Ubuntu Summit 2022 Prague

Arriving for the first session

One of the lovelyest things about open community development is you can do it from home but you also get to travel to fancy places to meet your fellow devs and share ideas. Lockdowns stopped that for two years but with Akademy last month it felt like open tech life could return to a more fun state. Then came the return of a meeting that had last happened a decade ago, the Ubuntu Summit. A bunch of KDE devs were invited, me (who does KDE neon), Ade (who does Calamares installer), Scarlett (who does Snap packages), Aleix (who does Discover app installers), Harald (KDE neon), Luca (OpenRazor and hangs around KDE).

Scarlett Gives a Workshop on KDE apps as Snap packages

Unlike the old Ubuntu Developer Summits this wasn’t aimed at planning the next Ubuntu release, they had already spent the last two weeks in the same hotel doing that. This was just a fun sharing of ideas conference where people gave talks and workshops on what they were working on.

Me and Scarlett gave a lightning talk on KDE Snaps and Scarlett gave a workshop on KDE Snaps. KDE has over 100 apps in the Snap store, a great way to get KDE software promptly.

Ade gave a talk about his Calamares distro installer and compared it to Ubuntu’s installer which is being rewritten in Flutter. Harald gave talks on KDE neon and on secrets of KDE Plasma. Aleix spoke about the KDE community and what we do. Ade also talked about KDE Frameworks.

KDE 1 mascot Kandalf is Harald’s favourite character

There was plenty of talks on Snaps, it’s how Canonical makes money where it’s used in embedded devices, if you can call a 10 ton steel press an embedded device. Adam Szopa works for KDE and also Canonical and he gave a talk on Linux gaming, I hear Canonical has a whole team just to get gaming working well. Canonical also makes money from Microsoft’s Windows Services for Linux (WSL) and there were a bunch of talks showing this off. Using JuJu to set up servers is another large project Canonical works on which had some talks. Flutter seems very fashionable, a rival to Qt that is gaining attention, it uses the Dart programming language and is designed for mobile devices but Canonical has been working with Google to port it to Linux desktops (using GTK).

KDE spods at Ubuntu Summit 2022

It was great to catch up with Erich Eickmeyer who makes Ubuntu Studio and works for Kubuntu Focus selling laptops with Plasma. Ubuntu Studio ships with Plasma of course. I spoke to him about Wayland and he says the next release (for Ubuntu plus Plasma) is looking great for Wayland.

It was also great to meet Simon Quigley (tsimonq2) who does Lubuntu and has worked on Kubuntu. LxQt is a lightweight Linux desktop and probably one of the largest users of KDE Frameworks outside KDE, they use KScreen, KIdleTime, Solid, KWindowSystem and probably other Frameworks.

Head Honcho Shuttleworth

Canonical is reported to be profitable and hiring (after some “brutal times”) and spirits seem to be good. They have a community team now and are keen to engage.

There were also inspiring talks from e.g. a Zimbabwean developer talking about the challenges of taking software development on donkeys here he lives. Geopolitics is an interesting subject but one aspect I’ve not thought about before is how countries with a coastline can connect their internet directly to the world while countries without such as Zimbabwe are dependent on neighbouring countries to pass it through.

Lorenzo’s Music is an open source band who create on Github using Ubuntu Studio and Kdenlive. They gave a great performance on the river boat cruise under the Charles bridge in Prague.

Thanks to Canonical for sponsoring travel and helping us re-engage.

Akademy 2022 the BoFs

Geeks on a mountain

After two days of talks we have moved to a week of BoF sessions. (I’m not a fan of the term BoF but I’ve never managed to think of anything better.) Here’s some notes I made incase anyone is interested.

The big news is the Frameworks 6 session had some Plasma people there too and voila we have a plan for 6. Most Frameworks and even most Plasma is already working with Qt 6. So the last Frameworks 5 release is due in December and then work will happen to finalise the porting to Frameworks 6 and once that’s solid releases will start again using Qt 6. And for Plasma we’ll make a final Plasma 5 release at the start of next year versioned 5.27. That will be LTS so we’ll stop the 5.24 LTS releases and make further 5.27 releases as long as they are useful. The finalising of the porting to Qt 6 will start in January and we’ll schedule a release whenever that becomes practicle which should be not too far into 2023.

Our BoF sessions are Covid secure

We had a session with App Stores looking at what are the most popular products and what methods are there to make money. My notes say we discussed charging some money on the Windows store for say Okular and monitor how well that goes down. There’s also ideas of bundling games together. Monitoring could be implemented with KUserFeedback. KStars could be worth asking money for but that’s already on the MS store for free. Automatic testing would be very useful for app deployment, possibly with OpenQA or other tech. I asked for help with packaging Kontact and Akonadi in Snaps (Flatpaks need it too).

