I just wanted to mention that foss-gbg has started again after the summer break. If you’re in the vicinity of Gothenburg October 28, you are welcome to learn about open hardware and security. Get your free tickets from eventbrite.
With a series of icon tests we currently study effects on the usability of icon design. This article however does not focus on these general design effects but presents findings specific to the Crystal icon set.
Keep on reading: Intermediate results of the icon tests: Crystal
Catmull uses the term candor in his book Creativity, Inc., because honesty is overloaded with moral overtones. It means forthrightness, frankness, and also indicates a lack of reserve. Of course reserve is sometimes needed, but we want to create a space where complete candor is invited, even if it means scrapping difficult work and starting over. [p. 86] Catmull discusses measures he put into place to institutionalize candor, by explicitly asking for it in some processes. He goes on to discuss the Braintrust which Pixar relies on to push us towards excellence and to root out mediocrity....[It] is our primary delivery system for straight talk.... Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid with one another. [86-7] Does this sound at all familiar?
Naturally the focus is on constructive feedback. The members of such a group must not only trust one another, but see each other as peers. Catmull observes that it is difficult to be candid if you are thinking about not looking like an idiot!  He also says that this is crucial in Pixar because, in the beginning, all of our movies suck.  I'm not sure this is true with KDE software, but maybe it is. Not until the code is exposed to others, to testing, to accessibility teams, HIG, designers--can it begin to not suck.
I think that we do some of this process in our sprints, on the lists, maybe in IRC and on Reviewboard, but perhaps we can be even more explicit in our calls for review and testing. The key of course is to criticize the product or the process, not the person writing the code or documentation. And on the other side, it can be very difficult to accept criticism of your work even when you trust and admire those giving you that criticism. It is something we must continually learn, in my experience.
People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process....How do you get a director to address a problem he or she cannot see? ...The process of coming to clarity takes patience and candor.  We try to create an environment where people want to hear one another's notes [feedback] even where those notes are challenging, and where everyone has a vested interest in one another's success.Let me repeat that, because to me, that is the key of a working, creative community: "where everyone has a vested interest in one another's success." I think we in KDE feel that but perhaps do not always live it. So let us ask one another for feedback, criticism, and strive to pay attention to it, and evaluate criticism dispassionately. I think we have missed this bit some times in the past in KDE, and it has come back to bite us. We need to get better.
Catmull makes the point that the Braintrust has no authority, and says this is crucial:
the director does not have to follow any of the specific suggestions given. .... It is up to him or her to figure out how to address the feedback....While problems in a movie are fairly easy to identify, the sources of these problems are often extraordinarily difficult to assess.He continues,
We do not want the Braintrust to solve a director's problem because we believe that...our solution won't be as good....We believe that ideas....only become great when they are challenged and tested. More than once, he discusses instances where big problems led to Pixar's greatest successes, because grappling with these problems brought out their greatest creativity. While problems ... are fairly easy to identify, the sources of these problems are often extraordinarily difficult to assess. How familiar does this sound to us working in software!? So, at Pixar,
the Braintrust's notes ...are intended to bring the true causes of the problems to the surface--not to demand a specific remedy. Moreover, we don't want the Braintrust to solve a director's problem because we believe that, in all likelihood, our solution won't be as good as the one the director and his or her creative team comes up with. We believe that ideas--and thus films--only become great when they are challenged and tested.I've seen that often this last bit is a sticking point. People are willing to criticize a piece of code, or even the design, but want their own solution instead. Naturally, this way of working encounters pushback.
Frank talk, spirited debate, laughter, and love  is how Catmull sums up Braintrust meetings. Sound familiar? I've just come from Akademy, which I can sum up the same way. Let's keep doing this in all our meetings, whether they take place in IRC, on the lists, or face to face. Let's remember to not hold back; when we see a problem, have the courage to raise the issue. We can handle problems, and facing them is the only way to solve them, and get better.
The next major step in Kate’s evolution is close: Kate based on KDE Frameworks 5.
Whereas it already works well enough for me (and others), it would be nice to clear out as many issues as possible before we have our first official KF 5 based release.
Our Bugzilla is full with smaller and larger Kate/KTextEditor (aka KatePart) issues, see:
Whereas Kate/KTextEditor has people working on it and continue to improve it over time, we don’t have enough people to keep track and care for all our reported bugs/wishs.
