November 06, 2017

Release binaries below

Linux (x86_64, AppImage) – rt.click and “Save as”  Make it executable.
SHA256[ae9dde58f38853230be36acb5f2ef6975e4fa90a6ade1e2bef92351f2f01c567]
SHA1[9856db9dc7d1e62669acb4233932cf181d37e034]
MD5[805064ea4951c9b3268d238862b56aef]

Windows(Win7+, portable folder) SHA256[ae025199c1055cedfaf7dfaefe5e1862fb07ca218d66d59b0ec9da152332d596]
SHA1[0bee4054bbec97be2c01891d73ab4b99dbf4f326]
MD5[d610b14c479a7c0136f651c45edc9922]

Mac OSX(osX 10.8+)  SHA256[33c95205be977da0ffa60f7022cf7a965f7c1922b1fbe04e53add641462d5c56]
SHA1[478fdb5e719fbaec8f7c9ce8300cd1075c71d1bf]
MD5[32049e0ff6a02f2f45d29ad890454598]


November 05, 2017


Today the OpenStack Summit started in Sydney with the keynotes. This time the keynotes are only on the first day, which is really nice since it's only a 3 days event - more time for the presentations.

This time I have every day a presentation or panel discussion:


I spoke at the ACCU conference in April 2017 on the topic of Embracing Modern CMake. The talk was very well attended and received, but was unfortunately not recorded at the event. In September I gave the talk again at the Dublin C++ User Group, so that it could be recorded for the internet.

The slides are available here. The intention of the talk was to present a ‘gathered opinion’ about what Modern CMake is and how it should be written. I got a lot of input from CMake users on reddit which informed some of the content of the talk.

Much of the information about how to write Modern CMake is available in the CMake documentation, and there are many presentations these days advocating the use of modern patterns and commands, discouraging use of older commands. Two other talks from this year that I’m aware of and which are popular are:

It’s very pleasing to see so many well-received and informative talks about something that I worked so hard on designing (together with Brad King) and implementing so many years ago.

One of the points which I tried to labor a bit in my talk was just how old ‘Modern’ CMake is. I recently was asked in private email about the origin and definition of the term, so I’ll try to reproduce that information here.

I coined the term “Modern CMake” while preparing for Meeting C++ 2013, where I presented on the topic and the developments in CMake in the preceding years. Unfortunately (this happens to me a lot with CMake), the talk was not recorded, but I wrote a blog post with the slides and content. The slides are no longer on the KDAB website, but can be found here. Then already in 2013, the simple example with Qt shows the essence of Modern CMake:


find_package(Qt5Widgets 5.2 REQUIRED)

add_executable(myapp main.cpp)
target_link_libraries(myapp Qt5::Widgets)

Indeed, the first terse attempt at a definition of “Modern CMake” and first public appearance of the term with its current meaning was when I referred to it as approximately “CMake with usage requirements”. That’s when the term gained a capitalized ‘M’ and its current meaning and then started to gain traction.

The first usage I found of “Modern CMake” in private correspondence was March 13 2012 in an email exchange with Alex Neundorf about presenting together on the topic at a KDE conference:

Hi Alex

Are you planning on going to Talinn for Akademy this year? I was thinking about sumitting a talk along the lines of Qt5, KF5, CMake (possibly along the lines of the discussion of ‘modern CMake’ we had before with Clinton, and what KDE CMake files could look like as a result).

I thought maybe we should coordinate so either we don’t submit overlapping proposals, or we can submit a joint talk.

Thanks,

Steve.

The “discussion with Clinton” was probably this thread and the corresponding thread on the cmake mailing list where I started to become involved in what would become Modern CMake over the following years.

The talk was unfortunately not accepted to the conference, but here’s the submission:

Speakers: Stephen Kelly, Alexander Neundorf
Title: CMake in 2012 – Modernizing CMake usage in Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5
Duration: 45 minutes

KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) will mark the start of a new chapter in the history of KDE and of the KDE platform. Starting from a desire to make our developments more easy to use by 3rd parties and ‘Qt-only’ developers, the effort to create KF5 is partly one of embracing and extending upstreams to satisfy the needs of the KDE Platform, to enable a broadening of the user base of our technology.

As it is one of our most important upstreams, and as the tool we use to build our software, KDE relies on CMake to provide a high standard of quality and features. Throughout KDE 4 times, KDE has added extensions to CMake which we consider useful to all developers using Qt and C++. To the extent possible, we are adding those features upstream to CMake. Together with those features, we are providing feedback from 6 years of experience with CMake to ensure it continues to deliver an even more awesome build experience for at least the next 6 years. Qt5 and KF5 will work together with CMake in ways that were not possible in KDE 4 times.

The presentation will discuss the various aspects of the KDE buildsystem planned for KF5, both hidden and visible to the developer. These aspects will include the CMake automoc feature, the role of CMake configuration files, and how a target orientated and consistency driven approach could change how CMake will be used in the future.

There is a lot to recognize there in what has since come to pass and become common in Modern CMake usage, in particular the “target orientated and consistency driven approach” which is the core characteristic of Modern CMake.


The time has finally come to release our first beta of AtCore for the general public to use. We would really like to ensure that AtCore is working with as many machines as possible so we encourage everyone who can to test AtCore and provide us with feedback on what worked and what did not. Included in this release is the Atcore Test Client a simple GUI. This is easy to use and should work well for most people. This client only for testing Atcore and we will be releaseing Atelier as our offical client at a later time.

We have support for several firmwares, but not all firmwares. If your firmware is not autodetected try selecting the “repetier” plugin. If this happens to you please let us know what firmware you have and if repetier plugin worked for your machine. AtCore’s current feature set is mostly for 3D printers but printing to any G-Code machine that uses serial should work if you have gcode sliced for the machine.

Source Package atcore-0.90.2.tar.xz

Builds comming soon.

 


November 04, 2017

The 8th bugfix update (5.8.8) of the Plasma 5.8 LTS series is now available for users of Kubuntu Xenial Xerus 16.04 to install via our Backports PPA. This update also includes an update for Krita to 3.3.2.1.

To update, add the following repository to your software sources list:

ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

or if it is already added, the updates should become available via your preferred update method.

The PPA can be added manually in the Konsole terminal with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

and packages then updated with

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

Upgrade notes:

~ The Kubuntu backports PPA includes various other backported applications, so please be aware that enabling the backports PPA for the first time and doing a full upgrade will result in a substantial amount of upgraded packages in addition to Plasma 5.8.8.

~ The PPA will also continue to receive bugfix updates to Plasma 5.8 when they become available, and further updated applications where practical.

~ While we believe that these packages represent a beneficial and stable update, please bear in mind that they have not been tested as comprehensively as those in the main Ubuntu archive, and are supported only on a limited and informal basis. Should any issues occur, please provide feedback on our mailing list [1], IRC [2], and/or file a bug against our PPA packages [3].

