03 Oct 2015

feedPlanet KDE

The Art of Language Invention

"Careful now. I must say this right. Upe, I have killed your husband. There's a gold hairpin in his chest. If you need more soulprice, ask me. Upe, bing keng ... No, that doesn't start right. Wait, I should say, 'Upe, bing wisyeye keng birikyisde... And then say sorry. What's sorry in this stupid language? Don't know. Bing biyititba. I had to... She can have the gold hairpin, and the other one, that should be enough. I hope she didn't really love him."

This is a tiny fragment from the novel I was writing when I started hacking on Krita... I finished the last chapter last year, and added a new last chapter this year. The context? Yidenir, one the protagonists, an apprentice sorcerer, is left alone by her master in a Barushlani camp, where she lives among the women, in the inner courtyard. When she learns she has been abandoned, she goes to the men's side of the tent, argues with the warlord and to make sure he understand she's a sorcerer, kills his right-hand man, by ramming one of her hairpins in his chest. Then she goes back, and tries to figure out how to tell that henchman's wife that she has killed her husband. A couple of weeks isn't long enough to learn Den Barush, as Barushlani is called in Denden (where 'barush' is form of the word for 'mountain').

Together with the novel, I wrote parts of a grammar of Barushlani. I had written a special application to collect language data, called Kura, and a system that used docbook, fop and python to combine language data and descriptive text into a single grammar. I was a serious conlanger. Heck, I was a serious linguist, having had an article published in linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area.

But conlanging is how I started. I hadn't read Tolkien (much, the local library only had Volume II of Lord of the Rings, in a Dutch translation), I didn't know it was possible to invent a language. But around 1981 I started learning French, English and German, and with French came a grammar. A book that put down the rules of language in an orderly way, very attractively, too, I thought. And my mind was fizzing with this invented world, full of semi-hemi-demi-somewhat humans that I was sculpting in wax. And drawing. And trying to figure out the music of. My people needed a language!

So I started working on Denden. It's no coincidence that Denden has pretty much no logical phonology. Over the years, I found I had gotten sentimentally attached to words I invented early on, so while grammar was easy to rewrite and make more interesting, the words had to stay. More or less.

Then I started studying Chinese, found some like-minded people, like Irina, founded the Society for Linguafiction (conlang wasn't a word back then), got into a row with Leyden Esperantist Marc van Oostendorp who felt that languages should only be invented from idealistic motives, not aesthetic. I got into a memorable discussion in a second-hand bookshop when a philosopher told me smugly that I might have imagined I had invented a language, but that I was wrong because a) you cannot invent a language and b) an invented language is not a language.

I got into the community centered around the CONLANG mailing list. I did a couple of relays, a couple of translations, and then I started getting ambitious about my world: I started working on the first two novels. And then, of course, I got side-tracked a little, first by the rec.arts.sf.composition usenet group, where people could discuss their writing, and later on by Krita.

These days, when we need words and names for our long-running RPG campaign, we use Nepali for Aumen Sith, Persian for Iss-Peran. Only Valdyas and Velihas have proper native language. The shame!!

And apart from RPG and now and then writing a bit of fiction, I had more or less forgotten about my conlanging. The source code for Kura seems to be lost, I need to check some old CDR's, but I'm not very hopeful. The setup I used to build the grammars is pretty much unreconstructable, and the wordprocessor documents that have my oldest data don't load correctly anymore. (I did some very weird hacks, back then, including using a hex editor to make a Denden translation of WordPerfect 4.2.)

Until today, when young whipper-snapper David J. Peterson's book arrived, entitled "The art of language invention". Everything came back... The attempt to make sense of Yaguello's Les Fous du Langage (crap, but there wasn't much else..) Trying to convince other people that no, I wasn't crazy, trying to explain to auxlangers that, yes, doing this for fun was a valid use of my time. The Tolkienian sensation of having sixteen drafts of a dictionary and no longer knowing which version is correct. What's not in David's book, but... Telling your lover in her or your own language that you love her, and writing erotic poetry in that language, too. Marrying at the town hall wearing t-shirts printed with indecent texts in different conlangs, each white front with black letters shouting defiance at the frock-coated marriage registrar. (I don't believe in civil marriage.)

