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09.05.20

Qt is Shooting Itself in the Foot Again

Posted in KDE, Law at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This can only help GNOME and GTK

Constantine's foot

Summary: Qt’s consideration of going proprietary is a disaster in the making, likely attributed to misguided managers; but it is still not “too late” to change their minds, reminding them of all the negative publicity they received from developers because of the old licence

THIS is a difficult subject to tackle, but having read several hundreds of old E-mails (Debian-Private) about Qt licensing in the mid-90s I feel compelled to say something.

“Seeing the many rants and flames about Qt (and by extension KDE) over this past week whilst examining Debian-Private archives, I can’t help but feel that with Qt6 the Qt folks (formerly Trolltech and Nokia) harm themselves greatly.”I first used KDE some time around 2000. My wife started using it in 2013. I use KDE on my main laptop and on a secondary laptop I use an older version of KDE (Qt4-based). I love the appearance of Qt widgets; I much prefer that to GTK/GNOME (I use GNOME3 on another secondary laptop and, having developed a bit with GTK since 2001, I have respect for GTK as well). Seeing the many rants and flames about Qt (and by extension KDE) over this past week whilst examining Debian-Private archives, I can’t help but feel that with Qt6 the Qt folks (formerly Trolltech and Nokia) harm themselves greatly. Months ago it became apparent that they’re eager to go proprietary again; KDE folks said they’d consider forking Qt if that happened, whereupon Qt issued some vaguely-worded statement that may raise more questions than it answers. Months down the line there’s still uncertainty about what might happen. It’s all in our Daily Links; nobody has talked about it or even brought up the subject for months (not because anything was tackled/resolved).

“…nobody has talked about it or even brought up the subject for months (not because anything was tackled/resolved).”The founder of KDE had already experienced Qt when working on LyX (a program that I love and have used for two decades) and he’s no longer involved. See what Bruce Perens said here about Miguel de Icaza’s perceived solution; there are many flamewars about Qt/KDE in the Debian-Private mailing list and a perception of bribery (to tolerate Qt).

The way things stand, it seems like Qt will maintain some special exemption for Free/libre software projects, including KDE. But a longstanding concern might be, will KDE basically help promote/market proprietary software which for many projects isn’t free to use, modify and so on? How is this going to work?

“But a longstanding concern might be, will KDE basically help promote/market proprietary software which for many projects isn’t free to use, modify and so on? How is this going to work?”It’s understandable that in 2020 many businesses struggle and try to somehow remain/become profitable. The pandemic makes it a lot harder. But if Qt goes ahead with its current plans (for a still-unreleased version) it may doom the entire thing, alienating developers and making legitimate once again all those 1990s complaints about Qt being present in GNU/Linux base systems. As if Qt is a tainted package that ought to be rejected by so-called ‘purists’ and pragmatists alike. Yes, they are totally pragmatic arguments against non-free software.

Qt has many bright engineers involved (favouring technical excellence over pure greed); over the years they moved from one company (or steward) to another and it wasn’t always clear how they’d ‘monetise’ their work (consulting, customisation, development services etc.) though the issue of money ought to be secondary when we talk about software freedom.

07.24.20

Many Things to Feel Thankful for in the GNU/Linux and Free Software Community

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE at 11:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The success of Free software may be proportional to the veracity and determination of attacks on it

Tribbles/creatures: It says 'GPL', so you can make as many copies as you wish

Summary: Although we may seem pessimistic at times, for we’ve come under many forms of attacks lately, Free software keeps growing and it has also grown more robust to disruption (from those it replaces, making some hopeless monopolists obsolete or increasingly powerless)

THOUGH it may often seem like we have nothing positive to tell, except perhaps in Daily Links, we’re actually grateful and satisfied to see a number of positive trends, which likely secure software freedom for our future. Let’s elaborate for a bit.

