FOSDEM and Plasma Mobile Sprint 2020
Last week saw the by now traditional early February combination of FOSDEM in Brussels, followed by a week-long Plasma Mobile sprint in Berlin.
This was the 20th anniversary for FOSDEM, I first attended 15 years ago, but this year was the first time I actually managed to present a talk there. The subject was, unsurprisingly, KDE Itinerary. You can find the slides and the video recording on the corresponding FOSDEM talk page.
KDE had a very busy presence at FOSDEM, Plasma Mobile draw a lot of attention, as did efforts for truly free and user-controlled mobile platforms in general. I’m particularly happy seeing the cross-community collaborations going on in that space.
FOSDEM is a great place to connect and coordinate with other communities, and by now that’s probably one of the main reasons for me to attend. The collaboration with Nextcloud on integrating itinerary extraction into Nextcloud Hub started there last year for example.
FOSDEM two years ago saw the first successful flight using a KDE Itinerary rendered boarding pass, this year we had the first ever Thalys ride with a ticket presented in KDE Itinerary. We also made a bit of progress with decoding Thalys binary barcodes, more samples would help a lot here though.
Plasma Mobile Sprint
Following FOSDEM there was a Plasma Mobile sprint in Berlin, this time at the KDAB office. I couldn’t attend the full time, but it was nevertheless useful to move a few topics I’m interested in forward:
Upgrading our Android build environment to Qt 5.14 and NDK r20. This has been complicated considerably by breaking changes in Qt regarding plug-in and QML loading as well as APK generation and deployment, up to the point where we consider it unfeasible to support Qt 5.14 and older Qt versions at the same time (you’d need different Android manifest files for this, per application). See T12520 and D26749.
Investigate a fairly fundamental binding loop issue between Qt Quick layout and
Textelements with word wrapping enabled. This is responsible for at least half of the layouting glitches all over KDE Itinerary, and so far only partially effective but very dirty workarounds exist. See QTBUG-81707. Thanks to Marco for doing the hard work here!
It looks like binary factory APKs all use the Qt Quick fallback style, rather than the Material one. This is another fairly basic issue for various UI issues such as the active element in a combo box being invisible or toggle switches showing no visual difference between on and off. There is no generic solution yet, but at least this is easy to fix per application.
KDE Itinerary finally got a proper icon, thanks to the work of Mathis Brüchert!
We discussed how to provide a platform abstraction for different intent/content sharing platforms such as Purpose, Content Hub or Android. Having such an abstraction would simplify application development by avoid platform-specific code.
And of course I had to collect travel documents for improving the itinerary extractor from everyone, the first improvements following from that have already been integrated.
You can help!
Attending events like FOSDEM or meetings like the Plasma Mobile Sprint is extremely productive, and only possible thanks to KDE e.V. and our venue sponsors, something worth supporting if you happen to have access to a suitable venue or happen to have some extra cash :)