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Updated: 3 hours 47 min ago

Kdenlive 0.9.10… Yet Another Bugfix Release

5 hours 6 min ago

4 month after 0.9.8, here comes a new release of your favorite video editor.

Don't look for shiny new features: development has been focused at removing unreliable behaviours.
You will only find new VBR export settings, video stabilizer, better look on high DPI screens, but mainly no more crashes?

You can download the source tarball from KDE servers, and have a look at the changelog.

This being done, we will be able to focus on things planned in Randa: transfer to KDE infrastructure, code cleaning, port to KF5… Big changes hidden behind small words!

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Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Free Usability Mentoring during Qt Developer Days Europe

Tue, 2014-09-30 09:13

Due to the generous sponsoring of KDAB, we are able to offer free Usability and User Experience mentoring sessions during Qt Developer Days Europe 2014.

Keep on reading: Free Usability Mentoring during Qt Developer Days Europe

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Saving Face and the threats to privacy in our society

Tue, 2014-09-30 06:32
I'm not talking about the 2012 documentary, nor an actual face. I want to discuss the expression, as defined by wikitionary:
"To take an action or make a gesture intended to preserve one's reputation or honour"I argue that this expression is under-used in this day and age of privacy violations.
Awesomeness from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal!Privacy is notTech folk like me were surprised at the publicity around the leak of celebrity nudes a few weeks ago. With the continuous string of NSA scandals over the last years, we didn't expect anybody to still think their data was safe online. Apparently, we still have to make the argument for privacy...

For many people, privacy and the arguments against NSA style "collect it all" spying seem moot: "I have nothing to hide".

Now this argument has been solidly debunked in various articles, breaking down to these main reasons:
  • You don't know what you have to hide
  • You should have something to hide
  • Privacy is a basic human need
On the first two, security researcher Moxie Marlinspike wrote for Wired Magazine.

You don't know what you have to hideIn the US, the federal government can't even count the number of laws one can break, and Moxie argues:
If the federal government had access to every email you’ve ever written and every phone call you’ve ever made, it’s almost certain that they could find something you’ve done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations. You probably do have something to hide, you just don’t know it yet.
A society with perfect surveillance means anybody could be locked up at any time as everybody does things wrong all the time. Law enforcement becomes arbitrary (and consequently a great means for controlling people who do things the government doesn't like). Just one recent example: in Washington, being smelly is a crime.

Moxie does not even discuss changes in policy and politics. What is legal today can haunt you tomorrow! This is not a hypothetical situation: in World War II tens of thousands lost their lives because the Dutch government kept extensive records on every citizen.

You should have something to hideThe second point is that if laws were never broken, they would never be changed and progress of society would come to a stand-still. In a world of perfect law enforcement, slavery would still be with us, sodomy laws would be in effect and women wouldn't be allowed to run businesses or perhaps even drive cars. Probably nice for bureaucratic governments (things are simpler that way) but I don't think it is wise to limit the world our kids live in based on what we can deal with and understand today...

Despite their very real impact, these arguments, to many of us, seem mostly relevant around an oppressive regime. We're happy that the protests in Hong Kong are aided by techology but it doesn't make us use them.

Privacy is a basic human needThen there is the argument that people need privacy. Not because they do illegal things, but just because. The often-heard explanation: when you go to the toilet, you close the door. Not because you do something illegal there, but just because you'd prefer doing it alone!

This might not feel like a strong argument, perhaps that is why Moxie doesn't mention it. But it goes far deeper than the other reasons for privacy, to something very central to us, human animals. Everybody feels a need to present themselves well to others! We use make-up, proper clothes, perfume and deodorant. We act and speak careful, ever mindful of the impression we leave on people. And privacy is central to control over how others see you.
Marying as WoW characterSaving faceWords like reputation and honour in the definition of "saving face" by wikitionary make it sound like a big, special thing, but it is true for everybody, every day: we all go through extraordinary length to control how others see us. It is why we carefully choose the clothes we wear and the car we drive. We even wear different faces around different people. Loving husband or wife, funny friend, hard working employee, trusted confidant, sensitive and dedicated son, powerful wizard.

