This week in Usability & Productivity, part 52

This week in Usability & Productivity, the KDE VDG worked very intensively on aesthetics. The Breeze icon theme gained a lot of attention, resulting in many improvements, and we now have a good number of icon designers diligently working through a backlog of issues. More is on the way too, with several enthusiastic new VDG members who combine an eye for design with strong technical abilities. Expect good things to come of this!

New Features

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 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.

20 thoughts on “This week in Usability & Productivity, part 52

  1. Congratulations on post #52. Thank you for consistently reporting/bringing focus to even the smallest big fixes that hamper a good user experience.

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  2. I’m very happy to hear that there’s now a wallpapers package.
    I would like to see it installed by default in Kubuntu and KDE Neon.
    While I’m not very fond of default Plasma wallpaper and other abstract wallpapers, I hope that the package will contain an equal share of abstract and non-abstract (landscapes), light and dark wallpapers so everybody finds something they like.
    This is one of the things that I miss most from Linux Mint where they had installed a great collection of wallpapers to choose from.
    Talking about missing things, I hope that one day somebody will take on the complex problem and add the feature to set a wallpaper per workspace, so in a 4-workspace configuration I can set 4 different wallpapers and it will be very easy to differentiate between workspaces based on that. This is one of the things that I’m still missing from Compiz.

    Another missing usability thing is the resize corner in all the windows.
    I’m talking about the right-angle triangle of dots in the bottom-right corner of a window which gives you enough space to quickly grab and resize the windows on both horizontal and vertical axes.
    I found an example here where it’s explained how it works on Windows:
    https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001478.htm
    To make things even worse, I’m using on Kubuntu 18.10, the “Windows-K10-dark” window decoration (because I like big rectangle window control buttons instead of the default ones) on a 4K monitor with scaling set to 2 and it’s very very hard to resize any window.
    I spend a lot of time finding the real edge of the window because I expect it to be at the outer edge (where the window finishes its width) and instead, having such a big border width, the resize handle is at the inner edge.
    Finding the corner resize handle is even worse, it takes me between 1-3 seconds.
    Compared to Windows, this is a lot worse.
    I don’t know if the window decoration is to blame here.
    I wouldn’t have changed it from the default if I didn’t need to change the window control buttons.
    In any case I don’t remember seeing the resize corner triangle even on default theme, even though there’s seems to be enough space a window status bar like Dolphin’s to display it.
    I hope to see some usability improvements in this area too in the future.

    Congratulations and thank you to all KDE developers!

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      1. Wow, that’s very nice to hear, thank you very much!
        Sorry for the long comment, I wanted to mention everything that I remember now, later I will probably forget to write about it 🙂

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  3. Sweet, the icon’s week was this time. Thanks as always for your great work Nate. You help to improve this Sunday day for the lovers of the KDE Project.

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  4. Hi Nate,
    Another potential UI improvement is to change the default behavior of the clipboard. One thing that bothered me for a while is that highlighting any text would be immediately copied to the clipboard, without ctrl+c or an explicit copy command. It’s an easy fix in the clipboard settings, but may annoy some users that switch from windows.
    Would this be under KDE or individual distro default settings? I’m using manjaro.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I was wondering sometimes when I actually do use the clipboard for copy history why it had a bunch of entries that I don’t recall invoking a copy on. I get that it’s probably intended as a less effort to do thing, but I find it plagued with a lot of text highlighting that I would never actually want clogging up that history of useful copies.

      At least there is a a setting to turn that off, thanks for pointing it out. The setting btw isn’t exactly communicating itself clearly enough. “Selection and Clipboard” -> “Ignore Selection”/”Text selection only”/”Synchronize..”(ok that last one has me lost at whatever it’s trying to communicate). What else can you select that isn’t text for that feature? The section header of “Selection and Clipboard” and it’s options while I guess make sense when you understand what it does to me didn’t quite say “Hey, so by default, when you select text it automatically gets copied to the clipboard, if you don’t like that click the ignore option and your manual copies of selected text will still go to the keyboard”.

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  5. Thx for all your hard work 🙂
    I love KDE for it’s customisation possibilities and the good code base which makes it very easy and standardized to build distro packages and update when new versions come out. It’s the easiest maintainable desktop out there from distro perspective.

    Great job!

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