Looking back on 2022, one of the highlights for me was the opportunity to come together in person. While our technical work is always important, the human aspect of our enterprise defines who we are. After two editions Akademy online, it was great to catch up with each other, share some laughs, and of course, discuss how we can improve our software to better serve our users.
From a very different perspective, we achieved a significant milestone in the Make a Living in KDE process (as explained in this presentation by Lydia and Neofytos). Throughout 2022, we started the hiring process for the three positions that kicked off this plan, and in 2023, I am looking forward to reaping the fruit of our hard work. With this effort, we hope to improve the overall contribution experience in KDE and help more people benefit from our software.
As per tradition, after three years we chose a new set of goals for the KDE community. These goals serve as a rallying point, giving us all something to work towards and providing a clear path to improve ourselves. The three new goals revolve around accessibility, software sustainability, and internal process automation. I strongly recommend that everyone take a look and consider how to contribute to these important initiatives.
Looking ahead into 2023, there's no shortage of excitement for us either. We have expanded our reach to millions of handheld console users which has become an entirely new userbase to serve. We are also upgrading our stack and jumping into a new series of Qt software which brings a good number of opportunities. And, last but definitely not least, we have each other to do this with.
Featured article - KDE's Goals of 2022 and Beyond
By Paul Brown
The KDE community has always had one clear, overarching goal, and it is neatly summarised in our vision:
"[To help bring about a] world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy."
"Control", "freedom" and "privacy" are tenets of all Free Software projects, but what makes KDE different is the "everyone" bit.
KDE was founded in the mid-nineties, when GNU/Linux was the plaything of mainly computer science students, researchers, and expert developers, as well as senior sysadmins and others with long, unkempt beards.
The original creators of KDE wanted to break GNU/Linux out of that small circle and set about building an environment and a set of apps that would be attractive to and easy to use by end users. That is, the "everyone" in the KDE vision statement.
Despite being clear and unambiguous, KDE's vision is broad and requires breaking down into smaller objectives. That is where KDE's Goals (with a capital "G") come in.
What have Goals ever done for Us?
KDE's Goals are decided every two years. As KDE is a bottom up style organization, that is, the larger community decides which way the project should go, and it is also the larger community that decides what these Goals are going to be. Ideas are submitted, refined, and voted for. Finally, at the end of the process, three goals are approved and announced, usually during KDE's Akademy event.
The latest set of goals was announced during Akademy 2022 and refocused the Community's targets for the next two years.
We'll be coming to what the new goals are in a minute, but first, it is worth noting that choosing new goals does not mean superseding goals from prior years. KDE's goals have a tendency of working their way into the fabric of how the community works and redefine parameters, priorities and workflows.
Indeed, The Usability and Productivity goal from 2018 has led to a shift in how devs and designers build their apps within KDE, making interfaces easier to understand and trimming out confusing controls and features, for example. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Or take the All about the Apps goal, which has helped the rest of the world realize that KDE is not only about the Plasma desktop, but has other world class products that are excellent in their own right.
The work that went into the Wayland goal has laid the foundations for the next generation of the Plasma environments: whether for desktop computers, mobile devices, smart TVs, or vehicles, it will influence the development of Plasma, KDE apps and frameworks for years, probably decades to come.
The Shape of Goals to Come
What it does mean is that areas the KDE community see as requiring prioritization will get the attention they need. The goals chosen in 2022 are a prime example of this: Accessibility is hard and tedious and hence unpopular with developers working for free. However, improving apps and environments for people who have problems with their eyesight or hearing, or find using a mouse, keyboard or trackpad problematic will open up KDE software to a whole new audience and truly make it for the "everyone" mentioned in our vision. Again KDE works for the future: once the groundwork is laid, KDE devs and designers will not go back to designing software without bearing accessibility in mind.
Each goal gives KDE a new level of sophistication, a higher bar to jump. We are not only concerned about the software working, we also concerned about it looking good, and being usable, that it works for people with different physical skills, and that we help reduce the impact of digital technology on the environment. With the growing sophistication comes the need to preserve the knowledge we acquired on the way. We cannot afford to lose knowledge of how things are done just because a developer retires.
The 'Automate and Systematize Internal Processes' goal addresses this issue. This goal aims to improve institutional memory and preserve shared knowledge by automating and systematizing internal processes, and does so by expanding documentation, and encouraging people to work more cohesively in teams, sharing information, instead of working alone.
So, again it is easy to see how, despite being set in 2022, and officially running until 2024, the current goals will live on beyond that date and become an integral part of how KDE seeks to accomplish its vision.
Read on to find out what the KDE Community got up to during 2022.
Supported Activities ‒ Developer Sprints and Conferences
By Volker Krause
From the 5th to the 6th of March, the Plasma team held the Plasma 6 sprint, which covered the migration to Qt6/KF6.
In general, the migration strategy is similar for Plasma as it is for Frameworks: do as much as possible in the 5 codebases in incremental steps. It’s much easier to test changes on a working foundation, we can deliver improvements to our users in the usual cycle for longer, and we save extra merging/backporting work. Quite a few things were identified that can be done right away based on Qt5/KF5, such as:
Port away from Plasma::DataEngine, which is being phased out in favor of "normal" QML modules.
Complete the port away from Plasma Components 2 (PC2), which are still using the deprecated Qt Quick Controls 1.
Complete the migration to Plasma’s KWaylandServer module, which supersedes the corresponding Frameworks API.
Port away from Qt or KF API that has been deprecated and replaced for the latest 5 release already.
Another important task is to clearly mark obsolete code and features as such, ie. things that are scheduled for removal in 6, so we don’t waste any time on porting those, and instead focus on migrating remaining uses away from them.
Season of KDE
By Johnny Jazeix
In Season of KDE 2022, seven candidates took on and completed projects that helped them learn about Open Source and also expanded their knowledge of how software is created, managed, packaged and distributed. They had the experience of creating features for applications aimed at real users, and learned about the ever-pressing need for more efficient and eco-friendly software, along with much more.
Ayush Singh worked on writing a Rust wrapper for the KConfig KDE Framework. KConfig simplifies the process of writing values to, and reading options from an app's configuration file. Ayush's project will allow developers to use KConfig in Rust projects without having to write C++ code. Ayush wrote several posts explaining which bindings and features are now complete and can be used directly in Rust.
Talking of writing apps, Samarth Raj added a new activity to GCompris. GCompris is a suite of educational activities for children from the ages of 2 to 10, and is used widely in schools and homes all over the world. Samarth's activity helps kids differentiate between the left and right mouse click. It does so by encouraging the child to click on 2 different animals (a horse and a monkey). By using either the left or right button on the mouse, the child can then make each of the animals go to their respective homes (a stable and a tree).
Another new feature in an existing application is the Perspective Ellipse Assistant tool Srirupa Datta worked on for Krita. Krita is KDE's design and painting program and the ellipse assistant tool would help artists draw ellipses easier.
KDE apps are not only available for Linux. In fact, many projects are making an effort to reach all users regardless of the platform they are on, and Stefan Kowalczyk worked on improving KDE Connect on iOS, Apple's mobile phone and tablet operating system.
iOS has the particularity that it can only display one alert at a time. This means that when KDE Connect raised multiple alerts at the same time, only one was being shown. Stefan's project queued the alerts, thereby preventing the user from losing information.
