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KDE

Best Linux Desktop: KDE's Plasma

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KDE
Linux

From ratpoison to Unity, I must have tried just about every Linux desktop environment available. The best Linux desktop, in my view: my main computer continues to run KDE's Plasma. No other alternative can match its design philosophy, configurability, or its innovations on the classical desktop.

Nor am I alone in my preferences. At a time when the Linux desktop offers six main alternatives (Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, Mate, Unity and Xfce), KDE Plasma consistently tops reader polls with an average of 35-40 percent. In such a diverse market, these figures indicate a broad appeal that other Linux desktop alternatives can't match.

I believe that one of the main reasons for this appeal is the KDE design philosophy. GNOME and Unity may offer a more aesthetic-looking default, but only at the cost of simplifying both the desktop and the utilities in the name of reducing clutter.

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My way to develop with git in KDE repos

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KDE

From time to time there is the discussion of which workflow is better to develop with git, etc.

I'm not going to try to convince anyone on which workflow to use, i'm just going to explain what i do and explain why i think it's useful (and even more in the multi-developer KDE environment).

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Plasma Active Continues Coming For Qt5/KF5

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KDE

Being done as part of a Google Summer of Code project this year is porting KDE's Plasma Active to their newer technology stack.

Plasma Active is the user interface targeting all types of devices from tablets to smart TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Antonis Tsiapaliokas, a student developer and open-source/KDE fan, has been working on porting as much of Plasma Active as he can over the summer to using the newest stack: the Qt5 tool-kit with KDE Frameworks 5.

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KDecoration2 – The road ahead

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KDE

Yesterday I blogged about why Breeze is not the default window decoration in KWin 5.0. The blog post touched a little bit the problems with our decoration API. In short: it’s QWidget based and that doesn’t fit our needs any more. It uses a QWidget as an X11 window. At the same time KWin intercepts the rendering and also input handling, redirects it and forwards it. So why use a QWidget at all? Also using a QWidget is quite a memory waste in the Qt5 world. The QWindow behind the QWidget uses a QXcbShmImage with the same size as the window. As explained in yesterdays blog post the window has the size of the managed window plus the decoration. So for a maximized window we hold an image of the size of the complete window while we just need the titlebar strip. We can do better Smile

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More KDE:

  • New scripts to help to port to KF5

    As I continue to work to kdepim* KF5, I need more scripts.

  • SFLPhone-KDE 1.4.0 released!

    Savoir-faire Linux is proud to announce the immediate availability of SFLPhone 1.4.0. This release finally enables video by default. We have refactored the video implementation to be much more robust against a variety of conditions and made the configuration more flexible. It is also now possible to stream a variety of file types and even share your screen. Other interesting features include support for the JACK audio system used by audio industry professionals and hobbyists. Thanks to improvements in audio buffering, latency and resampling, audio quality is noticeably better. The KDE client now has much better Akonadi support. It can now act as a KAddressBook replacement for most phone related scenarios. There will probably be one final KDE4 release before officially making the switch to KF5. The SFLPhone-KDE logic backend, libqtsflphone, has been compatible with Qt5 for over a year, some of the UI dialogs have yet to be ported. As for SFLPhone in general, we plan to merge work that has been done in parallel for a while now to make the daemon more modular, easier to build, more secure and more portable to other operating systems.

  • Plasma Active on QT5/KF5

    Hello, this is my fourth report for my GSoC. This week I have ported the Panel for Plasma Active. The UI of the Active Panel has not changed much. As you can notice some of the Plasmoids are missing because they have not been ported yet (like the Homescreen Plasmoid), but there is no missing functionality from the Panel. Also the notification icons are invisible while they are inactive, as this is the expected behavior.

KDE Ships July Updates and Second Beta of Applications and Platform 4.14

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KDE

This week KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the third and last in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.13 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.11. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Beneath these releases KDE announced the second beta of the 4.14 versions of Applications and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. Your assistance is requested!

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KDE Applications and Platform 4.13.3 Is the Last Update in the Series

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KDE

The KDE Project developers have released the third maintenance version for Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces, bringing some new, much needed fixes.

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KaOS Calms Down KDE

Filed under
KDE
Linux

In keeping with the best-fit-only policy, the KaOS community deliberately keeps this distro's software stores limited. The current inventory is about 2,000 packages. The size will not grow beyond 2,200 packages. KaOS uses Pacman 4.1.2 as the package manager, with Octopi 0.4.0 as graphical front end. This is a good combination, as it's simple and effortless to add or remove software.

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Detailed review of Plasma 5

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KDE
Reviews

The much awaited Plasma 5 has been announced today, which marks a new chapter in the story of KDE software. Plasma 5 is the next generation desktop by the KDE community; it’s the evolution of KDE’s desktop which started taking a new shape with the release of ‘revolutionary’ KDE 4.0.

Plasma desktop uses the time-tested UI optimized for WIMP (windows, icons, menus and pointer) interface and with 5 it further improved that experience. A lot of work has gone in the code-base which makes the desktop sleeker and more polished. If you are thinking just think oh it’s just a different theme and new icons, it’s not true. Plasma 5 uses the brand new Frameworks 5 and Qt5 which not only improves user-experience but also allows developers to use KDE software in a manner not possible before.

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New Plasma brings a cleaner interface on top of a new graphics stack

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KDE

Plasma 5.0
Plasma 5.0
July 15, 2014. KDE proudly announces the immediate availability of Plasma 5.0, providing a visually updated core desktop experience that is easy to use and familiar to the user. Plasma 5.0 introduces a new major version of KDE's workspace offering. The new Breeze artwork concept introduces cleaner visuals and improved readability. Central work-flows have been streamlined, while well-known overarching interaction patterns are left intact. Plasma 5.0 improves support for high-DPI displays and ships a converged shell, able to switch between user experiences for different target devices. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered around an OpenGL(ES) scenegraph. Plasma is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5.

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The Road Ahead

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KDE

Plasma 5.0 is wrapping up and we have all learned a LOT in the first few months of the Visual Design Group's existence. One thing is clear though. If any of us had any doubts about whether an open approach to visual design can produce great results, most of those doubts have been assuaged. I'm super-proud to be part of this community and the quality of the results we have produced. It is really exciting to see the participation and the optimism by everyone involved!

So one question some folks might be pondering is "What's next for the VDG?" Well I'm glad you asked. The core VDG group sat down and looked at the long term approach to supporting the Plasma desktop and KDE applications.

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More in Tux Machines

Avidemux 2.6.13 Open-Source Video Editor Gets AAC/ADTS Import and Export

The developers of the Avidemux open-source and cross-platform video editor software have announced a new maintenance update in the 2.6 series, bringing multiple improvements, bug fixes, and a handful of new features. Read more

5 Best Linux Distros for Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy. Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users. Read more

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine
    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both. Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.
  • ​Linus Torvalds' love-hate relationship with the GPL
    Linux's founder appreciates what the GNU General Public License has given Linux, but he doesn't appreciate how some open-source lawyers are trying to enforce it in court.
  • Linus Torvalds reflects on 25 years of Linux
    LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
  • 6 things you should know from Linux's first 25 years
    Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.
  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development
    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.

Security News

  • New FairWare Ransomware targeting Linux Computers [Ed: probably just a side effect of keeping servers unpatched]
    A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.
  • How do we explain email to an "expert"?
    This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on? There are three primary groups of people. 1) People who know they know nothing 2) People who think they're experts 3) People who are actually experts
  • Why the term “zero day” needs to be in your brand’s cybersecurity vocabulary
    Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.