August 21, 2018

How often do you meet your laptop vendor in person? Last year, I picked up a KDE Slimbook, and the machine has been great, acting as my development-box-on-the-go for lots of KDE travels. It has a few stickers, and some scratches, and the screen had gotten a bit wobbly by now .. so, at this year’s Akademy I stopped by the Slimbook stand, admired the newer Slimbook II (alas, the old one isn’t written off yet), and mentioned the wobbly screen.

Photo of an envelope from SlimbookHow often does your laptop vendor say “we can fix that” and do it right there and then? So I had a nicely tightened, fast and friendly Slimbook by the end of the next talk. Not only that, but when I got home from Akademy, I found an envelope with some stickers and the right tool to fix it myself if it happens again.

Now that’s developer-friendly service! Thanks, Alejandro and Raúl, and hope to see you again next year.

Kirigami used to have a Telegram channel as its main communication channel. this is of course not optimal being a closed service and many potential contributors not having an account on Telegram.
Since today, we also have an IRC channel
#kde-kirigami on freenode and
#kirigami:matrix.org on Matrix
The Telegram channel is still there, and all 3 are bridged between each other, so a message sent by any of the 3 platforms will be received also by users on the other two.
See you there ��

KDevelop 5.2.4 released

As the last stabilization and bugfix release in the 5.2 series, we today make KDevelop 5.2.4 available for download. This release contains a few bug fixes and a bit of polishing, as well as translation updates, and should be a very simple transition for anyone using 5.2.x currently.

Notable changes: 

  • Fix resizing of variable tooltip (D14879)
  • Fix various problems with filters in the output view (bug 343124)
  • Fix a crash which could happen when using the class browser in debug builds with Qt >= 5.11 (D14840)
  • Only show cppcheck menu for cpp files (D14525)
  • PHP support: determine correct type for relational and equality expressions (bug 305341)
  • PHP support: fix a bug with rescheduling jobs (D14113)

KDevelop 5.2.4 can as usual be downloaded from our Downloads page. In addition to the source code, we also provide 32- and 64-bit Windows installers, as well as pre-built binaries for 64-bit Linux as an AppImage.

After closing out the 5.2 series, we also plan to release KDevelop 5.3 soon with lots of improvements.

sbrauch Tue, 2018/08/21 - 11:45
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August 20, 2018

Hoy quiero compartir el siguiente vídeo: Entiende Linux y el Software Libre de una vez, creado por Nate Gentile y que intenta explicar GNU/Linux para los recién llegados o a los que les llama la atención este apasionante mundo.

Entiende Linux y el Software Libre de una vez

Entiende Linux y el Software Libre de una vezLo cierto es que este vídeo es ideal para hacer entender, de manera didáctica y divertida, qué hay detrás del movimiento GNU/Linux. Por supuesto que quien espere exactitud y precisión debe huir de él, pero a grosso modo cumple una función muy importante: explicar de forma sencilla un universo complicado.

Además, su duración es pequeña, apenas 17 minutos con lo cual es perfecto para una clase aunque un poco larga para una charla… pero también creo que es difícil reducir más el tema. Personalmente, lo tengo en mi lista de vídeos para cuando quiero explicar GNU/Linux a adolescentes.

De esta forma, a lo largo de esos apenas 20 minutos, aparecen comparaciones tanto filosóficas como de arquitectura con los sistemas privativos, explica como es construye Linux, pone de manifiesto la importancia ética del movimiento y un largo etcétera, todo ello poniendo como símil el mundo del automovilismo.

Bien, no es robo más tiempo, disfrutadlo.

Y como siempre digo, si os gusta el contenido creado por el autor, en este caso Nate Gentile  podéis “pagarlo” de muchas formas. En este caso, dándole un like en su página de Youtube, dándole al botón de subscribir o realizando un comentario. Ayudar al desarrollo del Software Libre también se hace simplemente dando las gracias, ayuda mucho más de lo que os podéis imaginar, recordad la campaña I love Free Software Day 2017 de la Free Software Foundation donde se nos recordaba esta forma tan sencilla de colaborar con el gran proyecto del Software Libre y que en el blog dedicamos un artículo.

This year I attended to my fourth Akademy, the annual KDE summit.  The conference is always a good place to meet old and new KDE people. This year we had a lot of new faces showing up there, which is very good because new people might mean new ideas coming, more hands to work on KDE projects, and more mouths to spread our message �� From Brazil we had three new contributors attending for the first time, Lays, Caio and Eliakin, from a total of eight Brazilians who participated this year. I think we can count with Tomaz and Helio although they are living in Germany ��

DSC01881.JPGBrazilian group at Akademy 2018.

As part of the conference program we had some good talks and the usual BoF’s (Birds of a Feather) sessions. This year, as part of our effort to get more people from Latin America to participate to LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, we decided to host a BoF about KDE in America. Actually we were more interested in discuss with people from the three Americas about if we should try to make a big conference gathering all of us from South, North and Central America. We thought about a conference that could revive the Camp KDE and at the same time to get LaKademy outside of Brazil. Some possibilities were thought, like organize a conference in Cuba, Argentina, or in Colombia, because these are places where we might have local KDE teams to help with that. This is an idea that still needs to be matured, but the kick-off to thinking about a better integration of contributors in America has already been given.

In addition to BoF’s and talks, Akademy this year offered some trainings, which I thought was a great idea. The attendees could choose among four different trainings: Nonviolent Communication, Online Fundraising and Campaigning, Documentation writing for non-writers, and Public Speaking Training. Before the event I was very excited to participate in the non-violent communication training because I’ve been reading the Marshall Rosenberg’s book and enjoying to think of new forms of communications, especially a more empathetic one.

img_20180816_0923281.jpg

Be able to communicate with people inside a big and diverse community like ours without using a violent language that provokes conflicts is a important goal that we should pursue as a community. The Akademy team is to be congratulated for having offered for us such a great opportunity to think and to practice non-violent communication in our context. I think we should have more this in the next Akademies. In my opinion, one of the ways we can attract more contributors to our community is making the environment even more friendly and the language we use to express ourselves is a very important part of this. So, to finish this post, I would like to say that my main highlight and insight from Akademy this year was think about empathy in our community. After all, for me Free Software it’s all about community <3.

akademy2018-groupphoto.jpgAkademy 2018 group photo.

Thank you all involved in make this community an amazing place to be!

 

 

 

The time for Akademy came this year as well, this year it was in the gorgeous Vienna, Austria.
This year marks my 10th Akademy in a row, starting from my first one in Belgium in 2008.
Talks have been awesome as usual, but what’s always awesome for me year by year is all the face to face conversation with so much diverse and smart people in out awesome KDE community.

