GNOME Asia Summit 2019 to be held in Gresik, Indonesia

The GNOME foundation is pleased to announce that GNOME Asia Summit 2019 will take place in Gresik, Indonesia between 11-13 October at the Universitas Muhammadiyah Gresik (UMG).

This city has been known to the world since 11th century as a strategic trade center. It is located on the western side of Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia.

The GNOME Asia 2019 Summit will consist of two conference days and one day of workshops, in order to encourage more contribution by GNOME.Asia participants to core areas of GNOME.

New release: Vanilla framework 2.0

Over the past year, we’ve been working hard to bring you the next release of Vanilla framework: version 2.0, our most stable release to date.

Since our last significant release, v1.8.0 back in July last year, we’ve been working hard to bring you new features, improve the framework and make it the most stable version we’ve released.

Customisable for the enterprise: the next-generation of drones

Drones, and their wide-ranging uses, have been a constant topic of conversation for some years now, but we’re only just beginning to move away from the hypothetical and into reality.

Ubuntu Server development summary – 11 June 2019

Hello Ubuntu Server

The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list or visit the Ubuntu Server discourse hub for more discussion.

Get to know these 5 Ubuntu community resources

Ubuntu community

As open-source software, Ubuntu is designed to serve a community of users and innovators worldwide, ranging from enterprise IT pros to small-business users to hobbyists.

Plasma 5.16 by KDE is Now Available

Say hello to Plasma 5.16, a the newest iteration of KDE's desktop environment, chock-a-block with new features and improvements.

For starters, check out the new notification system! Not only can you mute notifications altogether with the Do Not Disturb mode, but the system also groups notifications by app. Like this, when you run through the history of past notifications, you can see all the messages from KDE Connect in one category, the download information in another, email alerts in a third, and so on.

Discover, Plasma's software manager, is also cleaner and clearer as it now has two distinct areas for downloading and installing software on the Update page. Besides, when updating, the completion bar now works correctly and the packages disappear from the list as the software manager completes their installation.

With each new version, we make Plasma safer, and protect your data better. In 5.16 we have made using Vaults easier and more convenient. Vaults are a built-in utility to encrypt folders, installed by default on Plasma, and you can now open them directly from Dolphin.

Protecting your privacy requires that we focus on the small details, too. When any application accesses the microphone, an icon will pop up in your system tray, showing that something is listening. It doesn't matter whether it is graphical application, a web app or a process started on the command line - the icon will show up alerting you to the fact. You can deactivate your mic by clicking the icon with the middle button on your mouse.

Plasma 5.16 is also spectacular to look at, with our new wallpaper called Ice Cold. Designed by Santiago Cézar, it is the winner of a contest with more than 150 entries. Ice Cold will keep you cool and feeling fresh for the upcoming summer months. Again, giving you options is what Plasma is all about, so we have included a few other contest submissions for you to choose from.

Talking of options, many of the pages in the System Settings have been redesigned, with clearer icons and friendlier layouts. Getting back to wallpapers: the Wallpaper Slideshow settings window displays the images in the folders you selected, and lets you select only the graphics you want to display in the slideshow. To improve visibility, window and menu shadow colors are pure black - something that works especially well when using dark themes.

And if creating themes is your thing, many of the hard-coded look and feel options are gone know, allowing you full freedom to design widgets to your liking. You'll notice it in the small things, like the analog clock handles: Plasma themes now let you tweak their look by adjusting the offset and toggling the blur behind panels.

For a more comprehensive overview of what to expect in Plasma 5.16, check out the official announcement or the changelog for the complete list of changes.

Functional, feature-rich, privacy-protecting and beautiful... What else could you ask for? Look out for Plasma 5.16 in a distribution near you!

Design and Web team summary – 10 June 2019

This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical.  Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

Web

Web is the squad that develop and maintain most of the brochure websites across the Canonical.

Announcing Our Google Summer of Code 2019 Students

The KDE Community welcomes our Google Summer of Code students for 2019!

These students will be working with our development teams throughout the summer, and many of them will join us this September at Akademy, our annual community meeting.

Krita will have four students this year: Alberto Flores will work with the SVG pipe/animated brush, Kuntal M. is porting the magnetic lasso, Sharaf Zaman will port Krita to Android, and Tusooa Windy will bring a better undo/redo for Krita.

digiKam will mentor three students this year. Thanh Trung Dinh will bring AI Face Recognition with the OpenCV DNN module to digiKam, Igor Antropov will improve the Faces Management workflow, and Ahmed Fathy will make a zoomable and resizable brush for Healing Clone Tool.

Labplot gets attention from two students in 2019. While Devanshu Agarwal will provide statistical analysis for Labplot, Ferencz Kovács will work on the support for importing educational data sets available on the Internet.

Another two students - Piyush Aggarwal and Weixuan Xiazo - will work on KDE Connect. Their projects are quite exciting: Piyush will be porting KDE Connect to Windows, while Weixuan brings KDEconnect to MacOS.

Akshay Kumar will bring Gcompris one step closer to version 1.0, and Akhil K Gangadharan will revamp the Titler tool for Kdenlive. Prasenjit Kumar Shaw will make data sync for Falkon a thing, and Rituka Patwal will bring Nextcloud integration to Plasma Mobile.

João Netto will improve JavaScript support on Okular, and Karina Pereira Passos will improve Khipu and Analitza. Nikita Sirgienko will implement the import/export of Jupyter notebooks in Cantor.

Atul Bisht will create a barcode scanning plugin in Purpose. Filip Fila will work on ensuring consistency between the SDDM login manager and the Plasma desktop, and SonGeon will focus on integrating kmarkdown-qtview with WYSIWYG markdown editor for KDE as a whole.

