This week in KDE: Get New Stuff fixes and more

Do you like more features, fewer bugs, and a better UI? I do. So as I look over this week’s update, I smile. In particular, some much-needed fixes for the Get New [thing] system have landed, and more are on the way. We realize this is a pain point and we’re working on it.

In Plasma, we’ve been actually using Bugzilla’s priority feature to prioritize bugfixes, beginning with recent regressions. Every day I triage all new bugs and mark any recent regressions accordingly, then try to try to track down people who can fix things, or do it myself if I’m able to. Hopefully over time we’ll have fewer regressions, and the ones that do slip through will get fixed faster.

New Features

When drawing annotations in Okular, holding down the Shift key now constrains the new annotation to increments of 15 degrees or perfect squares, as in many drawing apps (Luca Citi, Okular 1.11.0)

Okular now has a new hidden action you can put on its toolbar that will toggle right-to-left reading direction for the current document (David Hurka, Okular 1.11.0)

KRunner can now display bookmarks from Falkon too (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

The Properties Dialog can now also display SHA512 checksums for files (Nazar Kalinowski, Frameworks 5.73)

Bugfixes and performance & security Improvements

Dolphin’s selection highlight in Compact and Details modes is no longer too short (Ismael Asensio, Dolphin 20.08.0)

Fixed a recent regression that caused wallpapers downloaded using the Get New [Thing] dialog to not be apply-able (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.19.4)

Fixed a recent regression that caused Plasma to overwrite the system locale settings even if nothing had been changed (Plasma 5.19.4)

When decrypting a Plasma Vault, if the password has been made visible, it now becomes hidden again the moment you submit it so that it doesn’t sit around visible yet un-erasable on the screen for a few seconds (Ivan Čukić, Plasma 5.19.4)

The Plasma Networks System Tray applet no longer crashes when clicked if there is an OpenVPN VPN configured (Lamarque Souza, Plasma 5.20.0)

KRunner’s single runner mode now works (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

The KRunner Plasma widget now respects the list of enabled and disabled runners set in System Settings (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner no longer crashes when you type anything while the PIM Contact Search plugin is active (Friedrich Kossebau, Frameworks 5.73)

When using the Get New [thing] dialog to download new wallpapers, the “Use” button will now actually apply the wallpaper as it should (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.73)

When installing something using the Get New [thing] dialog fails, it is no longer incorrectly marked as installed (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.73)

Get New [thing] dialogs now display the same sort order that the sort order combobox indicates (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.73)

The URL Navigator in Dolphin and the file dialogs and various other KDE apps now has a saner auto-complete behavior (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.73)

Plasma widget pop-ups no longer appear in the Task Switcher (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.73)

User Interface Improvements

FUSE mounts are now automatically excluded from the list of disks visible in the Disk Usage widget (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.20)

The cursor no longer changes in size when hovering over GTK/GNOME app windows (Mikhail Zolotukhin, Plasma 5.20)

After taking into consideration feedback from users and designers, the System Tray icon arrangement options now include a way to return to the old style: one or two rows/columns of small-ish icons that do not scale with panel thickness (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

System Tray popups have been made a little bit taller–just a little bit (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20):

The System Tray Battery applet now tells you when the power source you’re plugged into isn’t supplying enough power to charge the battery (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

Scrollable pages in Kirigami-based apps can now be scrolled with the arrow keys (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 5.73)

The “Overwrite” action/button used in various places throughout KDE software now has a nice icon (David Hurka, Frameworks 5.73)

When the file type list in open/save dialogs would show multiple entries with the same name, they are now disambiguated by appending the filename extension (Albert Astals Cid, Frameworks 5.73):

The icons-only view buttons in the Get New [thing] dialogs now show tooltips so you can tell what they are (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.73):

How You Can Help

If you are an experienced developer who would like to make a gigantic impact very quickly, fix some recent Plasma regressions or longstanding bugs. Everyone will love you forever!

Beyond that, 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.

