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KDE is adding Matrix to its instant messaging infrastructure

Sre, 02/20/2019 - 01:00

KDE is adopting non-proprietary and decentralized instant messaging services and is now running its own community-managed instance of Matrix.

Matrix works fine on mobile as well.

KDE has been looking for a better way of chatting and live-sharing information for several years now. IRC has been a good solution for a long time, but our channels are currently on servers KDE cannot control. It also lacks features users have come to expect from more modern IM services. Other alternatives, such as Telegram, Slack and Discord, although feature-rich, are centralized and built around closed-source technologies and offer even less control than IRC. This flies in the face of KDE's principles that require we use and support technologies based on Free software.

However, our search for a better solution has finally come to an end: as of today we are officially using Matrix for collaboration within KDE! Matrix is an open protocol and network for decentralised communication, backed by an open standard and open source reference implementations for servers, clients, client SDKs, bridges, bots and more. It provides all the features you’d expect from a modern chat system: infinite scrollback, file transfer, typing notifications, read receipts, presence, search, push notifications, stickers, VoIP calling and conferencing, etc. It even provides end-to-end encryption (based on Signal’s double ratchet algorithm) for when you want some privacy.

All the existing rooms on Matrix (and their counterparts on IRC, Telegram and elsewhere) continue to exist. The new service provides a dedicated server for KDE users to access them using names like #kde:kde.org.

For more information go visit our wiki page which contains details and instructions on how to get started.

You can also try KDE's Matrix service right now by checking in to KDE's webchat or by installing a Matrix client like Riot and connecting to the kde.modular.im server!

KDE releases a new version of the Plasma desktop environment

Tor, 02/12/2019 - 11:33

Say hello to Plasma 5.15, the newest version of KDE's acclaimed desktop environment.

This February release of KDE Plasma comes with a wide range of new features and improvements. The main focus of developers has been stamping out all minor problems and papercuts of the desktop, aiming to make Plasma smoother and easier to use.

Plasma's configuration interfaces have been redesigned, expanded and clarified to cover more user cases and make it simpler to adapt Plasma to everybody's needs. Plasma has also improved the integration of non-native applications, so Firefox, for example, can now optionally use native KDE open/save dialogs. Likewise, GTK and GNOME apps now respect the global scale factor used by high-DPI screens.

Updating your system is now easier and more reliable with the new and improved Discover.

Developers have also been hard at work on Discover, Plasma's built-in software manager. Options for upgrading your distribution are now included in Discover's Update Notifier widget, which will also display a "Restart" button if a restart is recommended when updating is done. Talking of updates, it is now possible to uncheck and re-check all available updates to make it easier to pick and choose the ones you want to apply. Another improvement is that repository management in Discover is now more practical and usable, especially for Ubuntu-based distros.

We have also solved problems with text readability and icon clarity. KDE designers have improved a variety of Breeze device and preference icons, including the multimedia icons and all icons that depict a stylized version of a Plasma wallpaper. The Places, Vault and Python bytecode files all have redesigned icons to make them easier to identify.

There are literally hundreds more improvements and tweaks included in this release, all implemented to make your life as a Plasma user much more enjoyable. Read the official announcement and check out the Plasma 5.15 changelog for more details on this new version of the Plasma desktop.

Come Home to KDE at FOSDEM 2019

Sre, 01/30/2019 - 01:00

Despite the rain and the cold, there is always a place that is warm and welcoming in Brussels in February - the KDE booth at FOSDEM 2019.

Live Krita demo at FOSDEM 2018.

This year we are jam-packing it with interesting stuff. The first thing you'll see as you arrive is Krita's demo. Wolthera van Hövell, a talented artist that regularly contributes to Krita, will be painting live at the booth, demonstrating all the new features on a large screen for everybody to enjoy. Then on Sunday, Camille Moulin will be demonstrating how to edit video using Kdenlive.

Plasma Mobile devices you can play with!

We will also have a wide variety of hardware devices you will be able to play with. We will be showing off how Plasma works on everything: from high-end laptops like the KDE Slimbook, to underpowered and very affordable notebooks, such as the Pinebook. A variety of SBCs (single-board computers) will also be on show, ranging from Raspberry Pis to Pine64s. Of course, we will show the progress we are making on Plasma Mobile, so the KDE booth will be well-equipped with phones you can test on-site, and exotic new hardware, like a RISC-V board.

