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Tuesday, 11 June 2024

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.9.1 on the Firefox Web Store. This is the Firefox release of version 1.9 that was released way back in November 2023. We’re not sure how it got stuck in Add-on review and that we didn’t realize this but whatever the reason, it’s out now! This is a maintenance release shipping a couple of important changes as well as the usual translation updates. The extension is of course fully supported under Plasma 6!

Dark blue space background with stars, a cute dragon wearing a red bandana with a "K" on it, sitting ontop of the Earth which has a blue network cable plugged in whose lose end is squiggling around the KDE Plasma logo
Konqi surfing the world wide web

Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs and visited websites in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!

The next release will likely be version 2.0 ported to Manifest v3 since Chrome has continued their roll-out of enforcing the new manifest version soon. We’re still trying to find a way to keep a unified code base supporting both Firefox and Chrome. Chrome for example requires service workers for the extension now while Firefox continues to support only background pages. Recent Firefox and Chrome releases seem to support each other’s manifest properties, though, therefore we’re confident to make this work without introducing browser-specific git branches.

What’s new?

If you’re a Firefox user, check out the previous version announcement for more details on what’s new:

  • Reworked page injection code (e.g. fixes Spotify)
  • Port away from deprecated InstallTrigger
  • “Share…” menu now also on tab context menu
  • Tabs runner queries only “normal” windows (no apps)
  • History runner skips “blob” URLs
  • Check native messaging host before sending to it (fixes annoying console warnings on unsupported platforms, e.g. Windows)
  • Prettier console debug output
  • Performance and resource usage improvements

(also see the Changelog Page on our Community Wiki)

Do you find yourself opening up the same tabs in your terminal and running the same commands every day? Have you wanted to make this easier, say, by clicking a desktop icon or running a short command?

Recently, I saw a question along these lines in the KDE support room on Matrix. Someone wanted to have Konsole automatically open some tabs and run specific commands when it's started. Since I've done this kind of thing, for personal and professional environments, I thought I'd share. You too can avoid doing the same manual terminal setup day after day, and just get to what you're working on.

Here in Part 1, I'll outline how to open tabs with different profiles and run commands in them. Next week, in Part 2, I'll share how to set up layouts (a.k.a. split panes) and run commands in those. You can combine these techniques to make your setup truly flexible. Using aliases, functions and scripts, you can bring up a complex layout with one command or button click.

Inspiration

I have a motto: If I have to do the exact same thing more than twice (on a computer), I should probably script / automate it. It's an up front time investment that saves me a lot of manual tedium later.

My inspiration for scripting terminal layouts came from iTerm2's customization abilities. After a few years of using it on a work-provided MacBook Pro, I was spoiled. It's truly nice how easy it is to create profiles and save splits in the GUI. You can then tweak their configurations using any text editor. When I searched for how to do this with Linux terminals, I found quite a few people were also looking for an "iTerm2 equivalent for Linux".

Goal: Launch a Konsole window with tabs which run commands

💡 Note For more detailed instructions on using Konsole, please see the output of konsole --help and take a look at the Konsole Handbook

We'll start with that request from Matrix: having Konsole create tabs and run commands in them when it starts. Here are the steps I used to accomplish this. Feel free to use this as inspiration and adapt for your own needs.

Use case: Quickly set up a working environment that I use daily to save time every day. There will be a couple of tabs connected to different remote hosts, one that changes to a notes directory, and one running a system monitor.

Here's an overview of the steps:

  • Create a Konsole profile which will run a command and optionally use another color theme
  • Create a tab layout file to launch Konsole with which will open a tab with that profile
  • Create a profile with a different command for an additional tab, and then identify commands for a couple of the other tabs
  • Update the tab layout file to launch Konsole with all the desired tabs

Now let's get into the details.

Create the first Konsole profile

Making custom profiles for different hosts are where my adventures in customizing Konsole began.

Use case: I would like to automatically connect to my hosted VPS in a tab with a specific color theme.

Reasoning: Running commands using a theme is quicker and easier than typing by hand (especially as they get more complex). With a custom color scheme, I can see at a glance which tab has my server session vs. any other system. This helps me avoid typing commands for my server into another system and vice-versa.