Chillaxing between sessions

The translations, which have always been kept separate in KDE codebase, are now copied nightly into master by the Scripty script. This should make it easier to make tars although releaseme will continue to copy over the latest translations when run. Some apps need CMake updated for this change. Most importantly this means KTuberling can compile in KDE neon for the first time years.

Speaking of KDE neon, we had a KDE neon session. Nate suggested the idea of making a specification that could be applies to brand any distro spin which would require it to ship up to date KDE software, apply recommended patches prompty, use KDE’s Qt branches, use recommended software suite, not change wallpapers etc. We decided that using the neon branch for this was not the way to go but it could be e.g. a Plasma Distro Experience certified brand. Needs someone to make the spec and the test suite.

Back to neon proper we discussed the rebase on ubuntu 22.04 which is almost nearly ready and David Redondo was good enough to do a live upgrade in the BoF but it broke in various ways so I guess some more fixes needed here. The problems of invent gitlab rejecting our server for Git requests was dicussed, it’s the main thing that drags neon releases when we are slow, more debugging is needed. We pondered added RiscV and concluded “do it”. Moving our infrastructure into invent is still blocking on a service which orders the builds. kdeedu-data builds are still broken (because translations are funny here) and Albert has said he’ll write the code for this.

On Wednesday we had a nice hike up the mountain of Montserrat and then an even longer hike downwards.

KDE went up a mountain

On Thursday David Faure gave us a training on debugging and profiling as sponsored by KDAB. He took us through using strace. rr is for record and replay which lets gdb do a reverse run which is useful for non-deterministic tests that randomly fail. And for gdb he recommends using cgdb the ncurses frontend for it. He took us through gammaway which lets you see lots of interesting Qt goings on such as which signals and slots get run, which settings are set in widgets etc etc. radardoc is a good debugging tool for graphics calls. And he took us through compiler sanitizers which get more debug tooling into gcc and clang and works similar to Valgrid but with some different properties.

Later on we went for pizza on the beach.

My Photo Album

Akademy Talks Day 2

The sun is shining, the beach is busy, the cava is flowing, the record shops are full of hipsters. Akademy is in full swing here in Barcelona, Here’s some scribbled notes I took from some of the talks I went to incase they are any interest to anyone.

The keynote was from Ashai dev Hector Martin. Ashai Linux runs on M1 ARM macs. EFI is a security nightmare, it’s an operating system in itself. Linus said Apple Macs won’t be available for Linux unless Apple opens up its GPU. Macs have a permissive mode to boot custom kernels including XNU (Apple’s open source OS kernel). He got himself a patreon and github sponsorship and enough people fund him to do it as a job. He did lots of impressive things to get Linux working on ARM M1 Macs and voila his video shows a Plasma desktop on a Mac.

Neil Gompa on Fedora and KDE

Neil Gompa spoke on Fedora. See http://fedoraloveskde.org/ . Packages by Fedora KDE SIG. Fedora has Wayland by default (also RHEL). Better graphics performance, less resource usage. For gaming SDL is Wayland native (Simmple Direcmedia Layer), needed replaced with a shim library for SDL 1 to use SDL 2. Fedora is first distro for Pipewire for all audio routing (dropping Pulseaudio and JACK). Btrfs by default, optimised for flash storage, transparent compression, improves space efficiency and IO performance. The flagship variant is Fedora KDE Plasma Spin. It has some minor branding and usability tweaks, Firefox as browser, FirewallD and SELinux. Fedora Kinoite launched last year, minimal default experience, rpm-ostree immutable base, apps as Flatpaks. In RHEL Plasma is in Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux. CentIS Hyperscale and AlmaLinux have Plasma ISOs from RHEL. (AlmaLinux is a RHEL rebuilt and replaces much of what CentOS used to.) In the future they hope to make SDDM use Wayland (needs an SDDM release). Fedora workstation is shipped by Lenovo and more, he wants Fedora KDE on hardware. The out of box experience isn’t great for this yet but he’s working with Nate to do it. Plasma Mobile packages just integrated into Fedora Rawhide so maybe x86 tablets and then ARM device support.
Wayland downside are that it has quirkyness, multi monitor quirky, mixed DPI is quirky, Plasma Wayland is pretty much feature complete. Accessibility not there and input methods not there so no screen readers. Plasma LTS was horrible to maintain as a distro because underlying frameworks and apps not inline. He suggests to spend the energy of Plasma LTS dev fixing normal Plasma releases.

