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KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Más vídeos de Plasma Next

Planet KDE Español - Lun, 07/14/2014 - 05:10

Se acerca el lanzamiento de Plasma Next y empiezan a aparecer los vídeos mostrando el funcionamiento de la próxima versión del escritorio de la Comunidad KDE. En esta ocasión vienen de la mano de The Mukt y de Yonn Lopez. Más vídeos de Plasma Next El primero, como hemos comentado, nos lo ofrece la página [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Disponible la primera beta de KDE 4.14 Aplicaciones y plataforma

Planet KDE Español - Dom, 07/13/2014 - 05:10

Aunque muchos desarrolladores de KDE estén volcados en Plasma Next, otros muchos siguen trabajando para pulir la rama KDE 4.x. De esta forma, hace unos días que está disponible la primera beta de KDE 4.14 Esta vez no se me escapa, no como la primera beta de KDE 4.13 aplicaciones y plataforma del 6 de [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): ¿Dónde vas KDE? (II)

Planet KDE Español - Sáb, 07/12/2014 - 05:53

Quiero hacerme eco de una serie de artículos que ha iniciado el magnífico Jos Poortvliet en el portal de noticias oficial de KDE (conocido como el “dot”). En ellos Jos reflexiona sobre el futuro de KDE a partir del presente y el pasado del proyecto. Realmente interesante. Como dije en la primera entrega, no quiero [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Nuevas Preferencias del Sistema de Plasma Next

Planet KDE Español - Vie, 07/11/2014 - 04:10

De la mano de Sebastian Kügler nos llega un vídeo muy interesante sobre la nueva distribución de las Preferencias del Sistema de Plasma Next, la cuales han sufrido un intenso lavado de cara y de distribución de elementos gracias al grupo de trabajo System Settings Action Group y a la Comunidad KDE. Como bien sabéis [&hellip

KDE Ships First Beta of Applications and Platform 4.14

KDE News - Jue, 07/10/2014 - 18:05

KDE has released the first 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!

A more detailed list of the improvements and changes will be available for the final release in the middle of August.

This first beta release needs a thorough testing in order to improve quality and user experience. A variety of actual users is essential to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers cannot possibly test every configuration. User assistance helps find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please join the 4.14 team's release effort by installing the beta and reporting any bugs. The official announcement has information about how to install the betas.

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KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Proyecto GSoC para KPeople 2014

Planet KDE Español - Jue, 07/10/2014 - 04:17

Hay muchas aplicaciones KDE que se benefician del  programa Google Summner of Code (GSoC)  basta recordar las iniciativas para Kanagram,  KDE Telepathy, el globo terráquero virtual Marble, cuyas iniciativas han aparecido en el blog. Hoy toca comentar una de KDE PIM: KPeople.   ¿Qué es KPeople? KPeople es una laplicación que pretende recopilar toda la información [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Lanzado KDE Frameworks 5, la base de Plasma Next

Planet KDE Español - Mar, 07/08/2014 - 19:01

Ya está disponible la KDE Frameworks 5, es decir, el entorno de escritorio que une KDE con Qt en una simbiosis casi perfecta. Esto hará más fácil la programación a los desarrolladores y creará un entorno gráfico espectacular y funcional para los usuarios.   Lanzado KDE Frameworks 5 El pasado 7 de julio  se lanzó [&hellip

Christian Díez (Malcer): Caledonia y Plasma Next: el desarrollo. Plasma Next no parece tan fácil.

Planet KDE Español - Mar, 07/08/2014 - 13:22

No debería probablemente ni decir esto porque se supone que una sabe ubicar las cosas, pero por algo que yo me sé lo veo necesario. Vaya por delante que: es un claro artículo de divulgación y opinión (por tanto tened en cuenta el factor subjetivo, tanto el el mío escribiéndolo como en el vuestro leyéndolo), basado en mi experiencia personal con mi propio artwork y mis propias pruebas, que busca ser algo que diga los “peros” de lo que otros artículos no dicen; que no tengo intención de desprestigiar el trabajo de nadie dentro de KDE (faltaría más, trabajan como auténticas máquinas), que tampoco pertenezco a nada oficial de KDE, que mi trabajo es puramente amateur e independiente de éstos, y sobre todo que no estamos en un brainstorming para omitir las críticas malas (en un brainstorming está “prohibido” hacerlas críticas con el fin de lanzar muchas ideas sin condicionar que puedan resultar útiles y provechosas). De paso, podéis ver el aspecto y desarrollo de Caledonia en Workspaces 5 (dos pájaros de un tiro). Y ahora, vamos al tema que nos ocupa.

