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    KDE Sprints - who wins? Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:15:58 +0000

    We are raising money to support KDE sprints. People have asked legitimate questions about those funds—who gets the money? Who benefits?

    To start with, KDE sprints are intensive sessions centered around coding. They take place in person over several days, during which time skillful developers eat, drink and sleep code. There are breaks to refresh and gain perspective, but mostly sprints involve hard, focused work. All of this developer time and effort is unpaid. However travel expenses for some developers are covered by KDE. KDE is a frugal organization with comparatively low administrative costs, and only one paid person who works part time. So the money donated for sprints goes to cover actual expenses. Who gets the money? Almost all of it goes to transportation companies.

    Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

    Who benefits from contributions to KDE sprints?

    That's more interesting.

    Certainly KDE software is improved during KDE sprints, and innovations are planned and implemented. Developers are able to realize more of what they want their applications to be and do. They get to experiment. They get to have fun (if working on code many hours a day qualifies as “fun”). People who use KDE technology get the benefit of this effort and innovation. Some users claim that KDE does things well. Clearly sprint benefits go mostly to users, the millions of people all over the world who are using KDE technology.

    However, that is not nearly the whole story.

    Earlier this week on August 24th, Webkit had its 14th birthday. Although the Webkit name is trademarked by Apple, most of the original code came from KDE (in the form of the KHTML and KJS libraries). Apple developers had high praise for the work done by KDE developers. KDE's Free and Open Source software is available to anyone. The results of KDE sprints can benefit anyone. This shouldn't be taken lightly; KDE developers are some of the best in the world, and they work on important, current technology.

    Qt is another example of the largesse of the KDE Community. Ironically, KDE's choice of the Qt application framework helped to launch GNOME. The licensing controversies of those early days were resolved when the KDE Free Qt Foundation was established, providing strong foundations for both Qt and KDE Free and Open Source software, and demonstrating the ability of the KDE Community to adapt.

    KDE and Qt continue to have a mutually beneficial relationship. KDE developers represent the most number of Qt contributors outside of Digia, which licenses Qt commercially. So the code and innovation that KDE developers add to the Qt codebase benefit Digia, Digia's commercial customers and the thousands of developers using Qt to develop opensource and proprietary applications. Improvements to Qt have a direct benefit for the development of KDE applications.


    Randa Meetings intensity   photo by Anne-Marie Mahfouf

    At a sprint in 2011, KDE developers took the first steps to modularize the extensive KDE development platform into frameworks. In July 2014, it was announced that many KDE libraries were available for use by any Qt developer. Quoting from the announcement:

    Frameworks 5 is the next generation of KDE libraries, modularized and optimized for easy integration in Qt applications. The Frameworks offer a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. There are over 50 different Frameworks as part of this release providing solutions including hardware integration, file format support, additional widgets, plotting functions, spell checking and more. Many of the Frameworks are cross platform and have minimal or no extra dependencies making them easy to build and add to any Qt application.

    Since then, more such Qt capabilities have been added, and there's an online archive of Qt resources provided by the KDE Community.

    KDE sprints provide value widely and freely to anyone who wants the results. If you are a computer user, you have probably already enjoyed benefits provided by KDE.

    You Can Make a Difference

    KDE is one of the leading Free Software projects in the world, thanks in large part to skilled, committed developers such as those at the Randa Meetings in September. You can make a big difference by contributing financially. Please donate if you can. Share the responsibility, and the satisfaction of giving.

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    KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0, Feature Release for August Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:43:43 +0000



    Plasma 5.4

    Plasma 5.4

    Tuesday, 25 August 2015. Today KDE releases a feature release of the new version of Plasma 5.

    This release of Plasma brings many nice touches for our users such as much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons. It also lays the ground for the future with a tech preview of Wayland session available. We're shipping a few new components such as an Audio Volume Plasma Widget, monitor calibration tool and the User Manager tool comes out beta.





    Audio Volume

    The new Audio Volume Applet

    New Audio Volume Applet

    Our new Audio Volume applet works directly with PulseAudio, the popular sound server for Linux, to give you full control over volume and output settings in a beautifully designed simple interface.





    Dashboard alternative launcher

    The new Dashboard alternative launcher

    Application Dashboard alternative launcher

      Plasma 5.4 brings an entirely new fullscreen launcher Application Dashboard in kdeplasma-addons: Featuring all features of Application Menu it includes sophisticated scaling to screen size and full spatial keyboard navigation.

