Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

Kipi Plugins is a set of app plugins for manipulating images.  They use libkipi which is released as part of KDE Applications.  It used to get standalone releases and was then moved to be part of Digikam releases.  Since Digikam 6 they have been deprecated by Digikam in favour of their new plugin framework DPlugins.  While in KDE Frameworks the Purpose Framework is another newer project covering similar features.

However Kipi Plugins are still supported by KDE apps KPhotoAlbum, Gwenview, Spectacle so they shouldn’t disappear yet.

I’ve made a new release available for download now.

https://download.kde.org/stable/kipi-plugins/

Versioned 5.9.1 because it is little changed from the previous release done inside Digikam which was 5.9.0.

Tagged commit b1352149b5e475e0fbffb28a7b5fe13503f24dfe

Sha256 Sum: 04b3d31ac042b901216ad8ba67dafc46b58c8a285b5162b51189833f6d015542

Signed by me Jonathan Riddell <jr@jriddell.org>

This will become part of KDE Applications in its next release scheduled for August and will follow the KDE Applications version numbers.

 

British Canoeing Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue

I’m doing my Advanced White Water Leader award some nine years after I last tried it but stopped due to not enough experience on higher grade water.  I did the training last December and now I’ve redone the safety and rescue training which I last did in 2010.  This is a two day course I did with Sean of Wildriver on the upper Tees at Low Force in Englandshire.  It’s a scrapy river but served fine for the purposes of this course.

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Starts with knots and ropes on land.  We looked at using trees as an anchor with a straight tie around using overhand knot and tape knot.  Then 3 wraps, tie 1, hook 2.  We looked at adding a line to pull on either direct, or at 90 degrees (less friction), adding an italian hitch to make it more controllable then making 2 to 1 pully, 3 to 1 pully, 4 to 1 pully, 3 to 1 with prussiks, adding a pully wheel to make it smoother, 4 to 1 with a pig rig.

In England you don’t need to do a warm up before you get on the water, it is built into the activity as you run across the farmer’s field before he shoots you for trespassing.

We moved onto the river and used the above to help move boats up and down a steep bank.  We also looked at ways to control a person decending down a steep bank with a line down then angel wings (holding line under both arms), south aftrican (holding line around legs) or attached to the chest harness and let out from above.

We went off syllabus and looked at paddle length and grip.  I have a very very short paddle (185cm) because it gives the high cadence and agility needed for freestyle but a more normal white water paddler will use a longer paddle (190 to 210cm) for more power on the stroke as well as being able to reach maybe a boof which needs to be lower down.  A WW or flat water racer will use a longer one still but that’s far too tiring for general WW boats.

We looked at swimming over a current, this just needs a powerful front crawl.  Any corkscrew is only if you don’t have the power to get over an eddy line. We moved to a faster rapid where the best technique to get across was a jump then swim.  This depends on being able to know you’re not jumping into any rocks.  The syllabus says you need to cover your face and crotch but it’s best to look like superman cos that’s cool.

We looked at picking people up with a throwline.  It is often easier to try to bring them in direct towards you than to pendulum them downstream of you as that exerts greater force on your line.  We looked at live bait too where one person is attached to the throw line by their harness and jumps in to catch someone else, this needs some coordination such as who is holding the extra line to be released on jumping.  For extra speed consider just walking or running away from the river when pulling someone/thing.  We looked at picking up kit from the river including lots of live bait jumping.

On day 2 we made a synch for picking people out the river, two throwlines attached in a circle.  One way is both bags on either side, another way is both bags on one side. It’s faffy and the casualty will not make it easy because they’ll be panicking and it only works over a short distance.  But it might be useful.

We looked at in river rescues placing a person in the river using two throwlines on each bank and the person attached from the harness to both lines on a pendulum, Y and X formation.  It’s hard work and needs coordination.

We did a scenario with walking wounded helping them cross a river on a dual rope pendulum setup and moving them across rocky terrain.  It’s hard work.

The idea that you should hold a throwline with a grip of thumbs towards you is probably nonsense, use the best grip possible.

