After many years of the lovely Nuno working on artwork without much success in creating a community the all new KDE Visual Design Group has got something exiting going with people working on a new widget theme, new Plasma theme, new font, new wallpaper, new icons and new cursor theme. Exciting. Best of all in chatting with designer Jens today it turns out most of the designers use Kubuntu – the first choice for classy artists.
This week has been bitter-sweet. On the one hand, we announced that a project many of us had poured our hearts and minds into was going to be shut down. It’s made many of us sad and some of us haven’t even figured out what to do with their files yet :)
On the other hand, we’ve been laser-focused on making Ubuntu on phones and tablets a success, our attention has moved to making sure we have a rock-solid, scalable, secure and pleasant to use for developers and users alike. We just didn’t have the time to continue racing against other companies whose only focus is on file syncing, which was very frustrating as we saw a project we were proud of be left behind. It was hard to keep feeling proud of the service, so shutting it down felt like the right thing to do.
I am, however, very excited about open sourcing the server-side of the file syncing infrastructure. It’s a huge beast that contains many services and has scaled well into the millions of users.
We are proud of the code that is being released and in many ways we feel that the code itself was successful despite the business side of things not turning out the way we hoped for.
This will be a great opportunity to those of you who’ve been itching to have an open source service for personal cloud syncing at scale, the code comes battle-tested and with a wide array of features.
As usual, some people have taken this generous gesture “as an attempt to gain interest in a failing codebase”, which couldn’t be more wrong. The agenda here is to make Ubuntu for phones a runaway success, and in order to do that we need to double down on our efforts and focus on what matters right now.
Instead of storing away those tens of thousands of expensive man-hours of work in an internal repository somewhere, we’ve decided to share that work with the world, allow others to build on top of that work, benefit from it.
It’s hard sometimes to see some people trying to make a career out of trying to make everything that Canonical does as inherently evil, although at the end of the day what matters is making open source available to the masses. That’s what we’ve been doing for a long time and that’s the only thing that will count in the end.
So in the coming months we’re going to be cleaning things up a bit, trying to release the code in the best shape possible and work out the details on how to best release it to make it useful for others.
All of us who worked on this project for so many years are looking forward to sharing it and look forward to seeing many open source personal cloud syncing services blossoming from it.
This week, as well as being a centrefold model in a tabloid rag, another of my life ambitions came true when I had the glory of being the release dude. Plasma 2014.6 is the first version of Plasma using KDE Frameworks 5 and the developers are hard at work coding on it. The release schedule required an Alpha so I was tasked with working out how to release some tars.
This is a very exciting release because it's the start of the next evolution of KDE Software. No major feature overhauls just a solid codebase to work from using nice technologies like QtQuick.
This is also a very boring release because it's made up of kde-workspace and kde-runtime both of which are about to disappear as the archive gets modularised. kde-runtime also overlaps with much of the kde-runtime from KDE SC 4 land so you can't install it alongside your normal KDE install. We'll fix that.
I also included a release of Oxygen Fonts which is the new feature font for Plasma. The developer of this has renamed it due to trademark issues to Comme Font but there's some alignment issues in Comme Font, plus it needs a copy of Font Forge from git to generate the .ttf files which nobody seems to be able to compile. Please tell me how if you can.
Packages are in the Kubuntu Experimental PPA for anyone who wants to try but we're still working out all the dependencies etc. And it'll remove your existing KDE install, so you take your chances :)
It's the start of something amazing...
The big news for this version is that we included a new “apt” binary that combines the most commonly used commands from apt-get and apt-cache. The commands are the same as their apt-get/apt-cache counterparts but with slightly different configuration options.
Currently the apt binary supports the following commands:
- list: which is similar to dpkg list and can be used with flags like
--installed or --upgradable.
- search: works just like apt-cache search but sorted alphabetically.
- show: works like apt-cache show but hide some details that people are less likely to care about (like the hashes). The full record is still available via apt-cache show of course.
- update: just like the regular apt-get update with color output enabled.
- install,remove: adds progress output during the dpkg run.
- upgrade: the same as apt-get dist-upgrade –with-new-pkgs.
- full-upgrade: a more meaningful name for dist-upgrade.
- edit-sources: edit sources.list using $EDITOR.
You can enable/disable the install progress via:# echo 'Dpkg::Progress-Fancy "1"' > /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99progressbar
If you have further suggestions or bugreport about APT, get in touch and most importantly, have fun!