Reading the book made me realize that, of course, internet has changed what it means to be a conlanger. We started out with literally stenciled fanzines, swapping fanzine for fanzine, moving on to actual copiers. Quietly not telling my Nepali/Hayu/Dumi/Limbu/comparative linguistics teacher what I actually was assembling the library of Cambridge books on Language (the red and green series!) for.

Linguistically, David's book doesn't have much to offer me, of course. I adapted Mark Rosenfelder's Perl scripts to create a diachronically logical system of sound changes so I could generate the Barushlani vocabulary. I know, or maybe, knew, about phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. I made my first fonts with Corel Draw in the early nineties. I had to hack around to get IPA into Word 2. But it was a fun read, and brought back some good memories.

And also some pet peeves... Dothraki! I'm not a Games of Thrones fan, I long for a nice, fun, cosy fantasy series where not everyone wants to kill, rape and enslave everyone else. I found the books unreadable and the television series unwatchable. And... Dothraki. David explains how he uses the words and names the author had sprinkled around the text to base the language on. Good job on his side. But those words! Martin's concept of "exotic language" basically boils down to "India is pretty exotic!" It reads like the random gleanings from the Linguistic Survey of India, or rather, those stories from the Boy's Own Library that deal with Hindoostan. Which is, no doubt, where the 'double' vowels come from. Kaheera's ee is the same ee as in Victorian spellings of baksheesh and so on. Harumph.

BUT if the connection with television series helps sell this book and get more people having fun conlanging, then it's all worth it! I'm going to see if I can revive that perl script, and maybe do some nice language for the people living in the lowlands west of the mountain range that shelters Broi, the capital of Emperor Rordal, or maybe finally do something about Vustlani, the language of his wife, Chazalla.

Let's go back to Yidenir, doing the laundry with poor disfigured Tsoy... Tsoy wants to sing!

"Yidenir, ngaimyibge?" Another fierce scowl.

"What did you say? -- do I sing? Er..." Yidenir was silent for a moment. Was this girl making fun of her? Or was she just trying to be friendly?

"Sadrabam aimyibgyi ingyot. Aimyibgyi ruysing ho," Tsoy explained patiently.

"Er, singing, is good, er allowed? when doing laundry? Oh, yes, I can sing... Denden only, is that all right? Er, aimyipkyi denden?"


"All right, then... Teach you a bit of Denden, too? Ngsahe Denden bingyop?" Yidenir offered.

03 Oct 2015 7:04pm GMT

KDE Plasma 5.4.2, bugfix Release for October, is already landing in Kubuntu Wily

KDE Plasma 5.4.2, bugfix Release for October, is already landing in Kubuntu Wily, to become Kubuntu 15.10 in less than a month.


03 Oct 2015 2:57pm GMT

Randa Meetings update

I am really not a person who blogs much and its bit late. I feel good being KDE user since 2005. Officially I started coding / contributing to minor stuff in KDE in 2010. Switzerland is an awesome place and I really liked Randa. Speaking of Switzerland, for me those trains are art of engineering. I would like to thank KDE e.v. and other sponsors for making this event happen.

DAY 1 - Sunday20150908_085429

I arrived in Randa in the evening and was welcomed by Dr. konqui though Katie was missing. I went to registration office to meet Mario and then moved my stuff to the room. It was really tiring travel so it was already time to have beers (FELDSCHLÖSSCHEN) with other KDE folks.

DAY 2 - Monday
Introduction by Mario Fux about different groups that arrived at Randa meetings for hacking followed by presentations. I think videos are already uploaded or might be uploaded soon.

KDE on Android (Alexi Pol)

Problems : Competency, not very friendly ecosystem at the moment Ensure we preserver users freedom.google play f-droid , host f-droid store, not all dependencies are deployed there.Ensure we reach proper userbase, unified look and feel. We dont have all of the abstractions for the widgets. proli.net/kde-software-on-android

All things in Plasma (Marco Martin)

Short Intro (Scarlett Clark)

GCompris (Bruno Coudoin)

Plasma Visual Design (Heiko Tietze, Jens Reuterberg, Andreas Kainz, Uri Herrera)

KDE Connect

QML Web (Pavel Vasev, Jan Marker, Anton Kreuzkamp)

Then the closing note for the day by Mario and to start hacking Monday morning. I have missed to mention couple of talks and presenter names because I missed some ralks

Day 3 - Tuesday

I started work on new kiosk like tool. Collecting the information that was needed and discussed about it with couple of folks about this project.