Therefore, if you have a clue about Qt and if you use Kate or any application using our KTextEditor editing component, like KDevelop, Kile, …. => Think about helping us out.
Here is a nice guide how to build KF 5 stuff.
We are happy to review your patches, any help is welcome!
(And yes, shame on me, during Akademy I found patches older than one year hanging around on Bugzilla, now applied, and still some controversial ones are floating around.)
Even if you are no developer, reviewing bugs/wishs and killing off issues that got already solved or are not applicable would already be a great help!
A long time ago (2006) a cool guy named Jacob Rideout started work on automated language detection in the KDE spell checking framework Sonnet. Unfortunately he never finished it, and while Jakub Stachowski gave it another shot in 2009, it never got merged into a released version of Sonnet.
But last early year, I got tired of Quassel giving me constant red underlining in all my Norwegian IRC channels, and decided to finish up the code and clean it up, and get it merged. And in the process I seem to have turned into the maintainer of Sonnet.
At a very high level, the language detection scheme currently works as this:
First, it looks at all the characters in the sentence it wants to guess the language for. Thanks to QChar, we can easily find which writing system/script the characters belong to, and that allows us to filter out a bunch of languages. The list of possible languages from this is sorted by longest substring; this means that if you write a sentence in one script (for example latin), and then have a single word in for example cyrillic, it will consider latin languages first.
Unfortunately, for example latin script (like I use here in this blog post) is used by a bunch of languages, which means we need a way to efficiently guess what language a string is. The idea that Mr. Rideout originally borrowed from a perl script named “languid”, is to generate a list of the most common triple-letter strings (trigrams) in all languages, and then use that to guess which language the string most likely is.
Finally, if we haven’t been able to narrow it down to a good guess so far, we go bruteforce and just test with all available dictionaries. We simply check all words with all dictionaries available, and the dictionary that recognizes the most words is used.
This is only available in the Frameworks (5) version of Sonnet, however, so if you want this, port your applications to Qt5 and Frameworks. :-D
After a hiatus — Siggraph 2014 first, then two weeks of vacation, We’ve got new builds for you! These builds have the following improvements:
- KICKSTARTER: Fix brush antialiasing
- OCIO: Implement an option to disable changing currently selected color when changing exposure/gamma
- X11: Fix a crash with newer evdev drivers
- OCIO: set black and white points of the image in the OCIO docker
- Fix saving 16 bit grayscale images to tiff, jpeg and ppm
- Fix loading and saving of blending modes to PSD
We’re still missing several blending modes, though. At least these are missing for rgb:
- inverted divide
- pass through
- darker color
- lighter color
- Fix saving assistants (again)
- Fix a bug that randomly disabled Krita tablet support
- Update the preview of the MyPaint color selector when a new color is set
- Add zooming/panning to the overview docker
- Update G’Mic to 1.6
- Fix loading of Auto Spacing for predefined brushes
- Fix incorrect enabled state of widgets in layer box after switching the node
- block clipboard brush when it’s not active as it was interfering with other brushes
- Fixes for ink depletion of saturation
- Let the popup palette use tags instead of a manual configuration system to select between sets of brushes
- Add a color slider docker: this adds a HSV/HSL/HSI/HSY’ slider docker to Krita
OSX build (still experimental, no OpenColorIO or OpenEXR):
In the mean time, lots of improvements to the transform tool are being worked on.
During Akademy 2014 BoFs we scrutinized some applications usability and visual design. In this article we present the outcome of our work with the KDE pronunciation trainer 'Artikulate'.
Keep on reading: Reprise of Akademy 2014: Artikulate
Since nobody else has done the honors yet, I'm happy to announce that - as decided at the Qt Contributors Summit this year - support for running applications under a Wayland compositor will be seeing its initial release with Qt 5.4. That is, the QtWayland repository is finally going to stop sitting in the corner, sulking. :)
There's a few "buts", though.
Firstly, it should be noted that support for QWidget-Based applications (and other desktop-based usecases) may be far from ideal, and quality may not be great. This is a consequence of most development on QtWayland having been driven from mobile/embedded viewpoints to date, and is not, in general, an inherent limitation on the windowing system. It's also something of a reflection on Wayland itself, which is only now starting to mature for desktop use (through xdg-shell etc etc.)
tl;dr: Think of this as a technical preview, keep your expectations realistic, and if you want to use it, expect to roll up your sleeves a bit and get dirty from time to time.
