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Krita Preview Available, KOffice gets ready for image manipulation! Developers aim at making a user-friendly image manipulation program where users with no computer experience or slim experience with other image programs like Photoshop and Gimp should feel right at home.

Krita will be the paint program included in KOffice. View Bart Coppens preview videos to get impressed, or download the preview release source code and try it yourself today!

Krita, previously known as Krayon and KimageShop, is still in pre-alpha state, but is ready to be initially previewed by eager users. The first preview release is now available for download.

Krita was born in 1999 and huge efforts lie beneath the hood of this first preview, released after five years of heavy development.

Krita developer Bart Coppens has made two very interesting video showing Krita in action:

krita.mpeg (his first video, the second is better)
Alt 1: krita.mpeg (5,5 MB)
Alt 2: krita.mpeg (5,5 MB)
Alt 3: krita.mpeg (5,5 MB)
krita2.mpeg (second video, very good!)
Alt 1: krita2.mpeg (4,9 MB)
Alt 2: krita2.mpeg (4,9 MB)
Alt 3: krita2.mpeg (4,9 MB)

The video shows how Krita can be used in various ways. Take a look at some of it's new features, like the great font support shown in krita2.mpeg:

Another very interesting features demonstrated is the ability to paint using filters, shown about 1 minute into krita2:

Bart Coppens used xvidcap to create the videos.

Krita already has these features, and more will come:

  • painting with Gimp brushes or image filters
  • gradients & patterns
  • excellent tablet support
  • world-class image scaling
  • Layers: Adding, removing, reordering and merging of layers.
  • Supports loading of Gimp brushes, pipe brushes, gradients and patterns.

Developers stress this is a test-release, not meant for production use. Experienced users are welcome to try it out and write detailed bug reports if/when found.

Krita depends on KOffice CVS. You should use the CVS version of KOffice together with Krita, installing Krita will cause problems with installations of old versions of KOffice.

Packages for SuSE and a few other selected Linux distributions will be available soon.

Krita developers hope to make it a part of KOffice 1.4, scheduled to be released spring 2005.

Current Krita developer team:

  • Boudewijn Rempt (maintainer, stuff that doesn't work)
  • Sven Langkamp (GUI, especially the dockers & the color wheel)
  • Cyrille Berger (Filters, tools, core stuff)
  • Adrian Page (Painting, tablet support, gradients, core stuff, fixes all over the place)
  • Clarence Dang (zoom, shape tools)
  • Dirk Schoenberger (code cleanups, tool shortcuts)
  • Bart Coppens (Fills, previews, text tool)
  • Michael Thaler (Scaling, rotating)
  • Casper Boemann (core stuff)
  • Daniel Molkentin (Packaging this release)

Other people who have played an important role in giving us Krita:

  • John Califf
  • Patrick Julien
  • Michael Koch
  • Matthias Elter
  • Andrew Richards
  • Carsten Pfeiffer
  • Toshitaka Fujioka

Fun Facts about Krita

  • "Krita means chalk or crayon in Swedish. rita means to draw.

Learn more:

Download:

A fully functional stable Krita is still years ahead. Good fully-functional image manipulation programs available for Linux today:


News and headlines

KDE.news
  • KDE Ships April Updates to Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces

    Today KDE released updates for its Applications and Development Platform, the fourth in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.12 series. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.8. Both releases contain only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.

    More than 20 recorded bugfixes include improvements to Personal Information Management suite Kontact, Umbrello UML Modeller, touch typing application KTouch, web browser Konqueror, file manager Dolphin and others. A more complete list of changes can be found in KDE's issue tracker.

    To find out more about the 4.12 versions of KDE Applications and Development Platform, please refer to the 4.12 release notes.

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  • KDE to Attend Freedesktop Summit 2014

    Next week, from Monday the 31st of March to the 4th of April (Friday), developers from the major Linux desktops (GNOME, KDE, Unity and RazorQt) will meet in Nuremberg for the second Freedesktop Summit.

    The summit is a joint technical meeting of developers working on 'desktop infrastructure' on the major Free Desktop projects. The event aims to support collaboration between projects by discussing specifications and the sharing of platform-level components. David Faure will be KDE's primary representative at this year's summit.

    Last year's event led to agreements related to D-Bus and management of trash folders. It also mapped the way forward for joint development and management of specifications that are important to multiple providers of desktop software.

    Like last year, the event is supported by SUSE.

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  • KDE Ships Release Candidate of Applications and Platform 4.13

    KDE has announced the Release Candidate of the 4.13 versions of Applications and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with finding and fixing issues.

    A partial list of improvements can be found in the 4.13 Feature Plan. A more complete list of the improvements and changes will be available for the final release in the middle of April.