      The new launcher allows you to easily and quickly find applications, as well as recently used or favorited documents and contacts based on your previous activity.





    New Icons

    Just some of the new icons in this release

    Artwork Galore

    Plasma 5.4 brings over 1400 new icons covering not only all the KDE applications, but also providing Breeze themed artwork to apps such as Inkscape, Firefox and Libreoffice providing a more integrated, native feel.




    KRunner

    KRunner

    KRunner history

      KRunner now remembers your previous searches and automatically completes from the history as you type.





    Networks Graphs

    Network Graphs

    Useful graphs in Networks applet

      The Networks applet is now able to display network traffic graphs. It also supports two new VPN plugins for connecting over SSH or SSTP.


    Wayland Technology Preview

      With Plasma 5.4 the first technology preview of a Wayland session is released. On systems with free graphics drivers it is possible to run Plasma using KWin, Plasma's Wayland compositor and X11 window manager, through kernel mode settings. The currently supported feature set is driven by the needs for the Plasma Mobile projectand more desktop oriented features are not yet fully implemented. The current state does not yet allow to use it as a replacement for Xorg based desktop, but allows to easily test it, contribute and watch tear free videos. Instructions on how to start Plasma on Wayland can be found in the KWin wiki pages. Wayland support will improve in future releases with the aim to get to a stable release soon.

    Other changes and additions

    • Much improved high DPI support
    • Smaller memory footprint
    • Our desktop search got new and much faster backend
    • Sticky notes adds drag & drop support and keyboard navigation
    • Trash applet now works again with drag & drop
    • System tray gains quicker configurability
    • The documentation has been reviewed and updated
    • Improved layout for Digital clock in slim panels
    • ISO date support in Digital clock
    • New easy way to switch 12h/24h clock format in Digital clock
    • Week numbers in the calendar
    • Any type of item can now be favorited in Application Menu (Kicker) from any view, adding support for document and Telepathy contact favorites
    • Telepathy contact favorites show the contact photo and a realtime presence status badge
    • Improved focus and activation handling between applets and containment on the desktop
    • Various small fixes in Folder View: Better default sizes, fixes for mouse interaction issues, text label wrapping
    • The Task Manager now tries harder to preserve the icon it derived for a launcher by default
    • It's possible to add launchers by dropping apps on the Task Manager again
    • It's now possible to configure what happens when middle-clicking a task button in the Task Manager: Nothing, window close, or launching a new instance of the same app
    • The Task Manager will now sort column-major if the user forces more than one row; many users expected and prefer this sorting as it causes less task button moves as windows come and go
    • Improved icon and margin scaling for task buttons in the Task Manager
    • Various small fixes in the Task Manager: Forcing columns in vertical instance now works, touch event handling now works on all systems, fixed a visual issue with the group expander arrow
    • Provided the Purpose framework tech preview is available, the QuickShare Plasmoid can be used, making it easy to share files on many web services.
    • Monitor configuration tool added
    • kwallet-pam is added to open your wallet on login
    • User Manager now syncs contacts to KConfig settings and the User Account module has gone away
    • Performance improvements to Application Menu (Kicker)
    • Various small fixes to Application Menu (Kicker): Hiding/unhiding apps is more reliable, alignment fixes for top panels, 'Add to Desktop' against a Folder View containment is more reliable, better behavior in the KActivities-based Recent models
    • Support for custom menu layouts (through kmenuedit) and menu separator items in Application Menu (Kicker)
    • Folder View has improved mode when in panel (blog)
    • Dropping a folder on the Desktop containment will now offer creating a Folder View again




    Full Plasma 5.4 changelog

    Another KDE success story - the Incubator - Part 4 Mon, 24 Aug 2015 21:14:26 +0000





    Kdenlive is the leading video editor on Linux

    To wrap up the KDE Incubator success stories, here's a bit from the Kdenlive folks.

    Kdenlive, one of the rare free-as-in-speech video editors, started its life more than 12 years ago using KDE3 libraries. At that time, it was mostly the effort of a single person—coding, fixing bugs, publishing releases, managing the website. There was no real connection with the KDE Community. Good contributions came in from other people, but no team was built, a risky situation. In 2013, the main developer, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle, was not able to work on the project, so it was on hold for several months and had some technical problems. We tracked him down like a "Giant Spy" to get the project running until his return! That taught us a lesson. When Mario Fux presented the KDE Manifesto, it was the exact answer to our problem.