💡 Note Profiles are stored as plain text files in /.local/share/konsole/. Profile names are cAsE senSiTive. Since profile files are plain text, you can create, edit, and delete them with scripts. That is beyond the scope of this post.

The first step is to set up a custom profile with a custom color theme, a custom tab title format, and a command.

I'm using "eternal terminal" (et) for its ability to reconnect, rather than ssh to connect to the VPS. I also have an entry for the host in .ssh/config

In Settings -> Manage Profiles - New I created a profile named VPS. The following are the options I changed. Others were left as-is ("hostname" is a stand-in for the actual VPS hostname):

Name: VPS
Command: et VPS
Tab title format: %n hostname
Tab Color: I chose a color
Appearance - Color scheme & font: I chose a different color scheme

Now that I have a custom profile, I can use it with a new tab in Konsole. When I go to File -> New Tab and click "VPS", the tab will open with the new profile, and the command will run to connect to the server.

You can use Konsole's command line options in the following way to have it launch with a tab using a profile.

konsole --new-tab --profile VPS

This command can be used with an alias, function, script, Windows batch file, desktop shortcut or whatever you prefer.

There's another way to launch Konsole which is better for opening multiple tabs. It uses a "tabs configuration file".

Create a tabs configuration file

💡 Note I have found this to be unreliable if any tab uses ssh or et There's an open bug report for this. Until this is resolved, you may have better luck with a shell script that opens multiple tabs, I'll add information below.

Now I'll create a tabs configuration file with the VPS profile in it.

Each line in this file describes a tab for Konsole to open. The format is detailed in the command line options documentation. I keep these in ~/konsole_layouts/, keep yours in whatever directory works for you. I'll save this file as "vps-tabs".

Each line must have at least a profile or a command field. It can have both, and there are other options as well.
Do not specify a command on a line for a tab if you also use a profile which itself has a command. This may lead to unexpected behavior.

If you only need to run a command in a tab, you can just use the command field. You combine a command with a profile (that has no command) if you want to customize the tab further.

This is what will go in the file for now for my first tab:

title: VPS ;; profile: VPS

The command below will start Konsole using this file. (Change file path to point to the file on your system). Opening Konsole in this way can also be done with an alias, script etc.

konsole --hold --tabs-from-file ~/konsole_layouts/vps-tabs

Notice that I'm using --hold which tells Konsole to keep tabs open even after their command has exited. This will help debugging any problems that might arise (unless the window crashes entirely or fails to load). Once things are set up and running smoothly, you don't need to use --hold, if you prefer.

Create additional profiles

Use case: At the start of the day, I want to automatically open tabs which connect to both servers I need to work with. I want an additional tab open to my notes directory and another one running a system monitor.

Time to add an additional profile to Konsole:

  • Server2 - this will use ssh to connect to a second server and use a profile for a different color theme

I won't create profiles for the system monitor tab or the Notes tab. I'll run those commands directly from the tab configuration file.

Update the tabs file with additional tab definitions

At this point, I'll add lines to the tabs configuration file I created.

  • A tab for the Server2 profile.
  • A tab which changes to a notes directory, and uses the Sand profile with colors I prefer for them.
  • A tab for the system monitor which runs the btm command and uses another profile with yet another color scheme.

The file now looks like this:

title: VPS ;; profile: VPS
title: SysAdminNotes ;; workdir: ~/Nextcloud/Notes/SysAdmin ;; profile: Sand
title: Server2 ;; profile: Server2
title: NavyBlue ;; command: btm ;; profile: NavyBlue

And now, when I run konsole --hold --tabs-from-file ~/konsole_layouts/vps-tabs, Konsole launches with all the tabs I need.

Bonus: Run commands after connecting to a remote host

It's possible with both ssh and et to run commands on a remote host after connection. For instance, I could update the command in my VPS profile like so:

Name: VPS
Command: et VPS -c 'sudo apt update && apt list --upgradable; exec /bin/zsh'
Tab title format: %n hostname
Tab Color: I chose a color
Appearance - Color scheme & font: I chose a different color scheme

The command not only connects to my VPS, it also displays a list of any available updates, and stays connected to the host. Note the exec /bin/zsh at the end. This will keep an interactive terminal open after other commands are run.

