Plasma Pow-wow Produces Detailed Plans for Workspace Convergence

Code review during the Plasma sprint

Last week, members of the Plasma team met in Nürnberg, Germany to discuss open questions on the road to Plasma Workspaces 2. The meeting was kindly hosted by SUSE and supported by the KDE e.V.. For the Plasma team, the meeting came at a perfect point in time: porting of Plasma to a new graphics has commenced, is in fact well under way, and has raised some questions that are best discussed in a high-bandwidth setting in person.

Graphics Stack Options

The developers laid out the plans for an eventual release of Plasma Workspaces 2, based on KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5. Wayland is also part of this plan. Starting with Plasma Worskpaces 2, Wayland will join X11 as a supported windowing environment, and all new development is taking this into consideration. Wayland is a replacement for most of the functionality which is today offered by Xorg. Wayland simplifies the graphics stack significantly with the goal of making every frame shown on screen perfect, something that is hard to achieve reliably with X11. Wayland's leaner graphics stack and improved security model also make it more appropriate for use on modern devices. As such, it is widely seen as the successor to X11 in the Free software ecosystem. Most of the gruntwork needed for this transition is already offered in Qt, however, there are still quite some X11-dependent code pathes in the KDE Frameworks, especially in KWin and the Oxygen widget style. While KWin is making excellent progress towards being able to be used as Wayland compositor, the future of the Oxygen widget style is still an unsolved problem.


Trinity Project keeping 3.5 alive

For people who prefer the KDE 3.5-style desktop, a new version of the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) has been released. Trinity is a continuation of the KDE 3.5 Desktop Environment with ongoing updates and new features. Trinity Desktop Environment 3.5.13 source code is available and the project also provides packages for Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora. Read on for an overview of what is new in Trinity 3.5.13!


Announcing the Upcoming Release of New Customized KDE Software Compilations

Dialog for the Dwarfed Freedom Edition

KDE has enjoyed great success over the years and today marks another important step in the evolution of our growing community. Many years ago when KDE was just beginning we had a small user base and similar expectations of how the software should work. But with growth and success also comes new users and new expectations. As an effort to meet the growing demands of our user community KDE has identified 3 key areas in which we would like to better cater to users' needs. In order to achieve this it has been determined that there will be, going forward, 3 separate releases of each Software Compilation tailored to these areas.


Third Plasma Summit Lifts KDE Desktop To Higher Grounds

The Plasma Team

Last week, the third Plasma developers meeting was held in the Swiss Alps. 15 developers from 3 continents came to Randa, Canton Wallis to work on Plasma's code, design new ideas and concepts and to strengthen their bonds as a sub-community within KDE. Topics of this third Plasma sprint, which is named after a plasma fusion reactor, included but were not limited to Plasma on mobile devices, network-enabled Plasma widgets and a richer user interface thanks to a new animation framework. Furthermore deeper integration of web services in the Plasma shell, semantic awareness of Plasma components, secure privilege elevation and polishing of the existing functionality, among many other things, were on the agenda. The results of Tokamak III are, with all due modesty, nothing short of mind-blowing and display the health and swift pace of development of the whole KDE community. Plasma lead developer Aaron Seigo wraps up "It's been one of the longest KDE sprints ever, and after a week, we're all quite exhausted. Looking back at the results, however, the we have shown impressive progress all over the KDE desktop shell. We're reaching out to new use cases, new developers, new devices. Meanwhile the social aspects within the Plasma team continue to impress me. The Plasma team has grown into a small community, a group of friends that have set out to revolutionize the desktop. With the previous KDE releases, we mainly focused on providing and improving existing technology, now we're pushing the boundaries of the Free Desktop. Looking at the results that have materialized over the past week, this is the Plasma promise coming true. And we've only just begun..."


Plasma Team Looks at the Future

Over the last weekend, the Plasma team held their second meeting in Porto, Portugal. The meeting was organised by Akademy Award winner Nuno Pinheiro inviting the Akademy Award-winning Plasma team to his home country. The meeting was kindly hosted by the Departamento de Engenharia Informatica (Department of Software Engineering) of the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto. The Plasma team (and most probably many of the KDE users) are grateful for being provided this opportunity to collaborate on the desktop.


Report from the Decibel Hackathon

At the Decibel Hackathon sponsored by NLnet and basysKom GmbH in Darmstadt, Germany last
weekend, hackers from the KDE community met to discuss the handling
of contact data in KDE 4. Read on for a summary of the event.


University Students to Enhance KDE

A group of students at the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse will be collaborating on the KDE projects KPlato and Umbrello as part of their Institut Universitaire Professionalisé en Ingénierie des Systèmes Informatiques (Professional Institute of Computer Software Engineering) course of study.


D-Bus 1.0 "Blue Bird" Released

D-Bus 1.0 ("Blue Bird"), the Freedesktop.org inter-process messaging system has just been released. A collaborative effort between industry and open source developers, D-Bus was created to allow arbitrary applications to easily communicate with each other and exchange data. An additional system daemon allows for communication with system services.


SpreadKDE: Try KDE

Try KDE is a new resource listing ways that you can try out KDE without commiting to a full GNU/Linux or BSD install. It includes links to live cds, VMware player images and Klik bundles as well as links to KDE desktops available over NX, with explanations of these technologies. It is linked to from the KDE frontpage and will be updated regularly as more resources are discovered.


KDE Look and Feel for Java Preview

Sekou Diakite has released an alpha version of a KDE Look and Feel for Java. This is an interesting step forward in Linux/Unix desktop integration since Java applications can now use the KDE/Qt libraries for drawing Java widgets and even directly use existing KDE widgets such as the file or color choosers. See the webpage for further details of this accomplishment including future plans and, of course, screenshots.