Modern KDE on FreeBSD

New stuff in the official FreeBSD repositories! The X11 team has landed a newer version of libinput, opening up the way for KDE Plasma 5.14 in ports. That’s a pretty big update and it may frighten people with a new wallpaper.

What this means is that the graphical stack is once again on-par with what Plasma upstream expects, and we can get back to chasing releases as soon as they happen, rather than gnashing our teeth at missing dependencies. The KDE-FreeBSD CI servers are in the process of being upgraded to 12-STABLE, and we’re integrating with the new experimental CI systems as well. This means we are chasing sensibly-modern systems (13-CURRENT is out of scope).

Looking ahead for the first quarter of 2019:

  • Qt4 is scheduled for removal┬ámid-March. That affects a lot more ports than KDE4 does, For instance leechcraft — that looks like a desktop environment to me, which I’d never heard of before. There doesn’t seem to be a release of it based on Qt5 yet, though.
  • QtWebEngine update from 5.9.5 to 5.12. WebEngine is terrible for distro packagers, especially outside of Google’s target audience. This has been lagging, but we’re now in a position to work on an update — and we’ve welcomed a new contributor who wants to make that happen.
  • Wayland! Really, it’s time to also have a KDE Plasma Wayland session on FreeBSD. I had some stuff working experimentally a year ago, but nothing that could work in the official ports tree. That’s now feasible (and then I can sit down to debug KMail Wayland issues as well).
  • Kookbook and Kolorfill. Aww, so cute.