With ssh, to run a command on a remote host while staying connected, the command is slightly different:

ssh -t VPS 'sudo apt update && apt list --upgradable; zsh'

But what if I need to connect to a jumphost before the remote host and I still want to run a command after I connect?

This can be done with either SSH or Eternal Terminal. For SSH, the process is relatively easy, and plenty of sites online provide instructions. Eternal Terminal, on the other hand, is a bit more tricky.

It took some research and experimentation to get this working with Eternal Terminal, so here it is ("jumphost" is a placeholder for the actual hostname of the jumphost).

Command=et jumphost -c "ssh -t remotehost 'cd /some/directory && . ../some_script && cd ../another-directory; exec /bin/zsh'"

Alternative to using a tabs file: a shell script or function

If you have difficulties with using a tabs configuration file, you can use a shell script (or function) that takes advantage of the command line options Konsole has. For instance, using the -e flag we can have tabs run commands:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
konsole --new-tab -e echo This is tab 1 &
konsole --new-tab -e echo This is tab 2 &
konsole --new-tab -e echo This is tab 3 &
konsole --new-tab -e echo This is tab 4 &

You can combine commands with profiles as well:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
konsole --new-tab --profile VPS &
konsole --new-tab --profile Sand --workdir: ~/Nextcloud/Notes/SysAdmin &
konsole --new-tab --profile Server2 &
konsole --new-tab --profile NavyBlue -e btm &

Explore the Konsole docs and experiment!

Known issues

  • Launching Konsole with --tabs-from-file will open an extra tab in addition to the ones from the configuration file. This has an open bug report.
  • Sometimes, with --tabs-from-file, the new Konsole window immediately disappears. This may be related to ssh/et being in a command. I filed a bug report for that.
  • If using a tabs configuration file, or a script: only use Eternal Terminal with one tab. Trying to use it with more than one tab will result in et core dumping in one of them.

Stallman was right; in the wake of Microsoft’s announcement of its much-maligned Recall feature and widespread public backlash to the terms and conditions for Adobe Creative Cloud products, it’s clear that trust in big tech and the software it produces is rapidly eroding. Under the circumstances, it’s no surprise that Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) is seeing an uptick in interest from the public at large. So as ever more average users consider “switching to Linux,” it strikes me that while there exist tomes on the technical aspects, there seems to be much less written on the shift in thinking that is part and parcel of every experienced and well-adjusted FLOSS user. So if you’re making the switch or know someone who is, here’s some advice to make the most of the transition.

A rather beautiful picture of a young Richard Stallman playing the recorder to a large pink butterfly perched on some beige computer equipment.
He was right. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Welcome #

First of all: welcome to GNU/Linux! You’ve chosen the operating system that powers bullet trains, the world’s fastest supercomputers, U.S.A. air traffic control, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and Google, Amazon, and Microsoft’s cloud services, used by NASA, the People’s Liberation Army, the Turkish government, whitehouse.gov, the U.S.A. Department of Defense, France’s national police force, ministry of agriculture, and parliament, Iceland’s public schools, the Dutch Police Internet Research and Investigation Network, Burlington Coat Factory, Peugeot, DreamWorks Animation, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, and Stephen Fry.

As you’ve no doubt inferred by now, GNU/Linux users span from your everyday cat-video viewer to large institutions and organizations where operating system reliability and performance means the difference between life and death. No matter where you are on this spectrum, with a little humility, open-mindedness, and perseverance, I promise that you can find your self every bit as happily at-home with GNU/Linux as you were with whatever OS you’ve been using up to this point. This may mean giving up a long-trusted piece of software for something new and different, but for many new users the most hard-won battle is a change in mentality.

You’re not a power-user anymore #

I’ve heard it said that the most “computer literate” people often find it especially arduous to adjust to GNU/Linux. I’ve been there; it’s a frightening thing to go from the person family, friends, and neighbors call to help with problems with any device that has so much as an LED on it to feeling like that clueless relative with a dozen toolbars installed on their outdated version of Internet Explorer. The reality is that while you’ve gotten very good at navigating the operating system that you’ve been using for the past twenty years, very little of that knowledge is useful in GNU/Linux. This is something you’re going to have to accept early on: no matter what distro you choose, it’s going to be different to Windows or MacOS in very fundamental ways.

