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KDE Edu Sprint 2017

Sun, 2017-10-22 14:52

My first KDE sprint. I am glad that It finally happened!

A day before I left for Berlin, I did not even have my VISA. Well, everything from getting the VISA to booking the flight tickets and finally packing the bags happened a day before I left for Berlin

We all landed in Berlin on 6th, a day before the sprint started. I think we all took a lot of rest that day because most of us were tired with all the traveling. We all met on 7th Morning at the reception of the hotel we were staying in where I finally got to meet people I only knew through IRC nick names. From there we headed to have some breakfast and finally to Endocode where our sprint took place.

Before we started working on our tasks, we had discussions regarding how to make the KDE Edu website better, making applications easily accessible to Universities/schools etc. We prepared a list of tasks that could be done during the sprint and finally started working on them.

I mostly worked on Cantor,completing some part of what I could not complete during GSoC. After a few discussions and help from my mentor Filipe, I merged some of my to work  to qprocess_port branch   and started working on polishing the R backend of Cantor. Filipe plans to release a new version in December, for which he plans to merge my work for R backend to master and for that to happen I need to make the syntax highlighter and tab completion of R backend work. I completed some part of it during the sprint.

I also had discussion with Timothee regarding GCompris-Server , showed him my work and discussed what should be the next step for it

Well, that’s all I did. I had a great time throughout the sprint and It was a pleasure meeting fellow KDE developers and specially my mentors Filipe and  Timothee

Here’s a picture we took(without Aleix and David)  just outside of where Qt world summit happened. Aleix was finding a new place to stay(If i remember correctly) and David had some other work.

 

Big Thank you to KDE e.V. board for sponsoring my trip and Endocode for providing us a office and access to unlimited drinks and a weird bottle opener


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Hey Mycroft, Drive Me to our Goals!

Thu, 2017-10-19 17:46
Intro

Almost three months after Akademy 2017, I finally found the time to write a blog post about how I experienced it.

Akademy is where I learn again about all the amazing things happening in our community, where I connect the dots and see the big picture of where all the effort in the various projects together can lead. And of course, I meet all the wonderful people, all the individual reasons why being in KDE is so amazing. This year was no different.

Some people voiced their concern during the event that those who are not at Akademy and see only pictures of it on social media might get the feeling that it is mostly about hanging out on the beach and drinking beer, instead of actually being productive. Everyone who was ever at Akademy of course knows this impression couldn’t be further from the truth, but I’ll still take it as a reason to not talk about any of the things that were “just” fun, and focus instead on those that were both fun and productive.

Tales from the KDE e.V. Board of Directors

One thing that happens at every Akademy is the Annual General Assembly (AGM) of the KDE e.V.

This association, usually just called “the e.V.” by the community, is KDE’s legal and financial representation. Among other things, it raises funds and uses them to make in-person meetings within KDE happen, such as developer sprints or conferences, and sponsor attendees who cannot afford travel and accommodation for those themselves. It also takes care of legal issues such as maintaining KDE’s trademarks, and this year it also uses some of its funds for two marketing contractors, Ivana and Paul, to help push our promo efforts. Since last Akademy I am on the board of directors of the KDE e.V., so the AGM is especially important to me.

One important aspect of this year’s AGM was that three out of the five positions in the board of directors were up for re-election. Two of the board members whose terms ended, our president Lydia Pintscher and vice president Aleix Pol, ran for another term and were re-elected, whereas Marta Rybczynska was not able to run for another term as treasurer, and is now followed by Eike Hein. Eike used to be one of the “KDE phantoms”: He’s been a very active KDE contributor for many years (most notably the maintainer of Konversation, Yakuake and several key parts of Plasma such as the Task Manager), but the majority of his fellow KDE members have not seen him in person until this year.

The new board (from the left): Eike, yours truly, Aleix, Lydia and Sandro

Fortunately I had the opportunity to talk to Eike more than anybody else at this Akademy because we had been assigned as roommates. He had lots of interesting stories to tell, from the way IRC facilitates building communities, to communication culture in Korea (where he now lives), to the experience of moderating multiple Subreddits, and much much more. I’m really looking forward to working with Eike on the board!

My highlights from two days of talks

The following are explicitly my personal highlights. If you’re a non-programmer like me, who is also especially interested in design and/or in KDE software running on anything that isn’t a traditional desktop or laptop PC, chances are you might find those talks as interesting as I did. If you know more about programming than I do, you’d also enjoy a lot of the other presentations, where I could just sit and be amazed by how people like you can understand all of that technical stuff.

