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Updated: 13 min 41 sec ago

So you want to make a KDE video...

Sat, 2020-01-18 13:28

KDE is running a competition in search of the next great promotional video for KDE's Plasma desktop and KDE's applications.

The prizes are two fantastic TUXEDO computers, one per category, which will undoubtedly boost your film rendering capacity. There are also 12 goodie packages for runner-ups, and who doesn't need more Linux shirts, caps and stickers?

Although we have already received some interesting entries, we feel it may be time to help video artists out there with ideas from the judges themselves.

Below, Julian Schraner, Ivana Isadora Devčić, and Paul Brown from the Promo team and Farid Abdelnour from the Kdenlive team give their views on what a KDE promotional video should look like, where to find resources, and which pitfalls may hurt your film if you fall for them.

Julian

I have five simple recommendations for participants:

  1. Avoid videos that contain only screencasts
  2. Break the mold, be creative
  3. Use motion graphics techniques (have a look at animation nodes)
  4. Choose a good catchy song and work on that editing
  5. Make it short, make sure there is something happening in every single frame. Cut out lulls -- they're boring
Ivana

Here's my list of things I would recommend doing, as well as what to avoid:

  • No slideshows, please! Don't make the video look like someone animated a PowerPoint presentation with zoomed-in screenshots sliding into view and fading out. That just looks cheap and low-effort.
  • Don't overdo it with memes and attempts at humor. As amusing as it may be to you and your 3 friends, things like that do not always translate well across cultures and generations. It's OK to add a cheeky moment if it's appropriate with the general theme of your video, but trying to make the entire video "funny" might send the message that you think Plasma is a joke.
  • It's OK to include real, actual people in the video. Anyone can easily make a screencast, but it takes effort - and shows that you made an effort! - to film people using Plasma. Including clips of people using Plasma can make a much stronger impact than just showing the desktop, even if the clips are short.
  • This is very, very basic and Captain Obvious-style, but: background music can have this cool thing called volume. Playing with volume can add depth and variety to your video. Make the background music louder in some parts and softer in others, depending on the effect you're trying to achieve. If it's always the same, the entire video can easily seem monotonous, even if it's only a minute long.
  • If possible, don't use computer-generated voices for voice-overs in the video (that is, if you're going to have any at all). 98% of them sound really fake and distract from the actual content, or just make the video sound boring. Even if you don't have a particularly radio-friendly voice, it will still sound more natural and normal if you record yourself (or try asking someone to help).
  • Great videos tell a story; they're not just a semi-connected list of clips with background music tacked on. Try to develop a little story that sends a specific message instead of just showing random Plasma features. It's also very easy to fall into the trap of comparing Plasma to something else and disparaging other DEs, so please try to avoid that.
  • Personally, I do not want to see "wobbly windows" in any of the videos. Plasma is more than just KWin effects; we're looking for videos that will make people think "wow, this could be really useful to me, I wanna try it", not "haha that's a cool gimmick, I bet I can move the mouse fast enough to break it".

Another important thing - if the video does have any narration/voice-over, I would ask that you include subtitles (at least as a separate file, if hard-coding them is a bad practice). Accessibility is a must!

Paul

I've split my recommendations into 3 parts: the footage you can use, the music (and other sounds), and the editing; that is, the raw materials and how you put them together.

Footage

Like Ivana, I would personally like to see some live action mixed in with the screencasts. You can grab your phone, and go and film something you can then work into the story. Or you can also take some public domain footage from the Internet Archive.

If you look at Real LifeTM advertisements, they don't only show the product, they also show people doing stuff with the product. Most of our videos are already a bunch of screencasts chained together. I want to see something different.

That said, when you do insert screencast footage, make sure you show something interesting happening in the applications. Don't show an empty folder in Dolphin, a blank square in Krita, or a boring, text-only document in Okular. Make sure there's some color in there and that you can see the user doing something.

As for footage of people, try to avoid stock footage, especially those clips that show smartly dressed white people looking at a computer screen, pointing and smiling. It's like the stock photos of women laughing at salads: you see that kind of stuff everywhere and it looks soooo fake. It is nearly as bad as stock music. Nearly...


"My salad is hilarious!"

Another thing to take into account is that you have to be careful with copyrights! Anything that has not been published before 1924 and doesn't have an explicit free license or isn't explicitly in the public domain, is under a regular copyright and may not be used without the authors' or the copyright holders' express written permission. Also, make sure the person distributing the work is the owner of the work. Don't blindly trust a random Youtuber!

TIP: Apart from the Internet Archive, many public institutions publish footage for free on the Internet. One such organization that comes to mind is NASA.

Music

The best way to make me switch off a video after a few seconds is by choosing the "wrong" music. Ironically, "the wrong music" is often that heartless, bland music used in nearly every single corporate video. I swear I would prefer to have hot wax poured into my ears rather than listen to another hokey, fake-quirky ukulele theme in my life.


The best kind of ukelele.

Conversely, sometimes what may seem the wrong music is in fact the right music. Stuff that you can't imagine going together, goes together. Salsa for Spectacle, flamenco for Falkon and power-pop for Plasma? Why not?

Again, be careful with copyrighted stuff. The same thing that applies to footage, applies to music. Besides, just because Johann Sebastian Bach died 300 years ago, doesn't mean that you can use that Von Karajan recording of his Cantatas: the recording itself will be copyrighted.

Most artists on Jamendo release their music under a liberal license as long it is not used for commercial purposes. And making a video for a competition organized by a non-profit that will not generate any money for you or for the non-profit IS NOT a commercial purpose. Also check out Free Music Archive and especially Juanitos: They make great, fun retro pseudo-ethnic music and distribute it under very generous terms.

On the other hand, go easy with Incompetech -- his music can be lovely, but it is EVERYWHERE. If you must use one of his tracks, make sure you poke around and go for his less obvious stuff.

TIP: If you need a voice-over but are not confident that your own voice will sound okay, try Fiverr. For a few dollars, you can have a professional actor read out your script.

Editing

Avoid canned transitions that come as standard with your video-editing software (Kdenlive, right?). They may impress your parents, but everybody else thinks they're lazy.

