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KDE Commit-Digest for 23rd March 2014

Vie, 05/09/2014 - 17:37

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • KDE Frameworks changes default font settings to Oxygen font
  • KDevelop improves Custom Buildsystem Plugin, and it is now possible to define macros and add include directories/files through GUI and the GUI is always accessible by clicking on Project->Open Configuration
  • Kwin introduces a new Effect Loading mechanism
  • Trojita distinguishes between IMAP errors and network failures
  • In KDEPIM, work starts on mailmerge support
  • Skrooge can reorder the suboperations in the split operation
  • Plasma MediaCenter adds a Baloo plugin
  • Baloo reduces memory usage of the Akonadi indexer.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 16th March 2014

Vie, 05/09/2014 - 17:36

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • KWallet adds support for pam-kwallet in kwalletd
  • KWin introduces a X-KWin-Internal in kwineffect services
  • Krita shows rulers in pixel units by default (user can change this)
  • Smb4k implements permanent (re)mounting of shares
  • Choqok adds preview of images from Twitter.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 9th March 2014

Vie, 05/09/2014 - 17:36

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • Plasma Desktop can highlight currently open applets
  • Plasma framework adds an optional EGL/X11 backend for WindowThumbnail QQuickItem
  • KDE-PIM can create calendar events from e-mail
  • Kate substantially improves highlighting of reStructuredText (rest.xml)
  • Skrooge adds "quarter" and "semester" period in graph and "Incomes & Expenditures" dashboard widget.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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Akademy-es 2014: Visit Málaga and learn about KDE

Sáb, 05/03/2014 - 19:48

From May 16th to 18th, Málaga is hosting Akademy-es 2014 in Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieria de Telecomunicación of Universidad de Málaga. This event is organized by KDE España, Linux Málaga and Bitvalley, and represents the return of a KDE event to Málaga 9 years after it hosted Akademy 2005.

This Akademy-es will have a wide range of talks from informing users about KDE software to programming with QtQuick and ASAN. There will also be introductory talks for people who want to start contributing to KDE.

As always the event is free to attend, but you should register to make it easier for the organization and to get a printed badge instead of a handwritten one ;).


Akademy-es 2013 group photo (click for larger)

Thank you to Gold Sponsors Digia, Opentia and openSUSE for helping make this happen!

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KDE PIM 2014 Spring Sprint

Vie, 05/02/2014 - 11:33

We continue the tradition of having the PIM sprint in a place that starts with a "B". The last 3 PIM sprints were in Berlin (twice) and Brno. The Spring edition of this year took place in Barcelona, continuing the tradition. Add to this the name of the company hosting us which conveniently starts with a "B" as well (BlueSystems).


From left to right, top row: Martin Klapetek, Christian Mollekopf, Mark Gaiser, Alex Fiestas
Bottom row: Vishesh Handa, Daniel Vrátil, David Edmundson, Sergio Martins, Sandro Knauß KOrganizer love

One of our regular attendees, Christian Mollekopf, had a nice surprise for us at the sprint. He works for Kolab Systems and told us about some of their plans in terms of the upcoming deployment of KDE PIM in the city of Munich. This should bring some usability improvements, including work on KOrganizer which should be able to better address a situation where a user literally has access to thousands of calendars. Kolab Systems is also working on bug fixes, stabilization improvements and optimizations throughout the KOrganizer product and entire KDE PIM application. The best thing is that all changes will be sent back for the KDE community to enjoy. The regular KDE software user will begin to see these changes in the KDE Applications release 4.14.

Frameworks

With the upcoming releases of KDE Frameworks and Plasma 2014.06, there is a need to port the heart of PIM applications to Qt 5. Some sprint attendees started work in that area which will make it possible to do things such as KMail running on top of Plasma 2014.06. We also decided that applications without a maintainer won't be ported to Qt 5. Applications that will probably not be ported are KNode and KAddressbook. The latter is currently being rewritten in a GSoC project.

Bugs and performance

A habit in sprints is to take a look at those pesky issues that are difficult to figure out alone. Quite a few bugs were resolved and performance has been improved throughout the PIM applications. Many of these changes are already available in the recently released KDE Applications 4.13.

Donations

KDE software is developed mostly by volunteers. Most sprint attendees are volunteers (and some are fortunate to do KDE software development as a daily job). We spend much of our free time improving the experience of our users. Having a sprint is made possible by a company willing to host us and our KDE e.V. organization willing to cover the traveling and hotel costs. We are rely on your donations to continue this. If you want to support KDE software development and have the financial means, please consider hitting the donations link.