Kirigami

For me the highlight was the BOF session on Kirigami, in which some nice plans, together the VDG are starting to form.
Kirigami in a QML based UI framework at the core of some KDE applications, which will become more and more central as more and more QML based applications are made.
So far is still a relatively unknown gem in the KE software and frameworks offering, however as technologically is starting to mature, we’ll start to advertise it more and simplify onboarding.
A big part of that will be about web presence and documentation:

  • A nice media-heavy introductory website which will showcase the features it can offer to your app, together expanded sections of the central Kirigami UX patterns in the new Human Interface Guidelines website.
  • Improving the API documentation
  • The Kirigami channel on Telegram will need IRC and Matrix bridges
  • A series of tutorials how to get started developing applications using the Kirigami toolkit
  • Repurpose the example “Kirigami Gallery” application: It will become a showcase of components and UI patterns the developer is recommended to use: each gallery page will also have documentation text together links to the corresponding HIG page and to the gallery page sourcecode itself, to be used as a source of inpiration and best practiches to be used while developing your application

Kirigami Gallery on the Cards pattern, mobile version

Kirigami Gallery on the Cards pattern, desktop version

If you think you can help on this web presence effort, you are welcome to join ��

Plasma

On the Plasma side, many plans of improvement have been discussed and are on their ways, such as better support for touch-based convertible laptops, a completely rewritten and overhauled notification system, and improved Virtual Desktops/Activities infrastructure and UI, on Wayland too.
But, more on all of this in the future ��

Vienna

Vienna is a really charming and beautiful city, I would totally recommend going there at least once.


It’s home not only to great musician in the past:

Mozart


But also to Important scientists that contributed so much to the knowledge of humanity and.. contributed a littel bit making possible all the technology we know and love ��

Meow!

Could you tell us something about yourself?

Hello! My name is Margarita Gadrat, I was born in Russia and live in France. Drawing is my favourite activity since my childhood. After some years working as a graphic designer in different companies, I decided to follow my dream and now I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

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

Both. Personal paintings for experimenting and improving my technique. Professionally, I’m open to new interesting projects. There are still a lot to learn and this is so much fun!

What genre(s) do you work in?

I like painting nature inspired subjects, like landscapes, cute animals. And mysterious, dark atmospheres.

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

Ketka, Ruan Jia, Hellstern, Pete Mohrbacher… I couldn’t put all of them ��

I love the works of classical masters too – Sargent, Turner, Ivan Shishkin, Diego Velasquez, Bosch. Aivazovsky’s sea is stunning! And the Pre-Raphaelites art has a magical aura.

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

10 years ago my husband offered me a Wacom tablet. After trying this tool on Photoshop, I was impressed.

What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

The creative possibilities you have without buying oils, watercolor. No need to clean your table and material after! Also, you can easily correct details with filters and doing the Ctrl-Z �� Working fast too, thanks to useful tools: selections, transforming tools…

How did you find out about Krita?

My husband, who is into FOSS, told me about Krita.

What was your first impression?

Whoa, it’s so fluid and comfortable! Coming from Photoshop, I wasn’t lost with the general concepts (layers, filters, blending, masks…), but had to take time to understand how it was organized in Krita.

What do you love about Krita?

All those features to help in a work process: drawing assistants for perspective, the new reference tool where you can easily arrange your references and put it to your canvas, the freedom of the brush presets. And working with layers in the non destructive way I love so much. The animation section is great too.

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

Nothing that really annoys me. Krita is awesome and complete software! Maybe a couple of little things, but I don’t really use them. Like text tool, which is now getting better and better. And I’d like to be able to move the selection form not while selecting, but after it is selected.

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

Krita is really rich software. You can imitate the traditional materials, but also experimenting with blending to create original results. It permits a fast and quality workflow.

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

“Lake house”

This work combines architecture and nature, it was a nice challenge working on the design of the house and the composition.

What techniques and brushes did you use in it?

I painted in Krita with grey scale values, mostly with the default round brush. Default blending brushes make smooth values. After that, I colorized it with color layers and adjusted levels with the filter layer.

Where can people see more of your work?

DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/darkmagou/gallery/
My personal site with the illustration and graphic design works (in French): https://www.margarita-gadrat.xyz/book
Dribble: https://dribbble.com/mgadrat
Behance: https://www.behance.net/mgadrat

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for Krita, it’s a wonderful program, working on all the platforms, free, open source and constantly including new features!

August 19, 2018

Hey Everyone, Abhijeet here, First of all, I would like to thank the organizing team of this year’s Akademy for this wonderful 7days. I have been contributing in KDE from January this year and I recently attended this year’s Akademy, and it was an amazing experience.

The First two days, we had various keynote speakers, got to know more about KDE’s Goals and Privacy Aim. Second Day, included various new updates on different KDE software. I was given a chance to present my Google Summer of Code Work, on 1st Day itself, Link to my presentation can be found here. I really liked Nate’s Presentation on “A 7 step plan to KDE world domination”.

After these two days, we had a great social event lined up, at “Cafe Derwisch”. We had a great Turkish food there, meet a lot of new people there, including aditya, wrishiraj, ashwin, sanjiban and bhavisha. 

Next Two days, we attended various BoFs, including KDE-India, GSoC/SoC. In KDE-India BoF we discussed, How can we make conf.kde.in 2019 a greater success. We discussed, implementing small/micro talks all over the country, basically places our contributors have currently easy access and encourage people towards contributing to KDE and motivating them to attend the conf.kde.in event. Details of this BoF can be found here. In GSoC/SoC, we [GSoC/SoC students] shared our experience in completing our project, this BoF was also attended by, Valorie and Lydia along with current & past year’s GSoC/SoC students.

KDE Organizing team also organized a sightseeing tour, around Vienna. We started from Karlsplatz station till St Stephens Cathedral, during this tour we were told about different things about Vienna and history related to these places! (Image Credit: Sanjiban! and yes the person in blue T-Shirt is me :p !)

After 2 days of talks and 2 1/2 days BoFs, we went to Kahlenberg, and from there we saw the beautiful city of Vienna from the top, river Danube, bridge, and many local farms were visible from there, along with many buildings! The view was breathtaking (Image Attached Credits: Sanjiban!).

After this day Trip, I hacked a little bit and started fixing some bugs, in KDE discover in TU Wien, Internet Cafe. Club Mate (the drink beside me) had a very interesting taste!

That day I also attended Plasma Mycroft BoF, in which Aditya told us about various new development and gave us High-Level Overview about working of Mycroft and also How can we make it easier for developers to make Mycroft skills!

On last day, I attended Training Documentation Writing, we learned about, how we can make software documentation more simple and easy to understand, We also applied these techniques to an on-spot example!

During these 7-days I also got to meet my GSoC Mentor Aleix and David �� I also met Nate and Harald.

After these 7-days, I headed back home, It took me 36 hours to travel back to college, after a day rest I am writing this blog :D. Feel free to share this blog and also comment down your thoughts!

