This week in KDE: polishing up Plasma 5.19

This week we plunged into fixing issues in Plasma 5.19 that slipped through QA as well as some older ones–a truly enormous number in all! We are taking to heart your pleas to focus on stability and polish. But of course we also worked on some new features too, because we can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time!

New Features

Spectacle’s timer feature and Shift+Printscreen (take full screen screenshot) and Meta+Shift+Printscreen (take rectangular region screenshot) shortcuts now work on Wayland (Méven Car, Plasma 5.20 and Spectacle 20.08.0)

Yakuake now shows a system tray item when running (which is optionally hide-able of course), so it’s easier to tell that it’s running and so that there’s a graphical way to summon (Maximillian Schiller, Yakuake 20.08.0)

It’s now possible to perform searches in a new private/incognito window using KRunner’s web shortcuts (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner’s web shortcuts runner now includes a module for searching the Arch wiki; search for “arch: foobar” in KRunner to try it out! (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.72)

For all those super secret Arch wiki searches that you don’t want anyone else to know about

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Okular’s form-filling feature now works more reliably for certain forms using JavaScript (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 1.10.3)

Apps removed from the favorites list shared across Kickoff, Kicker, and Application Dashboard now always stay removed after you reboot (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.18.7)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: the Battery & Brightness applet now appears in the system tray again (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.19.1)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: The System Tray battery icon is no longer vertically mis-aligned when not showing the battery percentage (Michail Vourlakos, Plasma 5.19.1)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: System Tray icons set to “always show” are now always shown (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.19.1)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: resolved various display issues with the new Hard Disk monitor (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.19.1)

The Kicker Application Menu no longer suffers from a visual glitch whereby the search results list is too small when there are a lot of favorite items (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.19.1)

Copying system information to the clipboard no longer includes trailing spaces and newlines (Claudius Ellsel, Plasma 5.19.1)

System Settings no longer crashes when you visit the Thunderbolt page and then switch to another page (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.19.1)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: the Screen Edges effects now works again (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.19.2)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: the “Configure Window Manager” menu item from the titlebar context menu now works again (Méven Car, Plasma 5.19.2)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: WiFi network names in the Networks applet no longer interpret HTML, preventing maliciously-crafted network names from doing potentially nefarious things (me: Nate Graham, 5.19.2

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: the Global Menu applet once again updates itself correctly when the current application changes (Carson Black, Plasma 5.19.2)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: KRunner’s window is once again positioned correctly when using a high DPI screen and the PLASMA_USE_QT_SCALING=1 environment variable (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.19.2)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: there is no longer a faint blue outline around the circular timeout indicator for notification pop-ups (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.19.2)

Interacting with the media controls on the lock screen will now pause the timer that determines when the UI fades out (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.19.2)

Copying system information to the clipboard in English now actually uses English for everything (Claudius Ellsel, Plasma 5.19.2)

The search feature in the new System Monitor configuration pages now works (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.19.2)

Picture of The Day wallpapers now work on the lock screen (Yunhe Guo, Plasma 5.20)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: Placeholder messages in Plasma applets now respect the Plasma style and color scheme (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20, though I have asked distros to backport it to 5.19)

Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: After entering the password for a Wi-Fi network in the networks applet, you’re no longer pointlessly asked for the same password again in a dialog box (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20, though I have asked distros to backport it to 5.19)

The Plasma panel no longer appears on top of full screen apps and views when on Wayland (somebody awesome, Plasma 5.20)

The trash now automatically purges its records for files that are deleted by hand, preventing a situation where the whole system would freeze because it was trying in vain to collect information about files that no longer existed (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.72)

Monochrome icons in QML-based software are no longer often subtly blurry (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.72)

Clicking on the scrollbar in certain scrollable Kirigami sheets no longer unexpectedly closes the sheet (Ismael Asensio, Frameworks 5.72)

Setting a default web shortcut now works (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.72)

The legal notice in KHelpCenter is now readable no matter what color scheme you’re using (Yuri Chornoivan, Frameworks 5.72)

Fixed a graphical glitch that could cause notification pop-ups’ timeout indicators to be drawn as a black square on old graphics hardware (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Frameworks 5.72)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin now displays remote shares and FUSE mounts with their user-friendly display name rather than the full path (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.08.0)

The new System Monitor widgets now have more sane default sizes (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.19.2)

System Tray items now respect Fitts’ Law; you can activate on the nearest applet when clicking on the pixel adjacent to the screen edge, making the click target effectively infinite in that direction (Michail Vourlakos, Plasma 5.20)

The Plasma audio applet and System Settings page now filter out unused audio devices by default to avoid cluttering up the view. You can however still show them if you’d like (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20):

Discover now shows you when an application listed in the search or browse list comes from a different source than your default source (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20):

Notice the little Flatpak icons in the corner? I know this presentation isn’t ideal; I was planning to polish it up and add text but didn’t have time this week, sorry. Maybe next week!

The layout of the Digital Clock widget’s calendar pop-up has been refined and streamlined in response to user feedback (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20):

Shadows for pop-ups in GTK3 apps using the Breeze-GTK theme now better match the shadows in Qt-based apps (Somebody going by the pseudonym “Toluschr,” Plasma 5.20)

The Web Shortcuts window now has a sane default size when opened from the System Settings Krunner page (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

The “Switch Application Language.. “menu item has been relocated from the Help menu to the Settings menu and renamed to “Configure Language…” to match the style of other items in that menu (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.72):

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover 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.

