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!

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7 thoughts on “How I Got Involved in KDE

  1. ‘I was introduced to the idea of developing for KDE by Nate Graham and his Usability & Productivity goal.’

    Same story here! It got me interested in areas I had no thought of understanding before. Hopefully more people like you and Nate will uncover some of the ”mysteries” and not just people within KDE, but all communities. Maybe I’ll make a blog myself when I become a little more confident on contributing. Often it feels like you need to be a ninja programmer or super technical to get started somewhere, that shoves non-programmers away. That’s really unfortunate as programming is not the only area that needs love, non-programmers can take some burden off from programmers, improving unloved areas that do not require a programmer can be what it takes to get a few more heads involved, and non-programmers sometimes end up becoming programmers themselves. Feel no expectations, but as said, I would love to see a lot more of this! Thank you for sharing your journey! 🙂

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  2. The “Delete” and “Move To” icons could be improved. Clearly they’ve been scaled to HiDPI in their dimensions but not their line thickness. Compare the “Delete” icon to the “Trash” icon above it. Compare the “Move To” icon to the diagonals of the “Rename” icon and the “Open With” arrow.

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    1. That’s some good feedback for the Breeze team, since this screenshot is using the Breeze icons. I do think that on hidpi some of the Breeze icons are too light or thin. Maybe something to improve going forward. We just got capability in Plasma and Breeze for @2x icons, so we can now have FHD vs QHD icons. Right now they are just symlinked.

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  3. As a designer, I really would love to get involved with KDE. I tried to do this in the past but had to stop because of lack of time. But this might be a reason for me to get started again.

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