He probado Plasma Next/Workspaces 5/KDE 5/llamadle como queráis, para hacer adaptaciones in situ en Caledonia (el tema plasma de mi autoría y que soporto, como sabéis algunos). Debería estar saltando de júbilo ante eso. Viene nueva tecnología (que es cierto), nuevas posibilidades (que también es cierto) y una nueva era para los KDEros (como no, también es cierto). Como otros usuarios, blogs, post y todo eso, debería estar muy alegre. Pues no. Para nada. Cero. Más bien me han entrado sudores fríos con lo que se viene. No como usuario (la cual la experiencia es muy grata, apenas se nota la diferencia con KDE 4.x y es fluida), sino como alguien que hace artwork, temas plasma y todas esas cosas. Que hay que ser comprensivo porque es una versión nueva de una nueva rama, que es cierto. Que se suponía que no sería como aquel KDE 4.0, también.

En ese aspecto, lo que me he encontrado ha sido exactamente lo mismo que aquellos años del temprano KDE 4.0: todo patas arriba. Y es que no soy para nada detractor de los diseños cerrados o endogámicos, más bien al contrario. El problema reside cuando haces eso y se supone que harías algo más bien al contrario. Breeze (el nuevo diseño) en sí mismo, visto desde sí mismo y para sí mismo, no está del todo mal a pesar de mi dudosa posición respecto al estilo plano y los colores tan claros. El problema es cuando quieres salir de ahí, aplicar otros estilos e invertir en un nuevo look de plasma. Me he encontrado con callejones por ahora sin salida, que se supone que tienen un hueco por donde meterse pero que, como es costumbre la Techbase de KDE aún no aclara. De hecho, ni nadie ni nada lo aclara por el momento. Todo lo que describo es bajo el punto de vista de Caledonia, pero podéis probar con más temas o con el vuestro propio si os dedicáis/ os vais a dedicar a ello. El artículo va enfocado a curiosos de este tema, gente que quiere leer más cosas sobre Plasma Next, gente aficionada a personalizar su KDE y por supuesto gente que se dedica al artwork en para este escritorio. Puede que esto, después de todo, sirva de algo. Debemos recordar que Plasma Next es prácticamente como una RC, por lo que es curioso. Si eres desarrollador de KDE, corre la voz. Si eres colaborador en la documentación, no estaría mal que echaras un cable ayudando a actualizar la Techbase para ir preparando a otros devs y diseñadores a adaptar sus creaciones.

¿Qué es ese “piloto” de color encima de la bandeja del sistema y el calendario/reloj? Es claramente una adaptación a Breeze, que muchos temas no comparten. Breeze señala las ventanas abiertas con una línea horizontal superior en la barra de tareas, y estos plasmoides lo muestran de la misma manera por el mismo motivo: por integrar el aspecto. No sienta mal, y no es tanto problema el que no se pueda sacar, pero aplica una coloración diferente para cada tema (en mi caso lo muestra en un naranja bastante bonito de por sí pero que me rompe la paleta de colores). Me gustaría suponer que se debe a algún elemento QML u otro que sea compatible, una nueva característica dentro del propio archivo del tema plasma, ya sea en un documento de texto tipo CSS o en un archivo vectorial. Lo mismo ocurre con el nuevo calendario, que aplica colores que aún no sé de dónde los saca (¿del archivo “colors” de los temas, o de algo QML?). El caso es que preparaos para buscar, porque no hay pistas acerca de qué hace que use unos colores y no otros, o cómo se cambian. Dicho color también se aplicará a los textos seleccionados. Todo un poema si aparece un color que no tenías planeado, la verdad.

El nuevo Kickoff es muy bonito pero me lo encontré verde en cuestión de personalización. Tanto es así que ni siquiera se le puede cambiar el icono del lanzador, como mucho os cambia entre un icono de KDE conocromo (claro u oscuro) tomando como referencia la coloración del tema plasma. Si queréis un icono personalizado hay que parchear (lo que harán muchas distros, supongo) o poner el menú clásico. Nada más que decir.

