The release of Plasma 5.18 is upon us! In 10 more days, it will be yours to have and to hold. Until then, the Plasma developers have been working feverishly to fix bugs–and land some welcome improvements in 5.19! Check it out:
- As part of the ongoing “Make the System Tray applet pop-ups look better” initiative, we now have the first version of the new Audio Volume pop-up. In addition to looking better, it includes a new and more obvious global “Raise maximum volume” setting, a global mute mode, and a less visually intrusive way to set the default audio device (George Vogiatzis, Plasma 5.19.0):
- The KInfoCenter app now looks radically better. Under the hood, it’s actually now using System Settings to display everything; the old app is no more! This fixes various visual bugs afflicting the old app such as inconsistent tooltip appearance and weird uninteractive tree view headers that did nothing when clicked on (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.19.0):
Bugfixes & Performance Improvements
- In Elisa, queuing all tracks from all genres now works (Alexander Stippich, Elisa 19.12.2)
- Elisa’s global playlist no longer experiences visual glitches when loading .m3u playlist files or deleting the first song of an album (Alexander Stippich, Elisa 19.12.2)
- Dolphin’s “Natural Sorting” mode now works with all sort orders (George Vogiatzis, Dolphin 20.04.0)
- Dolphin’s “you’re about to drop an item here” indicator no longer disappears when dragging an item right above a selected item in the Places panel (George Vogiatzis, Dolphin 19.12.2)
- When Spectacle is configured to take a new screenshot if the PrintScreen key is pressed while Spectacle is already running, it will now take that screenshot using the currently-selected options rather than the default options (David Redondo, Spectacle 20.04.0)
- Apps with spaces in their names now behave properly when pinned to the Task Manager (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.18.0)
- GTK apps can now use fonts with spaces in their names (Mikhail Zolotukhin, Plasma 5.18.0)
- Context menus opened from notifications now look correct and appear in the right place on Wayland (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.18.0)
- Fixed the weather station chooser page again after breaking it last time while fixing something else (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.18.0):
- The Folder View pop-up now uses the correct text color for items’ labels (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.18.0):
- Entries in the new System Tray configurations page now always have the right icons (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.18.0)
User Interface Improvements
- KInfoCenter now shows IPv6 network information (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.18.0)
- The Task Manager tooltip highlight effect now looks better for tooltips that include built-in playback controls for media (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.18.0):
- Buttons in Notifications are now laid out in a more compact way (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.18.0)
- VLC’s Breeze theme icon now looks more like the original icon (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.67):
How You Can Help
Please test the Plasma 5.18 beta release! You can find out how here. If you find bugs, file them–especially if they are regressions from Plasma 5.17. We want to get as much testing, bug filing, and bugfixing as possible during the one-month beta period so that the official release is as smooth as possible.
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.
25 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Plasma 5.18 is nigh”
Fantastic update to Audio applet I love it! It was one of the more annoying experiences as it required too many clicks to change default device.
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On the new system information window I don’t see another button “Copy to clipboard in English”. Is this because the system is already in English or someone forgot to add it? This is super useful since most support sites and helpful forums are in English so it’s more often used than just copying the info in native language.
The extra button won’t be displayed anymore if the system is already in English. 🙂
OK, that is what I wanted to know. Thanks :).
Hey Nate, you know the quick reply feature you showed last week? Does it work with KDE Connect yet or is it only on Telegram for now?
I think Telegram is the only app right now, but I believe it’s in progress for KDE Connect too.
>>Just shut up already
Wow, what I love in your posts in learning something new about English. In Russian we have pretty much the same way of expressing this, btw!
>>Plasma 5.18 is nigh
>>The release of Plasma 5.18 is upon us!
Also love your style, your way of delivering of news is awesome.
(Verily, I say unto you, the era of Plasma 5.18 is nigh, the era of the new KInfoCenter app. The time of Bugfixes & Performance Improvements and the time of User Interface Improvements is nigh, the time of Dolphin and the time of Elisa.) 🙂
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I just pulled an old SSD out of a backup machine (and almost destroyed the computer — I REALLY need to get a new case for it…) I’ve downloaded Manjaro Linux KDE, and plan to start testing it in the event I decide I need to vacate CentOS. I REALLY want to see if I can actually USE KDE 5.x The last time it was around 5.9 or 5.10 and it was horrible from a users point especially if they are familiar with anything post KDE 4.8, and even more so if they have been using KDE 4.14. I am eager to test whatever is the latest and greatest version of KDE 5.x which comes with Manjaro Linux KDE.
I have book marked the links to this website. I have no idea what I’m going to run into.
Next up: wipe the SSD, reformat, and install Manjaro.
About the speaker applet, it shows radio buttons for the output devices. Does this mean, it’s only possible to play something at a single output at the same time or can all outputs be used simultaneously? (For example, If I have two sound cards).
2nd question: Do you think PipeWire as a successor and addition to PulseAudio will find its way to KDE in the future? 🙂
Awesome to see that KDE dev Jan Grulich is already picking it up: https://github.com/PipeWire/pipewire/pull/201 🙂
For information about PipeWire, look for the recording of the Fosdem Talk. 😉
I have no idea! I didn’t even know that was something that was theoretically possible lol.
Another week closer to the official release of Plasma 5.18, another week with nice new features, bugfixes, UI improvements, etc.
The Audio Volume looks pretty nice for Plasma 5.19, that’s for sure.
