Akademy Kicks off

Viewers on Planet Ubuntu can see the videos on my original post.

Akademy 2020 launched in style with this video starring moi and many other good looking contributors..

We’re online now, streaming onto YouTube at room 1 and room 2 or register for the event to get involved.

I gave the first KDE talk of the conference talking about the KDE is All About the Apps goal

And after the Consistency and Wayland talks we had a panel session.

Talks are going on for the next three hours this European early evening.  And start again tomorrow (Sunday).

 

Akademy 2020 Starts Tomorrow

KDE’s annual conference starts tomorrow with a day of tutorials.  There’s two days of talks at the weekend and the rest of the week with meetings and BoFs.

Register now.

Tomorrow European morning you can learn about QML, Debugging or speed up dev workflows.  In the evening a choice of QML, Multithreading and Implicit Bias training.

Saturday morning the talks start with a Keynote at 09:00UTC and then I’m up talking about the All About the Apps Goal.  There’s an overview of the Wayland and Consistency goals too plus we have a panel to discuss them.

Saturday early evening I’m looking forward to some talks about Qt 6 updates and “Integrating Hollywood Open Source with KDE Applications” sounds intriguing.

On Sunday European morning I’m scared but excited to learn more elite C++ from Ivan, but I hear Linux is being rewritten in Rust so that’s worth learning about next.  And it doesn’t get much more exciting than the Wag Company tails.

In the afternoon those of us who care about licences will enjoy Open Source Compliance and an early win for Kubuntu was switching to System Settings so it’ll be good to get an update Behind the Scene.

On Monday join us for some tutorial on getting your apps to the users with talks on Snaps, Flatpak, neon and Appimage.

Mon, Tue and Wednesday has escape room puzzles.  You need to register for these in advance separately, so sign up now.

There’s a pub quiz on Thursday.

It’s going to be a fun week, and no need to travel so sign up now!

 

Scotland Open Source Podcast

The Scotland Open Source Podcast by Ashley Nicolson of is a new listen available on all the Podcast services which interviews devs and contributors in Scotland.  It’s had hacker spaces in Aberdeen with FreeBSD spod Tom Jones, Ensuring longevity after unfortunate circumstances in OSS Projects with Chocolatey dude Gary Ewan Park, Greg Sutcluiffe of Red Hat and Ansible on Education and PR and most recently me chatting about Quaker geek collectives.

Add it to your subscribed podcasts for more coming soon.

All About the Apps Junior Jobs

The Ubuntu Podcast did a review in their new edition of the KDE’s Applications site.  Listen from 14 minutes in.  You can hear such quotes as

“It’s pretty neat, It shows the breadth of applications in the KDE universe, tonnes of stuff in here”
“A big green button to install the thing”
“KDE applications are broad and useful”
“They publish a tonne of applications in the Snap store and they are hugely popular”
“Valuable software that people want to install and use irrespective of the desktop they are on”
“They make high quality and useful applications”
“Well done KDE, always very mindful of user experience”

They did suggest adding a featured app, which is a task we also want to do for Discover which has featured apps but they don’t currently change. That feels like an interesting wee task for anyone who wants to help out KDE.

But more easy would be the task of going over all the apps and checking the info on them is up to date, including going over the various app stores we publish on like the Microsoft Store and making sure those links are in the Appstream meta-data files.

Finally, the main task of All About the Apps is getting the apps onto the stores so we need people who can get the apps running on Windows etc and put them on the relevant Stores.  I did an interview asking for this for Flathub in the most recent monthly apps update.

We’re here to help on our Matrix room and my contact is always open.

kde.org/applications site now with more App Stores and Downloads

KDE is All About the Apps as I hope everyone knows, we have top quality apps that we are pushing out to all channels to spread freedom and goodness.

As part of promoting our apps we updated the kde.org/applications pages so folks can find out what we make.  Today we’ve added some important new features:

Here on the KMyMoney page you can see the lovely new release that they made recently along with the source download link.

The “Install on Linux” link has been there for a while and uses the Appstream ID to open Discover which will offer you the install based on any installation source known to Discover: Packagekit, Snap or Flatpak.

Here in the Krita page you can see it now offers downloads from the Microsoft Store and from Google Play.

Or if you prefer a direct download it links to AppImages, macOS and Windows installs.

