Planet KDE

Syndicate content
Planet KDE - http://planetKDE.org/
Updated: 3 hours 3 min ago

Special people

4 hours 3 min ago
After a rant on G+ I thought it'd be nice (for me, at least) to share a thought: we have an urge to put certain people on a pedestal because it helps our own identity and self esteem.
We need to feel superiorSelf Esteem is very important for us - Maslov put individuality on top of the piramid for a reason. We need it to function, be happy in life.
So our brain lies to usBut how do you feel special and unique when you're not? Our brain lies to us, causing our illusion of superiority. I say 'our' because this is a near universal issue: 90% of people in pretty much any profession feels they are better than average, despite skills pretty much always following a bell curve (statistics speak for "half the people is worse and half is better than average").

Our brain is in charge of maintaining that positive sense of identity and has a series of tricks to keep that.

For example, identity depends on contrast. So we tend to exaggerate differences with others who are close to us. See for example countries who make fun of each other - it is inevitably between peoples very similar. Some interesting experiments were done with group behavior at a young boys' summer camp in the US in the 50's. Read a bit about this here if you're interested. You'll realize some of the problems we have in society are ingrained in our brains - a point I've made in an earlier blog.

Then there is the Fundamental Attribution Error:
In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error, also known as the correspondence bias or attribution effect, is the tendency for people to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics (personality) to explain someone else's behavior in a given situation rather than considering the situation's external factors.
We do that? Yes, we do. Examples are everywhere, and some honest introspection will show you. Why do we do it? Because it makes us feel better about ourselves! If something goes wrong, it's the fault of the world. If things go well, I DID AWESOME!

Another important strategy is self justification: it is how we deal with a perceived discrepancy between what we believe about the world and what we see (also called 'cognitive dissonance'). And there are many more of these biases which maintain our belief in ourselves.
Special or notSo, the rich have their brain lies to them, maintaining their illusory superiority. Now we can understand why somebody on top of the world feels that it is justified that he/she is paid more per hour than much of the world population earns in a year.

But why do we support this illusion by buying auto-biograpies and looking up to the Steve Jobs and Fords and Warren Buffets like they are such special people?

Because they support the narrative that we all need: the self made (wo)man.

We westerners have far better lives than most other people. As Sam Harris points out in a painful description of an iPad user, things are going very wrong in the world. So we have the need to justify ourselves, feel superior over the poor.
If somebody is begging at the side of the street, they must be lazy. Admitting that it was merely bad luck that got them there (be it a mental issue, social/economic abuse or otherwise), that would have consequences. Because we'd have to realize that it could have been US - we're not better, just privileged. So we cherish the stories of a poor (wo)man working their way to the top: like they got their purely by their own effort.

I think that the stories of these great, wonderful people we've made up - from Henry Ford to Warren Buffet - help us justify the thought that people who are worse off than us have only themselves to blame. We have a need to deny the harsh reality that the world isn't fair and we would be in their situation if the marbles would've fallen slightly different. The reality that we're not special. Just privileged.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

GCompris at Akademy 2015

Mon, 2015-08-03 18:27

Akademy 2015 was an awesome time for GCompris. First we decided with my wife Zohra to hold a little booth to showcase how GCompris runs fine on different platforms. We had a GNU/Linux PC running KDE, an Android tablet, an iPad and a MacBook running MacOSX. To our own surprise the booth was quiet successful, not all in the KDE community have a vested interest in children education and discovered GCompris for the first time. Everybody was surprised that GCompris is so comprehensive.

On the conference side, GCompris attracted a large number of attendees. After the usual project history, I dig a little bit on the difficulty of supporting many platforms, the stats on the Google Play Store, and about the commercial effort behind the project. You can see the video here and the slides here.

At Akademy there are developers from all around the world. We used that opportunity to record their many voices that were missing in our voice data set. To be precise, we recorded Taiwanese, Galician, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Dutch. We have been surprised by the welcoming of this initiative, thank you all who took time to help on that.

As it was quiet hard to know what’s missing for each locale, we created a new page that reports what voices and what data files are missing from GCompris.

Following the success of the recording sessions, we will redo the operation at Randa Meetings 2015.


