NOV
8
2019

Apps Update for November

LabPlot

The big release this month has been LabPlot 2.7. LabPlot is fast becoming one of KDE's highest profile apps. It is an application for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data. LabPlot provides an easy way to create, manage and edit plots. It allows you to produce plots based on data from a spreadsheet or on data imported from external files. Plots can be exported to several pixmap and vector graphic formats.

In this release we made the user experience while working with LabPlot easier and more fun. Entering and working with data in spreadsheets is slicker and when reading live data from file sources you can now use a relative path to find a live data source. This allows you to, for example, copy the folder containing the project file together with the data file or files across different folders on your computer without losing the connection to the file or files. In the Project Explorer you can now move top-level objects to different folders via drag & drop.

The data picker, which allows you to digitize data points on images, has had an overhaul in 2.7. The devs have greatly simplified the overall workflow and the process of digitizing data points as you can see in this video.

Check out the Labplot YouTube channel for more videos on using this advanced application.

Bugfixes

Alternative panel Latte Dock got a bugfix release, 0.9.4. It fixes autoloading in some distros such as Manjaro.

KDevelop is on its monthly bugfix release which tidied up CLang support for some distros.

Over 100 apps gets released as part of the KDE Applications bundle which has just had its 19.08.3 bugfix releases and includes:

  • In the video-editor Kdenlive, compositions no longer disappear when reopening a project with locked tracks.
  • Okular's annotation view now shows creation times in local time zone instead of UTC.
  • Keyboard control has been improved in the Spectacle screenshot utility.

Snap Store


Kdenlive Snap

Snaps are one of the new container-based package formats for Linux. KDE has over 50 apps published on the Snap store and ready to be installed on almost any Linux distro. On many Ubuntu flavors and derivatives, they come ready to be used. On others you may need to use your package manager to install snapd first. This is usually as simple as running a command such as sudo dnf install snapd or sudo pacman -S snapd. Most of KDE's Snap packages are built by the KDE neon team on their servers and the aim is to get packaging and building integrated more directly with app's repositories and continuous integration setups. This means they are updated more frequently and the moment changes are made so you always get the latest and greatest features and fixes.

New this month in the Snap store is KDE's video editor, Kdenlive.


Coming Up


KTrip

We have a couple of nice progressions towards stable releases from KDE apps. First, the mobile journey search app KTrip has moved into kdereview, meaning the authors want it checked over for sanity before making a stable release. In a first for KDE developer Nicolas Fella, he worked out how to get KTrip into F-Droid, the free software app store for Android.

Then, the developer tool ELF Dissector passed kdereview, meaning KDE has approved it as something we are happy to put our name on when it gets released. It's a static analysis tool for ELF libraries and executables. It does things like inspect forward and backward dependencies (on a library or symbol level), identify load-time performance bottlenecks such as expensive static constructors or excessive relocations, or size profiling of ELF files.

Help Out

By getting KDE's apps into the most popular of channels like the Windows Store, Google Play and F-Droid, we can reach more users and boost KDE's adoption through its software. Now that Kate is successfully shipping in the Windows Store, Kate developer Christoph Cullmann wrote a guide to Windows Store submission. Check it out.

KDE's All About the Apps Goal has loads of other things you can do to help get our applications to users, so come along and give us a hand.

OCT
31
2019

Consistency Update

By Niccolò Venerandi

It's been a month since Consistency was announced as an official goal for KDE at Akademy. During this time, we have focused on setting up all the tools needed to support the goal and tracking already active consistency tasks. Here's an update on what we have done so far and the main tasks we're working on.

Community Page

We have created a Consistency page on the community wiki where you can learn what the consistency goal is and find out how you can easily get involved in it. Check it out, regardless of your level of technical expertise!

Matrix Channel

There is also a Consistency channel on KDE's Matrix instance. Access it through the webchat page or at consistency:kde.org. You are welcome to come in and join us to discuss anything related to the consistency goal!

Sprint!

A sprint is in the works. If you would like to participate, join in the discussion and come and discuss the time and the place on the Matrix channel as well.

Phabricator Workboard

We created a Consistency workboard so you can track all the tasks and keep up with their development. You can add yourself as a member or watcher to receive Phabricator updates.

