11th May 2012
This news is actually a bit old, but I thought I’d make use of my new presence on planet.freedesktop.org to say that the Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification is now using FreeDesktop.org infrastructure, instead of a hodge-podge of other services.
You can view the specifiation, file a bug, view the git repository and participate on the mailing list.
If you’re creating an MPRIS2-capable media player, you may want to make use of the MPRIS tester application (which is actually not hosted on fd.o, but on GitHub).
4th September 2011
If you are using the Plasma desktop on your netbook in “netbook mode”, you may have noticed that screen locking (in all its forms – the Ctrl+Alt+L shortcut, typing “lock” into search-and-run, and automatic locking when suspending to RAM or when the screensaver starts) no longer works. This is because KRunner doesn’t run in this case, and KRunner is (somewhat bizarrely) responsible for activating the screen locker.
The proper solution to this (and the one that should be implemented for 4.8, hopefully) is to get KWin to manage screen locking. After all, it knows best when it comes to managing the screen. But, until then, you can use the quick hack I came up with: putting screen locking into a kded module.
This works quite nicely with existing installations, as you can just compile and install the KDED module and be on your way. One caveat: KRunner will retain the shortcut. Once you’ve started the module for the first time (either from the Service Manager kcm or by logging out and in again), you will need to go to the Global Keyboard Shortcuts kcm and set Lock Session shortcut for KDE Dæmon.
Run the following commands to do this (you’ll need cmake and automoc, as well as development packages for Xorg and kdelibs):
git clone git://anongit.kde.org/scratch/alexmerry/kscreenlockmgr
cmake ../kscreenlockmgr -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$(kde4-config --prefix)
sudo make install
Or, if you’re on ArchLinux, just grab kscreenlockmgr-git from AUR.
8th June 2011
I’ve been looking for people to share accommodation with at the upcoming Desktop Summit (comment on this post if you’re in the same position!), and was pointed towards the ds-discuss list, which I wasn’t aware of (and apparently has no posts in its archive). So I thought I’d spread the word.
It appears that if you’ve registered for the desktop summit, you should already be on the ds-announce list, but you have to manually sign up for the ds-discuss list. Don’t forget the #desktopsummit IRC channel as well.
1st April 2011
Today is clearly a busy day in the world of technology. Several major projects have been unveiled, including:
Know about any other exciting new developments announced this morning? Post in the comments!
(Also of interest: invisibility cloak stolen from lab).
17th February 2011
LWN has an interesting article on a new startup: The Ada Initiative (“Supporting women in open technology and culture”), and about how it is taking a different approach to similar initiatives.
The link above is to an article on the LWN that is subscriber-only for the next week. Being a subscriber, I can provide a link that you can use – if you are interested in what’s happening in Linux, and FOSS in general, I highly recommend subscribing.
There is also other press coverage.
Also, I would suggest that the founders do Ada Lovelace a disservice in calling her “the world’s first woman open source programmer” – she is arguably the world’s first programmer, full stop.
10th December 2010
I recommend you go and read Valerie Aurora’s article on harassment at FOSS conferences on LWN.net. It’s grim stuff, but also a positive piece – looking at how to improve things.
I’d like to think that this sort of thing doesn’t happen at KDE events, but I guess everyone like to think well of their own community. And I don’t mean that I’d like to think no harassment happens at an event as large as Akademy, say – I’m not that naïve. But I would like to think that KDE’s atmosphere is one that welcomes everyone, not just men, and doesn’t tolerate such behaviour.
Is this really the case, though? I don’t think that I’m in a position to answer that, being a man and not having attended many KDE events. It’s not something I’ve ever experienced or come across, but there’s no reason I should have. The antipathetic response to Stallman’s “EMACS virgins” quip at GCDS 2009 didn’t really inspire me with confidence on this front, however. There was outrage, sure, but it certainly wasn’t universal.
What is clear is that the wider software industry and community has issues attracting and retaining women. While this is a larger problem that we can’t solve on our own, what we can do is make sure that everyone is welcome in our FOSS communities, providing they are willing to get involved, and that we don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable.
So I’m asking some questions: what do we need to do to make this a reality, at least within KDE? How far away from this are we? Where do we need to focus our efforts? I’d be especially interested in hearing from women in KDE on this, as you will have first hand experience of the issues.
16th November 2010
Following on from my last blog post, I’m trying to assemble information about what, exactly, is supposed to replace HAL on the FDO DeviceKit page. If you know anything, please add it!