The code was merged. If you are an iOS user and would like to use KDE Connect on your phone, you may want to read more about this SoK, and follow the progress of the project.
For Stefan "[...] it has been a great opportunity to learn more about iOS development and work with a community-driven open source project. [...] SoK was the thing I needed to finally contribute to the Open Source community".
Building new applications and new features into applications is fine, but then comes the problem of delivering them to the users. Flatpak is becoming an increasingly popular way of distributing software to users and Snehit Sah packaged several KDE applications for Flatpak and implemented continuous integration for Flatpak packages.
Snehit said "I almost jumped to the ceiling when I saw the word "packaging". [...] I've never worked with Flatpak before, but I have a basic understanding of packaging, and it is in fact one of the things I take a lot of interest in". Snehit also remarked on how the Season of KDE was a great booster to his experience.
To find out about all the applications that Snehit updated, check out his blog.
Karanjot Singh remarked on how he learned a lot about working with different automation tools, and creating standard usage scenarios for different applications and frameworks, a skill that will come in handy in the future.
KDE Eco Sprints
From the Notes by Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss
KDE Eco, the team of community members committed to making Free Software more environmentally friendly, held three sprints in 2022.
The lab setup followed the approach described in the research paper Sustainable software products -- Towards assessment criteria for resource and energy efficiency, and the reference systems on the systems under test (SUT) were KDE Neon User Edition and Kubuntu 22.04. The long-term vision for the lab is to automate the measurement process with remote access for FOSS developers to measure their software easily and from anywhere in the world. Participants did not work on automation at the Sprint, but the SUTs were set up for remote access using SSH and VNC. Another goal is to use exclusively Free Software in the lab, and a Python script was used to read out the measurement data from the Gude power meter.
On Saturday 16th of July, the team met up to work on the community measurement lab in Berlin. Nine participants attended, with six being in-person and three virtual. The goals of the event were to equip the lab with FOSS-based tooling and to begin measuring KDE/Free Software. While progress was made in tooling, there was no measurement of software yet.
Discussions at the event revolved around whether KDE/Free Software could reduce carbon intensity for updates and other power-hungry processes. Plans are in the pipeline to bring the larger community together to implement this across the updated systems of interested distros.
KDE Eco is working to integrate KDE's plotting software, LabPlot, into the lab. An unexpected delay in the measurement readout was discovered during the event, which will need to be resolved before the next Sprint.
On Saturday 27 August, a small group met at KDAB Berlin for a follow-up Sprint to tackle the readout issue with the power meter, as described above. In total, we were 1 virtual and 4 in-person attendees (Arne, Volker, Nico, Björn, Joseph). As a result of the Sprint, I am happy to announce that the measurement lab now has a working Python script to read output from the GUDE power meter. You can download the script from the FEEP repository. A special thanks to the contribution of Arne from Green Coding Berlin (and you can read about their adventures in DC measurements in this blog post). So here we are: the lab should now be ready for the really exciting part of the project, measuring software!
Volker also worked on updating the notes for the Gosund SP111 power plug, which included information about switching WiFi networks and recovering devices when they no longer boot, another problem that needed solving from the last Sprint. You can follow the guide yourself here. What is more, once you have the hacked power plug working, you can also download LabPlot and try out live plotting to see energy consumption in real time. To do this, redirect the power plug output to a CSV file (see instructions at Volker's blog). Then, in LabPlot import the CSV file by going to File > Add New > Live Data Source .... Where it says "Filter" select the Custom option, and under "Data Format" define the separator value used (e.g., comma, semi-colon, space). You can check that the output is correct under the "Preview" tab. If everything looks good, click OK. Now it is just a matter of right-clicking on the data frame window and selecting Plot Data > xy-Curve. Voilà!
KDE e.V. Board Sprints
By Aniqa Khokhar
The Board members of KDE e.V. meet weekly online, but they also have in-person board meetings and sprints. In 2022, the board met twice in person for the Board Sprints.
The first Board Sprint was held from 4th to 5th June 2022 in Athens, Greece. It was a hybrid meeting, with Adriaan de Groot, Aleix Pol i Gonzàlez, Lydia Pintscher and Neofytos Kolokotronis physically present and Eike Hein participating virtually.
The second one was held on the 10th and 11th December 2022 in Berlin, Germany. All the Board members, Adriaan de Groot, Aleix Pol i Gonzàlez, Eike Hein, Lydia Pintscher and Nate Graham, met in person.
The agendas of these board meetings focus on various important strategic, operational and administrative topics such as HR, budgeting, and patron relations. These sprints are a chance for the Board members to come together, discuss important matters, and socialize in person, which helps to create a sense of community and enhance the overall functioning of KDE.
Overall, these sprints are productive weekends, where many tasks are solved and new ones are started.
Google Summer of Code
By Johnny Jazeix
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global, online event that focuses on bringing new contributors into open source software development. Like every year, in 2022 KDE applied with the aim of integrating more and more developers. KDE's participation in GSoC covered nine projects to improve KDE, of which six were successfully completed.
Snehit Sah worked on adding Spaces Support to NeoChat. Spaces is a Matrix tool that allows you to discover new rooms by exploring areas, and it is also a way to organize your rooms by categories.
There were two projects to improve digiKam. The first one was from Quoc Hung Tran who worked on a new plugin to process Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The code allows you to extract text from images and store the output inside the EXIF data or within a separate file. The plugin is also used to organize scanned text images with contents.
For GCompris, KDE's educational software suite, Samarth Raj worked on adding activities for using the 10's complements to add numbers. Is split into three activities. One was finished during GSoC, and the other two were still work in progress byt the time the event finished.
Two students worked on the painting application Krita. Xu Che worked on adding pixel-perfect ellipses in Krita. The work was still in progress when GSoC finished, but it would allow pixel artists to use Krita more effectively.
Meanwhile, Reinold Rojas worked on exporting Krita images to SVG. The project provided more options to share files with Inkscape, and helps create translatable images with text for Krita Manual without knowledge of Inkscape.
GSoC again provided our nine contributors with the opportunity to apply their knowledge of programming to real-world projects, allowing them to improve their code and communication skills.
From the notes of Carl Schwan and Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss
On the 20th and 21st of August, KDE's Promo team held a two-day Sprint in Saumur, France. We were fortunate to attend along with Allon, Aron, Neophytos, Claudio, Paul, and Aniqa to contribute and discussed a range of topics. To give a taste, here we will focus on two of the topics discussed: a KDE-for promotional campaign and diversity initiatives at KDE.
KDE-for is an idea that existed before the Sprint. A KDE-for-kids website even exists, but we wanted to see how far we could take the idea. Our brainstorming generated numerous proposals, including KDE-for-creators, KDE-for-developers, KDE-for-researchers, KDE-for-teachers, KDE-for-students, KDE-for-gamers, KDE-for-activists, and so on. Each potential for-group allows us to connect KDE products with end users and highlight the many communities within and around KDE. It also provides a place to showcase flagship apps while raising awareness about the sometimes lesser-known ones complimenting them. You can already take a look at the wip prototype here and if you have suggestions and want to help we have a phabricator task.
