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This is a feed aggregator that collects what the contributors to the KDE community are writing on their respective blogs, in different languages

Monday, 17 June 2024

People of the Internet,

While working on keystroke events, I realized my improvements to the event.change property were still inconsistent for certain Unicode characters. This led me to delve into code units, code points, graphemes, and other cool Unicode concepts. I found this blog post to be very enlightening.

Here’s an update on my progress over the past two weeks:

MRs merged:

  • event.change : The change property of the event object now correctly handles Unicode, with adjustments to selStart and selEnd calculations. !MR998
  • cursor position and undo/redo fix : Fixed cursor position calculations to account for rejected input text and resolved merging issues with undo/redo commands in text fields. !MR1011
  • DocOpen Event implementation : Enabled document-level scripts to access the event object by implementing the DocOpen event. !MR1003
  • Executing validation events correctly : Fixed a bug where validation scripts wouldn’t run after KeystrokeCommit scripts in Okular. !MR999
  • Widget refresh functions for RadioButton, ListEdit and ComboEdit : Added refresh functions as slots for RadioButton, ListEdit, and ComboEdit widgets, aiding in reset functionality and script updates. !MR1012
  • Additional document actions in Poppler : Implemented reading additional document actions (CloseDocument, SaveDocumentStart, SaveDocumentFinish, PrintDocumentStart, PrintDocumentFinish) in the qt5 and qt6 frontends for Poppler. !MR1561 (in Poppler)

MRs currently under review:

  • Reset form implementation in qt6 frontend for Okular : Working on the reset form functionality in Okular, currently focusing on qt6 frontend details. !MR1564 (in Poppler)
  • Reset form in Okular : Using the Poppler API to reset forms within Okular. !MR1007
  • Fixing order of execution of events for text form fields : Addressing the incorrect execution order of certain events (e.g., calculation scripts) and ensuring keystroke commit, validation, and format scripts are evaluated correctly when setting fields via JavaScript. !MR1002

For the coming weeks, my focus will be on implementing reset forms, enhancing keystroking and formatting scripts, and possibly starting on submit forms. Let’s see how it goes.

See you next time. Cheers!

Sunday, 16 June 2024

Like last year, the KDEPIM team convened in Toulouse to hold it’s traditional spring sprint. Unlike last year this time it was late spring, almost made it into summer. This time we’ve been hosted by Étincelle Coworking in one of their spaces. It was fairly nice. Lots of space, comfortable, well situated in the center. I definitely recommend.

The Warm-up

Some of the team (namely Carl and Volker) arrived early before the official start. I’m pretty sure Carl made it early to have lunch in the infamous Cake Place™ (at last). Of course a stupid amount of cake slices was involved. And after a short stroll we got to the meeting space we would use the rest of the time.

We started preparing the work board and finished collecting ideas as Dan arrived.

Day 1

Once again, we had two types of tasks: discussions and actual hacking. During that first day we mostly focused on the conversations but did some hacking on the side. Since the attendance was a bit low this year, we didn’t go for break out groups and did them all as a single group.

Said discussions covered mostly the following topics:

  • Retiring some old software or now unused resources
  • Trying to devise plans to remove some duplication of efforts (did you know we have several copies of the time tree parser?)
  • Some minor stability issues were discussed to have a plan to solve them
  • How to improve the usage of Akonadi on mobile which revolved mostly around some better partial syncing and some tight coupling with widgets at places
  • Devising a strategy to have some end to end testing of the supported resources
  • How to have better tag support and indexing in Akonadi (which opens the door to really cool features so stay tuned)
  • And finally, we spent quite some time discussing how to improve our little PR efforts and how to recruit new contributors

Of course, like last year we’re contrained by the size of the team and so need to use smartly everyone’s time. Again no grand plans, but some of the items we plan to deliver during the year could have very nice consequences. We’ll focus on a better quality of life both for users and contributors.

Day 2

We already started some of the technical tasks the previous day, but Sunday was mostly devoted to them. We had a break for a nice brunch of course but still people worked on their branches around it.

