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Akademy-es 2014: Great success in KDE's return to Málaga

KDE News - Lun, 06/30/2014 - 06:13

The ninth edition of Akademy-es was held last month in Málaga at the Telecommunications School of University of Málaga. Akademy-es had never been held in the city before but it is where the idea of Akademy-es began, during Akademy 2005, resulting in the first Akademy-es in 2006 in Barcelona. KDE old timer Antonio Larrosa is the link between both editions, being the local organizer of Akademy-es 2014 and Akademy 2005.

This year Akademy-es has continued its upwards trend in people registered, ending up with around 100 people. Talks as always have been varied, including philosophical talks about what KDE is, technical ones about how to use ASAN to debug your apps, practical ones on how to make your computer and your [Android] phone work better together, some programming with an introductory QtQuick talk (in English!), and much more.

Besides the serious talks there was always time for some socializing, an important part these kind of conferences.
Specially interesting was Saturday dinner at La Casa Invisible where we met a group of people that like KDE is investing lots of time in helping society for the greater good.

Finally, please join KDE España in thanking our sponsors Digia, Opentia, openSUSE and Wabobo for helping make Akademy-es 2014 possible.

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Akademy-es 2014: Great success in KDE's return to Málaga

KDE News - Lun, 06/30/2014 - 06:13

The ninth edition of Akademy-es was held last month in Málaga at the Telecommunications School of University of Málaga. Akademy-es had never been held in the city before but it is where the idea of Akademy-es began, during Akademy 2005, resulting in the first Akademy-es in 2006 in Barcelona. KDE old timer Antonio Larrosa is the link between both editions, being the local organizer of Akademy-es 2014 and Akademy 2005.

This year Akademy-es has continued its upwards trend in people registered, ending up with around 100 people. Talks as always have been varied, including philosophical talks about what KDE is, technical ones about how to use ASAN to debug your apps, practical ones on how to make your computer and your [Android] phone work better together, some programming with an introductory QtQuick talk (in English!), and much more.

Besides the serious talks there was always time for some socializing, an important part these kind of conferences.
Specially interesting was Saturday dinner at La Casa Invisible where we met a group of people that like KDE is investing lots of time in helping society for the greater good.

Finally, please join KDE España in thanking our sponsors Digia, Opentia, openSUSE and Wabobo for helping make Akademy-es 2014 possible.

Dot Categories:

KDE Commit-Digest for 11th May 2014

KDE News - Lun, 06/30/2014 - 01:27

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • Clang backend of KDevelop gains basic implementation of adjust signature assistant
  • Kscreen KCM has been rewritten; the interface has two parts: a view with monitors that can be dragged around to reposition screens, and a widget-based part, that provides detailed configuration for each screen, like resolution, rotation, etc
  • The screen locker gets the KCM back too
  • Akonadi gets incremental changes for MERGE and tag support for MERGE and APPEND
  • KMyMoney supports SQLCipher database driver
  • Plasma Media Center prioritizes photos taken by a camera-like device.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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KDE Commit-Digest for 11th May 2014

KDE News - Lun, 06/30/2014 - 01:27

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

  • Clang backend of KDevelop gains basic implementation of adjust signature assistant
  • Kscreen KCM has been rewritten; the interface has two parts: a view with monitors that can be dragged around to reposition screens, and a widget-based part, that provides detailed configuration for each screen, like resolution, rotation, etc
  • The screen locker gets the KCM back too
  • Akonadi gets incremental changes for MERGE and tag support for MERGE and APPEND
  • KMyMoney supports SQLCipher database driver
  • Plasma Media Center prioritizes photos taken by a camera-like device.

Read the rest of the Digest here.

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KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Ganadores concurso fondo de pantalla Plasma Next

Planet KDE Español - Dom, 06/29/2014 - 10:34

Ya tenemos ganadores del concurso que debía elegir los fondos de pantalla que acompañaran al precioso wallpapaer oficial de Plasma Next, el cual ya hemos visto en infinidad de capturas y que encabeza el presente artículo. Ganadores concurso fondo de pantalla Plasma Next No ha sido fácil debido al buen nivel de los competidores pero [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Colabora con el sprint de Randa 2014

Planet KDE Español - Sáb, 06/28/2014 - 10:07

Aunque ya se ha comentado en el blog no está de más recordarlo. Un año más Randa se perfila como una ciudad básica en el desarrollo de KDE ya que por quinta ocasión va a organizar una serie de Sprints para dar un impulso a diferentes grupos que forman la Comunidad KDE. Sprints de Randa [&hellip

Randa Meetings Interview Three: Vedant Agrawal

KDE News - Vie, 06/27/2014 - 06:28

Vedant Agarwala

Thanks again for your further support of the Randa Meetings fundraising. We have now reached almost 40% of the our goal and there is still time to go. Please help even more and spread the word. If we reach our goal we can have an even more stable Kdenlive, more applications ported to KDE Frameworks 5, further progress on Phonon, a look at Amarok 3, even better KDE educational applications, a finished port of GCompris to Qt and KDE technologies, an updated KDE Book, more work on Gluon and a new and amazing KDE SDK!

Here is another little snippet of the musings of a young student, Vedant Agarwala, from India who is doing his Google Summer of Code project with KDE this year.

Could you describe yourself in a few lines and tell us where you're from?

I am a Computer Science Engineer, currently in my final year of graduation from National Institute of Technology, Durgapur.

How did you first chance upon KDE? Could you describe your journey in short?

