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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

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Kubuntu Hirsute Hippo was announced on April 22, 2021 with 9 months support.

As of January 20, 2022, 21.04 reached ‘end of life’.

No more package updates will be accepted to 21.04, and it will be archived in the coming weeks.

You can read the official end of life announcement for Ubuntu as a whole.

Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa and 21.10 Impish Indri continue to be supported.

Users of 21.04 can follow the Kubuntu 21.04 to 21.10 Upgrade instructions.

Should for some reason your upgrade be delayed, and you find that the 21.04 repositories have been archived, instructions to perform a EOL Upgrade can be found on the Ubuntu wiki.

Thank you for using Kubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Up to today, Okular would kind of error out when opening a PDF file that contains a signature field that was unsigned (think like the old space in paper forms saying "sign here")


It would tell you "document is signed but can't be properly validated"




 

And that was it, you couldn't do much with the signature. When you tried to "see" it all the fields would be default like "Signed at 1 Jan 1970", etc.


With the new code we properly detect that there are unsigned signatures and we offer to sign them when interacting with it





Relevant merge requests:

https://invent.kde.org/graphics/okular/-/merge_requests/539

https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/poppler/poppler/-/merge_requests/1026

Sunday, 23 January 2022

In my Keyboard Fun post from last year I talked a bit about my interest in mechanical keyboards.

Since then, I played around with a few more keyboards/switches/keycaps/…

Interesting enough, beside the actual hardware, naturally there is some software component to all these keyboards, too.

Whereas most commercial keyboards still come with proprietary firmware, there is the trend within the keyboard enthusiast scene to go for open-source firmware.

This allows you to properly update the firmware even from your Linux machine and do proper configuration of e.g. the keymap, too.

QMK Firmware

A popular project in that area is QMK.

I supports a mass of keyboards out of the box already and is actively extended by both volunteers and some companies.

That means it is deployed not only on main stream products but even in more exotic projects like the “I improve my vintage and modern Model M keyboards” by Eric S. Raymond.

VIA

Whereas QMK provides the open-source firmware part and you can do close to everything with it that is possible, given the features your hardware actually has, it is hard for simple task like “I want that my key x does y”.

Naturally you can change the keymap in your QMK port and compile & flash. But even I would call this a sub-optimal workflow, given a lot of commercial offerings at least provide some GUI to do this on the fly.

Here VIA comes into the picture.

For sure, it is an Electron based monster, but it provides a cross-platform UI for QMK based keyboards that allow on the fly configuration of at least the common things, like keymaps. And it provides trivial things like testing all your keys, which is not that unneeded, given I was too dumb to properly install all my hot-swap switches ;)

VIA UI

Actual Keyboard?

Naturally, after this talk about the software side, all this makes no sense without an actual keyboard using it.

As I use the German ISO layout for typing, I am more limited on product choices than e.g. people using the ANSI layout.

It is really frustrating that where ever you look for some cool keyboard project, in many cases no ISO variant is available. And yes, I don’t want to switch to ANSI, I like to have my umlauts easily accessible and I can’t swap all keyboards I need to use at work with ANSI variants, others would be not amused.

Therefore, if you are in need of some ISO layout keyboard, you might be interested in the information below. If you use ANSI, ignore all this, there are masses of ANSI keyboards out there to buy, with QMK, too. I have done no great research how the keyboard I did choose compares to them, for ISO there were not that many available contenders that were 75%, hot-swap and QMK ready.

After some trial and error I went with a Keychron Q1 75% keyboard. It is available in ISO layout, unfortunately only as bare bone kit, that means you must buy your own switches and keycaps. It naturally comes already with factory installed QMK, nice, above the VIA screenshot was actually from this board on my Linux machine.

For switches, I went with some BOX Navy switches, they are very heavy but have a nice click ;) Even my office neighbor is happy with the sound and hasn’t yet attacked me. I won’t link random reviews of them, you can search for that yourself if you are interested. In any case, yes, they are HEAVY, really, you can believe that from the reviews. And they are loud, but in no bad way.

For keycaps, yeah, same issue with the German ISO layout, there are not many sets that are available.