One of the issues with the idea is what to do when there are software gaps. Should KDE-for also promote non-KDE software when it fulfils a useful but missing function for a particular target group? KDE software is excellent bar none, but we may not offer everything to meet every group's needs. User autonomy and choice within a rich software ecosystem are one of the undeniable strengths of FOSS. Although attempting a complete list of software options would not be helpful, why not support other FOSS developers and give users a curated list of excellent FOSS applications that may be useful to them? We are all on the same team after all!
Another topic which came up was how to promote diversity within KDE. As they say: One cannot expect diversity just to happen, one needs to cultivate it.
Over the past few years, KDE Promo has been pushing a KDE network initiative to build international communities. At the moment the networks include India, China, Brazil, and USA. One discussion at the Sprint centered around creating an additional Europe network -- or Europe: Spain, Europe: Germany, etc. networks -- to remove any implication of a default network. KDE is a worldwide community and it only makes sense that our internal and external structures reflect that. Another discussion was about expanding these networks, for instance, to Africa and Singapore and South Korea, among others. Perhaps you, the reader, can help build these networks where you live.
The KDE-for campaign and the expansion of KDE Networks will help communities make KDE software the best software it can be and we are proud to be a part of it.
And, of course, in France we ate -- but not only that, we cooked! Our local host invited us to his garden with family and friends and made us Fouée in a wood-fired oven. All in all the Sprint was a great opportunity to push many important topics forward while having a wonderful time together. We look forward to the next one!
By Aniqa Khokhar
The seventeenth edition of Akademy-es, KDE’s yearly event for the Spanish speaking community, was held in Barcelona from 29th to 30th September. Akademy-es in which was attendees could participate both in person and online. For over 16 years, Akademy-es has been promoting and bringing this event to the general public as well as to Spnish-speaking community members.
During two days, there were talks for both users and developers, as well as practical workshops and other activities of a more social nature. This year included topics such as prominent uses of KDE software, Plasma customization, the future of Free Software, software licensing and sustainability.
The conference started with the opening ceremony hosted by Adrián Chaves, president of KDE Spain. Then there were talks on various topics such as Linux today and tomorrow, how to make themes for KDE, and Free Software in Amateur Astronomy (featuring Kstars), as well as lightning talks and more.
From the notes by Aniqa Khokhar, Jonathan Esk-Riddell, and Paul Brown
Akademy 2022 was held in Barcelona from the 1st to the 7th of October. The weekend of Saturday 1st of October and Sunday 2nd of October was dedicated to talks, panels and presentations. Community members and guests explained to the audience what had been going on within KDE's projects (and adjacent projects), the state of the art, and where things were headed.
At 10 o'clock sharp, Aleix Pol, President of KDE, opened this year's Akademy before an audience jittering with excitement. The attendees were animated with good reason: this was the first major in-person event for the KDE Community in two years. Old friends were seeing each other after a long time, and we were also meeting many new friends that we had only ever talked to online.
Aleix remarked on how important this year's event was for the community, and especially for him, as Barcelona is Aleix's home town, and the Universitat Politécnica de Barcelona, the venue where activities were being held, his alma mater. After informing everyone about the logistics of the event, Aleix introduced the first keynote speakers: Volker Hilsheimer and Pedro Bessa from Qt Company.
Volker and Pedro kicked off the talks proper with Volker introducing what is in store for us regarding Qt6.5 and beyond. Pedro laid out the new plans Qt Company has to upgrade the engagement with the Qt community, including KDE developers and contributors.
Then it was time to talk about KDE's goals, the projects that become a top priority for the community for two years. The goals program were started in the 2017, and the first three goals set in that year covered improving the usability and productivity for basic software, enhancing privacy in KDE software, and streamlining the onboarding of new contributors. The second set of goals started in 2019 and finished precisely at the 2022 Akademy. They covered making KDE's software and its components more visually consistent, promoting apps, and improving the implementation of Wayland in Plasma.
The goals voted on by the community in 2022 cover the areas of accessibility, sustainability and ways of making internal KDE processes and workflows more efficient.
After lunch, the talks were split into two tracks and, in track one Tomaz Canabrava discussed Konsole, KDE's powerful terminal emulator, and what the future held for the project. Meanwhile, in room 2, Nate Graham covered his traditional Konquering the World - Are we there yet? in which he updates attendees on the progress KDE is making in tech markets and user adoption.
Later, Devin Lin and Bhushan Shah of Plasma Mobile told the audience all about the progress KDE's mobile platform has made throughout the year. In room 2, a panel made up of Joseph De Veaugh-Geiss, Nicolas Fella (via videoconference), Karanjot Singh (in a pre-recorded video), and Lydia Pintscher informed the audience about the progress made by KDE Eco and what the next steps for the project were.
After a short break, David Edmundson took to the stage in room 1 and told us all about the success of the Steam Deck, how the people at Valve were surprised at how popular KDE's Plasma desktop had become among users, and how they were using it in an unexpected numbers and ways. David also revealed that the Steam Deck had already sold more than a million units and was still going strong. In room 2, David Cahalane tackled the difficult issue of accessibility and explained how improving it for KDE Plasma and apps would help more users adopt KDE, not only because it would facilitate the usage of the software itself, but also because it would make the desktop and apps compliant with accessibility rules in public institutions and companies across the world.
Back in room 1, Aleix explained how KDE's Plasma had transcended the concept of desktop, as it was now moving into the territory of mobile and smart household appliances, like phones, cars and TVs. In Room 2, Harald Sitter talked about bugs and how frustrating it is when the system keeps crashing, how to identify the causes, and what tools were available to solve the issues.
For the final talks of the day, in room 1 Lina Ceballos of FSFE told us about the Reuse project. The Reuse project intends to relieve much of the confusion and tediousness of licensing software online. At the same time in room 2, both Nicolas Fella and Alexander Lohnau remotely discussed getting applications ready for KDE Frameworks 6. They discussed the current status of KF6 and why it is better to port now.
The following day, Hector Martín, the hacker that opened the Kinect, Play Station and Wii to the open source world, tuned in from Japan and told us about his new project in his keynote "Asahi Linux - One chip, no docs, and lots of fun". Hector explained that the new M1 and M2 Macintosh machines built by Apple are made to run a variety of operating systems, but how the company does not provide any kind of indication on how that is done. Good job reverse engineering is what Hector and his team do best! Thank to their efforts, today Linux (and Plasma) can easily run on the new ARM-based machines.
Afterwards, first David Redondo, and later Aleix Pol, tackled the topic of Wayland in two different talks. Wayland is a hot topic for developers, since it will allow Plasma and KDE apps to evolve, improve their performance, and work more safely and reliably.
Following a caffeinated and baked goods respite, again the talks were split over two locations. In room 1, Nicolas Fella, live from his studio, explained what really happens when you launch an app; while, in room 2, Neal Gompa told us about how the Fedora distro implements Plasma on Fedora, the advantages of Kinoite and the future of Fedora and KDE on mobile.
Later on, Aditya Mehra ran us through OpenVoiceOS, an operating system with a voice-enabled AI at its core. In room 2, Volker Krause explained how push notifications, used profusely in proprietary software, could be implemented using FLOSS.
