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Qt Creator 6 released

Thu, 2021-12-02 04:47

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 6!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Cutelyst 3.2 and ASql 0.50 are out!

Wed, 2021-12-01 19:33

Cutelyst the Qt Web Framework got a new release, Yes, I fotgot to make a post about Cutelyst 3.1, so to sum up:

  • Support for SSl::Ec
  • Faster parsing of application/x-www-form-urlencoded body
  • Cutelee v6 support
  • Fix server usage without –reuse-port (added SO_REUSEADDR)
  • Documentation fixes
  • Increased usage of std::shared_ptr

ASql the async Qt SQL library also got an update, it’s API is rather stable now, main changes were:

  • Fix memory leak on ACache
  • Proper std::shared_ptr usage
  • Postgres driver is now a separate library ASql::Pg
  • Paved the way to have multiple drivers (yes MySQL is planned)

As always have fun and a happy new year!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Floating Panel Merge Request Feedback: Will It Land?

Wed, 2021-12-01 06:07
💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Okular PDF digital signature improvements coming "soon" thanks to NLnet

Tue, 2021-11-30 18:21

Starting on January I will be working on a project named "Improve Okular digital signature support" that has received a grant from the NLnet foundation as part of the NGI Assure fund.

This will allow me to work part time on Okular (in case it's not clear I work on Okular on a "when I have time-hobby" basis right now), the planned improvements are:

1. Support for signing unsigned signatures. I know it sounds confusing, think about it like something like the old "sign here" boxes on printed paper forms.

2. Support digital signatures in the Okular Windows version

3. Make signature text support all character sets

4. Write Okular-mobile user interface to show signature status

5. Support digital signatures in the Okular Android version


But I'm hoping to squeeze some other signature related improvements in, if you have a particular favourite please leave a comment.


Thanks to NLnet for trusting me on this, and also thanks to my current employer (KDAB) for allowing me to work less hours for a few months so I can take on this project.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

More about those zero-dot users

Tue, 2021-11-30 14:57

Yesterday’s article about KDE’s target users generated some interesting discussions about the zero-dot users. One of the most insightful comments I read was that nobody can really target zero-dot users because they operate based on memorization and habit, learning a series of cause-effect relationships: “I click/touch this picture/button, then something useful happens”–even with their smartphones! So even if GNOME and ElementaryOS might be simpler, that doesn’t really matter because it’s not much harder to memorize a random-seeming sequence of clicks or taps in a poor user interface than it is in a good one.

I think there’s a lot of truth to this perspective. We have all known zero-dot users who became quite proficient at specific tasks; maybe they learned how to to everything they needed in MS Office, Outlook, or even Photoshop.

The key detail is that these folks rely on the visual appearance and structure of the software remaining the same. When the software’s user interface changes–even for the better–they lose critical visual cues and reference points and they can’t find anything anymore.

On the desktop side, these people are the target audience for Long Term Support (LTS) distros, where the UI never changes for years at a time. This is exactly what they want because they prefer a bad yet unchanging UI to one that incrementally evolves to be better.

So I think if we want to reach these people, it will probably be done less by improving Plasma or KDE apps, but rather by being more attentive to our existing Plasma LTS offering and broadening it to encompass apps and frameworks as well. That way these other KDE products that are used alongside or underneath Plasma can benefit from more bugfixes without the UI changes of non-LTS upgrades. And we should increase the support period to 5 years or more. It’s 10 years for Red Hat Enterprise Linux! This is what’s needed to have a real LTS product and bring the zero-dot users into the fold.

However I’m not sure we have these resources right now. No KDE developer I know uses the Plasma LTS release. Working on old crappy code isn’t any fun. Backporting fixes is a thankless task. I think we would probably have to pay someone to be the full-time LTS developer-and-backporter if we wanted to have an LTS product worth of its name. It will most likely need to be on the back burner for a while. Hence, focusing on the one-or-more-dots users for the time being.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Make Your First KDE Patch: How To Improve System Settings!

