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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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New KDE: 4.13.3

The weekend in San Diego was a good time to get rested from my training activities (training a new helpdesk team here) and prepare Slackware packages for KDE’s monthly maintenance release 4.13.3. These packages were built for Slackware -current and have not been tested to work properly on Slackware 14.1. YMMV

I hope that this final 4.13 release will work its way into Slackware-current. After the recent kernel updates in -current and other stability updates and functional enhancements, today saw an awesome upgrade of X.Org and the stage is now set for an upgrade from the rather stale KDE 4.10 to a new super stable and feature-rich KDE 4.13!

Then I can finally move to working on a package set for Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5, both of which got released after I started my US trip (Plasma 5 was released earlier today). The evenings in my hotel give me little opportunity to do the required testing/rebuilding/retesting. And yes, getting loaded with two pints of Stone IPA, the local alcoholic beverage, causes the brain to wander off .-)

News for all you conservative types: when moving to KDE 4.14 in august, I will build a set of KDE 4.13 packages for Slackware 14.1 to please those who prefer a stable Slackware and have no desire to run -current.

What’s new in KDE 4.13.3 ?

This is another maintenance release, so it’s targeting more stability and fixing bugs. The packages I upgraded next to KDE 4.13.3 are kdeconnect-kde (even more cool things to do with your Android phone) and the Calligra office suite (upgraded to the very latest version 2.8.5). Search my older posts on KDE 4.13 if you want to know more about what the highlights of this release cycle are.

How to upgrade to KDE 4.13.3 ?

You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script.

You are strongly advised to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!

Where to find packages for KDE 4.13.3 ?

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/4.13.3/ and packages in /current/4.13.2/ subdirectories). 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

Field trip

Me

Me

During the next few weeks, my package and article output will be rather limited. You probably already noticed the relative silence.

I have been preparing for a “field trip”, i.e. a visit to one of my customers. If you are going to watch the Indepencence Day fireworks in San Diego you might just bump into me. I’ll be the gray guy with “Slackware @alien” written on his cap :-)

But seriously, I have no idea what kind of connectivity I will have while traveling. I hope to post a few stories and pics if time and opportunity present themselves.

Let me part with a reminder (not previously announced on this blog but if you follow my RSS feed you’ll have noticed): there are new packages for LibreOffice. The version 4.2.5 was released a little over a week ago and I built this for Slackware 14.1 and -current.

Also updated, but then in the ‘ktown‘ repository of KDE packages (Slackware 14.1 and -current), is kdeconnect-kde. The new 0.7 release fixes a lot of bugs, allows you to use your Android phone as a mousepad for your KDE desktop, and finally there is a working two-way file transfer between your KDE computer and your Android phone (provided they are on the same network).

Take care! Eric

Skype drops support for ALSA

In a Skype blog post yesterday, the announcement was made that the latest version of Skype has dropped support for the ALSA sound system and that Linux users are expected to use PulseAudio exclusively from now on.

Boo Hoo Microsoft, for killing this itsy bit of Linux compatibility in your closed-source product.

I guess for Slackware users it is game over for Skype calls. Time to find out if we can come up with a solution that bundles private libraries for PulseAudio so that we do not have to pollute the system directories with it.

Eric

Last week: new Chromium, Flash, OpenJDK

Real life is taking precedence these days, and I have not been able to work on Slackware so much lately. I did release some updated packages last week.

Chromium:

chromium_icon The update to my Chromium package came pretty shortly after the previous one. Major driver was the update (in Chrome) of the Pepper Flash plugin. Chromium 35.0.1916.153 comes with this list of critical bug fixes:

  • [$1000][369525] High CVE-2014-3154: Use-after-free in filesystem api. Credit to Collin Payne.
  • [$1000][369539] High CVE-2014-3155: Out-of-bounds read in SPDY. Credit to James March, Daniel Sommermann and Alan Frindell of Facebook.
  • [$500][369621] Medium CVE-2014-3156: Buffer overflow in clipboard. Credit to Atte Kettunen of OUSPG.

 

Flash:

adobe_flash_8s600x600_2 The Flash update which triggered the new Chrome/Chromium release was announced along with a security bulletin by Adobe. My pepperflash-plugin package which I extracted from the official Chrome binaries (for use with Chromium) is now at version 14.0.0.125 while the accompanying Linux flashplayer-plugin (for Mozilla-compatible browsers) went up to 11.2.202.378.

 

 

OpenJDK:

icedtea Oracle released their Update 60 to Java7 a week or so ago, and it took a while to get the icedtea framework synced up to Oracle’s new OpenJDK drop. The icedtea bug tracker saw many bugfixes being applied in recent days. The icedtea version went up in minor release number: from 2.4 to 2.5.
The icedtea-2.5.0 release will compile OpenJDK 7 “Update 60 Build 30” (resulting in a package openjdk-7u60_b30).

Remember that I release packages for the JRE (runtime) and the JDK (development kit) simultaneously, but you only need to nstall one of the two. The JRE is sufficient if you only want to run Java programs (including Java web plugins). Only in case where you’d want to develop Java programs and need a Java compiler, you are in need of the JDK package.

The package has one dependency: rhino provides JavaScript support for OpenJDK.

If you want to compile this OpenJDK package yourself, you need to install apache-ant additionally. Note that the previous requirements of xalan & xerces packages have been dropped; ant will provide all required build functionality on its own now.

Have fun! Eric

KDE 4.13.2 monthly maintenance release

The monthly maintenance release for KDE was announced earlier today. If you are running Slackware-current, I have fresh packages for KDE 4.13.2. These packages were not tested (and not built) on Slackware 14.1 so beware if you want to try them on 14.1.

I added the promised update of the libssh package in the “deps” subdirectory. This enables the “sfp” kioslave again (the libssh in Slackware is too old).

What’s new in KDE 4.13.2 ?

Well, compared to Slackware’s own KDE, a whole lot :-)

Compared to the previous KDE 4.13.1 packages which I released last month, not much has changed as this is just a maintenance update. I did however refresh two packages outside of the KDE core: the kdeconnect-kde package and the Calligra office suite (upgraded to 2.8.3 for which the sources were available for three weeks already). Search my older posts on KDE 4.13 if you want to know more about what the highlights of this release cycle are.

How to upgrade to KDE 4.13.2 ?

You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script.

You are strongly advised to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!

Where to find packages for KDE 4.13.2 ?

Download locations are listed below (you will find the sources in ./source/4.13.2/ and packages in /current/4.13.2/ subdirectories). 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