kde

Plasma and VDG Sprint at Cern

Hi,

as you already read the CERN Sprint was awesome. It was the first VDG sprint where 7 VDG members are there. So we had a lot of tasks and I bet you will read additional stories about that or at least you will find some of our work in plasma, the webpage or at the W2L.

Widgets

My tasks for the sprint were Widgets. How is the state about resizing and looking on the panel and the desktop. I review all existing widgets and add there some (hopefully not to much) bugs on bugs.kde.org. In addition we discuss to make something like VDG or Plasma approved thing, so that the user know oh this plasmoid was reviewed by the plasma team and the VDG. This should also work for the awesome widgets from opendesktop.org.

In additions to widgets we talk about sidebars and how we can guarantie that the layouts don’t look cluttered. Therefore we add an task Usability and Design Ideas for Sidebar plasmoids at the VDG forum.

System Settings

My next task was about the existing system setting modules. I review the visual system setting modules and search for developers to make the different modules more powerfull than now. We already have guidelines how they should look like and how they should reach our goal „Simple by default, powerfull when needed“. For the plasma theme KCM we already had a new designed module. It was done by David Rosca. The plasma theme is a live preview of the theme so it will work also for themes from opendesktop.org. I will continious work to make design examples for all KCM’s and hope I will find an developer for the work. So if you think the system settings need an update join us and let me know.

kcm_desktoptheme

Icons

As always I make some icon stuff. In general the VDG define that each member of the VDG will be response to an specific task. So if you have some icon questions contact me by open an bug open an thread at the forum or leave an message at my blog. To show you that I would like to do the KCM stuff myself (it leak on my dev skills) I work on the Desktop Effect KCM where I’d prepare some icons for the different desktop effects (the idea is that they are animated when you hover the icon). Show animation effects are not that easy so if you would like to test your skills check if the icons are well done (and if not leave a message).

rect16496

In addition to the 3 main toppics there are a lot of discussion. It was awesome to join the sprint thanks for all the KDE supporters to make the sprint possible

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kde

Setup your desktop for doing an icon set

What do you need to contribute to kde or to make a new icon set? Im my usecase the entrance was quite easy cause for make breeze-icons everything is prepared to contribute.

  1. You need an icon guideline (https://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usability/HIG/IconDesign)
  2. You need an repository (https://github.com/NitruxSA/breeze-icon-theme/ AND https://quickgit.kde.org/?p=breeze-icons.git)
  3. You need an developer account (https://techbase.kde.org/Contribute/Get_a_Contributor_Account or an github account)
  4. Find a mentor or an group where you can discuss something (https://forum.kde.org/viewforum.php?f=285)

So everything is prepared, get start to contribute, no first make the setup

  1. When you configure your developer account for KDE you get an ~/.ssh folder and an .gitconfig and .gitexcludes file. I make a backup and stored it that I can setup my git environmental everywhere (virtual machine)

How I setup my icon developing environmental

  1. all my git clones are in the ~/git folder
  2. I setup the master git repository as icon set in system-settings therefore I linked the git clone to the icon set folder. as I don’t have to compile something it’s a good way for me to add something and test something without additional config.
    sudo ln -s ~/git/breeze-icons/icons /usr/share/icons/breeze-kde
  3. Change the standard icon set for GTK applications in ~/.gtkrc-2.0
    gtk-icon-theme-name="Breeze-kde-git"

And here are the git commands I need

  1. download the breeze-icons from the kde repository or at the github repository.
    git clone kde:breeze-icons
    git clone https://github.com/NitruxSA/breeze-icon-theme/
  2. Now it’s your job. do your edits check if everything work fine. If you are finished the discussion start. For new contributors the discussion can be at github or at reviewboard. For new contributors I would prefere github but it’s your choice. for reviewboard you need to upload the diff file from the repository.
    git diff > file.diff
  3. when the diff works well and you get an positiv feedback push your stuff to the repository. Before you push you should look if your repository is up to date
    git pull
  4. If I’m not sure that everything was ok I copy my changes and reset the repository after the reset I copy my change and than push it
    git fetch origin 
    git reset --hard origin/master
  5. than you can push your change with an usefull comment
    git add -A
    git commit
    git push origin master

breeze-icons are part of frameworks so it will be shiped once a month.

Happy drawing

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Call for new Plasma wallpapers contribution

We’re all excited for the new release of Plasma coming in less than a month and we at the Visual Design Group want to make it more exciting for our users too.

Every other release we try to change the extra wallpapers that we’re shipping with Plasma to our users and now it’s time the refresh the collection again.

And this is where you can shine! We’re looking for 10 high-quality new wallpapers that will get released with Plasma and will stay as the main wallpapers collection for the next 6 months.

Submit your best photos, multiple ones allowed, the Visual Design Group will go over them and select the top 10 that will be eternally part of the KDE history.

We can’t offer any prizes, but we can at least put your names up front, publicaly thanking you for your contribution in the official Plasma 5.5 release announcement.

This is also a unique opportunity to get your artwork to millions of users worldwide and help the free software world too. Think of it this way – who can put „had my artwork installed on millions of computers all around the world“ into their resumes? 😉

All you have to do is submit a link to your photo below. Then the Visual Design Group will collect all the links on 11th November and we’ll start an internal battle over which ones to select. You can find the rules and the first awesome wallpapers at the previous post.

Share it with your artistic friends and family and random people and let them know of this opportunity.

