I know most of you have been following the upcoming Plasma Next release with interest, there’s lots of work being done, and as usual, most of it happens under the surface.
I would like to talk today about the new repository structure we have been working on during the last weeks: Splitting the kde-workspace and kde-runtime repositories.
What we have now is mostly an evolution of what KDE ever was, only that after many iterations, especially given the long history we’ve been through, since the Kool Desktop environment days, in CVS back then. Since then, concepts have changed, the community has progressed and ultimately, the projects we’re offering have evolved a great deal.
Nowadays our workspaces are built around the kde-workspace repository which is a subset of what kdebase once was. It contains the code relative to the shell, System Settings, kinfocenter, KWin and other components, even some libraries.
Note that some of these are big components, some are small, some are part of Plasma Active, some aren’t. This had different implications, for example: Plasma Active depends on having the desktop environment installed, repository-wise, so does KWin need to have systemsettings installed, etc.
We chopped kde-workspace into several chunks. We separated what’s specific to our desktop users and what can be independent components, trying to make sure that we end up with manageable projects rather than a bag of surprises. This leaves us a clean outline of what projects we are working on, while still letting us figure out what is part of a project and what isn’t.
This is all glued together by the dependency-data files, where we specify what project depends on what project within KDE. This means both and compile-time and runtime. The dependency-data files will start gaining relevance as it suggests, what does it mean to have a full Plasma Desktop installed or, for example, a full KDevelop. *
Depending on how you look at it, nothing changes. I would like to highlight some points though, of what I think will have the most impact.
I hope you’ll be as excited as I am, hopefully by joining the development team and helping us create a wonderfully awesome Plasma Next release.
* This opens the possibility to review what’s extragear and what’s KDE SC roles, it will be an interesting discussion.
Since the beginning of my involvement in KDE and, more specifically, my involvement with KDevelop, many people have come to me and said that what we “actually need” is an SDK. So far, I never gave this much thought. Especially given that for me, the SDK was the system I’m running on and, by extension, the packaging system of my GNU/Linux distribution.
After all this time and given one of KDE Frameworks goals is to broaden our portability, I started wondering about the subject again. Some of the pieces are starting to come together already, but I still think we need to actually glue them together in a clear and pragmatic approach.
Premise: we want to build an SDK on top of the tools we generally use:
CMake, Qt, KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma, QML and C++.
For starters, we have two different major scopes: Integration with Plasma and Cross-platform facilities.
KDE Applications should be as distributable and portable as possible. On the other hand, we should be providing the tools to specifically integrate to the Plasma Workspaces.
Applications have different use-cases than the Plasma Workspaces. While applications need to be as easily distributable as possible, Plasma will want to have as much control on the system as needed to work accurately. Therefore, we want applications interacting with Qt5+KF5 and integrating through Qt abstractions, while Plasma will want to interact random components in the system regardless without fear.
What I propose:
Once we get there, we will be able to think about developers and:
So this are mostly thoughts, I would like to know if you’d be interested in the project. I think it makes a lot of sense to figure this out and then gather this year’s Randa meeting to make sure we’re coming up with a coherent next development platform.
This is the first of three posts where I am going to share my vision for the desktop apps of the short-term future.
When I am using my workstation or laptop I find myself spending most of my time in the browser, with it I do a lot of different tasks I used to be doing with many different native applications for example: listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, sending pictures…
When I am using my tablet or phone though the situation changes. I find myself rarely using the browser, in fact I only use it to visit some site I saw on another app like Twitter or Facebook.
At the beginning (HTC Magic, my first Android phone) I thought this was because the browser was so unbearable that they had to come out with an alternative to the web, so they came out with “specific apps”, that is one app per each internet service or purpose.
But things have evolved since, and now my Nexus5 and 7 can render websites some times even better and faster than my laptop, but anyway I still prefer to use Android apps. Why?
Both web and android apps are way better at managing content than we are.
They always have something to show to you: perhaps something new that might interest you? perhaps a bold guess based on you previous search? or perhaps just what is “hot” nearby? Two of the best example are Youtube and Spotify.
Your content is available everywhere, and I am not talking only about putting stuff into the “cloud” but I am talking about your online profile. Continuing with the example of Youtube and Spotify on both apps you will have your: playlist, subscriptions, radios, friend list on any device either via the app or the web.
Sharing content is damn easy on both either by copying the url on the Web or by clicking the omnipresent share button in Android. As a matter of fact I don’t remember the last time I shared a picture or an article using a desktop app… Probably it was really long ago.
They know what content you like… They know your habits… They know everything and they use it to provide the most convenient content at all time. Oh look! It is Monday, perhaps you want to watch the new video uploaded in this Youtube channel as you do every week?
Finally, both web and Android apps try to avoid making the user think too much which I find it to be a relief when I am using them. Again they do this by knowing what content you are interested on and by providing it to you in the best possible way.
That is it for now, In part II I will explain the current situation of the desktop apps and in part III I will show a mockup of a video app I hope to work on someday. In the meanwhile what do you think? Is the same thing I describe in this article happening to you?
If you’ve been following development in KDE recently, you might have the feeling that either it’s not changing much or we’re doing things that are not having an immediate impact on our daily life.
This is changing soon, the KDE developers have definitely been busy. We’ve been preparing the technical layer where we will base our future technologies. That’s Qt 5 and the KDE Frameworks 5, which has been discussed and documented largely.
