Saturday, October 6, 2012

Randa: KDE Edu installer for Windows

Some of you may question why I was working on the Rekonq Windows installer at the KDE Edu sprint in Randa. This is a very good question because it seems at first glance that got I distracted from my reason for travelling there. Although, I do not unfortunately have screenshots in this post, let me explain the situation. It is a bit dry for a reason, but please bear with me. :-)

The KDE Edu sprint began with the KDE Edu on Windows session, at least for me. We had a very productive discussion during the session and among many topics one topic was particularly close to my heart; just like at the KDE Windows BoF in Tallinn at aKademy:

How can we proceed with promoting KDE Edu on Windows? How can we get an installer as soon as possible?

Having had the session I briefly decided in my mind I was going to work on an installer as an experiment when we have spare time among the sessions.

The KDE Windows team did a great job for aiding the situation, so many thanks to them. One thing which was immediately obvious in this area: we have to have an installer for a full KDE Edu stack, so not just a single application. We have had examples out there for having a Windows Installer for Amarok and so forth, but they are all standalone applications.

Although I have made Windows NSIS installers previously for Gluon, Mula and so forth by using CPack, as a total newbie about making Windows installers this way, I have decided to make an in-between step. What in-between step exactly? That said, having thought through, it was clear to me I should grab the "qewitter" package and get something similar done for a KDE application. As I previously had the urgent need for a Rekonq installer  at my company, I stuck with the idea of creating a standalone installer for Rekonq and then learning the basics along the way, and once that is done I can introduce the new factor of having an installer for a full stack, and not just a standalone.

As you may have read my previous blog post about the initial success of the Rekonq installer, I began the work on the KDE Edu installer. Actually I got that working during Randa with a few quirks. The most important issue was that I did not get a shortcut in the Start menu for each application. Meanwhile the KDE Edu suite installed fine with a simple "next workflow", one had to go the executable files and run them manually. Therefore, theoretically it was installable, but not too user friendly. ;-)

As for accomplishing that goal, I had to make a custom NSIS script which did not have time in Randa, but actually I got that done and committed at the Milan Bergamo airport and also onboard the plane. Vis major situation is vis major... Unfortunately when I was generating the latest version of the installer, my Windows 7 froze on the airplane, and did not respond, no matter what I did. When I tried to force a hard reboot, the operating system did not boot anymore. The last days I have tried to repair the ntfs filesystem on my Linux operating system with "ntfsfix", I have also tried to get the boot manager repaired. I have also tried to use the Windows 7 DVD I got from my colleague, but after two unsuccessful tries (3 hours repair / try), I just gave up.

If anybody has a good idea how I could get my Windws 7 working again, let me know. Otherwise I will just back-up the kderoot folder, and execute a reinstall when I have a little free time. In the meantime, if anybody is interested in the "raw installer", no shortcuts in the Start menu as it is not the latest generation, I can upload to the server. :-)

Alternatively, if someone has a KDE Windows emerge environment, "emerge --package kdeedu-package" should also work theoretically. That even worked for me practically. :)

Last, but not least: I left out the "Step" and "Rocs" project out of the KDE Edu installer for now as they have had some build issues. I began to address the Rocs build issues at the sprint, but I was unable to solve that completely. "Step" is currently a bit of unmaintained piece, and the compilation errors were not too easy to fix up, so we did not spend too much time with that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reminder from Randa: Free Playbook for KDE contributors!

While I was in Randa at the Edu mobile session, I realized that we still have the KDE Playbook Contributor Device Program open. There are only a few days left, so do not be shy. Hurry up if you would like to apply for a device and help the KDE Project to rock on further. ;-)

Also, please spread the word. Thank you in advance!

Blackberry Playbook

Monday, September 24, 2012

Randa: Rekonq installer for Windows

As a Rekonq fan, I always have been interested in helping with Rekonq development, even if I had very limited time to do so. Although my daily job has been recently migrating to Windows XP, I am still preserving my Linux roots. I have always wanted to switch to Rekonq on my Windows box instead of the alternative solutions.