Day 4 - Wednesday

We went to Zermatt and then walked back to house in Randa. It was an awesome experience. I like flying objects a lot and would not mind flying UFO as well if given a chance by aliens. Watching Helicopter was fun …




Air Zermatt [ Helipad ]


Air Zermatt [ Helipad ]


Helicopter Carrying Supplies

Day 5 - Thursday

I thought of naming is as "KONFINE". Though If anyone else has any suggestions for name of the project discussion is open. I started designing the UI for this tool but was complete failure and then I started talking with "Andreas Kainz" hopefully I have written correct spellings. He helped me with the UI and really came up with a better UI design than mine so thanks alot Andreas Kainz.

Day 6 - Friday

I did some coding, while I was coding I saw someone posted on the wall in TODO action that SSL patches for KDE connect needs to be reviewed so I started reviewing the SSL Patch for KDE connect. Most of the people started leaving on Friday some already left on Thursday.

Day 7 - Saturday

I continued my coding and other areas to research about the KDE Frameworks. I think I was able to provide some useful information on KDE Connect patches to tweak code for better security. https://git.reviewboard.kde.org/r/124312/ .Patch for Android still needs to be reviewed.

Day 8 - Sunday

I left house in Randa around 0500 HRS early morning (Everyone else was sleeping) to catch my flight from Zurich as it takes ~3 Hrs to reach the airport. Overall experience of the Randa 2015 meetings was awesome. This was my first sprint of any sort and a great experience. Staff and people who maintained the house were really good , food was amazing. It was also nice to meet Mario and his family members. Most probably I would be able to show some screenshots of application by end of this October or soon.

03 Oct 2015 2:29am GMT

01 Oct 2015

feedPlanet KDE

Kubuntu: Plasma 5.4.2 Ready testing! Come join the fun.

Kubuntu: Help make us better!

Kubuntu: Help make us better!

Basically we need you to test!
Thank you very much for those that helped today :) Frameworks needs further testing and with
more testers we can find these problems prior to release.
Please see my last post for details:
Last post A call for testers!

Today we have the latest Plasma 5.4.2 ready for Wily (backports will not be made until this one has been tested and released)

(Disclosure: DO NOT TEST on a production machine. You have been warned.)
Located here:

Add this to your sources.list and do an update/upgrade.
Then remove the ppa from sources.list.

Report back your results.
Thank you!

01 Oct 2015 10:50pm GMT

Secrets of Krita: the Third Krita Training DVD

Comics with Krita author Timothée Giet is back with his second training DVD: Secrets of Krita, a collection of videos containing 100 lessons about the most important things to know when using Krita. In 10 chapters, you will discover with clear examples all the essential and hidden features that make Krita so powerful and awesome! The data DVD is English spoken with English subtitles.

Secrets of Krita - DVD (€29,95)
Secrets of Krita - Download (€29,95)

Table of Contents

04-Display Colors
06-Canvas-Only Mode
07-Canvas Input
08-Other Shortcuts
10-Advanced Color Selector

2-Generic Brush Settings
01-Popup Palette
02-Toolbar Shortcuts
03-Dirty Presets
05-Precision Setting
06-Soft Brush
07-Build-Up And Wash
08-Dynamic Settings
09-Lock Setting
10-Smoothing mode

3-Specific Brush Settings
01-Pixel Brush: Color Dynamics
02-Pixel Brush: Pixel Art Presets
03-Color Smudge Brush: Overlay Mode
04-Sketch Brush: How It Works
05-Bristle Brush: Ink Depletion
06-Shape Brush: Speed And Displace
07-Spray Brush: Shapes And Dynamics
08-Hatching Brush: Hatching Options
09-Clone Brush: Shortcuts And Modes
10-Deform Brush: Deformation modes

01-Background Modes
02-Layer Groups
03-Inherit Alpha
04-Erase Mode
05-Filter Layer And Mask
06-Layer Conversion
07-Split Alpha
08-Split Layer
09-File Layer
10-Layer Color space