Parece que al familia de temas de icono Suru++ me va a dar mucho juego. Y es que personalizar mi escritorio es uno de mis vicios secretos, cuando me aburro me suelo cambiar de tema de iconos y el de Plasma. Afortunadamente el escritorio Plasma de KDE tiene opciones más que sobradas, como podéis comprobar en la sección correspondiente de la Store de KDE o en la categoría de iconos de este mismo blog. Hoy os quiero presentar Suru++ Asprómauros un tema de iconos monocromo, planos y elegantes.

Suru++ Asprómauros, un tema de iconos monocromo

Suru++ Asprómauros es un tema de iconos que destaca por la ausencia de color, lo cual los convierten en muy elegantes y perfectos para temas oscuros. Forma parte de la familia de iconso suru++:Suru++ Complete, Suru++ Dark, Suru++ Minimal for Ubuntu y Suru++ Telinkrin (éste último estuvo en el blog el pasado mes de julio)

Suru++ Asprómauros, un tema de iconos monocromo

Este pack de iconos Suru++ Asprómuros está inspirado en el tema Suru++ minimal de Andrea Bonanni’s Suru++ y su sobrenombre tiene origen en la palabra ασπρόμαυρος del griego moderno que significa blando y negro. Además, de ir bien con temas oscuros, también queda fantástico con temas coloridos y planos.

 

 

Y como siempre digo, si os gusta el pack de iconos Suru++ Asprómauros podéis “pagarlo” de muchas formas en la página de KDE Store, que estoy seguro que el desarrollador lo agradecerá: puntúale positivamente (si eres supporter), hazle un comentario en la página o realiza una donación. Ayudar al desarrollo del Software Libre también se hace simplemente dando las gracias, ayuda mucho más de lo que os podéis imaginar, recordad la campaña I love Free Software Day 2017 de la Free Software Foundation donde se nos recordaba esta forma tan sencilla de colaborar con el gran proyecto del Software Libre y que en el blog dedicamos un artículo.

 

Más información: KDE Store

During Akademy I once more was a bit disappointed how bad the project plugin of Kate can cope with out-of-source builds.

At work, we use in-source-builds, as we normally only build in one configuration and have no issues with left-overs in the source directories locally. For this use-case, the project plugin works really well. You have your project local terminal view and that allows you all normal things you need during work, e.g. building + using the git command line client for the version control work.

On the other side, with out-of-source builds, that no longer is that nice to use. Either you use the .kateproject generated by the “Kate – Ninja” or “Kate – Unix Makefiles” CMake generators, then your terminal defaults to the build directory, which allows building just fine, but no version control stuff, or you use the .kateproject (or auto-project creation) in the source directory, which doesn’t allow you to build nicely inside the terminal prompt of Kate. There are workaround for that, like having shell magic to switch between source and build directory with ease, but that all feels a bit unnatural.

Therefore, I added today a very simple “fix” for the issue: If you have a .kateproject that has a different base directory (the toplevel “directory” entry) than the directory the .kateproject file is located in, you will get two terminal tabs in the project view. One is the “old one” that has the directory of the .kateproject as base, the other has the base directory of the project as base.

With these two views, you can easily switch between build/source directory without any hassle or extra setup for any properly setup .kateproject as generated by CMake.

I hope this improves the usability of the project plugin for the normal setup of out-of-source builds with CMake. If this sparked your interest: any further improvement ideas are welcome, best as patches submitted on phabricator.kde.org.

I think this small change is something that shows how many open source contributions work: You have some itch to scratch and you share your solution to help others that have a similar issue.

If you look at the open bugs & wishes for Kate/KWrite/KTexteditor/… you will see that there are still a lot things that need some scratching. It might look like the developers don’t care for the issues of their users, but that is not correct. We just don’t have the time to scratch all these itches (nor are all that easy solvable). Sometimes we unfortunately did even lack time or motivation to do proper reviews for some proposed solutions, I hope we improve on that in the future. Any volunteers that help us taking care are always welcome. The addition of the inline notes interface is a nice example. Michal Srb provided an initial solution for his own needs to us and sparked some new development with that.

So, it has been a busy week of Qt and KDE hacking in the beautiful city of Vienna.
Besides getting quite some of the Viennese staple food, schnitzel, it was an interesting adventure of getting smarter.

  • Getting smarter about making sure what happens in North Korea doesn’t stay in North Korea
  • Getting smarter about what is up with this newfangled Wayland technology and how KDE uses it
  • Getting smarter about how to Konquer the world and welcoming new contributors
  • Getting smarter about opensource licensing compliance
  • Getting smarter about KItinerary, the opensource travel assistant
  • Getting smarter about TNEF, a invitation transport format that isn’t that neutral
  • Getting smarter about Yocto, automotive and what KDE can do

And lots of other stuff.

Besides getting smarter, also getting to talk to people about what they do and to write some patches are important events.
I also wrote some code. Here is a highlight:

And a lot of other minor things, including handling a couple of Debian bugs.

What I’m hoping to either put to my own todolist, or preferably others, is

I felt productive, welcome and … ready to sleep for a week.

I had an amazing time with the KDE community in Vienna this past week at Akademy. In fact it was my first Akademy despite contributing to KDE for so long, but Vienna was a great reason to make my first trip to Europe.

selfie of mpyne in front of an ad for a yellow submarine

It’s like Vienna knew I was coming over

It was nice to experience in person many of the things I read about from previous Akademies. There were the talks, meeting up with friends, the late-night hacking, showing others the work I’ve done. I even got to participate in impromptu collaborations such as taking Helio’s Qt1 port to CMake and building and running it on the Windows Subsystem for Linux within minutes of his announcement of the release.

I also got a reminder again of the importance of open source and making the work we do available to the wider community at the postmarketOS talk on day 2 of the talks, where the presenter noted how their effort to port a real Linux (as opposed to something like AOSP) to mobile form factors with a good GUI ran into some roadblocks related to their use of Alpine Linux (which uses musl libc), but managed to overcome those roadblocks more quickly thanks in part to some patches I’d written a year ago for musl support. This helped get them closer to running Plasma Mobile on platforms like the original Nexus.

This talk was the first I’d heard of this, and this platform wasn’t the reason I’d pushed to get KF5 to compile on Alpine, but then that’s the beauty of open source — people will do amazing things with even the smallest contributions you make, if only you get those contributions out there.

Improving the onboarding experience

A big theme of this Akademy was improving our ability to onboard new contributors, whether that’s testers, artists, bug triagers, designers, and developers, which is one of our major goals as a community. We need help everywhere, and this focus was reflected in many of the “Birds of a Feather” (BoF) sessions we conducted.

Improving kdesrc-build

I led a BoF on this topic for kdesrc-build and participated in a few others as well. There’s a lot out there that we can do to improve our story here, in kdesrc-build and elsewhere, and I’m hopeful we can accomplish real improvement here over the next year. But it was also nice to see and hear a lot of the positive feedback our developers had about kdesrc-build.

