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How to write a kick-ass proposal for Google Summer of Code

Fri, 2015/03/06 - 11:42am

In a few weeks students can begin submitting their applications for Google Summer of Code 2015.

KDE has been accepted as a mentoring organization again this year, and I’ve already been contacted by several students looking to do a Google Summer of Code project with KDE. Prospective Summer of Code students usually have lots of enthusiasm, and they often write great proposals with little or no help, but sometimes these proposals might not be structured well or lack key information.

I’ve seen my share of good and bad proposals. I’ve been a Google Summer of Code student with KDE three times (four if you count Summer of KDE) so I’ve been in the very situation prospective Summer of Code students find themselves right now. I’ve also been on the other side of the fence: I have been a Google Summer of Code and Google Code-In mentor (and organization administrator) and I’m a professional software engineering instructor (since 2008), so I like to think I can relate with both students and mentors in this case.

This post is for students who wish to take part in Google Summer of Code.

Google Summer of Code is a kind of like a scholarship program, and a very competitive one: if you get picked, you’re one of just a thousand students in the world (1307 last year, 40 of those with KDE) who get to spend their summer hacking on open source software while learning from the very best software craftsmen, and get paid for it too. In order to achieve that, you need to submit an application to Google. An application is essentially a bunch of information you enter in a form, the most important part of it is your proposal.

A Google Summer of Code proposal is a document, it can be rich text but it’s best to consider it plain text because the web application that handles proposal only has basic formatting features.

The KDE community maintains a wiki page specifically targeted at Summer of Code students with very useful information on how to get started. Read it. Really, read it, please. Yes, all of it. Done? Great! Assuming you’ve gone through points 1-3 of the Recommended steps list, it’s time to prepare your proposal.

Writing a good proposal is not easy, especially if you’re a student making first contact with an organization, in this case your proposal is your best advertisement. You have to convince the organization (or at least some key people inside it) why you of all people are the right person for the job. What follows applies to KDE, but it should work for other organizations as well.

I used to structure my proposals the following way (worked well 3 times). This is not a hard rule. You can structure your proposal otherwise, but I think this is a good guideline if you need some inspiration:

  1. Introduction. Your software project should solve a clearly defined problem. Before offering the solution (your Google Summer of Code project), you should first define the problem. What’s the current state of things? What’s the issue you wish to solve and why? Then you should conclude with a sentence or two about your solution. This is somewhat like an elevator pitch.
  2. Project goals. This section should again be short and to the point, and it might be a good idea to format it like a list. You should propose a clear list of deliverables, explaining exactly what you promise to do and what you do not plan to do. “Future developments” can be mentioned, but your promise for the three months of the Google Summer of Code season is what counts. At this point you are making a commitment.
  3. Implementation. This section can be longer and more detailed. You should describe what you plan to do as a solution for the problem you defined earlier. You don’t need to provide a lot of technical details, but you do need to show that you understand the technology and illustrate key technical elements of your proposed solution in reasonable detail.
  4. Timeline. This section is easily overlooked, yet it’s arguably more important than the previous section. With the timeline you show that you understand the problem, that you have thought hard about a solution, and that you have also broken the solution down into manageable bits. If your timeline is reasonable and its deadlines achievable, you show that you have an actual plan on how to go from idea to delivery. With this section you set expectations, so do not make promises you can’t keep. A modest, realistic and detailed timeline is much better than a timeline that promises to move mountains. Mentors are often among the top professionals in their field, and they can easily spot unrealistic timelines.
  5. About me. If you’re done with the other sections this will be a piece of cake. Just put down your contact information and write a few sentences about you and why you think you’re the best for this job. It’s ok to brag a little.

Overall, submit your proposal early, keep it short but include all the necessary information. Get it reviewed by the right people in the organization, well before submitting it to the Google Summer of Code web application. As far as KDE is concerned, you should submit your proposal to the developers mailing list of the relevant subproject as published on the ideas page. I can’t stress this enough: get feedback. Organizations want good proposals and good students, and are usually eager to help you improve your proposal. Just write a brief and informal email, attach your proposal and ask for feedback.

I hope this advice proves useful. We have also gathered some accepted proposals from past years, you might find them useful as inspiration.

You can submit more than one proposal to the same organization or different organizations to increase your chances, but my advice is to not overdo it: quality is better than quantity.

Good luck!