So, here goes:

Aleix Pol’s talk about A laptop by KDE  summarized our experience with the KDE Slimbook, the very first KDE-branded hardware on the market, and gave a few ideas on what we might do next in that area. This was especially important to me because I was deeply involved in promoting the KDE Slimbook initiative. The talk was followed up by a BoF session during the week where we did an in-depth retrospective on how the Slimbook project went so far and what we learned from it.

A talk which was especially relevant for me as a user researcher was the one on (K)UserFeedback, where Volker Krause introduced the new framework that allows applications to – after opt-in and fully anonymized, of course – collect usage data and send them to KDE to use it for improving our software. Given that privacy is at the core of our Vision and Mission, of course we are extremely cautious in that area, but some usage data is needed for us to make software that fits the needs of our users, not just our own. Volker’s talk was accompanied by a BoF on Tuesday where we discussed what our policy on collection, storage and use of that data should look like in order gain useful information without compromising our users’ privacy.

A talk which was interesting for me from a strategic, design and user perspective was the one about Mycroft AI Plasmoid & Plasma Desktop Integration, in which Aditya Mehra presented some of the amazing things the Mycroft AI can already do in Plasma, as well as his plans for the future. Digital Assistants are one area where the Linux desktops clearly lag behind all big proprietary operating systems. Many Free Software proponents reject digital assistants outright due to a perceived inherent privacy problem, but Mycroft (apart from currently using a Google service for speech recognition, but there are plans to replace that) shows that privacy-protecting and fully user-controlled digital assistants are possible. That is why from my perspective, this is a hugely important strategic area for KDE. This talk was also accompanied by a BoF on Tuesday, about where else in Plasma we can use Mycroft’s capabilities. If you are as excited as I am about the role KDE could play in Free Software solutions for AI and home automation, consider participating in the discussion on my community goal proposal on that subject.

Aditya giving his talk about Mycroft

In his talk Opening new doors: KDE in embedded, Agustin Benito Bethencourt presented some of the ways in which KDE could play an important role in the world of embedded systems, for example in the automobile industry. He has been involved in two different projects in that area and told us that the industry is waking up to the benefits of open source, and that from his perspective, now would be a great time for KDE to make ourselves known in that space. This talk, too, was accompanied by a BoF session, where we discussed next steps for getting our software to run on automotive systems. This is also an area where I believe it’s important that KDE champions Fee Software, because, like with virtual assistants: What have we won if our PCs and phones run Free Software, but our cars are not in our full control and might even spy on us? If you are interested in this project, head over to the Automotive project on Phabricator and join the discussion and work there!

In his talk Looking for Love, our marketing contractor Paul Brown taught us the importance of focusing our communication strategy on the users’ needs, by presenting, in clear and easy to understand words, what benefit our products bring to them, instead of trying to describe their purpose as precisely as possible from our own perspective. That he took the Kirigami wiki page, which I had contributed significantly to, as a negative example of a description which uses way too much jargon and focuses on technical details instead of user benefits, of course meant that I had to endure seeing one of my “babies” being ripped apart in front of my eyes, but it was definitely worth it! The talk was meant as an appetizer for a workshop on Monday, were Paul helped everyone who wanted to improve their product website.

In his talk Input Methods in Plasma 5, Eike Hein made it clear that the state of input methods (which are needed primarily for text input in e.g. many Asian writing systems, but can also handle things such as emoji input or auto-completion or -correction) in Plasma and KDE applications is currently lagging behind other popular operating systems and desktop environments. He presented what needs to be done to improve the situation, and is now rallying people behind a proposal for a community goal to make it happen together. So here as well: If you also feel that improving input methods in KDE software is important, join the conversation on the proposal!

Camilo Higuita, author of the Babe music player, gave a talk Introducing Babe and a contextual approach to multimedia desktop apps where he demonstrated how Babe uses various techniques and online services to find connections between songs in order to give smart answers to search queries. His talk was also accompanied by a BoF session during the week, where we discussed some design ideas and how to use Kirigami to make Babe a convergent desktop and mobile application.

Yours truly also gave a presentation, together with Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, titled Folding Your Applications, where we talked about the design behind the Kirigami Ui framework and how application developers inside and outside of KDE are already using it to easily create mobile and convergent user interfaces.

Putting Ideas to Action: The Workshop and BoF Days

Monday through Thursday were dedicated to workshops and Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions, where various groups in KDE – established project teams, groups spontaneously forming around a topic, or often a combination of both – discussed how to drive their ideas forward.

In addition to the already mentioned follow-up sessions to talks from the previous days, these were the sessions that inspired me most:

In the Plasma Mobile part of the Plasma BoF, we learned about Plasma Mobile’s current status and discussed what needs to be done next. There is also a proposed community goal to improve the Plasma Mobile platform for end-user needs, so if you agree with me that Plasma Mobile is of strategic importance to KDE, please participate in the discussion there!