Tasks are organized into the following categories:

  • Reported shows consistency problems that still need to be addressed, but are currently not being worked on, or are not actively developed yet
  • VDG Discussion lists tasks that the VDG (Visual Design Group) are discussing
  • HIG Specification shows tasks that are waiting for an HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) specification so they can be developed in a consistent way
  • Under Apps Implementation you can find tasks that are actively being worked on
  • Meta contains all the tasks that are not exactly consistency problems, but are related to the consistency goal in some way
Current phabricator status
The Consistency goal's workboard.

Consistency Tasks

There are already many tasks in the Consistency project. Some tasks are new, some existed before. Many of these tasks are quite interesting, so read on to get an idea of what lays ahead for this goal.

Unify Highlight Effect Style

This task was already in progress when the Consistency goal was selected, but it is nevertheless a great example of what we'd like to see happen in the goal.

Currently, Plasma has a discrepancy in its highlight effect. The first kind of effect is a plain rectangle using the highlight color, while the second one is a rounded rectangle with an outline and semi-transparent background. Although the former is more common, we think the latter is more appropriate to use in all situations.

Here's the correct highlight effect in Plasma
Here's the correct highlight effect in Plasma
Current dolphin
Here's what it looks like in Dolphin now.
Dolphin mockup
Dolphin mockup showing correct highlighting.

A few more examples of what the new highlight could consistently look like in various use-cases:

Big icons sidebar highlight
Big icons sidebar highlight.
In plasmoids
In plasmoids.
In menus
In menus.

This is a great example of what consistency can be: not simply applying the same style everywhere, but finding something that a single app does very well, and bringing that to all the other apps. Noah Davis is actively developing this task, and he's doing a great job!

Unify Sidebar Navigation and Appearance

These tasks originated directly from the Consistency goal.

Sidebars are used in many applications and it would be great that they were consistent. There are two main aspects to this: the type of sidebar (system settings-like lists, big square icons, etc.) and the navigation within the sidebar (tabs, combo boxes, etc.).

What is the best solution? That part is currently under discussion. We welcome everyone's opinions on the matter or, even better, an expert assessment on the feasibility of each of the options.

Let's quickly illustrate some options:

For the sidebar appearance, the current main option relies on using lists and big square icons, depending on the number of elements:

Sidebars
Sidebars.

On the other hand, the option for navigating sidebar views includes tabs that become icons-only when horizontal space is insufficient, vertical tabs on the left, and combo boxes:

Option 1
Option 1.
Option 1b
Option 1b.
Option 2
Option 2.
Option 3
Option 3.

Furthermore, Nate Graham is focused on making sure that all big icons displayed in sidebars are colorful. He has already fixed a lot of them, and only a few are missing that we know of. Finally, there's also a task to create an HIG specification for sidebars as soon as the discussion settles. We welcome help with any of these tasks. :-)

Website Redesign

This task was already ongoing when the Consistency goal was chosen and it aims to modernize old web pages that follow obsolete styles. There are many of them and some are well-hidden. Carl Schwan created and works on this task alongside many other contributors. Check it out and see if you too can find any old websites that need updating!

That's the end of this update!

If you would like to help out, come join us in the matrix room and let's make KDE software more consistent together!

OCT
17
2019

conf.kde.in Is Coming Back In 2020

Join us for conf.kde.in from the 17th to 19th of January 2020 in Delhi, India.

conf.kde.in 2020 will focus on promoting Free and Open Source software, including (but not limited to) Qt and KDE products.

The Venue

conf.kde.in 2020 will be held in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, located in Rohini, Delhi, India. MAIT was established by the Maharaja Agrasen Technical Education Society and promoted by well-known industrialists, businessmen, professionals and philanthropists. The aim of MAIT is to promote quality education in the field of Technology.

MAIT endeavors to provide industry-relevant education and training through its well-crafted and practical training programs for the students in different semesters of their courses. The campus is composed of 10 blocks with a learning resource center. MAIT has been ranked as the 10th best private engineering institute in India by the Dataquest T-School Survey. MAIT always supports Free and Open Source communities and tech-related activities.

About conf.kde.in

conf.kde.in started in 2011 at RVCE in Bangalore as a 5-day event with 300 participants. This kicked off a series of KDE events in India. We held a KDE Meetup in 2013, and another conf.kde.in 2014 at DA-IICT. In 2015, the third conf.kde.in was held at Amrita University in Kerala, and in 2016 at LNMIIT Jaipur. The Jaipur conference attracted members of the KDE Community from all over the world. Attendees from different backgrounds came to meet each other, give talks, and share in the spirit of KDE. The 2017 conference was held in IIT Guwahati, Assam and sought to cater to new members of KDE, as well as to seasoned developers.