Besides demos and devices, the booth staff will be made up by some of KDE's most notorious members. Aleix Pol of KAlgebra and Discover fame; Jonathan Riddell, creator of the KDE neon system; Bhushan Shah, the main developer of Plasma Mobile; Adriaan de Groot, the main developer of the Calamares operating system installer; and Boudewijn Rempt from Krita will all be on hand to answer your questions, field suggestions or just chat.

In the merch department, you will be able to get your hands on our brand new Katie and Konqi stickers, especially designed to celebrate Plasma Mobile, along with a variety of other kute designs. You will also be able to purchase KDE gear, such as T-shirts, sweaters and hoodies. This is a great opportunity to not only spruce up your wardrobe, but also to contribute to KDE with a donation to our community - truly a win-win situation!

In the midst of the Belgium winter, what better place to feel fuzzy, warm and welcome than at our booth? Come feel at home and visit us on the bottom floor of building K(DE) at the ULB Solbosch Campus in Brussels.

Plasma 5.15 Beta

Čet, 01/17/2019 - 14:40





KDE Plasma 5.15 Beta

Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.15.

For the first release of 2019, the Plasma team has embraced KDE's Usability & Productivity goal. We have teamed up with the VDG (Visual Design Group) contributors to get feedback on all the papercuts in our software that make your life less smooth, and fixed them to ensure an intuitive and consistent workflow for your daily use.

Plasma 5.15 brings a number of changes to our configuration interfaces, including more options for complex network configurations. Many icons have been added or redesigned. Our integration with third-party technologies like GTK and Firefox has been made even more complete. Discover, our software and add-on installer, has received a metric tonne of improvements to help you stay up-to-date and find the tools you need to get your tasks done.

Please test this beta release and send us bug reports and feedback. The final release will be available in three weeks' time.

Browse the full Plasma 5.15 Beta changelog to learn more about other tweaks and bug fixes included in this release:


New in Plasma 5.15 Beta Plasma Widgets




    Bluetooth Battery Status
  • Bluetooth devices now show their battery status in the power widget. Note that this cutting-edge feature requires the latest versions of the upower and bluez packages.
  • It’s now possible to download and install new wallpaper plugins straight from the wallpaper configuration dialog.
  • Filenames on desktop icons now have enough horizontal space to be legible even when their icons are very tiny, and are easier to read when the wallpaper is very light-colored or visually busy.
  • Visually impaired users can now read the icons on the desktop thanks to the newly-implemented screen reader support for desktop icons.
  • The Notes widget now has a 'Transparent with light text' theme.
  • It's now possible to configure whether scrolling over the virtual desktop Pager widget will “wrap around” when reaching the end of the virtual desktop list.
  • The padding and appearance of notification pop-ups have been improved.
  • KRunner has received several usability improvements. It now handles duplicates much better, no longer showing duplicate bookmarks from Firefox or duplicate entries when the same file is available in multiple categories. Additionally, the layout of the standalone search widget now matches KRunner's appearance.
  • The Devices Notifier is now much smarter. When it's configured to display all disks instead of just removable ones, it will recognize when you try to unmount the root partition and prevent you from doing so.


Settings




    Redesigned Virtual Desktop Settings
  • System Settings Virtual Desktops page has been redesigned and rewritten for support on Wayland, and now sports greater usability and visual consistency.
  • The user interface and layout for the Digital Clock and Folder View settings pages have been improved to better match the common style.
  • Many System Settings pages have been tweaked with the goal of standardizing the icons, wording, and placement of the bottom buttons, most notably the “Get New [thing]…” buttons.
  • New desktop effects freshly installed from store.kde.org now appear in the list on the System Settings Desktop Effects page.
  • The native display resolution is now indicated with a star icon in the System Settings Displays page.
  • The System Settings Login Screen page received plenty of visual improvements. The image preview of the default Breeze theme now reflects its current appearance, the background color of the preview matches the active color scheme, and the sizes and margins were adjusted to ensure that everything fits without being cut off.
  • The System Settings Desktop Effects page has been ported to QtQuickControls 2. This fixes a number of issues such as bad fractional scaling appearance, ugly dropdown menu checkboxes, and the window size being too small when opened as a standalone app.