Towards the end of my first year in college I wanted to do some real world coding - code that actually had some meaning and that would be really useful to someone - as opposed to college assignments/evaluations - and so I had a talk with one of my college seniors who was a two-time Google Summer of Code student. He was a KDE developer and suggested I do the same. That was the beginning of my journey into Linux, Open Source and KDE. It has been uphill since and two years later; here I am; eagerly awaiting arrival at a KDE Sprint.

Could you describe your Google Summer of Code experience and GSoC project in short?

So far my GSoC experience is really nice. Some really busy times researching, coding, testing, debugging. I am improving the way lyrics are fetched and displayed in Amarok. Personally; I like to follow the lyrics of the song that is playing; so I added this idea to the Ideas Page for GSoC 2014. And now here I am, working on it. The goal of my project is to highlight the particular line from the entire lyrics text that is being played.
My ultimate goal is to add the features that I have promised. I hope I achieve it. Not only would it improve the Amarok experience, it would pave the way to developments in Amarok; like karaoke. I love karaoke (even though I am very bad at it). Though it is out of the scope of this project to implement a karaoke feature, implementing LRC support is halfway to karaoke.


Amarok - a powerful music player for Linux, Unix and Windows

Could you tell us how GSoC helps many students like you both in increasing their knowledge as well as in experience?

GSoC is a great program for us students who get paid for working on Free Software. A lot is learnt while writing code over a period of three months. It is different from bug fixes that take typically a week. Also, the mentorship and two evaluations by Google (on which the stipend depends) are great motivators.
Rather than spending time writing closed source code for companies (in internships), students can spend their summer vacation contributing to the world of Free Software.

Why is KDE so special to you?

KDE to me is freedom. I used windows before KDE software and I felt like a bird let out of a cage.

Is this your first time at Randa?

Yes it is my first time. To any KDE conference actually.

When did you first hear about the meetings in Randa and why do you wish to be a part of it?

I heard about this meeting in Randa from Myriam on IRC. I'd heard that she, Mark and other developers of Amarok and KDE were going to be there and so I thought that it would be a nice opportunity to meet them in person.

Which specific area of KDE Applications do you contribute to?

I work on Amarok - KDE's music player.

What is your specific role in the particular group of KDE Applications that you are a part of and how long have you been working?

I contribute code, do some code reviews, and fix bugs. I have been working on it for one and half years now.

Have you got anything in particular planned for Randa?

I have planned to talk about porting Amarok to Qt5 and talk with Amarok developers to decide what Amarok 3.0 will be like.

Why do you think meetings such as Randa are very important for KDE and for Free Software communities around the globe?

The contributors of Free Software do not receive any monetary perks for the work they do. Sponsored meetings like this is a nice incentive, especially for students.

Is this your first time to Switzerland? Are you excited about being in another country?

I went to Switzerland when I was 5 years old. I haven't been abroad after that. Those memories are a haze but I would love to re-live them this time.

Thanks a lot, Vedant, for your time for the interview and dedication to Amarok and the KDE community.

Please support us in the organization of the Randa Meetings 2014.

Dot Categories:

Randa Meetings Interview Three: Vedant Agrawal

KDE News - Vie, 06/27/2014 - 06:28

Vedant Agarwala

Thanks again for your further support of the Randa Meetings fundraising. We have now reached almost 40% of the our goal and there is still time to go. Please help even more and spread the word. If we reach our goal we can have an even more stable Kdenlive, more applications ported to KDE Frameworks 5, further progress on Phonon, a look at Amarok 3, even better KDE educational applications, a finished port of GCompris to Qt and KDE technologies, an updated KDE Book, more work on Gluon and a new and amazing KDE SDK!

Here is another little snippet of the musings of a young student, Vedant Agarwala, from India who is doing his Google Summer of Code project with KDE this year.

Could you describe yourself in a few lines and tell us where you're from?

I am a Computer Science Engineer, currently in my final year of graduation from National Institute of Technology, Durgapur.

How did you first chance upon KDE? Could you describe your journey in short?

Towards the end of my first year in college I wanted to do some real world coding - code that actually had some meaning and that would be really useful to someone - as opposed to college assignments/evaluations - and so I had a talk with one of my college seniors who was a two-time Google Summer of Code student. He was a KDE developer and suggested I do the same. That was the beginning of my journey into Linux, Open Source and KDE. It has been uphill since and two years later; here I am; eagerly awaiting arrival at a KDE Sprint.

Could you describe your Google Summer of Code experience and GSoC project in short?

So far my GSoC experience is really nice. Some really busy times researching, coding, testing, debugging. I am improving the way lyrics are fetched and displayed in Amarok. Personally; I like to follow the lyrics of the song that is playing; so I added this idea to the Ideas Page for GSoC 2014. And now here I am, working on it. The goal of my project is to highlight the particular line from the entire lyrics text that is being played.
My ultimate goal is to add the features that I have promised. I hope I achieve it. Not only would it improve the Amarok experience, it would pave the way to developments in Amarok; like karaoke. I love karaoke (even though I am very bad at it). Though it is out of the scope of this project to implement a karaoke feature, implementing LRC support is halfway to karaoke.


Amarok - a powerful music player for Linux, Unix and Windows

Could you tell us how GSoC helps many students like you both in increasing their knowledge as well as in experience?

GSoC is a great program for us students who get paid for working on Free Software. A lot is learnt while writing code over a period of three months. It is different from bug fixes that take typically a week. Also, the mentorship and two evaluations by Google (on which the stipend depends) are great motivators.
Rather than spending time writing closed source code for companies (in internships), students can spend their summer vacation contributing to the world of Free Software.

Why is KDE so special to you?

KDE to me is freedom. I used windows before KDE software and I felt like a bird let out of a cage.

Is this your first time at Randa?

Yes it is my first time. To any KDE conference actually.

