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:
My name is Wolthera, I am 25, studied Game Design and currently studying Humanities, because I want to become a better game designer, and I hope to make games in the future as a job. I also draw comics, though nothing has been published yet.
I am also part of the Krita team as a volunteer, and aside from fixing bugs and adding simple features, I do a lot of non-programming things like helpdesking, maintaining the manual, writing tutorials, providing resources, making demonstration videos, etcetera. The answers to this artist interview will thus be from a slightly different angle.Do you paint professionally, as a hobby artist, or both?
I mainly paint as a hobby artist, and I am trying to get into professional drawing as either concept artist or game artist, but strangely enough the only gigs I’ve had until now are logo design and UI design.What genre(s) do you work in?
Mostly fantasy, I enjoy the strange things I can do with that.Whose work inspires you most — who are your role models as an artist?
Ah… It’s a bit of a hotchpotch. I really enjoy the Art Nouveau and Romantic artists for their use of colour and linework. In particular art nouveau interests me in the way how they deal with presenting detail to the audience. I enjoy this type of thing also in comics, with a particular interest toward Manga, but I was raised with Franco-Belgian comics which are really impressive in this regard as well.
I also really like the compositions coming from Impressionist painters and the colour palettes from Expressionist ones, and how you can see both in the more abstract modern arts. Of contemporary art I most enjoy the architectural, and how it deals with space, and that’s largely because of my affinity with game design.How did you get to try digital painting for the first time?
I think, officially this was DR. HALO on DOS, but I don’t recall which version exactly. I do recall making gameboard with it, drawing castle plans and the like. I continued to do the same thing with MS Paint. I later played around with ulead, which was a simple photo editing software, and then my older sister installed Paintshop Pro, and recommended me to get a tablet (which I did, and my graphire 3 is still working)… And then I spent a while colouring in my own scanned drawings. Then I moved over to Photoshop for a few years, after that Paint Tool Sai, I did use GIMP around this time but I never painted with it: the brush engines were not good enough. After that I just tried a lot of different programs, so Illustudio/Manga Studio, Open Canvas, I never enjoyed using Painter, Artrage and Azpainter, so I never really explored those programs. Then my sister showed me MyPaint, which I didn’t think impressive for a long time, until I really tried it out one day and enjoyed the effect I got from Deevad and Ramon’s brushpacks. I was soon making my own brushes then.What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?
Initially it was the ease of using strong colours and having fun without wasting materials. Nowadays it’s about saving space: I don’t have a desk suitable for traditional drawing any more.How did you find out about Krita?
After I played a lot with MyPaint, I heard from people that Krita 2.4 was the shit. When I went to the website at the time (which is the one before the one before the current) it just looked alien and strange, and worse: there was no Windows version, so I couldn’t even try it out. So I spent a few more years having fun with MyPaint alone, but eventually I got tired of its brush engine and wanted to try something more rough. When I checked Krita again, it had two things: a new, considerably more coherent website (the one before this one) and a Windows build. Around that time it was still super unstable and it didn’t work with my tablet. But MyPaint also had tablet problems, so I had no qualms about dual booting to Linux and trying it out there.hat was your first impression?
Oh my god, all these cool features! The brush engines still weren’t as high quality as those of the proprietary ones (they are now), and I missed MyPaint’s HSY’ selector(guess who is responsible for adding that to Krita? ;)) , but the brush engines were definitely super fun, and rough, and I could try out new things with it.What do you love about Krita?
One of the things that was in Krita 2.7 was a bug with the Colour Selector: its cursor would automatically turn grey in certain shapes, and that annoyed me. So, in an attempt to find a fix, I tried building Krita using Deevad’s Cat guide. Turns out it wasn’t fixed in master either.
Then I realised ‘hey, I did programming before, I can read code’ and asked Boudewijn for how to make debug messages in QT, and initially I thought I would just track down the reason the bug happened, but it turned out Krita was comprehensible enough for me to actually fix it, despite me having no prior C++, let alone QT experience.