A blackboard listing some user complaints about kdesrc-build

Pain points from the kdesrc-build BoF

A blackboard listing some suggested improvements for kdesrc-build

Suggested improvements from the kdesrc-build BoF (some less serious than others…)


At that BoF, Dominik Haumann also demonstrated a mockup for GUI he’s been working on that, in association with the work I’ve been doing to add support for APIs in kdesrc-build to communicate to external processes, would make it easier to use kdesrc-build. More to follow on that, but I’m excited for it.

Other options for onboarding

Also, there was acknowledgment during the week that kdesrc-build is not the best method to get access to bleeding-edge KDE software for all the types of new users.

That’s OK — I agree myself, and if anything it would be surprising for a command-line script to manage to be all things to all people.

So we talked during the week about other options for getting people access to more recent builds of KDE software (Plasma, the Frameworks, Applications, etc.). These options could include:

  • Using virtual machines like KDE Neon’s Developer Edition (recommended by Nate Graham)
  • Flatpaks or Snaps for nightly builds
  • Conan.io C++ binary packages
  • Container-based solutions (e.g. being able to “docker pull” a kdesrc-build-based image based off a standard Linux-based docker image and which automatically gets you all the way to a working install without extra effort on your part)

There’s pros and cons to all of these. I don’t expect kdesrc-build would go away — our developers need some way to build our software on their own, but many of these would be much easier for power users to test on, or for application developers to use to just get the latest Frameworks easily.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, Akademy was an amazing experience, it more than met up to the reputation it had built in my head from seeing things from the outside here. It’s never too late to attend either, so don’t let missing a few like I did keep you from going to your first!

The team that hosted Akademy did an amazing job in organizing. These types of events offer every opportunity for “Murphy’s Law” to strike, but you’d never have noticed from my perspective as a participant — everything simply happened smoothly. I was especially impressed with the extracurriculars like the day trip to the Kahlenburg, and the sightseeing tour of Vienna hosted by the local team (the tour was so good you’d never have believed it was organized nearly at the last minute in response to the high interest we showed).

Now, it’s time to dive into all the “TODOs” I’d collected from just a week of in-person engagement with the Community, until the next time I can come back!

@tetris4 wrote:

Hi everyone!

On your next system upgrade you will receive all the latest versions of KDE’s Plasma, Applications and Frameworks, in addition to the usual package updates. There is a new series 18.08 out for for Applications, with improvements aimed at making your usability and productivity better, in addition to adding new features.

For more details and the full changelogs on KDE’s software releases, you can read the official announcements:

Other noteworthy package updates include:

[core]

  • cmake 3.12.0
  • linux-firmware 20180730.7b5835f
  • openssl 1.0.2.p
  • poppler 0.67.0
  • rust 1.28.0
  • samba 4.8.4
  • texlive-bin 2018.47465
  • otf and ttf fonts

Have in mind that after this update, akonadi might require authentication again for the accounts you have linked on your system.

It should be safe to answer yes to any replacement question by the package manager application. If in doubt or if you face another issue in relation to this update, please ask or report it below.

Most of our mirrors take 12-24 hours to synchronize with the central repositories on the origin server. Use the mirror status web page to see when your mirror of choice last synchronized.

Enjoy!

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KStars 2.9.8 is released for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It is a hotfix release that contains bug fixes and stability improvements over the last release.

This marks the last release of the 2.x series, the next KStars release shall be v3.0.0

Highlights:
 + Eric Dejouhanet fixed several issues in the Ekos scheduler to enable running duplicate jobs.
 + Pino Toscano fixed many problematic i18n strings that accumulated over the years.
 + Csaba Kertesz improved KStars Lite android build process and fixed touch support.
 + Andy Galasso fixed several issues with Ekos PHD2 support.
 + Wolfgang Reissenberger fixed logging out in capture module.
+ Yuri Chornoivan fixed minor EBN issues.
+ Using Max RMS value as the threshold to abort the guider instead of maximum pulse length.



At Akademy I’ve presented the current state of KDE Itinerary. Due to popular demand and since 25 minutes aren’t a whole lot of time I’ll try to write a few posts on this subject here too, beginning with how this all started.

When travelling regularly you probably have come across or are using the digital travel assistant features found on Android or iOS, or dedicated services for this like TripIt. Getting a unified itinerary rather than digging through ad-infested HTML emails for your departure gate, having a single place to look for your boarding pass rather than two dozen vendor apps and getting up to date information about changes to your trip are all very useful and convenient.

Most of this is available “for free”, that is you pay with your data rather than your money. In the extreme case (Google), you have those providers reading your entire email in order to extract your travel information. But even if you restrict this to just your travel-related communication there’s a lot of potentially sensitive information involved here:

  • name, address and birthday
  • credit card numbers and how much you spent on your trip
  • when and where your travel, and with whom
  • passport numbers

While I’d like to have all the nice digital travel assistant features, I’m not willing to pay with that much personal information for it. On they way home from the Randa meeting last year and unable to read my boarding time in a proprietary Apple Wallet pass file this lead to a little exploration into possible free software alternatives in this field. That got slightly out of hand, and a few month later we have some working components in the KDE Application releases already.

It turns out that the challenge in these systems is actually not so much code, but data. In particular there are three general categories of data to look at:

  • Personal data, that is your emails containing reservation or booking data, boarding passes, train tickets, etc. This part is easy to obtain, you have that data. Extracting structured information from this needs some work though.
  • Static data, that is information about the timezone and location of a certain airport or train station for example. For a lot of this we have excellent open data sources available, most prominently Wikidata and OpenStreetmap.
  • Dynamic data, that is live traffic information about delays, gate or platform changes, traffic jams, etc. This is the real problem, there are few open data sources available for this, and due to its nature this data is usually only available from the corresponding transport provider. And even where available without cost we hit practical issues for free software in the form of API keys.

While not perfect, that’s good enough to get started :) The next post will detail how far we got by now.

I’m back from Akademy, and I can’t wait to share some of the cool stuff that happened there over the past week. I’m going to post the video of my talk as soon as it’s up. But first, I know what you’re all really waiting for: this week’s Usability & Productivity update. Though we were all quite busy, somehow everyone managed to accomplish an enormous amount of work, too!

In particular there has been a momentous amount of improvement to Kate and the code that underpins it: the Syntax Highlighting and KTextEditor frameworks. These frameworks are used to provide text editor views to the Kate, KWrite, KDevelop, and Kile apps, so any improvements to them are felt very widely within the universe of KDE apps. I want to recognize the efforts of Christoph Cullmann, Dominik Haumann, Kåre Sårs, and Sven Brauch for their stunning amount of work. While I was working on this post Tuesday night, there was a time when I was literally (not figuratively, I mean literally literally) unable to document the improvements as fast as they would show up in my email inbox. These guys deserve the community’s respect for the stunning quantity of work they performed in an astonishingly small amount of time. Let’s give ’em all a round of applause.

