Week 58 for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is here! Hot on the heels of last week’s update, we’ve got lots of nice goodies to share:
- The System Settings Window Decorations page has been completely rewritten, bringing it into greater conformance with the modern visual style and fixing a huge number of bugs in the process (Valerio Pilo, KDE Plasma 5.16.0):
- Dolphin now lets the user choose which split view will be closed by the “Close Split” button (Angelo Oliveira Jr., KDE Applications 19.04.0)
- Okular gained a command-line argument to open a file and instantly highlight all occurrences of a given string (Joao Netto, KDE Applications 19.04.0)
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- The Weather widget now correctly displays weather alert text when there’s either a watch or a warning, but not both at the same time (Chris Holland, KDE Plasma 5.12.8)
- Fixed the most common crash-on-launch issue in Discover that was plaguing many users who have devices capable of being updated with fwupd, but had not actually applied the update yet (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, KDE Plasma 220.127.116.11)
- Icons on Discover’s Updates page no longer glitch out when using the three-column widescreen view and clicking on the “More Information” button for the selected package (Jonah Brüchert, KDE Plasma 5.15.1)
- The Digital Clock widget’s 12-hour/24-hour toggle now works again (Chris Holland, KDE Plasma 5.15.1)
- By default, the Task Manager now only shows tasks from the current virtual desktop (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.16.0)
- Ported the System Settings Audio Volume page to QtQuickControls2 and Kirigami, which makes it look good when using a fractional scale factor (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.16.0)
- GTK 3 applications no longer spew zillions of warnings to the console (Andrzej Broński, KDE Plasma 5.16.0)
- Scrollbars in Kirigami apps now behave the same as other scrollbars: left-clicking in the trough does a PageUp/PageDown action, and middle-clicking will zoom directly to the clicked location (Marco Martin, KDE Frameworks 5.56)
- Restoring manually-saved Plasma sessions now works with all apps again (David Edmundson, KDE Frameworks 5.56)
- Long wallpaper names can no longer blend into one another (Filip Fila, KDE Frameworks 5.56)
- Plasma can no longer crash when BZip2 support abruptly disappears (David Edmundson, KDE Frameworks 5.56)
- The Baloo file indexing service now correctly indexes folders that were moved from a non-indexed location to an indexed location (Igor Poboiko, KDE Frameworks 5.56)
- Wide characters such as some Emojis are now displayed properly in Konsole (Mariusz Glebocki, KDE Applications 19.04.0)
- When a folder is opened in a new tab in Dolphin, the new tab is placed immediately to the right of the current one instead of always on the end of the tab bar (David Hallas, KDE Applications 19.04.0)
User Interface Improvements
- The Networks widget is now faster to refresh wifi networks, and more reliable at doing so (Valerio Pilo, KDE Plasma 5.16.0)
- In System Settings, the Look and Feel page is now a top-level item, because it affects everything (Björn Feber, KDE Plasma 5.16.0):
- When you hide the Desktop Toolbox, an informational message tells you how to return to the configuration window without it (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.16.0):
- Inline buttons in Kirigami lists are now real ToolButtons, so they change their appearance appropriately when hovered over or clicked (me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.56):
- When a Kirigami app sends a low-priority transient notification of the type that automatically disappears after seven seconds, the countdown timer now only starts when the parent window has focus, so you don’t miss the notification if the window was behind another one or minimized or something (Kai Uwe Broulik and me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.56)
- Konsole now has an on-by-default option to display close buttons on individual tabs, like most other tabbed apps do nowadays (KDE Applications 19.04.0)
- Much more image metadata is now displayed clearly in apps like Dolphin (Alexander Stippich, 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!
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46 thoughts on “This week in Usability & Productivity, part 58”
I like this one: GTK 3 applications no longer spew zillions of warnings to the console :D. I wonder if the warnings were just muted or the underlying issues were fixed? Or maybe it doesn’t matter ;P? – those were rhetoric questions, no need to answer them.
I am curious about: Dolphin now lets the user choose which split view will be closed by the “Close Split” button. Current behavior drives me mad because it’s too easy to forget which view is active and close the wrong one. I sort of learned to take notice before closing the split view but this is still uncomfortable and not intuitive. The easiest solution would be to have the option to have another set of buttons for the new column and then we would choose to close right or left one by choosing right or left button. However, that might not be ideal for all so maybe some dialog to choose the proper one will be a compromise. I know that some hate the default dialogs when dragging files (copy, move, symlink) but I LOVE them, they save so much time because one time I want to copy, another time I want to move so I don’t have to worry what the app will do (on windows this is random and app dependent). So if I like this feature, I might like the closing split view dialog as well?
And of course, there are many other exciting improvements as well. It amazes me every week, how many small things need to be taken care of and excites me that they are.
Re: the warnings – if you look at the patch in Phab, it is about removing/modifying deprecated styles used in breeze-gtk.
