Here’s week 86 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! There are lots and lots of cool changes, which is especially impressive as the KDE community prepares for Akademy, which kicks off next weekend. Sadly I cannot attend this year–there was an unavoidable scheduling conflict with my best friend’s wedding–but I will be there in spirit! In the meantime, check out the progress:
- Krunner’s unit conversion feature can now convert decibel units (Ismael Asensio, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Spectacle can now be configured to automatically save screenshots right after they’re taken (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 19.12.0):
- There’s a new “Recently used” feature, accessible by navigating to recentlyused:/ in Dolphin or the file dialogs. This new one uses the same data source as Activities and the application launcher menus (e.g. Kicker, Kickoff, dashboard) and will be made visible in Dolphin and the file dialogs by default soon! (Méven Car, KDE Applications 19.12.0)
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- Discover once again shows app reviews (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.16.5)
- Discover’s Update Notifier is no longer capable of crashing Plasma (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Discover’s review dialog no longer allows its contents to visually overflow when logged in as a user with a very long username (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Window decoration buttons in GTK3 headerbar windows are now colored correctly no matter what KDE color scheme is being used (Carson Black, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- System Tray icons that come from Wine apps now display their context menus properly when right-clicked (Konrad Materka, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Changing color schemes is now faster and less visually jarring (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The Info Center’s Energy page now shows battery icons properly when using a dark Plasma theme and a light icon theme, and the battery display has received a minor visual overhaul in the process (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps now strip off Windows-style newlines from pasted text (Christoph Cullmann, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Dolphin no longer attempts to store view properties on network shares, preventing one possible way for a slow network share to hang your machine (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 19.12.0)
- Kirigami ToolButtons that open menus when clicked now restore the correct background color when the menu is closed (Arjen Hiemstra, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Fixed a common crash in the Baloo file indexing service (Tomaz Canabrava, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
- Dolphin’s “show split view in new windows” feature works properly again (Alexander Saoutkin, Dolphin 19.08.1)
- Konsole’s “show new tab button” option is back again (Mariusz Glebocki, Konsole 19.08.1)
User Interface Improvements
- The System Settings “Multimedia” group and the confusing old Phonon page are no more! Instead the much more useful and user-friendly Audio page has been promoted to the top level, and the functionality left in the old Phonon page is still available if needed via the phononsettings app. This allows the “Automatically switch all running streams when a new output becomes available” feature to work (Harald Sitter and Nicolas Fella, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- The new “capacity degradation” text was not well-received and still caused confusion, so it’s now been restored to its original scale and renamed to the hopefully much clearer term “Battery Health” (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The Plasma notification pop-ups now appear a little bit farther away from window edges so they don’t obscure apps’ titlebars and user interface elements at the bottom of the window (me: Nate Graham, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- The System Settings Activities page has received a user interface overhaul for improved consistency and visual appeal (Björn Feber, KDE Plasma 5.17.0):
- KRunner now shows visually when it is still searching for results (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Checkboxes and radio buttons in GTK 3 apps now color themselves appropriately to respect your color scheme when using the Breeze GTK theme (Carson Black, KDE Plasma 5.17.0)
- Dolphin’s default toolbar layout has been adjusted to be more useful and visually pleasing (Simon Krull, Dolphin 19.12.0):
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!
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35 thoughts on “KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 86”
Thank you guys for this great work!
I think the next KDE 5.17 will have many new awesome changes!
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Wow ducha good changes this week again. I especially like when you revert changes which are not as useful as initially thought. That’s a sane way to do things.
Keep up the good work !
Such good changes…
What kind of developers would we be if we didn’t listen to our users? 🙂 We’re doing this for you!
Maybe the “health” in battery should be spelled with a capital H to be consistent with the “Time to Empty”?
Purely text labels are supposed to use sentence style capitalization. “Time To Empty” should be “Time to empty”
BTW, is “Time to empty” really what a native speaker would say instead of e.g. “Time remaining”
Not really. It’s not wrong, but it sounds like a label on a gauge in some military vehicle where space for the label is normally limited. We have enough space to use a nicer phrase in this case.
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Any chance we’ll get the Sound Theme selector back now that Audio has been renovated?
Yeah, various folks periodically request this. I think we can probably look into it.
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It would be awesome so we don’t have to change manually all notifications song to enjoy pure Windows XP experience.
> Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps now strip off Windows-style newlines from pasted text (Christoph
> Cullmann, KDE Frameworks 5.62)
Wow, this is actually huge for my workflow, which has be constantly cutting and pasting from Windows apps. Thank you so much!
Regarding the “Multimedia” entry in system setting: what happened to “Audio CDs” and “CDDB Retrieval” entries in 5.17.0?
Sorry, the text is somewhat inaccurate. The “Multimedia” categori is now hidden by default, but it will appear again if those KCMs are installed.
The application dashboard still takes a minute to load when first booted when theres over a thousand desktop files. It uses up 2.5GB when loaded in system activity>plasmashell. It also freezes the system when a new program adds its desktop shortcut to the application dashboard
Have you filed bugs to track these issues?
Battery Heath…. Absolutely perfect.!
Since we now have Night Color in both X11 and Wayland, what about an option to change to dark and light colors by time of day being similiar to operation mode select from night color.
