29 Mar 2015

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KDE Applications 14.12.3, Frameworks 5.8, linux 3.19.1 and new graphics drivers available in the stable repositories


KDE's third update of its 14.12 series of Applications and Frameworks 5.8.0 are now available in Chakra's stable repositories. With this release kde-workspace has also been updated to version 4.11.17 and kdelibs to 4.14.6.

According to the official announcement, the 14.12.3 release includes 19 recorded bugfixes and improvements to the anagram game Kanagram, Umbrello UML Modeller, the document viewer Okular and the geometry application Kig.

The applications that have been ported to Frameworks 5 will not be updated but remain at their 4.14.3 versions, as they are being prepared to be included in the upcoming Plasma5 switch.

In addition the following packages have been updated:

29 Mar 2015 9:42pm GMT

PyKDE Future: Seeking a New Maintainer

KDE Project:

For anyone who has been paying any attention of PyKDE5 over the last year or so, it is no secret that development and maintenance has been at a standstill. I've been very busy with a family and small children, and that eats time like you wouldn't believe. (Unit number 2 is almost 6 months now, healthy and happy I can report.) But another important factor is that my interests have shifted towards web related technologies over the last few years.

So, it is time to put the call out for a new maintainer or maintainers. I would also like to put in a bit of an apology to anyone who has depended on PyKDE5 and has had to put up this wishy-washy state of limbo for the project. And I would also like the thank people for the occassional drive-by commit which has helped keep the existing functionality mostly working.

Anyone interested should contact me. I'm willing to help and advise anyone who wants to learn the ropes, and to facilitate a transition to new management. If you are interested and curious but don't want to stick your hand up immediately and commit yourself, then still email me and I can forward on some information to you which may help explain how PyKDE5 works and is updated. It should give you an idea of the task at hand.

29 Mar 2015 8:57am GMT

27 Mar 2015

feedPlanet KDE

Update: OpenStack Summit Vancouver Presentation

The schedule for the upcoming OpenStack Summit 2015 in Vancouver is finally available. Sage and I submitted a presentation about "Storage security in a critical enterprise OpenStack environment". The submission was accepted and the talk is scheduled for Monday, May 18th, 15:40 - 16:20.

There are also some other talks related to Ceph available:
Checkout the links or the schedule for dates and times of the talks.

See you in Vancouver!

27 Mar 2015 10:16pm GMT

The World is Wrong!!!

"No shit, the world is wrong! It ain't got a clue! But here, in this one minute video, I will explain what's wrong and how I have discovered the right way."

As soon as you encounter something that can be reduced to the above, it's a pretty fair sign that the author doesn't know what he's talking about. Anyone who thinks they're so unique that they can come up with something nobody else has thought before is, with likelihood bordering on certainty deluded. The world is full of smart people who have encountered the problem before. Any problem.

That means that a video that's been doing the rounds on how "Computer Color is Broken" is a case in point. The author brings us his amazing discovery that linear rgb is better than non-linear, except that everyone who's been working on computer graphics has known all of that, for ages. It's textbook stuff. It's not amazing, it's just the way maths work. The same with the guy who some years ago proved that all graphics applications scale the WRONG way! "And how much did you pay for your expensive graphics software?", he asked. "Eh? You sucker, you got suckered", he effectively said, "but fortunately, here's me to put you right!" It's even the same thing, actually.

Whether it's about color, graphics, or finding the Final Synthesis between Aristotle and Plato, this is my rule of thumb: people who think everone else in the world is wrong, are certainly wrong. (Also, Basque really is not the mother of all languages.)

And when it comes to color blending or image scaling: with Krita you got the choice. Use 16 bit rgb with a linear color profile, and you won't see the artefacts, or don't use it, and get the artefacts you probably were already used to, and were counting on for the effect you're trying to achieve. We've had support for that for a decade now.

Note: I won't link to any of these kookisms. They get enough attention already.

27 Mar 2015 7:09pm GMT

eGoverment in the Netherlands

Today "everyone" is online in one form or another, and it has transformed how many people connect, communicate, share and collaborate with others. To think that the Internet really only hit the mainstream some 20 years ago. It has been an amazingly swift and far-reaching shift that has touched people's personal and professional lives.