After lunch, KDE's Board sat down with attendees and presented their yearly report, informing the community about what work had been carried out and how resources had been used. This was followed by presentations prepared by each of the active working groups: the Advisory Board, the Community Working Group, the Financial Working Group, the Fundraising Working Group, the KDE Free Qt Working Group, and the Sysadmin Working Group.
While this was going on, Shyamnath Premnadh was presenting his talk on how C++ and Python can thrive together in room 2.
Following a brief coffee break, it was time for the lightning talks, and Volker Krause kicked things off by talking about what was happening with KDE Frameworks 6. Volker was followed by Lydia Pintscher, who spoke about the new fundraisers for specific projects. Later, Albert Astals presented the KDE Security team, and Harald Sitter gave us advice on how to remain healthy and sane, while writing healthy and sane code.
Finally, there was a round of applause for the Akademy Team, the members of the Barcelona Free Software community, in particular Albert Astals, and all the other volunteers that organized the event and helped us enjoy our days with the KDE community in Barcelona.
The last act of the day was announcing the traditional Akademy awards. This year the award for the Best Application went to Jasem Mutlaq for his work on the phenomenal KStars astronomical program. The Non-Application Contribution Award went to Harald Sitter for his work on debugging and improving KDE's code across the board. Finally, the Jury Award went to Aniqa Khokhar for her work setting up the KDE Network across the world.
Like the rest of the event, this part was a bit special, as the awardees of 2020 and 2021 joined the awardees of 2022 on the stage, as they had not had the chance to physically receive their awards before now.
And with that, the conference part of the event was officially closed and KDE community members prepared themselves for a week of BoFs, meetings and hacking sessions.
If you missed it, all the talk recordings are now available on PeerTube and YouTube, or, if you prefer you can also just grab the files.
Projects & Apps
Ghostwriter - A distraction-free writing experience
By the Ghostwriter team
KDE's new Ghostwriter app is a distraction-free text editor for Markdown. It features a live HTML preview as you type panel, theme creation, focus mode, fullscreen mode, live word count, and document navigation in an pleasingly simple writing environment.
Behind the scene, it is powered by the built-incmark-gfm Markdown processor, and can integrate with Pandoc, MultiMarkdown, Discount, and cmark processors if they are installed.
Kodaskanna - Read data from barcodes
By the Kodaskanna team
New beta software Kodaskanna is a utility for reading data from 1D/2D barcodes (e.g. QR codes or barcodes) and making the data available for further processing.
The long-term vision for Kodaskanna is to be a simple utility to integrate in workflows where some data processing expects a data blob (or a series of blobs) to be taken from a machine readable source by the user. It should have reusable general purpose extensions, both for reading all kinds of encoded data from all kinds of sources (e.g. graphical, acoustical, etc.), or straight from dedicated input devices. I t should also validate and preview the extracted data in an expected data format. The invoking instance should be able to filter/define what is possible. The utility should be usable both in-process and out-of-process, and ideally, itself be replaceable by other solutions providing the same interface.
The KDE Slimbook 4 comes with a Ryzen 5700U processor and KDE's full-featured Plasma desktop running on KDE Neon. It also comes with dozens of Open Source programs and utilities pre-installed, and access to hundreds more through the Discover software manager app.
The KDE Slimbook 4's AMD Ryzen 5700U processor is one of the most efficient CPUs for portable computers in the range. With its 8 GPU cores and 16 threads, it can run your whole office from home and on the go, render 3D animations, compile your code and serve up the entertainment for you during down time.
The Slimbook starts Plasma by default on Wayland, the state-of-the-art display server. With Wayland, you can enjoy the advantages of crisp fonts and images, frame rates adapted to each of your displays, and all the touchpad gestures implemented in Plasma.
Speaking of displays, the USB-C port lets you extend the desktop onto an external monitor, in addition to charging the laptop. Another nifty detail is the backlit black keyboard with keys engraved using the Noto Sans font--the same one used on the Plasma desktop.
Trade Shows and Community Events
By Aniqa Khokhar
The 2022 edition of FOSDEM was held online from the 5th to the 6th of February. KDE has participated in FOSDEM for many years, and in 2021, KDE was one of the more popular booths, ranking third in the list of most visited virtual booths.
In 2022, as we did in the prior edition, we organized demos at KDE's booth and kicked off Saturday with Bhushan Shah, who showed off the new features of Plasma Mobile. Claudio Cambra followed and explained Kalendar and the case for Akonadi, and Joseph De Veaugh-Geiss talked about KDE Eco.
On Sunday, by popular demand, Adam Szopa returned with his Live KDE News bulletin. The Promo team, along with Adam, gave a tour of Plasma 5.24 to the live audience. For our last demo, Carl Schwan did some live coding for Tokodon. Visitors were also able to grab some digital stickers for Matrix.
Overall, it was a fun weekend. On Saturday, 323 people signed in to the Matrix room and 357 people on Sunday. On average, between 150 to 170 people were watching the demos at any given time, and there was a lot of engagement from the audience.
Linux App Summit
By Aniqa Khokhar
Linux App Summit (LAS) was held online and in-person from the 29th to the 30th of April. KDE and GNOME co-hosted the conference that brings the global Linux community together to learn, collaborate, and help grow the Linux application ecosystem.
The event was well attended both in-person and online. For many, LAS 2022 was the first conference they could physically attend after more than two years of webcam communications, and the human need to be present around like-minded people in the flesh was palpable. Invigorated, passionate and optimistic, the open-source enthusiasts from both the GNOME and KDE camps descended on Rovereto for two days of innovation, sharing and fun.
The event included talks, panels and Q&As on a wide range of topics, including a talk about "How to Community: Anatomy of a Healthy Open Source Communities and Projects" delivered by Anita Ihuman, Aleix Pol Gonzalez talked about "Your app on the Steamdeck", "Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency with Free Software" by Joseph De Veaugh-Geiss, and many more.
By Aniqa Khokhar
Qt DevCon was held from the 13th to the 15th of June 2022 in Berlin. Qt DevCon is a conference organized by developers for developers, and the topics discussed revolve around software development with Qt.
Despite not being a sponsor, KDE was represented by Nicolas Fella who spoke about "KDE's journey to Qt 6". KDE has been utilizing Qt to develop software for 25 years, with some code being migrated to all major versions of Qt. With the release of Qt 6, a major version transition is once again imminent, which presents both challenges and opportunities for the community.
During the talk, Nicolas Fella presented the work that has been done and the plans for the Qt 6 transition, outlining the design decisions made and the challenges faced. He highlighted the aspects of the Qt 6 transition that are expected to be difficult and explained how the new features of Qt 6 will benefit KDE. Attendees were able to gain insights from KDE's experience to help them plan and estimate their own porting projects.
By Bhavisha Dhruve
This year we were able to host the KDE booth at the 19th annual Southern California Linux Expo -- SCaLE 19X, that took place on July 28 - 31, 2022 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport in LA, California.
SCaLE attracts visitors from all over the United States and around the world. It is the largest, community-run, open source, and free software conference in North America.
We collaborated with OpenSUSE, LOPSA and NextCloud to promote cross-community growth and to provide outreach and knowledge regarding our communities.