When did you first hear about the meetings in Randa and why do you wish to be a part of it?

I heard about this meeting in Randa from Myriam on IRC. I'd heard that she, Mark and other developers of Amarok and KDE were going to be there and so I thought that it would be a nice opportunity to meet them in person.

Which specific area of KDE Applications do you contribute to?

I work on Amarok - KDE's music player.

What is your specific role in the particular group of KDE Applications that you are a part of and how long have you been working?

I contribute code, do some code reviews, and fix bugs. I have been working on it for one and half years now.

Have you got anything in particular planned for Randa?

I have planned to talk about porting Amarok to Qt5 and talk with Amarok developers to decide what Amarok 3.0 will be like.

Why do you think meetings such as Randa are very important for KDE and for Free Software communities around the globe?

The contributors of Free Software do not receive any monetary perks for the work they do. Sponsored meetings like this is a nice incentive, especially for students.

Is this your first time to Switzerland? Are you excited about being in another country?

I went to Switzerland when I was 5 years old. I haven't been abroad after that. Those memories are a haze but I would love to re-live them this time.

Thanks a lot, Vedant, for your time for the interview and dedication to Amarok and the KDE community.

Please support us in the organization of the Randa Meetings 2014.

Dot Categories:

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Lanzado Plasma Media Center 1.3

Planet KDE Español - Vie, 06/27/2014 - 02:06

El equipo de desarrolladores de Plasma Media Center (PCM) de KDE lanzó Plasma Media Center 1.2 justo antes de Navidad, 6 meses después lanza la siguiente versión: Plasma Media Center 1.3.   Plasma Media Center Para quienes no sepan, Plasma Media Center es un centro multimedia, es decir, una aplicación que aúna en una interfaz [&hellip

Christian Díez (Malcer): La suite artística Caledonia se prepara para Plasma Next

Planet KDE Español - Jue, 06/26/2014 - 22:08

Trabajo muy tedioso este de hacer y mantener artwork para un entorno de escritorio, todo sea dicho (a pesar de todas las satisfacciones y el hecho de que en este caso lo hago principalmente para consumo propio, a la par que aprovecho para difundirlo). Pero hay que evolucionar y adaptarse. Caledonia (no solo el tema plasma, sino toda la suite) se prepara para recibir a Plasma Next, y con motivo de todo esto se espera algo más grande de lo habitual.

El tema plasma, pieza clave de la suite, seguirá prácticamente como siempre a pesar de su compatibilidad con Workspaces 5 (su estilo lo merece, es lo suficientemente perfecto en general, sólo se retocarán detalles, iconos y colores), pero habrá algunos cambios en el KDM, el KSplash, la colección de wallpapers y la web del proyecto, todo ello para dar la bienvenida a una nueva época. La tendencia general de todo ello es a algo más colorista, complementando aún más al frío gris, blanco y negro que predominaba en toda la colección. La clave de todo ello es generar aún más contraste y por supuesto darle algo de color y alegría gracias a los detalles. Empecé con colores pastel, desaturados y oscuros, y últimamente en todo el artwork que estoy haciendo he experimentando con mucho color buscando un estilo propio, y por supuesto quiero reflejarlo, ampliando así la paleta de colores de la colección. Haciendo esto hago que Caledonia se refresque dentro de su línea, y ayuda a que no me aburra con todo esto. Creo que será una mezcla realmente genial e interesante si tenemos en cuenta la base e inspiración industrial y todo el diseño alemán que ha portado hasta ahora.

La web será mucho más sencilla, ligera y directa (le hace muchísima falta), además de que debería tener soporte para dispositivos móviles como smartphones y tablets (bastante fundamental hoy en día, aunque la suite esté enfocada al escritorio). El tema KDM debería ser el último si Plasma Next y el próximo KDE instaura definitivamente SDDM como login manager, y hablando de éste, tengo que hacer un tema SDDM para Caledonia si ocurre.

La colección de wallpapers sufrirá otra renovación: el plan es dejar de lado todos los fondos de pantalla con estilo y colores que ya no encajen, y además estaría muy bien que la colección entera fuese de mi propia creación. Es decir, mi idea es rechazar la colaboración con otros artistas y centarme en ofrecer mis propios trabajos para hacerlo aún más personal. Echaré muchísimo de menos las calidades ajenas, pero eso me ayudará a crear mejores obras ahora que creo que puedo aportar mucho en este aspecto, ya que me he centrado en colecciones bastante buenas, siempre aumentando la calidad (y aún hay ases bajo la manga…).

La imagen que ilustra este artículo es un perfecto ejemplo de cómo se verá. Todo lo que se muestra está dentro de los planes de dicha actualización. El wallpaper será presentado y liberado muy pronto de forma individual (aún estoy trabajando en él) pero es obvio que será escogido para la colección “caledoniana”. El tema plasma de Caledonia presenta algunos detalles nuevos como los botones multimedia o los colores del calendario. Y también podéis ver un icono oficial para el menú de aplicaciones, que a pesar de que será presentado también más adelante, ya está disponible desde hace algunas semanas en el repositorio de SourceForge (y con una buena cantidad de descargas sin haberlo anunciado, no me lo esperaba). El icono para los menús de aplicaciones busca ser genérico, intentando desplazar de una vez al logo de KDE (no es nada personal, es que sencillamente debería haber hecho algo así hace tiempo teniendo en cuenta todo el planteamiento de la suite).

Y hasta aquí este breve anuncio o como queramos llamarlo.


KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Lanzado Linux Mint 17 Qiana KDE

Planet KDE Español - Jue, 06/26/2014 - 13:16

Recientemente fue lanzado Linux Mint 17 Qiana KDE, es decir, la versión definitiva de Linux Mint 17 en su versión escritorio KDE. Una gran noticia para todos los usaurios de distribuciones GNU/Linux ¿Quieres saber algo más de ella? Lanzado Linux Mint 17 Qiana KDE De esta forma, ya se ha llegado a la 17ª versión de [&hellip

Where KDE is going - Part 1

KDE News - Mié, 06/25/2014 - 22:01

This article explores where the KDE community currently stands and where it is going. Frameworks, Plasma, KDE e.V., Qt5, KDE Free Qt Foundation, QtAddons - you heard some of these terms and want to know what all the fuss is about? A set of articles on the Dot aims to bring some clarity in the changes and constants of the KDE community in 2014 and further. This is the first article, diving into the technical side of things: Plasma, applications and libraries.

KDE is People

Today our technology goes much further than the humble beginnings in 1996, when we started out building a 'Desktop Environment'. KDE today has many hundreds of active developers. They make not only a 'desktop' (Plasma Desktop) but also a variant for tablets (Plasma Active) and TVs (Plasma Media Center); Plasma Netbook is already 5 years old!

Meanwhile, the KDE applications have gone beyond simple clocks and calculators – we have a full office suite, mail and calendaring, video and image editors and much more. Not only that, KDE applications are being ported to multiple platforms - not just Windows and Mac, but also Android and other mobile operating systems. And our libraries (being renamed to Frameworks 5) are going modular, making them freely available to a far wider audience than just KDE developers.

Today, KDE is no longer a Unix Desktop Environment. Today, KDE is people: Us. You and me. And our technologies—Plasma, Applications and Frameworks—are doing more today than ever before. Let's explore where they are going, starting with Plasma, central to our desktop interface.

Plasma by KDE

Plasma was conceived as the next generation of KDE's desktop technology. When its architecture was drafted in 2006 and 2007, the goal of the developers was to build a modular base suitable for multiple different user interfaces. It is easy to see this as an obvious goal in a world with high resolution displays, tablets, mobile phones, media centers and so on. But as argued here, until today, KDE technology is unique in its ability to converge the different form factors at a code level. Others are still either attempting to build one interface for a wide variety of devices, looking for a middle ground or have realized that user interface convergence is a futile exercise and created separate interfaces.


Multiple Plasma Workspaces in March 2011 Plasma 5

Plasma took some time to mature, in part due to its ambitious design, in part because the technologies it built upon were not mature enough for the needs of Plasma. This is still somewhat of a problem today, and the 4.x series has workarounds to deal with the deficiencies in the platforms below it.

This is where the next generation of Plasma technology comes in. Conveniently named Plasma 5, it will bring pixel-perfect design and super smooth performance thanks to the QML and Qt 5 technologies and fully hardware accelerated display rendering. High DPI support and the ability to work with Wayland (Linux's next generation display server) are planned as well, but neither are expected to be fully finished with the first release.


A scalable UI

With Plasma 5 the team can start working on bringing seamless switching of work-spaces when moving from device to device. For example, plugging a keyboard and mouse into a tablet can trigger Plasma to transform its tablet-and-touch optimized UI into the desktop interface. And the applications, being notified of the change, can follow adapting to the new form factor. The current Plasma technology already can hint to applications which QML/ Javascript/ graphics files fit the current form factor and is already being used in Plasma Active, the tablet-optimized workspace of Plasma. None of this requires logging out-and-in – you can just continue working with the document you were working in or keep reading that web site!

These capabilities put the current Plasma far ahead of any competitor and the gap will only increase with the release of Plasma 5. But these advanced features do not take away from the familiar interface. The Plasma team is fully aware of value of established work flows of computer users and the need of not disrupting them. This means that there will be minimal feature loss or changes in the setup of the desktop. Just butter-smooth performance, polished look and more flexibility.

The Visual Design Group, Interaction Design and Usability
A new design for Plasma

Aside from technical work, there is design and usability work going on. The idea behind the Visual Design Group was to build a team in KDE which would focus on design. This is done in a rather novel way, led by the enthusiasm of Jens Reuterberg, a FOSS enthusiast and designer from Sweden. Since the inception of the design team, there has been work in many areas. There have been new icons and improvements to existing design elements of KDE software but the majority of work has been focused on Plasma 5. A widget theme is in development, a cursor theme as well and icons are being discussed. And Plasma 5.0 will move to the Oxygen font by default. But the team also looks at interaction design and work flows in the interface, working together with the KDE usability team.

The usability team keeps developers and designers experimenting with new user interfaces close to the ground, making sure the user impact of their work is evaluated. The team conducts surveys and tests as well as using its own expertise to help the KDE developers design powerful but easy to use applications.


The new lock screen

Usability experts have been giving feedback in various areas of KDE's software, for example working closely with the developers of a new network manager interface for Plasma. Another example is the chat room experience in KDE Telepathy. Currently, work is being put into redesigning Systemsettings and many other things.


A redesigned battery applet

At events like Akademy, the usability team gives developers training in testing user interfaces with real users. Aside of working directly with developers and training them, the usability team has been reworking KDE's Human Interface Guidelines.

Work in progress

The first release of this new generation Plasma will not be without its issues. With a substantial change in underlying stack come exciting new crashes and problems that need time to be shaken out. This can also lead to visual artifacts. While QML2 brings better looks due to its seamless integration of openGL and more precise positioning, the immaturity of Qt Quick Controls, the successor to the 15 year old widget technology in Qt, will bring some rough edges in other areas. Moreover, as the latest Beta announcement points out, performance is also heavily dependent on specific hardware and software configuration:

In some scenarios, Plasma 5 will display the buttery smooth performance it is capable off - while at other times, it will be hampered by various shortcomings. These can and will be addressed, however, much is dependent on components like Qt, Mesa and hardware drivers lower in the stack. This will need time, as fixes made in Qt now simply won't be released by the time the first Plasma 5 version becomes available.” Plasma 5.0 is scheduled for release July 2014.