Related to the above, avoid excessively flashy transitions, even if they are original. I am personally guilty of using animations to transition from one scene to another, but if they are not part of the story, they can draw attention to themselves and away from the real content, distracting the viewer. Most of the time, nothing beats a good clean cut.

The same goes for effects: don't overdo them! Effects are great to confer atmosphere, but if they are not doing that, they are just distracting from the story, and more often than not, make the action harder to follow. Here's looking at all those "editors" that place a screencast into the picture of a monitor! Yes, I get it: you do masks. So does everybody.

TIP: If you do need effects for your video, don't limit yourself to the catalogue supplied by your editing software. Check out things like Blender and Natron -- these programs are used a lot for effects and filters for a reason.

Farid

Apart from everything mentioned above, I would encourage participants to look into using motion graphic techniques rather than sticking to simple transitions when possible. For that, you can use tools like Blender's Animation Nodes addon.

Something that is often overlooked is the matter of typography. Choose your fonts wisely! If you have text on the screen, avoid the default bland fonts. Go to Font Squirrel or Google Fonts for a great selection of free and open types to choose from.


Same goes for video titles.

If you need footage, check out Pexels it contains a lot of high quality clips for free.

About KDE's Video Contest

KDE is looking for talented videographers and filmmakers that will help promote our free software through the medium of video. There are two categories in this contest: in the Plasma category we want participants to create a video that will promote KDE's Plasma desktop to the world. The Applications category is to help promote one or several KDE applications.

Submissions must be sent in before the 20th of February 2020. To find out more, check out the full rules.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta

Thu, 2020-01-16 15:34





KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta

Thursday, 16 January 2020.

The Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta is out!

This new version of your favorite desktop environment adds neat new features that make your life easier, including clearer notifications, streamlined settings for your system and the desktop layout, much improved GTK integration, and more. Plasma 5.18 is easier and more fun, while at the same time allowing you to do more tasks faster.

Apart from all the cool new stuff, Plasma 5.18 also comes with LTS status. LTS stands for "Long Term Support" and this means 5.18 will be updated and maintained by KDE contributors for the next couple of years (regular versions are maintained for 4 months). So, if you are thinking of updating or migrating your school, company or organization to Plasma, this version is your best bet. You get the most recent stable version of Plasma for the long term.

Read on to discover everything that is new in Plasma 5.18 LTS…

Plasma





Emoji Selector




Customize Layout Global Settings



Do Not Disturb Shortcut

-->



GTK Applications with CSDs and Theme Integration




Night Color System Tray Widget

  • Emoji Selector that can be opened through the application launcher or with the Meta + . keyboard shortcut
  • New global edit mode which replaces the desktop toolbox button and lets you easily customize your desktop layout
  • Improved touch-friendliness for the Kickoff application launcher and widget editing
  • Support for GTK applications which use Client Side Decorations, adding proper shadows and resize areas for them
  • GTK apps now also automatically inherit Plasma's settings for fonts, icons, cursors and more.
  • There's a new System Tray widget for toggling the Night Color feature and by default it automatically appears when it's on
  • More compact design to choose the default audio device in the Audio Volume System Tray widget
  • Clickable volume indicator and tooltip item highlight indicators in the Task Manager
  • Circular Application Launcher menu user icon
  • Option to hide the lock screen clock
  • It's now possible to configure keyboard shortcuts that turn Night Color and Do Not Disturb mode on or off
  • Windy conditions shown in weather widget


Notifications





Draggable Download File Icon




Bluetooth Device Battery Low Notification

  • The timeout indicator on notification popups has been made circular and surrounds the close button
  • A draggable icon in the "file downloaded" notification has been added, so you can quickly drag it to places
  • Plasma now shows you a notification warning when a connected Bluetooth device is about to run out of power


System Settings





User Feedback



Application Style

  • Plasma gained optional User Feedback settings (disabled by default), allowing you to give us detailed system information and statistics on how often individual features of Plasma you use
  • Added a slider for the global animation speed
  • Redesigned Application Style settings with a grid view
  • Improved the search in the system settings sidebar
  • An option to scroll to clicked location in the scrollbar track has been added
  • The System Settings Night Color page has a clearer user interface now


Discover





Reading and Writing Review Comments

  • Discover's default keyboard focus has been switched to the search field
  • It's now possible to search for add-ons from the main page
  • Added nested comments for addons
  • Made design improvements to the sidebar header and reviews


More





NVIDIA GPU stats

  • Decreased the amount of visual glitches in apps when using fractional scaling on X11
  • Made it possible to show NVIDIA GPU stats in KSysGuard


New Since 5.12 LTS

For those upgrading from our previous Long Term Support release here are some of the highlights from the last two years of development:

  • Completely rewritten notification system
  • Plasma Browser Integration
  • Many redesigned system settings pages, either using a consistent grid view or just an overhauled interface
  • Global menu support for GTK applications
  • Display Management improvements including new OSD and widget
  • Flatpak portal support
  • Night Color feature
  • Thunderbolt Device Management

Full Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta changelog


Live Images

The easiest way to try it out is with a live image booted off a USB disk. Docker images also provide a quick and easy way to test Plasma.

Download live images with Plasma 5
Download Docker images with Plasma 5

Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Get KDE Software on Your Linux Distro wiki page

Source Downloads

You can install Plasma 5 directly from source.

Community instructions to compile it
Source Info Page

Feedback

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the Plasma Matrix chat room, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Moving from Windows 7 to Plasma? Do it the Easy Way!

Wed, 2020-01-15 10:26

Plasma desktop with a Windows 10-like theme.

Today Microsoft has left Windows 7 users behind.

Redmond will no longer provide updates for the 2009 operating system. This puts almost a billion people in the difficult situation of facing increased security risks alongside a slow decline in software availability.

Folks who reject Microsoft’s forced updates are already opting to regain control over their systems by switching to the friendly and full-featured Plasma desktop, built on a design philosophy which centers freedom and respect for its users. Recent buzz about the possibilities of Plasma has brought a lot of fresh faces on board, and now they are trying to navigate a new operating system that has its differences from Windows.

