The KDE e.V. community report for the second 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 conferences that KDE has been involved in.
Have you ever felt that you wanted to give back to the KDE project? As the season of giving draws near there's never been a better time to support KDE and help the project continue to bring free software to millions of lives worldwide.
By participating in the end of year fundraiser, you can help us in our mission. Your donations are used to pay for transport and accomodation for developers to attend sprints as well as to support the server infrastructure required to keep the project running.
Donations over 30€ are eligible to recieve a cute postcard designed by KDE artists to the address of the donors choice. For more information, including more details on donation rewards, please visit the KDE End of Year 2016 Fundraising page.
The KDE community will once more be participating in Google Code-in, which pairs KDE mentors with students beween the ages of 13 and 18 to work on tasks which both help the KDE community and teach the students how to contribute to free and open source projects. Not only coding, but also documentation and training, outreach and research, quality assurance and user interface tasks will be offered.
Mentors, please subscribe to the KDE-Soc-Mentor mail list, and write to email@example.com if you have not yet been invited to the GCi webapp. Now is the time to login and begin adding your tasks. Former Google Summer of Code students are especially welcome to mentor.
WikiToLearn is KDE's project to create textbooks for university and school students. It provides free, collaborative and accessible text books. Academics worldwide contribute in sharing knowledge by creating high quality content.
One year after founding WikiToLearn, the love for sharing knowledge helped our community to grow stronger. During this year a lot of great things happened, but we also had to face some technical and organizational problems.
The effort and work of our community during the last months helped us to achieve great results developing new features and improving our platform, concentrating on the editing experience. As a result of this, we are very proud to announce the release of WikiToLearn 1.0!
Here are some new features:
New skin: we rebuilt the whole skin for a better user experience. Users will now be able to take and review notes, create books and share knowledge more easily.
Course editor: this tool allows users to create and manage courses in a guided and very effortless way
Visual editor: together with Course editor this tool will help users to contribute easily; editing and reviewing has become more intuitive and it’s not necessary anymore to be a “wikitext expert” to work on our platform
Having reached the goal of a more comfortable user interface, to make it more easy for you to contribute, our next objective is to expand the content on all of our pages. Since we already have some content on our Italian and English pages, we would also very much appreciate if you would help us to develop the pages in other languages.
Get started now, visit WikiToLearn.org right away and get in touch with our new features!
Amongst the 20 year of KDE parties around the world one of the busiest was held in Beijing. Dot News interviewed the organiser Leslie Zhai about KDE in China.
KDE China's 20th Anniversary Group Photo
Where are you from and what do you do for a living?
I am from Wuhan, a very beautiful city in China. And I am working as a Linux developer at iSOFT in Beijing.
How did you first start to use KDE software?
In 2002, as a computer science major university student, I went to a Legal Authoried software store in Wuhan, Guangputun, and bought Redhat7 including four install CDs, three src.rpm CDs and a very exquisite user manual for only RMB 50, because other software for Windows 98 was too expensive to a univerty student! It was my first time to use KDE 3. Yes I chose KDE as my default desktop enviroment, but I tried GNOME of course. ;-) Then I tried to migrate my university's course assignment developed in Turbo C to compile with GCC. I used Konsole and VIM to edit my source code, I tried Emacs but I did not know how to make coffee with it, so I switched to VIM ;-) and my teachers switched to use Redhat8 instead of Windows 98 when teaching operating system courses.
What are your activities contributing to KDE?
As a KDE developer I fix bugs, I push to repositories after code is reviewed by other KDE developers, and I am maintaining K3b right now. My sincere thanks go to David Faure; he helped me when I broke the dependency freeze of libkcddb regarding the Applications/16.08 release. I migrated all projects using KF5Cddb, and right now libkcddb is KF5 ready! Also thanks go to Thomas Schmitt, one of the libburnia authors, he taught me a lot about ISO 9660 & MMC patiently and carefully!
Talks at the Party
Looks like you had a successful 20th anniversary party. Who was there and what did you all do?