    Kdenlive had already started to use KDE git, forums and translation power after its first contact with the KDE Community at the Randa Meetings in 2011 (where we heard about the KDE Manifesto). Completing the incubation process in 2014 allowed us to benefit from all offered help. Transferring the website (with mailing lists) to the KDE sysadmin team was a great relief for us, the overbooked non-specialists. Joining KDE Applications a few months ago gave us relief from the release tasks, which lets us put the code in good shape 4 times a year instead of once.

    We had heard plenty about KDE being much more than a set of libraries or a technical infrastructure, that it is a community. The Kdenlive team needed to experience it. Now that we've been to the Randa Meetings and Akademy, we understand why it is worthwhile to interact with people in real life, in focused coding jam sessions. It greatly boosts motivation (smileys can't beat real smiles), helps us build a clear vision for the future (I'm not developing for myself only, but can't satisfy everyone...what should the focus be?), and offers opportunity to build bridges with other applications (want to work with drawn animations? Hey, Krita is doing that!). These contacts with many different people—designers, artists, developers, project managers, and users—who are contributing to KDE are also valuable feedback and a source of ideas to make our project evolve in exciting directions.

    Kdenlive raised some money in 2013 to fund a huge refactoring task that is only coming out now. However we had refused other donations since then as we were not sure we could use that money fairly. Now we have tasted in-person meetings, but we can't spend all our pocket money. So no problem; every single cent is welcome ;-)

    Please donate to the KDE Sprint fundraising campaign. You'll be helping Kdenlive and other important KDE projects as well.

    Thanks to Vincent Pinon and Jean-Baptiste Mardelle for this report.

    Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

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    Another KDE success story - the Incubator - Part 3 Sat, 22 Aug 2015 22:50:48 +0000





    KXStitch at work - Be Batman

    Continuing the series about KDE Incubator let's hear how KXStitch went through the process. KXStitch was incubated early and quickly.

    As Steve Allewell tells us: "In May 2014 I was contacted by Jeremy Whiting, a contributing developer to KDE, to see if I would be interested in submitting the KXStitch application to the KDE Incubator. KXStitch is an editor for counted cross stitch patterns and had already been in development for more than ten years as an independent KDE application. It was hosted on Sourceforge and as the main developer I was supported by a number of people who had provided ideas, testing, bug fixes and some translations.

    The KDE Incubator is an effort to help such applications to be migrated into the KDE infrastructure. This is something that I had already been considering, so it was an ideal opportunity to make that transition.

    It began with Jeremy announcing KXStitch as a candidate on the Incubator wiki page and the creation of another wiki page for the project itself. This page includes some information about what the application is and includes a couple of checklists detailing the activities that need to be completed to manage the migration into the KDE infrastructure.

    The first checklist is to ensure the application is ready to begin the incubation process, i.e. it complies with the KDE manifesto and that it is in active development. From this a plan can be devised for the migration, something which Jeremy, as the sponsor, provided invaluable help and advice pointing me to the relevant people and documentation that I needed to get set up.

    The second checklist covers the activities of this plan which, for me, involved setting up a developer account, git repository, mailing lists, web site, wiki and bug tracking. A number of these activities required raising tickets with the system administrators, something that was easily done through the ticketing system and were completed promptly. The administrators also provided help in getting my code imported into its new home in playground/graphics. Having a developer account created also allowed me access to create wiki pages on the KDE community site.

    After the initial import several people have done a lot of work fixing the documentation and a couple of bugs. The translations have been incorporated into the rest of KDE's l10n repositories and translations have been done in a lot more languages.

    As KXStitch was already a mature application, playground was intended as a short term place whilst the early integration work was done. At the end of May, KXStitch was moved into kdereview with the intention of moving to extragear/graphics. A number of people had a look over it and provided valuable feedback which prompted some updates fixing a few issues. At the end of June, KXStitch moved to its permanent home in extragear/graphics where it continues development and eventual conversion to KDE Frameworks 5.

    I would like to thank Jeremy for his help and support during the incubation process which turned out to be simple and straightforward, and the rest of the community for their contributions for getting KXStitch integrated into KDE."

