This week in KDE: New Spectacle features and tons of bugfixes

New Features

Spectacle now lets you annotate an existing screenshot via a button in the notification or the command-line --edit-existing <file> argument (Bharadwaj Raju, Spectacle 22.04):

You can now drag and drop music and playlist files from your file manager onto Elisa’s playlist panel (Bharadwaj Raju, Elisa 22.04)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Ark can now open zip archives that contain malformed PHP files (Albert Astals Cid, Ark 21.12)

Dolphin now displays the correct data when you create a folder while filtering the view (Eduardo Cruz, Dolphin 22.04)

Opening .m3u* playlist files in Elisa using the file manager now works properly (Bharadwaj Raju, Elisa 22.04)

Task Manager tooltips for single-window-non-web-browser apps that are playing media but don’t display the media name in the window title once again show album art instead of a window thumbnail (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.23.4)

Bluetooth status is now saved on logout when using the “remember” option (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.5)

Plasma panels now load faster on login and look less visually glitchy while doing so (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23.5)

Discover no longer crashes when you open the description page of a Flatpak app you just removed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Discover is now faster to check for Flatpak app updates (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

The System Monitor app and applets now use less resources by not constantly polling for disk and sensor data when nothing would display the polled data (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

It’s now actually possible to scroll the view in the Notifications applet when there are a lot of notifications in the history (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Transient jobs that display notifications with text like “Examining” or “Opening” no longer stick around and remain visible once the job has been completed (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.24)

Adjusting the screen brightness when using a multi-GPU setup now always works properly (Dan Robinson, Plasma 5.24)

Right-clicking on the weather applet no longer offers a nonsensical menu item saying “Open in <text editor>” (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.24)

The Media Player applet now correctly shows “nothing playing” when the last media source app is closed (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Quitting and re-launching an app (or browser tab) that is playing media now causes the Task Manager thumbnail to correctly show the media controls (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24)

Swapping the position of grouped apps/tasks in the Task Manager no longer causes them to display the wrong items when clicked while using the Textual List style (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the scale factor displayed in System Settings’ Display and Monitor page is no longer inappropriately rounded down when using a fractional scale factor like 150% (Méven Car, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, monitor names are no longer weirdly doubled in System Settings’ Display and Monitor page (Méven Car, Plasma 5.24)

Typing text to search in the Emoji Selector window as soon as it appears now works properly (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24)

The Plasma System Monitor app and widgets of the same name will no longer ever nonsensically show negative disk read speeds (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

Plasma theme graphics no longer sometimes go totally haywire and display in bizarre ways after they are changed in a new version (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.89)

Monochrome Breeze icons are once again displayed in the correct color when using a dark color scheme (Rodney Dawes, Frameworks 5.89)

When using an icon theme that’s missing a requested icon, it will once again fall back to the next-closest icon in the current theme (e.g. edit-copy-location will fall back to edit-copy) rather than first looking for the icon in the fallback theme (Janet Blackquill, Frameworks 5.89)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the Morphing Popups effect now works–so most notably, panel tooltips will smoothly animate as they appear and disappear, just like they do in the X11 session (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.89)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin’s status bar no longer shows and hides itself according to the context; now its visibility is completely controlled by the user-facing setting to show or hide it (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 21.12)

When the “Bookmarks” button is added to Konsole’s toolbar, its popup can now be opened with a normal click, not a click-and-hold (me: Nate Graham, Konsole 21.12)

Spectacle now respects the last-used values of “include mouse pointer” and “include window titlebar and borders” when taking screenshots using global shortcuts (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 22.04)

Gwenview now has support for large 512×512 and 1024×1024 sizes thumbnails (Ilya Pominov, Gwenview 22.04)

You can now find KWrite and Kate by searching for more terms like terms “text” “editor” or “notepad” (for KWrite) and “programming” or “development” (for Kate) (me: Nate Graham, Kate & KWrite 22.04)

You can now find Dolphin by searching for more terms like “files” “file manager” and “network share” (Felipe Kinoshita, Dolphin 22.04)

Dolphin’s URL navigator dropdown now shows hidden files when the main view is also showing hidden files (Eugene Popov, Dolphin 22.04)

Discover now shows you a sensible message when you have the Flatpak backend configured without any repos; it even gives you a button you can push to add Flathub (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

When you’re using the system in a language other than English, search terms entered in System Settings’ search field using English will still find results (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

When using a global scale factor, System Settings’ Display Configuration page now shows the physical resolution in the screen visualization view, rather than the effective scaled resolution (Méven Car, Plasma 5.24):

Hovering the cursor over a file or folder in the trash no longer causes that item to secretly get copied to /tmp so that thumbnails can be generated for it (Eduardo Sánchez Muñoz, Frameworks 5.89)