El horror se lo lleva lo que muchos llaman “cashew“, o sea, ese botoncito de una esquina del escritorio, que nos da acceso a los plasmoides y otras opciones. Aquella pieza que se ubicaba primero a la esquina superior derecha, luego cambiaron su posición a la parte superior mostrando el título de la actividad, y que ahora a santo no sé de qué está en la esquina superior izquierda. La nueva posición por defecto está bastante exenta de sentido para mi teniendo en cuenta el diseño general de los botones (las ventanas continúan la línea clásica del estilo de Windows en el cual se inspiró y los sitúa, obviamente, a la derecha). Por si fuera poco, la lista de plasmoides ahora se muestra en el lateral izquierdo, lo que tapa el propio cashew. Si es intencionado o no, vaya usted a saber. Pero sí, el cashew se puede cambiar de lugar.

El nuevo cashew va por su cuenta de momento, según parce. Ahora no he encontrado la forma de personalizarlo cuando se posiciona en una esquina. Los que habíamos intentado con nuevos diseños que esa pieza de dudosa utilidad no estorbase en la pantalla (Caledonia lo presenta de forma triangular si se pone en las esquinas, lo que reduce muchísimo su tamaño) estamos de nuevo ante un problema. El cashew es, quieras o no, cuadrado. Ahi lo tienes, como en los antiguos KDE 4.x. Un pegote en toda regla. Para colmo no parece que de momento se pueda personalizar tampoco su coloración: Plasma lo hará por ti, con no sé qué fórmula o paleta de colores, que por lo general no es adecuada (a no ser que, otra vez, uses algo de Breeze). ¿Un elemento QML? ¿Editable desde CSS en el propio tema plasma? ¿Desde un SVG(Z)? Es todo un misterio, como muchos que me he encontado. Por cierto, empezad a revisar muchas piezas en esos formatos: hay nuevos bordes y tamaños y puede fastidiar toda una decoración.

El nuevo tema de iconos… Bueno… Dejando de lado mis opiniones personales (las cuales son dudodas por muchos aspectos, para ser franco), a veces cambian de color monocromo automáticamente según el tema que uses (si es claro usará monocromo negro, y viceversa). Hay que ser comprensivos bajo el punto de vista que es un tema muy nuevo y Oxygen es un titán. El problema son los iconos de pequeño tamaño que no interactúan directamente con los temas plasma, que son monocromo y de color oscuro en resoluciones inferiores a los 48 píxeles. Preparados para que queden muy bien en temas claros… pero que no se vean en los oscuros. Ya sea un tema plasma oscuro como Caledonia o en una coloración de ventanas, dichos iconos pequeños no se verán o no lucirán bien. La nueva colección está hecha por y para Breeze, al menos por el momento, lo que no permite disfrutarlos en otros, y por supuesto, lo que le quita universalidad.

El fondo de pantalla que se usaba para la pantalla de bloqueo en KDE 4.x no servirá. Ahora este elemento es una pieza aparte que deberá ser tratada por separado (todo un fastidio para los que más o menos teníamos todo integrado). Pero no acaba ahi la cosa: al diálogo de cierre de sesión/apagado (logout) le pasa lo mismo. El que viene por defecto no es nada feo (es muy vistoso, todo hay que decirlo), pero si quieres algo más personal deberás de hacerlo también por separado. Ambos módulos tienen toda la pinta de ser QML por diversos detalles que les veo, y no me tiene mucha pinta de que dichas personalizaciones puedan ir dentro del propio tema plasma. De todas maneras habrá que esperar a ver si se sabe algo decente acerca de estas nuevas funcionalidades.

¿Eso es todo? Tranquilos, hay más: las carpetas para personalizar estas diferentes piezas parece que han cambiado. Y os soy sincero: no las he encontrado. No han aparecido por /usr/share como antes. La carpeta /kde4 es para KDE 4.x y nada más. Baloo tampoco encontró nada en mis búsquedas bajo términos “breeze”,  “plasma”, “next” o similares. El /home tampoco parece mostrar nada al respecto (me ha parecido muy extraño).