This means that, no matter your mastery of Windows keyboard shortcuts, or how convoluted your AutoHotkey config may be, it’s going to take you some time to grasp the basics. Beyond that, the bar to become a GNU/Linux power-user is much, much higher than it is on proprietary operating systems. In case you’re feeling intimidated, know that this comes with some serious advantages. GNU/Linux systems come with a practically limitless potential for mastery, efficiency, and customization. In time, you’ll be able to customize your GUI to your exact specifications, automate system maintenance, and knock out common tasks with a speed you wouldn’t have thought possible on your old OS.

Embrace the new #

Switching to GNU/Linux is, in some ways, much more convenient than switching from, say, MacOS to Windows. Chiefly, most distros can be configured to run a wide range of software built for MacOS, Windows, or Android with minimal fuss. That said, I strongly encourage new users to explore FLOSS alternatives built on and for GNU/Linux. FLOSS projects often get a bad rap among users of proprietary operating systems because while a piece of software may run on these systems, the experience is rarely as good as it is on the system is was designed for: usually, GNU/Linux. FLOSS mainstays such as LibreOffice, Krita, Inkscape, Scribus, Kdenlive, and Ardour are at their best on GNU/Linux in terms of appearance, performance, and features. There are professionals of every stripe who do their work with an exclusively FLOSS toolset, from graphic design to video editing, audio production, data analytics, and more. If they can do it, so can you! Don’t let the one piece of proprietary software that just won’t work put you off of your new operating system when there’s a whole new ecosystem of incredible software to explore.

A screenshot of Scribus.
The latest development version of Scribus running on EndeavourOS. I guarantee you it doesn’t look this good on Windows.

New users of FLOSS projects often complain that the user interface or workflow of the tool they’re trying is “unintuitive.” Occasionally, these complaints hit on an area that genuinely could use some improvement, but more often, new users are simply expressing frustration that the workflow of a FLOSS project is different from what they are used to. These applications are not mere clones of their proprietary counterparts; they are projects in their own right, with unique goals, ideals, features, and workflows. Getting through a work project a little more slowly at first is not necessarily a flaw in the tool, it likely just means that you need a bit more practice. In time, you’ll come to learn and appreciate killer features that go above and beyond the capabilities of software produced by even the largest tech companies.

As a GNU/Linux user, you’re part of a community #

When you switch to GNU/Linux, you’re not a customer any more. FLOSS projects are largely build by communities of volunteers who work on what they find interesting or important for their own reasons. There’s no support line to call, no one to complain to if something breaks, and no one is losing anything by you choosing not to use their software. If you need help, or if you want to help make a FLOSS project better, you’re going to have to engage with the wider community. Every project has a forum, a Matrix or IRC channel, or some other means of connecting users and developers. If you have a problem you can’t solve on your own, these are the places to go to get help. Sign up and make a good faith effort to learn the rules and etiquette of the community, and chances are someone will be more than willing to help you find a solution out of sheer civic-mindedness.

There is likewise a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction to be gained by returning that kindness: by being an active participator in the communities you join, you’ll help others overcome the stumbling blocks you once faced and foster connections with others who share your interests. Beyond the community alone, there is something wonderful about using software that you’ve helped shape; contributing well written bug reports, monetary donations, writing documentation, or testing new releases makes a direct positive impact on the tools you rely on each day. It’s one thing to use FLOSS projects for reasons of ethics, privacy, or mere utility, but seeing a page of documentation you’ve written go live for anyone in the world to learn from, seeing a bug you reported vanish after an update, a theme you created get added to a game, or experiencing your feature request given form in a release really draws you in. You’re no longer at the mercy of some large tech company who only cares about profit; you’re part of a community that cares about people, ideas, and making its software better, more efficient, more usable, and more useful for everyone.