Code all the summer

Building KF5 KDE Game

Thu, 2015/03/05 - 1:04pm
My journey in SoK (Season of KDE) 2014 has been official ended. While I was working in KDE-Games I found that there is no such guide on how to build and get started with development of KDE-Games. So I have written a small guide on how to set-up building environment for KDE-Games based on my experience in SoK 2014. I would love to share it with the KDE members.


Building KF5 KDE Game

Introduction
As we all know KDE apps are being ported to KF5, same goes with kdeGames. In this doc, I will discuss the compilation and installation of KDE game application that is ported to kf5.
I recommend you to go through “Getting started Page” before reading this doc.

Steps
  • Install Qt 5.x. For more info about installing Qt 5.x, go to Qt official Page. You might need to export the Qt path if it is installed in a local directory. Simply put the mentioned lines in your .profile or bashrc file.
   
PATH=/Path/to/Qt5/gcc_64/bin:$PATH
export PATH

  • You need to install kf5.  It can either be built or it’s binaries can be installed. For more info about building, refer here and for binaries, look here. In addition to it, framework’s components might be needed. Again, you can either get it build or install the binaries. For information about building them, look here and for debian based systems, you can easily install binaries using any package manager.

  • Once you are finished installing Qt 5.x and kf5, next thing you need is a KF5KDEGames package (Ported version of libkdegames).

First, you have to clone the code of libkdegames:

    git clone git://anongit.kde.org/libkdegames.git

This will create a directory with libkdegames source code inside.

    cd libkdegames

Checkout it’s frameworks branch

    git checkout frameworks
   
Make a build directory where you will be building KF5KDEGames

    mkdir build && cd build

Then, you need to build and compile it.

    cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=<install_path> -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull
    make

Once you have a successful compilation of KF5KDEGames, now let’s install it (you may need root privileges for installing it).

    sudo make install

If you are having an application that is based on qml, then, you may also have to export QML2_IMPORT_PATH. For example:

    QML2_IMPORT_PATH=/usr/local/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qml
export QML2_IMPORT_PATH

Once you are through with these requirements, you can build and run your KDE games application. All the applications under the KDEgames can be found here.

  • For instance, let’s build knetwalk. The repository for it’s source code can be found here.

    git clone git://anongit.kde.org/knetwalk
    cd knetwalk

Applications ported to kf5 are present in frameworks branch. We have started merging frameworks branch with the master branch. So, please have a look if master branch contains the ported app.

    git checkout frameworks

Now we will make a “build” directory and get started with building the app knetwalk

    mkdir build && cd build
    cmake ../

Now we start compiling the code
   
    make

You can also use make -j4 for multiprocessing and increasing the compiling speed.
Once we have a clean compile, it’s time to install knetwalk (you might need root privileges for this).
   
make install

With this, we have installed knetwalk (ported to kf5).

Debugging
You might come across “ecm package not available”. Here, this “ecm package” means extra-cmake-modules package. You may get errors while building (cmake ../) about not finding a particular package. Every app has it’s own dependencies.So, please have a look and fulfill all the dependencies to get rid of errors.

You can always ask your queries on IRC (#kde-devel and #kde-games) and mailing lists (kde-devel and kde-games-devel).




Doc Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B9hQ0Ry-H-RKz9kRWG_P_2KTgwTMalvtO7YpME6dwfY/edit?usp=sharing

Monthly Drawing Challenge

Wed, 2015/03/04 - 1:38pm

(by jmf)

The new monthly drawing challenge on the Krita forums now really boots up! The first run in February was mainly a test run. After that a lot of people said they were interested, so I decided to keep going.

stranger_by_tharindad-d8j6s4d

Last month’s winner: “Stranger” by tharindad.

The idea came when I was browsing the Krita forums in search of a drawing challenge and the only thing that came up was on Facebook. Not everybody has or wants Facebook, so we’ll have this challenge on the forum.

It’s not about competiton! It’s mostly a way to get rid of the “blank canvas syndrome”, to try something new and get new inspiration. If you want to draw but aren’t inspired, or want to step out of your comfort zone, this is for you!

This month’s topic is “Unusual Dinner”.

To enter, post your picture on this thread, The deadline is March 24, 2015. The winner is decided by vote on the forums and gets the privilege to choose next month’s topic.

Russia hot for C++ (and Qt)

Wed, 2015/03/04 - 7:18am

I’m almost back from the C++ Russia conference held in Moscow these past few days. Heading home later today.