Se avecina mucho trabajo para los que hacemos estas cosas. Y no hay documentación decente al respecto. Siento decirlo, pero vuelto a incidir una vez más en que en ese aspecto estamos de nuevo ante un KDE 4.0 donde apenas sabías hacer nada si es que se podía. Obviamente esto pasará, más pronto que tarde, y debemos suponer que vuelva a ser tan flexible como lo es KDE 4.x. Pero por el momento, creo que tendremos que pelear mucho, muchísimo, con Breeze y un QML que a veces cuestra mucho trabajo adaptar…

 


KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Disponible Amakage, un precioso tema plasma

Planet KDE Español - Mar, 07/08/2014 - 06:39

De la mano del gran mcder nos llega una nueva versión de Amakage, un precioso tema plasma traslucido con los que podemos dar un aspecto muy elegante a nuestro escritorio KDE. ¿Qué son los temas plasma? Dentro de las infinitas posibilidades artísticas que ofrece el escritoro Plasma de KDE está el de cambiar el tema [&hellip

KDE Frameworks 5 Makes KDE Software More Accessible for all Qt Developers

KDE News - Lun, 07/07/2014 - 17:07


Today, the KDE community has made available the first stable release of Frameworks 5. At the Randa Meetings back in 2011, we started work on porting KDE Platform 4 to Qt 5. But as part of this effort, we also began modularizing our libraries, integrating portions into Qt 5 proper and modularizing the rest so applications can just use the functionality they need. Three years later, while a fundraiser for the 2014 Randa Meetings is in progress, Frameworks is out. Today you can save yourself the time and effort of repeating work that others have done, relying on over 50 Frameworks with mature, well tested code. For a full list and technical details coders can read the API documentation.

Highlights

KArchive offers support for many popular compression codecs in a self-contained, featureful and easy-to-use file archiving and extracting library. Just feed it files; there's no need to reinvent an archiving function in your Qt-based application!

ThreadWeaver offers a high-level API to manage threads using job- and queue-based interfaces. It allows easy scheduling of thread execution by specifying dependencies between the threads and executing them satisfying these dependencies, greatly simplifying the use of multiple threads.

KConfig is a Framework to deal with storing and retrieving configuration settings. It features a group-oriented API. It works with INI files and XDG-compliant cascading directories. It generates code based on XML files.

Solid offers hardware detection and can inform an application about storage devices and volumes, CPU, battery status, power management, network status and interfaces, and Bluetooth. For encrypted partitions, power and networking, running daemons are required.

KI18n adds Gettext support to applications, making it easier to integrate the translation workflow of Qt applications in the general translation infrastructure of many projects.

This is just a taste of the many Frameworks made available today.

Getting started

On Linux, using packages for your favorite distribution is the recommended way to get access to KDE Frameworks.

Building from source is possible using the basic cmake .; make; make install commands. For a single Tier 1 framework, this is often the easiest solution. People interested in contributing to Frameworks or tracking progress in development of the entire set are encouraged to use kdesrc-build.

Frameworks 5.0 requires Qt 5.2. It represents the first in a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

Where the code goes

Those interested in following and contributing to the development of Frameworks can check out the git repositories, follow the discussions on the KDE Frameworks development mailing list and send in patches through review board.

KDE is always looking for new volunteers and contributions, whether it is help with coding, bug fixing or reporting, writing documentation, translations, promotion, money, etc. All contributions are gratefully appreciated and eagerly accepted. Please read through the donations page for further information. And as was mentioned above, KDE is currently running a fundraiser to make the Randa Meetings 2014 possible. Your contribution is crucial to make an event like this possible - and with that, projects like KDE Frameworks!

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KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): ¿Dónde vas KDE? (I)

Planet KDE Español - Lun, 07/07/2014 - 05:50

Quiero hacerme eco de una serie de artículos que ha iniciado el magnífico Jos Poortvliet en el portal de noticias oficial de KDE (conocido como el “dot”). En ellos Jos reflexiona sobre el futuro de KDE a partir del presente y el pasado del proyecto. Realmente interesante. No quiero hacer una traducción literal del artículo, [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Otro vídeo de Plasma Next, el futuro de KDE

Planet KDE Español - Sáb, 07/05/2014 - 19:01

Llevamos mucho tiempo en el blog hablando de Plasma Next, el futuro de KDE que promete seguir avanzando en el desarrollo del escritorio libre más completo del mercado. Ya os he podido enseñar algún vídeo que muestra algunas de sus funcionalidades, hoy os presento otro. Otro vídeo de Plasma Next, el futuro de KDE El [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Proyecto GSoC para Kanagram 2014

Planet KDE Español - Sáb, 07/05/2014 - 11:31

Hay muchas aplicaciones KDE que se benefician del  programa Google Summner of Code (GSoC)  basta recordar las iniciativas para KDE Telepathy o el globo terráquero virtual Marble, cuyas iniciativas han aparecido en el blog. Hoy toca comentar una de KDE Edu: Kanagram. ¿Què es Kanagram? Kanagram, fue el sustituto de KMessedWords, que apareció como una [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): 20 formas de colaborar con KDE (y el Software Libre)