1. Kubuntu-devel mailing list: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/kubuntu-devel
2. Kubuntu IRC channels: #kubuntu & #kubuntu-devel on irc.freenode.net
3. Kubuntu PPA bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/kubuntu-ppa

Today I finally managed to get large part (maybe 90%) of KDE Partition Manager to work from GUI running as unprivileged user. This means better security, better Wayland integration, better theming support, etc. It will still take some time to polish everything and make it ready for release but nevertheless KDE Partition Manager has reached a significant milestone. Unlike most programs that use KAuth, KDE Partition Manager requires root for practically any operation, so it took some time to properly refactor the code and make it ready for KAuth/Polkit.

KDE Partition Manager has also gained another backend that you can see in the video bellow. Previously, libparted backend was used for some of the partitioning operations which for a long time was the only functional backend. Now, KDE Partition Manager can use util-linux tools (mostly sfdisk) to manipulate partitions. In the future sfdisk backend will be the default backend since it supports running without root.

At the moment the code is published in my scratch repository. Eventually this code should reach git master but probably after KPMcore 3.3 is released. Getting Calamares to run root free should now be a bit easier too…

 

Join us for our /dev/random format online community ‘unconference’. Hosted by our very own ‘Kubuntu Musketeers’

@Sick_Rimmit
@Ovidiuflorin
@AhoneyBun

9 pm- 11 pm UTC.

This open format show provides a huge variety including. Discussion, Tech Guests, Tutorials, Reviews, Projects, Hacks, User guidance, Quests, Contests.

The agenda is built on the fly, and driven by the participants. However, every Live Cafe is is compared by 1 or more hosts who provide the co-ordination, direction and moderation.

There is only one way to really find out whats going on.

Join us in The Kubuntu BBB Cafe Lounge or live on our Youtube channel

See our calendar event for details and login.

November 03, 2017

Today we are releasing Krita 3.3.2, a bugfix release for Krita 3.3.0. This release fixes two important regressions:

  • Krita 3.3.1 would read brush presets with textures incorrectly. This is now fixed.
  • Windows 1709 broke wintab and Windows Ink tablet handling in various ways; we worked around that and it works again in this version of Krita.

Additionally, there are the following fixes and improvements:

  • Animation: make it possible to export empty frames after the end of the animation.
  • Animation: make it possible to render up to a 10,000 frames
  • Add a command-line option to start Krita with a new, empty image: krita --new-image RGBA,8,5000,3000
  • Performance: improved caching for effect and selection masks
  • Performance: Fix a leak in the smudge brush
  • Performance: Improve performance when using the hardware-accelerated canvas
  • Performance, Windows: improve the performance when loading icons
  • macOS: render the frames-per-second overlay widget correctly
  • Filters: it’s now possible to edit the filter’s settings directly in the xml that is used to save filter definitions to .krita files.
  • Filters: a new ASC_CDL color balance filter was added, with Slope, Offset and Power options.
  • Crashes: fix a crash that happened when closing a second document with infinite canvas active
  • Layers: Make it possible to copy group layers
  • UI: make it possible to use the scroll-wheel to scroll through patterns when the patterns palette is very narrow.
  • UI: Improve drag and drop feedback in the layer panel
  • UI: Hide the lock and collapse titlebar icons when a panel is floating
  • G’Mic: the included G’Mic is updated to the latest release.

Download

Windows

Note for Windows users: if you encounter crashes, please follow these instructions to use the debug symbols so we can figure out where Krita crashes.

Linux

(If, for some reason, Firefox thinks it needs to load this as text: to download, right-click on the link.)

When it is updated, you can also use the Krita Lime PPA to install Krita 3.3.2 on Ubuntu and derivatives. There is also an updated snap.

OSX

Note: the gmic-qt and pdf plugins are not available on OSX.

Source code

md5sums

For all downloads:

Key

The Linux appimage and the source tarball are signed. You can retrieve the public key over https here:
0x58b9596c722ea3bd.asc
. The signatures are here.

Support Krita

Krita is a free and open source project. Please consider supporting the project with donations or by buying training videos or the artbook! With your support, we can keep the core team working on Krita full-time.

November 02, 2017

Elisa is a music player designed to be simple and nice to use.

I have missed those regular posts due to real life interrupting me a lot the last two weeks.

The following things have been integrated in Elisa git repository:

  • Fix a bug related to error management during play of music (no longer block on an erroneous track, …) ;
  • Update of the Elisa docbook documentation by Burkhard Lück ;
  • Elisa now requires KDE Frameworks 5.39 to prevent a crash of Elisa ;
  • Allow to start play if in pause using the play button in the play list by Alexander Stippich ;
  • Increase test coverage of the code used to manage the list of audio tracks, albums and artists. Fix some newly discovered bugs ;
  • Colorize the icons in the list of views on right the same way text is colorized: Screenshot_20171102_224101
  • Allow keyboard navigation of the playlist ;
  • Fix management of albums with the same title but different authors ;
  • Implement double click actions for delegates in content views by Alexander Stippich ;

I would like to thank Burkhard Lück and Alexander Stippich for their much appreciated contributions.


November 01, 2017

Last week I was part of the expedition by KDE (together with Kenny and Petra) to visit the local team that is helping us organize Akademy 2018 in Vienna.

I can say that I'm very happy :)

The accommodation that we're probably going to recommend is 15 minutes away by train from the airport, 20 minutes on foot from the Venue (10 on metro) so kind of convenient.

The Venue is modern and centrally located in Vienna (no more "if you miss the bus you're stranded")

Vienna itself seems to be also a nice city for late evening sight-seeing (or beers :D)

Hopefully "soon" we will have confirmation of the dates and we'll be able to publish them :)


Members of the KDE Edu team at this year's
sprint.
From left to right: Albert Astals (Ktuberling),
Filipe Saraiva (Cantor),
Mirko Boehm (Endocode),
Aleix Pol (KAlgebra), David Narvaez (Kig),
Sandro Andrade (Minuet),
Timothée Giet (GCompris),
Rishabh Gupta (Gcompris, Cantor), and
Sanjiban Bairagya (Marble).

Between the 7th and 9th October the KDE Edu team met in the Endocode offices in Berlin to work on and plan KDE's educational software.

We split up the work into three general areas: organization, infrastructure and coding.

The KDE Edu team is diverse in that there are different people interested in different tools. A sprint such as this one is the ideal meeting place to work on making sure that we are headed in the same direction. We discussed the website and how we present our projects to the outside world. We also covered improvements to our usage of Phabricator and our roles on the different goals we set for ourselves. We wanted to make sure all our members are aware and on board with them.

One of the interesting perks of having your project in KDE, besides meeting amazing teams such as ours, is that we can provide you with tools that will benefit the rest of KDE software. You can find educational software users on every platform, and we don't want to leave anyone behind. That's why we spent some time figuring out how to make sure our applications would also reach Windows and Android in the best of conditions. We also looked into our Flatpak packages to discover what the showstoppers are and to make improvements. At some point we will be able to offer fresh and stable versions of our software right into everybody's device.