Secondly, the QtCompositor API in the QtWayland module (allowing you to write your own Wayland compositor) will not be seeing a release at this time. The API is not frozen, and has not seen the usual polish/quality that you might expect from Qt APIs. As this API is only of use to a limited number of people (those looking to implement an embedded/mobile device, typically, or write their own DE) this should not impact too many people.
tl;dr: If you want to write a compositor, you get to keep both pieces if it breaks. If you want to use applications under an existing Wayland compositor, you're fine.
Future work to QtWayland is largely an open story, but some obvious candidates come to mind:
- Continued work on xdg-shell support
- Plugin based window decorations (to enable environment-specific look and feel) this has now landed in the 5.4 branch :)
- Integration with the rest of Qt's autotests (I spent a while getting tests fixed or at least runnable under window-compositor, but it would be nice to automate this)
- "Official" subsurface protocol support
I'd also like to take a moment to thank everyone for their contributions to QtWayland. In particular, I'd like to say thanks to the following, in no particular order (and I'm extremely sorry if I've missed someone, please let me know and I'll happily add you to the list):
- Kristian Høgsberg & Jesse Barnes, for their initial work on the port, sponsored by Intel,
- Jørgen Lind, Samuel Rødal, Andy Nichols, Laszlo Agocs, and Paul Olav Tvete for continuing work on it excellently and admirably,
- Nokia for sponsoring a good deal of the development up until their abrupt departure from the Qt world,
- Digia for continuing to help out after Nokia left,
- Andrew Knight, for ably shepherding problems encountered by Jolla for quite a long time,
- Jolla for sponsoring a large chunk of work on QtWayland (past and present),
- Gunnar Sletta for rewriting integration with rendering (especially QtQuick), removing a large number of bugs & improving performance,
- Giulio Camuffo for numerous fixes, improvements and interaction with the wider Wayland community.
The votes are in, and the patrons of Luminosity have selected the topics for the upcoming episode. The new episode won't be recorded this week, however, as I will be away from reliable Internet access until this weekend. It will instead be recorded on the last day of this month, Tuesday the 30th. I'll post the exact time on Monday, but expect it to be the usual evening time.
So, topics! I will be reviewing Kdenlive, video editing that doesn't suck, and talking about funding free software.
While the funding topic was a clear favorite, Kdenlive only narrowly beat out the Rust language; so Rust will be on the next ballot for one more kick at that can. Thanks to all the patrons who are helping direct the show like this; it makes it a lot more enjoyable for me and is helping improve the show episode by episode.
See you next Tuesday!
http://gcompris.net/download/beta/GCompris-Android-0.18.apkWe now ported a large number of activities (83 by now) and we are covering a large spectrum in domain and target age. I believe we have enough content now to make an official release, hopefully by the end of the year.The development team is now focused on testing, documentation and then translations. This is a good timing to test and provide us feedback.
Also, following from the release last week, I’ve made a new 0.5.1 release with some build fixes for examples with Qt 5 and a change to how plugins are handled. Grantlee will no longer attempt to unload plugins at any point.
I came back from Akademy last week and would love to share my experience with you all :) This year also Akademy was great with lots of fun, shared/gained information, met old friends and made some new.Pre-registration
This year, pre-registration was at the shiny new Red Hat office in Brno on 5th September. Most of my friends whom I know and going to attend Akademy were present there. It was very pleasant and happy feeling to meet everyone after an year.The Talks
Sascha Meinrath Cornelius Schumacher
This year there were lot of fast track (10 minutes) talks on different areas around KDE. All of them were quite interesting, some of them are:
Bruno Coudoin talked about how and why GCompris moved to QtQuick with the support of KDE. What all challenges project faced while moving from GTK to Qt.
Paniel Vrátil talked about his one year journey with Akonadi
Martin Gräßlin gave an overview of current state of Kwin in adding Wayland support and future plans.
Kevin Ottens talked about KDE craftsmen where analysis was on the way we handle our software production, how can we make our software even better.
Kai Uwe Broulik talked about current status of Qt port on Android and iOS. Currently, 3 iOS apps in Apple store and 8 Android apps in Google play since December 2013.