Planet KDE Español - Vie, 07/04/2014 - 16:57

Hace mucho tiempo realicé un artículo sobre 10 formas de colaborar con KDE (y el Software Libre en General) en el que comentaba las bondades de los proyectos libres, especialmente el  altruismo (conducta humana basada en la preocupación o atención desinteresada por el otro o los otros). Un tiempo después volví a la carga con [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Disponible Marble para Windows

Planet KDE Español - Jue, 07/03/2014 - 11:13

Si hay una aplicación espectacular en KDE Edu para la asignatura de geografía ésta es Marble, el globo terràqueo virtual que nunca deja de sorprendernos. Marble ya está disponible para su versión Windows, lo cual es una muy buena noticia. Disponible Marble para Windows Ya está disponible la versión 1.8.3 de Marble para Windows, lo [&hellip

Where KDE is going - Part 2

KDE News - Mié, 07/02/2014 - 06:29

This is the second half of the 'where KDE is going' write-up. Last week, I discussed what is happening with KDE's technologies: Platform is turning modular in Frameworks, Plasma is moving to new technologies and the Applications change their release schedule. In this post, I will discuss the social and organizational aspects: our governance.

KDE e.V.

You can't talk about KDE and governance without bringing up KDE e.V. (eingetragener Verein or, in English, registered association). This Germany-based non-profit is the legal organization behind the KDE community, and it plays several important roles.

Initially set up to handle funding for KDE's conferences, the e.V. still has the organization of events as a major task. But that is no longer limited to the yearly Akademy conference. There are now events all over the world, from Camp KDE and Lakademy in the Americas to conf.kde.in in India. In addition, many Developer Sprints, usually with about 5-15 people, are supported, as are the annual Randa Meetings which can attract 40-60 developers.

KDE e.V. also provides legal services, pays for infrastructure and takes care of our trademarks. The KDE Free Qt Foundation is equally represented by KDE and Digia. The Foundation was set up between the former Trolltech and KDE to maintain Qt's open status, and has been continued with Nokia and Digia, the successive holders of the Qt trademark. KDE e.V. is not the guardian of technical decisions, however. This is up to the natural community development processes.

Change

But KDE e.V. does act as an agent of change. It provides a place where core KDE contributors come together and discuss a wide variety of subjects.


We created the KDE Manifesto

In the last 8 years or so, KDE e.V. has been the major driver behind increasing the number of developer sprints and has created the Fiduciary Licensing Agreement which allows it to re-license KDE code when needed, while protecting developers’ interests. The Code of Conduct originated with KDE e.V., as did our Community Working Group which helps deal with communication issues in the community.

A recent example of our ongoing improvement efforts is the KDE Manifesto. This has been for a very long time coming but Kévin Ottens got it to the finish line.

The Manifesto explicitly defines our community: our values and our commitments to each other. The importance of this can hardly be overstated – knowing who you are and what you want helps you make decisions but also shows others what you are about. The Manifesto made plain what was involved in being part of the KDE Community, including the benefits and the ways we operate.

Joining the KDE community

Since the Manifesto was written, several projects have joined KDE or begun the process of doing so:

  • KBibTex (a bibtex editor)
  • QtCurve (theme/style)
  • Kdenlive (non-linear video editor)
  • Tupi (2d animation tool)
  • GCompris (an educational application, former GNOME project - progress)
  • The wikiFM project, an Italian university-based knowledge database
  • Bodega (digital content store)
  • Kxstitch (cross stitch patterns and charts)
  • Trojita (a Qt IMAP mail client)

It is clear that these projects contribute to the growing diversity in the KDE community. The many projects joining us has prompted some refinement of the KDE Incubator, an effort to document the process of becoming part of the KDE community (also started by Kévin, who probably felt sorry for the fallout of his manifesto creating so much extra work ;-)).

Other projects have moved on, or emerged from the KDE community and have become independent communities. Examples are Necessitas (provides Qt-on-Android) and Ministro (installer for libraries on Android) but also the well-known ownCloud project which was announced at Camp KDE 2010 in San Diego and still has many KDE folks involved in it.