The FLOSS mindset #

To distill what I’ve said above: Things are going to be different, and you may feel disempowered and frustrated for a while until you catch up again. The solution to this, beyond simple patience, is to embrace the fact that by using FLOSS projects, you become a part of the process of making them. Join the community with respect and humility, allow yourself to receive help and kindness from others, and you’ll begin to once again remember how it feels to earn your skills. In time, you’ll be the one offering help, you’ll dance circles around any Windows power-user, and you’ll be using tools that you’ve helped make better. Again I say: welcome. With these small shifts in your thinking, you’re going to be in for a good time.

Monday, 10 June 2024

If you're looking for an isolated and straightforward way to start contributing to KDE, you're in the right place. At KDE, we use fuzzing via oss-fuzz to try to ensure our libraries are robust against broken inputs. Here's how you can help us in this essential task.

What is Fuzzing?

Fuzzing involves feeding "random" [1] data into our code to check its robustness against invalid or unexpected inputs. This is crucial for ensuring the security and stability of applications that process data without direct user control.

Why is Fuzzing Important?

Imagine receiving an image via email, saving it to your disk, and opening it in Dolphin. This will make Dolphin create a thumbnail of the image. If the image is corrupted and our image plugin code isn't robust, the best-case scenario is that Dolphin crashes. In the worst case, it could lead to a security breach. Hence, fuzzing helps prevent such vulnerabilities.

How You Can Help:

We need to update the build of KDE libraries in oss-fuzz to use Qt6. This task could be challenging because it involves static compilation and ensuring the correct flags are passed for all compilation units.

Steps to Contribute:

  1. Start with karchive Project

    • Download oss-fuzz and go into the karchive subfolder.
    • Update the Dockerfile to download Qt from the dev branch and KDE Frameworks from the master branch.
  2. Update build.sh Script:

    • Modify the build.sh script to compile Qt6 (this will be harder since it involves moving from qmake to cmake) and KDE Frameworks 6.
  3. Check karchive_fuzzer.cc:

    • This file might need updates, but they should be relatively easy.
    • At the top of karchive_fuzzer.cc, you'll find a comment with the three commands that oss-fuzz runs. Use these to test the image building, fuzzer building, and running processes.

Need Help?

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact me at aacid@kde.org or ping me on Matrix at @tsdgeos:kde.org

Note:

[1] Smart fuzzing engines don't generate purely random data. They use semi-random and semi-smart techniques to efficiently find issues in the code.

Hi, it's week 2 and my last scheduled week for research. I spent this week looking over more of Krita's code base and pixel-perfect algorithm. There was a large focus on looking at examples of how pixel-perfect is achieved (specifically in Aseprite)....

Sunday, 9 June 2024

Today I’d like to share a new set of Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for KDE’s software that I’ve written, replacing the old one. This work was done over the past several months in consultation with many KDE designers and developers; the merge request says 42 people were CCd, and almost 500 comments were posted during the 2+ month review process.

You can read the document at https://develop.kde.org/hig.

Wait, why does anyone need this at all?

Strictly speaking, we don’t need a HIG. Developers with an excellent eye for design can usually produce good results even without one. But for most of us, it’s useful to have guidelines to follow so you don’t have to think about the design side too much. Even for design-oriented developers, it’s useful to be able to have a quick reference for common patterns and rules.

And having a HIG is a good idea for any organization that wants for its software to share a similar look-and-feel and mode of operation, or any small individual developer who wants their software to match fit in well with a specific target platform (ours, in this case). When software fits into the visual and functional conventions of the platform with which it wants to integrate most closely, people already familiar with that platform learn to use it faster and like using it more. It feels at home to them. Comfortable, familiar, appealing.

Having and following a HIG makes all of this possible. And besides, we already had one anyway! But it needed major work.

Ok, so what was wrong with the old one?

To be honest, it wasn’t very good. I say this as a contributor to the old one! But it suffered from multiple problems that demanded a total rewrite:

  • It was hard to find anything because the basic structure was confused, with excessive segmentation.
  • Content was severely outdated and reflected design paradigms that KDE developers haven’t used in years, and that the industry in general has moved away from. It was also missing a lot of information relevant to how we write apps today.
  • Far too wordy; hard to find the actionable recommendations amid all the filler text!
  • Full of old mockups and screenshots that weren’t even needed to illustrate the point, and which would become out of date again quickly if we took the time to update them.
  • Many basic style errors: misspellings, incorrect English grammar, awkwardly phrased sentences, etc.

