This week in KDE

See, I told you I’d continue to blog about the cool things that have happened in KDE-land. ๐Ÿ™‚

On that subject… Kate is now available for free on the Microsoft Store! So far the ratings are quite good. ๐Ÿ™‚ KDE has always aspired to make our apps available to as many users as possible, and getting them on today’s distribution platforms continues that.

For those of you who switched from Windows or macOS, think back to how helpful it was that a bunch of your favorite apps (Firefox, Chrome, VLC, LibreOffice, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, etc) were already available on Linux and you already knew how to use them. Getting more of our apps on other platforms is a key part of easing the transition for future generations of switchers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beyond that, it’s been a somewhat light week because everybody was off at Akademy planning the future. A lot of really great things got discussed and decided, the results of which should start to trickle into subsequent weeks’ blog posts. ๐Ÿ™‚ So stay tuned!

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

How You Can Help

This is a new section I’m adding to these weekly blog posts, highlighting a new way to get involved every week!

Do you have any web design experience? KDE community members are currently working on redoing the ancient and inconsistent assortment of websites hosted on kde.org, and help is needed! If this sounds like your cup of tea, join the kde-www mailing list and check out the tasks on the Phabricator Workboard.

You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out other ways to help be a part of something that really matters. You donโ€™t have to already be a programmer. I wasnโ€™t when I got started. Try it, youโ€™ll like it! We donโ€™t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

47 thoughts on “This week in KDE

  1. Thanks Nate for keeping the blog momentum going! ๐Ÿ™‚

    – User Interface Improvements

    Wondering if a small reword may help reduce context menu width slightly?
    Paste Without Formatting -> Paste Unformatted

    Have a blessed week.

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      1. OK, so its completely messed up, very ugly UI, navigation, EVERYTHING.
        Where should I send an email, Phabricator Workboard is only for “VIP” devs.
        I can’t sign up for a task.

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  2. Thank you Nate for keeping the blog up!
    Today I show KDE Plasma on my laptop to one of my friends and when he saw how fantastic is KDE, he opened up the browser to download the KDE Neon immediately!

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  3. Hi Nate, thanks for sharing all this awesomeness!

    Regarding pasting to desktop widget with or w/o formatting:
    Making pasting w/o formatting by default makes sense, but basic logic claims to rename “Paste without formatting” to “Paste”, and “Paste” to “Paste *with* formatting”. Because now it looks similar to document editors’ menu labelling, but behaves already the other way.

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      1. I read all info there and even began to set up a build environment, but then during plasma build process I realised that it is ridiculous to build Plasma in order to get sources and then edit them and then build again in order to change 2 strings. That’s insane. I was writing in hope that someone with everything ready to change those lines can do it. I don’t have neither disk space nor cpu time to do that.
        There’s a common practice to call Ctrl+V menu item “Paste”, and other paste options go with extra description. It MS Word it is called “Paste” too, but there it implies “paste with formatting”, and there’s another item called “Paste without formatting” with a shortcut other than Ctrl+V.

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        1. For such a trivial change to text strings, you probably don’t need to to a full build. Just submit the patch. I know that getting a build environment set up takes time, but I was trying to nudge you in that direction because once someone gets a build environment set up, they’re able to start improving all the little things that annoy them. In my experience it’s quite a liberating, empowering feeling.

          If you’d still rather not, I can do it myself. Just let me know.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting idea of Linux apps (Kate this week) being available on Windows to make the eventual Windows to Linux transition for users less jarring. Huh, never heard it put that way before, which is VERY interesting. I’m not sure it works out that way very often, but it’s a terrific strategy. Next time I’m looking to convert someone, I’ll purposefully try that approach and get them used to cross platform apps for a few months and then make the move… Thanks!

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    1. This was definitely something that helped both me and my wife–especially her. She was already using Firefox, VLC, Krita, LibreOffice, some a specialized piece of screenwriting software that also happened to have a Linux version. And a ton of Steam games are on Linux too now. So transition was really not that hard! The apps and games were mostly the same, it was mostly just replacing Windows with Plasma.

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  5. Nate, thanks for working on these brilliant things!

    A minor clarification — what is the size of the ubuntu font you have set for the desktop? When I tried replacing the default Noto Sans with ubuntu, it did not appear as neat as your screenshots ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  6. Hi Nate,
    I’ve come across a usability issue that can be jarring. To claw back some vertical space, I’ve moved the taskbar to the right side of the screen and made the task bar (or is it called “Icons-only task manager”?) thin.
    The current behavior of the digital clock (widget?) scales down the numbers and text in the clock to unreadable levels (at FHD resolution) when making the task bar thin.
    This happens in 12 hour time format, so it seems the “AM” and “PM” force the text to be displayed smaller, and the workaround I use is to switch to 24 hour format instead. Similar behavior occurs when adding seconds.
    When adding the date option, it displays that in a second row.

    Maybe it would be useful to add a two row option for the time too?

    After some searching, I found a post that says it’s possible to do it with QML scripts, but I have no idea how that works. The trick to trigger it automatically would be to detect when the text gets downsampled to the point it gets blurry, but that may be hard to implement.

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    1. Yes, there are various issues with this for sure. If you’re using a vertical panel, I strongly advise making it wider when normal to accommodate the clock properly. Even if we had various tricks available to make the time span two rows, with the default width in a vertical configuration, there’s still practically no space available to show the clock time properly.