To take my WW river paddling to a decent next level I need to get a new dry suit (current one is 3.5 years old and reliably leaks all over), a new paddle (current one too short) and a new boat (currently I borrow broken club ones). When Brexit happens and the pound collapses I will be able to afford all this.

 

 

Add Appstream Release Data to your App Releases

Appstream is a metadata standard for your software releases which gets used by package managers and app stores as well as web sites such as kde.org (one day at least).

If you are incharge of making releases of an application from KDE mind and make sure it has an appstream appdata file.  You should also include a screenshot preferably in the product-screenshots git repo.

You should also add release data to your appstream files.  See the docs for the full details.  Not all the data will be very practical to add before the release time but it is useful to at least have a version number and maybe a release date added in.

I’ve added this to the Releasing Software wiki page now. And I’ve written a wee script appstream-metainfo-release-update to update the XML with a simple command which I’ve now added to the Plasma release process.

Nominations Open for UK Open Source Awards

The UK Open Source Awards will be a day of celebration of all things Free and open with software.  Open Source is now essential in how the world works.  It creates freedom (that’s the Free Software side), helps education (I only learnt how to program from reading source code to KDE apps), allows cooperation across industries, gives a competitive advantage, encourages sharing and reuse, improves security and builds community.  So it’s worth a day of celebration and recognition.

This is the sixth UK Open Source Awards and it takes place in Edinburgh on Wednesday 12 June 2019.  There will be talks, a panel, a keynote from Frank Karlitscheck and then the award ceremony.

Nominations are now open for the awards, please consider which people or organisations based in the UK deserve special recognition.  The categories are:

Individual Award

A person who has helped improve the world through contributions to free and open source software

Company

For a commercial business which has created a successful business while contributing to open source projects, leading open source projects and spreading freedom and empowerment for users.

Public Sector and Third Sector

For a public sector or charitable organisation which has developed its software in an open source method or made innovative use of open source software or opened up data

Student

A university, college, school student or modern apprentice who has created beautiful and novel software as part of their course (dissertation, thesis etc) which is licensed as free and open source software and has curated participation in an open collaborative manner.

This award comes with a bursary of £1,500 which is to be spent on furthering the recipients education and contributions to open source for example buying a new laptop or expenses for attending conferences.

Diversity

For an open source project which has successfully encouraged contributions from people in under-represented groups, or a university, organisation or business which has broken the mould in bringing minorities to participate in open source.

I’m heading a panel of judges with Allison Randal and Dawn Foster and we’ll be looking for incredible work being done in the name of freedom, innovation and impressiveness.

Please do come along on the day, it’s free to attend and all are welcome, I hope to see you there.

 

No Deal Brexit

No deal Brexit will mean shutting off most of the supply capacity from the EU to Great Britain, as the government says this will be chaotic. Many of the effects are unknown but in the days and weeks that follow food supplies and medicine supplies will start to fail. The rules on moving money about and even making a phone call will be largely undefined. International travel will get unknown new bureaucracies. EU and WTO law means there also needs to be a hard border in Ireland again, restarting terrorist warfare. Inflation will kick in, unemployment will sky rocket and people will die.

Although the UK government has dropped the dangerous saying of “no deal is better than a bad deal” it is astonishing they were allowed to get away with saying that for so long without challenge. There are still many members of the UK government who are perfectly happy with a chaotic no deal Brexit and the Prime Minister, unwilling to change any tactics, is using more and more Populist language to say how everyone should support her and threaten the whole UK society in the greatest game of chicken since the cold war. It would be trivial to revoke the Article 50 process but unless that is chosen a no deal Brexit will happen.

The political process is broken and has been for many years on this topic, there is no campaign from the normal groups I would expect to have one that I can join. The SNP, Greens and Quakers are not doing what they would usually do and enabling their members to have a voice. Religions in general exist to look after their members in times of crisis but so far nobody in Quakers that I’ve spoken to has any interest in many any practical mitigation steps.

Most people in Britain still think it’ll never happen as the politicians will see sense and back down, but they are wrong because the politicians are not acting rationally they are acting very irrationally and all it takes for no deal Brexit to happen is for no other decision to be taken.