KDE Meetup 2014

All of these events have been successful in attracting a lot of Indian students to mentoring programs such as Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Season of KDE, and Google Code-In.

conf.kde.in 2020 will generate even more interest and participation by creating a fertile environment for people to get started with KDE, Qt and FOSS through numerous talks, hands-on sessions and demonstrations.

Call For Papers

Join us! Submit a paper, explain the content for a 30-minute presentation or a workshop on any aspect of KDE, Qt or any other FOSS topic you want to cover, and become a conf.kde.in Speaker.

Remember to include all pertinent information about your background, other talks you've given, and anything else that gives a sense of what attendees can expect from your presentation.

See you in 2020 in India!

OCT
15
2019

Plasma 5.17 is out!

KDE launches the new version of its acclaimed desktop environment, Plasma 5.17.

Plasma 5.17 is the version where the desktop anticipates your needs. Among many new features and improvements, your desktop now starts up faster; Night Color, the color-grading system that relaxes your eyes when the sun sets, has landed for X11; your Plasma desktop recognizes when you are giving a presentation, and stops messages popping up in the middle of your slideshows; and, if you are using Wayland, Plasma now comes with fractional scaling, which means that you can adjust the size of all your desktop elements, windows, fonts and panels perfectly to your HiDPI monitor.

The best part? The hundreds of improvements that have made their way into Plasma 5.17 do not tax your hardware! Plasma 5.17 is as lightweight and thrifty with resources as ever.

Check out the official release announcement for more features, improvements and goodies, or browse the full Plasma 5.17 changelog to read about every single change. You can also experience Plasma 5.17 for yourself and install one of the many distributions that offer Plasma.



Guillermo Amaral

The Plasma 5.17 series is dedicated to our friend Guillermo Amaral. Guillermo was an enthusiastic KDE developer who rightly self-described as 'an incredibly handsome multidisciplinary self-taught engineer'. He brought cheer to family, friends and colleagues. He lost his battle with cancer last summer, but will be remembered as a friend to all he met.

OCT
14
2019

Akademy 2019 Talks Videos

We now have the Akademy 2019 videos ready for you to enjoy, see the previous summary of talks on the dot for some inspiration on what to watch. The talk schedule has the full list

We had keynotes on Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! by Leonardo Favario and Towards Qt 6 by Lars Knoll

We also got updates on KDE Community's goals

Another thing to check out are the previously announced BoF wrapups letting you know what went on during the week following the talks

Recommendations

Here are some talks recommended by attendees:



What we do in the Promos
Piyush: i attended Paul's talk. It was really nice to have an insight on promo's day to day tasks and challenges!



Strengthen Code Review Culture: rm -rf ‘Toxic Behaviors’
Philip: I liked the code review one
Valorie: and I agree, Aniketh's Code Review talk was excellent




Software Distribution: lightning talks & discussion
Jon: Software Distribution talk! (although I prefer my original name for it of Getting KDE Software to Users)



Taking KDE to the skies: Making the drone ground control Kirogi
Ivana: I nominate Eike's talk about Kirogi. It was such a cool talk that told the story of developing an app in a way that even non-devs could understand, and I think it really showcased how KDE is still going strong and taking the lead in the innovation game
Hannah: The talk was horrible.... It made me want to buy a drone



Mycroft on Plasma Automobile Demo
Bhushan: Automative demo one



About Akademy


Akademy 2019, Milan

For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

OCT
7
2019

KDE is All About the Apps: October Update

KDE is all about the Apps!

We are a community of thousands of contributors who make hundreds of Apps using collaborative open source methods. Our apps run on Linux with Plasma, of course, but also fit in well with GNOME, Enlightenment, XFCE, or any other desktop you happen to be using. Many of our apps run on Windows, Android and macOS.

A new goal for the KDE community is to push how we are All About the Apps. We will be highlighting our best software and promoting it to increase its adoption outside the circle of current KDE fans (who we still love very much!). This is a monthly update of what's new in our apps. If you'd like to help out with this community goal, take a look at the All About the Apps workboard, and join us in our Matrix chat channel.

App Updates

The elite painting app Krita received a monthly bugfix release, 4.2.7. The developers have improved the layout and functionality of the color selection dialog, and made it possible to save group layers to file layers even if they are empty. The sort order of images imported as frames was fixed, a bunch of crashes removed, and dozens of other bugs tidied up.

To celebrate, the Krita team also made a video with artist Ramon Miranda that offers some advice for improving your sketches. Krita is available in your favorite Linux distribution, for Windows, macOS, as a Linux AppImage, on Flathub, and in the Snap store.