If you ask yourself what the deal is with all those community goals I keep referring to: The initiative to define some concrete mid-term goals for KDE for the next 3-4 years was actually born at Akademy, during a BoF titled ‘”Luminaries” Kabal Proposals’, where Kevin Ottens, Frederik Gladhorn and Mirko Boehm presented to us what came out of their discussion about how they think KDE can be put on the right track towards the future. The goal-setting initiative was one of their proposals. Another one was integrating the KDE e.V. working group reports, which have so far been part of the AGM, into the general conference schedule, allowing people who are not members of the KDE e.V. to learn what’s happening there, as well as significantly shortening the AGM. This proposal will be implemented at next year’s Akademy. Their third proposal, making sure the barrier of entry to contributing to KDE is as low as possible, has been picked up in two goal proposals (which are likely to be merged into one), so, once more: If you agree that this is important for KDE, join the discussion over there!

In a BoF titled “Visual Design Direction”, Andres “Andy” Betts brought up some ideas on how to better integrate designers into the Plasma development process again, and volunteered to spearhead the next round of design improvements. Andy has also submitted a goal proposal related to this, so… you know the drill by now.

BoF wrap-up session, where BoF leaders summarize the results of their session to the rest of the attendees

Closing Words (and a shameless plug)

Now that I’ve advertised various community goal proposals here (one of them being my own), let me use the final paragraph to link to my other proposal, Making KDE software the #1 choice for research and academia. This goal aims to give KDE software the exposure in the research and academic sector that it deserves due to its features and quality, but currently does not have. I think KDE has a lot to offer to researchers, teachers and students, so I’d like us to get in touch with them, promote our software to them and improve it based on their direct feedback. If you agree, participation is welcome!

With hat out of the way, I can summarize that this year’s Akademy was a very successful event, despite being slightly smaller than usual (due to the location being a bit hard to reach and the timing falling into vacation time for many KDE members). I’m now full of enthusiasm again about the things to come for KDE, and looking forward to next year’s Akademy in Vienna!


Filed under: KDE
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Edu sprint 2017 in Berlin

Thu, 2017-10-19 17:29

I had the privilege to attend the KDE Edu sprint in Berlin that happened from the 6th to the 9th of October.

There i mostly worked in the KTuberling port to Android. If you have children (or maybe if you want to feel like one for a few minutes) and an Android device please try it and give some constructive feedback ;)



Though of course that's not all we did, we also had important discussions about "What is kde edu", about how we should be involved in the "Making KDE software the #1 choice for research and academia" KDE goal and other organization stuff like whether we want a phabricator rule to send email to the kdeedu mailing list for a set of projects, etc.



Thanks go to all the people that donate to KDE e.V. that made sponsoring the trip possible, and to Endocode for hosting us and sponsoring all kind of interesting drinks and pizza on Sunday :)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Kubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark is released

Thu, 2017-10-19 09:51

Kubuntu 17.10 has been released, featuring the beautiful Plasma 5.10 desktop from KDE.

Codenamed “Artful Aardvark”, Kubuntu 17.10 continues our proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.13-based kernel, KDE Frameworks 5.38, Plasma 5.10.5 and KDE Applications 17.04.3


Kubuntu has seen some exciting improvements, with newer versions of Qt, updates to major packages like Krita, Kdenlive, Firefox and LibreOffice, and stability improvements to KDE Plasma.

For a list of other application updates, upgrading notes and known bugs be sure to read our release notes.

Download 17.10 or read about how to upgrade from 17.04.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

GCompris at KDE-edu sprint 2017

Wed, 2017-10-18 09:18

Ten days ago, I spent a week-end in Berlin with a group of KDE friends to have a KDE-edu sprint. I didn’t blog about it yet because we planned to make a group post to summarize the event, but since it takes some time, I decided to write a quick personal report too.

The sprint was hosted in Endocode offices, which was a very nice place to work together.

Of course I came mostly because of GCompris, but the goal in the end was more to work together to try to redefine the goal and direction of KDE-edu and its website, and to work together on different tasks.

I added appstream links for all KDE-edu apps on their respective pages on KDE website. Those appstream links can be used to install directly applications from linux appstores supporting this standard.
On a side note, we thought it is a bit weird to be redirected from the KDE-edu website to KDE.org when looking at application info. This is one of the things that would need some refactoring. Actually, we discussed a lot about the evolution needed for the website. I guess all the details about this discussion will be on the group-post report, but to give you an idea, I would summarize it as : let’s make KDE-edu about how KDE-applications can be used in educational context, rather than just a collection of specific apps. A lot of great ideas to work on!