If you’re one of those people, you’re probably wondering where you can find experienced users to help you get settled in.

How to make the jump with ease

Luckily, there is a wealth of resources available for those new to Plasma and the Linux world.

The best place to talk live with Plasma users, ask questions, and get to know the KDE community is the KDE Welcome room on our webchat or on Matrix. If you want to discuss Plasma and comment on the latest KDE news with other users, find r/KDE on Reddit or check out the official KDE forums.

AskUbuntu.com is the largest dedicated tech support site in the Linux world, and an invaluable resource for anyone using KDE Neon or Kubuntu. Much of the info available here even translates well to other Linux flavors. Other places for specific support questions include r/Linux4Noobs and r/LinuxQuestions on Reddit. Talking of which, another great resource is the Linux Questions forums.

Once you have a little bit of experience under your belt, if you run into trouble with a specific system component, you can always resort to the Arch Linux wiki, an in-depth hub of documentation which is often useful to users of any Linux system.

Everyone in the KDE community is familiar with the hurdles new users face when making the jump to Plasma and the Free Software world. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of KDE's welcoming community who will help you feel right at home in Plasma and make sure you get the most out of your newly upgraded system.

Categories: Computer, Linux

KDE's January 2020 Apps Update

Thu, 2020-01-09 15:28

The year is 2020, we are living in the future, let’s see what KDE apps has brought us in the last month!

KTimeTracker ported to KDE Frameworks 5

The long-awaited modernized version of KTimeTracker is finally released.
The application is a personal time tracker for busy people which is now
available on Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. Over the course of 2019 it had been
ported to Qt5 and KDE Frameworks after being unmaintained since around 2013.


KTimeTracker

The new version is also polished and slightly modernised with the most
noticeable new features being the new Task Time Editing dialog and
live preview in the Export dialog as seen in the picture below.


Export dialog in KTimeTracker

https://download.kde.org/stable/ktimetracker/5.0.1/src/
It is available through your Linux distro or as a Windows installer and there’s even untested MacOS builds built nightly.

The release is announced in the blog of the maintainer Alexander Potashev

KStars 3.3.9

Astronomy program KStars got new features in 3.3.9.

Images can have fine changes in Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights allowing the faintest of stars to be seen.

Alternative constellations from the Western Sky Culture which is fascinating to read about.

KStars is available for Android, Windows, MacOS, Snap store and from your Linux distro.

Common Frameworks - KNewStuff

Here on the Apps Update we focus on the apps rather than coding libraries. But new features in the common libraries will mean new features in all your apps :)

This month saw a redesigned UI for KNewStuff, the framework to download addons for your applications. The browse and download dialog was redesigned and the comments section can now be filtered. It’ll be appearing in all your apps and settings modules shortly starting with the Global Theme module in System Settings.

Bugfixes

KDevelop’s monthly bugfix update 5.4.6 fixed a longstanding problem where the GPL and LGPL headers were mixed up, grab it from your distro or Appimage to make sure your licencing is correct.

Latte Dock 0.9.7 fixed some features with Qt 5.14 and removed some crashes.

Dolphin Plugins 19.12.1 fixed a broken SVN Commit dialog.

There was improved file indexing in Elisa. It also fixed some compilation issues on Android and without Baloo.

The new release of KPat was declaired to have no OARS relevant age restrictions.

Okular fixed a crash when closing the print preview dialog.

This month’s release of Kdenlive video editor had an impressive number of fixes best of all was updating the screenshots used in the meta info. It also has dozens of improvements and fixes in timeline and preview handling.

New JavaScript support is now in Kate’s LSP client.

Enjoy KDE on the Flathub Store

KDE is embracing all the app stores. We can now deliver more and more of our programs directly to you the user. One of the leading app stores on Linux is Flathub which uses the FlatPak format.

You may well already have Flatpak and Flathub configured on your system and ready to use in Discover or other app installers. For example KDE neon has set it up by default on installs for over a year now. If not it’s a quick setup process for all the major distros.

If you’re interested in the techy details you can browse KDE’s Flatpak packaging repo and read the KDE Flatpak guide.

But probably what you’re interested in is the apps so take a look at what the Flathub store has under KDE.

LabPlot now on Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows. If you want full control over what software is installed on your Windows machine or whole office of machines then Chocolatey gives you easy control over that just like you are used to on Linux.

LabPlot is KDE’s app for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data and it is now available through Chocolatey. Give it a try!

LabPlot blog

Website Updates

The recently revived KDE Web Team has been updating a bunch of our older themed sites. The newly relaunched KPhotoAlbum website is a lovely example, updated and refreshed for our photo storage and search app.

And if you want to show off a simple to use but full featured local music player but were ashamed by the old looking website, JuK has just had an updated website too.

Releases 19.12.1

Some of our projects release on their own timescale and some get released en-masse. The 19.12.1 bundle of projects was released today and should be available through app stores and distros soon. See the 19.12.1 releases page. This bundle was previously called KDE Applications but has been de-branded to become a release service to avoid confusion with all the other applications by KDE and because it is dozens of different products rather than a single whole.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Libre Graphics Meeting Call for Proposals

Wed, 2020-01-08 16:28

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual international convention for the discussion and development of free and open source graphics software.

This year it will happen in Rennes, France, from May 26th to 29th. We are welcoming all relevant projects to submit a proposal for a talk and/or a workshop. We already expect Krita and Kdenlive teams to be present. The Krita sprint will be held after the meeting and Kdenlive are planning to have a sprint around that time too. It would be awesome to also see some people from Plasma team working on graphics tablet support and color management, or any other topic of interest for developers and users of graphics creation application.

LGM are now asking for talks, workshops, BoF meetings and lightning talks for the conference. Please don't be shy and submit your proposal.

KDE e.V. has agreed to support the event by providing travel support to KDE contributors. If you are interested, make sure to file your reimbursement request before January 31st.