KMyMoney, the app for managing your finances, also got a new release - 5.0.7. This release introduces updates required for the new regulations of the Payment Services Directive, which affects the online capabilities for German bank users.

To make KMyMoney compatible with those regulations (especially the strong customer authentication part), developers had to adapt it to updated APIs of the Gwenhywfar and AqBanking libraries which provide the banking protocol implementations.

Coming from KDE and used by many of us, the distributed compiler cluster Icecream and Icecream Monitor have been updated. The new release improves Objective C and C++ support, removes hardcoded compiler paths, and fixes job preloading to again allow sending one extra job to a fully busy node. In the monitor app several new ice cream flavors have also been added, we're not quite sure what this means but it sounds delicious.

In the last month, Latte Dock (panel for the Plasma desktop) had two new releases, making improvements to its new Win Indicator look.

KDevelop, the discerning coder's IDE, published a bugfix release - 5.4.2. You can get it from your Linux distribution or as an AppImage, and you can also compile versions for Windows and macOS.

RSIBreak, the app that helps you prevent damage to your wrists got a new release versioned 0.12.11.

Photo management and editing app digiKam released the version 6.3. The highlight of the new release is the G'Mic plugin.
G'Mic is the image processing library with over 950 different filters, so you can make all your photos truly beautiful. digiKam can be installed from your Linux distro, AppImage bundles, macOS package, and Windows 32/64-bit installers.

Telescope and astronomy app KStars also had a new release, versioned 3.3.6. The KStars Live Video window can now show debayer frames in real-time, making it possible to create color video streams.

The weather data can be directly displayed in the Observatory Module, and the user interface has been improved in a number of ways. As one of the most feature-rich free astronomy apps, KStars caters to a wide variety of use cases, so you will surely find tools that are useful to you regardless of your level of experience. KStars is available pretty much everywhere - as a Windows installer, macOS installer, Android app, Snap package, and in your Linux distribution.

Bug Fixes

We are continually improving our apps, so plenty of bug fixes have been made. Here are some highlights.

  • Our document viewer Okular gained support for HighDPI screens. This one-line fix to add automatic scaling based on the pixel density of the monitor will make viewing documents on fancy monitors so much better.
  • The advanced text editor Kate was similarly updated to work with HiDPI screens throughout.
  • The chess game Knights had a one-line fix in version 19.08.2. Thanks to the fix, you can now start a game when the second player is a computer engine again.
  • Video editor Kdenlive fixed screengrabs in Linux to eliminate crashes, and in Windows to correctly grab the audio.
  • CD burner app K3b fixed a crash where it couldn't find the supporting command-line tool mkisofs.

Supporting Bits

Libraries and artwork support our apps to make our software work beautifully.

The Breeze icon theme got new icons for activities, trash, batteries, QR codes, and more. Libical, which is used by Kontact to talk to iCalendar protocols and data formats, had a bugfix release (3.0.6).

Snorenotify is a notification framework supporting Linux, Windows and macOS. Snoretoast is a command-line application used within Snorenotify for Windows Toast notifications. It is also used in Quassel and Tomahawk, and the good news is that it got a new release this month (0.7.0).

New in App Stores

Our software is increasingly available directly through app stores. To celebrate and highlight this (and to help you find them more easily!), this month we added Windows Store links to the KDE Applications web page.

More KDE applications found their way to the Windows Store:

Welcoming New Projects

New projects are started in the KDE community all the time. When those projects are ready for wider use, they go through a process called "KDE review", where other KDE contributors will check them for code quality, features, licensing, and how well they work on different platforms. Last but not least, we decide whether we are happy to give it the KDE stamp of approval.

In KDE review this month is Ruqola, a chat app which talks on the Rocket Chat network and uses the Kirigami UI framework. For the more technically-inclined, Elf-Inspector is an app providing tools for inspecting, analyzing, and optimizing ELF files (the executable file format used on Linux).

Saying Goodbye

Sometimes, apps are left behind when their code does not keep up with the rest of the world.

This month, a new version of our multimedia library Phonon was released. In this version, we removed Qt4 support - sensible enough, as Qt4 hasn't been supported since 2015. As a result, the music player app Amarok has become deprecated (at least for now). Don't lose hope, though: the Qt5 port is progressing, but it's not there yet.

