AUG
15
2019

KDE Applications 19.08 Brings New Features to Konsole, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Okular and Dozens of Other Apps

Can you believe we've already passed the half-year mark? That means it's just the right time for a new release of KDE Applications! Our developers have worked hard on resolving bugs and introducing features that will help you be more productive as you get back to school, or return to work after your summer vacation.

The KDE Applications 19.08 release brings several improvements that truly elevate your favorite KDE apps to the next level. Take Konsole, our powerful terminal emulator, which has seen major improvements to its tiling abilities. We've made tiling a bit more advanced, so now you can split your tabs as many times as you want, both horizontally and vertically. The layout is completely customizable, so feel free to drag and drop the panes inside Konsole to achieve the perfect workspace for your needs.

Dolphin, KDE's file explorer, introduces features that will help you step up your file management game. Let's start with bookmarks, a feature that allows you to create a quick-access link to a folder, or save a group of specific tabs for future reference. We've also made tab management smarter to help you declutter your desktop. Dolphin will now automatically open folders from other apps in new tabs of an existing window, instead of in their own separate windows. Other improvements include a more usable information panel and a new global shortcut for launching Dolphin - press Meta + E to try it out!

Okular, our document viewer, continues with a steady stream of usability improvements for your document-viewing pleasure. In Applications 19.08, we have made annotations easier to configure, customize, and manage. Okular's ePub support has also greatly improved in this release, so Okular is now more stable and works better when previewing large files.

All this sounds exciting for those who read and sort through documents, but what about those who write a lot of text or emails? They will be glad to hear we've made Kate, our advanced text editor, better at sorting recent files. Similar to Dolphin, Kate will now focus on an existing window when opening files from other apps. Your email-writing experience also receives a boost with the new version of Kontact, or more specifically, KMail. After updating to Applications 19.08, you'll be able to write your emails in Markdown, and insert - wait for it - emoji into them! The new integration with grammar-checking tools like LanguageTool and Grammalecte will help you prevent embarrassing mistakes and typos that always seem to creep into the most important business emails.

Photographers and other creatives will appreciate changes to Gwenview, KDE's image viewer. Gwenview can now display extended EXIF metadata for RAW images, share photos and access remote files more easily, and generate better thumbnails. If you are pressed for system resources, Gwenview has your back with the "Low usage resource mode" that you can enable at will. In the video-editing department, Kdenlive shines with a new set of keyboard+mouse combinations and improved 3-point editing operations.

We should also mention Spectacle, KDE's screenshot application. The new version lets you open the screenshot (or its containing folder) right after you've saved it. Our developers introduced a number of nice and useful touches to the Delay functionality. For example, you may notice a progress bar in the panel, indicating the remaining time until the screenshot is done. Sometimes, it's the small details that make using KDE Applications and Plasma so enjoyable.

Speaking of details, to find out more about other changes in KDE Applications 19.08, make sure to read the official announcement.

Happy updating!

AUG
1
2019

Trusted IT Consulting Firms Directory Provides Businesses with KDE Support

KDE's Trusted IT Consulting Firms directory provides you with the support and the direct line to developers you and your business need.

Finding support or fulfilling a need is sometimes tricky when it comes to software. Proprietary providers often become unreachable, hiding behind helpdesks staffed with interns reading from a manual. Bugs can take months, sometimes years, before they are squashed. Getting proprietary software manufacturers to implement a feature specifically for your company is to all effects impossible.

Free Software is better in that you can often talk directly to the developers themselves and many will be sympathetic to your requirements. However, Free Software projects are often run by volunteers and everybody has bandwidth limit. Being able to communicate with the people that can implement a change, doesn't mean that it will happen as soon as you would like.

Fortunately, the main tenant of Open Sourcedom is that anybody can modify the code. And KDE knows the companies that can do that for you:

KDE's Trusted IT Consulting Firms directory provides you with the names and web addresses of enterprises that can help you with support, customization and implementation of KDE-based software. All the companies listed have long track records building and evolving KDE software and are ready to give you the support you need.

To send in a query or to find out more about the Trusted IT Consulting Firms, email us at consulting@kde.org and we'll advise you on the best way of solving your problem.

JUL
31
2019

The Linux Application Summit is coming to Barcelona in November

The KDE and GNOME Communities are pleased to announce Linux App Summit 2019.

LAS 2019 will be held in Barcelona, Spain from November 12th to November 15th. Our Call for Participation opens on July 31st, and will run until August 18th.

