Today, I am happy to announce the release of Homerun 1.0.0. This new version comes with a few new features.
Let's start with the biggest one: favorite reordering by drag and drop. This is one of the most wanted feature requests for Homerun. It lets you reorder your favorite applications and places by holding down the left mouse button and dragging items around.
This short video demonstrates how it works:
This was surprisingly difficult to get right with QtQuick 1, so I am glad it's now done.
Note that while this feature is currently only available for the "Favorite Applications" and "Favorite Places" Homerun sources, it is actually possible for any source to provide reordering via drag and drop if it makes sense for this source to do so.
Another new feature is the ability to customize shortcuts. This started with the idea of creating a cheatsheet of Homerun shortcuts, but I was worried the list in the cheatsheet would not be kept up to date with the actual shortcuts so I looked into generating the content of the cheatsheet from the code handling the shortcuts. At one point I realized kdelibs already provided what I wanted and more in the form of the standard shortcut dialog, so I scraped my code and went for exposing the standard KDE shortcut dialog. You can reach it from the configure menu in the top-right of the screen.
Finally, other minor improvements have been made:
- The context menu of the "Trash" folder now has an "Empty Trash" entry,
- When an application or place is marked as a favorite, a short message appears on the top of the screen, reassuring you that your request has been taken into account.
As usual, this new release is available on download.kde.org.Moving On
As for me, I am going to return to what I enjoy most: working on applications. In the next months I plan to get more involved in KDEPIM, starting with what I do best: obsessing beyond reason about widgets layouts and margins. Once I feel familiar enough with the code base, to know the codebase enough, I'll try to get a bit out of my comfort zone and help fixing underlying bugs.
We conducted a large study about strength and weakness of file managers in may 2013. In this article we present first results, discuss issues and questions that occur during the study, and present the schedule for the statistical analysis.Introduction
In may 2013 we asked users about their preferences for file managers (FM). The online survey did not contain questions regarding Dolphin specifically, but addresses file managers in general to be able compare usability and user experience of different tools. Out of 1310 users that started the questionnaire, 749 finished the first part with questions about the When and What (42% drop-out) and 669 finished the second part with ratings on the chosen file manager (10% drop out). The last part with demographics was finished by 651 probands (2% drop-out).First results
Most participants (56%) use Dolphin (which is KDE’s default), followed by Nautilus (10%), CLI (8%), Thunar (5%), Konqueror (4%), and Krusader (3%). The predominance of KDE / Qt within the study is also shown in one of the last questions about the OS. It’s a pity that we weren’t able to attract more users of other OS with the survey.
Two third of all users chose their FM deliberately. Most prioritize functionality (31%) and efficiency (18%). This result is according to developers expectations (cf. Quo vadis, Dolphin? Results from the developers study).
And at a first glance the users are satisfied with their FM: 31 report low values (1 for displeased and 2) while 627 report high ratings (5 and 6 as fully satisfied).Discussion
The rather high quote of drop-outs probably comes from to ‘strange’ questions and a more complex study design in contrast to simple ‘Like’ polls. The basic idea is that software in general is applied by a person (individual aspects were asked in the demographics section), in a certain situation, and with a specific purpose (both asked in the first part of the study). We admit that the particular situation in which a tool is being used, needs some reflection. Of course, FM’s are used to copy files, to add or remove folders, and to manage properties. But if you think about the situation in which you apply a tool you might come to the conclusion that sometimes a command line interface (CLI) fits better and sometimes it is nice to have a GUI with browsing functions. And perhaps you generally prefer an orthodox FM like Krusader because of its familiarity but use Dolphin when browsing through files.
Furthermore we received some criticism concerning the depending questions about the rating. The most simple approach for an analysis is to count ‘likes’. We believe in more elaborated methods and statistical evaluation that exceeds those introspection. In terms of usability the ISO 9241-110 ‘Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals’ defines seven different dialog principles. The question is whether or not users who expect efficiency from their chosen FM also state high values on the efficiency scale, and at the same time report low values on other scales. For instance, the ISO demands ‘learnability’ for a good usability, i.e. the usage of a dialog is guided or at least supported, or alternate interaction is proposed by tool-tips or the like. But nobody does expect those features from a CLI, which we assume to be efficient primarily. However, it is worth to discuss the norm in general as users are barely able to answer the plain (yet not simple) questions based on the wording of the norm.Schedule
Most interesting are analyses in relation to FMs, OS, or user’s personal preferences. Some ideas:
- Are there differences in the satisfaction for different FMs? And if so: On what basis?
