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Updated: 23 min 3 sec ago

Some News From MUP

1 hour 3 min ago

Time for a quick update on MUP, the markup previewer. Since I last wrote about it, it gained a few features: it was already capable of displaying man pages, but I added a simple wrapper to be able to open man pages just like the regular man command. You can now run mupman grep to learn all about grep.

Interestingly, I initially added support for man pages as a way to add yet another markup to MUP, and these days man pages is what I read most often with MUP, to the point where I created a mm shortcut to start it faster :)

Search bar

This prompted for another feature. Pressing "Ctrl+F" or "/" brings a simple and unobtrusive search bar at the bottom of the window:

The Search Bar

Fork

Another change I made is to have MUP fork by default, no longer blocking the caller. I find this handy when I open a README or a man page as I can use a command while reading its documentation. It is also useful when editing a text in Vim: just type :!mup % to start MUP on the current file. One less character from the previous :!mup % &, massive productivity improvement!

More converters!

Finally, I added two new Markdown converters, because you can never have enough Markdown converters. These converters are a bit unusual: they use GitHub API. This means your text is sent over to GitHub and comes back as HTML. They are obviously slower than the other converters, but they are useful if you want to be sure your README.md will looks as you expect on your project landing page, without having to do multiple commits and pushes to get it right.

You might wonder why I say two converters. It's because GitHub actually supports two flavors of Markdown: plain Markdown is used for READMEs, while GFM - GitHub Flavored Markdown - is used in issues and in other places. The difference between the two is that GFM takes line breaks into account.

I might actually drop the GFM converter at some point, it feels less useful than the plain Markdown one. We'll see.

User interface refresh

The toolbar got reworked as well: it now comes with back and forward buttons, and a menu button in the right corner to hide some less important actions such as Reload or Open with Editor.

The New Toolbar

Implementing the history for the back and forward buttons was a bit tricky to get right. I tried to use QWebHistory but could not find a way to use it because MUP generates the HTML code to display (as opposed to pointing the QWebView to existing files), so I had to roll my own implementation. If you know how to use QWebHistory in this context, I'd be happy to hear from you.

What's next?

I am considering modernizing the application a bit. First migrating it to Python 3, then to Qt 5, we'll see how it goes.

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The Best Feature of Free Software

6 hours 47 min ago

Think about your favorite free software products and projects for a moment. What are their best features?

I asked this of the openSUSE community at the start of my keynote last week at the openSUSE Conferene in The Hague, and they gave some great answers. Community, YAST, quality, OBS, etc.

If we asked the same question of other Free software projects, the answers would probably be similar: focused on technical qualities, social attributes, and business goals. These are not the best features of Free software, however. They are good features, but there are better.

I shared my thoughts on what that is in that same talk last week, which you can watch here:

Spoiler: A society that is reliant on a technology can only be as free as that technology. Our societies are (or are becoming) reliant on software. Software must therefore be free if we want personal and societal freedom to bloom.

Allowing us to be free is therefore the best feature of free software.

KDE: Adventures in Continuous Integration

7 hours 48 min ago
KDE Jenkins CI powered by Groovy DSL and python automation scripts.

KDE Jenkins CI powered by Groovy DSL and python automation scripts.

My efforts to revamp the Jenkins Continuous Integration system
for KDE finally came to life and went live! We had some lofty goals going into
this and many of them were achieved. Over all the deployment was a success.

We currently have all of the Linux builds completed. OSX is coming along nicely. We are working
our way through applications and disabling the jobs that building on OSX doesn’t make
sense (aka needs X11). The Windows DSL backend is ready to go. We are sorting out the dependency handling.
The plan is to utilize the existing emerge tool (yes it is based on the gentoo tool! lol)
and integrate it with our python automation tools.This will entail a great deal of code and
collaboration with the Windows team, so it has to be set aside for a bit longer.

Currently, I have been busy working out some kinks that crept up on the new systems.
GUI tests are now once again functional on Linux and OSX. DBus tests have been fixed on OSX.
Gcovr for cobertura reporting has been fixed for Linux (not available for OSX clang).
The never ending battle with dependencies seems to be down to optional dependencies for a
few applications, which I am working through.

I will be utilizing our Phabricator instance for this project:
https://phabricator.kde.org/tag/build.kde.org/

Feel free to stop by if your interested in my current status. I am working on a Wiki
to maintain my system.

Open Tech Summit Berlin, openSUSE Conference and more

9 hours 59 sec ago

This is a fun month. Not only are we moving forward with the ownCloud Contributor Conference (some cool interviews coming out soon), but there's a sudden avalanche of events this month. The ownCloud.org blog already wrote about it - we have had FOSDEM, SCALE, Chemnitz and may others I didn't attend myself. Find out about the openSUSE conf from last week and the upcoming OTS in Berlin!

Bunch'o'geekosLast weekend I was at the openSUSE Conference which was a great event. I gave a workshop on how to install ownCloud on embedded devices (like Raspberry Pi and Banana Pi) with about 20 participants and while it wasn't as easy as I had hoped, everybody had fun.