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE.org Redesign

Mon, 2015-08-03 12:57

KDE Frameworks, Plasma desktop, and our community have a rich history of nearly twenty years in creating great open-source software, making us a truly historic organisation of passionate developers; and along with that history some of our online infrastructure has begun to show its age. The KDE.org website and its various sections are the front door to the KDE ecosystem, it is how people new to KDE will judge us and it’s where our developers, translators, artists, and community members know their hard work will be presented to the world.

Recently there’s been a minor movement in the KDE community hive-mind stirring about our web network, and it’s increasing need for a significant update. Some of this has been separate, some in groups, some know about the others but not vice-versa. There was a BOF at Akademy which also focused on a new website and goals.

We’ve opened up a new community forum with the dedicated task of modernising our legacy infrastructure to create a unified effort. Everyone wanting to participate will have the goal of revitalising the KDE.org website for our 20th anniversary, giving us a strong infrastructure to celebrate a stronger foundation for the next 20 years of KDE, community, and open-source.

The WWW team, Promo Team, and VDG have all expressed desire to build a better KDE.org, and we’d all like to see the wider KDE community to contribute! You don’t need to be a web developer or server administrator to chip in; even if it’s a few minutes of feedback or a single idea, we would like to see you participate! We plan to build this website on a foundation of respect and openness – everybody and all constructive input will be welcomed.

There’s no specific goal to have the whole network completed; there’s a huge number of assets and each one is unique, but I believe it’s reasonable to have many of our most prominent pages and sections converted in time for our 20th anniversary – October of next year, roughly. Beyond that, we’ll work section-by-section page-by-page to ensure KDE.org is as amazing as it can be.

Click here to go to the forum


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Monthly Drawing Challenge August 2015

Mon, 2015-08-03 08:53

(by jmf)

The 6th iteration of the Monthly Drawing Challenge is taking place on the Krita Forums!

This month’s topic is… Ancient

To enter, post your picture on the August drawing challenge thread. The deadline is August 24, 2015. You are free to interpret the topic in any way. Let your imagination run free. The winner is decided through a poll running 7 days after the deadline. The winner gets the privilege to choose next month’s topic. You can use the hashtag #kritachallenge to talk about this challenge on social media.

I started the challenge in February 2015 with two goals: to give people motivation to draw, and to give them a way to get rid of the “blank canvas syndrome”. The challenge is not about winning! It is about making art, trying something new, and getting inspired.

 

Last month’s winner: “Love at First Flight” by scottyp.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Akademy 2015

Mon, 2015-08-03 06:26

Akademy is the annual world summit of KDE which was held this year in A Coruña. I was there since July 22 until last Friday July 31 and even these ~10 days were not enough :). The official start was on Friday July 24 with a pre-registration party, where all Akademy attendees could pickup their badges, have some food and mainly drink with people they haven’t seen for a long time or at all. This year organizers also managed to prepare a show for us in form of preparation of Queimada, which is a traditional Galician punch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next two days were dedicated to talks and started with a keynote presented by Matthias Kirschner. I tried to attend those which were interesting for me and I would say that the most interesting talk was presented by Sebastian Kügler, where he introduced a new mobile platform called Plasma Mobile. This is going to be interesting given the Android and iOS domination, but there is definitely some potential.

 

I also have to mention the talk about sandboxed applications presented by my RedHat colleague Daniel Vrátil. Dan explained what is a sandbox, how it works and what are the benefits of using sandboxes.

 

The end of the weekend was, as usual, dedicated to sponsor presentations and Akademy awards. This year the awards were given to the awesome VDG group because without them the Plasma 5 wouldn’t look so great, to Albert Vaca, who is the main KDE connect developer and to Millian Wolff for his work on KDevelop. The last awards were given Scarlett Clark for her work on CI and to Akademy organizers.

Monday started series of BoFs. On Monday I attended only BoF organized by VDG to discuss the UI of the new traffic monitor feature in plasma-nm, which will be in Plasma 5.4.

 

On Tuesday we had Solid BoF for all developers working on hardware support for KDE. Unfortunately only few people showed up and nobody came to complain. This could be because people don’t know what Solid is or, in better case, everything works as it should. We discussed the current state of various Solid projects and mostly went through plasma-nm issues and missing features and Lamarque also decided to pass on his network management maintainership to me :).