For GCompris, I was very happy to can meet Rishabh, who did some work on the server part. I could test the branch with him, and discussed about what needs to be done. Next, I fixed and improved the screenshots available for our appdata info, and started to look at building a new package on Mac with Sanjiban.

I also cleaned an svg file of Ktuberling to help Albert who worked on buiding it for Android.

In the end, I would say it was a productive week-end. Many thanks to KDE e.V. for the travel support, and to Endocode for hosting the event and providing cool drinks.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE still makes Qt

Tue, 2017-10-17 16:21

A couple of years ago, I made a blog post, KDE makes Qt, with data about which percentage of Qt contributions came from people starting in KDE. Basically, how many Qt contributions are made by people who used KDE as a “gateway” drug into it.

I have now updated the graphs with data until the end of September 2017:

Many of these changes are made by people not directly as a result of their KDE work, but as a result of their paid work. But this doesn’t change the fact that KDE is an important project for attracting contributors to Qt, and a very good place to find experienced Qt developers.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Fiduciary License Agreement 2.0

Tue, 2017-10-17 15:00

After many years of working on it, it is with immense pleasure to see the FLA-2.0 – the full rewrite of the Fiduciary License Agreementofficially launch.

What is the FLA?

In short, the FLA is a well-balanced contributor agreement, which gives the trustee responsible for managing the rights within a FOSS project, power and responsiblity to make sure the contributed software always remain free and open. This way the project, together with all the respective contributors, are protected against misuse of power by a new holder of exclusive rights.

If you are more of a audio-visual type, you can see my 15' intro at Akademy 2013 or my 5' intro at Akademy 2015 to understand the basics of the FLA. The talks are about FLA-1.2, but the basic gist of it is the same.

Reasons for update and changes

In the decade since the last update of the FLA (version 1.2, back in 2007), the world of IT has changed quite a bit and, apart from copyright, patents and trade marks have become a serious concern for FOSS projects.

For my LL.M. thesis I analysed the FLA-1.2 within its historic context and use in practice. The following topics that should be improved have been identified in the thesis:

  • include patents;
  • better compatibility with other jurisdictions (e.g. Belgium and India);
  • more practical selection of outbound licensing options;
  • usability and readability of the text itself.

Trade marks were also identified as an important issue, but not a topic a CA could fix. For that a project might want to look at the FOSSmarks website instead.

To implement the changes, there were two possibilities – either modernise the text of the FLA-1.x to meet modern needs or tweak a more modern CA to include all checks and balances of the FLA.

In the true spirit of FOSS, I decided to re-base the FLA-2.0 on the best researched CA I could find – the ContributorAgreements.org templates. Luckily, Catharina Maracke was not only merely OK with it, but very supportive as well. In fact, several of the changes that FLA brought with it trickled down into the new versions of (the rest of) the ContributorAgreements.org templates as well.

Changes inherited from ContributorAgreements.org

With simply re-basing the FLA-2.0 on the ContributorAgreements.org templates, we inherited some very cool features:

  • improved compatibility with more jurisdictions – thanks to the academic research invested already into it;
  • changed to an exclusive CLA (previously: a full-on copyright assignment, with an exclusive CLA as a fall-back) – which is both easier to manage as well as less scary to the contributors;
  • added a patent license (based on Apache CLA) – so the project itself can be protected from a potential patent troll contributing to it.
Further changes to FLA-2.0

But we did not stop there! With the combined enthusiasm of both Catharina and yours truly, as well as ample support of a number of very smart people1, we pushed onward and introduced fixes and new features both for the FLA and the ContributorAgreements.org.

Below is a list only the biggest ones:

  • improved both the legibility of the wording and the usability of the CA chooser;
  • compatibility with even more jurisdictions – we improved the wording even further, so it should work as expected also in countries like India and Belgium;
  • narrower list of allowed outbound licenses – i.e. intersection between Free Software and Open Source licenses (instead of Free Software OR Open Source licenses as is more common);
  • introduced more outbound licensing options:
    • any FOSS license;
    • specific FOSS license(s);
    • separate (re)licensing policy – this is particularly useful for larger and longer-standing projects such as KDE, who have (to have) their own (re)licensing policies in place.
Future plans

While the 2.0 is a huge leap forward, we do not plan to leave it at rest. We are already gathering ideas for a 2.1 update, which we plan to launch much faster than in a decade. Of course, the changes in the minor update will not be as huge either, but more fine-tuning. Still, for a legal document such as a license it is in general not a good idea to release soon and release often, so if you are in need of a well-balanced CLA, the FLA-2.0 is here and ready to be used.