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Yes, one thing I want to implement at some point is to give each split pane its own inline close button so it’s always obvious which one you’re closing if you use those buttons.
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Could you also help fellow KDE developer @psifidots to promote latte in your weekly reports? This is one of the best KDE apps and Plasma elements currently and latte just got awesome color dynamic feature update. I tested it and it’s genius!
Please, read his blog post:
Latte may be an optional part of Plasma, but… the same can be said for Discover and I bet that latte is more used nowadays than Discover, although the second one is more default in many distros while latte rarely is.
Latte is unique and it’s more than a dock or even a panel. Plasma’s default, system panel is very void of features and boring in comparison to latte panel, but still a good option for old machines where resources are limited. But for new computers latte really shines if someone really wants to tweak the hell out of Plasma. Without latte, Plasma becomes more plain, less configurable. Latte is IMO a very important part of KDE that enhances Plasma greatly here and now (while Discover still needs a lot of work and its prime time is not there yet).
Your blog gets more attention then latte’s one and I think you could help a bit to make it more prominent :). You have a talent for it :).
Latte is awesome, but I try to focus on components that are shipped by default for the most part. Michail is quite good at promoting Latte himself and I’m not sure he needs the help! 🙂
Well, no hurt to mention it once or twice once in a while ;).
I believe it’s not only helping latte but raising awareness of latte’s features is also promoting Plasma desktop in general. Many setups are possible only with latte.
However, I do get your concerns. You have a clear focus here. Once you make an exception, why not making exceptions for other projects? This would get quickly confusing,
Or maybe you can start new series in this blog for the KDE software that is improved and deserves a mention within the focus of usability and productivity? It wouldn’t have to be regular. Just as long some cool features in your area show up.
So we wouldn’t hear much of a Krusader (it’s an awesome app but it’s kinda stagnant and the same bugs are not fixed after many years) but Latte would be a prominent guest. What other KDE software could be there I wonder?
This of course providing you have time for it. If not, then ok. It’s not possible to do all things and one has to choose, otherwise, you won’t get far. On the other hand, changing own focus once in a while is a healthy thing. Just to give you some food for thoughts ;).
By the way, I forgot to mention that improving Network refresh time is a big thing on my list! Too bad I have to wait so long for it.
“Dolphin now lets the user choose which split view will be closed by the “Close Split” button”
Great! I always close the wrong one.
The mentality right now is “select the one you want to close”. I had to force myself to learn after always closing the wrong one.
Now it’s configurable! 🙂
Hello Nate and thanks for your usual report!
I’m really impressed on how KDE is improving so fast, but there’s a bug that still annoys me: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=76380
It’s pointless to move files to the root trash bin instead of completely remove them. Is there any plan to address that bug?
Yeah I need to investigate that one. It’s on my radar screen.
Could you please tell me, when this spectacle bug will be fixed or maybe it’s already fixed?
Also i have a lot of bugs with multi-display configuration (hidpi & non-hidpi). I understand, it’s hard to maintain with X.org restrictions. But Wayland is still not usable for me with hidpi & multi-displays. Maybe you know something about this situation, when wayland replace X.org completely, when dev will stop supporting X.org?
If it was already fixed, the bug would be closed. 🙂
The X11 session is not going to be unsupported for a long time, if ever.
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A bit different topic. Someone reminded me of a bug that was present a year ago and is still not fixed. Do you know it? Is it reported?
Some (random?) folders don’t get thumbnails in preview mode, no idea why:
No idea on this one, sorry. 😦
We figured it out – all photos above 3MB won’t create any icon on folder preview. The issue is, there is no setting to modify it. In older Plasma versions the size limit was higher so it’s hard to tell if that’s the bug or a conscious design decision. Still, leaving the option out of a user’s reach is a weird choice. Some may want to increase that limit.
Hmm, are you sure? I get previews for photos greater than 3 MB in size.
Maybe it has something to do with Manjaro or Arch Plasma? Someone mentioned this wasn’t happening on Neon. At least a few of us had this effect and 3MB seems to be a limit. 2,9MB photo shows, 3,2 isn’t.
I’m on Manjaro myself right now, and my 3.2 MB JPEG images get previews.
Strange. There are at least 2 persons with this 3MB preview cap. I’m looking for the topic where it’s mentioned but it’s as if vanished :(. I tested it just now and edited photo from 10MB to 3,2MB and still not preview. When I downsize it to 2,6 preview is there.
Or maybe you are not understanding what am I talking about. It’s not about IMAGES PREVIEW. It’s about IMAGES PREVIEW ON FOLDER ICON.
So once again: when you have all images in a folder above 3MB and go up in a folder structure, you will see a generic icon. When you decrease one image to below 3MB, you will see the icon of this image on the folder icon. If you have more of under 3,2MB photos, you will see 4 (random? first?) photos showed on a folder icon.
