I totally missed that last week marked the one-year anniversary of my documentation and guidance of KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative. I think we’ve achieved a lot over the course of that year!
Note that this is NOT an exhaustive log of everything that happened this week in the entire KDE community, or even in all of Plasma. The actual number of commits and improvements is always vast and enormous–too much to comprehend, really. The KDE Community is staggeringly productive.
Rather, this is always a curated list of only the user-facing improvements I believe are directly relevant to the Usability & Productivity initiative. And speaking of it, this week we got an interesting assortment of new features, bugfixes, and UI improvements–many of which I didn’t mention but will ultimately be appreciated when taken together. Check it out:
- Okular now features support for viewing and verifying digital signatures in PDF files(Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan, KDE Applications 19.04.0):
- Gwenview now supports large 512 px thumbnails (Martin T. H. Sandsmark, KDE Applications 19.04.0)
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- Discover’s search on the Installed Apps page now works properly when the Snap backend is installed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- The KWin window manager no longer crashes when a window is minimized via a script (David Edmundson, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- Header text throughout Plasma and KDE apps is no longer very thin–sometimes almost illegibly so–when using Qt 5.12 (Filip Filla and Krešimir Čohar, KDE Frameworks 5.55)
- Apps written in Qt that don’t use KDE Frameworks no longer get ugly ampersands inserted into user interface controls (Albert Astals Cid, KDE Frameworks 5.55))
User Interface Improvements
- On the Activities page in System Settings, the buttons are now vertically centered and no longer let you futilely try to delete the last activity, which is not deletable (David Edmundson and me: Nate Graham KDE Plasma 5.12.8):
- The System Settings Login Screen page received a number of visual improvements: The default Breeze theme’s image preview was updated to reflect its current appearance, the background color of the preview is now color-scheme-aware, and the sizes and margins were tweaked to make sure that everything fits without being cut off (Filip Fila, Björn Feber, and me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- The System Settings page for choosing window decorations buttons received a visual overhaul, fixing many bugs in the process (Valerio Pilo, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- The Devices Notifier no longer lets you futilely try to unmount the root partition when configured to display all disks rather than just removable disks (Thomas Surrel, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- Ported the System Settings Desktop Effects page to QtQuickControls 2, which fixes a number of issues such as bad fractional scaling appearance, ugly dropdown menu checkboxes, and the window size being too small when opened as a standalone app (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- When using Discover to launch an installed app, the cursor now shows the “launching” animation (if one is configured) so you can tell that something is actually happening (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- The Plasma Device Notifier now shows a busy indicator while a device is unmounting (Thomas Surrel, KDE Plasma 5.15.0)
- Improved the padding and appearance of notification pop-ups (Krešimir Čohar, KDE Plasma 5.15.0):
- All search fields in Plasma and System Settings are now consistent in their use of text and ellipses (Krešimir Čohar, Filip Filla, and Björn Feber, KDE Plasma 5.15.0 and KDE Frameworks 5.55)
- Gwenview’s filter-by-name feature is now invokable using the ctrl+i shortcut, matching the behavior in Dolphin (me: Nate Graham, KDE Applications 19.04.0)
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.