    In a few days we'll tell you about another incubated project that participates as well at this year's edition of the Randa Meetings.

    Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

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    Another KDE success story - the Incubator - Part 2 Thu, 20 Aug 2015 22:27:53 +0000

    Proceeding with the next story about the KDE Incubator with the story of GCompris.

    GCompris is a high quality educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10. It started in 2000 using the GTK+ toolkit and was part of the Gnome project. In order to address users willing to run GCompris on their tablets, a full rewrite has been initiated in 2014 using Qt Quick.

    GCompris had the chance to be accepted by KDE and followed the incubation stage for about a year. It has now been accepted as an official KDE project in its extragear section.

    Being a community project, there was a need to find a new one focused on Qt technology to help us continue the development the way we like it. GCompris targets schools and parents all over the world and it is mandatory to provide it in the language they speak. Only a large community like KDE can manage such a daunting task in the long run. GCompris also benefits from many KDE developers.

    Since January 2015 a binary version is available on the Google Play Store for Android. Thanks to the nice multi-platform support coming with Qt, it will be provided on other platforms within the year to come.

    And as you might already know. GCompris is one of the projects that participates at this year's Randa Meetings soon to start. But this is not the only sprint KDE organizes and needs your helps with:

    Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

    In a few days we'll tell you about another incubated project that helps you in a whole new topic.

    Dot Categories:

    KDE Applications 15.08 - Kontact Suite Technical Preview and Dolphin 5 Wed, 19 Aug 2015 20:06:40 +0000





    Dolphin's new look - based on KDE Frameworks 5

    Today KDE released KDE Applications 15.08, the collection of more than 150 applications. This release features the Kontact Suite and Dolphin ported to KDE Frameworks 5.

    Kontact Suite technical preview

    Over the past several months, the KDE PIM team put a lot of effort into porting Kontact to Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. In addition, data access performance has been improved considerably by an optimized communication layer. The KDE PIM team is focused on further polishing the Kontact Suite, and would appreciate feedback. For detailed information about KDE PIM changes, see Laurent Montel's blog.

    Kdenlive and Okular

    This release of Kdenlive includes fixes in the DVD wizard, along with many bug-fixes and other features, including the integration of some bigger refactorings. More information about Kdenlive changes can be seen in its changelog. Okular now supports Fade transition in the presentation mode.





    KSudoku with a character puzzle

    Dolphin, Edu and Games

    Dolphin was ported to KDE Frameworks 5. Marble now has improved UTM support as well as better support for annotations, editing and KML overlays.

    Ark has had numerous commits including many small fixes. Kstars commits include improving the flat Analog to Digital Unit (ADU) algorithm and checking for out of bound values, saving Meridian Flip, Guide Deviation, and Autofocus HFR limit in the sequence file, and adding telescope rate and unpark support. KSudoku just got better, with commits that include: add GUI and engine for entering in Mathdoku and Killer Sudoku puzzles, and add a new solver based on Donald Knuth's Dancing Links (DLX) algorithm.

    Other Releases

    This release continues the new style of releases, introduced with the latest KDE Applications 14.12 release. Along with this release, KDE Workspaces (aka Plasma 4) will be published for the last time in its Long Term Support version (version 4.11.22).

    More than half of the KDE Applications have now been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5). The complete list of the Applications is available on the KDE Applications 15.08 release notes.

    See the full list of changes in KDE Applications 15.08. In the next three months, there will be smaller bugfix releases for the KDE Applications, and then a next bigger release in December.

    KDE App Dragons

    Spread the Word

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

    Please spread the word on the Social Web. Submit stories to news sites, use channels like Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Twitter. Upload screenshots of your new set-up to services like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa and post them to appropriate groups. Create screencasts and upload them to YouTube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo. Please tag posts and uploaded materials with "KDE". This makes them easy to find, and gives the KDE Promo Team a way to analyze coverage for the 15.08 KDE Applications release.
    Follow what is happening on the social web at the KDE live feed, buzz.kde.org. This site aggregates real-time activity from Twitter, YouTube, flickr, PicasaWeb, blogs, and other social networking sites.

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    Another KDE success story - the Incubator - Part 1 Mon, 17 Aug 2015 20:32:23 +0000

    Over the past year or so KDE has taken a new approach to projects joining our "Umbrella" Namely the KDE Incubator. This new program aims to help projects with similar ideals to our existing projects join us with all that that implies.