LGM 2019

Categories: Computer, Linux

Plasma: A Safe Haven for Windows 7 Refugees

Wed, 2020-01-08 13:05

A fully functional Plasma desktop with a Windows 7 theme.

Microsoft will stop providing updates for Windows 7 on January 14 2020.

There won't be any more patches that correct bugs or even dangerous vulnerabilities. This will leave Windows 7 users exposed to all sorts of bad stuff. But that is not a huge concern for Microsoft. With this move, Redmond hopes to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10.

But why should we care? Maybe because Windows currently holds 77% of the global desktop market share (all Linux desktops combined hold less than 2%). Of that 77%, nearly 30% belongs to Windows 7. That is nearly a billion people still holding on to Windows 7 because they are resisting the move to Windows 10. Apart from the natural human resistance to change, Windows 10 has earned a bad rap as an operating system that will gladly leak your data back to Microsoft and lace your desktop with intrusive advertisements as a matter of course.

Helping people regain control over their systems and protecting their data is precisely what Free Software communities do best, making this the perfect opportunity to help Windows 7 users upgrade to something much better: To the Plasma desktop!

How you can help

We need you to help convince Windows 7 users to move to the Plasma desktop. We have set up a task where we are brainstorming ideas, advice and resources. You can contribute your thoughts too. Get your KDE Identity today and join the conversation.

You can also join the Promo team live on Matrix and help us run this campaign.

Or fly solo! Talk to your friends, family, classmates and colleagues. Even if you convince just one person to make the transition to any Linux-based system, you will have done something valuable and helped the FLOSS movement.

The Windows 7-like theme shown above was put together (from many parts created by many generous contributors) by Dominic Hayes, creator of Feren OS, a cool-looking Ubuntu-based Linux distro aimed squarely at end users. Check it out!

Dominic used the following elements to re-create the look and feel of the desktop:

Plasma Theme: Seven Black
Window Decorations: Seven Black
Application Style: gtk2
GTK Theme: Windows Se7en by Elbullazul
Icons: Darkine
Colours: Breeze Light
Cursors: DMZ White
Splash Screen: Feren OS
Panel: 38 height
Widgets: Default Apps Menu, I-O Task Manager, Stock System Tray, Feren Calendar or Event Calendar, Win7 Show Desktop

Categories: Computer, Linux

Host Akademy 2020 in your City!

Fri, 2019-12-27 10:13

By Aleix Pol

Hosting an event is a big and significant way of contributing to Free Software. One of the biggest challenges in international distributed teams like KDE is communicating effectively with one another. Akademy, the yearly global conference of the KDE community, solves that by bringing the community together in one place, allowing us to share what we have been up to and have it reach its potential.

By organising Akademy we are then turning one of our weak points into a strength. We get to work together like a local team does, while remaining flexible and geographically distributed for most of the rest of the year. It becomes therefore one of the best ways for Free Software to thrive in your area.

What is Akademy

While Akademy has evolved over the years, its main structure remains similar: We have two conference days, the KDE e.V. Annual General Meeting and few days with smaller meetings and trainings. Akademy is open for everyone to join and participate, regardless of their background, studies or origin.

We would like you to consider hosting Akademy. We could look into doing it in 2020, although if you think this is too short-notice, 2021 could also be discussed.

You can find the full description of what's necessary in this simple-to -follow brochure. Reach out to the KDE e.V. Board and the Akademy team and put your thoughts in action.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Announcing KDE Plasma 5.18 Wallpaper and Video Contests

Mon, 2019-12-23 12:38

By Niccolò Venerandi

KDE wants you to create the next wallpaper for Plasma 5.18 and the promotional videos for Plasma and applications of KDE.


TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 14

The chance of getting your work seen by thousands of people and organizations worldwide, including at NASA and CERN, is within your grasp! You can also win some really astounding prizes courtesy of our friends at TUXEDO Computers.

Prizes


TUXEDO Gaming PC

The winner of the wallpaper contest will have their work included as the default background on KDE's upcoming Plasma 5.18 desktop. This means you will not only earn the admiration of thousands of Plasma users, but you can also win a very cool TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 14 computer.

More details about the InfinityBook Pro are available on the Wallpaper Contest's page.

Is fillmmaking more your thing? Try your hand at shooting and editing an exciting promotional video for Plasma or for applications KDE makes. The winners of the best Plasma promotional video will win a TUXEDO Gaming PC, and if you win the best Applications video competition, you'll get a TUXEDO InfinityBox.


TUXEDO InfinityBox

You can read about the specs of each machine on the Video Contest's page.

Twelve finalists will also receive a package of goodies containing among other things:

  • A KDE Baseball cap
  • A plush Tux
  • KDE Stickers
  • A frozen glass coffee mug
How to Participate

Taking part is easy! Check out the rules for Wallpaper Competition and send in your masterpiece. Remember that, in order to submit a wallpaper, you need to follow the link to the appropriate subforum where you can create a new post. You can also find suggestions and helpful material on the webpages.

Want to make a video instead? Read the rules for the Video Competition carefully and start shooting your clip!

We can't wait to see what you will create!

Categories: Computer, Linux

Apps Update for December

Thu, 2019-12-12 12:22

Creating new applications is the easy part. Maintaining them, making them safer and faster and adding features that make them more useful to users is what marks the difference between one-shot wonders and solid tools you can trust and enjoy for years. That is why KDE developers are constantly renewing and updating their applications, making them more reliable, more useful, and in general, just better.

What follows is just a minor sample of what you can expect from the latest round of updates for applications made by the KDE community over the last month:

Calligra Plan is Back


Calligra Plan lets you plan your projects in detail.

Calligra Plan, KDE's project planning and management tool, gets its first big update in two years.

In case you were not aware, Plan helps you manage small and large projects which require multiple resources. In order for you to model your project, Plan offers different types of task dependencies and timing constraints. You can define your tasks, estimate the effort needed to perform each, allocate resources and then schedule the project according to your needs and the actual resources available.

One of Plan's strengths is its excellent support for Gantt charts. Gantt charts help you plan, coordinate, and track specific tasks in a project. Using Gantt charts in Plan you will be able to better monitor your project's workflow.