LAS is a conference focused on building an application market. Through LAS, the GNOME and KDE communities intend to help build an ecosystem that will encourage the creation of quality applications, seek ways of compensating application developers, and foster a thriving market for the Linux operating system. We are excited about combining our efforts in app development for Linux and we aim to take on an active role leading the way into the future.

Venue

The inside of the La Lleialtat Santsenca building where LAS will take place. Photo credit: @ttncat and @SeguimFils

The conference will take place in the beautiful Lleialtat Santsenca, a community space that hosts many meetups and conferences, and which has been featured in architectural articles due to the startling contrast between its art deco facade and its überfunctional minimalist interior. The core conference days will be from November 12th to 14th, and November 15th will be reserved for BoFs and hackathons. Participants are welcome to stay longer and hack together over the weekend. We encourage participants to collaborate and not just meet and talk about change, but actually make it happen.

Previous iterations of this conference (under the name Linux Application Summit) have been held in the United States, in Portland, Oregon, and Denver, Colorado. This year, Barcelona, Spain was chosen as the hosting location due to growing international interest. Barcelona is known for embracing open source technology, and in fact made headlines back in 2017 when it announced that it would no longer use Microsoft and instead use Linux (Spanish language article). Apart from enthusiastically embracing open source, Barcelona is known as one of the world's most influential cities, and is a major touristic and cultural attraction. We are thrilled to have the first international version of the Linux App Summit hosted there.

Everyone is invited to attend LAS, and there will be travel sponsorship available for those who need it in order to make the event more inclusive. A special invitation will be extended to companies, media, and individuals who are interested in learning more about the Linux desktop application space and growing their user base.

Important Dates

  • 31 July - CfP opens. Submit your talk idea! Visit our Call for Participation (CfP) page for more information.
  • 31 Aug - CfP closes.
  • Week of 9 Sept - Speaker notification begins.
  • 12 to 15 Nov - LAS conference dates. There will be 3 core days and 1 day for BoFs and hackathons. Participants are welcome to remain longer and plan BoFs or hackathons over the weekend.

Join Us!

The organizing team, GNOME and KDE, are excited about the possibilities of our combined influence. We will no longer sit passive, but will lead and plan for the future. Join us in Barcelona!

Sponsor LAS 2019! Find out about the available packages contacting us at sponsors@linuxappsummit.org. If you have any questions, contact info@linuxappsummit.org. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @LinuxAppSummit.

JUL
22
2019

enioka Haute Couture Becomes a KDE Patron

enioka Haute Couture is joining KDE as a Patron and will support the work of KDE e.V. through the corporate membership program.

enioka Haute Couture is a software development house that creates complete and tailor-made solutions. enioka strives to return ownership of the software development and innovation to its customers. To that effect, it co-creates the software with its customers' teams to allow them to retain control of their projects in complex systems or organizations.

"We are excited to welcome enioka Haute Couture as a Patron of KDE. They truly understand what it means to empower people when creating software; something KDE cares deeply about", said Lydia Pintscher, President of KDE e.V.

"enioka Haute Couture is a company driven by its values and its manifesto, in the same vein as KDE which we've chosen to support. We are grateful for the existence of all the communities creating Free Software. They are a real enabler in our mission to give back control of their development to our customers. It is time for us to express our gratitude by supporting a community like KDE", said Marc-Antoine Gouillart, CTO at enioka Haute Couture.

enioka Haute Couture will join KDE's other Patrons: Private Internet Access, The Qt Company, SUSE, Google, Blue Systems and Canonical to continue supporting Free Software and KDE development through the KDE e.V.

JUL
19
2019

Powered by Plasma: ALBA Synchrotron in Barcelona, Spain

As you go about your daily tasks, you’re probably unaware that Plasma runs on the computers in one of Europe’s largest research facilities. We were also oblivious – until we met Sergi Blanch-Torné at FOSDEM 2019.

We’re always looking for interesting stories from people who use KDE software at their workplace, in school, or in government institutions. You can imagine our delight, then, when we met Sergi Blanch-Torné at this year’s FOSDEM.

Sergi is a Controls Software Engineer at ALBA, a KDE user, and a Free software advocate and contributor. Not only was he willing to tell us about his favorite KDE apps, but he also works at one of the most amazing places on Earth! In this interview, he tells us what it’s like to work at ALBA, and answers the burning question: “what even is a synchrotron?”.

ALBA is a third-generation synchrotron radiation facility in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park, in Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain. Managed by the Consortium for the Construction, Equipping and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Source (CELLS), it is jointly funded by the Spanish and the Catalonian Administration.

Aerial view of the ALBA facility. Source: CELLS media gallery.