Among all long duration talks, an interesting talk which I attended was A Tale on ELFs and DWARFs by Volker Krause . He explained about:
How to understand linker errors which we come across while compiling an application
How to debug weird runtime behaviours which may occur while running application
Way symbols are mangled for C++ created binaries on different platforms like windows, iOS, linux
Tools which can help us to read and understand binaries file like readelf, objdump, nm from binutils on Linux, otool on Mac and Dependency walker on Windows
gcc options like -g[0-3] to add level of debug information into binaries which can be further used to solve program issues using tools like gdb.
GCompris talk by Bruno Coudoin Akademy awardsWorkshops
I loved attending workshop on visual design and QML by Andrew Lake . I have already seen awesome mockup design which Andrew created for Plasma Media Center. It was fun to be in his workshop and learning the way mockups can be created using QML. You can also try that by following this wiki.
I say “send email” and kmail opens mail compose for me, interesting right? This is what Peter Grasch did in speech recognition workshop. He showed how easily you can configure rules in simon to make your application voice controlled.BoFs
BoF is one of the the main part of every Akademy which continues for 5 days after main conference gets over. Anything which needs discussion, help or feedback gets sorted out by scheduling a BoF for that particular topic.
Plasma Media Center BoF KDE edu BoF
(Image CC by Sujith Haridasan) (Image CC by Sujith Haridasan)
Plasma Media Center BoF: Every year PMC team schedules a BoF which helps us to get feedback on how application looks currently, what should be done next to make it more better. This year we discussed on
Vision of Plasma Media Center which we finalized to “To offer an immersive, rich and easy-to-use media experience crafted by KDE for you”.
We discussed on PMC integration workflow with plasma 5
Repository structure i.e whether to split PMC into libs and backends as two separate repository or keep it in same repo. Finally, we agreed on keeping into single repository.
KDE Edu use in India : This BoF was about FOSS community in Hyderabad, India which have started to use KDE Edu apps for teaching children in government schools with the help of ThoughtWorks. They are creating an interesting app called Human-atlas which will help children to learn about body parts in interesting way and can take Quiz to test what they already know.
KDE India Future Plans: This BoF was to give an overview of what all KDE events happened in India, what problems organizers faced, what all fruitful results came out of various events. Suggestions on how we can improve to attract more people to attend conference and bringing them to FOSS world.
KDE Windows: This BoF was for asking questions and help regarding KDE on windows. I attended this because I was curious to know what all KDE apps work on KDE windows and if Plasma Media Center could be run on windows. It was great to see efforts KDE Windows team have done to compile various KF5 modules. Kudos to them from my side!
Being around with KDE people is always fun. I also find fun in collecting different FOSS related goodies. Oh, yes! This year too I collected some of them from different sponsors booth including Red Hat.
Lots of goodies KDE logo by 3D printer @ Red Hat booth
Akademy day trip is always fun intended. This year we went to see Brno Reservoir. We explored surrounding for sometime and further we went for Ferry ride which was amazing. Through Ferry, we reached to Veveří Castle . After seeing castle, to reenergize we took some rest and light snack/drink. After that we returned back to reservoir via bus and further headed to restaurant for dinner.
While writing this blog, I felt like I revisited Akademy. These are awesome moments which will get remembered throughout life. You can find some awesome pictures taken during Akademy here . Thanks to KDE eV for sponsoring my travel and accommodation. Also many thanks to all sponsors and volunteers with the help of which this year also Akademy was superb.
Please vote for your favored design and workflow of the KDE keyboard switcher plasmoid.
Keep on reading: Vote for your Keyboard Layout Switcher plasmoid
KDE (back when it was still the name of the desktop environment) and our applications historically stood for powerful features and great flexibility and customizeability. This is what our users love about our software, this is why they choose Plasma and KDE software instead of one of the other Free desktop offerings. And it is also something they would fight tooth and nail for if we wanted to take it away (as many a KDE maintainer who dared to remove a feature he thought was unnecessary can tell).
On the other hand, this power and flexibility at times leads to user interfaces that intimidate especially new users if they expose all the features they have to users at once, leading them to avoid our applications altogether. This keeps them from ever experiencing the power which they might enjoy later on, as they use an application for more advanced tasks.
