JAN
18
2020

So you want to make a KDE video...

KDE is running a competition in search of the next great promotional video for KDE's Plasma desktop and KDE's applications.

The prizes are two fantastic TUXEDO computers, one per category, which will undoubtedly boost your film rendering capacity. There are also 12 goodie packages for runner-ups, and who doesn't need more Linux shirts, caps and stickers?

Although we have already received some interesting entries, we feel it may be time to help video artists out there with ideas from the judges themselves.

Below, Julian Schraner, Ivana Isadora Devčić, and Paul Brown from the Promo team and Farid Abdelnour from the Kdenlive team give their views on what a KDE promotional video should look like, where to find resources, and which pitfalls may hurt your film if you fall for them.

Julian

I have five simple recommendations for participants:

  1. Avoid videos that contain only screencasts
  2. Break the mold, be creative
  3. Use motion graphics techniques (have a look at animation nodes)
  4. Choose a good catchy song and work on that editing
  5. Make it short, make sure there is something happening in every single frame. Cut out lulls -- they're boring

Ivana

Here's my list of things I would recommend doing, as well as what to avoid:

  • No slideshows, please! Don't make the video look like someone animated a PowerPoint presentation with zoomed-in screenshots sliding into view and fading out. That just looks cheap and low-effort.
  • Don't overdo it with memes and attempts at humor. As amusing as it may be to you and your 3 friends, things like that do not always translate well across cultures and generations. It's OK to add a cheeky moment if it's appropriate with the general theme of your video, but trying to make the entire video "funny" might send the message that you think Plasma is a joke.
  • It's OK to include real, actual people in the video. Anyone can easily make a screencast, but it takes effort - and shows that you made an effort! - to film people using Plasma. Including clips of people using Plasma can make a much stronger impact than just showing the desktop, even if the clips are short.
  • This is very, very basic and Captain Obvious-style, but: background music can have this cool thing called volume. Playing with volume can add depth and variety to your video. Make the background music louder in some parts and softer in others, depending on the effect you're trying to achieve. If it's always the same, the entire video can easily seem monotonous, even if it's only a minute long.
  • If possible, don't use computer-generated voices for voice-overs in the video (that is, if you're going to have any at all). 98% of them sound really fake and distract from the actual content, or just make the video sound boring. Even if you don't have a particularly radio-friendly voice, it will still sound more natural and normal if you record yourself (or try asking someone to help).
  • Great videos tell a story; they're not just a semi-connected list of clips with background music tacked on. Try to develop a little story that sends a specific message instead of just showing random Plasma features. It's also very easy to fall into the trap of comparing Plasma to something else and disparaging other DEs, so please try to avoid that.
  • Personally, I do not want to see "wobbly windows" in any of the videos. Plasma is more than just KWin effects; we're looking for videos that will make people think "wow, this could be really useful to me, I wanna try it", not "haha that's a cool gimmick, I bet I can move the mouse fast enough to break it".

Another important thing - if the video does have any narration/voice-over, I would ask that you include subtitles (at least as a separate file, if hard-coding them is a bad practice). Accessibility is a must!

Paul

I've split my recommendations into 3 parts: the footage you can use, the music (and other sounds), and the editing; that is, the raw materials and how you put them together.

Footage

Like Ivana, I would personally like to see some live action mixed in with the screencasts. You can grab your phone, and go and film something you can then work into the story. Or you can also take some public domain footage from the Internet Archive.

If you look at Real LifeTM advertisements, they don't only show the product, they also show people doing stuff with the product. Most of our videos are already a bunch of screencasts chained together. I want to see something different.

That said, when you do insert screencast footage, make sure you show something interesting happening in the applications. Don't show an empty folder in Dolphin, a blank square in Krita, or a boring, text-only document in Okular. Make sure there's some color in there and that you can see the user doing something.

As for footage of people, try to avoid stock footage, especially those clips that show smartly dressed white people looking at a computer screen, pointing and smiling. It's like the stock photos of women laughing at salads: you see that kind of stuff everywhere and it looks soooo fake. It is nearly as bad as stock music. Nearly...


"My salad is hilarious!"