As far as technical tasks, we got the following things done already:

  • Some obscure and broken feature around notes in KMail has been removed
  • KJots notes can now be imported into MarkNotes giving an upgrade path
  • Akonadi tag discovery in caldav resources is a thing
  • The Akonadi brand should finally not appear anywhere in the applications anymore
  • A way to clean up the data coming from retired resources is now in place

But there’s more in the works, namely:

  • the completion of the infrastructure for QtQuick based config dialogs
  • the switch to KConfigDialogManager where is makes sense (instead of using an old PIM specific legacy system)
  • the rewrite of the indexing system (which should improve performance and have instant indexing of payloads)
  • the migration agent to apply tag discovery also to old and already existing items
  • the move of KMime to KDE Frameworks is getting prepared
  • the IMAP resource configuration system is in the works to be able to jump on the QtQuick infrastructure (it’s one of the more complex ones with lots of QtWidgets dependencies)
  • the KDAV test suite is being completed for better coverage

The mentioned tasks and all the ones created during the conversations have been added to our Technical Roadmap on Gitlab. The work is still on going for some of them.

What now?

The most noticeable is probably one thing we acted on immediately after our discussions. We added milestones in the PIM group. Indeed, it’s probably not always easy for people wanting to join to know which are the bigger on going goals in the KDEPIM team and what to work on to help.

This is now encoded through those milestones. It’s the early days for them so they need to be improved and more tasks added, but at least this gives an idea of what has higher priority for now.

We plan to have a BoF at Akademy 2024 to be announced later when the schedule for the BoFs actually opens. There we’ll plan to focus at discussing the experience of contributors and see how it can be improved. We’ll also present our milestones. We might sign you up on tasks there, don’t hesitate to show up, we want to hear from you.

Last but not least

If you want to know more or engage with us, please join the KDEPIM matrix channel! Let’s chat further.

Also, I’d like to thank again Étincelle Coworking and KDE e.V. to make this event possible. This wouldn’t be possible without a venue and without at least partial support in the travel expenses.

Finally, if you like such meetings to happen in the future so that we can push forward your favorite software, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

This year again I participated to the KDE PIM Sprint in Toulouse. As always it was really great to meet other KDE contributors and to work together for one weekend. And as you might have seen on my Mastodon account, a lot of food was also involved.

Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

We started our sprint on Thursday with a lunch at the legendary cake place, which I missed last year due to my late arrival.

Picture of some delicious cakes: a piece of cheesecake raspberry and basil, a piece of lemon tart with meringue and a piece of carrot cake)
Picture of some delicious cakes: a piece of cheesecake raspberry and basil, a piece of lemon tart with meringue and a piece of carrot cake)

We then went to the coworking space where we would spend the remaining of this sprint and started working on defining tasks to work on and putting them on real kanban board.

A kanban board with tasks to discuss and to implement
A kanban board with tasks to discuss and to implement

To get a good summary of the specific topics we discussed, I invite you to consult the blog of Kevin.

That day, aside from the high level discussion, I proceeded to port away the IMAP authentification mechanism for Outlook accounts away from the KWallet API to use the more generic QtKeychain API. I also removed a large dependency from libkleo (the KDE library to interact with GPG).

Day 2 (Saturday)

On the second day, we were greated by a wonderful breakfast (thanks Kevin).

Picture of croissant, brioche and chocolatine
Picture of croissant, brioche and chocolatine

I worked on moving EventViews (the library that renders the calendar in KOrganizer) and IncidenceEditor (the library that provides the event/todo editor in KOrganizer) to KOrganizer. This will allow to reduce the number of libraries in PIM.

For lunch, we ended up eating at the excellent Mexican restaurant next to the location of the previous sprint.

Mexican food
Mexican food

I also worked on removing the “Add note” functionality in KMail. This feature allow to store notes to emails following RFC5257. Unfortunatelty this RFC never left the EXPERIMENTAL state and so these notes were only stored in Akonadi and not synchronized with any services.

This allow to remove the relevant widget from the pimcommon library and the Akonadi attribute.

I also started removing another type of notes: the KNotes app which provided sticky notes. This application was not maintained anymore, didn’t work so well with Wayland. If you were using KNotes, to make sure you don’t loose your notes, I added support in Marknote to import notes from KNotes.