Yes! We had more people than we expected. We estimated there were only about 20 KDE users, but that day 65 KDE plus GNOME and other desktop enviroments users came! iSOFT KDE helped us so much to make the anniversary party happen. My old friend Conner Mo (the co-founder of linuxfans.org and magiclinux.org) came from Shanghai specially. We took a group photo wearing KDE 20 years T-shirts. The opening was by Cjacker Huang, the deputation of iSOFT sponsored this party, who is also a KDE developer since 2003! Happy birthday for KDE 20 years celebrated by Xiangkai Li, manager of iSOFT. Opening was by Lei Zhang. The deputation of LinuxCN sponsored this party, also shared updates with us. "Timeline.kde.org and Chinese KDE developers" shared by myself. Yunhe Guo (KDE-China l10n zh_CN translator) and csslayer (Fcitx and KDE developer) recorded video for the celebration. "GNOME Desktop and Foundation say happy birthday to KDE" was shared by Tong Hui. A delicious KDE 20 years cake. GNOME Foundation member was cutting cake and laughing happily. Announced kde-china.org. Enjoy KDE 20 years cake. So I changed my raffle script MAX to 65 on site. Raffle prizes were CHEERY keyboards, iSOFTLinux V4.0 USB sticks, KDE 20years T-shirts and more.
What is China KUG and what does it plan to do?
kde-china.org is the China KDE User Group for contributing to KDE:
How popular is Free and Open Source software in China?
Very popular! A lot of internet companies use Open Source software such as Linux kernel, GNU toolchain, Nginx, MySQL, Memcached, Squid, DNF, Apt, Python, Django, reviewboard, PHP, Drupal, phpBB, flyspary, jQuery, Node.js, etc. in China.
How popular is KDE software in China?
Very popular! a lot of ArchLinux and Fedora fans use KDE! iSOFTLinux, MagicLinux, Kubuntu, openSUSE and RedflagLinux distributions choose KDE as their default desktop enviroment in China.
The article on linux.cn mentions iSOFT has its own operating system using KDE software, can you tell us how this is made and what it's used for?
iSOFTLinux V4.0 x86-64 is Cjacker Core base, default desktop enviroment is KDE (GNOME optional), easy-to-use Linux Desktop for end-users.
How good is KDE software's support for CJK writing systems?
Thanks for Fcitx maintained and developed by csslayer, also his kimpanel work, it all works very good for KDE!
Cutting the Cake
Why do we not hear more from Chinese people on KDE mailing lists, forums and chat channels?
First, language issues. For example I often wrote email in Chinglish just like my answers to this interview ;-) but KDE developers are very clever in understanding what I tried to express. Second, the timezone issue. I would update my patch in the morning, then wait for review, perhaps the next morning I could receive the reply. You can see the waiting time, so it is difficult to chat with each other in IRC. So we prefer to use reviewboard and Bugzilla to communicate with other KDE developers.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I hope more and more Chinese internet companies join the Open Source game, they are using a lot of open source utilities and libraries, but many core and important applicationa are not available for Linux desktop users. Even binary-only just like Skype is OK!
KDE is 20 years old, a community working on beautiful software to free the world and spread privacy, all while having a lot of fun which we do it.
In cities across the world there are parties being held this weekend to celebrate. As we write the KDE Korea party in Seoul is setting up for some talks and drinks.
Some 20 year parties have already been held such as at FISL in Brazil last month.
Showing the strength of the KDE development community, our flagship product Plasma released its first Long Term Support edition. The Linux Action Show, never ones to shy away from critisism, give it a thorough review and decided it was "light years ahead" and had "more compelling features" than the competition.
20 years ago today Matthias Ettrich sent an email that would mark the start of KDE as we know it today - a world-wide community of amazing people creating Free Software for you. In his email he announced the new Kool Desktop Environment and said “Programmers wanted!” In the 20 years since then so much has happened. We released great software, fought for software freedom and empowered people all over the world to take charge of their digital life. In many ways we have achieved what we set out to do 20 years ago - “a consistant, nice looking free desktop-environment” and more. Millions of people use KDE’s software every single day to do their work, have fun and connect to the most important people in their life. And yet we still have a long way ahead of us. Our job is far from done.
Today Free Software and KDE matters more than ever before. Only through Free Software can people truly break out of the walled gardens technology is so often building these days and stand up to surveillance. But Free Software communities like KDE also matter because they bring the world closer together. Our community is a truly global one. It is one that strives on mentoring people and letting them reach their true potential - be it as a programmer, artist, translator, community organizer, system administrator, tester or any of the hundreds of roles that make a community like KDE work.
No matter if you’ve been around KDE since the very beginning or if you just joined us for a short while: Thank you for being a part of our journey so far. And if you’ve not contributed yet, today is the best day to start.
I am looking forward to many more years in this great community building Free Software for and with you.
KDE Student Programs announces the 2016-2017 Season of KDE for those who want to participate in mentored projects which enhance KDE in some way. Projects from past Seasons of KDE include new application features, the KDE Continuous Integration system, new reporting for developers, as well as a web framework, porting and a plethora of other work.