And that’s sorta what I really like about it: it’s a tool I can fix, improve and enhance for workflows. And that gave me a lot of agency, which leads to things like the vanishing point assistant, which could not have existed without me having a ton of experience drawing cityscapes and thus knowing the particular problems one faces when making these, and how a computer can complicate that. Other programs’ perspective tools were too simple for me. They assume that you only want to draw one type of perspective with definite sets of vanishing points, while in reality you will need a multitude of points, and this is because the people designing that feature only looked at an art book that barely explains how linear perspective works, without actually going through the workflow and finding the issues. But also, it would not have worked if I wasn’t supported so well by the senior developers in the Krita IRC, who always had time to check my code or to answer my questions, and I may seem overly praiseful of the Krita team, but it’s this support that has led me to spend most of my free time on Krita doing helpdesking, programming, tutorial writing, etc.What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Is there anything that really annoys you?
It’s sometimes really annoying when a bug creeps in that I don’t have the knowhow to fix, but as a user I have no qualms with Krita. Granted, my annoyance gets tempered by the fact I can go in and change things, which is something that relates to how frustration is usually about not being able to change things that annoy you.
At the other end, I always feel very sad when someone has a problem but I can’t reproduce it or don’t know how to fix it for the user. You want people to just enjoy doing their thing, and it can be frustrating to know a program so well and yet not being able to make a difference. And there’s still things I want to do with the assistants, and I also am sorta adopting the colour management code which could use a couple of improvement, work is never done.What sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use?
I can customise it to an extent I can’t with other programs.If you had to pick one favourite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be, and why?
Firebird! It was a drawing I did to test some brushes, and it just ended up really cool.What techniques and brushes did you use in it?
A combination of textures and mix and smudge brushes as well as splatter brushes. I bundled them with my painting pack.Where can people see more of your work?
Most of my 2010 onward work is here: http://wolthera.info/. That was about the time I started to avoid proprietary software. There’s still a couple of Paint Tool Sai and Adobe Illustrator images in there, but it’s mostly traditional or done with some combination of Inkscape, Gimp, MyPaint and Krita. I unfortunately don’t draw enough these days, due to school and the work I do for Krita, but I still open up Krita for things other than testing.Anything else you’d like to share?
Yeah, I have a tutorial blog, which may be interesting to people trying to figure out workflows in Open Source Graphics Software.
Other than that I hope this was a fun read.
Guess whose GSoC project proposal got accepted? I am so excited, to tell you all that I'll be working on Baloo along with amazingly experienced KDE developers, this summer, getting to learn loads of stuff and be paid for it! Most importantly I'll also get a Google Summer of code T-Shirt :) , can't think of a better way to be spending my summers. Thank you KDE for giving me this chance,and a big thanks to Vishesh Handa for all his guidance and feedback on my proposal.My project
So, my project is titled: Better Tooling for Baloo. Let me begin by explaining what Baloo is. According to its wiki page it is "Baloo is a metadata and search framework by KDE." What exactly does it mean? Baloo is responsible for providing full text search capabilities to KDE applications. It doesn't end there it also provides searching on basis of metadata of various types of files. To acomplish this it indexes file contents and metadata using various plugins ,called extractors, to handle different types of files. It then exposes the data it has indexed with the help of various API's. So thats a very high level view of how it works. Now, my project, as the title states will provide better tools for Baloo. These tools will mainly be:
- A UI (and some CLI tools too) to control and monitor Baloo's progress and current status. This will give power users more control over Baloo and also make debugging erratic behaviour much easier. The UI will be something along these lines: there will be certain advanced features like logging, which will keep track of which files have been indexed, how much time it took to index the file and which files, if any, made the extractor crash.
- A tool to visualize which types of files take up how much space in the system currently. This will be most likely a pie chart which would look like:
These designs are simply mockups that I made for my proposal. They will be improved with feedback from KDE's Visual Design Group and the community.
There's a long road ahead and loads of stuff to be learnt, awesome code to write! Looking forward to it.
For those of you interested in more details about my project here's a link to my proposal: Google Drive
Yesterday I delivered a keynote at the openSUSE conference about the best feature of Free software: freedom. This is a message that is easy to lose sight of in the maker/creator community around free software given the understandable focus on business goal metrics such as market penetration, developer adoption, innovation rates, etc. You can see my slides here, and the video of the presentation will be uploaded later by the conference team. (I'll link to it when it appears.) The questions after the presentation were excellent as well and the conversations continued out into the hallways afterwards.