Read more:

The KDE Applications

Compared to the desktop and libraries, the situation with KDE's applications is simpler. Currently at 4.13, the next release will be 4.14, coming in August. After that there will be another release (together with KF5-based applications) but what comes next is still up for discussion. KDE's release team has been experimenting with shortening the release cycle. Shorter release cycles seem to be a trend throughout the ecosystem, facilitated by improved tools and processes.

A very fast release cycle?

Experiences in the world of mobile and web applications have shown that users are far more likely to start using features and appreciate small batches instead of large dumps. Short release cycles can bring bug fixes and improvements to our users much faster. On the other hand, most users of KDE software access their software and updates through the downstream distributions which are on slower release cycles even though they have repositories for updated software. Therefor this is a discussion which needs to include the distributions as much as the upstream developers.

And in any case, both our release infrastructure and our promotion will have to be adjusted as well. This has been started on the KDE Community mailing list, with proposals involving a clean up of the KDE Applications and changes in the release cadence.

Moving to Frameworks 5

The trend towards shorter release cycles requires many questions answered before it becomes feasible in practice. But a move to Frameworks 5 is certain to happen at some point, the question merely is when. Some applications have already started porting, encouraged by the swift progress being made on Frameworks 5. However most have not; it is not likely that most applications will have been ported to Frameworks 5 by the end of the year. Porting is relatively easy but the teams vary in focus and goals so we will have a Frameworks 5 based Applications release next to a 4.x series for a while.

Here again, KDE developers want the upgrade process to be smooth for users. In short, the 4.x series will be with us for the time being, and a Frameworks 5 series will be available in parallel. Regardless of the series, applications will work fine under any desktop. Developers want to ensure that migration is not an issue.

Read more:

KDE Libraries

When KDE began more than 15 years ago, development was application-driven. Libraries were intended to share work, making development easier and faster. New functionality in the libraries was added based on simple rules. For example, if a particular functionality was used in more than one place, it was put into a shared library. Today, the KDE libraries provide high-level functionality like toolbars and menus, spell checking and file access. They are also used occasionally to fix or work around issues in Qt and other libraries that KDE software depends upon. Distributed as a single set of interconnected libraries, they form a common code base for (almost) all KDE applications.

Frameworks 5

Under the KDE Frameworks efforts, these libraries are being methodically reworked into independent, cross platform modules that will be readily available to all Qt developers. Some functions have already been adopted as Qt standards. The KDE Frameworks—designed as drop-in Qt Addon libraries—will enrich Qt as a development environment. The Frameworks can simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of Qt development by eliminating the need to reinvent key functions. Qt is growing in popularity. Ubuntu is building on Qt and QML for Ubuntu Phone and planning to move over the desktop in the future. The LXDE desktop and GCompris projects are in the process of porting over to Qt. Subsurface (a divelog project made famous by having Linus Torvalds as core contributor) has had its first Qt based release.

With Frameworks, KDE is getting closer to Qt, benefiting both, as well as more and more users and developers. The Frameworks team plans to go for monthly releases with 'branch-less development'. This means that everything will be developed in master, so each release will contain a few new features and bugfixes. Of course, this type of release cycle comes with a price of its own. Features in released modules can only be introduced in a very fine grained way so as to not jeopardize stability and our continuous integration and testing tools will be taken very seriously. All modified code has to come with corresponding tests and there is a strong focus on peer review. This model is still under discussion with the distribution teams, considering the impact on their release practices. KDE Frameworks 5.0 is planned to be released in the first week of July 2014.

Read more:

Conclusion

Now, we've covered the Frameworks, Applications and Plasma—the full gamut of KDE technologies. By summer of this year we can expect new generation Frameworks and Plasma to be available. The Applications will take a tad longer, but should run on any desktop. All have release cycle changes, no longer releasing as part of the full "KDE Software Compilation". Compared to the previous major change in platform (KDE 4.0), these will be incremental on a technical level. Plasma 5 and Frameworks 5 are very much about taking advantage of the fact that our infrastructure has caught up with our ambitions. We intend to deliver these benefits in the form of a great experience for our users!

Next week, we'll publish part two of the 'where KDE is going' mini-series, with a look at KDE's governance and how our community has been changing.

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 (August) issue of Linux Voice magazine, 'the magazine that gives back to the Free Software community'

Dot Categories:

Where KDE is going - Part 1

KDE News - Mié, 06/25/2014 - 22:01

This article explores where the KDE community currently stands and where it is going. Frameworks, Plasma, KDE e.V., Qt5, KDE Free Qt Foundation, QtAddons - you heard some of these terms and want to know what all the fuss is about? A set of articles on the Dot aims to bring some clarity in the changes and constants of the KDE community in 2014 and further. This is the first article, diving into the technical side of things: Plasma, applications and libraries.

KDE is People

Today our technology goes much further than the humble beginnings in 1996, when we started out building a 'Desktop Environment'. KDE today has many hundreds of active developers. They make not only a 'desktop' (Plasma Desktop) but also a variant for tablets (Plasma Active) and TVs (Plasma Media Center); Plasma Netbook is already 5 years old!

Meanwhile, the KDE applications have gone beyond simple clocks and calculators – we have a full office suite, mail and calendaring, video and image editors and much more. Not only that, KDE applications are being ported to multiple platforms - not just Windows and Mac, but also Android and other mobile operating systems. And our libraries (being renamed to Frameworks 5) are going modular, making them freely available to a far wider audience than just KDE developers.