Another thing to take into account is that you have to be careful with copyrights! Anything that has not been published before 1924 and doesn't have an explicit free license or isn't explicitly in the public domain, is under a regular copyright and may not be used without the authors' or the copyright holders' express written permission. Also, make sure the person distributing the work is the owner of the work. Don't blindly trust a random Youtuber!

TIP: Apart from the Internet Archive, many public institutions publish footage for free on the Internet. One such organization that comes to mind is NASA.

Music

The best way to make me switch off a video after a few seconds is by choosing the "wrong" music. Ironically, "the wrong music" is often that heartless, bland music used in nearly every single corporate video. I swear I would prefer to have hot wax poured into my ears rather than listen to another hokey, fake-quirky ukulele theme in my life.


The best kind of ukelele.

Conversely, sometimes what may seem the wrong music is in fact the right music. Stuff that you can't imagine going together, goes together. Salsa for Spectacle, flamenco for Falkon and power-pop for Plasma? Why not?

Again, be careful with copyrighted stuff. The same thing that applies to footage, applies to music. Besides, just because Johann Sebastian Bach died 300 years ago, doesn't mean that you can use that Von Karajan recording of his Cantatas: the recording itself will be copyrighted.

Most artists on Jamendo release their music under a liberal license as long it is not used for commercial purposes. And making a video for a competition organized by a non-profit that will not generate any money for you or for the non-profit IS NOT a commercial purpose. Also check out Free Music Archive and especially Juanitos: They make great, fun retro pseudo-ethnic music and distribute it under very generous terms.

On the other hand, go easy with Incompetech -- his music can be lovely, but it is EVERYWHERE. If you must use one of his tracks, make sure you poke around and go for his less obvious stuff.

TIP: If you need a voice-over but are not confident that your own voice will sound okay, try Fiverr. For a few dollars, you can have a professional actor read out your script.

Editing

Avoid canned transitions that come as standard with your video-editing software (Kdenlive, right?). They may impress your parents, but everybody else thinks they're lazy.

Related to the above, avoid excessively flashy transitions, even if they are original. I am personally guilty of using animations to transition from one scene to another, but if they are not part of the story, they can draw attention to themselves and away from the real content, distracting the viewer. Most of the time, nothing beats a good clean cut.

The same goes for effects: don't overdo them! Effects are great to confer atmosphere, but if they are not doing that, they are just distracting from the story, and more often than not, make the action harder to follow. Here's looking at all those "editors" that place a screencast into the picture of a monitor! Yes, I get it: you do masks. So does everybody.

TIP: If you do need effects for your video, don't limit yourself to the catalogue supplied by your editing software. Check out things like Blender and Natron -- these programs are used a lot for effects and filters for a reason.

Farid

Apart from everything mentioned above, I would encourage participants to look into using motion graphic techniques rather than sticking to simple transitions when possible. For that, you can use tools like Blender's Animation Nodes addon.

Something that is often overlooked is the matter of typography. Choose your fonts wisely! If you have text on the screen, avoid the default bland fonts. Go to Font Squirrel or Google Fonts for a great selection of free and open types to choose from.


Same goes for video titles.

If you need footage, check out Pexels it contains a lot of high quality clips for free.

About KDE's Video Contest

KDE is looking for talented videographers and filmmakers that will help promote our free software through the medium of video. There are two categories in this contest: in the Plasma category we want participants to create a video that will promote KDE's Plasma desktop to the world. The Applications category is to help promote one or several KDE applications.

Submissions must be sent in before the 20th of February 2020. To find out more, check out the full rules.

JAN
16
2020

Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta



Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta

KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta

Thursday, 16 January 2020.

The Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta is out!

This new version of your favorite desktop environment adds neat new features that make your life easier, including clearer notifications, streamlined settings for your system and the desktop layout, much improved GTK integration, and more. Plasma 5.18 is easier and more fun, while at the same time allowing you to do more tasks faster.

Apart from all the cool new stuff, Plasma 5.18 also comes with LTS status. LTS stands for "Long Term Support" and this means 5.18 will be updated and maintained by KDE contributors for the next couple of years (regular versions are maintained for 4 months). So, if you are thinking of updating or migrating your school, company or organization to Plasma, this version is your best bet. You get the most recent stable version of Plasma for the long term.