He covered three areas of focus for Kolab this year:
- Real-time collaboration: IM, WebRTC, document editing. This will allow us to compliment the existing asynchronous communication Kolab excels at (email, calendaring, notes, files, etc.) with synchronous, collaborative editing.
- User experience refactor: major work is being done with the Kolab clients, in particular the Roundcube client. The goal here is to surpass what is available elsewhere in the market to keep free software as a leader in this area.
- Full extended MAPI support. Yes, Kolab will be able to support Outlook out of the box. Fully. The lead OpenChange developer is here to discuss this further later in the summit.
There are many other projects we are digging into significantly, and Kolab's system architect, Jeroen van Meeuwen, followed Georg with a technical roadmap overview. He not only filled in the details behind the three focus areas Georg highlighted, but shared our road map for data loss prevention, multi-factor authentication, in-web-browser encryption, Akonadi Next for the desktop client ... in short we're very, very busy.
Everything we are doing has a very clear use case that needs these tools so that they can choose to also use free software for their collaboration needs.
As some of you already know, I am riding my bicycle in the American Diabetes Association’s Chicagoland Tour de Cure. I have done this ride, and participated in the fundraiser, now for the past few years in honor of my mother who lives with Diabetes and many other friends and family members. I know some in the past have expressed their disinterest in this and the people I am riding for because they believe that by eating their diet you can cure Diabetes. I understand those who feel that way, but it has never discouraged myself or the others I will ride with and for on June 14, 2015. So my ambition is that friends like you can help me carry out a fundraising goal.
I’m shooting to raise at least $1000 and become a “Champion to Stop Diabetes”. Champions are leaders in the quest to prevent and cure diabetes once and for all. I’m really passionate about the cause and that motivates me in being the best fundraiser possible!
Whether you give $10 or $500, know that your contribution will help the Association give community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.
Please help me in my mission to become a Champion by clicking on the image below to give. Your generosity would mean so much to me! The Ubuntu and KDE communities have helped me in the past to reach my goals, and it would be an honor to have 2 of my favorite communities support me again this year.
Thank you everyone!
A couple of weeks ago we started the strategy process for KDE. The responses have been great and very useful so far. Many people have already sent their feedback and opinions, which we really appreciate. If you haven’t filled the questionnaire yet, please do so when you have some time.
Since this is an important step for KDE we would like to do an office hour to answer questions you might have and discuss ideas you have. We’ll be doing this on Freenode IRC in the channel #kde-ev. We’ll be meeting at 5:00pm UTC next Wednesday.
A new release of digiKam Recipes is ready for your reading pleasure. This version features completely rewritten material on using digiKam to emulate various photographic effects (including the new recipe on how to create a faded vintage look). The book features two new recipes: Geotag Photos with Geofix and Update the LensFun Database. As always, the new release includes minor updates, fixes and tweaks.
Plasma 5.3, new feature release of KDE workspace, has been released on Tuesday and you can get it now on Fedora.
Plasma 5.3 brings new features, improvements and almost 400 bug fixes for basically all of it’s components ranging from power management to various applets.
For users of Fedora 20 and Fedora 21 the traditional COPR repository has been updated. If you already use it just do yum update. If you want to switch to Plasma 5 from KDE 4 just follow the instructions on the main page.
Fedora 22, which is currently in beta, already has the 5.3 update in updates-testing and we are continuously polishing the update. For all KDE users updating to Fedora 22, when it’s released in May, it will also mean final bye bye to KDE 4 and switch to Plasma 5. Fedora 22 repositories also features the latest release of KDE Telepathy, which finally brings IM integration into Plasma 5.
If you want to try out Plasma 5.3 on Fedora but don’t want to install it on your computer yet there’s, as always, a live ISO available for you based on Fedora 22 beta. And this time I did include a working installer (for real!), so when you change your mind just click “Install” ;-)
I just closed the Plasma 5.4 kickoff meeting. It was well attended with lots of Plasma devs and VDG members there. Here’s the minutes.
