Submitted by Paul Brown on Fri, 2021/12/24 - 11:12am
By Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss
On 11 December 2021, KDE Eco held the first of many planned Sprints. The Sprint was originally intended to be an in-person event to set up a community measurement lab, but Corona had other ideas. Nevertheless, the community deployed its usual resourcefulness, and we met online instead.
We discussed the next steps in KDE's Eco project, and the day's conversation was varied, covering topics such as setting up a team space for the project (achieved), completing the Blauer Engel application for Okular (submitted), along with several technical issues related to energy-consumption measurements in the lab, including Standard Usage Scenarios, replicable reference systems, standardizing data output, budget vs. professional power meters, and more. See the minutes for details.
A more detailed summary of the discussion will be published at the KDE Eco blog (coming soon), so keep an eye out for updates there!
The online Sprint was a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together and move the KDE Eco project forward, especially as we prepare for the community measurement lab that will be held at KDAB Berlin and the first of many measure-athons (planned for early 2022)! The success of such events depends first and foremost on the community, so allow us to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined the conversation. Moreover, we could not do what we do without the support of KDE e.V. as well as BMU/UBA, who financially support the BE4FOSS project.
Did you know?
Discussions similar to those at the Sprint occur monthly at our community meetups on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 19h-20h (CET/CEST). Join us! We would love to see you there.
Submitted by Paul Brown on Fri, 2021/12/17 - 9:03am
GCompris 2.0 improves classic favorites loved by children of all ages, and adds even more activities for more fun and learning.
GCompris is KDE's educational suite of more than 170 activities and pedagogical games. It is used by teachers, parents and, most importantly, children worldwide. GCompris is a fixture in classrooms and at home, giving kids the opportunity to practice a wide range of skills while having fun at the same time.
GCompris 2.0's educational value and the hours of fun and entertainment it provides children of all ages makes it the perfect present for these festive holidays.
Let's see some of the new and fun activities you will find in GCompris:
Baby Mouse is for children learning to use a computer for the first time. It presents them with a friendly environment with brightly colored ducks where they can use a mouse, a touchscreen or any other input device to move a duck, click on a blank part of the screen, or click on other elements in the screen and receive visual and audio feedback. This activity is great to help develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
With Ordering numbers and Ordering letters, children familiar with numbers and the alphabet can practice ordering within several ranges. A step up is Ordering sentences, in which kids can practice reading and grammar by sorting out the parts of sentences.
In Positions, another activity that helps children practice reading comprehension and spatial location at the same time, the player sees pictures of a child and a box and has to choose the word that best describes where they are relative to each other.
Getting back to numeracy activities, GCompris 2.0 includes a wide range of activities that mimic basic manipulation math games, allowing young players to experiment with elements, grouping them in sets of up to ten items. This helps them build a clear concept of the decimal system, and, as with many GCompris activities, an educator can gradually increase the difficulty level, allowing the activities to be used with children of ages between 3 and 10. Once they grasp the concept of the decimal system, the addition and subtraction activities, also based on math manipulation, help practice arithmetic.
Along with other classics, like chess, align four, and checkers, fans of strategy games will enjoy Oware, a game that requires forethought and, again, numeracy skills. Oware is originally a traditional African pastime and can be played against a friend or against Tux, offering unlimited hours of fun.
Talking about discovering things from around the world, let's not forget our the young globetrotters! For them, GCompris includes many reworked and new maps for them to explore and discover new countries. Not only will they learn the location of nations and regions, but they will also be able to visit and learn about famous locations and monuments.
Another way of finding your way around is by following directions. The four Path activities, Path encoding absolute, Path encoding relative, Path decoding absolute, and Path decoding relative, help kids learn to interpret abstract directions. Using arrows that can indicate a direction on a map (up, down, left, or right) or relative to Tux's orientation (forward, left, or right), the player must either direct Tux towards the flag, or pick the correct path following a given set of directions.
In a similar vein, young geeks interested in how computers work can learn the basics of programming with their very own graphical language. By laying out blocks with arrows on them, pupils can give instructions so Tux can reach his dinner. Related activities include learning about binary numbers using LEDs, building electric circuits, and using logic gates to build digital circuits.
GCompris 2.0 also includes all the activities children throughout the world have come to enjoy and love, activities that cover natural science, physics, art, history, and more.
Help GCompris Become Better
GCompris is Free Software and thus belongs to all of humanity. Join us and help GCompris become even better!
