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KDE Eco Sprint 2022

Last weekend, on May 21st, some people (including me) met in Berlin for what I believe is the first in-person KDE sprint since you-know-what happened (there was LAS, but that’s not technically a KDE sprint). We met in KDAB’s office, which was incidentally also the location of the last in-person sprint before unamed things happened. Photo by Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss. During the sprint we set up a measurement lab for the KDE Eco initiative.

Task Manager Improvements in Plasma 5.24

In my last post I talked about why knowing the desktop file for a window is important for the task manager. I promised to talk about some cool stuff we did there in Plasma 5.24, so here we are. While hacking on the task manager code I noticed that we show a “Open new instance” action in the context menu of every task manager entry, even for those where it doesn’t make sense.

The importance of window to desktop file mapping

In my last post I talked about what application developers can do to fix their applications not showing up correctly in Plasma’s task manager. I motivated this by the fact that we need this on Wayland to display the app’s icon. However icons are not the only reason why correctly mapping windows to desktop files is important. It brings substantial benefits even on X11: Application titles: In addition to showing the window title Plasma’s task manager also shows the application name (the Name key in the desktop file).

Fixing Wayland taskbar icons

A common papercut in a Wayland session is entries in the task manager showing a generic Wayland icon instead of the proper application icon. Here’s a KWallet window having a generic icon in the task manager (on the right): This is due to the shell not being able to properly map a window to an application. This breaks more things than just icons, but those are often the first thing that is noticed.

FOSDEM & Plasma Mobile Sprint

Last week I decided to take KDE Itinerary for a test tour. Between the train rides there was also time for some KDE stuff. FOSDEM After writing an exam on Friday afternoon I took a train to Frankfurt. I did so not to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area around Frankfurt central station at night but to be able to catch an early train towards Bruxelles for my first time at FOSDEM.

KDE Frameworks 6 sprint

Last week I took a train to Berlin for the KDE Frameworks 6 kickoff sprint. A lot has been said about it by my fellow attendees already, so I won’t go into detail much. Work on Qt 6 has begun and with Qt 6 a version 6 of the KDE Frameworks is due. This will gives us the opportunity to clean up and redesign some of our API. Main goal for the sprint was to discuss the major design principles for KF6.

KDE Connect and Android

As most of you know KDE Connect has recently been removed from Google Play due to a policy violation with regard to our SMS and telephony features. While the public outcry helped to get it back in with all features remaining this is just yet another example of how new Android policies make it harder for us to maintain the level of quality and features you expect from KDE Connect. Android Oreo forced us to drop support for older Android versions and imposed restrictions on background services which force us to have an annoying persistent notification.

Creating a Plasma Mobile App 1 - Basic Controls

My last post shows how to create a stub Python/Kirigami app that doesn’t do anything. Time to change that! In this post we’re filling the screen with some controls. Kirigami Pages Kirigami apps are typically organized in Pages. Those are the different ‘Screens’ of an app. If you come from the Android world you can think of them as the view part of activities. In our case we want to have an initial page that offers to enter a stop or a destination and opens a new page that shows a list of possible routes.

Google Summer of Code with KDE Connect

KDE is happy to announce that we will be part of Google Summer of Code 2019. GSoC is a program where students recieve stipends to work on free software for 3 months. Getting paid for open source work, that’s the dream, right? KDE Connect is participating with 3 interesting projects that also involve other areas of KDE 1. Improving KDE Connect on Windows KDE Connect builds and runs on Windows, but there are a lot of things that can be improved.

Creating a Plasma Mobile application

From February 4th until February 9th I attended a Plasma Mobile sprint in Berlin, Germany. I met a lot of people that share the vision of an open, privacy-friendly mobile platform. However, we all agree that such a platform can only succeed if there are enough people sharing that vision creating suitable apps for it. There already is a nice amount of mobile-friendly Linux apps, many of them created by the KDE Community, but of course we need more :)

© Nicolas Fella, 2022
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