KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 75

Week 75 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is here! It’s a little lighter than usual because we’re all feverishly preparing for the dual Plasma and Usability & Productivity sprints next week in Valencia, Spain. I’ll be there, as well as the whole Plasma team, a bunch of VDG people, and a number of folks who have stepped up to work on apps for the U&P initiative. Sprints like these promise the kind of face-to-face contact needed for big projects, and should be a fantastically awesome and productive time! I’d like to offer a special thanks to Slimbook (makers of the KDE Slimbook II laptop) for hosting the sprint!

Anyway, here’s the week’s report:

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 you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

34 thoughts on “KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 75

  1. Nice to see some attention towards Night Color and multiple screens management. I wish Plasma would always make laptop’s screen primary when a previous external primary display is disconnected.
    Looking forward to seeing next week’s changes!

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  2. The constant work on Baloo is extremely appreciated, wow, it works so much better than a couple months ago ! Hmm, gotta check if it improved on my HDD machine. Used to always disable it on non-SDD machines due to the long startup time /slowdowns.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After 5.16 update I have noticed that notification for file transfers missing on my KDE Neon system.
    Is this by design or issue should be opened for this?

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    1. There seems to be a few side-effects of the new notification system. For instance, after extracting an archive, it used to be possible to open the target directory in the notification, it doesn’t seem to be possible anymore.

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      1. What app sends the notification? Ark? How did it work before? Was there a button in the notification? What’s different now?

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  4. Something that I didn’t liked changed with the last 5.16 update.
    The “Updates” icon notification in the bottom bar, it used to tell on hover how many files you had to update. Not anymore and now it opens Discover instead, and you have to wait until it checks the repositories.

    Like

    1. We did this for two reasons:
      1. For technical reasons, it was difficult to impossible to keep the number of updates in sync between the notifier and Discover itself. Not displaying a number in the notifier was the best way we could think of to resolve the issue.
      2. It was just extra clicks for no reason, since the only thing you could actually do with the notifier was to open Discover. We figured it should just do that straight away to save the user some time and clicks.

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  5. Thank you so much for this:
    > The session and keyboard chooser menus on the SDDM login screen are now visually consistent with everything else (Carson Black, Plasma 5.16.1):
    It’s always really bugged me, so I’m really glad to see it fixed. Can’t wait for 5.16.1 to land 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really fantastic. Another great week finished with the weekly report of the KDE development.

    Plasma 5.17 looks really promising, as always.

    I was only wondering, could it be possible to allow the customization of the time format, at the Digital Clock, like it was did with the date format at the same Digital Clock on Plasma 5.16?

    I would really prefer it without the points after the A/P/M, (i use the 12 hours format).

    The SDDM improvement is appreciated, as always, it was really ugly before, i have to admit it.

    Can’t wait to the 16th June when it’s scheduled to release Plasma 5.16.1.

    Thank you as always to Nate and everyone on the KDE Community who really works hard to improve our fantastic software.

    Bests to everyone ^^.

    Like

    1. Shortly after it’s released most likely. That’s not currently planned though. I need to poke people to do a release or add it to the KDE Applications bundle so it can get released semi-automatically.

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  7. Thank you for this new working week ! 🙂
    Just a question : has another people this bug with calculator ?

    If yes I’m going to fill a bug.

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      1. Has there been the idea to maybe replace KCalc by SpeedCrunch?

        It’s a Qt app as well, but IMHO it offers a way better UX by an easier input, better history lookup and way more functions. Please consider it. 🙂

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  8. Heh Nate ! I’ve noticed the new Plasma (and it was backported too) includes a fix for the long-standing NVIDIA issues (there used to be tearing / high CPU usage / it used to require work-arounds and was not perfect).

    Now, finally, we can use NVIDIA proprietary drivers out of the box, woohoo ! cf. https://phabricator.kde.org/D19867
    I’ve had this issue for years and this is so important !

    However, there are still a few problems to really be able to advise “gamers” to use KDE instead of Gnome.
    For instance, the user has to constantly check if the compositing was disabled by the game. Some users won’t notice and will experience a degraded experience (more lag, more stuttering).

    It was kinda worked around in a kwin fork but obviously a fork is not a good solution : kwin-lowlatency. https://github.com/tildearrow/kwin-lowlatency

    Do you know if the new kwin maintainers plan to do something about this issue ? Could the former behaviour “unredirect fullscreen apps” be optionally selectable again ? This is so much simpler for the user 🙂 Even myself have issues when writing custom “rules”.

    Also, there’s the fact new screens often have 120 / 144 Hz mode. It feels extremely smooth when supported (new Mutter versions for instance). Under KWIN you have to manually add MaxFPS=144. Is something planned to fix this as well ?

    Sorry again for this “Christmas list” 🙂 I just eventually gave Gnome Shell a try again and noticed a few stuff working better from a gamer perspective although I obviously am a KDE guy 🙂

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    1. Yeah, I noticed it too! Before, when using nvidia my laptop was going hotter. I didn’t notice any performance hit but at some point, fan started to work and it was definitely more intense on nvidia and using more battery. Now with Plasma 5.13 it finally works like on intel – no battery overheating, no fans, so I guess this nvidia overhead is gone. Finally! 😀

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  9. This newest intel bug with the 5.16 unnaturally dark blur made me realize that the overview lag when closing a window is also courtesy of intel. Have you heard about it or should I report it? This bug exists for at least a year.

    Just have an Intel on X session (with Wayland it works fine), trigger overview and close chosen windows. There is a noticeable and very disturbing lag. This doesn’t happen on nvidia.

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    1. I have Intel hardware, and I used to experience that bug, but for me it was fixed around 5.14 or 5.15 I think; I haven’t had it in a while.

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      1. It still is present on my end. I would love to use overview all the time but I can’t because of that bug. Basically, the whole overview is a choppy experience on intel and X, but super fluent on nvidia X or intel wayland. I guess I have to make a video showing that bug and report it. Then you or someone will dig dipper to see if this is duplicate or not. Thanks for the info.

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          1. Thanks, you rock at finding those reports! I added my comment but I fear that at this point, it’s not very helpful since even Martin Flöser couldn’t fix it :(.

            By the way, is there a report of kwin-wayland memory leak on 5.16? This kind if horror experience that I know have on wayland is comparable to state of Plasma wayland a few years ago… Total regression. Wayland is not even usable for tests, it’s so choppy and quickly freezes the computer by taking memory and CPU at a very rapid pace.

            Just to compare: my Plasma X session starts with 1,2GB of RAM. When I checked the same on Wayland quickly after session boot, I saw 4,1GB of RAM usage, while kwin-wayalnd being at the top, using CPU heavily and increasing RAM usage 4,2, 4,3, 4,4 with every few seconds. Of course, the whole session is choppy and it’s like playing the game on 4 FPS and going down with every second. Horrible, horrible experience. All on Intel. I was too terrified to try nvidia after such experience so I hard rebooted the computer to go out of it.

            I assumed such a big issue is already long reported but what do I know…

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yes! That’s it! I discovered that the Aurorae theme is at fault (kwin-wayland is not able to draw it properly). I already commented on that report. Thanks!

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          3. What a coincidence! In the same day, I commented on that “overview hang up bug” I got updates (qt5-base and kwin) that seemed to fix it!
            So if you are on the developer version of Plasma, you had that fix earlier and that is why you can’t reproduce this issue now.
            Anyway, on Arch and Manjaro unstable, this seems to be fixed :D.

            Liked by 1 person

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