Tue, 2021-11-30 06:25
💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Who is the target user?

Mon, 2021-11-29 23:45

As a teenager, I played a lot of Vampire the Masquerade (VtM)–a tabletop role-playing game. One of the skills in which your character could become experienced was Computers, with ability measured from 0 to 5 dots:

This little table has stayed with me over time. As simple and crude as it is, I think it provides a reasonable measurement scale that can be used to guide software development: you need to decide how many dots in Computers a user must have before they can use your software, which helps you organize the user interface and prioritize features.

My sense is that currently most Linux-based software targets people with three dots in Computers or more, but is often usable for people with two dots. My wife is a solidly two-dot user who is happily using KDE Neon as her distro.

But how many zero and one dot users are out there? What fraction of the market are we abandoning by requiring two dots?

This question was answered a couple of years ago when the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development commissioned a massive a study of adults’ computer skills, with over 200,000 participants (!!!) across 33 high-income countries. The Nielsen/Normal Group summarized the results, and here I’ll condense them even further:

  • 25% of users cannot use computers at all. AT ALL! These people have zero dots in Computers according to the VtM scale.
  • 14% can can perform easy and obvious button-driven tasks in single simple apps, such as sending or deleting an email. They also have zero dots in Computers, but would be on the higher end of zero. Maybe a little more than half a dot.
  • 29% can use more advanced functionality in individual apps, such as searching for data that is not currently visible, or writing an email reply to multiple people and not just the sender. They have one dot in Computers.
  • 26% can perform multi-step tasks involving more than one app, collate information from external sources, overcome minor errors and obstacles that occur during the process, and do some monitoring of background tasks for activity. They have two dots in Computers.
  • 5% can perform complex tasks involving multiple data sources and apps with lots of navigation, transform imperfect data with tools to make it suitable for the required work, and succeed at ambiguous tasks with more than one correct outcome or possible approach to get it done, overcoming significant roadblocks along the way. These people would probably have three dots in Computers (even if they are not software engineers).

Let that sink in: almost 40% of adults in rich countries have practically no computer skills at all. This isn’t mentioned in the summary, but my personal experience with people in the lowest-skill group (25%) is that they can only use smartphones and tablets, while those in the next skill group (14%) still strongly prefer them over computers.

Another 30% of people have effectively one dot in Computers on the VtM scale. Taken together with the two lowest-skill groups, this means 70% of people’s computer skills are non-existent or very basic. Those with more advanced skills–two dots in Computers and up–are only about 30% of the population.

Maybe the dominance of the smartphone makes a bit more sense now…

KDE is never going to achieve world domination with software that can only be used by at most 30% of the market–those with two or more dots in Computers. To broaden our appeal, we need to make our software usable by at least the people in the next level down (one dot in Computers), which doubles the potential to 60% of the market–going from a minority to a solid majority.

BUT WAIT! Won’t this “dumb down” KDE’s software? Won’t we alienate our current audience of 2-and-3-dots-in-Computers users? After all, smartphone software optimized for zero-dot people is indeed really simple and limiting. So it’s a risk.

But I think good design and high customizability can make software elastic, suitable for users with a range of skills. Software with little or no customizability or poor design can probably only straddle two categories, so decent phone apps would be comfortably usable by people with 0-1 dots in Computers, maybe 0-2 dots with exceptional design. This pretty much matches the experience of myself and many people I know: those with more technical ability find most phone apps to be limiting and prefer using a computer for heavy lifting.

But well-designed software that’s customizable and has good default settings can accommodate a wider range of skill levels: people with 1-3 dots, or even 1-4 dots!

We can deliberately exclude the zero-dot people from our target audience, who are probably never going to be happy with KDE software. Our focus on power will bleed through in even the simplest apps, and just never appeal to them. GNOME and ElementaryOS can have those users.

This is what I think we should shoot for in KDE: software that is simple by default so it can work for 1-dot users, but powerful when needed via expansive customization, so that it can appeal all the way to the 4-dot users–which includes many KDE developers. This is currently a strength of KDE software, and it won’t be going away!