Kdenlive Pumps up the Volume


Kdenlive rocking a brand new audio mixer.

Kdenlive developers have been adding new features and squashing bugs like crazy -- the latest version alone comes with more than 200 changes.

A lot of work has gone into improving support for audio. In the "bugs solved", department they have gotten rid of an error that would eat up memory. They have also made saving audio thumbnails much more efficient.

But the most exciting new feature is that Kdenlive now comes with a spectacular sound mixer (see image). Developers have also added a new audio clip display in the clip monitor and the project bin so you can better synchronize your moving images with the soundtrack.

Für Elisa

Talking of sound, Elisa is one of KDE's most popular up-and-coming music players. Elisa belongs to the deceptively simple, very light, very good-looking variety of players, with an intuitive and elegant interface and, in its latest version, Elisa has upgraded its looks even further to adapt better to High DPI screens. It also now integrates better with the looks other KDE applications.

Indexing music files has also improved and Elisa now supports web radios and comes with a few examples for you to try.


The Elisa music player. KDE Connect: Let Your Phone Rule your Desktop


KDE Connect now lets you control
the global volume of your system.

Most people who get to know KDE Connect, end up raving about it just because of how darned useful it is.

The latest version of KDE Connect packs even more features. One of the more noticeable is that there is a new SMS app that lets you read and write SMS from your computer with the full conversation history.

Developers are also adding new functionalities to existing features to make them even more useful. For example, you could already use KDE Connect to control the volume of media playing on your desktop, say, in VLC. But now you can use KDE Connect to also control your system's global volume from your phone. When giving a talk, you can control your presentation using KDE Connect to flip forward and back through your slides, and apart from integrating with other KDE apps, you can now also send files from Thunar (Xfce's file manager) and Elementary applications such as Pantheon Files.

Talking of other platforms, you can now run the mobile component of KDE Connect not only on Android, but also on all those mobile Linux platforms we'll be seeing in upcoming devices like the PinePhone and the Librem 5. The new version also provides features for desktop-to-desktop users, such as media control across desktops, remote input, device ringing, file transfers and running commands.

And Much More

But that is not all by any means: Dolphin, Spectacle, Okular and dozens of other applications have included new features you are sure to find useful. Even more projects, broaching apps, libraries and frameworks, have tweaked their code making them more stable and secure.

If you want to get an idea of the full range of changes, visit the official release announcement, or check out the changelog for every single detail of what has changed.

Getting applications made by KDE is also now easier: most are now available as Flatpaks, Snaps and AppImages. You just have to download them and they run straight out of the box. Many programs are also available for more platforms, such as Android, macOs and Windows. Krita and Okular have been available in the Microsoft Store for some time now, and they have recently been joined by Kile, a user-friendly LaTeX document editor.

Distributions will be updating their own repos and making the new versions available to Linux users over the next few weeks. Look out for your updates!

Categories: Computer, Linux

Announcing Season of KDE 2020

Fri, 2019-11-29 18:54

By Caio Jordão Carvalho

After a one-year hiatus, KDE Student Programs is very happy to announce Season of KDE 2020!

Focused on offering an opportunity to anyone (not just enrolled students) contributing to the KDE community, this is a program that is comparable to the well-known Google Summer of Code, with some special differences. A key difference is that SoK projects are not limited to code-focused work, but any that benefit our community. For instance, projects can be about documentation, reports, translation, system administration, web and other types of work as well as code. Each contributor will work with a mentor and within a team that will also help the contributor.

Schedule

This year we have decreased the duration of the projects. Previously, all projects were 80 days long. However, during SoK 2018 we included the option of 40-day projects. This new option was widely adopted by participants during 2018 and, so we decided to keep only this alternative.

Timeline:
  • From the 9th of December 2019 to the 3rd of January 2020: Participant and Mentor Application period
  • 6th of January 2020: Projects announced
  • 8th of January 2020, 00:00 UTC: SoK work period begins
  • 17th of February 2020, 23:59 UTC: End of work
  • 21st of February 2020: Results announced
  • 28th of February 2020: Certificates issued
  • Beginning of Q3 2020: Merchandise and Swag sent out by courier
Getting Started

Prospective participants should get in touch with us before the application period begins to discuss possible projects. You can connect with us on Matrix, in the #kde-soc room on IRC, in KDE-SoC on Telegram, or through our mailing list. Besides talking to the SoK team, contact the application maintainer and team with whom you want to work.

If you’re looking for project ideas, you can find some on our KDE Season of Code 2020 Ideas Page. Mentors please add ideas, so that we have a central repository of project ideas for Season of KDE 2020 and even GSoC 2020. Applicants will work with the teams to develop a proposal, and the SoK admin team will help too.

Help us spread the word! Tell your friends, blog, tweet, and share on Facebook using the #2020SeasonKDE hashtag.

Participants and mentors can apply here once applications open.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Translation Workshop in Indonesia this Weekend

Thu, 2019-11-21 11:31

The KDE Indonesia Community will once again hold a Kopdar (local term for BoF). This meeting is the second meeting after the successful meeting in 2018. The activity will be held this weekend with talks and activities about translating KDE software into Indonesian. The main event is for KDE fans in particular and Linux in general to collaborate in KDE translation.

The event will be held on:
Day: Saturday, 23 November 2019
Time: 19.00 (UTC + 7)
Venue: Midtrans Office Jl. Gandok Baru No.46, Sleman, Yogyakarta
Speaker: Wantoyek
Topic: The First Step to Becoming a KDE Translator

The purpose of this event is to invite KDE activists to participate in contributing to the community, especially as translators. The KDE Indonesia community also opens opportunities to donate activities for anyone who wants to support this activity, please contact Rifky Affand (rifki.affandi3@gmail.com). See you in DIY Yogyakarta, KDE lovers!

To register go to the registration form and join the KDE Indonesia Telegram channel.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Apps Update for November

Fri, 2019-11-08 12:28

LabPlot

The big release this month has been LabPlot 2.7. LabPlot is fast becoming one of KDE's highest profile apps. It is an application for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data. LabPlot provides an easy way to create, manage and edit plots. It allows you to produce plots based on data from a spreadsheet or on data imported from external files. Plots can be exported to several pixmap and vector graphic formats.