The web browser Rekonq was marked as unmaintained, meaning it's unlikely to ever come back. However, the work carries on in Falkon, so make sure to check out and support the project if you are interested in lightweight web browsers. Also considered unmaintained is the bootup configuration tool systemd-kcm.


Enjoy your apps from KDE, and stay tuned for more updates!

SEP
27
2019

Meet KDE e.V.'s New Board

Akademy 2019 brought the KDE community some exciting news and major changes. The new community-wide goals have been announced, and KDE contributors presented new ideas and projects they are working on.

One important change that took place during Akademy 2019 is related to the KDE e.V., the foundation that legally represents the KDE community. Members of KDE e.V. elected two new members for the KDE e.V. Board. For the next couple of years, they will be the people who will legally represent the KDE community and manage the day-to-day running of KDE e.V.

Let’s meet the new members of the KDE e.V. Board!


Aleix Pol

Aleix Pol is KDE e.V.'s new President. Aleix has been involved with KDE since he was a student back in 2007. In those early days, he worked on KDevelop in several Google Summer of Code projects, and has gone on to create and maintain Discover, Kalgebra, and other high-profile KDE projects. Aleix's whole adult life has been linked to KDE one way or another and, among other things, he co-founded and was one of the first presidents of KDE España, the Spanish KDE association. Aleix has been a KDE e.V. Board member and vice-president since he was elected to the post during the 2014 Akademy held in Brno, Czech Republic.


Lydia Pintscher

Lydia Pintscher has moved on from the presidency, staying on the Board as vice-president. Lydia, a computer scientist with a degree from Karlsruhe University and Product Manager for Wikidata, has been a member of the board since 2011 and president of KDE e.V. since 2014. During her tenure, KDE has evolved and developed a vision statement, and instated the "Goals" initiative that gives the community clear targets to work towards.

KDE also started scaling up during Lydia's presidency, which resulted in employing promotion and documentation experts who are helping with community growth. In a similar bid, the Board headed by Lydia started building up a network of like-minded organizations and companies around KDE that led to the constitution of the Advisory Board.

Lydia has now moved on to a vice-presidency post, alongside Eike Hein. Eike is also the Treasurer of KDE e.V.. Since Eike has become Treasurer, KDE has received an unprecedented number of donations and new sponsorships - not only proof that more and more companies see KDE as a reliable FLOSS project, but also a testimony to Eike's persistence. Eike also maintains Konversation, KDE's IRC/IM client, and has written many core UI pieces of the Plasma 5 desktop, such as the taskbar, the menus, the desktop icon file management, and more. He recently started a new pet project, Kirogi: a ground control application for piloting drones.


Andy Betts

The outgoing Board members are Andy Betts and Thomas Pfeiffer. Andy, who has a a Master in Business Administration, brought his management skills to his post and helped KDE e.V. improve its processes. He is also a talented graphics designer, and has provided advice and skills to the Visual Design Group and Promo and Communications team. Unfortunately, Andy had to give up his seat to tend to other time-consuming matters.


Thomas Pfeiffer

Thomas, on the other hand, has been an expert in UX (User Experience) and Usability, the branch of design that seeks to make tools and computer interfaces easier to use, since his university days. On the KDE e.V. Board, Thomas was instrumental in setting up the Advisory Board and managed it, ensuring a healthy communication with our industry and community partners. He was also key in supporting the process towards defining KDE's vision statement, and started the discussion about reducing KDE e.V.'s environmental footprint, which is still ongoing. Apart from his work on the Board, he provided feedback and helped improve the interfaces of Plasma and many of KDE's applications.

The new members stepping in for Andy and Thomas are Neofytos Kolokotronis and Adriaan de Groot.


Neofytos Kolokotronis

To describe Neofytos’ tenure within KDE as "meteoric" would be an understatement. He became active in the community in 2017, proposed a community goal, Streamline Onboarding of new community members, and managed to get it picked. He was then elected as a member of the Financial Working Group, and now, in 2019, is a Board member of KDE e.V..

But Neofytos is not a newcomer to the FLOSS world by any means. Although he studied medicine and holds a degree in psychology, his day job revolves around consulting in technology and innovation, mostly doing project management. He uses those skills to improve the communities he works with.


Adriaan de Groot

While Neofytos is a relatively new hand within KDE e.V., Adriaan de Groot is anything but. Indeed, Adriaan is a KDE veteran who already served on the Board 10 years ago. If you have had any contact with KDE at events at all, you may have met him: he is the tall, congenial KDE-booth staffer and master-of-ceremonies at the BoF wrapups during Akademy. Adriaan is the main developer of Calamares, the universal distribution installer. Calamares is what allows you to easily install Manjaro, Neon, Netrunner, Open Mandriva, and so many other independent distributions. Adriaan is also a diehard FreeBSD hacker and user, among many other things.