Volker Krause spoke about push notifications, they must be part of the platform and app does not need to run, there’s potential for apps to abuse them but they are crucial for some uses. On proprietary systems (Google, Apple, Windows) you are locked in, they can’t be removed. UnifiedPush standardises interface and DBus, Android etc. Push drivers are Ntfy, NextPush (for NextCloud), Gotify. Android distributors FCM bridge. DBus mostly proof of concept. He shows the distributor in the KCM. He shows an app subscribed to notifications of German weather warnings. There’s legal and privacy risks: storage, authentication and encryption is not standardised. We have all the blocks, the main challenge is hosting the provider service.

Lunch Time

Shyamnath Premnadh (Shyam) spoke on How C++ and Python can thrive together. He’s a Senior Software dev at Qt for Python team. C++ is loved, fast, control, mature etc. Python is also popular, at least from Stackoverflow rankings. You wouldn’t use C++ for something quick and dirty. He gives some exmaples of where Python is easier than C++. Qt for Python is an application suite. Pyside6qmlls, Shiboken, assistant, linguist and others. Shiboken makes the bindings, it uses libclang to parse the Qt headers. He shows a C++Papp with Python plugins which can change the themes and other settings in the C++ app. The code to make this is easy and he shows that too. He shows QtScrypt, a proof of concept for integrating Python inside C++ in the same file. He shows pyside-deploy making a Flatpak package for his app.

Volker Krause spoke about Frameworks 6 porting. At Akademy 2019 they made a plan, do the work in the Qt 5 codebase, branch late, actionable tasks. Now KF builds on Linux, BSD and Android. Windows has 30 of 55 building. CI coverage is good. Plasma platform integration builds and works. QtWidget apps work, QML ones need more work. He shows his desktop running Kate with KF6, then Konsole, then Systemsettings. And he reveals that the whole Plasma desktop and KWin is running with KF6. This is not the out of box experience it requires some modifications for QML. ToDo before we can branch is not much. Still to be decided the scope, just KF6 or Plasma as well.

Pleasingly I tested free of Flu and Covid. Masks are still needed though.

Lydia talks about fundraising with Jean-Baptiste. It was lots of work and not cool. They’re trying project specific fundraising starting with Kdenlive. Jean-Baptiste takes the stage, their workload is increasing, they want a sustainable project. That needs a CI for binaries. For 1 year he’s been working with the e.V. board on a fundraiser. Signed a contract in March for the new fundraising software. Launched September. After 12 days it has now raised over €12,000 which is amazing. Challenges: make it sustainable. Increase presence in schools. Keep having fun. Lydia says contact the board if you want to do the same with your app.

Albert Astals Cid talks about security, 9 people with history in KDE (3 of them accounts so old they don’t know when they started). Needs new blood. When they get an e-mail they reply to say “thanks we will look into it”. Then check if it’s a bug or a feature. Then contact with someone who might be able to fix it. Get a CVE and publish. But you need to be careful when else it’ll go on The Register. They would like help from oss-fuzz adding kfilemetadata, baloo, kmime etc. They want KAuth uses audited.

Healthy Mind Healthy Code talk with Harald

Harald talks about Healthy Mind Healthy Code. He became aware some people had problems and struggles with their KDE contributing. It’s important to have sleep. Learn to say no. Have friendships. Reflect on your state on mind, maybe you’re being stressed out by KDE. You should be mindful you should get something out of it. You don’t want to lose sleep over it. Know your limits, do not stress too much if you can’t fix all the bugs in the world (half might do). Sometimes its OK to take a holiday for a couple of years. Do not over plan your life. He points to a Gitlab activity chart showing gaps, gaps are a good thing as it means you did go on holiday.

Akademy Award Winners

Akademy Awards winners for winning app is KStars, winning developer is Harald, winning non-dev contributions is Aniqa.

Akademy next year will be in Greece! Now onto the week of Birds of a Feather Meetings!

Party Time at the Social Event

Akademy 2022 in Barcelona Day 1 Talks

Akademy Talks in Barcelona

Akademy is back, online and in person. FFP2 masks being the only sign of a pandemic having happened. Barcelona is warm and sunny and we’re meeting at the Universidad Polytechniqua de Catalunya in grand lecture theatres with high def projectors. It’s great to see some old faces and some new and discuss the progress of the last couple of years since we could last meet. Here’s some notes on some talks I went to.