Scrollbars, progress bars, and sliders in the Breeze Plasma style now have the same slightly darker background color that they do in app windows (S. Christian Collins, Frameworks 5.89):

Tooltips for elided items in KRunner search views now use the same styling as elsewhere (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.89)

The icon chooser dialog’s search field can now be focused with the Ctrl+F shortcut (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.89)

The Escape key can now be used to close dialog layers in Kirigami-based apps (Claudio Cambra, Frameworks 5.89)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

More about those zero-dot users

Yesterday’s article about KDE’s target users generated some interesting discussions about the zero-dot users. One of the most insightful comments I read was that nobody can really target zero-dot users because they operate based on memorization and habit, learning a series of cause-effect relationships: “I click/touch this picture/button, then something useful happens”–even with their smartphones! So even if GNOME and ElementaryOS might be simpler, that doesn’t really matter because it’s not much harder to memorize a random-seeming sequence of clicks or taps in a poor user interface than it is in a good one.

I think there’s a lot of truth to this perspective. We have all known zero-dot users who became quite proficient at specific tasks; maybe they learned how to to everything they needed in MS Office, Outlook, or even Photoshop.

The key detail is that these folks rely on the visual appearance and structure of the software remaining the same. When the software’s user interface changes–even for the better–they lose critical visual cues and reference points and they can’t find anything anymore.

On the desktop side, these people are the target audience for Long Term Support (LTS) distros, where the UI never changes for years at a time. This is exactly what they want because they prefer a bad yet unchanging UI to one that incrementally evolves to be better.

So I think if we want to reach these people, it will probably be done less by improving Plasma or KDE apps, but rather by being more attentive to our existing Plasma LTS offering and broadening it to encompass apps and frameworks as well. That way these other KDE products that are used alongside or underneath Plasma can benefit from more bugfixes without the UI changes of non-LTS upgrades. And we should increase the support period to 5 years or more. It’s 10 years for Red Hat Enterprise Linux! This is what’s needed to have a real LTS product and bring the zero-dot users into the fold.

However I’m not sure we have these resources right now. No KDE developer I know uses the Plasma LTS release. Working on old crappy code isn’t any fun. Backporting fixes is a thankless task. I think we would probably have to pay someone to be the full-time LTS developer-and-backporter if we wanted to have an LTS product worth of its name. It will most likely need to be on the back burner for a while. Hence, focusing on the one-or-more-dots users for the time being.

Who is the target user?

As a teenager, I played a lot of Vampire the Masquerade (VtM)–a tabletop role-playing game. One of the skills in which your character could become experienced was Computers, with ability measured from 0 to 5 dots:

This little table has stayed with me over time. As simple and crude as it is, I think it provides a reasonable measurement scale that can be used to guide software development: you need to decide how many dots in Computers a user must have before they can use your software, which helps you organize the user interface and prioritize features.

My sense is that currently most Linux-based software targets people with three dots in Computers or more, but is often usable for people with two dots. My wife is a solidly two-dot user who is happily using KDE Neon as her distro.

But how many zero and one dot users are out there? What fraction of the market are we abandoning by requiring two dots?


This question was answered a couple of years ago when the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development commissioned a massive a study of adults’ computer skills, with over 200,000 participants (!!!) across 33 high-income countries. The Nielsen/Normal Group summarized the results, and here I’ll condense them even further:

  • 25% of users cannot use computers at all. AT ALL! These people have zero dots in Computers according to the VtM scale.
  • 14% can can perform easy and obvious button-driven tasks in single simple apps, such as sending or deleting an email. They also have zero dots in Computers, but would be on the higher end of zero. Maybe a little more than half a dot.
  • 29% can use more advanced functionality in individual apps, such as searching for data that is not currently visible, or writing an email reply to multiple people and not just the sender. They have one dot in Computers.
  • 26% can perform multi-step tasks involving more than one app, collate information from external sources, overcome minor errors and obstacles that occur during the process, and do some monitoring of background tasks for activity. They have two dots in Computers.
  • 5% can perform complex tasks involving multiple data sources and apps with lots of navigation, transform imperfect data with tools to make it suitable for the required work, and succeed at ambiguous tasks with more than one correct outcome or possible approach to get it done, overcoming significant roadblocks along the way. These people would probably have three dots in Computers (even if they are not software engineers).

Let that sink in: almost 40% of adults in rich countries have practically no computer skills at all. This isn’t mentioned in the summary, but my personal experience with people in the lowest-skill group (25%) is that they can only use smartphones and tablets, while those in the next skill group (14%) still strongly prefer them over computers.