hook out → blog is back online, and I’m in Prague for OSSEU. Woot²! \o/

  1. At this point I would like to humbly apologise if I left anyone out. I tried my best to list everyone. 

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

#KDE #KDENEON Release bonanaza! Frameworks, Plasma, KmyMoney and Digikam

Tue, 2017-10-17 14:33

I (Scarlett) have been busy at Blue Systems Retreat! While instructed to not work,
I still worked on Frameworks 5.39.0
https://www.kde.org/announcements/kde-frameworks-5.39.0.php
Plasma 5.11.1
https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.11.1.php
KMyMoney KF5 port is now in dev unstable
All releases editions of Digikam has been fixed!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Updated Kubuntu 17.10 RC ISOs now available

Mon, 2017-10-16 08:19

Following on from yesterday’s 1st spin of the 17.10 RC images by the ubuntu release team, today the RC images (marked Artful Final on the QA tracker) have been re-spun and updated.

Please update your ISOs if you downloaded previous images, and test as before.

Please help us by testing as much as you have time for. Remember, in particular we need i386 testers, on “bare metal” rather than VMs if possible.

Builds are available from:

http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/milestones/383/builds

the CD image to left of the ISO names being a link to take you to download urls/options.

Take note of the Ubuntu Community ISO testing party on Monday 16th at 15:00 UTC:

https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-17-10-community-iso-testing/458

Please attend and participate if you are able. The #ubuntu-on-air IRC channel on irc.freenode.net can be joined via a web client found beneath the live stream on ubuntuonair.com, or of course you can join in a normal IRC client.

Happy testing,

Rik Mills

Kubuntu Developer
Kubuntu Release team

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Interview with Cillian Clifford

Mon, 2017-10-16 05:54
Could you tell us something about yourself?

Hi everyone – my name is Cillian Clifford, I’m a 21 year old hobbyist artist and electronic musician, and an occasional animator, writer and game developer. I go by the username of Fatal-Exit online. I live in rural Ireland, a strange place for someone so interested in technology. My interests range from creative projects to tech related fields like engineering, robotics and science. Outside of things like these I enjoy gaming from time to time.

Do you paint professionally, as a hobby artist, or both?

Definitely as a hobby. I consider digital painting to be one of my weakest areas of art skills, so I spend a lot of time trying to improve it. Other areas of digital art I’m interested in include CAD, 3d modeling, digital sculpting, vector animation, and pixel art.

What genre(s) do you work in?

It varies! Hugely, in fact. Over the past two years on my current DeviantArt account I’ve uploaded game fan-art paintings, original fantasy and Sci-Fi pieces, landscapes, pixel art, and renders of 3d pieces. I also occasionally paint textures and UV maps for 3d artwork. Outside of still art, I also animate in vector and pixel art styles. I also occasionally make not-great indie games, but as you might guess, most never get finished.

Whose work inspires you most — who are your role models as an artist?

A wide range of artists, often not particular people but more their combined efforts on projects. I will say that David Revoy and GDQuest in the Krita community are a big inspiration. Youtube artists such as Sycra, Jazza and Borodante are another few I can think of. Lots of my favorite art of all time has come from large game companies such as Blizzard and Hi-Rez Studios. Also game related, the recent rise of more retro and pixel based graphics in indie games is a huge interest of mine, and games like Terraria, Stardew Valley and Hyper-Light Drifter have an art style that truly inspires me.

How and when did you get to try digital painting for the first time?

My first time doing some sort of “digital painting” was when I was about 16-17. I did the graphics design work for a board game a team of us were working on for a school enterprise project, using the free graphics software Paint.net and a mouse. It took ages. However the project ended up taking off and we ended up in the final stage of the competition. After that was over (we didn’t win) I decided digital art might be something to seriously invest in and bought a graphics tablet. For a couple of years I made unimaginably terrible art and in 2015 I decided to shut down my DeviantArt account and start fresh on a new account, with my new style. This was about when I found Krita, I believe.

What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

A few things: Firstly, I could never paint in a traditional sense, I was absolutely terrible. At school I was considered a C grade artist, and that was even when working on pen and ink drawings, a style I used to be good at but have since abandoned. I never learned to paint traditionally.

Secondly, I can do it anywhere. In my bedroom with a Ugee graphics monitor and my workstation desktop, or lots of other places if I take my aging laptop and Huion graphics tablet with me. Soon I’m looking to buy a mobile tablet similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro, that’ll let me paint absolutely anywhere.

Thirdly, the tech involved. So not only am I able to emulate any media that exists in traditional art with various software, I can also work on art styles that aren’t even possible with traditional. As well as this, functions like undo, zooming in and out of the canvas, layers and blending modes, gradients and bucket fill, the list goes on and on.

I can happily say I never want to “go back” to traditional painting even though I was never any good at it in the first place.

How did you find out about Krita?