For these reasons, very few KDE developers or designers still paid any attention to the old HIG, besides of a small number of pages that did still have a reasonably high threshold of information density. And for the same reason, the HIG got very few contributions. I think when something is in a sufficiently poor state, it can even discourage people from contributing, because any small improvement seems like a raindrop in the ocean of urgent need. It’s demoralizing.

How is this new one any better?

The new one was informed by research into how KDE apps look and work today. Some inspiration for structure and organization was taken from the ElementaryOS, GNOME, Apple, and Google HIGs — but not content! The content is all KDE.

The new HIG had the following design goals:

  • Make 100% of the content actionable. No filler text, no rambling philosophy, no redundancy — just actionable recommendations for how to design your app. Short and sweet, and to the point!
  • Reflect how KDE designs software today. For example we’ve seen a huge growth in new Kirigami-based apps using QtQuick as their UI technology (including some older KDE apps getting their UIs ported to Kirigami), and Kirigami is the UI platform that’s improving most quickly in KDE. So I made the decision to focus the recommendations on Kirigami as a platform. There’s still some content about QtWidgets, but it’s a Kirigami-focused document.
  • Have flat navigation, so it’s easy to find everything. No deeply nested sub-pages and awkward categorization that makes you wonder why a page is in this category and not that one.
  • Get the new content into good enough shape that people feel comfortable contributing. Hopefully people will start to submit tweaks, improvements, bug-fixes, and maintenance!

Is it 100% finished?

No, absolutely not! The HIG is intended to be a living document that evolves over time to better describe KDE’s design goals and software development paradigms.

Like any rewrite, there are bound to be rough edges and omissions compared to the old version. Maybe I missed a piece of useful information in the old HIG that had been buried somewhere but retained some value. Maybe there’s low-hanging fruit for improvement. Help out by contributing! It’s just some text with markdown styling; contributing to the HIG is waaaaaaay easier then contributing code.

In particular, there are some known omissions and limitations that you can help with:

  • It needs more images. Multiple pages have embedded TODO comments where it would be nice to add a relevant image to illustrate a point.
  • There’s nothing at all about visual style in general, simply delegating those decisions to the system’s active theme. To a certain extent this is intentional because we support visual theming, but it would also be good to add content about KDE’s default Breeze theme. I deliberately omitted this for now because a bunch of KDE’s designers are working on a fancy new style, and developers are working on a whole new theming engine to apply it. So the world around the HIG is in a state of flux. But if anyone wanted to add more about the current Breeze style anyway, that would be nice. Just know that it may be replaced once the new style is released.
  • …With one exception: the entire section on Breeze icon design. This was kept from the old HIG content because it remains useful. Still, the presentation could use an overhaul to improve information density and collapse needless sub-pages into one parent page.
  • The recommendation to use Kirigami is awkward for powerful apps that use features not currently available in Kirigami-based apps, such as dockable sidebars/panes, customizable toolbars, customizable keyboard shortcuts, and more. If you’re a developer, help add these features!

Ok cool, how do I contribute?

That’s great, it’s super duper appreciated! See these two links to learn how to contribute changes:

If that’s too scary, we can help you get set up! Contact folks and we’ll see what we can do.

Still too scary? Then you can donate to KDE. Our budget is tiny, so your money genuinely does have an impact!

Today marks the release of  KDE Stopmotion 0.8.7!

About Stopmotion

Stopmotion is a Free Open Source application to create stop-motion animations. It helps you capture and edit the frames of your animation and export them as a single file.

Direct capture from webcams, MiniDV cameras, and DSLR cameras. It offers onion-skinning, import images from disk, and time lapse photography. Stopmotion supports multiple scenes, frame editing, basic sound track, animation playback at different frame rates, and GIMP integration for image. Movies can be exported to a file and to Cinelerra frame lists.

Technically, it is a C++ / Qt application with optional dependencies to camera capture libraries.

Changes in release 0.8.7

This release comes with no new features, but improvements to the project itself.

Changes

  • The project is now officially called to KDE Stopmotion. The former name Linux Stopmotion is no longer used.
  • Support for qmake has been removed. Use CMake instead.