Another 30% of people have effectively one dot in Computers on the VtM scale. Taken together with the two lowest-skill groups, this means 70% of people’s computer skills are non-existent or very basic. Those with more advanced skills–two dots in Computers and up–are only about 30% of the population.

Maybe the dominance of the smartphone makes a bit more sense now…


KDE is never going to achieve world domination with software that can only be used by at most 30% of the market–those with two or more dots in Computers. To broaden our appeal, we need to make our software usable by at least the people in the next level down (one dot in Computers), which doubles the potential to 60% of the market–going from a minority to a solid majority.

BUT WAIT! Won’t this “dumb down” KDE’s software? Won’t we alienate our current audience of 2-and-3-dots-in-Computers users? After all, smartphone software optimized for zero-dot people is indeed really simple and limiting. So it’s a risk.

But I think good design and high customizability can make software elastic, suitable for users with a range of skills. Software with little or no customizability or poor design can probably only straddle two categories, so decent phone apps would be comfortably usable by people with 0-1 dots in Computers, maybe 0-2 dots with exceptional design. This pretty much matches the experience of myself and many people I know: those with more technical ability find most phone apps to be limiting and prefer using a computer for heavy lifting.

But well-designed software that’s customizable and has good default settings can accommodate a wider range of skill levels: people with 1-3 dots, or even 1-4 dots!

We can deliberately exclude the zero-dot people from our target audience, who are probably never going to be happy with KDE software. Our focus on power will bleed through in even the simplest apps, and just never appeal to them. GNOME and ElementaryOS can have those users. 🙂

This is what I think we should shoot for in KDE: software that is simple by default so it can work for 1-dot users, but powerful when needed via expansive customization, so that it can appeal all the way to the 4-dot users–which includes many KDE developers. This is currently a strength of KDE software, and it won’t be going away!

Essentially we need to fully embrace Plasma’s motto of “Simple by default, powerful when needed” all KDE software, not just Plasma.

I see a lot of this already happening via our simple-by-default Kirigami apps gaining power and customization opportunities, and our powerful-by-default QtWidgets apps gaining better default settings and a streamined appearance. So let’s keep it up!

This week in KDE: Fixing a bunch of annoying bugs

This was a major bug squashing week, with quite a lot of annoying issues fixed–some recent regressions, and many longstanding issues as well.

On the subject of bugs and recent regressions, I’m starting to think from a higher level about how we can prevent them. KDE has largely conquered our historical issues of excessive resource consumption and visual ugliness, and our next major challenge on the path towards world domination is reliability. One idea I’m toying with is starting an initiative to focus on the “15 minute bugs”–those embarrassing issues that can easily be found within just a few minutes of using the system normally. Here is a preliminary list of these issues in Plasma. I would encourage any experienced developers to try to focus on them! The impact will be very high.

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Creating archives using Ark’s main UI once again works (Kai Uwe Broulik, Ark 21.12)

Elisa no longer shows an error message instead of the number of tracks in the playlist footer when the playlist only has one track in it (Bharadwaj Raju, Elisa 21.12)

Okular’s zoom buttons now always enable and disable themselves at the correct times, in particular when a new document is opened (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.12)

Ark can now handle archives whose files internally use absolute paths, rather than relative paths (Kai Uwe Broulik, Ark 22.04)

Touch scrolling in Konsole now works properly (Henry Heino, Konsole 22.04)

Fixed a common crash in the System Tray (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23.4)

Fixed a common crash in Discover when using it to manage Flatpak apps (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.4)

The logout screen once again has a blurred background and animates when appearing and disappearing (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, dragging a file or folder from a Folder View popup into its parent folder no longer causes Plasma to crash (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, when using a stylus, it’s now possible to activate other window from their titlebars and also just interact with titlebars more generally (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Changing various settings in System Settings no longer causes a flickering effect behind Plasma panels (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Repositioning a panel from horizontal to vertical or vice versa no longer causes the layout of the control strip to get kinda messed up (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Activating the new Overview effect no longer causes auto-hidden panels to be shown (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the Clipboard applet now shows entries for images added to the clipboard using the wl-copy command-line program (Méven Car, Plasma 5.24)

User Interface Improvements

Hovered and focused Breeze style scrollbars no longer blend in with their track so much (S. Christian Collins, Plasma 5.23.4)

Kate has been replaced with KWrite in the default set of favorite apps, since it’s a bit more user-friendly and less programmer-centric (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

Discover’s somewhat confusing checkbox on the bottom of the Updates page has been transformed into a couple of buttons and a label which should be clearer, and it also doesn’t say the word “Updates” quite so many times on that page anymore (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

When using PipeWire and streaming audio from one device to another, the audio stream now shows the name of the remote device in Plasma’s Audio Volume applet (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.24)

The Properties window for files now displays which app will open the file (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.89):

The icon selection dialog now pre-selects the folder’s currently-used icon for easier visualization and keyboard navigation (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.89)

Those little transient messages that sometimes appear at the bottom of the windows of Kirigami-based apps (which are nonsensically called “Toasts” in Android land) now have easier-to-read text (Felipe Kinoshita, Frameworks 5.89)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

This week in KDE: most of GNOME shell in the Overview effect

This week the new KWin Overview effect gained the ability to shows results from KRunner when you search! This brings it fairly close to feature parity with GNOME’s central Activities Overview feature!