With its eight operational beamlines (and additional four in construction), ALBA has been serving more than 2000 researchers every year since first opening for experiments in 2010. It comprises a complex of electron accelerators that produce synchrotron light – electromagnetic radiation covering a continuum of wavelengths, ranging from infrared to hard X rays (including visible light). Synchrotron light is millions of times brighter than the surface of the Sun, which allows scientists to visualize atomic structures in extremely high resolutions.

ALBA also happens to be the place where Plasma powers the majority of desktop computers in the controls department. Read more on this, plus a bunch of fascinating details on how synchrotrons work, in our interview with Sergi.

JUL
11
2019

Akademy 2019: Talk Schedule is out!


I'm going to Akademy 2019

The schedule for Akademy 2019 is out and it is full of interesting and intriguing talks, panels and keynotes.

On day one (Saturday, September 7), the teams that have been working on the community goals over the last two years will discuss how things worked out and what has been achieved (spoiler: a lot). As many of the procedures and processes developed for the goals have now been worked into the everyday ways the KDE community operates and builds things, it is time to look for new goals. That is precisely what will be happening next, when the panel unveils what the community has decided to work on in the next two years.

Apart from goals, there will also be time for the bleeding-edge tech KDE is so well-known for. You will find out from Aleix Pol how developers managed to make a complex graphical environment like the Plasma desktop start up faster, and Marco Martin and Bhushan Shah will show us how Plasma can work everywhere, including on embedded devices. Taking things a step further still, Aditya Mehra will demonstrate how the open source Mycroft AI assistant can be the next great thing to assist you while you drive your car.

On Sunday, the schedule is equally full of challenging ideas and fun stuff. You will see what's new in KDE's effort to create a completely open, privacy-protecting travel assistant, courtesy of Volker Krause. In Akademy 2018 Volker introduced KItinerary and this year he will be talking about KPublicTransport. Having teamed up with the Open Transport community, KDE is now building a framework which will allow apps to give users a complete travel solution without having to depend on leaky proprietary services.

As projects like Mycroft show, KDE is working on integrating AI into the desktop. Trung Thanh Dinh will be explaining how AI can also be used in the area of face recognition, and how that can be leveraged by KDE's applications. Another thing on the list of revolutionary technologies is that KDE is setting its sights on virtual reality. Cristoph Haag will explain how VR requires a completely different approach to user interfaces from what we are used to.

Obviously, that is not all. It is but a small cross-section of what you will be able to see at Akademy 2019. Soon we will also unveil our two keynote speakers with interviews here, on the Dot. After the weekend of talks, panels and keynotes, the rest of the week will be dedicated to BoFs (Birds of a Feather sessions), where community members with similar interests get together and work on their projects, as well as coding sessions, meetings, and social activities.

Do not miss Akademy 2019! Join us, register for the event now, book your accommodation soon (Milan gets busy!) and meet up with all your KDE friends.

Besides. did we say it is in Milan? That means pasta, pizza, gelato and Gothic architecture. What's not to love?

Badges

Show your friends you are attending Akademy 2019 by displaying a badge on your blog, your website or social media account:



About Akademy


Akademy 2018, Vienna

For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

JUL
4
2019

Plasma + Usability & Productivity Sprint in Valencia, Spain

The KDE Plasma and Usability teams recently converged on the beautiful Spanish city of Valencia for a combined development sprint. The teams admired Valencia's medieval architecture and stayed up until midnight eating sumptuous Mediterranean food. But of course, the real purpose was work!

We camped out in the offices of the Slimbook company, which were generously made available for the sprint. The aim was not only to hack on Plasma and the Usability & Productivity initiative, but also to benefit from the cross-pollination opportunities provided by hosting both sprints at the same time and place.

The result was a huge amount of work done on Plasma, KWin, Dolphin, Spectacle, and many other bits of KDE software.

Present for the Plasma sprint were Kai Uwe Broulik, David Edmundson, Nicolas Fella, Eike Hein, Roman Gilg, Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Marco Martin, and Bhushan Shah. They had quite a busy agenda:

  • Plasma 5.16's new notification system received a great deal of polish
  • Fixed a ton of bugs in the Plasma Browser Integration
  • Rewrote the widget positioning code for the desktop, making it much more robust, future-proof, and usable on touch:



  • Started work on making the Task Manager understand window stacking order, which will allow it to implement new interaction modes for grouped windows (e.g. bring forward the last-used window when clicked)
  • Worked on architecture improvements for the Task Manager to unify its different presentation modes and improve code robustness
  • Worked on a variety of architecture improvements for KWin to make it more future-proof, which, among other things, will improve multi-screen handling
  • Improved the user interface for the System Tray's settings window
  • Added calculator and unit conversion functionality to Kickoff and Application Dashboard

Kickoff now integrates a calculator and a unit conversion utility.