KDE neon will get a KDE ISO image writer courtesy of Farid Boudedja, while Caio Tonetti will make an improved graph theory IDE for Rocs. Alexander Saoutkin will be polishing KIOFuse, and Shubham will port authentication to Polkit-qt for KDE Partition Manager.

We look forward to our students' contributions, and we're excited to share their progress with the rest of the world. As Google Summer of Code moves forward, you'll be able to read detailed reports from our students, and find out how their work will impact your favorite KDE software. Stay tuned, and wish them luck!

Small Robot Company sows the seeds for autonomous and more profitable farming

In Europe, the cost of running a cereal farm – cultivating wheat, rice, and other grains – has risen by 85% in the last 25 years, yet crop yields and revenues have stagnated. And while farms struggle to remain profitable, it won’t be long before those static yields become insufficient to support growing populations.

<div>Snapcraft confinement & interfaces</div>

Snaps. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the OSS Snapcraft. Its continuing mission, to provide snap users with simple, clear and effective tips and tricks on how to build and publish their applications.

In this tutorial, we are going to talk about confinement and interfaces – how to restrict what your snaps can do, and then fine-tune the restrictions to make your applications both secure and useful.

What are we going to do?

Our tasks for today will be:

Need to set up servers in remote locations?

Use bare metal provisioning with a top-of-the-rack switch

Akademy 2019 registration now open

Akademy is free to attend, however you need to register to reserve your space.

Once you have registered, take a look at our guide on how to travel to Milan and check out the accommodation we have arranged and recommend for attendees. We also have a guide on how to get from different locations within Milan to Akademy. This guide also includes information on how to move around the city in general -- useful for sightseeing!

IMPORTANT: All attendees are expected to read and required to follow Akademy's Code of Conduct.

Badges

Show your friends you are attending Akademy 2019 by displaying a badge on your blog, your website or social media account:



About Akademy


Akademy 2018, Vienna

For most of the year, KDE - one of the largest free and open software communities in the world - works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact the Akademy Team.

KDE Privacy Sprint, 2019 Edition

From the 22nd to 26th of March, members of the KDE Privacy team met up in Leipzig, Germany, for our Spring 2019 sprint.

During the sprint, we floated a lot of different ideas that sparked plenty of discussions. The notion of privacy encompasses a wide range of topics, technologies and methods, so it is often difficult to decide what to focus on. However, all the aspects we worked on are important. We ended up tackling a variety of issues, and we are confident that our contributions will improve data protection for all users of KDE software.

Both Sandro Knauß and Volker Krause regularly work on KDE's Kontact suite (email, calendar, contacts, etc.), but this time they took on network-related issues. One of the problems is that there are still too many http links (instead of secure https links) within our codebase. This is a threat to users' communication, as http connections - and hence all the messages that travel over them - are unencrypted.

To make it easier for all KDE developers, Sandro and Volker wrote an ECM-injected global unit test. The test gets added to every application and prints out warnings about http links used in your code. Another script tries to update all the links in your codebase to use https, but checks beforehand if the https links would work. For example, sourceforge.org subdomains don't provide a certificate, so the script would ignore those.

Things are further complicated by http links that are used as identifiers in XML documents, and those links cannot be changed. All of the above exceptions and niche cases are the reason a simple search-and-replace would not work.

When the script ran, many of the links it found were updates of user-facing links that a normal capable browser would "fix" on the fly. However, it also found privacy leaks, as some links were routed through URL shorteners and pastebin services, as well as to default download locations.

Another thing we identified is that, unfortunately, the KDE mirror network is still using http and the underlying software is not ready to work with https. This means there is still some work we need to carry out to make mirrorbrain capable of using https. The website needs a valid certificate, too.

Meanwhile, Ivan Čukić and David Edmundson worked on improving Plasma Vault, KDE's solution for encrypting folders. The aim was to fix the issues that arise when other KDE software components interact with vaults. They made several major improvements:

  • vaults can now be opened and closed directly from Dolphin;
  • offline vaults force the network to be disconnected as soon as the password entry dialogue is shown;
  • and thumbnails are not generated for files in FUSE-encrypted directories unless the thumbnail cache is located in the same encrypted mount.

David and Ivan also spent some time on KWallet, KDE's password manager. In a breakout session, David investigated how to handle KWallet sandboxing, and Ivan explored the possibility of doing elliptic-curve encrypted inter-process communication, which could be useful for handling passwords with KWallet.

Florian Müller looked into using the Tor Browser as the default browser in Plasma. He found that it is mostly blocked, as Tor Browser is started with --no-remote, which makes it impossible to trigger new tabs from the outside. To solve the problem, Florian filed a patch against torbrowser-launcher.

The integration of Tor goes way beyond of just using the browser, though. In fact, the team wants all applications to be able to use Tor. To see if this was possible, we picked some applications and worked on configuring their proxy settings. During the testing, we used a .onion address to make sure that data was correctly sent via the Tor network.

On Monday morning, Jos van den Oever presented a proof-of-concept privacy proxy. The proxy is run by the user, and it intercepts all web traffic, storing it in a local archive. This proxy makes it possible to revisit parts of the Web even without an Internet connection. Additionally, the proxy can block unwanted content by defining filters.

The presentation was followed by a discussion on how to use such a proxy in KDE software in a user-friendly manner. Jos himself has been using his own proxy privately for a few years, but the code needs to be cleaned up and updated to the current version of Rust libraries before it can be released.

Then again, working for the future is what the Privacy team does most of the time. Gradually, most or all these features (and quite a few more) will make their way into Plasma Desktop and Plasma Mobile, making your desktop and mobile devices a safe environment against data leaks and snooping without sacrificing functionality.

Ubuntu Server development summary – 28 May 2019

Hello Ubuntu Server

The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list or visit the Ubuntu Server discourse hub for more discussion.

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