“Don’t fall for the shaming tactics and other manipulations perpetrated and constantly disseminated by dying monopolies. They bomb people for a living while calling us “rude”.”Aside from all sorts of work to liberate ourselves from superficial and artificial hardware restrictions (e.g. booting freedom), we’ve been seeing growing adoption of “open hardware” and freer silicon designs. This is something which seemed like a distant dream a few decades ago. Seemingly unsurmountable obstacles are no more. We have more options out there. Days ago we wrote about a 'flood' of laptops with GNU/Linux preloaded. Some of these include booting freedom as a selling point. This is great!

For me, personally, seeing the demise of the UPC and of software patents (especially in the US) is very much encouraging. Prior to Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101 (SCOTUS, 2014) it seemed almost impossible. Many fellow activists did not believe they could stop the UPC, either. But we did it. Eventually…

Seeing how projects are migrating out of (or away from) GitHub is also encouraging. Some of them are partly inspired by things we wrote here (they state that their motivations include our articles). Even some really large projects are becoming self-hosted. As for KDE and GNOME, they’ve chosen Gitlab and some of the developers adopt Mastodon (or similar) instead of proprietary and centralised Social Control Media such as Twitter. Over the past few years they’ve been saying “Free software” more often (the term “Open Source” is losing its appeal) and there seems to be growing awareness of the attacks against the community, including but not limited to attacks by Microsoft. GitHub is one of those attacks; “Microsoft loves Linux” is “stop resisting” (the police saying, typically uttered when brutalising defenseless people).

I’m ever so thankful for having found Free software; it has the capacity and the means to improve society, to tackle injustices, to enhance transparency, to improve working conditions, to reduce inequality, and to speed up scientific progress at a global scale, without exclusion. Nothing is more tolerant than Free software. Don’t fall for the shaming tactics and other manipulations perpetrated and constantly disseminated by dying monopolies. They bomb people for a living while calling us “rude”. Machinations and manipulations of this kind aren’t uncommon. They’re projection tactics at best.

07.13.20

There’s Apparently a New Boss (or Policy) at Red Hat/IBM

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, KDE, Red Hat at 3:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rex Dieter bans Kevin Kofler

Summary: The Fedora project doesn’t seem to care much about free speech, no matter one’s seniority in the project; as the person who relayed it to us has just put it, “they even eat their own.” (Longtime contributors) “He’s not a troll. He’s a contributor who rubbed some people the wrong way and now the banhammer is coming out. Fedora KDE was already collapsing and now it finally will.” (Note: Rex Dieter leads or led this project)

06.09.20

The KDE Plasma Experience is the Best One Can Find and It Continues to Improve

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE at 4:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Top: My dual-head KDE4 set-up (secondary laptop). Bottom: My dual-head KDE5 set-up (primary laptop). There’s another dual-head GNOME set-up (not shown here). Screenshots taken minutes ago.

Summary: A new version of KDE Plasma was released earlier today; it’s time to discuss a decade of turbulence in the KDE project and ways forward (possibly a fork of Qt)

THE most advanced, at least features-wise, desktop environment is KDE. It’s not running only on GNU/Linux. Some BSDs have it as well. No environment such as Windows or MacOS comes close to KDE. This is hardly a controversial thing to say; sure, there are some more complex or advanced tilting-type environments, but in terms of the number of features they’re nowhere near KDE. Not even close.

I myself am a KDE user. Over the past two decades I’ve used it on and off, always on at least one desktop or laptop. My wife is also an on-and-off KDE user. She kept switching between Unity and KDE and nowadays she uses only KDE (although she has all the Debian desktop environments installed on her ThinkPad).

No matter what else I try, I always come back to KDE.

I was a huge fan of KDE3 and I last tried booting KDE3 on an old laptop about 2 months ago. It wasn’t as appealing as I remembered it. Maybe being nostalgic caused me to think it was a lot better than it really was. Linus Torvalds was a KDE fan until KDE4 (he tried the flaky 4.0). I’d urge him to give KDE/Plasma5 another chance (maybe he already has). A lot of the work he does is in the command line either way. When I last met Dr. Richard Stallman in person he used a combination of GNOME and ncurses stuff (including CLI, Emacs, other stuff I could not quite recognise). No KDE…

The transition between different versions of Qt was rather disruptive to KDE development because applications needed to be rewritten and sometimes there was missing functionality following the ‘upgrade’. Moreover, considering the licensing plans of Qt6 (there’s a mostly polite/amicable controversy about it online), there’s growing concern in the KDE project with… the possibility/prospect of forking Qt to ensure it stays truly Free software. Qt will probably figure out some sort of compromise at the end. KDE is a massive marketing tool for them.