30 thoughts on “This week in KDE: polishing up Plasma 5.19

  1. “Discover now shows you when an application listed in the search or browse list comes from a different source than your default source”

    YEAAAAH BOI! At last…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My Manjaro KDE booted into three lines of drivel one morning, Windows 10 saved my life. That was in early May. Yesterday, I installed Kubuntu as I can’t be without KDE Connect. Samsung Flow doesn’t work reliably.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I know this presentation isn’t ideal; I was planning to polish it up… ”
    Actually, it looks excellent. Only a tooltip with some text, could be useful, for those who do not know the flatpak icon.

    Like

  4. > a truly enormous number in all!

    Definitely impress! However, you ain’t need to ne artificially stretch it 🙂

    Fix Plasma 5.19 regression: there is no longer a faint blue outline around the circular timeout indicator for notification pop-ups (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.19.2)

    (…)

    The circular timeout indicator in notification popups no longer leaves a faint blue outline around the outside edges as it rotates (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.19.2)

    Like

  5. The blue line above the clock at the calendar widget looks a bit odd. I think it’s too close to the clock’s numbers. Maybe it would be better if it were two pixel higher?

    Like

  6. Hello Nate!

    Since upgrading to Plasma 5.19, the power button brings me to the SDDM login screen instead of directly shutting down the system as it used to. Is this a deliberate usability change or a regression? I haven’t changed any of my power management settings, so this caught me by surprise.

    On a possibly related note, apps seem to be launched in separate systemd scopes/cgroups now. When did that change?

    Like

  7. I think the blue line above the clock in the image with the calendar widget looks a bit odd. Maybe it looked better if it were 2 pixel higher, away from the clock’s numbers?

    Like

    1. I think it looks odd since the clock/date text is too large. Having an option to change the font size, could solve that.

      Like

    1. I mean, just the design and colors, which enhances Dolphin al lot. 😉
      You may solve the issue with the bread crumbs independently and later. 🙂

      Like

  8. Terrific fixes and improvements, some good new features too, as every week, Plasma 5.20 is looking fantastic and Plasma 5.19, more and more polished, as it must be.

    I really love to see every single Wayland improvement, it makes me even more happier than before, thank you very much KDE Community :).

    As always, I would like to take advantage of this comment and this Nate’s blog post, to send a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone of the fantastic KDE Community, who make this amazing software possible, day after day, you really make the difference and you’re doing something that really matters (as Nate says), I’m truly grateful to you all, deep from my heart.

    I don’t want to forget to desire and hope you’re everyone fine, healthy, you and your beloved ones, families, friends, closest people, etc.

    I send you a huge, sincere, fresh & virtual hug everyone ^^.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Nate,
    thank you for great news in upcoming Plasma versions. Awesome work, as usual – can’t wait!

    There’s still an keyboard issue, I noticed when I switched from KDE4 few years ago. When the shortcut for switching keyboard layout is set to “Alt+Shift” (or LAlt+LShift), it prevents all other shortcuts “Alt+Shift+key” working. The issue hits Plasma itself (“Alt+Shift+Tab” for reverse task switching) as well as 3rd part apps (“Alt+Shift+Up” in Slack).

    There is a bug filled already: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=392961 Would you be so kind and take a look at that issue?

    Like

    1. I’m not sure if it helps, but I can confirm the behaviour and reported it as such – there seemed to be some doubt about that in the comments on the bug.

      Like

  10. “The Plasma panel no longer appears on top of full screen apps and views when on Wayland (somebody awesome, Plasma 5.20)”

    Does this apply to Latte-Dock as well?

    Like

  11. “The layout of the Digital Clock widget’s calendar pop-up has been refined and streamlined in response to user feedback (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20):” -> Did the request (do not know bug-no at the moment) to add new calendar entries from the widget make it into that refinement?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Is it possible to test these features, in maybe in Neon Testing or Unstable, or do I need to compile form source? Plasma 5.20 will be another incredible version…

    Like

    1. Yep, you can do this with KDE Neon testing edition, or openSUSE Krypton, or openSUSE Tumbleweed with kde:unstable repos, or Arch with KDE unstable repos. Lots of good options.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Very nice bugfixes and features, but I think the calendar applet is still missing two important features that would be very helpful:
    Some information about the countries that the holidays are about, even just the flag or two letter country code would do in front of the holiday text.

    In an unfotunate situation my family is spread in 3 different countries and I have ticked all 3 countries to see the holidays from so I know when there is a holiday in one country and my family members in that country are free of work and they can be called and talk

    Reading just the holiday text is somewhat confusing since there are different language.

    Second I wish there was possible to set calendar events by double clicking on the dates in the calendar.
    I don’t want a Google or other cloud provider backed calendar for privacy reasons, but local and possibly syncable to the phone with KDE Connect would be great.

    Anyway, thank you very much for all the work!

    Like

    1. Can you file a bug report about the per-country holiday thing? That sounds very useful. The other thing is already tracked by some bug report somewhere IIRC

      Like

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