Cross-Platform Integration




    Firefox with native KDE open/save dialogs
  • Firefox 64 can now optionally use native KDE open/save dialogs. This is an optional, bleeding-edge functionality that is not yet included in any distribution. However, it can be enabled by installing the xdg-desktop-portal and xdg-desktop-portal-kde packages and setting GTK_USE_PORTAL=1 in Firefox's .desktop file.
  • Integration modules xdg-desktop-portal-kde and plasma-integration now support the Settings portal. This allows sandboxed Flatpak and Snap applications to respect your Plasma configuration - including fonts, icons, widget themes, and color schemes - without requiring read permissions to the kdeglobals configuration file.
  • The global scale factor used by high-DPI screens is now respected by GTK and GNOME apps when it’s an integer.
  • A wide variety of issues with the Breeze-GTK theme have been resolved, including the inconsistencies between the light and dark variants. We have also made the theme more maintainable, so future improvements will be much easier.


Discover




    Distro Release Upgrade Notification
  • Options for upgrading your distribution are now included in Discover’s Update Notifier widget. The widget will also display a “Restart” button if a restart is recommended after applying all updates, but the user hasn’t actually restarted yet.
  • On Discover’s Updates page, it’s now possible to uncheck and re-check all available updates to make it easier to pick and choose the ones you want to apply.
  • Discover’s Settings page has been renamed to “Sources” and now has pushbuttons instead of hamburger menus.
  • Distribution repository management in Discover is now more practical and usable, especially when it comes to Ubuntu-based distros.
  • Discover now supports app extensions offered with Flatpak packages, and lets you choose which ones to install.
  • Handling for local packages has been improved, so Discover can now indicate the dependencies and will show a 'Launch' button after installation.
  • When performing a search from the Featured page, Discover now only returns apps in the search results. Add-ons will appear in search results only when a search is initiated from an add-on category.
  • Discover’s search on the Installed Apps page now works properly when the Snap backend is installed.
  • Handling and presentation of errors arising from misconfigured add-on repos has also been improved.
  • Discover now respects your locale preferences when displaying dates and times.
  • The “What’s New” section is no longer displayed on app pages when it doesn't contain any relevant information.
  • App and Plasma add-ons are now listed in a separate category on Discover’s Updates page.


Window Management




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  • The Alt+Tab window switcher now supports screen readers for improved accessibility, and allows you to use the keyboard to switch between items.
  • The KWin window manager no longer crashes when a window is minimized via a script.
  • Window closing effects are now applied to dialog boxes with a parent window (e.g. an app’s Settings window, or an open/save dialog).
  • Plasma configuration windows now raise themselves to the front when they get focus.


Wayland




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  • More work has been done on the foundations - the protocols XdgStable, XdgPopups and XdgDecoration are now fully implemented.
  • Wayland now supports virtual desktops, and they work in a more fine-grained way than on X11. Users can place a window on any subset of virtual desktops, rather than just on one or all of them.
  • Touch drag-and-drop is now supported in Wayland.


Network Management





    WireGuard VPN Tunnels

    Plasma’s Network Manager now allows configuring IP Tunnel settings. no UI -->
  • Plasma now offers support for WireGuard VPN tunnels when the appropriate Network Manager plugin is installed.
  • It’s now possible to mark a network connection as “metered”.


Breeze icons

Breeze Icons are released with KDE Frameworks but are extensively used throughout Plasma, so here's a highlight of some of the improvements made over the last three months.





    Icon Emblems in Breeze
  • A variety of Breeze device and preference icons have been improved, including the multimedia icons and all icons that depict a stylized version of a Plasma wallpaper.
  • The Breeze emblem and package icons have been entirely redesigned, resulting in a better and more consistent visual style, plus better contrast against the icon they’re drawn on top of.
  • In new installs, the Places panel now displays a better icon for the Network place.
  • The Plasma Vault icon now looks much better when using the Breeze Dark theme.
  • Python bytecode files now get their own icons.


Other




    KSysGuard’s optional menu bar
  • It’s now possible to hide KSysGuard’s menu bar — and it reminds you how to get it back, just like Kate and Gwenview do.
  • The plasma-workspace-wallpapers package now includes some of the best recent Plasma wallpapers.



Live Images

The easiest way to try out Plasma 5.15 beta is with a live image booted off a USB disk. Docker images also provide a quick and easy way to test Plasma.

Download live images with Plasma 5
Download Docker images with Plasma 5

Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Package download wiki page

Source Downloads

You can install Plasma 5 directly from source.

Community instructions to compile it
Source Info Page

Feedback

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

KDE Students Excel during Google Code-in 2018

Sre, 01/16/2019 - 01:00

After many years of successful Google Code-in participation, this year we did it again! KDE attracted a number of students with exciting tasks for their eager young minds.