We are careful to keep these separate. If one of your parents would suffer from cancer, you would share the pain with close friends, but not the poker friends at the bar. You'd share that you had to deal with a burn-out a few years ago with your husband, but not your colleagues. If you lose your job you keep up appearances to some friends, but share your feelings with others. You would tell at work about your kid puking over you at breakfast but not about your wife who suffers from depression.

The carefully build impressions others have of us are maintained at almost all costs, and we don't even realize it. It is more obvious in some situations, of course - when something bad happens to you but you don't want some group of people to know; or, typically, when dating or soliciting for a job, when you put up your best, cleanest face and present yourself as perfect as you can. Or when you get very upset when certain information (private pictures, habits or hobbies) become public. But you always care about your appearance.

Losing control?Modern social media are putting a bit of a wrench in this form of social engineering we all engage in. A date or potential employer can look us up on the internet, finding out things we'd rather not share. And if the data isn't available openly, they can probably just pay for it. Awareness of this is still rather low but, like the Silicon Valley folks keep their kids from using computers and even send them to analog schools, many tech people I know are far more careful with their online profile than the average consumer, who happily takes the free data storage for uploading their lives to servers in the cloud.

There is a time factor at work here. This technology arrived when my generation was (mostly) old and wise enough not to put too much embarrassing stuff online. But just think of everything you did before you turned 18 - I don't know about you, dear reader, but I sure don't want that online. Yet this is exactly what the current and future generations face! Why else are tools which promise to delete your data after a short time, like Snapchat and friends, so popular - and why else do people get so upset when the promises about deleting data are broken?

Because they are being broken, and will continue to be, either by the companies themselves (your data is worth more than you think!) and by governments, hackers and so on.

I think it is important to realize how a lack of privacy impact us, as humans. In the end, it might be the most important argument: in this digital age, we lose the abilities to control how we present ourselves to others. Time to take back our data and decentralize.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Tomorrow: The Luminosity of Free Software Episode 21

Mon, 2014-09-29 12:48

As I wrote in my blog last week, I was away from the Internets for nearly and entire week (oh my!) but am back and tomorrow is the day when the next episode of the Luminosity of Free Software will happen.

I will be recording it on Google+ Hangouts on Tuesday the 30th of September at 18:00 UTC. The topics haven't changed since my last blog, but I'll repeat them here for convenience:


  1. Kdenlive: Free software non-linear video editing that rocks
  2. Funding Free Software: We'll discuss a number of models, each with their unique strengths and weaknesses and see if we can't pick out some of the better ones
  3. Q&A: You ask, and I do my best to answer
See you tomorrow on G+ Hangout and irc.freenode.net in #luminosity!
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Randa

Mon, 2014-09-29 04:16


 Hello World,

This is my first blog post here, and among my first posts ever, but I have to report to you the great things that happened at the KDE Randa meeting( yes I'm not the fastest writer).

So first of all who am I?
My name is Patrick von Reth and I'm one of the crazy Windows guys that try to make your cool KDE applications work on Windows. I'm doing this now for over 4 years.

Even so I visited two Akademies until now this was my first time at Randa and it was great!
One of the amazing things at Randa is the productivity, most of us worked all day, only in the late evening after the occasional round of chocolates and beer some stopped to work.


The view from the hacking room.

There were many meetings where important decisions where made for the future of KDE, and KDE on Windows.
KDE Frameworks 5 are a great opportunity for KDE Windows, they not only cut down the size of the dependencies (in Mb) but also clean up all the code.
And much stuff already moved directly to Qt5. Some issues we have with Qt5 are the path problems so the "share" folder etc isn't found. For now we have to patch Qt but in the future we may get some of those patches upstream. We also thought about creating a Qt platform plugin which would allow us to set those search paths without hacking Qt.

Now in Randa many applications where ported to use Frameworks. Which from tier1 to tier3 are more or less supported and "stable" on Windows.
So we now got Kdevelop, for the first time in history working on Windows, it is awesome but crashes every few minutes so we still need to fix this ;) .

We also started the work on a Windows CI. The hard thing there is that we can't use or build tool "emerge"(which has nothing in common with the Gentoo emerge) but have to use the same but modified scripts used for the Linux Jenkins CI.

Why is CI so important? To make it easy, when we fixed your project and you commit something that doesn't work on Windows, you can directly see the result and try to fix it. Without the need for an own Windows build machine.

One last important thing for Randa was that some people currently part of KDE Windows met the first time in history, so while fixing stuff we also got to know each other. And of course the awesome meals.