And here’s the KDE connect page where you can see they are true Freedom Lovers and have it on the F-Droid store.

All of this needs some attention from people who do the releases.  The KDE Appstream Guidelines has the info on how to add this metadata.  Remember it needs added to master branch as that is what the website scans. 

There is some tooling to help, the appstream-metainfo-release-update script and recently versions of appstreamcli.

Help needed! If you spot out of date info on the site do let me or another Web team spod know.  Future work includes getting more apps on more stores and also making the release service scripts do more automated additions of this metadata.  And some sort of system that scans the download site or maybe uses debian watch files to check for the latest release and notify someone if it’s not in the Appstream file would be super.

Thanks to Carl for much of the work on the website, formidable!

 

OpenUK Awards Close Tomorrow

OpenUK Awards are nearly closed. Do you know of projects that deserve recognition?
 
Entries close midnight ending UTC tomorrow
 
Individual, young person or open source software, open Hardware or open data project or company
 
The awards are open to individuals resident in the UK in the last year and projects and organisations with notable open source contributions from individuals resident in the UK in the last year.

KDE Applications Release Meta-data

kde.org/applications now has latest release versions and dates on it.  Finally you can check your app store or distro is up to date 🙂

This was added to the website by elite new contributor David Barchiesi and there’s been a year of faff in the background getting it added to the release process in various places, but if apps are missing it then talk to the app maintainers to get it added.

Our All About the Apps Goal has plenty more tasks to be done if you want to help out, some website related, many packaging related to get apps into more Stores and some about making docs and videos etc to help encourage getting more KDE apps to more people.

 

OpenUK Awards

The OpenUK Awards are now open for nominations.

The First Edition of the OpenUK Awards is being held in London on 20 October 2020, 6pm and celebrates Open Technology, being Open Source Software, Open Source hardware and Open Data with 5 Awards.

  • Individual
  • Young person (being 25 or under on 30 March 2020)
  • Open Data – company or project
  • Open Source hardware – company or project
  • Open Source software – company or project

We are looking for the best in open source, hardware and data in the UK.  Who had achieved something great? Who has not been recognised? Which company or project are doing fabulous work that needs exposure?

Nominations are open until 15 June 2020 but don’t delay nominate today 🙂

The awards final will be 20 October 2020 – 6pm, Unilever Building London, either in person or over video as appropriate.

KDE on Instagram

If you’re feeling stuck indoors during the lock down you can browse some happy pretty pictures on KDE’s new Instagram account.

Instagram is one of those social medium services and is run by everyone’s favourite Facebook.  The good side of it is that it’s based on happy pretty pictures rather than angry people (Twitter) or political disinformation (Facebook) but the bad side of that is it is common to feel inferior because you’re not as good looking as the people in the pictures.  Well that’s not a problem because everyone using KDE or helping out the community is automatically good looking.

It’s being run by me and Niccolò Venerandi (veggero) for now but if you want to help out give us a ping.  And if you have pretty pictures to go on there send them over to us.

OpenUK Kids Competition with Imogen Heap’s MiniMu

The OpenUK Kids Competition is now open for registrations. Teams of 4 aged 11 and 14 can take part to design the most interesting use for the MiniMu musical glove from Imogen Heap.

It’s free to enter and one winning team from each Region will be brought by OpenUK to London on 10 and 11 June. They will compete in the Competition Final at Red Hat’s Innovation Lab in Monument, London on 11 June having had the opportunity to spend the night before in London.

KDE’s releases debranding

A new step in KDE’s  branding has happened today, or rather debranding.  The old dump of everything we made used to be called just “KDE” and then some projects wanted to release on their own timetable so calling it “KDE” became less accurate.  After a while our flagship Plasma project wanted to release on its own and lots of projects did their own release too but many wanted that faff taken care of for them still so those projects got called “KDE Applications”.  But  that didn’t quite fit either because there were many plugins and libraries among them and many Applications from KDE which were not among them.  So today we removed that brand too and just make releases from a release service, which are source tars that are not very interesting to end users so they get a boring factual release page.

And to keep our users informed the Monthly Apps Update is now published direct on kde.org and covers both self released and release service releases.

And as our website enters the 21 century we now updated the way the stories are published so now anyone can edit or propose patches to them in Git writing Markdown.  So if you know of any new features or developments in our apps which will be released by this time in January then send us a patch.

