After two years of virtual conferences, the in-person on-site version of Akademy is finally back! This year you will be able to attend Akademy, meet KDE community members face-to-face, get to know the vibrant city of Barcelona, and enjoy interesting and intriguing talks, panels and keynotes. That said, even if you can't make it to Barcelona, you can still attend Akademy online as well. Let's see what this year's schedule has in store for you: Akademy will officially kick off with a Welcome event on Friday, September 30th, followed by several talks on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd and from Monday, October 3rd to Friday, October 7th there will be BoFs ("Birds of a Feather" sessions), workshops, meetings and training sessions.
The talks on Saturday will cover everything from KDE's official Goals, to Plasma products and gaming devices. Nate Graham will discuss his 7-step plan to spread KDE software and take over the world. Aleix Pol Gonzalez will walk us through the process of creating a new Plasma product. And David Edmundson will talk about Steam Deck, one of the most interesting and exciting KDE success stories of recent times. On Sunday, we'll be hearing about app development, Plasma integration in distros, and AI-powered KDE environments, among many other things. Nicolas Fella will kick off the day by showing us how launching applications can be trickier than it first seems and the pitfalls you have to look out for. We'll be hearing all about the future of the backends of KDE software and what the 6th generation of KDE Frameworks has in store for us. And Aditya Mehra will explore OpenVoiceOS and will explain how we are incorporating KDE into devices and powering them with AI-driven voice recognition technologies. And that is not all! Stay tuned for the announcement of our two keynote speakers coming soon, here, on the Dot.
BoFs, Workshops, and Hacking
During the week following the conference part of the event, KDE community members will attend BoFs and will meet up with colleagues with similar interests to work elbow-to-elbow, social distancing permitting, on their projects. They will also attend workshops, meetings and training sessions until the closing of the event on the 7th of October. With a program so full of exciting talks and activities, how could you miss it? Register now and check out the full schedule.
The KDE Slimbook 4 comes with a Ryzen 5700U processor and KDE's full-featured Plasma desktop running on KDE Neon. It also comes with dozens of Open Source programs and utilities pre-installed and access to hundreds more.
The KDE Slimbook 4's AMD Ryzen 5700U processor is one of the most efficient CPUs for portable computers in the range. With its 8 GPU cores and 16 threads, it can run your whole office from home and on the go, render 3D animations, compile your code and serve up the entertainment for you during down time.
The Slimbook starts Plasma by default on Wayland, the state-of-the-art display server. With Wayland, you can enjoy the advantages of crisp fonts and images, framerates adapted to each of your displays, and all the touchpad gestures implemented in Plasma 5.25.
Talking of displays, the USB-C port, apart from allowing charging, comes with video output, letting you link up another external monitor. Another nifty detail is the backlit black keyboard with the Noto Sans monographed keys, the same font used on the Plasma desktop.
The summer sun is here and new apps come with it -- unless you live in the southern hemisphere, in which case, congratulations! You got past the winter solstice, and it's all longer days and new app releases from here onwards.
LabPlot is KDE's open source and cross-platform data visualization and analysis software. It is accessible to everyone, and Labplot 2.9 adds a bunch of new features, such as new worksheet elements to annotate curve data points and to show images on the worksheet.
You can also now plot the data against multiple and different axes. A new visualization type, box plot provides a quick summary of the basic statistical properties of the data set, and a collection of multiple well-known color maps and a feature that allows for conditional formatting of the data in the spreadsheet let's you obtain insights into the structure of your data and its statistical properties directly in the spreadsheet.
We added Hilbert transform to the set of analysis functions and LabPlot can now import and export more formats, having added MATLAB, SAS, Stata and SPSS to the list.
Haruna is the KDE video player with YouTube integration. This new release has support for global menus, can be configured to pause playback when minimised and save the time position when shutdown. It also adds a "recent files" menu option, and useful actions to load the last file, restart playback and jump to your "watch later" list.
Our educational activities app, GCompris, has made a number of new releases over the last few months and, among other things, has managed to reduce the space it takes up on disk by 30%. GCompris has also added new voices in Norwegian Nynorsk and Malayalam, and new, updated images makes it look prettier than ever.
You can find packages of this new version for GNU/Linux, Windows, Raspberry Pi and macOS on the download
page. It's also available from the Android Play store, the F-Droid repository and the Windows store.