So this might be my fist post here but it will not be the last.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

What’s new in porting script “convert-to-new-signal-slot-signal.pl” ?

Mon, 2014-09-29 04:07

I continue to improve convert-to-new-signal-slot-signal.pl.

To resume this script allows to convert old connect signal slot syntax to lambda syntax

=> connect( sender, SIGNAL(<signal>), receiver, SLOT(<slot>); to connect (sender, &<::signal>, receiver, &<::slot>);

What was improved ?

  • Add support for SIGNAL/SIGNAL  (connect( sender, SIGNAL(<signal>), receiver, SIGNAL(<signal>);
  • Add support when variable is defined in a QPointer (we need to add “.data()”)
  • Add support when variable is defined in a private class
  • Exclude all slots define in a Q_PRIVATE_SLOT
  • Add support for QObject::connect
  • Add support when connect line is split in several lines.

A big thanks to David Faure to clean up this script and for the idea to improve it.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Experimenting with keyboard shortcuts

Sun, 2014-09-28 14:09

A few weeks ago, I decided to make an experiment and completely rework the global shortcuts of my KDE desktop. I wanted them to make a bit more sense instead of being the agglomerated result of inspirations from other systems, and was ready to pay the cost of brain retraining.

My current shortcut setup relies on a few "design" decisions:

  • All workspace-level shortcuts must use the Windows (also known as Meta) modifier key, application shortcuts are not allowed to use this modifier.

  • There is a logical link between a shortcut and its meaning. For example, the shortcut to maximize a window is Win + M.

  • The Shift modifier is used to provide a variant of a shortcut. For example the shortcut to minimize a window is Win + Shift + M.

I am still playing with it, but it is stabilizing these days, so I thought I'd write a summary of what I came up with:

Window management
  • Maximize: Win + M.

  • Minimize: Win + Shift + M.

  • Close: Win + Escape. This is somehow consistent with the current Win + Shift + Escape to kill a window.

  • Always on top: Win + T.

  • Shade: Win + S.

  • Switch between windows: Win + Tab and Win + Shift + Tab (yes, this took some work to retrain myself, and yes, it means I no longer have shortcuts to switch between activities).

  • Maximize left, Maximize right: Win + :, Win + !. This is very localized: ':' and '!' are the keys under 'M' on my French keyboard. Definitely not a reusable solution. I used to use Win + '(' and Win + ')' but it made more sense to me to have the maximize variants close to the full Maximize shortcut.

  • Inner window modifier key: Win. I actually changed this from Alt a long time ago: it is necessary to be able to use Inkscape, as it uses Alt + Click to select shapes under others.

Virtual desktop
  • Win + Left, Win + Right: Go to previous desktop, go to next desktop.

  • Win + Shift + Left, Win + Shift + Right: Bring the current window to the previous desktop, bring the current window to the next desktop.

  • Win + F1, Win + F2, Win + F3: Switch to desktop 1, 2 or 3.

Application launch
  • Win + Space: KRunner.

  • Win + Shift + Space: Homerun.

Misc
  • Win + L: Lock desktop.
How does it feel?

I was a bit worried about the muscle-memory retraining, but it went quite well. Of course I am a bit lost nowadays whenever I use another computer, but that was to be expected.

One nice side-effect I did not foresee is that this change turned the Win modifier into a sort of quasimode: all global workspace operations are done by holding the Win key. I said "sort of" because some operations requires you to release the Win key before they are done, for example when switching from one window to another, no shortcuts work as long as the window switcher is visible, so one needs to release the Win key after switching and press it again to do something else. I notice this most often when maximizing left or right.

Another good point of this approach is that, almost no shortcuts use function keys. This is a good thing because: a) it can be quite a stretch for small hands to hold both the Win or Alt modifier together with a function key and b) many laptops these days come with the function keys mapped to multimedia controls and need another modifier to be held to become real function keys, some other laptops do not even come with any function keys at all! (heresy I know, but such is the world we live in...)

What about you, do you have unusual shortcut setups?

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Plasma 5.1 release parties!

