We’re up to week 77 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! This week’s report encompasses the latter half of the Usability & Productivity sprint. Quite a lot of great work got done, and two features I’m particularly excited about are in progress with patches submitted and under review: image annotation support in Spectacle, and customizable sort ordering for wallpaper slideshows. These are not done yet, but should be soon! Meanwhile, check out what’s already landed:
- Dolphin’s Information Panel can now optionally auto-play media files; the setting is in the Information Panel’s context menu (Méven Car, Dolphin 19.08.0)
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- Flatpak and Snap apps with mismatching app IDs now show up properly in the task manager (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- Job status notifications once again appear for people using Latte Dock (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- Notification pop-ups no longer sometimes become collapsed or fly in from the wrong location when there’s an unpleasant flood of notifications (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- Paused job notifications no longer show an inaccurate “time remaining” indicator (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- Fixed a crash on Wayland when using the default “Smart” window placement strategy (David Edmundson, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- The System Settings Look and Feel and Splash Screen pages now consume much less memory (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- Plasma no longer freezes at a black screen when logging out of a Wayland session (David Edmundson, KDE Plasma 5.16.3)
- Plasma’s KWin window manager no longer gobbles up all available memory when using a non-Breeze window decoration theme on Wayland (Vlad Zagorodniy, KDE Plasma 5.16.3)
- It’s now possible for the screen to automatically lock itself while a KWin effect is active (David Edmundson, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Apps like Kate and KDevelop that use the KTextEditor framework now continue to spell-check documents for which spell-checking is turned on after they have been reloaded after being changed on disk, and scroll down when dragging something to the bottom of the view at the same speed as they scroll up when dragging it to the top (Ahmad Samir and Axel Kittenberger, KDE Frameworks 5.60)
- When Spectacle is used to save an image with a space in its filename and then quit itself automatically, the link in the notification generated by this action now works (David Redondo, Spectacle 19.08.0)
User Interface Improvements
- The Plasma notification history no longer includes apps that don’t properly configure their notifications, preventing notification spam (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- The Notifications history now displays the configure and clear buttons in the same order on top as they appear within individual notifications (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.2)
- Notifications that appear within one second of another notification that has identical content are now automatically suppressed, preventing notification spam from misbehaving software (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.16.3)
- The System Settings Colors page now displays color schemes’ titlebar colors too, so for example you can distinguish color schemes that vary only in their titlebar colors (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- Pages in Info Center now all have the same sized titles (Méven Car, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The Plasma network manager widget no longer futilely tries to keep scanning for wifi networks even when wifi is disabled (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The Audio Volume’s settings window now accurately describes what the feedback options do (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The System Settings User Manager page no longer encourages you to enter an incorrect short name (Filip Fila, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The Places Panel in Dolphin, file dialogs, and other apps no longer shows a “Root” item by default. Don’t worry, you can still get to / with one click using the Places panel, just click on its corresponding Devices entry, which gets a special icon to make it easy to pick out. Relatedly, the Places Panel now always shows a root device when running from a live ISO image (Méven Car and Stefan Brüns, KDE Frameworks 5.60)
- The sharing feature’s job dialog is now even more polished, having a better default size and more consistent bottom buttons (Nicolas Fella and me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.60)
- It’s now possible to disable Dolphin’s unreleased “open externally-opened folders in new tabs” feature (Alexander Saoutkin, Dolphin 19.08.0)
- Everything in Dolphin’s main window now has “What’s this?” text (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 19.08.0)
- Okular’s annotation configuration dialogs now look better (Simone Gaiarin, Okular 1.8.0):
Pretty freakin’ sweet, huh?! It was a great development sprint and I’m really happy with how it went. I’ll be writing another more in-depth article about it, so stay tuned.
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 tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.
34 thoughts on “KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 77”
I cannot wait until next week’s list of improvements!
Outstanding. This gets me so enthused about sharing KDE with my friends.
That makes me so happy to hear. Next get them into development too. 🙂
Guys what do you think about an improvement, when it’s possible to adjust day of week start with en_us region layout. English is not uses only in USA or UK, But imperial system and Sunday as day of start week is not convenient. One way as i see it’s to use some Europe layout, for example Netherlands english. etc. But in this case you need to generate locale en_nl. Which also not good I think, because some software require en_us layout.