Volker Hilsheimer gives the keynote aschief architect of Qt for last 6 months. We are 2 years into Qt 6 and stuff is still being ported. Qt 6.4 is now out and it adds QtLocation as the last major module to be ported to 6. Qt WebAssembly is an important development, zero deploy, near native performance, Web in Qt and Qt in Web, they consider it to be Docker for Apps. How will KDE use it? Lots of work is happening to make Qt prepared for C++20. C++23 is on its way, stuff like the stack tracing library will be valuable. There’s some C++ successor languages upcoming like cppfront and carbon which they want to see what’s relevant. Python is something they have invested in. People are asking about Rust, they’re not actively doing anything but it’s something they’ll need to look into. Many people think of Qt as a user interface library, that’s not the only aspect but it’s a big part of it. What controls are still missing? QtWidgets they won’t throw much resources at, they will keep it relevant and up to date but QtQuick is where they want to put effort. They have not spent a great deal of time making sure Qt apps look great on the Linux desktop in recent years – they are now looking at that again. HMI, Human Machine Interface, is relevant. Connectivity is interesting for Qt (it’s not just a UI framework). Community is important for the Qt project, there’s a long and good history with the KDE community. Qt now has a community manager Pedro Bessa (who takes the stage). Almost 100% of the real world problems being solved with Qt is done outwith Qt Company so your perspective is important to them. 1/3 of maintainers are outside the Qt Company. Having an ecosystem for Qt. A question about speed recognition in Qt? Yes, contribution was this summer to QtSpeech repo.

This big church looks familiar

Adam Szopa goals talk. Goals initiative was started in the distant past of 2017. In 2019 Wayland, Consistency and All About the Apps kicked off. Then Covid happened.

Aleix talks about Apps: if humanity used more of our apps we would have less wars. It’s hard for us to do all the work. Are we as good as it gets to getting the last mile? On all the stores and all the platforms? We always have a one to one relationship with the app and the user. Snapcraft has most apps and 350k base users, 60,000 installs of Krita and Kdenlive. Flathub has 120 apps with Krita and Kdenlive most popular at about 25,000 installs. On Google Play Krita has 1m active installs (Android and ChromeOS) which KDE Connect has 300k installs. The Craft SDK now works for Android. KDE Connect uses native Java-style code in Android. Windows store has lots of users, 1M Krita installs but otherwise only 8 apps. Apple not convenient, incompatible with GPL in the store.

Snaps give us some stats. 350,000 active installs of the base. 60,000 active installs of the most popular apps Krita and Kdenlive.

Niccolo and The Dawn of Consistency. He gives the example of KHamburgerMenu which should have a similar widget which is a panel, having a common component was something he kept talking of but it was never done. App redundancy, one part of the goal was removing multiple applications. This depends if KDE is an umbrella for any app or if it’s a brand that promotes a set of apps. For example Maui is very much doing the wrong thing with their own design with their own Kit and they have their own shell but MauiShel isn’t part of KDE even though MauiKit is. Maybe we should have a requirement for KDE look and feel as part of being KDE. Some apps are a bit stagnant, in general I’d like to move them to Kirigami because that helps consistency. Kate and KWrite use the same code so congratulations. Band consistency, many apps had their own website, there has been a lot of improvement for this. Consistency within applications has improved.

Méven talks about Wayland goal. In Plasma 5.24 we got the Overview Effect, improved NVidia support (where the distro uses the patches), improved stability too. In Plasma 5.25 we got touch mode for better tablet support and a tonne of stability improvements. In Plasma 5.26 we got improved virtual keyboard support, improved graphical tablet support, xwayland and DPI improvements and a lot of stability improvement. But showstoppers are still missing colour profiles, blurry rendering with fractional scaling and many more. Virtualisation and screen recording still needed before people can switch from X.

Announcing the New Goals for 2022:
KDE For All: Boosting Accessibility with Carl
Automate and systematize internal processes with Nate – make sure people’s processes they know about are automated so when they move on that knowledge is still there, e.g. bug triaging, CI checks, document knowledge, doing off-boarding when people leave,
Sustainable Software with Corelius, see eco.kde.org

Barcelona goes hipster with record store cocktail bars

Tomaz spoke on Terminals. Unix users will use a shell, but terminals are difficult. He got some users to use different terminals with various tasks: how to change text size, how to open another program etc. 5 different universities took part. Changing text size. For xterm etc 0%, gnome-terminal 90% could but the name of option is “zoom”. Konsole 100%. Kitty is a new terminal based on Rust got 70%. Copy and paste didn’t work well as everyone used control-c (except on MacOS) maybe we should allow control-C for copy. One student cried in despair. Thankfully Konsole has sane defaults but we are still far from good. He demos the SSH session panel and the quick commands

Devin Lin and Bhushan spoke about Plasma Mobile. Within Plasma Mobile there’s over 40+ projects, 300+ tickets and 6+ active downstreams (opensuse, fedora, manjaro, postmarketOS etc). He showed the new shell as it will be in Plasma 5.26. He shows the quick settings. In the middle is the pin view with notifications, the same tech as desktop. He shows the audio applet and lock screen notifications. For telephony they switched from ofono to modemmanager. Plasma Dialer is for calls. Spacebar app is for SMS and MMS. callaudiod from Mobian for audio routing. There’s convergent apps like Discover, Elisa, Koko, Kasts, Neochat, KClock etc. Some mobile specific apps like Angelfish, QMLKonsole. Supports Pinephones and postmarketOS supporter devices such as OnePlus 6. It can also be installed anywhere on Linux distros. But there is more vendor lock in coming, a fragmentation between open mobile communities. Coming up: Kontact. Improved tablet support. And a great feature would be full convergence – you can walk up to monitors and plug in mouse and keyboard and get a desktop.

