"We are very happy to have the Private Internet Access/London Trust Media as a KDE Patron and KDE e.V. Advisory Board member. The values of Internet openness are deeply rooted in both organisations, as well as those of privacy and security. Working together will allow us to build better systems and a better Internet for everyone", said Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Vice-President of the KDE e.V.
"Private Internet Access is highly committed to giving back to those communities that have helped the brand and its parent company get to where it is today, and we are very much aware that vast proportions of the infrastructure we use on a daily basis, in the office and at home, is powered by Free and Open Source Software. We have made a pledge to show our gratitude by supporting FOSS projects to help encourage development and growth. We are proud to be supporting KDE and the crucial work that the project does for the Linux Desktop" said Christel Dahlskjear, Director of Sponsorships and Events at Private Internet Access.
Private Internet Access provides VPN services specializing in secure, encrypted VPN tunnels. Those tunnels create several layers of privacy and security for a more effective safety for users on the Internet. Private Internet Access's VPN Service is backed by multiple gateways worldwide, with VPN Tunnel access in 25+ countries and 37+ regions.
Private Internet Access will join KDE's other Patrons: The Qt Company, SUSE, Google, Blue Systems and Canonical to continue supporting Free Software and KDE development through the KDE e.V.
While you were enjoying your summer vacation, our Google Summer of Code (GSoC) students were working hard on their projects. They developed new features for KDE software, stomped bugs, wrote blog posts to report on their progress, and still managed to have fun while doing all that. With the final results announcement just around the corner, let's take a look at what the students accomplished in the past three months.
This year, 24 students contributed to more than 20 KDE projects as part of GSoC. As you probably already know, GSoC is a yearly program organized by Google for students from all over the world. The aim of GSoC is to motivate young developers to join open source organizations, and those who successfully complete their project receive a stipend from Google.
KDE has been participating in GSoC since the very beginning in 2005, and we're proud to say that many of our students remain active contributors and members of the KDE Community.
If you haven't been following our GSoC students' blog updates (a mistake you can easily fix by subscribing to Planet KDE), here's a recap of their activities. Most, if not all of their work will show up as new and improved features in the upcoming versions of KDE software.
More Power to the Creatives
Digital artists will be happy to hear that Krita and digiKam received some power-ups from our GSoC 2017 students. Aniketh Girish improved the user interface of Krita's Resource Manager, making it easier to create and edit bundles. He also created a dialog that enables interaction and content exchange with the share.krita.org website.
Alexey Kapustin worked on a touchy subject - implementing telemetry into Krita. Of course, this feature will be completely opt-in, and the information collected will help Krita developers understand the behavior and needs of their users.
Grigory Tantsevov developed a watercolor brush engine that emulates the look and behavior of real watercolors, and Eliakin Costa worked on making Krita more scriptable to save time on repetitive actions.
Along the way, Eliakin also improved and developed several plugins, including the Document Tools Plugin, Ten Scripts Plugin, and the Last Documents Thumbnails Docker.
Ahmed Fathy Shaban worked on implementing a DLNA server directly into the digiKam core, and Yingjie Liu achieved 99% face recognition accuracy in digiKam by adding new face recognition algorithms.
Applications for all levels of education, from preschool to PhD, received a boost from GSoC students. Thanks to Stefan Toncu, users of Minuet can now choose an instrument for exercise visualization, instead of always being stuck with the keyboard.
Divyam Madaan and Rudra Nil Basu added a bunch of activities to GCompris: Oware, Computer parts, Piano composition and note names, Pilot a Submarine, Family, and Digital Electronics.
Deeper in the scientific territory, Rishabh Gupta ported the Lua, R, and Qalculate backends in Cantor to QProcess, and Fabian Kristof Szabolcs implemented support for live streaming data in LabPlot.
Csaba Kertesz worked on modernizing the KStars codebase, and Cristian Baldi developed a responsive web app for WikiToLearn from scratch. His project also included building offline browsing right into the WikiToLearn website, and allowing Android users to install the website on their phone just like any other regular app.
Kirigami Welcomes New Apps
Speaking of mobile apps, Judit Bartha worked on the Android version of Marble Maps. Judit implemented bookmark management and redesigned the app to fit the Material Design guidelines using the Kirigami framework. Mohammed Nafees worked on extending Marble Maps to support indoor maps, such as building floor plans.
Chat applications keep multiplying, and users expect native clients for their Linux desktops. Vasudha Mathur developed Ruqola, the first generic cross-platform interface to Rocket.Chat. She used Kirigami and Qt technologies to shape the application for both desktop and mobile platforms.