In the evening the same day we had a party. The party was on the terrace of one shopping centre near the venue and was perfect until it started to rain. Then we had to move to a smaller place which was not suitable for so many people, but we enjoyed it despite those minor problems. We were eating delicious food, drinking good wine and dancing at the end so the party couldn’t be better :).

 

On Wednesday we had a day trip. Originally we were supposed to have lunch at the Hercules tower and then go to the beach, but the weather forecast was not optimistic so the day trip was changed to go to the Aquarium first and then visit the Hercules tower. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During Thursday and Friday people are leaving so the attendance of BoFs is not that high as in previous days. I went only to KDE connect BoF just to see what’s going on with this interesting project.

And that’s probably all. This year’s Akademy was perfect and I’m really glad I could be there. The city was nice, the weather was almost perfect, people were friendly and organizers did really good job this year. Thank you all and see you next year!!

 


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Evolving KDE – recommendations

Mon, 2015-08-03 04:49

As part of Evolving KDE we have done a survey to get a better understanding of where we are, where we want to go and how we get there. I published a summary of the responses. Based on this I recommend a number of actions:

  1. Develop our vision, strategy and focus
  2. Review all initiatives and products and evaluate which we should concentrate our focus on
  3. Improve recruiting and on-boarding processes and documentation
  4. Simplify and clarify our main web-presence
  5. Develop ideas and processes for how to make better use of our social media presence, dot and other outreach venues

The first point – develop our vision, strategy and focus – is crucial in order for KDE to move forward. When KDE started our goal was very clear: create a desktop environment and applications for end-users on Linux. But both KDE and the world around us has changed considerably since 1996. KDE has moved from being software to being a community. The world has rapidly moved towards more technology platforms (mobile, web, internet of things, …). In this transition we partially lost a shared vision that we can build a strategy on and that helps us focus our efforts. Without a clear and articulated vision we lack a frame of reference to make decisions in which makes taking these decisions considerably more difficult and sometimes painful. We need to change this and get back a shared vision so we have clarity, can focus our efforts and truly bring free and open technology to our users. We live in a time where free and open technology is crucial for everyone. We can only provide this if we have vision, strategy and focus for the work we do.

Once we have this shared vision and strategy we can have a look at the initiatives and products we have and decide which ones we should put more effort into and where our focus should be. This doesn’t mean that we will stop the rest. But it will guide our work, resources and communication. We get to say “More of this!” to the things that are important to us.

With more clarity gained through the first two steps we can then go and tackle the remaining three points. We will improve our recruiting and on-boarding processes and documentation. We need to analyze where and why people are struggling to get on board and then remove or lower these barriers together. We will simplify and clarify our main web-presence to match our vision, strategy and focus. And we will develop ideas and processes to make better use of all our communication media (social media, dot, etc).

Over the next days I will publish the next steps for finding our shared vision, strategy and focus as well as some clarification of what exactly I mean with these.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

git-worktree

Mon, 2015-08-03 03:53
KDE Project:

[Skip if you're not a git user]

You will often want to have more than one build environment in parallel, for example if you want to work on stable and various feature branches. Recommended way so far was to use a git-new-workdir script. This solution saves space (e.g. ~300MiB for a calligra branch instead of ~1200MiB) and time.

A cool update from the git guys. If you are user of the git-new-workdir as advertised here, git 2.5.0 allows to replace it with a new git-worktree built-in command.

It apparently works on Windows too because:

"A replacement for contrib/workdir/git-new-workdir does not rely on symbolic links and make sharing of objects and refs safer by making the borrowee and borrowers aware of each other. Consider this as still an experimental feature; its UI is still likely to change." (link)


CC BY-SA 2.0 anagangulo

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Tangent Normal Brush Merged.

Sun, 2015-08-02 16:06

So, as the saying goes finishing something up to 90% takes as much time as the last 10%.

Anyway, important things first:


(embed to https://www.youtube.com/embed/qiX60EWyMF8)

Past month I mostly spent stressing over finals and getting enough credits(I am allowed to stay btw), but once that was over I could get back to work.

A small detour was made into the world of improving the Krita manual, and with some hard work we managed to make a really nice crash-course into the basic concepts of using Krita.

I contacted someone who had a bit more experience with renderers and normal maps than I did to test it out, and got a lot of valuable feedback.