At work I now have some SA profile set from Signature Plastics, they are able to produce sets with proper legends and no missing German keys, unlike some other vendors I tried (and yes, I tried it with cheap vendors, it seems not to be trivial at all print all the proper German keys at all and not just forget them in the package…). Funny enough, shipping from US did take 4 weeks, even with air express, USPS seems to be not the fasted variant of travel. If others play with the idea to buy there, I must confess the quality is really good, but they are expensive, if you don’t require exotic layouts like German, I would rather go with some cheaper sets, for US ANSI even the cheapest I tried out were ok, without obvious faults. sting all your keys, which is not that unneeded, given I was too dumb to properly install all my hot-swap switches ;)

Keychron Q1 Ice Cap Keycaps

If you look a bit more around on the picture you will see I have still my good old Nokia rubber ducky, a sole survivor from the time Nokia owned Qt :P And no, I don’t use a Mac, that is just one we use for our compile farm.

At home I went with some MT3 profile set without any legends, that is really cheap and funny enough did take only 4 days from US to Germany with standard UPS.

Keychron Q1 MT3 /dev/tty Keycaps

:=) And no, no second Nokia ducky at home.

So far, the Q1 works nicely, both at work and at home. Having the exact same layout and switches in both places really helps to get used to it.

Using VIA works nicely, too. So far I have not flashed any updated QMK version, therefore no experience how well that works in practice.

I actually even learned a bit more about my use of the different keys. On the work picture you still see on the right the page up/down buttons (with Fn key => home/end). At home I already reprogrammed that to home/end (with Fn key => page up/down), as I use that far more often during editing whereas the page up/down stuff just rarely in the terminal. Actually, I didn’t know I would miss these two keys until they were no longer easy accessible ;=)

Saturday, 22 January 2022

The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.27.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks

Changelog

  • Correction bug 440271: 2.26.1 still installs skrooge_unit.knsrc to depreciated /etc/xdg/ location
  • Correction bug 446353: you can't tab to the number and duration fields in Operations "Show" table filter
  • Correction bug 446915: Import from Woob using Ofx
  • Correction: Weeks without operation are missing in reports
  • Correction: Crash when the dashboard is closed during animation
  • Feature: New release process for appimage
  • Feature: Unit values can be negative now (see https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=210&t=173318)
  • Feature: Skrooge uses now the LC_MONETARY environement variable to use the specific locale for currency format

Get it, Try it, Love it...

Grab Skrooge from your distro's packaging system. If it is not yet included in repositories, go get it from our website, and bug your favorite distro for inclusion.

Get Involved

To enhance Skrooge, we need you ! There are many ways you can help us:

  • Submit bug reports
  • Discuss on the KDE forum
  • Contact us, give us your ideas, explain us where we can improve...
  • Can you design good interfaces ? Can you code ? Have webmaster skills ? Are you a billionaire looking for a worthy investment ? We will be very pleased in welcoming you in the skrooge team, contact us !

We’ve been super busy fixing all kinds of bugs this week:

  • Bugs for the 15-Minute Bug Initiative
  • Regressions in the Plasma 5.24 beta (which I have not mentioned here because they never got released, and there would be so many of them that it would make your head spin and your eyes would gloss over!)
  • General bugs not related to those

I think everyone should find something to like here! So let’s take a look:

15-Minute Bugs Resolved

Current number of bugs: 87, down from 99. Current list of bugs

A few were found to be already fixed recently and will be available in the next release, or caused by upstream or downstream issues (many of which are also already fixed in the next release). The following were fixed in KDE code this week:

In the Plasma X11 session, the System Settings Touchpad page now shows its two-finger click options properly (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

In a Plasma Wayland session, KWallet now automatically unlocks as expected when this is configured properly (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

When using pam_deny PAM module which causes you to get temporarily locked out after a certain number of wrong password attempts, the screen locker now communicates this to you instead of leaving you to wonder why your password isn’t being accepted (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

Plasma Checkboxes and the tab bars once again react when tapped using a touchscreen (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.91)