And of course, we coded. Meetings are great for discussions, but it's also nice to be able to sit with your friends, in front of a laptop with a warm coffee, and start looking into the issues that have been holding us back. We pushed improvements for Cantor and its integration with several languages, we released a new version of KTuberling for Android, and a new GCompris version for classrooms. We worked on Marble's routing features and got Minuet running on Windows.

All in all, the sprint helped us push forward and overcome some crucial roadblocks. Now the apps in KDE Edu are better than ever.

Dot Categories:

During the last week of September I attended the 2017 edition of CppCon, in Bellevue, WA. Unusually late due to my presence at Qt World Summit which took place just after it, here's my trip report.

continue reading

The post CppCon 2017: trip report appeared first on KDAB.

October 31, 2017

Cutelyst the Qt Web Framework got a new release, another round of bug fixes and this time increased unit testing coverage.

RoleACL plugin is a very useful one, it was written due the need for controlling what users could access, sadly the system I wrote that needed this got unused (although I got my money for this) so this plugin didn’t get much attention, partially because it was basically complete.

Then last release I added documentation to it due a user’s request and shortly after I found out that it wasn’t working at all, even worse it wasn’t forbidding users like it should do. So after the fix I moved on writing unit test for many other stuff. There’s still missing stuff but overall coverage is much larger now.

Enjoy https://github.com/cutelyst/cutelyst/archive/v1.10.0.tar.gz


In the past weeks, we have noticed an increased interest in Plasma Mobile from different sides. Slowly, but surely, hardware vendors have discovered that Plasma Mobile is an entirely different software platform to build products on top of. For people or companies who want to work or invest into Plasma Mobile, it’s always useful to know where upstream is heading, so let me give an overview of what our plans are, what areas of work we’re planning to tackle in the coming months and years, where our focus will be and how it will shift. Let’s talk about Plasma Mobile’s roadmap.

Our development strategy is to build a basic system and platform around our core values first and then extend this. Having a stable base of essentials allows us to focus on an achievable subset first and then extend functionality for more and more possible target groups. It avoids pie-in-the-sky system engineering something that will never be useful and designed for a unicorn market that never existed. Get the basics right first, then take it to the next levels. These levels are:

  1. Prototype (already finished)
  2. Feature Phone
  3. Basic Smartphone
  4. Featured Smartphone

Plasma Mobile RoadmapPlasma Mobile Roadmap

Let’s look at these steps in detail.

Prototype and Product Vision

The first public release of Plasma Mobile was this prototype. It showed a very basic and incomplete-for-daily-use system on actual, modern smartphone hardware. You could make phone calls, start and manage apps, and manipulate some basic system functionality. It showed a smartphone system based on Plasma could be done, and more importantly, it taught us a lot about where we want to take things on a technical level.
Along with the prototype, we developed a product vision for Plasma Mobile, a direction where we want to take it (emphasis added by yours truly):

“Plasma Mobile aims to become a complete software system for mobile devices. It is designed to give privacy-aware users back the full-control over their information and communication. Plasma Mobile takes a pragmatic approach and is inclusive to 3rd party software, allowing the user to choose which applications and services to use. It provides a seamless experience across multiple devices. Plasma Mobile implements open standards and it is developed in a transparent process that is open for the community to participate in.”

Feature Phone

The feature phone milestone is what we’re working on right now. This involves taking the prototype and fixing all the basic things to turn it into something usable. Usable doesn’t mean “usable for everyone”, but it should at least be workable for a subset of people that only rely on basic features — “simple” things.
Core features should work flawlessly once this milestone is achieved. With core features, we’re thinking along the lines of making phone calls, using the address book, manage hardware functions such as network connectivity, volume, screen, time, language, etc.. Aside from these very core things for a phone, we want to provide decent integration with a webbrowser (or provide our own), app store integration likely using store.kde.org, so you can get apps on and off the device, taking photos, recording videos and watching these media. Finally, we want to settle for an SDK which allows third party developers to build apps to run on Plasma Mobile devices.
Getting this to work is no small feat, but it allows us to receive real-world feedback and provide a stable base for third-party products. It makes Plasma Mobile a viable target for future product development.

Basic Smartphone

The basic smartphone extends the feature set of Plasma Mobile to a wider group of target users. The plan is to add personal information management features, such as reading and sending emails, calendaring and reminders. We also want to add file management capabilities in this milestone, because we think that the user should be able to deal with the data in her phone in the most transparant way, and file management is something that allows users to look into the fabric of their data, and that of the phone itself. Another big topic for the Basic Smartphone milestone is extending the app ecosystem through third-party and original applications to allow the user to do more things with the device.

Featured Smartphone

For the featured smartphone, we want to add more system-level integration features such as deeply integrated private cloud storage and have grown our own ecosystem with more apps and of course games. An often requested feature is support for Android apps. Supporting Android apps could give Plasma Mobile a huge boost in terms of possible target groups, since it allows users to switch away from Android more easily, even when they are requiring a few apps and can’t really live without these. Being able to run Android apps on a Plasma Mobile device can ease the transition considerably and it allows us to capture potential target user groups that rely on proprietary services which Plasma Mobile, at first, cannot serve simply because as a smaller player, it’s not an attractive enough platform to have the likes of WhatsApp develop native clients for.

When it’s ready!?

On purpose, we did not add a specific timeline to this roadmap for two reasons: First, Plasma Mobile is a participative project, if you want to see something done, get involved. We’re not running the show all by ourselves. We want to create an open eco system where people who do the work decide on its direction. This means if you get involved, you can help us shape the future of mobile computing instead of being just a code monkey that does what someone else has decided. Secondly, we don’t want to deliver half-assed software just because we set a timeline. We want to create quality software to build products upon. If you or your company want to ship on a specific date, work with us and we’ll plan together. We won’t make promises when something is ready beforehand, but as an upstream project, we want to ship “when it’s ready”. This “when” depends on all our input and hard work. So don’t sit in your armchairs and wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting, but let’s get cracking!

KMarkdownWebView 0.3.0 has been released.

Example: KMarkdownWebView KParts plugin used by the KTextEditor Document Preview plugin used in KDevelop

The KMarkdownWebView software is for the rendered display of Markdown documents, using web technologies (native wrapper around a webpage with a JavaScript library which creates HTML from the plain text handed in).
The software contains

  • a KParts plugin for rendered display of Markdown files, which enables KParts-using applications (like the archiving tool Ark or the file manager Krusader) to show Markdown files in the target format.
  • a Markdown file KIO thumbnail generator plugin, which allows KIO-powered file managers & dialogs to show thumbnails and previews of files in Markdown format in the target format (currently only available when building against QtWebKit)

The KMarkdownWebView KParts plugin is also prepared for best experience with the KTextEditor Document Preview plugin for KTextEditor-based applications like the editor Kate and IDE KDevelop.

KMarkdownWebView can be built both with QtWebEngine (preferred by the build system) and QtWebKit. Pass -DUSE_QTWEBKIT=TRUE to CMake to enforce the use of QtWebKit.

