This week in KDE: Goodbye Noble Cashew

Plasma has a brand-new way to edit and customize widgets and panels: a global “edit mode” that can be entered using the context menu for the desktop and panel, or pressing-and-holding on the desktop with a touchscreen. While in this mode, widgets and panels are editable and movable. This solves a number of problems and yields the following improvements:

  • The Desktop toolbox (that little hamburger menu in the corner of the screen that nobody liked) is now gone forever!
  • The modes are now much clearer, with “Locked” mode being a mostly hidden thing for system administrators.
  • The panel toolbox button (the “two sliders” icon at the end of your panel) is now hidden unless you’re in the global edit mode, which means that the bottom-right-most pixel of the screen can be used to trigger the Present Windows widget, or any other widget you put at the very end of a panel.
  • Editing widget size and position is much faster while in this new edit mode.
  • The panel context menu has been made more useful, and now displays more panel-related actions.

Here’s a video of it in action:

This work was mostly done by Marco Martin, with assistance from Björn Feber, and ideas from many others in the KDE VDG. The remaining rough edges will be polished before the release of Plasma 5.18 (which is an LTS release, let us not forget). Overall I find it to be a huge improvement!

But wait, there’s more! Much, much more…

(Other) New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

How You Can Help

Check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved and find out ways to 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!

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

21 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Goodbye Noble Cashew

  1. In the Night Color settings I would like to choose an alternative color scheme (for example Dark Mode). Similarly, this setting should be passed to Firefox, as this follows the system dark mode preference (since version 70).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great improvements!
    And additional things:
    1. The videos in this post don’t work. When clicked on the play button, the video player UI just disappears and the static preview image stays, nothing more. I disabled all ad blockers and the result was the same.
    2. It looks almost like a tradition that MinimizeAll is broken with every release… I noticed that it doesn’t un-minimize windows anymore, but since that wasn’t too important for me and I was busy, I didn’t submit the bug like before but I’m happy that someone other noticed it and now it’s fixed. Great!
    3. Night mode has a serious issue with manual input of geographical data. I can’t paste any values even with the right formatting. I can’t input a point sign even with the keyboard. When I delete the first letter after the point sign, it deletes the point sign as well, so somehow point is glued to the first number behind it and it creates this issue. The only workaround is to slowly and manually edit the number but without deleting the first digit after the point, just inserting digits before it. Plasma 5.17.1. I guess it calls it for bug report if it’s not entered yet. Or maybe this is some easy, quick fix? I don’t know much about coding but I assume this should be some fairly obvious and easy to fix bug?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I miss the possibility to duplicate my screen to a second monitor like it was before. There was a checkbox to do that which worked like a charm. Now it is just possible to drag the screens one upon the other. But the result is different. The second screen has a different background and doesn’t show taskbar and such. It is annoying.

    Like

  4. Thanks for the continuous improvements.
    Please have look at GTK checkboxes, e.g. of Firefox’ “Really quit?” dialogue. It changes color erratically when hovering with the cursor over it since 5.17.

    Like

  5. >The System Settings Mouse page’s “Flat” acceleration settings really actually finally works now! (Mirai Komachi, Plasma 5.17.1)

    This is definitely a yuuge!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. >The System Settings Mouse page’s “Flat” acceleration settings really actually finally works now! (Mirai Komachi, Plasma 5.17.1)

    This is definitely yuuge!

    Like

  7. Great improvements! I usually create bugs for the functionality I want to suggest, by I wanted to ask you 2 things here more directly, since you seem to get involved in almost every aspect of plasma when you see that it matters for the users.

    1. Can you add a “preview” button at the print dialog which reflects all the changes (like “pages per sheet” and others), not how it’s implemented in Okular where “preview” is completely separate. Currently there isn’t any preview when it is invoked by other apps and more importantly all flatpak apps which are using xdg-desktop-portal-kde (even gtk ones). Or at least tell me where I can report it, because I cannot find the relevant component.

    2. Are there any plans to officially support all (or most) kde applications on flathub? That means do all the required changes so that they can communicate properly with kio and required portals, without losing functionality. Currently there are only few kde apps on flathub and most of them have reduced functionality (which has lead me into using many gnome apps even thought I use kde plasma).

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    1. 1. Can you add a “preview” button at the print dialog which reflects all the changes

      This actually isn’t up to us. We use the Qt print dialog, which needs to gain the feature. It’s tracked with https://bugreports.qt.io/browse/QTBUG-57982. KDE developers do submit many patches to Qt, but it’s a significant amount of work for this one.

      2. Are there any plans to officially support all (or most) kde applications on flathub?

      Yes! This is in fact a big part of our “All about the apps” goal. Please file bugs when you see reduced functionality in a Flatpak app. And BTW there are also Snaps.

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      1. Ew. Snaps. Lol jk. Great work man! I’m on neon, and its such a great experience, EXCEPT for on my laptop that has a 4k monitor. A LOT of things just don’t scale correctly, even with the updates that came from 5.17. I’ll be posted though, waiting to get all of my machines back on plasma 😉

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      2. 1. Thx for the info!
        2. That really makes me happy! Sure I’ll file bugs on flathub when I see them and maybe even try to do pull requests for simple things, since I’ve already started learning flatpak and packaging stuff myself. However, some things will need thoughtful design, like for example dolphin finding extensions for ark/filelight/k3b or others without duplicating the building of these apps. Maybe even having flatpaked kate being able to edit root files using kio which seems impossible due to sandboxing, but if you have good communication with flatpak and flathub devs then everything can happen in the future 🙂

        Like

  8. I am very sad about the end of the Desktop toolbox. It is in my LTS version of KDE my favourite way to shut the computer down.

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    1. There is always the one that uses settings/options that all other hate 😉 .
      The rest of us is celebrating Desktop toolbox’s demise. This was the first thing that caused confusion (what the hell it is and how to get rid of it? – everybody has this reaction when experiencing vanilla Plasma desktop for the first time) and the most annoying one. For the experienced user, this is easy to disable but if you are new this causes a lot of unnecessary annoyance.

      However, Plasma still misses a good shutdown widget… but to be honest… this is all redundant. The laptop’s or computer’s power button is, in reality, the most accessible way to power down the system. It’s only that we like to interact with Plasma’s desktop so we use shutdown buttons/options ;).

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      1. I was at first also irritated by “the cashew” when I started to work with plasma. But started immediately to like it… But nevertheless also good things are going to end eventually. 😉

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    2. Let me reveal a hidden gem: the fastest GUI way to shutdown / reboot / etc is to right-click on your desktop and select “Leave…” option or press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

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      1. You are right. I knew these options before, but never used them so often. This will be going to change in the future. I like the desktop toolbox in the upper right corner, because it is only another click with the mouse to shutdown after closing all open windows.

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