I have no time to write you something cool now, I apologize. Just wanted to say “happy birthday”. I love you.
just a friendly reminder in a few hours I’ll be holding a free KDE/Qt basic tutorial. If you are interested, drop by #kde-tutorials @ freenode. The tutorial will start at 3pm GMT. For more infos, refer to Lydia’s blog post. See you there!
Those of you who follow my blog through a feed know that I never post stuff to any planet which is not strictly part of the topic of the planet itself. Unfortunately, this time I have a good reason for spreading this blog post outside of my own feed and give it more visibility.
I guess everyone is aware of the political situation in Italy these days and I won’t comment on it in this post. This post wants to be about a specific law which is trying to harm freedom of speech in the only place which is really considered free nowadays – the internet. All of my Italian readers hopefully know I’m talking about what has been defined “Legge Bavaglio”, which is probably not news to anybody following the Italian political situation.
As this law is about to be actual, a symbolic protest has begun on Wikipedia Italy, which shut down the site to demonstrate a possible effect of this new law. I want to be sympathetic not only with Wikipedia but also with some of my friends who did something similar to help raise awareness. Hence my blog, today, is dedicated to this very issue: needless to say that this very blog might be affected by the law itself.
Instead of trying to explain why this law is extremely dangerous for freedom with my own words, I’ll simply paste Wikipedia’s statement, which summarizes the issue way better than how I could ever do. If you care about freedom in software, you should care even more about freedom of speech: if this issue touches you, don’t be afraid of letting your voice be heard. For this reason, today, and as long as it will be useful, all of the posts in this blog, except from this one, have been temporarily removed.
From Wikipedia Italy:
at this time, the Italian language Wikipedia may be no longer able to continue providing the service that over the years was useful to you, and that you expected to have right now. As things stand, the page you want still exists and is only hidden, but the risk is that soon we will be forced to actually delete it.
The Bill – Rules on Wiretapping etc., p. 24, paragraph 29, letter a) states that:
«For the Internet sites, including newspapers and periodicals delivered by telematic way, the statements or corrections are published, with the same graphic characteristics, the same access methodology to the site and the same visibility of the news which they refer.»
Over the past ten years, Wikipedia has become part of the daily habits of millions of web users looking for a neutral, free-content, and – above all – independent source of Knowledge. A new, huge multi-lingual encyclopedia, freely available to all, at any time, and free of charge.
Today, unfortunately, the very pillars on which Wikipedia has been built – neutrality, freedom, and verifiability of its contents – are likely to be heavily compromised by paragraph 29 of a law proposal, also known as “DDL intercettazioni” (Wiretapping Act).
This proposal, which the Italian Parliament is currently debating, provides, among other things, a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.
Unfortunately, the law does not require an evaluation of the claim by an impartial third judge – the opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required, in order to impose such correction to any website.
Hence, anyone who feels offended by any content published on a blog, an online newspaper and, most likely, even on Wikipedia can directly request to publish a “corrected” version, aimed to contradict and disprove the allegedly harmful contents, regardless of the truthfulness of the information deemed as offensive, and its sources.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
During all these years, the users of Wikipedia (and we want, once more, to point out that Wikipedia does not have an editorial staff) have always been available to review – and modify, if needed – any content deemed to be detrimental to anyone, without harm to the Project’s neutrality and independence. In the very rare instances it was not possible to reach a mutually satisfactory solution, the entire page has been removed.
The obligation to publish on our site the correction as is, provided by the named paragraph 29, without even the right to discuss and verify the claim, is an unacceptable restriction of the freedom and independence of Wikipedia, to the point of distorting the principles on which the Free Encyclopedia is based and this would bring to a paralysis of the “horizontal” method of access and editing, putting – in fact – an end to its existence as we have known until today.
t should be made more than clear that none of us wants to question safeguarding and protection of the reputation, honor and image of any party – but we also note that every Italian citizen is already protected in this respect by Article 595 of the Criminal Code, which punishes the crime of defamation.
With this announcement, we want to warn our readers against the risks arising from leaving to the arbitrary will of any party to enforce the alleged protection of its image and its reputation. Under such provisions, web users would be most probably led to cease dealing with certain topics or people, just to “avoid troubles”.
We want to be able to keep a free and open-to-all encyclopaedia, because our articles are also your articles – Wikipedia is already neutral, why neutralize it?
The users of Wikipedia
The way forwards to a better world should be through freedom, and not through cutting it. In software, and in everything else.
EDIT: The blog is now back to normal – although this post will stay here forever.
After my previous screencast, which somehow failed to upload on vimeo, I have made another one as I promised. The great news is I have implemented everything I’ve been talking about in my last blog post, and the whole thing is likely to hit 4.8 (aka master) very soon. I will probably merge everything onto master in a week; in the meanwhile, you can check out my branch dafre/new-powerdevil in kde-workspace. Have fun!