Changes since 0.2.0

  • New feature in KParts plugin: text search
  • Fix: Unbreak navigation to local anchors in QWebKit variant

Download sources

Download from: https://download.kde.org/stable/kmarkdownwebview/0.3.0/src/

sha256: 8b58c85c64641ba2194db1741ed5cc65504b18ced89728b09c6bfd090da847e4 kmarkdownwebview-0.3.0.tar.xz

Signed with my new PGP key
E191 FD5B E6F4 6870 F09E 82B2 024E 7FB4 3D01 5474
Friedrich W. H. Kossebau
kmarkdownwebview-0.3.0.tar.xz.sig


Another minor KStars release is now available for Linux, MacOS,  & Windows. KStars 2.8.7 brings several bug fixes and new improvements!

So what's new in this release?


  • Sounds! While KDE users on Linux enjoyed sound notifications since they were introduced in KStars, users on non-KDE desktop and on other OSes couldn't get the sounds. This is now fixed by using Phonon & libVLC. There is a known issue with the sounds being abruptly cut-off under MacOS, we are investigating this bug.
  • Fixed annoying issue with slightly incompatible frame sizes for DSLR captures. The frame size is now always subframed to the maximum resolution entered by the user when using a DSLR for the first time in Ekos.
  • GPS fixes: When a new GPS location is received, KStars will now explicitly changes the current location to GPS Location. The time is also updated accordingly with the GPS UTC & Offset values.
  • Fixed orientation of solved Align frames. Now all solved images shall rotate correctly in the KStars Sky Map to reflect the orientation of the captured image.

  • Various fixes for Rotator Control.

October 30, 2017

The 2nd bugfix update (5.11.2) of the Plasma 5.11 series is now available for users of Kubuntu Artful Aardvark 17.10 to install via our backports PPA.

Please note that 3 more bugfix releases are scheduled by KDE for Plasma 5.11, so while we feel these backports will be beneficial to enthusiastic adopters, users wanting to use a Plasma release with more stabilisation/bugfixes ‘baked in’ may find it advisable to stay with Plasma 5.10.5 as included in the original 17.10 Artful release.

See the Plasma 5.11 release announcement and the release video below for more about the new features available.

In particular the new Plasma Vault can be installed – Install the plasma-vault package, and restart Plasma to make it available in the system tray. Note that an upstream issue means deletion of vaults must be done manually; see KDE bug 385444 for instructions.

The update also comes with an upgrade to the latest KDE Frameworks 5.39.

Other goodies are also included in the backports PPA:

Kio GDrive – “KIO GDrive is a KIO slave that enables KIO-aware applications (such as Dolphin, Kate or Gwenview) to access and edit Google Drive files on the cloud” – Install package kio-gdrive

– Krita 3.3.1 – The first bugfix release of the new Krita 3.3 series

latte-dock 0.7.1 – An initial build of this exciting new dock application for KDE, which has recently become a KDE project – install package latte-dock

 

To update, add the following repository to your software sources list:

ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

or if it is already added, the updates should become available via your preferred update method.

The PPA can be added manually in the Konsole terminal with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

and packages then updated with

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

 

Upgrade notes:

~ The Kubuntu backports PPA includes various other backported applications, and KDE Frameworks 5.39, so please be aware that enabling the backports PPA for the 1st time and doing a full upgrade will result in a substantial amount of upgraded packages in addition to Plasma 5.11.

~ The PPA will also continue to receive bugfix updates to Plasma 5.11 when they become available, and further updated KDE applications.

~ While we believe that these packages represent a beneficial and stable update, please bear in mind that they have not been tested as comprehensively as those in the main Ubuntu archive, and are supported only on a limited and informal basis. Should any issues occur, please provide feedback on our mailing list [1], IRC [2], and/or file a bug against our PPA packages [3].

1. Kubuntu-devel mailing list: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/kubuntu-devel
2. Kubuntu IRC channels: #kubuntu & #kubuntu-devel on irc.freenode.net
3. Kubuntu ppa bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/kubuntu-ppa

More than a year ago I elaborated whether KWin should or should not add support for NVIDIA’s proprietary Wayland solution. I think it is time to look at the situation of Plasma/Wayland and NVIDIA again. In case you haven’t read my previous blog post on that topic I recommend to read it as I use it as the base for this blog post.

Compared to a year ago not much has changed: NVIDIA still does not support the standard Linux solution gbm, which is supported by all vendors and nowadays even going to enter the mobile space. E.g. the purism phone is going to have a standard graphics stack with gbm. So no additional code required. But NVIDIA doesn’t support gbm. Instead it has a proprietary implementation called EGLStreams, which no other vendor implements. Due to that Plasma/Wayland cannot support OpenGL for NVIDIA users.

But current KWin master branch (what will become 5.12) supports automatical fallback to Qpainter compositing in case OpenGL fails. With that it should be possible to run Plasma/Wayland on NVIDIA hardware. Granted it won’t be accelerated, but as explained above that is only NVIDIA’S fault. Also I have not tested this yet. It might be that NVIDIA doesn’t support dumb buffers on DRM.

In my blog post from last year I elaborated whether KWin should add support for NVIDIA’S proprietary solution. I put out a requirement that the patches for Weston need to be merged first:

For KWin such patches do not exist and we have no plans to develop such an adaption as long as the patches are not merged into Weston. Even if there would be patches, we would not merge them as long as they are not merged into Weston.

A year passed and nothing happened. I don’t expect anything further will happen: the patches won’t be merged into Weston. Given that it doesn’t make any sense to make this a requirement for KWin. If we hold up the requirement it would be like saying we would never accept it.

Last year I hoped that XDC would find a solution for the problem:

We do hope that at XDC the discussions will have a positive end and that there will be only one implementation.

And it looked positive: a new universal buffer allocation library got announced. I hoped that this would solve the situation pretty quickly. The new library would get implemented, Mesa and NVIDIA add support for it, we slightly adjust our code and drop gbm. Everybody happy.

But now another XDC passed and from what I understand not much process was made. The library is not ready and no driver uses it. We waited one year for it, I doubt waiting another year will change the situation. Realistically I think it will take another two to three years for the library to get implemented if at all. Then it will take about a year for Mesa gaining support and shipping a release. Yet another year for distributions shipping with that version so that we can depend on it without people killing us. So maybe in five years there will be a replacement. I don’t think we can wait that long.

So does this mean KWin will gain support for EGLStreams? Certainly not! I do not think that the KDE community should spend any time to support NVIDIA’s proprietary solution! We are a free software community and we should not implement code which only benefits proprietary non-free solutions. There are way more free things to do to improve Wayland without having to write code for proprietary solutions.

Also there is another aspect which I did not consider in my blog post last year: XWayland. XWayland also uses gbm and does not have support for NVIDIA’s proprietary solution. Due to that one does not have OpenGL for any legacy X application. This probably includes most games, but currently also browsers such as Firefox and Chromium. I don’t think that this would give a satisfying experience to NVIDIA users. And it is also hardly better than rendering everything through the QPainter compositor. This is another reason for the KDE Community to not spend any time on implementing support for EGLStreams.