Essentially we need to fully embrace Plasma’s motto of “Simple by default, powerful when needed” all KDE software, not just Plasma.

I see a lot of this already happening via our simple-by-default Kirigami apps gaining power and customization opportunities, and our powerful-by-default QtWidgets apps gaining better default settings and a streamined appearance. So let’s keep it up!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Plasma 5.23.4, Bugfix Release for November

Mon, 2021-11-29 19:00

Tuesday, 30 November 2021. Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.23.4.

Plasma 5.23 was released in October 2021 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

This release adds three weeks' worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include:

  • Breeze style: Reduce groove opacity for greater contrast with scrollbar/slider/etc. Commit. Fixes bug #444203
  • Applets/weather: Make cursor a pointing hand when hovering over source link. Commit.
  • Plasma Systemmonitor: Don’t make right click popup modal. Commit.
View full changelog
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Simple Tips to Get Involved in KDE!

Mon, 2021-11-29 05:55
CORRECTION: When I said "mykde.kde.org" I meant "my.kde.org"! 💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Kalendar v0.3.0 out soon, with improved stability, efficiency, accessibility… and a Windows version?? – Kalendar devlog 23

Sun, 2021-11-28 11:05
Over the past two weeks, we have been hard at work under the hood of Kalendar. What you can expect from these two weeks’ refactors, additions, and changes is a version of Kalendar that is more stable, faster to use, and easier to use than ever before. Note: Kalendar is still under heavy development. You’re …
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Dev Reacts to The Linux Experiment's Review of KDE Plasma

Sun, 2021-11-28 06:55
Regarding the lag: as I say in the video, I switched to OBS but that means my computer is not able to live encode everything, thus the technical issues. Sorry about that, and I've bought a new laptop to address it! 💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Jeri Ellsworth and the Quest for Augmented Reality

Sun, 2021-11-28 06:13
Jeri Ellsworth, self-taught electronics engineer, race driver, and maker and inventor supreme, visits us on KDE's 25th Anniversary, and gives us a glimpse into her latest project: Tilt 5, an augmented reality system for collaborative tabletop gaming. Jeri tells us about the long, windy road she had to follow to get there.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

October/November in KDE Itinerary

Sat, 2021-11-27 06:00

Since the last summary KDE Itinerary has been moving with big steps towards the upcoming 21.12 release, with work on individual transport modes, more convenient ticket access, trip editing, a new health certificate UI, better transfer handling and many more improvements.

New Features Current ticket access

A small but very convenient new addition is the “Current ticket” action, which immediately navigates you to the details page of the most current element on the itinerary. That comes in handy when having to show or scan your ticket and avoids having to find the right entry in the list in a rush.

This action is now also accessible from jump list actions in the taskbar on Linux, or app shortcuts on Android. Combined with the easily accessible barcode scanmode mentioned last time it’s now just two clicks or taps to get ready for a ticket check.

Plasma task manager showing KDE Itinerary jump list actions. Trip shortening

KDE Itinerary so far provides only very limited editing capabilities for existing reservations, but one common case has now been added: shortening of train trips. That is, boarding later or leaving earlier along a booked journey, useful for example when having to react to service disruptions. Unlike general free-form editing, we can easily ensure in this case that the result remains a valid actually existing train connection, and thus all features requiring that remain functional.

Selecting an earlier exit from a train.

Realtime trip data is taken into account when available, and selecting canceled/skipped stations for boarding/leaving is prevented.

Health certificates

The health certificate UI has been restructured to use a tab bar instead of one long scrollable page. This is not just easier to navigate but separates the QR code from human readable details that a person scanning the code doesn’t necessarily need to see.

KDE Itinerary's new health certificate UI.

There is also support for a new certificate format, the Dutch COVID-19 CoronaCheck system. This one differs quite a bit from the formats supported so far as it’s much more optimized for privacy. The only information contained in the certificates are the user’s initials and day and month of birth, but no details about what actually has been certified (vaccine, recovery or test, etc).