Sat, 2014-09-27 17:59

Plasma 5.1 is coming up in less than a month, we have already two release parties in the planning, but i'm sure you have some fellow KDE users around you want to meet and have a beer with, so hop onto your local LUG, meetup, or something, organize a party and add it to https://community.kde.org/Promo/Events/Release_Parties/Plasma5.1

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Another kickstarter feature done: cage transform

Sat, 2014-09-27 07:19

Yesterday, Dmitry finished another part of his work on the transform tool. He added cage tranform and improved the anti-aliasing. Only liquify is still on the transform tool todo list!

Here’s the details:

1) Warp tool now has really much better quality and became a bit faster

2) Cage transform tool

3) Both Warp and Cage tools now can work with multiple points:

3.1) Ctrl key for selecting several points

3.2) Drag inside the bounds of the cage to move the selected points

3.3) Drag outside the bounds of the cage to rotate the selected points

3.4) Ctrl+Drag outside the bounds of the cage to scale  the selected points

And here’s a video showing off! Artwork by Deevad, recording by Dmitry, editing by Wolthera.

(If you don’t see the video, here’s the youtube link: http://youtu.be/1J9s7dNuSe4)

This means that of the original 12 Kickstarter items, we’d done:

  • thin line quality
  • improved anti-aliasing of the transform tool
  • perspective transform
  • easy mask creation
  • transform mask/layer
  • cage transform

Still to do are:

  • layer styles
  • liquify transform
  • vector object scaling and resolution
  • shaped gradients
  • color smudge brush improvements
  • load and save transparency masks to psd

Here are new builds for you:

Windows build:

OSX build (still experimental, no OpenColorIO or OpenEXR):

Linux build:

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Explaining bands of nothing, BASH bugs, and old research

Sat, 2014-09-27 05:54

I heard a really interesting little show on the radio tonight, about the man who explained 'bands of nothing.' "Astronomer Daniel Kirkwood... is best known for explaining gaps in the asteroid belt and the rings of Saturn — zones that are clear of the normal debris." http://stardate.org/radio/program/daniel-kirkwood. He taught himself algebra, and used his math background to analyze the work of others, rather than making his own observations. The segment is only 5 minutes; give it a listen.

This reminded me of the how much progress I used to make when I did genealogy research, by looking over the documents I had gotten long ago, in light of facts I more recently uncovered. All of a sudden, I made new discoveries in those old docs. So that has become part of my regular research routine.

And perhaps all of these thoughts were triggered by the BASH bug which I keep hearing about on the news in very vague terms, and in quite specific discussion in IRC and mail lists. Old, stable code can yield new, interesting bugs! Maybe even dangerous vulnerabilities. So it's always worth raking over old ground, to see what comes to the surface.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Month of KDE Contributor: From LaKademy …

Fri, 2014-09-26 10:02

In recent weeks I had an intense “Month of KDE Contributor” that began with LaKademy, the KDE Latin American Summit, and ended with Akademy, the KDE World Summit. It was a month somewhat tiring, hard work, but it was also filled with good stories, great meetings, new contacts, discoveries and, I can say, fun.

This post I will write about LaKademy and the next I will comment about Akademy.

The second edition of LaKademy took place in São Paulo, one of the biggest cities of Latin America, in FLOSS Competence Center of University of Sao Paulo, an entire building dedicated to studies and researches on various aspects of free software: licenses, software engineering, metrics extracted from repositories, social aspects of collaboration, and more.

This year I and Aracele were the conference organizers, and I believe that we could provide all the infrastructure necessary to LaKademy attendees had good days of work in a pleasant and comfortable places.

First day we had talks of collaborators, and one that most caught my attention was Rafael Gomes on KDE sysadmin. It’s amazing the size of the infrastructure behind the scenes, a solid base that allows developers to do their jobs. It would be interesting to promote more this type of collaboration to attract potential contributors who prefer this side of computing.

This day I presented a talk about Qt in Android, describing the development tools configuration in Linux, presenting a basic Hello World, and commenting on some softwares availables using this technology, specially the VoltAir and GCompris. The presentation is below (in portuguese).

.

Second day we had a short-course about Qt, presented by Sandro Andrade. Impressive his didactic and how he manages to hold our attention for a whole day without getting boring or tiring. This day I was helping the other participants, especially those who were having the first contact with Qt development.

The third and fourth days were devoted to application hacking and projects development. I joined in “task-force” to port Bovo to KF5, I started the development of a metapackage to install all KF5 packages in Mageia, and I started the port of Cantor to KF5. I also fixed some KDE Brazil bots on social networks.