At this rate, we’re about halfway to implementing all of GNOME shell in the Overview effect

Thanks to Vlad Zahorodnii for this work, which lands in Plasma 5.24!

Other new Features

Gwenview now has “Print Preview” functionality, which as I’m sure you can imagine would be quite useful in an image viewer app (Alexander Volkov, Gwenview 22.04)

Discover now prevents you from doing anything that would uninstall Plasma in the process, which is probably not what you were intending to do (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24):

Hopefully this is Linus-Sebastian-proof

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When you print an image in Gwenview or Kolourpaint, it now automatically defaults to printing in portrait or landscape mode according to the image’s aspect ratio, rather than making you set this manually (Alexander Volkov, Gwenview 21.12)

Konsole now releases memory when you clear the text (Martin Tobias Holmedahl Sandsmark, Konsole 22.04)

Konsole now has better text display performance (Waqar Ahmed and Tomaz Canabrava, Konsole 22.04)

The Alacritty terminal once again opens with the correct window size (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.4)

Toolbar buttons in GTK3 apps that don’t use CSD headerbars (such as Inkscape and FileZilla) no longer have unnecessary borders drawn around them (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Plasma 5.23.4)

The open/save dialogs in Flatpak or Snap apps now remember their previous size when re-opened (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.23.4)

The “Show in file manager” text in Plasma Vaults is now able to be translated (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.23.4)

The Task Manager’s textual list of grouped apps is now much faster and more performant (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Discover now eventually stops searching after no further search results are found, instead of always displaying “Still looking” at the bottom (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Fixed an issue with playing certain embedded videos in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Fixed a major performance issue in QtQuick-based KWin effects for NVIDIA GPU users (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

The new Overview effect is now much faster to activate (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Tons and tons of small bugs with Breeze icons have been fixed–too many to individually list! (Andreas Kainz, Frameworks 5.89)

Fixed a visual glitch with Plasma tooltips flickering when they appear or disappear (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.89)

Icons and text in Plasma applet tabs are once again centered as intended (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 5.89)

User Interface Improvements

Elisa’s default album icon is now prettier and more semantically appropriate (Andreas Kainz, Elisa 22.04):

The new Overview effect is now touch-friendly (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

The touchpad applet has been restored after getting removed in Plasma 5.23, and is now back as a read-only status notifier that simply shows visually when the touchpad is disabled, like the caps lock and microphone notifier applets (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.4):

The weather applet’s location configuration dialog now automatically searches through all available weather sources rather than making you first select some manually (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24):

Discover now presents a more user-friendly set of messages when there is an issue installing updates (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

This is a simulated error message, of course. 🙂 But it’s what a normal error message seems like to regular people!

Discover’s search field no longer auto-accepts a few seconds after you stop typing; now it only initiates a search when you explicitly hit the Enter or Return key (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

Opening a Plasma Vault and displaying its contents in your file manager now creates a new file manager window for this purpose instead of re-using any existing ones, since this didn’t work with various combinations of activities and virtual desktops and especially when using the “Limit to the selected activities” setting (Ivan Čukić, Plasma 5.24)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

Be flexible to win big

My goal of KDE Plasma World Domination is not a secret at this point. But what does it truly take to get there?

Let’s look at the existing market leaders in the OS space: Microsoft’s Windows and Google’s Android. Neither was the first to market, but they were the first to successfully serve the mass market. Neither is picky about what kind of software you run on them or write for them, so they are used on a wide range of devices by lots of different people. Both work with others in adjacent industries, rather than taking a “my way or the highway” approach. They are flexible.


Before KDE, I came from the Apple world, which takes a different approach. Apple identifies distinct use cases and focuses their efforts like a laser on making them as polished as possible. This works very well, but it requires ignoring, abandoning, or explicitly blocking other use cases, and sometimes inventing new things that conflict with what others are doing, in the hope that their new thing takes over. It requires saying “no” a lot and being opinionated.