Next to a paper-based variant which has a fairly long validity (and thus allows some guesses on how the certificate was obtained), the digital form provided by the official app generates very short-lived certificates to prevent tracking users across multiple scans. We can so far only provide an equivalent to the paper form, ie. the official app has still superior privacy features.

Infrastructure Work Individual transport modes

As mentioned in a previous post there has been ongoing work in KPublicTransport for supporting journey queries that combine public transport and individual transport modes.

That is interesting for a number of use-cases, such as driving to a station using your own bike or car and then parking it there (and thus requiring an appropriate parking space), taking your bike with you on the train (and thus requiring a train connection where that’s possible), or using rental vehicles like scooters for getting from a station to the final destination.

The data model of KPublicTransport supports this now, as do all its backends. The first bits of this also already show up in KDE Itinerary, for selecting transfers different individual transport modes can be chosen in the context menu.

Transfer selection context menu offering individual transport modes.

There’s a lot more to be done to nicely integrate this though, such as remembering the locations of the user’s vehicles and selecting appropriate modes automatically.

KDE Frameworks locale data

The previously discussed support for looking up and localizing country, country subdivision and timezone information in KDE Frameworks has finally landed with KF 5.88. This replaces older and less accurate or up-to-date code we used so far.

More interestingly this also enables a few new possibilities like informing about different currencies or local public holidays at travel destinations.

Fixes & Improvements Travel document extractor
  • Added new extractor scripts for the Pretix and gomus event ticketing systems.
  • Improved extractor scripts for Eurowings, Lufthansa, MÁV,
  • Fixed erroneous merging of train trips with the same line on the same day.
  • Incomplete location types in schema.org annotations are now extracted correctly.
  • The expirationDate field of Apple Wallet passes is now considered by the general pass extractor.
  • Event merging now also works for slightly differing reservations, e.g. due to different tickets for adults and children.
  • Sorting of flight reservations now also considers airport timezones when still missing exact arrival times.
  • KItinerary Workbench can now also show intermediate extractor results for each document node.
Public transport data
  • Attribution information for line or product logos are now provided, which enables using such logos under CC-BY licenses from Wikidata as well. This about doubles the amount of logos available.
  • Added a new UIC coach classification parser which is now used by all coach layout backends, improving detection of coach features especially for international trains.
  • The ÖBB coach layout backend has been ported to their new backend API.
  • Provider metadata can now also contain VDV organization identifiers, similar to what we already have for UIC company codes. This helps with selecting the best provider based on a given ticket.
  • Improve provider selection by preferring those containing both ends of a journey.
  • New OpenTripPlanner coverage area probing which produces more accurate coverage polygons when faced with outliers or otherwise inconsistent/corrupt data.
  • Improved product name parsing for Hafas, which in turn significantly improves merging with results from other sources.
  • Improved platform parsing for IVV ASS, providing platform information for trams as well in a number of places.
Indoor maps
  • Pinch zoom now finally works properly on phone touch screens.
  • Platform data aggregation and identification from OSM data now also considers IFOPT identifiers when present. This not only improves the platform list shown in the station maps, but also allows identification of tram or subway stop locations that don’t have a name, given the public transport data also contains an IFOPT identifier.
  • Improved Russian language support for parsing non-standard OSM opening hours expressions.
Itinerary app
  • PDF417 ticket barcodes can now be displayed, needed e.g. for the Hungarian railway (MÁV).
  • The context drawer is accessible again in the favorite location editor.
  • Transfer elements have the same progress and disruption highlights as regular reservation elements.
  • Automatic transfer selection picks more suitable options before a following departure.
  • Transfers are now considering realtime arrival/departure data of the reservations they are attached to.
  • Transfers to/from a favorite location now automatically select a nearby one.
  • Transfers can manually be added in more cases, such as around events or restaurant visits.
  • Transfers involving bikes or rental vehicles are now shown correctly.
  • Train or bus reservations now show their line or product icon in the timeline when available.
  • Bus reservations are now also monitored for delays.
  • Journey details can also be viewed for bus reservations when available.
  • When editing addresses of events, hotels or restaurants an automatic geo coordinate lookup can be triggered.
  • The location picker no longer closes itself when panning the map in the wrong way.
  • Icons in the timline elements are no longer randomly shown in smaller sizes.
  • Tooltips and accessibility hints were added in more places.
  • If you are not into flags, the statistics page can now also list the names of all visited countries.
  • The app now scales better to smaller screens.
KMail integration
  • Apple Wallet passes for events are no longer wrongly claimed to be boarding passes when attached to a calendar event.
  • Apple Wallet passes that don’t specify all required colors are no longer rendered unreadable in black on black.
Desktop integration
  • There’s a new KIO thumbnailer plug-in for Apple Wallet passes.
Contribute

