Plasma 5.3 for Fedora

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Fedora logoPlasma 5.3, new feature release of KDE workspace, has been released on Tuesday and you can get it now on Fedora.

Plasma 5.3 brings new features, improvements and almost 400 bug fixes for basically all of its components ranging from power management to various applets.

For users of Fedora 20 and Fedora 21 the traditional COPR repository has been updated. If you already use it just do yum update. If you want to switch to Plasma 5 from KDE 4 just follow the instructions on the main page.

Fedora 22, which is currently in beta, already has the 5.3 update in updates-testing and we are continuously polishing the update. For all KDE users updating to Fedora 22, when it’s released in May, it will also mean final bye bye to KDE 4 and switch to Plasma 5. Fedora 22 repositories also features the latest release of KDE Telepathy, which finally brings IM integration into Plasma 5.

If you want to try out Plasma 5.3 on Fedora but don’t want to install it on your computer yet there’s, as always, a live ISO available for you based on Fedora 22 beta. And this time I did include a working installer (for real!), so when you change your mind just click “Install” ;-)

We welcome any feedback and testing from users, feel free to report any bugs to bugzilla.redhat.com, talk to us on #fedora-kde IRC channel on Freenode or join our mailing list.

What happened in Toulouse?

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… a KDE PIM sprint happened in Toulouse! And what happened during that sprint? Well, read this wholly incomplete report!

Let’s start with the most important part: we decided what to do next! On the last PIM sprint in Munich in November when Christian and Aaron introduced their new concept for next version of Akonadi, we decided to refocus all our efforts on working on that which meant switching to maintenance mode of KDE PIM for a very long time and then coming back with a big boom. In Toulouse we discussed this plan again and decided that it will be much better for the project and for the users as well if we continue active development of KDE PIM instead of focusing exclusively on the “next big thing” and take the one-step-at-the-time approach. So what does that mean?

We will aim towards releasing KF5-based KDE PIM in August as part of KDE Applications 15.08. After that we will be working on fixing bugs, improving the current code and adding new features like normally, while at the same time preparing the code base for migration to Akonadi 2 (currently we call it Akonadi Next but I think eventually it will become “2”). I will probably write a separate technical blog post on what those “preparations” mean. In the meantime Christian will be working from the other side on Akonadi 2 and eventually both projects should meet “in the middle”, where we simply swap the Akonadi 1 backend with the Akonadi 2 backend and ship next version. So instead of one “big boom” release where we would switch to Qt 5 and Akonadi 2 at the same time we do it step-by-step, causing as little disruption to user experience as possible and allowing for active development of the project. In other words WIN-WIN-WIN situation for users, devs and the KDE PIM project.

I’m currently running the entire KDE PIM from git master (so KF5-based) and I must say that everything works very well so far. There are some regression against the KDE 4 version but nothing we couldn’t handle. If you like to use bleeding-edge versions of PIM feel free to update and help us finding (and fixing) regressions (just be careful not to bleed to death ;-)).

Another discussion we had is closely related to the 15.08 release. KDE PIM is a very huge code base, but the active development team is very small. Even with the incredible Laurent Montel on our side it’s still not enough to keep actively maintaining all of the KDE PIM (yes, it’s THAT huge ;-)). So we had to make a tough decision: some parts of KDE PIM have to die, at least until a new maintainer steps up, and some will move to extragear and will live their own lives there. What we release as part of KDE Applications 15.08 I call KDE PIM Core and it consists of the core PIM applications: KMail, KOrganizer, KAddressbook, Kleopatra, KNotes and Kontact. If your favorite PIM app is not in the list you can volunteer as a maintainer and help us make it part of the core again. We believe that in this case quality is more important than quantity and this is the trade-off that will allow us to make the next release of PIM the best one to date ;-).

Still related to the release is also reorganization of our repos, as we have some more splitting and indeed some merging ahead of us but we’ll post an announcement once everything is discussed and agreed upon.

Thanks to Christian’s hard work most of the changes that Kolab did in their fork of KDE PIM has been upstreamed during the sprint. There are some very nice optimizations and performance improvements for Akonadi included (among other things), so indeed the next release will be a really shiny one and there’s a lot to look forward to.

Vishesh brought up the topic of our bug count situation. We all realize the sad state of our PIM bugs and we talked a bit about re-organizing and cleaning up our bug tracker. The clean up part has already begun as Laurent with Vishesh have mass-closed over 850 old KMail 1 bugs during the sprint to make it at least a little easier to get through the rest. Regarding the re-organization I still have to send a mail about it but a short summary would be that we want to remove bugzilla components and close bugs for the apps we decided to discontinue and maybe do a few more clean up rounds for the existing bugs.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something because much more happened during the sprint but let’s just say I’m leaving some topics for others to blog about ;-).

Huge thank you to Franck Arrecot and Kevin Ottens for taking care of us and securing the venue for the sprint! All in all it was a great sprint and I’m happy to say that we are back on track to dominate the world of PIM.

The only disappointment of the entire sprint was my failure to acquire a French beer. I managed to try Belgian, Spanish, Mexican and Argentinian beer but they did not serve any French beer anywhere. Either there’s no such thing or it must be really bad…:-)

KDE PIM Sprint in Toulouse

We had a great dinner with the local KDE people on Saturday. Also a prove that Laurent is a real person :-D

 

Fedora RPM: Automatic “Provides” for CMake projects packages

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If you ever did any RPM packaging (not just on Fedora) you probably noticed that some SPEC files don’t use package names in BuildRequires fields but instead they refer to pkg-config module names, like this:

Name:           qt5-qtbase
Version:        5.4.1
Release:        1%{?dist}
...
BuildRequires:  pkgconfig(dbus-1)
BuildRequires:  pkgconfig(fontconfig)
BuildRequires:  pkgconfig(gl)
BuildRequires:  pkgconfig(glib-2.0)
BuildRequires:  pkgconfig(gtk+-2.0)
...

This is achieved by the respective packages simply having these aliases as their Provides (for example dbus-devel package Provides: pkgconfig(dbus-1)). The Provides are extracted automatically by an RPM script when the package is being built which gave me an idea…what if we could do the same for CMake modules?

And so I’ve written a simple script for RPM which extracts CMake package name and version from the package config files installed to /usr/lib/cmake. Simply put it means that kf5-kcoreaddons-devel will have

Provides:       cmake(KF5CoreAddons) = 5.8.0

and qt5-qtdeclarative-devel will have

Provides:       cmake(Qt5Qml) = 5.4.1
Provides:       cmake(Qt5Quick) = 5.4.1
Provides:       cmake(Qt5QuickTest) = 5.4.1
Provides:       cmake(Qt5QuickWidgets) = 5.4.1

…and all this happens automatically :-)

So, if you are packaging a CMake-based projects for Fedora you don’t have to wonder which package provides the needed dependencies but you can just use the name from find_package() in BuildRequires and be done with it.

Name:           plasma-workspace
Version:        5.2.1
Release:        6%{?dist}
Summary:        Plasma workspace, applications and applets
...
BuildRequires:  cmake(Qt5Widgets) cmake(Qt5Quick) cmake(Qt5QuickWidgets) cmake(Qt5Concurrent) cmake(Qt5Test) cmake(Qt5Script) cmake(Qt5Network) cmake(Qt5WebKitWidgets)
BuildRequires:  cmake(Phonon4Qt5)
BuildRequires:  cmake(KF5Plasma) cmake(KF5DocTools) cmake(KF5Runner) ...
...

Another advantage is that this makes it easier to automate dependencies extraction from CMakeLists because we will no longer have to bother with mapping the CMake names to package names (for reference I have wrote a script to mass-update dependencies of all our KDE Frameworks 5 packages in Fedora).

We have pushed the script into Fedora’s cmake package (currently in rawhide and (soon) in F22 but eventually I’d like to have it in F20 and F21 too) so all packages that will be rebuilt after this will get the automatic Provides.

In the long-term we would like to try to get the script to upstream RPM so that other distributions can use this too. For now the script is available in cmake package distgit.

How free software makes us better people

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I don’t write this kind of blogs very often (actually not at all), partially because I don’t have much to say, partially because I suck at it (as you’ll probably find out yourself if you decide to continue reading). However this evening I had a nice cup of tea with a friend of mine and I’m feeling oddly relaxed now. I remembered an earlier discussion we had and it made me think about my inner motivations. In this text I tried to follow all my thoughts and see if they lead anywhere.

This post is about helping. Helping others and helping myself and why I think it’s free software, and the community around it that brings up the good in me and in others. Those who were in Brno on last year Akademy might find this kinda similar to Cornelius’ keynote about how KDE makes us better people, and it might as well be, since I really liked the keynote and agreed with everything Cornelius said. But I want to tell my story here, so bare with me…:)

Maybe what I’m writing here is absolutely obvious to everyone, but maybe it will help someone to realize what I realized while writing this post. But most of all it helped me to sort out my own thoughts, and I think that after a long time I won’t have troubles falling asleep tonight. Maybe I should start writing this kind of stuff more often… :-)

 

 

 

People help other people. That’s how the world works. But why do we help others? Because it’s a good thing to do? Because it makes us feel better? I guess I first thought about my motivations to help a couple weeks ago when I attended an HTML and CSS workshop organized by Czechitas – a Czech non-profit organization where girls teach other girls IT and programming. You might have heard about Rail Girls, so Czechitas is something similar and they are organizing workshops on various topics – from web coding and WordPress to graphical design (using open source tools!). Each workshop is also attended by tutors (that’s where I come in) who have some experience in the subject and who guide a small group of girls during the workshop, answer their questions and help them with their project. One question I got during that workshop was “Why?” – why are we willing to spent our entire Saturday just by sitting there and watching bunch of people we don’t know to struggle with HTML. I also got asked the same question couple days later when I talked about this to my friend and it made me think again – why indeed?

 

 

 

I think I always wanted to help people somehow. It makes me feel useful, it makes me feel good and I learn a thing or two during that, which is also important to me. I guess the first moment I realized this was back in 2009, when I started packaging weekly development snapshots of KDE for ArchLinux. I’ve been using Arch for over 2 years back then, but I was really just a user, I did not contribute in any way. I did not help. I felt I’ve been given so much, but I never gave anything in return.

 

 

 

I live in a sort of a bubble. My own world, my own reality. My day job involves working on free software, so I spend most of my time surrounded by free software hackers and other like-minded people. Thinking about it, I probably talk to other devs on IRC more than I do to my flatmates. But I don’t mind. I take the community as my second family, I consider some people there to be my very close friends and I really cannot express in words what being part of this family means to me. And what influences us more than our own family?

 

 

 

I see programming as a form of art. It’s creating something from pure thoughts and imagination. It’s building castles out of LEGO bricks, walking those castles and describing them in a form of a code. I do what I do because I enjoy it, because I don’t completely suck at it (some of the time), because I get recognized for what I do, and because I can actually see how what I do helps other people.

 

 

 

Richard Stallman defines “free” in free software as ‘free as in free speech, not free beer”. We are free, because we can take others’ ideas and build on them and we let others to take ours and build on them too. We share. We build powerful and high quality software because we share it with everyone, and we allow anyone to step in and help push it forward. We don’t want to see their CV, we don’t care what they have achieved in their life. We care about what they can achieve in the future If we let them. For a while I thought we were doing it simply because we want to use their potential to help us with our cause, our product. But now I see how wrong I was. After my first Akademy, my first chance to meet the community in person I realized it. We do it because we want to help those people. We want to help them to get better at what they do. We want to help them become part of the family. And we do so, because that’s how we became part of it. Because someone there cared enough. Because someone helped us and because we know it’s the right thing to do. We do it because we want to share the happiness we get out of being part of the family.

 

 

 

I guess this is where my thoughts lead. We don’t help, because we must, or because we are expected to. We help because we believe in it and because we believe it is the right way to make the world a better place. Ultimately it does not matter if I spend 30 seconds answering someone’s question on IRC, or if I spend a few hours helping uncountable many people by fixing a bug or implementing a new feature, or if I spend all day helping three girls to learn HTML. It’s not possible to say which is more useful, as we cannot see the full potential of those people. But we can help them. We can guide them and let them discover what they can do. And who knows, maybe the next person we help will achieve great things, and maybe those things will directly affect us, and help us in return. And even if they don’t, we will still teach them to help others – and they might be the ones to help someone else to do great things.

How does free software fit into all this? We help by sharing – we share what we know and we let others share that knowledge further, because knowledge is really the foundation of everything else. And we don’t care how much time it costs us.

I cannot really say what would I be like if I never got involved in free software. What I can say for sure however is that free software made me a better person. It taught me to share what I know with others and it taught me to help others. And yes, by free software I don’t mean any program. I mean the people.

Plasma 5.2 arrives to Fedora

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It’s here! Plasma 5.2 has been released just yesterday and you don’t have to wait a single minute longer to update your beloved Fedora boxes :-)

I won’t go into detail here about all the new awesome things that are waiting for you in Plasma 5.2, but I totally recommend that you go and read Plasma 5.2: The Quintessential Breakdown by Ken Vermette while you are waiting for your package manager to wade through the update. You can also read the official Plasma 5.2 release announcement, it has fancy animated screenshots ;).

And there’s other news related to Plasma 5.2 and Fedora: Fedora rawhide has bee updated to Plasma 5.2 too. This means that KDE SIG will ship Plasma 5 in Fedora 22! Of course we will still maintain the Copr repository for our Fedora 20 and Fedora 21 users.

So, how to get Plasma 5.2 on Fedora?

On rawhide, just do dnf update. On Fedora 20 and Fedora 21, if you are already running Plasma 5.1.2 from dvratil/plasma-5 Copr, then all you need to do is to run dnf update. If you are running Plasma 5.1.95 (aka Plasma 5.2 beta) from dvratil/plasma-5-beta Copr, then it’s time to switch back to stable:

dnf copr disable dvratil/plasma-5-beta
dnf copr enable dvratil/plasma-5
dnf update

If you are still running KDE 4 and you want to update to Plasma 5.2, just follow the instructions on dvratil/plasma-5 Copr page.

And if you don’t feel like installing Plasma 5 on your production box right away and would like to just try it out, there’s a live ISO for you. This time I did not forget to add Anaconda, so once you decide that Plasma 5 is good enough for you, you can just install it right from the ISO ;-)

EDIT: I might have included Anaconda, but did not add grub2 to the ISO, so the installer would fail anyway. This has been fixed and updated images are available now on the same link. If you are planning to install from the live ISO, please download the updated images (29-Jan-2015 00:42)

 

Oh, and if anyone is around in Brno next week for DevConf, let us know and we can informally meet for ceremonious consumption of beer to celebrate the Plasma release ;)

Plasma 5.2 Beta available for Fedora testers

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On Tuesday KDE has released first beta of the upcoming Plasma 5.2. Plasma 5.2 is adding many new features and improvements and we would welcome testers to help find and fix bugs before the final release.

Fedora 21 with Plasma 5.2 beta Fedora users are welcome to try out Plasma 5.2 beta, either by running Fedora Plasma 5.2 beta live ISO, or by installing packages from plasma-5-beta Copr (see Installation Instructions on the Copr page)

Check out the release announcement to see what new features and improvements are waiting for you in Plasma 5.2. Final release will be in two weeks on January 27, after that we will update the plasma-5 Copr to get the update to all our users :-)

KDE Frameworks 5.3 and KDE Plasma 5.1 for Fedora are ready!

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Fedora KDE SIG is happy to announce that latest version of KDE Frameworks 5 have just reached stable repositories of Fedora and  brand new version of KDE Plasma 5 is now available in the our Plasma 5 COPR.

KDE Frameworks 5.3.0

The third release of KDE Frameworks brings mostly bugfixes. KDE Frameworks 5 is a collection of libraries and software frameworks created by the KDE community. It’s an effort to rework KDE 4 libraries into a set of individual and independent, cross platform modules that will be readily available to all Qt-based applications.

KDE Frameworks 5 are available in official Fedora repositories for Fedora 20 and the upcoming Fedora 21.

KDE Plasma 5.1

Fedora 20 running KDE Plasma 5KDE Plasma 5 is the next generation of KDE workspace based on Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks. It’s latest version brings many bug fixes, performance improvements but also many new features! Dark color theme for the Breeze style, more widgets, improved Task switcher, reworked tray icons and much more. You can read about all the new things in Plasma 5.1 in the official release announcement.

To install KDE Plasma 5 on Fedora, just add the Plasma 5 COPR repository to yum, and simply run yum install plasma-5.

Live ISO

Do you want to give Plasma 5 a try, but don’t want to install it yet? Easy! We have prepared a live ISO image based on Fedora 20 for you! You can get it from here: http://pub.dvratil.cz/plasma/iso/5.1/ (use Torrent for faster download).

Do you need help? Come talk to us: either on #fedora-kde IRC channel on Freenode, or join our mailing list kde@lists.fedoraproject.org.

Fedora 20 running KDE Plasma 5

I’m going to Akademy 2014 in Brno!

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What am I going to do there? I will give a short talk on Saturday at 11:35 about what we have achieved in Akonadi in the past year and I’ll be attending the KDE PIM BoF on Tuesday morning – you are all invited of course to join us in discussions about the future of KDE PIM! Possibly I’ll also go to KTp BoF (purely for nostalgic reasons) and Solid BoF (did someone mention KScreen?).

I tried to list some talks I want to attend, but as I was browsing the program I realized I want to attend all of them. Seriously! So many interesting talks and so many things to learn this year! Any progress on the self-duplicating technology, so I could attend two talks at the same time? :-)

I’m really excited about this year Akademy. For us in Brno the Akademy has already begun in a sense with all the planing and preparations, but the real Akademy starts when everyone is here. I’m really looking forward to meet with all my friends from KDE again!

By the way, if you arrive on Friday (or earlier), stop by at the brand new Red Hat office for the pre-registration event. Food, drinks and fun are guaranteed!

I'm going to Akademy 2014

I’m going to Akademy 2014!

See you all in couple days! *hug*

Hacking my way through Randa

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Hello! This is me, reporting from Randa KDE meetings!

I decided to go to Randa to work with the KDE Mutlimedia team on getting Date in the Digital Clock appletPhonon GStreamer 1.0 port out and to discuss future directions of Phonon. As you could figure out from Harald’s blog, my mission was successful (mostly). All the original porting work was done by Rohan Garg, Torrie Fisher and Harald Sitter, so big thanks to them! Here in Randa I was mostly fixing existing Phonon GStreamer bugs and polishing the 1.0 port to make it ready for release (had to undust my glib skills :P). An just three days ago, we pushed out first public beta. That night we also fixed a bug that made videos in Gwenview have a blue tint, but the fix is not in the beta release.

Even though it was not part of the plans for Randa, I spend all Wednesday trying to fix some issues in Plasma 5 that were too annoying for me to just continue ignoring them – so in Plasma 5.0.2 the labels in Kickoff will finally be properly centered and in Plasma 5.1 the date will return to the Digital Clock applet. I also submitted patches to add keyboard layout changer and CapsLock-on warning to the new screen locker.

Screenlocker with keyboard layout switcher and caps lock warningI tried to avoid working on KDE PIM here, but got bribed by chocolate into fixing a specific bug related to contacts and events tags, which I started working on, but haven’t finished yet.

And now it’s time to leave. If it was up to me, I could just stay in this beautiful place all year… :-)

Many thanks to Mario and the team for organizing the Randa meetings, many thanks to sponsors who made this possible financially and finally huge round of applause to the kitchen team for preparing such delicious meals :-)

See you all in Brno in couple weeks!

I’m going to Akademy!

No Gmail integration in 4.14 after all :(

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Hi folks,

I’m sorry to bring bad news, but after trying to fight some last minute bugs in the new Gmail resource today, I realized that pushing the resource into KDE Applications 4.14 was too hurried, and so I decided not to ship it in KDE Applications 4.14. I know many of you are really excited about the Gmail integration, but there are far too many issues that cannot be solved this late in 4.14 cycle. And since this will probably be the last 4.x release, shipping something that does not perform as expected and cannot be fixed properly would only be disappointing and discouraging to users. In my original post I explained that I was working on the Gmail integration to provide user experience as close as possible to native Gmail web interface so that people are not tempted to switch away from KMail to Gmail. But with the current state of the resource, the effect would be exactly the opposite. And if the resource cannot fulfil it’s purpose, then there’s no point in offering it to users.

Instead I will focus on implementing the new native Gmail API and merging together the existing Google resources to create a single groupware solution that will provide integration will all Google’s PIM services – contacts, calendars, tasks and emails.