I must say that Sergey created a really nice conference, with a carefully tailored set of talks mostly focussed on parallelism and concurrency.

The conference was opened by Sean Parent, with a keynote somewhere along the lines of “don’t use raw threads” (after his previous hits like “don’t use raw for-loops”). It had everything, great examples from the his projects at Adobe, a few bigger chunks of code, and even abstract scientific parts related to flows in graph theory.

And that was just the beginning.

It was followed by Zoltan Porkolab’s talk on debugging and profiling C++ meta-template programs. Fantastic talk that deserves a separate blog post since it can make a lot of TMP-related headaches go away. I’ll write it one of the following days, when I get my bearings.

It was also a pleasure to listen to Bartosz Milewski talking about category theory and presenting monads in quite an interesting way; Rainer Grimm on how to cope when you need to use the lower-level concurrency primitives; and Guntram Berti on how to properly write your generic code.

Unfortunately, a lot of talks were in Russian, so I was not able to follow them. Otherwise, I would not only mention the foreign speakers.

During the intermissions, I talked to local programmers about their environment and popularity of C++ and Qt in Russia. Obviously, since it was a C++ conference, everybody that was present was using C++. But the thing that surprised me is that Qt is also very much alive in these parts of the world. And these were not small IT companies, far from it (not going to mention the names, I have no idea whether this information is public or not :) ).

For the end, a proof that Linux/KDE/C++ people are vandals:

Vandals

Macaw-Movies in the KDE incubator

Tue, 2015/03/03 - 10:18pm

Hey there!

We are proud to announce that from now we are incubated in KDE…

Macaw-Movies is a movie collection manager. It is now about to be in the KDE Family! And that’s really awesome.

It was a little sprint, and we must say that KDE sysadmins were pretty fast and our supporter of great help. In one night, we created a mailing-list, opened an account on Planet KDE and another on the git repository.  We haven’t opened an account for the project on the bug tracker yet and still use GitHub for now so our code is currently duplicated between GitHub and the KDE projects’ repository.

Now, we are seriously thinking of releasing a first version. It’s far from being perfect, and there is still a lot to achieve to release what we are really dreaming of, but it’s slowly coming! It already compiles on Linux, Microsoft Windows and MacOX. The program can fetch a movie metadata from Internet thanks to the API of themoviedb.org.

Here are a couple of screenshots of the application: the main window and the dialog to edit the metadata of a movie.

Macaw-Movie_fullMacaw-Movie_Metadata

If you want to see a little more, you can find us on:

The documentation is slowly being written… but the code is already documented =D

Have fun and give a hack!


KDE Applications 14.12.2 and Frameworks 5.7 available in the stable repositories

Tue, 2015/03/03 - 7:12pm


KDE's second update of its 14.12 series of Applications and Frameworks 5.7.0 are now available in Chakra's stable repositories. With this release kde-workspace has also been updated to version 4.11.16 and kdelibs to 4.14.5.

According to the official announcement, the 14.12 series offers many "new features and bug fixes to more than a hundred applications. Most of these applications are based on the KDE Development Platform 4; some have been converted to the new KDE Frameworks 5, a set of modularized libraries that are based on Qt5, the latest version of this popular cross-platform application framework." The applications that have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 will not be updated in Chakra, as they are being prepared to be included on the upcoming Plasma5 ISO. These include kate and kwrite, konsole, gwenview, kalgebra, kanagram, khangman, kig, parley, kapptemplate and okteta, which will remain at their 4.14.3 versions.

In addition the following packages have been updated:

  • xorg 1.16.4
  • kdepim group 4.14.5
  • calligra 2.9.0
  • libreoffice 4.4.1
  • ffmpeg 2.5.4
  • pulseaudio 6.0
  • digikam 4.8
  • kdeconnect 0.8
  • qt5 group 5.4.1

    It should be safe to answer yes to any replacement question by Pacman. If in doubt or if you face another issue - please ask or report it on the related forum section.

    As always, make sure your mirror is fully synced before performing this update by running the mirror-check application.
  • Getting things back: Comics

    Tue, 2015/03/03 - 7:02pm

    After the system monitor, today another neat little toy that was gone in the KF5 port returned in Plasma for 5.3: The comic applet.
    xkcd
    One thing that I really felt missing for the desktop to be really completed, is an XKCD always on the desktop: how can you live without an XKCD comic always there? I certainly couldn’t ;)
    It’s a pretty much straightforward port of the Plasma 4 version: the UI is identical and all options are still where you left them.
    I’m pretty happy how it is and how it behaves right now, so personally I consider it in bug fix mode. However, if someone has big ideas on it (and wants to execute them) that would be awesome as well.
    The neat thing is that since all the comic plugins were written in JavaScript, all the old ones that can still be downloaded with Get Hot New Stuff still just work(tm).