01-Selection Operations
03-Selection View
04-Global Selection Mask
05-Local Selection Mask
06-Selection Painting
07-Select Opaque
08-Contiguous Selection
09-Vector Selection
10-Convert Selection

01-Crop Tool
02-Pseudo-Infinite Canvas
03-Transform Tool
04-Transform Tool - Free Transform
05-Transform Tool - Perspective
06-Transform Tool - Warp
07-Transform Tool - Cage
08-Transform Tool - Liquify
09-Transform A Group
10-Recursive Transform

01-Assistant Magnetism
02-Vanishing Point
06-Concentric Ellipse
07-Parallell Ruler
09-Infinite Ruler
10-Fish Eye Point

01-Filter Presets
02-Dodge And Burn
04-Index Colors
05-Color To Alpha
06-Alpha Curve
07-Color Transfer
09-Layer Styles

9-Vector Tools
01-Vector Drawing
02-Vector Editing
03-Stacked Shapes
05-Stroke Shapes
07-Artistic Text
08-Multiline Text
09-Pattern Editing
10-Gradient Editing

01-Mirror view
02-Wrap Around mode
03-Mirror Painting
05-Save Incremental
06-Save Group Layers
08-Task Sets
09-Color Selectors
10-Command Line

01 Oct 2015 12:31pm GMT

The Future of Kontact

KDE Project:

Supplemental to what we reported previously about the work in Randa [1, 2] there was a session on the future of Kontact, KDE's personal information manager (PIM). Over the years this tool has evolved into a monster making both development as well as usage sometimes tricky. It's time to cut hydra's arms.

TL;DR: Sorry for the long posting. This blog post is about requirements for Kontact mobile. It also shows a couple of mockups based on the preliminary mobile HIG that illustrate what the requirements mean.

Formerly, Kontact had a rather simple vision which was updated at the last PIM sprint:

"The KDE PIM Framework allows to easily create personal information management applications ranging from personal to large enterprise use, for any target device and major platform. It seamlessly integrates data from multiple sources, while aiming to be rock-solid and lightning-fast...." (read more at Thomas Pfeiffer's blog and the new KDE PIM wiki page)
(Probably we do not talk about a framework anymore but a full-featured PIM suite)

In addition the generic "simple by default and powerful on demand" should be true. That means among others to drop all non-core features. Since KDE software will run on mobile and touch devices the next version of Kontact has to runs smoothly on all devices and form factors. And the special aim of the developers is that Kontact will become the first tool when privacy and security is of primary interest.

Persona and Scenario
Kontact will stick to the KDE personas. The main area of application is in medium to large size companies with a focus on security. So we talk about people like Berna or Santiago as the primary persona. The secondary persona is the private user with average knowledge (Susan) but also those with special needs like mailinglists (Philip).

There shouldn't be much to clarify about the desktop scenario. In respect to mobiles we have to consider first phones with ~4 to 5" in both vertical and horizontal orientation. For instance, the phone can be used vertically to get an overview of incoming emails and provide details on the selected item when rotated. Additionally we have to take tablets with 10-12" and wearables into account. The latter might be a small wrist watch but also a head-mounted display with a larger visualization.

Most relevant in this early stage of development is to define the intended features clearly. So this blog post is actually about requirements.

  • Essential for Kontact+ are email, calendar, and address book. Additional modules like notes, to-do lists, feeds etc. will be made available via plugin.
  • It has to be easy to switch between these modules
  • Modules have to allow interactions in terms of adding an appointment to the calendar that was received by email.
  • Configuration of the app is important
  • Comply with KDE phone (swipe up/down from top and bottom; extend the to
  • olbar wrt. the form factor)

Some time ago an analysis was done in respect to Plasma Active, which shouldn't be outdated too much.

  • Received emails have to be shown in a comprehensive list that allows to focus on important items.
  • Discussions (mailinglists) are shown in threads, which is one of the killer feature of today's KMail.
  • Emails can be sorted and filtered by date/sender/receiver/size/flags with all flexibility
  • Security/privacy is of major interest.
  • Core technical features are:
    • Support multiple accounts
    • Support standard protocols (IMAP, POP3, SMTP)
    • Supports authentication via NTLM (Microsoft Windows) and GSSAPI (Kerberos)
    • Supports plain text and secure logins, using SSL and TLS
    • Native support for inline OpenPGP, PGP/MIME, and S/MIME encryption
    • Filter spam (Integration with popular spam checkers, e.g. SpamAssassin, Bogofilter, etc.)
    • Provide synchronization features (e.g. owncloud)
    • Notification for new messages
    • Deal with text and HTML formatted emails

UI relevant features with relevance and suggested realization:

  • Receive/update: core > auto push or swipe down
  • Overview as well as details view and the complete email: core/performance > selection and touch again
  • Distinguish read from unread messages: core > grey out
  • Reply/reply all/forward: performance (reading is preferred on mobiles) > context drawer / handle (reply to all only for mobiles)
  • Compose: performance > global drawer
  • Delete: performance > context drawer
  • Move to folder (archive): buzz > context drawer
  • Save/add attachment: buzz > context drawer
  • Link item (add sender to/from address book, add appointment etc.): performance > context drawer
  • Toggle html on/off: exotic / buzz > context drawer
  • Show full header info: exotic / buzz > link
  • Handle long lists of receivers: exotic (at overview)/ performance wrt. to security > cut by default
  • Search for items: exotic > not implemented
  • Sort items by property (time, sender, receiver...): exotic > not implemented
  • Import/Export emails: exotic > not implemented

core/basic features = program does not work without, performance = not absolutely necessary, but create the impression of a good product, buzz = not expected by default, exotic = not really needed
For more about context drawer or global (or menu) drawer you may read the preliminary HIG or wait for the upcoming blog post by Thomas Pfeiffer.

Calendar & Addressbook
We talked also in short about the calendar app. Ideas will be presented later to not overload this posting.

Requirements are essential for products. But since people tend to not read walls of text- and because it's often not easy to follow the ideas, it makes sense to visualize with simple mockups.

Multiple level of details

Figure 1
Figure 1: Several level of detail in order to support both a fast overview as well as having a preview and a full-size read mode. The figures also illustrate the idea to add graphical guidance a la GitHub.

The probably most shining feature is the graph supporting the orientation. It is inspired by GitHub with the idea to flatten the current system of reply indention. If Alice communicates with Bob there would be a straight line. And if John joins and "branches" the discussion this would be illustrated respectively.
Threads are identified by the topic, highlighted in blue here. With the goal to show as many (incoming) emails as possible we start from the left with the highly condensed view that lists sender and time of the email. Items expand on selection (indicated also by a bigger sign in the graph) providing a quick preview. The actual email address is shown here for security reasons. If the user touches the item once again the app provides inline access with almost the complete functionality. However, from time to time it might be necessary to read the message in full size with for example all HTML features, as illustrated in the right picture.
By the way, the bottom panel with the red cross is a placeholder for global plasma functions on mobiles.


Figure 2
Figure 2: Context functions with the selected item and global interactions with the app. In the right mockup the idea of dynamic filters is shown.

Context relevant functions are located in the right drawer. It opens when the user swipes from right to left offering all functions with the current list as well as the selected item. If the user wants to have quick access to a particular function, such as reply (reply to all in case of mobiles) and delete, these features may be selected for having them at the handle, which is shown on slid sideways. The user can decide what he or she wants to have there but with a limit to a few functions only (here two).
Access to global functions, i.e. compose for email, and other modules are available in the left, global drawer. And there is also a core feature of the email app: Dynamically combined filters.

Normal email programs work with a couple of fix folders like inbox, sent, and trash plus user-defined folders. But reading an email in a conversation without reference to own contributions is weird. And using predefined folders is also somewhat outdated. The idea is to have filters like "all incoming unread messages" (replacing the inbox), "emails with reference to KDE in the header or sent from *@kde.org" (replacing personal folders). The creation of those filters (like smart folders in the Mac OS world and also similar to the stored search in the current KMail) could be done on the desktop for convenience. The mobile app provides checkboxes to have any combination of those filters.

Form factors and orientation

Figure 3
Figure 3: Horizontal orientation.

Different form factors like in rotated orientation or in case of a larger displays have to be taken into consideration. While the number of shown emails is reduced it is possible to read the content of the selected item, at least in terms of the preview.

Figure 4
Figure 4: Desktop or tablet size version of Kontact+.

With more size the screen may get organized like in conventional email applications. The left, global drawer (aka sidebar in desktop apps) offers navigational and global features (still providing access to dynamic filters), there is an overview of all emails (here with more information compared to the mobile version), and the details below. Large screens makes it also possible to show a toolbar with labeled buttons instead of the right context drawer.

It should be kept in mind that users may want to switch to the mobile version on the desktop, for example in order to have a small app running on a secondary screen.

Alternative version

Figure 5
Figure 5: Alternate, even more simple version.<(i>

Of course you can (and should) refuse requirements that make no sense to you. For instance, if threading is less important and if the major focus is not on as many items as possible at once, the user interface may look like in figure 5. Colors can be added to support navigation and orientation, but must not be used as primary indicator. That means, similar to existing apps the items may have a small indicator bar, or the like, for the respective filter.

Finally, and to make it really confusing, the app is made for KDE. And since we offer all freedom the configuration should allow flexibility and individualization. However, the mobile app needs to be simple so we must not add all the features available currently.
Here are some ideas for the configuration:

  • Sender name: ( ) First name Surname, (o) Surname, First name, ( ) First name only, ( ) Surname only
  • [x] Show sender's full address
  • [x] Allow HTML emails
  • [x] Show navigation graph
  • <1> Number of preview lines
  • [Breeze|Oxygen|Rainbow|B/W] Color set
  • <0.5> Time to mark as read (steps in 250ms)

Conclusion / Participation
What do you think? Are the requirements sufficient for your workflow or do you think we have to add or remove something? We are looking forward your ideas. Please join the discussion at the KDE forums thread "The Future of Kontact".

Finally kodus go to Michael Bohlender, Christian Mollekopf, Andreas Kainz, Uri Herrera, and Jens Reuterberg who discussed the topic at Randa. Also big hugs to the mobile HIG team with Thomas Pfeiffer and Alex L.
Images were made with Balsamiq Mockups. The source can be downloaded from KDE share.

01 Oct 2015 10:49am GMT

30 Sep 2015

feedPlanet KDE

My Wishion of KDE – Prelude

Now or never - that's what I thought yesterday when I wrote the notes for this blog post down. Although it might be a bit too dramatic. Yesterday night frustrated me and even made me angry about things going on in KDE. And thus I think and thought it's finally time to start my blog series. Over the next weeks I'd like to write a blog series with the title My Wishion of KDE. Over the last two years I collected many thoughts and notes and with this blog post I'll put some more pressure on myself to finally arrange these notes and ideas and finish the blog posts and publish them.

And I want to do this as well because most of the time I prefer to improve things and progress them, fix them, do the work rather than just rant and criticize (destructively, constructive criticism is great and important) and it's Free Software in its core as well: just do it (others might or will follow).

There are quite some things failing inside KDE but I heard there was quite some positive energy this year at Akademy and we just finished/ended the longest Randa Meetings yet and although these meetings were for me quite exhausting they were another great success and almost the size of half of Akademy this year. Just compare the group pictures. And I met again some great people, new and old, young and old, with great ideas, a lot of energy and willingness to put in some energy and with the incubator projects I sponsor there was and is even more enthusiasm coming to KDE.

So this is the introduction or first part of my series about my Wishion of KDE. With this word creation I'd like to underline the ambiguity of my wishes for KDE on one side and a vision for KDE on the other.

The herewith starting or preluding blog series will have four parts. And the following questions will guide these single blog posts:

As I wrote this is my Wishion and thus just MHO (my humble opinion). Nonetheless I think that with the work I did in KDE, in several areas and for quite some time I've got a good overview and insight and thus think my Wishion might be of some interest for other people too.

If you like this, please spread the word, translate this blog sories, ask, comment, tweet and Co (I'm not the "social media" guy although I think that I'm quite social and use IT for almost two decades now in a very social way).

Read you soon. At least next week.

flattr this!

30 Sep 2015 11:04pm GMT

Kubuntu: A call for testers!

Help make Kubuntu great!

"Help make Kubuntu great!"

Hello everyone!
I am hard at work with backports again. There seemed to be some problems with the last ones so
I am here, begging YOU for some help with testing. The more the merrier! What I need is for folks to
install the updates, on a non-production computer or Virtual machine, and then carry on as you normally would and take notes on functionality, install problems, and any other weirdness or lack thereof. Then report back to me (or anyone in the Kubuntu community as long as it reaches the developers). We generally hang out in IRC #kubuntu-devel or the kubuntu-devel mailing list. Don't like IRC or Mailing lists? that is ok too, we accept reports on most social media outlets:

@kubuntu twitter
Kubuntu Google+
Kubuntu Facebook page

For faster results CC me :) Have further questions? Send me a message!
My social links are at the top of my blog. Now onto what currently needs testing:

(Disclosure: DO NOT TEST on a production machine. You have been warned.)
The first set of backports for testing is for Vivid.
KDE Frameworks located here:

Add this to your sources.list and do an update/upgrade.
Then remove the ppa from sources.list.
Then use any software you normally would to see if functionality remains the same or improved.
If things break, we need to know that.
Note to Self: We need an online test suite similar to ISO testing.
Thank you!
Your Kubuntu Developer

30 Sep 2015 10:46pm GMT

Legacy system tray icons back in Plasma 5

Didn't we drop support?

Legacy system tray icons are problematic; they don't scale, they don't fit in with the theme, they can't multiplex (be in two trays) and they're just generally very dated.

We came up with a new scheme Status Notifier Items (SNIs) back in 2009, which was also adopted by our friends at Ubuntu in Unity, which provides logical information over DBus about what to show, rather than just an arbitrary window.

Our existing xembed code needed an entire rewrite, given wayland would also break xembed it seemed a more useful investment of time to make sure most the toolkits supported the SNI specification than work on the rewrite.

In retrospect, I think we underestimated the fallout this would cause. There are propreitory apps, more random toolkits that weren't covered, and some distros didn't apply all the patches needed

There's nothing wrong with changing our minds in response to user feedback.

Restored Support

Having decided that we can't drop support just yet, it seems unlikely we can drop it in a few months when we switch to Wayland. So we need to consider how to make that work there. Embedding an X window inside a wayland window isn't going to work.

My solution was a hidden process, xembedsniproxy, renders the embedded windows offscreen then uses the existing SNI specification to inform Plasma. Plasma gets support, including multiplexing without really knowing about X.

It should be as seemless as anything else.

Current State

It's at a state where it's usable, but there are undoubtedly still some bugs. Every toolkit has their own quirks regarding system trays.

Please leave a comment if you find anything.

The code is currently in a test repository here

It is available already in yaourt for Arch users:

I hope to have it merged into Plasma for 5.5, depending on feedback.

30 Sep 2015 2:09pm GMT

28 Sep 2015

feedPlanet KDE

Interview with Anusha Bhanded


Could you tell us something about yourself?

My name is Ana, I live in India and I love doing digital art, at least as a beginner. I'm 13 years old.

Do you paint professionally, as a hobby artist, or both?

Well, I'm just a hobby artist, can't say "artist" but I like art.

Whose work inspires you most - who are your role models as an artist?

Actually my role model, not totally as an artist, but it's Scott Cawthon and team, the creator of FNAF. i like the art he did in the game and the effects. Also Markus Persson and team, the pixel artist.

What makes you choose digital over traditional painting?

As per my thinking i am kind of good at painting and art stuff, even my parents and friends say so, and I loved to do everything i could do on any gadget. I had this bored feeling with a pencil and a paper, so I started digital painting! It's fun to use Krita!


What do you love about Krita?

As I loved to do digital painting I surfed the internet for good apps. All of them were great but they were not free… well, I ended up with Krita! My first favourite thing about Krita is that it's free! That's good because there are so many young artists out there who deserve to use any free available programs as good as Krita. Krita has TONS of awesome brushes and you can use a variety of them!

How did you find out about Krita?

One day I was surfing on the internet for a good painting tool. Most people said paint tool SAI was the best. I even tried to download the cracked version but that did not work, and I ended up using an awesome program called Krita! =D

28 Sep 2015 8:00am GMT

27 Sep 2015

feedPlanet KDE

KDE dinner in Berlin - October 3

This weekend the KDE e.V. board is going to have an in-person board meeting in Berlin.

We would like you to join us for dinner on Saturday 3 around 19:00 (location still undecided, suggestions accepted).

If you are interested in talking about KDE, KDE e.V., Free Software, Open Source, today's elections in Catalonia or any other random talk and want to have a good time let me know that you're coming (latest by Wednesday night).

27 Sep 2015 3:41pm GMT

Lokalize for Windows and OSX with spellcheck

New Lokalize builds for WIndows 7+ and OSX 10.9+ with spellcheck available (both 64-bit):

win mirror 1 win mirror 2
osx mirror 1 osx mirror 2

Lokalize will use spell dictionaries installed with LibreOffice 5 (please install it in default location), also on OSX few system-shipped dictionaries will be used for spellcheck, but for glossary stemming feature you still need to install LibreOffice with at least English dictionaries.

If windows build fails to start saying msvcp140.dll is missing then install this microsoft vc2015 redistributable

Unfortunatelly full open source OpenDocument translation toolchain (get .odt -> extract strings into .xlf -> translate it -> merge translation back into .odt) is unusable at the moment because of bug #3239.

27 Sep 2015 11:28am GMT

Only two weeks from Randa, so many changes for me!

Three weeks ago I attended my second Randa Meetings. I found the same gentle Mario, richer now, as he has a little boy. The little boy's actually a tester for the KDE Edu GCompris suite 😉 I'd like to thank Mario and his family for their support in organizing this event. It's not that simple to keep happy so many people.

The kind people (I better say hackers) I already knew where joined by new faces, and it's a pleasure to see our community is a very vivid and active one. They join this sprint from a bunch of different countries and I find it very interesting to discuss with them about their countries and experiences. And finally to see we are all the same.

Attending Randa was on my way from Lyon to Timisoara, Romania, where I started a new job on September 15. And that's not my home town, neither my family's. Actually, it's my first time I live in this town, and I quite enjoy it. However, new job, new apartment, new people - all this let little to time for KSecret Service hacking. But as you can see, I can blog about it, so new commits will follow on the source code :-)

Hopefully, until next Randa Meetings 2016 we'll have a stable version everyone will be happy with. Until then, you only have two things to do, please:

Oh, last but no least, I may well organize a KDE Sprint here in Timi?oara. Anybody interested?

27 Sep 2015 9:35am GMT

26 Sep 2015

feedPlanet KDE

Experiences from KDE Sprints – Randa, 2015

Well, it's been a fortnight since I participated in the KDE sprints in Randa, Switzerland and I'm slowly coming to the terms that it's over. The time I spent in Randa, was quite easily the best time of my life, not only was it my first trip abroad, but also from a technical point of […]

26 Sep 2015 10:45pm GMT

The Big Forum Cleaning

In the past week, the KDE Community Forums administrators had been discussing how to improve the current forum layout. There are a few reasons in favor of a reorganization. First of all, to reflect better what KDE is (a community that produces software). Secondly, to provide a better organinzation for all kinds of people: those that require support, those that offer support, and those who want to contribute. All of this within a (hopefully) logical structure.

After some discussion on the actual layout organization, today I and fellow administrator Hans (with help from other people from the KDE community such as PovAddict and Mamarok) put the plan into action. It went surprisingly quick, so the new layout is already live.
There are a few major changes you will notice:

A number of forums with no activity since years, or now outdated, were moved away. However, we thought that we'd do a disservice by removing information that might still be useful, so we created an Archive section to host all these "legacy" forums. Like this, there won't be information loss.

Everything should be in order. If you find something amiss, let us know by posting in the Forum Feedback forum.

26 Sep 2015 6:32pm GMT

25 Sep 2015

feedPlanet KDE

September 26: SystemSettings and KCMs bug triaging day!

Today/Tomorrow September 26 is SystemSettings and KCMs bug triaging day.

As described by Jeremy in this post in the KDE Gardening mailing list the purpose is:

1. Triage all bugs in the systemsettings product (and maybe the kcm product too).
2. If a bug is reproducible still, comment on it and find someone that knows how to fix it and convince them to do so.
3. Find maintainers for as many of the kcms as we can.

This is something anyone with a relatively new Plasma installed can help with so join us on September 26 at the #kde-devel IRC channel!

Personally I'll be on from 10am Spanish time until around 4pm with some lunch time in between.

More info at the gardening wiki for SystemSettings

25 Sep 2015 10:10pm GMT