This week in KDE: Polishing it up

We’re nearing the release of the 19.12 versions of many KDE apps, and in the first third of the Plasma 5.18 cycle. With this week, all the major regressions from 5.17 that I’ve been tracking have gotten fixed! If you’re still suffering from other 5.17 regressions not listed here and not yet fixed, please let me know. We want to make sure that the 5.18 LTS release is as smooth and stable as possible.

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

How You Can Help

The KDE Frameworks 6 sprint is happening right now! Much work and planning for the future is being done. Alas, in just three days, all the work will not get done. This is where you can help! The KF6 workboard is chock full of small, manageable to-do items just begging for someone to knock a few out. Maybe you? 😉

More generally, have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved and find out more ways to help be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. 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.

46 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Polishing it up

      1. It might not work from a ppa, but you could try via alternative package managers.

        Nix (https://nixos.org/nix/manual/) lets you install packages as a user. This will not affect the rest of the system. It’s also easy to uninstall.

        I do not know if you can install an entire desktop environment with Flatpack or Snap.

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      2. I haven’t looked, does the backports PPA still go back that far? Because when I was on Kubuntu, that was my first change. I use Arch now and don’t have to deal with that nonsense.

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        1. Last I checked, the Backports PPA went as far back as It could for Plasma and Frameworks without having to upgrade Qt. Apps coverage in the PPA is more spotty.

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        1. Oh right, that option only appears if it’s a separate widget in the panel, not if it’s a system tray item. I am not sure whether this is something we can do. It might be because System Tray items have to be square, so there’s no room for the temperature display. I can look into it.

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    1. “Error; System Settings -> Display and Monitoring -> Composer -> Keep window thumbnails; It is repeated when “Always” is selected.”

      Just guessing:
      I think this makes some sense if you imagine that the window of the minimized app has to be drawn with its content in order to continuously generate thumbnails. In that case the app does not notice in principle that it is minimized at all and therefore keeps playing.

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      1. Hello Peter,

        You may be right. In this case, System Settings -> Display and Monitoring -> Composer -> Keep window thumbnails; The “Always” option should be removed or an improvement made.

        Yours respect.

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  1. Hello, Nate! I love reading these. Kudos to everyone involved!

    By the way, I have a quick question. I’ve noticed that the notification badges in the taskbar for Discord (and possibly other apps) don’t display in recent Plasma versions, while they do in Plasma 5.12 LTS. I’ve tested this with a fresh Plasma config on KUbuntu 18.04 LTS and KDE Neon respectively (with the same Discord version and config of course). On Plasma LTS a badge displays the number of unread messages, while on 5.17 no badge appears. I do get a badge in Dolphin when copying files, though.

    Is this a legitimate regression or a usability change that was done during the notifications rewrite? Just wanted to make sure this was intentional or not before filing a bug report.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this was changed in 5.17. People found the count of unread notifications stressful, so in 5.17 we changed it to a bell icon that shows you that there are some number of unread notifications, but does not communicate the exact number.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually meant the little badges that used to display next to a given task’s icon (I’m using Icon-Only Tasks), not the main notification indicator, which is now a bell icon.

        Does this mean the per-task badges are out as well for the same reason? Is the “Show notification badges” option for applications in the notification KCM ineffectual now, then?

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          1. Curiously, I get the issue with a fresh KDE Neon (User Edition 20191122) in a VM, as well as my Gentoo install of Plasma 5.17, but not KUbuntu 18.04.3 LTS with older Plasma. Both KDE Neon and KUbuntu have Discord installed from same exact .deb, so I’m pretty sure it’s not the package’s fault. I might need to submit a bug report after all.

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  2. Nate, awesome & amazing job, thank you as always. I’d say one of the major issues still haunting the user desktop experience is hidpi fractional scaling artifacts (ex. https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=373232). It’s largely cosmetic and small residual things. That being said the Plasma fractional scaling experience is pretty flipping amazing compared to other linux desktops, heck I’d say its second only to OSX imo, which drives me nuts as I find everything else on a linux desktop faster and more efficient than OSX but have to use macs at work atm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s a longstanding issue in Qt itself that is in fact actively being worked on. I know it’s a high priority for many people, but it’s already in progress! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Nate,
    you asked for regressions to keep out of the upcoming LTS release. IMHO this one fits the request:
    https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=398908
    Additionally, if I’m not missing something, at the moment none of the available and working browsers fully supports KDE’s activities (I stick to konqueror 17.04 with webenginepart 19.08 for this reason).

