16 Dec 2017

feedPlanet KDE

KStars 2.8.9 is released!

Here comes the last KStars release for 2017! KStars v2.8.9 is available now for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Robert Lancaster worked on improving PHD2 support with Ekos. This includes retrieving the guide star image, drift errors and RMS values, among other minor improvements and refactoring of the Ekos PHD2 codebase to support future extensions.


Furthermore, Robert added drift plot support to Ekos Guide module which provides a visual indication of the accuracy of the guiding.

The Ekos Guide module received further improvements to make it more straightforward to use with end users. The calibration button is now removed and performed automatically whenever guiding starts. The user can clear the calibration at any time to restart the process.

Meridian Flip support improved with various fixes to post-meridian-flip operations including autofocus. Filter Manager received several fixes to improve filter switching during various phases of the capture process. Users can also control when to run the In-Sequence focus check. By default, the check is executed after each frame, but now can be configured to be executed only after several frames are captured.

A minor but quite useful addition is the Meridian Line. It can be turned on so that users can get a visual indication on how close the mount is to executing a meridian flip procedure.


Enjoy the new release, and do not forget to report any bugs or suggestions over at bugs.kde.org.

16 Dec 2017 3:44pm GMT

15 Dec 2017

feedplanet.freedesktop.org

Christian Schaller: Some predictions for 2018

So I spent a few hours polishing my crystal ball today, so here are some predictions for Linux on the Desktop in 2018. The advantage of course for me to publish these now is that I can then later selectively quote the ones I got right to prove my brilliance and the internet can selectively quote the ones I got wrong to prove my stupidity :)

Prediction 1: Meson becomes the defacto build system of the Linux community

Meson has been going from strength to strength this year and a lot of projects
which passed on earlier attempts to replace autotools has adopted it. I predict this
trend will continue in 2018 and that by the end of the year everyone agrees that Meson
has replaced autotools as the Linux community build system of choice. That said I am not
convinced the Linux kernel itself will adopt Meson in 2018.

Prediction 2: Rust puts itself on a clear trajectory to replace C and C++ for low level programming

Another rising start of 2017 is the programming language Rust. And while its pace of adoption
will be slower than Meson I do believe that by the time 2018 comes to a close the general opinion is
that Rust is the future of low level programming, replacing old favorites like C and C++. Major projects
like GNOME and GStreamer are already adopting Rust at a rapid pace and I believe even more projects will
join them in 2018.

Prediction 3: Apples decline as a PC vendor becomes obvious

Ever since Steve Jobs died it has become quite clear in my opinion that the emphasis
on the traditional desktop is fading from Apple. The pace of hardware refreshes seems
to be slowing and MacOS X seems to be going more and more stale. Some pundits have already
started pointing this out and I predict that in 2018 Apple will be no longer consider the
cool kid on the block for people looking for laptops, especially among the tech savvy crowd.
Hopefully a good opportunity for Linux on the desktop to assert itself more.

Prediction 4: Traditional distro packaging for desktop applications
will start fading away in favour of Flatpak

From where I am standing I think 2018 will be the breakout year for Flatpak as a replacement
for gettings your desktop applications as RPMS or debs. I predict that by the end of 2018 more or
less every Linux Desktop user will be at least running 1 flatpak on their system.

Prediction 5: Linux Graphics competitive across the board

I think 2018 will be a breakout year for Linux graphics support. I think our GPU drivers and API will be competitive with any other platform both in completeness and performance. So by the end of 2018 I predict that you will see Linux game ports by major porting houses
like Aspyr and Feral that perform just as well as their Windows counterparts. What is more I also predict that by the end of 2018 discreet graphics will be considered a solved problem on Linux.

Prediction 6: H265 will be considered a failure

I predict that by the end of 2018 H265 will be considered a failed codec effort and the era of royalty bearing media codecs will effectively start coming to and end. H264 will be considered the last successful royalty bearing codec and all new codecs coming out will
all be open source and royalty free.

15 Dec 2017 8:53pm GMT

Bastien Nocera: More Bluetooth (and gaming) features

In the midst of post-release bug fixing, we've also added a fair number of new features to our stack. As usual, new features span a number of different components, so integrators will have to be careful picking up all the components when, well, integrating.

PS3 clones joypads support

Do you have a PlayStation 3 joypad that feels just a little bit "off"? You can't find the Sony logo anywhere on it? The figures on the face buttons look like barbed wire? And if it were a YouTube video, it would say "No copyright intended"?


Bingo. When plugged in via USB, those devices advertise themselves as SHANWAN or Gasia, and implement the bare minimum to work when plugged into a PlayStation 3 console. But as a Linux computer would behave slightly differently, we need to fix a couple of things.

The first fix was simple, but necessary to be able to do any work: disable the rumble motor that starts as soon as you plug the pad through USB.

Once that's done, we could work around the fact that the device isn't Bluetooth compliant, and hard-code the HID service it's supposed to offer.

Bluetooth LE Battery reporting

Bluetooth Low Energy is the new-fangled (7-year old) protocol for low throughput devices, from a single coin-cell powered sensor, to input devices. What's great is that there's finally a standardised way for devices to export their battery statuses. I've added support for this in BlueZ, which UPower then picks up for desktop integration goodness.

There are a number of Bluetooth LE joypads available for pickup, including a few that should be firmware upgradeable. Look for "Bluetooth 4" as well as "Bluetooth LE" when doing your holiday shopping.

gnome-bluetooth work

Finally, this is the boring part. Benjamin and I reworked code that's internal to gnome-bluetooth, as used in the Settings panel as well as the Shell, to make it use modern facilities like GDBusObjectManager. The overall effect of this is, less code, less brittle and more reactive when Bluetooth adapters come and go, such as when using airplane mode.

Apart from the kernel patch mentioned above (you'll know if you need it :), those features have been integrated in UPower 0.99.7 and in the upcoming BlueZ 5.48. And they will of course be available in Fedora, both in rawhide and as updates to Fedora 27 as soon as the releases have been done and built.

GG!

15 Dec 2017 3:57pm GMT

feedPlanet KDE

Kdenlive 17.12.0 released

We are happy to announce the latest Kdenlive version, part of the KDE Applications 17.12 release, making it the last major release using the current code base. This is a maintenance release focused on stability, while feature development is going in next year's 18.04 version. Proxy clips were given some attention and should give you better seeking experience as well as reduced memory usage for images. Other fixes include fixes in timeline preview, a crash when using a Library clip and smoother seeking on rewind playback.

Packaging
We have been pushing the AppImage packages lately because it allow us to put all required dependencies inside one file that can easily be downloaded and run on all linux distros. Today, we can also announce the immediate availability of the Kdenlive 17.12 AppImage, downloadable here :
https://files.kde.org/kdenlive/release/kdenlive-17.12-x86_64.AppImage.mirrorlist

AppImage related fixes:

  • Fix audio distortion affecting the 17.08.3 AppImage
  • Include Breeze style

Vincent Pinon is also continuing the support for the Windows version, and you can get Kdenlive 17.12 for Windows here: https://files.kde.org/kdenlive/release/Kdenlive-17.12.0-w64.7z.mirrorlist

Next
We are also making available the first usable "preview" AppImage of the refactoring branch which will receive all development focus from now and will be released as 18.04. It is not ready for production but allows you to have a look at Kdenlive's future. You may follow the development progress here.

Kdenlive 18.04 alpha 2 release: https://files.kde.org/kdenlive/unstable/kdenlive-18.04-alpha2.AppImage.mirrorlist

Meet us:
Next Kdenlive Café is tonight on #kdenlive at 21PM (CET), so feel free to join us for some feedback!

Important
  • Packagers must take note that libsamplerate is now a dependency due to recent changes in FFMPEG.
  • It is recommended for Ubuntu (and derivatives) users to use the AppImage version until further notice.

Full list of changes

  • Remove useless audio bitrate on pcm proxy encoding. Commit.
  • Update proxy profiles. Commit.
  • Make sure playlist proxies have an even height. Commit.
  • Fix crash on playlists concurrent jobs using library clips. Commit. See bug #386616
  • Timeline preview fixes: Don't invalidate on expand/collapse effect, invalidate on master clip edit. Commit.
  • Don't restart clip if trying to play backwards from clip monitor end. Commit.
  • Use smaller size for image proxies. Commit. Fixes bug #353577
  • Fix playing backwards forwards one second. Commit. Fixes bug #375634
  • Fix extension in transcode file dialog. Commit.
  • Sort clip zones by position instead of name. Commit.
  • Set a proper desktop file name to fix an icon under Wayland. Commit.
  • FreeBSD does not have sys/asm.h - for what is this include needed on linux?. Commit.
  • Doc: fix option (qwindowtitle instead of caption). Commit.
  • Fix terminology: mimetype(s) -> MIME type(s). Commit.
  • Fix UI string: Control Center -> System Settings. Commit.
  • Const'ify code. Commit.
  • Fix import image sequence. Commit.

15 Dec 2017 8:45am GMT

KDE Partition Manager 3.3 and future work

KDE Partition Manager 3.3 is now ready. It includes some improvements for Btrfs, F2FS, NTFS file systems. I even landed the first bits of new LUKS2 on-disk format support, now KDE Partition Manager can display LUKS2 labels. More LUKS2 work will follow in KPM 3.4. There were changes in how LVM devices are detected. So now Calamares installer should be able to see LVM logical volumes. Once my pull request lands, Calamares should also support partitioning operations on LVM logical volumes (although Calamares would need more work before installation and booting from root file system on LVM works. I tested Calamares with KPMcore 3.3 and it successfully installed rootfs in LVM volume and successfully booted). KPMcore library now only depends on Tier 1 Frameworks instead of Tier 3 (although, we will later require Tier 2).

Most of the work is now done in sfdisk branch. Currently, the only functional KDE Partition Manager backend uses libparted but sfdisk backend is now fully working (I would say RC quality). I would have merged in already but it requires util-linux 2.32 which is not yet released.

Yet another branch on top of sfdisk is KAuth branch which allows KPM to run as unprivileged user and uses Polkit when necessary to gain root rights. Everything except SMART support is working. To get SMART working too we would have to port away from (unmaintained) libatasmart to calling smartctl. Feel free to help! It should be fairly easy task but somebody has to do the work. Other than that you can already perform all partitioning operations using KAuth with one caveat. Right now KPM calls KAuth helper many times while performing partitioning operations. It can happen that KAuth authorization will expire in the meantime (KAuth remembers it for about 5 minutes) and KAuth will request a user to enter root password. If the user enters correct password, operation would finish. However, if authorization is not granted we may end up with half completed operation. And of course we don't want to leave partition half moved, the data will almost surely be lost (half-resized partition is probably okay…). I suppose we can fix this by refactoring KPM operation runner, so that it calls KAuth helper just once with a list of all commands that have to be run. Unfortunately, this KPM Operation Runner refactoring might be bigger than what I would like, as significant changes would be necessary in partition data copying code. Maybe GSoC project then… Or ar there any better ideas on how to prevent KAuth authorization dialog in the middle of partitioning operations?

You can grab tarballs from standard locations on download.kde.org server.

15 Dec 2017 1:04am GMT

11 Dec 2017

feedplanet.freedesktop.org

Eric Anholt: 2017-12-11

It's been a while since I posted a TWIV update, so this one will be big:

For VC5 GL features:

While running DEQP tests on all this (which unfortunately don't complete yet due to running out of memory on my 7268 without swap), I've also rebased my Vulkan series and started on implementing image layout for it.

I also tested Timothy Arceri's gallium NIR linking pass. The goal of that is to pack and dead-code eliminate varyings up in shared code. It's a net ~0 effect on vc4 currently, but it will help vc5, and I may be able to dead-code eliminate some of the vc4 compiler backend now that the IR coming in to the driver is cleaner.

On the VC4 front, Boris has posted a series for performance counter support. This was a pretty big piece of work, and our hope is that with the addition of performance counters we'll be able to dig into those workloads where vc4 is slower than the closed driver and actually fix them. Unfortunately he hasn't managed to build frameretrace yet, so we haven't really tested it on its final intended workload.

For VC4 GL, I did a bit of work on minetest performance, improving the game's fps from around 15 to around 17. Its desktop GL renderer is really unfortunate, using a lot of immediate-mode GL, but I was completely unable to get its GLES renderer branch to build. It also lacks a reproducable/scriptable benchmark mode, so most of my testing was against an apitrace, which is very hard to get useful performance data from.

I debugged a crash in vc4 with large vertex counts that a user had reported, landed a fix for a kernel memory leak, and landed Dave Stevenson's HVS format support (part of his work on getting video decode into vc4 GL).

Finally, I did a bit of research and work to help unblock Dave Stevenson's unicam driver (the open source camera driver). Now that we have an ack for the DT binding, we should be able to get it merged for 4.16!

11 Dec 2017 12:30am GMT