28 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Get New Stuff fixes and more

  1. The spacing between the icons on the “one row of small-ish icons” taskbar settings seems to be WAY too small. Looks cramped compared to 5.18. Wouldn’t configurable spacing between the taskbar icons be a desirable feature, tho?

    Like

    1. Heh that’ll teach me to be lazy and not update the screenshot after changes. In fact the spacing between icons when using that setting is identical to how it is currently in Plasma 5.19.

      Like

      1. Haha, it’s okay! It looks really cramped compared to my system atm tho, dunno why, could be because am looking at it from my phone.

        Love what you all do btw, thanks you for working on Plasma!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nate, thanks for the update! I’ve noticed the link on the bottom to “longstanding bugs” says: The search named VHI-priority Plasma bugs does not exist. Not sure if it’s just something on my side.

    Like

  3. Hi Nate,
    I am probably missing something really obvious but if the battery is not receiving enough power to stop it discharging, how is it possible to display time until it is fully charged. Surely the charge level is going down not up.
    I am confused, sorry.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Heh, looks like this is one of those things you become blind to after seeing it too much! Oops.

      I don’t have a weak enough power supply to actually impose this condition on my computer, so I faked it for the screenshot, but evidently did not fake it enough. 🙂 Rest assured that it’ll work properly in real life.

      Like

  4. Really exciting improvements :).

    Too bad, that ‘the no-startup sound’ recent regression is still not fixed.
    It may seem like nothing serious but in my case, aside that I like having startup tune, it also notifies me that the sound is really working, because on my laptop sometimes sound is missing and I have to force reboot it (normal reboot doesn’t help – kernel drivers are malfunctioning as there are no fully matching driver for my sound card). Knowing it right from the beginning is really helpful, so the startup sound plays an important role for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Again superficial changes and not hard changes on resources usage.. each version consumes more and more resources (CPU and ram).. 600 to 900 mb on idle.. 1500 mb only opening a browser

    Try to focus on important things not on good menus

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot confirm this. Which services and processes consume more RAM or CPU cycles than before? How did you measure it? How is the variance? Can you please do a detailed profiling with clean installations? Your report sounds rather vague and is probably not representative as it strongly depends on your setup.

      Like

  6. “System Tray popups have been made a little bit taller–just a little bit”

    Thank you! Sometimes the smallest fixes can make a big difference. I have all this screen space and I’ve often wondered why I am looking at a list in a small little pop-up window where I have to scroll.

    Along these lines, when I set up a new Kubuntu install on someone’s laptop, I find that opening windows for the first time, they’re not very usable at their default size. Dolphin. System Settings. File Open/Save dialogs. I have to make them much bigger so that they’re not so crowded, forcing the user to lean closer to the screen and/or scroll.

    I seem to remember that KDE3 devs had to plan for a mimimum screen size of 800×600. Lately, I’ve thought that the default window sizes would benefit from being tweaked so that the out-of-the-box initial experience is useful and pleasant for our much larger screens.

    Like

    1. I agree, default window sizes are generally too small.

      While we aspire to be usable on small displays, this doesn’t preclude setting a larger default window size; Qt will scale it down as needed if the screen’s resolution is too low.

      Are you interested in helping out here? If so, can you collect a list of which apps/windows are too small the first time they’re displayed, and put the results into a new Phabricator task (https://phabricator.kde.org/maniphest/task/edit/form/1/)? You can task VDG.

      Thanks!

      Like

  7. The F3 key used to divide the Dolphin page, closes the working page instead of the other one. It is not logical. Indeed, the user has to select the less important section and then to click F3 to get one only visible section so to expand it. F3 should close the unused section.

    Like

      1. Never mind, I thought it was “duplicate” thread, but indeed it’s fixed with Dolphin 19.03.80: Configure Dolphin, Miscellaneous, Turning off split view closes active pane.

        Have fun!

        Like

      1. In Okular now has a new hidden action you can put on its toolbar that will toggle right-to-left reading direction for the current document
        The button is huge
        I thing the shorthand rtl fixed this
        We can put the long text in to
        oltip

        Liked by 1 person

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