Task force to port Bovo to KF5

Fourth day we had a meeting to discuss some initiatives to promote KDE in Latin America, and we started to use Kanboard of KDE TODO to organize the implementation of these projects.

Besides the work we had some moments of relaxation at the event, as when we went to Garoa Hacker Clube, the main hackerspace in São Paulo, an activity we call Konvescote; and also when we all went to Augusta Street, one of the famous bohemian streets in the city.

KDE + Garoa

However, as in all events of Free Software and KDE Brazil, the best thing is see old friends again and meet new ones that are coming to the boat. For the novices, welcome and let’s to do a great work! For the veterans, we still have a good road ahead on this idea of writing free software and give back to the world something of beautiful, high quality technical, that respect the user.

KDE Brazil team wrote an excelent post enumerating what the attendees produced during the event. I suggest to all who still want more information to read that text.

I leave my thanks to KDE e.V. for providing this meeting. I hope to see more contributors in next LaKademy!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Month of KDE Contributor: …to Akademy

Fri, 2014-09-26 10:00

In recent weeks I had an intense “Month of KDE Contributor” that began with LaKademy, the KDE Latin American Summit, and ended with Akademy, the KDE World Summit. It was a month somewhat tiring, hard work, but it was also filled with good stories, great meetings, new contacts, discoveries and, I can say, fun.

Previous post I wrote about LaKademy and now I will write about Akademy.

LaKademy had ended just one day before and there I was getting a bus to São Paulo again, preparing for a trip that would take about 35 hours to Brno, with an unusual connection in Dubai and a bus from Prague, the Czech Republic capital, to the city of the event.

Arriving at Brno my attention was piqued by the beautiful architecture of this old city of the Eastern Europe, something exotic for Brazilians. During the event I had some time to walking in the city, especially on some nights for dinner and during the Day Trip. I could calmly enjoy the details of several buildings, museums, the castle and the city cathedral.

It was the second Akademy I attended, if you count the Desktop Summit in 2011. This time I am a member of the KDE e.V., the organization behind KDE, so my first task was to attend to General Assembly.

I was fascinated how dozens of contributors from different parts of the world, from different cultures, were there discussing the future of KDE, planning important steps for the project, checking the accounts of the entity, in short, doing a typical task of any association. I was also impressed by the long applause for Cornelius Schumacher, a member of the KDE e.V. Board since 2002 and former president of the association. A way to show gratitude for all work he accomplished in those over 10 years in KDE e.V. Board.

In the end the day we had a reception for participants at Red Hat. I was impressed with the size of the company in the city (three large buildings). We drank some beers of the country and distribute Brazilian cachaça. =)

The next day began the talk days. I highlight the keynote of Sascha (I believe he was invited to Akademy after Kévin Ottens have seen him lecture here in Brazil during FISL), and the talk on GCompris, software that I admire because it is a educational suite for children. Unfortunately, one of the lectures that I wanted to see not occurred, that was Cofunding KDE aplications. We were David Faure talking about software ports to KF5, and presentation of KDE groups of India and Taiwan in the end of day.

The second day of talks we had a curious keynote of Cornelius who presented some history of KDE using images of old contributors. The highlights of the day were also the presentations by VDG staff, the group that is doing a amazing design work in Plasma 5, and now they are extending their mouse pointer to KDE applications too. Great!

Another interesting presentation was on Next Generation of Desktop Applications, by Alex Fiestas. He argued that the new generation of software need to combine information from different web sources in order to provide a unique user experience. He used examples of such applications, and I’m very curious to try Jungle, video player that will have these characteristics.

Finally this day had a lecture by Paul Adams, very exciting. He shows that, after investigation in KDE repositories, the degree of contribution among developers decreased with the migration from SVN to GIT, the number of commits decreased too, and more. Paul has interesting work in this area, but for my part I think it is necessary to explain this conclusions using anothers concepts too, because we need to understand if this decreased is necessarily a bad thing. Maybe today are we developers more specialized than before? Maybe is the decrement of commits just a result of code base stabilization in that time? Something not yet concluded in KDE is that we came from a large unified project (including in repository level) to a large community of subprojects (today we are like Apache, maybe). In this scenario, is it worth doing comparisons between what we are today with what we were yesterday, based only on our repositories? Anyway, it is a good point to ponder.