Read on to discover everything that is new in Plasma 5.18 LTS…

Plasma



Emoji Selector

Emoji Selector


Customize Layout Global Settings

Customize Layout Global Settings



GTK Apps with CSD and Theme support

GTK Applications with CSDs and Theme Integration



Night Color System Tray Widget

Night Color System Tray Widget

  • Emoji Selector that can be opened through the application launcher or with the Meta + . keyboard shortcut
  • New global edit mode which replaces the desktop toolbox button and lets you easily customize your desktop layout
  • Improved touch-friendliness for the Kickoff application launcher and widget editing
  • Support for GTK applications which use Client Side Decorations, adding proper shadows and resize areas for them
  • GTK apps now also automatically inherit Plasma's settings for fonts, icons, cursors and more.
  • There's a new System Tray widget for toggling the Night Color feature and by default it automatically appears when it's on
  • More compact design to choose the default audio device in the Audio Volume System Tray widget
  • Clickable volume indicator and tooltip item highlight indicators in the Task Manager
  • Circular Application Launcher menu user icon
  • Option to hide the lock screen clock
  • It's now possible to configure keyboard shortcuts that turn Night Color and Do Not Disturb mode on or off
  • Windy conditions shown in weather widget


Notifications



Draggable Download File Icon

Draggable Download File Icon



Low Bluetooth Battery

Bluetooth Device Battery Low Notification


  • The timeout indicator on notification popups has been made circular and surrounds the close button
  • A draggable icon in the "file downloaded" notification has been added, so you can quickly drag it to places
  • Plasma now shows you a notification warning when a connected Bluetooth device is about to run out of power


System Settings



User Feedback

User Feedback


Application Style

Application Style

  • Plasma gained optional User Feedback settings (disabled by default), allowing you to give us detailed system information and statistics on how often individual features of Plasma you use
  • Added a slider for the global animation speed
  • Redesigned Application Style settings with a grid view
  • Improved the search in the system settings sidebar
  • An option to scroll to clicked location in the scrollbar track has been added
  • The System Settings Night Color page has a clearer user interface now


Discover



Reading and Writing Review Comments

Reading and Writing Review Comments

  • Discover's default keyboard focus has been switched to the search field
  • It's now possible to search for add-ons from the main page
  • Added nested comments for addons
  • Made design improvements to the sidebar header and reviews


More



NVIDIA GPU stats

NVIDIA GPU stats

  • Decreased the amount of visual glitches in apps when using fractional scaling on X11
  • Made it possible to show NVIDIA GPU stats in KSysGuard


New Since 5.12 LTS

For those upgrading from our previous Long Term Support release here are some of the highlights from the last two years of development:

  • Completely rewritten notification system
  • Plasma Browser Integration
  • Many redesigned system settings pages, either using a consistent grid view or just an overhauled interface
  • Global menu support for GTK applications
  • Display Management improvements including new OSD and widget
  • Flatpak portal support
  • Night Color feature
  • Thunderbolt Device Management

Full Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta 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.

Get KDE Software on Your Linux Distro wiki page

Source Downloads

You can install Plasma 5 directly from source.

Community instructions to compile it
Source Info Page

Feedback

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

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

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

JAN
15
2020

Moving from Windows 7 to Plasma? Do it the Easy Way!


Plasma desktop with a Windows 10-like theme.

Today Microsoft has left Windows 7 users behind.

Redmond will no longer provide updates for the 2009 operating system. This puts almost a billion people in the difficult situation of facing increased security risks alongside a slow decline in software availability.

Folks who reject Microsoft’s forced updates are already opting to regain control over their systems by switching to the friendly and full-featured Plasma desktop, built on a design philosophy which centers freedom and respect for its users. Recent buzz about the possibilities of Plasma has brought a lot of fresh faces on board, and now they are trying to navigate a new operating system that has its differences from Windows.

If you’re one of those people, you’re probably wondering where you can find experienced users to help you get settled in.

How to make the jump with ease

Luckily, there is a wealth of resources available for those new to Plasma and the Linux world.