Growing Qt'er

KDE has grown – and so has Qt (pronounced 'cute'). The Qt ecosystem today is very big – it is estimated that there are half a million Qt developers world wide! And not only has Qt usage grown, but so has the ecosystem around it, with more and more contributions from more and more companies, communities and individuals. Including KDE.

KDE has always been close to the Qt community, with many KDE developers working for former Trolltech, now Digia, or in one of the companies providing Qt consulting. KDE played a major role in establishing the KDE Free Qt Foundation, and KDE people were critical to the process of creating Open Governance within the Qt Project in 2011. In 2013, the Qt Contributor Summit was co-located with Akademy, and as discussed in the previous article, KDE is contributing a lot of code to Qt and building closer bonds with the Qt ecosystem through our Frameworks 5 efforts.

Extrapolating change

Based on the above, one could extrapolate. More projects will join the KDE Community, and KDE will become more diverse. KDE is also working on formalizing the relationships with external entities through a community partnership program. This will allow KDE e.V. to work closer with other communities in legal and financial matters and share KDE’s strengths with them. With these changes, the community shows a desire to expand its scope.


The Join the Game program looked for 500 KDE supporters

Another area where change might take place is in the financial area. KDE e.V. does not have the mandate to define technical directions. To sponsor a developer, the Krita team set up the Dutch Krita Foundation to handle the funds. Currently, Krita, Free Software's most successful and powerful drawing application, is running a Kickstarter campaign to obtain funding for several developers with the aim of bringing the upcoming Krita 2.9 release to a new level. In other cases, external organizations supported developers working on KDE code, like Kolabsys supporting several developers on the KDE PIM suite (like Christian), and of course the various Linux Distributions (like Red Hat) which have made massive improvements to KDE possible over the years.

Paid development is a complicated topic, as most KDE contributors volunteer their time. Money can be damaging to such intrinsic motivation. At the same time, some tasks are just no fun – paid developers can perhaps help. Some people in the community feel that KDE e.V. (or perhaps another organization?) could play a more active role in raising funds for certain projects, for example. The Randa Meetings fundraiser 2 years ago might be a sign of things to come, and again we've started a fundraiser to make Randa 2014 as successful as the earlier meetings: Please support it!

There may be more sustaining membership programs such as 'Join the Game' in the future, and suggestions, ideas and practical help in obtaining and using funds for KDE development are very much welcome.

Not all change

But in all this change, it is crucial that the KDE community preserves what makes it work well. KDE has gotten where it is today by the culture and practices of today (see some of my thoughts on this). Like in any community, these are hidden rules that allow KDE to pool the knowledge of so many brilliant people, and without too much politics, to make the best decisions possible. The KDE culture, so to say. This includes well known Free Software soft rules like Who Codes, Decides, RTFM, Talk is Cheap and Just Do It but also very 'KDE' rules like Assume Good Intentions and Respect the Elders. And just like in the French Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, the rules are inseparable and interdependent. They are what makes KDE such an amazing place, full of creativity, innovation and fun.

Of course, in other areas, it can hamper progress or block people from making changes as quickly as they like. All culture has good and bad aspects, and we should stay flexible to adapt to changes and fix shortcomings. This is a slow process, often counted in years, rather than months - putting off some people who wish things went a little faster. But change happens.

Change to keep things healthy

The KDE Community Working Group is an institution with the goal of preserving positive aspects of our culture. The CWG consists of a group of trusted community members dealing with conflicts and social issues. It has been around since 2008 and has recently been given the ability to deal with 'stormy day' scenarios – they will now handle situations where somebody is persistently behaving contrary to the culture. Luckily such situations are extremely rare but it is good to have a process in place to deal with them.

The kde-community mailing list has moved many discussions into an open forum that used to be limited to KDE e.V. members. Opening up our internal discussions is more inclusive; it preserves the open nature of our project in the face of growth and change.

Meta change

Putting these changes together, a pattern starts to emerge:
The Manifesto has defined what we have become and what we want. It has brought in other people and other projects. We open up our community, formalize community management. KDE e.V. wants to collaborate more with other organizations, Frameworks 5 brings KDE technology to a wider audience, and we're bringing our desktop and application technology to more and more devices.

I think KDE is going meta.

KDE is becoming a meta organization. Perhaps you can call it an Eclipse for GUI or end user software, bringing a wide variety of projects together under one umbrella. The challenge for the KDE community is to guide these changes, keep good practices and develop new ones that fit the new world!

