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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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March Flash updates

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2 New Flash security bulletin from Adobe: apsb15-05.

Available for immediate download as a Slackware package are the plugin for chromium (PPAPI) as well as the plugin for mozilla-compatible browsers (NPAPI). If you have pipelight installed, you should run “pipelight-plugin –update” as root to get the latest MS Windows-based Flash installed automatically the next time the browser loads the pipelight plugin.

The updated Slackware package for chromium-pepperflash-plugin has version 17.0.0.134. The updated flashplayer-plugin has version 11.2.202.451.

Download them here (probably mirrored elsewhere too, but these I at least know about):

Eric

Chromium 41

Chromium and Widevine:

chromium_iconI prepared packages for you (Slackware 14.1 and -current) for the latest Chromium browser and its optional Widevine plugin. In the  Chrome Releases blog you can read the announcement for Chrome/Chromium 41 to the Stable Channel (full version is 41.0.2272.76).

Chromium 41 is a major version upgrade with attention to security and performance. I could not find new functionality that needs mentioning though.

The new packages for my chromium and chromium-widevine-plugin packages both have version 41.0.2272.76 – indicating that they should be used together. The Widevine plugin reports itself as version “1.4.7.771” in chrome://plugins .

You don’t have to install the Widevine plugin. Chromium without Widevine plugin is a pure and open source browser, even the Widevine “adapter module” inside the Chromium package is open source. The Widevine library itself is a closed-source Content Decryption Module (CDM) which therefore is not part of the Chromium package but separately packaged (after extracting it from Google’s binary download of the Chrome browser with the same version number).

Download locations:

Note for the curious: Widevine is a Content Decryption Module (CDM) used by Netflix to stream video to your computer in a Chromium browser window. With my chromium and chromium-widevine-plugin packages you no longer need Chrome, or Firefox with Pipelight, to watch Netflix.

Have fun with it! For me, it is bed time after a long working week, and time to bake some good sourdough breads during the weekend. After the weekend I hope to take a look at the new KDE Applications 14.12.3 tarballs and TigerVNC. Considering the promise of sun and high temperatures during the weekend, I would rather spend time walking outside with my wife than spend time alone behind this computer :-)

Eric

LibreOffice 4.4.1

A new LibreOffice is here – the first bugfix release for the 4.4.x series. Over a hundred bugs were fixed since version 4.4.0 saw the light a month earlier.

My LibreOffice 4.4.1 packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations:

Have fun! Eric

Coordinated release of VLC 2.2.0

largeVLCSeven months after the VideoLAN team released version 2.1.5 of their VLC player, we are treated to two new releases. There is a version 2.1.6 bugfix release, but that is not really getting attention. Everybody’s eyes are focused on the brand new 2.2.0 release. For the first time in the history of the VideoLAN Client, nowadays better known as the VLC player, there are simultaneous releases for most Operating Systems, including Android, iOS, Windows RT and Windows Phone. Of course there’s a release for Linux too (ok… and Windows) so I built you all some packages for Slackware (compatible with 14.1 and -current).

The 2.2.0 release has been (very) long in the making. With nothing really exciting going on for many months – at least not publicly – I spent my time on other things and left the VideoLAN developers to do what they do best: release good software when it’s ready. A commendable philosophy, obviously they have eyes on Slackware as the shining example of releasing when ready, not before :-)

A month ago, I took some time to check out the ongoing development because the number of show-stopping bugs had almost gone down to zero. I refreshed many internal support libraries, polished the vlc.SlackBuild and tested a git version of the player. Looked good! Most of the open bugs and remaining things to be done were not relevant to Linux anyway. Therefore it took no time at all to build packages for the official 2.2.0 release once that was announced yesterday afternoon.

I had a busy saturday, so the blog post took a while, but those of you who check the repository’s RSS feeds or are using slackpkg+ will already have seen the new packages yesterday.