In BoFs days, I participated in the first two parts of the software documentation  BoF – an important and necessary work, and we developers need to give a little more attention to it -; FOSS in Taiwan and KDE Edu in India. Unfortunately I could not attend to packagers BoF (well, I am a packager in Mageia), because it occurred in the same time of Taiwan BoF. Letś try again in next Akademy. =)

I like to see the experiences of users/developers groups in other countries; the management of these activities attracts me, mainly because we can apply either in Brazil. I left this Akademy with the desire to prepare something about Latin America community to the next event. I believe we have much to share with the community about what we’re doing here, our successes and failures, and the contribution of Latin American for the project.

Finally the other days I continued working on the Cantor port to KF5 or I was talking with different developers in the halls of university.

To me it’s very important to participate in Akademy because there I can see the power of free software and its contributors, and how this culture of collaboration brings together different people for development and evolution of free computer programs. Therefore, I would like to thank immensely to KDE e.V. for the opportunity to go to Akademy and I would like to say that I feel very good to be part of this great community that is KDE. =)

The best of all is to see old friends again and meet new people. When that e-mail address gets contours of human face is a very special moment for us who work “so close and so distant”. So it was amazing to be with all of you!

Akademy 2014 Group Photo – giant size here

And to finnish I desire a great job to the new KDE e.V. Board!

Those interested, most of the talks presented with video and slides are available in this link.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

14.10 Beta 2

Fri, 2014-09-26 07:37

Kubuntu 14.10 beta 2 is out now for testing by early adopters. This release comes with the stable Plasma 4 we know and love. It also adds another flavour - Kubuntu Plasma 5 Tech Preview.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Overcoming fear

Fri, 2014-09-26 05:21

In the last few posts, I've been exploring ideas expressed by Ed Catmull in Creativity, Inc. Everyone likes good ideas! But putting them into practice can be both difficult, and frightening. Change is work, and creating something which has never existed before, is creating the future. The unknown is daunting.

In meetings with the Braintrust, where new film ideas are viewed and judged, Catmull says,
It is natural for people to fear that such an inherently critical environment will feel threatening and unpleasant, like a trip to the dentist. The key is to look at the viewpoints being offered, in any successful feedback group, as additive, not competitive. A competitive approach measures other ideas against your own, turning the discussion into a debate to be won or lost. An additive approach, on the other hand, starts with the understanding that each participant contributes something (even if it's only an idea that fuels the discussion--and ultimately doesn't work). The Braintrust is valuable because it broadens your perspective, allowing you to peer--at least briefly--through other eyes.[101]Catmull presents an example where the Braintrust found a problem in The Incredibles film. In this case, they knew something was wrong, but failed to correctly diagnose it. Even so, the director was able, with the help of his peers, to ultimately fix the scene. The problem turned out not to be the voices, but the physical scale of the characters on the screen!

This could happen because the director and the team let go of fear and defensiveness, and trust that everyone is working for the greater good. I often see us doing this in KDE, but in the Community Working Group cases which come before us, I see this breaking down sometimes. It is human nature to be defensive. It takes healthy community to build trust so we can overcome that fear.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Kubuntu: Frameworks 5.2.0 Released and Plasma 5.0.2 is ready for testing.

Thu, 2014-09-25 13:00

Kubuntu 14.10 with KDE Plasma 5.0.2

KDE Frameworks 5.2.0 Has been released to Utopic archive!
(Actually a few days ago, we are playing catch up since Akademy)

Also, I have finished packaging Plasma 5.0.2, it looks and runs great!
We desperately need more testers! If you would like to help us test,
please join us in IRC in #kubuntu-devel thanks!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

My first Akademy: My confrontation with my Shyness and my Overall Experience.

Thu, 2014-09-25 12:37

KDE Akademy 2014 in Brno, Czech Republic

A few weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to attend KDE’s Akademy Conference for the first time. (Thank you Ubuntu Donors for sponsoring me!).
Akademy is a week long conference that begins with a weekend of keynote speakers, informative lectures, and many hacking groups scattered about.
This Akademy also had a great pre-release party held by Red Hat.