 

 

Voting SNP in the UK Election

I’m voting for Owen Thompson and the SNP at the UK election on December 12th.  Normally for an election I would look through the manifestos and compare them along with consideration of the candidates and the party leaders to decide.  But this election is a single issue election.  It was called because the flawed 2016 referendum on EU membership did not ask what people wanted, it asked what they didn’t want (EU citizenship) but because there was no question asking what people did want instead it led to three years of parliament being stuck.  The SNP policy is for a double proposal to have a referendum on the UK’s EU membership against the Withdrawal Deal as currently negotiated, and then to have a referendum on Scottish independence.  This offers me the best chance to keep my EU citizenship and the freedoms it brings, while offering a good chance to get rid of a corrupt and pointless layer of government.

As I’ve said before all the political parties let us down in 2016 by not effectively campaigning for EU membership and letting the racists and populists win over. They continue to let us down here on those measures.  Not one party proposes to ban political advertising online as done with TV despite the well documented populism that gives.  Not one seems to have a commitment to reform the rules of election and referendum campaigns to stop the illegal behaviour that Johnson’s Vote Leave campaign used in 2016.  And I’ve never heard anyone point out that asking a referendum question which only says what you don’t want and not what you do want instead is a pointless question.

But here’s a quick look at the manifestos anyway.

SNP Good stuff about refendums, no nuclear bombs and critique of why Westminster if broken.   The usual  vague stuff about ending austerity without defining it and promises for the NHS with no explanation of why that public service deserves them more than every other public service.  Various good ideas for things to be devolved like broadcasting or employment law.  They do want to fix the voting franchise for UK elections to include non-UK EU citizens and people from age 16.  They seem to think the UK government will allow an independence referendum while also de-legitimising the idea that there is no need for anyone to allow Scotland to have a referendum, this is a dangerous stance to take as well as incorrect, no other country considers that it has to ask its neighbour for permission for independence. Climate emergency comes in a bit later in the manifesto than I’d like to see but I suppose there’s not much the SNP can do at the UK level since the right layer of government for this is the EU and Scottish layers.  Complying with international law to allow the return of residents of Diego Garcia is pleasingly in there but not on Catalonia.  I’ve done door knocking with their candidate Owen Thompson this election who is an experienced politican from local and UK layers and I’m happy to support him.

Labour doesn’t get round to the Brexit question until page 80.  The central issue of the election which defines if I will have freedoms and a functional economy in a year’s time and they can’t be arsed to highlight their policy on it.  When they do they say they’ll negotiate a hard Brexit (outside the customs union; outside the single market) and then have a referendum on it.  This sounds faffy and dislikeable.  The leaflet from their candidate said she would campaign to remain and reform but with no suggestion of what they reform would be and there’s nothing about it in this manifesto so I think she’s lying on that point.  They support weapons of mass destruction despite the party membership in Scotland voting against them and UK and Scottish leaders campaigning against them, which shows what a mess this organisation is.  Lots of interesting stuff about renationalising public services which I think is a strong part of the cause for the party leadership wanting to leave the EU, EU law will mean having to pay full rate for renationalising these industries while outwith the EU they can pay below market rate, but on the whole I’m against cheating the rules of a functional economy, after all this is my pension scheme they’d be cheating.  No mention of complying with international law about Diego Garcia or Catalonia.  Fixing the voting franchise is in there.  Climate emergency is pleasingly put as a headline item.

The Lib Dems have clear constitutional positions which is fine but being against referendum on them is hypocritical.  They compare Scottish independence to Brexit, which is nonsense. Climate emergency doesn’t come until half way through.  No mention of Diego Garcia or Catalonia.   No mention of nuclear bombs.  Nothing devolved to Scotland.  Pleasingly they do want to fix the undemocratic where we get a prime minister without a vote of parliament or people and they do want to fix the shutting down of parliament.  Otherwise largely underwhelming.