Davide Riva developed a protocol-independent chat bridge that supports IRC, Telegram, and Rocket.Chat, allowing for future expansions thanks to its modularity. The bridge is called Brooklyn, and it is already on its 0.2 release.
Vijay Krishnavanshi and Paulo Lieuthier worked on Kopete. Vijay ported the remaining KDE4 parts of Kopete to KF5, and Paulo created a new plugin for chat history management.
Making KDE Software Better
Plenty of improvements have been implemented across the KDE applications ecosystem. Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan worked on adding Polkit support to KIO, the system library used by KDE software to access and manage files. Polkit allows non-root users to perform file management operations that would usually require admin privileges. With this feature, opening Dolphin as root should finally become a thing of the past.
Lukas Hetzenecker examined HiDPI rendering issues in KDE applications (Gwenview, Spectacle, Okular) and set out to fix them. Mikhail Ivchenko focused on KDevelop, and worked on stabilizing the support for the Go programming language.
Looking Forward to Next Year
Taking part in GSoC is a great opportunity for professional development. In addition to expanding their programming skills, the students earn valuable project management experience, as they are expected to plan and report on every step of their project.
Despite all those benefits, GSoC is not always so peachy for everyone. Sometimes students encounter code-shattering bugs, or have to rewrite entire software components in another programming language. This is where the mentors step in. Mentors offer guidance when students get stuck, and provide advice in making key decisions. Without their support, GSoC wouldn't be so successful, so here's a big "thank you" to all our GSoC 2017 mentors!
To all our students who passed the final evaluation: Congratulations! We're delighted to have been a part of this journey with you, and we hope you'll stick around in the KDE Community. And if you didn't pass, don't despair. We still greatly value your contribution and effort, and you're more than welcome to keep contributing to KDE.
It's never too early to start preparing for the next Google Summer of Code. If you're a student interested in Free and open source software, join us today!
The KDE e.V. community report for 2016 is now available. After the introductory statement from the Board, you can read a featured article about the 20th anniversary of KDE, and an overview of all developer sprints and conferences supported by KDE e.V. The report includes statements from our Working Groups, development highlights for 2016, and some information about the current structure of KDE e.V.
Featured Article – 20 years of KDE
In 2016, all of us celebrated 20 years of the KDE Community with a number of parties around the world. We participated in the awesome QtCon in Berlin, announced the book 20 Years of KDE: Past, Present and Future and the KDE timeline. In this featured article, Lydia Pintscher brings back the early KDE impetus for digital freedom that still remains alive in every contributor's soul.
Supported Activities and Specific Reports
The report provides summaries of eight KDE e.V. supported developer sprints and six trade shows and community events where the KDE Community had its presence. Specific reports from the KDE e.V. Working Groups and KDE España are also presented. Finally, the report contains development highlights for 2016, and a short overview of mentoring programs in which KDE has been involved.
The report concludes with a list of contributors who joined KDE e.V. during 2016, and presents the current members of the KDE e.V. Board of Directors. We invite you to read the entire report!
The last two weeks have been busy for the KDE Community. On April 20 we announced the release of KDE Applications 17.04, and five days later we released a new set of bugfixes and translations for Plasma, officially versioned Plasma 5.9.5.
Both new versions of our products have introduced several features and stability improvements to the overall KDE user experience. Here are some of the highlights from the latest KDE Applications and Plasma releases. As always, you can find a lot more information in their respective changelogs.
What's New in File Management?
If Dolphin is your file manager of choice, you will be happy to hear that it now allows you to interact with the metadata widgets in the tooltips. The Places panel now has better context menus, and opening a new instance of Dolphin using the "New Window" option will launch it in the same target folder as your current Dolphin window.
A significant change that affects not only Dolphin, but also Kate and KWrite, is that launching these applications as root on Linux systems has been disabled by default. The reason for this is that it is a safety risk to run GUI apps with root privileges in the X Window System (X11).
When it comes to viewing your files, Okular will be even better at it thanks to numerous improvements. You can now create bookmarks from the Table of Contents, resize annotations, and disable automatic search while typing.
Finally, Ark - the application that lets you manage compressed files and folders - now has a handy plugin configuration dialog and a Search function to help you look inside your archives.
What About Multimedia Applications?
The biggest improvements in the multimedia department will be visible in Kdenlive, KDE's video editor. The profile selection dialog has been fully redesigned, and it is now much easier to tweak the framerate, screen size, and other details of your project. Perhaps the coolest new feature in Kdenlive is the ability to play your video directly from the notification you receive when rendering is completed.
Other multimedia applications received some minor improvements, for example Gwenview now lets you hide the status bar in the application window.
Don't Forget About KDE Edu!
Our educational applications have seen some interesting changes. KAlgebra - the powerful graphing calculator and math-learning tool - has a new 3D back-end on the desktop, and its mobile version has been ported to Kirigami 2.0.
If you love music more than math, the new version of Minuet will delight you. The music education tool now comes with more scale exercises and ear-training tasks, plus an entire Test Mode for practicing and monitoring your progress.
KStars, our desktop planetarium, will now work much better on OS X, and KGeography now includes a map of Ghana.
New Members of the KDE Applications Family
We are happy to announce that K3b, the disk burning software, is now part of KDE Applications. In other great news, several applications have been ported from their old kdelibs4 base to KDE Frameworks 5. The list includes KCachegrind, Kajongg, kde-dev-utils and kdesdk-kioslaves.
No longer included in KDE Applications is the unmaintained development tool Kommander.
What About the New Plasma?
The most obvious changes introduced in Plasma 5.9.5 are related to window decorations and other visual tweaks. Themes in the System Settings module are now sorted, Plastik window decoration supports the global menu, and Aurorae window decorations support the global menu button. KWin will respect theme colors in buttons, and you will be able to edit the default color scheme of your Plasma Desktop.
Moreover, your Plasma session will correctly handle the event of disconnecting a primary screen and replacing it with a new one. The Media Controller Plasmoid has been fixed, and can now properly seek tracks longer than 30 minutes.
Where Can You Get All These New Things?
Both KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 are available in KDE neon. Linux distributions are expected to provide packages or update their existing ones in the coming weeks. Users of Arch Linux, Manjaro Linux, and Gentoo should already see our latest software in their repositories.
If you can't wait for your distribution's packages, you can always download our source code and compile it yourself. We provide build instructions for both KDE Applications and Plasma.
A lot more is in the works, and we will reveal some of the novelties as the release date approaches. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to keep up with all the news. If you're planning to celebrate the release of Plasma 5.10 by hosting a release party, start preparing now! Our Community Wiki has some tips on how to organize a local KDE event.
In the meantime, let us know about your experience with KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 in the comments!
KDE and Canonical's Ubuntu have collaborated for years. Today we celebrate the extension of this collaboration with the addition of Canonical to the KDE Patrons family, as part of the corporate membership program.
Kirigami UI, KDE's user interface framework for mobile and convergent applications, which was first announced in March, is now publicly released! Kirigami UI allows Qt developers to easily create applications that run on most major mobile and desktop platforms without modification (though adapted user interfaces for different form-factors are supported and recommended for optimal user experience). It extends the touch-friendly Qt Quick Controls with larger application building blocks, following the design philosophy laid out in the Kirigami Human Interface Guidelines. Kirigami UI currently officially supports Android, Desktop GNU/Linux, Windows and the upcoming Plasma Mobile. iOS support is currently in an experimental stage, support for Ubuntu Touch is being worked on. Read the full article for details.
Today we are delighted to announce that KDE e.V. is joining the advisory board of The Document Foundation, the foundation backing LibreOffice and the Document Liberation Project. The Document Foundation also joins KDE e.V.'s group of advising community partners as an affiliate.
The KDE e.V. report for the first half of 2015 is now available. It presents a survey of all the activities and events carried out, supported, and funded by KDE e.V. in that period, as well as the reporting of major events, conferences and mentoring programs that KDE has been involved in.
KDE is a highly diverse community and every one of our contributors has his or her own motives, such as having fun, developing new skills and meeting nice people. However, a common desire unites all of KDE: to change the world for the better. This shared motivation, although the major driving force behind KDE, has never really been made explicit.
A survey conducted among KDE contributors and users last year showed that the respondents were missing exactly that: an explicit vision and strategy for KDE. As a result, we began working on a shared vision at last year's Akademy (KDE's annual contributor conference). After months of collecting ideas and holding open discussion across our community, we have united around a simple statement of what we want to achieve:
A world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy.
This is our vision.
Read on for details on what each part of the vision means to us.
The KDE e.V. report for the fourth quarter of 2014 is available (PDF). It features a compendium of all the activities and events carried out, supported and funded by KDE e.V. in that period, as well as the reporting of major events, conferences and mentoring programs that KDE has been involved in.