Announcing KDE Plasma 5.18 Wallpaper and Video Contests

By Niccolò Venerandi

KDE wants you to create the next wallpaper for Plasma 5.18 and the promotional videos for Plasma and applications of KDE.


TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 14

The chance of getting your work seen by thousands of people and organizations worldwide, including at NASA and CERN, is within your grasp! You can also win some really astounding prizes courtesy of our friends at TUXEDO Computers.

Prizes


TUXEDO Gaming PC

The winner of the wallpaper contest will have their work included as the default background on KDE's upcoming Plasma 5.18 desktop. This means you will not only earn the admiration of thousands of Plasma users, but you can also win a very cool TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 14 computer.

More details about the InfinityBook Pro are available on the Wallpaper Contest's page.

Is fillmmaking more your thing? Try your hand at shooting and editing an exciting promotional video for Plasma or for applications KDE makes. The winners of the best Plasma promotional video will win a TUXEDO Gaming PC, and if you win the best Applications video competition, you'll get a TUXEDO InfinityBox.


TUXEDO InfinityBox

You can read about the specs of each machine on the Video Contest's page.

Twelve finalists will also receive a package of goodies containing among other things:

  • A KDE Baseball cap
  • A plush Tux
  • KDE Stickers
  • A frozen glass coffee mug

How to Participate

Taking part is easy! Check out the rules for Wallpaper Competition and send in your masterpiece. Remember that, in order to submit a wallpaper, you need to follow the link to the appropriate subforum where you can create a new post. You can also find suggestions and helpful material on the webpages.

Want to make a video instead? Read the rules for the Video Competition carefully and start shooting your clip!

We can't wait to see what you will create!

Design and Web team summary – 20 December 2019

This is the final iteration of the year. The team has worked exceptionally hard to produce a number of new projects and initiatives. Here is a shortlist of highlights from the team in 2019:

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The GNOME Project is built by a vibrant community and supported by the GNOME Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity registered in California (USA). The GNOME community has spent more than 20 years creating a desktop environment designed for the user. We‘re asking you to become Friend of GNOME, with a recommended donation of $25/month ($5/month for students). We’re working to have 100 new Friends of GNOME join by January 6, 2020.

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Apps Update for December

Creating new applications is the easy part. Maintaining them, making them safer and faster and adding features that make them more useful to users is what marks the difference between one-shot wonders and solid tools you can trust and enjoy for years. That is why KDE developers are constantly renewing and updating their applications, making them more reliable, more useful, and in general, just better.

What follows is just a minor sample of what you can expect from the latest round of updates for applications made by the KDE community over the last month:

Calligra Plan is Back


Calligra Plan lets you plan your projects in detail.

Calligra Plan, KDE's project planning and management tool, gets its first big update in two years.

In case you were not aware, Plan helps you manage small and large projects which require multiple resources. In order for you to model your project, Plan offers different types of task dependencies and timing constraints. You can define your tasks, estimate the effort needed to perform each, allocate resources and then schedule the project according to your needs and the actual resources available.

One of Plan's strengths is its excellent support for Gantt charts. Gantt charts help you plan, coordinate, and track specific tasks in a project. Using Gantt charts in Plan you will be able to better monitor your project's workflow.

Kdenlive Pumps up the Volume


Kdenlive rocking a brand new audio mixer.

Kdenlive developers have been adding new features and squashing bugs like crazy -- the latest version alone comes with more than 200 changes.

A lot of work has gone into improving support for audio. In the "bugs solved", department they have gotten rid of an error that would eat up memory. They have also made saving audio thumbnails much more efficient.

But the most exciting new feature is that Kdenlive now comes with a spectacular sound mixer (see image). Developers have also added a new audio clip display in the clip monitor and the project bin so you can better synchronize your moving images with the soundtrack.

Für Elisa

Talking of sound, Elisa is one of KDE's most popular up-and-coming music players. Elisa belongs to the deceptively simple, very light, very good-looking variety of players, with an intuitive and elegant interface and, in its latest version, Elisa has upgraded its looks even further to adapt better to High DPI screens. It also now integrates better with the looks other KDE applications.

Indexing music files has also improved and Elisa now supports web radios and comes with a few examples for you to try.

The Elisa music player.
The Elisa music player.

KDE Connect: Let Your Phone Rule your Desktop


KDE Connect now lets you control
the global volume of your system.

Most people who get to know KDE Connect, end up raving about it just because of how darned useful it is.

The latest version of KDE Connect packs even more features. One of the more noticeable is that there is a new SMS app that lets you read and write SMS from your computer with the full conversation history.

Developers are also adding new functionalities to existing features to make them even more useful. For example, you could already use KDE Connect to control the volume of media playing on your desktop, say, in VLC. But now you can use KDE Connect to also control your system's global volume from your phone. When giving a talk, you can control your presentation using KDE Connect to flip forward and back through your slides, and apart from integrating with other KDE apps, you can now also send files from Thunar (Xfce's file manager) and Elementary applications such as Pantheon Files.

Talking of other platforms, you can now run the mobile component of KDE Connect not only on Android, but also on all those mobile Linux platforms we'll be seeing in upcoming devices like the PinePhone and the Librem 5. The new version also provides features for desktop-to-desktop users, such as media control across desktops, remote input, device ringing, file transfers and running commands.

And Much More

But that is not all by any means: Dolphin, Spectacle, Okular and dozens of other applications have included new features you are sure to find useful. Even more projects, broaching apps, libraries and frameworks, have tweaked their code making them more stable and secure.

If you want to get an idea of the full range of changes, visit the official release announcement, or check out the changelog for every single detail of what has changed.

Getting applications made by KDE is also now easier: most are now available as Flatpaks, Snaps and AppImages. You just have to download them and they run straight out of the box. Many programs are also available for more platforms, such as Android, macOs and Windows. Krita and Okular have been available in the Microsoft Store for some time now, and they have recently been joined by Kile, a user-friendly LaTeX document editor.

Distributions will be updating their own repos and making the new versions available to Linux users over the next few weeks. Look out for your updates!

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