For community free of Trolls

In light of the last comments containing insults and other attacks to members of our community I have decided to make a video blog explaining my thoughts on the issue.

The video contains two separate topics:

  • Explanation of why we can’t tolerate this behavior
  • Some ideas on the actual matter (Baloo)

Please, watch the whole thing before commenting and I hope we all work together to push away the trolls in our community.

Cheers !

Desktop applications of tomorrow (I)

This is the first of three posts where I am going to share my vision for the desktop apps of the short-term future.

When I am using my workstation or laptop I find myself spending most of my time in the browser, with it I do a lot of different tasks I used to be doing with many different native applications for example: listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, sending pictures…

When I am using my tablet or phone though the situation changes. I find myself rarely using the browser, in fact I only use it to visit some site I saw on another app like Twitter or Facebook.
At the beginning (HTC Magic, my first Android phone) I thought this was because the browser was so unbearable that they had to come out with an alternative to the web, so they came out with “specific apps”, that is one app per each internet service or purpose.

But things have evolved since, and now my Nexus5 and 7 can render websites some times even better and faster than my laptop, but anyway I still prefer to use Android apps. Why?

Content

Both web and android apps are way better at managing content than we are.

They always have something to show to you: perhaps something new that might interest you? perhaps a bold guess based on you previous search? or perhaps just what is “hot” nearby? Two of the best example are Youtube and Spotify.

Your content is available everywhere, and I am not talking only about putting stuff into the “cloud” but I am talking about your online profile. Continuing with the example of Youtube and Spotify on both apps you will have your: playlist, subscriptions, radios, friend list on any device either via the app or the web.

Sharing content is damn easy on both either by copying the url on the Web or by clicking the omnipresent share button in Android. As a matter of fact I don’t remember the last time I shared a picture or an article using a desktop app… Probably it was really long ago.

They know what content you like… They know your habits… They know everything and they use it to provide the most convenient content at all time. Oh look! It is Monday, perhaps you want to watch the new video uploaded in this Youtube channel as you do every week?

Finally, both web and Android apps try to avoid making the user think too much which I find it to be a relief when I am using them. Again they do this by knowing what content you are interested on and by providing it to you in the best possible way.

That is it for now, In part II I will explain the current situation of the desktop apps and in part III I will show a mockup of a video app I hope to work on someday. In the meanwhile what do you think? Is the same thing I describe in this article happening to you?

Demand a KDE Experience from your Distribution !

If you are reading this blog you probably know how things work in the GNU/Linux Desktop, some people develop software and then some other people distribute that software. This usually works quite well since the people distributing the software (In this case KDE software) work with us, and together we make sure that the final product is awesome.

This system works as long as both, upstream (KDE) and downstream (Distributions) work together, but some times collaboration does not happen and problems appear. In those cases the experience that the user gets is not the experience we designed from KDE.

This is quite similar to what happens in the Android world, HTC/Samsung/LG do their own versions of it containing a different set of applications, configurations, services, etc. Google then releases what their think Android should be. In the same way Kubuntu/Opensuse/Fredora/Chakra do what they think is correct when it comes to updates, default applications, modify our software etc, meaning that in most cases the software is delivered in a different way from what we envision.

This is why I want you to demand to your distribution to offer a full KDE Experience, this means:

  • Not patching our software.
  • Upgrading to all minor releases.
  • Not using software that is no longer supported by us.
  • Offering all pre-releases as optional.
  • Use the latest supported middle-ware and libraries (bluez, networkmanager, udisk, Qt, virtuoso…)

In order for distributions to do this we need to build some infrastructure we currently lack; what is the latest supported virtuoso? or the latest supported BlueZ? Currently only the respective developers know about these things.

While we work on setting up those bits of infrastructure there are things you can already demand from your distributions – minor upgrades, no patching, or making all pre-releases available.

 

We are open for business (a KDE Hub in Barcelona)

Since January 2013 the BlueSystems office in Barcelona has been open for anybody related to KDE to join us, a great example has been Albert Vaca who has been coming to the office to work on his GSoC, some other examples are the mini Framework sprints that have been held in the office.

Now, we are happy to announce that the Office is finally ready to hold sprints up to 30 people, and our intention is to hold as many sprints/KDE Events as possible!

The office is situated in Barcelona centre:

  • Connected to Europe via train, trip to Paris is around 6h.
  • Well connected to the world via El Prat airport.
  • Around 30min from the airport in Taxi, 45min in bus.
  • Situated between Plaça Espanya and Catalunya (two transport nexuses) [1], [2].

And it has all the commodities needed for a sprint:

  • Cheap accommodation near by the office.
  • 100Mb FTTH connection.
  • Prepared to setup icecream
  • Coffee/Projector/Whiteboard
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Keys for the sprint organizers

So, if you are thinking on organizing a sprint know that our office is always available!

KF5 mini sprint

Lat KF5 mini sprint

Chess tables

Seconds after we finished building all 8 tables and 16 chairs

 

Hope to see you in Barcelona !

We need a Design hero

Hello everybody.

The Solid team that I am member of, focuses on all things hardware, a few examples of our efforts are: Bluedevil, KScreen, kde-colord, powerdevil, libsolid, plasma-nm…

Since we are aware of how essential good hardware support is for having a good experience we try our best to deliver highly usable and simple interfaces that will enable any kind of user to unleash all the potential of their hardware. That is why usability is a top priority for us.

A few years ago something as simple as connecting into a wifi was a difficult and scary task to perform under our workspace, and most of the times it just did not work. Nowadays networking is not a problem any more, plasma-nm works reliably and we keep iterating on its design with the mission of having the most beautiful, clean and functional interface possible. And it is here we need your help.

We need some icons to be done for Plasma-nm that integrate with the current theme. We are aware that working for somebody else’s theme is not a fun job but trust me, neither is most of the hardware work we do.

So, who is going to be our design hero? Who will work with us to bring networking to the next level?

If you want to help, please Contact Jan Grulich jgrulich at redhat dot com

plasma-networkmanagement

Icons to be improved/re-worked.

Thanks !

BlueDevil 2.0 RC1, (a.k.a BlueZ5 ready)

After months of discontinued work we are happy to announce BlueDevil 2.0 !

The 2.0 version brings the same experience we can find in the 1.X series but using the new BlueZ5 stack which at least on our testing improves a lot the general stability and specially on sending/receiving/sharing files via Bluetooth.

In this major version we have focused on rapidly adopting the new technology so we don’t have many changes visible to the user, we have added though a few things we hope you will like.

All parts of BlueDevil are now more aware of multiple adapters, wizard, bluetooth:// (kio) and system tray are some examples.

Sceenshot showing multiple adapter support in BlueDevil 2.0

BlueDevil 2.0 System Tray

The Wizard is now more intelligent than before, it will connect to the right profile automatically making the setup of Mouse, Keyboard and Headsets more pleasant.

BlueDevil 2.0-RC1 wizard

Testing
We need a lot of testing! This is major change for BlueDevil and even though we have done our best to make sure the first release is free of bugs it will be a miracle if that’s true!

Fill bugs at http://bugs.kde.org under Solid/bluetooth version 2.0-rc1, it is important that you set the version since 2.X bugs will be given more priority.

Finally I’d like to thank Daniel Schaal who did most of the work in libbluedevil and ported other bits in the applications.

Downloads:
As always you can find the tarballs in http://downloads.kde.org (bluedevil, and libbluedevil).

Going to Brno for a week of awesome.

Tomorrow David Edmunson, Vishesh Handa and I will be taking a plane from Barcelona with final destination Brno to meet for a pre-PIM sprint hackathon with the Czech KDE hackers (Lukáš Tinkl ,  Jan Grulich, Dan Vrátil, Martin Bříza, Martin Klapetek), is in this ocasions where one comes to appreciate that we can do our jobs from anywhere.

We decided to go this early (4 days before the actual sprint starts) because we all have to work on things with somebody close to the Brno RedHat office in a variety of topics:

  • Working on PowerDevil for Plasma2 (at least Lukáš and I)
  • Moving KScreen forward, fixing bugs etc (Dan and I)
  • KDE Startup (Martin K, David, Martin B and I)
  • KDE Telepathy (David and Martin K)
  • KPeople (Vishesh, Martin K, David)
  • Metadata system (Vishesh and Dan)
  • Login manager (David and Martin B)
  • And more

If you haven’t noticed, all those things have nothing to do with PIM! So it is a perfect time to introduce a new concept in KDE, the pre-sprint hackathons !

Even though I hate being on the road, I can’t wait to arrive to Brno and start this week, I’m sure it is going to be ton of fun and a lot of new things will come out of it.

Cheers !

KScreen 1.0 released

We are really glad to release the first officially stable version of our new Screen Management tool that allows you to configure screens such TV, Projectors or Monitors magically just by plugging them while keeping an interface for those users that want or need a more custom configuration.

For those who haven’t read the previous announcements, here are the most important features of KScreen:

The System Settings module:

KScreen System Settings module from Àlex Fiestas on Vimeo.

The KDED (magic) Module:

New KDE Screen Management from Àlex Fiestas on Vimeo.

We are already planning the 1.1 but more of that in the next blog post.

You can download tarballs from:
http://download.kde.org/stable/kscreen/1.0/src/kscreen-1.0.tar.bz2
http://download.kde.org/stable/libkscreen/1.0/src/libkscreen-1.0.tar.bz2

Freedesktop Summit

A few days back I attended the first freedesktop summit/sprint where a few hackers from different free desktops met with the objective of working together. We were people from Razord-qt, GNOME, Unity and of course KDE.

Even though we did not had the chance to discuss all the topics I was specially interested in like Notifications or Session Inhibition I did had the chance to get involved in other topics that are equally interesting like the shared Desktop Files cache or the “Trash size cache” that will enable a cross desktop way of caching the size of the Trash folder getting better performance across desktops.

The social part of these kind of events is important as well, even though I already knew Ryan and David a week of working together makes the collaboration more smooth, and of course I also met new people as well like Lars, or Jeft.

I’m quite happy to have pushed together with Ryan this event, we definitively moved forward the collaboration between desktops and even though freedesktop is still far from being perfect I do believe we did a step into the right direction.

Can’t wait for the next Fd.o Summit.

KScreen 0.1-RC1 released

After a few more weeks of hard work in KScreen we are glad to announce the release of our first release candidate. We decided to jump directly from alpha1 to RC because of all the great feedback we have received and the surprisingly small list of reported bugs

We’ll probably do another RC release to test some of the code that is not yet in this version, like supporting the restoration of manually added resolutions (something only needed for broken monitors).

Tarballs:
http://download.kde.org/unstable/libkscreen/0.0.81/src/libkscreen-0.0.81.tar.bz2.mirrorlist
http://download.kde.org/unstable/kscreen/0.0.81/src/kscreen-0.0.81.tar.bz2.mirrorlist

Cheers !