Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday – Programmer Art

Plasma 5.9 is out! Uber has an Open Source competitor, Bodhi receives an update, and we grill Yacine Salmi, one of the developers behind Ellipsis.

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Colour key – Venn Pedro Mathieu Jordan



  • Every time a new Plasma release is out, I keep wondering why I stick to Gnome and yet I still do. It seems to be so much better in every way.
  • If think the reason is because of all those small, barely noticeable, design faux-pas.
  • I think most of those can be fixed by spending some time tweaking the default settings.
    • That’s always been the selling point of KDE, allowing for a much more granular control of everything.
    • And it’s also been the reason some people hate it, it gives people so many options they get Choice Anxiety and end up going with GNOME which gives a seemingly cohesive UI but hide most if not all customization options by default.
  • Expanding functionality while keeping the “traditional” desktop paradigm relatively intact is what the plasma developers seem to want to keep doing.
  • And that’s all very well and good, if they hadn’t the neglected one particularly important bit of the “traditional” desktop. The fact that everything should work about as bug-free as possible.
  • Suffice it to say there’s a reason I’ve nuked KWin compositing and use Compton instead.
  • Fresh coat of paint for the network configuration module.
  • Global Menus have returned.”
    • Booo! Hisss!



  • Flagging GPLv2 software as non-free, that’s some high level bug, and yet you still make a release announcement, no fear! *slow clap*
  • And the UbuntuOne logo is still here, seriously, don’t you have a QA team?
  • Filed a bug report about the UbuntuOne logo still being used and got an explanation. The SSO service is now called UbuntuOne (That’s a bit confusing)
  • And the first app I try doesn’t even launch. kbruch: error while loading shared libraries:
  • Oh, I have to install something else before! Sorry, I have been spoiled by using a package manager that handled dependencies for more than 10 years!
  • They give you a link to the kde-framework-5 on (which looks horrible and nothing like a legit website that would be backed by Canonical) and opening the snap file only displays a “no file_to_app results to show” error.
  • So, I guess you have to do it from the command line.
  • Finally got some snaps to install properly, they use the default KDE theme which is somewhat better than the Windows 95 look of Gtk snaps
  • Oh, and you gotta love the fact that each snap adds a line to the mount command. Wonder how that’s going to scale if Snap do catch on.
  • I’ve said it before and this time it’s not different, Snaps are not ready for the general public. If you are not a Snap developer, you have no reason to use them.
  • And it’s not like you were missing some awesome KDE apps anyway…
  • I get that this could work if you don’t want the Kitchen sinK clogging up your system updates. You keep everything in a Snap and only get updated if need be.
  • But it does nothing to avoid the extra needed space, in fact it could make it worse if you use several different KDE snaps and each comes bundled with its own sinK.
  • Heck! In the case of KDE Connect, you need almost 60MB of KDE stuff on top of the base framework for it to provide the backend for the KDE Connect Indicator.
  • KDE and Snaps deserve each other.


3DFX 2.0

  • Ctrl+F, “linux”, nothing. Next.
    • Which GPU does your graphics card have?
    • So you’re saying NVidia does work in Linux?
    • And maybe, stay with me here, the fact the three of use NVidia GPUs is because NVidia has been, up to this point, the single best option for graphics cards on Linux, correct?
  • So tell me again how NVidia is irrelevant in a Linux news show?
  • Sure Nvidia makes the best cards and driver to use with Linux
  • But how are its sales tactics regarding their new chipsets related to Linux in any way?
    • Why is the hardware market irrelevant to Linux, Strider?
  • This is what killed 3DFX.
  • Starting with the Voodoo3 3DFX started producing their own boards that competed with their partners.
  • Their partners decided to focus on NVIDIA boards.


TIL Bodhi is still around

  • At some point I was tempted to try it but I don’t have time to try Linux distros.
  • I seem to remember someone reporting a bug who was running Bodhi, it was caused by ancient libraries. So an update is more than welcome.
  • I’ve always liked the idea of a having a distro keeping the Enlightenment desktop alive.
    • Everyone likes Enlightenment until they spend a week with it.
  • Unfortunately, it never really took off.
  • I’ve tried it several times and there’s always one huge issue I just can’t deal with or workaround that drove me off of it.



  • You lost me at the part where you have to manually enter a phone number.
    • Lost me at KDE.
  • If the next release integrates with contacts, then it might be interesting.
    • It doesn’t need to integrate contacts, all it needs is to get the phone number from the notification like the standard KDE connect does, so you can reply directly.
    • That’s good for replying, what about sending a new text?
  • Sending SMS not as a reply is something which even KDE Connect itself doesn’t really offer. Precisely because it doesn’t integrate with Contacts, yet.
    • That’s precisely the new feature we’re covering today
      • Which you don’t want to use because it’s not been implemented properly.
  • It’s neat but I use Gmail to send SMS.


Crazy Taxi

  • You lost me at the part where you have to pay cash
    • BitCoin integration is on the way.
  • I don’t have cash and I don’t want to carry cash
  • The first item on the technical roadmap isn’t technical at all. “Make it safer for passengers and drivers” is what concerns me the most.
  • That’s the difference between that and using Uber or Lyft. Here, you’re just riding in a rando’s car and hope for the best.
  • They didn’t even spend 2 minutes to design a logo
  • It feels like this is a very early prototype that wasn’t meant to be publicized yet. If that’s the case then I’m sorry we have covered it on a news show.
    • Thankfully, we’re not exactly credible so no need to apologize.
  • No credit approval process. No vehicle restrictions. Start making money as a driver in one minute!”
    • Yeah, not exactly a good thing.


Bestest Distro 2016

  • The font rendering on the FOSS Force awards is horrible to look at. Seriously, use Inkscape and go easy on the JPEG. Gosh, it looks like it was designed by Linux users.
    • The JPEG compression in that “award” icon makes this Linux user want to scratch his eyes out of his face.
    • It looks fine on my cheapo laptop with its cheap TN laptop panel.
    • On these IPS screens it’s horrible.
  • There are 3 Linux distros for the desktop: Ubuntu and Fedora and Solus. I have no idea what’s up with that huge list of distros. (Elementary counts as Ubuntu)
    • Slackware would like a word with you!
  • Popularity contest.


Electron app of the week

  • Most web developers will at some point have to deal with NPM. This is a very neat GUI to manage global packages and per project packages.
  • Makes it easy to see outdated packages, run updates, install new stuff, all that without touching package.json.
  • The Window menu is awkward, with it’s minimize and close actions.
  • What’s even more awkward is having the same minimize and close actions in the Help menu but I’m pretty sure that’s a bug (I’ve filed a bug and I’m currently discussing the issue with the dev because, you know, ranting on a podcast only gets so much done)
    • Aaaand it’s fixed (or will be in next release)
  • It looks like a very young project but already very promising, I like it already.

Slice of Pi


  • $22 for a power switch on a machine that is $35 is not cheap
  • A power switch on a RaspberryPi is quite useless. But I can think of other uses for that board, like controlling the power state from somewhere else.



  • Imagine the cheap 3D printed plastic breaks and you lock yourself out.
  • Imagine the USB cable disconnects from the Pi and you lock yourself out.
  • Imagine the judgemental look from the locksmith when he finds out why you’ve locked yourself out



  • Wh-wh-whyyy would you do that?
  • Why would you even have a Razer Blade Stealth to begin with? Have some respect for yourself dammit!

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