What’s new in 2.2.0 apart from cross-platform support? There’s enhancements all over the spectrum: video decoding, encoding, supported formats etc. Here are some of the highlights taken from the official release notes that are relevant to the Linux player:

  • GPU 0-copy decoding-rendering for Linux using VDPAU
  • Improved support for UltraHD codecs, H.265 and VP9
  • Resume playback where you left off
  • Subtitles download from the web, using OpenSubtitles
  • Support for BD-Java menus and overlay in Blu-Ray
  • Acceleration of VP9 and H.265/HEVC decoders
  • Support for encoding in H.265, Opus and VP9
  • Rewritten support for WMV, Ogg, MP4 and AVI, notably for seeking

But under the hood there’s a lot more going on than these buzzwords can do justice. The team have indeed delivered a tremendous job. considering that this is an all-volunteer project.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note that I only built packages for Slackware 14.1 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.0 and earlier because of the effort it takes to build 4 packages for every Slackware release. One remark: I compiled the packages on Slackware 14.1 which is the cause of one bug in the package if you use it on Slackware-current: the ProjectM visualisation plugin does not work because of a libGLEW library version error. I have not yet been able to find a fix for it, but the impact is fairly minor so I let it pass.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

Updated KDE 5 packages for Slackware (release 5_15.02_02)

qt-kde-620x350Earlier this week I grabbed the new Plasma source tarballs and used them to update my ‘ktown’ package set for KDE 5. I tagged that update “5_15.02_02″ to indicate that this is my second release in Feb 2015.

Highlights

Some more highlights of this incremental release are:

  • Plasma has been upgraded to 5.2.1, this is a bugfix release. No new functionality or packages.
  • The deps/libssh package has been re-added. I used it for my KDE 4.14.x packages because the newer version (compared to Slackware’s version of the package) allows the sftp kioslave to be compiled in kde-runtime.
  • The kde/applications/kde-runtime package has been recompiled against the newer libssh package.
  • And kde/frameworks/kglobalaccel was also rebuilt. The kglobalaccel5 deamon moved from plasma-workspace-5.2.0 into kglabalaccel-5.7.0, but when I built kglobalaccel with plasma-workspace-5.2.0 present it picked up a dependency on that package’s libkdeinit5_kglobalaccel5.so library. When I upgraded to Plasma 5.2.1, that library was suddenly gone and kglobalaccel5 would no longer start.

Installing or upgrading to KDE 5

As always, the accompanying README file contains full installation & upgrade instructions. Note that the packages are available in several subdirectories below “kde”, instead of directly in “kde”. This makes it easier for me to do partial updates of packages. The subdirectories are “kde4″, “kde4-extragear”, “frameworks” “plasma”,  “plasma-extra” and “applications”.

Upgrading from Slackware’s KDE 4 to this KDE 5 is non-trivial. You will have to remove old KDE packages manually. If you do not have KDE installed at all, you will have to install some of Slackware’s own KDE 4 packages manually. If you are upgrading from KDE 5_15.02 then it’s an easy and painless upgrade, in particular when using slackpkg+.

If you are completely new to KDE 5 for Slackware, I urge you to also read my previous posts about KDE 5_15.01 and KDE 5_15.02 in its entirety, as well as the follow-up article about  the changes in system tray support in the Plasma 5 desktop which is mandatory reading material as well if you are using Dropbox, Skype and other non-Plasma 5 software that wants to dock an icon in the system tray.

Using the KDE Frameworks 5 separately

Someone mentioned in a comment to an earlier blog post that LxQt 0.9 uses some of the KDE Frameworks, now that they have migrated from Qt 4 to Qt 5.

To accommodate Slackware users who want to run that version LxQt I have added repository definition files to the frameworks package directories, so that you can use the Frameworks package repository even if you do not want to install KDE 5.

Use either one of these URL’s in your package management tool such as slackpkg+ for the Frameworks repository:

Where to get the new packages for KDE 5

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/5/ and packages in /current/5/ subdirectories). If you are interested in the development of KDE 5 for Slackware, you can peek at my git repository too.

Using a mirror is preferred because you get more bandwidth from a mirror and it’s friendlier to the owners of the master server!

Have fun! Eric