Today, KDE is no longer a Unix Desktop Environment. Today, KDE is people: Us. You and me. And our technologies—Plasma, Applications and Frameworks—are doing more today than ever before. Let's explore where they are going, starting with Plasma, central to our desktop interface.

Plasma by KDE

Plasma was conceived as the next generation of KDE's desktop technology. When its architecture was drafted in 2006 and 2007, the goal of the developers was to build a modular base suitable for multiple different user interfaces. It is easy to see this as an obvious goal in a world with high resolution displays, tablets, mobile phones, media centers and so on. But as argued here, until today, KDE technology is unique in its ability to converge the different form factors at a code level. Others are still either attempting to build one interface for a wide variety of devices, looking for a middle ground or have realized that user interface convergence is a futile exercise and created separate interfaces.


Multiple Plasma Workspaces in March 2011 Plasma 5

Plasma took some time to mature, in part due to its ambitious design, in part because the technologies it built upon were not mature enough for the needs of Plasma. This is still somewhat of a problem today, and the 4.x series has workarounds to deal with the deficiencies in the platforms below it.

This is where the next generation of Plasma technology comes in. Conveniently named Plasma 5, it will bring pixel-perfect design and super smooth performance thanks to the QML and Qt 5 technologies and fully hardware accelerated display rendering. High DPI support and the ability to work with Wayland (Linux's next generation display server) are planned as well, but neither are expected to be fully finished with the first release.


A scalable UI

With Plasma 5 the team can start working on bringing seamless switching of work-spaces when moving from device to device. For example, plugging a keyboard and mouse into a tablet can trigger Plasma to transform its tablet-and-touch optimized UI into the desktop interface. And the applications, being notified of the change, can follow adapting to the new form factor. The current Plasma technology already can hint to applications which QML/ Javascript/ graphics files fit the current form factor and is already being used in Plasma Active, the tablet-optimized workspace of Plasma. None of this requires logging out-and-in – you can just continue working with the document you were working in or keep reading that web site!

These capabilities put the current Plasma far ahead of any competitor and the gap will only increase with the release of Plasma 5. But these advanced features do not take away from the familiar interface. The Plasma team is fully aware of value of established work flows of computer users and the need of not disrupting them. This means that there will be minimal feature loss or changes in the setup of the desktop. Just butter-smooth performance, polished look and more flexibility.

The Visual Design Group, Interaction Design and Usability
A new design for Plasma

Aside from technical work, there is design and usability work going on. The idea behind the Visual Design Group was to build a team in KDE which would focus on design. This is done in a rather novel way, led by the enthusiasm of Jens Reuterberg, a FOSS enthusiast and designer from Sweden. Since the inception of the design team, there has been work in many areas. There have been new icons and improvements to existing design elements of KDE software but the majority of work has been focused on Plasma 5. A widget theme is in development, a cursor theme as well and icons are being discussed. And Plasma 5.0 will move to the Oxygen font by default. But the team also looks at interaction design and work flows in the interface, working together with the KDE usability team.

The usability team keeps developers and designers experimenting with new user interfaces close to the ground, making sure the user impact of their work is evaluated. The team conducts surveys and tests as well as using its own expertise to help the KDE developers design powerful but easy to use applications.


The new lock screen

Usability experts have been giving feedback in various areas of KDE's software, for example working closely with the developers of a new network manager interface for Plasma. Another example is the chat room experience in KDE Telepathy. Currently, work is being put into redesigning Systemsettings and many other things.


A redesigned battery applet

At events like Akademy, the usability team gives developers training in testing user interfaces with real users. Aside of working directly with developers and training them, the usability team has been reworking KDE's Human Interface Guidelines.

Work in progress

The first release of this new generation Plasma will not be without its issues. With a substantial change in underlying stack come exciting new crashes and problems that need time to be shaken out. This can also lead to visual artifacts. While QML2 brings better looks due to its seamless integration of openGL and more precise positioning, the immaturity of Qt Quick Controls, the successor to the 15 year old widget technology in Qt, will bring some rough edges in other areas. Moreover, as the latest Beta announcement points out, performance is also heavily dependent on specific hardware and software configuration:

In some scenarios, Plasma 5 will display the buttery smooth performance it is capable off - while at other times, it will be hampered by various shortcomings. These can and will be addressed, however, much is dependent on components like Qt, Mesa and hardware drivers lower in the stack. This will need time, as fixes made in Qt now simply won't be released by the time the first Plasma 5 version becomes available.” Plasma 5.0 is scheduled for release July 2014.

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The KDE Applications

Compared to the desktop and libraries, the situation with KDE's applications is simpler. Currently at 4.13, the next release will be 4.14, coming in August. After that there will be another release (together with KF5-based applications) but what comes next is still up for discussion. KDE's release team has been experimenting with shortening the release cycle. Shorter release cycles seem to be a trend throughout the ecosystem, facilitated by improved tools and processes.

A very fast release cycle?

Experiences in the world of mobile and web applications have shown that users are far more likely to start using features and appreciate small batches instead of large dumps. Short release cycles can bring bug fixes and improvements to our users much faster. On the other hand, most users of KDE software access their software and updates through the downstream distributions which are on slower release cycles even though they have repositories for updated software. Therefor this is a discussion which needs to include the distributions as much as the upstream developers.

And in any case, both our release infrastructure and our promotion will have to be adjusted as well. This has been started on the KDE Community mailing list, with proposals involving a clean up of the KDE Applications and changes in the release cadence.

