This week in Usability & Productivity, part 51

Week 51 of KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is here! Most people are still out on vacation these days, so like last week it’s a bit lighter than usual. That didn’t stop the rest of us though! Check out what we did:

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, 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.

20 thoughts on “This week in Usability & Productivity, part 51

    1. Oh sweet! That’s a great one! Now that I read the bug report, I see that I was affected by that issue too. Definitely a major fix; I’ll add it to the post.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nate, please clarify me about one thing:
    what’s the difference between Kate and Kwrite?

    I understand Kwrite is more notepad-like and that Kate is more “powerful”. But why are their 2? What are their target?
    wouldn’t it be better if by default only one was shipped?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like kwrite better. I don’t need fancy stuff, I’m not a programmer and kwrite fulfill all my needs, plus it looks less busy or in other words, it looks simply better.
      Since kwrite is not serving any ambitious goals and has all it needs, it doesn’t require much improvement. Although I would wish some options for some hidden… I don’t know how to say it… sometimes it adds some hidden content on the beginning making confs unusable. The same issue is with kate and I never knew if there is a way to disable it somehow. Editing with nano is always the safest. However, I like to use gui if possible and have no idea why sometimes it breaks configs and sometimes it doesn’t with this hidden format.


  2. kate and kwrite are basically the same application (they even live in the same repository). The difference is that one is ‘just’ a text editor, and the other is a text editor that supports plugins, multi documents and a few more things. So while the default ‘kwrite’ would probably be what you would look for a notepad replacement, kate is what you would use if you where looking for a notepad++ or Atom replacement.


    1. I see!

      Having both is kind of confusing!!!

      But I get the diference.

      Still, for a notepad++ replacement i prefer notepadqq.

      In fact, like qbittorrent, it would be great to have it as a KDE project. It’s not because of features, it’s because of having it available cross-OS!!!

      It’s sad that most of KDE projects are not available cross-os…


    2. Ooohhh, that’s nice!!!

      That made me do a re-check on a few kde projects again (did it a few years ago)!

      A small resume of my findings:

      i’m very pleased to see that some are already available for windows.
      kate, kdevelop, krita, falkon and marble

      others have preliminary support such as:
      Calligra, Kdenlive, Skrooge and Okular (says it has but i could not found it),

      but a few are sadly missing:
      Gwenview , Amarok, kstars, ktorrent and k3b considering the vanishing media, i don’t know if this one would worth the work)

      It would be great, however, if some qt projects such as qbittorrent, notepadqq, smplayer (or VLC) – to name a few – would go the same way as Falkon and join KDE…

      still it’s great to be able to already use some of KDE’s great tools on other systems 🙂


    3. ops… i made a mistake: Amarok has a windows version too (not updated however…),

      as to calligra, scrooge and okular… well it seems they do not have a “dedicated” installer…


    4. Yeah, I agree it’s confusing. I believe that kwrite should be basic default and kate an added program for those who really need its features. However, since Linux is used mostly by geeks, they often tend to use more feature full-text editors so kate is pushed as favorable default.
      Anyway, there is no need to keep both. Since I don’t use kate, I just uninstalled it and never missed it. Kwrite is just fine for me.


  3. Great! I applaud every improvement, but is there a reason why 10 years later we still can move forth & forward through folders in Dolphin whithout needing to click 17 times the back arrow and later to click 9 times the forth arrow and so on?
    I sincerely don’t understand why no developer has thought that it’d a good thing to have a simple browsing history like web browsers do, like Konqueror does, like Windows 95 file browser did almost a quarter century ago!
    Is there some “philosophical” reason against a history for Dolphin, a technical one perhaps? It doesn’t seem like asking for a lot but I’m not a developer, so, why? Are features like opening from breadcrumbs in new tabs really more demanded? I can’t understand that a feature present in every important file manager in any OS is undervalued this way in KDE.


    1. Nobody to my knowledge is philosophically against such a feature. This is clearly very important to you, but I don’t think anyone is consciously making an effort to ignore this request. There’s just a lot to do and we’re chronically short of developers. You can follow, but try not to add comments like “I want this too!” or “Aargh, why is this not implemented yet?” Sharpening your development skills and working on a patch is probably the most productive path forward.

      Personally the navigation-related feature I’m looking forward to the most is the return of column view, which makes navigating folder hierarchies super fast and easy..


    2. Well, Dolphin can already be configured to display a folders tree / hierarchy. Is it what you were looking for ? Well, it could be improved. It tends to require the user to scroll to display the relevant part of the tree.

      Columns view is nice, it has pros & cons (it’s handy to quickly change the current dir and keep track of the successive subdirs but you can display fewer files, you see smaller thumbs).


    3. “Personally the navigation-related feature I’m looking forward to the most is the return of column view, which makes navigating folder hierarchies super fast and easy”

      Would be great to see that again, I loved it too.
      But I also believe that Wozzeck’s suggestion would really improve usability and efficiency. Most of the developers seem often to live a bit apart from common users, who mostly don’t give a damn for “weird” features but would really benefit from and good old -and clear- browsing history for dolphin.
      I guess he/she is probably one of those new Linux users who takes for granted things like manpower or average domestic/office user orientation, hence his/her astonishment for the lack of a feature that is sort of granted for Windows users since decades ago, and that, yes, admit it people, even you, developers, know that it saves time when you need to mess with your files and directories forth and back. Nevertheless he/she should read a bit about netiquette in FLOSS world, no doubt.

      I want to end recommending trying to quit repeating that fallacy about the common user becoming a developer, even an amateur one; that’s not going to happen nor is a realistic wish. Don’t take this as an attack nor any kind of harsh criticism, please, just want to make anyone who might read this that is not a valid answer to say people who are not versed in some discipline to learn it instead of complaining.
      I’m a Traumatologist, I love FLOSS and report some bugs when I have the time and also collaborate with donations to several projects, but I don’t know a thing about coding nor I am going to learn because I simply don’t like computers that much and the last thing I want to do when I come back home from work is studying programming languages and software architeture, the same way that if you would ever come to my office for a consultation for a, let’s say, carpal tunnel syndrome I would not tell you that sharpening your medical skills and working on a therapy yourself is probably the most productive path forward.
      Perhaps you are assuming that most Linux users have some computer science background, but I think that’s a wrong assumption. Most of the people I knowwith a certain closeness that use Linux are people who don’t have anything to do with computer science, just have some amateurish interest on technology, digital rights and liberties, etc. I even know some that use Linux because a son/brother/boyfriend installed it on their PCs but have no idea nor any interest at all in technology and they could be using Windows or Mac as long as someone installs and configures it for them. Maybe some “tourism” across the world outside the geeky micro-cosmos would widen a bit that usually a little closed developer panorama.
      What I do believe you should insist in much more is donations. Almost any of us can donate even a modest quantity to support KDE including hiring full time developers. That’s a real shame most users should face: devs do the hard work, but users who benefit from that work must contribute with anything we are able of, and if we can’t collaborate in developement, we should donate even 20 euros a year, or 10, even just 5, whatever we can afford without doing great efforts. That’s something much more convenient than telling the people to become amateur developers.

      Cheers, and keep up the great work, which !


    4. BTW, the feature I would really love to see in Dolphin is horizontal split. It’s impossible to comfortably and instantly read file properties colums like date, size, tags, bitrate, word count, etc, even just file names if a bit long, when you use vertical split on a small laptop screen. Even on a 4k 27″ display you may have trouble when using to instances of Dolphin one aside the other both vertically splitted.

      Keep up the great work, which we thank you! -that’s what I missed to finish in my previous comment. 😉 –


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