I have not traveled such a distance since I was a child, so I was not prepared for the adventures to come. Hint: Pack lightly! I still have nightmares of the giant suitcase I thought I would need! I was lucky to have a travel buddy / roommate (Thank you Valorie Zimmerman!) to assist me in my travels, and most importantly, introducing me to my peers at KDE/Kubuntu that I had never met in person. It was wonderful to finally put a face to the names.

My first few days were rather difficult. I was fighting my urge to stand in a corner and be shy. Luckily, some friendly folks dragged me out of the corner and introduced me to more and more people. With each introduction and conversation it became easier. I also volunteered at the registration desk, which gave me an opportunity to meet new people. As the days went on and many great conversations later, I forgot I was shy! In the end I made many friends during Akademy, turning this event into one of the most memorable moments of my life.

The weekend brought Keynote speakers and many informative lectures. Unfortunately, I could not be in several places at once, so I missed a few that I wanted to see.
Thankfully, you can see them here: https://conf.kde.org/en/Akademy2014/public/schedule/2014-09-06

Due to circumstances out of their control, the audio is not great. The rest of the week was filled with BoF sessions / Workshops / Hacking / Collaboration / Anything we could think of that need to get done. In the BoF sessions we covered a lot of ground and hashed out ways to resolve problems we were facing. All that I attended were extremely productive. Yet another case where I wish I could split into multiple people so I could attend all that I wanted too!

Kubuntu Day @ Akademy 2014

On Thursday we got an entire Kubuntu Day! We accomplished many things including working with Debian’s Sune and Pino to move some of our packaging to Debian git to reduce duplicate packaging work. We discussed the details of going to continuous packaging which includes Jenkins CI. We also had the pleasure of München’s Limux project joining us to update us with the progress of Kubuntu in Munich, Germany!

While there was a lot of work accomplished during Akademy, there was also plenty of play as well! In the evenings many of us would go out on the town for dinner and drinks.
On Wednesday,on the day trip, we visited (what a hike!) an old castle via a nice ferry ride. Unfortunately I forgot my camera in the hostel.. The hackroom in the hostel was always bustling with activity. We even had the pleasure of very tasty home cooked meals by Jos Poortvliet in the tiny hostel kitchen a couple nights, that took some creative thinking! In the end, there was never a moment of boredom and always moments of learning, discussions, hacking and laughing.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend Akademy, do not pass it up!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

The KDE Gardening Team

Thu, 2014-09-25 12:13

At Akademy I did a short talk (8 min) + herded a BoF with a title called "Quality is in the eye of the beholder".

One of the topics was that we should try to get a team of people to care about the global state of KDE software, we've decided to call this "The Gardening Team".

The mandate of the team is to:
# Find *really* important bugs and ping people to fix them
# Find stale reviewboards and ping people to fix them
# Bugzilla gardening, close old products etc
# Find projects that need love and give them some

For that we have various ideas:

Try to find monthly a bug to get people to fix it, by highlighting it as "The Bug of The Month" or something. Of course this bug can't be stuff like "Make Okular support javascript", it has to be something that is really a pain point of the whole user base and we think we can find people to fix it, it makes no sense setting impossible goals ;)

Do routine passes over reviewboard trying to identify stale requests and finding people to help moving those.

Run something called "Love Project". The idea is to pick up a project that is somewhat stale, and for a short amount of time (let's say 2/3 months) try to get a new release out, fix the most important crashers/bugs, get the review boards released, etc. This goal of the team is *not* becoming the maintainers of the project, but maybe by virtue of the "Love Project" we can attract new contributors that decide to.

Since we're only a few maybe we can't do this all, so we're focusing on a particular "Love Project" by now, but you should join and help us do more!

Our current Love Project is K3b, that had 2.0.2 released a long time ago and has a 2.0 branch with a few more bugfixes that have been never released.

We are coordinating through https://todo.kde.org/?controller=board&action=show&project_id=26 at the moment but plan to get a mailing list soon (or invade an unused existing one).

If you're interested, comment and i'll give you a shout when the list is created, no mega skills are needed (though people with mega skills are also welcome ;))

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

My first Akademy

Thu, 2014-09-25 09:00

Akademy 2014 was my first ever akademy that I attended and I must say that was nice experience for me. I got to meet many people whom I only know with their IRC nicks or just identity usernames. Our pre-registration event took part in the Redhat office, Brno. I reached there at evening and there I meet plasma developers as well as KDE-India people whom I alredy meet once at conf.kde.in, they gave very warm welcome to me.

