Welcome to an even more humongous week in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative!
I’d like to specially highlight one very important fix this week: external hard drives are now safely powered off when unmounted. The fix is in KDE Frameworks 5.52, which will be released in approximately three weeks, and I’d like to give a big thanks to Stefan Brüns who fixed it!
Speaking of Stefan, he and Igor Poboiko have been doing an absolutely smashing job fixing Baloo over the past two weeks. A lot of their work is hard to blog about because it’s not immediately user-facing (though I’ve included as much as possible below), but between the two of them, they’ve made an enormous number of improvements to Baloo that should make it work faster and more smoothly in a lot of subtle ways.
But obviously that’s not all; take a look at the rest of the week’s work:
- It’s now possible to download and install new wallpaper plugins straight from the wallpaper chooser (Chris Holland, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- MTP device handling has been rewritten, which fixes an enormous amount of bugs (Andreas Krutzler, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- Keyboard navigation once again works properly on the desktop (Eike Hein, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- Discover no longer erroneously claims that local packages which failed to install actually installed successfully (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- Discover now correctly handles snap:// URLs (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- Discover now remembers any user-set permissions for Snap apps (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- Discover can once again handle opening .flatpakref files (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- Discover is now faster to start up when there is no internet connection (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- The wallpaper chooser no longer shows the wrong preview when an image file is changed on disk, such as when the default wallpaper changes after a new Plasma release (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- The Baloo file indexer now correctly handles the case where a file is renamed, overwriting another file (Igor Poboiko, KDE Frameworks 5.52)
- The Baloo file indexer now pro-actively checks for un-indexed files created when it wasn’t running the next time it starts up (Igor Poboiko, KDE Frameworks 5.52)
- .deb files now display the correct icon (me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.52):
- Media controls on the Media Playback widget are once again visible (Marco Martin, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
- Video files larger than 5 MB in size are now displayed on directory thumbnails when directory thumbnailing is enabled (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- It’s no longer possible to try to unmount the disks for your active operating system or home directory from the Places Panel (Thomas Surrel, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
- Dolphin’s “Create New…” menu is once again correctly disabled in read-only folders (Elvis Angelaccio, KDE Applications 18.08.2)
- When a hidden file is renamed in Dolphin to no longer be hidden, its visual state now changes immediately (Thomas Surrel, KDE Applications 18.08.3)
- URLs starting with file:// that redirect to a location on a Microsoft WebDAV server now do the redirecting properly (Martin Koller, KDE Frameworks 5.52)
- The properties dialog for the root volume now shows the title correctly (Thomas Surrel, KDE Frameworks 5.52)
UI Polish & Improvement
- The Device Notifier now closes itself automatically a few seconds after you use it to eject a disk (Thomas Surrel, KDE Plasma 5.14.1)
- When navigating a folder hierarchy using a Folder View widget in a panel, the prior position is now remembered after navigating back (Thomas Surrel, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- Dolphin’s “Control” menu now shows the “Create New…” items (Me: Nate Graham, KDE Applications 18.12.0):
- The Places Panel now shows appropriate “Hide” icons for its hide-related context menu items (Alex Debus, KDE Applications 18.12.0 and KDE Frameworks 5.52):
- The Baloo file indexer’s balooctl monitor tool now shows you the exact files it’s working on to aid in debugging (Igor Poboiko, KDE Frameworks 5.52)
- In Discover, the not-very-user-friendly string “SDDMtheme” has now been replaced with “Login Screen” (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.15.0
- Speaking of the login screen, its button now uses the grammatically correct phrase “Log In” (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- Spectacle’s Save button now displays an ellipsis for the “Save As…” action (me: Nate Graham, KDE Applications 18.12.0)
Also, I want to mention that we’re aware of two high-profile issues in Discover that slipped by testing and made it into the 5.14.release:
We apologize for these bugs and we’re working to get them fixed quickly!
One of the reasons why bugs like this squeak through is that we don’t have enough pre-release QA testers. You could be one of them, and 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.