Successful mentees earn a certificate of completion along with a very cool t-shirt and other goodies. Any person who wants to complete a project is eligible to enter.
Tuesday, 4 October 2016. Today KDE releases its first Long Term Support edition of its flagship desktop software, Plasma. This marks the point where the developers and designers are happy to recommend Plasma for the widest possible audience be they enterprise or non-techy home users. If you tried a KDE desktop previously and have moved away, now is the time to re-assess, Plasma is simple by default, powerful when needed.
Plasma's Comprehensive Features
Take a look at what Plasma offers, a comprehensive selection of features unparalleled in any desktop software.
Cover your desktop in useful widgets to keep you up to date with weather, amused with comics or helping with calculations.
Get Hot New Stuff
Download wallpapers, window style, widgets, desktop effects and dozens of other resources straight to your desktop. We work with the new KDE Store to bring you a wide selection of addons for you to install.
Plasma will let you easily search your desktop for applications, folders, music, video, files... everything you have.
Plasma's default Breeze theme has a unified look across all the common programmer toolkits - Qt 4 & 5, GTK 2 & 3, even LibreOffice.
Using KDE Connect you'll be notified on your desktop of text message, can easily transfer files, have your music silenced during calls and even use your phone as a remote control.
Plasma is simple by default but you can customise it however you like with new widgets, panels, screens and styles.
New in Plasma 5.8
Unified Boot to Shutdown Artwork
This release brings an all-new login screen design giving you a complete Breeze startup to shutdown experience. The layout has been tidied up and is more suitable for workstations that are part of a domain or company network. While it is much more streamlined, it also allows for greater customizability: for instance, all Plasma wallpaper plugins, such as slideshows and animated wallpapers, can now be used on the lock screen.
Right-to-Left Language Support
Support for Semitic right-to-left written languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, has been greatly improved. Contents of panels, the desktop, and configuration dialogs are mirrored in this configuration. Plasma’s sidebars, such as widget explorer, window switcher, activity manager, show up on the right side of the screen.
The virtual desktop switcher (“Pager”) and window list applets have been rewritten, using the new task manager back-end we introduced in Plasma 5.7. This allows them to use the same dataset as the task manager and improves their performance while reducing memory consumption. The virtual desktop switcher also acquired an option to show only the current screen in multi-screen setups and now shares most of its code with the activity switcher applet.
Task manager gained further productivity features in this release. Media controls that were previously available in task manager tooltips only are now accessible in the context menus as well. In addition to bringing windows to the front during a drag and drop operation, dropping files onto task manager entries themselves will now open them in the associated application. Lastly, the popup for grouped windows can now be navigated using the keyboard and text rendering of its labels has been improved.
Simplified Global Shortcuts
Global shortcuts configuration has been simplified to focus on the most common task, that is launching applications. Building upon the jump list functionality added in previous releases, global shortcuts can now be configured to jump to specific tasks within an application.
Thanks to our Wayland effort, we can finally offer so-called “modifier-only shortcuts”, enabling you to open the application menu by just pressing the Meta key. Due to popular demand, this feature also got backported to the X11 session.
This release sees many bugfixes in multi-screen support and, together with Qt 5.6.1, should significantly improve your experience with docking stations and projectors.
KWin, Plasma’s window manager, now allows compositing through llvmpipe, easing the deployment on exotic hardware and embedded devices. Now that there is a standardized and widely-used interface for applications to request turning off compositing, the “Unredirect Fullscreen” option has been removed. It often lead to stability issues and because of that was already disabled for many drivers.
Now that Kirigami, our set of versatile cross-platform UI components, has been released, we’re pleased to bring you a revamped version of Plasma Discover based on Kirigami.
We have new default fonts, the Noto font from Google covers all scripts available in the Unicode standard while our new monospace font Hack is perfect for coders and terminal users.
We’re in Wayland!
Plasma on Wayland has come a long way in the past months. While our long term support promise does not apply to the fast-evolving Wayland stack, we think it is ready to be tested by a broader audience. There will still be minor glitches and missing features, but we are now at a point where we can ask you to give it a try and report bugs. Notable improvements in this release include:
Support for xdg-shell, i.e. GTK+ applications are now supported
Much improved touch screen support
Support for touchpad gestures – the infrastructure is there, there aren't any gestures by default yet
The “Sliding Popups” effect is now supported
Clipboard contents are synced between X11 and Wayland applications
You can install Plasma 5 directly from source. KDE's community wiki has instructions to compile it. Note that Plasma 5 does not co-install with Plasma 4, you will need to uninstall older versions or install into a separate prefix.