Feedback and travel document samples are very much welcome, but with travel remaining difficult there are plenty of other things that can be done as well of course. The KDE Itinerary workboard or the more specialized indoor map workboard show what’s on the todo list, and are a good place for collecting new ideas. For questions and suggestions, please feel free to join us on the KDE PIM mailing list or in the #kontact channel on Matrix.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Devs Reacts to The Linux Experiment's Review of KDE Plasma

Sat, 2021-11-27 05:59
Regarding the lag: as I say in the video, I switched to OBS but that means my computer is not able to live encode everything, thus the technical issues. Sorry about that, and I've bought a new laptop to address it! 💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

This week in KDE: Fixing a bunch of annoying bugs

Sat, 2021-11-27 01:00

This was a major bug squashing week, with quite a lot of annoying issues fixed–some recent regressions, and many longstanding issues as well.

On the subject of bugs and recent regressions, I’m starting to think from a higher level about how we can prevent them. KDE has largely conquered our historical issues of excessive resource consumption and visual ugliness, and our next major challenge on the path towards world domination is reliability. One idea I’m toying with is starting an initiative to focus on the “15 minute bugs”–those embarrassing issues that can easily be found within just a few minutes of using the system normally. Here is a preliminary list of these issues in Plasma. I would encourage any experienced developers to try to focus on them! The impact will be very high.

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Creating archives using Ark’s main UI once again works (Kai Uwe Broulik, Ark 21.12)

Elisa no longer shows an error message instead of the number of tracks in the playlist footer when the playlist only has one track in it (Bharadwaj Raju, Elisa 21.12)

Okular’s zoom buttons now always enable and disable themselves at the correct times, in particular when a new document is opened (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.12)

Ark can now handle archives whose files internally use absolute paths, rather than relative paths (Kai Uwe Broulik, Ark 22.04)

Touch scrolling in Konsole now works properly (Henry Heino, Konsole 22.04)

Fixed a common crash in the System Tray (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23.4)

Fixed a common crash in Discover when using it to manage Flatpak apps (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.4)

The logout screen once again has a blurred background and animates when appearing and disappearing (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, dragging a file or folder from a Folder View popup into its parent folder no longer causes Plasma to crash (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, when using a stylus, it’s now possible to activate other window from their titlebars and also just interact with titlebars more generally (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Changing various settings in System Settings no longer causes a flickering effect behind Plasma panels (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Repositioning a panel from horizontal to vertical or vice versa no longer causes the layout of the control strip to get kinda messed up (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Activating the new Overview effect no longer causes auto-hidden panels to be shown (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the Clipboard applet now shows entries for images added to the clipboard using the wl-copy command-line program (Méven Car, Plasma 5.24)

User Interface Improvements

Hovered and focused Breeze style scrollbars no longer blend in with their track so much (S. Christian Collins, Plasma 5.23.4)

Kate has been replaced with KWrite in the default set of favorite apps, since it’s a bit more user-friendly and less programmer-centric (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