      Like

      1. Thanks for a such a quick reply!
        Like i said, It’s actually okay with the 24 hour format. at ~35 pixels wide based on spectacle it’s perfectly readable on a 14” screen (see screenshot : https://ibb.co/nfsWj5K).

        Just to piggyback off that thought:
        Having read the KDE goals and the consistency aspect, I wonder are there any plans to add some sort of “UI density” control in the future similar to how android handles various screen sizes? I really like Plasma, but it feels like there’s a lot of padding or empty space with huge icons in some areas (touch oriented?), and dense text and sliders (which I personally like) in others.

        I recently read how QT is implementing improved High DPI support, and how it would help mixed monitor set-ups. I know plasma already supports display scaling, so with this, maybe it would simplify the design of human factors aspects of the UI. For example, visual acuity for those with sharper/worse vision, and ease of touchscreen use for fingers and styluses (likely important for Plasma mobile). This is probably too long for a comment, but would make for an interesting blog post on how the VDG plans on handling all of this.

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  7. Fantastic news and new software as always.

    One step closer to Plasma 5.17 stable release.

    I’ll be filling two more bugs, one of them that just appeared after updating to KDE Frameworks 5.62, again with the blur/transparency of everything, the other time i had this bug, was a Qt 5 bug, but this time i fear it’s a KDE bug.

    The other one, is a persistent one, that doesn’t allow to tabulate to other program, when a fullscreen window is working (at least with Firefox, so maybe it’s something GTK/GTK3 related with KWin).

    As always, just say a huge thank you to everyone who make all this amazing software possible and specially to Nate, who apart of that, brings all the new stuff, news, etc, from the development side to us, everyone who want to know how the KDE Software is evolving week per week, can check it out, at a really quick resume. Really grateful because of that.

    A huge hug to everyone mentioned above ^^.

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    1. I can’t edit the previous comment, so i’ll add it here, both bugs are under Wayland session (but i’m pretty sure the dependent of that, if anything, is the second one).

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      1. Exactly Nate, after update to KDE Frameworks 5.62, and for what i have seen until now, only when the background color (window color) is a light one, if it’s a dark one, or at least black, it’s working normally.

        Thanks for take the time to answer me and confirming the bug ^^.

        Receive a huge hug :).

        Like

  8. I’m just wondering, it’s a bit of a pain to use Skype and Evolution in KDE as these apps REALLY want to use gnome keyring for password storage. What’s worse is that if I open up Evolution on a cold boot, I get an “unlock keyring” screen. If I don’t enter the password soon enough, Evolution hangs and I have to end the “evolution source registry” to even be able to close Evolution. Restarting it makes everything work fine. It also lets me sign into Skype without re-entering the password. Otherwise, if I sign into skype before going though the Evolution rigamarole, I have to sign in every time.

    Is this a bug? Is it intended behaviour? Is it incompatibility? Is there a suggested workaround?

    Like

    1. Sounds like buggy behavior in those apps. Assuming GNOME Keyring exists is a bad assumption on their parts. I would recommend filing bugs with them.

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        1. Ah, this is indeed our fault then. :/ It’s good that they use libsecret. We need to either make KWallet compliant with that spec, or throw it away and replace it with the replacement, after completing it. I know some folks were talking about it again at Akademy recently so I hope something happens!

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          1. I’m actually not surprised they were discussing it. This issue seems to fit nicely in the transition between usability and the new “All about the apps” goal.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Do anyone knows when in Breeze theme transparency feature in the context menu when dragging i.e. a file going to be corrected, the bug is so old and still irritates. When switching to QT theme seems to be good.

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      1. I would agree that this is a workaround (although it can be useful until the real solution comes) since there are some more places where this happens. Is there a bug report for this global issue?
        Maybe listing there the cases where it happens can help to narrow the problem and find the solution. For now I can add:
        * Non-KDE apps context menus (VLC)
        * Opening a KDE app menu using Alt+letter shortcut (only if using menu button on the window decoration)

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  10. Hi Nate,

    many Linux users don’t use KDE but still like KDE applications. On windows I would also like to use them as well as on Mac.

    The potential:
    – Mac OS X has really no rich File manager. Port Dolphin decently and everyone will use it.
    – Kate is far superior to other editors popular under windows. Same goes for KDevelop. Here it seems more of a branding issue.
    tt
    Dolphin for Mint or Ubuntu under other OS is a real mess because of pretty obvious and basic configuration / usability bugs. I think they do not affect Dolphin under Plasma.
    – Icon text disappears when files get highlighted
    – super bad context menu settings, e.g. no extract for packages
    – Dolphin has an option of “about KDE”, even when you don’t run under KDE Plasma Desktop.

    It is really horrible to see how these technically minor glitches prevent a takeoff of the tools. I know that Dolphin is the best file manager, yet under Mint it is the less preferred choice. No idea how they messed up the packages to achieve that.

    KDE Desktop is not the primary choice anymore for many Linux users anymore but it could become by making its productivity apps more popular beyond KDE. I don’t understand why we only get so many misconfigured and bad ports of KDE apps, why it is so difficult to make the bleeding compile edge cross-platform.

    Like

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