The best place to talk live with Plasma users, ask questions, and get to know the KDE community is the KDE Welcome room on our webchat or on Matrix. If you want to discuss Plasma and comment on the latest KDE news with other users, find r/KDE on Reddit or check out the official KDE forums.

AskUbuntu.com is the largest dedicated tech support site in the Linux world, and an invaluable resource for anyone using KDE Neon or Kubuntu. Much of the info available here even translates well to other Linux flavors. Other places for specific support questions include r/Linux4Noobs and r/LinuxQuestions on Reddit. Talking of which, another great resource is the Linux Questions forums.

Once you have a little bit of experience under your belt, if you run into trouble with a specific system component, you can always resort to the Arch Linux wiki, an in-depth hub of documentation which is often useful to users of any Linux system.

Everyone in the KDE community is familiar with the hurdles new users face when making the jump to Plasma and the Free Software world. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of KDE's welcoming community who will help you feel right at home in Plasma and make sure you get the most out of your newly upgraded system.

JAN
9
2020

KDE's January 2020 Apps Update

The year is 2020, we are living in the future, let’s see what KDE apps has brought us in the last month!

KTimeTracker ported to KDE Frameworks 5

The long-awaited modernized version of KTimeTracker is finally released.
The application is a personal time tracker for busy people which is now
available on Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. Over the course of 2019 it had been
ported to Qt5 and KDE Frameworks after being unmaintained since around 2013.


KTimeTracker

The new version is also polished and slightly modernised with the most
noticeable new features being the new Task Time Editing dialog and
live preview in the Export dialog as seen in the picture below.


Export dialog in KTimeTracker

https://download.kde.org/stable/ktimetracker/5.0.1/src/
It is available through your Linux distro or as a Windows installer and there’s even untested MacOS builds built nightly.

The release is announced in the blog of the maintainer Alexander Potashev

KStars 3.3.9

Astronomy program KStars got new features in 3.3.9.

Images can have fine changes in Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights allowing the faintest of stars to be seen.

Alternative constellations from the Western Sky Culture which is fascinating to read about.

Western Sky Culture

KStars is available for Android, Windows, MacOS, Snap store and from your Linux distro.

Common Frameworks - KNewStuff

Here on the Apps Update we focus on the apps rather than coding libraries. But new features in the common libraries will mean new features in all your apps :)

This month saw a redesigned UI for KNewStuff, the framework to download addons for your applications. The browse and download dialog was redesigned and the comments section can now be filtered. It’ll be appearing in all your apps and settings modules shortly starting with the Global Theme module in System Settings.

Filters on Comments

Redesigned Browse Dialog

Bugfixes

KDevelop’s monthly bugfix update 5.4.6 fixed a longstanding problem where the GPL and LGPL headers were mixed up, grab it from your distro or Appimage to make sure your licencing is correct.

Latte Dock 0.9.7 fixed some features with Qt 5.14 and removed some crashes.

Dolphin Plugins 19.12.1 fixed a broken SVN Commit dialog.

There was improved file indexing in Elisa. It also fixed some compilation issues on Android and without Baloo.

The new release of KPat was declaired to have no OARS relevant age restrictions.

Okular fixed a crash when closing the print preview dialog.

This month’s release of Kdenlive video editor had an impressive number of fixes best of all was updating the screenshots used in the meta info. It also has dozens of improvements and fixes in timeline and preview handling.

New JavaScript support is now in Kate’s LSP client.

Enjoy KDE on the Flathub Store

KDE is embracing all the app stores. We can now deliver more and more of our programs directly to you the user. One of the leading app stores on Linux is Flathub which uses the FlatPak format.

You may well already have Flatpak and Flathub configured on your system and ready to use in Discover or other app installers. For example KDE neon has set it up by default on installs for over a year now. If not it’s a quick setup process for all the major distros.

If you’re interested in the techy details you can browse KDE’s Flatpak packaging repo and read the KDE Flatpak guide.

But probably what you’re interested in is the apps so take a look at what the Flathub store has under KDE.

KDE on Flathub

LabPlot now on Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows. If you want full control over what software is installed on your Windows machine or whole office of machines then Chocolatey gives you easy control over that just like you are used to on Linux.

LabPlot is KDE’s app for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data and it is now available through Chocolatey. Give it a try!