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It is so satisfying to read who did what changes, seeing this path towards, so many good changes. Quality and quality.
Nice! Good new features everywhere in KDE!
Thank you guys, you are awesome!
Pretty great stuff, amirite?!
Yea! Absolutely you are right!
Thank you Nate!
How does the transition to native wayland programs, applications, software i general and so on, proceed?
I imagine by more and more software being adapted to run natively on Wayland (as KDE software already does).
Even though I am not an active Linux user, I would like to thank you for all the improvements. I check back here regularly and have the impression that KDE Plasma is benefiting greatly from the project.
However, KDE Plasma (at least OOTB) uses and feels more like Windows than macOS. This was one of the reasons why I used Gnome on my Linux trips.
KDE contact was a disaster in my last attempt (they were a long time ago). Are there any improvements?
Personally I think it’s a bit of a myth that GNOME is more Mac-like. I was an Apple engineer for 7 years and a lifelong Mac user until I switched and I think comparing GNOME 3 to macOS severely under-appreciates the amount of work that went into making macOS a productivity powerhouse. If you embrace “the Mac way” on macOS, the speed at which you can accomplish things is light years faster than if you try to adopt “the GNOME way” on GNOME. The visual similarities that they both have apps with headerbars and focus on GUI consistency can mask the significant differences in substance between the two.
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I was also a longtime Mac user, and two superficial differences do still bother me a little, although I’m slowly getting over them:
– The OK/Cancel button order, like Windows, as opposed to Cancel/OK on Mac, GNOME and usually Google/Android.
– That you need to click “Apply” or “OK” before settings take effect. Even the Windows 10 settings app doesn’t do this anymore.
Yeah, sometimes I feel quite alone advocating for the “Instant apply” paradigm. 🙂
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Well, I guess it’s a matter of taste, but I actually prefer the OK/Apply buttons.
And unless you implement some sotr of an undo function, instant apply is a no-no in my book (I don’t know how Windows 10 works, as I’m fortunate enough not to have to endure it).
You’re not alone! I feel like the true origin of the “apply” paradigm is from the times where applying the changes actually took a long time whereas on a modern CPU it can be instantaneous.
While I personally don’t use Wayland yet, it’s certainly great to see all of the ongoing work considering all the news this past week indicates that, ike it or not, it’s the future. Terrific work!
Thanks, we think so too! 🙂
When using Clementine, it doesn’t matter how I change the volume inside the application, it will not never shown inside the application tab related to sound applet. I use Manjaro KDE 18.0.4 (KDE Plasma version 5.15.5).
Does Clementine not use PulseAudio? The Audio Volume widget only shows individual apps that use PulseAudio.
Clementine appears between running applications inside the audio volume widget.
I thought you said it didn’t appear. A screenshot would help clarify the matter.
The volume inside Clementine is 50%, and inside the audio volume widget is 100%.
Oh! I think you’ve misunderstood what this applet does. It doesn’t actually manipulate the volume inside the app; it scales the app’s volume, no matter what volume the app itself has set. We don’t actually have a way for the applet to make the app itself change its own internal volume setting; there’s no standard for that AFAIK.
Loving the work and commitment that you guys are putting into KDE, just an observation from a simple user: is it just me or in the notifications panel the position of the settings button and the one to clear the history should be reversed? By instinct I often find myself pointing the mouse at the settings button convinced to clean all notifications …
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!
(Sorry for my bad english)
Yep, it was just changed. 🙂
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New things for KDE Plasma 5.16.2? This version was released
I don’t understand the question
Sorry, but i’m Spanish.
Why in bugfixes & performance improvements some things shows the “old” KDE Plasma 5.16.2?
Because they were released with KDE Plasma 5.16.2. 🙂 Everything that was committed before June 25th got into 5.16.2; everything after that will be in 5.16.3. See https://community.kde.org/Schedules/Plasma_5
after Akademyes las weekend (was very interesting) I continue spreading your reports for spanish speakers people!
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As always, amazing work from the KDE Community and from you Nate.
I really love to see how many love Wayland or the new notification system are receiving from you.
Plasma 5.17 looks terrific, again, it’s one after another.
Thank you very much as always for your huge work everyone at KDE Community & specially to you Nate.
Bests to everyone mentioned above ^^.