Get ready for week 84 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! 84 weeks is a lot of weeks, and in fact the end is in sight for the U&P initiative. I’d say it’s been a huge success, but all good things must come to an end to make room for new growth! In fact, KDE community members have submitted many new goals, which the community will be able to vote on soon, with the three winners being unveiled at Akademy next month.
But fear not, for the spirit of the Usability & Productivity initiative has suffused the KDE community, and I expect a lot of really cool U&P related stuff to happen even after the initiative has formally ended–including the long-awaited projects of PolicyKit support and mounted Samba and NFS shares in KIO and Dolphin! These projects are making steady progress and I hope to have them done in the next few months, plugging some longstanding holes in our software.
And finally, I’ll be continuing these weekly blog posts for the foreseeable future! It’s just too much fun to stop. Anyway, here’s what we’ve got this week:
- Notifications’ Do Not Disturb mode can now be optionally enabled automatically when screens are mirrored, such as when giving a presentation (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The list of recent documents in the Kickoff Application launcher and other launchers now includes items that show up in GNOME’s Nautilus and the GTK file dialogs (Méven Car, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- Fixed various issues with right-clicking on System Tray icons: the wrong app no longer comes into focus in certain circumstances, and the right-clicked-on icon no longer steals and keeps focus (Konrad Materka, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The Plasma Networks widget no longer freezes when its standalone configuration window is resized on Wayland (Jan Grulich, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Split buttons that can open a dropdown menu no longer display visual glitches on their right sides (Hugo Pereira Da Costa and Noah Davis, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- Various menus in certain KDE apps that did not respect the active color scheme now do (Noah Davis, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- When using Konsole outside of KDE Plasma, pressing and releasing the Alt key no longer makes focus get stuck in the menubar (Konstantin Kharlamov, Konsole 19.08.0)
- After opening and closing Dolphin’s terminal panel, the main view now retains keyboard focus (Andrey Yashkin, Dolphin 19.12.0)
User Interface Improvements
- Active and inactive tabs in Google Chrome and Chromium now look visually distinct with the Breeze-GTK theme (Carson Black, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- It’s now possible to set a maximum volume that’s lower than 100% (Kishore Gopalakrishnan, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Discover now shows a better error message when there’s no internet connection (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- Discover now shows a busy indicator while it’s still loading the initial apps list (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- On Discover’s Updates page, the version numbers are now displayed in lighter text to keep visual focus on the app names (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The Task Manager’s context menu now has an icon for the “Allow this program to be grouped” item (Simon Krull, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The tab bar in System Settings Screen Locking page now has a full frame for the content beneath it (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The Dr Konqi crash reporting dialog is no longer shown for 3rd-party apps where it wouldn’t be able to generate any useful output anyway (David Edmundson, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Kate now prompts you to save or discard unsaved changed when closing its settings window that has un-applied changes (Shubham, Kate 19.12.0)
- Konsole’s “Randomize background colors” feature now ensures adequate contrast for text (Mariusz Glebocki, Konsole 19.12.0)
- When quitting Konsole and only a single tab is open and a program is still running in it, the dialog box that asks you if you’re sure you want to quit doesn’t mention multiple tabs anymore (Andrey Yashkin, Konsole 19.12.0)
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!