With KDE4 (back then, Plasma as a brand was not born yet), the aim was to keep the power, but do away with the scariness, as the KDE4 Vision states:
“Anything that makes Linux interesting for technical users (shells, compilation, drivers, minute user settings) will be available; not as the default way of doing things, but at the user’s discretion.”
In the design vision and principles section of the KDE HIG, we condensed and evolved this goal into a simple guiding principle:
Simple by default, powerful when needed.
How do we reach that goal?
As the first step, it is necessary to define the target audience and use scenario for an application. Only if we know that, we can define which goals users should be able to reach using the application.
The next step is to define for each goal how likely our target users in the target scenario are to actually have that goal, and how regularly. As an example, when we planned KMail Active (aimed at tablet computers) a year ago, we categorized the tasks we wanted to support in three groups: common, uncommon, and rare.
Only the common actions would be accessible directly in the main user interface. Since the usage scenario we had in mind for KMail Active was “Quickly checking up on new mails on the go or at home on the sofa and occasionally reply”, only those functions relevant to that scenario were planned to be placed in the main UI.
This is how we achieved the “Simple by default goal”:
We optimized KMail Active for users who would rather use KMail Desktop to actually organize their emails by sorting them into folders, or try to retrieve old emails in any folder. However, we recognized that sometimes users may need to retrieve an email from some otherwise rarely used folder or tag or move an email to a certain folder in order to find it more easily later, but don’t have access to a desktop or laptop PC. Therefore a UI to browse through the whole folder hierarchy and the tags (not mocked-up yet) was included in the design, though only visible if users scrolled the view to the left.
The same goes for writing new emails. The default UI for that won’t include things like HTML formatting or adding attachments (since writing longer and more complex emails is not convenient on a device without a keyboard, and users are less likely to have documents they want to send to people on their tablet), but they, too are only presented on demand, not by default. This is the “powerful when needed” part.
This philosophy will guide the designs provided by the VDG, so you will see more examples coming up, soon!
UPDATE: As I’ve seen in some discussions of my post on the Internet (not the comments here) that people apparently thought the screenshot represented the next KMail desktop UI, I’ve updated the screenshot and the caption to make clear what it is.
UPDATE2: Now that this post has become quite popular (2.394 unique visitors so far today!), I felt the need to make clear that – as always with Free Software – all this is a team effort. The original version of the design principles Wiki page was written by Andrew Lake, the user stories for KMail Active were co-written with Heiko Tietze and Michael Bohlender, the design of the mockup was done by Michael Bohlender with my help, and Michael also contributed to the philosophy tagline, by replacing “complex” with “powerful”.
Filed under: KDE, User Experience
Recently, Dolphin 4.14 has been released, and in this post, I will tell you about the improvements that are included in this release. This is my last “recent developments in Dolphin” post – I have stepped down as maintainer recently.
Maintaining Dolphin has been a very pleasant and rewarding experience. It went a lot better than I had expected when I took over from Peter a bit more than 2 years ago: Dolphin has been improved in many ways, and I am grateful to everyone who helped to make this possible.
I cannot continue to spend as much time on Dolphin as I did during the past two years, so I have asked Emmanuel Pescosta if he is willing to take over. I am very happy that he accepted because he has made an impressive number of contributions to Dolphin, and I am sure that he will keep Dolphin in good shape and improve it further.
This is not a “good bye” post though – I am still planning to contribute to KDE in general and Dolphin in particular in the future.Dolphin 4.14.1
- Bug 323077: Hide an error message (which is shown above the view) before showing a new one. See git commit e7ef1cb8, review request 119401.
- Bug 338549: Fix the problem that the context menu and the Delete key do not work after restoring a session with split views. See git commit 13efd595, review request 119961.
- Bug 333078: Make it possible to open archives via the command line. See git commit 421e7ea4, review request 119877.
- Bug 334271: Improve the drawing of the status bar widgets on high-DPI displays. See git commit 1b6ce8a9, review request 119701.
- Bug 332629: Use a shorter icon text for the “Previous” and “Next” toolbar buttons. See git commit 03f7f20b, review request 117794.
- Bug 327708: Make sure that the “free space” information, which can be shown in the status bar, updated in all visible views. See git commit de197075, review request 118208.
- Bug 337104: Fix wrong text eliding in some corner cases. See git commit a203c271, review request 119546.