    This release candidate release needs a thorough testing in order to improve quality and user experience. A variety of actual users is essential to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers cannot possibly test every configuration. User assistance helps find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please join the 4.13 team's release effort by installing the release candidate and reporting any bugs. Read this article to find out how you can help testing.

    The official announcement has information about how to install the RCs.

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  • KDE Commit-Digest for 16th February 2014

    In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

    • Amarok merges advanced track statistics importers (a GSoC project)
    • KDevelop allows language plugins to provide styles to formatters
    • Konsole stores terminal size in the profile, each profile can now set desired column and row size; allows users to specify css file for tab bar style (this can be used to set minimum width of the tabs, distinguish active tab, etc)
    • Kwallet replaces SHA with PBKDF2-SHA512+Salt
    • Porting to Qt5 and Frameworks 5 continues, we have initial ports of kfind and konq.

    Read the rest of the Digest here.

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  • KDE Ships Third Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13

    The KDE community today released the third beta of Applications and Development Platform 4.13. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with finding and fixing issues.

    A partial list of improvements can be found in the 4.13 Feature Plan. A more complete list of the improvements and changes will be available for the final release in the middle of April.

    This third beta release needs a thorough testing in order to improve quality and user experience. A variety of actual users is essential to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers cannot possibly test every configuration. User assistance helps find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please join the 4.13 team's release effort by installing the beta and reporting any bugs.

    The official announcement has information about how to install the betas.

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  • KDE wins Linux New Media Readers Choice Award 2014

    Last week at CeBIT, KDE won the Linux New Media Readers Choice Award 2014 (link to German language Linux Magazine) for the best Linux Desktop Environment. 46% of the readers of Linux New Media's global publications voted for KDE. Runner-ups were GNOME with 18% and XFCE with 13%. Other awards went to CyanogenMod, Raspberry Pi, Bitcoin, Puppet, Tor and Git.

    Cornelius Schumacher, President of KDE e.V. received the award on behalf of the KDE Community from Mathias Huber, Editor at Linux Magazine. The video of the award ceremony will be available on the Linux Magazine web site later.

    KDE is delighted to receive the award. Hundreds of our volunteers dedicate hard work and passion to creating free software for end users and it is great to be recognized in this way. KDE's software runs on tablets and phones, Windows and Mac OS, but the core of what the KDE Community is doing is still focused on the Linux Desktop. Continuous work over many years has made KDE's Plasma the reliable choice of the majority of Linux Desktop users.

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  • KDE Commit-Digest for 9th February 2014

    In this week's KDE Commit-Digest:

    • Akonadi server now supports searching via 3rd party search plugins which means it can retrieve results very quickly; it also supports server-search (searching items not indexed by a local indexing service)
    • Systemtray allows DBus-activation for Plasmoids
    • Dolphin and KMail's messagelist filter and search windows have been ported to Baloo
    • Okular adds tabbed interface
    • In KDevelop, it is now possible to jump to runtime output error messages
    • Kate adds keyword-based completion model
    • Google Drive API support has been added.

    Read the rest of the Digest here.

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  • KDE Ships Second Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13

    The KDE community today released the second beta of Applications and Development Platform 4.13. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with finding and fixing issues.

    A partial list of improvements can be found in the 4.13 Feature Plan. A more complete list of the improvements and changes will be available for the final release in the middle of April.

    This second beta release needs a thorough testing in order to improve quality and user experience. A variety of actual users is essential to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers cannot possibly test every configuration. User assistance helps find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please join the 4.13 team's release effort by installing the beta and reporting any bugs.

    The official announcement has information about how to install the betas.

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  • Applications 4.13 Coming Soon, Help Us Test!

    Last week, the first beta of Applications and Platform 4.13 was released. This week, beta 2 is coming. The openSUSE team has already asked its users to start the testing engines and that request extends to the entire community of KDE users!

    What's to be tested?

    Let's go over a list of major and minor changes in this release, and areas where developers have explicitly asked us for help.

    Search

    A major new improvement is the introduction of KDE’s next generation Semantic Search. This makes search faster, saves memory, improves stability, and generates more reliable search results. And it could use a good testing.

    Various applications use the search abilities, most notably Dolphin and KDE PIM (see the next section). Also tagging (Gwenview!) and KRunner (Alt-F2 run command dialog) can use some attention.

    Some of your existing data will need to be migrated from the current Nepomuk backend to the new 'Baloo' backend. Running the nepomukbaloomigrator should take care of that. The old Nepomuk support is considered “legacy” (but it is still provided). The programs that have not yet been ported to the new architecture have Nepomuk integration disabled. One significant regression is file-activity linking, which will not work until KDE Applications and Platform 4.14. If you rely on this feature, we recommend not upgrading at this time. For the final release, distributions might choose to optionally have the old search (Nepomuk) available.