So I find myself waving an European flag in Edinburgh each evening for the People’s Vote campaign, a London based campaign with a load of problems but the only one going. I’ll go to London this weekend to take part in the giant protest there.

Please come along if you live in the UK.  Please also sign the petition to revoke article 50.  Wish us luck.

pulseaudio-qt 1.0.0 is out!

pulseaudio-qt 1.0.0 is out!

It’s a Qt framework C++ bindings library for the PulseAudio sound system.

It was previously part of plasma-pa but is now standalone so it can be used by KDE Connect and anyone else who wants it.

https://download.kde.org/stable/pulseaudio-qt/

sha256: a0a4f2793e642e77a5c4698421becc8c046c426811e9d270ff2a31b49bae10df pulseaudio-qt-1.0.0.tar.xz

The tar is signed by my GPG key.

 

 

 

libqaccessibilityclient 0.4.0

I’ve released libqaccessibilityclient 0.4.0.

Changes:

  • bump version for new release
  • Revert “add file to extract strings”
  • add file to extract strings
  • Set include dir for exported library target
  • Create and install also a QAccessibilityClientConfigVersion.cmake file
  • Create proper CMake Config file which also checks for deps
  • Use imported targets for Qt libs, support BUILD_TESTING option
  • Use newer signature of cmake’s add_test()
  • Remove usage of dead QT_USE_FAST_CONCATENATION
  • Remove duplicated cmake_minimum_required
  • Use override
  • Use nullptr
  • Generate directly version
  • Add some notes about creating releases

Signed using my key: Jonathan Riddell <jr@jriddell.org> 2D1D5B0588357787DE9EE225EC94D18F7F05997E

6630f107eec6084cafbee29dee6a810d7174b09f7aae2bf80c31b2bc6a14deec libqaccessibilityclient-0.4.0.tar.xz

https://download.kde.org/stable/libqaccessibilityclient/

What is it?

Most of the stack is part of Qt 5, so nothing to worry about, that’s the part that lets applications expose their UI over DBus for AT-SPI, so they work
nicely with assisitve tools (e.g. Orca). In accessibility language, the applications act as “servers” and the screen reader for example is a client.

This library is for writing clients, so applications that are assistive, such as screen readers. It currently has two users: KMag and Simon with Plasma also taking an interest. KMag can use it to follow the focus (e.g. when editing text, it can automatically magnify the part of the document where the cursor is. For Simon Listens, the use is to be able to let the user trigger menus and buttons by voice input.

 

KDE Chat on Matrix

KDE and open source in general has used IRC since the 90s but times change and these days people expect more than text with lots of internals exposed to the user.  So KDE has set up a Matrix server which talks to other Matrix server and importantly also talks to IRC servers and their channels because some people will never change.  The bridging to IRC isn’t perfect but it works much neater than on e.g. Telegram where the IRC user is one bot, here the IRC user is an individual user and you can set it up to use the same nickname you’ve been using since 1995.  Unless you use square brackets in your nickname in which case I’ve no sympathy 🙂

But it still requires a bit of understanding and setup.  For one thing you need an app to talk to it, and the more common apps seem to be Riot web and Riot Android. KDE has its own setup of Riot web called webchat.kde.org and you can get the Android client from F-Droid or Google Play.  Once you make an account you also need to tick some boxes (including one saying you are over 16 which vexes somewhat but it doesn’t be beyond the ability of most 15 year old to work out how to work around it).

Channels are called rooms and you can then search for them on the kde.org server or on the matrix.org server.   Or, once you work out the syntax, you can join channels on Freenode IRC or OFTC IRC.  You can also bridge IRC channels to Matrix Rooms and make it mostly transparent which works.

There’s voice and video calling too using Jitsu and important features like emojis and stickerpacks, although the Konqi sticker pack is still to be added.

I had some faff getting my nick from Freenode recovered but managed that before long.  Remember to set a nice pic so people can recognise you.

I’ve now stopped using my IRC app and don’t tend to look at Telegram unless someone pings me.  It’s great that KDE now has modern and open communications.  Thanks to the sysadmins and Matrix team and others who worked on this.