In addition to making technical progress, the Plasma and Usability teams got together to discuss a number of long-standing Plasma issues, and figure out how to resolve them:

We wanted to make it easier to test a custom-compiled version of Plasma. To do so, we implemented changes that allow you to integrate your custom-compiled Plasma into SDDM by running a single command, after which you can log into it normally. For more information, see this article.

We thought it would be a good idea to make more it obvious and discoverable that Plasma is made up of widgets, and show how they are configured. To do this, we decided to create a new "global edit mode" that's triggerable from within System Settings, as this is where new users generally expect everything to be configured. In this global edit mode, all widgets become visibly configurable, editable, removable, etc. We also want to make it easy to change the wallpaper in this mode. With all that done, we'll be able to remove the Desktop Toolbox as it currently exists.

There was a need to unify the disparate scaling methods, so we decided to visually connect the scale factor chooser with the "Force Fonts DPI" setting, since the former actually affects the latter, but not the other way around. This should make it clear that the scaling slider is the primary way to scale the screen, and the "force fonts DPI" control is nothing more than a way to tweak things further.

We needed Plasma to respect the system-wide scale factor on X11, so we came up with a path forward and a plan for getting it done!

We planned out how to add power actions to the lock screen. We concluded that not only does this make sense, but it will be necessary for Plasma Mobile anyway. In a multi-user environment, the user will have to enter an admin password to shut down or restart the machine when other users are also logged in.


Even during down time, KDE carries on coding!

Over in the Usability & Productivity room we had Méven Car, Albert Astals Cid, Noah Davis, Filip Fila, Nate Graham, and David Redondo. The agenda was similarly jam-packed, and included the following:

  • We ported Spectacle to use KGlobalAccel and away from KHotKeys, made the quit-after-copy feature finally work, and added support for drawing annotations on newly-taken screenshots
  • We implemented user-configurable sort ordering for wallpaper slideshows
  • Dolphin received human-readable sort order text and an auto-play-on-hover feature for media files
  • We added inline name feedback when creating new files or folders
  • Users can optionally close windows in the Present Windows effect with a middle-click
  • Many user interface improvements have been made to the Purpose framework, which implements sharing support in many apps (Dolphin, Spectacle, Okular, Gwenview as of recently, and so on)
  • We started working on improving the default selection of pictures available for user account avatars
  • Initial work has been done on a new "Recently used" feature for Dolphin and the file dialogs that will pull its data from a single consistent location and actually notice everything

We also came to some significant conclusions related to higher-level goals. For example, we plan to pay for professional user research to generate new "personas" and target user groups that represent the people using our software. We will use these personas as the basis for professional usability testing for Plasma, Dolphin, Gwenview, Okular, and other components of a basic desktop.

Additionally, we discussed how we can add release notes data to our apps' AppStream data, so that it shows up in software center apps like Discover. The big blocker was getting the required translations added to the tarball. We've started a dialogue with AppStream maintainer Matthias Klumpp regarding a new feature to pull translations from a remote location, which would support our workflow. The conversation is proceeding nicely so far.

Finally, VDG member Noah Davis dug deep into Breeze to work on visual consistency improvements related to selection highlights. Given his growing familiarity with the code, he's well on his way to becoming the next Breeze maintainer!

All in all, it was a very productive week. KDE Plasma and apps are in a great place right now, and the team's effort to further improve things will reach you in upcoming versions, so stay tuned!

JUN
11
2019

Plasma 5.16 by KDE is Now Available

Say hello to Plasma 5.16, a the newest iteration of KDE's desktop environment, chock-a-block with new features and improvements.

For starters, check out the new notification system! Not only can you mute notifications altogether with the Do Not Disturb mode, but the system also groups notifications by app. Like this, when you run through the history of past notifications, you can see all the messages from KDE Connect in one category, the download information in another, email alerts in a third, and so on.

Discover, Plasma's software manager, is also cleaner and clearer as it now has two distinct areas for downloading and installing software on the Update page. Besides, when updating, the completion bar now works correctly and the packages disappear from the list as the software manager completes their installation.

With each new version, we make Plasma safer, and protect your data better. In 5.16 we have made using Vaults easier and more convenient. Vaults are a built-in utility to encrypt folders, installed by default on Plasma, and you can now open them directly from Dolphin.