- A small visual improvement in the Places Panel, which was motivated by a post in our forum and a comment on a Visual Design Group report: Do not underline the current item (or draw a dotted rectangle around it, depending on the style). The “selected item” highlighting is sufficient because the selected item is always the current one in the panel. See git commit d329e0ed, review request 119019.
- Bug 304643: Include not only the item text, but also the icon in the selection rectangle in Compact/Details View and the Places Panel. Moreover, do not tint the icon of the selected item. See git commit 1f69714a, review request 119018 (also for information why removing the icon tinting in Icons View is not so easy).
- Fix a runtime warning (“QPixmap::scaled: Pixmap is a null pixmap”) that was caused by the Information Panel on startup. See git commit b28f9628, review request 119553.
- Bug 329377: Fix incorrect selection of items when expanding a folder in Details View in some corner cases. See git commit 1c9a92da, review request 119703.
- Start a refactoring of the rather huge DolphinMainWindow class. This will make bug fixes and other maintenance efforts easier in the future. See git commits 58ac6a46, 6a98d833 and review requests 118805, 118964.
- Make opening URLs via the command line more efficient by avoiding that a tab is created for the Home URL and destroyed immediately. See git commit e4705292, review request 118966.
- Save memory and CPU cycles by not storing the item width (in Icons View) or the item height (in Compact and Details View) for every item. Since it is the same for every item in the view, it is sufficient to store it once. See git commit d8c078eb, review request 118454.
Alexander Richardson ported the entire code base to Qt 5 and the KDE Frameworks – many thanks for that! If you want to test it, use the “frameworks” branch from our git repository, or check if your distribution provides packages that are made from this branch. It works quite nicely already, but it still has some rough edges. If you find some, please file a bug report, or even better, dig into the code, try to figure out what’s going wrong, and submit a patch to Review Board.
Thanks to everyone who helped to make the improvements in Dolphin 4.14 possible, and also to those who contributed the first patches to the frameworks branch: Alexander Richardson, Alex Merry, Arjun Ak, Christoph Feck, Christophe Giboudeaux, David Faure, Emmanuel Pescosta, Frederik Gladhorn, Hrvoje Senjan, Kai Uwe Broulik, Laurent Montel, Luca Beltrame, Lukáš Tinkl, Mathieu Tarral, Michael Reeves, Renato Atilio, and Scarlett Clark.
This was my first akademy and it meant a lot to me I would love to share the snaps I had taken before I write down further. Here is the link from flickr(https://www.flickr.com/photos/sujith-h/sets/72157646981723648/). It was my immense pleasure to meet many people around the conference. I remember the first day where I was so shy to talk to people gathered around at RedHat office in the evening. And Adriaan de Groot helped me out :).
First two days were amazing with with good enlightening talks ( as I wont be writing too much about that because they are already described in dot(https://dot.kde.org/2014/09/11/akademy-wednesday-and-thursday-wrapup, https://dot.kde.org/2014/09/10/akademy-tuesday-wrapup, https://dot.kde.org/2014/09/08/akademy-2014-day-2-talks and https://dot.kde.org/2014/09/08/akademy-award-winners-2014)). Then on the BoF’s started. I got an idea to implement something new for PlasmaMediacenter. Once implemented and changes pushed I will share the blog post for the same.
I thank a lot to e.V and sponsors for this good event.
With a series of icon tests we currently study effects on the usability of icon design. This article however does not focus on these general design effects but presents findings specific to the Humanity icon set.
Keep on reading: Intermediate results of the icon tests: Humanity
The Grantlee community is pleased to announce the release of Grantlee version 0.5 (Mirror). Source and binary compatibility are maintained as with all previous releases. Grantlee is an implementation of the Django template system in Qt.
This release builds with both Qt 5 and Qt 4. The Qt 5 build is only for transitional purposes so that a downstream can get their own code built and working with Qt 5 without being first blocked by Grantlee backward incompatible changes. The Qt 5 based version of Grantlee 0.5.0 should not be relied upon as a stable interface. It is only there to assist porting. There won’t be any more Qt 4 based releases, except to fix build issues if needed.
The next release of Grantlee will happen next week and will be exclusively Qt 5 based. It will have a small number of backward incompatible changes, such as adding missing const and dropping some deprecated stuff.