That’s a hard question. I’m not absolutely sure, but I’ve an idea that it might have been through David Revoy’s work on the Blender Foundation movies, and Pepper and Carrot. I was looking for a cheap or free piece of software because I didn’t want to use cracked Photoshop/Painter, and I’d already used GIMP and Paint.net, and neither were good for the art I was looking to create. I tried MyPaint but it never worked properly with my tablet. I did buy ArtRage at some point but I wasn’t happy with the tools in that. It came down to probably a choice of Krita or Clip Studio Paint. Krita had the price tag of free so it was the first one I tried. And I stuck with it.

What was your first impression?

Wow.

At least I think it was. When I first tried it everything just seemed to work straight off. It seemed simple enough for me to use efficiently. And the brush engine was simply amazing. I don’t know if there’s any other program with brushes that easy to customize to a huge extent but still so simple to set up. I first tried it in version 2.something so it was before animation was added.

What do you love about Krita?

Mostly, the fact that it works to use for most things you can throw at it. I’ve made game assets, textures, paintings, drawings, pixel art, a couple of test animations with the animation function, pretty much everything. I feel like it’s the Blender of 2d, the free tool that does pretty much everything, maybe not the 100% best at it, but certainly the most economical option.

The brush engine like I said before is one of it’s best assets, it has one of the most useful color pickers I’ve used, the inclusion of what is the feature-set of the paid plugin Lazy Nezumi for Photoshop for free, the fact that the interface can be there when you need it but vanish at the press of the button. Just loads of good things.

The variety of brush packs made by the community are also a great asset. I own GDQuest’s premium bundle and also use Deevad’s pack on a regular basis. I love to then tweak those brushes to suit my needs.

What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Is there anything that really annoys you?

The main current annoyance with Krita is the text tool. I just hate it. It’s the one thing that makes me want to have access to Photoshop. And I know it’s supposedly one of the things being focused on in future updates, so hopefully they don’t take too long to happen.

Another problem I had with Krita happened last year. It’s been fixed since, but it’s certainly nothing I’d like to see happen again with V4 (Which I worry is a possibility). Basically what happened was when the Krita 3 update came out it broke support for my Ugee graphics monitor. Completely broke it. I had to either stick with the old version of Krita 2.9, or when I wanted to use tools from V3 I had to uninstall my screen tablet drivers, install drivers for my tiny old Intuos Small tablet and use that. Luckily, later on, (about 6-8 months down the line) an update for my tablet drivers fixed all problems, and it just worked with my screen tablet from then on.

What sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use?

Ease of use, the brush engine, the speed that it works at (even with 4k documents on my pentium powered laptop), the way it currently works well on all my hardware, the price tag (FREE!), the community, and some great providers of custom brushes (GDQuest and David Revoy’s in particular). Even though I’ve since stopped using Krita for pixel art and moved to Aseprite (only because their pixel animation tools are more sophisticated towards making game assets), I believe it’s the most suitable program I have access to for digital painting, comic art, and traditional 2d animation.

If you had to pick one favourite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be, and why?

This is a hard question because I feel I am a terrible critic. If I had to choose it’d probably be Sailing to the Edge of the World II – from my Sailing to the Edge of the world painting series I made for a good colleague of mine. I also included the latest painting in that series, though I believe the second one was the best. Even though it’s been maybe 8 months since I made that painting it’s still one of my best.

What techniques and brushes did you use in it?

If I remember correctly I used mostly David Revoy’s brush-pack. The painterly brushes were used along with the pen and ink brushes and some of the airbrushes. To be honest it’s been so long since I made it I’m not 100% sure. I may have also used some of the default brushes such as the basic round and soft round.

Where can people see more of your work?

My DeviantArt(where I post the majority of my art):
https://fatal-exit.deviantart.com/
My twitter (where I post some of my art):
https://twitter.com/FatalExit
And my newest place: Tumblr (Not much here at all):
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/fatalexit

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m working on resurrecting my Youtube channel at:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdnUE1bkY2suvUvZhIj9rIQ

As of the time of writing this it’s mostly just home to my music. However I’m looking to expand it into art, animation and game development, with tutorials and process videos. I’m certainly hoping to post some Krita reviews, tutorials and videos on how it can be used in a game development pipeline over the coming months, as well as videos of other software such as Blender, Aseprite, 3d Coat, Moho, Construct 3, Gamemaker Studio 2, Unreal Engine 4, Sunvox, FL Studio Mobile and others.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

LibreOffice Conference 2017

Sun, 2017-10-15 12:00

This week the annual LibreOffice conference was held in Rome and I had the pleasure to attend. The city of Rome is migrating their IT infrastructure to open software and standards and the city council was kind enough to provide the awesome venue for the event, the Campidoglio.

