Tag Archives: makeplaylive

The importance of KDE hardware


Those days I’m giving the final touches to what will be the image of the operating system that will be preinstalled on the Improv board.
Does it work? Yes:

Plasma Active on Improv

Blurry exibit #1: Plasma Active running on the Improv

KWin compositing

KWin is one of the few X11 window managers (and the only desktop-grade one) that can do composite on GLES devices (withut GLX)

Now, a little backstory: A while ago the Plasma team received a bug report about the popups in the Plasma panel. apparently they couldn’t receive any mouse event, and this happened on ARM and only on ARM.
This type of bugs are quite weird and difficult to catch, especially when they happen only on an architecture none of the developers is using as development machine.
And while it was possible already to test KDE on ARM devices (we got the bug report in the first place after all), it has never been easy (also helped by the fact most ARM deviecs are as close as you can get, especially the reasonably high end ones).
Not being easy means that it takes a long time to do… not many KDE developers have the time to go trough all the hassle to get a build environment working on an ARM device, and this means bug stays.
When working on the Mer image for the Improv of course i stumbled upon this bug as well.
But wait.. there we have OBS: testing patches on a single package it’s a matter of minutes, thanks to how much easy is to branch a package in an home project (Heads up to OBS developers for this).
In a couple of hours the problem was identified and fixed. In this case is an ARM specific ugly workaround, but luckily won’t be needed with Plasma2 (basically mapping from a QMouseEvent on a QGraphicsView to the QGraphicsSceneMouseEvents on the QGraphicsScene breaks on ARM when the item is at positions farther that (-QWIDGETSIZE_MAX*2, -QWIDGETSIZE_MAX*2), due to different sizes of data types compared to ia32/x8664).

Hardware like the Improv, that comes with KDE preinstalled with an easy way to test out development and patches may really contribute to increase the quality of KDE software on that devie class.


You need to test your software on another kind of device? Just pop the CPU card out of one and pop in into another, without having to setup the same stuff multiple times.

I dream in the future more and more “KDE first” devices, from mobile devices to laptops, to workstations, to set top boxes, both ARM and x86, from many different manifacturers.
They are good not only for who is making them. They are good for KDE software, for KDE developers and in the end for all of our users.




Sometimes the need for something becomes so high, that the situation for just the right thing to happen slowly build up, sometimes for years, and all of the sudden the opportunities blossom from multiple directions.. at the same time (not going to make the parallel with the invention of calculus.. but here you go ;))

Right now i’m not finding the situation on the mobile and embedded landscapes that exciting.. Why? because the alternatives we have right now in the landscape are either straight away completely proprietary or so tightly controlled by a central entity that makes impossible to contribute, and to build something new, exciting, and unexpected that doesn’t come the central entity in control.

That’s why the Plasma Active project started and that’s why we are building hardware that comes with it out of the box.
We found a wonderful free software (and most important, open participation) project to base our work on, excellent both for a KDE-based UI as well as a base for other projects: MER.

It’s a very lean operating system that is excellent as a base for any device-related project. And right now, we have not one, but three mer-based projects that will make an important announcement this month.. on 3 consecutive days (for anyone wondering, no, we didn’t made an agreement about that, is really a weird planet-alignment synchronicity ;).

But let’s talk about what I’m more connected to: the announcement by Make·Play·Live:


This logo represents the first product launched by the Make·Play·Live network of partners, it is based on MER (FAQ: yes, it can run KDE. No, it’s not Vivaldi. Yes Vivaldi will come after this)

While I’m writing, I’m reading 9 days, 20 hour, 05 minutes, 42 seconds.
That’s a short time to wait for an exciting new beginning of something great.