So I shuffled around some settings, got the tangent encoding preview to work, got canvas rotation to work, did a lot of clean-up, and made the brush engine more robust in the face of Krita’s powerful colour management system(It will now always attempt to draw in the RGB space of the image, if the image has an RGB space, and if not it’ll use sRGB).

The most important detail of the feedback was getting a normalize filter in. While technically the brush engine should always provide colors that are correct coordinates for a normal vector, Krita’s many many features in the brush engine create for a million ways to screw that up. Instead of disabling those features, it makes more sense to give artists a normalizing filter which just takes the pixel colour, puts it in a QVector3d, and then normalizes it.

The last part was getting the preview widget to update properly. This consisted of making a simple filter that took a given pixel, and then would invert and reassign the channels of a given pixel depending on three qcomboboxes that would indicate how they needed to be inverted and assigned. Then I made a widget that extended QLabel, because the easiest way to make updates was to connect the comboboxes to the widget, and then change the image from there.

In my experience the most important things someone can do if they have radical new functionality and they want users to use it, is the following two: 1. You need to see this feature as part of a workflow. 2. You need to demonstrate and document this workflow in detail.
Hence why it was part of my GSoC proposal to actually provide the documentation, and why I made that video, and thus also why the manual page already exists!

Today I merged my branch into the Krita stable, as well, the monthly new builds of Krita are coming up, so people will be able to start testing the brush engine soon.

The person I contacted became inspired, and made a blending mode that mixes normal maps while maintaining a lot of detail, which is also going to be in the next build. We’re now discussing how to further extend the normal map authoring workflow to as far this is still Krita’s domain.

If I don’t get burried under bugs, I’ll probably be spending the rest of my GSoC on getting a nice widget that gives feedback about the ICC profiles Krita uses.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Akademy 2015: Photo report

Sun, 2015-08-02 10:37

This year I had a long trip to A Coruna to participate in the Akademy conference. It was an amazing opportunity to meet and to be among people that share the same vision and goal to create and share free sofware to the world.

It was also my first time when I travelled such a long distance by bus (from Amsterdam to A Coruna) that spent about 1.5 days in one way, and I hope it’s my first and last experience with that :)

Unfortunately, this report will be quite short, because after coming back to Amsterdam I got ill after a nice partying on the boat during the Amsterdam Gay Pride that was the immediate continuation of the trip to Spain :D

Here you can find my photo report made during the Akademy 2015 conference. In the case if you like to be anonymized, please notify me so I can remove you from the album. All photos are distributed under the CC-BY-NC-SA license.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Akademy 2015

Sun, 2015-08-02 10:10
Spain is a very nice place to visit. After the two Solid Sprints in Madrid and Akademy 2013, now it was time to visit A Coruna.
My trip to A Coruna started in July 22 from Rio de Janeiro city, where I live, to São Paulo city. While I was waiting for the flight in Rio de Janeiro I feared it would be cancelled because of the bad weather. The flight right before mine in the schedule was cancelled, then I became more apprehensive. After one hour of delay they announced the new boarding time and I reached São Paulo with plenty of time to take the flight to Madrid and from there to A Coruna.
Going to the hostel by bus was easier than I had thought. I was also lucky enough to take the Rialta bus in the second part of the trip from the airport to the hostel :-)
For me, Akademy started with attending KDE e.V General Assembly. About five hours discussing current KDE situation and what could we do to improve it. After the assembly we went back to the Rialta hostel for the first party during Akademy :-)
The next two days of Akademy were dedicated to the talks. This is year I think the most prominent talk was the one about Plasma Phone (the link contains a video of the talk). That was really exciting talk. I also like the fact that the work we did for Plasma Active is still alive and with a bright future ahead. Now I just need to figure out how to install Plasma Mobile in my smartphone :-)
Alex Fiestas' On how Agile, TDD, CI and CD are the same talk was also very interesting for me because I responsible for maintaining the continuous integration infrastructure in my daily work (besides being a developer and doing some administrative work too). I share Alex vision about the importance of continuous feedback. Nice tak Alex.
The last week of Akademy is reserved for BoFs and the day trip. I am a member of the Solid team and since Solid Maintainer could not attend Akademy I decided to schedule and conduct the Solid BoF this year. The BoF notes are here. The most important thing, for me, during the BoF was the decision to pass to Jan Grulich the Network Management maintainership. I will still work on network management for KDE, there are still some things I want to implement in Plasma NM.