Next step: getting forums and mailing lists moving onto Discourse 🙂

More docs on the KDE Matrix wiki page.

The Listening Service – Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Wanting to be a helpful person and feeling the need for some more social witness (as Quakers say) I’ve volunteered with a group called The Listening Service.  The courts are an important part of how our democracy and government functions and they are in theory open buildings where any member of the public has a right to wander around and watch how it works to ensure justice is done but in reality they are very opaque in process with very little to guide the public or more importantly their users of defenders, accusers, witnesses and jury.

The service provides volunteers who are available in the corridors of Edinburgh Sheriff Court there to answer questions and provide an ear to talk to.  It was set up by some people at the Methodist church who had used the court but noticed there was near to no help offered to others who used it.  It was branded a multi-faith chaplaincy but this branding is going away since it doesn’t do quite what would be expected from a chaplaincy.  I did a couple days training, one out of court and one in court.

I then shadowed one of the volunteers.  The morning started by standing in the corridor and mostly signposting people to where they needed to be.  A court room or the witness rooms etc.  Many people are of course very anxious and often miss the signs but the signage is not great.  After an hour most of the people knew where they had to be but they do not know when they will be needed so are standing around looking even more anxious and we had to tell quite a few people it was normal to have an unpredictable wait and just stay where they were.  As time passed the corridors grew quieter and the people who were left looked even more anxious so we spoke kindly to them to ease some nerves. If your relative is arrested by the police you are held overnight and delivered to the court in the morning but the relatives often turn up knowing only that you have been arrested but no idea what for or when you will appear so often people know nothing about what will happen when the court officer finally and quietly calls the case.  Not infrequently people miss the calling.  The building is designed to be like a high street close and it has an open feel to it but that means it can be cold which often adds to the nervous feeling.  Court cases are a slow and messy process and a simple drink driving charge can take months to complete.  The hope is the service gives a friendly ear for people to moan into.

 

 

G+ Takeout

Google+ does rather killoff the notion I had of Google as a highly efficient company who always produce top quality work.  Even using the takeout website to download the content from Google+ I found a number of obvious bugs and poor features.  But I did get my photos in the end so for old times sakes here’s a random selection.

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A marketing campaign that failed to take off

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Sprints in Munich thanks to the city council’s KDE deployment were always fun.

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Launching KDE neon with some pics of my office and local castle.

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One day I took a trip with Nim to Wales and woke up in somewhere suspiciously like the Shire from Lord of the Rings

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KDE neon means business

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Time to go surfing. This ended up as a music video.

That’s about it.  Cheereo Google+, I’ve removed you from www.kde.org, one social media platform too many for this small world.

KDE at FOSDEM 2019

February means FOSDEM, the largest gathering of free software developers in the continent. I drove for two days down the winding roads and even onto a train and out again to take the bits needed to run the stall there. Fortunately my canoeing friend Poppy was there for car karaoke and top Plasma dev David got picked up along the way to give us emotional support watching Black Mirror Bandersnatch with its multiple endings.

The beer flowed freely at Delerium but disaster(!) the venue for Saturday did not exist!  So I did some hasty scouting to find a new one before returning for more beer.

Rather than place us next to Gnome the organisers put us next to our bestie friends Nextcloud which was nice and after some setup the people came and kept on coming.  Saturday was non stop on the stall but fortunately we had a good number of volunteers to talk to our fans and future fans.

Come Home to KDE in 2019 was the theme.  You’ve been distro hopping.  Maybe bought a macbook because you got bored of the faff with Linux. But now it’s time to re-evaluate.  KDE Plasma is lightweight, full features, simple and beautiful.  Our applications are world class.  Our integration with mobile via KDE Connect is unique and life changing.

I didn’t go to many talks because I was mostly stuck on the stall but an interesting new spelling library nuspell looks like something we should add into our frameworks, and Tor is helping people evade governments and aiding the selling of the odd recreational drug too.

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At 08:30 not many helpers or punters about but the canoeists got the show going.

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In full flow on the Saturday Wolthera does a live drawing show of Krita while Boud is on hand for queries and selfies.