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Akademy 2014 Call for Papers

Mié, 04/30/2014 - 13:11

Akademy is the KDE Community conference. It is where we meet, discuss plans for the future, get inspired, learn and get work done. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from September 6-12 in Brno, Czech Republic. The main days for talks are Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of September. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.


Akademy 2013 attendees (click for larger) by Knut Yrvin What we are looking for

The goal of the conference section of Akademy is to learn and teach new skills and share our passion around what we're doing in KDE with each other.

For the sharing of ideas, experiences and state of things, we will have short Fast Track sessions in a single-track section of Akademy. Teaching and sharing technical details is done through longer sessions in the multi-track section of Akademy.

If you think you have something important to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please nominate them. For more details see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers. The submission deadline is Sunday 18th May, 23:59:59 CEST.

About Akademy 2014 Brno, Czech Republic

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those who are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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KDE Ships second April Updates to Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces

Mié, 04/30/2014 - 06:17

Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the fifth in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.9. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.

With a bit more than 10 recorded bugfixes including improvements to Personal Information Management suite Kontact, Umbrello UML Modeller, audio CD listening app Kscd, web browser Konqueror, file manager Dolphin and others the bug count goes down. A more complete list of changes can be found in KDE's issue tracker.

To find out more about the 4.12 versions of KDE Applications and Development Platform, please refer to the 4.12 release notes.

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KDE Telepathy Sprint

Mar, 04/29/2014 - 15:26

In April 2014, we had a sprint for KDE Telepathy, KDE's foremost instant messaging client. The sprint consisted of both past and new contributors from around the world.

Group chats

For the sprint we decided to concentrate our hacking efforts into a few key areas that are currently weak inside KDE Telepathy. We chose group chats as it was one of the most repeated feature requests coming especially from enterprise circles. It was something we supported at a basic level but, since none of us used it on a daily basis, it did not receive the attention it deserved.

Firstly, we forced ourselves to use a conference room for the duration of the sprint for all our chatting purposes and made a list of every potential improvement we could find. Afterwards we picked things off the list one by one and made significant improvements to the group chatting experience.

Our usability expert, Thomas Pfeiffer, was there with us providing valuable input from the usability point of view; thanks to that it was not just a mad hacking on features but also about making the application more usable. The screenshots below speak for themselves!


Answer text messages from your desktop Easy chat via SMS using KDE Telepathy

During the sprint Albert Vaca and Alexandr Akulich worked on making a backend for Telepathy to talk to KDE Connect. This allows you to receive SMS messages from your phone and reply through a comfortable and familiar chat interface on your desktop.

Reducing the bug count

Another area we focused on at the sprint was our bug count. At the beginning we had 62 reported bugs (excluding wishes and tasks), some of them had been open for a longer time. So we allocated some space on the whiteboard for a giant bug counter; whoever then fixed a bug from that list got the honor of erasing the number on the whiteboard and writing a new one.
We are now under 50 bugs, with under 50 further wishlist items.

Building for the future

We didn't just hack but also discussed where to go with KDE Telepathy.

Vision

According to the KDE Human Interface Guidelines, "A vision describes the goal of the project. It can be emotive and a source of inspiration, for instance by outlining how the final product makes the world a better place. It is roughly similar to purpose or aim, and guides through the development." In order to guide KDE Telepathy's development, Thomas, our aforementioned usability expert, led a session where we defined a vision for us.


Whiteboard work

The first question that was important for us was "Which users do we want to focus on?". We decided that we want to focus on Plasma users. We do not shut out users of other desktop environments or operating systems, but we clearly focus on integrating well with Plasma and provide the best experience for Plasma users.

The other defining question for our focus was "Do we want to focus on providing the best possible experience for users of popular instant messaging systems such as Facebook Chat or Google Hangouts, or do we want to focus on providing an awesome experience to users of open protocols such as Jabber?" Our answer to this question was that while we do not want to exclude users of popular systems, we realise that for them, we can only create an "okay-ish" experience at best, because those systems' APIs are very restricted and always subject to change. Only with open protocols we can use all of our capabilities to create a truly awesome experience for users.

Our vision draft is still being discussed on the mailing list and will be published once it's been agreed upon by the whole KDE Telepathy community.

Frameworks

In KDE Telepathy we provide several plasma widgets, which need to be ported in order to run on Plasma Next. In order to do this we first had to port our libraries to work on top of KDE Frameworks. By the end of the sprint we had the contact list and chat plasma widgets fully running and working on Plasma Next. We hope to release the widgets so that they are available for Plasma Next users.