Marknote with the context menu to import notes
Marknote with the context menu to import notes

Finally I worked on removing visible Akonadi branding from some KDE PIM applications. The branding was usually only visible when an issue occurred, which didn’t help with Akonadi reputation.

We ended up working quite late and ordering Pizzas. I personally got one with a lot of cheese (but no photo this time).

Day 3 (Sunday)

The final day, we didn’t had any breakfast :( but instead a wonderful brunch.

Picture of the brunch
Picture of the brunch

Aside from eating, I started writing a plugin system for the MimeTreeParser which powers the email viewer in Merkuro and in Kleopatra. In the short term, I want to be able to add Itinerary integration in Merkuro but in the longer term the goal is to bring this email viewer to feature parity with the email viewer from KMail and then replace the KMail email viewer with the one from Merkuro. Aside from removing duplicate code, this will improve the security since the individual email parts are isolated from each other and this will makes it easier for the email view to follow KDE styling as this is just normal QML instead of fake HTML components.

I also merged and rebased some WIP merge requests in Marknote in preparation of a new release soon and reviewed merge requests from the others.

Last but not least

If you want to know more or engage with us, please join the KDE PIM and the Merkuro matrix channels! Let’s chat further.

Also, I’d like to thank again Étincelle Coworking and KDE e.V. to make this event possible. This wouldn’t be possible without a venue and without at least partial support in the travel expenses.

Finally, if you like such meetings to happen in the future so that we can push forward your favorite software, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

Saturday, 15 June 2024

Plasma 6.1 is due to be released in three days, and lots of attention went into final release readiness activities: QA, bug-fixing, performance profiling, auto-testing, stuff like that. Boring but important! And happily, reviews of the 6.1 beta are, like, really good. So we want to make sure that the final release doesn’t disappoint!

In addition, we’re hard at work on Plasma 6.2, which is now beginning to accumulate features. Major areas of focus are some of the remaining Wayland pain points, including tablet and artist workflows. You can see some progress on that already:

New Features

Added an additional option for how to map the area of your drawing tablet to the area of your screen. It can be useful to have multiple options here, since drawing tablets are as diverse as screens, and their sizes and aspect ratios are unlikely to be identical (Joshua Goins, Plasma 6.2.0. Link):

Added a test mode feature for drawing tablets so you can test your settings (Joshua Goins, Plasma 6.2.0. Link):

Ported the Weather widget to the new API offered by the NOAA weather provider, which unlocked night forecasts in addition to the existing day forecasts (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 6.2.0. Link 1 and link 2)

This is new, so please excuse the UI glitches that are visible here. They’ll be cleaned up before the final release of Plasma 6.2 in four months.

UI Improvements

You can now wake up a sleeping screen using a stylus (David Redondo, Plasma 6.1.1. Link)

KWin’s Morphing Popups effect has been deleted. While it added a measure of fanciness, unfortunately the way it worked introduced unfixable visual glitches. After multiple attempts to fix them, with a heavy heart we had to admit defeat. Removing the effect fixed six open Bugzilla tickets, one of which had 20 (!) duplicates. Stability beats fanciness. (David Edmundson, Plasma 6.2.0. Link)

Bug Fixes

Scrolling in Elisa’s lyrics view once again works with a clicky scroll wheel mouse (Jack Hill, Elisa 24.05.1. 24.05.1)

Fixed that annoying bug that affected people not using Systemd (or Plasma’s Systemd integration) which would make some but not all Plasma settings fail to get saved properly (David Edmundson, Plasma 6.1.0. Link)

Fixed a bug that could cause Plasma’s “Unify Outputs” screen action to actually disable certain screens instead of making them mirror the existing one (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 6.1.0. Link)

Quickly adapted to the NOAA weather provider’s continued API changes by implementing a quick fix to keep it working for the Weather widget in Plasma 6.1. (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 6.1.0. Link)

Fixed multiple issues causing System Monitor widgets displaying certain types of days to be visually squished when displayed on Plasma panels (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 6.1.0. Link)

