I’m back from Akademy, and I can’t wait to share some of the cool stuff that happened there over the past week. I’m going to post the video of my talk as soon as it’s up. But first, I know what you’re all really waiting for: this week’s Usability & Productivity update. Though we were all quite busy, somehow everyone managed to accomplish an enormous amount of work, too!
In particular there has been a momentous amount of improvement to Kate and the code that underpins it: the Syntax Highlighting and KTextEditor frameworks. These frameworks are used to provide text editor views to the Kate, KWrite, KDevelop, and Kile apps, so any improvements to them are felt very widely within the universe of KDE apps. I want to recognize the efforts of Christoph Cullmann, Dominik Haumann, Kåre Sårs, and Sven Brauch for their stunning amount of work. While I was working on this post Tuesday night, there was a time when I was literally (not figuratively, I mean literally literally) unable to document the improvements as fast as they would show up in my email inbox. These guys deserve the community’s respect for the stunning quantity of work they performed in an astonishingly small amount of time. Let’s give ’em all a round of applause.
But that’s not all! Take a look at the full list, which includes many, many more nice improvements:
- Kate (and other apps using the KTextEditor frameworks, like KDevelop) now has the ability to turn off Syntax highlighting entirely, if desired (Christoph Cullmann, KDE Frameworks 5.50)
- Kate (and other apps using the KTextEditor frameworks, like KDevelop) now has the ability to display inline notes and messages. Expect this feature to enable some really, really awesome possibilities in the future! (Michal Srb and Sven Brauch, KDE Frameworks 5.50)
- When System settings pages (KCMs) are opened in standalone form, their window is now sized correctly (Valeriy Malov, KDE Frameworks 5.50)
- The Desktop Effects page in System Settings now has crisp and correct-looking text when using a fractional scale factor (Bo Simonsen, KDE Plasma 5.12.7)
- When using Kicker and one sub-menu has an item with very long text that causes the menu to be wider than normal, other sub-menus now have the correct shorter width (Albert Astals Cid, KDE Plasma 5.13.5)
- Scrolling in Kate (and other apps using the KTextEditor framework) is no longer jumpy when lines are wrapped (Sven Brauch, KDE Frameworks 5.50) This is expected to be particularly welcome for users of LaTeX in Kile, who are asked to test this out and see if it helps them! building the KTextEditor framework from source is sufficient to test–or just using a rolling release distro like Arch or Manjaro or OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and wait until next month for the release of KDE Frameworks 5.50.
- Kate (and other apps using the KTextEditor frameworks) now prints the footer using the font specified in the Footer Font settings (KDE Frameworks 5.50)
- When using multiple Activities, Kate now opens files in the correct activity (Simone Scalabrino, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- Kate (and other apps using the KTextEditor frameworks) no longer crash when replacing a newline at the end of a document with a space (Dominik Haumann, KDE Frameworks 5.50)
- Kate now displays all the correct icons when run on GNOME using the GNOME icon theme (Kåre Sårs, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- By default, clicking the scroll track in a GTK app now moves the scrollbar one page length at a time in the direction of the cursor rather than jumping the bar to that location–matching the behavior for Qt apps as well as what the checkbox in System Settings says it will do (Wolfgang Bauer, KDE Plasma 5.12.7
- In Okular, saving a PDF no longer inappropriately switches from Thumbnail view to Content view (Ahmad Osama, KDE Applications 18.08.0)
- In Okular, ePub files containing resources with spaces in their URLs now display correctly (Gilbert Assaf, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- When Dolphin is able to display file creation dates (e.g. on BSD-based operating systems, but I am working on doing it for Linux too!), those dates are now printed in a human-readable format (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Applications 18.08.1)
- In KCalc, pressing the = key multiple times now does what it should and repeats the last calculation (Maximilian Schiller, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
UI Polish & Improvement
- Added a new Scale effect that replaces the previous Scale In effect . The new effects animates window closing as well, and is much more visually appealing (Vlad Zagorodniy, KDE Plasma 5.14.0):
- The configuration and removal text for Widgets are now grammatically correct and consistent with one another (me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.50):
- When moving or copying a file, the Notification plasmoid’s progress display shows the destination filename, not the source file name (Karthik Periagaram, KDE Plasma 5.14.0)
- Line numbers are now on by default in Kate (Christoph Cullmann, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- Gwenview’s “Reduce Red Eye” tool received a variety of nice usability improvements (Henrik Fehlauer, KDE Applications 18.12.0):
- In Gwenview, it’s now possible to double-click to immediately correct red eyes in photos when using the Reduce Red Eye tool (Henrik Fehlauer, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
Next week, your name could be in this list! Just check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters.
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. Also consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.