Get ready for your weekly load of Usability & Productivity! We’re all working to push Plasma 5.14 out the door, and have already starting work on 5.15. One thing I am personally looking into is improving the visuals of the login screen. As you may recall, for 5.13 we re-did the lock and login screens. The lock screen changes have been very well received, but feedback for got login screen has been more mixed, with many complaining about the (almost) permanently blurred background being a visual regression, since the background image is no longer as clear as it was before.
We’ve heard the feedback and I’m working on the issue. I hope to have a tweaked version ready for Plasma 5.15 that addresses this complaint. You can follow the progress here.
Anyway, here’s the week’s work:
- Okular has a new “Typewriter” annotation tool that can be used to write text anywhere, which can be very useful for filling out PDF documents without inline text fields (Dileep Sankhla and Tobias Deiminger, KDE Applications 18.12.0):
- It’s now possible to hide KSysGuard’s menu bar — and it reminds you of how to get it back, just like Kate and Gwenview do (Luca Sartorelli, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- Added calendar support for public holidays in the Ivory Coast (Lukas Sommer, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Dolphin no longer fails to transfer large files to or from Google Drive (Fabian Vogt, KDE KIO-GDrive 1.2.5)
- The “Missing backends” section on Discover’s settings page no longer erroneously shows backends that are not in fact missing because they are already installed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.0)
- Fixed a case where Discover (and other Kirigami apps) could crash after using a pop-up menu (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Discover no longer shows you update notifications while updating, and does show an update notification when there are updates available on a new install of Plasma (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.12.7)
- The weather widget now shows correct icon sizes when using certain 3rd-party themes that provide enormous icons (Friedrich Kossebau, KDE Plasma 5.14.0)
- The Plasma Vault icon now looks good when using the Breeze Dark theme (Noah Davis, KDE Frameworks 5.51):
- When a new desktop effect is installed from store.kde.org, it now appears in the list on the System Settings Desktop Effects page (Vlad Zagorodniy, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- Plasma configuration windows now raise themselves to the front when they get focus (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Dolphin’s search now works again when selecting From Here, if “here” corresponds to the base level of your home directory (Jaime Torres Amate, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- When a folder has been added to the Baloo file indexer’s list of folders to avoid indexing, it’s now possible to remove the entry later if the folder itself has since been deleted (me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- The balooctl command-line tool for controlling the Baloo file indexer now allows you to explicitly include sub-directories that are inside excluded directories (me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Dolphin (and all apps using KIO) now have improved network file transfer performance (Fabian Vogt, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Fixed a few cases where tabs in Dolphin could display the wrong name (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
UI Polish & Improvement
- Discover is now faster to load the list of featured apps (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.0)
- KRunner’s Configure… and Close buttons now display tooltips (Silas Lenz, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- In the System Settings Displays page, the display’s native resolution is now indicated with a little star icon (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- When using an image slideshow as your wallpaper, the default time that each image is visible has increased to 15 minutes, up from 10 seconds (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.14.0)
- The animated transition for collapsing group boxes now respects the global Breeze theme animation speed (Chrishoph Feck, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Gwenview now displays a warning dialog when you hide the menubar that tells you how to get it back (Luca Sartorelli, 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. 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 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.