This week in KDE: New features galore!

Tons and tons of awesome new features and UI polish landed this week, alongside an equally weighty ton of important bugfixes.

New Features

Elisa now lets you optionally display all Genres, Artists, or Albums in the sidebar, below other items (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.08.0):

Elisa’s playlist now displays the progress of the currently playing song inline (Stef Lep, Elisa 20.08.0)

Konsole now has a new on-by-default-but-disable-able feature to display a subtle highlight for new lines coming into view when the terminal output is rapidly scrolling by (Thomas Surrel, Konsole 20.08.0)

System Tray icons now automatically scale to fit no matter the panel’s thickness, and you can now choose for yourself how many rows or columns to display if you want (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

Bugfixes & performance Improvements

Dolphin now correctly respects your preference regarding what to do when opening executable files (Wolfgang Bauer, Dolphin 20.04.3)

When typing a search term in Dolphin, the cursor position no longer gets reset after results begin to appear (Ismael Asensio, Dolphin 20.08.0)

Elisa got some high DPI fixes relating to line thicknesses and icon sizes (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.08.0)

When using a pen for input on Wayland, the position of the drawn lines is no longer vertically offset by the height of the titlebar (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.19.3)

Applying a Global Theme now also changes the colors appropriately for GTK applications (Mikhail Zolotukhin, Plasma 5.19.4)

KRunner and Kickoff/Kicker/Application Dashboard can once again be used to open settings windows that are not visible directly in System Settings, such as the Trash or Breeze theme settings pages (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.19.4)

The “Text Only” display style for the new system monitor widgets now works properly (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.19.4)

Fixed a crash on Wayland when waking up the computer while multiple screens are attached (Andreas Haratzis, Plasma 5.20)

Fixed a bug that could cause the Task Manager’s icons to be obscured when changing the resolution or display the wrong icons when a screen is turned or of unplugged (Alexander Kandaurov, Plasma 5.20)

The Plasma Widget Explorer only tells you that there’s already an instance of a widget while that widget is visible in the current screen/activity (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

On Wayland, it’s now possible to enter full screen mode in MPV by double-clicking on the video (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.20.0)

Changing the “Confirm Logout” setting now takes effect immediately, instead of requiring a restart first (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.0)

Window decorations now display correctly when using a 30-bit/10-bit-per-color screen (Bernie Innocenti, Plasma 5.20)

Previews for cursor themes now correctly display real-time previews as you hover your cursor over them on Wayland (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

Menu separators in QML-based desktop apps now have the correct height and thickness when using a high DPI screen and a global scale factor (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.73)

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that despite the above fix, some of these separator lines are 1px tall and others are 2px. This is a so far unavoidable artifact caused by my using a fractional scale factor on X11. It’s already better on Wayland and I’m investigating whether there’s anything we can do there on X11 too, but this caption is already way too long for any more explanation than that!

Fixed a wide variety of Plasma crashes, in particular with the Thermal Monitor widget (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.73)

User Interface Improvements

KRDC now displays proper server-side cursors in VNC instead of a small dot with the remote cursor lagging behind it (Oleg Chernovskiy, KRDC 20.08.0):

Yakuake now lets you configure all the keyboard shortcuts that actually come from Konsole (Maximillian Schiller, Yakuake 20.08.0)

The Disk Usage widget now looks more like how it did in Plasma 5.18 and earlier (but still using the fancy new backend, of course) (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.20)

When using the “Raise maximum volume” setting and setting the volume above 100%, the percentage display for the current volume level now changes color to show you that the volume is really really really high (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

The old obsolete System Settings Emoticons page is no more (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20)

The System Settings Shortcuts page no longer shows mysterious categories such as “KDE Daemon” or “System Settings” for seemingly unrelated actions, and instead groups them all into a new category named “Custom Shortcuts Service” (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

The users list in the lock and login screens can no longer be pointlessly dragged around when there’s only one user (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

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.

23 thoughts on “This week in KDE: New features galore!

  1. Nice to hear about fixes for KRDC.

    I use it to control my desktop from my laptop.

    I’ve put X11VNC on the desktop, but the performance even in LAN doesn’t seem to be great.
    I’ve tried to enable some performance enhancing feature on X11VNC like some caching, if I remember well, but KRDC doesn’t support it.

    It would be great if somebody could look into this issue as well.
    I tried to install RDP on the desktop for better performance, but I didn’t manage to make it work.
    Too bad that KDE doesn’t have a control panel like Raspbian where to easily turn on or off SSH server, VNC server, etc.
    It would be great if you have multiple computers with the same OS (let’s say Kubuntu) to be easier to connect them one with another and share stuff easily or control one from another through VNC or something similar.
    Some auto-discover feature would be really nice.