Ahh that makes so much sense now! I can confirm the issue. If there’s no bug report for this, can you file one?
I can’t respond to your previous comment, because it’s nested too deep and there is no “replay” button.
Anyway, yes, I can file a bug, in fact, it is a reopening of an old bug. Not sure if that is accepted way of handling this but what the heck, I posted it anyway and hopefully it will work out from there.
Thanks, I’m investigating now.
still no shadow for gnome apps without setting up custom rules? and when are you going to get rid of the titlebars and merge the app buttons with it.
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Hopefully never. See https://pointieststick.com/2018/12/18/on-headerbars/
I am agree with you, but there is no agreement on KDE, looks like, not like on GNOME, i disabled the titlebars on my system with KWin config and really enjoying it. I really prefer using the keyboard for navigation, moving throughout the DE, etc. But it is just my opinion, KDE is a really big group of people, a community, and that idea does not seem to be really accepted.
Hi, thanks for all these updates.
About the workspace Toolbox – the first tweak I do after setting up Plasma; never ever used it in the last 10 years..
I find it the Plasma counterpart of the human appendix.
Have you ever tought about merging the “Tweaks” config panel with the System Settngs > Plasma Workspace global optons?
What about making the toolbox a widget to search and add to the workspace like Notes or Clock ones?
Or why not offer its menu entres just by right clicking on the desktop, and then retire it?
It can’t go there because it’s a per-desktop/activity UI element, so it has to be attached to the desktop/activity it’s associated with.
All of its entries are already all available via the desktop context menu, but we have a rule that no feature can only be accessible via a context menu. There has to be some other way as well. See https://hig.kde.org/components/navigation/contextmenu.html
On the subject of the window decoration…
The window title font rendering there looks incorrect when I switch it to a bold font – It looks more like a medium font than a bold one. The only way to make it render correctly is to turn the ‘general’ font bold. Note the two screenshots, in Breeze Light colors:
This is on a 1920 x 1080 screen, and I’ve had this problem since 5.14. Has this been confirmed yet? It is extremely annoying.
The “Window Title” font is for the window’s titlebar. The header text you’re looking for does not use the same font style. We plan to improve this area at some point in the future.
Don’t misunderstand – I really meant the font that is on the window titlebar decoration, like where the maximize/minimize icons, etc. reside. Please look at the 2 screenshots again carefully, and there is a big difference in font rendering.
Oh, I see now. Out of curiosity, does it do the right thing if you restart KWin after changing the Window Title font to what you want?
It does not – The problem stays the same. But I found a workaround:
What I had to do is duplicate a regular .ttf font I wanted to use, and use a font editor to rename it and change its properties to ‘fake’ itself as a bold font. I then set the renamed font as the general font, just to trick the proper font rendering of the window title – Which I kept as an unchanged bold font. It was a very painful process to figure out, though.
I did a small usability improvement to KRDC (use keyboard shortcut to open new connections) last week: https://phabricator.kde.org/D17327
Very nice! May it be the first of many. 🙂
new spanish translation:
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Translation for portuguese:
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Fantastic as always.
Plasma 5.16 really looks like it will be fantastic, another terrific major release of Plasma.
Dolphin getting some love too, nice.
The ¨bad¨ thing IMHO is that after reading this, i can not wait to test it or use the last development version myself, it is hard to endure.
The way to test it without touch my installation is with the setting up of a developing environment, right?
Thanks as always Nate, you really rock very much.
I know, the anticipation is so hard! You can always use KDE Neon Dev Unstable as your daily driver. 🙂 Or Gentoo.
If i had to choose, i would go with the second one, of course. As i told you, i prefer to stay away from Ubuntu, no critics, but it is my choice. I love RR, full community, Arch is my daily driver, but Gentoo is another one that is on my list of test distros.
There is a persistent bug that’s been around for ages with Okular being too slow to load pages when scrolling documents, any idea if that is in the pipeline to be fixed?
First I’ve heard of it. Do you have the bug report handy?
I have this always as well. IT seems loading a page takes far longer than necessary. Did not enter a bug report yet, since it is so obvious 🙂
Never made one actually I’m quite new to KDE been using it for about two months now, but I’ll read up on how to create one.
This is what I meant when I said its been around for ages, Evince is fast and Okular despite being my preferred app works exactly as described in that post by another user.
> The Digital Clock widget’s 12-hour/24-hour toggle now works again (Chris Holland, KDE Plasma 5.15.1)
Hi, I do not have the problem with the toggle. It always work. What make me surprise is the toggle have three state (as I read the Chris Holland comment at the bug track).
May be the toggle need to have information text so common user like us is informed about the nature of three-state toggle. Because, it is unnatural/not common/odd to have checkbox to represent an option that have more than two options.
1. Sorry, I am not an English speaker.
Yes, the three-state toggle is indeed not ideal. See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=402487.
I’ll submit a patch for that today.