There were two great BBQ evenings as well, with beer and time to talk to many, many old and young geeko friends.

I absolutely had a great time - thanks, everybody, for working on the conference and being there! I look forward to next years' event.

UpcomingThis Friday I'll give a workshop at Happy Hacking Day 2015 in Helsinki and later this month I will keynote at the DORS/CLUC conference in Zagreb, Croatia.

Open Tech Summit BerlinNext week, May 14, is a home game, as I'll give a workshop at the Open Tech Summit at the Kalkscheune in Berlin.

I will spend a few more words on this as the event has been announced rather late, yet it looks like the place to be for Berliners next week!

The event will feature talks, workshops and panels with topics ranging from open hardware to design, graphics, software, start ups and digital policies. In a barcamp style track there is space for adhoc meetings, lightning talks and breakout sessions. There will also be dedicated workshops for kids and maker enthusiasts, where you can make your own gadgets (TV-B-Gone, upgrade knitting machines, your own traffic lights) and Fashiontec wearables. In the evening it will have an “OpenTech-Himmelfahrt” lounge and the Linux Professional Institute offers Linux certification at a discounted rate.

Speakers will include a bunch of interesting people from Freifunk, Mozilla, VLC, 3D printers and many other cool projects, discussing everything from software to hardware hacking.

Workshop and discounted access to OTSAnd of course, Blizz and myself will run a workshop on how to install ownCloud on cool devices. We have some with us, but it's recommended you bring your Raspberry Pi, power, a SD card, a laptop and a network cable. You can bring your server, desktop or laptop for installation of ownCloud too, of course. You can register for the workshop here and if you haven't yet registered or gotten tickets for the event - here's a nice discount.

Thank you Google!

11 hours 39 min ago

Well, the results of GSoC have been declared, and I am quite happy to see that my project has been accepted. I finally have something fruitful to do during this summer break, instead of whiling away my time like always. :P

My project deals mainly with Parley , a language learning application under the KDE-Edu group, and also with LibKEduVocDocument, a library that is used by some of the edu apps, like Parley, KHangMan, Kanagram, etc. The idea behind the project is to add a new plugin to the library that will readily provide a kvtml-editor. A “.kvtml” file is nothing but a XML file that stores a list of words, and some added information about them (like translations in other languages, synonyms/antonyms, hints, etc). To use these files in an application we need to use the LibKEduVocDocument library.

Till now all the applications that deal with kvtml files needed to have their own editors to modify the kvtml files. As a result we ended up with having multiple number of kvtml editors from various applications. Instead, it would be a lot simpler if there was one common editor available to them. So the aim of the project is to implement a kvtml-editor-plugin in the library itself, so that the applications using it can also access the editor easily. Currently, Parley has a very nice editor. The task involves completely moving the editor along with its UI into the library, and changing Parley’s code so that it implements the editor from the library itself, and it should be equally functional like before. After that it has to be tested with the other language applications too, make sure it works smoothly for them.

This is quite an interesting project to work on, and its completion it will be very helpful for the other applications that are dependant on LibKEduVocDocument. Inge Wallin and Jeremy Whiting have agreed to mentor me for the project, and I am quite thankful to them and other developers from the KDE community for considering my proposal. I had started my journey with KDE under their guidance, and I am more than satisfied to get to work on the project under their guidance. It’s going to be a very exciting summer, and I am looking forward to it.

If someone wishes to take a look at my proposal, it may be found here.

Cheers!


G+ Hangout With Thomas Brüderli Today

11 hours 56 min ago

Today at 13:00 UTC I will be hosting a Google+ Hangout with Roundcube founder and lead developer, Thomas Brüderli. I will link the video below once we are done, but everyone is welcome to join us live and provide feedback and questions in IRC while we're chatting.

So, what are we going to talk about? Well, Roundcube, of course! :) I'll be asking Thomas why he decided that now was the appropriate time for a refactor of Roundcube, what it means for Roundcube 1.x (the current stable release), and if we have time we'll start tucking into the current feature and design thinking.

So come join us on the Roundcube G+ page / Youtube channel as well as the #roundcube channel on irc.freenode.net today at 13:00 UTC!

Hope to see you all there!

Krita 2.9.4 released!

13 hours 19 min ago

We’re not just keeping an eye on the kickstarter campaign (three days and almost at 50%! but go ahead and support us by all means, we’re not there yet!), we’re also working hard on Krita itself. Dmitry is busy with improving the performance of clone layers, adding PSD file support to the Layer Styles feature and fixing loading and saving masks to PSD files (we implemented that in October, but broke it subsequently…), and we’ve got a brand new release for you today.

Well, I made packages for Windows available already on Sunday, but here’s scoop — what’s in, what not! Layer styles, startup speed improvements, memory consumption improvements, bug fixes!

Big New Things

And we mean big. This is the first release with the layer styles feature sponsored by last year’s kickstarter!