In this release we made the user experience while working with LabPlot easier and more fun. Entering and working with data in spreadsheets is slicker and when reading live data from file sources you can now use a relative path to find a live data source. This allows you to, for example, copy the folder containing the project file together with the data file or files across different folders on your computer without losing the connection to the file or files. In the Project Explorer you can now move top-level objects to different folders via drag & drop.

The data picker, which allows you to digitize data points on images, has had an overhaul in 2.7. The devs have greatly simplified the overall workflow and the process of digitizing data points as you can see in this video.

Check out the Labplot YouTube channel for more videos on using this advanced application.

Bugfixes

Alternative panel Latte Dock got a bugfix release, 0.9.4. It fixes autoloading in some distros such as Manjaro.

KDevelop is on its monthly bugfix release which tidied up CLang support for some distros.

Over 100 apps gets released as part of the KDE Applications bundle which has just had its 19.08.3 bugfix releases and includes:

  • In the video-editor Kdenlive, compositions no longer disappear when reopening a project with locked tracks.
  • Okular's annotation view now shows creation times in local time zone instead of UTC.
  • Keyboard control has been improved in the Spectacle screenshot utility.
Snap Store


Kdenlive Snap

Snaps are one of the new container-based package formats for Linux. KDE has over 50 apps published on the Snap store and ready to be installed on almost any Linux distro. On many Ubuntu flavors and derivatives, they come ready to be used. On others you may need to use your package manager to install snapd first. This is usually as simple as running a command such as sudo dnf install snapd or sudo pacman -S snapd. Most of KDE's Snap packages are built by the KDE neon team on their servers and the aim is to get packaging and building integrated more directly with app's repositories and continuous integration setups. This means they are updated more frequently and the moment changes are made so you always get the latest and greatest features and fixes.

New this month in the Snap store is KDE's video editor, Kdenlive.


Coming Up


KTrip

We have a couple of nice progressions towards stable releases from KDE apps. First, the mobile journey search app KTrip has moved into kdereview, meaning the authors want it checked over for sanity before making a stable release. In a first for KDE developer Nicolas Fella, he worked out how to get KTrip into F-Droid, the free software app store for Android.

Then, the developer tool ELF Dissector passed kdereview, meaning KDE has approved it as something we are happy to put our name on when it gets released. It's a static analysis tool for ELF libraries and executables. It does things like inspect forward and backward dependencies (on a library or symbol level), identify load-time performance bottlenecks such as expensive static constructors or excessive relocations, or size profiling of ELF files.

Help Out

By getting KDE's apps into the most popular of channels like the Windows Store, Google Play and F-Droid, we can reach more users and boost KDE's adoption through its software. Now that Kate is successfully shipping in the Windows Store, Kate developer Christoph Cullmann wrote a guide to Windows Store submission. Check it out.

KDE's All About the Apps Goal has loads of other things you can do to help get our applications to users, so come along and give us a hand.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Consistency Update

Thu, 2019-10-31 12:55

By Niccolò Venerandi

It's been a month since Consistency was announced as an official goal for KDE at Akademy. During this time, we have focused on setting up all the tools needed to support the goal and tracking already active consistency tasks. Here's an update on what we have done so far and the main tasks we're working on.

Community Page

We have created a Consistency page on the community wiki where you can learn what the consistency goal is and find out how you can easily get involved in it. Check it out, regardless of your level of technical expertise!

Matrix Channel

There is also a Consistency channel on KDE's Matrix instance. Access it through the webchat page or at consistency:kde.org. You are welcome to come in and join us to discuss anything related to the consistency goal!

Sprint!

A sprint is in the works. If you would like to participate, join in the discussion and come and discuss the time and the place on the Matrix channel as well.

Phabricator Workboard

We created a Consistency workboard so you can track all the tasks and keep up with their development. You can add yourself as a member or watcher to receive Phabricator updates.

Tasks are organized into the following categories:

  • Reported shows consistency problems that still need to be addressed, but are currently not being worked on, or are not actively developed yet
  • VDG Discussion lists tasks that the VDG (Visual Design Group) are discussing
  • HIG Specification shows tasks that are waiting for an HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) specification so they can be developed in a consistent way
  • Under Apps Implementation you can find tasks that are actively being worked on
  • Meta contains all the tasks that are not exactly consistency problems, but are related to the consistency goal in some way

The Consistency goal's workboard. Consistency Tasks

There are already many tasks in the Consistency project. Some tasks are new, some existed before. Many of these tasks are quite interesting, so read on to get an idea of what lays ahead for this goal.

Unify Highlight Effect Style

This task was already in progress when the Consistency goal was selected, but it is nevertheless a great example of what we'd like to see happen in the goal.

Currently, Plasma has a discrepancy in its highlight effect. The first kind of effect is a plain rectangle using the highlight color, while the second one is a rounded rectangle with an outline and semi-transparent background. Although the former is more common, we think the latter is more appropriate to use in all situations.


Here's the correct highlight effect in Plasma
Here's what it looks like in Dolphin now.
Dolphin mockup showing correct highlighting.

A few more examples of what the new highlight could consistently look like in various use-cases:


Big icons sidebar highlight.
In plasmoids.
In menus.

This is a great example of what consistency can be: not simply applying the same style everywhere, but finding something that a single app does very well, and bringing that to all the other apps. Noah Davis is actively developing this task, and he's doing a great job!

Unify Sidebar Navigation and Appearance

These tasks originated directly from the Consistency goal.

Sidebars are used in many applications and it would be great that they were consistent. There are two main aspects to this: the type of sidebar (system settings-like lists, big square icons, etc.) and the navigation within the sidebar (tabs, combo boxes, etc.).

What is the best solution? That part is currently under discussion. We welcome everyone's opinions on the matter or, even better, an expert assessment on the feasibility of each of the options.

Let's quickly illustrate some options:

For the sidebar appearance, the current main option relies on using lists and big square icons, depending on the number of elements:


Sidebars.