Anyway, I didn’t want to discuss about the past today, but instead point you out that everything is in place for you to start porting the project of your liking and start taking advantage of Qt5 and KF5.
So if you’re interested, just take a peek at the projects that are already ported (Kate, KDE Workspace, KAlgebra, KGeography and probably others I’m not aware of, you can check if the repository has a frameworks branch) and give it a try.
If you have questions, remember you can use #kde-devel in irc.freenode.org, kde-frameworks-devel mailing list.
Interesting times coming, do you want to be part of it?
Qt and KDE will be present at FOSDEM, the largest open-source event in Europe. One more year, we will be sharing the Desktops DevRoom with Gnome, Unity, Enlightenment, LXQt and Hawaii (a Qt Quick desktop environment). We recently published the schedule for the devroom, which will be also available in the printed booklet available at the front desk.
For the 2014 edition, the FOSDEM organization wants to achieve 100% recording of presentations. That means every presentation, in every room (devroom, lightning talk, main conference, etc) must be recorded. That’s hundreds of talks. While the FOSDEM and devrooms organization teams comprise a lot of people, we are far too busy already with the organizative stuff and cannot spend time doing the actual recordings.
Good thing is, you can help!
Do you want to join the FOSDEM Video Team and receive the t-shirt? We are now looking for volunteer cameramen (and camerawomen, of course ).
FOSDEM will provide you with equipment and training, you only need to start recording, focus, make sure nobody gets between the camera and the speaker/stage, etc. You do NOT need to record the whole track, even one talk recording would help. More details on what will be required from you are available in this e-mail from Wouter.
Please contact me (pgquiles at elpauer dot org) if you are interested in recording one or more presentations from the Desktops DevRoom.
If you are reading this blog you probably know how things work in the GNU/Linux Desktop, some people develop software and then some other people distribute that software. This usually works quite well since the people distributing the software (In this case KDE software) work with us, and together we make sure that the final product is awesome.
This system works as long as both, upstream (KDE) and downstream (Distributions) work together, but some times collaboration does not happen and problems appear. In those cases the experience that the user gets is not the experience we designed from KDE.
This is quite similar to what happens in the Android world, HTC/Samsung/LG do their own versions of it containing a different set of applications, configurations, services, etc. Google then releases what their think Android should be. In the same way Kubuntu/Opensuse/Fredora/Chakra do what they think is correct when it comes to updates, default applications, modify our software etc, meaning that in most cases the software is delivered in a different way from what we envision.
This is why I want you to demand to your distribution to offer a full KDE Experience, this means:
In order for distributions to do this we need to build some infrastructure we currently lack; what is the latest supported virtuoso? or the latest supported BlueZ? Currently only the respective developers know about these things.
While we work on setting up those bits of infrastructure there are things you can already demand from your distributions – minor upgrades, no patching, or making all pre-releases available.
Since January 2013 the BlueSystems office in Barcelona has been open for anybody related to KDE to join us, a great example has been Albert Vaca who has been coming to the office to work on his GSoC, some other examples are the mini Framework sprints that have been held in the office.
Now, we are happy to announce that the Office is finally ready to hold sprints up to 30 people, and our intention is to hold as many sprints/KDE Events as possible!
The office is situated in Barcelona centre:
And it has all the commodities needed for a sprint:
So, if you are thinking on organizing a sprint know that our office is always available!
Hope to see you in Barcelona !
The Solid team that I am member of, focuses on all things hardware, a few examples of our efforts are: Bluedevil, KScreen, kde-colord, powerdevil, libsolid, plasma-nm…
Since we are aware of how essential good hardware support is for having a good experience we try our best to deliver highly usable and simple interfaces that will enable any kind of user to unleash all the potential of their hardware. That is why usability is a top priority for us.
A few years ago something as simple as connecting into a wifi was a difficult and scary task to perform under our workspace, and most of the times it just did not work. Nowadays networking is not a problem any more, plasma-nm works reliably and we keep iterating on its design with the mission of having the most beautiful, clean and functional interface possible. And it is here we need your help.
We need some icons to be done for Plasma-nm that integrate with the current theme. We are aware that working for somebody else’s theme is not a fun job but trust me, neither is most of the hardware work we do.
So, who is going to be our design hero? Who will work with us to bring networking to the next level?
If you want to help, please Contact Jan Grulich jgrulich at redhat dot com
After months of discontinued work we are happy to announce BlueDevil 2.0 !
The 2.0 version brings the same experience we can find in the 1.X series but using the new BlueZ5 stack which at least on our testing improves a lot the general stability and specially on sending/receiving/sharing files via Bluetooth.
In this major version we have focused on rapidly adopting the new technology so we don’t have many changes visible to the user, we have added though a few things we hope you will like.
All parts of BlueDevil are now more aware of multiple adapters, wizard, bluetooth:// (kio) and system tray are some examples.
The Wizard is now more intelligent than before, it will connect to the right profile automatically making the setup of Mouse, Keyboard and Headsets more pleasant.
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We need a lot of testing! This is major change for BlueDevil and even though we have done our best to make sure the first release is free of bugs it will be a miracle if that’s true!
Fill bugs at http://bugs.kde.org under Solid/bluetooth version 2.0-rc1, it is important that you set the version since 2.X bugs will be given more priority.
Finally I’d like to thank Daniel Schaal who did most of the work in libbluedevil and ported other bits in the applications.