  • Implement Photoshop layer styles. Note: this is the first version. Some features are not implemented and we load and save only to Krita’s native file format and ASL style library files (not PSD files yet). There is also still a bug with masks and layer styles
  • make start up faster by not waiting for the presets to be loaded (startup times are now 30-50% faster )
  • Big speed improvement when using transform masks and filters. The move tool is about 20% faster.
  • Reduced the  download size of Krita for Windows by 33% (145MB to 97MB). This is the result of cleaning up unused files and fixing translations

And then there are the bug fixes…

  • Fix the patch count of the color history
  • Lots of fixes to the layout of docker panels, dialogs and other parts of Krita
  • Lots of fixes for special widgets when using the Plastique style
  • Fix issues with resizing the icon size in resource selectors
  • Fix usability issues in the crop tool (reset size settings after doing cropping)
  • Add a function to hide docker titlebars
  • Fix issues with the default settings button
  • Save memory by not loading or saving texture information for brush presets that don’t use textures
  • Automatically add a tag based on the filename for all brush tips from Adobe ABR brush collections
  • Make Export and Save as default to the folder the original file came from
  • Make it possible to switch off compression for layers in kra files (bigger files, but faster saving)
  • Disable opening 32 bit float grayscale TIFF files: we don’t support that yet
  • Fix memory leak when using gradients
  • Fix color serialization from user interface to GMIC (bug 345639)
  • Fix crash when toggling GMIC preview checkbox (bug 344058)
  • Make it possible to re-enable the splash screen
  • Show the label for the sliders inside the slide, to save space.
  • Fix HSV options for the grid and spray brush
  • Don’t show the zoom on-canvas notification while loading an image
  • Fix many memory leaks
  • Fix the specific color selector docker so it doesn’t grow too big
  • Allow the breeze theme to be used on platforms other than KDE
  • Don’t crash when creating a pattern-filled shape if no pattern is selected (bug 346990)
  • Fix loading floating point TIFF files (bug 344334)
  • Fix loading tags for resources from installed bundles
  • Make it possible to ship default tags for our default resources (bug 338134 — needs more work to create a good default definition)
  • Remember the last chosen tag in the resource selectors (bug 346703)
  • Fix bug 346355: don’t say “All presets” in the brush tip selector’s filter

Downloads

OSX:

Calligra 2.9.4 Released

13 hours 20 min ago

One week ago the Calligra team has noticed issues with handling of Photoshop (PSD) files in Krita, and decided to postpone the 2.9.3 release. Today the issue is fixed and a new version, 2.9.4, is ready to install for the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. We recommend updating the software to everybody.

Bugfixes in This Release

Here is an overview of the most important fixes. There are several others that may be not mentioned here.

General
  • Text Shape: fix the styles combo box after adding a new style
Kexi
  • General:
    • Close window with object that will be overwritten after “Save as” (bug 344656)
    • Remove “dirty” flag when saving-as modified Kexi object (bug 344653)
    • Save recent position and size of the Kexi Find dialog. It has now minimal size to avoid covering too much of the content. (bug 345689)
    • Properly destroy Kexi’s main window on closing. This lets to properly save settings and clean up.
    • Activate Design tab on switching to design mode (if no other tab was explicitly selected for this window & mode) (bug 335900)
  • Query Designer:
    • Allow to switch from the Design view containing empty query to the SQL view (bug 344654)
    • Show “Incorrect query” message when switching to Data view from Kexi SQL containing an empty statement. Before unclear “Switching view failed” message was presented.
    • Avoid crash in Kexi text editor when text component couldn’t be loaded (applies to script editors too) (bug 346373)
  • Forms:
    • Fix computing type for widget properties. If the custom type is invalid or auto (unspecified), use what Qt properties define. If still undefined, default is the String type, not a pixmap. This fixes at least the map widget’s properties latitude/longitude that were handled as pixmaps.
    • Fix logic for adding new records for Kexi tables and forms. (bug 345210)
    • Map widget: set double type for latitude/longitude properties, and set precision to 7 digits
    • Map widget: improve translation of latitude, longitude, zoom and theme property names
    • Map widget: theme always defaults to Earth and is now a list of all available themes
    • Map widget: property editor’s spin box is now accessible as a slider
    • Map widget: don’t start editing in response to resize events
  • Report:
    • Map element: properly encode unit name (°)
    • Map element: set double type for latitude/longitude properties, and set precision to 7 digits
    • Map element: improve translation of latitude, longitude, zoom and theme property names
    • Map element: theme always defaults to Earth and is now a list of all available themes
    • Map element: property editor’s spin box is now accessible as a slider
  • CSV Import:
    • Usability improvements:
      • Enable single selection of table cells (“current” cell indicator is not visible in Breeze style)
      • Display font of edited column names in bold also during editing
      • Allow editing only first row (column names) but also when “First row contains column names” is off; this let’s the user to fully customize column names before importing
      • Use “Column <n>” column caption and “column_<n>” column name for empty names
Krita
  • Implement Photoshop-style layer styles. Note: this is the first version. Some features are not implemented and we load and save only to Krita’s native file format and ASL style library files. PSD files are not supported yet.
  • Fix issues with the default settings button
  • Fix the patchcount of the color history
  • Lots of fixes to the layout of docker panels, dialogs and other parts of Krita
  • Lots of fixes for special widgets when using the Plastique style
  • Fix issues with resizing the icon size in resource selectors
  • Fix usability issues in the crop tool
  • Add a function to hide docker titlebars
  • Save memory by not loading or saving texture information for brush presets that don’t use textures
  • Automatically add a tag based on the filename for all brush tips from Adobe ABR brush collections
  • Make Export and Save as default to the folder the original file came from
  • Make it possible to switch off compression for layers in .kra files (bigger files, but faster saving)
  • Disable opening 32 bit float gray scale TIFF files: we don’t support that yet
  • Fix memory leak when using gradients
  • Fix color serialization from ui to gmic (bug 345639)
  • Fix crash when toggling gmic preview check box (bug 344058)
  • Make it possible to re-enable the splash screen
  • Make startup faster by not waiting for the presets to be loaded
  • Show the label for the sliders inside the slide, to save space.
  • Fix HSV options for the grid and spray brush
  • Don’t show the zoom on-canvas notification while loading an image
  • Fix many memory leaks
  • Big startup speed improvement
  • Big speed improvement when using transform masks
  • Fix the specific color selector so it doesn’t grow too big
  • Allow the breeze theme to be used on platforms other than KDE Plasma
  • Don’t crash when creating a pattern-filled shape if no pattern is selected (bug 346990)
  • Fix loading floating point TIFF files (bug 344334)
  • Fix loading tags for resources from installed bundles
  • Make it possible to ship default tags for our default resources (bug 338134 — needs more work to create a good default definition)
  • Remember the last chosen tag in the resource selectors (bug 346703)
  • Don’t say “All presets” in the brush tip selector’s filter (bug 346355)
Karbon
  • Show color palettes again in the bottom bar
Calligra Stage
  • Fix crash after empty custom slide show.
  • Fix showing of thumbnail after updating master page (also fixes Calligra Flow)
  • Fix showing thumbnail on page content change (also fixes Calligra Flow)
Calligra Sheets
  • Fix CSV import (bug 344718)