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The Saturday meal after a quick change of venue was a success where we were joined by our friends Nextcloud and the Lawyers of Freedom.

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Staying until the following day turns out to allow a good Sunday evening to actually chat and discuss the merits of KDE, the universe and everything.  With waffles.

Another Year Older

Christmas Eve means it’s my birthday, an exciting day of celebrating the year past and year to come.  I always feel it’s the best use of Facebook that people wish happy birthday there.

Piraguismo

This last year I’ve had a fabulous canoeing year.  I’ve been to Uganda and had the privilege of paddling down the Nile and competing against the world’s best in the Nile River Festival on Nile Special wave before it was submerged under a newly built dam.  I competed in Hurley and the British Champs/European Open Freestyle competitions.  My freestyle is only slowly getting better and is pretty limited by my fitness and lack of easy access to good waves but remains great fun, I moved from a Jackson Rockstar to a Pyranha Jed as I find it surfs waves better and I can get the nose under easier but I’m still working out the best boat for me.  I took part in a couple of kayak surf competitions and had fun surfing a few more days, I always want to do more of this but am limited by the east coast’s unreliable waves and not having a decent boat or knowing what I would want to buy if I decided to commit more.  I also went on a trip to the Alps for a couple of weeks which I’ve always wanted to do.  It gave me longer river rapids than I’d ever paddled before and another freestyle competition with Kayak Sessions magazine. Vienna also has a fun white water course much under-used.  Just last month I’ve done training in Advanced White Water Leader and run some trips out on rivers which are new to me including the long Alpine Upper Braan.

Just as important to me as paddling is helping the sport. It’s been a couple of years since it was made clear to me and half a dozen other volunteers that we weren’t welcome to help at the club I grew up in, which was heartbreaking, but I’ve been doing coaching quite a bit for Edinburgh Kayak Club who have lovely people and some nice facilities and I’ve run Safety and Rescue training and White Water coaching for them.  As well as coaching I’ve been a “major contributor” to the Scottish White Water Guidebook where I edited a couple of chapters, proofread a bunch more, raised a few thousand pounds from advertising and brought in some new contributors.  And one of my proudest achievements was working out the tech and social requirements on how to get the river levels page SCA Where’s the Water rewritten so I can now update calibrations and add new features.

I doubt I’ll do quite so much paddling next year but I would like to get the Advanced White Water Award completed and find some other way to help the sport.

Salud

It’s some 7 years since I ended up in a coma after being attacked by pirates in the Caribbean (other explanations are possible but I have no memory) and my health continues to be decent but challenging.  I do still get fatigued randomly and I increasingly feel it is linked to drinking alcohol but the fatigue is a day or sometimes a week after so it’s very hard to tell.  I’m able to do a decent amount of gym work (thanks Poppy!) but I’m not getting any lighter on the scales probably because the fatigue feels like it gets fixed by eating sugary and fatty foods so it’s very easy to convince myself I need to eat them.

Trabajo

I’ve spent a great year making KDE neon continuing to challenge the traditional open source model of allowing someone else to take the credit for the hard work of the projects which make the software by just shipping it directly from the creating community.  I’ve travelled to Kansas on an exciting project, got a new edition of the high end KDE Slimbook selling with KDE neon, seen the ultra-cheap Pinebook shipping with KDE neon, been to Vienna and visited Barcelona to see four different project all using or interested in using KDE neon.

I continue to be frustrated when there are problems in KDE which nobody but me seems to see how serious they are.  In the past it was fraud in donations and broken licences.  This year it’s the promo team being changed from a community team to a closed team.  It was a lot of energy and effort to get that fixed but there’s still not been anyone explained why that happened or why they thought it was a good idea.  But I continue to think it’s important to fix problems even when others would prefer to just pretend they don’t exist in the hope they go away (which just makes the people go away).