Bhush and Devin talk Plasma Mobile

KDE Snap Packages now on ARM and KDE Invent CI

KDE’s apps are available to install from the Snap store. 110 of them are packaged there ready to run on pretty much any Linux distro out there.

There’s 350,000 devices with KDE snaps installed in the last week. The most popular Snaps are Okular, Krita with 50,000 devices this week. Kdenlive has nearly 44,000. Kolourpaint is popular at over 20,000.

Thanks to the help of Maximilian Federle they are now built on KDE’s Invent CI. In turn this farms off the build to Launchpad which means they get built for both AMD64 and ARM64, great for running on your Raspberry Pi.

Take a look at the packaging repo. Come talk to us in the KDE neon chat room. Read the packaging guidelines. All app developers should get familiar with at least the basics of getting apps onto the stores so come and say hi. Lots more Snaps need updates and testing and various fixes.

Krita running from a Snap on a Raspberry Pi

OpenUK Awards 2022

OpenUK is the non-profit body which promotes Open tech in the UK.

Nominations are now open for the OpenUK Awards 2022.

We’ve run our annual awards ceremony to recognise great Open tech contributions for the last two years with great success and this year nominations are open for you to join or point is to the best people, organisations and projects that need rewarded.

Two years ago it we had dinner sent to your door during Covid. Last year we dined at the centre of the world at COP26. This year we’re Lording it up with a ceremony and dinner in the House of Lords on 30 November.

House of Commons

Last week we had a preview of the event, a delayed Burns supper in the House of Commons. One of the wonderful aspects of Open tech is how it gets you to exciting places and meet interesting people. In this case SNP MPs hosted and we got to promote KDE and tech freedom.

So please nominate yourself, your project, your company or your org. Or if you know someone else who should be nominated go and nominate them. We have three fine judges lined up who will go over the entries so remember to give a good writeup of what the work done is and why it deserves recognition along with links to code repos etc so we can research it.

Categories are: software, sustainability, data, belonging, young person, finance, individual, hardware and security.

Nominate now. And take a look at the 2021 OpenUK awards for more inspiration.

KUserFeedback 1.2.0

KUserFeedback is a library for collecting user feedback for apps via telemetry and surveys.
Version 1.2.0 is now available for packaging.

https://download.kde.org/stable/kuserfeedback/kuserfeedback-1.2.0.tar.xz


Signed byE0A3EB202F8E57528E13E72FD7574483BB57B18D Jonathan Esk-Riddell <jr@jriddell.org>
https://jriddell.org/esk-riddell.gpg

https://download.kde.org/stable/kuserfeedback/kuserfeedback-1.2.0.tar.xz.sig

Changes:

? bump version for new release
? opengl source: Do not crash if we could not make our context current
? Add Linux Qt6 CI
? Make UserFeedbackConsole build with Qt6
? Fix linking libKUserFeedbackCommon.a
? Build with C++17
? Build docs on Qt6 too
? Adapt CMake code to make it build with Qt6
? Add auto generated files to .gitignore
? Add FreeBSD CI
? Add Android CI
? Enable Linux CI
? Fix typos found by codespell
? Qt 6: Replace calls to removed QDateTime(QDate) constructor
? Qt 6: Fix issues caused by size() returning a qsizetype
? Qt 6: Remove QNetworkRequest::FollowRedirectsAttribute
? Replace declarations of QVector, QStringList
? CMake: Allow building with Qt 6
? Qt 6: Replace QMap&lt;QVariant …
? Qt 6: Fix signature of methods for QQmlListProperty
? Fix cmake warning
? Port away from ECMSetupVersion&#39;s deprecated *_VERSION_STRING CMake variable
? Make the survey expression variant comparison work with Qt6 as well
? Use non-deprecated QStandardPaths enum values
? Make QString to QUuid conversion explicit
? fix Windows compile, no unistd.h needed
? Update historical links to cgit.kde.org.
? Check for invalid JSON first, then for empty objects
? Don&#39;t record telemetry-less survey queries, that just produces empty rows
? Fix php unit tests
? Also record the device pixel ratio
? [server] Convert JSON fetch to stream data
? Provider: add API to restore default user-visible settings
? Always show the &quot;View previously submitted data…&quot; link
? Add appdata file for UserFeedbackConsole
? KUserFeedback: Convert license headers to SPDX expressions
? Fix area charts with Qt 5.14
? Use KDE_INSTALL_LOGGINGCATEGORIESDIR with ECM &gt;= 5.58
? Make it compile without deprecated method

Plasma 5.24 Beta Review Day

Plasma 5.24 Beta Review Day

When a new Plasma release enters Beta Phase, there are three weeks of intense testing, bugfixing and polishing.

