KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 66

Here’s week 66 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative, and some major features have landed! Check it out:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Finally I’d like to give a shout-out to KDE developer Matthieu Gallien, who is developing KDE’s next-generation music player Elisa, which is shaping up nicely. I’m close to using it as my daily driver. Give it a try via KDE’s nightly Flatpak builds, or compile it from source.

Eagle-eyed readers will no doubt notice many visual papercuts, but they’re being worked on!

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 65

Here’s week 65 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative, and I’m happy to announce a long-anticipated improvement: High DPI support in Gwenview! Check it out:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts. I’ve already published a guest post about the lock and login screen tweaks for Plasma 5.16, but we’ve got much, much more:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

Guest Post: Improvements to the lock, login, and logout screens in Plasma 5.16

Here’s a mid-week guest post from two relatively new but very enthusiastic KDE contributors: Filip Fila and Krešimir Čohar. You’ll probably recognize their names from prior blog posts because they’ve been doing a lot of great work lately! And they’d like to share the results of their first major project: refreshing the lock and login screens’ look-and-feel in the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.16 release.

Hi, we’re Filip and Krešimir, we’re new to KDE and we have been working on sprucing up the lock, login, and logout screens for Plasma 5.16. In this post we’ll be highlighting some of the key changes we made and why.

Improved looks

It’s no secret that we started out by toying with the idea of removing the blur effect from the login screen. On the other end of the extreme lay our so-called wallpaper fader, which would apply a lot of blur and darken wallpapers to the point that it was actually starting to look like a bug. So we decided on a compromise – tone down the fader effect and make the background pretty but with labels you can actually make out.

Before and after

Improved visual hierarchy

Every single label on your login screen being 9pt is hardly ideal, and sometimes information just has to take priority. With that in mind, we’ve made:

  • the usernames most prominent (12pt by default)
  • followed by the login fields and action buttons (11pt by default)

…and the rest stays the same or gets bumped from 9pt to 10pt in the case of the login screen. It should be also be noted that the font sizes are modular now and that you even have the option to change the default font size in SDDM.

Yet another improvement is a new magnification effect for the user in focus – so you can be certain you’re logging into the right user account:

Improved controls

Instead of being glued-on icons with a label, action buttons now have some visual feedback. When hovering over them you’ll get a subtle transparent background and the text will also light up a bit:

Some of the icons have been reworked or replaced with new ones:

The login button has been simplified (because why have a really wide button with a label you have to translate?):

Before and after

The end result should look like something like this:

We’ve had a lot of fun implementing all of these changes, our knowledge of Plasma and of computer science in general has increased by leaps and bounds, and the process and the results have been incredibly rewarding. We’re hoping that this login screen will stand the test of time and that it’ll also encourage others to contribute, because yes – it’s worth it.

Let us know if you have any comments or ideas regarding what we’ve been doing!

Krešimir Čohar
Filip Fila

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 63

It’s time for week 63 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative. These things are getting so huge I’m going to have to start splitting them up into multiple posts, because KDE contributors just don’t stop fixing and improving things! Expect more to come soon, but for now, here’s what we’ve got for you:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 62

Week 62 for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is here, and we didn’t let up! We’ve got new features, bugfixes, more icons… we’ve got everything! Take a look:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

This week in Usability & Productivity, part 61

In week 61 for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative, the MVP has got to be the KDE community itself–all of you. You see, Spectacle has gotten a lot of work thanks to new contributors David Redondo and Nils Rother after I mentioned on Reddit a week ago that “a team of 2-4 developers could make Spectacle sparkle in a month“. I wasn’t expecting y’all to take it so literally! The KDE community continues to amaze. But there’s a lot more, too:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.