The Conservative party is now a radicalised dangerous nationalistic vehicle which support shutting down parliament, corruption of referendums, limiting the voting franchise, blocking the release of reports on foreign interference in voting and ignoring international law.  Everyone should vote to stop them from getting power.  They will start the Brexit process with the Withdrawal Agreement but still with only a minimal plan for how to implement Brexit, but their lie that this will “get Brexit done” rather than the truth that it is only the start of the process seems to be ignored by the media.  Their hard Brexit will put up new borders, shut off supply chains, limit the economy and take away my freedoms.    The headline item of course is to stop a referendum on independence which is as hypocritical as it comes.      Climate emergency doesn’t seem to feature.  There is scary protectionist British nationalism like “When we leave the EU, we will be able to encourage the public sector to ‘Buy British’” which goes against basic economics and shows how far they have fallen from their Margaret Thatcher free-market politices, which as simplitic and damaging as they were, at least were consistent.  This party is run by people who ran illegal campaigns in 2016, take power without a vote, ignore international and national law and shut down parliament, they are not democratically accountable, they need to be stopped.

[ Update to the below paragraph, in my rush I missed the Green manifesto which is full of good stuff.]

The Greens aren’t standing in my constituency and don’t have a manifesto and because of the voting system won’t get any result except maybe help the SNP lose where they should win so despite being a party member I can’t advocate voting for them.  They make the point that the climate emergency is more important than Brexit, but alas the EU is the right layer of government to take the lead on it so EU membership is vital to helping prevent or limit it and the votes this election need to be directed towards that.

So hopefully an SNP win in Scotland (like they have in every election for the last decade) will help them support a Labour government in England to have a referendum (with rules fixed to make it a valid and fair one) on EU membership vs Johnson’s hard brexit proposal and then a referendum on Scottish independence.  But it probably won’t be that simple.

Linux Applications Summit

I had the pleasure of going to the Linux Applications Summit last week in Barcelona.  A week of talks and discussion about getting Linux apps onto people’s computers.  It’s the third one of these summits but the first ones started out with a smaller scope (and located in the US) being more focused on Gnome tech, while this renamed summit was true cross-project collaboration.

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Oor Aleix here opening the conference (Gnome had a rep there too of course).

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It was great to meet with Heather here from Canonical’s desktop team who does Gnome Snaps, catching up with Alan and Igor from Canonical too was good to do.

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Here is oor Paul giving his talk about the language used.  I had been minded to use “apps” for the stuff we make but he made the point that most people don’t associate that word with the desktop and maybe good old “programs” is better.

20191113_103309

Oor Frank gave a keynote asking why can’t we work better together?  Why can’t we merge the Gnome and KDE foundations for example?  Well there’s lots of reasons why not but I can’t help think that if we could overcome those reasons we’d all be more than the sum of our parts.

I got to chat with Ti Lim from Pine64 who had just shipped some developer models of his Pine Phone (meaning he didn’t have any with him).

Pureism were also there talking about the work they’ve done using Gnomey tech for their Librem5 phone.  No word on why they couldn’t just use Plasma Mobile where the work was already largely done.

This conference does confirm to me that we were right to make a goal of KDE to be All About the Apps, the new technologies and stores we have to distribute our programs we have mean we can finally get our stuff out to the users directly and quickly.

Barcelona was of course beautiful too, here’s the cathedral in moonlight.

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OpenUK Meets the Crumbling of UK Democracy

This week I went to Parliament square in Edinburgh where the highest court of the land, the Court of Session sits.  The court room viewing gallery was full,  concerned citizens there to watch and journalists enjoying the newly allowed ability to post live from the courtroom.  They were waiting for Joanna Cherry, Jo Maugham and the Scottish Government to give legal challenge to the UK Governement not to shut down parliament.  The UK government filed their papers late and didn’t bother completing them missing out the important signed statement from the Prime Minister saying why he had ordered parliament to be shut.  A UK government who claims to care about Scotland but ignores its people, government and courts is not one who can argue it it working for democracy or the union it wants to keep.

Outside I spoke to the assembled vigil gathering there to support, under the statue of Charles II, I said how democracy can’t be shut down but it does need the people to pay constant attention and play their part.

Charles II was King of Scots who led Scots armies that were defeated twice by the English Commonwealth army busy invading neighbouring countries claiming London and it’s English parliament gave them power over us all.  So I went to London to check it out.

In London that parliament is falling down.  Scaffold covers it in an attempt to patch it up.  The protesters outside held a rally where politicians from the debates inside wandered out to give updates as they frantically tried to stop an unelected Prime Minister to take away our freedoms and citizenship.  Comedian Mitch Benn compared it, leading the rally saying he wanted everyone to show their English  flags with pride, the People’s Vote campaign trying to reclaim them from the racists, it worked with the crowd and shows how our politics is changing.