    Calligra 2.9.0 is Out

    Tue, 2015/03/03 - 12:37pm

    Packages for the release of KDE's document suite Calligra 2.9 are available for Kubuntu 14.10. You can get it from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. They are also in our development version Vivid.

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

    Interview with Igor Leskov

    Mon, 2015/03/02 - 8:00am

    apes800

    Would you like to tell us something about yourself?

    I like cinema and I like to draw motion pictures. I do not like very much to draw static pictures but I can. I studied traditional painting for eight years in the art school and after that I’ve continued to do it myself for 36 years. I like to learn painting even more than to paint.

    Do you paint professionally or as a hobby artist?

    I work in the small animation studio as a 2D-3D artist. I draw storyboards and backgrounds in 2D. I make the full 3D film work: modelling, texturing, lighting, rigging and animation. I have very little time to paint personal works, unfortunately.

    When and how did you end up trying digital painting for the first time?

    It was terrific! I was scanning the black ink drawings on the paper and colouring them in Photoshop in 1996. It was my black-and-white comics for the regional newspaper.

    What is it that makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

    The choice is simple. No need to buy oil paints and squirrel brushes, it is so lazy. Laziness is the engine of technological progress.

    evolve800

    How did you first find out about open source communities? What is your opinion about them?

    When I found out about Krita I wrote to Boudewijn Rempt and he answered! It was cool!

    Have you worked for any FOSS project or contributed in some way?

    I have no such experience yet and I have no ability to do that at the present day but I would like do it in the future.

    How did you find out about Krita?

    My favourite artists are Titian and Moebius (Jean Giraud). When the developers dedicated the another edition of Krita to Moebius I was interested in this and looked at Krita.

    What was your first impression?

    I liked it.

    What do you love about Krita?

    Krita is my favourite 2D package and I would like to do something for its development.

    What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Also, anything that you really hate?

    There is nothing to hate in Krita. I hate myself for that I can’t convince Boud to do what I want and not what he wants:)

    volcano800 In your opinion, what sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use?

    I like to write to Mr. Rempt and to Mr. Kazakov and I like how they answer.

    If you had to pick one favourite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be?

    I don’t have any favourites yet.

    What is it that you like about it? What brushes did you use in it?

    I like Smooth Zoom Tool, Wrap Around Mode and Mirror View. I use the standard brushes: Ink_brush_25, Airbrush_linear, Block_tilt, Basic_circle, Bristles_hairy, Basic_mix_soft. I make animated texture brushes and rotate them during painting manually.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Unfortunatelly I cannot share all my professional works to public. It is just because they are owned by the customers of Irkutsk small animation studio Forsight. I can do it a bit on some sites: http://megayustas.deviantart.com, http://ascomix.narod.ru and http://igor-leskov.livejournal.com.

    Kdenlive to be released with KDE Applications 15.04

    Sun, 2015/03/01 - 6:24pm

    ... based on Frameworks 5!

    So we met the freeze deadline to get our port to KF5 released with KDE Apps.

    What does it change? you have a changelog, but it doesn't explain what's behind.

    Being based on KF5 makes Kdenlive future-proof and opens doors for potential new horizons (platforms, design)...

    Being part of KDE family changes things more "socially" than "technically" (quoting tsdgeo ;-)). Changes to the source are now sent for review systematically, releases preparation and delivery will now be handled by experts under a fixed planning, we are now mentored to take part to initiatives like SoC... and exchanges with other devs are now flowing much more naturally ;-)
    I personally feel the difference!

    And for you users?

    You will have to run a recent distribution offering KF5, this may be problematic at the beginning (you can stick to 0.9.10)...
    Then to reward you if you follow our progression, a few new features to test: ripple delete, stem audio export... Several bugs fixed, maybe some new introduced in the port process :-\

    Please test a dev version or a beta (knowing it is a pre-release) and let us know!

    kdebugsettings

    Sun, 2015/03/01 - 6:17pm

    History:

    Some weeks ago I spoke with David how to configure what debug to show in qt5 (now it uses qloggingcategory)

    In kde4 time we had kdebugdialog. It allowed us to define some debug areas.

