<div>How to launch IoT devices &#8211; Part 1: Why it takes so long</div>

(This blog post is part of a 5 part series, titled “How to launch IoT devices”. It will cover the key choices and concerns when turning bright IoT ideas into a product in the market. Check out this white-paper on IoT app stores for background reading.)

You have a budget and a bright idea. How do you turn that into a revenue generating and market capturing product? How do you escape “Pilot Purgatory” and the volume of decisions that need to be made about IoT before day-0? 

<div>The State of Robotics &#8211; Robotics Over the Holidays</div>

Canonical closes for the holidays, but robots just get more festive. Roboticists seem to feel the festive spirit, and it turns their projects into festive robots. The Ubuntu robotics team isn’t quite ready to let go of the festive cheer. So we’d like to share with you some of our favourite projects that we saw over the holidays. As ever if you want us to talk about what you’re doing, send an email to robotics.community@canonical.com and let’s talk. Next month we will be back to usual programming, for now, get look at these!

Infrastructure-as-Code mistakes and how to avoid them

Two industry trends point to a gap in DevOps tooling chosen by many. Operations teams need more than an Infrastructure-as-Code approach, but a complete model-driven operations mentality. Learn how Canonical has addressed these concerns by developing Juju, an open source DevOps tool, to allow it create multiple world-leading products.

<div>&#8220;MAAS. What number would you like?&#8221;</div>

Enhanced MAAS Network Testing and Link Checking

<div>KDE's January 2020 Apps Update</div>

The year is 2020, we are living in the future, let’s see what KDE apps has brought us in the last month!

KTimeTracker ported to KDE Frameworks 5

The long-awaited modernized version of KTimeTracker is finally released.

The application is a personal time tracker for busy people which is now

available on Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. Over the course of 2019 it had been

ported to Qt5 and KDE Frameworks after being unmaintained since around 2013.


KTimeTracker

The new version is also polished and slightly modernised with the most

noticeable new features being the new Task Time Editing dialog and

live preview in the Export dialog as seen in the picture below.


Export dialog in KTimeTracker

https://download.kde.org/stable/ktimetracker/5.0.1/src/

It is available through your Linux distro or as a Windows installer and there’s even untested MacOS builds built nightly.

The release is announced in the blog of the maintainer Alexander Potashev

KStars 3.3.9

Astronomy program KStars got new features in 3.3.9.

Images can have fine changes in Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights allowing the faintest of stars to be seen.

Alternative constellations from the Western Sky Culture which is fascinating to read about.

Western Sky Culture

KStars is available for Android, Windows, MacOS, Snap store and from your Linux distro.

Common Frameworks - KNewStuff

Here on the Apps Update we focus on the apps rather than coding libraries. But new features in the common libraries will mean new features in all your apps :)

This month saw a redesigned UI for KNewStuff, the framework to download addons for your applications. The browse and download dialog was redesigned and the comments section can now be filtered. It’ll be appearing in all your apps and settings modules shortly starting with the Global Theme module in System Settings.

Filters on Comments

Redesigned Browse Dialog

Bugfixes

KDevelop’s monthly bugfix update 5.4.6 fixed a longstanding problem where the GPL and LGPL headers were mixed up, grab it from your distro or Appimage to make sure your licencing is correct.

Latte Dock 0.9.7 fixed some features with Qt 5.14 and removed some crashes.

Dolphin Plugins 19.12.1 fixed a broken SVN Commit dialog.

There was improved file indexing in Elisa. It also fixed some compilation issues on Android and without Baloo.

The new release of KPat was declaired to have no OARS relevant age restrictions.

Okular fixed a crash when closing the print preview dialog.

This month’s release of Kdenlive video editor had an impressive number of fixes best of all was updating the screenshots used in the meta info. It also has dozens of improvements and fixes in timeline and preview handling.

New JavaScript support is now in Kate’s LSP client.