But I think there is lots NVIDIA could do. Today I would accept a patch for EGLStreams in KWin if NVIDIA provides it. I would not be happy about it, but I would not veto it. If it is well implemented and doesn’t introduce problems for the gbm implementation I would not really have an argument against it. But I expect NVIDIA to do it. I don’t want a contribution from a non-NVIDIA developer. This mess was created by NVIDIA, NVIDIA needs to fix it.

Similar I think that NVIDIA should adjust XWayland. I understand that NVIDIA is not happy with the design of XWayland, but nevertheless they should make it work. Their users pay quite some money for the hardware. I think they have a right to demand from NVIDIA to fix this situation. Ideal would of course be NVIDIA adopting gbm. But as that seems unlikely, I think it is the duty of NVIDIA to provide patches for their users.

We are seeing an everyday increasing process to make everything easy in the IT world.

Every “make your own website”, every “make high performance application with only a yaml” smells bad to me.

When you are making an IT product where lots of things are involved and you think, sometime, that putting a docker swarm in your application stack could solve every problem, maybe this is not the right way to face all the problems.

I think that we, as IT world builders, have to stop saying “it is easy”, because most of the time is not.

We have to start embracing the complexity of our product and stop trying to over-simplify everything on the shoulders of our users.

One example of this trend to oversimplify is when a webmaster does not implements the best practice about password storage and the best excuse is: this is only my website, isn’t an high profile target.

Yes, I know, your website has less than 50 users and so on and so forth.

This isn’t a valid reason to avoid implementing a valid software for storing users passwords because users are lazy and they mostly use the same password everywhere.

I can hear you complain with: “you have to use a strong password and don’t reuse the password” and so on …

This is a best practice, but a user is not a security expert. You have to improve and implement better solutions, is not a valid excuse that users are wrong to use the same passwords for the bank account or for a small website that hosts recipes. It’s your duty to protect the user.

This is the real world, you can not ignore these issues and pretend that the world is build on top of best practice and security experts.

Thanks guys, see you next time.

Could you tell us something about yourself?

I’m Erica Wagner, a STEAM Nerd, Teenpreneur, Author, Instructor, YouTuber and self-taught 2D and 3D artist. I’ve been doing graphic design for two years, 3D sculpting, voxel art, and 3d modeling for one year, and digital drawing for a little over six months. I’m a homeschool student. My mom uses the majority of my projects as a part of school.

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

Currently I’m a hobby artist but learning different art forms so I can make my own games and eventually my own animations.

What genre(s) do you work in?

I work in mostly science, cyber, sci-fi, and nature. Most of the work I make is STEAM related due to loving those areas which include but is not limited to movies, shows, games and books. Movies such as Star Wars, Interstellar, and Guardians of The Galaxy. An example of the shows I have watched are Gravity Falls and Doctor Who. Some of the games I have played are Hack ‘n’ Slash, Portal 2, Niche, and Robocraft. Lastly, some of my favorite books are the Nancy Drew Series, and Jurassic Park 1 & 2.

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

When it comes to 2D art it would be the following Twitter people: loishh, viiolaceus, Cyarine, and samsantala. I love their styles. Some of them have varying styles of cartoony, realistic, and some have a mix of both. The mixture of realistic and cartoon styles appeal to me because they are realistic in the proportions, details, and colors; yet also cartoony that you’d see in webisodes. I’m not sure what the correct name for this style is but I love it. I want to develop my own style that is similar to this realistic cartoony mix so I can make my own concepts, illustrations, designs, and textures for 3d models.

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

I’m not sure the exact date but it was sometime in late 2016. Even though I did download Krita and two other programs in 2015, I didn’t actually make anything with them until late 2016. I played and tested the brushes to see what they did. I finally made something for a challenge I created in October 2016 called Artober.

What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

I have endless resources to use. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traditional drawing. I did it a lot when I was younger. I can’t imagine spending money to buy lots of pens, pencils, markers, and other things when at the time I was just doing it for fun. I’m more of a techy person, so doing it digitally lets me play with different brushes without wasting anything. Plus it’s easier to paint 3D models this way and it’s easier to make things for graphics for ads, thumbnails, merch designs, etc.

How did you find out about Krita?

In late 2015, I searched in Google “Free Alternatives to Paint Tool Sai”. At the time, I was downloading all kinds of programs and just playing around in them so see which ones I liked. A website called Alternitateto.net popped up with results of different programs to use instead of Paint Tool Sai. I tried three or four different programs, one of them being Krita.

What was your first impression?

I was so amazed at all the things I could do in Krita. I had all kinds of brushes for different things at the time I had no idea what for, I could make my own animations too! I knew I had no idea how to use these features to make my own stories and worlds come to life but that didn’t matter to me. The fact I had the resource to learn how to make my own designs, concepts, and illustration and an alternative to Photoshop and Paint Tool Sai was great for me. It was such a great program I wondered why I had never heard of it or seen it in tutorials on YouTube. I was really excited to have a program that had all the features I wanted and needed to start the learning process.

What do you love about Krita?

I love how versatile and powerful it is. I can make my own brushes, drawings, animations, vectors, and textures for 3D models. When you’re just starting to teach yourself digital drawing you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on programs like Photoshop or Paint Tool Sai, especially if you don’t know if you’ll actually make a career from digital drawing or even like it. With Krita, I feel I’m getting the same amount and powerful features as the big name artists with Photoshop or Paint Tool Sai. The possibilities are endless! I also love that I can customize the layout of Krita to work for me or what I’m doing.

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

I would like to be able to open a project, my 3D model texture for example, and in the history see the brushes, textures, and patterns I used. Currently Krita only remembers what brushes you used when you last opened it and not the brushes, textures, and patterns you used in certain projects.

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

For me it’s the vector feature. I also do graphic design and since I’m learning other art forms to make my own props for my graphics this really helps me. When you do graphic design you can use raster images but it helps a lot if you have vector images. Vector images don’t lose quality when you size them up or down. Vector images are really useful when you make Merch designs, ads, thumbnails, cover art, and more. The vector feature is so easy to learn and use. Once I got my brother to use Krita, he used it to make shirt designs and remade his brand’s logo.

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

My favorite is the texture for the 3d lowpoly model t-rex I made for a shirt design. This is my favorite because it was my first time painting a texture for a 3D model. Based on the program I was using, there were three ways to paint the model. I knew I wanted to get better at drawing so I decided to take my model’s UV map, which is basically the layout of a 3D object in a 2D cutout like form, and paint it in Krita. While following a tutorial, the model took 10 hours, the texture took 11 hours, and the last 8 hours were for last minute fixing of the model, texture, and making it ready to put on a shirt. Right now 3D is my strong suit so having the 2D texture I was happy with work correctly on the model after working on this whole project for a total of 29 hours just made my entire day. I was so proud of how it all turned out and it looked amazing on the shirt. I’m still new to digital drawing and lowpoly modeling so this was a great experience for me.