    The incubator couples a sponsor from the KDE community with a plan to move/migrate a project into the systems that KDE provides as a community including mailing lists, websites, code repositories, etc. One of the main responsibilities of the sponsor is to help the project's members become part of the KDE community itself by guiding in any way required and helping with source code migration, mailing list migration and figuring out the other aspects of how the KDE community works.

    One of the first projects to be incubated was Wiki2learn. It has also been one of the slower projects to migrate fully, but at this years Akademy has had some exposure that should help it grow further.

    WikiToLearn (until a few days ago also known as WikiFM) wants to change the way we create and deliver educational content to students, developers, and learners in general.

    We have three core objectives.

    1. Disseminating free, open and easily accessible scientific knowledge.
    2. Building a learning and publishing platform for high-quality content, created collaboratively.
    3. Integrating and collecting many existing resources on the different subjects, found both online and offline.

    WikiToLearn is a platform where students, learners and key people in the academia can collaboratively create refine and re-assemble notes, lecture notes or even whole text books, tailored precisely to their needs. Our philosophy is in two simple sentences: “Knowledge only grows if shared” and we want you to “Stand on the shoulders of giants!”.

    The effort was started as a purely personal project by a few students of the University of Milano-Bicocca, to collaboratively write lecture notes and free textbooks for our studies. In December 2013 we decided that we could tackle a global challenge: not only change our study career, but provide free and open textbooks to the whole world, created with the help of the best scientists in the world. For this challenge we needed big shoulders: a worldwide community with a track of positive stories of taking a project and leveraging it to success: KDE. We therefore decided to be the first group to join the KDE family through the incubation process. KDE helped us reaching a visibility we could only dream of: with its help we are now starting experimentations in a few universities around the globe, and key scientists from institutions such as CERN, Fermilab or Stanford are now daily contributors.

    Check out the official announcement at Akademy 2015 (recommended) to know more and visit our homepage.

    And in a few days we are going to tell you about another project that was successfully incubated. This project will be at the soon to be started Randa Meetings too so don't forget to support us if you like what we do for you:

    Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

    Dot Categories:

    You can help making KDE technologies even better! Sun, 16 Aug 2015 09:00:39 +0000

    Modern life has become increasingly dependent on software systems. Many daily used devices rely on Free Software for their basic functionality or additional services. TV sets, ATMs, smartphones, media centers and in-flight entertainment systems are examples of how Free Software has been pushing the boundaries of current technology. This is achieved by using well-proven solutions, developed in a collaborative, open, and trusted way. The Workspaces, Applications, and Frameworks delivered by KDE are representatives of the empowerment Free Software provides to our lifes. Examples are educational applications of the KDE-Edu suite, lots of KDE technology deployments in public centers for digital inclusion and a full open software stack for mobile devices with Plasma Mobile.

    Donate to the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign

    Furthermore, in the past few years KDE has been a quite fruitful community for incubating projects like GCompris, ownCloud, and WikiFM. This is a good indication of how open, diverse, and bold the community turned out to be. KDE also coaches young Computer Science professionals: our continuous participation in programs such as Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Season of KDE (SoK) has been providing a welcoming and fertile atmosphere for newcomers, helping leverage their technical and social skills and enjoy the full experience of Free Software contribution.

    Although most of the work in Free Software projects is done remotely, mediated by online discussions in mailing lists and IRC channels, it is well known that in-person meetings (sprints) are important in driving general goals. They help having in depth discussions and to get things done. Sprints are a chance for contributors to do focused hard work, everybody being enthusiastic and committed to get the most out of these days. Sprints made the most innovative and bold ideas become true. Newcomers joined with their hearts taken by the vibrant and thriving atmosphere they experienced.


    People focused at work during a KDE sprint

    KDE has a strong tradition in organizing sprints, focused on different KDE technologies. Over the last few years, we conducted sprints which brought together developers from teams like Kontact Suite, Plasma, digiKam, Calligra, Krita, Okular and many more.
    During the sprint days, long-time contributors, prospective newcomers and GSoC/SoK students gathered together to build and improve relationships, strengthen the collaboration and create amazing KDE products.

    The Randa Meetings in particular are of the most successful KDE sprints. They allow contributors from many KDE projects doing awesome work in a quiet place in the mountains. Focused working in separate team rooms leads to great progress among software, artwork and documentation and the shared dinning room built up good relations and friendships.