LabPlot blog

LabPlot on Chocolatey

Website Updates

The recently revived KDE Web Team has been updating a bunch of our older themed sites. The newly relaunched KPhotoAlbum website is a lovely example, updated and refreshed for our photo storage and search app.

And if you want to show off a simple to use but full featured local music player but were ashamed by the old looking website, JuK has just had an updated website too.

New KPhotoAlbum website

Releases 19.12.1

Some of our projects release on their own timescale and some get released en-masse. The 19.12.1 bundle of projects was released today and should be available through app stores and distros soon. See the 19.12.1 releases page. This bundle was previously called KDE Applications but has been de-branded to become a release service to avoid confusion with all the other applications by KDE and because it is dozens of different products rather than a single whole.

JAN
8
2020

Libre Graphics Meeting Call for Proposals

Update: sorry, the call for proposals is not yet ready, they are working on some technical fixes so please do not fill in the form yet. Watch out on social media for when it is ready.

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual international convention for the discussion and development of free and open source graphics software.

This year it will happen in Rennes, France, from May 26th to 29th. We are welcoming all relevant projects to submit a proposal for a talk and/or a workshop. We already expect Krita and Kdenlive teams to be present. The Krita sprint will be held after the meeting and Kdenlive are planning to have a sprint around that time too. It would be awesome to also see some people from Plasma team working on graphics tablet support and color management, or any other topic of interest for developers and users of graphics creation application.

LGM are now asking for talks, workshops, BoF meetings and lightning talks for the conference. Please don't be shy and submit your proposal.

KDE e.V. has agreed to support the event by providing travel support to KDE contributors. If you are interested, make sure to file your reimbursement request before January 31st.


LGM 2019

JAN
8
2020

Plasma: A Safe Haven for Windows 7 Refugees


A fully functional Plasma desktop with a Windows 7 theme.

Microsoft will stop providing updates for Windows 7 on January 14 2020.

There won't be any more patches that correct bugs or even dangerous vulnerabilities. This will leave Windows 7 users exposed to all sorts of bad stuff. But that is not a huge concern for Microsoft. With this move, Redmond hopes to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10.

But why should we care? Maybe because Windows currently holds 77% of the global desktop market share (all Linux desktops combined hold less than 2%). Of that 77%, nearly 30% belongs to Windows 7. That is nearly a billion people still holding on to Windows 7 because they are resisting the move to Windows 10. Apart from the natural human resistance to change, Windows 10 has earned a bad rap as an operating system that will gladly leak your data back to Microsoft and lace your desktop with intrusive advertisements as a matter of course.

Helping people regain control over their systems and protecting their data is precisely what Free Software communities do best, making this the perfect opportunity to help Windows 7 users upgrade to something much better: To the Plasma desktop!

How you can help

We need you to help convince Windows 7 users to move to the Plasma desktop. We have set up a task where we are brainstorming ideas, advice and resources. You can contribute your thoughts too. Get your KDE Identity today and join the conversation.

You can also join the Promo team live on Matrix and help us run this campaign.

Or fly solo! Talk to your friends, family, classmates and colleagues. Even if you convince just one person to make the transition to any Linux-based system, you will have done something valuable and helped the FLOSS movement.


The Windows 7-like theme shown above was put together (from many parts created by many generous contributors) by Dominic Hayes, creator of Feren OS, a cool-looking Ubuntu-based Linux distro aimed squarely at end users. Check it out!

Dominic used the following elements to re-create the look and feel of the desktop:

Plasma Theme: Seven Black
Window Decorations: Seven Black
Application Style: gtk2
GTK Theme: Windows Se7en by Elbullazul
Icons: Darkine
Colours: Breeze Light
Cursors: DMZ White
Splash Screen: Feren OS
Panel: 38 height
Widgets: Default Apps Menu, I-O Task Manager, Stock System Tray, Feren Calendar or Event Calendar, Win7 Show Desktop

DEC
27
2019

Host Akademy 2020 in your City!

By Aleix Pol

Hosting an event is a big and significant way of contributing to Free Software. One of the biggest challenges in international distributed teams like KDE is communicating effectively with one another. Akademy, the yearly global conference of the KDE community, solves that by bringing the community together in one place, allowing us to share what we have been up to and have it reach its potential.