Leading a community as large and diverse as KDE is not an easy task. Thankfully, the Board has always been made up of talented, persistent and savvy people, and this new iteration is no exception. With Aleix, Lydia, Eike, Neofytos and Adriaan at the helm, KDE is guaranteed a bright future. Congratulations to the new Board members! We can’t wait to see what the community will achieve with their support!

SEP
19
2019

Plasma 5.17 Beta Out for Testing



Plasma 5.17 Beta

KDE Plasma 5.17 Beta

Thursday, 19 September 2019.

Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.17.

We've added a bunch of new features and improvements to KDE's lightweight yet full featured desktop environment.

Plasma's updated web page gives more background on why you should use it on your computer.



Guillermo Amaral

Guillermo Amaral

System Settings has gained new features to help you manage your fancy Thunderbolt hardware, plus Night Color is now on X11 and a bunch of pages got redesigned to help you get your configuration done easier. Our notifications continue to improve with a new icon and automatic do-not-disturb mode for presentations. Our Breeze GTK theme now provides a better appearance for the Chromium/Chrome web browsers and applies your color scheme to GTK and GNOME apps. The window manager KWin has received many HiDPI and multi-screen improvements, and now supports fractional scaling on Wayland.

You can test the Plasma 5.17 beta for the next three weeks until the final release in mid-October. Give it a whirl with your favorite distribution!

The Plasma 5.17 series is dedicated to our friend Guillermo Amaral. Guillermo was an enthusiastic KDE developer who rightly self described as 'an incredibly handsome multidisciplinary self-taught engineer'. He brought cheer to anyone he met. He lost his battle with cancer last summer but will be remembered as a friend to all he met.


Plasma



<a href='https://unsplash.com/'>Unsplash</a> Picture of the Day

Unsplash Pic of the Day



<a href='https://unsplash.com/'>Unsplash</a> Pic of the Day

KRunner now converts fractional units



Improved Notifications widget and widget editing UX

Improved Notifications widget and widget editing UX

  • Do Not Disturb mode is automatically enabled when mirroring screens (e.g. when delivering a presentation)
  • The Notifications widget now uses an improved icon instead of displaying the number of unread notifications
  • Improved widget positioning UX, particularly for touch
  • Improved the Task Manager's middle-click behavior: middle-clicking on an open app's task opens a new instance, while middle-clicking on its thumbnail will close that instance
  • Slight RGB hinting is now the default font rendering mode
  • Plasma now starts even faster!
  • Conversion of fractional units into other units (e.g. 3/16" == 4.76 mm) in KRunner and Kickoff
  • Wallpaper slideshows can now have user-chosen ordering rather than always being random
  • New Unsplash picture of the day wallpaper source with categories
  • Much better support for public WiFi login
  • Added the ability to set a maximum volume that's lower than 100%
  • Pasting text into a sticky note strips the formatting by default
  • Kickoff's recent documents section now works with GNOME/GTK apps
  • Fixed Kickoff tab appearance being broken with vertical panels


System Settings: Thunderbolt, X11 Night Color and Overhauled Interfaces



Night Color settings are now available on X11 too

Night Color settings are now available on X11 too



Thunderbolt device management

Thunderbolt device management



Reorganized Appearance settings, consistent sidebars and headers

Reorganized Appearance settings, consistent sidebars and headers

  • New settings panel for managing and configuring Thunderbolt devices
  • The Night Color settings are now available on X11 too. It gets a modernized and redesigned user interface, and the feature can be manually invoked in the settings or with a keyboard shortcut.
  • Overhauled the user interface for the Displays, Energy, Activities, Boot Splash, Desktop Effects, Screen Locking, Screen Edges, Touch Screen, and Window Behavior settings pages and the SDDM advanced settings tab
  • Reorganized and renamed some settings pages in the Appearance section
  • Basic system information is now available through System Settings
  • Added accessibility feature to move your cursor with the keyboard when using Libinput
  • You can now apply a user's font, color scheme, icon theme, and other settings to the SDDM login screen to ensure visual continuity on single-user systems
  • New 'sleep for a few hours and then hibernate' feature
  • The Colors page now displays the color scheme's titlebar colors
  • It is now possible to assign a global keyboard shortcut to turn off the screen
  • Standardized appearance for list headers
  • The 'Automatically switch all running streams when a new output becomes available' feature now works properly