Conclusion

KDE is becoming a umbrella-community, a community of communities. A place where people with a huge variety of interests and ideas come together, sharing a common vision about the world. Not a technical vision, mind you, but a vision about HOW to do things. Shared values are what brings us together. And with KDE going meta, there is more room for everybody!

These articles are based on a talk given at conf.kde.in by Jos Poortvliet with lots of input from KDE contributors. A more extensive version of these articles, quoting members of the KDE community for more background, can be found in the upcoming September issue of Linux Voice magazine, 'the magazine that gives back to the Free Software community'

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Where KDE is going - Part 2

KDE News - Mié, 07/02/2014 - 06:29

This is the second half of the 'where KDE is going' write-up. Last week, I discussed what is happening with KDE's technologies: Platform is turning modular in Frameworks, Plasma is moving to new technologies and the Applications change their release schedule. In this post, I will discuss the social and organizational aspects: our governance.

KDE e.V.

You can't talk about KDE and governance without bringing up KDE e.V. (eingetragener Verein or, in English, registered association). This Germany-based non-profit is the legal organization behind the KDE community, and it plays several important roles.

Initially set up to handle funding for KDE's conferences, the e.V. still has the organization of events as a major task. But that is no longer limited to the yearly Akademy conference. There are now events all over the world, from Camp KDE and Lakademy in the Americas to conf.kde.in in India. In addition, many Developer Sprints, usually with about 5-15 people, are supported, as are the annual Randa Meetings which can attract 40-60 developers.

KDE e.V. also provides legal services, pays for infrastructure and takes care of our trademarks. The KDE Free Qt Foundation is equally represented by KDE and Digia. The Foundation was set up between the former Trolltech and KDE to maintain Qt's open status, and has been continued with Nokia and Digia, the successive holders of the Qt trademark. KDE e.V. is not the guardian of technical decisions, however. This is up to the natural community development processes.

Change

But KDE e.V. does act as an agent of change. It provides a place where core KDE contributors come together and discuss a wide variety of subjects.


We created the KDE Manifesto

In the last 8 years or so, KDE e.V. has been the major driver behind increasing the number of developer sprints and has created the Fiduciary Licensing Agreement which allows it to re-license KDE code when needed, while protecting developers’ interests. The Code of Conduct originated with KDE e.V., as did our Community Working Group which helps deal with communication issues in the community.

A recent example of our ongoing improvement efforts is the KDE Manifesto. This has been for a very long time coming but Kévin Ottens got it to the finish line.

The Manifesto explicitly defines our community: our values and our commitments to each other. The importance of this can hardly be overstated – knowing who you are and what you want helps you make decisions but also shows others what you are about. The Manifesto made plain what was involved in being part of the KDE Community, including the benefits and the ways we operate.

Joining the KDE community

Since the Manifesto was written, several projects have joined KDE or begun the process of doing so:

  • KBibTex (a bibtex editor)
  • QtCurve (theme/style)
  • Kdenlive (non-linear video editor)
  • Tupi (2d animation tool)
  • GCompris (an educational application, former GNOME project - progress)
  • The wikiFM project, an Italian university-based knowledge database
  • Bodega (digital content store)
  • Kxstitch (cross stitch patterns and charts)
  • Trojita (a Qt IMAP mail client)

It is clear that these projects contribute to the growing diversity in the KDE community. The many projects joining us has prompted some refinement of the KDE Incubator, an effort to document the process of becoming part of the KDE community (also started by Kévin, who probably felt sorry for the fallout of his manifesto creating so much extra work ;-)).

Other projects have moved on, or emerged from the KDE community and have become independent communities. Examples are Necessitas (provides Qt-on-Android) and Ministro (installer for libraries on Android) but also the well-known ownCloud project which was announced at Camp KDE 2010 in San Diego and still has many KDE folks involved in it.

Growing Qt'er

KDE has grown – and so has Qt (pronounced 'cute'). The Qt ecosystem today is very big – it is estimated that there are half a million Qt developers world wide! And not only has Qt usage grown, but so has the ecosystem around it, with more and more contributions from more and more companies, communities and individuals. Including KDE.

KDE has always been close to the Qt community, with many KDE developers working for former Trolltech, now Digia, or in one of the companies providing Qt consulting. KDE played a major role in establishing the KDE Free Qt Foundation, and KDE people were critical to the process of creating Open Governance within the Qt Project in 2011. In 2013, the Qt Contributor Summit was co-located with Akademy, and as discussed in the previous article, KDE is contributing a lot of code to Qt and building closer bonds with the Qt ecosystem through our Frameworks 5 efforts.