Moving to Frameworks 5

The trend towards shorter release cycles requires many questions answered before it becomes feasible in practice. But a move to Frameworks 5 is certain to happen at some point, the question merely is when. Some applications have already started porting, encouraged by the swift progress being made on Frameworks 5. However most have not; it is not likely that most applications will have been ported to Frameworks 5 by the end of the year. Porting is relatively easy but the teams vary in focus and goals so we will have a Frameworks 5 based Applications release next to a 4.x series for a while.

Here again, KDE developers want the upgrade process to be smooth for users. In short, the 4.x series will be with us for the time being, and a Frameworks 5 series will be available in parallel. Regardless of the series, applications will work fine under any desktop. Developers want to ensure that migration is not an issue.

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KDE Libraries

When KDE began more than 15 years ago, development was application-driven. Libraries were intended to share work, making development easier and faster. New functionality in the libraries was added based on simple rules. For example, if a particular functionality was used in more than one place, it was put into a shared library. Today, the KDE libraries provide high-level functionality like toolbars and menus, spell checking and file access. They are also used occasionally to fix or work around issues in Qt and other libraries that KDE software depends upon. Distributed as a single set of interconnected libraries, they form a common code base for (almost) all KDE applications.

Frameworks 5

Under the KDE Frameworks efforts, these libraries are being methodically reworked into independent, cross platform modules that will be readily available to all Qt developers. Some functions have already been adopted as Qt standards. The KDE Frameworks—designed as drop-in Qt Addon libraries—will enrich Qt as a development environment. The Frameworks can simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of Qt development by eliminating the need to reinvent key functions. Qt is growing in popularity. Ubuntu is building on Qt and QML for Ubuntu Phone and planning to move over the desktop in the future. The LXDE desktop and GCompris projects are in the process of porting over to Qt. Subsurface (a divelog project made famous by having Linus Torvalds as core contributor) has had its first Qt based release.

With Frameworks, KDE is getting closer to Qt, benefiting both, as well as more and more users and developers. The Frameworks team plans to go for monthly releases with 'branch-less development'. This means that everything will be developed in master, so each release will contain a few new features and bugfixes. Of course, this type of release cycle comes with a price of its own. Features in released modules can only be introduced in a very fine grained way so as to not jeopardize stability and our continuous integration and testing tools will be taken very seriously. All modified code has to come with corresponding tests and there is a strong focus on peer review. This model is still under discussion with the distribution teams, considering the impact on their release practices. KDE Frameworks 5.0 is planned to be released in the first week of July 2014.

Read more:

Conclusion

Now, we've covered the Frameworks, Applications and Plasma—the full gamut of KDE technologies. By summer of this year we can expect new generation Frameworks and Plasma to be available. The Applications will take a tad longer, but should run on any desktop. All have release cycle changes, no longer releasing as part of the full "KDE Software Compilation". Compared to the previous major change in platform (KDE 4.0), these will be incremental on a technical level. Plasma 5 and Frameworks 5 are very much about taking advantage of the fact that our infrastructure has caught up with our ambitions. We intend to deliver these benefits in the form of a great experience for our users!

Next week, we'll publish part two of the 'where KDE is going' mini-series, with a look at KDE's governance and how our community has been changing.

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 (August) issue of Linux Voice magazine, 'the magazine that gives back to the Free Software community'

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KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Netrunner 14 disponible para su descarga

Planet KDE Español - Mié, 06/25/2014 - 16:37

El pasado 22 de junio fue lanzado Netrunner 14, la última versión de una distribución peculiar de GNU/Linux, y que demuestra algo que ya comentamos en el blog: que se trata de una de las distribuciones con más futuro y realmente interesante. ¿Qué es Netrunner? Netrunner se trata de una distribución desarrollada por Blue Systems, [&hellip

KDE Blog (Baltasar Ortega): Cómo crear y probar Plasma Next con Neon 5 Live

Planet KDE Español - Mar, 06/24/2014 - 05:10

Parece ser que esta semana vo y a hincharos a vídeos sobre Plasma Next. Si ayer vimos un pequeño vídeo de Mahmoud Linux en el que nos mostraba algunas de las funcionalidades de la próxima versión del escritorio que nos va a ofrecer la Comunidad KDE, hoy os traigo una mini guía de cómo crear [&hellip

Plasma Media Center 1.3 Available

KDE News - Lun, 06/23/2014 - 14:05

Plasma Media Center 1.2 was released as a Christmas gift. Now, we bring to you Plasma Media Center 1.3! As always, we have made sure to make it easier to enjoy your favorite videos, music and photos - both from your collection as well as online sources. A big focus has been performance improvements when showing you the media on your computer as well as general polish for the UI.


Plasma Media Center in action What is new?
  • Support for fetching media from Baloo
    Plasma Media Center now supports fetching your media collection from the new KDE Semantic Search - Baloo.
    This means your media library loads faster than ever. However, PMC continues to support Nepomuk if you have KDE libraries installed.
  • MPRIS support
    This lets you use any sort of controller that supports MPRIS to control PMC - this ranges from taskbar previews, Now Playing plasmoid and many more!
  • (Experimental) support for a simple filesystem based media scanner
    For when you don't have Nepomuk or Baloo installed
  • More details in All Music mode
    We now show more details about media in the All Music mode, like artist, album and duration.
  • Improved GStreamer compatibility
    A conflict between GStreamer0.10 and GStreamer1.0 in some distros will no longer break playback (Launchpad Bug)
  • We now have tests for the PMC core libs
    This will lead to less bugs in the future!
  • Numerous bug fixes and UI polish

MPRIS support allows deep desktop integration Installing PMC 1.3

Here is the source tarball link.