Discover’s somewhat confusing checkbox on the bottom of the Updates page has been transformed into a couple of buttons and a label which should be clearer, and it also doesn’t say the word “Updates” quite so many times on that page anymore (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

When using PipeWire and streaming audio from one device to another, the audio stream now shows the name of the remote device in Plasma’s Audio Volume applet (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.24)

The Properties window for files now displays which app will open the file (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.89):

The icon selection dialog now pre-selects the folder’s currently-used icon for easier visualization and keyboard navigation (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.89)

Those little transient messages that sometimes appear at the bottom of the windows of Kirigami-based apps (which are nonsensically called “Toasts” in Android land) now have easier-to-read text (Felipe Kinoshita, Frameworks 5.89)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

New Icons, Iconoclast Pipeline

Fri, 2021-11-26 14:29

Over the month of November work has been started to refresh the full-colour icons in Breeze as an extension of the “Blue Ocean” initiative. With literally hundreds of hand-created vector icons in our roster we’ve had to develop new processes and are working on a more robust pipeline so this refresh can be done in a somewhat timely manner.

Preview of the new folders. Subject to change and refinement.

As was the method for Blue Ocean on the desktop widgets and design, the icons will be a gradual rollout over a few releases. We do have a strategy in place to ensure that this won’t be too jarring or inconsistent during the transition. The current plan is to update both all mimetypes and all places in time for the 5.24 release.

Like our current icons the new icons have adaptive capabilities. Beyond that some additional select icons such as the new desktop icon are also adaptive, and there are plans for other icons to also take advantage of this feature where it would not be obnoxious. Compared to existing icons the refreshed content will be softer, more detailed, and less flat. These icons are also prepared with future capabilities in mind, and as enhancements are made to KDE Frameworks these icons may expose new and interesting features.

Finally, we’re expanding the number of sizes the icons come in, so they look ideal at more zoom levels in your file browser. Currently colour places icons are offered in 32, 48, 64, and 96 pixel sizes, and mimetypes are offered in 32 and 64 pixel sizes. Refreshed icons in both places and mimetypes will be offered in 32, 48, 64, 96, 128, and 256 pixel sizes with no missing graphics. We already have all folders in all of the above sizes, and in under a month while also writing our software we have over doubled the number of folder icons in Breeze. We’re estimating we will more than triple in the number of mimetype icons.

To get this work done we’ve built new tools for the express purpose of making mass iconography far easier for even individual artists, so I’m very pleased to state that a new icon and SVG pipeline is underway and despite being unfinished is producing results. This Python-written pipeline is capable of adding guides, rulers, and setting up grids for existing icons, standardizing existing icon colours, assembling entirely new icons from templates and components, and aggressively optimizing icons. With this authors will be able to have a “golden copy” of their icon sets where they can focus purely on design, letting the software take care of cleaning up the documents and assembling the individual pieces. The folders in the above image were assembled by the pipeline, with no hand-tuning.

In terms of optimization some extreme cases have seen unoptimized Oxygen icons drop 75% or their filesize. In less ideal situations a few simple hand-optimized test icons I produced run through the pipeline saw 10-20% reductions in filesize. The new optimizer is not built on any existing tools, and is an entirely new thing. At similar settings the new optimizer is on par or slightly ahead of Inkscape in most tests, but at the same time it’s also more specialized and the output cannot be edited when certain stages are enabled. It’s also targeted towards TinySVG and should not be expected to work on full-fat images (though, accommodations have been made). There is still work to be done too, and in the future more optimization steps are on the table to further reduce output size.

Not only is this pipeline beneficial to KDE artists, but history has proven even the roughest artistic tools we produce are regularly used outside of Plasma development. With this in mind we plan to release our new tooling separate from Breeze as its own package/download after polishing it to a mirror shine. Currently nicknamed “Iconoclast”, we are specifically setting out for this tooling to be useful and ready for the wider community beyond KDE.