Enjoy KDE on the Flathub Store

KDE is embracing all the app stores. We can now deliver more and more of our programs directly to you the user. One of the leading app stores on Linux is Flathub which uses the FlatPak format.

You may well already have Flatpak and Flathub configured on your system and ready to use in Discover or other app installers. For example KDE neon has set it up by default on installs for over a year now. If not it’s a quick setup process for all the major distros.

If you’re interested in the techy details you can browse KDE’s Flatpak packaging repo and read the KDE Flatpak guide.

But probably what you’re interested in is the apps so take a look at what the Flathub store has under KDE.

KDE on Flathub

LabPlot now on Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows. If you want full control over what software is installed on your Windows machine or whole office of machines then Chocolatey gives you easy control over that just like you are used to on Linux.

LabPlot is KDE’s app for interactive graphing and analysis of scientific data and it is now available through Chocolatey. Give it a try!

LabPlot blog

LabPlot on Chocolatey

Website Updates

The recently revived KDE Web Team has been updating a bunch of our older themed sites. The newly relaunched KPhotoAlbum website is a lovely example, updated and refreshed for our photo storage and search app.

And if you want to show off a simple to use but full featured local music player but were ashamed by the old looking website, JuK has just had an updated website too.

New KPhotoAlbum website

Releases 19.12.1

Some of our projects release on their own timescale and some get released en-masse. The 19.12.1 bundle of projects was released today and should be available through app stores and distros soon. See the 19.12.1 releases page. This bundle was previously called KDE Applications but has been de-branded to become a release service to avoid confusion with all the other applications by KDE and because it is dozens of different products rather than a single whole.

Data Ops at petabyte scale

Deploying Apache Spark in production is complex. Should you deploy Kubernetes? Should that Kubernetes cluster be backed by Ceph? Perhaps stick with a traditional Hadoop/HBase stack? Learn how Juju and model-driven operations have enabled one data engineering team to evaluate several options and come to an ideal solution.

Libre Graphics Meeting Call for Proposals

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual international convention for the discussion and development of free and open source graphics software.

This year it will happen in Rennes, France, from May 26th to 29th. We are welcoming all relevant projects to submit a proposal for a talk and/or a workshop. We already expect Krita and Kdenlive teams to be present. The Krita sprint will be held after the meeting and Kdenlive are planning to have a sprint around that time too. It would be awesome to also see some people from Plasma team working on graphics tablet support and color management, or any other topic of interest for developers and users of graphics creation application.

LGM are now asking for talks, workshops, BoF meetings and lightning talks for the conference. Please don't be shy and submit your proposal.

KDE e.V. has agreed to support the event by providing travel support to KDE contributors. If you are interested, make sure to file your reimbursement request before January 31st.



LGM 2019

Plasma: A Safe Haven for Windows 7 Refugees


A fully functional Plasma desktop with a Windows 7 theme.

Microsoft will stop providing updates for Windows 7 on January 14 2020.

There won't be any more patches that correct bugs or even dangerous vulnerabilities. This will leave Windows 7 users exposed to all sorts of bad stuff. But that is not a huge concern for Microsoft. With this move, Redmond hopes to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10.

But why should we care? Maybe because Windows currently holds 77% of the global desktop market share (all Linux desktops combined hold less than 2%). Of that 77%, nearly 30% belongs to Windows 7. That is nearly a billion people still holding on to Windows 7 because they are resisting the move to Windows 10. Apart from the natural human resistance to change, Windows 10 has earned a bad rap as an operating system that will gladly leak your data back to Microsoft and lace your desktop with intrusive advertisements as a matter of course.

Helping people regain control over their systems and protecting their data is precisely what Free Software communities do best, making this the perfect opportunity to help Windows 7 users upgrade to something much better: To the Plasma desktop!

How you can help

We need you to help convince Windows 7 users to move to the Plasma desktop. We have set up a task where we are brainstorming ideas, advice and resources. You can contribute your thoughts too. Get your KDE Identity today and join the conversation.

You can also join the Promo team live on Matrix and help us run this campaign.

