This week in Usability & Productivity, part 60

It’s time for week 60 for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative, and this one is positively overflowing with goodies! Will you even be able to handle it? I THINK NOT!!! But read it and see:

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, 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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33 thoughts on “This week in Usability & Productivity, part 60

  1. Wow, so many awesome sounding goodies!

    Finally, we will be able to search for the apps in the menu editor, that was always super annoying and first awkward thing to discover when first launching menu editor. Every time I used it it was painful I had to look for the app I want manually which took so much time.

    I hope some of the new, basic features like the betters dictionaries choice and spellcheck will be backported to kwrite as this is my choice of text editor (kate is too busy and I don’t need all the extra juice, kwrite works just fine for me).

    Also can’t wait to see implemented works of better UI, like rounded corners, no borders, etc. – the stuff you are discussing since a while. Many users, including me, already use themes that have no borders. Sure, grabbing borders is a pain and grab-corners are none existent (at least on Kvantum themes I prefer) but that’s often a fault of over-speeded pad cursor (which I prefer, only for window resizing it sucks because it’s hard to hit the border for the cursor to change). And slightly rounded corners look nice and introduce completely different, more mack-ish, elegant feel that gnome already has and what many people love and hate the lack of it on Plasma.

    I just wonder, if those UI changes will be exclusive for Breeze themes or will they be applied system-wide, so also for Kvantum themes or we have to wait till new themes will implement this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It depends. Right now the border setting is systemwise rather than theme-specific, but I’d actually like to get this changed. Some themes provide borders that deliberately provide a contrast with the window content, while Breeze does not. It makes sense (IMO) to turn off the border by default for Breeze, but not other themes that make the border a visually distinct element.

      Having KWin round the corners of borderless windows (likely using an optional-but-on-by-default desktop effect) is something I would very much like to see, but the last time it was brought up, it was very controversial.

      BTW Breeze has plenty of room on the window edges for resizing the window when the borders are turned off, so for themes that don’t, that would be a theme bug.


    2. Just my 50 cents: resizing partition in KDE Partition Manager with touchpad is also a challenge. I guess many KDE apps with similar functionality suffer from this.


  2. Really fantastic as always Nate & KDE Community.
    Kate looks pretty nice, it would be fantastic if a few features that i proposed at the time (about 1 year ago), could be accomplished, seeing the great efforts of the community to improve it, at least, what is visible this week.
    I mean, the option to take a quick note on a new document and can close Kate without saving it, and restore it when you reopen Kate, (as Sublime Text does).
    Plasma 5.16 looks pretty nice too. I really love the work you do and can follow all the work under the hook the KDE Community keeps doing every week on the software we love that much.
    As always, thank you Nate & the whole KDE Community, to everyone who makes possible this amazing software and keeps improving it to make it better every day.
    Bests Nate & everyone ^^.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > the option to take a quick note on a new document and can close Kate without saving it, and restore it when you reopen Kate, (as Sublime Text does).

      I miss this from Sublime Text too! I guess one of us should file a bug so the developers at least know about this idea. Do you want to or should I?


    2. Looks as Nate said, there is already a bug opened to it.
      Since 2015, i really hope it gets done soon, KDE is improving really much its software, but there are still (obviously) features that i miss from other software, etc.
      As i said in my comment before, i already opened about 1 year ago, and it was Nate himself who replied my opened bug, as duplicated of the one he attaches i suppose, i suggested a few features that i missed then, (i think it was 17.12 then or so, i was on Manjaro KDE too, how fast times passes), i will check it out, just to satisfy my own curiosity, but i think it was more or less then.
      I also add saying this, that i do not really know pretty well how to check the bugs i reported, the closed ones i mean, the open ones i already know how to check them.
      Bests ^^.


    3. …and of course I forgot you need to put your email in Search by people while having “the Reporter” ticked.


    4. I have to add a new comment because i do not know how to edit an already posted one, so here it is the bug request i was talking about:
      As i remembered, KDE Apps 17.12, but i opened it as Arch Linux package, i suppose that it was because there were/is not an option to choose Manjaro, because i am pretty sure i was using Manjaro KDE at that time on my PC, Anarchy Linux probably on my parents laptop, so i am not pretty sure, maybe Arch Linux already on my parents laptop, anyway, the mentioned bug, as i said, i suggested some features, but i think Kate still miss all of them, i am not criticizing that, as i said, i really think KDE Community is doing an amazing job, but i really miss all of that features/options in Kate, which i really love.
      The zoom config is kinda frustrating for me (yes, also from Sublime Text this feature/option).
      And the Key Bindings are one of the most strange missing for me, as i think i said one year ago, being KDE software, which is famous among all things, for having tons of options (at least in general, not everything, that is clear), and the configuration capabilities from the GUI part, like this time, to customize the keyboard shortcut, i think there are more entries this time, but i still miss some of them, for example, a really must have one, Open File, which is in Kate, as well as the majority of the software, Ctrl + O, but there are no entry on Kate keyboard shortcuts configuration, which seems really strange for me.
      Bests ^^.


  3. > It’s now possible to switch to an alternative Task Manager from the context menu even when the entire thing is full of tasks and there’s no empty space

    In my opinion there should be a submenu “Task manager >” with “Configure …”, “Alternative …”.
    In the current state, your screenshot gives me the impression that I can install an alternative of Konsole.

    Moreover there are too much items in these menus. I think we could move “Minimize” and “Maximize” to “More actions” because there is a better way to do these actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not really, because it’s tied to that specific task manager. There are other ones you can replace it with, and you can even have more than one if you’d like.

      In general the pattern of having widget settings attached to the widget itself rather than in System Settings is that something I’m sort of in agreement with you about it being non-ideal, but I don’t see any other sane way to present them in an environment that’s designed for flexibility so that you can swap out different components.


  4. > The Kirigami convergent UI toolkit gained a standardized text-field-with-inline-actions component, which means that all of our QML software will soon be able to have a totally consistent look and feel for search fields (Carl Schwan, KDE Frameworks 5.56)


    Patch for Discover already landed:
    Patch for System Settings need review:
    Patch for Okular mobile need to wait until okular depend on KDE framework 5.56:


  5. Amazing work as always! Something I miss on KDE is the possibility to reorganize/add/remove icons on the system tray by dragging and dropping them, instead of going to a separate window to configure them.


  6. Awesome stuff – as always! +1

    As others I don’t agree with the change on the context menu, but I placed my concerns in the bug report …


  7. it would be useful an option in the context menu selecting a file provided by “send to” provided by a list of resources; besides it would be useful to update packages directly from the notification area without the necessity to run Discover.


  8. I have a question that maybe you can answer… what is the difference between the “Task Manager” widget and the “Icons-only Task Manager”? Aside from one shows textual labels and one doesn’t? Why do we need two managers that do essentially the same thing?


    1. Icons-Only Task Manager implements a macOS style “Dock” where each icon represents an app, not a window/task. If you remove the labels from the regular Task Manager, each unlabeled icon still represents a discrete window/task.


    2. Or you can describe it as the difference between WindowsXP panel vs. Win10 panel. I still wonder why there is still a traditional taskbar manager. It takes too much space and is confusing. For example on LXQt – icon taskbar manager is not available and that’s a huge problem.


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