Our booth was appreciated for a lot of things but the main attraction was the banner. Attendees loved finding the logos of their favorite KDE tools. Our setup consisted of one big screen showcasing a promotional video of KDE, interactive laptops, devices with Plasma Mobile, and lots of Katie and Konqui stickers.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the excitement attendees felt when they saw us at the event. They wanted to know more about our products, and what was going on with the KDE community. People love experimenting with the Plasma Desktop and had fun trying out our applications. Plasma Mobile was also a hot topic of discussion and attendees were very eager to know the updates regarding it. Among the visitors to our booth, there were a lot of college students interested in joining our community and contributing to open source projects in general.
Attendees of all ages showed a keen interest towards our GCompris Application, with lots of kids enjoying playing educational games. One of the attendees was part of the education administration of a local school district and even expressed some interest in integrating the application as a beta at a few schools.
This was the first time we offered swag at our booth and the Katie and Konqui Stickers were a big hit in attracting attendees to our booth.
We went into this conference with a specific goal of outreach and spreading the word about KDE. I believe we succeeded quite a bit as we got a chance to work at a grass-roots level. We managed to uncover the next generation of open source contributors who are excited about the future of KDE.
This entire event would not have been possible without Drew Adams and the entire OpenSuse community. They played a huge role in helping us get a foothold at this conference. On behalf of all of KDE, we want to thank them and acknowledge all the hard work that they put into making this event happen.
All-American High School Film Festival
By Simon Redman
The All-American High School Film Festival (hereafter, A-AHSFF) is a week-long event hosted in New York City. Students can submit their short films in advance, and at the event, there are exhibitions and rewards for the best-judged films. There is also a tech fair, in 2022 it was on the 22nd of October. KDE community member Nataniel Farzan is one of this year’s selected entrants, and negotiated a booth for KDE at the tech fair!
Our plan was to inform attendees about Kdenlive, KDE's full-featured video-editing software, increase the userbase and, with a bit of luck, get it introduced to schools were film-making was taught.
Philip and I arrived in plenty of time, an hour before the festival started. This turned out to be good, because the venue had an extreme shortage of power outlets and none close to our booth! There was only one outlet in the whole area. I had a long extension cord, but not long enough to run all the way across the room. Happily, we didn’t need much power to run three laptops, so the people setting up the booth in front of the outlet let us plug into their power strip.
With that out of the way, we plugged my power strip into the extension cord, covered the extension cord with mats also kindly offered by the Fotocare booth to prevent a tripping hazard, and got everything set up.
Krita turned out to be a great addition to the demo. Students loved doodling with the pen touchscreens, and several attendees were interested in it for its ability to do animation.
I spoke with exactly one person (a student) who knew what Kdenlive was. So I needed a proactive strategy. Across from our booth, the huge lights of the Fotocare booth could not be missed. So I used this to our advantage. As groups or individual students came to admire the lights, I would intercept them and ask simply, "Can I give you a sticker?"
After all, who doesn’t want a sticker? I gave away a lot of stickers this way. Most visitors would say "Yes", after which point I had their attention and could present my quick pitch. "This is for Kdenlive, free video editing software written by volunteers."
To be honest, I am surprised at how well my short pitch worked. Some (say, 15%) students were just not interested, and responded with some form of "Ok, thanks for the sticker" and wandered off.
But most were at least intrigued, at which point I would launch into my second phase: "It’s totally free, it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it supports Adobe file formats. It’s running on these laptops, please feel free to have a seat and try it out." The second phrase evolved a lot over the day, trying to head off the questions I had already received, like "What do you mean, free? Is there a subscription?" and "Are you a startup?"
Nearly every attendee who heard this part of my pitch would look at the laptops and examine them for a few seconds, maybe prod the computer, and most (say, 80%) would leave with some form of "Cool! I’ll check it out." I imagine by the time their long day is over, most students will have forgotten. But hopefully, a few will find their stickers and remember to install them.
Finally, there was the rarer group of students who would actually sit down, and were really interested. This happened about 10 times throughout the event, but those students were really engaged. I’m pretty confident they’ll look for their sticker and install Kdenlive.
At the same time that we were trying to engage students, I was trying to pick out and engage those adults who were not just parents wandering around after their darting children, but educators who had expressed
interest in putting Kdenlive in their classrooms. Before the event got fully underway, I started an online form to collect data from interested educators. This form also evolved throughout the event, but I intentionally kept it short and simple. Just an email entry, a few checkboxes, and a field for "anything else" (largely for our usage, so we could keep notes about them!)
We chatted with quite a few educators and everyone I chatted with put their information into my form. The overwhelming response was "Wow, this is so cool, I can send this home with my students so they can work when their school laptop (and thus, Adobe subscription) isn’t available." I remember one educator who primarily worked for a large, wealthy university, but in the summers teaching at a poorer school where he was excited to bring Kdenlive. Another educator said his school district paid for Adobe subscriptions, but that would end as soon as his students graduated, and he was excited to be able to offer them Kdenlive as a replacement.
Overall, I am very happy with how the festival turned out. We reached lots of excited students, I suspect many of them will try Kdenlive shortly. Moreover, we reached many excited educators, who thought Kdenlive would fit in their classroom in one way or another.
By Blumen Herzenschein
From the 2nd to the 4th of November, I traveled from São Paulo to Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, to tend the KDE booth at the biggest free software event in Latin America, Latinoware 2022. I joined up with two great people who have been attending Latinoware for many years: Pedro and Barbara, and who have been contributing to KDE longer than I have.
By the time I arrived, the booth was open. The booth consisted of a small space of about 2 by 4 meters. At the back, we had a blue KDE banner, a glass table and three chairs, and at the front, a booth counter where dozens of stickers, bookmarkers and keychains were being distributed while Barbara and Pedro were presenting KDE to the attendees.
Initially, I assisted Pedro with distributing 3D-printed key-chains. Barbara was focusing on presenting Krita and Kdenlive, which are her specialities as a content creator and journalist. Pedro was focusing on community-oriented matters and presenting our groups and social media, especially KDE Brazil's Telegram channel, the most popular group we have in Brazil.
I brought my laptop to showcase things but I still needed to finish tweaking it. I also needed a proper Internet connection. When Barbara went to lunch, I got the chance to be the main speaker for a while. Barbara’s gaming laptop was used to showcase her work and the animation she made in Kdenlive for the event. Pedro used his laptop to showcase KDE Connect as well as other programs.
In the afternoon, things got hectic at the booth. People were loving the 3D-printed key-chains. Did I mention the key-chains, stickers and bookmarkers were all made by Barbara at her print shop using exclusively free software?
At a certain point, without noticing, I started talking nonstop at the booth. First a quick mention of what KDE (the community) is, and that we provide both a graphical desktop environment – I’d use the swipe gesture to hide all windows to say, "I mean this beautiful thing you can see over here. That is for Linux and is called Plasma. But we also provide a collection of applications" and I’d use the menu to unhide all windows and show a busy overview. "Most of them are cross-platform and run on Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and even on Linux for phones!".
On the second day, I went to the booth earlier and took a walk around the surroundings. Our booth was next to the Linux Professional Institute booth, and saw Jon "Maddog" Hall with a Santa hat. A few booths to the side was the Debian booth. To our right and towards the back there was 3D-printing booths.
Back at the KDE booth, I had prepared eight virtual desktops, each to showcase one or two programs at a time. On the first I had Firefox, with links to the Krita, Kdenlive, Plasma Mobile, and KDE websites. One the next desktop I had opened KDE's file managers, Dolphin and Index. Another showcased two popular text editros: Ghostwriter and Kate. The Okular PDF viewer came up next, and then Elisa, a music player. On another desktop I had a video player and streaming app called Haruna, and then KDE's Subtitle Composer. Finally I showcased the Discover app manager, and Plasma's System Settings app.
At Latinoware, the booths played a supplementary role to the main show, the talks. Barbara herself had two talking slots at the event: "How a print shop can work with free software", and "3D Printing in schools". On both occasions, while Barbara was away, Pedro and I tended the booth.
Three talks were of particular interest to KDE: "How to live without Photoshop" and "Showing how to use free software for graphics design", both by Elias Silveira; and "Videography with free software", by Carlos Eduardo Cruz, aka Cadunico.
The third day was the slowest, but also the day I found most tiring. I was starting to feel myself getting voiceless from so much speaking in the few days I had been there. Despite that, I was still enjoying being the main speaker.
Fairly early on in the day, the keychains ran out.
I feel like I should mention how much stuff we had to distribute. The list of things we brought to give away to the people visiting our booth was as follows:
30 Konqi and Katie sticker sets (for kids)
120 KDE logo stickers
90 Konqi stickers with a white background
90 Konqi stickers with a blue background
140 Kdenlive stickers
324 white vinyl KDE logo stickers
324 blue vinyl KDE logo stickers
200 KDE 3D keychains
800 KDE bookmarkers
We distributed everything entirely for free, and everything was entirely made with free software.
Despite the fact that each person would grab multiple stickers and bookmarkers together, we can safely say that this three-day venture was a huge success. Several hundred people attended our booth, the majority of which would leave knowing more about KDE and the software we provide. They also took away with them bookmarkers printed with links to our Brazilian KDE website.
Based on my perception of people’s reactions, they loved everything, and many attendees were unaware that actual free software existed for educational purposes. The idea that KDE provided an entire suite of educational software was like icing on the cake.
A huge success:
We distributed over 1100 stickers, 800 bookmarks, and 200 keychains.
Visiting artists painted 3 pictures in front of people using Krita.
From the 7th to the 9th of November, a bunch of KDE community members attended Ubuntu Summit in the Czech Republic. The Ubuntu Summits stopped being held a decade ago, but have now been revived.
A group of KDE contributors were invited to this latest edition, and Adriaan "Ade" de Groot (maintainer of the Calamares installer), Scarlett Moore (Snap package builder), Aleix Pol i Gonzàlez (developer of the Discover software manager), Harald Sitter (KDE neon dev), Luca Weiss (OpenRazer dev that hangs around KDE) and me (who does KDE neon) took off to Prague.
Unlike the old Ubuntu Developer Summits, this wasn’t aimed at planning the next Ubuntu release, as they had already spent the last two weeks in the same hotel doing that. Instead, the event was a fun sharing of ideas, where people gave talks and workshops on what they were working on.
Scarlett and I gave a lightning talk on KDE Snaps and Scarlett extended our work by giving a workshop on the topic. KDE has over 100 apps in the Snap store, a great way to get KDE software promptly.
Ade gave a talk about his Calamares distro installer and compared it to Ubuntu’s installer which is being rewritten in Flutter. He also talked about KDE Frameworks. Harald gave talks on KDE neon and the secrets of KDE Plasma. Aleix spoke about the KDE community and what we do.
Adam Szopa works for KDE and also Canonical and he gave a talk on Linux gaming, Apparently, Canonical has a whole team just to get gaming working well.
It was great to catch up with Erich Eickmeyer who makes Ubuntu Studio and works for Kubuntu Focus selling laptops with Plasma. Ubuntu Studio ships with Plasma of course. I spoke to him about Wayland and he says the next release (for Ubuntu plus Plasma) is looking great for Wayland.
It was also great to meet Simon Quigley who does Lubuntu and has worked on Kubuntu. LxQt is a lightweight Linux desktop and probably one of the largest users of KDE Frameworks outside KDE. They use KScreen, KIdleTime, Solid, KWindowSystem and probably other Frameworks.
There was also a performance by Lorenzo’s Music, an open source band that create on Github using Ubuntu Studio and Kdenlive. They gave a great performance on the riverboat cruise under the Charles bridge in Prague.
Qt World Summit
By Aniqa Khokhar
Qt World Summit was held online on the 9th of November 2022. Qt World Summit is an event where you can hear the latest news on Qt technology, software tools and features and learn from other Qt users around the world.
Joseph De Veaugh-Geiss represented KDE and gave a talk on "KDE Eco: Achievements, Impact, and To-Do's". In this talk, Joseph talked about Okular receiving the Blue Angel eco-label and the research being carried out by KDE community members into methods of energy consumption measurements, setting up a community lab at KDAB Berlin, and developing tools for measuring software, among others.
The talk opened up opportunities for broader collaboration between Qt and KDE Eco, and provided practical examples for sustainability initiatives going forward.
By Aniqa Khokhar
QtCon Brasil was held online from 21st to 26th November 2022. QtCon Brazil is a space where Brazilians and Latin Americans can meet to do business and exchange experiences related to Qt technology.
KDE was the silver sponsor of the event, and KDE developers Tomaz Canabravaand Nicolas Fella gave talks related to KDE.
Tomaz Canabrava gave a talk on "Konsole: Keeping the Terminal Relevant in the Age of GUIs". This talk discussed how Qt has helped develop Konsole, one of the most widely used terminals in the world, on Unix, and what aspects Konsole has implemented to stay relevant in a world where the use of graphical tools is constantly increasing.
Nicolas Fella gave a Keynote on "KDE’s journey to Qt 6". The KDE Community has been developing software with Qt for 25 years. Some of the code has been ported across all major versions of Qt. With Qt 6 being released, the next major version transition is coming. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the community.
This talk presented the work that has gone into, and is planned for the Qt 6 transition, the challenges we face and the design decisions that need making. It highlighted which aspects of the Qt 6 transition are going to be difficult and how new features of Qt 6 are going to benefit KDE. Attendees were able to use KDE’s experience to plan and estimate the workload to port their own projects.
By Jonathan Esk-Riddell
OpenUK is an advocacy organisation for open tech (software, hardware and data) in the UK. We run various activities and I have had the privilege of hosting the award ceremony for the last few years.
Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, I announced KDE Eco, the KDE project to measure and certify apps as energy efficient. KDE Eco has two parts, FOSS Energy Efficiency Project, developing tools to improve energy efficiency in free and open source software development; and Blauer Engel For FOSS, working with the German Environment Agency to create eco-certification with the Blauer Engel label for desktop software.
This year our ceremony was held on the 30th of November at the House of Lords in the UK parliament. The host was Francis Maud, a member of the House of Lords who, as a minister a decade ago, created gov.uk, a single website for many government services with policies for open data and open formats.
At the House of Lords I gave an update on KDE Eco on St Andrews day. I was pleased to talk about how Okular, our PDF and docs reader, had become the first software product to receive the Blue Angel eco-label.
The link was because one of the awards we present at the OpenUK Awards is for sustainability.
The nominations on the shortlist for the sustainability award were:
Szymon Duchniewicz for Carbon Aware SDK -- an SDK to enable the creation of carbon-aware applications, applications. These applications will do more when the electricity is clean and do less when the electricity is dirty, and will help organizations achieve Net Zero for carbon emissions.
Devtank, a company focused on sustainability and reducing their customer's carbon footprint to Net Zero using Open Source licensed solutions. Devtank delivers energy management and control systems to businesses and local authorities, nationwide. If a potential customer is looking to decarbonize their business and monitor the environmental performance, they can use Devtank's Open Smart Monitor ENV01 to do so.
Fergus Kidd, Carbon CI Pipeline Tooling, provides a feasible way to measure carbon generated by cloud infrastructure as part of the software development lifecycle.
Scores from our judges were high for all of these but the final trophy went to Carbon Aware SDK by Szymon Duchniewicz. Congratulations to Szymon and all the nominees.
By Ben Cooksley
The 2022 year was an incredibly busy year for Sysadmin, with many long awaited projects being delivered.
The most visible of these was the general availability of full CI services natively within Gitlab, which had been partially completed last year. This was subsequently followed by support for Qt 6 on several platforms to support the coming transition from Qt 5 to Qt 6. Work to scope what is needed for Gitlab to replace the Binary Factory was also completed.
Improvements were also made to our Single Sign On setup, with a significant number of services migrating from KDE Identity to our new Gitlab based setup with only a small number of services left to migrate. We also significantly upgraded the server that hosts our BigBlueButton instance, allowing for larger online meetings to be held at any time.
The replacement of older systems also picked up pace, with our bulk storage system being replaced and preparations being made for the replacement of our primary web servers and email server. The continued migration to Gitlab authentication and these server replacements promise a busy year ahead for 2023.
Financial Working Group
By Eike Hein, Marta Rybczynska and Till Adam
2022 was a more financially eventful year for the organization than the previous COVID-19 pandemic years. After remaining fiscally conservative in 2020 and 2021 to keep the organization resilient in uncertain economic times, our goals for 2022 included not only overall growth in income and expenses, but also a carefully planned drawdown of our accumulated financial reserve in pursuit of our mission. This last goal had been on the organization's agenda for some time; the pandemic presented us with setbacks along the way. Starting in 2022, we have brought this goal back into focus.
Accordingly, we announced plans to return to in-person events and support travel (particularly around our flagship Akademy event) in 2022, and continued to execute on our staff growth strategy by adding positions. Our ability to execute to plan, from budgeting to execution, proved up to the challenge. The 19% increase in our total annual revenue to EUR 285,000 was within 1.5% of our goals and projections. The 76% increase in our total annual expenses to $385,000 - the first time in many years that KDE e.V. spent more than it earned, as we had intended - fell short of the extremely ambitious North Star goals we had set for ourselves (a total of $512,000). However, even here, the performance was much closer to plan than in previous years.
Digging deeper into the numbers, we saw modest revenue growth across all major categories - corporate donors, individual donors, and event sponsorships. Individual sponsorships continue to perform well, with a 16% increase in 2022 - additional individual fundraising opportunities, including the introduction of GitHub Sponsors for our code mirrors on the platform, contributed to this trend. Akademy sponsorships grew by 34%, largely due to increased pricing on sponsorship packages in line with the return to an in-person event format. Revenue from Google's student internship program continued to decline year over year.
On the expense side, our staff costs increased by 39% from 2021 to 2022, largely due to additional contracted positions, as well as inflationary adjustments and other developments in the compensation of our existing contractors. Our flagship event, the Academy, had a total cost of €72,000 in 2022 - a record for the conference due to a combination of unusually high venue costs and a travel support budget designed to signal and encourage the community's return to travel.
Taking stock of the first few months of the current year 2023, we continue to execute a very similar strategy. With additional contract positions now filled, we are slowly increasing our fundraising activity to sustain this volume over the long term. This was also started in 2022, with dedicated fundraising campaigns for subprojects such as Kdenlive, and a return of the KDE year-end fundraiser (all of which more than met their goals -- we continue to be very grateful to our many donors). Also in 2023, we were able to announce two additional corporate donors, Kubuntu Focus and g10 Code GmbH. Akademy, meanwhile, will aim to break even again in the coming years.
In addition to setting goals, we continue to improve our ability to predict and manage our financial journey. In 2023, the KDE e.V. Treasurer and Financial Working Group have already invested significant time and effort in upgrading the organization's financial toolchain, setting up new dashboards and preparing to provide access to sub-project teams to distribute budgeting and controlling to additional levels of the organization.
Supporting members & donations:
GSoC and Code in:
Taxes and Insurance:
By Aniqa Khokhar
KDE's work is made possible thanks to the contributions from KDE Community members, donors and companies that support us. In 2022, two fundraising campaigns were launched and successfully completed.
The first campaign, the Kdenlive Fundraiser, was created to support Kdenlive contributors. The aim was to raise €20,000, and the campaign exceeded expectations and raised over €21,000, and is still drawing in donations.
The money raised will go towards financing the development of new features, like nested timelines, a new effects panel, and making keyframing more powerful. Developers will also be able to improve the overall performance of Kdenlive, making it faster, more responsive, and even more fun to work with.
End of Year Fundraiser
The second campaign, the End of Year Fundraiser, had a goal of raising €20,000 and also surpaased that figure and reached over €25,000 before the end of year.
The funds raised will support KDE's efforts to continue developing its spectacular Plasma desktop and all the apps you need for education, productivity, and creative work. It will also hep to finance Akademy, other community events and sprints.
The campaign was successful in attracting a large number of donors, who helped KDE continue to be able to offer users, contributors and community members better services and support, develop applications and frameworks, and support hardware platforms.
The success of these fundraising campaigns is a significant milestone for KDE and highlights the importance of fundraising for the community. The funds raised will provide valuable resources for the growth of KDE, its community, its commitment towards its projects and Free Software and how everybody can benefit from it.
By Nate Graham
Like in previous reports, this isn’t in any way, shape, or form a list of everything that happened in KDE during 2022; it’s just an overview of the big things we noticed happening during the year.
Overall 2022 was a good year for getting KDE software into more people’s hands through hardware.
Linux hardware vendor TUXEDO Computers started shipping Plasma by default on all of their machines.
KFocus, makers of Kubuntu-based hardware, added some new machines to their line-up, all shipping KDE Plasma and apps by default.
Slimbook released a new version of their KDE Slimbook laptopThe KDE Slimbook IV improves on the previous model, which was already excellent.
Finally, the Steam Deck became a smash hit, selling over a million devices worldwide and introducing as many people to the world of KDE.
This year, KDE did a third round of goal-picking, cementing this process as a key part of KDE’s culture. The three goals chosen were "KDE For All" (accessibility), "Sustainable Software", and "Automate And Systematize Internal Processes". Check out the Featured article above for more details.
KDE's Bugzilla got a re-organization to make it easier for normal people to figure out where to submit a bug report.
KDE also got a better donation and fundraising platform, powered by Donorbox. This makes it much simpler for people to donate to KDE e.V..
This year KDE contributors spent an enormous amount of time porting KDE software to Qt 6, the latest version of the Qt toolkit. The work is now more than half done, with most common software and nearly all of Plasma already completed. You can see the progress here.
Porting KDE software to Wayland made enormous progress in 2023. Slimbook started shipping their new KDE Slimbook laptops with Wayland by default, following Fedora KDE 34 doing the same in late 2021. Our list of showstoppers continued to shrink, and new issues added to it were notably less bad then the ones they replaced. There were discussions about defaulting to Wayland in Plasma 6 in 2023, either for the inaugural release or one of the ones soon after it.
Among many other changes, we got custom window tiling layouts; massive stability improvements for multi-monitor workflows; Wayland fractional scaling; non-blurry scaled XWayland apps; a UI overhaul for Discover; many KRunner UX improvements; mouse button re-binding; resizable Panel popups; finger-following touchpad gestures on Wayland; support for alternate calendars such as the Chinese lunar calendar and Islamic civil calendar; picking-and-choosing what you want to apply from Global Themes; accent color generated from the wallpaper’s dominant color; full-window tinting with the accent color; and a lot more.
KDE has so many apps that we really can’t possibly do them justice here! Nevertheless, here’s an extremely small assortment:
Kdenlive developers added many new effects throughout 2022, implemented a new Guides and Markers dock, and worked on integrating Glaxnimate with Kdenlive, giving video editors a powerful new tool of adding animations into their work. In non-technical news, the Kdenlive developers and KDE fundraiser team ran and successfully completed a fundraiser campaign to finance adding some long-planned features and improvements to Kdenlive.
Krita got a storyboard editor for animations, a recorder to make those cool-looking speed-painting videos, added more operations that can handle multiple layers, and improved the code of KDE's powerful painting and design program across the board.
digiKam, KDE's image manager and organizer for the professional and keen photographer, updated its code base to increase stability and iron out bugs, added support for more image formats, improved features like face recognition, and updated and expanded its documentation.
Dolphin got a new Selection Mode, a new (optional) list view selection style, the ability to browse iOS devices using their native afc:// protocol, an eject button in the sidebar list items of ejectable/unmountable volumes.
Gwenview gained features to annotate images and edit their brightness, contrast, and gamma.
Kate and KWrite got welcome screens, KHamburgerMenu support, searchable settings windows, keyboard macro support, and even more massive UX and feature improvements of all kinds due to an influx of new contributors and a higher tempo of regular development work.
Konsole got Sixel support, adopted KHamburgerMenu, added a plugin to save and restore text snippets, and moved its tab bar to the top of the view by default.
Spectacle was ported to Kirigami, given integrated screen recording support on Wayland, and now lets you annotate in Rectangular Region mode.
Filelight was ported to Kirigami and gained a sidebar.
Ark got a welcome screen, KHamburgerMenu support, and overhauled toolbar contents.
Elisa gained support for displaying auto-scrolling lyrics from songs using embedded LRC lyrics, .pls playlists, a real Full Screen mode, and improved presentation in Artists view, touchscreen UX improvements and overhauled playlist styling.
NeoChat got encrypted chat support and a boatload of features and UI improvements!
Thoughts from Partners
Since the beginning of SLIMBOOK, we have always wanted to contribute to the communities, applications, and developers that make Linux possible. KDE and its community are perhaps the most active and enriching in Linux. It was impossible for us not to join them and make our contribution to activate the Linux ecosystem.
That's why we launched the first KDE Slimbook in 2017. We couldn't be happier and more grateful for these 6 years and 4 generations of laptops. Long live KDE and the community-driven projects. Regardless of our condition, origin, or creed, Linux has brought us all together and made us better humans.
Alejandro López, CEO at Slimbook
Much of the perceived success of open source today is at a commercial level where the power of innovation unleashed by our collaborations underpins the mightiest innovations, from AI to our national infrastructure. Yet for me what matters most is the people who build this code, contributors and maintainers building the base software such as operating systems like Ubuntu and KDE.
I have served on the KDE Advisory Board for several years and what drew me to the Board is how this project supports people. I’ve never met a KDE contributor I didn’t like, as we consistently have shared values and I appreciate the work they put in to making technology what it is today.
Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK
KDAB and KDE go back to the very beginning of KDE, bound by our joint appreciation of the Qt framework as well an abiding belief in the importance of the developer experience. Both KDAB and KDE have fostered communities of excellence where cooperation is key to success. KDAB is glad to support KDE’s continuing drive to innovate diverse, open source applications “for everyone”.
Till Adam, Chief Commercial Officer at KDAB
Not just that we became KDE patron - our TUXEDO_OS will be from now on with KDE Plasma Desktop, as it offers a wealth of customization options. In addition, KDE Plasma Desktop enjoys great popularity alongside Gnome.
The progress that KDE and Plasma made through the last year is amazing! The Plasma desktop evolves to the leading desktop environment and to the most powerfull tool that the Linux ecosystem has to make the coming year the year of the Linux Desktop, finally.
We're happy to be a part of the KDE Community and are trying to support KDE and it's community as good as possible. We're looking forward to more events, more talks, more products and more fun. 🙂
We're sure that the step to chose the Plasma Desktop as our main desktop environment for TUXEDO OS was the right desicion and are looking forward to Plasma 6.
Herbert Feiler, CEO TUXEDO Computers
KDE e.V. welcomed the following new members in 2022:
The KDE Advisory Board is a group of representatives of KDE e.V.'s patrons and other select organizations that are close to KDE's mission and community. It currently has 13 members, and there is a KDE e.V. working group with community members acting as direct contacts for our partners.
In 2021, we held two calls with our Advisory Board partners, one in January and one in October, with the goal always being to inform the members of the Board, receive feedback and discuss topics of common interest. The calls covered several topics, including updates on the status of Qt and the role of the KDE Free Qt Foundation, KDE's Community Goals, and our partnerships with hardware vendors regarding products that are shipping or will be shipped with KDE technologies.
We also discussed changes within the e.V.'s organization, our staff and contractors, and the new job ads we planned to publish to further support the KDE community and its products. Finally, the members were briefed on the status of our major events (Akademy, LAS) and all the sprints that took place remotely.
The Advisory Board is a place and a symbol of KDE’s collaboration with other organizations and communities firmly standing behind the ideals of Free and Open Source Software.
Its current members include Blue Systems, Canonical, City of Munich, Debian, FOSS Nigeria, FSF, FSFE, g10 Code, Kubuntu Focus, OpenUK, OSI, Slimbook, SUSE, The Document Foundation, The Qt Company, and TUXEDO Computers.
Current community partners: Qt Project, Lyx, and Verein Randa Meetings.
About KDE e.V.
KDE e.V. is a registered non-profit organization that represents the KDE Community in legal and financial matters. The KDE e.V.'s purpose is the promotion and distribution of free desktop software in terms of free software, and the program package "K Desktop Environment (KDE)" in particular, to promote the free exchange of knowledge and equality of opportunity in accessing software as well as education, science and research.
Report prepared by Aniqa Khokhar and Paul Brown, with help and sections written by Aleix Pol, Jonathan Esk-Riddell, Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss, Nate Graham, Plasma Team, the Plasma Mobile Team and the Promo Team at large.