- Do Gnome users expect more simplicity from their FM compared to KDE users?
- Which part of Dolphin needs most attention for the future development?
And some questions with a rather academic background:
- Can we predict future changes due to age effect, i.e. do elder people request different features (except from accessibility)?
- Are motifs useful to predict expectations? E.g. high values in prestige goes along with more individualization. (cf. LibreOffice user research – Summary).
We will conduct those statistics within the next days and will report the results on this channel. If you have more questions in advance feel free to comment.
Lucky number 13? Maybe! Tomorrow "Luminosity" will get its thirteenth installment.
- Why we work together, and why we sometimes don't: In Free software, forking used to be seen as a really bad thing reserved for unfixable situations. These days it happens all the time. Duplication of effort was usually met with "Why?" rather than "Why not?", and typically reserved for the "beginner's application topic" (Was text editors, then irc (or mud!) clients, then media players, ..) Have we forgotten culturally the benefits of working together? Have new priorities shifted the playing field? When does it make sense to I'll try to make the case for less diversity than we have now, or at least a more responsible investment of effort.
- Open Build Service: We'll be looking at one of the coolest tools out there for people building software, images and operating system distributions: Open Build Service. We'll look at how it works, how it can be extended and at some self-hosting options.
- Q&A: If you have a burning question to ask, do so in the comments here or on G+ and I'll do my best to get to it in the show. Or you can ask live on irc ...
We are nearing the soft feature freeze for the 4.11 release, and that seemed like a good time to share some news. Plasma Workspaces 4.11 is going to significant for two reasons:
- It will be the last feature release in the 4.x series of Plasma Workspaces. Feature development will switch fully to the Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5 based Plasma Workspaces 2.
- We will be providing stabilization releases (bug fixes, translation improvements, etc.) for two years for the 4.11 release of KDE Plasma Workspaces.
This does not effect, in any way, anything other than the code currently in the kde-workspace repository. Applications are not affected, kdelibs and kderuntime will continue on as they currently are (with kdelibs in a feature freeze of its own already). I fully expect there to be a 4.12 and likely a 4.13 release of the applications, and how long that goes on will be up to the application developers and release team.With that out of the way, some details!
Long Term Release
I wanted to throw a little light on a feature just landed in the Calligra repositories: A distraction-free writing mode for Calligra Author and Calligra Words.
The distraction-free mode means that we disable most UI elements and lets the user focus totally on the contents. This was one of the most asked-for features when I did a little survey half a year ago and asked which features that our potential users wanted. I say 'potential' because this was before the first release of Calligra Author and we didn't have any users at all by then.
A few brave souls that are building their own versions have already used it and they report back good results. Here is a picture of a novel by being written by using the distraction-free mode.
The feature was developed by Mojtaba "moji" Shahi in a short time, taking a break from developing support for annotations.
As a side note, it's getting time to do a new feature survey. We have almost implemented everything that we got asked for in the first survey. Hot candidates right now is support for Master Documents and we got a feature request for making it easy to insert section separators (from leinir, actually).
Been quiet some time since my last blog about Krita, well, I had been a bit busy with college work. Nonetheless, with whatever time I had, and all the help from Boud, I have been able to import a particular feature from the Perspective Grid to the Perspective Assistant.A little background Perspective Grid
The Perspective Grid(here on referred to as Grid, sounds very formal ) is a grid for which all “parallel” lines intersect on a vanishing point. This helps the artist to create 3D effect on a 2D canvas, for example buildings or roads going upto the horizon.
Images are taken from Cyrille Berger’s blog about Perspective Grid
The grid acts as a guide for the artist to draw parallel lines on the canvas, using line tool or similar straight line tool.
The Perspective Assistant(here on referred to as Assistant, still feels the same ) is similar in looks to the Grid but unlike the Grid, with Assistant an artist can draw straight lines using the freehand tool too. This is achieved by checking the assistant checkbox after selecting the freehand tool.
On checking the “assistant” checkbox, the user can just draw on the grid and the assistant will itself draw the straight line with respect to the grid created.I understood the working of both the Grid and the Assistant, but, what is the feature that is being talked about?
Well, that is easy to describe, the second figure above shows the side handles, in the middle of each side of the grid, these side handles can be dragged in the same way as the side handles to create new grids which extend the existing grid.Why add a feature that already exists on one tool to another?
That is something one might ask, when he/she sees the grid and the assistant for the first time. But, on using them, one comes to know few points of important differences.
First of all, the Grids cannot be moved. Once created a Grid stays where it is till it is deleted. Secondly, new Grids cannot be created by themselves. A new grid can only be extended from an existing grid and stays that way till the end. Third and the last one that comes to my mind is that the handles in a Grid are fixed in reference, i.e. the handle which is on the top left corner can never be taken to a different location.
But in the Assistant all of this can be done, an Assistant can be moved, new assistants can be created out of the blue, the handles can change their locations, creating new shape of the grid with that change.
I am not saying that the Grid is a drawback. It was created with a different purpose and been here since a long time. But, the Assistant is just the upgrade on the base idea of the Grid.What now?
What else? The Assistant now has these side handles and works really fine .
Although, now that I think of I should include technical details! I guess I will, but not now. Soon? definitely.
To all the artists, please use the new feature and give us your feedbacks wherever you want. My IRC nick is sraman on #krita, email id is email@example.com or even here. Awaiting eagerly .
After nearby two years of disrupted services, my blog is back online with about 95% of archives available, only two or three photos are missing. However, my blog doesn't come alone, I follow him. Indeed after 6-8 month of inactivity around KDE project, I can say, KDE miss me a lot.
In the near future I'm going to take part in three KDE related events.Coding, Promoting and Sharing The Coding Way - Atelier KDE (Toulouse, France)
Firstly, this Saturday I'm going to the "Atelier KDE", the local KDE monthly event. During the whole day I want to share a bit with other attendees (i.e. I don't go anywhere to be unsocial :) ), and also to contribute to KDE software by coding (I hope my C++/Qt skill hasn't gone during my break). I'm not sure yet in which part of which software/library I want to do some hacking, but not sure in which piece of software. Perhaps in KDE Frameworks or KDevelop. I think I will choose Saturday depending on my mood.
I also want to say a big thanks to morice-net to take care of this kind of beautiful event.The Promoting Way - Solution Linux (Paris, France)
After contributing by coding, I'm going to explore another way of contributing in Paris. Indeed the 27th and 28th of May I'm going to Paris in order to help Paris KDE Team in Solution Linux. Solution Linux is a yearly French exhibition around Open Source. It's my first time in Solution Linux, but I'm going there with some veterans like Sébastien Renard or Aurélien Gateau. In order to share this experience I will try to do a daily report of this event in my blog.The Sharing and Hacking Ways aKademy (Bilbao, Spain)
In mid July like a lot of people I will attend aKademy in Bilbao. Like each year aKademy allow to share with all the great KDE community.
AKademy is also each year a great place to hack around KDE software. So I want to make a contribution in KDE Frameworks and also hack a bit in KDevelop.Don't stop after that
Yes I'm really enthusiast about KDE, I want to contribute to KDE more and more. Now I say it, now I need to give more to KDE. Yes I know for New Year's resolution is a bit late.
So I will try to promote better KDE in my daily life, but also by going to events like Solution Linux. And, also be involved more in KDE related project development and all kinds of stuff related to KDE environment.
Yes I still have the aim to help my "master" to dominate the world with KDE.
So now I can say I want to come back in KDE. And, I hope to see you soon!
Dear KDE developers,
My name is Andreas Schilling. I am a research assistant at the chair of Information Systems and Services at Bamberg University. I would appreciate it very much if you could give me some quick feedback regarding your motivation and your experiences in KDE. Could you please fill in a short questionnaire of multiple-choice questions? This will take you no longer than 10 minutes.
From all survey participants who answered all questions, a randomly picked person will win the current Google Nexus 4 phone.
This survey follows my previous work surveying KDE participants in the Google Summer of Code. In my research I examine factors that keep developers motivated and committed in their open-source projects. Because the best way to find out about these factors is to directly ask the people who are concerned, I revert to you. As soon as I finish my research, I will publish a blog post with the anonymous aggregated results of this survey, and I will compare them with the results of other surveys with KDE developers such as with previous participants of Google Summer of Code.
In order to reach a broad developer audience, I teamed up with Danny Allen of the KDE Commit-Digest. Danny is currently asking all KDE developers to complete/update their personal information for the Commit-Digest. Danny and I thought this is a good opportunity for asking you for feedback regarding your motivation and your experiences at KDE so far. Participants of the Commit-Digest survey will be forwarded automatically to this optional questionnaire.
You can find the Commit-Digest Survey (for people with KDE developer accounts) and my questionnaire at:
If you have any questions about this questionnaire or about my research, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (andreas.schilling[at]uni-bamberg.de).
Because a video sometimes is better than words…
This tiny video shows the actual state of extension support:
- we can manage chrome extensions (I just copied examples from here): we can recognize unpacked extensions, install, enable/disable. (oops.. uninstall/delete missing. Adding next days..)
- we can interpret (a bit) the version 2 manifest.json inside
- we can manage browse actions
- we can manage page actions
- we can open popups
So, the first easy step is done. Now what to really say we are supporting chrome extensions? Here is my todo list:
- support chrome object and (a subset of) its API (very long task)
- support the callback mechanism (really hard, this is the trick missing to say we’ll reach one day our goal)
- implement a way to retrieve extensions (support chrome extensions site? seems problematic. Add a ghns layer? Should do the trick. Probably…)
- ehm… port/implement extensions
Filed under: international, rekonq
We have just released version 0.6.2 of KDE Telepathy, KDE's instant messaging client.
This new minor release brings some important fixes on some crashes that occurred in rare conditions that we hadn't found before our initial release.Crash Fixes
304085: Contact list crashed after unlocking screen
318793: contact list crashes when closing the settings dialog
319040: crash on startup
318663: Esc key when filtering contacts does not reset filter model
318751: Groupwise logs imported from Kopete are displayed with HTML tags in chat window.
319162: Contact tooltips miss presence icon since model porting
As always we welcome new contributors, we are about to merge in some very exciting new changes, and it's a good time to get involved in testing and hacking.
The best way to get a new feature is to write it :)
For details please see our wiki page at http://community.kde.org/KTp/Getting_Involved
Tomorrow LinuxTag starts again. There'll be an openSUSE booth, although we won't be overstaffed this year. If you're up for helping, that would be greatly appreciated. You don't have to be a super technical person to be at a booth and help out: if you follow some blogs around openSUSE you already know more than most visitors and you can help out just fine! It's how I got started...
See you at LinuxTag! You can find us Geekos at Hall 7.1a, Booth 130.
Looking through a nice blog by Andreas Schilling, I found this classic linked:
In the night of May 18, mages, sorcerers, witches, and fairies took from the cauldron the new stable release of Mageia, now in your third version.
Mageia is a community Linux distribution based on Mandriva. This version have several softwares in their recent versions: KDE 4.10.2, GNOME 3.6, XFCE 4.10, Linux 3.8, systemd 195, rpm 4.11, LibreOffice 4.0.3, and more.
This release is dedicated to Eugeni Dodonov, former employer in Mandiva and a great free software developer. In your last work, Dodonov was in Intel developing a better integration between Intel graphics cards and Linux kernel. Dodonov died very young. He was cycling when was hit by a car. This accident happened in Sao Carlo city, Brazil, in 2012.
This release is special for me because the packages that I am the maintainer are available for Mageia users now. I am packing SWI-Prolog and abnTeX2. I intend make packages for scientific softwares and KDE stuff like themes and plasma applets. And, maybe, make a package to Cave Story because it is a beautiful game and everyone must play it! =)
Release notes, download link, tutorials to update from Mageia 2, and more news are here.
This update covers week 19-20 (last two weeks) on Intel’s work in Chromium and Blink.
- Yael Aharon removed ENABLE_PAGE_POPUP build flag and replaced it by a runtime flag. Dongseong Hwang removed unused code path in GraphicsLayer.
- Kenneth Rohde Christiansen deprecated the unofficial -webkit-transition media feature because the same can be achieved with CSS conditionals, it’s prefixed and CSS Transitions are unprefixed. He also enabled resolution media queries with fixed implementation as well as the (color-index) media query feature for non-indexed screens. He also improved consistency with other browsers.
- Alexis Menard fixed a regression where Event#stopPropagation() does not halt bubbling for webkitTransitionEnd. He also removed getPropertyShorthand and isPropertyImplicit from the public JS APIs, these methods were only used by the inspector.
- Shouqun Liu fixed a texture copy issue in video painting on Canvas for Chrome on Android.
- Mikhail Pozdnyakov started a crusade to improve HashTraits : he landed an optimization for HashTraits<RefPtr<P> >::emptyValue(), he removed RetainPtrObjectHash and RetainPtrObjectHashTraits and did cleanups and fixes.
- Various bug fixes by Yael Aharon on label tag or select.
- Chunyang Dai enabled the Intel’s VTune profiling suite support in chrome.
- Yael Aharon fixed an ASSERT when going to chrome://nacl.
- Caio Oliveira got rid of DownloadItemImpl::UpdateProgress().
- Sudarsana Nagineni fixed several memory leaks in gtk_clipboard_dump utility.
Filed under: KDE
Jono blogged about respect in community discussions. I have zero to say on the storm-in-a-teacup (his words) that started it other than, perhaps, suggest that when there are waves, there is wind. But whatever direction that wind blows, I'd like to focus on something else. Jono made the following statement:
Ubuntu is not a consensus-based community. Consensus communities rarely work, and I am not aware of any Open Source project that bases their work on wider consensus in the community.I'm not entirely sure what he means with consensus and community here. He himself defines community as "a collection of people (or animals) who interact with one another in the same environment". Consensus decision making, according to Wikipedia, is:
"a group decision making process that seeks the consent of all participants. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the "favourite" of each individual"Talking consensusLet me take this as an opportunity to address a common misconception about consensus: that consensus means full agreement. The Wikipedia entry already points out that the outcome has to be 'acceptable', one that 'can be supported'. This matters: Jono probably meant to say that there is no sizeable community where everybody fully agrees on every decision and I can't imagine he is wrong on that. But that is not what consensus means.
(dis)agreementThe reality is that in a large and diverse group of people, it is impossible to really reach full agreement on any sufficiently complicated matter. Making decisions on agreement of all participants thus doesn't work. Consensus, instead, allows a decision to be made even in the face of disagreement. Essentially, it is a form of democracy without voting.
Ever heard the phrase: "Let's agree to disagree"? That is it: at some point in a decision making process, consensus requires some of the participants to be mature enough to step out of the way and let a decision actually get made. And others need to respect them for that.
VoluntairyWhat makes consensus different from voting?
Usually, those in a small minority are the ones who have to (wo)man up and accept that the decision and project is more important than them. The main difference between voting however, where minorities (anything below 50%, usually) don't get their way, is that it is not mandatory. In some cases, the minority can get their way and it can be the majority which steps back and lets them. And even if that doesn't happen, the difference between being forcefully over-ruled and gracefully accepting that you can't always win is big.
A second key point is that ruling by consensus requires discussion, much more than voting does. You can't make decisions by consensus without informing people of the choices - you have to know what you (dis)agree with. Certainly, a community where a few take decisions without talking about it does not decide based on consensus.
Last, the two are not incompattible. It makes all the sense in the world to occasionally do an 'opinion poll' (as opposed to doing a decisive vote) to aid the decision making process. This is valuable input for a consensual decision: vocal supporters of either side can create rather distorted views on how strong the support for a certain opinion really is.
Trust and respectSo I think Jono is wrong when he states that there are no communities which decide based on consensus - KDE is an example of one, Gnome does it often and it's pretty much the way of the Geeko, too. Others usually prefer to vote (Debian) or have a more top-down structure like Ubuntu. There are many ways to Rome, as they say. Being aware of that is a good thing - and being dismissive of ways other than yours is not.
I want to add that Valerie Zimmerman made an excellent argument for the importance of trust and respect. No structure of decision making works without these - trust that those who disagree will have the courage to agree-to-disagree, trust that the majority is right or trust that those who decide for you make the right decisions. And respect each other while debating it.
How can I get paid for free software development? That's a question many developers ask. And it's a good question, because software development is expensive, no matter what the license is. Money is one way to pay for this, but fortunately there are many other ways to get paid for free software. The one thing you should never do, though, is to sell free software cheap.
It's tempting. Put some ads on your blog, a donation button on the project page, get a low paid student job, etc. It's fine, if you can work on free software, right? Some money is better than nothing, isn't it?
No, it isn't. Because it interferes with other ways of being compensated for free software development, such as reputation, control, freedom, learning, or just satisfying your curiosity. Money adds dynamics which can go against these. It changes to whom you are accountable, it alters expectations, and it can actually harm your motivation, because money is a bad motivator. So you need to be very careful when putting money into the equation.
That doesn't mean that there are no good ways to get paid money for free software development. In fact an increasing number of companies have realized that they are better off developing a good part of their software as free software, and they don't compromise on quality or payment. So there are well-paid jobs for free software developers. Guess who gets these jobs. Not those who do it for cheap, but those who have built up a good reputation as a free software developer.
Contributing to free software actually is a great way to build up a career. You are in control. You don't need a university or company program, you can start any time. You can build a reputation doing something you want, something that matters. You can learn and grow following your passion. This is a great foundation for a professional career, and studies show that committers to free software actually get higher salaries than those who don't do this.
Your work on free software is an investment in your happiness, your career, and a better world. Don't sell it cheap.
Jolla has finally launched the first hints to their first hardware. Being an old N9 user, having dropped his phone, I really do want one. The easily outperformed my current Samsung S3 with its ancient hardware so I’m really excited about what Jolla will be able to do with modern hardware.
The specs are a bit sketchy at the moment, but I guess things might become more clear tonight. For €399 you will bet a 4.5″ Estrade display, a dual core CPU and 4G support (in some markets, which will be announced later). 16GB of on-board FLASH and support for microSD means that there will be ample space for music, photos, videos and applications.
An 8MP camera seems to be commodity today, but the user-replaceable battery is a nicety.
So, nothing about the performance of the CPU, or even the family. I expect an ARM in the 1GHz range, which will be more than double the power, compared to the N9. Regarding the screen, I do hope for a screen as nice as the N9. I’m kind of worried that no resolution is specified, and Google does not seem to know what an “Estrade” screen is – hopefully it is good. As Europe is targeted first, I hope that the 4G standard supported will be LTE and will work in Swedish networks.
On the software side, I’m really excited about the Sailfish OS and the Gestures. This is what the N9 started, and the N9 is the only real one-hand device I’ve experienced. Finally a Qt / QML environment with the ambition to bring something new to the table.
As for Android app support, I’m not convinced. The power of the N9 was the pure performance of native applications. Adding an Android stack will use system resources and experience the same performance penalty that pure Android systems face. Also, I guess “app compliant” does not mean certified, i.e. does Google Play work? Still, there will be loads of apps, so everyone can use their favorite service. I hope that the Android stack is loaded when needed, so that it doesn’t take resources when using a purely native setup of apps.
At the time of writing, I cannot register a pre-order as the site is down. I only get 503. This must be a good sign, I guess ;-).
These days, it's rather hard to point someone interested in Simon to a website as most of the information is strewn across different sites of the KDE infrastructure. Especially for people outside of KDE, it's very hard to find e.g. the forum or the bug tracker.
With that in mind, I want to announce simon.kde.org, the new home for all things Simon.
It's a small landing page that gives users a short overview of the project and collects all the various resources on a single, easily sharable, website.
As always, feedback is appreciated.