But that’s not all! Take a look at the full list, which includes many, many more nice improvements:

New Features

Bugfixes

UI Polish & Improvement

Next week, your name could be in this list! Just check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters.

If my efforts to perform, guide, and document this work seem useful and you’d like to see more of them, then consider becoming a patron on Patreon, LiberaPay, or PayPal. Also consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

August 18, 2018

Hello! So Akademy 2018 has finished and it was a very impressive event. It happened in Vienna, Austria and it was my first opportunity to join in a KDE event, to travel to another country and to meet people from the community! I couldn't participate during the first day of the event (August 11th) because … Continue reading Akademy 2018 was great!

As I am writing this, I am sitting in a train home from Akademy 2018, KDE’s annual developer conference, which took place in Vienna this year.
Akademy always is a great mix of some talks, some socializing with people you otherwise only communicate with through mailing lists or IRC, and some hacking, and this year’s conference was no exception to this.
In this post, I will detail some of the technical progress we made and some of the things we discussed.

Polishing

The small bugs are often the most annoying ones, but now there is a few less of them.
Kate’s completion widget (as used in KDevelop and Kile as well) now again is sized correctly such that none of the text is cut off.
If you edit documents with very long lines in Kate, such as LaTeX files, you might have had strange issues with scrolling. This was caused by scrolling one “real” line at a time, instead of one line as layouted by the dynamic word-wrap feature. This behaviour is now changed, and scrolling should be much smoother.
On the performance side, I fixed a performance bug in Kate’s QuickOpen widget, such that it now opens much faster for large projects.
Also, the include navigation tooltips of KDevelop’s C++ support behave less agressively now.

New InlineNote interface

A good part of the time I spent hacking was spent on the new InlineNote interface for KTextEditor. This interface, originally suggested and implemented in its basic form by Michal, will be available starting with KTextEditor 5.50 and allows client applications to easily add arbitrary inline elements into the text.

Sample use of the InlineNote interface. Screenshot by Michal from https://phabricator.kde.org/D12662

KTextEditor’s layout engine takes care of everything complex here, such as cursor navigation and text layout around the note; you only need to specify where you want a note, how much space you need for it, and perform the actual painting when asked to.
After several iterations of discussing how to best design this interface and trying the options out in practice, we now came up with something which we believe to be easy to understand and use, while still having very little computational overhead and being easily extensible in a binary- and source-compatible way in future versions.
The interface even allows interactions with the widgets, allowing its user to react to clicks or other mouse events.

If there is interest in a tutorial blog post explaining how to use this interface, please leave a comment and I will write one.

Syntax error shown inline in KDevelop. You can click the “Fix” button to fix it.

Something I am working on using the notes interface for is KDevelop’s problem reporting and code assistants, which I believe could greatly benefit from this.

I’m aware that as shown above it is quite probably too intrusive, and the notes will probably end up collapsed e.g. to a small red exclamation mark and expand on mouse-over or on a keyboard shortcut, but for now I’m trying it out like this.

Michal, the original author of the interface and its implementation, is also working on a plugin for KDevelop which shows additional information inline, as seen in the first screenshot above.

Planning KDevelop’s future

I do not want to say too much about this planning since there is no real plan yet, but in the KDevelop meeting at Akademy (which unfortunately only a small part of our core development team could attend this year), we discussed a bit about KDevelop’s future, and what we can do to make it more polished and stable.
Stay tuned for this!

Como dije ayer, ha sido lanzado KDE Aplicaciones 18.08, la gran revisión del ecosistema de programas de la Comunidad KDE.  Hoy toca repasar las novedades de Gwenview 18.08, que no son pocas y que vienen integradas en la última actualización de KDE Aplicaciones.

Las novedades de Gwenview 18.08

Fiel a su cita del mes de agosto, ha sido lanzado KDE Aplicaciones 18.08, la colección de programas del sistema KDE, que se integra a la perfección con el escritorio Plasma y que basa su trabajo en KDE Frameworks. Ayer repasé las novedades de Dolphin y Konsole.

Ahora es el momento de ver qué otras novedades nos ofrecen para las aplicaciones gráficas, concretamente para Gwenview, y es que está es una versión mayor de la aplicación básica del visor de imágenes de KDE en la que han estado trabajando mucho los desarrolladores.

Algunos de las novedades principales son:

  • La barra de estado del Gwenview ahora incluye un contador de imágenes y muestra el número total de imágenes.
  • Ahora es posible ordenar por puntuación y por orden descendente. La ordenación por fecha ahora separa los directorios y los archivos.

Las novedades de Gwenview 18.08

  • Se ha mejorado la implementación para arrastrar y soltar, para permitir arrastrar archivos y carpetas en el modo de vista para mostrarlos, así como arrastrar elementos para visualizarlos aplicaciones externas.
  • Pegar las imágenes copiadas desde el Gwenview ahora también funciona para las aplicaciones que solo aceptan datos de imagen RAW, pero sin ningún camino de archivo. También se pueden copiar las imágenes modificadas.
  • Se ha puesto a punto el diálogo para redimensionar la imagen para una mayor usabilidad y para añadir una opción para redimensionar las imágenes en función de un porcentaje.
  • Se ha corregido el control deslizante de tamaño de la herramienta «Reducción de los ojos rojos” y el cursor de cruz.
  • La selección del fondo transparente ahora tiene una opción para «Sin» y también se puede configurar para las SVG.


También se ha mejorado la herramienta zoom de la imagen:

  • Se habilita el zoom desplazando o haciendo clic, así como también la panorámica cuando las herramientas «Recortar» o «Reducción de los ojos rojos» están activas.
  • Hacer clic medio alterna entre el zoom ajustado y el zoom al 100%.
  • Se han añadido los atajos de teclado Mayúsculas-Click_central y Mayúsculas + F para alternar el zoom ajustado.
    Ctrl-Click hace el zoom más rápido y fiable.
  • Gwenview hace zoom a la posición actual del cursor para las operaciones de zoom Ampliar / Reduce, Ajustar y al 100% cuando se utiliza el ratón y los atajos de teclado.

Además, el modo para la comparación de las imágenes ha recibido arias mejoras:

  • Se han solucionado el tamaño y alineación para el resaltado de la selección.
  • Se ha solucionado el superpuesto los SVG en el resaltado de la selección.
  • Para imágenes SVG pequeñas, el resaltado de la selección coincide con el tamaño de la imagen.

Muchas son las novedades de Gwenview 18.08, el simple y asombroso visor que aúna rapidez, funcionalidad y belleza.