Brexit

The political and social year in the UK has been overshadowed by the continuing process of the UK government wanting to leave the EU following a corrupt sham vote which has propagated racism and division. I mostly stopped trying to engage directly with politics after the 2016 referendum in which no person or media or political party did a good job of pointing out the dangers and arguing for sanity or enabling people like me to campaign.  It continues to be astonishing how few people, parties or media point out what a broken exercise of democracy the 2016 referendum was, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are about the best at this and of course the Guardian does a lot of important investigative work but it’s not enough.

Nobody knows what will happen next and there’s no point giving any probability for any outcome.  But the most significant thing to keep in mind is that the default option is for a no-deal Brexit which would see the very sudden collapse of UK as a society and economy. Food will not get delivered, medicines will run short, power supplies will be interrupted, people will die and riots will come fast.  This will happen in 100 days time unless the gridlocked UK parliament can agree to do something else, it’s a very serious possibility.  I’ve moved all my savings into Euro as the pound will crash but the food I have in store won’t last long and money does no good locked in a bank in another country.  Maybe parliament will extend the problem for a few more years as Theresa May wants which won’t help anyone’s mental health. Maybe Labour will get a new anti-brexit leader and stop this nonsense. Maybe Nicola Sturgeon will use her mandate and call for a Scottish independence referendum which would be very exciting. But nothing is predictable and the astonishing thing is how entrenched the public’s opinions are on the matter since the polls don’t change more than a few points.  I hope to help campaign for a sensible outcome in some way or other in the coming year but surviving will be the main objective.

Happy Christmas all

 

Achievement of the Week

This week I gave KDE Frameworks a web page after only 4 years of us trying to promote it as the best thing ever since cabogganing without one.  I also updated the theme on the KDE Applications 18.12 announcement to this millennium and even made the images in it have a fancy popup effect using the latest in JQuery Bootstrap CSS.  But my proudest contribution is making the screenshot for the new release of Konsole showing how it can now display all the cat emojis plus one for a poodle.

So far no comments asking why I named my computer thus.

 

Room 23: Surviving a Brain Hemorrhage

Room 23 is the true story of Kavita Basi.  An English lady in the prime of life, healthy with friends, family and career who one day had a headache which rapidly turned into an emergency trip to hospital.  Aquired brain injury happens for a bunch of reasons, from physical trauma to CSF leak but in this case it was a subarachnoid hemorrhage, an uncommon type of stroke caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain (a ruptured brain aneurysm).  There’s no warning for any of this and she covers how it feels so unfair.  She spent several weeks in hospital and even out of hospital had a long and slow recovery.  The books follows her successes and sticking points.  She covers how such sudden and severe illness affects those around her but also the support she got.  A common feature of aquired head injury is changes in personality and this is noteable in how it changed her approach to work and colleages.  A true story of love and loss, happyness and sadness, frustration and overcoming challenges.

 

Advanced White Water Kayak Leader Training

I did an Advanced White Water Kayak Leader Training course at Glenmore Lodge with Bruce Joliffe who together with George Fell make a fun duo to paddle with. I’ve done this before when it was called 5 Star Leader but I didn’t have enough experience to go to assessment.

We went to the Findhorn Gorge section starting at Randolph’s Leap. I thought Randolph’s Leap looked fun to do and most of the group and trainer agreed but the second trainer asked how we could cover a section of rapid we haven’t considered and given time constraints and that we hadn’t been on the water so didn’t know each other’s capabilities we decided to skip it. This shows how a two overlooked issues, overlooked, can change the whole decision.

When doing a rapid consider ASL – Assess if it’s do-able, Safety set up and finally Line for paddling. Most people consider these in the wrong order.

It can be useful to visulise the rapid once you have looked at it and before paddling it.

When reading a rapid have a look at what could go wrong. If you can’t see the rapid work out what worst-case-scenario hidden tree etc could be in the unseen rapid. Just because there is a route consider what problems may occur and how likely they are. There is a tree stuck in one rapid on the Findhorn and a first drop goes either to safety or into the tree and it would be hard to guarantee which.

3×3 criteria from avalanche and hill danger is also useful for running rivers, considering conditions, character and people against planning, selecting and cataract. I don’t know much more about this, it’s quite involved.

Heuristics means a quick mental way of making a decision based on a rule-of-thumb.

Pertinent means relevant to a situation.