What techniques and brushes did you use in it?

I used the Krita ink gpen 25 and the smudge rake 2 brushes. I chose the colors of my brand ScienceHerWay which are white, black, neon and dark shades of pink, purple, and teal and then used some light and dark grey. Certain areas of the dinosaur I made darker to give some details such as the dark purple lines in the lips, a darker shade of the color used on the nails, elbow and knee joints, and a light shade of teal on the inside of the mouth for where he teeth would be. For the pink streaks on the dinosaur’s back and legs I made a line of neon pink with the ink gpen 25 brush and then used the smudge rake 2 brush randomly to make it look like a natural pattern until the neon pink line was gone. I repeated this process with the dark neon pink.

Where can people see more of your work?

http://www.ScienceHerWay.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScienceHerWay
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ScienceHerWay
Sketchfab: https://sketchfab.com/VirtualVel
DeviantArt: https://virtualdesignervixen.deviantart.com/

Anything else you’d like to share?

I recommend trying art challenges and contests. It’s a great way for you to practice and get out of your comfort zone. Even try art collabs. As long as you find a supportive art community, you shouldn’t have to worry about your skill level when it comes to this. The point is to get to know other artists, practice, and have fun. At the time of writing this, I’m in an art collab myself. I’m still learning how to digitally draw while the others have been doing this for years. It may feel intimidating, but I’m collabing and meeting with people I’ve never meet before and we’re all having fun. Plus I can learn from them.

October 29, 2017

The month of October is known as the month of beer in many places of the world. As everything in the world of technology, we adapt events of the "humans" side and add it to the "exact" world. So Digital Ocean and Github have this event called Hacktoberfest. This event has the goal to push [...]



Last week I started to update/prepare the slides for my Lightning Talk ("Vanilla vs OpenStack Distributions - Update on Distinctions, Status, and Statistics") at the OpenStack Summit in Sydney (November 6-8, 2017). But then  I have been asked by the Summit Speaker Support to present on the same topic also in a 40 min slot. No problem, but I didn't like to speak twice about the same. I asked to use the Lighning Talk for another topic on Ceph: "Email Storage with Ceph". 

Since they accepted, I will speak in two sessions on different topics. If you are interested, check the schedule. See you in Sydney!

October 28, 2017

Have you been using the Kubuntu Backports PPA on Kubuntu 16.04 LTS? Help us test the latest release of KDE Plasma LTS and Krita 3.3.1! Our goal is to release these updates to users on Saturday, November 4, 2017 barring any issues.

You can find the full changelog for KDE Plasma 5.8.8 LTS here, which shows what fixes are included in this update.

In order to install these updates to test, you must have the Backports PPA installed already on a Kubuntu 16.04 LTS system. In order to do that, run the following in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports && sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

Once that is done, log out and log back in (a reboot wouldn’t hurt). Then, to add the Backports Landing PPA, run the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports-landing && sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

Another logout and login is needed.

If you run into any issues, we recommend that you join #kubuntu-devel on freenode and let us know. Otherwise as a last resort you can subscribe to the kubuntu-devel mailing list and send us an email.

Happy testing!

As no new bug reports came in for KBibTeX 0.7-beta1 which got released in early September and only very few changes got applied since then (the ChangeLog is virtually unchanged), it is now time to release KBibTeX 0.7-rc1 (0.6.95). A tag has been set and tar balls have been published. Unless there is a showstopper bug or real-life™ interference, expect a final release in November.

Read more... )

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October 26, 2017

I am wrapping up the ideas after the Google mentor summit 2017. In spite of having mentored my first GSoC student in 2008, this is the first time I ever attended this summit. There were ~300 mentors representative of many different open source communities. A triple-concentrate of all the main open projects in a not-too-noisy environment (unlike e.g. FOSDEM) – all in all, it has been a very pleasant experience!

I also took a few more days to visit the Mozilla offices (shout out to Micheal, Havi, and of course Potch for being so welcoming), visit the Internet Archive and in general have follow-ups about the discussions generated at the summit.

Highlights from the conference

The conference was an “unconference”, so sessions were not precisely defined. I have attended many, but here are my true highlights:

  • Running hackathons
    Extremely interesting session – where I gave some advice on how we run events in KDE, and we discussed how to attract open source contributors and create a productive environment around it, where even newcomers are enabled to have an impact. Great ideas for the future!
  • Collaborative education
    In this session, run by Alessandro and me, we discussed tools for implementing collaborative education resources, compared to simply producing open educational resources. The difference is simple, and can be understood with an example: you have a similar difference between simply adding an open license to your code or following an open and transparent development process, where other can participate.
    The latter brings many more exciting possibilities to build, as a community, something great, and it is what I believe to be the future of education. WikiToLearn was of course a main topic in this session.
  • Git(hub)(lab)(…) and new collaboration tools for opensource
    This last discussion started as simply “tools for automating git workflows”, including ML-powered bots to triage and categorize issues, and turned into a general discussion around tools, infrastructure and workflows around git. This question is very much felt in many open projects: where and how do you store your code? We carried it on to a new session run by Alessandro and Boudayan (where I was unfortunately not present), and kept discussing it throughout the whole summit. I interviewed many developers from very different communities to understand their take on the matter.

My peronal take on git in open communities (preview)

This is in no way meant to be a concrete proposal, but not even a rant – simply a primitive thought on a very complex issue. I think that “how we work together” is currently the most challenging problem affecting the KDE commmunity, and it should be handled as such.

I think that Paul Adams came up with a great blog post this summer, a TLDR of the post could be (sorry Paul for the extreme synthesis!): if you adopt Git, you cannot continue to work like you did on SVN – the price you pay is the isolation and fragmentation of the development community. I fear that KDE, just like other “traditional” open source communities, didn’t see this transition happening before their eyes (after all, it was just a tool switch for them), and continued with the traditional workflow of the centralized repository. This is understandable, as we’ve been simply continuing to work like we used to, but we didn’t see how “Open Source” was becoming a standard for the new generations, and with it there came an associated, standard, way to “work in the open”. Personally, it took me a lot of time and a lot of talking to young developers to understand how other communities use tools for open source such as Gitlab, and why this is so radically different than what we can provide with our git.kde.org installation.

This is reflected in the final composition of the community – the big core formed during the golden age of SVN, and, as time progresses, is undoubtedly aging. We have to accept that nowadays most open source communities don’t work like we used to ten years ago, and it is imperative we figure out a way to evolve our workflow without betraying our values of shared and open governance. What are the young kids doing? Why are they doing that? What lessons can we learn from all these git natives?

