Sunday

15 November, 2020

Pinphone KDE edition

Experience the future of KDE’s open mobile platform

KDE and Pine64 are announcing today the imminent availability of the new PinePhone - KDE Community edition. This Pine64 PinePhone gives you a taste of where free mobile devices and software platforms are headed.

The PinePhone - KDE Community edition includes most of the essential features a smartphone user would expect and its functionalities increase day by day. You can follow the progress of the development of apps and features in the Plasma Mobile blog.

Plasma Mobile is a direct descendant from KDE’s successful Plasma desktop. The same underlying technologies drive both environments and apps like KDE Connect that lets you connect phones and desktops, the Okular document reader, the VVave music player, and others, are available on both desktop and mobile.

Thanks to projects like Kirigami and Maui, developers can write apps that, not only run in multiple environments but that also gracefully adapt by growing into landscape format when displayed on workstation screen and shrinking to portrait mode on phones. Developers are rapidly populating Plasma Mobile with essential programs, such as web browsers, clocks, calendars, weather apps and games, all of which are being deployed on all platforms, regardless of the layout.

The idea of having mobile devices that can display a full workstation desktop when connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, has been around for years and both the KDE Community and Pine64 have been working to make it a reality.

The PinePhone handset itself is also ready for convergence. You can use any USB-C dock to connect it to extra USB devices (mouse, keyboard, storage), external monitors or even to a wired network. In fact, the 3GB version of the PinePhone already comes with such a dock that provides two extra USB ports, a full-sized HD video port and an RJ45 port.

Talking of hardware, the PinePhone’s kill switches, located under the back cover and above the removable battery, allow you to deactivate the modem, WiFi/Bluetooth, microphone and cameras, and are especially designed to help preserve your privacy. This matches very well KDE’s Community vision of “[a] world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy”.

The PinePhone - KDE Community edition is also reasonably priced, allowing you to enjoy a device on which you can run Plasma Mobile during the next years. You can be one of the pioneers to test and mold with your feedback the mobile system of the future.

If you are interested in developing, you will be getting early access to an ambitious Free Software mobile platform and you can help contribute to Plasma Mobile and get a headway designing new apps that you can test and deploy right now.

Specs

  • Allwinner A64 Quad Core SoC with Mali 400 MP2 GPU
  • 2GB/3GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • 5.95″ LCD 1440×720, 18:9 aspect ratio (hardened glass)
  • Bootable micro SD
  • 16GB/32GB eMMC
  • HD Digital Video Out
  • USB Type C (Power, Data and Video Out)
  • Quectel EG-25G with worldwide bands
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, single-band, hotspot capable
  • Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP
  • GNSS: GPS, GPS-A, GLONASS
  • Vibrator
  • RGB status LED
  • Selfie and Main camera (2/5Mpx respectively)
  • Main Camera: Single OV6540, 5MP, 1/4″, LED Flash
  • Selfie Camera: Single GC2035, 2MP, f/2.8, 1/5″
  • Sensors: accelerator, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, ambient light
  • 3 External Switches: up, down and power
  • HW switches: LTE/GNSS, WiFi, Microphone, Speaker, Cameras
  • Samsung J7 form-factor 3000mAh battery
  • The case is matte black finished plastic
  • Headphone Jack

To find out more on how to order your PinePhone - KDE Community edition, visit Pine64’s site.

The hardware
The hardware
Plasma mobile homescreen
Plasma mobile homescreen
KWeather, Plasma mobile weather application
KWeather, Plasma mobile weather application
Kalk, a calculator application
Kalk, a calculator application
Megapixels, a camera application
Megapixels, a camera application
Calindori, a calendar application
Calindori, a calendar application
KClock
KClock
Buho, a note taking application
Buho, a note taking application
Kongress
Kongress
Okular Mobile, a universal document viewer
Okular Mobile, a universal document viewer
Angelfish, a web browser
Angelfish, a web browser
Nota, a text editor
Nota, a text editor
Pix, another image viewer
Pix, another image viewer
Index, a file manager
Index, a file manager
VVave, a music player
VVave, a music player

Press Contact

For more information, high resolution photographs and detailed specifications, please get in touch emailing press@kde.org or info@pine64.org.

The KDE community has made some great progress on Plasma Wayland support during this release cycle. Some people on the Internet have qualified Plasma Wayland session as stable, but I wouldn't go that far yet. I would qualify Plasma sessions as beta preview, we still have a long way to go. In some configurations and workflow It might suit you but certainly not all users for now.

I am going to highlight a bit this progress below but first I'd like to explain the technical challenges the KDE Wayland community Goal faces.

Why Wayland migration takes time

Wayland related issues have different origins. Here are the main ones :

  • Missing wayland protocol or missing protocol implementation.
    Wayland defines a way to exchange data between an application and the compositor (in Plasma that's KWin). Those exchanges are formalized with protocols. Wayland provides quite a few standard ones. For instance we have a protocol for when a GUI Application starts, it will ask the compositor some memory to draw its GUI in, and another for when the compositor gives the application the keyboard focus. And for each particular window interaction between applications and the compositor we need such a protocol.
    Standard protocols are not enough to build a Plasma session upon, it is generic and is meant to be usable by desktop and embed all the same. So KWin and Plasma have some specific protocols. Those, for instance, allow Plasma taskbar to manage other windows.
    Despite Wayland is not anymore a new technology, its protocols mature slowly. Their definition takes time, they are validated through a review process, and are updated as needed. After that step, developers must implement their support in compositors, and sometimes also in applications or frameworks.
    If you are interested on this subject, I can recommend again Drew DeVault's the wayland book.
    Those are often the cause of missing features whether we a protocol does not exist yet or we lack an implementation. The task manager window thumbnails is in this category.

  • Fill the blank issues: the X.Org Display Server encompasses a lot of things, from keyboard input to screensavers, to screen management. And those features need to be reimplemented somehow whether it is through Wayland protocols or new completely new solutions. We have made good progress on this but a few missing cases remain.

  • Immaturity issues: Wayland implementations and related APIs are relatively young especially when you compare to X.Org Server. And on the desktop those implementation have not been used much, preventing issues to be discovered and fixed. Furthermore clients and compositors especially have a lot more responsibility compared to what they had with X, meaning a lot of new code is written, and new code means less stability. With X.org display server now abandonware, this should help motivate more users and developers to test and stabilise things. Those cause crashes, misbehaviour or feature missing.

  • Compatibility issues: Wayland is very different to what we had in X. And we need to adapt to this new paradigm in a lot of places. For instance in plasma, with Xorg the taskbar could simply access Xorg API and manage windows directly. Now it must ask the Compositor to use its Window management API and this is a different API and KWin is the one defining and implementing it. One way to mitigate those issues, is to have a proxy. we try to maintain compatibility with X applications through XWayland notably.

And some issues can be caused by several of those subjective origins.

Major Plasma 5.20 Wayland improvements

  • The Task Manager has now window thumbnails Wayland. (Aleix Pol Gonzalez) merge request

  • Screen recording and screencasting now works on Wayland for compatible applications (e.g. OBS Studio and more to come) (Aleix Pol Gonzalez) merge request
    That's a fill the blank issue and missing protocol issue : Xorg allows any program to record the screen with its own API. We needed a new protocol to expose a screencasting feature.

  • Klipper now uses the Wayland clipboard and works as you would expect in a Wayland session (David Edmundson) merge request

  • Implemented the Wayland input-method-unstable-v1 protocol, which opens the door for proper virtual keyboard support on Plasma Mobile, among other benefits! (Aleix Pol Gonzalez) merge request

Bug fixes

Stability improvement

  • In a Plasma Wayland session, XWayland no longer brings down the whole session when it crashes; it just restarts normally (Vlad Zahorodniy, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • Clearing the clipboard history on Wayland no longer crashes Plasma (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • On Wayland, clicking on a Task Manager entry while that entry’s tooltip is visible no longer crashes Plasma (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • KWin no longer sometimes crashes when exiting or re-launching (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) merge request

Feature Parity

  • On Wayland, context menus on the desktop and throughout Plasma now close when they’re supposed to (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • On Wayland, Task Manager tooltip window thumbnails are no longer overlapped by the app’s icon (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • On Wayland, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Esc twice no longer results in the “Click a window to kill it” message being re-positioned into the top-left corner of the screen (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • KRunner is now more responsive to typed text on Wayland (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • Fixed the initialization of dmabuf textures in KWin on Wayland, which in practical terms should ensure that videos played Firefox no longer sometimes display garbage instead of the video (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • Clicking on a Task Manager thumbnail now activates that window, as you would expect (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • the window stacking order is now always correct (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • context menus now always have shadows, as expected (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • Improved the graphics performance on Wayland (Gang Wu, Plasma 5.20) by allowing KWin not to draw windows placed behind opaque others. merge request

  • It’s now possible to drag windows on Wayland from their empty areas, just like on X11 (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when you hover the cursor over an auto-hide Panel (Andreas Haratzis, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • Fixed a case where KWin could crash when logging out of a Wayland session (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • Edge swipe gestures and showing a hidden panel by tapping the screen edge now work on Wayland (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.20) bug bug

  • The System Settings Accessibility page is now available (Michael Weghorn, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • Fixed the “Windows can cover” panel setting on Wayland (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.20) merge request

  • The last-used keyboard layout is now remembered on Wayland (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • Fixed a crash on Wayland when waking up the computer while multiple screens are attached (Andreas Haratzis, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • you can now enter full screen mode in MPV by double-clicking on the video (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.20.0) bug

  • Previews for cursor themes now correctly display real-time previews as you hover your cursor over them on Wayland (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20) bug

  • Spectacle now lets you take a screenshot on Wayland without needing to click first to confirm it (Méven Car, Spectacle 20.12) merge request

Special shoutout to our newest ambitious and prolific KWin contributor Xaver Hugl.

Thanks to Nate blog that makes putting this together so much easier.

We are on telegram and IRC #kde-wayland-goal on freenode. More on the community wiki Wayland Goal.

Saturday

14 November, 2020

Today, we are pleased to announce the release of MauiKit and Maui Apps 1.2!.

Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject. If you are interested in testing this project and helping out with translations or documentation, you are also more than welcome.

The Maui Project is free and open-source software incubated by the KDE Community and developed by Nitrux Latinoamericana S.C.

We are present on Twitter and Mastodon:


Stable release

The 1.2.0 version brings updates, new features, bug fixes, and an improved cross-platform and convergent experience from the apps and the framework.

For this release, the packages will be distributed directly from the MauiKit official webpage.

The packages for Linux AMD and ARM AppImages, Android APKs, Debian DEBs, and Windows EXE, will be released soon. We will keep you informed when this happens.

Some apps might be missing features or present some bugs; if it is the case that you want to report a bug or a feature request, you can open a ticket at the corresponding project repo; you can check the repositories at the Maui Invent Group.

Follow the instructions on how to file an issue.

We will have performance and bug fixes for the upcoming point releases for 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 before moving on to the 1.3 cycles, which will include new features.

For more detailed information, check out the previous posts from Maui Weekly:

Maui Weekly Report 5

Maui Weekly Report 6

Maui Weekly Report 7


Apps

As of now, the Maui Project provides a set of applications to cover the basic set of standard utilities you might need on your personal computer, from a phone, tablet, or desktop:

A file manager (Index), music player (VVave), an image viewer (Pix), text editor (Nota), notes taker (Buho), terminal emulator (Station), contacts manager (Communicator), document viewer (Shelf),  a video player (Cinema), a camera app (Booth), and web browser (Sol).

Some of the apps are in different states, most of them are stable, some of them are more feature-rich, and some others are in early stages.

We have been testing the apps on the PinePhone with Plasma Mobile, and they work quite nicely, there’s still work to be done for startup times, but we are on the right path to get you covered.

For this release cycle, we provide packages for Index, VVave, Pix, Nota, Buho, Station, Communicator, Cinema, and Shelf.

For users, we provide packages for Linux x64 and ARM (aarch64, a.k.a arm64) devices like Plasma Mobile, APKs for Android, and Windows installers for x64.

And for distribution maintainers, we provide links to the applications and the framework source code.


Index 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/index-fm/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

The Index file manager gained support for compressed file types, an embedded file previewer for font file types, archives, and other multimedia file types.

There are now more reliable configurations on the settings dialog, responsive support for split views, and a cleaner user interface.

When enabled now, there are thumbnail previews for video files and PDFs; this is only available on Linux; other platforms might get this feature in future releases.

The search field has been merged with the filter field, and the search now works correctly recursively.

For more details, you can read the previous MauiWeekly blog posts linked above.

Known issues

  • Thumbnail previews for PDF and video file types are only available for Linux.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/index-fm/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Data syncing for cloud accounts using NextCloud API, there is already some work for it; further work needs to be done to bring it back.

 


Pix 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/pix/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

Optimized grid thumbnail preview sizes and shapes for small screens.

A better settings dialog with more options to tweak the browsing experience.

Paths are now added or removed correctly to the collection sources.

The database system has been dropped in favor of using the file system using MauiKits FileLoader for asynchronous loading images directly from the file system, meaning your collection is always up to date.

And overall, nicer browsing views for the tags, aka Albums and Folders views, with collage delegates that let you preview the contents and are updated dynamically.

A new information dialog.

Known issues

  • The basic editing tools are only available for testing when using the KImageEditor component, only available on Linux.
  • When AutoReload is enabled, and a new image is added to one of the collection sources, the whole collection is refreshed; this is not the desired behavior.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/pix/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Add simple image editing options, right now, thanks to KImageEditor tools like the rotation, flip, crop, and other transformation options are already implemented.
  • Syncing of your image gallery across devices using NextCloud.
  • Face detection using AI.
  • Implement image metadata information with exiv2. Some initial work is done and should be ready for the next point release.

 


VVave 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/vvave/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

Gained MPRIS support on Linux and now can use multimedia keys from a remote control or keyboard function keys to control your music or any other services that consume the MPRIS Dbus API.

The backend for loading music files and creating playlists has been refactored to be faster.

The album and artists’ artwork providers have been fixed, and now the images are correctly retrieved from services like Spotify, iTunes, LastFm, MusicBrainz, and Genius.

Added a complete settings dialog with more options, like sorting, collection sources, artwork fetching, and many others.

The playlists view has been cleanup and now uses the MauiKit Tagging feature, so tracks added to a playlist, aka a tag, can also be browsed from Index, the file manager.

Several different small paper cut fixes were introduced, from the playback bar to the focus view.

The YouTube support has been dropped and is planned to be migrated into its own application.

Known issues

  • The cloud view artist’s roll does not work for filtering.
  • The streaming of cloud music files is not fully optimized and can take some time to load.
  • Vvave makes usage of NextCloud Music app API, so this app should be installed in your NextCloud instance.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/vvave/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Faster streaming of cloud music files and full usage of the available API

 


Nota 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/nota/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

Faster loading times of text documents.

Correctly applying syntax highlighting styles when switching.

Added more options to configure the text document, like tab spacing, font sizes, and family.

A focus mode to hide distracting interface elements.

The improved workflow of split views and tabs.

Performance fixes on creation and deletion of tabs and splits.

The views for browsing the recent and local text documents have been reviewed and now use the newest MauiKit components and display more relevant information.

Known issues

  • When the places sidebar is disabled, you can still peek at the sidebar by mistake from time to time.
  • Rich text support is still not correctly supported.
  • Some text document file types might not be recognized.
  • Missing markup support.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/nota/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Add support for rich text file types and markup support.
  • Support for loading external plugins to extend the functionality, initial work is already done, and some available plugins.
  • Implement, find, and replace functionality.

 


Buho 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/buho/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

Redesigned books view with a bigger book and booklet pages.

The modal dialog popups for creating or editing notes have been removed to use stacked pages, resulting in more space.

The syncing and updating of notes is now better on internal or external changes.

The links view for collecting links has been dropped and is planned to be moved to Sol, the new Maui web browser app.

Known issues

  • The syncing of notes can get mess-up if the internet collection is lost and the notes are modified; meanwhile, after the app is restarted, the notes might be modified and out of sync.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/buho/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Support for markup should come directly from MauiKit Editor and DocumentHandler components, benefiting Nota, and any other app using these components.
  • Support for creating to-do lists.
  • Improve the syncing of notes.
  • Support for taking handwriting notes with Doodle component from MauiKit and image processing for translating the image to plain text.

 


Communicator 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/communicator/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

Redesigned views and contact pages, dropped the modal dialog popups in favor of stacked pages.

The backend was clean up and now adding or editing existing contacts is smoother.

The Contact page now has contextual actions depending on the field: email, phone, or address.

Known issues

  • Android support was dropped due to some refactoring and code cleaning from MauiKit; Android support should be restored in the next point release.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/communicator/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Syncing of contacts using NextCloud API.
  • Support for online accounts from NextCloud.

Station 1.2.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/station/-/tree/v1.2.0

What’s new

Correct handling of split views and tabs.

Gained a settings dialog for basic configurations.

Known issues

  • Station makes usage of QmlTermWidget; for the app to work, the version needs to be 1.0 and not later, which might cause the app to crash; this issue is still being investigated.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/station/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Add more options to the settings dialog to further configuration.
  • Improved touch UX interaction patterns.

Shelf 1.0.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/self/-/tree/v1.0.0

What’s new

Preview thumbnails in the grid view for the document collection.

Updated interface using the newest MauiKit components, using  AltBrowser for switching from list to grid views.

The usage of the Poppler library is now done using the binaries instead of building the sources for Android, macOS, and Windows.

Added support for CMake and added desktop file manifest for Linux.

Known issues

  • Some of the viewer functions do not work.
  • Bookmarks of document pages do not work.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests, fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/shelf/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Add support for other document file types, such as ePub.

Cinema 1.0.0

https://invent.kde.org/maui/cinema/-/tree/v1.0.0

What’s new

Cinema is a new app for playing video, browsing, and organizing your video collection by creating albums, aka tags.

It has support for not only quick-playing videos but also for queueing videos into a playlist.

Known issues

  • Thumbnails previews for the video is only available on Linux.
  • Some video file types might not have support, depending on the platform and available plugins installed.

For reporting new issues, bugs, or feature requests fill a ticket at:

https://invent.kde.org/maui/cinema/-/issues

Roadmap

  • Polished the playback experience by allowing to have a different backend like VLC.
  • Add MPRIS support.

MauiKit 1.2

https://invent.kde.org/maui/mauikit/-/tags/v1.2.0

MauiKit 1.2 introduces new components and a few more utilities for helping to build convergent applications. Some parts have been cleanup or dropped in favor of making MauiKit lighter.

There is still a big load of work ahead of us, and this new release takes us a step closer to that convergent future.

Since last May of 2020, when we had our first 1.1 stable release, we have been busy working on the framework components and utilities. With over 200 commits, 11360 additions, and 9430 deletions later, we are ready to introduce the new 1.2 release.

What’s new

The updated components include SettingsDialog, Page, ToolBar, ToolActions, and AboutDialog, among other fixes for the rest.

New components:

  • Separator.
  • SettingTemplate.
  • Platform – dependent integrations classes for different platforms.
  • FileLoader – for asynchronous loading of files in the local filesystem.
  • Thumbnailer – image provider for generating image previews of different file types from a file URL.

The FMH namespace implementation, which includes many useful utilities from file management, data modeling functions, etc., has now been moved to its won CPP file, clearing many compile warnings.

Some of the removed parts include the FilePreviewer, the Tagging TagsModel in favor of using MauiKit abstract modeling classes, and some Android platform functions like contacts loading, which only makes sense on Communicator, the contacts app.

Known issues

  • The Thumbnailer right now depends on KIO, so it won’t be available for other platforms other than Linux.
  • The Platform utility still lacks many needed functions and properties for getting relevant info like the presence or lack of input hardware, like a mouse, physical keyboard, or touch screens.
  • Multi-selection with touch gestures is still not perfect and can accidentally cause scrolling.

Roadmap

  • Data syncing classes and an improved API for it.
  • Drop qmake in favor of fully using CMake.

What’s next for MauiKit & Maui Apps 1.3

  • Enable syncing of data and images on Pix, files in the Index file manager, and of contacts in Communicator.
  • Make Booth and Sol initial beta release.

Our plans for 2021 are:

  • Fully utilize CMake.
  • More feature-rich applications
  • Improve data synchronization using NextCloud.
  • Improve performance.
  • Improve the UI cohesion on all supported platforms.
  • Move beta apps to stable.

The post Maui 1.2.0 Release appeared first on Nitrux — #YourNextOS.

A bunch of KDE apps received many lovely new features, bugfixes, and user interface improvements this week! And Plasma too, of course. 🙂 Let’s get right to it:

New Features

Elisa now lets you edit tracks’ metadata from inside the app! (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.12):

Elisa now lets you easily find the on-disk location of each song (me: Nate graham, Elisa 20.12):

Konsole now has a configurable toolbar (which you can of course hide if you don’t like it) (Tomaz Canabrava, Konsole 21.04):

You can now download new KRunner Runners from store.kde.org straight from the System Settings page! (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin no longer frequently crashes when typing in the Filter Bar (Ismael Asensio, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin once again shows the correct number of files inside symlinked folders (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin is now more reliable and less likely to freeze in the face of network flakiness (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin’s ISO mounter plugin no longer fails to mount the same ISO twice and now correctly unmounts the underlying loop device too (Kwon-Young Choi, Dolphin 20.12)

Middle-clicking on tabs in Kate once again closes them (Robert-André Mauchin, Kate 20.12)

In Elisa, touch scrolling and fast scrolling by holding down the Shift key while scrolling now work (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

Elisa now accepts album art for albums with the art in a file named albumart.[jpg|png] (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

When Elisa is loading a view, the progress spinner no longer overlaps some placeholder text (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

Plasma Disks no longer sometimes crashes when mounting a USB disk (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.20.3)

The Lock screen’s “Switch User” action is once again visible for people using distros that ship an up-to-date version of systemd (Wolfgang Bauer, Plasma 5.20.3)

After mounting an external disk, the Disks & Devices popup no longer hilariously/terrifyingly jumps between different screens of a multi-screen setup when each screen has its own panel with a System Tray on it (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.20.3

Icons in the Alt+Tab task switcher are once again displayed correctly for a wide variety of apps (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20.3)

Discover can once again install locally-downloaded distro package files (e.g. .rpm and .deb files) (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20.4)

Right-clicking on something in the Kicker or Kickoff launcher menus now causes the context menu to appear instantly the first time (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20.4)

In the System Settings Cursors page, the menu of available cursor sizes now displays those cursors with their real sizes (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.4):

In the Plasma Wayland session, Dragging tabs from Firefox over the desktop no longer crashes the whole session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

Context menus for 3rd-party System Tray items no longer sometimes stack up on top of each other when right-clicking on multiple consecutive applets (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.21)

On the System Settings Window Decorations page, the border size text no longer gets cut off when using a scale factor or a language with longer text than English (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21):

The sound check feature on the System Settings Audio Volume page no longer causes your subwoofer to make odd noises (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.21)

Circular timeout indicators inside notifications are no longer invisible under certain circumstances (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

After updating items from store.kde.org using either Discover or the Get New [Thing] Window, some of those things no longer inaccurately show up as updateable the next time you check for updates (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.76)

Fixed one of the ways that Discover could crash when performing updates that include any add-ons (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.77)

In the Plasma Wayland session, you can now re-assign keyboard shortcuts without accidentally triggering their actions in the process (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

Using Meta+Tab as a shortcut in the System Settings Shortcuts page no longer results in the word “tab” being visually duplicated in the shortcut chooser box (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

When using a fractional scale factor, Konsole no longer displays ugly horizontal lines in some places with some font sizes (Someone awesome, Qt 5.15.1)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin’s URL navigator now lives in its toolbar! (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 20.12):

Hovering the cursor over a Places Panel item now displays a little tooltip with the full path to that location (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12):

All of the appearance-related pages in System Settings have now been re-organized to live inside a top-level “Appearance” list item which takes you to the Global Themes page, to make it more clear that Global Themes can potentially affect all of them (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21)

You can probably see a lot of minor visual glitches in the above video; we’ll try to have then fixed by the final Plasma 5.21 release.

The way you add and switch between timezones in the digital clock applet has been totally overhauled to clarify the difference between changing the systemwide timezone and changing the timezone in the applet, and to make it easier to change the systemwide time zone (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

The System Settings KWin Rules page now warns you when you try to set rules for a window not managed by KWin which can’t be affected by window rules (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21)

Further refined the appearance of the Media Player applet (Mikel Johnson, Plasma 5.21):

When you set a custom keyboard shortcut to activate the System Tray’s popup, the shortcut now also closes it if it’s currently open as well, as it does for other applets (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.21)

The Networks applet now has its search field integrated into the header area and visible by default, rather than hidden behind a button (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21):

Separators between list items in Kirigami-based apps now have a more subtle and less attention-getting appearance (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.77):

The desktop drag-and-drop menu no longer has an unnecessary extra separator in it (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

Section headers in Kirigami-based apps now word-wrap properly when they are very long or when their window/view is very narrow (Carson Black, Frameworks 5.77)


Phew, that felt more like a month’s worth of work. I am constantly in awe of the KDE community’s productivity!

How You Can Help

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

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

For those who don’t follow KDE’s instagram feed, get with the programme chicos!

Here’s some pics from the Linux App Summit 2020 you’ll find there

Conference opening by Aleix

Rohan has he first talk about graphics on Linux. Rohan is an elite Linux graphics dev.

This is a reel. I’m not sure what a reel is but it’s a moving image on the Instagram.

Greg K-H had a keynote where he said KDE does it right, keeping libraries stable is hard (KF5 now 6 years in). Evolve you App.

Alexis (not to be confused with Aleix) talking about AppImage Builder, which magically works out how to make an AppImage package from your running app.

MyGNUHealth is a useful system for health records with an app using Kirigami.

There’s also talks on Saturday. You can watch the live stream on Youtube. Or register and join in directly.

Just now we are enjoying a tour of Amalfi, a comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, We are learning about the Lemons of Salerno and because it’s 2020 making limonchello.

Friday

13 November, 2020

We’re happy to announce the availability of the first minor patch release of the big release we made two months ago. This release contains minor improvements and bug fixes only.

In the plot we now allow to change the background color for axis labels. This is useful if you place the axis labels above the axis line and don’t want to see an underlying line in the bounding box of the label. The default setting is that the background remain transparent.

For the cursor, the tool used to measure positions and distances in the plots, we now allow you to copy the values in the result window to the clipboard.

When pasting new values into LabPlot’s spreadsheet, the auto-detection of the datatime format has been improved. We now better recognize the different formats produced in external programs and being pasted into LabPlot.

Many smaller improvements were included in the dialog for the creation of the live-data sources related to the handling of errors coming from remote servers like MQTT brokers, etc. Besides the more stable behavior, the user now also gets clearer notifications about what went wrong. Furthermore, when reading live data it is possible to generate the timestamp column in LabPlot for the data being read also for TCP and UDP network sources. This was only possible for MQTT sources in the past.

The bug fixes address some of the annoying issues that were known for quite some time already, but also new issues reported by the users after the release 2.8. Below is the list of all relevant bug fixes:

  • Fixed compiling with Cantor 20.08.X and X>0
  • Fixed drawing lines between points of datetime data
  • Fixed drawing axis tick label in color when in HTML mode
  • Fixed size of dock widgets when changing between them
  • BUG 389920 – removed sub-window shadow remnants when closing the project
  • BUG 428029 – changed font of text label for newer Qt versions
  • BUG 428813 – solved full screen not restored (also fixed full screen on macOS)
  • BUG 428698 – solved crash when doing drag&drop between different main windows
  • Fixed missing settings dialog on macOS
  • Parser improvements (found in “Generate Function Values”):
    • Fixed Crash using variable name of pre-defined functions as function (“sin()”)
    • Allow variable names containing function names (“sina”)
    • Correctly remove variables when changing name
    • Use application number locale
    • Insert predefined functions with correct number of arguments

We encourage everybody to update to 2.8.1 to enjoy these improvements.

Thursday

12 November, 2020

Adding a new EteSync address book
Native EteSync support in KDE

Hey everyone!

EteSync recently announced the release of EteSync 2.0, which has great improvements over EteSync 1.0 and a completely revamped underlying SDK. I have been working on upgrading the EteSync module for Kontact to the new version, and I am glad to announce that it is now ready for testing! If you use EteSync and KDE, and want to help test the new integration, please read on!

How to install and test the new integration?

Pre built packages:

We already have the project packaged for a few distributions:

  • Arch (AUR): AUR
  • Ubuntu/Debian: deb packages
  • Fedora/CentOS (COPR):

    • dnf copr enable daftaupe/etesync-rs
    • dnf install kdepim-runtime-etesync

Build from source:

  1. Install Kontact (or upgrade it if you have it installed already)
  2. Install the EteSync library

    • Clone libetebase (git clone https://github.com/etesync/libetebase.git)
    • cd into the cloned folder
    • Install cargo
    • Run the following command(s):

      $ make && sudo make install
  3. Compile and build kdepim-runtime from source:

    • Clone the repo (git clone https://invent.kde.org/pim/kdepim-runtime.git)
    • cd into the cloned folder
    • Run the following commands (make sure you have git and cmake installed):

      $ mkdir build
      $ cd build
      $ cmake ..
      $ make && sudo make install
  4. Restart Akonadi (if it is running)

    $ akonadictl restart
  5. That’s mostly it! Now you can add your EteSync account to Kontact:

    • Open Kontact
    • Open the calendar application (KOrganizer) from the left menu (you can also open KOrganizer directly)
    • Right click on the calendar list and choose “Add Calendar”
    • The EteSync option should show up - select it and click “OK”
    • A configuration dialog should show up - enter your EteSync username and password.
      For self hosters: Click on “Advanced Settings” and enter the full URL of your hosted server (https://…).
    • Your calendar events, tasks and contacts should now show up!

Note: These are general instructions. If you’re facing difficulties in building the project, or in getting the resource working, please head over to the community chat.

Bugs/Feedback?

Do let us know of any issues you face. You can contact us on the community chat, or email me directly at shashwat.jolly@gmail.com.

Thanks for the support! :D

Today I released Imaginario 0.10. No bigger changes there, but two important bugfixes.

The Plasma Mobile team is happy to share what has been going on during the month of October.

Shell Improvements

Task panel

Marco Martin added support for task switcher thumbnails!

Task Panel

Devin Lin has tweaked the task panel look with some cute icons and fine-tuned sizing.

Lockscreen

Devin Lin has worked on fixing some lockscreen behaviors. The lockscreen now prevents entering the password during a grace period between password attempts.

The lockscreen keypad now also returns to its initial position when you lift your finger from drags that do not slide enough to open or close the keypad.

Plasma Mobile reworked SIM PIN screent

New SIM PIN Screen

Tobias has completely reworked the SIM PIN screen to be visually aligned with the lockscreen.

Other improvements

New applications

Rattlesnake

Mathis created a new application called Rattlesnake. It is a metronome app for musicians and works on mobile and desktop devices.

Rattlesnake on a phone
Rattlesnake on a phone
Rattlesnake on a desktop
Rattlesnake on a desktop

NeoChat

Tobias and Carl worked on NeoChat, a Matrix client. It’s a fork of Spectral and based on the libQuotient library.

Room list
Room list
Timeline
Timeline
Explore rooms page
Explore rooms page
Emoji inputs
Emoji inputs
Account management
Account management

Anyone interested in NeoChat development can join our Matrix room #neochat:kde.org. There is still a bunch of work left to do.

Applications

KWeather Animations

KClock

KClock had its v0.2 release! Its daemon’s DBus API got a bunch of fixes.

Devin Lin and Han Young have worked on a new bottom panel that now replaces the sidebar when KClock is in portrait mode (as it will be most of the time on mobile).

We have also added a new Season of KDE idea, as we are looking for someone to make a few ringtones and alarm sounds.

KWeather Animations

KWeather

Devin Lin and Han Young have continued to work on KWeather, polishing the application for cross-platform usage.

The new dynamic mode now has animations for every weather pattern and has been improved quite a bit. Work will now focus on improving performance on devices like the Pinephone as it is currently very slow.

KWeather now has a much better desktop layout.

KWeather setup screen

KWeather Setup

They also added a new setup wizard that allows users to select between using a flat or dynamic view mode. On the Pinephone, it is currently heavily recommended to use flat mode, as the dynamic mode is not optimized performance-wise.

Work is now underway to separate out the weather backend into its own library. This will allow for plasmoids and a weather daemons (for weather alert notifications) to access the weather information without the need to have the application running in the background.

Did you know KWeather also works on Android? Get it and try it from here: binary-factory.kde.org/view/Android/job/KWeather_android/

Spacebar

Jonah and Bhushan completely refactored Spacebar, the SMS/MMS application for Plasma Mobile. To avoid messages getting lost then the app isn’t active there is now a daemon running in the background. A lot of work went into optimization, stability and user interface improvements.

Dialer

The dialer now shows the correct call history.

Plasma Settings

A new settings module allows configuring the Maliit virtual keyboard.

Alligator

We’re currently working on getting Alligator, our RSS feed reader, through KDEReview, which is our internal process to ensure the quality of new projects. This is an important step in getting a released version of the applications.

QMLKonsole

Marco moved the drawer handles in the footer in QMLKonsole and fixed a bug that made the keyboard close when a terminal extra button (e.g tab, esc) was pressed.

Jonah made QMLKonsole use a native scrollbar.

Calindori

Our calendar now supports external calendar files. You can use a calendar that has been created and maintained by a different application from within Calindori. For example, if you have set-up calendar file synchronization with vdirsyncer, navigate to and click on Calendar Management > External > Add, and you can use a calendar that’s also used by other devices.

Calindori now uses Plasma’s infrastructure for background wakeups to deliver alarms. This improves performance and battery lifetime.

User interface features and convergence bits have also been added. In “All Tasks”, you can opt to display or hide the completed tasks, while on desktop, when a high resolution monitor is available, the month page is properly scaled.

Calindori on desktop

Qrca

Nicolas redesigned the result sheet in Qrca, the Plasma Mobile QR code scanner.

Neon images

Bhushan migrated the image to Ubuntu Focal (20.04).

Want to help?

This post shows what a difference new contributors can make. Do you want to be part of our team as well? We prepared a few ideas for tasks new contributors can work on. Most coding tasks require some QML knowledge. KDAB’s QML introduction video series is a great resource for that!

You can join us on various communication channels using the links at https://www.plasma-mobile.org/join/.

Wednesday

11 November, 2020

TLDR: Two software packages — screenkey and python-secure_cookie are available in Fedora and EPEL repositories.

Screenkey

Screenkey is a tool that displays the keys one type, on the screen. It is quite useful for screen recording/casting for video tutorials and such. I use it particularly to record tutorial sessions on Vim where keystrokes are important.

Fig. 1: Screenkey in action. Source: screenkey.

Secure-cookie

The Python module secure-cookie — which provides secure session and cookie management — is split from Werkzeug WGSI module as of version 1.0. Odoo depends on python-werkzeug and currently keeps a vendor copy of the functionality in 14.0; they haven’t migrated to use secure-cookie mostly because many distros including Arch and Fedora — who have a reputation to ship latest software — haven’t packaged secure-cookie yet.

I have packaged both software for Fedora & EPEL and will be hitting release version repositories soon.