Try It Out

Download small

The source code of the release is available for download here: calligra-2.9.4.tar.xz.
Also translations to many languages and MD5 sums.
Alternatively, you can download binaries for many Linux distributions and for Windows.


What’s Next and How to Help?

The next step after the 2.9 series is Calligra 3.0 which will be based on new technologies. We expect it later in 2015.

You can meet us to share your thoughts or offer your support on general Calligra forums or dedicated to Kexi or Krita. Many improvements are only possible thanks to the fact that we’re working together within the awesome community.

(Some Calligra apps need new maintainers, you can become one, it’s fun!)
How and Why to Support Calligra?

Calligra apps may be totally free, but their development is costly. Power, hardware, office space, internet access, travelling for meetings – everything costs. Direct donation is the easiest and fastest way to efficiently support your favourite applications. Everyone, regardless of any degree of involvement can do so. You can choose to:
Heart

Support entire Calligra indirectly by donating to KDE, the parent organization and community of Calligra: http://www.kde.org/community/donations.

Heart

Support Krita directly by donating to the Krita Foundation, to support Krita development in general or development of a specific feature: https://krita.org/support-us/donations.

Heart

Support Kexi directly by donating to its current BountySource fundraiser, supporting development of a specific feature, or the team in general: https://www.bountysource.com/teams/kexi.
About the Calligra Suite

Calligra Suite is a graphic art and office suite developed by the KDE community. It is available for desktop PCs, tablet computers and smartphones. It contains applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, databases, vector graphics and digital painting. For more information visit calligra.org.


About KDE

KDE is an international technology team that creates free and open source software for desktop and portable computing. Among KDE’s products are a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, comprehensive office productivity and groupware suites and hundreds of software titles in many categories including Internet, multimedia, entertainment, education, graphics and software development. KDE’s software available in more than 60 languages on Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows and Mac OS X.

} .button:hover{ padding:11px 32px; border:solid 1px #004F72; -webkit-border-radius:10px; -moz-border-radius:10px; border-radius: 10px; font:18px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight:bold; color:#E5FFFF; background-color:#3BA4C7; background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0%, #1982A5 100%); background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0%, #1982A5 100%); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0%, #1982A5 100%); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0% ,#1982A5 100%); filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr='#1982A5', endColorstr='#1982A5',GradientType=0 ); background-image: linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0% ,#1982A5 100%); -webkit-box-shadow:0px 0px 2px #bababa, inset 0px 0px 1px #ffffff; -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 2px #bababa, inset 0px 0px 1px #ffffff; box-shadow:0px 0px 2px #bababa, inset 0px 0px 1px #ffffff;

} .button:active{ padding:11px 32px; border:solid 1px #004F72; -webkit-border-radius:10px; -moz-border-radius:10px; border-radius: 10px; font:18px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight:bold; color:#E5FFFF; background-color:#3BA4C7; background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0%, #1982A5 100%); background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0%, #1982A5 100%); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0%, #1982A5 100%); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0% ,#1982A5 100%); filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr='#1982A5', endColorstr='#1982A5',GradientType=0 ); background-image: linear-gradient(top, #3BA4C7 0% ,#1982A5 100%); -webkit-box-shadow:0px 0px 2px #bababa, inset 0px 0px 1px #ffffff; -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 2px #bababa, inset 0px 0px 1px #ffffff; box-shadow:0px 0px 2px #bababa, inset 0px 0px 1px #ffffff; }

.button a,.button a:link, .button a:visited, .button a:hover, .button a:active { color:#E5FFFF; } -->

KMouth is alive and well

20 hours 54 min ago

I meant to have a post about Gardening efforts next, but KMouth is improving lately, so I'll throw out a quick post about progress.

