KDE Bugsquad – Kickoff with Krita! – Part 2 on October 2nd, 2018

Thank you everyone who participated in the first Bugsquad event! We saw the team page on Phabricator double in membership, and had seven people contribute triaging bugs. Thank you xyquadrat, emmet, spaliwal, eoinoneill, and jtamate! Many of them continued triaging past their assigned blocks, knocking out the majority of the bugs. Absolute rockstars!

The KDE Bugsquad is back for Part 2 of joining forces with the Krita team as part of their Squash All the Bugs fundraiser!

We will be holding the second Bug Day on October 2nd, 2018, focusing on bugs reported on Krita. Join at any time, the event will be occurring all day long!

This is a great opportunity for anyone, especially non-developers to get involved!

  1. Mascot_konqi-support-bughunt.pngCheck out our Bug Triaging guide for a primer on how to go about confirming and triaging bugs.
  2. Log into KDE Phabricator and join the Bugsquad!
  3. Join the #kde-bugs IRC channel on Freenode to chat with us in real-time as we go through the list.
  4. Open the shared Etherpad for this event (use your KDE Identity login) to select your block of bugs and cross them off.

If you need any help, contact me!

Advertisements

How I Got Involved in KDE

Since this blog is starting after the beginning of my contributions to KDE, the first few regular posts will be explaining my prior contributions, before moving into the present.

Continuity, right?

I’d also like to outline how I got involved in development, as an entry-level/non-programmer. I hope this will be helpful for those interested in helping, but unsure how to go about doing something useful.

Konqui_dev_close_cropped.pngI was introduced to the idea of developing for KDE by Nate Graham and his Usability & Productivity goal. I was immediately drawn to the idea of polishing the applications, like I stated in my first post. But how do I get started? I mean, besides the technical stuff. How do I find something easy to work on? I’m not a programmer by trade, so while we do have the Junior Jobs, a lot of those seemed out of my reach. So what to do?

One of the Usability & Productivity posts from Nate mentioned icons being added to the menus in an app. I looked at the linked code that was changed, and noticed how simple it was! I can do that! So I searched through the Junior Jobs, and Phabricator (KDE’s development and code review platform) for applications that needed some icons added to their menu. I found some tasks, and set to work:

Check out the screenshots in those links! Here is an example:

It really makes the app look nicer, right? If you scroll down in those pages and look at the code changes, you will see they are basically simple one-liners that are copy/pasted from elsewhere, with a different icon name. Easy!

You could help do easy tasks like this too!

Visit KDE’s Get Involved page for more information, or contact me!

KDE Bugsquad – Kickoff with Krita! – Part 1 on September 15th, 2018

More long and thoughtful posts like the prior one will be coming. But right now I have an important announcement! I have resurrected the KDE Bugsquad, and we have our first official Bug Day on Saturday!

The KDE Bugsquad is back! We can think of no better way to celebrate than joining forces with the Krita team as part of their Squash All the Bugs fundraiser!

We will be holding the first Bug Day on September 15th, 2018, focusing on bugs reported on Krita. Expect events to kick off at 10:00 AM EDT.

This is a great opportunity for anyone, especially non-developers to get involved!

  1. Mascot_konqi-support-bughunt.pngCheck out our Bug Triaging guide for a primer on how to go about confirming and triaging bugs.
  2. Log into KDE Phabricator and join the Bugsquad!
  3. Join the #kde-bugs IRC channel on Freenode to chat with us in real-time as we go through the list.
  4. Open the shared Etherpad for this event (use your KDE Identity login) to select your block of bugs and cross them off.

If you need any help, contact me!

My Linux Desktop Manifesto

It’s time.

27 years after the creation of Linux, I firmly believe, we are finally at a point of quality usability for the Linux desktop. “The year of the Linux Desktop” has been a joke for a long time, as the fractured FLOSS community has struggled to gain a footing on the average desktop.

There’s a reason.

The community has always prided itself in its choice. Don’t like something? Replace it. Want to change something? Fork it. Choice is great, and a free individual certainly appreciates it. But, it hinders development. Let’s be honest, there aren’t a ton of us working on the desktop. What small community has been hard at work over all of these years, has always been split. Just in desktop environments we have GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, Deepin, etc. And that’s not listing off all of the dead projects over the years. Same goes for the applications, we have two or three or four relatively popular applications that fill the same needs, in every area. We rebase, refactor, rewrite, rebuild, replace, rework. We duplicate efforts endlessly.

But, even with this fracturing and duplication of work, we finally have a solid base to use. I’ve been using Linux for 15+ years, all of them as a desktop. I’ve witnessed its evolution, its hardships, its victories. 2018 is the year I’ve finally witnessed the Linux Desktop “just work”. The installers are easy, the applications are mature, the desktop environments are capable and stable. Drivers auto-detect, configuration auto-define, graphics auto-adjust. Networked printers of all things, automatically detect and install. It’s all quite impressive.

We need to consolidate and focus.

We need to focus on what will attract more users. We need to focus on what will attract more developers. We need to focus on what is working well, and polish it up. Eliminate that hacked together, pseudo-functional feeling of much FLOSS software over the past 30+ years.

Not long ago I became a convert.

I used to be a huge GNOME fan. Starting out in the early years, I enjoyed the GNOME design, especially the much lauded GNOME 2.x series. One of the features of GNOME, even in the early years, was its use of designers to craft the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines. The HIG helped create a harmonious and pleasing system, one that removed much of the hacked together and clunky designs of FLOSS software. Upon the release of GNOME 3.x, the HIG was modified to drastically simplify applications. A simplification that many reviewers believe went too far, even stepping past Apple-level simplifications.

The average person wants a system that can be simple, fast, easy, and powerful when needed. They want something familiar to them. Considering Microsoft Windows still holds almost 90% market share, they want something that looks like and works like, Microsoft Windows. Like it or not, we need to support traditional Windows-style work flow to attract more people.

The best environment for these requirements is KDE Plasma.

After my third GNOME 3.x crash in a week, causing my profile to corrupt and be wiped, I had enough. I spent some time re-evaluating the Linux desktop environments, and after a few tests, I have settled on KDE Plasma. Originally reluctant, due to my bias towards it from experiences a decade old, I sit here duly impressed. Yes, there is MATE, Cinnamon, Budgie, and XFCE that offer the traditional Windows-like desktop experience. But I believe KDE Plasma surpasses those in performance, modern design enhancements, and customization.

I hereby declare my time and energies toward ensuring KDE Plasma is the best Linux desktop environment. The default selection for a new user, and an obvious choice for business use. Plasma is simple and elegant, yet advanced and powerful. It’s defaults are very similar to Windows. The average person would love this desktop.

If they knew it existed.