Features

  • Port serialization to libarchive. libtar is abandoned. (thanks to Bastian Germann)

Bugfixes

  • The .sto files miss the tar trailer. (#16, thanks to Bastian Germann for providing a fix)

Improvements

  • Use pkg-config to find dependencies vorbisfile and xml2 (thanks to Barak Pearlmutter)
  • Remove code that relies on deprecations in Qt 5; this is a preparation to move to Qt 6.

Future plans

  • Transition from Qt 5 to version 6. I am stuck with my port as QAudioDeviceInfo that was dropped in Qt 6. I need some help to port Stopmotion to the new way to handle audio with Qt 6 / Qt Mulimedia.
  • We should integrate better to KDE's tech stack: Internationalization, using KDE libraries, update and reformat documentation.

Get involved!

If you are interested, give Stopmotion a try. Reach out to our mailing list stopmotion@kde.org or have a look into our project. Share your ideas or get involved!

I’m a heavy user of Firefox profiles. Apart from using different profiles for different activities, I also have a few extra profiles that all run in the Default activity.

This means that I need to have different icons shown in Plasma’s panel in order to be able to easily differentiate which profile a window belongs to.

Sure, I use the tasks applet which shows the window title instead of the icon-only one (I prefer usability to minimalism), but still, it isn’t enough as sometimes the active tab in a Firefox window might not have the most informative title.

Plasma seems to rely on the application name and the window class when choosing the icon it will show in the panel. Which means that, by default, all Firefox instances end up having the same icon.

Librewolf with a custom profile icon
Librewolf with a custom profile icon

Fortunately, Firefox allows you to specify the window class it should use through command line arguments.

firefox -P ProfileName --class WindowClassName

And, to connect a launcher to a specific window class, you just need to add the following line to the .desktop file:

StartupWMClass=WindowClassName

So, in order to have a nicely supported Firefox profile, you can create a launcher with a desktop file similar to the following:

[Desktop entry]
Exec=firefox -P SocialSites --class FirefoxSocialSites
Icon=user-available-symbolic
StartupWMClass=FirefoxSocialSites

It also works with Firefox derivatives such as Librewolf (which can be seen in the screenshot above) and others.

Wayland

For Wayland users, a comment by John Kizer might be useful:

On Wayland, I’ve ended up just using KWin Window Rules (based on a substring of the window title, and setting the desktop file name) in combination with .desktop files that launch Firefox to the site in question and have the desired icon associated.

EDIT: And another approach for Wayland by Christoph Martin:

There’s no need for messing around with window rules - at least not for Firefox.

If you use the –main flag instead of the –class flag for the Firefox invocation in your .desktop file, you should get the desired effect - at least in the Icons-Only Task Manager. Note that StartupWMClass still needs to match the value of the –main flag.

The above works on my machine, that is under Plasma 6.0.5 on the Fedora 40 KDE spin.

Credit: https://superuser.com/a/1784867

Saturday, 8 June 2024

In this video I introduce Selenium AT-SPI for testing KDE applications. I present the KDE goals of sustainable software, accessibility, and automation in system testing, and how Selenium helps achieve all of them.

Selenium AT-SPI is an amazing piece of software written by KDE developer Harald Sitter. It is a tool used in KDE to automate tests of GUI applications. This enables developers to design applications that are accessible for all and increase their energy efficiency. As part of Season of KDE 2024 I decided to make a video tutorial for KDE developers.

If you find this video helpful, you can reach out to me on Gitter. I would love to hear back from you 😃

This video was made by Pradyot Ranjan (@pradyotranjan:gitter.im).

In this video I deep dive into writing tests with Selenium. I create a simple test for the KCalc calculator application and run it with Selenium AT-SPI. Similar steps can be followed to write GUI tests for any KDE application.

Selenium AT-SPI is an amazing piece of software written by KDE developer Harald Sitter. It is a tool used in KDE to automate tests of GUI applications. This enables developers to design applications that are accessible for all and increase their energy efficiency. As part of Season of KDE 2024 I decided to make a video tutorial for KDE developers.

If you find this video helpful, you can reach out to me on Gitter. I would love to hear back from you 😃

This video was made by Pradyot Ranjan (@pradyotranjan:gitter.im).