    Group Picture - Randa Meetings 2014

    This year's Randa Meetings motto is Bring Touch to KDE. It's a unified effort to make KDE applications ready for touch-based devices and looks like a logical follow up to the Plasma Mobile project announced at Akademy 2015 in late September. But this is just a nice coincidence.

    To make all of this happen, KDE relies on the support of our patrons and from initiatives like Join the Game and the Supporting Membership Program. Your contribution can make a difference in helping us keeping all those sprints running. Last year's Randa fundraising campaign was of utmost importance for covering the expenses of contributors' participation. We believe that's a great reward for those who dedicate their spare time as volunteers and keep pushing the boudaries of KDE technologies. We would love to win you as an active KDE supporter, contributing in the development, translation, artwork, and promotion activities. If you are unable to do that due to whatever reasons, please consider giving a donation in the KDE Sprints 2015 fundraising campaign. This is also an important way of helping us to move KDE technologies and values forward. We'll be glad to send you a nice "Thank You" gift in return!

    Check out what we have done in KDE Randa Meetings 2014
    .

    Dot Categories:

    Plasma 5.4 Beta Adds Shine Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:10:00 +0000



    Plasma 5.4

    Plasma 5.4

    Tuesday, 11 August 2015. Today KDE releases a beta release of the new version of Plasma 5.4.

    This release of Plasma brings many nice touches for our users such as much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons. It also lays the ground for the future with a tech preview of Wayland session available. We're shipping a few new components such as an Audio Volume Plasma Widget, monitor calibration tool and the User Manager tool comes out beta.





    Audio Volume

    The new Audio Volume Applet

    New Audio Volume Applet

    Our new Audio Volume applet works directly with Pulseaudio, the popular sound server for Linux, to give you full control over volume and output settings in a beautifully designed simple interface.





    Dashboard alternative launcher

    The new Dashboard alternative launcher

    Application Dashboard alternative launcher

      Plasma 5.4 brings an entirely new fullscreen launcher Application Dashboard in kdeplasma-addons: Featuring all features of Application Menu it includes sophisticated scaling to screen size and full spatial keyboard navigation.

      The new launcher allows you to easily and quickly find applications, as well as recently used or favorited documents and contacts based on your previous activity.





    New Icons

    Just some of the new icons in this release

    Artwork Galore

    Plasma 5.4 brings over 1400 new icons covering not only all the KDE applications, but also providing Breeze themed artwork to apps such as Inkscape, Firefox and Libreoffice providing a more integrated, native feel.





    KRunner

    KRunner

    KRunner history

      KRunner now remembers your previous searches and automatically completes from the history as you type.





    Networks Graphs

    Network Graphs

    Useful graphs in Networks applet

      The Networks applet is now able to display network traffic graphs. It also supports two new VPN plugins for connecting over SSH or SSTP.

    Other changes and additions

    • Much improved high DPI support
    • Smaller memory footprint
    • Our desktop search got new and much faster backend
    • Sticky notes adds drag & drop support and keyboard navigation
    • Trash applet now works again with drag & drop
    • System tray gains quicker configurability
    • Wayland tech preview (complete Plasma wayland session), driven by Plasma Mobile
    • The documentation has been reviewed and updated
    • Improved layout for Digital clock in slim panels
    • ISO date support in Digital clock
    • New easy way to switch 12h/24h clock format in Digital clock
    • Week numbers in the calendar
    • Any type of item can now be favorited in Application Menu (Kicker) from any view, adding support for document and Telepathy contact favorites
    • Telepathy contact favorites show the contact photo and a realtime presence status badge
    • Improved focus and activation handling between applets and containment on the desktop
    • Various small fixes in Folder View: Better default sizes, fixes for mouse interaction issues, text label wrapping
    • The Task Manager now tries harder to preserve the icon it derived for a launcher by default
    • It's possible to add launchers by dropping apps on the Task Manager again
    • It's now possible to configure what happens when middle-clicking a task button in the Task Manager: Nothing, window close, or launching a new instance of the same app
    • The Task Manager will now sort column-major if the user forces more than one row; many users expected and prefer this sorting as it causes less task button moves as windows come and go
    • Improved icon and margin scaling for task buttons in the Task Manager
    • Various small fixes in the Task Manager: Forcing columns in vertical instance now works, touch event handling now works on all systems, fixed a visual issue with the group expander arrow
    • Provided the Purpose framework tech preview is available, the QuickShare Plasmoid can be used, making it easy to share files on many web services.
    • Monitor configuration tool added
    • kwallet-pam is added to open your wallet on login
    • User Manager now syncs contacts to KConfig settings and the User Account module has gone away
    • Performance improvements to Application Menu (Kicker)
    • Various small fixes to Application Menu (Kicker): Hiding/unhiding apps is more reliable, alignment fixes for top panels, 'Add to Desktop' against a Folder View containment is more reliable, better behavior in the KActivities-based Recent models
    • Support for custom menu layouts (through kmenuedit) and menu separator items in Application Menu (Kicker)
    • Folder View has improved mode when in panel (blog)
    • Dropping a folder on the Desktop containment will now offer creating a Folder View again