API Breaks in the larger Telepathy stack

There is an upcoming change in the interfaces to the Telepathy backends that talk to the various protocols such as jabber. We need to be prepared for this change - otherwise when distributions update Telepathy, our application will cease working. We are making sure we have code ported and ready, so we can release at the same time as upstream switches. Most of these updates are inside TelepathyQt and we are working on the elements lower in the stack that will benefit not only us but also Ubuntu and Jolla.

Planning how to handle these two upcoming changes at once is awkward at best and required some delicate planning.

Wrapping up

Overall the sprint was incredibly useful in helping push our project forward both in terms of the extra development and planning moving forwards.

Thanks to the Blue Systems Barcelona office for hosting us.

More photos here

This document was written by the KDE Telepathy team; written using KDE Telepathy's collaborative editing features.

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Freedesktop Summit 2014 Report

Lun, 04/21/2014 - 07:59

The team in action

From March 31 to April 4, Free Software desktop hackers from many of the largest desktop projects (including GNOME, KDE, Unity and LXDE-Qt) met to collaborate on specifications and tools to improve application interoperability between the desktops. Clarified standards are expected not only to improve the experience of running applications designed for one desktop inside of another, but also to provide a clearer picture of what is required from third party application developers approaching the Free Software desktop for the first time.

This was the second time the annual event occurred. Both times, it was sponsored and hosted by SUSE at their offices in Nuremberg.

Results

The meeting accomplished a standardization of the XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP environment variable for allowing applications to know in which desktop environment they are running. The meeting also produced the first formal specification of how applications should be associated with given mime types and URI schemes, including how to select the default application in a way appropriate to the current desktop environment, respecting the choices of the OS vendor and the local system administrator as well as the user.


Our very own David in action

Small progress was made on a simple common inhibit specification that applications can use to prevent events such as locking of the screen or powering down of the network interfaces, but with improvements on fine-grained power control capabilities on forthcoming hardware devices, additional research (and perhaps time) is required before a complete specification can be produced.

The meeting also produced an agreement on the future of startup notification in the Wayland world. A protocol based on broadcast of D-Bus signals will be used instead of the current approach with X client messages. This approach is expected to integrate nicely with future frameworks for sandboxed applications. Improvements were also made to the protocol to allow for tab-based applications that make dynamic choices about creating a new tab or a new window depending on the workspace in which a document was opened.


A late night conversation

The introduction of the long-awaited "Implements=" key in desktop files was also finalized. This is used to express support of a given interface by an application. Among other things, this is expected to be used to advertise supporters of the provider side in a future "portals" system for exchanging data between sandboxed applications.

Also discussed was the possibility of defining a "resource base" for desktop files so that application resources such as icons can be accessed without being merged into the 'hicolor' icon theme. The lack of certainty over how future sandboxing approaches would deal with this situation prevented any progress on this point.

There were significant cleanups of the xdg specifications (and their build system) and to deal with bug backlog on some freedesktop components such as the shared-mime-info database.


Team enjoying a beer

The meeting was also used to discuss details of the API of the forthcoming memfd interface in the kernel that will be used to support efficient sending of very large kdbus messages. kdbus and GVariant were also discussed, as were the desktop file index and systemd support for time-based activation of applications that want to exit when idle (such as alarm clocks). The possibility of standardizing the new notification interface based on D-Bus activatable applications was also briefly discussed.

After the meeting, work continues on publishing updated specifications and writing implementations. The meeting is expected to happen again, in 2015.

Written by Ryan Lortie from glib/gnome
Pictures by Jerome Lechlanche

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KDE Releases Applications and Development Platform 4.13

Mié, 04/16/2014 - 14:26

April 16 2014 - The KDE Community proudly announces the latest major updates to KDE Applications delivering new features and fixes. Major improvements are made to KDE's Semantic Search technology, benefiting many applications. With Plasma Workspaces and the KDE Development Platform frozen and receiving only long term support, those teams are focusing on the transition to Frameworks 5. This release is translated into 53 languages; more languages are expected to be added in subsequent monthly minor bugfix releases.