“If people out there still say that “Linux sucks,” then they’re almost certainly trolling.”Today’s release of Plasma 5.19 (see the latest Daily List) excites us a bit. The version we currently use is already very stable and reliable; I love it!

If people out there still say that “Linux sucks,” then they’re almost certainly trolling. Either they didn’t really try all the right things (patiently, learning all the pertinent features) or they’re just opportunistic provocateurs. Nowadays a lot of games can also be run under GNU/Linux. The same could not be said a decade ago. So what are the remaining barriers anyway? Well, FUD for one thing. The perception that GNU/Linux is “difficult” or “sucks” (even if it runs most of the world’s computers, barely named when and where it does). KDE does not spend billions or even millions on marketing (lying to people is antithetical in the Free software world). So people might not think it can be as good as stuff from Microsoft and Apple; but it’s actually better. It eclipses both in terms of functionality.

10.31.19

Purism’s Problems Purely Boil Down to Trust and False Promises

Posted in FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Hardware, KDE, Rumour at 1:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PureOS sounds promising, just like OpenMoko, but we all want (and likely expect) to see results

Business silhouette

Summary: A promising, potentially exciting, freedom-respecting set of products would be easier to talk about than actually deliver; we take a look at what goes on at Purism

THIS is a particularly difficult subject for me to write about, having spent a number of years cheering for Librem (in its various forms or form factors) and by extension its parent company, Purism, whose goals I believe to be well-intentioned. They’re a sort of privacy-first, freedom-at-the-forefront company (freedom as in Software Freedom as well as hardware freedom — to the limited extent presently possible).

Lately I have been reading negative things about Purism. I also received messages and mail about it. I am committed to Software Freedom, but I am also deeply committed to truth, so let’s put right there on the table the knowns, unknowns, and what’s in desperate need of verification. Because transparency is needed for true trust; otherwise it’s fantasy. Here in Techrights we’re as transparent as possible with IRC logs that serve to reveal operations (behind the scenes too). We’re balancing privacy and transparency, e.g. in the name of source protection. We redact some things, usually to protect identities only. But those who lurk in IRC (or read our logs) can get a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

“Many companies operate at a loss and/or have massive debt. They don’t like to talk about those things.”Purism is different. The company isn’t always upfront. Sometimes it’s not even honest and some would say “misleading”. I’d like to believe they’re not intentionally misleading people, but over the past month there was more evidence to that effect. Are they dishonest for “the greater good”? I don’t know. Some companies pretend to do better than they really do, hoping for a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy effect — inertia built atop an illusion. I get that. I don’t respect that, but I totally get that. It’s quite common and many large companies — including Microsoft — do this. Many companies operate at a loss and/or have massive debt. They don’t like to talk about those things. It might scare away those who subsidise/invest in them. Sometimes they’re bank(er)s, sometimes they’re so-called ‘angels’, sometimes they’re the public or prospective buyers who raise funds for projects/products.

One person asked me yesterday: “Have you heard anything about Purism? Or Librem? Being a complete and utter failure/scam?”

“Well,” she said, “from what I heard…”

She shared some discussions about this and even new memes. Moments ago someone pointed out to me this recent article that I had read days ago. It’s titled “The Sad Saga of Purism and the Librem 5″ and there are 3 parts to it.

“Their laptop campaign had over 65% return rate, I heard closer to 70%.”
      –Anonymous
“And no comments from @purism to that,” I was told, so “seems like a really sad story to me.”

Going back to that first person, “2 years ago,” she said, “over 1.5 million — I heard close to 2.5… was raised.”

“But they cannot deliver on the units,” she added.

“Their laptop campaign had over 65% return rate, I heard closer to 70%.”