By organising Akademy we are then turning one of our weak points into a strength. We get to work together like a local team does, while remaining flexible and geographically distributed for most of the rest of the year. It becomes therefore one of the best ways for Free Software to thrive in your area.

What is Akademy

While Akademy has evolved over the years, its main structure remains similar: We have two conference days, the KDE e.V. Annual General Meeting and few days with smaller meetings and trainings. Akademy is open for everyone to join and participate, regardless of their background, studies or origin.

We would like you to consider hosting Akademy. We could look into doing it in 2020, although if you think this is too short-notice, 2021 could also be discussed.

You can find the full description of what's necessary in this simple-to -follow brochure. Reach out to the KDE e.V. Board and the Akademy team and put your thoughts in action.

DEC
23
2019

Announcing KDE Plasma 5.18 Wallpaper and Video Contests

By Niccolò Venerandi

KDE wants you to create the next wallpaper for Plasma 5.18 and the promotional videos for Plasma and applications of KDE.


TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 14

The chance of getting your work seen by thousands of people and organizations worldwide, including at NASA and CERN, is within your grasp! You can also win some really astounding prizes courtesy of our friends at TUXEDO Computers.

Prizes


TUXEDO Gaming PC

The winner of the wallpaper contest will have their work included as the default background on KDE's upcoming Plasma 5.18 desktop. This means you will not only earn the admiration of thousands of Plasma users, but you can also win a very cool TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 14 computer.

More details about the InfinityBook Pro are available on the Wallpaper Contest's page.

Is fillmmaking more your thing? Try your hand at shooting and editing an exciting promotional video for Plasma or for applications KDE makes. The winners of the best Plasma promotional video will win a TUXEDO Gaming PC, and if you win the best Applications video competition, you'll get a TUXEDO InfinityBox.


TUXEDO InfinityBox

You can read about the specs of each machine on the Video Contest's page.

Twelve finalists will also receive a package of goodies containing among other things:

  • A KDE Baseball cap
  • A plush Tux
  • KDE Stickers
  • A frozen glass coffee mug

How to Participate

Taking part is easy! Check out the rules for Wallpaper Competition and send in your masterpiece. Remember that, in order to submit a wallpaper, you need to follow the link to the appropriate subforum where you can create a new post. You can also find suggestions and helpful material on the webpages.

Want to make a video instead? Read the rules for the Video Competition carefully and start shooting your clip!

We can't wait to see what you will create!

DEC
12
2019

Apps Update for December

Creating new applications is the easy part. Maintaining them, making them safer and faster and adding features that make them more useful to users is what marks the difference between one-shot wonders and solid tools you can trust and enjoy for years. That is why KDE developers are constantly renewing and updating their applications, making them more reliable, more useful, and in general, just better.

What follows is just a minor sample of what you can expect from the latest round of updates for applications made by the KDE community over the last month:

Calligra Plan is Back


Calligra Plan lets you plan your projects in detail.

Calligra Plan, KDE's project planning and management tool, gets its first big update in two years.

In case you were not aware, Plan helps you manage small and large projects which require multiple resources. In order for you to model your project, Plan offers different types of task dependencies and timing constraints. You can define your tasks, estimate the effort needed to perform each, allocate resources and then schedule the project according to your needs and the actual resources available.

One of Plan's strengths is its excellent support for Gantt charts. Gantt charts help you plan, coordinate, and track specific tasks in a project. Using Gantt charts in Plan you will be able to better monitor your project's workflow.

Kdenlive Pumps up the Volume


Kdenlive rocking a brand new audio mixer.

Kdenlive developers have been adding new features and squashing bugs like crazy -- the latest version alone comes with more than 200 changes.

A lot of work has gone into improving support for audio. In the "bugs solved", department they have gotten rid of an error that would eat up memory. They have also made saving audio thumbnails much more efficient.

But the most exciting new feature is that Kdenlive now comes with a spectacular sound mixer (see image). Developers have also added a new audio clip display in the clip monitor and the project bin so you can better synchronize your moving images with the soundtrack.