KDE Applications 4.13 Benefit From The New Semantic Search, Introduce New Features

The KDE Community is proud to announce the latest major updates to the KDE Applications delivering new features and fixes. Kontact (the personal information manager) has been the subject of intense activity, benefiting from the improvements to KDE's Semantic Search technology and bringing new features. Document viewer Okular and advanced text editor Kate have gotten interface-related and feature improvements. In the education and game areas, we introduce the new foreign speech trainer Artikulate; Marble (the desktop globe) gets support for Sun, Moon, planets, bicycle routing and nautical miles. Palapeli (the jigsaw puzzle application) has leaped to unprecedented new dimensions and capabilities. read the announcement.

KDE Development Platform 4.13 Introduces Improved Semantic Search

The KDE Development Platform libraries are frozen and receive only bugfixes and minor improvements. The upgrade in the version number for the Development Platform is only for packaging convenience. All bug fixes and minor features developed since the release of Applications and Development Platform 4.11 have been included. The only major change in this release is the introduction of an improved Semantic Search, which brings better performance and reliability to searching on the Linux Desktop.

Development of the next generation KDE Development Platform—called KDE Frameworks 5—is in beta stage. Read this article to find out what is coming and see here for the latest announcements.

Improved Semantic Search

The major new addition to the KDE Development Platform is the next generation Semantic Search. To maintain compatibility, this is included as a new component rather than a replacement for the previous Semantic Search. Applications need to be ported to the new search component; most KDE Applications have already been ported. Downstream distributions can decide whether or not to ship the deprecated Semantic Search alongside the new version.

The improvements to search bring significant benefits in terms of faster, more relevant results, greater stability, lower resource usage and less data storage. The upgrade requires a one-time database migration that will take a few minutes of increased processing power.

Spread the Word

Non-technical contributors are an important part of KDE’s success. While proprietary software companies have huge advertising budgets for new software releases, KDE depends on people talking with other people. Even for those who are not software developers, there are many ways to support the 4.13 releases. Report bugs. Encourage others to join the KDE Community. Or support the nonprofit organization behind the KDE community.

Please spread the word on the Social Web. Submit stories to news sites, use channels like delicious, digg, reddit, and twitter. Upload screenshots of your new set-up to services like Facebook, Flickr, ipernity and Picasa, and post them to appropriate groups. Create screencasts and upload them to YouTube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. Please tag posts and uploaded materials with "KDE". This makes them easy to find, and gives the KDE Promo Team a way to analyze coverage for the 4.13 releases.

Follow what is happening on the social web at the KDE live feed, buzz.kde.org. This site aggregates real-time activity from Twitter, YouTube, flickr, PicasaWeb, blogs, and other social networking sites.

Learning more and getting started

Find more details and download links in the announcement on the KDE website.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd March 2014

Dom, 04/06/2014 - 15:52

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 23rd February 2014

Sáb, 04/05/2014 - 17:09

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • KDevelop Clang support adds refactoring / renaming of variables and functions
  • Kate adds jump to next/previous change function and a plugin that allows you to launch the replicode executable with specified settings
  • KDE-PIM implements webdav sharelink, adds optional KAccounts support to the facebook resource
  • Krita has a config option to pick colors with opacity
  • Plasma MediaCenter implements a media cache populated by one or more media sources
  • NetworkManager supports an airplane mode
  • Porting to Frameworks5 continues in rekonq, ksecrets, YaKuake.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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Interview with Aaron Seigo About Bodega Appstore

Vie, 04/04/2014 - 04:54

Welcome to the Bodega store!

The openSUSE News site features an interview with Aaron Seigo about Bodega, a content store technology developed under the KDE umbrella. We replicate the KDE-relevant parts of the article here.

What is Bodega?

First off, let’s find out what Bodega is all about. Aaron explains:

Bodega is a store for digital stuff. In fancy words: it creates a catalog of metadata which represents digital assets.

The most important thing is of course the ‘digital asset’ term. That can be anything. For example, applications. Applications can be self contained – think how android does its APK files. Of course, things on Linux are often more complicated. Apache isn’t exactly a self-contained thing. And look further – perl, php, ruby, they all have their own addons like gems that need managing. Generalizing further, there are manuals. And books in general. Music, movies, pictures, you can go on.


Setting up a Bodega account

Of course, the competition has these too – look at Apple or Google.

And how about Linux…

Linux does not have a store where you can get such a wide variety of things. For a game, you can use Appstream, get it from Apper or GNOME’s software center. They all give a view on applications. Unfortunately, that is only useful for desktops and can handle things barely above the level of Angry Birds. If you want a python module as developers – these fancy tools won’t help you. Nor are they useful on servers. For those you have to rely on command line tools or even do things completely by hand. And it is all different between distributions.

