Looking for FreeBSD wallpaper for Plasma 5 Desktop

Most distro’s that ship Plasma Desktop as .. well, as a desktop to work in, have their own default wallpaper choice that isn’t exactly the upstream default. OpenSUSE has things with geekos (which I personally really like, for their understatedness). KDE neon goes for the upstream default, but that is the nature of that particular distro.

The FreeBSD packages of KDE4 had a nice variant of vertical blinds (here’s the OpenSUSE variant — FreeBSD is blue and with a FreeBSD logo). I think that was done by Ivan. However, we’re getting close to a release of Plasma 5 Desktop and workspaces as well as KDE Applications for FreeBSD, and it’s time to think of a new default wallpaper for the FreeBSD packages. Something lightly branded. So this here is a call for contributions for a KDE-FreeBSD wallpaper for use with the first (FreeBSD) release of the current generation of KDE software.

(I know personally I’d like some combination of Flying Konqui with a Beastie logo, but we’re open to all kinds of ideas.)

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Qt 5.5.1 has landed in FreeBSD

The Qt5 (meta-)port and all its dependent ports have been updated to Qt 5.5.1 in FreeBSD. Special thanks to Yuri Victorovich, who did an independent Qt 5.5.1 port and whose work has been gratefully incorporated into this update. Thanks also to Ralf Nolden for pushing for better upgrade-paths and co-installability.

Users of Qt5 on FreeBSD are advised to consult the UPDATING file, as some ports have been split. Users of Qt4 are unaffected by this change; Qt4 and Qt5 can be co-installed on FreeBSD.

This update opens the doors to (finally!) getting KDE Frameworks and KDE Plasma Desktop ports into the official ports tree.

There is no Qt5 option in the nethack 3.6 port, nor is there one planned.

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Nethack 3.6 has landed

A little over a month ago I wrote about Nethack 3.6 being released. I haven’t ascended in it yet — Kerbal Space Program has been occupying spare cycles instead. But after a bit of massaging and extra goes-around because of the way FreeBSD ports get updated, the nethack 3.6 port has now landed in the official ports tree. I don’t think there’s a package of it yet.

This is my first port to hit the official tree. Zanshin will follow.

KDE ports updates are getting nearer, since the KDE-FreeBSD team is now doing exp-runs (those are rebuild-everything-with-an-updated-port build jobs that touch all supportd FreeBSD versions and architectures) for Qt 5.5 and the latest CMake. So there’s a whole slew of ports updates looming on the horizon.

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Goin’ to FOSDEM

Today I built quasselcore for FreeBSD on armv6 — well, I say today but it took about 20 hours of cross-compiling to get all the bits, then another 10 minutes to repackage because all I wanted was the core, to run on my BeagleBone. So score one more qt5-based package that works on FreeBSD on miniature machines. While building, it touched on LLVM, and BSD, and maybe IoT, and that finally reminded me that I needed to get my butt in gear and actually book travel for FOSDEM.

I’ve skipped a few years, but I’m looking forward to seeing some of the familiar KDE faces there, as well as finally meeting a couple of the KDE-FreeBSD folks. There’s a long list of familiar faces at the Legal Devroom. For once, I have a plan of talks that I want to see, even some that I can claim are work-work related (yay!). Whether I’ll be useful at the KDE booth, I don’t know: last time I was there there was Plasma-desktop to be demonstrated and me with still KDE4 on my laptop. I’m not a good poster child for the modern generation.

As usual, I expect there to be waffles and too much beer and much random Free-Software joy.

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Plasma 5.5.3, Applications 15.12.1 and Frameworks 5.18.0 by KDE on FreeBSD

Thanks to the Chakra announcement, I could copy-and-paste the title of this blog post. Thanks, folks.

The latest round of software releases by the KDE Community — Frameworks, Plasma, and Applications — can be found the KDE-on-FreeBSD community’s area51 repository. These are unofficial ports, not yet included in the official ports tree.

One day, these ports will all be merged upstream, but not yet. There are some steps to be taken first. One of them is updating Qt upstream, to Qt 5.5. I’m told this is “somewhat close”. When that is done, it becomes possible to introduce the newer KDE releases as well. The integration issues aren’t so much the KDE software itself, as getting everything in ports to build and build nicely.

Once that is done, you can expect KDE Frameworks 5 to start infiltrating the ports tree, and then the whole flood of Plasma Desktop and the KDE Applications.

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Zanshin 0.3 on FreeBSD

When Zanshin 0.3 was released, it took just an hour or so to update the FreeBSD port for it. Since then, the real K-F folks Tobias and Rafael have put some polish on the port, made it compatible with FreeBSD 9-STABLE and 11-CURRENT, and pushed it into area51.

So, if you use the experimental KDE-on-FreeBSD repository, you can build Zanshin 0.3 today. Its dependencies are KDE4-based, so it is compatible with the official ports tree as well. Do follow the instructions for merging area51-trunk with the official tree though, since there’s all kinds of massaging that has happened already as preparation for KDE Frameworks 5, and that massaging needs to be merged as well.

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K-F updates, a whole mess of them

There’s a whole mess of updates in the area51 repository maintained by the KDE-FreeBSD team. These are the ports that will eventually, when they’re ready, be merged into the official FreeBSD ports tree (which still has KDE 4, installable through the kde4-metaport). Recent updates include Frameworks 5.17 (released december 12th), Plasma 5.5.1 (the weekly bugfix release, from december 15th) and Applications 5.12.0 (the 16th). But there’s other things going on as well: due to naming clashes (e.g. what to call last year’s kate, which is co-installable with this-year’s kate?) there is now a kate-legacy port. Ralf Nolden has provided updates for Qt creator.

Some updates have also made it to the official ports tree. That’s generally the case when they’ve matured for a while in area51, or when they are a regular update to existing software. In the official ports tree, Calligra has updated to version 2.9.10, released december 9th. Some options that make sense in a Frameworks+Plasma environment have been dropped, since for now the official ports repository targets KDE4.

As usual, I’m grinding through this lot of updates with poudriere, and then trying them out in a VM to see what happens (my other decent machine which I’d use for live tests has been totally taken over by the kids for the purpose of playing with dinosaurs).

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Resuming GPG

I think I spent nearly five years GPG-Free. When I was with the FSFE, I know I spent some time fiddling with the smartcard variant, even. But then I spent a long time working in places where secure communications meant talking in the hallways and secure electronic commuications wasn’t relevant at all. In those five years, only Ingo once sent me an encrypted message; I’ve now finally replied to it.

Because yes, I’ve gone back and unearthed my GPG keys from old backups, and once more can use FEA2A3FE for communications, just like I did in 2002.

Quite possibly Moxie Marlinspike is right, but for non-casual communications this can still be useful.

Posted in Bla Bla | 1 Comment

Cookery 2015

I was on a stroll down memory lane — partly because I was showing the kids that I was blogging before they were born (“so were you, like, internet-popular back then?”) — and ran across this old entry for cooking local. And I realised that not much has changed (and I still don’t have a recipe for sinasiri, nor much chance of ever getting one). Sunday breakfast was home-made Brussels waffles (roughly this recipe from Piet Huysentruyt), home-baked whole wheat bread with sunflower seeds (from a slowly-mutated recipe that most likely originated in one of the Moosewood Cookbooks, but basically straight-forward yeast bread), home baked blueberry pie (admittedly with frozen blueberries, from a Junior Masterchef competition) and meringues (recipe is on a grubby sheet of paper folded in with one of my cookbooks).

I still believe it’s important to know what goes into my food, and to make sure the kids know how to make stuff from scratch (it’s fun to me, at any rate, to notice how Mira has grown stronger as she’s grown older and now can actually knead the dough for an entire loaf of bread). There’s probably a simile for software development hiding here, but all this writing about food has gotten me hungry (so dinner will be roasted parsnips).

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When’s the current generation of KDE Frameworks, Applications, and the Plasma Desktop going to be available on FreeBSD?

So I’ve written about KDE-on-FreeBSD quite regularly, and in fact my most-common commit to KDE’s repositories recently is “adding news to the K-F site about updates”. But there’s an increasingly large gap between what’s in the official FreeBSD ports tree and package repositories, and what’s in area51. The testing repo gets regular updates, and I’ve got a local package server for testing. I’m sure the folks doing the real work in the testing repo have, too. But all that’s not official. And sometimes there are questions about when KDE Frameworks / Plasma5 / Qt5 are going to be updated in the official repo’s. Those questions also come from users of PC-BSD — PC-BSD is developed by iXsystems, who also graciously support the area51 repository.

I don’t have answers to those questions, though :(

Probably the answer is “when it’s stable and usable”.

On that front it’d be nice if releases slowed down at some point, for a little bit, so that we have one fixed point to get out there. On the other hand, the release of Frameworks 5.17 only took a day to hit our testing repo, so we’re catching up. Plasma 5.5.1 took less than a day. Calligra has just updated as well. One thing that really holds up integration with the official ports tree is the need for backwards compatibility — with all the other bits and pieces of FreeBSD and the ports tree. That means dealing with Qt4-versions of many applications and handling namespacing (of Qt4, but also Qt4 bindings to Python, for instance). Getting all the bits ready for peaceful co-existence is a lot of work and a lot of (re-)building.

That said, some important bits of the compatibility layers — for instance, PyQt 5.5.1 — have recently landed in the official ports tree, so it’s not totally unlikely that we’ll see KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Applications 5 and Plasma 5 Desktop (there’s a metapackage called kde5, which is a crude vernacular for installing plasma5-plasma-desktop, kf5-frameworks and a bunch of applications).

Posted in FreeBSD, KDE | 4 Comments