The side-track

As always, the most interesting part of the conference happened in the corridors. In particular, I have been working with the developers of Rocket.Chat to show them the work we’ve been doing on Ruqola. They were very happy to see the development in this direction, and they showed me RocketChat+, a great newly released React Native mobile application for Rocket.Chat, so that we can chat reasonably even in mobility. It seems like we’re getting closer to a point where Rocket.Chat can be an OSS replacement for Slack! Another feature request I have managed to ask (it is a real blocker for us!) is a way to do proper SSO authentication (e.g. OAuth) outside the browser, so that we can have all of our userbase logging in the chat system with a unified identity, and the possibility of properly linking different identities. They are tracking this second issue here, and my hopes are up! ��

The work was not over when the Summit finshed. We’ve been brainstorming with a representative of GFOSS (a Greek FOSS-related organization) to improve their open education systems with the help of WikiToLearn. During the last days Alessandro and I managed to squeeze in a visit Mark Graham at the Internet Archive, to figure out how to best develop and preserve educational material.

Thanks a lot to KDE e.V. and Google for sponsoring my flights and allowing me to participate!

L'articolo The 2017 GSoC Mentor Summit sembra essere il primo su Blogs from WikiToLearn.

October 25, 2017

Behind the scenes with Kubuntu, we build packages, then test and finally release to our users. We mostly rely on the building services provided by Canonical on Launchpad, but also are lucky enough to have services donated by some third parties.  A lot of our developers are working on quite slow internet connections and when working with large source-code tarballs this takes a very long time, is painful and quite honestly leads to developers burning out.

We’ve been thankful that Linode have come to the rescue by providing a server for developers to work from.  This machine is connected to the internet by a blazing fast connection, plenty of RAM and 8 CPU cores.  A release which takes 30-60 minutes to do on a home connection can be sped up by a factor of ten!

Linode has kindly agreed to extend this donation for another year and the Kubuntu team would like to thank them very much for doing this.

Thank-you image: Creative Commons. Linode logo via Linode

Our second report invites you to keep promoting the Randa2017 fundraiser, lets you know about the progress of the Librem5 campaign, and includes information about upcoming events where you can represent the KDE Community.

Welcome to another edition of “What’s Going On in KDE Promo”!

This is just a quick round-up to keep you in the loop and point you to KDE Promo activities that you can join.

If you missed the previous report, or just want to refresh your memory, you can read it here.

Without further ado, let’s see what’s up in KDE Promo – and what you can do to help!

1) Randa Meetings / Randa2017 Fundraiser

Randa Meetings 2017 are over, but the fundraiser is not! It has been extended, and even if we don’t reach the goal, every donation matters.

How you can help:

For example, if you’re interested in the development of digiKam, you can share posts about it in communities not only dedicated to open source image processing, but also with communities dedicated to digital photography in general and introduce digiKam to new users.

2) Partnering with Purism to get Plasma Mobile on the Librem5 device

KDE officially announced that we will be joining the campaign and helping promote the Librem5 fundraiser.

In the meantime, news came out that Gnome would be doing the same. Interestingly, despite the support from both our communities, some reactions to the announcement were negative or very skeptical.

How you can help:

  • join the discussion on Phabricator – read the comments, add your own suggestions
  • in particular, take a look at the Phabricator task on how to respond to negative comments. Try to come up with some other counter-arguments, and then use them when discussing and promoting this project on social media.
  • Bruce Byfield has also addressed the issue in an article for OCSMag. He makes some very compelling arguments.
  • make a mockup for the Librem5 device running Plasma Mobile! You can find all the resources you need on the official Purism blog.

Tweet us your work (@kdecommunity) and we will share it on KDE’s social media profiles.

3) Restoring ownership of the PlasmaMobile Twitter account

It turns out there is a Plasma Mobile Twitter account!
But its owner and login credentials are unknown.

It would be great to revive this account and start using it not only to promote the Librem5 campaign, but also Plasma Mobile in general.

How you can help:

  • if you have any information on who created this account and how to contact that person, please let us know ASAP, either here on the promo mailing list or in the Phabricator task linked above
  • if you have some advice on what would be the best way to approach Twitter to ask them for account credentials, feel free to share your knowledge, especially if you’ve had a similar experience with your own accounts in the past.

4) Supporting FSFE in the campaign “Public Money? Public Code!”

We supported FSFE in their campaign that aims to convince governments and lawmakers to release software funded by public money as Free software available for everyone to use, share, study, and improve.

The campaign’s open letter has already collected more than 10,000 signatures, but it’s still going on.

How you can help:

  • sign the open letter, or, if you’ve done that already, share it with your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to sign it as well
  • spread awareness of the campaign – the “hype” might have died down, so it can be good to remind people that the campaign is still active. You can share the link to the official campaign website on social media and in online communities
  • translate the website or the materials from it into your language, and share that translated information with local media and relevant organizations from your country, with FOSS-related initiatives and politicians.

5) KDE at Qt World Summit

As you already know, KDE will be at QtWS in Berlin, Germany from 10th to 12th of October 2017.

Read an overview of how the preparation for the event is coming along.

How you can help:

  • sign up for booth duty – there can never be too many people! �� You can find more information in the overview linked above, including how to register for free tickets to the event
  • brainstorm promo materials. We would appreciate help with designing flyers, posters, and especially written material that will be used to represent KDE at the event. Please join the discussion in the Phabricator task linked above

6) KDE at other upcoming events

There are several upcoming events where it would be great to set up a booth or even just distribute some promo materials to represent KDE.

LibreOffice conference – Rome, Italy, October 11-13

Since LO had a booth at Akademy, it may be a good idea to correspond and set up a KDE booth there. There has been some initial interest in this email thread.

freenode #live, Bristol, UK, October 28-29th

Some community members have already started discussing how to pull this off. You can read the discussion in this email thread.

FOSDEM 2018

It’s never too early to start preparing for FOSDEM! Pau Garcia i Quiles sent out a call for people who want to help organize a KDE presence.

How you can help:

  • check the linked email threads, and if you want to join the KDE crew at any of those events, join the discussion!
  • send an email to the kde-promo mailing list, to kde-community, or directly to people who are organizing the effort. You can find their contact info in the “From” section of their emails in linked email threads.

7) KDE Community – Setting Big Goals (Not strictly Promo)

Time’s almost up to submit your proposal for long-term goals for the KDE Community!

How to Join KDE Promo

Do you want to contribute to KDE, but don’t know how to code? You can help us spread the
word about our software and attract more users to our community!

If you’d like to join KDE Promo, you can:

1) subscribe to the kde-promo mailing list and send an introductory email

2) join the #kde-promo IRC channel or the Telegram group and tell us a bit about yourself

Let us know what you’re good at and what you would like to do for KDE Promo.

We’ll find tasks for you and help you get started!

New proposals are accepted until the beginning of October.

If you don’t have time to put together a detailed proposal, but one of the existing ones is similar to your idea, feel free to join it and commit to working together on making KDE better.


With that, we’ve reached the end of this report. We hope this round-up helped you get a clearer picture of what we’re currently working on in KDE Promo.

Don’t hesitate to send us your feedback on this report. If you have any ideas for improving this format, please let us know.

Thanks a lot!