So it is no surprise that the concept of eGovernment is a hot one and much talked about. However, the reality on the ground is that governments tend not to be the swiftest sort of organizations when it comes to adopting change. (Which is not a bad thing; but that's a topic for another blog perhaps.) Figuring out how to modernize the communication and interaction of government with their constituencies seems to largely still be in the future. Even in countries where everyone is posting pictures taken on their smartphones of their lunch to all their friends (or the world ...), governments seem to still be trying to figure out how to use the Internet as an effective tool for democratic discourse.

The Netherlands is a few steps ahead of most, however. They have an active social media presence which is used by numerous government offices to collaborate with each other as well as to interact with the populace. Best of all, they aren't using a proprietary, lock-in platform hosted by a private company oversees somewhere. No, they use a free software social media framework that was designed specifically for this: Pleio.

They have somewhere around 100,000 users of the system and it is both actively used and developed to further the aims of the eGovernment initiative. It is, in fact, an initiative of the Programme Office 2.0 with the Treasury department, making it a purposeful program rather than simply a happy accident.

In their own words:

The complexity of society and the need for citizens to ask for an integrated service platform where officials can easily collaborate with each other and engage citizens.

In addition, hundreds of government organizations all have the same sort of functionality needed in their operations and services. At this time, each organization is still largely trying to reinvent the wheel and independently purchase technical solutions.

That could be done better. And cheaper. Gladly nowadays new resources are available to work together government-wide in a smart way and to exchange knowledge. Pleio is the platform for this.

Just a few days ago it was anounced publicly that not only is the Pleio community is hard at work on improving the platform to raise the bar yet again, but that Kolab will be a part of that. A joint development project has been agreed to and is now underway as part of a new Pleio pilot project. You can read more about the collaboration here.

27 Mar 2015 5:47pm GMT

Help to find better metaphors

A big problem of KDE Activities is their name. It builds up a poor mental model and thus makes life hard for users. With this post we ask you to help us finding a better name for the underlying concepts.

Keep on reading: Help to find better metaphors

27 Mar 2015 3:28pm GMT

The current state of Windows Embedded Compact (WEC) platform support in Qt

by Björn Breitmeyer

It has been very quiet around WEC platform support in Qt, and you would have been forgiven for thinking that nothing was happening. But behind the scenes, we have been tackling some pretty hard issues. We just did not blog about the ongoing work….until now.

Be assured that the platform is still maintained and there is work happening. Here is a short overview of the work my co-worker at KDAB, Andreas Holzammer and myself have done on the WEC support.

Qt Multimedia Qt Multimedia is still listed as a not supported module for WEC. This has changed slightly as we reintroduced the ability to playback audio files based on the DirectShow backend: https://codereview.qt-project.org/#/c/93093/.

Read more…

The post The current state of Windows Embedded Compact (WEC) platform support in Qt appeared first on KDAB.

27 Mar 2015 1:50pm GMT

Kubuntu Beta 2 is Out

Kubuntu Vivid Beta 2 is out. This is the first major distro to ship with Plasma 5 so it'll be the first time many people get to see our lovely new desktop. Scary.

We have 24 bugs I've milestoned and 1 month to go until release, let's see how low we can go. Many of the bugs are easy enough to fix and just need twiddling the bits in the packaging. Some are more complex. If you want to help out come and join us in #kubuntu-devel we'd appreciate just testing the ISOs for sanity.

Alas upgrade from 14.10 is currently broken due to a bug which is probably in apt , fix soon I hope.

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinby feather

27 Mar 2015 1:41pm GMT

Qt Developer Days Videos and passing the torch

For the past three years, KDAB has had the honor and pleasure to bring you the European Qt Developer Days Conference in Berlin. Now it's time to pass the torch and, we'd like to offer you a farewell gift:

Watch the videos!
Videos from the 2014 Qt Developer Days Europe are now online along with videos and slides from 2013 and 2013 - all at a single location. Enjoy! And thanks for the ride.

Last month The Qt Company announced the Qt World Summit, to be held again in Berlin at the bcc Berlin Congress Centre. RIP Qt Developer Days, Welcome to the Qt World Summit!

Read the back story from KDAB's Chief Executive, Kalle Dalheimer here…

The post Qt Developer Days Videos and passing the torch appeared first on KDAB.

27 Mar 2015 1:29pm GMT

Kubuntu Vivid Beta-2 Announced

full-screen-wee

Now just 23 bugs to fix before release. We can get there with your help.

27 Mar 2015 1:09am GMT

26 Mar 2015

feedPlanet KDE

Kubuntu Vivid Beta 2

The second Beta of Vivid (to become 15.04) has now been released!

The Beta-2 images can be downloaded from: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/vivid/beta-2/

More information on Kubuntu Beta-2 can be found here: https://wiki.kubuntu.org/VividVervet/Beta2/Kubuntu

Apologies but upgrade from Kubuntu 14.10 is currently broken due to bug 1426132; a fix will be available shortly.

26 Mar 2015 11:05pm GMT

25 Mar 2015

feedPlanet KDE

Saving code

As you probably know by now, Gitorious is shutting down. A lot of history sits on that site, and much of the code is no longer maintained. Browsing around, I ran into the maemo-tools that has not been touched since 2013. There are still some useful stuff there, so I decided to save it. All tool repositories has been cloned to the maemo-tools-old organization on github.

As I'm only a happy user, I would love to invite the original maintainers, or other interested developers to come work on it, so if you want an invite to the organization so that you can maintain the code, just drop me a mail at e8johan, gmail, com.

25 Mar 2015 7:45pm GMT

The current state of Windows Embedded Compact(WEC) platform support in Qt

It has been very quiet around WEC platform support in Qt, and you would have been forgiven for thinking that nothing was happening. But behind the scenes, we have been tackling some pretty hard issues. We just did not blog about the ongoing work……until now.

Be assured that the platform is still maintained and there is work happening. Here is a short overview of the work my co-worker at KDAB, Andreas Holzammer and myself have done on the WEC support.

Qt Multimedia

Qt Multimedia is still listed as a not supported module for WEC. This has changed slightly as we reintroduced the ability to playback audio files based on the DirectShow backend: https://codereview.qt-project.org/#/c/93093/.

We also tried to restore the Video support, but faced unknown error messages from DirectShow. The idea of reviving the support is not gone, but delayed until we find a solution.

Deploying Qt Applications

Deployment of Qt applications can be quite a hassle. You have to know which plugins and modules your application uses and make sure all the required files that are not stored in resource files are deployed. This is especially bad if you have Qml files and plugins. The Qt Company introduced a very useful tool to ease the deployment on windows, called windeployqt. In January we finally got the support for WEC in the windeployqt tool upstream: https://codereview.qt-project.org/#/c/92707/.

This helps to simplify the deployment of Qt applications onto a target. You still have to manually copy the files and the libc++ runtime to the device, but all the Qt dependencies are correctly packaged to a folder of your choice by running a simple command.

Multitouch Support

Last but not least we have integrated a new feature into Qt 5.4. We introduced multitouch support for WEC based systems, this means we have two-finger multitouch working in Qt on WEC platforms. This happened in January when we implemented support for GID_DIRECTMANIPULATION: https://codereview.qt-project.org/#/c/104040/.

Only two touch points are supported due to the very simple WEC api for this, which only offers us two. The new feature allows WEC7 Qt application to use all the Desktop gesture recognizers.

While we were implementing the multitouch feature we discovered that the delivery of touchpoints and gestures was not working properly. The events weren't reaching the correct widgets most of the time. The reason was a porting bug from Qt4 to Qt5, where the new call for the Desktop api was available on WEC7 but didn't work properly. This led to the inability to find the correct child window for given coordinates. The bug we fixed was QTBUG-44022.

Ongoing work

As WEC7 is already a very old platform and Microsoft has already released the successor, we were looking for an integration of WEC2013 as a supported Qt5 platform. Recently we succeeded to compile and deploy a Qt5 application to WEC2013. Our hardware platform still gives us trouble with Qml Shader elements, but simple QtQuick2 applications are working already. The port will go into Qt very soon. First we need to verify what features are working and take a look where we can now actually use the more feature-rich desktop code paths. This should ease maintenance and will allow us to fully leverage the capabilities of a new platform.

We will blog about the release of Qt5 WEC2013 platforms support in the near future when we have pushed the support upstream.

The post The current state of Windows Embedded Compact(WEC) platform support in Qt appeared first on KDAB.

25 Mar 2015 4:38pm GMT

Breeze Icons coming to LibreOffice

writer

Of course, with Free Software, there is a challenge. Help us find the missing icons.

25 Mar 2015 12:27pm GMT

Breeze love LibreOffice

Jonathan Riddell ask on planet kde in November 2014 if we can make a Breeze icon set for LibreOffice. He also start a wiki page about the used icons. In the end of November Uri the main icon designer make 150 LO icons and after that the infrastructure in LO was prepared to have the posibility for another icon set (https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/13043/)

libreoffice-writer libreoffice-impress libreoffice-math libreoffice-draw libreoffice-calc libreoffice-base

Now 4 Months later I proudly present the new LO Breeze icon set. We make more than 2.500 icons so that the Breeze LO icon set is mature. In future we can offer Oxygen and Breeze icons for LibreOffice. What do you say? I say whow. And I say thanks to the LibreOffice design team to offer us the opportunity to customize LO and for the warm welcome. Maybe breeze will be the backup for Sifr the LO monochrome icon set, because breeze is much more complete than Sifr. You be welcome to change this ;-)

libreoffice3

Now we have an easter egg challange for you. The last missing icons are sometimes not easy to find. So download the daily build (please wait until 26.03. I was to fast with the blog post) with the new breeze icons and search for missing icons. please comment on the blog post with an screenshot and a short description.

kdenlive labplot yakuake cantor

In addition to LO we also make Breeze icons for Kdenlive, Labplot, Yakuake and now I start with Digikam. If you want Breeze and Breeze-dark icons for your app, leave a post on the VDG Forum or an Issue on the Breeze Git repository.

We have also a realy nice resolution for icon temes, look and feel packages (megathemes) and app specific icons. YOU as the app developer can say which icon set you will support primary in your app. For example Oxygen. So you have to offer all app icons for oxygen. If the user want to use breeze-dark in the breeze-dark iconset from the system the app specific icons are included. So the user get an consistent look and feel on breeze and breeze-dark and the developers can offer what they like.

firefox_icon amarok_icon xchat3 cad2 okteta

Of corse you can join us. Monochrome icons are sometimes difficult to find the right recognizion but easy to design. At google code in I had some realy realy good icon designers like Artem (no designer) or Buno. I will hope they join us again and you too. So leave a icon on https://github.com/NitruxSA/plasma-next-icons.

I ask my google code in student Artem why he support KDE:

My name is Artem, i'm 17 years old programmer from Amursk, a small town in the far east Russia. I'm study in public school and lead an ordinary life. I support KDE because… To be honest, i don't know. It's just fun. I do useful things and its great. Btw,i don't even use Linux (i used to use it, and i wish i will switch my main os to kde based linux distro in the future, when dotnet will be officially crossplatform).


25 Mar 2015 10:20am GMT

Scaling

I've visited both FOSDEM and SCALE over the last weeks, where spoke with dozens of people and gave talks about ownCloud 8. We've been getting a lot of positive feedback on the work we're doing in ownCloud (thanks!) and that has been very motivating.

Does it scale?

A question which comes up frequently is: "What hardware should I run ownCloud on?" This sounds like a simple questions but if you give it a second thought, it is actually not so easy to answer. I had a small cubox on the booth as a demonstration that this is a way to run ownCloud. But development boards like the Raspberry Pi and the cubox might give the impression ownCloud is only suitable for very small installations - while in reality, worlds' largest on-premise sync and share deployment has brought ownCloud to 500,000 students! So, ownCloud scales, and that introduces the subject of this blog.

If you look up the term scalability on wikipedia you get the explanation that software scales well if you get double the performance gain out of it if you throw twice the hardware at the problem. This is called linear scalability, and rarely if ever achieved.

The secret to scalability

ownCloud runs on small Raspberry Pi's for your friends and family at home but also on huge clusters of web servers where it can serve over hundreds of thousands of users and petabytes of data. The current Raspberry Pi doesn't deliver blazing fast performance but it works and the new raspberry pi 2 announced last month should be great hardware for small ownCloud deployments. Big deployments like the one in Germany or at CERN are usually 'spread out' over multiple servers, which brings us to the secret sauce that makes scalable software possible.

This secret to building great scalable software is to avoid central components that can be bottlenecks and use components that can easily be clustered by just adding just more server nodes.

How ownCloud scales

The core ownCloud Server is written in PHP which usually runs together with a web server like Apache or ISS on an application server like Linux or Windows. There is zero communication needed between the application nodes and the load can be distributed between different application servers by standard HTTP load balancers. This scales completely linear so if you want to handle double the load because you have double the users, you can just double the number of application servers making ownCloud perfectly scalable software.

Unfortunately an ownCloud deployment still depends on a few centralized components that have the potential to become bottlenecks to scalability. These components are typically the file system, database, load balancer and sometimes session management. Let's talk about each of those and what can be done to address potential performance issues in scaling them.

File system scalability

The file system is where ownCloud has its data stored, and it is thus very important for performance. The good news is that file systems are usually fast enough to not slow down ownCloud. A modern SSD, RAID setup, NFS server or Object Store can deliver data rates that are a lot faster than the typical internet network uplinks so you rarely bump into limits with data storage. And if you do, there are solutions like GlusterFS which help you scale performance quite easily. On the App server, a properly setup and configured Temp directory is important to achieve good performance as data has to flow via the ownCloud installation to the user (sync clients or web interface).

Sometimes, this isn't enough. If you have to handle petabytes of data, ownCloud 8 offers a solution developed together with CERN. This solution lets ownCloud act as a storage broker to direct read and write requests directly to the storage node where the data resides. The result is that that no actual payload flows through the ownCloud servers anymore and the storage performance is entirely dependent upon the data storage itself. Thanks to this solution, the file system storage should never be the bottle neck for ownCloud.

Database scalability

ownCloud uses a database to store all kind of metadata so it depends on a database which is very fast and scalable to keep performance up. ownCloud can use enterprise databases like MSSQL and Oracle DB which offer all kinds of fancy clustering options. Unfortunately they are proprietary and not necessarily cheap. Luckily there are Open Source alternatives like PostgreSQL and MySQL/MariaDB which also offer impressive clustering and scalability options. Especially MySQL combined with a Galera cluster is a very nice and fast option that is used by a lot of the larger ownCloud installations.

Note that scalability doesn't always mean big! Scalability also means that ownCloud should run fine on very tiny systems. Some embedded systems like the first Raspberry Pi had very limited RAM. In such situations it is nice to use SQLite which is embedded in the PHP runtime and has a very tiny memory footprint, saving precious system resources. This is is all about choice for the right system size!

load balancer scalability

If you have more than one application server than you need a way to distribute the incoming requests to the different servers. ownCloud uses a standard protocol like HTTP so that off the shelf solutions can be used for load balancing. There are standard and enterprise grade appliances from companies like F5 that are very fast and reliable if used for redundancy with a heat beat. Nowadays there are also very good and affordable options like the Open Source HAProxy on top of a standard Linux system available. This also works very well and is very fast. If you really have a lot of traffic and don't want to buy hardware appliances you can combine several redundant HAProxy servers with DNS round robin. This has to be done very carefully so that you don't compromise your high availability. There are several blogs and articles out there describing how to set up a system like this.

Session management scalability

There are two fundamentally different ways to do session management which are both supported by ownCloud. One is local session management on the application servers. The other is a centralized session management. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of both solutions here because they are a lot of aspects to consider. But with regards to scalability I want to mention that the simpler solution to have local session management together with sticky connections has the benefit that it does not need a central component. This means that it provides linear scalability. If a centralized session management is used then something like memcached is recommended and supported by ownCloud because it can also scale easily internally.

summary

ownCloud has been designed to scale from tiny embedded systems like a Raspberry Pi for a few users to a standard Linux server for a small workgroup to a big cluster for several hundred thousands of users. A wide variety of solutions and technologies can be used to make this possible and if you are interested in ways how to do this than have a look at the owncloud documentation for more information and look at the third party resources and white papers available for this on owncloud.com

25 Mar 2015 8:36am GMT