During this time we need as many users and developers as possible to help with finding regressions, trying to reproduce incoming reports and generally being on top of as much as possible. The more users, workflows, use cases and hardware the tests are being run on greatly helps to cover a wide variety of the entire software stack.

In order to make this process more accessible, more systematic and hopefully more fun we have an official “Plasma Beta Review Day”

Who can take part?

Any user of plasma who is able and willing to install the latest beta or run a live ISO with our beta on it and wants to help.

When will it take place?

Thursday 20 January 2022 11:00UTC – 17:00UTC

Please see our Plasma Schedule in the Future releases section. Look for Beta Review Day.

Where will it be coordinated?

Join us in our Matrix chat room.

What will this consist of?

  • Introductions to Our Bugzilla Bugtracking System for people who want support for filing or triaging their first bugs
  • Being assigned a short list of bugs to validate or de-duplicate entries (for those more experienced)
  • Going through a defined list of all the new areas of Plasma to check for regressions
  • Developers being online: if Developers can get debug info for issues you have (we will help you with getting this info), they might be able identify and fix things in real time!

What should I prepare?

Ideally, get yourself set up with a beta of the latest Plasma. You can either use one of the Live-Images (without the need to install) or use packages provided by your distribution.

Disclaimer: As this is Beta Software, there is a (small) chance that you might encounter data loss if you’re installing the Beta version to your system. Make sure that you backup any data before installing. Users of the Live-Image are less likely to encounter data loss, but a backup of your data is still encouraged!

If you can’t use the Plasma beta on your own system, shells.com has provided us demo accounts, so you can try the beta inside your web browser. These accounts will be available in the shared notes in the web conference channel.

We hope to see you all soon!

OpenUK Awards 2021, COP26 and KDE

The OpenUk awards reconise and celebrate the best in open tech in the UK over the last year. We have a bunch of awards this year and the shortlists are up. I’ve clerked the judges into tracking down the gossip on all the shortlisted nominees and we do have final winners which will be announced at the ceremony on Thursday evening.

The ceremony is at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. This is the UN conference to try to get international agreement on mitigating the worst affects of the climate crisis. We’ll be one of the last events there.

I’ll be making announcement about KDE’s sustainability effort in front of the politicians and tech audience which I’m very excited about.

You can sign up to watch the day event on sustainability in tech. The evening award ceremony will have its video published shortly after the event.

Who’s is nominated I hear you ask?

OpenUK Awards Shortlist 2021

Belonging – sponsored by Osmii

Pride at SUSE – Rob Knight – executive lead and ambassador for “Pride at SUSE”

Red Hat B.U.I.L.D UK&I – Ally Kouao – who set up the UK and Ireland chapter of Red Hat’s Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.)

Endless Compute – Endless’ commitment to open source and an inclusive community goes beyond their own work sharing their OS to promote digital inclusion, to sponsoring the creation of the GNOME Community Engagement Awards, promoting bringing people into open source.

Data: 

Open Knowledge Foundation – a global, non-profit network that promotes and shares information at no charge, including both content and data

Viæ Regiæ project – Viæ Regiæ project aims to extract data on early modern transport networks from historic maps and documents in Britain

Code the City – is dedciated to the use of tech and data for civic good

Hardware – sponsored by The Stack

Lime Micro – Lime Micro specialises in field programmable RF (FPRF) transceivers, SDR platforms and ecosystem technology for the next generation of wireless broadband systems.

Gatecat – developer of nextpnr, the open source FPGA place and route tool

DevTank, HILTOP – Tim Telford – Devtank are an open source test and measurement business dedicated to supplying high quality solutions to businesses across many sectors including space, aerospace, telecoms, defence and green energy

Finance – sponsored by FINOS

Starling Bank – Starling Bank has built its business on open source software

Wise – open source technologies: MariaDB, Envoy and Orchestrator

Software – sponsored by GitLab

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – Their Child Health Digital Growth API wraps all complexity the of child growth in a simple REST API

The Herald Proximity Project – creates an opensource and privacy focused Proximity Measurement and Digital Contact Tracing solution

Open Health Hub – runs an open forum, which provides the only completely independent, open internet-facing, and free place to discuss health technology in the UK’s four NHSes

Sustainability – sponsored by Centre for Net Zero

Turing Institute – The Turing Way – The Turing Way is an open-source project that involves and supports its diverse community to make data science reproducible, ethical, collaborative and inclusive for everyone.