DigiKam 7.6 has made their AppImage slicker by using ICU for full Unicode support and Qt 5.15 and libraw.
There's a new Flow View Plugin which uses the masonry layout. Masonry is a grid layout based on columns, but, unlike other grid layouts, it doesn’t have fixed height rows. Basically, Masonry layout optimizes the use of space inside the canvas by reducing any unnecessary gaps. Without this type of layout, certain restrictions are required to maintain the structure of layout, as with the main icon-view in digiKam album window. This kind of layout is used by the Pinterest social network for example.
DigiKam 7.6.0 source code tarball, Linux 64 bits AppImage bundles, macOS Intel package, and Windows 64 bits installers can be downloaded from this repository.
KStars is probably the most feature-rich free astronomy software around and the 3.5.9
release adds some exciting new features.
HiPS (Hierarchical Progressive Surveys) is a technology that provides progressive high resolution images of the sky at different zoom levels. KStars fully supports online HiPS where data is downloaded from online servers and cached to be displayed on the Sky Map.
A new simplified and powerful Mosaic Planner directly integrates in the Sky Map and greatly benefits from HiPS overlay to make your target-framing spot on. Toggle the Mosaic View from the toolbar, and select your equipment and the mosaic configuration. You can also use it as a very simple tool to frame a single 1 x 1 tile.
KStars also adds the ability to refocus after a meridian flip is complete. This is very useful for some optical train setups where the focuser might shift the duration the flip.
KStars can be installed on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.
RKWard is KDE's R app for statistics and has improved the first use experience in its latest versions. RKWard devs have done that by reworking the "Welcome to RKWard" page entirely: it now serves as a "dashboard" with some of the most important tasks, including, among other things, several new options for importing data from other programs. Several unnecessary dialogs that used to greet new users have been removed.
Beyond this, almost all plugins now support a preview, helping you see results faster, and to send only intended output to the output window.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 2022/06/23 - 8:24am
By Adam Szopa
I'm super excited to finally announce the start of the submission process for the brand new KDE Goals!
KDE sets goals that help the community focus on important things that need to get done in collaboration across many teams. Over the years, the community has set goals to tackle issues with usability, made it easier for new contributors to start working on KDE projects, implemented new tech that will serve us for years to come, and much more.
KDE Goals set a direction for the community and help concentrate efforts in areas deemed important by the KDE community itself. Every couple of years, new goals are selected to reflect the community's current priorities.
To submit a new goal proposal, you can use the dedicated workboard and shape the future direction of the KDE community.
This stage in the process lasts until July 16th, but don’t wait until the last moment! Submit early, and use the remaining time to listen to the feedback, refine and update your proposal. Only submissions with good descriptions will move to the next stage: the community vote.
To make things easier, we provide a template ticket that you have to copy and fill out with your content. This way, none of the important parts of a good proposal will be skipped, and there will be consistency between the different proposals.
You will need an account to create a new proposal, and then use the arrow in the “Not ready for voting” column to create a new task. Don’t forget to copy the description from the template!
Remember, by submitting a Goal proposal, you are also submitting yourself as the Goal’s Champion! A Goal Champion is the face of the goal and the motivator of the initiative, but not necessarily the one that implements most of the tasks. After all, this is a community goal, so a good champion will motivate others to join in and help achieve amazing things.
If you want to learn more about the whole process, see the wiki for more details.
Akademy 2022 will be a hybrid event, in Barcelona and online that will be held from Saturday 1st to Friday 7th October. The Call for Participation is still open! Submit your talk ideas and abstracts as the deadline has been extended until the 19th June.
Why talk at #Akademy2022?
Akademy attracts people from all over the world, not only from the global KDE Community, but also from companies, Free Software developers and pundits from other projects, public institutions, and more. We all meet together to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. You will meet people that are receptive to your ideas and will help you with their skills and experience.
How do you get started?
You do not have to worry about details or a presentation right now. Just think of an idea and submit some basic details about your talk. You can edit your abstract after the initial submission.
All topics relevant to the KDE Community are welcome. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your talk:
What KDE projects have you contributed to? Tell us about your work, and get feedback and support!
Where do you think should KDE go next?
How has KDE software impacted you/people you know in real life?
Are there particular problems with KDE you think you can give us some insight on? How would you solve it?