Breeze Theme



Window borders are now turned off by default

Window borders are now turned off by default

  • The Breeze GTK theme now respects your chosen color scheme
  • Active and inactive tabs in Google Chrome and Chromium now look visually distinct
  • Window borders are now turned off by default
  • Sidebars in settings windows now have a consistent modernized appearance


System Monitor



CGroups in System Monitor

CGroups in System Monitor

  • System Monitor can now show CGroup details to look at container limits
  • Each process can now report its network usage statistics
  • It is now possible to see NVidia GPU stats


Discover



Discover now has icons on the sidebar

Discover now has icons on the sidebar

  • Real progress bars and spinners in various parts of the UI to better communicate progress information
  • Better 'No connection' error messages
  • Icons in the sidebar and icons for Snap apps


KWin: Improved Display Management

  • Fractional scaling added on Wayland
  • It is now once again possible to close windows in the Present Windows effect with a middle-click
  • Option to configure whether screen settings apply only for the current screen arrangement or to all screen arrangements
  • Many multi-screen and HiDPI improvements
  • On Wayland, it is now possible to resize GTK headerbar windows from window edges
  • Scrolling with a wheel mouse on Wayland now always scrolls the correct number of lines
  • On X11, it is now possible to use the Meta key as a modifier for the window switcher that's bound to Alt+Tab by default


Full Plasma 5.16.90 changelog


Live Images

The easiest way to try it out 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.

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SEP
12
2019

Akademy 2019 Wednesday and Thursday BoF Wrapup

Wednesday continued the Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking in the morning followed by the daytrip in the afternoon to Lake Como, to have some fun, get away from laptops and get to know each other better. Thursday was back to BoFs, meetings and hacking culminating in a wrapup session at the end covering the last two days so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

Watch Thursday's wrapup session in the video below

SEP
10
2019

Akademy 2019 Talks: Here's What You Missed

According to the now traditional schedule, Akademy 2019 started with two days of conference talks. Hosted by unixMIB at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, the central conference of the KDE community attracted more than a hundred attendees during this past weekend. Many of them were attending Akademy for the first time ever, which is always a reason to celebrate.

For those of you who were not able to join us, we've prepared a recap of all the talks from this year's Akademy. The conference program on both Saturday and Sunday was split into two tracks after the lunch break, and included plenty of time for socializing (and hacking!) in between.

Day 1 - Saturday, September 7: Goals, Reports, and the Future of Qt

Akademy 2019 started in the morning of September 7 with an introductory session by Lydia Pintscher, President of KDE e.V., followed by the first keynote. In the keynote, Lars Knoll from Qt presented the path towards Qt 6 all the way from the very beginning of the project. Lars also spoke of what upcoming changes in Qt 6 may potentially impact the KDE ecosystem.

The next batch of talks was dedicated to the KDE community goals. Ivan Čukić started by presenting the progress of the Privacy and Security goal in his talk "Everything to hide: Helping protect the privacy of our users". Ivan pointed out that security and privacy should come before usability, even if some users hate it, because it's our duty and responsibility to protect them.


Ivan shows how to capture a password from an insecure application.

Eike Hein talked about the Usability and Productivity goal and wondered: "Are we there yet?". Massive improvements have been made to KDE software as part of this goal, and Eike emphasized the importance of communicating this progress (as illustrated in weekly blog posts by Nate Graham). The achievements of the third community goal - Onboarding New Contributors - were presented by Neofytos Kolokotronis, who listed the adoption of Matrix as a communication tool, the on-going adoption of GitLab, and the creation of the KDE Welcome team as some of the major moments.

After looking back at the previous set of goals, it was time to look forward to the new ones. During the panel with Ivan Čukić, Eike Hein, and Neofytos Kolokotronis, Lydia Pintscher announced the three new goals that the KDE community is going to focus on. The creators of the goal proposals spent some time talking about their plans and tasks that will kick off the new goals.

In the afternoon round of quick talks, Adriaan de Groot presented QuatBot, a meeting-managing bot he wrote for the Matrix IM service, and talked about the power and versatility of KDE Frameworks. Attendees also got a chance to hear how Carl Schwan brought in new contributors from Reddit and Aleix Pol dispensing valuable advice on how to organize a sprint.