KMouth master branch is now Qt3 free. It's still using K3Process for the speech synthesizer command-line calls, but all Qt3Support is gone.

In other news I started a quick Qt5/kf5/QtSpeech port of it on the frameworks branch. It runs, it speaks (with a bug fix in gerrit for QtSpeech).

It looks like this currently:


There's definitely room for improvement, but it's a good start I think. Note this wont be hitting master until after QtSpeech gets a release and KDE Applications depend on it (probably Qt 5.6).

KDE Applications 15.04 Available for Kubuntu 15.04

Mon, 2015/05/04 - 9:53pm

Packages for the release of KDE Applications 15.04 are available for Kubuntu 15.04. You can get it from the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE.

Availability of Qt Free Edition

Mon, 2015/05/04 - 6:40pm

In my last blog posts, I explained the KDE Free Qt Foundation, which guarantees the free availability of the Qt Toolkit. Today, The Qt Company introduced a new Qt online installer that requires users to accept additional license terms. Many people have contacted me with concerns about this change. I share this concern. Even before this, I have already been concerned about the structure of the qt.io download page, since it blurs the lines between the Qt Toolkit itself and additional, proprietary products.

As a workaround, please use the qt-opensource-* files in the sub-subfolders of http://download.qt.io/official_releases/qt/.

In my function as KDE’s representative on the KDE Free Qt Foundation, I am working with The Qt Company on having all this fixed. I still trust that this was an honest mistake inside The Qt Company, and that the corrections will be made soon.

kdebugsettings 1.0

Mon, 2015/05/04 - 11:21am

Before to increase version to 1.0 I moved it from kdereview to kdeutils.

I added new features of course :)

Now you can import/export settings directly.

You can create a category file and it will load in kdebugsettings.

It’s very useful for big project as kdepim for example when I add a new logging categories for each module, but I don’t want to wait a new release.

So you need to create a “.categories” file and install it as “install( FILES kdepim.categories DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_CONFDIR} )”

Future:

No idea :) If you have so wishlist send me a bug :)

Voted SNP in Edinburgh South

Mon, 2015/05/04 - 11:09am

My postal vote has been sent off for the UK general election which is on Thursday.

What’s going on?

The UK parliament and the government it forms is up for election.

What happened to independence?

In the last week of the referendum on Scottish independence last year the UK government threw everything it could think of.  Scare stories were all around about how it would destroy the economy, the English would keep our shared currency, the banks would move out of Scotland and the supermarkets would raise prices.  A back bench opposition MP called Gordon Brown gave a Vow about giving more powers to Scotland.

The day after the no vote the prime minister instead of doing as he promised to work with Scotland instead promised to withdraw Scottish MPs voting rights at Westminster on English only matters.  Fair enough you might think but the Scottish budget is defined by these English matters so there are no English only laws.  The promised new powers for Scotland were consulted on and nothing very interesting or useful was promised in the end.

So there’s a feeling of annoyance at the lack of respect for Scots.  With the population suddenly very interested in politics (85% turnout compared to 65% for a UK election) people have noticed.  The membership of the nationalist parties has quadrupled and the current UK election has many people wondering what’s in it for Scotland.

What’s in it for Scotland?

There are 3 major London based parties and they are showing none of the optimism shown by the Yes side in the referendum campaign.  Almost exclusively they talk down Scotland continuing to say it’s too small and too poor to manage its own affairs.  So the opinion polls have shown people prefer an optimistic message as the SNP gives and they have been forecast to go from 6 seats in Scotland to every single of the 59 seats.

With England equally split between the Tory and Labour parties it seems likely the deciding vote for approval of government business will be from the SNP.  The English media have gone a bit nuts at this and started querying if this is legitimate and a valid part of the constitutional setup.  Which makes Scottish voters wonder what happened to all those promises of wanting to work together during the referendum.

Edinburgh South?

My vote is for an MP from Edinburgh.  The current guy is Ian Murray from Labout.  He didn’t bother to turn up to a vote on bombing Iraq.  He accepts donations from the Arab Emirates and PriceWaterhouseCoopers which are straight bribery for his votes, these governments/companies have no interest in Edinburgh’s people. He calls SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon “Miss Sturgeon” despite her being married for years, an example of everyday sexism.