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Breeze is finished

Talking about Kubuntu, Arch Linux, OpenSuse, …. Questions where I can find the Plasma Widgets, UI Session about Kmail, Plasma, Kdenlive … . Where Plasma Mobile should go, how the user should navigate through Plasma and the phone applications. Starting improvements for plasma. Talking how the VDG can improve the workflow between designers and development. Writing bug reports, fixing bugs. Make code changes, discuss it on reviewboard. Talk to the devs to fix some UI stuff. Go hiking and don’t stop talking about Plasma and KDE. That was Randa for me. It was amazing.

The VDG was represent by Jens, Heiko, Uri and me. I met Uri the first time since I start making Breeze icons. That was so cool that we work together to finalize Breeze. And we made it happen. All Oxygen icons from the oxygen repository are now available in Breeze. Therefore we made during the sprint 1.600 new icons. So we have now 4.780 Breeze icons. Uri and I work since spring 2014 on the Breeze icons and we made 55 % of the missing icons in one week. It was impressing what you can do with KDE sprints. Hope we can do a design sprint in 2016.

RandaIcons

In the diagram you see we now support 24px GTK icons, add the missing devices icons, look that the KDE applications get Breeze icons and updated our actions icons for 16px and 22px size. Now we support not only the Oxygen icons we also include the Krusader, Amarok and Digikam icons. We have now 1034 action icons.

As QT5 will ship the icons first from the system setting icon set, Digikam 5.0 (still in Beta) switch between Breeze, Breeze Dark and Oxygen within one click on the look and feel package. In KDE4 applications you have to rename the folder in /usr/share/kde4/apps/xxx/icons/ (kubuntu) and you get the Breeze icons for Digikam and Amarok (at your own risk). Our changes are in the Plasma/5.4 brunch so the user will get our Randa stuff asap.

For the Plasma 5.5 Release we will go to the KDE Applications and add the last missing icons. In addition we will remove wrong used icons cause we send fixes to the applications or make Bug Reports that the Applications should use the right icons.

As I wrote in the first paragraph we do a lot of User Interface stuff together with the developers (Heiko made a blog post about some stuff) We show how the VDG work and let the developers know that we would like to work with them together. Not only by make the first design draft. We are excited where our journey will go.

I now work since 10 months for KDE in my spare time and I enjoy it very much. I’m quite happy that there is the VDG cause it is much easier to start the KDE journey within a small group. If you like to go with us, go to the forum and make your first comment. The VDG is not an elite group where you have to study design, … If you like to focus on usability and visual stuff, … Welcome

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Breeze Icons in Plasma 5.4 and future work

Hi KDE and Plasma fans.

I hope you enjoy the plasma 5.4 release. The VDG investigate a lot into a consistent user experience and therefore we updated the Breeze icon set from 1.600 to 3.000 icons (plasma 5.3 to 5.4).

commits

Of course the Breeze icon set isn’t finished but for the standard apps you will have Breeze all over the desktop (see KTorrent in plasma 5.3 and 5.4). In addition to the standard kde apps we also support some GTK apps like Firefox, Geany, LibreOffice, Inkscape and a lot of GTK 2 icons are included too. For KDE we now support 16px and 22px toolbar icons.

If you find a bug, please fill a bug report. Our last bug was solved with 380 new icons in 3 days. So making software better is only an bug report away.

KTorrent in Plasma 5.3 and 5.4

Ktorrent5.3 Ktorrent5.4

The Icon Problem

Freedesktop.org standardize the icon names so that if the user switch between Oxygen and nitrux or any other icon set the apps look consistent. So everything is fine if you don’t need any app specific icons. For example Lablot need an icon for a 3D graphic. This icon was app specific because freedesktop standardize only the most common icons. If an app needs an app specific icon the app developer has to make the icon and also ship this icon in the source. In KDE applications, most of the app specific icons use traditional Oxygen styled icons.

Plasma 5 and the VDG support two icon sets: Breeze and Breeze dark in addition Oxygen is available too. So each app developer has to support Breeze, Breeze dark and Oxygen in their application and have to integrate a method that the correct icon set will be used, otherwise you have the same problem as in KTorrent (see KTorrent in Plasma 5.3).

Solution

There are two solutions:

  1. Each App solve the problem themselves

Each app have to make there app specific icons for Breeze, Breeze dark (and Oxygen). In addition each app have to look at the system settings whitch icon should be used.

  1. The app specific icons were included into the main icon sets

For Plasma 5.4 I added most app specific icons from the standard applications into the standard icon set. So KTorrent, Kdenlive, … will work in Breeze and Breeze dark. The VDG will go this way, because it is the easiest and simplest (maintenance) solution. We will do the work in coordination with the app developers.

Next Step for me

The next step is to look into the source and see if an app specific icon is also standardized. Because with standardized icons you can change between ALL icon themes that are available (kde, gnome, unity, … whatever).

After this cleanup I will hope to work with the app developers together to get the missing icons into Breeze.

ToDo for the devs

There is one problem I found out. Sometimes it is not possible that an app (krusader, amarok, digikam, …) use the icons from the main icon set (system settings) when there are app specific icons in the source code. That’s a BIG problem and I hope that it is possible to change this behavior that the icon in the source code is only the fallback.

Contact

Our working dictionary is on github. You can contact me via mail kainz.a at gmail.com, you can leave an issue on github, in the VDG Forum, fill a bug report on kde or leave a message at the comment area.

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