This week in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is massive, and I want to start by announcing a big feature: GTK3 apps with client-side decorations and headerbars using the Breeze GTK theme now respect the active KDE color scheme!
Pretty cool, huh!? This feature was written by Carson Black, our new Breeze GTK theme maintainer, and will be available in Plasma 5.17. Thanks Carson!
As you can see, the Gedit window still doesn’t display shadows–at least not on X11. shadows are displayed on Wayland, but on X11 it’s a tricky problem to solve. However I will say that that anything’s possible!
Beyond that, it’s also been a humongously enormous week for a plethora of other things too:
- The KWin window manager now supports the zwp_linux_dmabuf_v1 interface on Wayland, which, for supported hardware and drivers, should result in lower memory usage and better performance (Roman Gilg, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Okular can now open and read .cb7 comic book files, and Dolphin now shows previews for them (Natsumi Higa and Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Applications 19.12.0/Okular 1.9.0)
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- Fixed a bug that could cause KRunner to display duplicate search results for unit conversions with a partially-written second unit (Ismael Asensio, KDE Plasma 5.16.5)
- When music is playing and the screen locks, the media art preview on the lock screen is no longer awkwardly stretched when it’s not a perfect square (Filip Fila, KDE Plasma 5.16.5):
- The volume slider now provides audio feedback only when you’re done dragging it, so it doesn’t make a bunch of weird noises while being dragged (Kezi Olio, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Fixed a layout problem with the Kickoff Application Launcher that could cause its tab bar to take up the entire view the first time its parent horizontal panel was changed to be vertical or vice versa (Konstantin Lisin, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Fixed a security vulnerability that could have caused maliciously-crafted .desktop or .directory files to execute arbitrary code (David Faure and Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Frameworks 5.61, and should show up as a hotpatch update for all distros soon)
- When the Kickoff Application launcher is located on a vertical panel, its tab layout is no longer messed up until it’s used every time you log in or restart Plasma (Konstantin Lisin KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Discover now shows proper icons for Snap apps in search lists, browse lists, and app pages, as well as after they’re installed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Frameworks 5.62):
- In System Settings, when you click the preview button for an inactive global theme or splash screen and then navigate to another page, you’re no longer prompted to save or discard changes, because nothing has gotten changed (me: Nate Graham, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Icons in .flatpakref and .directory files are now shown even when text file previews are on (me: Nate Graham, KDE Applications 19.08.0):
User Interface Improvements
- The notifications indicator now looks like a bell, the way it does everywhere else (Noah Davis, KDE Frameworks 5.62 with Plasma 5.16.5 or later):
- The notifications indicator no longer shows the number of unread notifications in the system tray so a high number doesn’t stress you out; instead, a “ringing bell” icon is shown instead. The exact number of unread notifications is available in the tooltip if you really want to see it (Noah Davis, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The bell-style notifications indicator in the system tray now wiggles a bit when the first unread notification comes in! (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- List headers throughout System Settings have now been standardized in appearance (Björn Feber, David Redondo, me: Nate Graham, and the rest of the KDE VDG team, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
(This is still a work-in-progress, both in implementation and visual style)
- The presentation of System Settings’ Appearance category has been polished and re-organized (me: Nate Graham and the rest of the KDE VDG team):
- The System Settings Screen Locking page now has an updated and polished user interface (Björn Feber, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The System Settings Screen Edges and Touch Screen pages now have updated and polished user interfaces (Björn Feber, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- When navigating the Kickoff Application Launcher’s Applications tab using the keyboard, the parent category is now pre-selected when going backwards (Andrey Kozlovskiy, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- When creating a new user’s password or changing an existing one, more descriptive messages are now shown for bad passwords (Harald Sitter, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The sorting menu in the file open/save dialogs now also uses human-readable sort ordering descriptions, just like Dolphin (Méven Car, KDE Frameworks 5.62):
- When one of Dolphin’s extended tooltips is being shown, pressing a key now instantly hides it (Piotr Dabrowski, Dolphin 19.12.0)
- When drawing on a presentation using a stylus in Okular, the cursor now turns into a crosshair as the stylus approaches the screen (Oliver Sander, Okular 1.9.0)
If you’re getting the sense that KDE’s momentum is accelerating, you’re right. More and more new people are appearing all the time, and I am constantly blown away by their passion and technical abilities. We are truly blessed by… you! This couldn’t happen without the KDE community–both our contributors for making this warp factor 9 level of progress possible, and our users for providing feedback, encouragement, and being the very reason for the project to exist. And of course, the overlap between the two allows for good channels of communication to make sure we’re on the right track.
Many of those users will go on to become contributors, just like I did once. In fact, 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!