Iconoclast will include our new pipeline, a manual, tips and advice, and another entirely new icon set named “Bones”, which is already in progress. The pipeline itself is strongly configurable with ini files, so KDE-isms can be removed and it can be adapted to work for icons sets that may have different flows through configuration. The Bones icon set will be a minimal base which can either be built on top of, or used as a reference, and these icons will released in the public domain. Different projects with different licenses can just take it and use it, and it’s uses generic technologies not tied to KDE. The pipeline itself will be GPL, and I don’t have a specific timeline for when the kit will be released but once it’s solidified I’ll make an announcement; though it’s likely to be after the new year.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Web Review, Week 2021-47

Fri, 2021-11-26 10:29

Let’s go for my web review for the week 2021-47.

Your Fingerprint Can Be Hacked For $5. Here’s How. - Kraken Blog

Tags: tech, security

Good reminder of why fingerprint readers are really a poor security device.

https://blog.kraken.com/post/11905/your-fingerprint-can-be-hacked-for-5-heres-how/


The Handwavy Technobabble Nothingburger

Tags: tech, cryptoassets, scam

This is a good summary of why I think those crypto currencies are mainly a scam and used to entertain a perpetual delusion on their use.

https://www.stephendiehl.com/blog/nothing-burger.html


The unbearable fussiness of the smart home - Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

Tags: tech, iot, smarthome

Feels like loosing agency in your own home… definitely not for me…

https://staceyoniot.com/the-unbearable-fussiness-of-the-smart-home/


Flatpak Is Not the Future

Tags: tech, linux, flatpak

This is a bit of a rant but that summarizes quite well why I fail to fall in love with snap, flatpack and the likes. Everytime I tried to use one of those I ended up with GBs of extra runtime to deal with and the security arguments are frankly debatable… I wish the LSB wasn’t defunct.

https://ludocode.com/blog/flatpak-is-not-the-future


Mobilizon v2, now matured, like a good French wine – Framablog

Tags: tech, web, framasoft

Really nice to see this excellent piece of software growing.

https://framablog.org/2021/11/23/mobilizon-v2-now-matured-like-a-good-french-wine/


Git email flow vs Github flow

Tags: tech, git, email

Always wanted to try this particular way of dealing with patches. But none of the projects I contributed to so far work in that mode.

https://blog.brixit.nl/git-email-flow-versus-github-flow/


Django, HTMX and Alpine.js: Modern websites, JavaScript optional

Tags: tech, html, javascript, frontend, django

Interesting way to combine Django and a couple of JS based tiny frameworks to make simpler frontends.

https://www.saaspegasus.com/guides/modern-javascript-for-django-developers/htmx-alpine/


Overengineering can kill your product - Mind the Product

Tags: tech, complexity

Good summary on why overengineering is bad, why it happens and how to try to prevent it. We deal with complexity we better make sure there’s no undue complexity in our systems.

The wording and bias of the article is a bit startup-y but most things in there apply more widely.

https://www.mindtheproduct.com/overengineering-can-kill-your-product/


The Fingerprint Principle

Tags: management, change, improving

Interesting musing about change management: don’t come up with something too perfect if you want people to make it their own.

https://www.estherderby.com/the-fingerprint-principle/


Bye for now!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

How To Make Plasma Panel Fit Content (Like A Dock)!

Fri, 2021-11-26 05:45
💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

KDE Floating Panels: PULL REQUEST DONE! And Next Projects!

Thu, 2021-11-25 06:10
💸💸 IF YOU WANT TO HELP ME DO MORE MERGE REQUESTS: :D 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Floating Panel Devlog: States, Transitions, Thickness... I had been optimistic.

Wed, 2021-11-24 07:23
💸💸 Help me contribute to KDE and do these videos: 💸💸 Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/niccolove Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONH73CdRXUjlh3-DdLGCPw/join Paypal: https://paypal.me/niccolove Stay in the loop: https://t.me/veggeroblog My website is https://niccolo.venerandi.com and if you want to contact me, my telegram handle is [at] veggero.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

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