A Touch of Plasma in the Mountains

It is this time of the year again. In but a few weeks some 50 KDE contributors are going to take over the village of Randa in the Swiss Alps to work on making KDE software yet more awesome.

So if you would kindly click on this fancy image here to donate a penny a or two, I think you will make people around the world eternally grateful:

Fundraiser-Banner-2015

Not convinced yet? Oh my.

The KDE Sprints in Randa are an annual event where different parts of the KDE community meet in the village of Randa in Switzerland to focus their minds and spirit on making KDE software better, faster, more robust, more secure, and of course better looking as well.

Sprints are a big part of KDE development, they enable contributors to meet in person and focus the entire thrust of their team on pushing their project and the KDE community as a whole forward. KDE software is primarily built by a community of volunteers and as such they require support to finance these sprints to leap forward in development and bring innovation to software.

If you have not yet perused the Randa 2015 page, you definitely should. You will probably find that the list of main projects for this year not only sound very interesting, but will in all likelihood be relevant to you. If you own a smartphone or tablet you can benefit from KDEConnect which makes your mobile device talk to your computer (by means of magic no less). Or perhaps you’d rather have the opportunity to run Plasma on your mobile device? General investments in touch-support and enablement are going to go a long way to achieve that. Do you like taking beautiful photographs? Improvements to digiKam will make it even easier to manage and organize your exploits.
These are but a few things the KDE contributors are going to focus on in Randa. All in all there should be something for everyone to get behind and support.

KDE is a diverse community with activities in many different areas in and around software development. Standing as a beacon of light in a world where everyone tries to gobble up as much information about their users as possible, or lock users’ data in proprietary formats from which they cannot ever be retrieved again, or quite simply spy on people.

Be a benefactor of freedom. Support Randa 2015.

Akademy 2015 – Phones, CI, and Kubuntu

Last week KDE’s annual world summit, Akademy, happend. And how exciting it was.

Akademy always starts off with two days of ever so exciting talks on a number of engaging subjects. But this year particularly interesting things happened courtesy of Blue Systems.

First Plasma Mobile took the stage with a working prototype running on the Nexus 5 using KWin as Wayland compositor. This is particularly enjoyable as working on the prototype, currently built on Kubuntu, made me remember the Kubuntu phone and tablet ports we did some 4 years ago.

Plasma Mobile was followed by a presentation on Shashlik, technology meant to enable running Android applications on Linux systems that aren’t Android. So I can finally run candy crush on my desktop. Huzzah!

Rohan Garg and I also talked for a bit about our efforts to bring continuous integration and delivery to Kubuntu and Debian to integrate our packaging against KDE’s git repositories and as a byproduct offer daily new binaries of most software produced by KDE.

After a weekend of thrilling talks, Akademy tends to continue with a week of discussion and hacking with Birds of Feathers sessions.

Ever since the Ubuntu Developer Summits were discontinued it has been common practise for the Kubuntu team to hold a Kubuntu Day at Akademy instead, to discuss long term targets and get KDE contributor’s thoughts and input. Real life meetings are so very important to a community. Not just because it is easier to discuss when talking face to face making everyone more efficient and reducing the chances of people misunderstanding one another and getting frustrated, they also are an important aspect of community building through the social interaction they allow. There is something uniquely family-like about sharing a drink or having a team dinner.

A great many things were discussed pertaining to Kubuntu. Ranging from Canonical’s  IP rights policy and how it endangers what we try to achieve, to websites, support, and the ever so scary GCC 5 transition that José Manuel Santamaría put a great deal of effort into making as smooth as possible.

In the AppStream/Muon BoF session Matthias Klumpp gave us an overview on how AppStream works and we discussed ways to unblock its adoption in Kubuntu to replace the currently used app-install-data.

Muon, the previously Kubuntu specific software manager that is now part of the Plasma Workspace experience, is getting further detangled from Debian specific systems as the package manager UI is going to be moved to a separate Git repository. Also tighter integration into the overall workspace and design of Plasma is the goal for future development.

As always Akademy was quite the riot. I’d like to thank the Akademy team for organizing this great event and the Ubuntu community for sponsoring my attendance.

akademy2015

❤ KDE ❤

debian/rake: Ruby DH Sequencing?

In my previous post I looked at the possibility of using rake, a Ruby build tool, instead of make to write debian/rules files. While that turned out to not be entirely impossible as far as the core dpkg-* utilities used to build Debian packages are concerned, wiring it up with the debhelper ‘dh’ command sequencer appears unfortunately impossible without changes to dh itself.

Clearly the solution here is to write our own sequencer in Ruby! To do that we will first have to understand what a sequencer does though.
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