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    1. Definitely something we want to fix. However no developers seem to be able to reproduce the issue. Also, Dolphin is not a part of Plasma itself; it’s a separate product not distributed with Plasma. This means that it’s quite possible that a distro that ships Plasma 5.18 will include Dolphin 19.12 rather than the more recent Dolphin 20.04 (once that version is released). In fact I expect Kubuntu to do this, as this is what happened for the last Kubuntu LTS release.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As already mentioned by others in the bug report I linked to – at least gwenview seems to be affected, too. Just tested: I let gwenview show a directory full of pictures. After running for two days without any interaction on my side, it consumed about 450 MB of individual memory. Terminated gwenview, started a new instance, navigated to same directory, now memory consumption is at 170 MB (in the time I just completed/edited this comment it has increased to 178.5 MB).
        Therefore there’s a chance that it’s not something in dolphin’s own code but in a library – maybe of Plasma/Frameworks – that both dolphin and gwenview use.

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  4. Hey Nate,
    I think it is easier for newbies (like me) to get started on tickets if the tickets are marked as “beginner friendly”. From my first look at the board, I did not know what tickets to pick from the backlog.

    Can you please point me to some newbie-friendly tickets?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Again and again I’m writing about this very annoying bug. It prevents users to work normally under Wayland if Kickoff-panel located at the top of the screen: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=386114. That’s why I’m still on X but not on Wayland. Why it is so difficult to fix it? May be it’s related to QT or Wayland specific, so we should wait for a new versions of them like in some other bugs? Or maybe somebody thinks this bug has not enough priority? But a lot of low priority bugs has been fixed already.

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  6. Polishing 5.18 for LTS – wonderful news! 🙂

    The following two bugs often visible in a standard widget hit the current LTS and seem to remain for the next one too (no activities in respective bug reports since several months).
    It’s perhaps a subjective matter but I can see those bugs every single day and it effects a standard widget so a pretty bad advertising for Plasma. Is there any chance to get them fixed in 5.18?

    Sometimes a list of grouped windows has an unnecessary scroll bar:
    https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=407137

    Sometimes a list of grouped windows shows empty entries:
    https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=407136

    They are both well documented and there is even a suspicious commit mentioned that could have introduced this bad behavior.

    Many thanks in advance!

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  7. Still trying to recover my KDE account. A few issues that I’ve noticed:

    1) The clock on the panel does not update when certain full screen applications (or even a full screen movie/TV show is playing).
    2) I use Deepin Movie for my movie player (haven’t found anything better), but the screensaver kicks on. I’m assuming KDE isn’t detecting that a video has been played.
    3) The colors work has been impressive, however it would be nice (and this would totally kill the need for most themes) if you could choose from a few different Window decorations, including Windows 10 style (take visual design cues from Linux Deepin, I find their desktop very attractive, but I like KDE better) or MacOS style.
    4) The compositor tends to take a hike if a game using OpenGL or Vulkan crashes. This is despite the fact that it wasn’t a compositor issue.
    5) There is no way to adjust the font size of the clock in the panel.
    6) The Get Addons/Get More Themes/whatever contains a bunch of content that does not work on the current versions of KDE, Plasma, etc.
    7) It would be nice to globally disable the hamburger menu and switch all apps to classic menubar mode.
    8) KDE does not, after all these years, have their own movie player? Am I missing something?

    If I can get into my KDE account, I’ll try and report the bugs in this list if they aren’t already reported. I also may become a contributor in the future depending on my free time.

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    1. Hi,

      “1) The clock on the panel does not update when certain full screen applications (or even a full screen movie/TV show is playing).”

      This problem occurs when I switch to the desktop and / or another window with “Alt+Tab” while playing games.

      “8) KDE does not, after all these years, have their own movie player? Am I missing something?”

      It’s interesting that KDE doesn’t have a video player.

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      1. > It’s interesting that KDE doesn’t have a video player.

        It would be interesting to have the Qt app VLC under the KDE umbrella, but that is probably very unlikely too happen.

        Like

  8. One of the things that I think is a bug.
    when I move something to the desktop where I drag it it doesn;t copy it there it always copies it to the top left corner also stacking multiple apps there if I do it multiple times in a row.
    If I put the trash can in my top left corner and I copy something to the desktop it gets put behind that icon as well.

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  9. https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=405706 … maybe multi-language environments are not top priority, but this bug seriously impacts me who has to constantly switch between 4 different keyboard layouts… for some reason the on-screen indicator disappeared, so one never knows which layout is active without looking in the panel… (which is hidden for me by default(

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    1. I am using 3 keyboard layouts and I completely agree with you this bug is terrible. And it also prevents me to work under Wayland environment. That’s why I still working under X session.

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      1. > That’s why I still working under X session.

        Hold on, this bug appears under X. Are you probably confusing this bug with a different one?

        Like

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