This report was originally published on the kde-promo mailing list. We are sharing it on Planet KDE for those who might be interested in promo activities, but are not yet subscribed to the mailing list.


Header image source: pixabay.com

October 24, 2017

We are very happy to bring you GCompris 0.81, this time on Raspberry Pi.

gcompris on Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi

 

 

 

This version for Raspberry Pi was made possible thanks to the new “light” mode that we’ve been working on (read the previous post to learn more about this new rendering mode).

It was built and tested on Raspberry Pi 3, where it works good. Since it was not tested a lot yet, this first package is considered beta. Please report any issue you may experience with it. If you can try it on a Pi 2, please let us know the result. It was also not tested on Pi 1, but those probably don’t have enough cpu and/or ram to run it.

The installer is on the Download page with all instructions needed to use it.

Thank you all,
Timothée & Johnny


It’s been a quiet month for me for blogging, but one filled with unexpected and weird and not-really-bloggable things. There was a trip to Berlin, where I had the pleasure of meeing up with a bunch of KDE people whom I hadn’t seen for over a month. Long time. There was also an accident with maple syrup, I’m sure.

Anyway, there have been four (!) Calamares releases since I last wrote about it on august 23rd (two months ago). These mix various bugfixes with various regression-fixes. This illustrates that I need a better set of acceptance tests before releasing — which take a surprisingly long time to set up, since the regressions are things like “Installing Chakra with network packages fails”, not simple stuff that is OS-, hardware- and installation-independent.

The latest release fixes that Chakra (or, rather, Calamares netinstall) problem. I’m happy to report that there’s a few new Linuxen evaluating Calamares as a system installer.

Plans for the near future include a 3.2 with some new features and much nicer support from new KPMCore releases, and ongoing care for the 3.1.x series. When and how, is in the hands of the vagaries of inspiration and long sessions with pen and paper figuring out just how things should work.

Before digging deeper into details, I would like to say thank you KDE for this great opportunity. There's not better way to start the 2nd year of my Master Degree: visiting California and meeting amazing people. You can realize how much you are lucky to belong to an open source community when these things happen.

Friday: the arrival

This year the summit started on Friday evening. Stephanie Taylor said it was a new idea to allow and increase socialization among attendees: she was right!
Me and Riccardo were a little bit late on the schedule because we had another amazing opportunity: visiting Mozilla headquarter in Mountain View. So, we went straight to the Google Tech Corners instead of checking-in to the hotel Google provided us. However, we arrived on time instead of our badges :) We were two of the dozens anonymous attendees during the dinner!
The first thing we did (OK no, honestly it was the second one after grabbed a beer and some food :D) was to text to the third and the last one KDE member who was there: Boudhayan. Unlike us, he was super tired because of the jet lag. Indeed, we arrived a couple of days before and spent some time visiting San Francisco: it was my first time in the States. Anyway, we chatted a lot during the dinner. I tried to expose some new exciting stuff about WikiToLearn which we are going to do (news will come soon). After 10 minutes he looked at me and honestly said: “We should continue this conversation tomorrow, I’m not able to understand now! Sorry man”. I burst out laughing.

 Me, Riccardo & Boudhayan
Time flies when you’re having fun...and we had to move to the Comic Con room for the welcome session.
The Google Open Source team exposed the schedule and useful info for the coming days. Then, they asked us to introduce ourselves using some hashtags (up to 5). I chose: #ITALY, #SPAGHETTI, #WIKI, #KDE, #ECOLOGIST. When I pronounced “spaghetti” after “Italy” the whole room laughed, and it was my intent!
After this introduction we were free to come back to the hotel or to continue to interact with other people and having fun. I chose the second one, I was really excited and full of energy. I retrieved my badge and I added some rosettes. In the meanwhile I ate some chocolate and grabbed some stickers and Google gifts.
Finally, at 10:30 PM, Riccardo convinced me to go to the hotel and save some energy for the next day.

Saturday: ready to rock!

Shower, badge, backpack and I was ready to rock (Hard to believe it...Riccardo too :D). The first day was opened with some Lighting Talks. Next, the sessions began. We proposed one about Open and Collaborative Education. I was quite surprised: we were about 15 people in the room. There were participants from Greece, USA, Italy, India and Germany. Me and Riccardo ran the session, but there was Budhayan too. Everyone made a brief introduction about himself and his project, then we started talking about Open Education and its best practices, how to engage non-tech people and common pitfalls.

As WikiToLearn members, we got in touch with Mark Graham (Internet Archive), his wife from OER Commons and with the Greek Free Open Source Software Society General Manager Despina Mitropoulou.

Very short digression: we met Mark at Internet Archive headquarter on Tuesday for a short tour and to talk about WikiToLearn and how he could help us. We got some useful tips and contacts :)

The day proceeded quite fast. I participated to a couple of sessions about chat platforms and I would like to light up a beacon of hope. We are not alone! Most of the communities are facing the same issues about communication channels.

Like any self-respecting conference (or unconference in that case), the group photo has to be taken before lunch.

The long-awaited group photo (photo by Dmitry Avtonomov)
During the afternoon, me, Riccardo and Boudhayan discussed about the community, its issues and how we could tackle them. I pointed out how much difficult is to start to contribute in terms of access to the source code and developers tools (issues tracking, feature requests, communication channels etc…). IMHO, new developers are used to interact through GitHub or GitLab. Issues and pull requests are close to the source code and it’s the most used workflow. I’m quite new in the KDE community, and I know there are plenty reasons which brought to the current configuration. However, we talked about the benefits and the drawbacks of running a Git instance internally and limiting interactions from the outside. Is it the proper way to attract new developers and expand the community? So, I proposed (together with Boudhayan and Riccardo) a session on Sunday about self-hosting the Git infrastructure, developers engagement and so on.

The second summit day was closed with the dinner and a classic American on “campground nights”: roasted marshmallows with chocolate and biscuits (yes, I’m not lying it happened @ Google Tech Corners!). Everything was accompanied by live music, many drinks and artists who drawn caricatures.

Having fun (phoyo by Xavi Ivars)


Sunday: it’s the time to say goodbye

Everything good must eventually come to an end. The summit too. As anticipated in the previous section, me and Boudhayan ran a session titled “Should we self-hosting Git?”. It was a nice session, there was also a Git contributor (and GitLab employee). We exposed our thoughts about the KDE current infrastructure and got some feedbacks. The discussion also touched upon interesting contexts such as the current centralization of the Internet (and the source code) despite of its distributed nature.

Early in the afternoon there was the closing event and unfortunately it was the time to say goodbye to the new friends.
I hope I passed on the happiness, the enthusiasm and the joy this event gave to me. The entire trip was amazing, thank you again KDE and Google. This is the power of the open source community!

Little more about Git

The session about Git, the developers tools and their engagement should not be intended as mere criticism. It derives from deep thoughts and more than two hours of discussion. I really hope the blog post will be a starting point for a whole KDE community debate.

Peace and love.

(More photos here)



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