Icebreaker One – an independent, non-partisan non-profit with global reach, which aims to influence investment decisions of $3.6T/year to deliver net-zero by 2030

DevTank, Open Smart Monitor – Tim Telford – an open source test and measurement business

Individual – sponsored by Open Source Connections 

Catherine Stihler – Chief Executive Officer of the Open Knowledge Foundation

Kevin Mayfield – an integral part of the Open Health Hub

Cheryl Hung – VP ecosystem at the Cloud Native Foundation

Young Person (under 25) – sponsored by JetStack

Lowena Hull – Lowena has been volunteering and speaking at events to promote girls in technology

Samuel Van Stroud – Turing Data Stories has the goal of developing an open-source platform that enhances the understanding of the world around us through

Paul Ogbonoko Owoicho – PhD candidate who researches Mixed-Initiative interaction for Conversational Search System

See you there!

OpenUK Open Technology for Sustainability and OpenUK Awards 2021

This week sees COP26, the UN conference which is probably the last chance for humanity to mitigate the worse effects of the climate emergency.

At Akademy earlier this year KDE had a talk about Towards Sustainable Computing. Open tech can make a difference.

OpenUK will be hosting a venue on 11 November with a day of events about sustainability with technology emphasising why open tech is the most effective way to do that.

Sessions include an opening from former government minister Francis Maude, Launch of the OpenUK Consortium Data Centre Blueprint, Open Collaboration Opening Sustainability led by Red Hat, Opening Up the Energy Sector, building the Sustainable Open Future for the UK.

In the evening I’ll be hosting the OpenUK awards 2021, showcasing and recognising the best people and organisations for open tech in the UK.

Do join us online for the streaming of the event Join us Digitally on 11 November

Plasma 25th Anniversary Edition Beta Testing Day

Friday 1 October is the testing day for Plasma 25th Anniversary Edition.

Please show up on our Plasma Matrix room (accessible on Libera IRC as #plasma) and download one or more rolling distros with the beta on. Distros with Plasma beta.

You can also try the KDE neon Docker image

I’ll get a shells.com machine running for us to try out too.

I’ll be online 11:00UTC – 23:00UTC (midday to midnight UK times, 13:00 to 01:00 CEST) to answer questions and get bugs to the right place.

You’ll kick yourself if you don’t help out and that annoying bug is still there 🙂

Married with New Name

With pandemic oncoming and it being unclear if lockdown or societal collapse would happen in the next few days Nim asked if I would marry her in March 2020. After some guessing what format we could do for a wedding and shifting dates (we played with having 20 people at a breakfast and another 20 at the wedding and another 20 in a garden after to keep to the rules) we managed a lovely wedding in a Quaker Meeting for Worship for Marriage surrounded by friends and family.

The modern dilemma of what to do with surnames has no perfect solution, either one name disappears or you double it up and shift the problem to the next generation. So instead we added a new name taken from our house. I am now Jonathan Esk-Riddell and she is Nim Esk-Kibbler. Esk means river in pre-Welsh Brythonic, we live in Esk Tower, it’s also short and easy to spell.

Pro-photos still to come but lots of people now uploading them of our 4-venue all-day party.

I am awfae happy.

Linux App Summit 2020

For those who don’t follow KDE’s instagram feed, get with the programme chicos!

Here’s some pics from the Linux App Summit 2020 you’ll find there

Conference opening by Aleix

Rohan has he first talk about graphics on Linux. Rohan is an elite Linux graphics dev.

This is a reel. I’m not sure what a reel is but it’s a moving image on the Instagram.

Greg K-H had a keynote where he said KDE does it right, keeping libraries stable is hard (KF5 now 6 years in). Evolve you App.

Alexis (not to be confused with Aleix) talking about AppImage Builder, which magically works out how to make an AppImage package from your running app.

MyGNUHealth is a useful system for health records with an app using Kirigami.

There’s also talks on Saturday. You can watch the live stream on Youtube. Or register and join in directly.

Just now we are enjoying a tour of Amalfi, a comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, We are learning about the Lemons of Salerno and because it’s 2020 making limonchello.

Linux App Summit starts on Thursday

The Linux App Summit runs this Thursday to Saturday. Like Akademy it’s scheduled on a Hispanic friendly time which gives sessions in the European morning (08:00UTC) good for out eastern friends and sessions in the European afternoons (15:30UTC) good for our western friends.

As well as the conference programme check out the Breakout sessions over a European lunch.

As well as updates on Snaps, Flathub and Appimage there’s talks on AppStream, libcamera and very exciting is CGroups. Register now to turn up on Thursday.