    Anyway, congratulations and thank you very much to all developers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Too bad that KDE doesn’t have a control panel like Raspbian where to easily turn on or off SSH server, VNC server, etc.
      It would be great if you have multiple computers with the same OS (let’s say Kubuntu) to be easier to connect them one with another and share stuff easily or control one from another through VNC or something similar.
      Some auto-discover feature would be really nice.”
      Those would be awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Too bad that KDE doesn’t have a control panel like Raspbian where to easily turn on or off SSH server, VNC server, etc.

      I agree. MacOS has this and I sometimes miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I assume you mean “Two Rows/Columns”. If we did that, then there would be no way to force it to always use a single row/column for people who like large panels and large icons.

      Like

  2. Great stuff as always, Nate! My only criticism this time around while testing would be regarding the new way the system tray icons behave. Under a thin panel configuration, they seem too crammed together (even the global menu options) and under a 42px panel size, they seem huge. Any intentions to adjust the sizes too to prevent them from getting so large?

    Like

      1. I like the 8 px mockup (right side, the clock etc.) combined with the 6 px mockup’s task manager icons size. This is minor yet a huge visual improvement IMHO.

        Like

  3. Great updates, thanks! If you didn’t tell us about all the fixed bugs, I wouldn’t expect there are so many around. 😛

    > The Disk Usage widget now looks more like how it did in Plasma 5.18 and earlier (but still using the fancy new backend, of course) (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.20)

    About the “percentage used”, I think this can text can be completely dropped as it’s obvious what it’s meant with XX%, otherwise a mouse over hint may added to make thinks absolutely clear. 🙂

    Like

  4. Nate, it’s always a great pleasure to read about the improvements and ongoing work with KDE.

    Could you explain or maybe blog about, how you keep track of all the changes and details?
    I mean you are one kind of guy doing that and I am a bit curious how you achieve that.

    Please, keep up your splendid work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I make myself a watcher in our GitLab instance (https://invent.kde.org) for all of Plasma and the Frameworks and Apps that I care about. I can’t watch literally everything as there are only so many hours in the day, but for those things, I participate in code review and keep track of notable merge requests; when one gets merged, I add it to the upcoming week’s blog post. I do the same thing when any notable Bugzilla ticket gets fixed, and I CC myself on as many of those as possible as they come in (I triage all new bugs). The result is that I’m adding content to the upcoming blog post all throughout the week, so that when Friday rolls around, it’s 95% done and I just need to polish it up a bit. It takes a lot of time to do this, but it’s rewarding work, and by spreading it out throughout the week, it’s quite manageable. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Confusion: why has the Emoji KCM been removed? Have Kopete, Konversation, Choqok, Telepathy, and KMail been removed?

    Like

    1. No, but you can just use standard unicode Emojis in those apps using Plasma’s new Emoji panel. There’s no reason for us to have a duplicate feature when Emojis have since become a global standard .

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the insight, on how you manage your blog posts. I am always intrigued to know how things work and I imagined that you would have an immense workload. I am glad you do this, as otherwise just reading the release notes or changelogs isn’t quite the same.

    Like

  7. > When using the “Raise maximum volume” setting and setting the volume above 100%, the percentage display for the current volume level now changes color to show you that the volume is really really really high (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

    I don’t think this is a good idea given how less contrast text become. Main purpose of this to be more noticeable, not less.

    The better aproach IMO would be to change color of progress bad like on your Disk space widget screenshot.
    > 125 – orange
    > 150 – red

    It will probably be more consistent with other UI elements and have better readability.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really really nice, as every week Nate.

    I can’t wait to update today (I hope it’ll be today as stable on my distro repos) to KDE Frameworks 5.72, to check if the issue I filed and told you about via Telegram is solved already or not yet, but the same goes for KDE Applications 20.08, at least for a new Spectacle bugfix (I hope), I reported about the Auto copy to clipboard each time you do a new screenshot, doesn’t work under Wayland (at least under Wayland). Plasma 5.20 is taking such a good shape week after week :). I really think and hope it’ll be such a wonderful release/version, maybe allowing to us Wayland daily users to be able to use all the power of our desktop, limited still now, because of the lack of development and adaptation around Wayland. I can’t wait to that :).

    I remember about Konsole 20.08 colored tabs too, more or less like the Multi-Account Containers works on Firefox, which seems pretty pretty interesting.

    As always, I would like to thank you properly, everyone on KDE Community, you really do such an impressive, great and huge work and efforts to deliver us an amazing software, improving it everyday, polishing it up, adding new features, so honestly, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    Of course, an special extra huge thank you to Nate, who delivers us weekly these steps forward realized along the week over the software, so we can read them all really quickly, summarized and with the links to each one in the case we want to read more detailed about it.

    Always sincerely hoping you and your beloved ones (families, friends, close people) are fine and healthy.

    Receive a huge, sincere, fresh & virtual hug ^^.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I a very pity but I can’t even test the latest progress of KDE cause maintainers of Kubuntu 20.04 aren’t building the current version of DE 😦

    Like

Leave a Reply to maklaban Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s