Sit upright and forward, good posture is important when surfing (or anything) and having your blade infront when supporting is essential.

Bruce’s observations were all spot on as well as his knowledge of and use of the river.

One the Sunday we were on the Spean gorge, a low river which annoyingly has no gauge near it. We played at catching eddies and tried more boofs (it’s all about the timing) and lead folks down the rapids.

A fun weekend which highlighted how I’m still now at the standard needed for an Advanced White Water Leader but shows me what I need to do to get there.

www.kde.org

It’s not uncommon to come across some dusty corner of KDE which hasn’t been touched in ages and has only half implemented features. One of the joys of KDE is being able to plunge in and fix any such problem areas. But it’s quite a surprise when a high profile area of KDE ends up unmaintained. www.kde.org is one such area and it was getting embarrassing. February 2016 we had a sprint where a new theme was rolled out on the main pages making the website look fresh and act responsively on mobiles but since then, for various failures of management, nothing has happened. So while the neon build servers were down for shuffling to a new machine I looked into why Plasma release announcements were updated but not Frameworks or Applications announcments. I’d automated Plasma announcements a while ago but it turns out the other announcements are still done manually, so I updated those and poked the people involved. Then of course I got stuck looking at all the other pages which hadn’t been ported to the new theme. On review there were not actually too many of them, if you ignore the announcements, the website is not very large.

Many of the pages could be just forwarded to more recent equivalents such as getting the history page (last update in 2003) to point to timeline.kde.org or the presentation slides page (last update for KDE 4 release) to point to a more up to date wiki page.

Others are worth reviving such as KDE screenshots page, press contacts, support page. The contents could still do with some pondering on what is useful but while they exist we shouldn’t pretend they don’t so I updated those and added back links to them.

While many of these pages are hard to find or not linked at all from www.kde.org they are still the top hits in Google when you search for “KDE presentation” or “kde history” or “kde support” so it is worth not looking like we are a dead project.

There were also obvious bugs that needed fixed for example the cookie-opt-out banner didn’t let you opt out, the font didn’t get loaded, the favicon was inconsistent.

All of these are easy enough fixes but the technical barrier is too high to get it done easily (you need special permission to have access to www.kde.org reasonably enough) and the social barrier is far too high (you will get complaints when changing something high profile like this, far easier to just let it rot). I’m not sure how to solve this but KDE should work out a way to allow project maintenance tasks like this be more open.

Anyway yay, www.kde.org is now new theme everywhere (except old announcements) and pages have up to date content.

There is a TODO item to track website improvements if you’re interested in helping, although it missed the main one which is the stalled port to WordPress, again a place it just needs someone to plunge in and do the work. It’s satisfying because it’s a high profile improvement but alas it highlights some failings in a mature community project like ours.

Planet KDE Categories

Jings no wonder people find computer programming scary when the most easily accessible lanugage, JavaScript, is also the most messy one.

Occationally people would mention to me that the categories on Planet KDE didn’t work and eventually I looked into it and it mostly worked but also sometimes maybe it didn’t.  Turns out we were checking for no cookies being set and if not we’d set some defaults for the categories.  But sometimes the CDN would set a cookie first and ours would not get set at all. This was hard to recreate as it didn’t happen when working locally of course.  And then our JavaScript had at least three different ways to run the initial-setup code but there’s no easy way to just read a cookie, madness I tell you.  Anyway it should be fixed now and set categories by default but only if it hasn’t set some before so you may still have to manually choose which you read.

In the Configure Feed menu at the top you can select to read blogs in different languages.  By default it shows only blogs in English, as well as Dot News, Project News and any User blogs who have asked to be added (only two are listed in our config).  You can also show blogs in Chinese (also only 2 listed), Italian (none listed), Polish (one), Portugese (two), Spanish (four but kdeblog by Jose is especially prolific) or French (none).  Work to be done includes working out how to make this apply to the RSS feed.

 

 

Planet KDE Twitter Feed

Some years ago I added an embedded Twitter feed to the side of Planet KDE.  This replaced the earlier feed manually curated feeds from identi.ca and twitter which people added but had since died out (in the case of identi.ca) and been blocked (in the case of Twitter).  That embedded Twitter feed used the #KDE tag and while there was the odd off topic or abusive post for the most part it was an interesting way to browse what the people of the internet were saying about us.  However Twitter shut that off a few months ago which you could well argue is what happens with closed proprietary services.

We do now have a Mastodon account but my limited knowledge and web searching on the subject doesn’t give a way to embed a hashtag feed and the critical mass doesn’t seem to be there yet, and maybe it never will due to the federated-with-permissions model just creating more silos.

So now I’ve added a manually curated Twitter feed back to Planet KDE with KDE people and projects.  This may not give us an insight into what the wider internet community is thinking but it might be an easy way to engage more about KDE people and projects as a community.  Or it might not, I haven’t decided yet and I’m happy to take feedback on whether it should stay.

In the mean time ping me to be added to the list or subscribe a bug on bugs.kde.org to request you or someone you know or or your project be added (or removed).  Also volunteers wanted to help curate the feed, ping me to help out.

 

Red Hat and KDE

By a strange coincidence the news broke this morning that RHEL is deprecating KDE. The real surprise here is that RHEL supported KDE all.  Back in the 90s they were entirely against KDE and put lots of effort into our friendly rivals Gnome.  It made some sense since at the time Qt was under a not-quite-free licence and there’s no reason why a company would want to support another company’s lock in as well as shipping incompatible licences.  By the time Qt become fully free they were firmly behind Gnome.  Meanwhile Rex and a team of hard working volunteers packaged it anyway and gained many users.  When Red Hat was turned into the all open Fedora and the closed RHEL, Fedora was able to embrace KDE as it should but at some point the Fedora Next initiative again put KDE software in second place. Meanwhile RHEL did use Plasma 4 and hired a number of developers to help us in our time of need which was fabulous but all except one have left some time ago and nobody expected it to continue for long.

So the deprecation is not really new or news and being picked up by the news is poor timing for Red Hat, it’s unclear if they want some distraction from the IBM news or just The Register playing around.  The community has always been much better at supporting out software for their users, maybe now the community run EPEL archive can include modern Plasma 5 instead of being stuck on the much poorer previous release.

Plasma 5 is now lightweight and feature full.  We get new users and people rediscovering us every day who report it as the most usable and pleasant way to run their day.  From my recent trip in Barcelona I can see how a range of different users from university to schools to government consider Plasma 5 the best way to support a large user base.  We now ship on high end devices such as the KDE Slimbook down to the low spec value device of Pinebook.  Our software leads the field in many areas such as video editor Kdenlive, or painting app Krita or educational suite GCompris.  Our range of projects is wider than ever before with textbook project WikiToLearn allowing new ways to learn and we ship our own software through KDE Windows, Flatpak builds and KDE neon with Debs, Snaps and Docker images.

It is a pity that RHEL users won’t be there to enjoy it by default. But, then again, they never really were. KDE is collaborative, open, privacy aware and with a vast scope of interesting projects after 22 years we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and fun.

kgraphviewer 2.4.3

KGraphViewer, your favourite visualiser of .dot files, has a new update.

  • Switch KgvPageLayout to QPageSize for page size handling
  • Avoid double top-level layout in KGVSimplePrintingPageSetup
  • Fix layout of page layout & size dialog
  • Remove unused dependency KIO
  • Fix minor typo
  • Update kgraphviewer docbook
  • Make sure the Graphviz library directories are known to the linker

Thanks to Pino, Michael, Yuri, Berkhard, Ben and translators for their continued gardening of this project.

Git tag v2.4.3a 4ff52f959f03291659db58554901d536356764e2

Tar https://download.kde.org/stable/kgraphviewer/2.4.3/kgraphviewer-2.4.3.tar.xz

GPG Signature https://download.kde.org/stable/kgraphviewer/2.4.3/kgraphviewer-2.4.3.tar.xz.sig

Signed by Jonathan Riddell GPG key fingerprint ‘2D1D 5B05 8835 7787 DE9E  E225 EC94 D18F 7F05 997E’