Inside the Westminster Parliament compound, past the armed guards and threatening signs of criminal repercussions the statue of Cromwell stands proud, he invaded Scotland and murdered many Irish, a curious character to celebrate.

The compound is a bubble, the noise of the protesters outside wanting to keep freedoms drowned out as we watched a government lose its majority and the confidence on their faces familiar from years of self entitlement vanish.

Pete Wishart, centre front, is an SNP MP who runs the All Party Intellectual Property group, he invited us in for the launch of OpenUK a new industry body for companies who want to engage with governement for open source solutions.  Too often governement puts out tenders for jobs and won’t talk to providers of open source solutions because we’re too small and the names are obscure.  Too often when governements do implement open source and free software setups they get shut down because someone with more money comes along and offers their setup and some jobs.  I’ve seen that in Nigeria, I’ve seen it happen in Scotland, I’ve seen it happen in Germany.  The power and financial structures that proprietary software create allows for the corruption of best solutions to a problem.

The Scottish independence supporter Pete spoke of the need for Britain to have the best Intellectual Property rules in the world, to a group who want to change how intellectual property influences us, while democracy falls down around us.

The protesters marched over the river closing down central London in the name of freedom but in the bubble of Westminster we sit sipping wine looking on.

The winners of the UK Open Source Awards were celebrated and photos taken, (previously) unsung heros working to keep the free operating system running, opening up how plant phenomics work, improving healthcare in ways that can not be done when closed.

Getting governement engagement with free software is crucial to improving how our society works but the politicians are far too easily swayed by big branding and names budgets rather than making sure barriers are reduced to be invisible.

The crumbling of one democracy alongside a celebration and opening of a project to bring business to those who still have little interest in it.  How to get government to prefer openness over barriers?  This place will need to be rebuilt before that can happen.

Onwards to Milan for KDE Akademy.

 

polkit-qt-1 0.113.0 Released

Some 5 years after the previous release KDE has made a new release of polkit-qt-1, versioned 0.113.0.

Polkit (formerly PolicyKit) is a component for controlling system-wide privileges in Unix-like operating systems. It provides an organized way for non-privileged processes to communicate with privileged ones.   Polkit has an authorization API intended to be used by privileged programs (“MECHANISMS”) offering service to unprivileged programs (“CLIENTS”).

Polkit Qt provides Qt bindings and UI.

This release was done ahead of additions to KIO to support Polkit.

SHA-256:
5b866a2954ef10ffb66156e2fe8ad0321b5528a8df2e4a91b02f5041ce5563a7
GPG fingerprint:
D81C0CB38EB725EF6691C385BB463350D6EF31EF

Notable changes since 0.112.0
———————————————————
– Add support for passing details to polkit
– Remove support for Qt4

https://download.kde.org/stable/polkit-qt-1/

Thanks to Heiko Becker for his work on this release.

Full changelog

  •  Bump version for release
  •  Don’t set version numbers as INT cache entries
  •  Move cmake_minimum_required to the top of CMakeLists.txt
  •  Remove support for Qt4
  •  Remove unneded documentation
  •  authority: add support for passing details to polkit
    https://phabricator.kde.org/D18845
  •  Fix typo in comments
  •  polkitqtlistener.cpp – pedantic
  •  Fix build with -DBUILD_TEST=TRUE
  •  Allow compilation with older polkit versions
  •  Fix compilation with Qt5.6
  •  Drop use of deprecated Qt functions REVIEW: 126747
  •  Add wrapper for polkit_system_bus_name_get_user_sync
  •  Fix QDBusArgument assertion
  • do not use global static systembus instance

 

KDE.org Applications Site

I’ve updated the kde.org/applications site so KDE now has web pages and lists the applications we produce.

In the update this week it’s gained Console apps and Addons.

Some exciting console apps we have include Clazy, kdesrc-build, KDebug Settings (a GUI app but has no menu entry) and KDialog (another GUI app but called from the command line).

This KDialog example takes on a whole new meaning after watching the Chernobyl telly drama.

And for addon projects we have stuff like File Stash, Latte Dock and KDevelop’s addons for PHP and Python.

At KDE we want to be a great place to be a home for your project and this is an important part of that.