Apple’s opinionated approach worked well for me with my own personal use cases in my pre-KDE days, as it did for many millions of other people. But evidently it doesn’t work for everyone, as Apple’s products routinely fail to crack 15% market share. And when they do, they often fall back down to that level after competitors emerge. But that’s okay, because Apple isn’t going for the mass market anyway; they’re happy in their profitable and opinionated boutique niche.

But that’s not KDE, and it never has been; we’ve always dreamed of a broad scope and being useful for everyone. This is what’s behind Plasma desktop’s extreme flexibility; Plasma Mobile for phones; Plasma Bigscreen for TVs; and Plasma Nano for embedded devices. It’s why the Steam Deck handheld gaming console, PinePhone smartphone, and JingPad A1 tablet are built on top of KDE technology.

To be the market leader, you must be flexible enough to accommodate everyone’s weird and random use cases. This includes grandmas, gamers, businesspeople, students, teachers, phones, tablets, shared family PCs, kiosks, and everything in between. It means you have to give up a certain amount of that laser-focus on making a particular use case bulletproof, in favor of flexibly accommodating everyone and working with partners to support their needs so that they can build their products on top of your platform. Windows and Android do this, and so does KDE.

This, fundamentally, is why I believe KDE can and will take over the world. We share the market leaders’ winning strategy and culture of flexibility, and we can supplant them by leveraging our advantages of being free and eternal, our resistance to turning evil because of our diverse stakeholders and decentralized leadership model, and our philosophy of keeping the user in control rather than exploiting them for ad or upgrade revenue.

So I think ultimately we will become the Windows or Android of the Free Open-Source Software world, with projects like GNOME and ElementaryOS competing to be the Apple of FOSS. I think there will absolutely be room for projects like theirs; in fact I think it’s highly likely that they’ll offer a better user experience than we do for people who fit within the usage paradigms they focus on–just like Apple does.


None of this means that we actually have to make our stuff look or behave like Windows or Android, of course. But it means we need to retain their philosophy of not shutting anyone out. We need to stay willing to make changes for vendors who want to ship our software and developers who want to write apps for our platform. We need to keep listening to our users and trying our best to make our software work for them. We need to remain flexible.

And I think we’re doing this. Which is why we’re going to win.

It may take a few decades, but I believe it’s going to happen. If you agree, help get there faster! This crazy thing only works because of people like you and me and all of us. There is no “they” in KDE. So c’mon, get involved and let’s take over the world together.

This week in KDE: Primarily Centered Hamburgers

This week brings several exciting and long-awaited changes, including KHamburgerMenu in Okular, Primary Monitor on Wayland, and Centered window placement by default! Read on to find out the details:

New Features

Okular has now adopted KHamburgerMenu, so you can now hide the menubar for a slim, modern look without losing access to any features! Note that in Okular this is not on by default; you have to manually hide the menubar first. (Felix Ernst, Okular 21.12):

Did you know that Okular can open and display Markdown files? Isn’t that cool!?

In the Plasma Wayland session, we have implemented the concept of the “primary monitor”, and it does the same thing on Wayland as it does in the X11 session (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Okular no longer crashes when opening a Markdown file containing any images with alt text that are inside links (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.12)

Ark now correctly handles zip files whose internal metadata uses backslashes as path separators (Albert Astals Cid, Ark 21.12)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Yakuake’s “Keep window open when it loses focus” setting now works (Firlaev-Hans Fiete, Yakuake, 21.12)

Fixed a random KWin crash (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, a few glitches in KWin’s adaptive sync support have been fixed (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.23.3)

You can once again activate items in Kickoff using a stylus/graphics tablet pen (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23.3)

The new Wayland-compatible keyboard layout System Tray applet is no longer missing the Esperanto flag (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23.3)

When your battery is at a critically low level and Plasma notifies you about it, the notification now goes away automatically when you plug in the power cord (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.23.4)

The Media Frame applet now supports displaying images from folders whose names contain unusual characters such as backticks (Patrick Northon, Plasma 5.23.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, it is now possible to run an XWayland app as a different user (Weng Xuetian, Plasma 5.23.4)

On the System Settings Display & Monitor page, text in the “revert this change” dialog no longer gets cut off when using a language with long words like German or Brazilian Portuguese (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.4)

Fixed a case where the Plasma Wayland session could crash on logout (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.24)

When not using the systemd startup feature, Plasma now properly cleans up after itself on logout, terminating all processes that it launched as expected (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

When clicking the “Check for Updates” button in Discover while only the Flatpak backend is active, it now appears to do something (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Searching for cities in the Weather applet using the BBC UK Met search provider should now be more reliable (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Plasma OSDs showing things like the current volume and brightness levels no longer inappropriately respect KWin’s Maximized window placement policy, so they don’t end up huge when using that policy (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.89)