There was an excellent KDE Windows BoF at Akademy this year in Tallinn. There was some interest from the participants' side, including me, to make Rekonq run on Windows. I was compiling the software during the session, and I actually got it running for my generic purposes right there, as in gtalk, ssl, and so forth. While I was able to make it compile, it is not a process that the average user will find easy.

Therefore, I decided to go to the #rekonq channel on irc back then and talk to "adjam", the maintainer. We were both excited to get this up and running.  However, unfortunately, as usual, I personally got distracted with other tasks. That was more than two months ago, but now I have found the time here in Randa again to work on bringing this vision to practice.

Install Path selection

Thanks to the very helpful KDE Windows team (in this case Patrick and Patrick ;), I was able to pull it all together. Here you can find the link for the installer:


Last, but not least: this is not the end of the story. There is still lots of improvement needed for the installer to get really fine tuned. Currently, the installer and installed sizes are bigger than they should be. Even with those issues and some runtime inconveniences, this is a great milestone for Rekonq in my opinion. Hope this makes someone's day more bright in the future. If not, it is also okay; I had a lot of fun while doing this. :-)

In action

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Randa: KDE Games for Windows

As you may have already heard or read, the kde games stack has recently migrated to the git infrastructure. The new KDE Windows source packages are finally available now by using emerge. The changes will be hopefully available for end users later at the 4.9 release.

I have just skimmed through the build for all the packages by using "emerge kdegames" and there were no build issues which is cool. I do not have time for now to test all the games during the runtime, but I briefly fired up KBreakOut before going to sleep. :-)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Randa: KDE Frameworks build experiment on Harmattan

We had two great (plus one about the generic QML topic) sessions today I attended, here at the KDE Edu Sprint.

The topics were KDE Edu on Windows and then on Plasma Active. I will try to blog about those sessions later as I found them really interesting and noteworthy.

We had an idea about coordinating and discussing the effort for the Qt5/KF experiment. The session was not yet held, but let me blog a bit now about the Qt5/KF efforts anyway. :-)

As you may already know, I have a genuine interest to bring Qt and KDE to mobile platforms in general. ;-) Due to the lack of accces to the raspberry pi, playboook and so forth, I am only able to experiment with KDE Framework on my N9. I have just made the extra-cmake-modules, cmake 2.8.9, the phonon version 4.6.0 available for this platform.

Here are the step how you can build the frameworks branch of kdelibs for Harmattan:

1) Add the following repositories (Nokia and Community) to your sources.list files:

deb harmattan/sdk free non-free
deb ./

2) apt-get update

3) fakeroot apt-get install qt5-* (the qt5 dependencies you need)

4) fakeroot apt-get install cmake extra-cmake-modules libphonon-dev

5) git clone -b frameworks

6) export PATH=/opt/qt5/bin:$PATH

7) mkdir kdelibs/build && cd kdelibs/build && cmake -DCMAKE_SYSTEM_PREFIX_PATH=/usr/phonon ../

The CMAKE_SYSTEM_PREFIX_PATH needs to be used unfortunately as we are unable to override system packages on Harmattan. Thereby, the phonon package and files cannot be overriden by the KDE phonon packages and files we need for frameworks. Hence, the prefix install "/usr/phonon" is used for now.

It is not as difficult as it seems, albeit not the prettiest either admittedly. :-)

Yet, I am happy with this achievement as it is a great milestone for the frameworks branch to be tested from non-desktop and ARM point of view as well. :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

QtQuick 2 is coming to Harmattan

I have made all the basic packaging for Harmattan right after the Qt beta 1 release. Now you can install the following packages from the community repository: qt-3d, qt5-base, qt5-declarative, qt5-jsbackend, qt5-location, qt5-multimedia, qt5-script, qt5-sensors, qt5-xmlpatterns, and qt5-components.