Going further, where do you get documentation? For openSUSE, that’s activedoc or the forums or our support database on the wiki. Not from zypper. Music – you can get that from Magnatune and so on.

What if you can have one place where you can get a book, game, applications, isn’t that nice? That is what Bodega is.


The main screen of the store How is Bodega different?

So, Bodega offers a digital store which can handle a wider variety of things than our current solutions. But what sets it apart from proprietary technologies like the Playstore and of course Canonical’s store solution? Aaron:

Most Linux solutions like Appstream assume their audience are users who play Angry Birds and use spreadsheets. Fair enough. Bodega takes a different approach and is far more ambitious.

Bodega has all the meta data in one place and offers ‘stores’ which are views on that data. That means you can have a software developer store, for example listing all languages and their addons separate; and a server section etc. And a separate UI for the angry-bird-and-spreadsheet crowd. All from the same bodega system, filtered by tags (not static categories!).

Talking about Appstream, Bodega can of course benefit from the metadata gathered for Appstream. And GNOME’s Software Center could be reworked to be a front-end to Bodega, adding books, music and lots of other digital data to its store. This is not meant to be a rewrite of what is there, or an isolated effort!


An application in the store And why would you build on Bodega?

Bodega is open: everybody can quite easily add their own stores; or their own data sources; and add content and even sell it through their channels. It is not a closed system, on the contrary.

Open is a must, especially for Linux:

Take the 440.000 users of openSUSE. That would be a minimal amount of sales… The top-10 of paid apps in ubuntu makes less than a $100 per month of sales. Not really worth the effort. But if we could aggregate the sales between distributions, it would become relevant for third-party developers. Bodega as a cross-distribution is important!

And Bodega is useful for people outside of Linux. You can have your store on your own website so it is realistically possible for a independent author to sell their books in a bodega instance on their own website and never even SEE Linux. Yet the openSUSE users can get the books and benefit from the larger ecosystem…

The beauty of it is that it is all Free and Open Source Software, front and back. You can self-host all you want.


Preview of a wallpaper Current state

You might be eager to find out what is there, today. Well, if you’ve seen the screenshots to the side, you know there is an app to access the store. It is build for touch screens but works just fine and you can get it in openSUSE through software.opensuse.org. Once installed, you can fire it up typing “active-addons” in a run command dialog.

Shawn Dunn (of cloverleaf fame) is putting together a more traditional desktop UI, while maintaining these packages as well. You will be able to have a conversation with him as he’s going to be at the openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik this month where he will present a session about Bodega! He is known as SFaulken online and pretty much always hangs in the #opensuse-kde channel on Freenode where you can ask how to get things running or how to help him break stuff anytime. He’s also yelling at the world on google plus.


Famous books included!

Bodega now contains the entire book set of Project Gutenberg (thousands of awesome, free books) as well as a number of wallpapers and applications. Aaron:

There is work to be done to include all openSUSE Software in Bodega. The store can use a little work too, but is based on QML which makes it very easy to improve. If you’re interested in helping out, let us know!

You can contact Aaron on IRC as aseigo in the #plasma active channel on Freenode, ping him on Google+ or shoot him a mail on aseigo on the KDE.org servers.

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KDE Releases Alpha Version of Next-gen Plasma Workspace

Mié, 04/02/2014 - 09:00

Plasma Next: familiar yet polished

KDE today releases the first Alpha version of the next-generation Plasma workspace. This kicks off the public testing phase for the next iteration of the popular Free software workspace, code-named "Plasma Next" (referring to the 'next' Plasma release-see below "A note on versioning and naming"). Plasma Next is built using QML and runs on top of a fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack using Qt 5, QtQuick 2 and an OpenGL(-ES) scenegraph. Plasma Next provides a core desktop experience that will be easy and familiar for current users of KDE workspaces or alternative Free Software or proprietary offerings. Plasma Next is planned to be released as 2014.6 on the 17th of June.

The converged workspace

Modern day computing device abilities are starting to blend with each other. Tablets can be used with a keyboard, phones can stream their screen contents to a television, laptops have gotten flip and touch screens. To deal with this, Plasma Next has been designed as a converged workspace shell. It will be able to switch on demand between workspaces optimized for these different form factors, like a tablet user interface turning into a traditional desktop workspace when paired with a keyboard and a mouse. Plasma will be easily extensible as new form factors emerge.