In the Plasma Wayland session, clicking on the hamburger menu button of a QtWidgets app like Dolphin or Gwenview or Okular while its window is unfocused no longer causes the menu to appear as a standalone window (Felix Ernst, Frameworks 5.89)

In System Settings and Info Center, the title rows of QtQuick-based pages no longer oddly fade in as they load (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.89)

The KCommandBar no longer shows empty space on the right side (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 5.89)

User Interface Improvements

Newly-opened windows are now placed in the center of the screen by default (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

App list items in Discover now have a more attractive and logical layout (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

Hopefully this should address some of the complaints about Discover in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzdEHrPbYiE

In the wallpaper chooser, previews now use the same aspect ratio as the screen whose wallpaper you’re choosing, so the preview will be visually accurate (Iaroslav Sheveliuk, Plasma 5.24):

The Display Configuration applet no longer has three configure buttons (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

The Battery & Brightness applet now shows the battery status of more devices, including more types of Bluetooth devices in particular (Nicolas Fella, Frameworks 5.89)

The KCommandBar now shows a placeholder message when your search returned no results (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 5.89)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

This week in KDE: more stability, more features, prettier bug tracker

New Features

Skanlite now has a “batch mode” feature for flatbed scanners without an automatic document feeder. This will automatically take a new scan after a few seconds, to speed the process of scanning a lot of things. Skanpage is getting this soon as well! (Alexander Stippich, Skanlite 21.12)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Annotating screenshots with transparency in Spectacle no longer causes the transparency to get replaced with a solid white color (Julius Zint, Spectacle 21.12)

The Plasma Networks applet now lets you successfully connect to an OpenVPN server with passphrase-secured .p12 certificate (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, turning an external monitor off and back on again no longer makes Plasma crash (Oxalica F., Plasma 5.23.3)

Fixed a case where launching System Monitor could cause the ksgrd_network_helper process to crash (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, hovering over the Digital Clock applet to make it show its tooltip no longer sometimes makes Plasma hang (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.23.3)

The Minimize All effect/widget/button now remembers which window was active and makes sure that window ends up on top when restoring all the minimized windows (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.3)

Switching a panel widget to an alternative one using the “Alternatives…” popup no longer rearranges your widgets (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the show/hide animation for a panel set to auto-hide mode now works (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.3)

Switching between virtual desktops when there are maximized windows no longer causes the panel to flicker, especially when using a dark color scheme or Plasma theme (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.23.3)

Fixed one of the most common sources of crashes in System Settings which could be triggered when navigating rapidly between pages (Harald Sitter, Frameworks 5.88)

When using a 3rd-party icon theme, any icons that the app requests which aren’t available in the active theme are now displayed from the theme’s specified fallback icon theme, rather than just being missing (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 5.88)

In the Plasma Wayland session, pasting arbitrary clipboard content into a file now works (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.88)

Excessively long labels in System Settings’ grid-style pages now get elided rather than overflowing (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.88)

User Interface Improvements

KDE’s venerable bug reporting website – https://bugs.kde.org – was given a facelift recently, and it’s now much more attractive and visually pleasant to use! Thanks to Debarpan Debnath for this work!

Spectacle’s notifications about screenshots you took using a global shortcut no longer display duplicate text (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 21.12)

The “big focus rings” feature in Plasma 5.24 has been backported to Plasma 5.23, as it solves a number of focus-related bugs and issues and has proven stable so far (Noah Davis, Plasma 5.23.3)

Windows now remember the screens they were on when those screens are turned off or unplugged, and will snap back to them when those screens come back. This should fix a huge class of multi-monitor annoyances! (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Critical notifications now have a little orange strip on the side to visually distinguish them from background clutter and generally help them stand out so that you will be more likely to notice them (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

With a thin-ish panel, System Tray icons now have the same spacing in “Small” mode that they do in “Scale with Panel” mode (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

The odd behavior of middle-clicking on a panel to create a sticky note has been disabled by removing the relevant entries from the config files of people who still has them in there for some reason (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

The Breeze icon theme has gained a bunch of folder icon with various different semi-common-ish icons and emblems on them (Andreas Kainz, Frameworks 5.88):

The standard Kirigami placeholder icon for an image that is unavailable or still loading no longer looks like the Windows logo (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.88)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

This week in KDE: Accent-colored folders and more!

