This week in Usability & Productivity, part 11

Check out what KDE contributors have been up to this week in the world of Usability & Productivity! The KDE Applications 18.04 feature freeze happened this week, so there was a burst of energy to get in some last-minute new features for core KDE apps, among other welcome changes:

New features

  • Dolphin’s trash view now has a visible “Empty Trash” button (KDE bug 163306, implemented in KDE Applications 18.04.0, authored by Roman Inflianskas):
  • Okular gained support for forms with read-only fields that update based on other fields (KDE Phabricator task T8097, implemented in KDE Applications 18.04.0 and poppler from git master, authored by Andres Heinecke)
  • Gwenview’s crop tool can now constrain the crop proportions to those of the current image (KDE bug 236970, implemented in KDE Applications 18.04.0, authored by Huon Imberger)
  • Gwenview’s crop tool now allows the cropping proportions to be constrained to their current shape by pressing the shift or ctrl keys (KDE Phabricator revision D11380, implemented in KDE Applications 18.04.0, authored by Huon Imberger)
  • Gaming controllers with batteries now appear in the Battery and Brightness plasmoid (KDE Phabricator revisions D11553 and D11331, implemented in KDE Frameworks 5.45, authored by Florian Dollinger)


  • Fixed a bug that was causing KRunner to require two presses of the down arrow key to navigate to the list of search results (KDE bug 392197, fixed in KDE Plasma 5.12.4, authored by me, Nate Graham)
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the Device Notifier plasmoid to display a confusing message about unmounting a device right after it had been mounted (KDE bug 391180, fixed in KDE Plasma 5.13.4, authored by Kai Uwe Broulik)
  • Fixed a bug that was causing different feedback options in the Launch Feedback System Settings page to not take effect when chosen (KDE bug 392050, fixed in KDE Plasma 5.13, authored by Scott Harvey)

UI polish and improvements

  • The SDDM login screen now has a more appropriate Breeze-style default avatar (KDE Phabricator revision D11057, improved in KDE Plasma 5.13.0, authored by Phil Stefan):
  • Gwenview’s crop tool settings are now remembered after navigating away from the current image (KDE bugs 391757 and 392036, improved in KDE Applications 18.04.0, authored by Huon Imberger)
  • Gwenview’s Recent Folders list now shows folder paths in a much more human-readable manner (KDE bug 383850, improved in KDE Applications 18.04.0, authored by Henrik Fehlauer)
  • Dolphin no longer shows two redundant ways to open a folder in a new window (KDE bug 391997, fixed in KDE Applications 18.04.0, authored by Kai Uwe Broulik)
  • KMenuEdit gained HiDPI support (KDE bug 390737, fixed in KDE Plasma 5.12.4, authored by Andrew Crouthamel):
  • Konsole’s “Edit Key Binding List” window now has a more reasonable default size (KDE Phabricator revision D11637, improved in Konsole 18.08.0, authored by Ahmad Samir):

If my efforts to perform, guide, and document this work seem useful and you’d like to see more of them, then consider becoming a patron on Patreon, LiberaPay, or PayPal.

Become a patron Donate using Liberapay donate with PayPal

36 thoughts on “This week in Usability & Productivity, part 11

  1. Thank you again.

    Nicest thing is seeing the bug’s I’ve personally experienced fixed.

    This time it was the annoying KRunner bug.


  2. Another great update!

    nautilus has an option to format external devices such usb and memory card by right clicking on the device and formatting it with an optional luks passphrase. Any plans to add such an option in dolphin?


    1. I’ve never experienced it, and haven’t heard of any occurrences in the last few years, at least.


    2. It happened to my last week. I was doing a backup of some important photos (maybe 100 or less) into a usb stick and then, when i was copying them back after formating, some (maybe 4 or 5) gave error at opening. That happened with Neon 5.12.13.
      TBH I don’t know if it was my mistake (it never happened to my before. It’s not easy to copy a file and mess it up) or I stumble across this bug.


    3. Hi Nate!

      At least in Kubuntu 16.04 the bug is definitely here. Since it occurred several times to me (SSD -> USB flash drive, copying several folders with many pictures inside) I decided to only use rsync for import data transfer to USB targets. Perhaps the bug has to do with low-level USB connection values which can be tweaked but I’ve never tried it. MS Windows shall use another default values which are more robust. Nevertheless other file managers and command line tools (e.g. “cp”) can reliable handle the copy. Because there is no error shown and the user relies on an error free copy it should be considered being a maximum priority bug. One can’t image the lost of trust in KDE software after losing important data in this way (not happened to me, generally). Most welcome would be a hash check after copy similar to rsync, but of course only additionally to fixing the bug.

      Many many thanks in advance if you manage to push this bug in order to be fixed!



    4. It’s been fixed. The latest comment in the thread links to a reddit comment which goes into more detail about the issue.


  3. Hi! I just recognized today (Mar 25) that the Daylight Saving Time is not respected by KDE. My clock is now an hour behind.

    So, is KDE already living the future, where this law has been luckily abolished? Or are we going to see this bug fixed — maby til next Winter Time? 🙂


    1. What distro and KDE Plasma version are you using? This is most likely a bug in the library used to handle time (which is provided by your distro), and not a bug in KDE software.