On the other hand, the option for navigating sidebar views includes tabs that become icons-only when horizontal space is insufficient, vertical tabs on the left, and combo boxes:


Option 1.
Option 1b.
Option 2.
Option 3.

Furthermore, Nate Graham is focused on making sure that all big icons displayed in sidebars are colorful. He has already fixed a lot of them, and only a few are missing that we know of. Finally, there's also a task to create an HIG specification for sidebars as soon as the discussion settles. We welcome help with any of these tasks. :-)

Website Redesign

This task was already ongoing when the Consistency goal was chosen and it aims to modernize old web pages that follow obsolete styles. There are many of them and some are well-hidden. Carl Schwan created and works on this task alongside many other contributors. Check it out and see if you too can find any old websites that need updating!

That's the end of this update!

If you would like to help out, come join us in the matrix room and let's make KDE software more consistent together!

Categories: Computer, Linux

conf.kde.in Is Coming Back In 2020

Thu, 2019-10-17 17:09

Join us for conf.kde.in from the 17th to 19th of January 2020 in Delhi, India.

conf.kde.in 2020 will focus on promoting Free and Open Source software, including (but not limited to) Qt and KDE products.

The Venue

conf.kde.in 2020 will be held in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, located in Rohini, Delhi, India. MAIT was established by the Maharaja Agrasen Technical Education Society and promoted by well-known industrialists, businessmen, professionals and philanthropists. The aim of MAIT is to promote quality education in the field of Technology.

MAIT endeavors to provide industry-relevant education and training through its well-crafted and practical training programs for the students in different semesters of their courses. The campus is composed of 10 blocks with a learning resource center. MAIT has been ranked as the 10th best private engineering institute in India by the Dataquest T-School Survey. MAIT always supports Free and Open Source communities and tech-related activities.

About conf.kde.in

conf.kde.in started in 2011 at RVCE in Bangalore as a 5-day event with 300 participants. This kicked off a series of KDE events in India. We held a KDE Meetup in 2013, and another conf.kde.in 2014 at DA-IICT. In 2015, the third conf.kde.in was held at Amrita University in Kerala, and in 2016 at LNMIIT Jaipur. The Jaipur conference attracted members of the KDE Community from all over the world. Attendees from different backgrounds came to meet each other, give talks, and share in the spirit of KDE. The 2017 conference was held in IIT Guwahati, Assam and sought to cater to new members of KDE, as well as to seasoned developers.


KDE Meetup 2014

All of these events have been successful in attracting a lot of Indian students to mentoring programs such as Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Season of KDE, and Google Code-In.

conf.kde.in 2020 will generate even more interest and participation by creating a fertile environment for people to get started with KDE, Qt and FOSS through numerous talks, hands-on sessions and demonstrations.

Call For Papers

Join us! Submit a paper, explain the content for a 30-minute presentation or a workshop on any aspect of KDE, Qt or any other FOSS topic you want to cover, and become a conf.kde.in Speaker.

Remember to include all pertinent information about your background, other talks you've given, and anything else that gives a sense of what attendees can expect from your presentation.

See you in 2020 in India!

Categories: Computer, Linux

Plasma 5.17 is out!

Tue, 2019-10-15 14:17

KDE launches the new version of its acclaimed desktop environment, Plasma 5.17.

Plasma 5.17 is the version where the desktop anticipates your needs. Among many new features and improvements, your desktop now starts up faster; Night Color, the color-grading system that relaxes your eyes when the sun sets, has landed for X11; your Plasma desktop recognizes when you are giving a presentation, and stops messages popping up in the middle of your slideshows; and, if you are using Wayland, Plasma now comes with fractional scaling, which means that you can adjust the size of all your desktop elements, windows, fonts and panels perfectly to your HiDPI monitor.

The best part? The hundreds of improvements that have made their way into Plasma 5.17 do not tax your hardware! Plasma 5.17 is as lightweight and thrifty with resources as ever.

Check out the official release announcement for more features, improvements and goodies, or browse the full Plasma 5.17 changelog to read about every single change. You can also experience Plasma 5.17 for yourself and install one of the many distributions that offer Plasma.


Guillermo Amaral

The Plasma 5.17 series is dedicated to our friend Guillermo Amaral. Guillermo was an enthusiastic KDE developer who rightly self-described as 'an incredibly handsome multidisciplinary self-taught engineer'. He brought cheer to family, friends and colleagues. He lost his battle with cancer last summer, but will be remembered as a friend to all he met.

Categories: Computer, Linux

Akademy 2019 Talks Videos

Mon, 2019-10-14 14:53

We now have the Akademy 2019 videos ready for you to enjoy, see the previous summary of talks on the dot for some inspiration on what to watch. The talk schedule has the full list

We had keynotes on Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! by Leonardo Favario and Towards Qt 6 by Lars Knoll

We also got updates on KDE Community's goals

Another thing to check out are the previously announced BoF wrapups letting you know what went on during the week following the talks

Recommendations

Here are some talks recommended by attendees:


Your browser does not support the video tag.
What we do in the Promos
What we do in the Promos
Piyush: i attended Paul's talk. It was really nice to have an insight on promo's day to day tasks and challenges!


Your browser does not support the video tag. Strengthen Code Review Culture: rm -rf ‘Toxic Behaviors’
Strengthen Code Review Culture: rm -rf ‘Toxic Behaviors’
Philip: I liked the code review one
Valorie: and I agree, Aniketh's Code Review talk was excellent



Your browser does not support the video tag.
Software Distribution: lightning talks & discussion
Jon: Software Distribution talk! (although I prefer my original name for it of Getting KDE Software to Users)



Your browser does not support the video tag. Taking KDE to the skies: Making the drone ground control Kirogi
Taking KDE to the skies: Making the drone ground control Kirogi
Ivana: I nominate Eike's talk about Kirogi. It was such a cool talk that told the story of developing an app in a way that even non-devs could understand, and I think it really showcased how KDE is still going strong and taking the lead in the innovation game
Hannah: The talk was horrible.... It made me want to buy a drone


Your browser does not support the video tag. Mycroft on Plasma Automobile Demo
Mycroft on Plasma Automobile Demo
Bhushan: Automative demo one


About Akademy


Akademy 2019, Milan

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

Dot Categories:
Categories: Computer, Linux

KDE is All About the Apps: October Update

Mon, 2019-10-07 15:39

KDE is all about the Apps!