P.S.: I have switched to blip.tv thanks to a reader’s suggestion. Vimeo failed to process this video as well.
(if you cannot see the embed, direct link to video for you)
Hello from Madrid. Forge Sprint is about to end, and it’s indeed time for me to blog. I have been lucky enough to get food poisoning the day my flight was scheduled – although, nothing serious: I have been able to recover quite quickly and I rescheduled my flight for day 2, and I managed to get here and do quite a lot of work.
It has been an extremely productive sprint for every Solid component, but of course I am going to put the focus back on Power Management. So here’s what we did:
Crazy bug fix
My first target for this sprint was closing as much bugs as possible. I managed to close quite a lot of them, and hopefully before the 4.7.2 tag. Some of them include DPMS, inhibition, console switching, and general reliability. You can check kde-workspace tree to have a better outlook of what happened, or simply enjoy your updated version without caring too much
Power Management + KRandR = <3
Bug fixes are not that exciting, huh? Ok, I have something better for you. Me and Alex got together and tried to improve KRandR experience even more, by hooking it up with Power Management. The result I am explaining here is demonstrated in a video Kevin will hopefully upload soon. Bottom line, now KRandR will make Power Management aware more than 1 screen is configured: hence, if you have an external screen connected and you close your laptop lid, the PC will not suspend anymore even if it’s configured, allowing you to show your movie/presentation without caring about it. Isn’t it awesome? You can try this feature with this commit you can find in kde-workspace.
Future changes in Power Management
We have been lucky enough to have Bjorn here at our sprint. We had a huge conversation on how to improve Power Management, make it easier, less intrusive and more useful. And we came up with something which might surprise you.
It’s a completely new concept I will try to explain now. To begin, we removed the possibility of creating new profiles manually, and removed the “warning state” of the battery, which was not used by default from 4.6 on anyway. This means now there are just 3 static profiles: one for AC, one for Battery, one for Low Battery. You can still configure thresholds for low and critical batteries of course. To reflect this change, we also removed the profile combo box chooser from the battery applet. This is not exactly a new approach, but we have done that to prevent handling profiles in a bad way.
The new things start here: the battery applet lost a combo box, but gained a new button: “Inhibit”. Have you ever missed the presentation profile, that thingie which was around in KDE 4.1 times? Now you have something better. When you press the “Inhibit” button, everything related to Screen power management and session power management will be, surprise, inhibited. This means your brightness won’t change, your screen will not turn off, your PC will not suspend, no matter your configuration. So, if your favorite video player or presentation did not trigger an inhibition itself, now you’re 1 click away from a 0-annoyances experience. Of course, just turn up the extender of the applet and click on “Uninhibit” to get back to your profile.
And it doesn’t stop here. In the near future, activities will also be able to affect power management. This means you can alter settings, trigger special inhibitions and more depending on which activity you are in. This opens up to endless possibilities: suppose you like to watch TV in your bed before falling asleep. What about creating a “Before sleep” activity? Here, you can add a configuration to let your PC go to sleep after 90 minutes of idling, so that when you’ll be asleep, your PC will follow you. Or you can decide how to handle your screen and everything in each activity you are in. This will allow you to be always productive, always trusting your PC to have the perfect settings for the task you are performing.
To make everything clearer, I have done a short screencast. Unfortunately, I am still not able to showcase activity configuration as it’s under development at the moment, but really wanted to show you how the UI and the battery applet have changed. Enjoy!
UPDATE: Apparently Vimeo does not like my video. I am trying to fix this problem, in the meanwhile you can still download it from Vimeo´s page and watch it.
(if you can’t see the embed, video is on Vimeo, here)
I am currently in Collabora’s offices in Cambridge, UK, where since yesterday a dozen of brave souls have gathered to discuss and implement the future of KDE’s instant messaging solution. We are of course talking about KDE-Telepathy.
Lots of my friends are already posting updates about the event, we had an intense planning and discussion this morning which surely leaves us with plenty to do and lots of excitement. You can surely expect more goodness about to come in the next days. This afternoon we’ll hold some training session and we’ll start hacking right away. Keep following us on Twitter, G+ and Planet KDE of course!
- People telling me I should blog more often. Actually, this should translate into “people reminding you you still have a blog and you are supposed to use it”.
- Random soundtracks.
- Stage diving (true story).
- No matter how few hours you have for preparing a talk, you can still get a great result if you have fun with it, and with a little help from your friends.
- Meeting awesome people. Awesome, when I say that is because I mean it.
- Realizing that people saying GNOME and KDE people do not get well along together need to get a clue.
- Completely unexpected things, which indeed did surprise me.
- Learning new things.
- Making new friends.
- Getting together with old friends.
- Pretty much everything.
- TXL airport (seriously).
- Dude, 2013 is not really around the corner.