New Features

You can now access and manipulate the Plasma layouts assigned to other screens from a central location! This lets you move move desktops or panels between screens, or recover desktops or panels that are only visible on a screen that’s currently turned off. You can access it from the global Edit Mode toolbar. (Cyril Rossi and Marco Martin, Plasma 5.25):

Other Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Flatpak KDE apps now respond instantly to systemwide changes for things like color schemes, icon themes, font sizes, and so on (Aleix Pol Gonzales, whenever version 21.08 of KDE’s Flatpak runtime that includes the change gets re-released)

In the Plasma Wayland session, fixed a variety of ways that KWin could crash when you hot-plug external screens (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, KWin no longer crashes when you unplug an external screen specifically while using “switch to external monitor” mode (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, fixed a semi-common way that Plasma could randomly crash (David Redondo, Plasma 5.24)

Discover no longer sometimes crashes while visiting the Installed page when certain Flatpak apps from certain Flatpak repos are installed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Fixed one of the ways that Discover could just randomly crash while using it (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, fixed a major performance regression that caused input lag and extreme CPU usage for some people (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Editing clipboard items once again lets you edit the full text, not a clipped excerpt of it (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

The Notifications applet’s popup is no longer unusably small when located on a Panel, rather than in the System Tray (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

The System Tray popup on a bottom panel no longer suffers from a visual glitch in its header area when you click the Back button in an applet that has its own header (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

Discover’s feature to show the package dependencies for distro-packaged apps once again works (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Discover now shows accurate installed sizes for app and Plasma add-ons (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Launching System Settings and/or visiting its User Feedback page no longer briefly makes Discover appear in the Task Manager and then disappear (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Discover no longer shows you a spurious error message when you cancel an update by declining to provide authentication (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.24)

Search results in KRunner and Kickoff and other places that have KRunner-powered search no longer visibly blink or flicker when you type more characters to refine the search results (Eduardo Cruz, Plasma 5.25

In the Plasma Wayland session, the Mouse Mark and Mouse Click effects now work with a stylus (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25)

Slightly reduced the CPU and memory usage of all KDE software when fetching icons (Nicolas Fella, Frameworks 5.91)

A super important Qt patch has been backported to the Qt patch collection which makes the Plasma Wayland session massively more usable for people using NVIDIA graphics cards with the 495+ driver series (Elvis Lee and Adrien Faveraux, as soon as your distro updates their KDE patch collection)

Another important Qt patch has been backported to the Qt patch collection which makes Plasma not crash in the Wayland session when an external screen is turned off and on again (David Edmundson and Fabian Vogt, as soon as your distro updates their KDE patch collection)

User Interface Improvements

You can now scroll over Plasma tab bars to change tabs (Noah Davis, Qt 6.3, but it’s being backported to the KDE patch collection)

Dolphin’s list view highlights now take up the full row (Tom Lin, Dolphin 22.04):

Elisa’s search now normalizes non-Latin characters, so for example you can find “Björk” by searching for “Bjork” (Yerrey Dev, Elisa 21.12.2)

Dolphin’s icon view now reverses itself properly when the app is being using used in right-to-left mode (Jan Blackquill, Dolphin 22.04)

Discover no longer shows you a “Launch” button on pages for things that can’t be launched, like plugins and wallpapers (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

The folder selection dialog that you see when a Flatpak app asks you to choose a folder now looks and works exactly the same as the dialog you get when a distro-packaged app does the same (Fabian Voft, Plasma 5.24)

Permission request dialogs for Flatpak apps now look a bit prettier and more KDE-like, and pre-select the only item in the list in cases where there is only one thing to choose (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

The Clipboard applet got some keyboard fixes for when the search field is focused: the up and down arrow keys now navigate the list; pressing the delete key when search text is selected now deletes it, and when there is no search text selected, the delete key now does nothing rather then deleting the highlighted history item (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24 and 5.25)

When you unmount a disk that still has pending file transfer operations going on (due to the Linux kernel’s use of asynchronous file I/O), the Disks & Devices applet now shows you a more appropriate message (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.25):