How can we improve KDE for people with disabilities?
How can we increase the participation of women in our community?
How can we accelerate full support on Wayland?
What is next for Plasma mobile?
What is the current state of the project you are working on?
Have you used any KDE applications in ingenious ways or created something great with them? Tell us about your work!
These are just some ideas to get the ball rolling. However, you can submit a proposal on any topic as long as you can make it relevant to KDE. For more ideas for talks, check out the videos from previous years: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 2022/05/26 - 4:17pm
By Johnny Jazeix
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global, online program focused on bringing new contributors into open source software development. Like every year, KDE applies and aims to integrate more and more developers. This year, KDE's participation in GSoC kicks off with nine fascinating projects.
This year we have two projects to improve digiKam. The first one is from Quoc Hung Tran who will work on a new plugin to process Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This will allow to extract text from images and store the output inside the EXIF data or within a separate file. The plugin will also be used to organize scanned text images with contents.
This is the second stage of the original project from GSoC 2021 and aims to classify photos by quality (e.g. global exposure, blur, compression, noise, etc.). The first stage was an algorithm based on computer vision classic, as well as image metadata (such as focus point). The second stage involves studying and implementing a more generic algorithm based on Deep Learning. This project will help simplify significantly the complexity of code and improve performance especially when running on a GPU, and will also pave the way for more generic usage in other KDE software. For instance, it can be useful to inspect the image and spot out where to enhance it, or how much it can be enhanced.
Meanwhile, Reinold Rojas will work on exporting an image to SVG in Krita; a project that will provide more options to share files with Inkscape, and will help create translatable images with text for Krita Manual without knowledge of Inkscape.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 2022/05/03 - 9:15am
By Johnny Jazeix
Another year, another successful Season of KDE!
In Season of KDE 2022, seven candidates took on and completed projects that helped them learn about Open Source and also expanded their knowledge of how software is created, managed, packaged and distributed; how to create features to applications aimed at end users; about the ever-pressing need for more efficient and eco-friendly software; and much more.
Ayush Singh worked on writing a Rust wrapper for the KConfig KDE Framework. KConfig simplifies the process of writing values to, and reading options from an app's configuration file. Ayush's project will allow developers to use KConfig in Rust projects without having to write C++ code. Ayush wrote several posts explaining which bindings and features are now complete and can be used directly in Rust.
Talking of writing apps, Samarth Raj added a new activity to GCompris. GCompris is a suite of educational activities for children from the ages of 2 to 10, and is used widely in schools and homes all over the world. Samarth's activity helps kids differentiate between the left and right mouse click. It does so by encouraging the child to click on 2 different animals (a horse and a monkey). By using either the left or right button on the mouse, the child can then make each of the animals go to their respective homes (a stable and a tree).
Another new feature in an existing application is the Perspective Ellipse Assistant tool Srirupa Datta worked on for Krita. Krita is KDE's design and painting program and the ellipse assistant tool will help artists draw ellipses easier.
KDE apps are not only available for Linux. In fact, many projects are making an effort to reach all users regardless of the platform they are on, and Stefan Kowalczyk worked on improving KDE Connect on iOS, Apple's mobile phone and tablet operating system.
iOS has the particularity that it can only display one alert at a time. This means that when KDE Connect raised multiple alerts at the same time, only one was being shown. Stefan's project aims to queue the alerts and avoid the user from losing information.
The code has been merged. If you are an iOS user and would like to use KDE Connect on your phone, you may want to read more about this SoK, and follow the progress of the project.
For Stefan "[...] it has been a great opportunity to learn more about iOS development and work with a community-driven open source project. [...] SoK was the thing I needed to finally contribute to the Open Source community".
Building new applications and new features into applications is fine, but then comes the problem of delivering them to the users. Flatpak is becoming an increasingly popular way of distributing software to users and Snehit Sah packaged several KDE applications for Flatpak and is implementing continuous integration for Flatpak packages.
Snehit says "I almost jumped to the ceiling when I saw the word "packaging". [...] I've never worked with Flatpak before, but I have a basic understanding of packaging, and it is in fact one of the things I take a lot of interest in". Snehit also remarks on how Season of KDE was a great booster to his experience.
To find out about all the applications that Snehit updated, check out his blog.
Karanjot Singh remarked on how he learned a lot about working with different automation tools, and creating standard usage scenarios for different applications and frameworks, a skill that will come in handy in the future.
About Season of KDE
Season of KDE allows everyone to participate in the KDE ecosystem, and helps newcomers from all backgrounds, students or not, to start contributing to the open source community. To encourage a wide range of skills, the tasks candidates carry out are not limited to coding, but can also cover graphic design, documentation, systems administration, workflow optimization, packaging and distribution, promotion, etc.
Starting to contribute to an open source project is not easy, and organizations like KDE, with its thousands of contributors and a long list of products, may seem intimidating. That is why Season of KDE exists: to make this step easy.
Through Season of KDE, we welcome newcomers and help them become part of the community, while providing them with a mentorship that will help them learn and improve new skills. SoK participants carry out meaningful tasks that elevate our software and services and have an impact on millions of users.
In this video, we invite FOSS developers to promote transparency in energy consumption and apply for the Blue Angel ecolabel for resource and energy-efficient software in three steps:
Measure: The first step requires you to learn how much energy your software consumes
Analyze: By making the energy consumption transparent you can drive down the amount of energy your software needs
Certify: Finally, the certification process will guarantee your users and third parties that the software complies with Blue Angel's stringent requirements
Software is immaterial, but it determines the energy consumption of hardware. The ICT sector is reported to contribute as much CO2 as the aviation industry, and the numbers continue to rise. Making software efficient is crucial.
KDE developers have always paid attention to the performance of the desktop environment and its applications. KDE Plasma runs smoothly even on hardware that is 5-10 years old! In the context of reducing CO2, resource and energy-efficiency is a major design goal.
Here we introduce the two projects of KDE Eco! The Free and open-source Energy Efficiency Project (FEEP), which is developing tools to improve energy efficiency in FOSS development. And the Blauer Engel For FOSS (BE4FOSS), which collects and spreads information related to FEEP and the Blue Angel ecolabel.
The Blue Angel is the official environmental label awarded by the German government -- and they now certify resource and energy-efficient software. It is the first ecolabel to link the FOSS values of transparency and user autonomy with sustainability.
Join us at KDE Eco and let's build energy-efficient Free Software together!
If you are interested in packaging or developing Falkon, please contact the devs to get involved. More contributions are always appreciated!
Kalendar is a new calendar application that allows you to manage your tasks and events. Kalendar supports both local calendars as well as a multitude of online calendars: Nextcloud, Google® Calendar, Outlook®, Caldav, and many more.
Kalendar was built with the idea to be usable on desktop, on mobile and everything in between.
There have been monthly releases recently each adding a bunch of new features and improvements, including drag and drop for calendar items.
In the new 0.4 release, there are two new views: the three-day and single-day views. These are based on the week view, presenting events and tasks according to their times. These new views should make it much easier to check your calendars when the window is width-constrained, or when you have lots of overlapping events.
In the prior release, Kalendar aligned with Plasma’s motto of ‘simple by default, powerful when needed’. The developers tweaked the default configuration to make the application as clean and simple as it needs to be. They also changed the month view so the weeks would not be numbered by default, and for tasks to be arranged in ascending date order. This should save users from fiddling around with the settings!
The app comes on the PinePhone Pro or you can get it from your Linux distro.
It will likely be added to Plasma Mobile Gear releases in future.
Ruqola (Italian for the salad leaf "rocket") is KDE's cross platform Rocket.chat app. Rocket.chat is a secure chat app and platform. Their slogan is: real-time conversations with your colleagues, other companies or customers. Rocket.Chat does everything other platforms do, but doesn't expose your data.
Ruqola’s recent 1.6 release settles the UI on tranditional QWidgets, adds team support and includes the all important emoji support.
One for the developers, Heaptrack is an app to monitor memory usage. It can attach to running apps and tracks all calls to the core memory allocation functions and log these occurrences.
The Heaptrack v1.3.0 release is packed with quite some important new features. Most importantly, it is now possible to filter by time ranges. To do so, simply select a time range in one of the plots and right click to filter by time. Once analysis is complete, you will see the delta between the two time points; a very useful addition to the heap memory analysis workflow!
You can get it from your Linux distro or just use the AppImage.