Kubuntu 15.04 Heating up

Kubuntu 15.04 development is in full swing and it’s looking like our 10th anniversary edition will be a classic.  We’re the first distribution to ship a stable version with Plasma 5, the desktop which is getting tech journalists excited.  My new favourite desktop they say.  A masterpiece  in the making they’re calling it.  The most exciting release in a long time they exclaim.

Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 1 is out and is working well for people wanting to try out Plasma 5.  We’ve deprecated the 14.10 Kubuntu-plasma5 packages, they were only ever tech preview and I’m afraid we don’t have the person-power to keep them updated, if you want Plasma 5 use the 15.04 Beta 1 for released versions or use Kubuntu CI images for Git versions.

Last week Ubuntu switched over to Systemd for boot system.  It’s complex and faffy but at least we have the same complex and faffy as the rest of the world.  There was a strange issue during the switchover where login manager SDDM suddenly disabled itself from starting.  If you get that just run:

systemctl enable sddm

With a new desktop comes the pleasingly satisfying work of integrating it, it’s not unlike when I first uploaded KDE 3 to Ubuntu.  This time though I’m better placed to put all the fixes upstream directly.  For example I’ve just setup gtkbreeze, a helper tool to set up GTK 2 and 3 themeing to mostly match Breeze.  But the icons don’t work, any help with that welcome.

Scarlett has updated Applications to 14.12.3.  Aaron H has updated the docs and the ubiquity slideshow. I’ve nudged the people and pulled the leavers to get KScreen released and print-manager KF5 happy (mostly thanks to Red Hat that one) and telepathy working nicely with Plasma 5 (Martin K gets bonus points there for the legacy presence applet). Package manager Muon now fits in so well with Plasma 5 it gets released with it thanks to Aleix. User Manager gets an update courtesy of Vishesh.  And Harald took time out from making all of KDE continuously integrate to port About Distro, you just can’t live without that one.

We’re still stuck on getting the new BlueDevil in, something in Ubuntu Touch needs ported to Bluez5 apparently.  Libreoffice is looking nice with Qt 4 Breeze theme but I’ve failed to get the breeze icons properly integrated, hopefully I’ll have a spare day soon for that.

There’s still plenty on the bugs list many of them probably quite easy to fix if you fancy helping out.  Our To Do list has plenty to be done including several that could be classes as junior jobs if you’re wanting to get into free software such as making some new recommended applications for the Muon Discover banner or reviewing the ISO contents to see if anything can be removed and get the size down a little.  We’re in #kubuntu-devel on freenode if you want to say hi.

 

 

Planet KDE Theme from Season of KDE

Season KDE is KDE’s annual project to give helpers a more structured way to take part in KDE.  It’s inspired by Summer of Code of course.

Today I had the pleasure of launching the new Planet KDE website theme done by Ranveer Aggarwal.  It looks very lovely and importantly makes the site a pleasure to browse on your phone.  Everyone hug him and do report any bugs to bugzilla.

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What’s happened with Kubuntu recently?

Kubuntu Wire seems to be down due to a server move so here's a Wire post on my blog written by Ilya Kowalewski as part of Google Code in...

Hey there, we’ve got some news for you, here in Kubuntu. Recently, we released Kubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1 (Vivid Vervet) with brand new Plasma 5 onboard and got some essential stuff updated.

Plasma 5, the next generation of KDE Software is still a work in progress, but is stable enough for everyday use and it keeps getting better as new versions drop frequently. The KDE Applications 14.12 includes a bunch of bugfixes and migrations to KDE Frameworks 5.

IT World Covers the 5 distros you need to consider and uses the classic photo above for Kubuntu with Billy Piper.

Softpedia covers the alpha..

This edition of Kubuntu features one of the biggest visual changes in the Ubuntu ecosystem. The change of desktop is a major one and there will probably be some opposition to it. The new KDE Plasma 5 follows the same overall design, but it’s very different from what we were used to seeing.

Linux Veda also reviews the alpha with mixed feelings about Plasma 5..

It is, undoubtedly, a solid and stable desktop environment

We’ve recently got an email from Kubuntu user saying:

Please pardon the interruption but, KUDOS to the whole Kubuntu family.

Unbelievable, running ALL favourite apps off flash card (in USB 2.0 adaptor) on fairly mundane (‘dated’) desktop. So happy from smooth zsync upgrade.

Next, HD install. Stable, and now hooked on Kubuntu’s KDE plasma. Christmas gift, and Happy Holidays, New Year 2015 and beyond to you and yours.

Linux Veda covers things to do after installing Kubuntu, so you might be interested in this, in case if you plan to install Kubuntu.

We also released a new version of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0. KDE Applications 14.12 are arriving in Vivid Vervet, with backports, as soon as we can. For now, we wish you a Happy New Year and recommend you to meet it with new Kubuntu on your PC.

Good luck y Feliz Navidad!  Remember, you know how to get off the naughty list..