Más información: KDE.org

August 17, 2018

Thanks to Michal Srb and Sven Brauch for pioneering the work an a new KTextEditor interface that allows applications like Kate, KDevelop, etc. to display inline notes in a text document. As demo, we quickly prototyped one application to display colors in CSS documents:

Clicking on the color rectangle will launch the color chooser:

Choosing a color and clicking OK finally adapts the color in the CSS document:

The code for this is just a demo and looks as follows:

class NoteProvider : public KTextEditor::InlineNoteProvider {
public:
    QVector<int> inlineNotes(int line) const override
    {
        if (line == 1) return { 29 };
        if (line == 11) return { 29 };
        if (line == 12) return { 29 };
        if (line == 13) return { 29 };

        return {};
    }

    QSize inlineNoteSize(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note) const override
    {
        return QSize(note.lineHeight(), note.lineHeight());
    }

    void paintInlineNote(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, QPainter& painter) const override
    {
        const auto line = note.position().line();
        const auto color = QColor(note.view()->document()->text({line, 22, line, 29}));
        painter.setPen(color);
        painter.setBrush(color.lighter(150));
        painter.drawRoundedRect(1, 1, note.width() - 2, note.lineHeight() - 2, 2, 2);
    }

    void inlineNoteActivated(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, Qt::MouseButtons buttons, const QPoint& globalPos) override
    {
        const int line = note.position().line();
        const auto oldColor = QColor(note.view()->document()->text({line, 22, line, 29}));
        const auto newColor = QColorDialog::getColor(oldColor);
        note.view()->document()->replaceText({line, 22, line, 29}, newColor.name(QColor::HexRgb));
    }

    void inlineNoteFocusInEvent(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, const QPoint& globalPos) override
    {} // unused in this example

    void inlineNoteFocusOutEvent(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note) override
    {} // unused in this example

    void inlineNoteMouseMoveEvent(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, const QPoint& globalPos) override
    {} // unused in this example
};

// later in code:
auto provider = new NoteProvider();
view->registerInlineNoteProvider(provider);
// final cleanup
view->unregisterInlineNoteProvider(provider);

As you can see, it’s actually not much code at all: We have to derive a class from KTextEditor::InlineNoteProvider, and then register an instance of our Note Provider in the KTextEditor::View. In a next step, we implement the inlineNotes(), inlineNoteSize(), and the paintInlineNote() functions to get basic visual drawing at the desired location. The above code is just a tech-demo, since it uses hard-coded lines and color positions. Additionally, one can also track mouse events (unused in the example above). On mouse click, we open the QColorDialog to let the user choose a new color.

To give more examples of what’s possible, the initial Phabricator review requests contained many other interesting examples (the examples were really implemented). From review request D12662:

Kate showing additional information for loops and structs.

Or a KDevelop addition that adds a lot of meta information on the current code if desired:

KDevelop showing detailed code meta information

We believe this addition to the KTextEditor component has a lot of potential for nice features and plugins. Feel free to use this interfaces starting with KDE Frameworks 5.50. Happy coding! ��

A big thanks also goes to this year’s Akademy organizers. Thanks to this event, we could meet up in person and also finalize the InlineNoteInterface, InlineNoteProvider, and InlineNote class to make it ready for public release. This again shows the importance of the yearly KDE conferences since it enables us to significantly push things forward.

We left really early this morning on the trains to Würzburg, Hannover, Deventer. I was pretty smart, if I may say so, because I gave ourselves half an hour or more time to change trains. Deutsche Bahn is a wonderful institution, but experience has taught me that especially in summertime, 6 minutes are not enough of a safety margin. So we made all our changes, and even had time to lunch in Würzburg.

So, yesterday really was the last day of Akademy for Irina and me. And all of that day was taken up with the fundraising training by Florian Engel. And it was worth it! Oh, gosh, wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me whether it was worth it!

Practical, to-the-point, flexible, engaging, going deep where we needed that, giving examples from outside of free software so we were all getting new ideas just from those examples. I need to prepare my notes for a discussion during Krita’s Monday meeting, about our September campaign, software platform, and donation page…

For the rest, it was great to meet so many people I hadn’t seen for way too long, including Inge Wallin, with whom I, back in the Nokia days, had founded KO GmbH. Or people I work with every day, but had never met, like Ben Cooksley. Productive discussions about things as diverse as debug symbols in appimages or ways to attract and retain new contributors. Meeting and sitting down with Eliakin, my 2017 student, was awesome as well; pity KDE is so busy that we couldn’t spend more time together!

I went to Akademy feeling that the relationship been Krita and KDE is kinda difficult. Krita is part of KDE, but at the same time, Krita is getting really big. We’re using up quite a chunk of bandwidth, after plasmashell, we’re the project with the second-most bugs reported per year, and still people working on Krita don’t have much of a tie to KDE, and people working on KDE seldom have much of an idea what’s going on in Krita — other than nodding and telliing me Krita is one of KDE’s flagship projects. Sure it is, and I got very much reassured that we’re not using too large a chunk of KDE’s resources, and could even use more. I’m not sure how to “fix” this, if a fix is possible. If we’d have our Krita sprint during Akademy, I’m sure that would help — but it would also be a pretty improductive sprint for Krita.

This still needs mulling over.

The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.15.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks

Changelog

  • Correction bug 397018: Check sqlcipher installation (issue detected on GENTOO)
  • Correction: Crash when sort a grouped view
  • Correction: Avoid to create 2 categories with the same name under the same category by using drag and drop
  • Correction: Avoid too many computation in SKGAccountObject::getPossibleReconciliations
  • Feature: Addition of a new option to check if import has been broken
  • Feature: More tooltips on "Operations" table

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.

Now, you can try the appimage too !

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 !

The Akademy 2018 ends today.

Like each Akademy I attended, it was an interesting experience. As the location switches around each year, so does the set of people attending change every year, too.

That is actually nice, as you get always to meet some of your old “friends” but additionally new members of the KDE community. I think this kind of “conferences” or “meetings” are an important way to get some more cohesion in the community, which is sometimes a bit lacking between people only meeting online via mail/…

Beside the presentation tracks and the e.V. meeting, several of the BoFs did spark my interest.

In the KDevelop BoF, Sven talked about what could be done to give the current KDevelop project a bit more focus on the parts it does well to polish them more for a better user experience. The idea is that if you get KDevelop shining even more in the areas it is good at and perhaps cut off some parts that are really given bad impressions, one might attract more people to both use it and contribute. It is still to be discussed if this idea is shared with the other KDevelop contributors.

In the kdesrc-build BoF Michael talked about the current state and collected pain points from the audience and potential future extensions. For example an API to allow to build a light-weight GUI tooling around kdesrc-build to ease the entry to the KDE development was one topic of interest.

Between the conference/BoF/socializing parts of Akademy, I got plenty of time to finally work again on some KTextEditor/Kate related tasks.

With help of Dominik and Volker I got to integrate the KSyntaxHighlighting framework and we even got at least some initial contact with the QtCreator team about the topic of integrating this framework to replace their own implementation of the Kate syntax definition handling. If you experience any issues with the highlighting or folding in the master branch, please file a bug or even better provide some patch on phabricator.

In addition some small KTextEditor and Kate bugs got either solved or at least started to be worked on again. Help with any bug fixing is always welcome!

As small but perhaps for users important step was to actually link to the new and shiny Windows installers that the Binary Factory for KDE produces. Thanks to the team behind that, once more. Hopefully that will lead to more users and developers for Kate on Windows.

Thanks to the organizers to make this Akademy happen and all people that volunteered! Great job! The sponsors are highly appreciated for their contributions, too.

So, thanks for all the fish (or Krapfen), lets see how Akademy next year will be :=)

Akademy is always a whirlwind which is my excuse for not blogging! Today we wrapped up the program which leaves us in a nearly-empty venue and a bit of time after lunch to catch up.


I did manage to gather photos together in Google Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qHPwehW8C1zPGuav7

Thanks again to the KDE e.V. for sponsoring my hostel and the Ubuntu Community Fund for part of my travel expenses. This allowed me to attend. Meeting Popey from the Ubuntu community and the Limux team was great, although we didn't do as much Kubuntu work as in past years. However, attending the Distro BoF was a great experience; very friendly and collaborative.

As always, the talks were interesting, the "hall track" fascinating, BoFs engaging. The high point for me personally was being given an Akademy Award on Sunday after a blessedly-short e.V. meeting. I almost fainted from surprise! It feels wonderful to be not just appreciated but honored for my work for the KDE community. 

Thank you again!

I will update here with a photo when I can.

Yesterday and today were taken up with trainings, which while exhausting are extremely valuable. Along with the documentation work ahead, I look forward to integrating both the Non-Violent Communication and Tech Documentation trainings into my work.

In addition, I will be happy to see our documentation team re-group and gain strength over the next year as we work with the contractor on identifying pain points and fixing them.

I got lost yesterday, which one should always do in a strange city. Here is one of the beautiful windows I saw before finding the tram and a different way home:

Tomorrow we meet at 3:45 am to share an Uber to the airport and the beginning of the journey home. To KDE friends new and old: we'll meet next year at Akademy I hope, or at least in IRC.

Local friends and family, I'll see you soon!

Here is my semi-traditional "memories from Akademy" post for this year. I have to admit I don't manage to do it consistently each year but this edition was special enough that for sure it deserves one.

First of all, it was the first time I did live sketchnoting of the sessions I attended. I posted the result on social media as soon as the talk was over and I also had a special blog post to present them. I think it was all well received which is motivating. I will likely do it again I think.

Second, we had two excellent keynotes by Dan Bielefeld and Claudia Garad. Thus, none of the keynotes were from people within the KDE community but really I don't think that was an issue. For a keynote I like to get insights on things I wouldn't have explored and there are more chances that it would come from non-KDE people or former KDE people.

Third, we had kind of an extra keynote, from the KDE community. Indeed, due to flight delays, Nate Graham's talk was moved to become the closing talk. Turned out it was perfect to conclude the conference part.

Fourth, the organization and location were just super efficient. I think I didn't thank them properly but really a big THANK YOU is in order to this year local team. You did great and the venue was very convenient and easy to reach.

Fifth, the program was good but a bit more choice in the sessions would have been nice. I understand some of the KDE e.V. assembly topics are now in the main program and the goals are pushed forward. This is good but we should be careful at not cannibalizing the program too much for those.

Sixth, we got proof that both Michael Pyne and Ben Cooksley exist!!! It was really great to finally get to meet them and see them during talks and BoFs.

Seventh, regarding BoFs, I was surprised at the interest to my session about community data analytics. More people showed up than I expected, plenty of good feedback and ideas floating around. I'd also like to thanks Sébastien Renard and Benjamin Port in advance who are working on patches to improve the scripts. Looking forward to review that and sorry guys for not being more present and supportive this week, I shall do better.

Last but not least, this edition was bigger than the past couple of years. More people showed up than before and I think we also had more gender diversity than before (I didn't count, it's purely based on perception and unscientific). Two very welcome trends. This resulted in a more vibrant edition that the last few ones. I think we're doing some things right here and that's very encouraging for the future.

I was invited by my boss to a dinner. He uses exchange or outlook365 or something like that. The KMail TNEF parser didn’t succeed in parsing all the info, so I’m kind of trying to fix it.

But I need test data. From Exchange or outlook or outlook365. That I can add to the repoository for unit tests.

So if you can help me generate test data, please setup a meeting and invite me. publicinvites@sune.vuorela.dk

Just to repeat. The data will be made public.

August 16, 2018

  • We have a new filter overlay. We opted to avoid the inline searchbar entirely, and are using the overlay to display it instead.
  • We try harder to display all search results and not artifically limit it. This was especially problematic because we don’t sort the search results before the limit, meaning we could end up loosing very relevant search results (such as recent mails).
  • The composers html switch is gone. Instead we simply always offer the buttons to apply formatting, together with a button to remove all formatting for plaintext instead.
  • Rémi landed his storage improvement patch which shaves off a cool ~15% of storage requirements. This also helps performance because smaller db mean less data to load into memory. This was followed up by fix for a performance regression caught by the CI.
  • The Kube icon is now available in all necessary sizes to make it look good on Mac.
  • Important emails are now indicated in the maillist.
  • The default settings of the GMail account have been fixed.
  • There is finally a separate login and email address field in the IMAP account configuration.
  • We have a new website at kube-project.com where we now also offer the nighlies. These are now real nightlies that are automatically updated if all CI checks pass.
  • Prevented multiple flatpak instances at the same time as this does not currently work properly.
  • Last but not least, there’s progress on the Calendar.
Screenshot_20180816_165028Never mind the colors, they are coming from the CalDAV backend.

 

Kube Commits, Sink Commits

Previous updates

More information on the Kolab Now blog!

“Kube is a modern communication and collaboration client built with QtQuick on top of a high performance, low resource usage core. It provides online and offline access to all your mail, contacts, calendars, notes, todo’s and more. With a strong focus on usability, the team works with designers and UX experts from the ground up, to build a product that is not only visually appealing but also a joy to use.”

For more info, head over to: kube-project.com

During Akademy it was brought to my (and the other Kate developers) attention, that we should take a closer look on the Binary Factory for KDE. There were some blogs about the Binary Factory in the past but we somehow never really linked it on our homepage as potential source for up-to-date installers for the different operating systems. I feel a bit sorry for neglecting that area in the past year.

Therefore, as we have now some time during Akademy together as team, we did take a look at the current state of the installers there for Windows and macOS.

The Windows installer is working fine. Kåre’s manually created installers are better optimized for size by stripping out things not that commonly used, on the other side the Binary Factory installers bundle more stuff like all translations/dictionaries that might be interesting for some people, too. One other thing that might be fine tuned is the used frameworks. For example the KActivities is not useful for Kate on Windows and we normally disable that for our own build, at the moment the factory still includes that (as it is an optional dependency). If we fine tune that a bit more in the future, I think we can close the gap between the hand-tuned installer and the autogenerated one even more. In other parts like the KHotNewStuff integration the current factory installer even provides a better experience than our last published own one. And last but not least, the binary factory creates an installer every night for the stable and the development version, so we get up-to-date installers with no manual work.

The macOS installer is on-par with what I did manually a year ago (but than gave up due to loss of interest). Therefore we now link the nightly build for that on our homepage as primary preview build. The state is still not that good, but that is not a fault of the installer creation. The macOS port just lacks manpower, as myself has no longer that much interest in improving it and it still is in a “usable” but non-polished state that will still crash in a few situations, which makes using it not that nice. Any help there would be appreciated.

As a conclusion I must say, I am personally impressed how well the Binary Factory installers work. They are a real big step towards having people use up-to-date versions of our tools on operating systems other than the usual unices. Thanks to the team behind that and all others that contributed, including our sysadmins that keep all the stuff running the whole time! I hope we make good use of that infrastructure in the future. Thanks to Hannah, Kevin, Ben and all others that contribute to this effort! And thanks to Kåre and everybody else taking care of issues on Windows or macOS.

The download page is now updated to provide links to both the latest successful Kate release and nightly builds of the Binary Factory.

KDE Connect is awesome, we all know that. But sometimes you still want (or need) to acces the files on your Android phone via a good old USB cable. And to do so, you need a working implementation of the MTP protocol.

Many people on bugzilla complain that the MTP support in Plasma is just broken. And indeed the MTP implementation we have has always been ignoring a fundamental limitation of MTP: the protocol doesn’t allow parallel operations, unlike the old Android USB mass storage did. In practice, if more than one process spawns an mtp ioslave, everything breaks.

The workaround

When you need to move files from your phone to your computer (or viceversa), either use only one dolphin window (tabs are your friends!), or use only Plasma’s Folder View.

What works

If you follow the workaround above, you will be able to copy/move files to/from your phone, or delete them.

What doesn’t work

Everything else will still be broken, unfortunately:

  • you cannot copy MTP files from dolphin to the desktop.
  • you cannot open e.g. a PDF file from the MTP folder; copy it somewhere else first.
  • you cannot open Amarok and dolphin at the same time.
  • … you get the picture.

The long term solution

Every time you open an MTP URL (e.g. mtp:/Your Phone/Documents/), an mtp ioslave gets spawned. As soon as you open another MTP URL from another process (e.g. Amarok or Okular), a second mtp ioslave spawns. This model is just wrong for MTP, as there should be at most one place where the MTP implementation lives. A possible solution could be to use a KDED module for that, moving the MTP-specific code from the ioslave to the kded plugin. Then the ioslave would just act as proxy between the applications and the kded plugin.

We discussed this idea with David Faure at Akademy and we came up with a design to go forward. If anyone is interested in the technical details, there is a task on phabricator you can look at.

Cheers from Vienna!

August 15, 2018

Tomorrow, there’s the fund raiser training session. Given that we’ve been raising funds for Krita since time immemorial (our first fund raiser was for two Wacom tablets and art pens so we could implement support for them, the second to let Lukas Tvrdy work on Krita for a couple of months and after that, we’ve had the kickstarters), that might seem superfluous. But I’m still hoping to learn lots. After all, it’s not like we’re exactly awash in money.

But today, we, me and Irina, we went all-out for a day in Vienna. Just took the day off, had a lazy morning with breakfast in the hotel room (tea and croissants…), then took the underground to the Karlsplatz. From there, it was an easy walk to the KHM. Vienna is quite compact.

One thing I love about Vienna is the ubiquitous availability of non-sugary soft drinks. That is, soda zitrone — sparkling water with lemon juice. Half a litre of that in the museum cafe rehydrated us sufficiently to go out and see the parts that we hadn’t seen before. The French/Italian/Spanish parts of the museum are not as paralyzing as the Flemish/German/Dutch parts, but there was plenty! In particular, the three portraits of the Infanta of Spain, at ages 4, 6, 8 (or thereabouts) were touching. Gramps, being the Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation, had asked his son-in-law for regular updates on his little darling grandchild, and got them, painted by Velasquez.

The Roman/Greek/Egyptian part was curious more than impressive: quantity over quality, perhaps, but still, interesting. It’s also the most unreconstructed part of the museum, with the exhibits often being labeled only in type-written German, on yellowing paper.

Having gone through that section, we were conveniently close to the museum cafe again, where they do serve excellent food. So we lunched there, then went back to our favourites in the dutch/flemish/german paintings sections. I spent half an hour with Rogier van der Weyden again, and if there wouldn’t be that fundraising workshop tomorrow, I would spend an hour in that room again, tomorrow. But we’ve got a year pass and we will return. I like the KHM better than the Bodemuseum in Berlin… There were other paintings I have stared at, trying to remember all of it, like the Reynolds in a little side-room. I was going all squiggly-eyed, so I decided to try and find Irina.

As I was staggering towards the exit, I suddenly became aware of being spoken at by a clean-shaven person, in what I thought was Danish or Swedish or some other language I don’t speak. It turned out to be one of the other Akademy attendees, a Dutchman. I had so much trouble coming down to earth and realizing that he was speaking a language that I could understand! Afterwards, I felt like a loon.

From there, we went out in search of beer. It was, by now, afternoon, and a warm one. We failed though! First we reached the Treasury. Our year pass is valid there as well, and we had been told the Treasury museum is in the medieval part of the Hofburg. And since the Hofburg is, sorry…, weird, it’s like an ordinary, rather plain, apartment building like you find them all over Vienna, we were like, let’s see what the medieval parts look like!

Well, there wasn’t much of that visible. But the presentation was really pretty good: excellent explanations, impressive exhibits, lots of ancient costumes, too. What I really want to know, though, is: how can textile dating back to the Norman kingdom in Sicily, C12, be as smooth and hale as the socks and tunics and orarion are that are shown? Those 1000-year old swords: how can the steel look like it was forged last year? I’m sure it’s that old, but how has it been conserved and preserved like that?

From there we went on, and found a Kurkonditorei — I guess it’s Kur, because you can only get beer in 0.3 and not 0.5 measures, which must have a slimming effect. Still, the beer was cool, my sandwich was good, Irina’s topfenknodel were good too, or so I have been told, and there were so many interesting people to watch… We had another beer.

And then it was time to go back to the hotel, shower, read mail, go out back to the venue area, find that the Bep Viet restaurant was packed, have a pizza at the pizza place, go back again, and realize that this has been one of the nicest Akademy’s I’ve attended, and that Vienna’s one of the nicest places I’ve visited.


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