Plasma Browser Integration 1.7.6

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.7.6 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. This release comes with a few bug fixes, performance improvements, and translation updates.

Dark blue space background with stars, a cute dragon wearing a red bandana with a "K" on it, sitting ontop of the Earth which has a blue network cable plugged in whose lose end is squiggling around the KDE Plasma logo
Konqi surfing the world wide web

Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!

Continue reading Plasma Browser Integration 1.7.6

Virtual Plasma Sprint 2020

This weekend the Plasma team’s annual sprint took place. Due to the Corona pandemic we had to cancel our original week-long in-person meet up end of April in Augsburg, Germany hosted by our friends at TUXEDO and settled for an online sprint instead. In anticipation of more virtual sprints KDE has set up its own BigBlueButton instance – an open source web conferencing system for online learning.

Plasma logo, at sign, house icon, in front of the colorful Plasma 5.19 wallpaper (hexagonal patterns with green, orange, black)
Plasma @ Home

While a four day online event can’t fully replace an entire week in a room with one of the most talented and dedicated people I know hacking and discussing from 9 till midnight, I was pleasantly surprised how productive it was. Huge thanks to BigBlueButton for creating a great tool to work with and to KDE Sysadmin, and Bhushan Shah in particular, for making this happen! Also check out this lovely unprepared group photo he took.

The meeting notes are being refined a little right now and should arrive on the plasma-devel mailing list in the coming days. This week’s experience made me confident that Akademy 2020 – also happening online – will work out great! Nevertheless I hope that eventually we’ll be able to catch up on our original sprint plans and meet in Augsburg again, physically.

Sunsetting XRandR Brightness

For a change, let’s talk about a topic other than notifications. More than five years ago (can’t believe how time has passed) I took over maintainership of PowerDevil, Plasma’s power management service. While I did a lot of cleanup and feature work in the beginning, there haven’t been many major changes for some time.

Bar-like popup informing of a screen brightness change
“Blast from the Past” – just casually sneaking in the more compact volume/brightness popup we’ll have in Plasma 5.20 to get your attention

One of the first features I added back then was smooth brightness changes. PowerDevil supports three ways of changing screen brightness: through XRandR configuration, through DDC (display data channel, for desktop monitors, experimental and not built by default), and by writing to sysfs (/sys/class/backlight or /sys/class/leds). Since the latter requires privileges and uses a helper binary through KDE’s KAuth framework, I only implemented the animation for the XRandR code path, which was executed in the same process.

Continue reading Sunsetting XRandR Brightness

Plasma Browser Integration 1.7.5

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.7.5 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. I hope you’re all safe and well in these odd times. As you can tell from the version number this is a little more than just a maintenance release. It comes with an assortment of important bug fixes, refinements, and translation updates.

Dark blue space background with stars, a cute dragon wearing a red bandana with a "K" on it, sitting ontop of the Earth which has a blue network cable plugged in whose lose end is squiggling around the KDE Plasma logo
Konqi surfing the world wide web

Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!

Continue reading Plasma Browser Integration 1.7.5

Plasma Browser Integration Itinerary Integration

(or: “How to do your project a disservice by calling it names”)

For a change, this blog post isn’t about notifications but don’t worry: there’s enough thrilling stuff to come in this area soon. Anyway, during Akademy 2019 in Milan I began adding KDE Itinerary capabilities to my pet project Plasma Browser Integration. The idea was to provide at a glance information about the subject of a website the user is currently viewing. It’s been a while since I worked on it but that of course just means that I’ve been busy doing other awesome things. ;)

A browser window with akademy.kde.org/2019 website shown and a browser extension popup ontop of it with information about the event the website is showing
Plasma Browser Integration showing details about last year’s Akademy, extracted from our website
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Venturing out

Plasma 5.18 LTS Beta has been released, which brings many exciting new features to a computer near you, especially if you’re upgrading from our previous LTS release, Plasma 5.12. Of course for us developers this now means that a stable git branch has been created and we can work on new stuff on master to eventually become Plasma 5.19, scheduled for an early June 2020 release. This blog post is less about KDE code, though.

Plasma notification popup with a chat message and a text field to send a reply from inside the popup
No need to rub your eyes: Quick reply with Telegram on Plasma 5.18!
Continue reading Venturing out

What’s up in Notifications?

With the end of the year approaching in some parts of the world and already half a year since I announced the notifications rewrite, I thought I’d give you an update on some of the things I’ve worked on since. While Plasma 5.17 only saw minor changes, most notably automatic do not disturb mode when screens are mirrored during presentations, there are some very exciting new features that will arrive in the upcoming Plasma 5.18 LTS to be released early February next year.

Notification popup with a message from a chat group with text field in the notification popup inviting to "Type a reply..."
Replying to conversations directly from the notification popup
Continue reading What’s up in Notifications?

Plasma Browser Integration 1.7

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.7 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. This release brings a slew of important bug fixes, translation updates, and exciting new features.

Dark blue space background with stars, a cute dragon wearing a red bandana with a "K" on it, sitting ontop of the Earth which has a blue network cable plugged in whose lose end is squiggling around the KDE Plasma logo
Konqi surfing the world wide web

Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!

Continue reading Plasma Browser Integration 1.7

Shaping the Future of KDE Frameworks

(or: “KDE Frameworks 6 Planning Sprint in Berlin”)

Only two weeks after my previous Berlin visit I came back for the KDE Frameworks 6 planning sprint, kindly hosted by MBition in their posh offices near Spree river and Landwehrkanal.

A whiteboard with a more than 50 sticky notes, mostly orange, some blue, with various KDE Frameworks written on them
Three days’ worth of discussions in a nutshell

Already during this year’s Akademy we started discussing our strategies for a Qt 6 transition and created a giant work board of tasks for our next major release of Frameworks. Overall our goal is to keep API breakages to a minimum while still cleaning up some cruft that might have built up over the years. We kicked off the sprint Friday morning with discussions mostly around policies and guidelines.

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Qt World Summit 2019

Last week Nicolas Fella, Roman Gilg, and I represented KDE at the Qt World Summit 2019 in Berlin.

KDE booth at Qt World Summit, shiny black vinyl floor, a KDE-branded table, three bistro tables with devices on them
The booth just before the venue opened – half an hour later it was crowded in here.

This year we set up a lounge area upstairs for people to chat, see our hardware and software offerings, as well as charge their phones between talks. At the center of our booth we had a large KDE-branded table with various bits of swag and a KDE Slimbook on display which we used as our main device for demoing our extensive KDE Applications and Frameworks offerings.

The letters "#QtWS19" 30cm tall of styrofoam with suggested Berlin skyline of cardboard behind
#QtWS19
Continue reading Qt World Summit 2019