It’s nice to know that there’s only a few more days to have it available on my system.
As always, thank you very much for all of your efforts/work, improving and creating a better software, user experience for us, it’s really fantastic to see the results of work every week here, at Nate’s blog.
A huge hug for everyone ^^.
Audio applet improvements are neat, but how about users who don’t use pulseaudio? i’m one of them and i’m left with kmix – which hasn’t received any visual updates and doesn’t integrate to well. fortunately it works flawlessly. are there any plans to improve it’s integration, or the design of it? thank You for Your work.
I’m not aware of any such plans, sorry.
Two things, one a though and one a question.
1. VLC icon looks awesome much better than current one, and also makes it more inline with actual VLC icon.
2. In the KInfoCenter, if the tree view is removed then where are information for USB devices, PCI, etc. found?
Most likely in a second pane right to the left one just like in the systemsettings I guess.
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Hello, I’ve just submitted a plasma bug report with the pinned clipboard not staying on clipboard and auto populating the clipboard when I dont ask it to. Hope this helps with testing. Thank you for your work. bug number 417068
Tot respectul pentru munca dvs.
Thanks a lot for this great labor of spreading KDE you are doing. I think it helps a lot to keep the users interest on KDE and Plasma. The “con” is that it generates doubts and questions from our side, so, let me comment a few things, if you don’t mind:
What is the purpose of that «Raise maximum volume» thing? Isnt it a little absurd to have a slider from 0 to 100%, and then a switch to raise the volume up beyond 100%? It’s supposed than 100% is the high top, a thing cant be more than its 100%. You just wanted to set a safe limit to avoid the user sets a too high volume? Well, shouldnt the user decide what to do with his machine without any “parental care”?
That hypothesis sounds too simple and would be very condescending and intrusive from your side, so I’m aware that that I’m probably missing something more reasonable. Could make it a bit clear?
Also I wanted to mention that the main problem of KInfoCenter, from the POV of a common user like me, wasnt really its “machinery” but the lack of usefulness. I think it should be a little like the Windows Device Manager: you have all the info about yor hardware, but also you can see if any of them has some problem, or you can install, update, tweak, the drivers, etc. I know its name is KInfoCenter and not KDeviceManager, but I wonder if writing and maintaining a GUI just for a info-only center is very useful, IMHO.
I didn’t know Elisa I’ve tested a little and despite I’ve read that it is still rather unfinished (if any software is ever “finished”) and under heavy development, I like it, a lot, sincerely, I like it very much, mainly because of its clean looks and snappy feel. Great job, guys! But let me ask if its target is users more centered on pop music or does it have a wider scope? Because if the latter, I’d suggest you to add the categories Composer and Interpreter/player (or Performer I think cue files use the tag “PERFORMER” if I don’t recall wrong). Art music or soundtracks are usually classified in a categorized schema like Composer->Work->Player. Clementine has these tags, for example. Maybe this is where I note Elisa more “unfinished”, its too basic capabilities to handle a diverse music collection. I hope it’s just a matter of maturity.
My last comment: Do we really need buttons? Isn’t intuitive enough to have a text in a different font, size, color, style, background, whatever, to know it works like a button to do something? Maybe I’m too influenced by mobile devices GUIs, but some areas in Plasma seem a bit cluttered and old fashioned. All those dialog boxes with those and reiterative, IMHO, boxy elements… You would not like your Android device dialogs plenty of squares eveywhere, true? If we can’t live without buttons on the PC, could them be at least made more elegant, less “coarse”? I don’t know, maybe a subtle background in a lighter and slightly tinted tone or something like that?
I think KDE designers could follow that minimalist, “KISS”, design guidelines Android designers are following. I’m talking about the graphic design only, of course, not that Plasma must renounce to any of its rich configuration options, just a more contemporary way of presenting them.
Thanks for sharing! We’ll take the suggestions into consideration.
I am a simple user of Plasma … as far as audio volume is concerned, some portable devices have very low audio, having the possibility of raising it more than 100%, in these cases it can be a solution, obviously exceeding 100% implies the possible distortion of sound.
On the more general point, I believe that we must not compare an interface of a desktop with that of a smartphone, they are profoundly different things. Minimalism is fine, but without losing functionality, which is not always possible. There is an effort, to have a cleaner interface in Plasma 5, compared to the old versions and I like it … but there is still room for improvement. A greeting.
Another simple user here with close to zero technical knowledge.
How can any software raise the audio volume more than 100%? I mean, if the speakers can produce a sound of X decibels, how can anything that doesn’t imply hardware or electronic modifications increase that 100% that are the maximum that those speakers can produce? I also had the conviction that, in fact, that 100% wasn’t the real 100% but something below the real maximum volume capability of the sound system set that way for hearing safety or something like that.
I don’t know a thing about interfaces design either, but the conversation has made me notice that not using virtual buttons isn’t actually an idea from the smartphone world. Web links aren’t presented as buttons but just as distinct text, even if they actually are a sort of buttons since clicking on them produces actions, and nobody has seemed to have problems with them in these last 25 years. Maybe a desktop environment lacking buttons or reducing their usage a lot wouldn’t be a kind of visual shock, though.
Cheers, and long live the fertile debate 👍
Sorry, I meant “Maybe a desktop environment lacking buttons or reducing their usage a lot WOULD be a kind of visual shock”. What I’m sure of is that am internet plenty of buttons in every webpage for every link would be a visual nightmare xD