Reviewing the leaflets and watching the video interviews none of the candidates stand out as great parliamentarians so I’ve voted mostly on party and go with the SNP.  The candidate is Neil Hay who’s been criticised for having a Twitter account where it posted to a satirical article, a non-issue as far as I can see.  It’ll be interesting to see who chooses to work with them to be a UK government and who continues to claim that Scottish political wishes are irrelevant.

See you on Friday.

And Catalunya?

We had a voluntary poll here and of course the no voters stayed at home so it was 80% yes.  The Catalan government now says it resign in September and the election resulting will be a referendum on independence.  If more than 50% vote for independence parties they’ll unilaterally declare independence. At which point I expect Spain to send in the troops.

We live in interesting times.

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A summer of animation

Mon, 2015/05/04 - 6:55am


This summer Krita is going all in for animation. Not only do we have a Google Summer of Code project focusing on it, but it will also be a major point in this year's Kickstarter campaign, alongside with major performance improvements.

There seems to be a lack of a good raster based animation software for traditional style, hand-drawn animation. Krita's excellent drawing and painting features provide a great basis for this. It is no wonder animation is a highly requested feature in Krita.

In the past couple of years, there have been several attempts to implement animation in Krita, most notably Somsubhra Bairi's GSoC project. Unfortunately none of these ever made it all the way to a fully working release. However, they have all taught us valuable lessons and I believe we now know how to finally make it work.

We have been discussing a new design with the Krita team for some months. In mid-April I had the pleasure of meeting the two main Krita developers Boudewijn and Dmitry (as well as Irina and Wolthera). During this small sprint we created a solid design for the upcoming implementation.


The focus of animation in Krita is on hand-drawn animation. That is animation consisting of individually drawn or painted frames. This is close to the traditional style of animation, only with the additional benefits of working in digital media.

However, the animation features will not be limited to hand-drawn frames. You will also be able to animate layer properties such as opacity and position, and eventually even transform mask and filter parameters. Imagine the possibilities!

I have already been working on a prototype version of the code for some weeks. While it still has some major issues, it can already be used to make simple animations, such as the one below. I will soon post more details about the status of the code and regular updates on our progress throughout the summer.



For more information on animation in Krita and the Kickstarter campaign keep and eye out for posts on the Krita website and this blog. If you want to get in touch with us, the best way to do so is through our chatroom or forums.

Performance and Animation (and more): Join Krita’s 2015 Kickstarter Project

Mon, 2015/05/04 - 6:54am

Let’s make Krita as fast, or faster than Photoshop! That’s this year’s Krita Kickstarter theme — to begin with.

Last year’s kickstarter was a big success and all the support resulted in the biggest, best Krita release ever, Krita 2.9, with a huge number of exciting features. In fact, this week we’ll be releasing Krita 2.9.4, the first version of Krita with the Photoshop-type layer styles feature included! (As well as speed-ups and dozens of bug fixes…)

This year, we’re going for two ambitious goals. The first is raw, interactive performance. Painting on a big canvas, with a big brush, with textures and gradients. Krita should become as fast as (dare we say it?) Photoshop! We’ve already gotten a proof of concept working, but it needs a lot of work deep down in the core of Krita’s code. As a result, Krita should also become much more memory-efficient.

We also learned our lesson from the previous three animation plugin projects: if we want Krita to support traditional hand-drawn animation, we need to put animation right at the core. Not so coincidentally, that’s exactly the same place where we need to work to make Krita’s painting performance outstanding.

And that’s this year’s big topic: it’s a lot of really hard work, and it needs to be done — and we need your help for that! With your backing, Krita 3.1 will be even better, even faster, even more fun to use.

If we go over target (and last year we did go over target!), then every 1500 euros will unlock a stretch goal, and our backers will get to vote on the stretch goals, just like last year!

Check out our kickstarter page here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/krita/krita-free-paint-app-lets-make-it-faster-than-phot

Cuba Diving.

Sun, 2015/05/03 - 6:11pm

Spectacular sunset at Maria la Gorda

Spectacular sunset at Maria la Gorda

I recently went on a vacation to Cuba. As I wanted to go scuba diving there, I researched a bit beforehand. The information I could dig up was spotty at times, so I decided to share my notes in order to add it as anecdotal information when planning their diving trips.

During the 3 week trip to Cuba, I visited three locations in the south-western part of the island. In total, I did 19 dives along the Cuba coast, all of them very enjoyable. On the list were shallow (10-18m) coral reef dives, wall dives, some of them deep. I clocked my max depth at 34.1m. One of the things I wanted to do was a cave dive in a Cenote. Cenotes are underwater cave systems found around the geological area.