Extrapolating change

Based on the above, one could extrapolate. More projects will join the KDE Community, and KDE will become more diverse. KDE is also working on formalizing the relationships with external entities through a community partnership program. This will allow KDE e.V. to work closer with other communities in legal and financial matters and share KDE’s strengths with them. With these changes, the community shows a desire to expand its scope.


The Join the Game program looked for 500 KDE supporters

Another area where change might take place is in the financial area. KDE e.V. does not have the mandate to define technical directions. To sponsor a developer, the Krita team set up the Dutch Krita Foundation to handle the funds. Currently, Krita, Free Software's most successful and powerful drawing application, is running a Kickstarter campaign to obtain funding for several developers with the aim of bringing the upcoming Krita 2.9 release to a new level. In other cases, external organizations supported developers working on KDE code, like Kolabsys supporting several developers on the KDE PIM suite (like Christian), and of course the various Linux Distributions (like Red Hat) which have made massive improvements to KDE possible over the years.

Paid development is a complicated topic, as most KDE contributors volunteer their time. Money can be damaging to such intrinsic motivation. At the same time, some tasks are just no fun – paid developers can perhaps help. Some people in the community feel that KDE e.V. (or perhaps another organization?) could play a more active role in raising funds for certain projects, for example. The Randa Meetings fundraiser 2 years ago might be a sign of things to come, and again we've started a fundraiser to make Randa 2014 as successful as the earlier meetings: Please support it!

There may be more sustaining membership programs such as 'Join the Game' in the future, and suggestions, ideas and practical help in obtaining and using funds for KDE development are very much welcome.

Not all change

But in all this change, it is crucial that the KDE community preserves what makes it work well. KDE has gotten where it is today by the culture and practices of today (see some of my thoughts on this). Like in any community, these are hidden rules that allow KDE to pool the knowledge of so many brilliant people, and without too much politics, to make the best decisions possible. The KDE culture, so to say. This includes well known Free Software soft rules like Who Codes, Decides, RTFM, Talk is Cheap and Just Do It but also very 'KDE' rules like Assume Good Intentions and Respect the Elders. And just like in the French Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, the rules are inseparable and interdependent. They are what makes KDE such an amazing place, full of creativity, innovation and fun.

Of course, in other areas, it can hamper progress or block people from making changes as quickly as they like. All culture has good and bad aspects, and we should stay flexible to adapt to changes and fix shortcomings. This is a slow process, often counted in years, rather than months - putting off some people who wish things went a little faster. But change happens.

Change to keep things healthy

The KDE Community Working Group is an institution with the goal of preserving positive aspects of our culture. The CWG consists of a group of trusted community members dealing with conflicts and social issues. It has been around since 2008 and has recently been given the ability to deal with 'stormy day' scenarios – they will now handle situations where somebody is persistently behaving contrary to the culture. Luckily such situations are extremely rare but it is good to have a process in place to deal with them.

The kde-community mailing list has moved many discussions into an open forum that used to be limited to KDE e.V. members. Opening up our internal discussions is more inclusive; it preserves the open nature of our project in the face of growth and change.

Meta change

Putting these changes together, a pattern starts to emerge:
The Manifesto has defined what we have become and what we want. It has brought in other people and other projects. We open up our community, formalize community management. KDE e.V. wants to collaborate more with other organizations, Frameworks 5 brings KDE technology to a wider audience, and we're bringing our desktop and application technology to more and more devices.

I think KDE is going meta.

KDE is becoming a meta organization. Perhaps you can call it an Eclipse for GUI or end user software, bringing a wide variety of projects together under one umbrella. The challenge for the KDE community is to guide these changes, keep good practices and develop new ones that fit the new world!

Conclusion

KDE is becoming a umbrella-community, a community of communities. A place where people with a huge variety of interests and ideas come together, sharing a common vision about the world. Not a technical vision, mind you, but a vision about HOW to do things. Shared values are what brings us together. And with KDE going meta, there is more room for everybody!

These articles are based on a talk given at conf.kde.in by Jos Poortvliet with lots of input from KDE contributors. A more extensive version of these articles, quoting members of the KDE community for more background, can be found in the upcoming September issue of Linux Voice magazine, 'the magazine that gives back to the Free Software community'

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