Monday, April 19, 2021

KDE Gear 21.04 is coming this week! But what is KDE Gear?

Let's dig a bit in our history.

In the "good old days" (TM) there was KDE, life was simple, everything we did was KDE and everything we released was KDE [*]


Then at some point we realized we wanted to release some stuff with different frequency, so KDE Extragear[**] was born.

Then we said "KDE is the community" so we couldn't release KDE anymore, thus we said "ok, the thing we release with all the stuff that releases at the same time will be KDE Software Compilation", which i think we all agree it was not an awesome name, but "names are hard" (TM) (this whole blog is about that :D)

We went on like that for a while, but then we realized we wanted different schedules for the things that were inside the KDE Software Compilation. 


We thought it made sense for the core libraries to be released monthly and the Plasma team also wanted to have it's own release schedule (has been tweaked over the years).

That meant that "KDE Frameworks" and "Plasma" (of KDE Plasma) names as things we release were born (Plasma was already a name used before, so that one was easy). The problem was that we had to find a name for "KDE Software Compilation" minus "KDE Frameworks" minus "Plasma".

One option would have been to keep calling it "KDE Software Compilation", but we thought it would be confusing to keep the name but make it contain lots of less things so we used the un-imaginative name (which as far as i remember i proposed) "KDE Applications"

And we released "KDE Applications" for a long time, but you know what, "KDE Applications" is not a good name either. First reason "KDE Applications" was not only applications, it also contained libraries, but that's ok, no one would have really cared if that was the only problem. The important issue was that if you call something "KDE Applications" you make it seem like these are all the applications KDE releases, but no, that's not the truth, remember our old friend KDE Extragear independently released applications?

So we sat down in the Akademy 2019 in Milan and tried to find a better name. And we couldn't. So we all said let's go with the "there's no spoon" route, you don't need a name if you don't have a thing. We basically de-branded the whole thing. The logic was that after all it's just a bunch of applications that are released at the same time because it makes things super easy from a release engineering point of view, but Okular doesn't "have anything to do" with Dolphin nor with krdc nor with kpat, they just happen to be released at the good time.

So we kept the release engineering side under the boring and non-capitalized name of "release service" and we patted ourselves on the back for having solved a decade long problem.

Narrator voice: "they didn't solve the problem"

After a few releases it became clear that our promotion people were having some trouble writing announcements, because "Dolphin, Okular, Krdc, kpat .. 100 app names.. is released" doesn't really sell very well.

Since promotion is important we sat down again and did some more thinking, ok we need a name, but it can't be a name that is "too specific" about applications because otherwise it will have the problem of "KDE Applications". So it had to be a bit generic, at some point, i jokingly suggested "KDE Gear", tied with our logo and with our old friend that would we have almost killed by now "KDE Extragear"

Narrator voice: "they did not realize it was a joke"


And people liked "KDE Gear", so yeah, this week we're releasing KDE Gear 21.04 whose heritage can be traced to "release service 21.04", "KDE Applications 21.04", "KDE Software Compilation 21.04" and "KDE 21.04" [***]

P.S: Lots of these decisions happened long time ago, so my recollection, specially my involvement in the suggestion of the names, may not be as accurate as i think it is.

[*] May not be an accurate depiction, I wasn't around in the "good old days"

[**] A term we've been killing over the last years, because the term "extra" implied to some degree this were not important things, and they are totally important, the only difference is that they are released on their own, so personally i try to use something like "independently released"

[***] it'd be great if you could stop calling the things we release as "KDE", we haven't used that name for  releases of code for more than a decade now

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Submit your talks now for Akademy 2021!

As you can see in the Call for Participation for Akademy 2021 (that will take place online from Friday the 18th to Friday the 25th of June) is already open.


You have until Sunday the 2nd of May 2021 23:59 UTC to submit your proposals but you will make our (talks committee) live much easier if you start sending the proposals *now* and not send them all last minute in 2 weeks ;)

I promise i'll buy you a $preferred_beverage$ for next years Akademy (which we're hoping will happen live) if you send a talk before end of this week (and you send me a mail about it)

Saturday, March 13, 2021

KDE Gear 21.04 releases branches created

 Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the 21.04 releases to them

We're already past the dependency freeze.

The Feature Freeze and Beta is this Thursday 18 of March.

More interesting dates
   April  8: 21.04 RC (21.03.90) Tagging and Release
   April 15: 21.04 Tagging
   April 22: 21.04 Release

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Okular: Should continuous view be an okular setting or a document setting?

In Okular:


Some settings are okular wide, if you change them, they will be changed in all the future okular instances, an easy example is if you change the shortcut for saving from Ctrl+S to Ctrl+Shift+E. 


Some other settings are document specific, for example zoom, if you change the zoom of a document it will only be restored when opening the same document again, but not if you open a different one. There's also a "default zoom value for documents you've never opened before" in the settings.

Some other settings like "Continuous View" are a bit of a mess and are both. "Continuous View" wants to be a global setting (i.e. so that if you hate continuous view you always get a non continous view) but it is also restored to the status it had when you closed the document you're just opening.

That's understandably a bit confusing for users :D

My suggestion for continuous view would be to make it work like Zoom, be purely document specific but also have a default option in the settings dialog for people that hate continous view.


I'm guessing this should cover all our bases?


Opinions? Anything i may have missed?

Friday, February 05, 2021

21.04 releases schedule finalized

It is available at the usual place

Dependency freeze is in five weeks (March 11) and Feature Freeze a week after that, make sure you start finishing your stuff!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

AVIF support for KImageFormats just landed

Thanks to Daniel Novomesk√Ĺ we will have support for AVIF images in KImageFormats starting in the next release.

We have (and by we I mean him) also added the avif code to be fuzzed under oss-fuzz so we'll be helping the upstream libavif/libaom to find potential memory issues in their code.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

CMake: Use new style imported targets to link libraries

 What does that mean?

It means this

That is, you add JPEG::JPEG to target_link_libraries, and that's it, no need to add the includes, the compile_definitions and whatnot.


This has multiple advantages to the old mode:

  • You can't misspell it, since these are actual things cmake knows about not strings so if you write something like JPEG::JPG it will fail at cmake stage
  • You won't forget to add the include (most of us did at some point) because you don't need to :)
  • The include path is just for that particular target (the old method added it to "everyone")
  • It's basically less lines so it's harder to do wrong


To know if you can use that you'll need to use the cmake help, for example the imported target is described at

Now we don't probably depend on cmake 3.19, do we? So we need to make sure the cmake we say we support has that, so use the combo on the top of that page to go and find which version introduced it, for JPEG we can see it was cmake 3.12

Planned obsolence for Android phones

Four years ago I bought a OnePlus 2 for 319€, nowdays it still is good hardware, it's better or as good as most of the mid to low end phones in the market.


But it has a big-ish problem, it is stuck on Android 6, which not only is old and probably full of security holes, it is starting to not be supported by some apps.

Solution: LineageOS.

It provides Android 10 for my phone and works flawlessly (from what i can see, only been using it for 4 days), so the fact that "some randos" (with all my love, I'm a rando) can make it work, means that the manufacturer could have if they wanted, they just chose not to.

It's really sad because if i wasn't a geek that knew how to put LineageOS on the device i would have probably ended up buying a new phone, making the world be fill with more junk.

Let's hope the more open devices like the PinePhone KDE Community Edition put an end to this :)