Smoother Kickoff menu

The mechanism to adapt to different form factors is fully implemented and functional, but, as there is only one workspace available right now, it is not useful at this point. In the months to come, the Plasma team plans to make available additional workspaces, such as the tablet-oriented Plasma Active user experience, and the media-consumption-targeted Plasma Mediacenter.

A note on versioning and naming: The code name "Plasma Next" always points to the upcoming release of Plasma, KDE's end user workspace. The current Alpha will become 2014.6, to be released in June of this year. If the team opts for a 6 month release cycle (still to be determined), Plasma Next will refer to the 2014.12 release once 2014.6 is out.

Ready for testing, not production

The workspace demonstrated in this pre-release is Plasma Desktop. It represents an evolution of known desktop and laptop paradigms. Plasma Next keeps existing workflows intact, while providing incremental visual and interactive improvements. Many of those can be observed in this technology preview, others are still being worked on. Workspaces optimized for other devices will be made available in future releases.

As an Alpha release, this pre-release is not suitable for production use. It is meant as a base for testing and gathering feedback, so that the initial stable release of Plasma Next in June will be a smooth ride for everybody involved and lay a stable foundation for future versions. Plasma Next is intended for end users, but will not provide feature parity with the latest 4.x release (although this is expected to be accomplished in a follow-up release). The team is concentrating on the core desktop features first, instead of trying to transplant every single feature into the new workspaces. The feature set presented in Plasma Next will suffice for most users, though some might miss a knob here and there. This is not because the Plasma team wants to remove features, but simply that not everything has been done yet. Of course, everybody is encouraged to help bringing Plasma back to its original feature set and beyond.


left-to-right, top-to-bottom: Wallpaper dialog, panel toolbox, notifications and network manager in the system tray For developers

Plasma Next builds on top of Qt 5. With this transition, all QML-based UIs—which Plasma is built exclusively with—will make use of a new scenegraph and scripting engine, resulting in huge performance wins as well as architectural benefits, such as being able to render using available graphics hardware.

Plasma Next is the first complex codebase to transition to KDE Frameworks 5, which is a modular evolution of the KDE development platform into leaner, less interdependent libraries.

For users

Users testing this Plasma pre-release are greeted with a more refined visual appearance. The new Breeze Plasma theme debuts in this pre-release with a flatter, cleaner look. Less visual clutter and improved contrast make Plasma Next a noticeable improvement over the current stable Plasma workspaces. There has been some polish to much of Plasma's default functionality, such as the system tray area, the notifications, the settings for the compositor and window manager, and many more. While it will feel familiar, users will notice a more modern workspace.


New Activities chooser Installing and providing feedback

You can install Plasma Next directly from source. KDE's community wiki has instructions. Some distributions have created packages; for an overview of Alpha 1 packages, see this page. You can provide feedback either via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. Plasma Next is also discussed on the KDE Forums. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

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KDE Ships First Beta of Frameworks 5

Mar, 04/01/2014 - 15:00

Today KDE makes available the first beta of Frameworks 5. This release is part of a series of releases leading up to the final version planned for June 2014 following the second alpha last month. This release marks the freeze of source incompatible changes and the introduction of the Frameworks 5 Porting Aids.

Frameworks 5 Porting Aids

To ease the porting of KDE Platform 4 based applications, the Frameworks team has brought the 'Porting Aids' group into existence. These Frameworks contain kdelibs4 modules and API's that are being deprecated in KF5 and are provided only to assist applications in porting to KF5. As such these Frameworks will only have a limited support period, currently planned to be three release cycles. Application developers are strongly encouraged to port away from these Frameworks during this support period to prevent dependency on obsolete and unsupported code. Once support is ended, some unofficial development may continue on some modules, but they will not be part of the officially supported Frameworks release.

Currently, the following Frameworks belong to this group:

  • khtml
  • kjs
  • kjsembed
  • krunner
  • kmediaplayer
  • kdelibs4support*

* kdelibs4support contains deprecated API's from modules which no longer exist or deprecated classes from existing modules.

See the announcement on kde.org for more information and links to downloads. For information about Frameworks 5, see this earlier article on the dot.

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KDE Ships April Updates to Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces

Mar, 04/01/2014 - 07:06

Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the fourth in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.8. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.

More than 20 recorded bugfixes include improvements to Personal Information Management suite Kontact, Umbrello UML Modeller, touch typing application KTouch, web browser Konqueror, file manager Dolphin and others. A more complete list of changes can be found in KDE's issue tracker.

To find out more about the 4.12 versions of KDE Applications and Development Platform, please refer to the 4.12 release notes.

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