Fixed a visual glitch that caused flickering when canceling a quick-tile action initiated by dragging a window (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 6.1.0. Link)

When you change the system volume using the slider in Plasma’s Audio widget, the maximum volume in overdrive mode is once again 150%, not 153% (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 6.1.0. Link)

Fixed an issue that could cause XWayland-using apps to freeze for a short period of time after slowly resizing their windows, especially when using screen scaling (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 6.1.1. Link)

In System Monitor pie charts (both in the app and the widgets), text in the center no longer sometimes overflows when it’s very long (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 6.1.1. Link)

Other bug information of note:

Performance & Technical

Improved the memory efficiency of Plasma notifications that display images (Fushan Wen, Plasma 6.2. Link)

Automation & Systematization

Added a test to ensure that Plasma panel focus works as expected (Niccolò Venerandi, link)

Added a test to ensure that images in Plasma notifications appear properly (Fushan Wen, link)

Added a test for some more combinations of settings in Plasma’s Clipboard widget, since there are rather a lot of them (Fushan Wen, link)

Added a test to ensure that the camera usage monitor is working (Fushan Wen, link)

Added a test to make sure the keyboard brightness is settable as expected (Fushan Wen, link)

…And Everything Else

This blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org, where you can find more news from other KDE contributors.

How You Can Help

The KDE organization has become important in the world, and your time and labor have helped to bring it there! But as we grow, it’s going to be equally important that this stream of labor be made sustainable, which primarily means paying for it. Right now the vast majority of KDE runs on labor not paid for by KDE e.V. (the nonprofit foundation behind KDE, of which I am a board member), and that’s a problem. We’ve taken steps to change this with paid technical contractors — but those steps are small due to growing but still limited financial resources. If you’d like to help change that, consider donating today!

Otherwise, visit https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover other 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!

Friday, 14 June 2024

This is the first blog post of my GSOC journey. I will be sharing my works and experiences here. Stay tuned for more updates. In this blog, I’ll be sharing my experiences of the first two weeks of GSOC, what are the works I did, what are challenges I faced and how did I overcome them ( Did I really overcome them :P ). On my first week I tried to understand the codebase of discover first, via doing small changes.

 

This is the release schedule the release team agreed on

  https://community.kde.org/Schedules/KDE_Gear_24.08_Schedule

Dependency freeze is in around 4 weeks (July 18) and feature freeze one
after that. Get your stuff ready!
 

Let’s go for my web review for the week 2024-24.


Microsoft Will Switch Off Recall by Default After Security Backlash

Tags: tech, microsoft, privacy

Unsurprisingly they had to adjust under the pressure. The most blatant issues might be gone, it is still a bad idea at its core.

https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-recall-off-default-security-concerns/


AI chatbots are intruding into online communities where people are trying to connect with other humans

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning, gpt, criticism, ethics

Chatbots can be useful in some cases… but definitely not when people expect to connect with other humans.

https://theconversation.com/ai-chatbots-are-intruding-into-online-communities-where-people-are-trying-to-connect-with-other-humans-229473


Malicious VSCode extensions with millions of installs discovered

Tags: tech, vscode, security, ide

How trustworthy are the extensions you get in your editor or IDE? I’d expect most marketplaces to not be well harmed against such attacks.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/malicious-vscode-extensions-with-millions-of-installs-discovered/


HTTP/3 needs us (and other people) to make firewall changes

Tags: tech, http, quic, firewall

Good reminder that firewalls need to be adjusted for proper HTTP/3 support.

https://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/sysadmin/HTTP3AndOurFirewalls


HTTP/3 in curl mid 2024 | daniel.haxx.se

Tags: tech, http, quic

Interesting status report about HTTP/3 support in curl. Shows quite well the various alternatives and how special HTTP/3 can be.

https://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2024/06/10/http-3-in-curl-mid-2024/


What is PID 0? · blog.dave.tf

Tags: tech, unix, linux, kernel, system, processes

Interesting deep dive in where the PIDs seen in user space come from. And also yes, there is something matching PID 0 which can be traced back to early UNIX systems.