    2. I’m using exactly the same configuration and I don’t see the issue. I’m in the MST timezone. Where are you?


    3. Woooops, I have a DFC77 controlled clock, which I thought to show the right time compared to my computer time; however, I just figured out, I had turned off the radio control and thus blamed the wrong device… *shame on me*


  4. Since it is a productivity issue, any word of recent progress in kio-gdrive?
    Im just curious. Their Phabricator and Github seems to be silent since last update, or I’m not searching in them properly.


    1. Yes, the backports repo will also include a systemwide update to Qt 5.10 once the latest released version of Plasma depends on it.


    2. I already knew about backports.

      Even with them my Plasma version is 5.12. I need access to developer versions of plasma 5.13 or daily builds. (like kde neon developer edition).


    3. Then it sounds like KDE Neon Developer Unstable is for you. That’s what I use for my own development (in a VM), in fact. It’s just about perfect for that use case.


  5. Maybe a bit off topic but where to submit for new Dolphin features?

    I love Dolphin but it has several lacks that drive me crazy:

    – no option to remember place I last was
    – typing doesn’t fill into filter box, I have to move cursor and click into the filter box; all other file managers let conveniently type and fill search box, Dolphin doesn’t
    – no way of turning off not used sidebar areas like “Search” or “Last saved”, I never touched those since over 2 years, I would like to get rid of them – this is a con for many people, they say that Dolphin is “busy” because of those extra stuff that is not needed and not possible to disable

    Other then that, Dolphin is great but for home usage, but Krusader still seems to be better equipped for work related stuff.


    1. > – typing doesn’t fill into filter box, I have to move cursor and click into the filter box; all other file managers let
      > conveniently type and fill search box, Dolphin doesn’t

      Hmm, actually, this behaviour would annoy me b/c one frequently needs to just to a point of the list without filtering it, although I do agree one needs a quick way to use the filter. I think the “/” shortcut was implemented lalely.


    2. Thanks for the replay.

      1) Remembering last place – this works on other programs like krusader. it simply remembers last closed window. File managers “sessions” are not as important as browser ones so even if I close the wrong window first/last, I can live with because own disc is not so vast as Internet with its unique resources. At the moment I can only define default place. I wish there would be an option to “turn off default place” and turn on “remember last place”. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as you describe it and it may not be default option. A conscious user would have to enable it with all its pros and cons. If it works well in krusader where I also could open multiple windows (I tried it, but it’s counter productive anyway) so it can work in dolphin.

      2) Finding directories and files is the main task within file managers. If I got to my home and make hidden files/directories visible I want to access quickly what I want. The problem is, typing now is only working for NOT HIDDEN directories. So when I want to access .xprofiles, no luck. Also in certain locations that we use very often like our user directory or /etc there are many files and directories. Jumping to them quickly by keyboard is a must. This typing ahead rarely is targeting the right file…. It is literally useless. In places where we don’t have many files, I don’t need it. In places where we have many files we need more letters to specify the target but… you can’t. For that we need filtering and that is the default in all other file managers… except dolphin. Krusader is a special case where there is also only this type ahead and I also hate it because it’s so useless. Nautilus is dumb but it does this one thing right and I don’t see anyone complaining about this feature (typing creates search/filter). Probably other file managers do that too. Typing-ahead is just selecting one target after one letter which is useless when really needed. How this can be better then selecting 2-3 letters to have better view for the target file I want?

      3) Great news. I can’t wait :D.

      Dolphin has so many great features so people tend to forget about its shortcomings. There is no discussion about it anywhere or at least not visible one but we need it to improve it and make it even more awesome :D.
      Maybe features I want/need are not so great for majority but everyone is prone to illusion that what you need is the best option for all 😉 so there is a need to discuss such features. Because people got use to them doesn’t mean they are all that uber or enough… Again, there is still a room for improvement :).


    3. no option to remember place I last was

      You mean after quitting and re-launching it? I imagine that would get hairy because of Dolphin’s ability to have multiple windows. What happens if you have a Dolphin window already open and you open a second one? What happens when you have two open–each showing different folders–and you close them both? What folder would be shown when you open a new instance? The interaction model isn’t the same as a web browser (where there are specific rules for these cases) because Dolphin is a transient “utility” app that you’re typically not going to have open 100% of the time, and so its state doesn’t need to be saved across launches.

      typing doesn’t fill into filter box,

      Type-ahead (the thing that happens when you type in a Dolphin window) is different from filtering (which actually hides items that would be filtered out). Type-ahead is used for quickly selecting a specific file; filtering is used to limit the view only to the relevant files. If you prefer filtering, you can use the ctrl+i shortcut to open the box, and we just the slash key to the list of default shortcuts that open it, too (available in KDE Applications 18.04, though you can set this yourself at any time).

      no way of turning off not used sidebar areas like “Search” or “Last saved”

      This feature has already been implemented and will be available in KDE Applications 18.04!


    1. There *might* be an issue with kdesudo, but no software should be using it in the first place, so it’s not worth filing a bug. The correct way to request elevated privileges is using PolicyKit, not via kdesudo, gksudo, or any other legacy methods that blindly execute code as root. This information should be communicated to the developers.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s