As we trundle along and northern hemisphere spring interrupts my coding with activities like “you have rhubarb, bake something”, the KDE-on-FreeBSD team keeps chasing rainbows and software updates.

KDE Big Picture

  • KDE Frameworks updated to 5.81.0 right on schedule, and 5.82.0 four weeks later.
  • KDE Plasma landed the 5.21.3 and 5.21.4 updates with minimal struggles. And then 5.21.5 arrived; normally Plasma releases are spaced apart a bit, but delays caused a bit of a log-jam leading to three Plasma updates in one octant of the year for FreeBSD ports.
  • The new KDE Gear release – all the KDE software products that are not specifically KDE Frameworks or KDE Plasma, which release in a coordinated fashion on a regular schedule – arrived in ports the day it was released. People who continue to call it “KDE Release Service” or “KDE” .. or worse, “KDE Software Collection” .. or at the extreme end of horribleness, x11/kde5 .. will be administered a swift kick in the pants by Groff, the BSD Goat. Albert Astals Cid has a good blog post explaining the rationale behind KDE Gear.
  • Wayland support has arrived for KDE Plasma. With only minor code tweaks, but with several iterations of support infrastructure and upstream patches, it is now possible to run a KDE Plasma Wayland environment on FreeBSD machines with a DRM-enabled graphics card (Intel iGPU or AMDGPU).

KDE Software Tweaks

  • Konsole has had a selection-color-contrast patch backported.
  • KDiff3 was updated to latest upstream release, 1.9.0.
  • KStars was updated to latest upstream release, 3.5.3.
  • Elf-Dissector was added to the ports collection.

Software Stack

  • Poppler, the document-viewing (PDF in particular) support stack was updated to release 21.04.0; this fixes a handful of crashes. 21.05.0 landed with a similar set of improvements.
  • CMake was updated to the 3.20.1 and 3.20.2 releases.
  • Some parts of binutils (libiberty and libbfd) lead dual lives in ports and they had gotten out-of-sync. Updated those parts for elf-dissector.

Ports Framework

  • Convenience settings for FreeBSD ports that directly use KDE Invent – rather than a released tarball – were introduced and then updated. This is used by just a handful of ports for KDE applications that have not seen an upstream release for a long time.
  • KDE ports without documentation have lost their DOCS option; this option didn’t actually do anything, but was confusing anyway. In the meantime, the doctools KDE Framework has become a build-time dependency for most KDE bits, which makes installing single applications more lightweight. The “complete” meta-ports still install doctools so you get a batteries-included experience.

Where there is no progress

  • WebEngine got no love – and no de-Pythoning – during this octant of the year.