Various apps and Plasma applets that have search fields which are focused by default no longer become focused by default when you’re in tablet mode, to prevent the virtual keyboard from immediately appearing and covering up the app the moment it launches (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.91 and Plasma 5.25)

Task Manager badges now use the new highlight style (Jan Blackquill and me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.25):

Breeze-themed menu items in QtQuick-based apps now become bigger and more tappable when you’re in Tablet Mode (Me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.91):


NOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE WHITESPACE: This is only in Tablet Mode! Only in Tablet Mode! Not in regular mode! You won’t ever have to see this density reduction! So don’t complain about it! 🙂

The desktop context menu now only shows the “Show Activity Switcher” item if you actually have more than one activity that could be switched to, making the menu a bit shorter by default and more relevant (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.25):

And yes, there is indeed a bit more fat we can trim here, which will be happening shortly

Kate, KDevelop, and other KTextEditor-based apps now automatically detect the whitespace style of files you open, so you’ll never again have the experience of opening a file that uses tabs instead of spaces and you hit the tab key and it inserts spaces and you only notice this later when you run git diff on your changes and see that you’ve ruined the whitespace (Waqar Ahmed, Frameworks 5.91)

The Toggle Comment feature in Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps now works properly when the line you’re trying to comment or uncomment also has any inline comments on it (Waqar Ahmed, Frameworks 5.91)

Comboboxes throughout QtQuick-based KDE apps (and their popups) are no longer often too short to fully fit the text of long items (Alexander Stippich, Frameworks 5.91)

…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

If you’re a developer, check out our 15-Minute Bug Initiative. Working on these issues makes a big difference quickly!

Otherwise, 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.

Friday, 21 January 2022

The beta of Plasma 5.24 has been released and as such people running Manjaro ARM with Plasma Mobile might want to test it out.

So here's a step by step guide on how add update your system to beta 5.24. Reversing this is not easy and is not covered by this guide.

  1. Download and Flash a Manjaro ARM Plasma Mobile stable image if you are not already on an up-to-date stable version that you don't mind breaking. I recommend the latest factory image.
  2. Switch it to use testing branch with sudo pacman-mirrors -aS testing.
  3. After you are done setting it up add this above the [core] section in your /etc/pacman.conf:
    [kde-testing]
    Server = https://kdebuild.manjaro.org/kde-testing/$arch
  4. When the above is added you should be able to download the new database by running: sudo pacman -Syy
    If it mentions kde-testing, then it worked.
  5. The last thing to do is now to actually update the system. Do that by running: sudo pacman -Syu
  6. Reboot the phone afterwards and it should now show Plasma 5.23.90 inside Settings -> Information.

Reviving and reworking the KRunner help

Currently KRunner does not provide any usage information itself, there is only an bit of documentation on the user base wiki. Back in the KDE4 days KRunner had help button, but fundamental changes in the architecture meant that the code could not simply be ported to the current version. KDE4 Krunner usage help Since the help system required reimplementation, it was decided to implement it as a plugin for KRunner's powerful plugin infrastructure. This plugin produces results when one types ? or help. To make this more discoverable a button is added, which puts the text ? in the search field. new help funtionality By having it as a plugin it is reusable in every case KRunner is used, for example the KWin overview effect, the Application Launcher or the Plasma-Mobile search.

But it is not only under the hood different from the KDE4 version – there are quite a few changes to improve the usability:

For example only one usage example is displayed for each runner. This way one can get a better overview over the different runners.

Also, runners can display their description instead of the first possible usage. For example the sessions-runner can log out, suspend, switch user or reboot the PC. This would be too much information for the simple overview. Which is why the description is shown instead.

If the plugin has a configuration module, you can launch it as an action. configure action Otherwise you would have needed to click the configure button on the left, search for the runner and then click the configure button for the specific runner.

When one click on of a match or selects it and presses enter, a detailed page of all the available usages of this runner is displayed: detailed help info

Here you get all the available usage information displayed. For getting a better overview, the queries are marked in bold. Internally, this uses the styled text from Qt and every runner which has multiline text can utilize this feature.