I attended some other BoF, interesting and important things being discussed there. Sure this is an important part of Akademy.
The day trip happened on Wednesday we went to Aquarium Finisterrae and the Hercules tower area. Nice places to visit and I enjoyed every minute. Other things that I enjoyed was walking to the venue (nice view), the food :-) (except squid, I do not like eating squids :-P) and the weather (not too cold during the night and not too hot during the day).
That was one of my best Akademy's. A big thank you to the local team and Kenny Duffus for making Akademy such an enjoyable event. See you all at next Akademy.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Plasma 5: Keeping an Eye on the Disk Quota

Sun, 2015-08-02 05:39

At this year’s KDE conference Akademy, I was working on a small plasmoid to continuously track the disk quota.

The disk quota is usually used in enterprise installations where network shares are mounted locally. Typically, sysadmins want to avoid that users copy lots of data into their folders, and therefor set quotas (the quota limit has nothing to do with the physical size of a partition). Typically, once a user gets over the hard limit of the quota, the account is blocked and the user cannot login anymore. This happens from time to time, since the users are not really aware of the current quota limit and the already used disk space.

Disk Quota as Plasmoid

Here is where the “Disk Quota” plasmoid helps: Once added to the panel, it shows all quota limits when clicking on the plasmoid:

On mouse over, a nice tool tip shows the used quota in percent (in case multiple quota limits exist, the highest quota is displayed):

When a quota is > 50% but smaller than 75%, the quota icon gets orange:

And if the quota is between 75% and 90%, the quota icon gets red: Finally, a quota > 90% will urge the user to cleanup data by showing a exclamation mark as well:

Clicking on a quota entry will launch Filelight in the correct folder, if it is installed.

Disk Quota in System Tray

If the quota plasmoid is shown in the system tray (configure the systray and add it there), then the quota information is shown inline in the system tray popup:

As soon as the quota is equal to or greater than 50%, the quota icon automatically gets visible in the system tray panel:

Finally, if the quota is >= 98%, the quota icon pulses to get the user’s attention (a nice Plasma 5 feature!).

To decrease the quota again, simply click on the respective quota entry in the list view. This launches Filelight with the correct location.

Code Internals

As of now, the Disk Quota plasmoid internally calls the command line tool ‘quota‘ to retrieve the quota information. The output of this tool is parsed and then interpreted to show the quota information as can be seen in the screen shots. If the quota command line tool is not installed, then the Disk Quota plasmoid shows diagnostics like this:

Infos for Packagers

Since Disk Quota uses the command line tool ‘quota’ and launches ‘filelight’ when clicking on quota entries, you should ship ‘quota’ and ‘filelight’ when installing this applet. Most certainly, this plasmoid is only useful for networked systems (with remote mount points) and enterprise installations.

Release Info

Status: Pending Review Request: Disk Quota for inclusion in Plasma 5

Credit where Credit is Due

During implementation lots of questions popped up. Thankfully, we were all at the KDE conference Akademy, and Kai, Sebas, Marco, Martin and the Visual Design group (for design help and icons) were there for quick help – Thanks a lot! Hope you all like the result

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDEPIM 5.0

Sun, 2015-08-02 02:01

KDEPIM 5.0 is the port of kdepim to kf5/qt5.

The porting was started in may 2014. It was a long way because kdepim is not just kmail. It’s based on Akonadi server and all libraries from kdepimlibs.

The first step was to make Akonadi worked against Qt5.

The second step was porting kdepimlibs to make it work with akonadi server and KF5.

The last step was porting kdepim to kdepimlibs.

But we are able to obtain a stable version for 15.08 !

What contains kdepim 5.0 ?

It contains all original applications:

  • KMail
  • KAddressBook
  • KOrganizer
  • Kontact
  • KAlarm
  • Blogilo
  • AccountWizard
  • KNotes
  • grantleeeditor*
  • importwizard

What applications were removed?