Für Elisa

Talking of sound, Elisa is one of KDE's most popular up-and-coming music players. Elisa belongs to the deceptively simple, very light, very good-looking variety of players, with an intuitive and elegant interface and, in its latest version, Elisa has upgraded its looks even further to adapt better to High DPI screens. It also now integrates better with the looks other KDE applications.

Indexing music files has also improved and Elisa now supports web radios and comes with a few examples for you to try.

The Elisa music player.
The Elisa music player.

KDE Connect: Let Your Phone Rule your Desktop


KDE Connect now lets you control
the global volume of your system.

Most people who get to know KDE Connect, end up raving about it just because of how darned useful it is.

The latest version of KDE Connect packs even more features. One of the more noticeable is that there is a new SMS app that lets you read and write SMS from your computer with the full conversation history.

Developers are also adding new functionalities to existing features to make them even more useful. For example, you could already use KDE Connect to control the volume of media playing on your desktop, say, in VLC. But now you can use KDE Connect to also control your system's global volume from your phone. When giving a talk, you can control your presentation using KDE Connect to flip forward and back through your slides, and apart from integrating with other KDE apps, you can now also send files from Thunar (Xfce's file manager) and Elementary applications such as Pantheon Files.

Talking of other platforms, you can now run the mobile component of KDE Connect not only on Android, but also on all those mobile Linux platforms we'll be seeing in upcoming devices like the PinePhone and the Librem 5. The new version also provides features for desktop-to-desktop users, such as media control across desktops, remote input, device ringing, file transfers and running commands.

And Much More

But that is not all by any means: Dolphin, Spectacle, Okular and dozens of other applications have included new features you are sure to find useful. Even more projects, broaching apps, libraries and frameworks, have tweaked their code making them more stable and secure.

If you want to get an idea of the full range of changes, visit the official release announcement, or check out the changelog for every single detail of what has changed.

Getting applications made by KDE is also now easier: most are now available as Flatpaks, Snaps and AppImages. You just have to download them and they run straight out of the box. Many programs are also available for more platforms, such as Android, macOs and Windows. Krita and Okular have been available in the Microsoft Store for some time now, and they have recently been joined by Kile, a user-friendly LaTeX document editor.

Distributions will be updating their own repos and making the new versions available to Linux users over the next few weeks. Look out for your updates!

NOV
29
2019

Announcing Season of KDE 2020

By Caio Jordão Carvalho

After a one-year hiatus, KDE Student Programs is very happy to announce Season of KDE 2020!

Focused on offering an opportunity to anyone (not just enrolled students) contributing to the KDE community, this is a program that is comparable to the well-known Google Summer of Code, with some special differences. A key difference is that SoK projects are not limited to code-focused work, but any that benefit our community. For instance, projects can be about documentation, reports, translation, system administration, web and other types of work as well as code. Each contributor will work with a mentor and within a team that will also help the contributor.

Schedule

This year we have decreased the duration of the projects. Previously, all projects were 80 days long. However, during SoK 2018 we included the option of 40-day projects. This new option was widely adopted by participants during 2018 and, so we decided to keep only this alternative.

Timeline:

  • From the 9th of December 2019 to the 3rd of January 2020: Participant and Mentor Application period
  • 6th of January 2020: Projects announced
  • 8th of January 2020, 00:00 UTC: SoK work period begins
  • 17th of February 2020, 23:59 UTC: End of work
  • 21st of February 2020: Results announced
  • 28th of February 2020: Certificates issued
  • Beginning of Q3 2020: Merchandise and Swag sent out by courier

Getting Started

Prospective participants should get in touch with us before the application period begins to discuss possible projects. You can connect with us on Matrix, in the #kde-soc room on IRC, in KDE-SoC on Telegram, or through our mailing list. Besides talking to the SoK team, contact the application maintainer and team with whom you want to work.

If you’re looking for project ideas, you can find some on our KDE Season of Code 2020 Ideas Page. Mentors please add ideas, so that we have a central repository of project ideas for Season of KDE 2020 and even GSoC 2020. Applicants will work with the teams to develop a proposal, and the SoK admin team will help too.

Help us spread the word! Tell your friends, blog, tweet, and share on Facebook using the #2020SeasonKDE hashtag.

Participants and mentors can apply here once applications open.

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