Follow instructions here to install Plasma Media Center on your machine from source. For binary packages, check with your distro if they have. If you're a packager (or know someone who is), we will be glad to help if you have any questions.

Learning more and contributing

To know more about Plasma Media Center, check out the wiki. If you want to contribute, this will get you started.

Bugs

Found any bug in PMC or want to have your favourite feature included in future release? File a bug!

Coming up

While this release was more focused on switching desktop search and UI polish, we have some exciting features lined up for the next release. These include:

  • Plasma Media Center for Plasma Next - your Plasma desktop will magically transform into a Media Center (current status)
  • DVB support (i.e you can watch TV in PMC if you have DVB at your home) (current status)
  • Voice recognition support - so you say it, we play it! (current status)
  • And some more surprises ;).

Thanks to all the developers, testers and people for useful feedback on improving Plasma Media Center. And of course a thanks to all our users: we hope you enjoy the new release!

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Plasma Media Center 1.3 Available

KDE News - Lun, 06/23/2014 - 14:05

Plasma Media Center 1.2 was released as a Christmas gift. Now, we bring to you Plasma Media Center 1.3! As always, we have made sure to make it easier to enjoy your favorite videos, music and photos - both from your collection as well as online sources. A big focus has been performance improvements when showing you the media on your computer as well as general polish for the UI.


Plasma Media Center in action What is new?
  • Support for fetching media from Baloo
    Plasma Media Center now supports fetching your media collection from the new KDE Semantic Search - Baloo.
    This means your media library loads faster than ever. However, PMC continues to support Nepomuk if you have KDE libraries installed.
  • MPRIS support
    This lets you use any sort of controller that supports MPRIS to control PMC - this ranges from taskbar previews, Now Playing plasmoid and many more!
  • (Experimental) support for a simple filesystem based media scanner
    For when you don't have Nepomuk or Baloo installed
  • More details in All Music mode
    We now show more details about media in the All Music mode, like artist, album and duration.
  • Improved GStreamer compatibility
    A conflict between GStreamer0.10 and GStreamer1.0 in some distros will no longer break playback (Launchpad Bug)
  • We now have tests for the PMC core libs
    This will lead to less bugs in the future!
  • Numerous bug fixes and UI polish

MPRIS support allows deep desktop integration Installing PMC 1.3

Here is the source tarball link.

Follow instructions here to install Plasma Media Center on your machine from source. For binary packages, check with your distro if they have. If you're a packager (or know someone who is), we will be glad to help if you have any questions.

Learning more and contributing

To know more about Plasma Media Center, check out the wiki. If you want to contribute, this will get you started.

Bugs

Found any bug in PMC or want to have your favourite feature included in future release? File a bug!

Coming up

While this release was more focused on switching desktop search and UI polish, we have some exciting features lined up for the next release. These include:

  • Plasma Media Center for Plasma Next - your Plasma desktop will magically transform into a Media Center (current status)
  • DVB support (i.e you can watch TV in PMC if you have DVB at your home) (current status)
  • Voice recognition support - so you say it, we play it! (current status)
  • And some more surprises ;).

Thanks to all the developers, testers and people for useful feedback on improving Plasma Media Center. And of course a thanks to all our users: we hope you enjoy the new release!

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

Planet KDE Español - Lun, 06/23/2014 - 11:36

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. Hoy tengo el gusto de mostraros un pequeño vídeo con algunas de sus funcionalidades. Vídeo de Plasma Next, el futuro de KDE El vídeo está realizado por [&hellip

People of KDE is back

KDE News - Lun, 06/23/2014 - 07:32

As Michael Bohlender (known to some e.g. for his GSoC project about Kmail Active last year) needed to do some interviews for his anthropology course at the university he decided to reactive the People behind KDE series or, as they are now named, the People of KDE series.

In the first episode (as computer scientists call it: Episode 0) he had a video chat with Mario Fux, best known for the organization of the Randa Meetings. Watch this 30 minutes episode to get more information about what Mario does in KDE, about the history of the Randa Meetings and why it is well worth to support them.


GCompris

After the test run Michael had another video chat with Bruno Coudoin this week. Bruno is best known for his work on GCompris a great educational application for kids between 2 and 10 years old (and older ones ;-). Some months ago he decided to rewrite his application and chose Qt Quick as the technology to reach out to other platforms like Android and Co. As Bruno and his team need to rewrite more than 140 activities this will need some dedicated hacking time and they will participate in the Randa Meeting this August. You can take a look of the current state of porting GCompris from GTK to Qt in this video.

A big thank you to Michael for his interviews, we are looking forward for more episodes of People of KDE!

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People of KDE is back

KDE News - Lun, 06/23/2014 - 07:32

As Michael Bohlender (known to some e.g. for his GSoC project about Kmail Active last year) needed to do some interviews for his anthropology course at the university he decided to reactive the People behind KDE series or, as they are now named, the People of KDE series.

In the first episode (as computer scientists call it: Episode 0) he had a video chat with Mario Fux, best known for the organization of the Randa Meetings. Watch this 30 minutes episode to get more information about what Mario does in KDE, about the history of the Randa Meetings and why it is well worth to support them.


GCompris

After the test run Michael had another video chat with Bruno Coudoin this week. Bruno is best known for his work on GCompris a great educational application for kids between 2 and 10 years old (and older ones ;-). Some months ago he decided to rewrite his application and chose Qt Quick as the technology to reach out to other platforms like Android and Co. As Bruno and his team need to rewrite more than 140 activities this will need some dedicated hacking time and they will participate in the Randa Meeting this August. You can take a look of the current state of porting GCompris from GTK to Qt in this video.

A big thank you to Michael for his interviews, we are looking forward for more episodes of People of KDE!

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