“When employees went to San Diego to the fulfillment center, they noted all the concerns – return rate, quality, etc. They wanted to work with Weaver for improvement. He would not meet F2F from what I heard but online. During that session, he went around to see what concerns people had. Quickly, 5 were fired. Another quit within a week or so.”

But apparently it gets yet worse. This is the part which is mostly speculative. “From what I heard,” she said, “Purism money is now going to Forbes and social media campaigns without the transparency of what is really happening. Phoronix is one of their media outlets.”

I can believe the part about Forbes, knowing how they’re manipulated. But I’m not sure about Phoronix.

“Media manipulation is possible,” I responded, “but I won’t vouch for it. Michael Larabel isn’t perfect, I often wonder what he does with hardware shipped to him (among other things), but there’s no evidence they pay him or are in cahoots, so that seems unfair. Please dig further with your contacts. Eventually I will write about this.”

“When employees went to San Diego to the fulfillment center, they noted all the concerns – return rate, quality, etc.”
      –Anonymous
For the sake of accuracy let’s just assume — at least for now — that Phoronix covers Purism stuff because Phoronix readers care about it. That seems a lot more plausible to me

“As we already are pretty certain,” she said, that “Forbes takes money – I mean, just even looking at the content Forbes puts out about certain tech is telling. Phoronix was a question, but is looking more and more like a media outlet that takes money too based on the Purism story.”

Phoronix recently did a story that’s actually an interview with Purism folks. But nothing suggested that it was promotional. Nothing that I could see.

“I believe Purism is starting other services/campaigns in hopes to raise enough to fulfill those previous orders,” she continued, “but it didn’t work out… (social media, tablet)

“That’s all the info I have on this.”

From what I can gather, Purism is struggling. Also, at this stage, workers are leaving (or get fired). This is not good.

Is there something malicious going on? Probably not, but people who fund-raised for this company are being left in the dark and it’s not fair to them.

The subject line of the above message was, “purism – where’s the hw?” [hardware] which to me says it all.

To me at least. There’s a story behind it. It’s an old story.

Half a decade (probably less) ago they said they’d ship a review unit for me to write about (just on loan, for me to pass on to the next person once done). I’d never buy their overpriced laptops, but they wanted me to assess. It’s them who suggested this to me; they had approached me. But it soon became apparent that they were inconsistent, unorganised, and unprofessional.

Did they ever ship?

No.

Never.

Just wasted my time.

Again and again.

Then the person was removed. The person who spoke to me. The one who approached me. The one who wasted my time.

Always excuses. Hardly any apologies.

“From what I heard Purism money is now going to Forbes and social media campaigns without the transparency of what is really happening.”
      –Anonymous
I posted online about that (at the time). Repeatedly even. It was a sort of warning. They seemed a tad suspicious to me. Trust was eroded and ever since then I never looked at them the same way. But the press carried on, then the FSF (endorsement), not to mention fund-raising for Librem 5.

At one point they said they’d connect me for an interview (to publish on my site) with the founder of Qubes OS. Did that ever happen? No.

You bet! Another round of false promises; a total waste of time.

So, in summary I view them as bad on communications, big on promises, never delivering anything. Anything. Later they make up a bunch of excuses.

And going back to the question, “where’s the hw?”

I wondered that many years ago, almost 5 years ago. I’ve lost count.

The dreams they put forth are dreams. KDE, GNOME…. on a small device. Nice, but will that be delivered? I heard they scattered around some units recently. Then I heard about technical issues. Now I hear about staff leaving.

Deep inside I hope they succeed, but I remain sceptical based on my personal experience.

Purism needs to speak out and be frank about what’s happening. I’ve been nothing but courteous towards them (I didn’t even name the person who let me down; maybe she quit, maybe she got fired), but courtesy should be a two-way street/bridge. The very fact that a project about “freedom” does not even offer “openness” is not compatible with the spirit upon which it managed to raise millions of dollars in funds, thanks in part to endorsements/promotions from FSF, GNOME, KDE and so on. Not to mention volunteer writers like myself who have mentioned them over a thousand times over the years.

