Tag Archives: KDE

Being Current

It is not news that openSUSE, through to the effort of the openSUSE community KDE team, offers several third-party repositories for those who want the latest software from KDE. Since a while, stable releases were offered in the KDE:Release:4x repositories, created with every major release of KDE software. These were meant to offer the latest and greatest to the users without having them to track KDE:Distro:Factory, which is instead used to track packaging for the next openSUSE release and is more in a state of flux.

Then there are repositories which offer additional applications outside the main openSUSE KDE desktop packages, KDE:Extra (for stable releases) and KDE:Unstable:Extra (for development snapshots). In this case, they complement the already existing KDE repositories.

Given the rapid pace of development from KDE, which switched to 4 month based releases, this setup has shown some limits: the KDE:Extra and KDE:Unstable:Extra repositories would need to be built against each of the KDE:Release:4x ones, draining a lot of the build power available to the Open Build Service, and also maintenance was problematic, due to the number of repositories involved and the limited manpower at disposal of the openSUSE community KDE team.

This is why we’re announcing a change today: effective with the 4.12.4 release from KDE, the KDE:Release:4x repositories will be retired, replaced by a single resource which tracks the latest stable release from KDE, KDE:Current. This approach will greatly reduce the number of repositories to track and ease maintenance a great deal. KDE:Extra and KDE:Unstable:Extra will also be adjusted to offer KDE:Latest as build targets (and removing KR4x as well), with the net effect of saving a lot of OBS build power.

Of course, KDE:Current will include 4.13 packages once the official release is out.

Therefore, if you are a user of KDE:Release:4x, be aware that from tomorrow (at the same time as the 4.12.4 release)the repository will cease to exist and you should move to KDE:Current.

For questions and suggestions, feel free to drop by the #opensuse-kde channel on Freenode, or use the openSUSE KDE mailing list.

This post was brought to you by the bright (?) minds of the openSUSE community KDE team, with  particular thanks to Raymond “tittiatcoke” Wooninck, who did most of the work

P.S.: No, this is not an April Fools’ joke. ;)

4.13 Beta 1 Workspaces, Platform and Applications for openSUSE: start the testing engines!

Yesterday KDE released their first beta of the upcoming 4.13 version of Workspaces, Applications and Development platform. As usual with the major releases from KDE, it’s packed with a lot of “good stuff”.  Giving a list of all the improvements is daunting, however there are some key points that stand out:

  • Searching: KDE’s next generation semantic search is a prominent feature of this release. It’s several orders of magnitude faster, much leaner on memory and generally is a great improvement from the previous situation (this writer has been testing it for the past months and he’s absolutely delighted about it).
  • PIM: Aside with tight integration with the new search feature, KMail gained a new quick filter bar and search, many fixes in IMAP support (also thanks to the recent PIM sprint) and a brand new sieve editor.
  • Okular has a lot of new features (tabs, media handling and a magnifier)
  • A lot more ;)

Given all of this, could the openSUSE KDE team stay still? Of course not! Packages are available in the KDE:Distro:Factory repository (for openSUSE 13.1 and openSUSE Factory) as there are lot of changes and need more testing. The final release will be provided also in the KDE:Relase413 repository (which will be created then).

Some notes on the search changes: you will need to migrate existing data from Nepomuk (should you want to: it’s optional). You can do that by running “nepomukbaloomigrator” when Nepomuk is running: it will automatically migrate your data and switch off the old system (virtuoso-t included). Also bear in mind that since the old Nepomuk support is considered “legacy” (but still provided), the programs that have not yet been ported to the new architecture have their Nepomuk integration disabled. One significant regression is file-activity linking, which will not work.

As usual, this is an unstable release and it is only meant for testing. Don’t use this in production environments! If you encounter a bug, if it is packaging related use Novell’s Bugzilla, otherwise head to bugs.kde.org. Also, before reporting anything, please check out the Beta section of the KDE Community Forums first.

That’s all, enjoy this new release!

An expedition in the QML realm

Among the different widgets I use on my desktop, there is a small one which tells me my current public IP address. The reason I’m having it is due to the fact that my own ISP uses a NAT for almost all its customers (don’t ask – long story) and so I need to keep tabs on my current IP, because it may have been blacklisted, and so on.

Up to now I was using this plasmoid written in Python, but the code had several issues and used its own way of getting the public IP. However, I knew Plasma has already a way to give you your IP, that is the geolocation DataEngine. I thought of adjusting the current widget to use this engine, but then I thought “What if I make one in QML?”.

It turned out to be a rather easy task, which I accomplished in less than one hour, by reading up some documentation, examples and of course pestering people on IRC. ;)

All I needed to have the IP ready was

PlasmaCore.DataSource {
        id: dataSource
        dataEngine: "geolocation"
        connectedSources: ['location']
        interval: 500

        onNewData: {
            if (sourceName == 'location') {
                ipAddr.text = data.ip

where ipAddr was a Text element.

And that’s how is the final result (mimicking the other widget I took it from):

Plasmoid in action

There are still a number of issues, for example getting the right size when started, and ensuring it’s not resized to a too little size. But I was surprised that it was so easy.

Interested parties can grab it by cloning and installing:

git clone git://git.dennogumi.org/ip-address-viewer
plasmapkg -i ip-address-viewer/

Suggestions on code quality are welcome.

8 months with KDE and openSUSE – looking back after the 13.1 release

And so, finally openSUSE 13.1 is out of the door (I couldn’t celebrate like I wanted, as I’ve been very busy). This release has lots of improvements, and of course, the latest stable software from KDE. It is time (perhaps?) to look back and see what the team has done during this development cycle.

With regards to the KDE software packaging, the past 8 months have seen quite an increase in the involvement of poeple from the community. Aside the “usual suspects” like Raymond “tittiatcoke” Wooninck and Hrvoje “shumski” Senjan, we’ve seen offers from help from the Cloverleaf community (now folded into openSUSE) and in general an increase of non-SUSE contributions. Relationship with upstream has also improved, as a number of changes present in the packages were submitted directly to KDE (which is always a good thing).

There were also some much-needed organizational changes in projects, to keep things manageable. And thanks to the effort of shumski, openSUSE offers, like other distributions, regularly updated KF5 packages to help with development and testing. Aside for the very-bleeding-edge-it-will-kill-you software, the team eats a lot of its own dogfood, testing things as much as possible (and suffering from fallouts, sometimes ;) before pushing them to stable packages.

The goals for the future? Make the KLyDE splitting, originally devised and implemented by Will Stephenson of KDE and SUSE fame, a reality for the next version of openSUSE (13.2): there are quite a number of months ahead so it’s the perfect time for changing things and testing. Aside splitting, we’ll be watching closely the KF5 work, so that once releasable versions come out (in about a year) we’ll be ready to offer them in the distribution (as an option over the stable 4.x series, of course).

It may not seem like a large list, but it is a lot of work. ;) So if you feel like helping, don’t be shy and drop us a note either on IRC (#opensuse-kde) or on the opensuse-kde maling list.