the features described below are of course also available for users using Cantor from within LabPlot.

We invested quite a lot into improving the overall usability of Cantor’s worksheet. First improvement we want to mention is the handling of long running and waiting commands. In the past, when executing multiple commands at the same time, there was no feedback for the user which command is being calculated right now and which commands are waiting. In the current release we highlight the currently calculated command entry with a small animation of the prompt. The pending (meaning, queued but not being calculated yet) command entries are also highlighted so the user has the full picture of the processing status.

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KStars v3.0.0 is released!

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After 4 months of development, we present the KStars v3.0.0 release as an early Christmas present for our users worldwide.

KStars v3.0.0 packs a lot of features and bugfixes as we strive to develop the most comprehensive planetarium platform for computers today.

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KDevelop 5.3.1 released

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We today provide a stabilization and bugfix release with version 5.3.1. This is a bugfix-only release, which introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using KDevelop 5.3.0.

Important changes to AppImage: There have been a couple of significant changes to the AppImage, please check whether it still works for you distribution. The most significant changes were: AppImages are now created on a more recent version of CentOS, now 6.10 instead of 6.8 (which is EOL), plus we no longer ship libfontconfig (cf. commit), libfreetype & libz (cf. commit).

You can find the updated Windows 32- and 64 bit installers, the Linux AppImage, as well as the source code archives on our download page.

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KDE: KMyMoney, Headerbars and Installing Linux Desktop Environment KDE Plasma

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  • On the other side of town …

    Since the author of AqBanking recently posted the question how this works, I think it is a good idea to document it in a publically visible way. First of all: why do we need mapping at all? KMyMoney as well as AqBanking deal with the representation of bank accounts and assign each such object an internal ID. Unfortunately, both of them use a different ID for the same account and so one needs some way of turning a KMyMoney ID into an AqBanking ID and vice versa. This is what we are talking here.

    Since KMyMoney does not only support AqBanking as an online banking backend it provides a standardized interface to all of them. Also, a set of procedures is defined to support a wide range of possible backends. Now we deal with two different interfaces: one required for KMyMoney and another one required by AqBanking. The trick here is the glue-logic residing in KBanking. It does all the magic that is needed for a successful marriage of the two participants.

  • On Headerbars

    This type of headerbar is used to a extensively in GNOME and macOS. The adoption of headerbars appears to be an industry trend, and people often ask why KDE apps don’t have headerbars or even seem to be working towards gaining them.

  • Installing Linux Desktop Environment KDE Plasma Is A 'Snap'

    Developers wanting to create applications for the Linux-based KDE desktop environment are getting a helping hand from Canonical and Snapcraft. And bleeding-edge users who want to experiment with the full KDE Plasma desktop can now install it as a snap.

KDE News: KDE Applications 18.12, Pixel Wheels 0.11.0 and Skrooge 2.17.0

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  • 5 New Features in KDE Applications 18.12

    In this video, we look at the 5 new features which stood out for me in KDE Applications 18.12.

  • Release month, Pixel Wheels 0.11.0

    Here is another release for the release month! This time it's a new release of Pixel Wheels. This one has been a long time coming: version 0.10.0 got released in September.

  • Skrooge 2.17.0 released

    The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.17.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

Qt and KDE: Qt Champions, Kdenlive, FreeBSD 12, Alejandro Montes Bascuñan and More

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  • Welcome to the 2018 Qt Champions!

    Another year has passed, winter has come so it’s time to celebrate the Qt Champions!

  • Kdenlive Video Editor 18.12 Released with Important Fixes

    Kdenlive, KDE Non-Linear Video Editor, released version 18.12 a few days ago with some crashes fixed and other improvements.

  • KDE ports on FreeBSD 12 (amd64)

    FreeBSD 12 was released last week. I’m in the process of rebuilding my main workstation to all-flash (which means backups, disentangling ZFS pools, etc. etc.) and in the meantime installed 12-R to an older i3 I had lying around. KDE Applications 18.12 were released last thursday. Those are in ports, but haven’t made it around to the official packages yet. So here are some notes on almost-current KDE on almost-current FreeBSD:

    Installing modern KDE: from a freshly installed 12-R system, getting to a KDE Plasma desktop is a matter of installing two metapackages: pkg install xorg kde5 . That will leave you in a state where you need to link .xinitrc to startkde .. rather old-school. For purposes of having a pleasant setup, pkg install falkon quassel sddm as well.

  • Interview with Alejandro Montes Bascuñan

    I found out about it when I was specifically looking for drawing and painting software that could run on Linux because I was about to make the change from Windows 10 to Linux but the only thing holding me back was the program that I would use to draw. Then I stumbled upon Krita and gave it a try and well, the rest is history.

  • BuildStream metrics: exploration

    Metrics and telemetry are fundamental in any engineering activity to evaluate, learn and improve. They are also needed to consolidate a culture in which opinion and experience are continuously challenged, in which experimentation and evidence becomes the norm and not the exception, in which transparency rules so co-workers are empowered, in which data analysis leads to conversations so evaluations are shared.

    Open Source projects has been traditionally reluctant to promote telemetry, based on privacy concerns. Some factor that comes to my mind are helping to change this perception...

This week in Usability & Productivity, part 49

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There’s big news in Usability & Productivity: Firefox 64 can now use native KDE open/save dialogs!

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KDE apps at the snap of your fingers

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Are you a Plasma fan? And you want to develop KDE applications? This has just become easier and more fun than ever before.

In early November, we hosted a Snapcraft Summit in our London offices, a forward-thinking software workshop attended by major software vendors and Snapcraft engineers working at every level of the stack. Together, we sat down and helped bootstrap snaps of some really amazing products.

One of the participants was Harald Sitter, a longtime KDE developer and enthusiast. With more than one notch of experience on his snap belt, Harald joined us to think of innovative ways of making the publication of Qt and KDE applications easier and faster both for experienced developers as well as those just getting involved in this domain

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Also: Debian Package Dependencies

Best KDE/Plasma distro of 2018

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Let us Plasma. A few days ago, we talked about the bestest Xfce distro of 2018. It was an interesting but also somewhat predictable experiment, as things haven’t changed that much on the Xfce scene, with most distros slowly moving along, well set in their grooves, some oiled, some rusty. Now, we need to examine another desktop environment, and the choice de jour is KDE.

Looking back at yesteryear, there was a flurry of activity including the more than solid 17.04 Zesty, which turned out to be a turning point [sic], one of the most refreshing and complete operating systems to hit the Tux market in a long while. Then, I also wrote, perhaps with mild prophetic genius, that KDE seems to be on the right path, and that good things ought to continue into the future. And today, that future is our past. And explore and judge we must.

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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