If you’re looking for a way to join the team of beautiful desktop developers (you can read that both ways and be correct) there’s plenty to do now. For example the VDG have written a nice design document on System Settings which they need someone to help implement.
Plasma 5.4 is scheduled for August, it’ll be a great addition to Kubuntu 15.10.
There is a virtuous circle that many think is key for any organization to achieve success:
Definition and a little bit of history
I think it was 2004 when I started my relation with Fotón S.I. crew. Fotón is an open source company from Gran Canaria, founded in 1998, lead by Mike Vazquez and, back then, also by Gonzalo Aller.
- Relevant to you.
- Relevant to your peers.
- Relevant to those you interact with like, managers, other teams, customers, etc.
The Calligra team has noticed some issues with handling of Photoshop (PSD) files in Krita. We understand this as an important missing feature so the release 2.9.3 has been cancelled and supplementary 2.9.4 release is expected in a week. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.
It may happen that distributors deliver 2.9.3 for your operating system. If this is the case and you do not depend on the PSD feature of Krita, you can safely switch to the 2.9.3 version. In other case we recommend not upgrading and staying with the version 2.9.2 or older until the 2.9.4 arrives.
Cutelyst the Qt Web Framework just got a new release!
With 0.8.0 some important bugs got fixed which will allow for the CMS/Blogger app CMlyst to get a new release soon. Besides bugs being fixed a class to take out stats from the application was created, Cutelyst::Stats matches what Catalyst::Stats does, and produces a similar output:
- There you have a box, and the time which each action took to complete, looking at the /End action it is clear that it took more time but most of the time was due it calling the Grantlee View.
- On the Request took: … line there is the 1278.772/s value which means how many requests could be handled within a second, of course that value is for the exact same request and for the single core where it was run.
- The first line now shows which HTTP method was used, which resource the user wants and where the request came from.
All of that can and should be disabled on production by setting cutelyst.*.debug=false on the [Rules] section of the application ini file (–ini of uWSGI). Yeah this is new too :)
Speaking of debugging we now have more information about what user data was sent, if cutelyst.request.debug logging category is enabled you will see:
The HTTP/1.1 support for chunked responses was added, once c->response()->write(…) is called the response headers are send and a chunk is sent to the client, this is new and experimental, but worked without complaints from web browsers.
An easier way to declare action arguments or capture arguments was implemented, :AutoArgs and :AutoCaptureArgs, both are not present in Perl Catalyst because there is no way to introspect methods signature in the language, @_ can provide many things, but with Qt meta information we can see which types of arguments a method has as well as how many arguments:
C_ATTR(some_method, :Local :AutoArgs)
void some_method(Context *c, const QString &year, const QString &month);
That will automatically capture two arguments matching an URL like “/some_method/2014/12″.
Last the Headers class got many fixes and improvements such as striping the fragment due RFC 2616.
As always if you have questions show up in #cutelyst at freenode or send me a mail.
Download 0.8.0 here
Note that the new Bluetooth support is being held back.
Getting a move on (notice the mouse pointer)
In Plasma Desktop 5.3 (released today), the desktop configuration dialog offers a new experimental tweak: A mode in which widgets can be dragged around by pressing and holding anywhere on the widget. When enabled, the widget handle is also no longer shown just on hover, but only after a press and hold.
The goal of this mode is to make widget handling feel more natural and spatial, and faster. Instead of having to aim for a widget to reveal the handle, and then go after the handle in a second step, you can just grab on to it anywhere. Easy.
The immediate challenge with this setup is discoverability. To address this problem, unlocking widgets in this mode displays a notification bubble introducing the interaction pattern (which can be easily dismissed forever with the action button):
"It looks like you're moving a widget"
Press-and-hold widget handling is not yet the default in 5.3 (you can enable it on the Tweaks config page of both the Desktop and Folder View containments). Beta feedback has been positive so far, but changes to the interaction vocab of our shell components shan't be done lightly—using press-and-hold for widget handling means withholding the verb from widgets themselves, which is something we have to negotiate with widget authors. We think the joy felt when using this pattern and its widespread adoption in other home screen UIs bode well for it, however. Let us know how you feel!