Protecting your privacy requires that we focus on the small details, too. When any application accesses the microphone, an icon will pop up in your system tray, showing that something is listening. It doesn't matter whether it is graphical application, a web app or a process started on the command line - the icon will show up alerting you to the fact. You can deactivate your mic by clicking the icon with the middle button on your mouse.

Plasma 5.16 is also spectacular to look at, with our new wallpaper called Ice Cold. Designed by Santiago Cézar, it is the winner of a contest with more than 150 entries. Ice Cold will keep you cool and feeling fresh for the upcoming summer months. Again, giving you options is what Plasma is all about, so we have included a few other contest submissions for you to choose from.

Talking of options, many of the pages in the System Settings have been redesigned, with clearer icons and friendlier layouts. Getting back to wallpapers: the Wallpaper Slideshow settings window displays the images in the folders you selected, and lets you select only the graphics you want to display in the slideshow. To improve visibility, window and menu shadow colors are pure black - something that works especially well when using dark themes.

And if creating themes is your thing, many of the hard-coded look and feel options are gone know, allowing you full freedom to design widgets to your liking. You'll notice it in the small things, like the analog clock handles: Plasma themes now let you tweak their look by adjusting the offset and toggling the blur behind panels.

For a more comprehensive overview of what to expect in Plasma 5.16, check out the official announcement or the changelog for the complete list of changes.

Functional, feature-rich, privacy-protecting and beautiful... What else could you ask for? Look out for Plasma 5.16 in a distribution near you!

JUN
9
2019

Announcing Our Google Summer of Code 2019 Students

The KDE Community welcomes our Google Summer of Code students for 2019!

These students will be working with our development teams throughout the summer, and many of them will join us this September at Akademy, our annual community meeting.

Krita will have four students this year: Alberto Flores will work with the SVG pipe/animated brush, Kuntal M. is porting the magnetic lasso, Sharaf Zaman will port Krita to Android, and Tusooa Windy will bring a better undo/redo for Krita.

digiKam will mentor three students this year. Thanh Trung Dinh will bring AI Face Recognition with the OpenCV DNN module to digiKam, Igor Antropov will improve the Faces Management workflow, and Ahmed Fathy will make a zoomable and resizable brush for Healing Clone Tool.

Labplot gets attention from two students in 2019. While Devanshu Agarwal will provide statistical analysis for Labplot, Ferencz Kovács will work on the support for importing educational data sets available on the Internet.

Another two students - Piyush Aggarwal and Weixuan Xiazo - will work on KDE Connect. Their projects are quite exciting: Piyush will be porting KDE Connect to Windows, while Weixuan brings KDEconnect to MacOS.

Akshay Kumar will bring Gcompris one step closer to version 1.0, and Akhil K Gangadharan will revamp the Titler tool for Kdenlive. Prasenjit Kumar Shaw will make data sync for Falkon a thing, and Rituka Patwal will bring Nextcloud integration to Plasma Mobile.

João Netto will improve JavaScript support on Okular, and Karina Pereira Passos will improve Khipu and Analitza. Nikita Sirgienko will implement the import/export of Jupyter notebooks in Cantor.

Atul Bisht will create a barcode scanning plugin in Purpose. Filip Fila will work on ensuring consistency between the SDDM login manager and the Plasma desktop, and SonGeon will focus on integrating kmarkdown-qtview with WYSIWYG markdown editor for KDE as a whole.

KDE neon will get a KDE ISO image writer courtesy of Farid Boudedja, while Caio Tonetti will make an improved graph theory IDE for Rocs. Alexander Saoutkin will be polishing KIOFuse, and Shubham will port authentication to Polkit-qt for KDE Partition Manager.

We look forward to our students' contributions, and we're excited to share their progress with the rest of the world. As Google Summer of Code moves forward, you'll be able to read detailed reports from our students, and find out how their work will impact your favorite KDE software. Stay tuned, and wish them luck!

JUN
6
2019

Akademy 2019 registration now open

Akademy is free to attend, however you need to register to reserve your space.

Once you have registered, take a look at our guide on how to travel to Milan and check out the accommodation we have arranged and recommend for attendees. We also have a guide on how to get from different locations within Milan to Akademy. This guide also includes information on how to move around the city in general -- useful for sightseeing!

IMPORTANT: All attendees are expected to read and required to follow Akademy's Code of Conduct.

Badges

Show your friends you are attending Akademy 2019 by displaying a badge on your blog, your website or social media account:



About Akademy


Akademy 2018, Vienna

For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

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