An excellent idea that is in fact currently being discussed. 🙂
That was a fast response 😮 where it’s being discussed i’ve been trying to find it, thanks.
Mostly internally in the VDG chatroom.
I think it would be a good time to ask about recently used items. I have a script to take screenshots, but I don’t know how I could make said files be detected by kde so they appear under recently used files.
Loving that the Windows-Newline-Thing is solved! Drove me Nuts 😉
Now for spectacle, i’d love to see a possiblity to copy the screenshot to clipboard instead of saving it to disk if invoked by a shortcut (such as meta+shift+print for a rectangle) 🙂
Me too! See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=375382. It’s actually being worked on. Or at least, it was, but I think the patch submitted abandoned it (https://phabricator.kde.org/D9117). We can look into resurrecting the patch. Of course, anyone else can feel free to do the same or take it as inspiration!
Another Sunday, another week, another new amazing report by Nate from the KDE Community intense development work.
Plasma 5.17 is gonna be a huge one, i’m pretty sure about that. I really hope Wayland session improves too, Night Color, too, at Xorg session i can (with Redshift) set a color temperature for the night hours (established by me, of course) and other one for the day hours (i prefer to not let the blue light affect me at any hour of the day, to be honest).
As always, just to express my huge thanks to everyone who make all this amazing software possible, especially to Nate, who keeps the blog posts weekly, to let us know what’s happening at the development side.
A huge hug to everyone mentioned above ^^.
Thanks for the kind words, Alberto! Yes, Way;and development has slowed a bit recently, but I believe it will pick up soon.
FWIW Night Color should already work on Wayland, with user-specified times.
Yeah, it works, but i mean allow to specify two color temperatures, one for the day hours, the other for the night hours, like i found with RedShift Widget Control at Plasma. I mean, not only 1 color temperature during the night hours established.
Nice news, i really hope KMail will be working soon with Wayland. I’ll have to use Thunderbird (i would prefer avoid it) otherwise .
Thanks for the response and for the great work you’re doing.
A huge hug Nate :).
Great work as always 🙂
Nate, is there any news on https://phabricator.kde.org/D15318 ?
No update. Since KIO-FUSE work is proceeding, I’m kind of waiting until that lands to evaluate whether or not it still makes sense to improve the IOSlave infrastructure at all. If we just use FUSE mounts instead of asynchronous on-demand access via KIOSlaves, then a whole class of bugs disappears (and a new one takes its place 🙂 )
Again some nice improvements, thank you! 🙂
I hope the newly appearing bugs
will be fixed soon too because they are quite often _visible_ and not only some smaller usability problems.
This kind of bugs lowers the confidence in KDE or even Open Source software maturity. Although for me no big deal, other “casual bystanders” see that different and I can see the point. A button showing a list of entries doesn’t seem to be rocket science nowadays and in the area of a task bar people normally don’t see any glitches in any other desktop environment so that these bugs are pretty bad advertising for otherwise such an outstanding product like Plasma…
Yes, we are currently working on an effort to substantially improve the Task Manager preview pop-up. No ETA yet, but it’s on our radar screen.
“God is in the detail”, Mies van der Rohe dixit.
Those little flaws in KDE-Plasma make many potential users stick to their Mac or Windows. Big fancy features one scarcely, if ever, uses may be not as important as tiny details we need every day. Most average computes users don’t give a damn about cool KIO slaves, activities, multimonitor setups, local network stuff, fancy window behavior configuration, flashy/shiny/translucid/whatever eyecandy, etc, etc. What they want is that “Recent documents” in launchers really reflect the last opened documents; that Baloo has a reliable and always consistent behavior; Kmail’s search function really works, etc, etc.
Please do not undervalue details, they are what make many “converses” to regret and go back to Windows, which at least “just works”. The more users the more LKinux desktops will be taken into consideration by hardware makers. Being a niche environment only makes Nvidia, Canon, Epson, etc, etc, to ignore us even more. Please don’t make any newcomer to run away from KDE because of clumsy malfunctioning details.
Said this, thanks for the great work you do in general, but give small details the due importance, please; the whole community will benefit.
I completely agree with you! 🙂 These little details are critical, for sure, for exactly the reason you gave. “OK” isn’t good enough anymore. On the subject of recent documents that work properly, Méven Car has been doing tremendously excellent work on this and it’s very very close to landing in Dolphin and file dialogs by default: https://phabricator.kde.org/D7446.
It should be in for the 19.12.0 release.
I’m very happy about the “Make executable and run” option for .appimage files
I was very frustrated when I tried to open one and nothing was happening, thinking that the file it’s broken, until I found out I need to make it executable manually.
I think that there are at least 3 things still missing from proper Appimage support.
1. Putting one appimage file on the desktop that you use often, like in my case Etcher to write ISO image to flash drives still shows the file extension (the .AppImage) and I think it’s really ugly and long to show this on the desktop. It would be great if only the name would be displayed in this case.
2. There is no easy way to integrate an Appimage into the system like installing it, so I can afterwards add a shortcut to it to the taskbar or the desktop.
3. Right clicking on an AppImage file has no “Run” or “Make executable and run” option, just “Open with…” which is just wrong