Moments ago figosdev told me: “ive always been neutral/curious about these guys, particularly with the fsf endorsement. im very curious what oliva thinks.

“I believe Purism is starting other services/campaigns in hopes to raise enough to fulfill those previous orders…”
      –Anonymous
“but with all thats happened to people trying to create real freedom lately, is it possible this is another attack, rather than a real revelation? (i dont know how i can prove im neutral, this is just my reaction.)”

Tom Grz wrote: “I’ve always been suspicious, primarily because their products are high-priced, and if they really wanted to make a difference they should move down the population curve. Also, the president is a jerk.”

Some memes do target the president’s personality; I don’t know him personally. There’s a link there to a talk from him. “Todd Weaver has more to say about himself than the advertised subject matter,” Grz added later.

03.05.14

KDE News: New Releases, Qt 5.3 Preview, Indian Event, End of Nepomuk, Steam Inclusion, and Success Down Under

Posted in KDE at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Releases

  • KDE Ships March Updates to Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces

    Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the third in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.7. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.

  • Three Turning Points, KDE Releases, and Loving Ubuntu
  • Learning More About KDE’s Plasma Next Desktop

    For those KDE users wishing to learn more about the forthcoming “Plasma Next” desktop work alongside KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5, there’s new information available.

  • KDE Frameworks 5 Alpha Two Is Out

    Today KDE released the second alpha of Frameworks 5, part of a series of releases leading up to the final version planned for June 2014. This release includes progress since the previous alpha last month.

  • First beta of Kubuntu 14.04 out for testing

    Ubuntu derivatives have announced the first beta for 14.04 release. Since ‘daddy’ Ubuntu releases only one beta before final release the images for Unity are not available. Being a KDE user I am definitely looking forward to Kubuntu which will come with KDE Applications 4.12.2 along with newest Muon Software Center. I did notice a bug in Kubuntu beta and that’s freezing of installer if you have more than one hard drive attached to the system. I hope developers will fix this ‘deal breaking’ bug before the final release. Other betas are from Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome and other members of Ubuntu family.

  • Exciting Features Coming For Qt 5.3

    The official release of Qt 5.3 is tentatively planned for April but with the feature freeze coming up we already have a good idea for the features of this next tool-kit release.

  • Qt5 To Most Likely Stick With Time-Based Released

    Some developers have been interested in seeing Qt go back to doing feature-based releases rather than being time-based. Right now the Qt5 tool-kit is released about every six months regardless of the number of features, but generally with the Qt5 releases thus far they have also been quite heavy on features. Six month release cycles is not good enough for some developers (in either direction) but Lars Knoll decided to chime in on the discussion Monday about changing the Qt release cycle and how branching is done.

  • KDE Applications and Development Platform February Updates Available

    Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.12.2 are available for Kubuntu 12.04LTS, 13.10 and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. It includes an update of kde-workspace to 4.11.6.

  • The Mer-Powered “Improv” Board Is Running Behind Schedule

KDE at India

  • Rocking India

    My own talk was about where KDE, both technically and socially/organizationally, is going, also resulted in quite a few questions. They ranged from “what does RTFM mean” to discussions about involvement of startups and decision making processes. Much of what I talked about won’t be new for KDE people who follow what is going on in our community quite closely. I mostly extrapolate from trends which have been visible for quite a few years. But for those who are new or less close to our community, I plan on putting it in a blog post or two over the coming days/weeks.

Development

Krunner

  • Krunner: maximize your productivity in KDE’s Plasma Desktop

    If you’re a KDE user, you’re probably familiar with Krunner, a launcher application. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a small popup window that appears at the top of your screen when you press “Alt+F2″, which is the default shortcut for it. Krunner allows Plasma Workspace users to perform a lot of simple as well as much complex tasks. So, if you are a KDE SC user, you must get familiar with this pretty awesome tool.

Commentary

Summer of Code

  • KDE and Google Summer of Code 2014

    KDE is happy to announce that it has been accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2014. This will allow students from around the world to work with mentors on KDE software projects. Successful students will receive stipends from Google.

Nepomuk

  • KDE’s Next Generation Semantic Search

    For years, KDE software has included a semantic (relationship-based) searching infrastructure. KDE’s Semantic Search was built around concepts previously developed in a European Union-funded research project NEPOMUK which explored the use of relationships between data to improve search results. Based on these ideas, KDE’s implementation of Semantic Search made it possible to search for all pictures – taken in – a particular place. On top of that, it added text search and tagging.

  • KDE’s Nepomuk Doesn’t Seem To Have A Future

    It appears there isn’t much of a future left to KDE’s Nepomuk framework. It’s going to be replaced going forward in the KDE land.

Steam

  • Krita will soon be available on Steam

    Krita becomes one of the first open source illustration software to be greenlit for Steam. They started their campaign on 7th this month and the Steam community approved it in less than a fortnight. The Krita team is planning to integrate Big Picture, the Cloud and workshop in Gemini version. It will take some time for them to be commercially available on Steam.

Success Stories

  • KDE is helping an Australian wine maker, time to get drunk

    A fantastic interview with Bernard Gray (the IT guy for a wine company) surfaced recently, detailing the exploits of De Bortoli Wines of Austrailia. The Dot interviewed Bernard about his experience, and how he utilizes KDE in his Wine making company. Gray pegs himself as “a tertiary qualified programmer, and has been involved in either core development or supporting development with a few Open Source distros/projects over the years”. With experience under his belt, the long standing wine company, started in 1928, has been using GNU/Linux since the late 90′s. Being no stranger to Linux, Bernard accelerated his Linux efforts in 2003, developing Graphical Terminals to replace existing thin clients at the company. The secret sauce for the project laid in “the fact that it runs out of a ramdisk and on generously spec’d desktop hardware, we finally managed to nail the trifecta of Cheap, Fast AND Good.”

  • KDE Software Down Under

    Today we proudly feature an interview with Bernard Gray from De Bortoli Wines, an Australian winemaking company.We spoke with Bernard Gray who has worked for the company for over 10 years in an IT project management and development role. He is, in his own words: “”a tertiary qualified programmer, and has been involved in either core development or supporting development with a few Open Source distros/projects over the years””.

02.12.14

KDE Watch: KDE in the Spotlight, New KDE 4.12 Release

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some recent KDE news, including two new releases and a lot of application updates

  • KDE Plasma at the movies
  • KDE plasma was used in creation of Oscar nominee Gravity!

    KDE Software has always enjoyed undisputed reputation among the Open Source users; its desktop environment continues to get voted as one of the most popular and widely used DE. KDE SC is not limited to home users, it’s used by organizations around the globe.

  • KDE 4.12.2 and 4.11.6 Officially Released with More than 20 Bugfixes

    Today, February 4, the KDE Project has announced, as expected, the second maintenance release for the stable KDE 4.12 Applications and Development Platform, as well as the sixth maintenance release of the KDE 4.11 Plasma Workspaces.

  • KDE 4.12.2 Released Along With Plasma WS 4.11.6
  • KDE Ships February Updates to Applications and Platform

    Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the second in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.6. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates; providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.

  • KDE Software Compilation 4.12.2 available in the stable repositories

    KDE’s second update of its 4.12 series of Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform is now available in the stable repositories.

  • KDE Desktop vs. GNOME Apps: The Great Paradox

    A paradox lies at the center of the Linux desktop today. For all their limitations, reader polls consistently show that KDE is the single most popular desktop, preferred by just under a third of users. Yet at the same time, 40-45% use a desktop that sits on top of GNOME technology, such as GNOME3, Cinnamon, Mate, or Unity.

  • New Touchpad management app in Kubuntu 14.04

    The new app replaces the old Synaptiks touchpad management app and has many more buttons and settings that you can twiddle and tweak to get the best experience. The Kubuntu team would like to thank Alexander Mezin for working on this replacement app as part of his GSoC project. The package comes complete with its own plasmoid for easy access to enable and disable touchpads! Quite useful for folks who don’t have a physical hardware button to Enable/Disable touchpads

  • First look at cockpit, a web based server management interface

    The web page also states three aims: beginners friendly interface, multi server management – and that there should be no interference in mixed usage of web interface and shell. Especially the last point caught my attention: many other web based solutions introduce their own magic, thus making it sometimes tricky to co-administrate the system manually via the shell. The listed objectives also make clear that cockpit does not try to replace tools that go much deeper into the configuration of servers, like Webmin, which for example offers modules to configure Apache servers in a quite detailed manner. Cockpit tries to simply administrate the server, not the applications. I must admit that I would always do such a application configuration manually anyway…

  • Homerun 1.2.0

    The main addition in Homerun 1.2.0 is a second interface built atop Homerun’s collection of data sources, the Homerun Kicker launcher menu shown above. Unlike the first Homerun interface, which is designed for use on the full screen or desktop background and meant to be both mouse- and finger-friendly (you can check it out here if you’re new to Homerun or just need a memory boost), Homerun Kicker is a more traditional launcher menu design optimized for efficient use by mouse or touchscreen when placed on a panel.

  • kate: intelligent code completion for all languages!
  • KDE Commit-Digest for 12th January 2014
  • Removing/Disabling The Semantic Deskop in KDE4 (and firing up Thunderbird) Part 1

    As a result of the first article on KMail, three things emerged. First, while some users may like the semantic desktop, there is serious dislike for the semantic desktop (as has been implemented in KDE4) amongst a considerable number of other users, and these people set about disabling the software in various ways. Second, why does the implementation of the semantic desktop produce such apparent deterioration in the performance of the KDE4 desktop and what happens if you try to remove it altogether ? Third, what are some possible solutions ? This second article tries to explore those three items.

  • KMail Complexity – and a little Patience

    This article considers some problems I had when I tried to set up and use the latest version of what I still consider is a superb email client: KMail. I believe that this package is no longer intended for the “stand-alone” user, but is firmly aimed at multi-user networks. Attention is also drawn to another far less important but still extensively used KDE4 package, the patience card-game software which I believe has been degraded due to over-development.

  • Leveraging the Power of Choice

    That was exactly what I had in mind (and I assume Àlex as well), and it would be a great way to leverage one of Plasma’s biggest strengths: Flexibility, which offers choice! Of course maintaining multiple Plasmoids for the same purpose also means multiplied work, but not all Plasmoids have to be created by the core Plasma team. Everyone can write a Plasmoid for a certain purpose, add the X-Plasma-Provides line to the desktop file and thereby plug it right into this system! With this in place, whenever a user complains that a Plasmoid is either too complex or offers too little choice and an alternative exists, we can point them to it and they can easily switch.

  • Nitrux Develops an ARM Mini-Computer Called QtBox, Powered by KDE

    The developer of the beautiful and attractive Nitrux, Compass, and Flatter icon themes is preparing an ARM mini-computer called QtBox and designed to be portable, small (8.8cm x 8.8cm x 8.3cm), running the Nitrux 1.0 operating system and using the eye-candy KDE 4.12 desktop environment.

  • QupZilla 1.6.1 QtWebKit Browser Adds New Features

    Moreover, this new stable release of QupZilla fixes speed dial issues when JavaScript was disabled, fixes tab tooltips display issues when tab previews were disabled, repairs search shortcuts that are longer than one character in the address bar, allows users to disable tab previews from the preferences dialog, and fixes building against the new GNOME and KDE keyring passwords.

  • Maintenance–The Achilles Heel of Linux

    One of the great things about KDE theming is the fact that the middle man is cut out of the deal. Many theming features invite you to browse different theming possibilities right where you sit. You don’t have to find the websites and the themes; KDE is built to let you choose those things right inside the app. This is pretty cool. From there you can download and install it right from the same GUI.

  • New in kdepim 4.13: SieveEditor

    As usual I try to improve sieve support in KMail.
    In 4.9, I fixed the dialogbox for managing them.
    In 4.10, I added a good text editor with highlighting and auto-completion.
    In 4.11, I added a dialogbox for generating sieve code directly (like kmail filter dialogbox)
    In 4.12 I added sieve script parsing and an UI to create sieve script even if you didn’t know sieve language.

  • KDevelop / Kate sprint in Barcelona in January 2014

    Last week I have been in Barcelona at the KDevelop / Kate sprint with all the other nice people working on those projects. As always, it was very cool to meet everyone again and spend a week together improving software. A big thanks to the organizers and sponsors, too!

GNU/Linux Desktop Environments Continue to Multiply

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE at 12:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look at some recent developments around lesser-known desktop environments for GNU/Linux, including brand new ones

THE “BIG THREE”, namely GNOME, KDE, and XFCE, are not the only games in town. Now we have Defora [1], Moonlight [2], and Ome [3], not to mention LXLE [4,5] and Enlightenment, which recently released E18 [6-8] and will soon release E19 [9]. There are several other desktop environments that continues to be developed, whereas several perished over the years.

Speaking for myself, I recently switched from KDE to Enlightenment on the desktop where I write articles. Enlightenment is a fantastic desktop environment even for relatively new desktops, especially if memory becomes a constraint and speed can use some significant improvement. There are bugs, sure, as well as ‘missing’ features, but this desktop environment which I used regularly over a decade ago is still very light and powerful. Without it, I would have no choice but to cope with bloat, pretty much like in Microsoft and Apple land.

People who claim that GNU/Linux offers not much of real choice because it’s all about KDE, GNOME and some desktop bundles that are no longer maintained (or have been stale for a decade or two) are simply not looking hard enough. It can be rewarding for everyone to experience many environments on mobile (GNU/)Linux and even on desktops (like Unity); the more, the merrier. This attracts develops because it fosters creativity and self expression. To emancipate ourselves from GUI tyrannies (Apple is the worst in that regard) we need to explore alternatives environments, just as we do in many walks of life.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Defora Provides Yet Another Open-Source Desktop

    If you have not yet found the perfect open-source desktop match for your needs, the desktop environment born out of DeforaOS is yet another option. This desktop environment is built using GTK2 and part of a larger effort to provide “ubiquitous, secure and transparent access to one’s resources” and to work regardless of form factor.

  2. Moonlight: Yet Another Linux Desktop Environment

    Moonlight is a project still in its early stages and likely will fade away like the many other third-party desktop environments with limited manpower and scope. Moonlight Desktop is trying to be a lightweight desktop for the Raspberry Pi and other low-powered, low-end, old devices — similar in scope to Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, etc. They really don’t seem to be far along at all right now and are still working towards an appearance for their desktop.

  3. Ome: A New Cross-Platform Desktop Environment

    Originally the developer behind Ome was set out on making his own operating system and was thinking of using LLVM IR for its application binary while making the packages like Android’s APK files. He had posted to the LLVM mailing list last month for feedback on these plans but now today he’s posted a new LLVM mailing list message.

  4. LXLE Gives New Zest to Old Machines

    I have not been a happy user of Ubuntu since the shift to the Unity desktop. Even the Lubuntu version has some bothersome Ubuntu traits attached. Enter the LXLE distro with its Lubuntu-less appearance. It provides a Long Term Support advantage over using Lubuntu and has a larger and more useful default application set. Even on poorly endowed hardware, this distro boots in less than 1 minute.

  5. LXLE 12.04.4 officially released.
  6. Enlightenment 0.18.3 Release Allows the Use of Elementary 1.9 or Later

    The development team behind the Enlightenment project, an open source, powerful, lightweight, and eye-candy desktop environment for the X window system has announced the third maintenance release of the stable Enlightenment 0.18 branch, which includes various fixes and improvements.

  7. Enlightenment DR 18 Released
  8. Enlightenment DR 0.18 Released

    Just one year after the long-time coming official release of Enlightenment 0.17 (E17), Enlightenment 0.18 has been released!

  9. Enlightenment E19 Going Into Feature Freeze Soon

    The freeze for E19 will begin in one month, on 28 Feb 2014. After that point, I am likely to reject most* requests for feature additions, and I will be shifting into release mode.

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