As you can see, there is also a qt5-components package available. Last night I put some effort into porting the qtquick2 branch of the qt-components project to Qt5. Here you can find the steps to start the work on a Qt5/QtQuick2 application for Harmattan:

* echo 'deb harmattan/sdk free non-free' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nicks.list
* echo 'deb ./' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nicks.list
* apt-get update
* fakeroot apt-get install qt5-components

The QtQuick2 port to Qt5 has not yet been thoroughly tested, so runtime issues may be expected. If you would like to contribute, please grab the code from here:
git clone -b qtquick2 git://

Contributions still warmly welcome! Thank you for your attention.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Qt5 Beta 1 is coming to Harmattan

First of all, do not forget we still need some support for our Randa sprint.

Click here to lend your support to: KDE Randa Meetings and make a donation at !

I have just re-packaged my previous Qt5 snapshot version for the Qt5 base module last night. Having gotten the news about the beta 1 release yesterday, I have felt the urge to do so. :-) For installation, you need to do the following in your development environment (or on your phone):

* echo 'deb ./' >>/etc/apt/sources.list.d/nicks.list

* apt-get update

* fakeroot apt-get install qt5-base

Done. Unfortunately, there are some ongoing issues for the Community OBS which currently block me to get the Qt5 jsbackend and declarative modules publicly built and distributed. Just one important of those:

Hope for the declarative module to be available soon, and then we can finish the QtQuick2 branch port of the qt-components project. This means the new plugin and native event filter API usages and so forth.

As you can see, there is still a way to go, but the base is already there. :-)

Contributions warmly welcome!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Support the 2012 KDE Randa Meetings

If you are in a position where you are able to help us to make this a success story, please consider so. :-)

Here you can find the official announcement:

As a participant last year to the Randa meetings, I can also assure you without any hesitation: it is an awesome and very beneficial event from many point of views.


I will be participating in the KDE Edu sprint, and it would be gratifying to keep the excellent free software stack for education going on nicely. It has been a solid and well-proven stack for many years now, but we always face new challanges with the rapidly changing world and technologies around. Here you can find our official website:

We have been recently putting a lot of effort into making the educational stack more accessible on mobile devices (tablets and phones). Needless to say, we also have interesting challanges on desktop as well on various platforms (Windows, Linux, and Mac).

Free and accessible software is very important for us in Education. If you like having this option for teachers, kids, students, and pupils: I can only encourage you again to kindly consider your support, even if it is just a penny. =)

Here you can find the presentation slides and my talk with Aleix at the annual aKademy summit this year for further information:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Getting back to FOSS contributions


Unfortunately, I have been busy recently with a couple of serious real life issues. Yeah, our life is not always an easy-peasy cakewalk; we sometimes think it is getting very grim. I was traveling back to Hungary about three weeks ago when I got the news my dear father had deceased after a stroke. It was two years ago, when I last saw him, but I still clearly recall his activities. What a great person, he will be extremely missed.

It was not an easy situation, Christmas and New Year's Eve for us, especially for my mother who has spent 46 years with my father in this material life. I have tried to take care of my mother mentally and financially as much as possible. As for me, it was much simpler to accept the fact than I thought even though I loved him a lot. I prayed a lot for his soul during this period, especially during the funeral to reach the most appropriate position ever. I have a good poem for the situation that I would like to share (probably a good candidate for my pall when I reach my "end"):

For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.

- Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.20

Unfortunately it took an effect on my leisure time FOSS contribution and I had to withdraw my mentorship help of the Google Code-In session. Thanks to Lydia for helping me with that. I also had to withdraw my help from the KDE and Qt5 contributions that I previously discussed with David Faure. I am really sorry for those, again.

The good news is that, I am now entirely back to Helsinki and can concentrate on amending the time spilling regarding these activities. I have also been organizing a Qt MeetUp [1] in Helsinki next week. It is also a sort of KDE 4.8. release party. Hope to see some of you there.

I would like to wish a happy new year for you with a lot of FOSS acitivities. :)