Lotsa good stuff this week, so let’s just jump right in:

New Features

KDE apps have taken their first step towards saving volatile state data (e.g window size and position) in a separate config file from the one that stores explicitly configurable settings! Dolphin now does this, and others will be ported soon (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.88 with Dolphin 21.12)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Spectacle now has the “Active Window” mode that it has in the X11 session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Spectacle 21.12 with Plasma 5.24)

Breeze folders now respect your color scheme’s “Selection” color or your specified Accent color! (Andreas Kainz, Frameworks 5.88):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin no longer crashes when you use its context menu to archive some files, but then cancel the job in the middle using the notification that appears to show you progress information (David Edmundson, Ark 21.08.3)

Dragging a screenshot from Spectacle into another app no longer causes the dragged preview to become comically enormous when it is much bigger in one dimension than it is in the other (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 21.12)

Filelight now uses a multi-threaded filesystem scanning algorithm, which should result in much faster scan performance (Martin Tobias Holmedahl Sandsmark, Filelight 21.12)

People using certain NVIDIA GPUs should no longer experience the horrific graphical glitching that started happening after the Plasma 5.23 upgrade (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.2)

When you open an executable file on the desktop, what happens next now respects your preference set in Dolphin’s settings window (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.23.2)

Selecting an item in the Clipboard widget using the Enter key no longer moves it to the second position instead of the first (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.23.2)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the specified keyboard repeat rate setting is now respected (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.23.2)

The refresh rate for all your monitors is now shown correctly even in exotic cases like multiple screens where one of them uses FreeSync (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.23.2)

KRunner can now always be closed with a single press of the Escape key (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.23.2)

In the Plasma X11 session, dragging favorites icons in Kickoff no longer causes them to bunch up and overlap. We are trying to figure out why a different problem is still happening in the Wayland session. Help would be appreciated (Noah Davis, Plasma 5.23.2.1)

Right-clicking on the System Tray icon for a GTK app no longer causes all hell to break loose (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23.3)

Desktop items with emblems in the bottom-right corner (like the “I’m a symlink” emblem) no longer show two slightly-differently-sized emblems, one stacked on top of the other (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23.3)

Applying any change in System Settings’ Keyboard page no longer resets the Num Lock setting to its default value (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.23.3)

The back button in System Settings’ subcategory column header is now triggerable with a touchscreen and a stylus (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Firefox is now more responsive to dragged-and-dropped files (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the panel auto-hide animation now works properly (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.3)

Task Manager tooltips for large number of open windows for the same app are now significantly faster to load and much more responsive (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

When the Task Manager is set up to show tooltips when clicking on a grouped task, the tooltip no longer irritatingly changes to show a different app if your cursor happens to pass over another task on the way to the tooltip (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, hiding and then showing a window’s borders no longer subtly changes the window’s height (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Plasma is now a bit faster and uses less memory every time it loads an icon, which is often! (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.88)

You can now double-click on the number in a Plasma spinbox to select it, just like you can in other spinboxes (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.88)

User Interface Improvements

Spectacle’s settings window has been re-done to put more options into comboboxes, making it less huge and visually overwhelming (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 21.12)

Editing the text of a saved clipboard history item now shows the editing view inline in a new page, rather than in a separate dialog window (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24):

System Settings’ Touchpad page no longer shows a disabled “Device:” combobox when there is only one touchpad connected; now it is simply hidden (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

The Battery & Brightness applet can now show you the battery level of any Bluetooth-connected graphics tablets (Sönke Holz, Frameworks 5.88)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

This week in KDE: Fingerprint reader and NVIDIA GBM support!

Two big features landed this week: support for fingerprint readers and the NVIDIA driver’s GBM backend!


Fingerprint support has been in progress for quite some time thanks to Devin Lin, and this week, it was merged for Plasma 5.24! So far we let you enroll and de-enroll fingers, and any of those fingers can be used to to unlock the screen, provide authentication when an app asks for your password, and also authenticate sudo on the command line! It’s really cool stuff.

That’s not all: Xaver Hugl merged preliminary support for the proprietary NVIDIA driver’s GBM backend for Plasma 5.23.2! Overall this should improve the experience for NVIDIA users in many ways, both now, and also over time.

In addition, a truly titanic number of bugfixes were made this week. We have now addressed most of the issues people have found with Plasma 5.23! Here are the remaining ones which are confirmed and don’t have active work to fix them. Working on these would be a great way for any developers reading along to make a big difference quickly!