Photo by Simon Phipps

It is always interesting to meet new people from other communities that share the same values we have in KDE. You meet new friends and you get to know another perspective about the things you are doing.

As a bonus point, I also had the pleasure to meet in person with KDE contributors Andreas Kainz, Franklin Weng, Heiko Tzietze and Jos van den Oever. See you all at Akademy next year!

LibreOffice in Plasma 5

Among the speakers, Katarina Behrens from CIB talked about the status of the Qt5 port of the VCL plugin for KDE Plasma. VCL is the toolkit used by LibreOffice to draw the UI of the program, and its plugin-based architecture allows to adapt the UI to the various native toolkits (such as Qt or GTK).

The KDE plugin is currently stuck with Qt4/kdelibs4 and Katarina has been working on porting it to the new Qt5/KF5 stack. The city of Munich is also sponsoring this work, since they will continue to use LibreOffice for at least some years. The main challenge has been getting rid of the legacy X11 code used for drawing the UI. As a result of this task, the new version of the KDE plugin will get proper Wayland and Hi-DPI support.

If you are wondering if this will bring the native Plasma 5 file picker in LibreOffice, the answer is yes! If any developer wants to help reach this milestone, feel free to contact Katarina who will introduce you to what still needs to be done (a lot).

LibreOffice Online

Lastly, I talked with the Collabora people about the issues that KDE faced with LibreOffice Online in our Nextcloud instance. They assured me that the product has been greatly improved with respect to collaborative editing. By the number of talks and speakers about this topic, it is clear that they have been working hard on it.

Our instance was also using a slightly old version of Collabora Online (2.0.7), so they recommended to upgrade to the 2.1.x series (which Ben quickly did). I think that we as community should give another try to LibreOffice Online and report back to the Collabora developers if we still find issues with the tool. As always, that’s the best way to improve FLOSS!

More photos of the event are available in this album.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Kubuntu Artful Aardvark (17.10) initial RC images now available

Sat, 2017-10-14 22:40

Artful Aardvark (17.10) initial Release Candidate (RC) images are now available for testing. Help us make 17.10 the best release yet!

Note: This is an initial spin of the RC images. It is likely that at least one more rebuild will be done on Monday.

Adam Conrad from the Ubuntu release team list:

Today, I spun up a set of images for everyone with serial 20171015.

Those images are *not* final images (ISO volid and base-files are still
not set to their final values), intentionally, as we had some hiccups
with langpack uploads that are landing just now.

That said, we need as much testing as possible, bugs reported (and, if
you can, fixed), so we can turn around and have slightly more final
images produced on Monday morning. If we get no testing, we get no
fixing, so no time like the present to go bug-hunting.

… Adam

The Kubuntu team will be releasing 17.10 on October 19, 2017.

This is an initial pre-release. Kubuntu RC pre-releases are NOT recommended for:

  • Regular users who are not aware of pre-release issues
  • Anyone who needs a stable system
  • Anyone uncomfortable running a possibly frequently broken system
  • Anyone in a production environment with data or workflows that need to be reliable

Kubuntu pre-releases are recommended for:

  • Regular users who want to help us test by finding, reporting, and/or fixing bugs
  • Kubuntu, KDE, and Qt developers

Getting Kubuntu 17.10 Intial Release Candidate:

To upgrade to Kubuntu 17.10 pre-releases from 17.04, run

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

from a command line.

Download a Bootable image and put it onto a DVD or USB Drive here:

http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/milestones/383/builds (the little CD icon)

See our release notes: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ArtfulAardvark/Kubuntu

Please report any bugs on Launchpad using the commandline:

ubuntu-bug packagename

Check on IRC channels, Kubuntuforum or the Kubuntu mail lists if you don’t know the package name. Once the bug is reported on Launchpad, please link to it on the qatracker where you got your RC image. Join the community ISO testing party: https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-17-10-community-iso-testing/458

KDE bugs (bugs in Plasma or KDE applications) are still filed at https://bugs.kde.org.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Kdenlive 17.08.2 released

Fri, 2017-10-13 22:11

The second minor release of the 17.08 series is out adding a rotate from image center option in the Transform effect among other usability improvements. In other news the dev team continues making progress for the much anticipated 17.12 release. Start the countdown!

Bugfixes

  • Fix autosave: work around KAutoSaveFile bug with non-ASCII chars. Commit.
  • Get ready for transform centered rotation. Commit.
  • Fix keyframes unseekable on bin effects. Commit.
  • Fix lift to handle negative values (requires latest MLT version). Commit.
  • Prefer SDL2 to SDL1 (dropped by FFmpeg and so MLT). Commit.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Edu Sprint 2017

Thu, 2017-10-12 12:59

Two weeks, two posts. Lets see how long I can keep up with this!