It's easy: you can help with ideas, feedback, graphics, development and translations. In fact, translations are the best place to start. The translations for Galician, Slovak, Chinese Simplified, Irish Gaelic, and Czech, for example, just need a small push and we will be able to include them into GCompris. Other languages are included, but are still missing some texts, such as Russian, Turkish and Breton. If you are familiar with any of these languages, you can begin contributing to GCompris right now!
Submitted by jriddell on Wed, 2021/11/03 - 10:28am
Skanpage is KDE's new image scanning app. It's a simple scanning application designed for multi-page scans and saving of documents and images.
It works for scanning from both flatbed and feed-through automatic document feeder scanners. It lets you configure options for the scanning device, such as resolution and margins, and you can re-order, rotate and delete scanned pages. The scans can be saved to multi-page PDF documents and image files.
Unlike our existing Skanlite app, this new program is written using Kirigami, our responsive interface toolkit which adapts to mobile and desktop devices.
You can get Skanpage from KDE neon now, and look out for it on other Linux distros soon.
To improve the workflow, there's a new main menu entry called Assign images to GPS data that triggers a configurable action (like "(Re)Assign all images") from the Automatic assignment dock. Also, you can now load images and GPX tracks, assign them, and save the coordinates without having to mark all images and having to use the context menu of the images list or using the Automatic assignment dock.
The famous ExifTool is now officially supported alongside the former Exiv2 shared library to handle file metadata. ExifTool is a powerful utility that you can use in special cases to fix metadata dysfunctions that can't be solved using Exiv2. An ExifTool metadata viewer has been appended to the metadata sidebar everywhere in digiKam. ExifTool also supports a larger list of file formats than Exiv2.
The DNG Converter received a major update of the internal Adobe SDK and has improved the support of modern original RAW files features and Digital Negative targets.
The FITS and MPO formats are now fully supported in digiKam 7.3.0, including their metadata components. Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is an open standard commonly used in astronomy. It defines a digital file format useful for storage, transmission and processing of data, formatted as multi-dimensional arrays, for example, 2D images or tables.
JPEG Multi-Picture Format (MPO) is a JPEG-based format for storing multiple images in a single file. It can contain two or more JPEG files concatenated together and various devices from Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Sony use it to store 3D images. digiKam can process MPO-formatted images thanks to an ImageMagick codec and the ExifTool parser working in the background.
Also included is a new plugin that lets you export photos to iNaturalist. iNaturalist is a social network of 130K+ active naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist receives observations of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms worldwide.
Finally, the Find Duplicates has been improved as has the slideshow export.
The digiKam 7.3.0 source code tarball, Linux 64 bits AppImage bundles, MacOS Intel package, and Windows 64 bits installers can be downloaded here.
Beta: Subtitle Composer
We love making videos, and, to make those videos accessible, it's great to have subtitles in them. Subtitle Composer is a new app from KDE that helps you add texts to your videos. You can set the timing, font, size and add multiple languages.
For translations and transcriptions, you can work with two subtitles side-by-side. Subtitle Composer lets you adapt the waveform to your liking, fit your subtitles to your needs and change the interface itself! The user interface is adaptable, so you can use whatever colours work best with the video and you can move panels to find a workflow that is the most comfortable for you.
It works with all the subtitle file formats, including text and graphical subtitle formats, formats supported by ffmpeg, demux formats, MicroDVD, and graphical formats supported by ffmpeg.
It does speech recognition too, so it can even add the subtitles for you. And you can quickly and easily sync subtitles by dragging several anchors/graftpoints and stretching the timeline, doing time shifting and scaling, lines duration re-calculation, framerate conversion then joining and splitting the subtitle files. Spell checking is included, of course, and it can even be scripted in multiple languages.
Download Subtitle Composer for your Linux distro, as an AppImage, Flatpak or for MS Windows. Version 0.7.1 is the latest beta release.
KDiff3KDiff3 is a file and folder diff and merge tool which compares and merges two or three text input files or folders. Version 1.9.3 fixes multiple regressions in file comparison, including trailing new lines at the EOF that are not preserved, random line insertion during merge, as well as a crash and compile failure. Grab it for Linux, Windows or Mac.
Submitted by Paul Brown on Tue, 2021/09/14 - 8:22am
TUXEDO Computers, a company known for selling Linux-powered computers and notebooks, now joins us as a KDE Patron!
"Our customized Linux notebooks (for work or play) are equipped with KDE Plasma, which leads to a positive response from our customers", said Herbert Feiler, CEO TUXEDO Computers. "Furthermore, we additionally do our own development work, which could benefit KDE as upstream as well. We are happy to share our knowledge and would like to secure as well as expand KDE's development work in the long run. Feedback that we receive from customers can also flow directly into KDE's development work."
"For KDE, reaching and serving end-users is part of our reason to exist and TUXEDO can be a great ally in this endeavour." said Aleix Pol, President of KDE e.V. "Together, we will get to expand our frontiers and create systems and tools to further serve our users. It's especially encouraging to see TUXEDO's commitment to join our development communities and collaborate towards making KDE products better for everyone."
TUXEDO Computers joins KDE e.V.’s other Patrons: The Qt Company, SUSE, Google, Blue Systems, Canonical, Enioka, Slimbook and Pine64 to continue to support Free Open Source Software and KDE development through KDE e.V.
Submitted by Paul Brown on Wed, 2021/09/01 - 9:16am
We are happy to announce the winner of the Plasma 25th Anniversary Edition Wallpaper Contest!
Thanks to all those who submitted their artwork. The variety and quality of the submissions in this edition was simply astounding. As always, there were multiple great options and it was very hard to choose. It was a very close call! But at the end, we have a winner: Patak by Aron!
Patak will make its official debut on October 14, when Plasma 25th Anniversary Edition is finally released.
Akademy 2022 is on its way and, despite the continuing pandemic, we are aiming for some in-person aspect for our next conference.
For the upcoming Akademy, we are looking to host it later in 2022, as we expect travel to be a bit more attainable and safe by then. Ideal dates would be in late summer or autumn 2022, specifically late August through October.
If you are interested in hosting Akademy in your city, please send a letter of intent or interest before a full bid by the middle of October 2021. In addition, we ask that you assemble a team of at least 3 people before applying.
Details of what to expect and what we are looking for are in the Call for Hosts[PDF]
If you have any questions or concerns we will be very happy to offer advice and a helping hand, so feel free to reach out anytime!
The KDE community makes a vast array of apps which get shipped in Linux distros, on Linux app stores, for Windows and Mac and for Android too. Following the re-branding of our scheduled app releases to KDE Gear we are splitting out the app update into these separate articles which will cover the self-released apps where the projects themselves manage their own release schedule. Here's what we have released in the last few months.
MyGNUHealth is a Health Personal Record application focused in privacy, that can be used in desktops and mobile devices.
MyGH has the functionality of a health and activity tracker, and that of a health diary / record. It records and tracks the main anthropometric and physiological measures, such as weight, blood pressure, blood sugar level or oxygen saturation. It keeps track of your lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and sleep, with numerous charts to visualize the trends.
MyGNUHealth is also a diary, that records all relevant information from the medical and social domain and their context. In the medical domain, you can record your encounters, immunizations, hospitalizations, lab tests, genetic and family history, among others. In the genetic context, MyGH provides a dataset of over 30000 natural variants / SNP from UniProt that are relevant in humans. Entering the RefSNP will automatically provide the information about that particular variant and it's clinical significance.
Digikam 7.2 adds an advanced batch rename feature. Albums management has been improved with database fixes to support better items grouping with special use cases. The tool to batch items in queues comes with a few improvements and fixes, especially when removable items are remaned while processing.
Digikam has bundle builds for Linux AppImages, Mac and Windows which all automatically update.
Another new app is KGeoTag. You can use KGeoTag to assign image files to GPS locations. This can help you with remembering the exact location where a photo was taken, or with discovering images that were taken at the same place. Of course, this is most useful when used together with another program such as KPhotoAlbum, that can adequately display this information and lets you search by GPS coordinates.
Kup is a backup scheduler integrating with the Plasma desktop with support for versioned incremental backups using Bup and for sync-type of backup by using Rsync.
The new release adds detection of when a source folder has been removed, when this happens Kup aborts saving backup and prompts user to review what should be included. It also adds a way to prune old backup snapshots, with new small app kup-purger.
Kup is available with your Linux distro.
Here at KDE we have just run our Akademy conference through the Matrix chat network. Neochat is our app to use Matrix chats.
The first thing you will see then opening NeoChat 1.2 is that it is now using message bubbles. The text input component was completely redesigned. It’s also now possible to get autocompletion of commands. It’s now possible to send customized reactions when replying to a message with /react for example /react I love NeoChat.
Most importantly the fireworks and snow visual effects can now cheer up your day.
Neochat is available in your Linux distro and on Flathub.
Money isn't the only way to make great software but here at KDE we make great money counting software anyway. Accounting app Skrooge 2.25 adds a couple of new features. Opt-out from accounts from the "accounts" widget in the Dashboard.
Also included in this release is a new dashboard layouts: by columns and with layouts in layouts.
Tellico is a software application for organizing your collections. It provides default templates for books, bibliographies, videos, music, video games, coins, stamps, trading cards, comic books, and wines. You can also create your own custom collection of anything you like!
Tellico 3.4 is available, with several new features, updated data sources, bug fixes and build changes.
App author Robby Stephenson says "I’m excited about this release. It pulls together a few different things that I’d been working on. I’ve got a few more ideas about charts and reports to be added. The additional coin and stamp data sources really fill a niche. Everything seems to be working really nicely together, so I’m happy to put 3.4 out.".
We also made a bunch of bugfix releases for our apps.
KStars 3.5.2 adds Polar Alignment can now be performed while pointing anywhere in the sky. Thus, for example, if a tree is blocking your view of the pole, you can still polar align.
Krita 4.4.5 needs no introduction. The team is are preparing for a major new release but until then this bugfix which removes a nasty bug on MacOS.
GCompris 1.1 updates graphics in 21 of the activities and not provides a .msi windows installer. Get it from the Microsoft store, Snap Store, Android or even Raspberry Pi.
Submitted by Paul Brown on Sat, 2021/06/26 - 5:56pm
After 4 days + 1 morning of BoFs, hacking sessions and meetings, talks at Akademy resumed in room 1 on Friday at 17:00 UTC. Kevin Ottens and Christelle Zouein from enioka Haute Couture kicked things off with the talk Community's Adventures in Analyticsland - Or the State of the Community Through New Analytics. Christelle and Kevin showed us the data analysis tools they have been working on to study information collected from KDE's development repositories and the surprising facts and trends they discovered.
At the same time, in room 2, Volker Krause talked about Releasing Android Apps - Building, optimizing and deploying release APKs. In this talk, Volker explained that, because KDE developers are producing more and more mobile-friendly applications, there was a need to better understand how to release mobile platforms.
Volker covered the efforts to expand KDE's tools for building packages (that already help produce packages for Windows, macOS and AppImage) so developers can also use them to create Android packages.
At 19:40, Manav Sethi and Paul Brown came on in room 1 to talk about a new KDE project: Kockatoo a tool to simplify the management of social media posting. After Paul explained the issues derived from managing multiple accounts on a wide variety of platforms, Manav demonstrated how Kockatoo can help. The speakers then explained what was missing from the project and how they thought Kockatoo could help the different KDE projects be more efficient on social media.
In room 2, Lars Knoll from the Qt Company, talked about Qt 6, its new features and the current roadmap leading toward its completion. In the talk, Lars gave an overview of the largest changes that are included in Qt 6, where the development stands right now with Qt 6.1 and where it is headed.
At 20:20, Albert Astals Cid talked about the KDE Qt 5.15 patch collection, the branch of Qt5 maintained by the KDE community after the Qt Company halted updates to concentrate on Qt6. Albert explained in his talk why this patch collection was created, what it is and how it is maintained.
Meanwhile, in room 2, Shawn Rutledge talked about Interactive UIs in Qt Quick 3D. In his talk, Shawn explored the possibilities of enabling controls and interactive elements in 3D virtual reality-like environments and showed us some seriously cool examples of how technology works.
At 21:00 UTC, Nuno Pinheiro took over in room 1 and talked of his work developing O² ("Oxygen squared"), a new icon set based upon KDE's iconic Oxygen designs of yore.
In room 2, Thomas Hartmann introduced us to Qt Design Studio, a new tool that intends to break the cycle of painstaking feedback loops between designers and developers.
After this talk in room 2, all the attendees convened in room 1 to hear Aleix Pol, president of KDE, talk about working professionally with KDE. In his presentation, Aleix shared his own experiences of working with the KDE Community and reflected on the experience of having hired several contractors to work within KDE.
The last act of Akademy 2021 after the BoF wrap up of the day, was the traditional ceremony of the Akademy Awards. This year they went to Alexander Semke of LabPlot for Best Application, Paul Brown from the Promo team for Best Non-Application Contribution, and Adriaan de Groot, who received the Jury Award for his selfless dedication and work within the KDE Community.
And that was it! Another fun-filled and fruitful Akademy was over, and now we all look forward to meeting next year again, hopefully in person this time.
All the talk recordings are now available on PeerTube or if you prefer you can also just grab the files
Wedneday continued the Akademy 2021 BoFs, meetings, group sessions and hacking. There is a wrap-up session at the end of the day so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.
Watch Wednesday's wrap-up session in the video below
Tuesday continued the Akademy 2021 BoFs, meetings, group sessions and hacking. There is a wrap-up session at the end of the day so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.
Watch Tuesday's wrap-up session in the video below