KNodes was not ported to KDE4 pure and there is not a maintainer for it. So it was a big work for me if I wanted to port to pure KDE4 and porting after that to kf5

KTimeTracker was not maintains during some years and it was not really a pim application.

KDEPIM-Mobile: it was removed too because it depends against QtQuick1.0 it was not tested in 4.14 so in KF5 it was completly broken. So if some guy wants in the future to have it, it will be necessary to rewrite all.

KMailCVT: it was merged in the application importwizard.

What is news in kdepim 5.0?

  • First at all we ported to Qt5/KF5
  • New composer for KMail which has search/replace component integrated in composer directly.
  • contactprintthemeeditor allows to create some grantlee theme for kaddressbook
  • KAddressBook allows to send vcard file directly
  • Now we can manage IMAP folder which can be show in KOrganizer/KAddressBook.
  • Now we can share url on social network (as Facebook/Twitter etc.)
  • Add support for texttospeech based on Qt5TextToSpeech (which is not release yet).
  • Pimsettingexport has a console program now. (so we can backup from a script directly)
  • I merge all setting for email completion in an unique dialog.
  • SieveEditor has bookmark support.
  • a lot of others features that I don’t remember
  • KContacts has full vcard4 support.
  • Dan made a big work on Akonadi. He speeded up it a lot. It’s very fast now.

Future:

The future is in progress KF5.1 is in development.

We have some new feature:

  • Sieveeditor has debug script support implemented based on “sieve-test” application.
  • KAddreebook has complement gravatar support
  • KAddressbook can display image based on an url
  • A lot of optimization was done
  • Some obsolete features were removed during Akademy coding session
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Painting on a rotating disc

Sat, 2015-08-01 20:00

At Akademy 2015 in A Coruna, I visited the museum Domus. This had an exhibit on the working of the brain. A huge touch screen was running a simulation of a rotating disc on which visitors could 'paint' with their fingers. The simulation was there to talk about creativity and the brain. With my limited skill, I created the following piece of art:

Not all KDE participants got a chance to see the Domus and I did not want them, especially the Krita developers, to go without. So I roughly recreated the rotating disc application in JavaScript. It's quick and buggy and tested only on the desktop in Chromium and Firefox. It would have been much better if I'd written it in QML. Instead I chose for a version that can be run quickly in the browser.

Click on the image below to give it a try.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

rsibreak port to KF5 started!

Sat, 2015-08-01 19:53

I just started the port of rsibreak to KF5.

Contributions at http://quickgit.kde.org/?p=rsibreak.git

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Akademy 2015 and Akademy-es 2015 recap

Sat, 2015-08-01 16:08

I'm back home after more than a week of talks and hacking in the beautiful city of A Coruña.

There I attended Akademy, the international conference of the KDE Community, and Akademy-es, it's Spanish counterpart.

First off I'd like to thank the local organization, GPUL, that as always has done an amazing job in hosting us, repeating the success of Guademy, Akademy-es 2008, KDE-EDu sprint, etc.

Also kudos to the Scottish-Kenny duo, top notch organizing work as always.

Finally thanks to the both Akademy and Akademy-es sponsors. Specially Qindel, that sponsored us for the first time, hope we can continue the relationship in the future.

The talks this year were specially interesting, I attended some good BoFs on releasing and translation infrastructure, hopefully some improvements coming your way soon :)

Of course not everything is perfect and my biggest pain point this year was that we did not have as much people in Akademy-es as we expected. Akademy-es happened the 2 days before Akademy and this meant that lots of local people from the organization team were helping set up the place instead of attending the talks; also on Friday some of us (I count at least 8) were attending the KDE e.V. General Assembly so couldn't attend Akademy-es either. Definitely something to think about and improve next time Akademy and Akademy-es happen at the same place.

But all in all pretty positive experience as always, nice to meet so many KDE people :)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Passing the Torch

Fri, 2015-07-31 17:16

This fall, the Simon project will turn 9 years old. What started with a team of ambitious 17-year-olds and a school project, evolved over the course of more than 3000 commits and 4 major releases into a sophisticated speech-recognition platform.

Like most open-source projects, Simon saw periods of stagnation and periods of explosive growth. It saw GSoCs and Open Academies; Research projects and commercial deployments. And through it all, I was proud to be Simon’s maintainer. Almost 9 years in, however, it is time for me to take a step back, pass on the torch, and focus on a new adventure.