    Full Plasma 5.4 beta changelog

    Randa - Bring Touch to KDE Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:19:40 +0000

    About a year ago, we talked with several people who were going to work together in Randa, Switzerland. These people were united by a love of KDE and had common motives—to make KDE technology better and have tons of fun while doing it!

    The 5th edition of the Randa Meetings high in the Swiss Alps in August 2014 was a huge success, with many new features and major new additions to KDE technology, through the dedicated efforts of about 50 KDE developers taking a week out of their busy lives to bring great software to users.

    Among the attendees last year was Călin Cruceru, an enthusiastic Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014 student working on Marble, the virtual globe and world atlas. He was one of the youngest members of KDE, and worked ardently in Randa along with his mentors and fellow GSoC students during the week. The 2014 Randa Meetings were productive for the Marble project, and quite an experience for Călin who was in his first KDE sprint.

    All of this was possible because of your donations to the fundraiser for the Randa Meetings. We are asking you to continue with your financial support this year; we are excited about the Randa Meetings in 2015 with the theme Bring Touch to KDE.

    This year the campaign has been expanded to raise funds for all KDE sprints. The Randa Meetings are big, but they are only one of the sprints that KDE sponsors throughout the year. The KDE Community is centered around development, and sprints allow for in-person coding that is much more effective than working online and communicating by email. Sprints involve hard work and long days, but it's exhilarating, not tiring. During sprints, developers accomplish more in a few days than they thought possible. It's inspiring to be surrounded by committed, top KDE developers. So while the focus of this fundraising campaign is on the Randa Meetings, all money raised will go towards the high quality, innovative KDE technology that sprints produce.

    In this interview, we go back in time for a glimpse into Călin's excitement and eagerness before he attended Randa Meetings 2014 and his anticipation for it. With your support and donations, you can help other newcomers have their first Randa experience this year!

    We look forward to bringing you the stories and results from the Randa Meetings 2015.


    Călin Cruceru - Marble Developer

    Hi Călin, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
    My name is Călin Cruceru and I’m in my second year studying Computer Science and Engineering at Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania. I am passionate about technology and I love contributing to open-source projects and surrounding myself with optimistic people.

    You’ve just started being involved with open source. Why did you pick KDE? What were your expectations and have they been fulfilled?
    Indeed, I just started contributing seriously to open-source projects about 6 months ago. In fact, 'just' is not the best word here, because it certainly does not feel like a short period of time. It all began with a thought that it might be a good experience for me to work on an application which is useful to many people. I had been using KDE as my desktop environment for a year by then and so I thought that the best choice would be something I use often, something I’d been a 'user' of.

    To me it was fondly named ‘Marble’. And here I am; helping Marble be a better product since February 2014. I’m considering contributing to other KDE projects, but due to limited time this summer I haven’t been able to do so.

    Regarding my expectations, I think that everything went even better than I could have possibly imagined. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical about my chances of getting involved because I thought I wasn’t technically prepared. But my doubt turned out to be an illusion; especially when I received so much help from such a friendly community.

    Getting selected for Google Summer of Code to work on a Marble project as well as the feeling of really doing something useful for the application is how I know that all my expectations have been fulfilled.

    How difficult is it for you to manage your school work and involvement with KDE?
    It is not easy for sure and I usually do not have a lot of spare time; but I’m trying to get the best of both. And I think I am managing it pretty well.