Or fly solo! Talk to your friends, family, classmates and colleagues. Even if you convince just one person to make the transition to any Linux-based system, you will have done something valuable and helped the FLOSS movement.


The Windows 7-like theme shown above was put together (from many parts created by many generous contributors) by Dominic Hayes, creator of Feren OS, a cool-looking Ubuntu-based Linux distro aimed squarely at end users. Check it out!

Dominic used the following elements to re-create the look and feel of the desktop:

Plasma Theme: Seven Black
Window Decorations: Seven Black
Application Style: gtk2
GTK Theme: Windows Se7en by Elbullazul
Icons: Darkine
Colours: Breeze Light
Cursors: DMZ White
Splash Screen: Feren OS
Panel: 38 height
Widgets: Default Apps Menu, I-O Task Manager, Stock System Tray, Feren Calendar or Event Calendar, Win7 Show Desktop

Keep enterprise ROS robots up-to-date with snaps

When a robot is not up-to-date, it becomes about as useful as an expensive paperweight, or companies have to burn money to get them back online. Yet when mobile apps need updating, it only takes a few clicks and a minute or two before it’s back up and running. This blog discusses how ROS robots utilising snaps can be kept up-to-date just as easily

Discover cool apps with snap find

Software discovery and installation broadly comes in two flavors – via graphical user interface or on the command line. If you’re using a Linux distribution with a friendly software frontend offering integrated snap support, e.g. KDE Discover or GNOME Software, you can enjoy the experience without having to resort to using a terminal window.

OpenStack vs VMware: Bringing costs down

Moving to OpenStack from VMware can significantly reduce the TCO associated with an initial roll-out and ongoing maintenance of your cloud infrastructure. OpenStack vs VMware economic analysis shows that under certain circumstances, it is possible to bring the costs down an entire order of magnitude. This requires choosing an OpenStack distribution which can be maintained economically. An example of such distribution is Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack.

Bringing the free desktop into 2020

I am frequently asked if there’s any point in the desktop anymore. With the rise of cloud services, it’s easy to wonder whether there is a need. I believe that a free software desktop system is more important than ever.

GNOME creates an entire desktop environment that is beautifully designed and simple to use. We do this to ensure user freedoms. It is this empowerment of end users – acknowledging their right to control their own computing – that drives me forward.

This is why smart displays run Ubuntu Core

First impressions count, and making sure your users can see and interact with your product in a seamless way, means selecting the right smart display technology. Read on to find out what hardware features are needed to make a reliable smart display, and why smart displays run Ubuntu Core.

Host Akademy 2020 in your City!

By Aleix Pol

Hosting an event is a big and significant way of contributing to Free Software. One of the biggest challenges in international distributed teams like KDE is communicating effectively with one another. Akademy, the yearly global conference of the KDE community, solves that by bringing the community together in one place, allowing us to share what we have been up to and have it reach its potential.

By organising Akademy we are then turning one of our weak points into a strength. We get to work together like a local team does, while remaining flexible and geographically distributed for most of the rest of the year. It becomes therefore one of the best ways for Free Software to thrive in your area.

What is Akademy

While Akademy has evolved over the years, its main structure remains similar: We have two conference days, the KDE e.V. Annual General Meeting and few days with smaller meetings and trainings. Akademy is open for everyone to join and participate, regardless of their background, studies or origin.

We would like you to consider hosting Akademy. We could look into doing it in 2020, although if you think this is too short-notice, 2021 could also be discussed.

You can find the full description of what's necessary in this simple-to -follow brochure. Reach out to the KDE e.V. Board and the Akademy team and put your thoughts in action.

MAAS 2.7, better networking features for server provisioning

Our MAAS team has been hard at work, making life even better for those of you who provision and manage servers and data centres. This hard work has produced a new release, MAAS 2.7!

This blog describes how MAAS 2.7 can detect network faults before users run into them, and test network configurations before you apply them to deployed, live machines.

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