We are a community of thousands of contributors who make hundreds of Apps using collaborative open source methods. Our apps run on Linux with Plasma, of course, but also fit in well with GNOME, Enlightenment, XFCE, or any other desktop you happen to be using. Many of our apps run on Windows, Android and macOS.

A new goal for the KDE community is to push how we are All About the Apps. We will be highlighting our best software and promoting it to increase its adoption outside the circle of current KDE fans (who we still love very much!). This is a monthly update of what's new in our apps. If you'd like to help out with this community goal, take a look at the All About the Apps workboard, and join us in our Matrix chat channel.

App Updates

The elite painting app Krita received a monthly bugfix release, 4.2.7. The developers have improved the layout and functionality of the color selection dialog, and made it possible to save group layers to file layers even if they are empty. The sort order of images imported as frames was fixed, a bunch of crashes removed, and dozens of other bugs tidied up.

To celebrate, the Krita team also made a video with artist Ramon Miranda that offers some advice for improving your sketches. Krita is available in your favorite Linux distribution, for Windows, macOS, as a Linux AppImage, on Flathub, and in the Snap store.

KMyMoney, the app for managing your finances, also got a new release - 5.0.7. This release introduces updates required for the new regulations of the Payment Services Directive, which affects the online capabilities for German bank users.

To make KMyMoney compatible with those regulations (especially the strong customer authentication part), developers had to adapt it to updated APIs of the Gwenhywfar and AqBanking libraries which provide the banking protocol implementations.

Coming from KDE and used by many of us, the distributed compiler cluster Icecream and Icecream Monitor have been updated. The new release improves Objective C and C++ support, removes hardcoded compiler paths, and fixes job preloading to again allow sending one extra job to a fully busy node. In the monitor app several new ice cream flavors have also been added, we're not quite sure what this means but it sounds delicious.

In the last month, Latte Dock (panel for the Plasma desktop) had two new releases, making improvements to its new Win Indicator look.

KDevelop, the discerning coder's IDE, published a bugfix release - 5.4.2. You can get it from your Linux distribution or as an AppImage, and you can also compile versions for Windows and macOS.

RSIBreak, the app that helps you prevent damage to your wrists got a new release versioned 0.12.11.

Photo management and editing app digiKam released the version 6.3. The highlight of the new release is the G'Mic plugin.
G'Mic is the image processing library with over 950 different filters, so you can make all your photos truly beautiful. digiKam can be installed from your Linux distro, AppImage bundles, macOS package, and Windows 32/64-bit installers.

Telescope and astronomy app KStars also had a new release, versioned 3.3.6. The KStars Live Video window can now show debayer frames in real-time, making it possible to create color video streams.

The weather data can be directly displayed in the Observatory Module, and the user interface has been improved in a number of ways. As one of the most feature-rich free astronomy apps, KStars caters to a wide variety of use cases, so you will surely find tools that are useful to you regardless of your level of experience. KStars is available pretty much everywhere - as a Windows installer, macOS installer, Android app, Snap package, and in your Linux distribution.

Bug Fixes

We are continually improving our apps, so plenty of bug fixes have been made. Here are some highlights.

  • Our document viewer Okular gained support for HighDPI screens. This one-line fix to add automatic scaling based on the pixel density of the monitor will make viewing documents on fancy monitors so much better.
  • The advanced text editor Kate was similarly updated to work with HiDPI screens throughout.
  • The chess game Knights had a one-line fix in version 19.08.2. Thanks to the fix, you can now start a game when the second player is a computer engine again.
  • Video editor Kdenlive fixed screengrabs in Linux to eliminate crashes, and in Windows to correctly grab the audio.
  • CD burner app K3b fixed a crash where it couldn't find the supporting command-line tool mkisofs.
Supporting Bits

Libraries and artwork support our apps to make our software work beautifully.

The Breeze icon theme got new icons for activities, trash, batteries, QR codes, and more. Libical, which is used by Kontact to talk to iCalendar protocols and data formats, had a bugfix release (3.0.6).

Snorenotify is a notification framework supporting Linux, Windows and macOS. Snoretoast is a command-line application used within Snorenotify for Windows Toast notifications. It is also used in Quassel and Tomahawk, and the good news is that it got a new release this month (0.7.0).

New in App Stores

Our software is increasingly available directly through app stores. To celebrate and highlight this (and to help you find them more easily!), this month we added Windows Store links to the KDE Applications web page.

More KDE applications found their way to the Windows Store:

Welcoming New Projects

New projects are started in the KDE community all the time. When those projects are ready for wider use, they go through a process called "KDE review", where other KDE contributors will check them for code quality, features, licensing, and how well they work on different platforms. Last but not least, we decide whether we are happy to give it the KDE stamp of approval.

In KDE review this month is Ruqola, a chat app which talks on the Rocket Chat network and uses the Kirigami UI framework. For the more technically-inclined, Elf-Inspector is an app providing tools for inspecting, analyzing, and optimizing ELF files (the executable file format used on Linux).

Saying Goodbye

Sometimes, apps are left behind when their code does not keep up with the rest of the world.

This month, a new version of our multimedia library Phonon was released. In this version, we removed Qt4 support - sensible enough, as Qt4 hasn't been supported since 2015. As a result, the music player app Amarok has become deprecated (at least for now). Don't lose hope, though: the Qt5 port is progressing, but it's not there yet.

The web browser Rekonq was marked as unmaintained, meaning it's unlikely to ever come back. However, the work carries on in Falkon, so make sure to check out and support the project if you are interested in lightweight web browsers. Also considered unmaintained is the bootup configuration tool systemd-kcm.

Enjoy your apps from KDE, and stay tuned for more updates!

Categories: Computer, Linux