Version 3.9 of Kid3, a music file tag editor, brings new features. It is now possible to add custom frames to the quick access frames, which are always directly editable in the frame table. Standard frame values can now be edited directly in columns of the file list. Users of the command line version kid3-cli now have the possibility to run QML scripts. Customization of the quick access frames is now also possible on Android. It also comes with translations to new languages and bug fixes.
updated its build system and now talks updated to GPX files Mime Type.
KDiff 1.9.4 fixed DOS/Wndows line ending handling regression and a race condition during teardown.
New Beta Software
Kodaskanna is a utility for reading data from 1D/2D codes (e.g. QR codes or bar codes) and making the data available for further processing.
The long-term vision for Kodaskanna is to be a simple utility to integrate in workflows where some data processing expects a data blob (or a series of those) to be taken from a machine readable source by the user. It should have reusable general purpose extensions both for reading all kind of encoded data in all kind of sources (e.g. graphical, acoustical) or straight from dedicated input devices, as well as for validating and previewing the extracted data for the expected data format. The invoking instance should be able to filter/define what is possible. The utility should be usable both in-process and out-of-process, and ideally itself be replaceable by other solutions providing the same interface.
ARM64 Coming to the Snap Store
KDE publishes over 100 apps on the Snap store, an app store for all Linux distros. In the last 30 days there are 181,750 machines using them in 209 territories.
Launching today we have published the first Snap for ARM64 so you can use KBlocks on your Raspberry PI or PinePhone Pro. This architecture will become more important once laptops using the chips become more prominent, so it's great to see KDE becoming available on another platform.
Submitted by Paul Brown on Wed, 2022/01/26 - 12:07pm
By Johnny Jazeix
Season of KDE, the program that helps people start contributing to KDE easily, kicks off with nine fascinating projects:
Ayush Singh will be working on a Rust wrapper for KConfig. With this wrapper, and the existing ones for qmetaobject and ki18n, it will be easier to develop KDE applications in Rust. More information can be found in the kde-devel mailing-list. Ayush will be mentored by Jos van den Oever.
Pablo Marcos will add a new panel to show notifications on Tokodon, KDE's Mastodon client. Pablo will be mentored by Carl Schwan.
Snehit Sah will help package more KDE applications for Flathub. Some packages are nearly ready for Flathub, but are missing information or manifest files, so they are not yet available on the platform. The goal of the project is to improve the existing packages and publish more apps on Flathub. Snehit will be mentored by Timothée Ravier.
Suhaas Joshi will work on the permission management for Flatpak Apps in Discover. The aim is to allow users view permissions required by a flatpak before installation and also allow users to turn these permissions on or off. After the installation of a flatpak package, Discover will let users view and alter its permissions. Suhaas will be mentored by Timothée Ravier and Aleix Pol Gonzalez.
Samarth Raj will add a new activity help understand the difference between left- and right-clicking using a mouse in GCompris. The activity will show two types of animals that want to go home. Left-clicking will move one kind, while right-clicking will move the other. Find out more about this activity here. Samarth will be mentored by Harsh Kumar and Emmanuel Charruau.
Srirupa will add support for a Perspective Ellipse feature in Krita. The aim is to create a tool that can adjust four corners of a mesh with an ellipse inside it. This will allow users to draw an ellipse in perspective with ease. Srirupa will be mentored by Halla Rempt.
Soumik Dutta will document KDE Connect's communication protocol. Soumik will create comprehensive documentation covering the API contracts and the Event Action Pathways, validate the generated documentation, decide the layout, and merge the work into the existing documentation. Soumik will be mentored by Apollo Zhu and Lucas Wang.
For the KDE-eco project, Karanjot Singh will prepare Standard Usage Scenarios for Energy Consumption Measurements. The first step will be to select an automatic tool to reproduce scenarios and then to define/write scenarios to test the energy consumption for multiple KDE/FOSS projects, such as Kate, KWrite, Vim, nano, emacs, etc. Finally, Karanjot will implement the scenarios. Karanjot will be mentored by Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss.
Stefan Kowalczyk will improve the user experience for KDE Connect's iOS Internal Error and Alerts. iOS does not allow for multiple alerts at the same time, so the aim of the project is to queue alerts for KDE Connect if there are more than one, and display them one after the other. Stefan will be mentored by Apollo Zhu and Lucas Wang.
We hope all participants have fun with their projects and look forward to your achievements!