Google Code-in is a program for pre-university students aged from 13 to 17 and sponsored by Google Open Source. KDE has always worked to get new people involved in Free and open source (FOSS) projects with the aim of making the world a better place.

This year was no different. Our students worked very hard, and some of them already have their contributions committed to the KDE codebase!

We designed tasks in a way that made them exciting for all students. Students who were not skilled in programming took on tasks of writing blogs or documentation. To help students who had no experience with FOSS or with the community, we set up introductory tasks for IRC and mailing lists, both of which are essential in FOSS as communication channels.

The students who had some prior programming experience received tutorial tasks to get a better understanding of how KDE software works. Those types of tasks also helped them become familiar with the Qt framework on which all KDE software is based. Finally, students good at programming were put to work contributing to on-going KDE projects. They created new features or solved known bugs and wrote unit tests.

We’re happy that some really enthusiastic and persistent students joined us this year. Thanks to their passion for programming, they completed many tasks and delivered quality code we merged into our project repositories.

It wasn’t easy for the mentors to select winners, as every student had accomplished great things. Still, we finally settled on pranav and triplequantum (their GCI names). Finalists were TURX, TUX, UA and waleko.

KDE would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists, and we warm-heartedly welcome all our new contributors!

Author: Pranam Lashkari

KDE Applications 18.12 Are Waiting for You

Čet, 12/13/2018 - 12:06

It's that time of the year again. Everyone is in a festive mood and excited about all the new things they're going to get. It's only natural, since it's the season of the last KDE Applications release for this year!

With more than 140 issues resolved and dozens of feature improvements, KDE Applications 18.12 are now on its way to your operating system of choice. We've highlighted some changes you can look forward to.

Practical File Management with Dolphin

File management encompasses a lot of activities. There's renaming, copying, and moving files around. Perhaps you want to quickly preview a file to make sure it's the right one. You're in luck, because the thumbnail preview experience has been greatly improved in the new version of Dolphin. LibreOffice documents and AppImage applications can now be previewed as thumbnails, and icon thumbnails look much cleaner. If folder thumbnails are enabled, video files larger than 5 MB will be visible in them.

Of course, there is more to Dolphin than just thumbnails. The "Control" menu makes it easier to show hidden places and create new files and folders. After unmounting a storage volume in the Places panel, it can now be remounted. Those who still own audio CDs and use Dolphin to open them will be glad to hear it can now change the CBR bitrate for MP3 files and fix timestamps for FLAC files.

Some security measures have been implemented in Dolphin to prevent users from accidentally losing their data. It no longer allows attempts to unmount the active home directory and the disk where the active OS is installed. When renaming files, Dolphin will warn you if there's an extra dot in front of the filename, which would make the file hidden. Pretty neat, right?

Okular: Annotate ALL the Things

Okular with the new Typewriter tool

Okular has steadily grown from a document viewer into an indispensable assistant in activities such as studying, doing research, or collaborating on text in read-only file formats like PDF and EPUB. Its annotation capabilities were already powerful, but the new version introduces a new tool called Typewriter. With this annotation tool, you'll be able to write text literally anywhere in your files. Whether it's commenting on an image or highlighting a spelling mistake, your hands are now untied, and you can freely express yourself in Okular.

Other improvements in this release include better options to expand and collapse entries in the Table of Contents sidebar. If a file contains links, hovering over them will always display the full URL in a tooltip, regardless of the currently selected Okular mode.

Konsole, Now with More Emotion

Spending hours or even days working in the terminal can get monotonous. Cheer up - the new version of Konsole has full support for emoji! Add a cheeky smiling cat to your commit messages, or insert a facepalm emoji into your shell scripts.

If you're into more serious things, Konsole now makes it easier to reset the font size back to the default. When a bell is triggered in an inactive tab, the tab icon will be highlighted to visually alert you of the activity. Last but not least, if your mouse has back and forward buttons, Konsole is now able to recognize them, and you can use them to switch between tabs.

Usability Improvements for Everyone

If you have been keeping up with KDE-related news, you're probably aware of our community-wide Usability Improvement goal. After all, it's hard to miss the weekly updates from our awesome developers who are dedicated to making the KDE software more accessible and friendlier to everyone.

The KDE Applications 18.12 release integrates all those fruits of labor, and the result is a much more pleasant user experience across the board. KMail now supports a unified inbox display, and emails should now be readable regardless of your color scheme. A small improvement with a big impact is the ability to repeat the last calculation in KCalc multiple times.