    Kontact

    The Kontact Suite (email, calendaring, contacts and more) benefits from the improvements in search; there is also a new quick filter bar and search. IMAP will be more reliable, and performance should be massively improved. There is also a brand new sieve editor and integration with cloud storage functions, where Kontact can automatically put big attachments on Box/DropBox/Hubic/Kolab/ownCloud/UbuntuOne/WebDav/YousendIt and link to them.

    Okular, Kate and Umbrello

    Document viewer Okular has a lot of new features like tabs, media handling and a magnifier, improved Find and Undo/Redo.

    Text editor Kate has gotten a lot of attention, so there are many new features in the areas of further VIM style support, bracket matching, highlighting and more. You can read the blogs on the Kate site and test some of that awesome.

    The UML modeling application Umbrello received some improvements and bugfixes. If you use it, now is a good time to help out a little and see if it works better! There is new duplication of diagrams and improvements to the context menus (which only shows relevant actions).

    Education and Games

    We received a special request from developer Ian Wadham:

    Please give the new version of Palapeli jigsaw puzzling a whirl. This contribution to KDE is my celebration of 50 years as a programmer. I started in April 1964.

    If you ever enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, especially those 500 and 1,000 piece boxed puzzles, please take a look at the new version of Palapeli. The main thing is its attempt to make solving large puzzles (300 to 10,000 pieces) possible, realistic and enjoyable on a small screen. You can make your own large puzzle from any photo or picture file you fancy.

    So I am very interested in *usability* feedback (look and feel). As well as bugs, of course. I am currently "testing" on a 10,000 piece puzzle ... The Handbook changes should be finished in a few days, but there is already a long help message that appears when you start a large puzzle (> 300 pieces).

    The new features are described, but in a technical way, in the usual place.

    Have fun, everyone.

    Artikulate (technical information) is a brand new application in KDE Edu and will have its first official release with KDE Applications 4.13. Find some information about it on community.kde.org.

    And how does that work?

    Testing follows these steps:

    1. set up your testing environment
    2. pick something to test
    3. test it
    4. back to 2 until something unexpected/bad happens
    5. check if what you found is really a bug
    6. file the bug

    You're not alone!

    In KDE, testing is not only an individual action by our users but it's also coordinated through the KDE Quality team. That does not mean you must work or coordinate with them, but it sure helps! You can reach them on IRC, as well as on their mailing list.

    The testing of this beta is also coordinated on this forum page for those more comfortable on forums.

    The KDE Quality Team wiki page is worth a read if you're unexperienced. There is even a real tutorial on becoming a KDE tester!

    Get the beta and prepare

    To get testing, you can either build the source of the Beta or RC, or grab packages for your distribution. If your distro is not on that list but you know there are packages, you can add them there!

    The second step is to create a testing user account. We recommend this to prevent destroying data on your current account. Many users also use a separate installation of KDE software on a separate partition.

    On most flavors of Linux, creating a new user is easy. On the command line, it goes a bit like this (as root):

    • useradd -m kde-test
    • passwd kde-test

    And now you've created a user kde-test and given the account a password. Just switch user accounts (menu - leave - switch user or Alt-F2 - switch) and have fun testing!

    The real testing

    Testing is a matter of trying out some scenarios you decide to test, for example, pairing your Android phone to your computer with KDE Connect. If it works – awesome, move on. If it doesn't, find out as much as you can about why it doesn't and use that for a bug report.

    This is the stage where you should see if your issue is already reported by checking on the forum, IRC channel or mailing list. It might even be fixed, sometimes! It can also be fruitful to contact the developers on the relevant mailing list.

    Finally, if the issue you bump into is a clear bug and the developers are not aware of it, file it on bugs.kde.org.

    How else can I help?

    Another useful contribution is triaging bugs:

    • determine if it's really a bug (it can be reproduced)
    • find out which component has the bug and
    • assign or cc the maintainer of that component

    If you can’t reproduce a bug, the bug might have to be marked as “WORKSFORME” or “NEEDINFO” if you can’t reproduce it due to a lack of information. And in some cases, the bug report is plain wrong (“Plasma doesn’t make coffee“) and must be closed as “INVALID”. You can find more information in the Ultimate Bug Triaging Guide. As long as you can't close bugs on bugzilla, you can just add your information as comments and they will be picked up by a maintainer – it is just as useful!

    It is a big help!

    We're very grateful for your help in this. Not all areas of our many applications receive the same amount of care and attention, and there may not always be an immediate reply to bug reports. However, developers greatly appreciate the attention given to their applications by users and testers.

    KDEntomologists rule!

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  • Conf.kde.in 2014 - Knowledge. Power. Freedom.

    conf.kde.in 2014 was held at DA-IICT (Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology) in Ghandinagar, India during the weekend of 22nd to 24th February. It was a big mashup of many different cultures with speakers and delegates from Europe, the USA and different parts of India. A platform for the exchange of ideas, and spontaneous discussions about goals and thoughts regarding open source as well as technological advancements. Also how to make paper planes.

    What came before

    Conf.kde.in was first organized in 2011 in Bangalore; last year a KDE India Meetup took place at DA-IICT. Both of those helped bring forth an expanded conf.kde.in 2014. The growing KDE community in India welcomed new, cheerful friends. And the open source community in India welcomed a new generation of stalwarts.


    Group discussion

    Where it was

    Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT), Gandhinagar is an institution of higher learning located in one of the most thriving technological hubs of western India. It has been fostering young minds in the fields of computer science and information technology for many years and features an active local community. It was the perfect location for conf.kde.in to reach out to more young minds. With the conference at the institutional level, KDE and top talent made a solid connection.


    Group photo!

    What it was all about

    conf.kde.in 2014 was a fertile environment for getting people started with open source contribution, telling them about KDE technology and the community, introducing them to various applications, answering questions, and appealing to them to make the switch to open source. There were about 260 attendees for the event.


    Peter in action

    Starting

    The first day - the 21st of February saw the start of the conference with a talk by Pradeepto Bhattacharya (a member of the KDE e.V. Board) on the essence of the KDE Community. That was followed by a Qt hands-on session, with the students experiencing the power of Qt by fiddling with it, rather than just listening and trying to imagine how to use it. Some people couldn't keep up with the pace, but by the end of the day, almost everyone had a fully functioning Linux system running on their laptop and was beginning to explore the power of Open Source. There was a general level of satisfaction with the learning opportunities, no matter the person's starting skill level. People's willingness to help others made a big difference.

    Going deeper

    The second day - on the 22nd of February there was a huge line up of talks - spread out over different realms of open source. The sessions by Sinny Kumari, Chandan Kumar, Samikshan Bairagya, Smit Shah, Shubham Chaudhary were specific to the projects they are working on—Plasma Media Center, Artikulate (the language trainer application), Localization Team Management tool, KDE Multimedia and others. There was also some informal bug solving. The point of these sessions was to introduce the students to various KDE projects, projects that students have worked on previously as a part of the Google Summer of Code, the Season of KDE and other mentoring programs. This helped them understand real life applications of coding techniques and skills, and the value of direction and guidance from mentors. It also showed them how to get started contributing to open source.


    Lunch!

    The talks by Nikhil Marathe, Vishesh Handa, Siteshwar Vashisht and Shantanu Tushar Jha went deeper into specifics and covered technical details of various KDE applications. They covered topics such as memory and synchronization management with RAII, the Mer Project, Baloo (dealing with meta data and search indexing). These presentations expanded the attendees' horizons and helped them explore advanced issues and technologies.

    The non-technical talks—on various facets of open source and FOSS communities—were given by Kévin Ottens and Jos Poortvliet. They talked about Free and Open Source Software and how its principles operate within the KDE Community. Their presentations emphasized the practical aspects of FOSS on KDE's work and beliefs. Conference participants got a clear view into KDE as an open source organization, further broadening their horizons.

    On February 23rd, Bhushan Shah, Sayantan Datta, Rishabh Arora, Punit Mehta and Peter Grasch talked about their KDE projects which are (respectively):

    • Plasma Workspace
    • Digikam - photo editing
    • KStars - astronomical sky guide
    • Khipu - mathematical graph plotting
    • Simon - speech recognition software

    Students could choose a project and experiment with code, documentation and testing. Of course, everyone had the opportunity to use open source technology and experience its power. Kévin Ottens and Prashant Udupa spoke briefly about specific technologies such as C++11 and Generic Component Framework.


    Paper planes

    Closing thoughts

    The primary goal of the conference was to encourage people to get involved with open source and to understand its power and its reach. We also wanted to help them get started by teaching them the basics and by getting them to know more about KDE. When the conference was over, it didn't matter how many lines of code anyone could understand or even actually write. If some people were convinced of the magic of open source and of KDE, and are now willing to be contributors to this noble cause even if only slightly, then the event accomplished its aim. Events, speakers and mentors like these add fuel to the fire inside. Students were inspired to reach out and experience the power of free and open source technology.

    Be free. Live KDE.

    Editors' note: Also, on the last day, a competition in building paper airplanes took place. No correlation was found between C++ coding skills and the distance airplanes flew.

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