The list of students accepted to the 2015 edition of Google’s Summer of code has just been published. We’ve got two students this working on Krita: Jouni and Wolthera. Wolthera has been a Krita developer for quite some time, working on color selectors perspective assistants and more, while Jouni has contributed with bug fixes for 2.9.
Wolthera is working on an experimental brush engine: a tangent normal map brush engine. A surface normal is a type of vector used to determine how light bounces off a surface. 3d graphics have has a way to encode these in normal-maps. To the human eye, this encoding looks like a colour. This brush engine takes the tilt sensors of a tablet stylus, and treats it like a surface normal, having it output the correct color. I think this would be a worthwhile asset to Krita because of the interest in hand-painted textures. There’s already quite a bit of progress in her branch!
Jouni will build on the lessons learned from last year’s animation project and integrate animation into Krita’s core. All three of our previous animation plugins were hampered by being designed as a plugin. This time, animation is going right into the deepest layers of Krita. Krita’s native file format will start supporting animations as well. Jouni had already started on animation support before Summer of Code was announced, in fact, and he has got a proof of concept up and running already.
In fact, two weeks ago, we had our first sprint in Deventer, sponsored by the Krita Foundation, with a hopeful Jouni and Wolthera and prospective mentors Dmitry and Boudewijn, to thresh out the designs for both features and do some pair programming.
Congrats to Jouni and Wolthera and let’s look forward to an awesome Summer of Code!
In just a few days we’ll have an open source conference in Oslo. I’m happy that we’ll have a Qt and KDE track, so I’d like to invite everyone to join for the weekend May 8-10 at the University of Oslo.
If you’re involved with KDE or Qt and would like a promo code, just send me a message.
Just head over to osdc.no and join!
The program can be found here: http://act.osdc.no/osdc2015no/talks
Swapnil Bhartiya writes:
Kubuntu 15.04, aka Vivid Vervet, was released last week. With this release it has become the first major distro to ship Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment.
Fast forward to 2014 and Kubuntu turned out to be a totally different OS. I have been running it on one of my production systems since 14.04. It’s extremely stable, polished and offers a great experience.
Kubuntu features one of the best notification systems in the Linux world.
Kubuntu 15.04 is undoubtedly the best Plasma 5 desktop so far, for the simple fact that this is the first distro to ship with it. Since Kubuntu offers a vanilla Plasma experience, you can enjoy what KDE developers originally developed without it being heavily patched or modified. Well, modification can be good in some cases where a particular may not gel very well with the distro.
In a nutshell, I found Kubuntu 15.04 to move consistently on the path of improvement, getting better with each release. If you are hesitant about Kubuntu due to a previous release, let me tell you that a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since. It’s a totally different Kubuntu.
Try it out and you will be surprised with what you have been missing until now.
And that is even before Plasma 5.3
KSysGuard underperformes in both visual as well as functional respect. Unfortunately it is not actively maintained yet so we are looking for developers first before starting with ideas about the redesign.
Keep on reading: Spring break for the KDE system monitor
With this post I would like to introduce a new project: kreenshot-editor.
Those of you who often do screenshots under MS Windows will probably know Greenshot which is - as they say on their website - “a free screenshot tool optimized for productivity”. It is GPL licensed and written in C#.
The built-in image editor of Greenshot is specifically designed to edit screenshot images. You can draw basic shapes like rectangles, ellipses, and arrows, add text and also apply a pixelizing or blurring rectangluar areas. Each of these objects is movable, resizable and deletable and there is undo/redo.
Noteably, the mouse cursor is (optionally) captured as separate object which then can be moved or deleted after taking the screenshot.
Now, kreenshot-editor is a new Qt-based project that was inspired by Greenshot’s image editor. It is hosted on KDE playground. It focuses on the image editing task, can be invoked from command line and should also provide a resuable editor component which could be integrated into other screencapture tools. The current code is already separated into an image editor widget and the main application.
Kreenshot-editor is still experimental, only basic features are implemented and there are currently some non-functional UI elements. Yet, it is already usable - if you don’t care that the color of objects is fixed to red ;-). Currently, you can create new objects, move them around, delete them, do undo/redo, load/save image, configure output filename pattern etc.