On next day event took part in the Brno University of Technology, where on first two days there was many exciting talks. Some of them were lightning talks and others were full length technical talk, I also gave 10 minute talk in which I tried to explain “How I met our konqi - in single episode”. This talk included my experience with KDE community so far, How I started to contribute to KDE, Season of KDE, Google summer of Code etc..

After the 2 days of talks there was BoF sessions and workshops, where I attended the Plasma BoF, Plasma mediacenter BoF, KDE Windows BoF, KDE Edu use in India and KDE India BoF. This was really exciting to become a part of the awesome discussions going in this BoFs. Most exciting BoF for me was plasma mediacenter and plasma BoF because I normally work on this parts.

On the last day there was my birthday which I spent in the flight… :P but again that was best birthday gift I got from KDE e.V., Thank you for sponsering my travel and accomodation in Brno, Czech Republic.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Applications 14.12 Release Schedule

Thu, 2014-09-25 05:10

The schedule for KDE Applications 14.12 release is ready. As always it's available in techbase at https://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/Applications/14.12_Release_Schedule.

The Freeze is only one month away!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

2.8.6 → 2.9 → 3.0 → ...

Thu, 2014-09-25 04:56
KDE Project:

That was my first Akademy after a while, I've been following previous two with kids on my lap. I think Brno turned out to be both a pretty destination and decent host for all KDErs.
A new Kexi contributor Wojtek Kosowicz came with me. You can read about him here and his recent story here. Recently in Kexi there is a trend of new contributors coming from Poland, and specifically from Warsaw. I've heard they're a bit regretting afterwards they didn't join the Akademy too but I trust that will improve next year :)

I met many great old KDE friends. I had good time chatting with openSUSE's Bruno Friedmann, unbelievably dedicated to both the distro and KDE. I met the stars of the KDE Visual Design Group. Consumed a few quarters of time of Timothée Giet, well known Calligra and KDE contributor. Thanks for all inspirations! I mention these meetings as design has always been my special interest.

Kexi BoF on early Monday, unfortunately my last day, was filled with clearing up ambiguities of Kexi's feature set and approach to creation of custom apps (yes, Kexi's destiny is to act as complete run-time and design tool for apps). Friedrich Kossebau, who helps with Kexi/Calligra a lot, largely contributed to this meeting. The BoF as and extended with always reliable Kevin Krammer and other friends.

What are the KDE's products?
That was a topic that circulated in the air and i suppose many contributors took it back to their homes. From my user-oriented optics gained over years, KDE produces apps and development frameworks, period. Give this optics, Plasma is an app, that people could freely install and remove these days, without doing too much harm to their app experience.

People mix apps that fit best to their workflow given they have freedom to do so, many of us never close the browser, and never sign out of some services. Frameworks help with making the KDE apps easier to pick individually, to get even more "native" feeling on other environments, it's not enough to say it once :) Now times of Internet Explorer dragging everything (including Silverlight, three Java versions and Flash) with it to your home shall be over. It's enough that current browsers are fat, they are almost like a separate OS environments within your native OS.

Here, someone could even say the KDE Frameworks is a byproduct... but a great one.

2.8.6, 2.9, 3.0 and beyond
Yesterday Kexi 2.8.6 has been released within Calligra. Click the link for a list of changes, and a mention of pretty unusual addition to Kexi - it proposes direct donations on its Welcome screen. It turned out to be convenient and hopefully not too annoying given what the benefits might be. It's best explained by the screen shot.

 

 

By direct we mean that users can actually pick features they badly want "ASAP". There are various approaches. The Kexi's donation page features example list of issues to give some idea about budget estimations. An example (never announced) fundraising has been also published to give the idea to users that they are in control how these things would work, what types of features could get implemented or improved. (Krita has a donation link too since some time)

We in the team are clearly happy with the number of fixes that appeared in 2.8.6. Now we're on the good way to the 2.9 series, the flow of commits has started already. A few new features are possible until the December release, one of them is a structure tree for Reports. Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5-based version of Kexi will be called 3.0, and its development is expected to happen in parallel with 2.9 development and maintenance, so it all starts now to meet the "early 2015" deadline. I plan to share major news from this front on this blog.

 

CC BY 2.0 pcambra

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets