Plasma Desktop 5.5 shipped this week. We cover what’s new, what’s improved & what work still remains for the latest & greatest from KDE. Plus some of the great supporting cast of applications that make the Plasma desktop great.
Plus Mozilla ends their Smartphone plans, Microsoft is offering a Linux certification, the new KeePassX, your feedback & more!
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Plasma 5.5 features updates to the Breeze theme, there is an expanded feature set in the application launcher, new Plasma Applets, OpenGL ES support has been restored in Kwin, and there is much greater Wayland support. With Plasma 5.5 comes basic support for the Wayland session without depending upon X11/XWayland. However, this KDE Wayland support isn’t yet ready for casual Linux desktop users
This release marks almost complete port of the application to Qt5 and KF5 API. All Qt4/KDE4 code has been removed and many parts have been re-written, reviewed, and tested. Porting to Qt5 required a lot of work, as many important APIs had to be changed or replaced by new ones.
In addition to code porting, we introduced several changes and optimizations, especially regarding dependencies on the KDE project. Although digiKam is still a KDE desktop application, it now uses many Qt dependencies instead of KDE dependencies. This simplifies the porting job on other operating systems, code maintenance, while reducing sensitivity of API changes from KDE project.
We have been working hard over the past months to improve stability, polish the interface and continue our big code cleanup. Kdenlive 15.12.0 will be released next week, and here are some of the changes you will get with this new version:
We managed to add a few nice features. here are a few of them:
- Timeline effects and Bin effects can be temporarily disabled and re-enabled in 2 clicks
- A basic implementation of a copy / paste feature has been added, which allows you to save a part of your timeline and import it later inside another project with all effects and transitions being editable
- Track transparency: a simple click allows you to enable / disable transparency for a given track
- Icons now automatically adapt their color scheme (light or dark) to the UI theme
- More infos on the features should hopefully be published soon…s/SYjiQdP2QDw
With the upcoming 15.12 release the situation is quite different, as there are a significant number of changes
The tenth bugfix release already! There are quite a few fixes, though the focus these days is really on getting Krita 3.0 ready for the first alpha release. Of particular interest to owners of a system with an AMD processor is the option to disable vectorization support. That might improve performance, but only for users of AMD systems! We’ve also got a fix by a new contributor, Nicholas LaPointe!
Using Krita, the free open source painting program, Game Art Quest will show you the techniques professionals use in their daily work.
Here’s the recent Google+ postings showing off the latest KDE Wayland progress by Marco Martin and Martin Gräßlin:
— PICKS —
Among the technical specifications of PINE64, we can mention a Quad-Core 64-bit A53 processor running at 1.2Ghz, up to 1GB DDR3 RAM, a Dual-Core Mali 400-MP2 GPU with 4K HDMI output, up to Gigabit Ethernet, two I/O expansion slots, two USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0, Wireless 801.11 b/g/n, as well as an expandable MicroSD slot. Tested with the Ubuntu Linux and OpenWrt operating systems, the XMBC Media Center, and openHAB.”features should hopefully be published soon…s/SYjiQdP2QDw
- Meet PINE64, the World’s First $15 Open Source Gaming Machine That Runs Android and Linux | Open Electronics
Desktop App Pick
ksuperkey allows you to open the application launcher in KDE Plasma Desktop using the Super key (also known as the ‘Windows key’). Unlike other solutions, it will not affect your current keyboard shortcuts, as the Super key will still act as a modifier when held down.
Note that ksuperkey does not depend on any specific desktop environment and should work fine on KDE Plasma 4, Plasma 5, GNOME Shell, Unity, Xfce, LXDE, etc.
KeePassX 2.0 is using the new .kdbx (same as KeePass 2) database format.
You can import your .kdb database from 0.4 from the Database > Import KeePass 1 database.
This is a one-way process though. You can’t migrate back to the .kdb format.
— NEWS —
Farewell Firefox OS smartphones. Mozilla today announced an end to its smartphone experiment, and said that it would stop developing and selling Firefox OS smartphones. It will continue to experiment on how it might work on other connected devices and Internet of Things networks.
The announcement was made earlier today at Mozilla’s developer event in Orlando, “Mozlando“, and several people were tweeting the basics of the news. Now Mozilla has provided us with a full statement from Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla’s SVP of Connected Devices.
“We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.
Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels.
We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.”
- Firefox OS was first unveiled in 2013, with the aim of targeting the developing world and late adopters with low-cost handsets.
On December 9, Microsoft released a Linux certification: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Linux on Azure. You know what’s even more amazing? Microsoft created this certifcation with the help of the The Linux Foundation. Maybe dogs and cats can live together!
When it goes on sale, firmware updates in Linux will work out-of-the-box. I’ve been told that Dell are considering expanding out the LVFS support to all new models supporting UEFI updates. In order to prioritize what models to work on first, I’ve been asked to share this anonymous survey on what Dell hardware people are using on Linux and to gauge if people actually care about being able to upgrade the firmware easily in Linux.
Brought to you by: System76
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