Over in the Security track, Albert Astals talked about the cool ways developers can use oss-fuzz to test their code, and encouraged KDE developers to use it for projects such as Baloo, kfilemetadata, and PIM-related code. Volker Krause presented parts of the work carried out for the Privacy goal in his talk "Secure HTTP Usage", and warned about the importance of having secure defaults in KDE software.

The Community session included a talk on building developer portals by Ivana Isadora Devcic, followed by Ray Paik's talk on making a difference in the community. As a Community Manager at GitLab, Ray shared his experience with identifying crucial community metrics, attracting new contributors, and improving leadership and inclusivity efforts.

Meanwhile, the tech talk session continued with Marco Martin and Bhushan Shah discussing the future of Plasma on embedded devices. They rightfully pointed out that the assumption your software will only be used on a desktop is not true anymore, and explained how KDE Frameworks enable creating software for different platforms. Aleix Pol talked about the details of optimizing Plasma to run fast on low-end hardware; more specifically, on the Pinebook. Aditya Mehra presented a demo of Plasma and Mycroft being used to voice-control a car, and Kai Uwe Broulik gave an in-depth look into the overhauled notification system shipped with the latest version of Plasma.


Aditya shows us how some day KDE tech may control your car.

The first day of Akademy 2019 closed with reports by Google Summer of Code students developing fresh new code for KDE, and the KDE e.V. Board and Working Group reports that provided an insight into growth and health of the KDE community.

Day 2 - Sunday, September 8: New Technology, FOSS Revolution in Italy, and Akademy Awards

The second day of Akademy 2019 opened with a keynote "Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start" by Leonardo Favario from the Team Digitale IT. Leonardo presented the work that his team has been doing to establish guidelines for Free and open source software distribution in the Italian administration. Continuing on a similar topic, Michiel Leenaars talked about NGIO (Next Generation Internet Zero); a EU initiative focused on helping non-profit organizations build a better Internet for everyone.

The tech talks on Sunday were fascinating, with new, innovative technology introduced left and right. Cristoph Haag explained how Collabora made Plasma desktop usable in a Virtual Reality environment, and set up demos that the attendees could play with during the day. Trung Thanh Dinh showed how AI face recognition can be used in digiKam, KDE's photo management app, and Eike Hein presented a completely new KDE application called Kirogi, which provides a FLOSS ground control for consumer drones that works on mobile devices.


Eike points to the skies, which is where KDE is going next with Kirogi.

In the afternoon sessions, Katarina Behrens from the Document Foundation talked about integrating LibreOffice products with KDE Plasma, while Timothée Giet and Aiswarya Kaitheri Kandoth told the story of how a single floppy disk with LaTeX on it resulted in schools using GNU/Linux and GCompris in Kerala, India.

Volker Krause gave two more talks - one about the development and usage of KPublicTransport, a framework for interacting with data from public transport operators; and another on how the limitations of the Android development platform impact KDE Frameworks. In another developer-oriented talk, Daniel Vràtil gave his perspective on using C++ to build APIs. Attendees also heard from Caio Jordao Carvalho, who presented the progress on kpmcore, the heart of KDE's partitioning and disk management tools.

Meanwhile, a session on different ways to package and distribute KDE software was chaired by Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, with participants explaining advantages and shortcomings of different solutions (AppImage, Flatpak, Snap, Steam, Google Play...).

The session was followed by two community-related talks. In "What We Do in the Promos", Paul Brown gave a realistic look into how people outside the FOSS bubble perceive (or do not perceive) KDE software, and explained the reasoning behind activities carried out by KDE Promo. Afterwards, Aniketh Girish explained how code reviews can be toxic and put off new contributors, so he offered some advice to prevent that. Last but not least, Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen presented the "Get Hot New Stuff" project and its development.

Following the lightning talks from Akademy 2019 sponsors, the second day of the conference closed with the announcement of Akademy Awards winners:

  • Best Application: Marco Martin for work on the Kirigami framework
  • Best Non-Application: Nate Graham for persistent work on the "KDE Usability & Productivity" blog
  • Jury Award: Volker Krause for long-term contributions to KDE including KNode, KDE PIM, KDE Itinerary and the UserFeedback framework

The organizers win a special award for an excellent Akademy.

Akademy 2019 continues this week with daily BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions, meetings, and various activities that help us strengthen the community bonds. The recap video of the first BoF day is already available - stay tuned for more. And for something completely different, take a look at the sketchnotes from Akademy 2019 talks by Kevin Ottens.


Kevin sketches Akademy talks.

About Akademy


Akademy 2019, Milano

For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

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