    How has your experience been with real world programming, especially contributing to software used by millions of people around the world?
    There is an enormous difference between writing code for school/personal projects and real world applications. Like many other students, I’ve done a lot of coding for academic projects but getting involved with the development of a real application used by millions of people is a completely different experience. You get to know what it feels like to be a part of a big community, which you can’t normally do while working on school projects. You learn how to write code responsibly, knowing that every single line will have an impact on users. Also, you discover 'best practices' when writing real world applications, which improves your skills as a programmer.

    ­Many students are introduced to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) through mentoring programs, and remain associated with it only during the mentoring project. What message do you have for students who want to contribute to FOSS, but who are waiting for acceptance into a mentoring program?
    I think this happens mostly because a lot of students want to improve their resumes and they think that this can be done only by participating in well-known programs. I use the words 'they think' because this is certainly not true, since companies tend to appreciate any open-source contributions (even if they are not part of mentoring programs). I think it is more impressive to see a long-term pattern of contributions without getting any accreditation other than the credits for patches.

    What I mention here is just a consequence of an essential ingredient: the sheer passion for FOSS, for the feeling that you too can write code which eases people's lives in some way. So my advice for those students is to take some time and think of what they would prefer to do when their favorite application crashes: wait for the developers to first consider their bug report and then repair it (the only option in closed-source projects), or to get the application's sources and try to fix the problem on their own. Which one describes the qualities of a 'true programmer'?

    When did you hear about the Randa Meetings and why do you want to be there?
    I heard about the Randa Meetings after the registrations had closed, but Mario (the main Randa Meetings organizer) noticed me on IRC congratulating a Marble colleague for participating in Randa and mentioning my regret over not knowing of the event earlier. Mario contacted me and said he might still be able to find a place for me at Randa. After just a day, everything was a certainty.

    I’m very enthusiastic about this meeting because I will finally get to meet in person a lot of great people with whom I’ve been in contact daily for a couple of months now, but only virtually. I am also eager to get involved in the discussions about the future plans for improving KDE. I obviously expect to write a lot of code too!

    Have you got anything in particular planned for Randa?
    Yes, I do. I want to work on the User Interface of the plugin I have been working on since the beginning of GSoC. I plan to do this in Randa because I can work alongside my GSOC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser. This is one of the most challenging parts of my project; face to face discussions about the UI will lead to a better looking and functioning solution.

    What are you looking forward to in the Randa Meetings?
    I am really looking forward to meeting the people behind these great applications, used by millions of people, including myself. To me they are superstars. I want to make new connections within this community that I want to be a part of for quite a long time. I am particularly interested in collaborating with the main people involved with KDE Edu (which Marble is a part of) and contributing to it.

    As far as the targets of completion are concerned, I want to make sure that by the 9th of August, the first day at Randa, all the features I added during the summer are fully functional and polished.

    What important things have you learned from the KDE Community?
    I’ve learned that being able to work in a team is a great virtue. I’ve also discovered many tricks and 'best practices' applied in the design of applications. One more important thing is that I've developed an ability to 'feel' when a piece of code is, say, error prone or is a victim of bad design.

    Why do you think meetings such as Randa are important for KDE?
    Such meetings are very important for open-source communities such as KDE mostly because they are the only times when developers gather under the same roof to plan and design new features and to hack on them. A face to face conversation is usually much more productive than any form of virtual communication.

    Why is it important for people to support these meetings? How has the support helped you?
    I think that people should support free and open-source software development so that they can enjoy the software they love without paying for the software. Donations are a small price to pay for the value people receive; even small donations help. FOSS gives developers the opportunity to customize existing software without having to start from scratch. In my case, people's support has really helped; if it were not for their donations, Mario could not have organized my participation in this years' Randa Meeting.

    How do you imagine your typical day in Randa?
    Wake up; have breakfast; socialize until everybody is up; discuss what is of utmost importance to be improved/added; have lunch; continue these discussions; write some code; continue discussions, focusing on specific projects; breathe fresh air from the Alps to get refreshed; work more; have dinner; socialize more; sleep. That's just the first day.

    Any other thoughts?
    I want to send a big thank you to Mario Fux. Without his help I would not have been able to be a part of the trip to Randa. I also want to send the heartiest thanks to my GSoC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser, as well as to my Marble GSoC fellows, Sanjiban and Abhinav, who encouraged me to participate in this meeting.

    If you would like to make more KDE sprints happen, donate now!

    Dot Categories:


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