    But we are not able to extend it because it was in kdelibs4support module and it was kdebug specific.

    Qt5 doesn’t provide application to do it.

    Application:

    So I decided to create a new application named “kdebugsettings” (c) David :)

    This application worked as old kdebugdialog, we have a file which defines categories.

    This file is named kde.categories.

    I added debug area that I found in source code. More areas will add in the future.

    It will allow to generate qCDebug rule.

    In kdebugsettings we have 2 tabs, one for kde applications which are defined in kde.categories and another one which allows to define custom rules (if you want to show warning/debug/all, enable/disable it).

    Where to find it ?

    It is stored in projects.kde.org, in playground/util module.

    You can test it and report bug/feature etc.

    Future:

    I hope for 15.08 to release it.

    Help wanted: Photoshop

    Sun, 2015/03/01 - 11:21am

    As part of KDE Frameworks, we have a collection of QImage plugins that allow Qt applications to read various types of image files not natively supported by Qt. I’ve recently overhauled the one that reads Photoshop images (PSD files) but, without access to Photoshop, I have no way to create images that test the code. The one test image I have, I created using the Gimp, which is less than ideal when I want to test compatibility with Photoshop itself.

    So, if you have access to Photoshop (Photoshop Elements might be sufficient, I’m not sure) and would be willing to make some test images (in pairs – one PSD, one PNG) of various specific configurations and in various save formats, please do get in touch (alexmerry at kde dot org, alexmerry on IRC, or just post a comment here).

    To the extent that the simple images I require would be copyrightable, you would need to be willing to license them under the LGPLv2+ or a permissive license (CC-BY-SA would be fine, for example).


    node.js experience wanted

    Sat, 2015/02/28 - 10:28pm

    Hello all,

    If there's anyone in the community, or even just reading this blog, that has experience with node.js and a bit of time I would like to recruit you for a special task. The task is to get bodega-server (and maybe the webapp or admin client too if you're so inclined) to actually work again. It worked at some point in the past year from what I hear, but currently it just spews 404 error pages for any api call it gets. I gather that this is because the nodes that it uses have changed their api since it was written. My time is limited and I've poked it enough to not give warnings at runtime anymore, but someone that really knows the ins and outs of node.js could probably fix it much faster than I so I am asking for such a brave soul to come forward and get the next generation software/data/"stuff" distribution system to do so. I know you're out there and you're considering, stop considering, hop on #kde-devel or #kde-www or anywhere on freenode and find me or others trying to get this going. Or just look at the code itself here and throw me some pointers.

    I can't promise much except fame, thanks, admiration of your peers, etc. but hopefully that's enough.

    P.S. this couldn't happen soon enough, ocs/attica, knewstuff, and opendesktop/kde-look, etc. are really showing their age. Having bodega working would make a lot of awesome things possible again.

    Qactus is out in the wild

    Fri, 2015/02/27 - 8:18pm

    Qactus, a Qt-based OBS notifier, is out in the wild. Version 0.4.0 is the first release.
    I started it a long time ago together with Sivan Greenberg as a personal project for learning Qt. And now it’s back into life :)

    It features
    – Build status viewer
    – Row editor with autocompleter for project, package, repository and arch
    – Submit requests viewer
    – Bugs

    This application is possible thanks to Marcus ‘darix’ Rueckert. He has helped me getting further knowledge of the OBS API.

    I think this version is usable. So, why don’t you give it a try?
    The source code is hosted on GitHub.

    qactus_040_1 qactus_040_3 qactus_040_2

    LAX, SCALE, KDE, SUSE, GNOME and ownCloud

    Fri, 2015/02/27 - 4:46pm
    Lobby of the venueBack home. Tired and jetlaggy, but satisfied: SCALE rocked!
    SCALE loves ownCloudThe 13th South California Linux Expo was awesome! It is the biggest LinuxFest in the USA. While decidedly different in nature from Europe's biggest Linux event that that took place just three weeks prior (FOSDEM), we met similarly enthusiastic existing and future users. Conversations were also similar: about half the visitors already knew ownCloud, often using it or planning on deploying it; and the other half was more than a little delighted to hear about it, often exclaiming they had been looking for 'something like that' for a while. Negativity was extremely rare: I don't recall a single negative comment at SCALE (merely a few people who liked ownCloud but had no use for it personally), FOSDEM had one conversation starting unpleasantly but quickly turning around - even though one feature of ownCloud wasn't up to snuff, the user was happy with the experience as a whole.
    Before the action started!
    For most users, ownCloud was simply a wonderful product and they used it at home, deployed it for customers or managed it in their company. Some asked what features were coming or just arrived in ownCloud 8, or asked about the state of specific features and in more than one occasion they very enthusiastically told me how excited they were about ownCloud, how they loved it and how they were telling everybody to use it!