The minimum CMake required has also been increased to version 2.8.11. This release contains most of the API for usage requirements and so allows cleaning up a lot of older CMake code.
Also in this release is a small number of new bug fixes and memory leak plugs etc.
I’m a designer/artist and tutor. I’ve worked with 3ds Max and related tools for about 14 years since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art many eons ago, in 1999! Recently, I’ve been running 3d graphics workshops and teaching online and making my own artworks. I’ve also worked with a lot of clients mainly in the offshore renewable sector for visualisation projects in 3ds Max.Do you paint professionally or as a hobby artist?
Professionally, as well as 3d work, I’m putting together a solo show for my most recent work. I have sold artwork in the past but not recently as I am waiting until I present it all in my own solo exhibition. It is a big project for me!When and how did you end up trying digital painting for the first time?
I am 38 now, I remember trying digital painting when I was about 9, I had a ZX Spectrum Plus 2, these were popular in the 1980s in the UK and I am sure I used a black Microsoft mouse I got for a birthday present. My attempts weren’t good, I went back to traditional drawing. I started digital painting a few years again to edit and also enhance my scanned traditional drawings and also 3d renders.What is it that makes you choose digital over traditional painting?
I don’t! I am passionate about mixing the two, either starting off with traditional drawings, or starting with 3d graphics. The final process I import into a 2d package, in this case Krita. I found a term online for this: it is called ‘tradigital’.How did you first find out about open source communities? What is your opinion about them?
Not sure when, I first heard a radio programme on the BBC radio about it. As a 3ds Max user, I was a bit snobby about the whole thing, I was wrong. I now see the great work produced in the Krita and Blender communities that matches what is done with expensive tools. Also, as the work is often not constrained by big budget production houses, the Indie approach for many who use these tools allow for more experimentation away from just commercial concerns.Have you worked for any FOSS project or contributed in some way?
I haven’t as yet!How did you find out about Krita?
Someone I know who was interested in a Blender meetup showed me. No one else met up! However, he showed me a video of the blender and krita work by William Thorup, Thieve’s Cross. It looked great, I wanted to try it myself!What was your first take on it?
I also use Sketchbook pro. I found Krita matches up well with its GUI etc. I always found GIMP annoying to use so was really pleased that Krita seems more inclined towards artists.What do you love about Krita?
Well, it is free and open source but at the same time very good and a great user interface, much more than say GIMP. It feels as if the overall interface in Krita has been considered when its programmers made it. I also like the fact that as well as Blender, it does not require licenses to teach it and run workshops, whereas 3ds Max that I use requires people unless they are pirating, to pay for the software even when learning.What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Also, anything that you really hate?
I like Krita overall, what I hate was that it seemed to slow down a bit when I added quite a lot of layers. A bit more so than Sketchbook Pro. Mind you, it was for an A3 print at 300DPI!In your opinion, what sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use?
It is free, but at the same time intuitive and capable of professional results. It compares very well with Sketchbook Pro which I also use a lot too. Some aspects of Krita I prefer more than Sketchbook Pro.If you had to pick one favourite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be?
My Montreal Expo 67 project. The whole point was to make a project with a series of artwork using my ‘tradigital’ style. record it and make a Youtube tutorial from it using Blender, Krita and traditional drawing. I used the Habitat 67 and the
Biosphere in Montreal Canada, as the source material, amazing buildings, visit them if you get the chance.
I like the fact that I originally wanted a retro type graphic design poster feel, a bit like something from the 60s or 70s with slight influences from the designer Saul Bass, you must look him up if you have not heard of him! I like how Krita enabled me to carry out my plans and get a result I was pleased with.
The brushes I used in it were the smudge soft, the erasers and then different paint brushes to make the original scanned drawing more clear.Would you like to share it with our site visitors?
Sure; I would also like to share the tutorial I made along with it.Anything else you’d like to share?
I would like to say what an amazing time we live in with great free tools that are now more and more stable, like Krita and Blender. As artists, designers, enthusiasts, we can push our own boundaries without breaking the bank or piracy laws!
My artworks can be found at www.jamesabellart.com
I would also be happy if some of my youtube tutorials help you in some way.
I moved to http://www.calincruceru.net. It is my new personal website where I’m planning to post regularly mostly about CS-related topics. There is also a section where you can find a list of projects I am/have been working on.