Kate comes with new defaults that are meant to help you work more productively right from the start. Specifically, line numbers and the Text Filter plugin will be enabled by default. You can now change the focus of the embedded terminal in Kate by pressing the F4 key, and it will automatically synchronize the location in the terminal with the location of the currently active document.

in 18.12 Kate comes with better defaults

If you are using Gwenview to fix the wretched red-eye effect in your photos, it will now be even easier thanks to the improved Reduce Red Eye tool. When taking screenshots with Spectacle, their filenames will be sequentially numbered by default. You will also notice that saving options in Spectacle are now easier to access from the Save page.

New Spectacle makes it easier to save screenshots

Ark has received support for tar.zst archives, and it's now much smarter when it comes to file previews. Instead of previewing document files as archives, Ark will now launch the appropriate application for the selected file format.

Apart from improving the standard set of applications, we have also made some of our specialized tools more usable. Lokalize, the translation and localization tool, now has a better search functionality that can recognize plural forms of words. If you keep a lot of tabs open in Lokalize, you will be able to navigate between them much faster.

Cantor, the advanced mathematical tool, now offers better visualizations and highlighting of command entries. You can also open multiple files in one Cantor shell. For users who need to draw mathematical functions, we have made Kmplot more stable and improved the SVG export functionality.

As always, check out the full list of changes in KDE Applications 18.12 to find out more.

Our work on KDE Applications continues, and we can't wait to show you what we've created in 2019. Until then, enjoy the Applications 18.12., and let us know which changes made you the happiest!

Do your part! Squash bugs for Kdenlive!

Pet, 11/30/2018 - 01:00

On the 2nd of December, the Kdenlive team will be holding an open bug-squashing day in preparation for the major refactoring release due in April 2019. Everybody is invited!

This is a great opportunity for developers of all levels to participate in the project. The team has triaged hundreds of reports, closing more than a hundred of them in the past month. Kdenlive developers have also made a list of entry-level bugs you can get started with.

For the more seasoned developers, there are plenty of options - be it a shiny feature request or a challenge to polish some non-trivial edges. To hack Kdenlive, you need to know C++, Qt, QML or KDE Frameworks. Those with knowledge of C can join the fun by improving MLT, the multimedia framework Kdenlive runs on.

Even if you have no programming experience, you can still help by testing fixes and features, as well as by triaging more bug reports.

Check out the list of proposed bugs to solve in our workboard under the "low hanging / junior jobs" section.

Bug-squash Schedule

10h-10h30 CET: introduction of the event, presenting goals and tools, test the latest refactoring AppImage, how to help the project

10h30-12h CET: Introduce yourself, get help in your development setup, choose your bug and work on it with help from the team

12h -13h CET: Lunch break

13h - 17h CET: Bug fixing - continue morning tasks or introduce yourself if you just joined, get help in your development setup, choose your bug and get help if you need it

16h - 17h CET: Brainstorm: Timeline colors

17h - 18h CET: Closing thoughts, evaluation, general issues, future planning

Spread the word and join us! All the information on how to join is here.

Necuno Mobile: An open phone with Plasma Mobile

Čet, 11/29/2018 - 01:00

Necuno Solutions and KDE are collaborating to offer Plasma Mobile on the Necuno Mobile, a device Necuno describes as "a truly open source hardware platform".

With a focus on openness, security and privacy, the Necuno Mobile is built around an ARM® Cortex®-A9 NXP i.MX6 Quad and a Vivante GPU. According to Necuno, none of the closed firmware has access to the memory.

Necuno Solutions is working with open source mobile communities and intends to make their hardware a welcoming platform for Free and open source operating systems in the mobile ecosystem. Plasma Mobile and Necuno Solutions are a perfect match for a community collaboration because of their shared values. The aim is to grow the KDE and Necuno Solutions communities together and attract interested early adopters and developers so that everyone has a chance to join the effort.

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Tanja Drca, Chief Communications Officer at Necuno Solutions says:

KDE has reached very far in the mobile ecosystem by leveraging the power of the community. We feel that KDE is in a good position to challenge the duopoly in the future. This will be a new innovative approach to combine truly open source hardware with a truly open source operating system"

Bhushan Shah, one of the main developers working on Plasma mobile says:

It is important that developers within the mobile ecosystem are able to work with open devices which are easy to modify and tweak, and not locked by vendors to a particular operating system. Necuno Solutions is working on one such device and will ultimately help improve Plasma Mobile due to its open nature."

Read the full Press Release on Necuno Solutions' website.

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