Even More New Features

Spectacle now lets you configure it to remember the last-used capture mode for its automatically taken-screenshot on launch, or even to take no screenshot at all (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 21.12):

In Discover, You can now enable, disable, and remove Flatpak repos, and also enable and disable distro repos (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Okular’s quick annotations toolbar button now opens the full annotations toolbar when for some reason there are no quick annotations configured (Bharadwaj Raju, Okular 21.08.3)

Fixed a 5.23 regression that could cause Plasma to crash on launch when logging in (Noah Davis, Plasma 5.23.1)

On multi-screen systems, full-screen overlays such as the Screen Locker, Logout Screen, and image view in Telegram once again open on the correct screen rather than all appearing on top of each other in a big jumbled heap (lol) (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.1)

The Kicker Application Menu once again displays System Settings pages when searching (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.23.1)

Setting an accent color while using a color scheme that doesn’t have header colors (such as Breeze Classic) no longer inappropriately applies a small number of header colors to the color scheme, which would break it in creative ways (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.1)

Checkboxes in Discover’s settings page now look unchecked when you uncheck them, and vice versa (lol) (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.1)

When an app is playing audio on a virtual desktop that is not the active one, now its Task Manager tooltip can still be used to interact with it using the inline media controls (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23.1)

Clearing emoji history in the Emoji Selector window now actually works (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.1)

The F10 keyboard shortcut once again works to create a folder on the desktop (Derek Christ, Plasma 5.23.2)

When the Desktop context menu is showing both the “Delete” and “Add to Trash” actions (because both are enabled in Dolphin, as it context menu gets synced with the desktop context menu), both once again work (Fabio Bas, Plasma 5.23.2)

The Shift+Delete shortcut to permanently delete items on the desktop once again works (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.23.2)

In the Plasma Wayland session, System Settings’ touchpad page now correctly shows options for how you can right-click (Julius Zint, Plasma 5.23.2)

On certain distros (such as Fedora), when you install an app with Discover, you can now remove it immediately without having to quit and restart Discover first (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.2)

Discover’s Install buttons once again look correct for people with Plasma 5.23 and Frameworks 5.86, but not 5.87 (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.2)

Plasma now internally ignores the dummy placeholder screen that Qt sometimes creates, which should help with multi-monitor problems related to panels and wallpapers being switched around or going missing (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23.2)

Search fields throughout Plasma now work properly when you type text using a virtual keyboard (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.23.2)

The Plasma applet config window is now able to avoid being cut off on a 1024×768 screen resolution with a bottom panel (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.2)

Discover can now detect when a locally-downloaded package you’ve asked it to open is already installed, so it will show you the option to remove it, rather than letting you try and fail to install it again (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23.2)

Kickoff’s new “Keep open” feature now continues to keep the popup open if you use it to open or launch anything, and it no longer continues to show apps in the main view from the last-highlighted category when you hover the cursor over the “Help Center” item in the sidebar (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.23.2)

In the Plasma Wayland session, using the hidden “BorderlessMaximizedWindows” setting no longer causes maximized windows to stop responding to mouse and keyboard events (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.23.2)

It is once again possible to change the resolution when running in a VM (Ilya Pominov, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, idle time detection (e.g for determining when to lock the screen to put the computer to sleep) now works more properly (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Right-clicking on a Task Manager task to display its recent files no longer freezes Plasma when any of those files lives on a slow or inaccessible network location (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

The free space notifier no longer pointlessly monitors read-only volumes (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.24)

Attempting to share something via email when the system has no email client apps installed no longer crashes the app used to initiate the action (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.88)

QtQuick-based apps now display the correct visual appearance for disabled checkboxes (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.88)

System Tray applets that use the expandable list item paradigm now, finally, totally, completely display the expanded view with the correct highlight height, taking into consideration the user’s font size and any disabled invisible items and also hopefully cosmic rays and swamp gas (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.88)

The Command Bar in many apps no longer ever displays any actions that lack text and also displays actions in alphabetical order now (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 5.88)

The whole system is now faster to access files when your system’s /etc/fstab file happens to have entries identified with UUID and/or LABEL properties (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.88)

User Interface Improvements

The new Overview effect now has a blurred background by default (it’s configurable), and also shows you a strip along the top that lets you remove, rename, or add more Virtual Desktops! (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24):

😍

Changing the color scheme now toggles the standardized FreeDesktop light/dark color scheme preference, so 3rd-party apps that respect this preference will be able to automatically switch to light or dark mode based the lightness or darkness of your chosen color scheme. Isn’t that incredibly cool!? (Nicolas Fella and Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24)

The Lock screen now exposes the Sleep and Hibernate actions, (when supported) (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24):

Obvious question is obvious: “Now when are you going to add Shut Down and Restart Actions!?!?!!” Answer: soon 🙂

The global edit mode toolbar now offers you a way to configure your screens, replacing the button to show the activity switcher (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

The Emoji Selector window’s “Recent Emojis” sidebar item can now be accessed when empty, and shows a placeholder message in this case (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

The “Send to Device” and “Send via Bluetooth” windows now set a sensible title, use more standard styling for their buttons, and the “Send” button is only enabled when there’s a device to send to (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.88):

The color picker applet’s popup can now be closed using the Escape key (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.24)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! This week it was quite a big tip, but the whole iceberg is still much bigger. Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.