General Considerations

Dive boat at Maria la Gorda

Dive boat at Maria la Gorda

Cuba, being a Carribean island has a tropical climate with warm waters around it, and climatically a wet and a dry season. As the wet season may make the sea choppy, reduce visibility and carries the risk of hurricanes, it’s advisable to pick the dry seasons, months from November to May for diving activities. The South coast, which is where I have been diving had warm waters 27°C at the surface, and 26°C as depths down to about 35m. Visibility was generally excellent, commonly around 30m, with sometimes up to 50-60m in calm water. In several spots, there are large and well-preserved coral reefs. The South coast usually has calmer waters than the North coast, so I picked locations in the South-West: Maria La Gorda at the far southwestern point of the island, Playa Girón at the Bay of Pigs, and Playa Ancón near Trinidad. All turned out to be worth visiting and made for some amazing dives. (We also visited Cayo Levisa on Cuba’s Northern shore, which has a nice beach, but was mediocre at best for snorkeling from the shore. Go to Cayo Jutia instead, if you want good snorkeling, or book the boat to go diving at Cayo Levisa.)
Cuba is a communist country, instead of Coca Cola advertisements you’ll find some billboard reminding you that “the revolution is invincible”. Economic trade embargoes make acquiring scuba diving gear a problem (although I haven’t seen any shortcomings in this area myself). There’s usually just one dive center running the diving operations, so not much choice, but on the other hand, you’ll rarely encounter crowded dive sites, or reduced visibility due to other divers silting up the waters.

Touristic activities such as diving are usually possible through government-owned dive centers. There’s a network of official travel agents across the country, which can help you with booking trips and getting in contact with dive centers. Many of them are not easily reachable by phone, but you can sometimes book in advance of your trip online. In my experience, it would have been fine to just show up at the dive center at the right time of the day with your certification card and dive logs to prove your experience, and you’ll be almost good to go. I decided to bring my own gear, regulator, jacket BCD, 3mm wetsuit, fins, mask and torch in order to avoid any annoyances or unsafe situations due to flaky equipment.

My personal experience has been very positive, I loved the different dive sites, guides were generally skilled, and I had a whole bunch of amazing dives in Cuba. Would recommend.

Maria la Gorda

Maria la Gorda's beach

Maria la Gorda’s beach

Maria la Gorda is a bit off the beaten path in Cuba, one of the more remote locations on the main land. We travelled there from Vinales in 3 hours by car. The location itself is comprised of a hotel, two restaurants, and dive centre on a beautiful beach that also makes for some very nice snorkeling, you can basically walk in and enjoy lots of fish, even those not often discovered while scuba diving. Kim spotted barracuda, jacks, parrot fish, a moray and even an octopus just a few meters off the beach.
Diving there is done by boat 3 times a day. Almost all of the diving spots are within a 15min boat ride. The dive boat goes to 3 different sites a day, at 8:30, 11:00 and 15:00. It’s possible to also do a night dive, but has to be arranged with the staff. If you’re doing a day trip from Vinales just for diving, you’ll arrive in time to do two dives before leaving, the dive center does consider day guests. The surface time in between was enough to not dip too deep into nitrogen levels with 3 daily dives, the first two of them deep. Dives are usually limited to 45′ bottom time. If in general, you can’t get enough of scuba diving, that’s a lot of diving there.
The sites I’ve visited were all amazing in their own rights. Beautiful walls littered with coral, dropping down to 2000m right below you, really nice tunnels to dive through, large fan corals, barrel sponges of 3m and more, large groupers, jacks, and the usual variety of coral reef fish (parrot, box fish, angelfish, jacks, butterfly fish, etc.). Fish of more than 50cm in size were no exception, which seems like a sign that at least this part of the Carribean is comparably less overfished than other areas, there and especially in Asian countries.
The procedures on the boat were a bit unclear, I had liked to get better introduction there. Other people were happy to help, so this wasn’t much of a problem. The guides’ briefings were too short for my taste, especially knowing a bit about the navigation planned underwater would help to keep the group together more closely and in the end improves safety. I’ve asked the guide to tell me about the planned route under water, which he did in the following dives. That allowed me to take some responsibility myself (I really like to know under water that everybody who went into the water comes out of it as well). That said, there’s always room for improvement, and it didn’t lead to any dangerous situations. Taking responsibility for your buddies is part of diving, and as long as everybody takes it seriously, no problem.

Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs)

Museum in Playa Giron

Museum in Playa Giron

The Bay of Pigs is historically known for an attempt by the CIA to invade Cuba with US-friendly troops and overthrow the then-young communist government. Lack of political support from the US government, underestimation of the Cuban revolutionary troops and insufficient secrecy lead to an utter failure of the invasion attempt. Nowadays, the bay of pigs is a rather calm area, with excellent scuba diving. Basically, the eastern shore of the bay is lined with a coral reef wall very close to the shore. Commonly, one would do a shore entry here, swim out about 100m and then drop into the wall.
I dove with Ronel’s local dive operation. A tweaked bus would pick us up in the morning, go to the dive center (next to the government run hotel in Playa Giron) to gear up, and then drive up North for 10 – 20 minutes to one of the dive spots along the bay, then do two shore dives from there. We’d return around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, so there’s plenty of time for other activities (which, to be fair there aren’t that many apart from the beach and a “not-quite-neutral” museum about the failed invasion attempt).