Last weekend I was part of the KDE Edu Sprint 2017 in the Endocode offices in Berlin, just a couple of days before the Qt World Summit, which was actually my first KDE Edu sprint (if you do not count Randa 2014). It was great as always to meet other KDE developers working on educational projects and I think we got a lot of work done.

While my primary focus going into the sprint was to work on macro support in Kig (there were many open bugs regarding macros), Aleix Pol's initial remarks helped me realize it was better to "take advantage of the fact that we were all at one place, and work on things you cannot do back home" so I decided to see what others were doing and try to help with that as well. Since Sandro Andrade was working on testing KDE Edu builds in Windows using Craft and I had been working on generating Craft recipes from Portage ebuilds, I finished a script that translates portage ebuilds from Gentoo's Portage tree into Craft recipes. This will automate low-hanging fruits like applications that basically only depend on KDE frameworks and Qt5 libraries. I committed this script to the development scripts repository in case someone finds them useful. It is a very experimental script so you are welcome to improve it!

In the meantime, while we waited for these Windows builds to happen, I did get a lot of work done on macro support in Kig. I implemented a feature that allows for creating macros without given objects and while at it, fixed several other issues regarding macros. Some of the changes are still being reviewed, but they all should land before Applications 17.12.

Since I obviously have no picture about my trip (I am terrible at taking pictures), I will shamelessly steal this one from Aleix's twitter post:



I want to thank the KDE e.V. for sponsoring my trip to this sprint, and Endocode for hosting us and giving us essential coffee for free. Also, big thanks to Free Software Foundation Europe for allowing me to visit their offices in the middle of a Monday while they were working hard to maintain software freedom in Europe.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

My first patch on Kate: Signals&Slots

Thu, 2017-10-12 11:33

A while ago I started to use Kate's code as a base on Atelier. Since Kate uses KTextEditor API, and I need to use it, it was quite handy for me. With that in mind, I noted that all the Signals&Slots of Kate was on the following deprecated pattern of Qt4. With that kind of [...]


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Plasma 5.11 Release Party in Heidelberg

Thu, 2017-10-12 11:00

Date: Friday, 3 November 2017
Time: 19:00
Place: Bier Brezel (sic), Hauptstraße 184, 69117 Heidelberg
Who: You! And fellow KDE developers and users
What we’re going to do: Have a few beers, a delicious dinner, talk, have fun, …

Please ping me, if you’re around and planning to come (contact info can be found in the Impressum, or tell kbroulik in #plasma on Freenode), so I can extend the reservation, if needed.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Qt Creator 4.5 Beta released

Thu, 2017-10-12 07:03

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.5 Beta!

There has been very little time between the 4.4 release and the 4.5 feature freeze, but 4.5 still comes with a bunch of very nice improvements.

Locator now does fuzzy camel case matching in the same way as code completion does. Type “c andesu” in locator to open the “AndroidDebugSupport” class.

We started on making the File System navigation pane more useful. It is showing a file system tree now, and you can select the root directory from a list containing the “computer” root, your home directory, your default projects directory, and the base directories of all the projects you have open in Qt Creator. More features are to come in the future.

The configuration UI for CMake projects improved. We added grouping of configuration variables, and the option to change their type, so you can set variables to arbitrary values even if CMake reports the wrong type for them.

For a more complete list of fixes and improvements see our change log.

Get Qt Creator 4.5 Beta

The opensource version is available on the Qt download page, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.5 Beta is also available under Preview > Qt Creator 4.5.0-beta1 in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

The post Qt Creator 4.5 Beta released appeared first on Qt Blog.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Qt 5.10 Beta available for testing with KDE neon

Thu, 2017-10-12 06:53

Qt 5.10 Beta was released this week and the neon builder cloud elves have been compiling it away ready for testing.

There’s no QtWebEngine or Qt3D so stuff which needs those will be broken.

Other stuff likely broken too, don’t use it on a machine you’re not happy doing a reinstall on.

But the good news is the broken clock plasmoid works now


deb http://archive.neon.kde.org/testing xenial main

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Cutelyst 1.9.0 released!

Wed, 2017-10-11 16:47

Cutelyst the Qt web framework got a new release. This is a rather small release but has some important fixes so I decided to roll sooner.

The dispatcher logic got 30% faster, parsing URL encoded data is also a bit faster on some cases (using less memory), Context objects can now be instantiated by library users to allow for example getting notifications from SQL databases and be able to forward to Cutelyst actions or Views, pkg-config support has also improved a bit but still misses most modules.

Have fun https://github.com/cutelyst/cutelyst/archive/v1.9.0.tar.gz


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets