I figure if we can write about “first quarter” of the year, then “first octant” also makes sense. So here’s the first six weeks of KDE-on-FreeBSD-in-2021 in a daemon-approved nutshell.

The kde@ team is a half-dozen people or so, some of whom are committers, some channel updates through Tobias or myself. The things I describe below are not my work, but our collective efforts over an octant.

KDE Software Updates

  • The KDE release service has maintainence releases and regular releases, so we landed 20.12.1 and 20.12.2 when they came out. Similarly, Plasma Desktop 5.20.5 landed as well. These releases affect lots of ports.
  • One part of the Calligra suite still updates regularly: Calligra Plan. The latest release is in editors/calligraplan.
  • New Kirigami-based applications deskutils/calindori and deskutils/kongress from the KDE community.
  • net-im/ruqola updated. This is a Rocket.chat client, but it doesn’t have real releases (yet). It has been updated to a tag.
  • devel/kdevelop (a C, C++, PHP and Python IDE) and associated ports updated, like devel/okteta (a raw-file viewer).
  • Speaking of development tools, textproc/kdiff3 can be amazingly useful, and it was updated to version 1.8.5.
  • devel/qca saw a new release and had LibreSSL compatibility added downstream; I’ve since submitted a MR upstream.
  • An upstream patch for x11-themes/plasma5-kde-gtk-config was applied, to avoid debugging output from breaking some scripts.
  • graphics/kcolorpicker is a dependency for Spectacle and others, and was updated to a recent release. There is interesting “quasi competitive development” to be seen between Spectacle and KSnip.
  • audio/amarok has been updated to follow recent tags of the Qt5 port.
  • sysutils/kio-fuse was updated to 5.0.0. This bit of software bridges KDE’s virtual filesystem (KIO) to not-aware applications. When a KIO path pointing outside of the local filesystem is handed off to another application, the KIO path is FUSE-mounted and then the “local” path to the FUSE mount is handed off, instead. One MR upstream to fix some build and install issues. I should write up a little something about how to use it.

Not-KDE Software Updates

The kde@ team maintains a bunch of software that isn’t from the KDE community; sometimes it’s Qt-based, sometimes it is build-infrastructure, and sometimes it is just cool stuff.

  • Matrix clients net-im/nheko and net-im/quaternion and supporting libraries updated. With net-im/neochat as well there is a strong collection of clients available.
  • The nifty fractal viewer (Mandelbrot and others) graphics/fractgen has been updated and patches upstreamed.
  • For local-area chat (e.g. in an office or a coffee place, remember those?) there is net-im/beebeep, an autodiscovering encrypted local-LAN-only chat.
  • The sheet-music-writing application audio/musescore was updated multiple times.
  • For web things (not the desktop!), www/cutelyst is a Qt-based framework for static or dynamic sites.
  • For information about (personal) contacts, devel/libphonenumber is used in several places in KDE and received a couple of updates.
  • For sound support, audio/libsndfile and audio/libsamplerate got updates (samplerate switched to CMake as a build system, too).
  • graphics/poppler is the basis for lots of document viewers, and was updated to the february release.
  • multimedia/libxine is used for a lot of video work and received a big update with ImageMagick7 support.
  • devel/cmake supports the build of our entire stack, and has regular releases, so that always triggers lots of rebuilds. There were three updates in six weeks.
  • GNOME software is also maintained by kde@, so deskutils/gnome-sound-recorder and graphics/evince got some attention, too. As did mail/evolution, deskutils/gnome-maps and most of the rest of the GNOME 3.38.3 release.
  • Somewhat controversially, librsvg has been (re)written in Rust and is now a dependency for some things higher in the stack. FreeBSD Ports have graphics/librsvg2-rust now.
  • For all your weird video manipulations – in this time of video meetings, all your kitten filters – graphics/opencv was updated to version 4.
  • Low-level things like net/glib-networking, devel/json-glib, devel/glib20 all got minor fixes for the FreeBSD ports system.

Infrastructure Updates

It’s not just the packaging of individual libraries or applications, but also the maintainence of the infrastructure that builds the packages; that’s the FreeBSD ports system and sometimes we work on that, too (usually it is in other capable hands).

  • For users of portupgrade, the FreeBSD Qt ports are more robust while upgrading; there’s less chance of ending up with an old qmake while building a newer Qt Core.
  • A handful of KDE applications don’t have regular releases – not from the KDE release service, and not on their own. For these admittedly rare cases, we have build some FreeBSD ports magic: KDE_INVENT. Setting this variable to a 40-character commit hash and a KDE Invent category name will fetch from KDE’s GitLab instance. In general we hope this is hardly used, since we ought to be packaging released software (but, e.g. ruqola doesn’t have releases). This is a convenience we hope we do not need to use much.