    ownCloud to-goThose who didn't know ownCloud were almost invariably surprised and excited. I can't count the times I heard "wow, why did I never hear about this before" and "dude, I've been looking for something like this for ever!". Often, people wondered how long ownCloud had been around (we just turned five), if it was open source (yes, with love), how many people contributed to it (719 and counting) and how many users it has (we guestimate over 2 million, with 500,000 in this single deployment alone). Oh, and, does it scale? The deployment linked above and a mention of users like CERN can put most concerns to rest. Yes, ownCloud scales from Raspberry Pi to Atom Smashing size.

    What came up a few times as barriers to their future usage of ownCloud was pretty much what I discussed before. Running a server at home is not easy and I walked by the EFF booth to ask about progress on Let's Encrypt to ask about the progress of solving one aspect of that problem: more easily getting SSL certificates. I was told the project is on track for the 2nd half of this year.
    Frank and Bryan Lunduke
    It is wonderful to have such energizing, positive, enthusiastic users - and to have such an enthusiastic booth crew to talk to them as well. At the booth we had Frank, Matt, Ron, Camila and myself. Awesome it was and we had great fun! Below a timelapse video of Saturday morning. It was still rather quiet but it is nice to see us jump around!



    Stuff and talkJust like at FOSDEM, we brought ownCloud stickers, hand outs explaining ownCloud to users and developers as well as some posters for the booth and pins to give out. This was all very much appreciated - I estimate we gave out about 400 hand outs and 500 or so stickers as well as about 50-100 pins.

    Sunday at 3PM, I gave a talk about Privacy and ownCloud, with Frank finishing off with a section about his talk at MIT where he discussed ownCloud's Federated Cloud sharing feature and where it is going. The talk was well received; I think the angle I took to privacy (inspired by my background in psychology) spoke to the audience and Frank's description of federation and how it's done in ownCloud was very interesting. owncloud.org and owncloud.com will feature blogs with some more information about this soon.

    FriendsBig, big booth!I also walked by the booths of 'old friends' - the openSUSE/GNOME/KDE crew in particular, it was awesome to meet them. Some I hadn't seen in years, others I met for the first time. They did an amazing job and richly deserve the reward they earned for most Stunningly Amazing Booth Crew (don't know the real name of the booth award but that's what it should be). If you think that 'just' GNOME an KDE being incorporated in the openSUSE booth isn't enough - Master Planner of the Booths Drew aims to bring in Enlightenment and XFCE as well next year. Supposedly a Trello board has been set up already. I bet it won't be long before it has grown to the point where the SCALE organization needs to give the 'openSUSE booth & friends' a separate hall at SCALE...

    I have to note that it was thanks to our green friends that I could hang up the ownCloud flyers - they lend me some (green!) tape to do that.

    The KDE booth had a bunch of terribly cool stickers (I only now realize I forgot to get one for myself!) as well as the "frameworks 5" flyers. I could only bring, like, 5 t-shirts and a dozen old 'join-the-game' flyers so I'm glad Bert Yerke and his wife, who formed the awesome local KDE team, had created the other materials. We already discussed 2016, as they have plenty of ideas on how to improve the booth!
    Awesome stickers...
    If you, dear reader, want to help out at the KDE or ownCloud booth next year - let me know, either in the comments or by mail. I can promise you: it is awesomely fun and by far not as scary as you might think! Bert and Matt and everybody who has ever been at a KDE, openSUSE, ownCloud or other FOSS booth can attest to that: it is a great way of getting involved and making a big difference!