https://blog.dave.tf/post/linux-pid0/


Scan HTML faster with SIMD instructions: Chrome edition – Daniel Lemire’s blog

Tags: tech, cpu, performance, SIMD

SIMD keeps providing interesting performance boosts for parsing work loads.

https://lemire.me/blog/2024/06/08/scan-html-faster-with-simd-instructions-chrome-edition/


Rolling your own fast matrix multiplication: loop order and vectorization – Daniel Lemire’s blog

Tags: tech, c++, compiler, performance, matrix

The ordering used for matrix multiplications definitely matters.

https://lemire.me/blog/2024/06/13/rolling-your-own-fast-matrix-multiplication-loop-order-and-vectorization/


You’ll regret using natural keys

Tags: tech, databases, design

Good advice on designing your database tables. The comments are good too, they allow to complete the picture.

https://blog.ploeh.dk/2024/06/03/youll-regret-using-natural-keys/


Brain dump – Pagination for database objects

Tags: tech, backend, databases

The right and wrong approaches for paginating results coming from a database.

https://www.n16f.net/blog/pagination-for-database-objects/


Optimal SQLite settings for Django

Tags: tech, django, databases, sqlite

Little and to the point reference on safer SQLite use. I should check if some of this would apply or is used by Akonadi as well.

https://gcollazo.com/optimal-sqlite-settings-for-django/


the Gilbert–Johnson–Keerthi algorithm explained as simply as possible

Tags: tech, geometry, mathematics, algorithm

Need to know if two shapes overlap? Good explanation of an elegant algorithm to do it.

https://computerwebsite.net/writing/gjk


Feynman’s Razor - by Defender of the Basic

Tags: tech, documentation, communication, gui

Nice reminder that even though we try to make things simpler to understand to people, there is a point where we can go too far.

https://defenderofthebasic.substack.com/p/feynmans-razor


Foreword for Fuzz Testing Book

Tags: tech, fuzzing, tests, history

Ever wondered where fuzz testing is coming from? This is an important bit of history.

https://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~bart/fuzz/Foreword1.html


Post-Architecture: An Open Approach to Software Engineering

Tags: tech, software, architecture

Indeed this is not for any environment and projects. So take it with a grain of salt. That said, I think this piece has a core truth to it which is more general. Software architectures shouldn’t be considered as something fixed as soon as they are planned, they need to be validated through use and to be prepared to evolve over time as needed.

https://arendjr.nl/blog/2024/06/post-architecture/



Bye for now!

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 14 Beta!

After three months, KDE’s Kirigami tutorial has been ported to Qt6. In case you are unaware of what Kirigami is: Qt provides two GUI technologies to create desktop apps: QtWidgets and QtQuick QtWidgets uses only C++ while QtQuick uses QML (plus optional C++ and JavaScript) Kirigami is a library made by KDE that extends QtQuick and provides a lot of niceties and quality-of-life components Strictly speaking there weren’t that many API changes to Kirigami.

Thursday, 13 June 2024

Hi! It has been over two weeks since the coding period began. In this blog post, I will provide a brief summary of my work during the first two weeks.

After spending some time reviewing the code, I decided to start by refactoring the existing code related to ASS format subtitles. This has two main goals: first, to enable Kdenlive to read as much information as possible from ASS subtitles (specifically, the features supported by libass) and load it into the memory; and second, to ensure that Kdenlive can save all this information back to the file. Since SubtitleModel already contains a significant amount of code for ASS format subtitles, my work mainly involved refining and expanding upon this existing code while maintaining compatibility.

So far, I have accomplished the following:

  • Added initial support for reading and saving embedded fonts in ASS subtitles
  • Optimized the storage method for subtitle styles
  • Migrated from V4Style to V4+Style

Tasks still to be completed:

  • Modify m_subtitleList to accommodate more information.
  • Write unit tests for each feature

Once these steps are completed, we will have more comprehensive support for ASS format subtitles, marking the end of this phase of the ASS code refactoring. The next focus will be on refactoring the functionality for modifying subtitle styles. These two parts will be my primary focus for the next two weeks. Stay tuned!