At the end of this month, I will start an exciting new career at Apple’s Siri team in Paris. I will therefore sadly no longer be able to serve as Simon’s maintainer, starting on the 20th of August.
I hereby want to announce an open call to find a new maintainer for KDE’s speech recognition efforts.

To help my successor get started, I will hold an online workshop on the upcoming Tuesday, 4th of August 2015 (starting at around 11am, Vienna time), where I will introduce speech-recognition basics, outline Simon’s codebase, and answer any arising questions. I am also planning on discussing my sketches and ideas on where I personally think the project should be going, and how to get there. After the workshop, I will stay available to answer any questions, especially when it comes to the workings of the actual speech recognition, via email until the 20th, to make the transition as smooth as possible.

I encourage everyone interested in potentially leading the Simon team to introduce themselves on the kde-speech@kde.org mailing list. Prior knowledge about speech recognition is not required.

At this point, I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in turning this project into what it has become. Franz and Mathias Stieger, Alexander Breznik, Frederik Gladhorn, Yash Shah, Vladislav Sitalo, Adam Nash, Patrick von Reth, Manfred Scheucher, Phillip Goriup, Martin Gigerl, Bettina Sturmann, Susanne Tschernegg, Jos Poortvliet, Lydia Pintscher, the KDE e.V. board, and the countless others: thank you!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

It’s the final countdown

Fri, 2015-07-31 14:21

As my time in Spain in coming to a close I reflect on my time here and at Akademy. I have learned that KDE is even more awesome and the community is more amazing then I ever thought (this was my first Akademy). I’ve done quite a few things during my time here, from coding (QML), riding a Paddle Board, to packaging and debugging. I’ve seen time and time again that the people who work in Open Source are some of the nicest people you can find anywhere.

Thanks are in order

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

A shout-out to SQLAlchemy

Fri, 2015-07-31 12:33

At work-work we write Python apps, using SQLAlchemy as ORM and database layer. I tend to run our stuff on OpenSUSE with SQLite for quick development purposes, but production tends to be MS SQL Server and Windows XP (there are migrations ongoing ..). Today we got a bug report that certain columns in the database were being created as VARCHAR(max) (that’s a SQL-Serverism) and that this was leading to errors elsewhere in the application when reflection of the database was used to (re-)retrieve the types of columns.

So I spent a few hours testing and writing up a careful bug report with a reproducible test case. That’s the time my job is (most) fun, writing up something that contributes outside our own walls.

Turns out we were doing something that wasn’t quite right, but the SQLAlchemy developers agreed that it was a not-unreasonable thing to do and within six hours there was a fix, committed and scheduled for the next release. So here’s a shout-out to Mike B. at SQLAlchemy for his quick work. (And I’m glad the effort of making a good-as-I-can bugreport paid off.)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Kubuntu Paddleboard Club

Fri, 2015-07-31 11:30

I always say the best way to tour a city is from the water

by
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Akademy 2015 & Kate

Fri, 2015-07-31 04:53

Today, I will travel back home from Akademy 2015.

I must say, it was really a nice KDE meeting and I had a lot of fun ;=)
The first day the KDE e.V. general assembly did take place, then two days of actually interesting talks (including the great announcement of Plasma Mobile). After some more days with interesting BoFs and hacking, Akademy is now ending for me.

I didn’t do that much work on Kate, I mostly did small bugfixes for the applications bundled with the KDE Applications releases regarding their HiDPI support, finally no Konsole that can’t redraw correctly on scrolling on a HiDPI screen with scaling activated!

For Kate, the most stuff I did was porting one more plugin (the text filter plugin), fixing some small bugs and rearranging the search bars for in document and in files search. I hope it now is a bit nicer to use, still that is not the final state and I guess we will ask the VDG for more input later on. (btw., if you see any HiDPI glitches in Kate/KTextEditor master, please inform me, I really want to have non-pixelated output ;=)

A big thanks to all organizers & helpers of Akademy 2015! You did a great job, it was a lot of fun, the location was nice, the social event + day trip was good, all fine One of the nicer Akademy experiences! Lets hope that the flight home works out, as Dominik is taking the same plane, otherwise the Kate workforce will be seriously diminished.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets