March 18, 2017

Today at 15:58 UTC the Kubuntu Council approved Darin Miller’s application for becoming a Kubuntu Member.

Darin has been coming to the development channel and taking part in the informal developer meetings on Big Blue Button for a while now, helping out were he can with the packaging and continuous integration.  His efforts have already made a huge difference.

Here’s a snippet of his interview:

<DarinMiller> I have contributed very little independently, but I have helped fix lintian issues, control files deps, and made a very minor mod to one of the KA scripts.
<clivejo> minor mod?
<acheronuk> very useful mod IIR ^^^
<clivejo> I think you are selling yourself short there!
-*- clivejo was very frustrated with the tooling prior to that fix
<DarinMiller> From coding perspective, it was well within my skillset, so the mod seemed minor to me.
<clivejo> well it was much appreciated
<yofel> when did you start hanging out here and how did you end up in this channel?
<DarinMiller> That’s another reason I like this team. I feel my efforts are appreciated.
<DarinMiller> And that encourages me to want to do more.

He is obviously a very modest chap and the Kubuntu team would like to offer him a very warm welcome, as well as greeting him with our hugs and the list of jobs / work to be done!

For those interested here’s Darin’s wiki page: and his Launchpad page:

The meeting log is available here.

March 17, 2017

Since January I'm participating on events on Rio de Janeiro area. The one that every month is scheduled in my calendar is PythonRio. A Python(obviously =P ) event, but you can talk about everything that you want that fit the goal of the event: Share knowledge. And every two weeks before the event, they open [...]

As I’m trying to keep improving the flatpak backend in discover I decided to add support for reviews. To do so I implemented support for GNOME’s Open Desktop Ratings which is rating/review system used by gnome-software. Result of this is now fully functional review system, where you can read user comments and ratings and submit your own reviews. We also use same mechanism as in gnome-software for generating user_hash which identifies you in odrs server and given that you are able to modify/delete your reviews from both discover and gnome-software (note that discover doesn’t support this yet). You can also vote for already existing reviews so others get feedback on how useful each review is. We also decided to use same review system in our PackageKit backend and replace current Ubuntu Popularity Contest system so not only flatpak users will benefit from this. During testing of this review support we’ve hit many UI issues related to review system causing users not to be able see reviews or write new ones which were introduced during transition to kirigami. We fixed all of them and you can look forward to improved experience in the upcoming discover release. To improve this further, we or at least I, would like to also add a new widget showing current total app ratings as of now you can only see reviews with comments only, not overall app rating, but this needs some discussion and design consideration.

Here are some screenshots to prove that this is already working:

If you want to test it, which we would like you to do, you can just compile discover from master branch (with -DBUILD_FlatpakBackend=ON cmake parameter for flatpak support). That’s all from me for now. Have a nice weekend :).

Akademy is the KDE Community conference. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE or Qt, this is your chance to present your work and ideas at the Conference from 22nd-27th July in Almería, Spain. The days for talks are Saturday and Sunday, 22nd and 23rd July. The rest of the week will be BoFs, unconference sessions and workshops.

What we are looking for

The goal of the conference section of Akademy is to learn and teach new skills and share our passion around what we're doing in KDE with each other.

For the sharing of ideas, experiences and state of things, we will have short Fast Track sessions in a single-track section of Akademy. Teaching and sharing technical details is done through longer sessions in the multi-track section of Akademy.

If you think you have something important to present, please tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, please encourage them. For more details see the proposal guidelines and the Call for Papers.

The submission deadline is 10th April, 23:59:59 CEST.

About Akademy

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories:

March 16, 2017

In the ever expanding catalog of applications based upon the Kirigami framework and design language, I’ve just published a small one, tough quite useful if you like me have the weird hobby of rock climbing ��

It’s called Klimbgrades and it’s not much more than a conversion table between different grading systems for rock climbs (separed by lead and bouldering) used around the world.

At the moment the supported grade scales for lead are French, YDS, UIAA, British Tech and British Adjectival

the grades for Bouldering are Fontainebleu, Hueco and B Grade

You can grab it on Android from the Play Store, or build it from source for yourself either for your desktop or cross-compile it over Android.

From the screenshots you can see there is some amount of automatic adjustment between the mobile and desktop versions, both in terms of style and layout/functionality.

On Android:

On a Plasma Desktop:

Hi! A few days ago we had the International Women's day. And that day would not pass in blank here in Rio de Janeiro, so the Google Development Group of Rio organized a Women Tech Makers Rio meetup. And on that meetup I made my second version of my presentation: Qt - Your Toolkit for C++ [...]

For the longest time, the plan was to equip KDE neon’s Developer Editions with translations. As the Developer Editions are built directly from our Git repositories and we do not maintain translations alongside the source code, there is a bit of a problem as the build somehow needs to bridge the gap between code and translations.

It’s fortunate that I also happen to work on ReleaseMe, a KDE tarball release application, and rebuilt it from scratch years ago already, so it supports third party usage of some of its functionality.

At this year’s FOSDEM, Plasma developer David Edmundson asked for translations in the Developer Editions. And, so, here we are. Both KDE neon Developer Editions now include translations live from our Subversion repository. They also include our x-test language allowing you to easily find improperly internationalized strings. Coverage is currently limited to KDE Frameworks and Plasma software.

The majority of tech to accomplish this is hidden in the internals of ReleaseMe itself. On the high-level this entails nothing more than resolving the KDE project and then getting its translations into the Git tree.

projects = ReleaseMe::Project.from_repo_url(url)
unless projects.size == 1
  raise "failed to resolve project #{repo_name} :: #{projects}"
project = projects[0]

l10n =, project.identifier,
l10n.default_excluded_languages = [] # Include even x-test.

(Underneath there’s, of course, lots of fiddly nonsense going on ;))


This blog series will introduce the clang-tidy utility from the Clang/LLVM project and show how to use it to automatically refactor continue reading

The post Clang-Tidy, part 1: Modernize your source code using C++11/C++14 appeared first on KDAB.

Awesome HiDPI on Xorg

In 2013 I bought a Macbook Pro 13” which came with a HiDPI display (also known as retina display). Already back then the support for a single HiDPI display was quite alright with KDE4 and a few tweaks here and there. Months later Qt5 got native HiDPI support and most applications switched from GTK2 to GTK3 and finally the outliers (chromium based apps, godot, arduino…) got support for higher DPIs as well.

This would have meant perfect support for HiDPI on linux already in 2015 or so but we are missing one important thing which is supporting both HiDPI and normal DPI screens at the same time. In order to support HiDPI screens applications need to render themselves bigger than they used to, how much bigger depends on the screen pixel density which, for example, in the case of my laptop is from 1.75 to 2 times bigger.

This means that applications rendered for HiDPI look huge on normal screens:

HiDPI File dialog on regular screen

Open dialog looking huge

Scaled HiDPI File dialog on regular screen

Open dialog looking ok

Here is where the internet seems to tell you that there is nothing to do but wait until Wayland arrives and saves us all (I can’t wait for that btw) but that’s actually not true, X can do it.

XRandR allows us to apply transformations on the outputs, like for example rotation, and it also allows us to scale the screens. Scaling the screens means that X will virtually increase the amount of pixels available in the display and automatically adapt the final image size to the actual output resolution. For example:

If a 2x2 scale transformation is applied to a 1920x1080 screen it will be seen as a 3840x2160 screen by the applications but X will magically cut that in half before sending the image to the monitor. So we have effectively turned our normal density screen into HiDPI.

This is an example of how the xrandr command line looks like:

xrandr --output eDP1 --auto --output DP1 --auto --scale 2x2 --right-of eDP1

This will set DP1 to the default mode, scale it by 2 and place it at the right of the HiDPI laptop screen (eDP1).

Wow! Awesome! This is so cool! Why is everybody not doing this? Where is the catch?
Mostly because of one bug:

If you read through the bug entry you will find a patch created by Chris Wilson in 2014 which is shipped by default in some distributions but it has never been integrated into master.

If your distribution doesn’t ship with this patch by default (good for them!) you can build your own xorg-server, the patch should apply until 1.18 and for 1.19 you have a ported version here.

Although with this patch the experience is already way better since the applications will look correctly on all screens Qt has a few bugs that will create weird glitches specially by placing windows where they don’t belong.

Drunk comboboxes

Shy tooltips

Jumpy Drag And Drop

I have been working on 3 patches that solve most of these at least in my day to day use.

These two still need to be reviewed and might not get accepted:

This one seems to be on track to be merged (Drag and Drop):

With all this patches the HiDPI experience in any modern Linux distro is as good as in macOS and the best part is that we do not have to wait until Wayland.

March 15, 2017

Fresh off the production line from 101’s factory in València is the first KDE Slimbook which I opened today at FLOSS UK conference here in Manchester.  Watch the live demo unveiling.

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 Introducing Mycroft and The Mycroft Plasmoid For Those Who Don’t Already Know

Mycroft is your own Open Source personal digital assistant you can use your voice or the keyboard to ask questions (“what’s the weather in Tokyo? / Calculate Pi to 50 Digits”), set reminders, launch apps and even search your plasma desktop for files and recent documents, you could also start using mycroft  for shouting instructions like “Create a new activity” or “Lock this computer” or “Switch Users” or “Send an SMS”  at your computer on a regular basis.. The Mycroft Plasmoid is the GUI front-end for Mycroft on the Plasma Desktop.

Moving On..Updates !

The past few weeks have been busy with Mycroft Plasmoid getting a GUI face-lift to adding some nifty features and myself attending the KDE India Conference where I got the opportunity to meet all the awesome FOSS & KDE Community People and present my progress on Mycroft Ai’s desktop integration.

Update 1: New User Interface

Some of you might have come across a video of the previous plasmoid design sometime in the past months, that design has been shelved and retired. The new GUI face-lift should make the Mycroft Plasmoid feel more at home on the Plasma Desktop and even match up your custom theme and color schemes.

Update 2: Visual Feedback for When Mycroft Is Listening

Talking to your computer feels new and unfamiliar. Shouting at it even more so..This unfamiliar feeling requires visual stimulation much like how two individuals would talk where the listener would acknowledge visually they are hearing you out so with this update I’d like to introduce visual feedbacks at every step of the way so you know when Mycroft is listening and responding and even working in the background.

P.S: Mycroft is not difficult to call upon Mycroft should start listening to you once you say the magic wake words “Hey Mycroft” followed by your questions.

Update 3:  Suggestions

Suggestions! Suggestions! So at some point you might run out of things to talk to your computer about or you might like to ask it similar questions. This is where the concept of Suggestions comes to play, The new update introduces random suggestions to the users based on their question input picked up from a category list matching the closest keywords.

Your Feedback Is Important, So Try it Out !

Your opinion is very important, this is some real early work and it does not come bug free.  If you would like to get involved  and help out in improving the Mycroft on the Desktop experience start with trying out Mycroft and the Plasmoid on your Desktop Today !

Install Instructions:
More information on Mycroft:

March 14, 2017

This announcement is also available in Italian, Spanish and Taiwanese Mandarin.

We are excited to announce the first Chakra release of 2017, codenamed Goedel, to honor the logician, mathematician and philosopher Kurt Goedel.

The 2017.03 release introduces two noteworthy changes:
- The installer, Calamares, has been updated to version As a result, users are now able to install Chakra on btrfs and LUKS encrypted partitions. Calamares has received lots of partitioning enhancements and bug fixes since our previous ISO release and the installation process should be smoother than ever.
- Our homegrown Heritage theme for Plasma got a refreshing facelift that we hope you will enjoy.

This release also offers an updated snapshot of packages already available in our repositories:

KDE Software

  • Plasma 5.9.2
  • Frameworks 5.31
  • Applications 16.12.2
  • Calligra 2.9.11

    Core Packages
  • linux 4.8.6
  • xorg-server 1.17.4
  • systemd 231
  • qt5 5.7.1
  • qt 4.8.7
  • sddm 0.14.0

  • xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.12
  • xf86-video-ati 7.7.0
  • xf86-video-intel 2.99.917+722+g714052f
  • mesa 13.0.2
  • nvidia 370.28 (plus 340.98, 304.132)
  • catalyst 15.9

    We would like to remind you that:
    - Chakra implements a half-rolling release model for the repositories, where all applications and KDE software fully roll. So expect newer versions of many of the above packages on your first update after installation.
    - Current Chakra users do not need to perform a new installation, updating your current installation will always provide you with all the latest versions of all our packages.

    We take this opportunity to thank everyone that has contributed to the Goedel release, we greatly appreciate all your feedback and support in making Chakra a better and more reliable distribution! This testing cycle was one of the most extensive in Chakra's history and took more than 4 months. However, some bugs are expected due to the many changes and new features introduced, so please take the time to report them on our issue tracker.

    Have in mind:
  • To create reliable installation media, it is important to follow the wiki instructions.
  • Make sure to have an active internet connection before starting the installation, otherwise the installer could fail.
  • The Calamares installer does not yet support RAID and LVM installations.
  • There are limitations in detecting hybrid cards. So even if you choose to boot in non-free mode, you will still be using the free drivers. To workaround this install using the free drivers and then switch manually. For Nvidia cards, you can install Bumbleebe.
  • On rather new nvidia cards, a known issue exists that doesn't allow the ISO to boot properly.
  • This year's Akademy will be held at the Universidad de Almería (UAL) in Almería, Spain, from July 22nd to 27th.

    The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

    This year Akademy is being organized together with UNIA and HackLab Almería. Together they have organized various free software events including the successful PyConEs 2016


    Akademy-es is the KDE event organized every year by KDE España, this year it is teaming up with the international event and Akademy-es 2017 will also be held in Almería from 20th to 21st of July.

    Almería and Akademy

    Almería a city of about 200,000 inhabitants located in the south-eastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, it's a city that has attracted diverse peoples and cultures for thousands of years. The city has around 3000 hours of sun every year, so come prepared with lots of sun screen. It has nice sights such as Alcazaba and the Cathedral. Not far from Almería one can enjoy the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) the driest location in Europe.

    About HackLab Almería

    HackLab Almería is a collective of technological, social and creative experimentation.

    At HackLab we all nurture everyone, sharing information and ideas. It is the perfect place to experiment and create new projects through working groups bringing together experts in different fields.

    About UNIA

    UNIA (Universitarios Informáticos de Almería) is an association that promotes participation and learning.

    Founded in 1993, it is the oldest of the student associations of the University of Almeria. Of deep entrepreneurial spirit it has always aimed at enriching the university life in different areas. It founded the first UAL university newspaper, CAMPUS, a computer magazine and has organized events about Computer Science for several years.

    Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

    About Akademy

    For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works on-line by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

    Dot Categories:


    Dear digiKam fans and users,

    Following the 5th release 5.4.0 published in January 2017, the digiKam team is proud to announce the new release 5.5.0 of digiKam Software Collection. As 5.4.0, this version introduces again several improvements in database interface.

    read more

    March 13, 2017

    Show Audio Feeds



    Pocket Casts links

    pc_icon_full OGG

    pc_icon_full MP3

    Show Hosts

    Ovidiu-Florin Bogdan

    Rick Timmis

    Aaron Honeycutt (Video/Audio Podcast Production)


    What have we (the hosts) been doing ?

    • Aaron
    • Rick
      • Fixing my Podcast Studio workstation.
      • I started learning to Speak Spanish
      • I got told off at work for my Ring Tone.
    • Ovidiu
      • Out protesting
      • Revised the Facebook Terms (quit facebook for a week)

    Sponsor: Big Blue Button

    Big Blue Button logo

    Those of you that have attended the Kubuntu parties, will have seen our Big Blue Button conference and online education service.

    Video, Audio, Presentation, Screenshare and whiteboard tools.

    We are very grateful to Fred Dixon and the team at go check out their project.

    Kubuntu News

    Elevator Picks

    Identify, install and review one app each from the Discover software center and do a short screen demo and review.

    • Rick – Updates on using Gqrx, and Klog for Software Defined Radio ( I’m Excited )

    In Focus

    • A converged Kubuntu Device

    Sponsor: Linode


    Linode, an awesome VPS with super fast SSD’s, Data connections, and top notch support. We have worked out a sponsorship for a server to build packages quicker and get to our users faster.

    Instantly deploy and get a Linode Cloud Server up and running in seconds with your choice of Linux distro, resources, and node location.

    • SSD Storage
    • 40Gbit Network
    • Intel E5 Processors

    BIG SHOUT OUT to Linode for working with us!

    Kubuntu Developer Feedback

    • Kubuntu moves to Phabricator, some helpful persuasion from Harald.
      Great opportunity to deprecate old documentation, and
    • New updates coming in Zesty – Big “Muchos Cosa Beunas” for Rik Mills
    • Frameworks 5.30
    • Plasma 5.9

    Sponsor: Bytemark

    Bytemark was founded with a simple mission: reliable, UK hosting. Co-founders Matthew Bloch & Peter Taphouse, both engineers by nature built the business from the ground up.

    Today, they lead a team of 31 staff who operate Bytemark’s own data centre in York, monitor its 10Gbps national network and deliver 24/7 support to clients of all sizes. Brands hosted on Bytemark’s network include the Royal College of Art, and DVLA Auctions, and of course Kubuntu.

    Drop by their website, and get Started with a free month of cloud hosting!

    Contact Us

    How to contact the Kubuntu Team:

    How to contact the Kubuntu Podcast Team:

    KDE Project:

    As my blog as FSFE Fellow No. 1 is temporarily not aggregated on and my private blog about woodwork (German only) currently only tells about a wooden staircase (but soon again about wooden jewelry) I'm building I found a new place for my KDE (non-Randa) related stuff: KDE Blogs. Thanks to the KDE Sysadmin team for the quick setup!

    Since the beginning of this year there is some new activity about and around the Simon speech recogition. We had several weekly IRC meeting (Logs: W02, W03, W04, W05, W06, W07 and W08) and there is a workboard with tasks. Our plan for the near future is it to release a last Kdelibs4 and Qt4 based version of Simon. Afterwards we focus on the KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5 port and then we might have time and work power to look at new feature development like e.g. Lera or the integration of the Kaldi speech recognition framework. But there is parallel work as well like creating Scenarios, working on speech (acustic) and language models and document all this.

    So to reach this first goal of a last kdelibs4/Qt4 based version of Simon (the last stable release of Simon happened back in 2013 and there are some commits waiting to be released) we need your help. Would you like to work on documentation checking, compiling first Alpha versions of the new release or just writing about Simon or showcasing it in videos then please get in contact with is via email, IRC (#kde-accessibility on or the KDE Forums

    And if you'd like to start right away you'll find us tomorrow (Tuesday, 14th of March) at 10pm (CEST) in #kde-accessibility on Looking forward to meeting you!

    PS: Something different and how times change: Just bought a dishwasher and got a printed copy of the GNU GPL ;-).

    Cutelyst the C++/Qt web framework just got a new stable release.

    Right after last release Matthias Fehring made another important contribution adding support for internationalization in Cutelyst, you can now have your Grantlee templates properly translated depending on user setting.

    Then on IRC an user asked if Cutelyst-WSGI had HTTPS support, which it didn’t, you could enable HTTPS (as I do) using NGINX in front of your application or using uwsgi, but of course having that build-in Cutelyst-WSGI is a lot more convenient especially since his use would be for embedded devices.

    Cutelyst-WSGI also got support for –umask, –pidfile, –pidfile2 and –stop that will send a signal to stop the instance based on the pidfile provided, better documentation. Fixes for respawning and cheaping workers, and since I have it now on production of all my web applications FastCGI got some critical fixes.

    The cutelyst command was updated to use WSGI library to work on Windows and OSX without requiring uwsgi, making development easier. got Cutelyst logo, and an updated CMlyst version, though the site still looks ugly…

    Download here:

    Have fun!

    This blogpost was originally published on the Codethink website on Thursday March 9th.

    On April 4th 2016 a new Linux Foundation initiative called the Civil Infrastructure Platform was announced. CIP aims to share efforts around building a Linux-based commodity platform for industrial grade products that need to be maintained for anything between 25 and 50 years - in some cases even longer. Codethink is one of the founding members.

    Industrial grade use cases

    In order to describe why this initiative is relevant let me go over the use cases that motivate companies like Siemens, Toshiba, Hitachi, and Renesas to share efforts.
    During the Open Source Leadership Summit, Noriaki Fukuyasu (Linux Foundation) and myself, based on the experience of Siemens, Hitachi and Toshiba, described the development life cycle in industrial grade use cases. For example, a railway management system is as follows:
    • Analysis + design + development: 3 - 6 years
    • Customizations and extensions: 2 - 4 years
    • The certification process and other authorizations take a year.
    • Each new release or update has to go through further certifications and authorizations that take between 3 and 6 months.
    • The system is expected to work for between 25 and 50 years.
    So on average, an industrial grade product might take 5 to 7 years from conception to deployment. This is coherent with our experience in other industries like automotive, where life cycles are also quite long despite the expected lifetime being shorter.

    A key part of the life cycle is maintenance. Due to its length, the associated risks are high. The certification processes to introduce significant changes in any already deployed systems are painful and expensive. In addition, the capacity to simulate a production environment is, in general, limited. This is true in other cases like energy production plans, for instance.

    Open Source principles in the Civil Infrastructure industry

    It’s obvious that Open Source could have a dramatic impact in this industry. By sharing efforts, corporations can commoditise a significant portion of the base system focusing on differentiation factors, increasing control through transparency and the quality of that starting point over time. Collaboration with upstream will bring even higher impact benefits.
    Two immediate challenges come to mind when thinking about Open Source in this industry:
    • Development of processes and practices to produce software for safety critical environments.
    • Bridging the gap between the Open Source approach for software maintenance and the approach currently taken when building large-scale platform projects. For instance, how can approaches oriented to update any specific Open Source software component to the latest upstream stable version be compatible with any typical industry SDLC?

    Can you reduce the gap?

    We have for years been working on transformation projects for which one of the goals has been to reduce the gap between the software our customers ship and what upstream is continuously releasing. One of the key steps is to adapt an organisation’s processes using FOSS tools. Over the years we have been a strong advocate that the closer to upstream you are, the more benefits you reap from the Open Source development model, maintenance cost reductions being one of the main advantages.

    So why did we get involved in an initiative that aims to maintain a kernel for 25 years then?

    The short answer would be... because we love a challenge!

    Safety critical with Linux-based systems is a challenge currently being faced in the automotive industry for instance, where Codethink is a strong player. When we analysed some of the industrial-grade use cases, it called our attention not just to the magnitude of the second challenge enumerated above, related with super long term maintenance, but also the apparent conflict between the industry requirements and the referred well known Open Source practices.

    Hence the main driver for an Open Source consultancy like Codethink in participating in an initiative like CIP is to learn by doing, that is, putting the Open Source development, delivery and maintenance best practices under stress in one of the toughest environments. We bring our experience in producing embedded Linux based systems and our Open Source culture, to work together with industry leaders in finding solutions to these challenges, by looking at them with FOSS eyes.

    Current activities

    Codethink is participating in CIP in several capacities, the most relevant being:

    Kernel maintenance
    The first CIP approved kernel is 4.4, an LTS kernel supported until Feb 2018. Ben Hutchings is the initial CIP kernel maintainer. Besides providing support for the reference platforms, Ben is working on several activities like backporting the security patches, such as those from the KSPP and consolidating the maintenance policies, taking those from the kernel community as reference.

    Testing tooling is the most successful testing project in Open Source. Its impact in the kernel community is growing, as is the number of people and companies involved. It was designed and developed as a service where the testing activities can take place in distributed board farms (labs).

    Codethink has been working on making the tools easy to deploy on developer machines through a VM, so they can test kernels on directly connected boards. This first milestone of the CIP testing project is called Board At Desk - Single Developer. This activity was described at the Open Source Leadership Summit 2017 and the first beta released during ELC 2017.


    The challenges for Open Source that Industrial-grade product development and maintenance introduce are great, especially in two aspects: safety-critical and maintenance. Codethink is working on CIP to help the industry to overcome these challenges by adding our Open Source perspective.

    Learn more about the CIP project by checking the following slides and videos from the conferences in which CIP members have participated.

    Could you tell us something about yourself?

    Hi I’m Sonia Bennett! Born and brought up in India and now living in Nashville, Tennessee with my husband and 3 year old daughter.

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

    I always loved traditional drawing and painting since childhood but became a graphic designer after college. Right now I am trying to improve my painting skills again =) I’m always open to commissions!

    What genre(s) do you work in?

    There isn’t a specific genre that I see myself in because exploring and looking at different art styles keeps my mind open to seeing things from different perspectives.

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

    From Vermeer, Fragonard, American and French Impressionism to the artists in the Krita group on Facebook… there are a lot of artists both classical and contemporary that inspire me each day. I come from a very creative family, my father was the first person to inspire me to draw. He used to draw horses for me and I would try to copy them. He is a very talented violinist and can sing a wide vocal range. My mother loved dancing, acted and directed theater, can sew almost anything and is a wonderful cook! They have always inspired and encouraged me to be creative. If it wasn’t for their encouragement, and God opening doors for me to pursue art as a way to glorify Him… I would be stuck doing something painfully uncreative.

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

    Digital painting was a mystery to me until the end of 2015 (yes I may have lived under a rock until then! ) I had seen digital artwork online but didnt realise HOW exactly it was created. I asked many dumb questions. I’m sure, to finally figure out which graphics tablet I needed to get. When I finally got one as a Christmas present in 2015 and tried it out with Krita for the very first time, I was blown away at how easy it was to paint with Krita. After that, I couldn’t stop painting!

    What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

    Honestly, if I had the space and could leave my messy paint equipment undisturbed (impossible with a toddler toddling at high speed) I would keep painting the traditional way, but I enjoy digital painting because I can paint without the mess and drying time for oil paint. And I can save my work and come back the next day and not see suspicious little hand prints on the canvas. =D

    How did you find out about Krita?

    I used Adobe software for a long time, but it was just for photo and vector layout and design and that’s about it. It wasn’t until I changed computers that I realized the older software didn’t work on my updated computer anymore. And I didn’t want to start ‘renting’ the software that wasn’t available to own directly anymore. So I searched for free painting software and somehow landed on David Revoy’s Youtube channel and it was the best introduction to Krita. I didnt need to keep looking after that!

    What was your first impression?

    I think my family may have heard me express my excitement rather loudly several times throughout the first day! I still say “I love Krita!”

    What do you love about Krita?

    The stabilizer, the different assistants, the brush engine, so many blending modes, the color to alpha filter and the different color selectors are especially cool. Krita is much more advanced this way. I also love the fact that it is made available to everyone for free. Not everyone can afford hundreds of dollars to create art. Artists from all walks of life can build up their portfolios and have a great opportunity to showcase their talent thanks to the wonderful people behind Krita.

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

    I struggle a bit with the lag when I paint large projects, and it would be nice to have a way to save for web versions and a better text tool, but I know with the tremendous advancements that Krita has already made in such a short time, that all these improvements and more will be made… one day Krita will be on every artist’s computer.

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

    It has such a professional feel and look to it. It’s unlike any other free software that exists today. And it’s only getting better. It is extremely user friendly, the intelligent design of the interface makes it so easy to understand and get used to. Right away, when you download it and start painting, you know this has been designed by people who know what artists like.

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

    Even though the original is not mine, the practice painting of Fragonard’s The Reader, is my favorite, because it was the first real painting that I made on Krita that showed me I could still paint, even after almost a decade of not picking up a brush. I had painted a couple of small paintings before this but they didn’t really challenge me. Trying to replicate a master’s painting is a really good training.

    What techniques and brushes did you use in it?

    I used David Revoy’s brushes and Ramon Miranda’s brushes and just tried to replicate the smoky, textured feel of the original work.

    Where can people see more of your work?

    I post my work on several social media sites. My main website is and I am also on :
    I’m also in a Krita group on Facebook that has more than 2000 members (and growing) and has wonderful artists that help and encourage each other (with the occasional joking around!)

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I want to thank the people who worked so hard to create Krita and keep making it better and better. Thank you for this opportunity to show my work here and I appreciate all the encouragement and support I have received from my friends and family. I hope my art can encourage more people to paint with Krita and develop their talent and creativity. If there is any way I can contribute to making Krita better, I would be most happy to help!


    March 10, 2017

    KDE Project:

    Serving the quadruped audience

    Intrepid journalist Joey Sneddon over at OMG! Ubuntu! recently pointed out to us that Plasma 5 is currently not doing so well when it comes to serving an important user demographic - bored cats!

    Indeed, Plasma 5.0 cost them (and us) the Bouncy Ball widget. And the reasoning mentioned in the article ([...] when trying to develop a professional experience toys and gimicks aren’t a good thing to be shipping by default [...]) is actually pretty solid I think. Hmm.

    Have we lost our bounce forever? No!

    But! These days we have the sexy KDE Store going on, which is a great place to put toys and gimmicks (along with neat menus).

    So it's back! Behold the demo:

    Bouncy Ball v2.0 on Plasma 5
    Bouncy Ball v2.0 on Plasma 5

    You can grab it now for your Plasma 5 via Add Widgets... in your desktop menu and then Get new widgets in the Widget Explorer, or check out the Bouncy Ball store page.

    Now for some additional fine print, though: I wrote this at ludicrous speed over a Friday night, and it's not well-tested. It behaves a little quirky sometimes (the goal was to match the original closely, but I didn't have a running KDE 4 to refer to). And despite the v2.0 moniker, it's still missing some of the features of the old Ball, including auto-bounce and that satisfying Boing! sound on collisions. I went with v2.0 in honor of the heritage - I'll polish it and add back the missing features a little later!

    Update Bouncy Ball v2.1 is now on the store with sound support, auto-bounce, much better mouse response, a configurable simulation tick and a few bugfixes!

    The call for papers for foss-north 2017 ends on Sunday. That means that you only have three days to…

    • … get a chance to visit Gothenburg, Sweden, the most sociable city in the world!
    • … speak in front of a great audience of 220 people (if we sell all the tickets – get your’s here).
    • … listen to other awesome speakers. Right now we’ve confirmed Lydia Pintscher, Lennart Poettering, Knut Yrvin and Jos Poortvliet. (There will be more awesome speakers announced when the call for papers is over).

    So what are you waiting for – submit your talk proposal and join us at foss-north 2017!

    March 09, 2017

    The last release of the 16.12 branch brings a few, but important improvements, like fixing a couple of crashes and avoiding a possible corruption as well as a overnight render bug along with other minor stability improvements. All in all 16.12 was a great release and the best is still to come.

    We continue our focused effort in the timeline refactoring which will bring professional grade tools, stay tuned for more info on that soon!

    Bug fixes:

    • Fix crash & corruption on dragging multiple clips in timeline, fix thread warning on monitor refresh. Commit.
    • Avoid possible profile corruption with xml producer. Commit. See bug #371189
    • Avoid relying on xml to clone a clip. Commit. See bug #377255
    • Src/dvdwizard/dvdwizardmenu.cpp: do not show “grid” in output. Commit. Fixes bug #377256
    • Src/dvdwizard/dvdwizard.cpp: fix file loading in slotLoad. Commit. Fixes bug #377254
    • Fix Render Widget’s file dialog not working correctly. Commit. Fixes bug #371685
    • Fix render job duration when past midnight. Commit. Fixes bug #372370
    • Fix Bin Effect reset. Commit. Fixes bug #376494
    • Fix unnecessary refresh of tools when selecting titler item. Commit.
    • Fix fadeouts re-appearing on clip cut+resize. Commit.

    All Qt developers have asked themselves at least once in their careers: “why isn’t my slot invoked?” (I’ve asked myself that question many, many times).

    There are a number of reasons why a connection may fail to be properly set up, and ultimately cause our slot not to be invoked. This blog post is a practical series of checks to help you debug these sorts of issues.

    0. Was the slot really not invoked?

    First and foremost, are we really …

    The post What do I do if a slot is not invoked? appeared first on KDAB.

    While the recent revelations are not all that surprising, they did stir the pot a bit and made people at least a tad more aware of the problems of personal privacy in the modern age.

    Plasma Vault 1

    I’ll try to refrain from any comments on the politics and hypocrisy of today’s world as I don’t consider my blog and Planet KDE to be a place for this. Though, it will be hard. :)

    Plasma Vault

    I’ve mentioned in a recent blog post) that I’ve been working on the integration of different data encryption solutions into the Plasma workspace.

    The point of the project is not to provide a new encryption mechanism, but to provide a user-friendly interface to the existing ones that will be integrated into Plasma for improved security.


    Integration points and the UI

    The main interface is the Plasma applet that will show up inside of your system tray / notification area. From there, you can create new vaults, open and close them.

    There is one big differnce between creating a UI for Plasma Vault and creating an interface for regular applications and applets.

    We usually tend to avoid showing big chunks of text to the user, and all errors to be unnoticeable. When Plasma crashes, it silently restarts and shows just a small icon in the tray that will easily be ignored. And yes, we also hate wizards.


    For Vault, and for other encryption tools, we need to show more text as the user needs to understand exactly what is being done. What are the benefits and what are the disadvantages of most options. All the security mechanisms in the world are just useless if used improperly.

    For this reason, creating a new Vault is done through a detailed wizard that our translation teams are probably going to hate me for. The wizard allows the user to choose what encryption system to use, and configure the specifics for them.


    As for the errors, none can be ignored. There is no option to have “silent failures”. All errors need to be visually explicit.

    Now, failures to create or open a vault are quite obvious – you don’t have the access to the data, but errors closing the vault are a different story.

    If the vault can not be closed due to an application accessing a file inside the vault, the user might be unaware of the fact that the data is still accessible to anyone who might have the access to the system.

    For this reason, the Vault applet will show a nice red icon until you manage to fix the error. The icon and the error message will not just go away after a few seconds like it is the case with the device notifier applet.

    I’m even pondering to add the option to forcefully kill all the applications that are using the vault, but that will probably not end up in the first release.

    Currently available backends

    When creating a vault, there are a three backends that you can use. The old, but almost true, encfs, the newcommer cryfs and the user-friendly wrapper for dm-crypt called Tomb.


    EncFS is one of the old solutions which provides a transparent FUSE-based overlay file-system.

    This means that the encrypted files live in your normal file system and they get decrypted when they are accessed through the virtual file system.

    EncFS has been with us for quite a long time. It has gone under an independent security audit which detected a few problems with the design and implementation.

    There are two bigger problems with EncFS.

    The first one is that it creates one encrypted file for each file in the encrypted system, and the encrypted files have the same directory structure as the directories in the encrypted system. This classifies as a meta-information leak because the attacker might be able to guess some things from the number of files, the directory organization and file sizes. For example, you might have encrypted the files copied from an installation disc of some operating system you don’t have the license for – it would be easy to guess which OS it is just by looking at the number of files and the directory structure.

    The more serious flaw is that the encryption techniques used are potentially vulnerable to cracking in the cases where the attacker can access multiple encrypted versions of a file.

    This means it is not a good idea to use EncFS to encrypt your data that you sync to the cloud.


    CryFS is a more modern FUSE-based overlay file-system. It does not have the problems that EncFS has.

    Instead of creating one encrypted file for each file in the FUSE filesystem, it splits them into chunks and encrypts all the chunks separately. Because of this, the attacker can not deduce any information related to the number of files just by looking at the encrypted data. It also does not expose the directory structure through the organization of the encrypted data.

    While these are welcome improvements over EncFS, it is worth noting that there are no independent security audits of CryFS. So, while it does not have the same problems that EncFS has, it is possible that it has others.

    This is the main reason why Plasma Vault supports both EncFS and CryFS – to give the user a choice between a solution that has issues, but for which the issues are known, and a solution that should be safer, but for which we don’t really know whether it is.


    The newest addition to the Plasma Vault family is Tomb. It is considered experimental, and in order to enable it in the first Plasma Vault release, you will need to add the following to plasmavaultrc:


    Unlike EncFS and CryFS, Tomb does not create an overlay-file system.

    It is just a simple script that makes it easy to create encrypted container files which get mounted like any other block device in your system. It relies on cryptsetup/dm-crypt for the actual encryption.

    For this reason, even if the Tomb project itself is not as mature and as bug-free as it should be, it can be considered secure. Since it is just a wrapper over system-provided tools, the only problem you might have with it is that in the case of a bug, it will not be able to mount your encrypted file. In that case, you would need to do it manually by calling losetup/cryptsetup and friends,

    The main disadvantage of Tomb is that you need to define the size of the container file in advance – it will not grow automatically when you add new files.



    This post is to provide some clarification on a behavioral change we had to introduce with Qt 5.6.2 to the QtLocation‘s OpenStreetMap plug-in. The related change seems to have generated some confusion, so here’s the full story.

    The OSM plug-in used to work with hard-coded tile server URLs for the various map types offered therein. The tiles for the main (street) map type and the satellite map type, which are possibly the two most used maps, were previously sourced from In July 2016, MapQuest discontinued this service. As a result, all deployed QtLocation OSM plug-ins for the Qt versions up to 5.6.1 and 5.7.0 suddenly began to provide tiles without map content. Instead the tiles contained an invitation to visit the MapQuest website and buy some services as shown below.

    MapQuest ceasing open access

    The dreadful sight from the MapViewer prior to Qt5.6.2


    Clearly not being able to afford another such situation, we decided to fix this by adding one level of indirection. Now the OSM plug-in will fetch, for each map type, a provider definition file hosted at The format of this file is fairly similar to what others solutions use (e.g. TileJSON), with small differences needed for our specific use case. The format is documented in this file (starting from line 195). This solution makes it possible to change the tile source for specific map types, if this becomes necessary again, without the need to upgrade Qt or to rebuild the application.

    These providers can also be temporarily disabled on the server side, by setting the property Enabled to false. This might happen in cases like the above mentioned where the service delivers bogus tiles and a replacement hasn’t been found yet. The plug-in also ships with a hard-coded backup for connectivity reasons.

    Unfortunately, at this stage we haven’t been able to find an open access satellite imagery provider that would provide sufficiently high resolution data. As a result, the OSM plug-ins initially still offers seven map types (the satellite map type is still there) but, at the present, they become six as soon as the map provider definition file for the satellite type is parsed since it currently contains Enabled = false.

    The screenshots below demonstrate the difference:

    Mapviewer before and after resolution

    The MapViewer MapType menu before provider initialization (left) and after (right)

    While this approach solves the encountered problem, it might be an undesirable behavior for some. Therefore, we added two options to disable this behavior. The first option is to set the plug-in parameter osm.mapping.providersrepository.disabled to true. This instructs the plug-in to not attempt any remote provider file fetching, but to just use the hard-coded values. Since this alone would bring the initial problem back, there is also another plug-in parameter that may come in handy. The osm.mapping.providersrepository.address can be used to override the default value of, for 5.6.2 and 5.7.1, and for 5.8.0 and later releases. Developers can point the plug-in to an alternative URL containing the provider definition files for street, satellite, cycle, transit, night-transit, terrain and hiking. Even local URLs starting with file:/// or qrc:/ are possible, which means that the provider definition files can be shipped with the application.

    As a last note, please bear in mind that this solution is still not 100% fail safe. The mapping service is still offered by third parties with whom The Qt Company has no contractual relationship. If a robust solution is needed, using one of the commercial services that we support through one of the other shipped plug-ins should be considered.

    The post Provisioning OpenStreetMap providers in QtLocation appeared first on Qt Blog.

    Finally I am writing about my experience in Season of KDE, 2017 which came to an end a few days ago. A winter learning new things, learning what really matters is not just writing code but writing good code. I would like to thank GCompris and KDE for giving me such an opportunity to be a part of the community and to try to bring happiness to people and kids using it around the world.

    I had to accomplish the following tasks:

    1. Complete categorization images activity.
    2. Implement and complement categorization words activity.

    I successfully implemented the following tasks:

    1. I completed the categorization images activity and it finally got merged into master last month :)
    2. I implemented categorization words activity with 5 categories with a scroll view to scroll the sentences.

    Categorization Images Activity: The good news is that categorization images was finally merged into master with 6 categories in demo version including “Alphabets”, “Numbers”, “Tools”, “Renewable”, “Monuments” along with 12 other categories in the full version with around 500+ new images. Here is how categorization of animlas looks like:

    Categorization Images

    Categorization Words Activity: I implemented categorization words activity for 5 categories including “Tenses”, “Pronouns”, “Nouns”, “Fruits”, “Vegetables”. It would teach the complete grammar to kids including “Adverbs”, “Adjectives”, “Prepositions”, “Conjunctions” etc which are yet to be implemented. It allows teachers to add their own datasets and lessons for categories to teach. It would also help children in categorizing objects on the basis of various categories.

    Categorization Words

    Here is a lesson that I added on pronouns. Pronouns

    I am left with adding the remaining categories which I would do in the coming week implementing the complete grammar and its lessons and improving the scroll bar and configuration part for saving locale of languages.

    That’s all for now, thank you KDE and GCompris for such an awesome winter of code :))

    March 08, 2017

    So, this month sok 2017 came to an end, with a hell lot of learning & community bonding.
    I must say that the four months during the season were awesome & i gained a lot from it.
    Thanks to KDE for giving me the wonderful opportunity of working on an awesome open source project named GCompris.
    GCompris is a high quality educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10.

    My mentors were :- Johnny Jazeix,Emmanuel Charruau & sagar aggarwal.
    They were very helpful & cooperative always helped me during time of trouble.

    My goals for the season were as follows:-
    1.) The main aim of this activity is to assist & help children to memorize multiplication tables, addition & subtraction in a fun & competitive way.
    2.) The children, basically will be asked different set of questions which they have to answer in the space provided.
    3.) There will be a single base activity called Question & answer activity & three sub-activities. The focus of the sok will be to have the generic activity and the 3 mathematical activities told above.

    Goals achieved :-
    1.) Normal mode of Activity is complete. Questions are displayed to the user as Grid format with some space to write answers.
    2.) School mode is also almost complete , the user can go to settings window & can select the questions to be displayed to the students. The selected questions will be displayed as grid format same as in normal mode.
    3.) After writing answers for the questions, the user have to click on finish button.
    The total score & time taken will be displayed.


    1.)  Home screen of Activity



    2.) Here the user can write answers in space provided



    3.) Total score & time taken displayed for the user



                          4.) The user can select modes in the settings window



      5.) In school mode list will be displayed from where the user can choose questions



    Task Pending :-
    In school mode (where the user selects the questions), the selected should be displayed in a random order on each day of the weak using JS random function.

    So, finally I would to conclude that Season of KDE proved to be a great source of learning for me. I learned & gained a lot from this wonderful opportunity.
    I again wants to thanks KDE & the open source community for organizing such awesome events.




    March 07, 2017

    As part of our efforts to improve out of box experience for touch screens I’m pleased to announce that Plasma 5.10 will provide integration for virtual keyboard.

    Plasma 5.10 finally integrates qtvirtualkeyboard directly in the lockscreen component of the look and feel package. Support for Qt’s virtual keyboard is not new in Plasma in general, it is already fully integrated into the Plasma Wayland session. This change, though, can be used on both Wayland and X11.

    Greeter with new Virtual Keyboard button

    The lockscreen got extended by a new button next to the keyboard layout switcher: “Virtual Keyboard”. When clicking this button the virtual keyboard gets enabled and one can use it (with both touch and mouse) to enter the password and unlock the screen.

    Virtual Keyboard in the lock screen

    As a nice side effect this finally enables the possibility to enter east Asian languages in the lock screen. So far we had to actively disable input methods on the lockscreen to prevent that the screen cannot be unlocked. As a side effect this meant that only latin characters can be used in the password. I hope that the new virtual keyboard can help here by providing a better experience.

    As a note to our touch screen users. It’s possible to use Qt’s virtual keyboard for all Qt application. One just needs to specify the env variable QT_IM_MODULE=qtvirtualkeyboard. When entering text Qt pops up the virtual keyboard as an additional window. This is only needed in an X11 session. In a Wayland session KWin provides the integration and Qt apps (and other apps) get the virtual keyboard through the Wayland text input protocol.

    I case you didn't know ;)

    Okular has a amazing table select mode where you select an area and Okular will auto detect rows and columns on it (you can fine-tune it afterwards) and then you can directly copy&paste to a spreadsheet :)

    It's mostly tested on PDF files, but should work the same on any of the formats we support text extraction.

    Update: This feature is not new, just i got to use it today ;) Video at


    A glorious flash back to one year ago

    WikiToLearn is doing great recently, but where were we one year ago?

    Exactly one year ago I was about to have my first experience with WikiToLearn. When I left Milan, this day one year ago, I only knew I was going at CERN (Geneve) to start working at this project called WikiToLearn

    I didn’t know what a Sprint was neither what exactly I was going to do at a WikiToLearn-Sprint. I wrote a course on complex analysis (ITA) and I got it imported on the website: the thing I didn’t realize was that I became a WikiToLearn-er in that precise moment.  So, I left Milan having seen the other members of the community only once and I didn’t know what was my role (probably because I didn’t have one) but I was extremely enthusiast for this opportunity.

    On this day, one year ago I discovered a beautiful world. I started discovering the open source world without knowing anything about it. Our week at CERN was extremely insane! We woke up at 8:30AM and used to work until midnight. When we were done with our work and we should had gone to bed, we met at CERN’s cafeteria and had glorious moments till late night: what happens at the Sprint, stays at the Sprint.

    I could say so many things about the Sprint that a blog post wouldn’t  be enough. I met special people whom I am still in contact with and I am really happy to see when I have the occasion. Back then, my journey in the open source world began and I simply don’t want to stop now.

    Since then I worked every day of my life at WikiToLearn. I understood what my role in the project is. Simply, I became part of a new family.

    This blog post is somehow different from the others of the “What’s going on?” series, but it is necessary. One year ago, when I wrote the first episode I didn’t expect it to become a series. Actually I didn’t expect WikiToLearn to become so fundamental in my life too. If you have ever read a “Wiki, what’s going on?” episode, be aware that this is where everything started.

    There is no better way for you to understand what I felt (and still feeling) than become part of the Wiki-Fam. Come join us at and change the world with us!


    L'articolo Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 22-Throw back time) sembra essere il primo su Blogs from WikiToLearn.

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