It has been some time. I come back from the shadows to announce the release of Ring-KDE 3.0.0, A GNU Ring.cx client. GNU Ring is a secure and distributed communication platform based on open standards. It weaves industry standard technologies to work together and provides audio calls, video conferences, chat, screen sharing and peer to peer file transfer between you and your friends. Additionally, its use of open standards allows to bridge to various other systems like the main phone network or SIP compatible devices.
When joining the GNU Ring, no servers or centralized accounts are needed. Beside an optional blockchain-based way to reserve your username against takeover, nothing leaves your device. All your data is kept under your control. Ring-KDE provides a simple wizard to help you create credentials or import your personal information from other devices.
This release is a full rewrite of the application to use more modern technologies such as touch support, QtQuick2 and KDE Kirigami adaptive widget framework. The old Ring-KDE was a fork of an older KDE application called SFLPhone. At the time, it was focused on being a office phone replacement for your KDE desktop instead of being a more generic multimedia communication software.
The screenshots below show the old SFLPhone/Ring-KDE 2.x versus Ring-KDE 3.0.0:
This blog entry wont try to list every single change from the 2.x series because
that’s too much amazement for a single post. A more useful introduction is how to use it.
Ring 2.x and the older SFLPhone versions used mostly the history and address book to select who to call. This made sense for a phone, but the newly expanded scope changes this. While they are both still available, from now on, the user interface is based on the timeline concept:
Version 3.x also has better support for video, screen sharing and file streaming.
Most relevant audio call features have been ported to the new application including multi-call support, hold, recording and notifications:
The basic chat support has been replaced with an integrated timeline that contains all the calls, chat messages, video capture, recordings and eventually file transfer and images.
Navigation has been revamped and is now using a search box as the primary way of finding your friends. It uses locally stored data to avoid uploading too much potentially private information to the cloud. Only looking for registered user names normally uses the internet. It is optionally possible to download this information locally, but it uses more disk, CPU and network resources to keep up-to-date.
In the immediate future, the next few versions will try to fix bug, improve performance and catch up with recent improvements to Kirigami2, KDE own touch-friendly set of widgets and application design guidelines. Since beginning to work on Ring-KDE 3, Kirigami has made great progress, but Ring-KDE 3.0 still mostly reflects the state of the art from a year ago.
Ring-KDE can be built from source if the ring-daemon is also built from source. The source code for Ring-KDE 3.0.0 can be downloaded here.
For everyone else, Ring-KDE is available as an easy to use AppImage:
To use the AppImage, download it, right click, choose Properties -> Permissions and check “is executable”, Then open the file. When using the AppImage, no other dependencies are required. If you also have another GNU Ring.cx like the Gnome client, please close it and run “killall dring” before executing the AppImage to avoid conflicts between the two versions.