When one runs one of the matches, the suggested query gets put in the KRunner search field. The placeholder text is selected so that you can immediately overwrite it with your query, still get a little hint what the runner expects. autocompleted text

Hopefully you like this feature and can be even more productive with KRunner :–)

In case you have developed a KRunner plugin yourself, check out the docs: for DBus runners or for C++ plugins.

Let’s go for my web review for the week 2022-03.


Tags: tech, social-media, gafam, twitter, facebook

Is anyone still surprised about this? I’m not. It’s good this gets properly confirmed though.

https://www.salon.com/2021/12/23/twitter-algorithm-amplifies-conservatives/


Netflix and Cable Prices

Tags: tech, netflix, economics

Totally expected price hike, and it’s likely to keep going.

https://www.interneteconomist.com/netflix-and-cable-prices/


The Intel Split – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Tags: tech, cpu, intel, business

Interesting analysis about the likely path ahead for Intel.

https://stratechery.com/2022/the-intel-split/


The curious case of the Raspberry Pi in the network closet

Tags: tech, raspberry-pi, security

Interesting forensic of a device left around to spy a network.

https://blog.haschek.at/2019/the-curious-case-of-the-RasPi-in-our-network.html


Python bytecode explained

Tags: tech, python, bytecode

Very nice introduction to the bytecode used in CPython.

https://github.com/MoserMichael/pyasmtool/blob/master/bytecode_disasm.md


How vectorization speeds up your Python code

Tags: tech, python, performance

Not necessarily unknown paths to squeeze more performance out of Python. Still it’s nice to have those options measured and listed in the same post.

https://pythonspeed.com/articles/vectorization-python/


GPS – Bartosz Ciechanowski

Tags: tech, gps, science

Excellent deep dive in how GPS works. It goes all the way down to the signal processing. It’s really nice to see how many layers of complexity this technology carries.

https://ciechanow.ski/gps/


Shaping Patterns - esther derby associates, inc.

Tags: management, team

Interesting piece on why focusing on clarity, conditions and constraints can help figure out why a team can be dysfunctional.

https://www.estherderby.com/shaping-patterns/


Cost of Attrition

Tags: management, hr, complexity

Also a good reminder of the fact that people are not just resources you can swap easily.

https://benjiweber.co.uk/blog/2022/01/12/cost-of-attrition/



Bye for now!

Thursday, 20 January 2022



The Linux App Summit (LAS) of 2022 will be held in Rovereto, a picturesque city at the foot of the Italian Alps.

Whether you are a company, journalist, developer, or user interested in the ever-growing Linux app ecosystem, LAS will have something for you. Scheduled for April, LAS 2022 will be a hybrid event, combining on-site and remote sessions, including talks, panels and Q&As.

The call for papers will open soon, and the registrations shortly after.

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with Linux App Summit news.

About the Linux App Summit

The Linux App Summit (LAS) brings the global Linux community together to learn, collaborate, and help grow the Linux application ecosystem. Through talks, panels, and Q&A sessions, we encourage attendees to share ideas, make connections, and join our goal of building a common app ecosystem. Previous iterations of the Linux App Summit have been held in the United States in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado, as well as in Barcelona, Spain.

Learn more by visiting linuxappsummit.org.

About Rovereto



Rovereto is an old Fortress Town in Northern Italy at the foot of the Italian Alps. It is located in the autonomous province of Trento and is the main city of the Vallagarina district.

The city has several interesting sites including:

  • The Ancient War Museum
  • A castle built by the counts of Castelbarco
  • The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento

Rovereto's economy revolves around wine, coffee, rubber, and chocolate. The town was acknowledged as a “Peace town” in the 20th century and is also the location of important palaeontological remains, such as dinosaur footprints in the surrounding area.

We look forward to seeing you in Rovereto, Italy.

* The image “Rovereto” featured above is by barnyz and is distributed under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

I was recently interviewed for episode 261 of Destination Linux, and it was a blast! Check it out there, or here:

For the folks commenting on my background, yes indeed, all KDE bugs are bed bugs.

Speaking of which… go squish some!!!