The Cenote Dive

Entering the Cenote

Entering the Cenote

Cenotes are sinkholes in the shallow limestone ground near the coast. Small pools filled with fresh surface waters lead to extended cave systems filled with fresh water, so one enters a fresh water pool in the woods, then descends through a haloclyne. This haloclyne is the border between fresh and salt water. the caves were usually filled with salt water seeping in from the sea, but as there are almost no currents, rain water that seeps in from the woods below stays on top as fresh water. The haloclyne produces a weird disturbed visual effect when one dives through it. These sink holes are often quite deep, the one we entered was 26m deep at entry point, the deepest points of the cave system went down to 60m. We entered into a tunnel, a vertical crack in the limestone about 1m wide, so wide enough to comfortably swim through. During the dive, we made our way about 350m into the cave. We went through a lower tunnel into a larger cave, which had some beautiful sunlight shining in through cracks above in blue-green colors. Visibility was excellent, and the sunrays produced an almost magical ray of sunlight in the water of the deeper cave.
Descending into the Cenote

Descending into the Cenote

Through the haloclyne above us, the sunlight was broken by the different densities of air, fresh and salt water until they hit the particles drifting in the water or the walls and bottom and of the cave. This dive was guided by a specialised cave diving guide. Briefings were thorough, and after a first reef dive to check everyone’s buoyance and general diving skills, we did our second dive of the day in the Cenote. I’ve found this video, which gives an impression how such a dive looks like. If you’re an advanced diver, comfortable with overhead environments and experienced enough, I’d definitely recommend doing a Cenote dive, For me, it’s been an unforgettable experience.

Playa Ancón

Playa Ancón is the beach village close to Trinidad. It’s a peninsula at about 7km from Trinidad. I’ve found it a bit complicated to book the diving there. Tour operator in Trinidad would tell me that everything’s fully booked, but inquiring at the dive center in Playa Ancon, I was told to just show up before 9am and I should be fine. That’s what I did, and it was indeed no problem to go diving there. We’d enter the boat from the beach and would go out a few hundred meters, just too much to swim there comfortably.
Even with a bit of a choppy sea that day, the diving was excellent. Good guides lead me over an interesting seascape with sandbed-“roads” in between coral fields, and much life in between. Highlights of these dives were a wreck, which lay across two large rocks and created a swimthrough this way, a school of tuna (about 40 fish), and a 1.2m large eagle ray. Water was warm and visibility in the range of 15m (considered quite bad for the location, so expect better when you get there). The dive shop was run professionally, but be prepared for a “laid-back scheduling”, which means depending on the day, two boat dives with a surface interval on shore might run into the early afternoon. (I’m mentioning it here, since every other dive center I dove with in Cuba was exceptionally punctual, contrary to what I had read before.)

Kate from KDE Applications 15.04 – KF 5.9

Sun, 2015/05/03 - 4:29pm

I reinstalled my home machine last week with openSUSE 13.2 and installed their latest 15.04 packages from the KDE repos ;=)

That is the first time that I use a distro-shipped Kate that is based on KF5 (and no other Kate 4.x is installed any more as escape route).

I think I already have seen 1-2 glitches (like not needed questions for reload and some repaint issue on reload), still, overall, I am happy with what is shipped as 15.04.

Thanks to all people contributing to KF5 and Kate 5.x! Well done!
And thanks to the packagers of 15.04, too. Nice to have up-to-date applications with just an additional repository to add!

Roundcube "Next" crowd funding campaign!

Sun, 2015/05/03 - 3:36pm

Today we closed out the first (and quite successful) Kolab Summit in front of both the Kolab and openSUSE attendees with some really big news: the Roundcube team has launched a significant new development project to give Roundcube, the world's most popular free software webmail system, a modern fluid "single-page" user interface. The UI will be rendered entirely in the browser, and the server will only do minimal business logic in support of that.

The focus is on modularity (to make it easier to extend Roundcube's core features), scalability, and deployability. At the same time, the Roundcube team needs to maintain the current version (we have commitments to clients and users that stretch years into the future) as well as build a migration strategy to the new version when it becomes available. Thomas, the founder and project lead for Roundcube, gave a great presentation explaining the whole thing.

As you might imagine, achieving these goals will involve refactoring nearly the entire codebase. We plan to commit three developers along with a UI designer to the project with support of the Kolab Systems project management infrastructure and staff.

So this is a pretty big project, but quite achievable. While discussing how best to make this all happen, the Roundcube team decided that it would make sense to reach out to the entire Roundcube user community to help make this happen, and therefore launched a crowd funding campaign today at Indiegogo.

Quite a way to close out the conference!

http://igg.me/at/roundcubenext

Together, we can make this a great success! Please help spread the word, back the campaign with a pledge, and join us for what is going to be a fantastic journey. Regular updates will be posted to the crowdfunding page, and we are excited to make the run to our initial goal of $80,000 with you!

collaborative editing for the win

Sun, 2015/05/03 - 12:17pm

On the first day of the Kolab Summit we announced that Kolab is getting full extended MAPI support. That was in itself a pretty fantastic announcement, but it was accompanied by announcements of instant messaging, WebRTC and collaborative editing.

Here is a picture which I think captures what the LibreOffice and WebODF people think about this direction, captured over lunch today:

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