    Bonus points for who finds a suitable meaning for the one item in the title which isn't yet an acrynym ;-)

    Updated Windows Builds

    Fri, 2015/02/27 - 2:23pm

     

    We prepared new Windows builds today. They contain the following updates:

    • Improved brush presets. The existing preset set wasn’t optimized for big brushes, so Scott Petrovic took a look at all of them and optimized where possible
    • You can now disable the on-canvas message that pops up when zooming, rotating etc. This might solve some performance issues for some people
    • We increased the amount of memory available for G’Mic even more. This may mean that on big, beefy Windows machines you can now use G’Mic, but on other, less beefy machines filters might still crash. G’Mic is an awesome tool, but keep in mind that it’s a research project and that its Windows support is experimental.

    We’ll move the new builds to the official download location as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here are the downloads:

     

    Very nice screenshot tour from softpedia

    Fri, 2015/02/27 - 2:23pm

    full-screen-wee

    Softpedia showcases Kubuntu Vivid Beta 1 with a screenshot tour.

    Calligra 2.9 Released

    Thu, 2015/02/26 - 7:21pm

    We are happy to announce the release of final version 2.9 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of changes which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.

    What’s in the Box?

    ImagineFX Artist Choice AwardThe 2.9 release is so far the biggest release for Krita, the award-winning free and open source digital painting application. Eleven out of twelve of the features were requested by users and funded by Krita’s first Kickstarter action and the twelfth feature will come in 2.9.1!

    • Support for loading and showing multiple images in one window, and viewing any given image in multiple views and windows.
    • Fully integrated the G’Mic set of image manipulation tools, enabling artists to, for instance, greatly speed-up their workflow.
    • Greatly extended support for painting in HDR mode, making it a truly creative tool.
    • New perspective painting assistants to new color selectors, improved transform tools and non-destructive transformation masks, brush engine improvements, workflow improvements, new filters, support for creating and installing resource packs (brushes, gradients, patterns) and many more.
    • More details on krita.org

    //www.peppercarrot.com)

    Professional artwork by David Revoy made with Krita (http://www.peppercarrot.com)


    The debut of Calligra Gemini, a novel mix of a traditional desktop app and a touch-friendly tablet app.
    It encases Calligra’s word processor and presentation apps. (details)

    Text document edited on laptop computerThe same text document in tablet mode

    The same text document edited on laptop computer and in tablet mode


    Kexi, visual data-oriented apps builder received over 150 improvements that make it extra stable and easy to use.

    • Newer technologies have been employed for the tabular (data grid) views and forms.
    • Report Designer, Query Designer and data import assistants have improved substantially. (details)
    • All that is spiced with a dedicated support for KDE Plasma 5’s look and feel.
    • At the organizational level Kexi gained a corporate partner, Milo Solutions (details)
      The 2.9 release already contains contributions from Milo software engineer, Roman Shtemberko. (read Roman’s experience)

    New table view in Kexi 2.9

    New table view in Kexi 2.9


    Unmatched integration: Displaying office documents in Okular, KDE’s universal document viewer. For displaying many types of documents Calligra Office Engine has been used, the same that forms a pillar of document viewers on Nokia N9 and Jolla smartphones, COffice Android app and more. (details)

    Calligra document plugin for Okular

    Calligra document plugin for Okular
    showing a DOC file


    Dozens of general improvements in common Calligra features as well as Calligra Sheets, Words are present in the 2.9 series. For details jump to the Beta 1, Beta 2 and Beta 3 change logs.

    Try It Out

    Download small

    The source code of the release is available for download here: calligra-2.9.0.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?

    We have approached the era of 2.9. The next step, Calligra 3.0, will be based on new technologies. 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, traveling 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.

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    } .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; } -->

    Kubuntu Vivid Beta 1

    Thu, 2015/02/26 - 6:14pm

    The first Beta of Vivid (to become 15.04) has now been released!

    The Beta-1 images can be downloaded from: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/vivid/beta-1/

    More information on Kubuntu Beta-1 can be found here: https://wiki.kubuntu.org/VividVervet/Beta1/Kubuntu

    The first Kubuntu Sprint I organized

    Thu, 2015/02/26 - 1:43pm

    Out of the need to motivate us and start working hard came the opportunity for me to organize a Kubuntu Sprint to work on the new Kubuntu site.

    The main problem: Decide whether to use a WordPress  theme made by an intern or pick one from the WordPress Library.

    I can happily say that I worked for several hours together with Cosmin Seviciu, and at some point Jonathan Riddell joined us via a video conference.

    image

    image

    The conclusions and event progress can be found in the IRC logs and the mail list archive.

    And of course, let’s not forget to thank my beautiful wife for her support and help.

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