This week in KDE: better handling for grouped tasks in the Task Manager

This week we got a big improvement in how the Task Manager handles grouped tasks: by default, it activates the last-used task and then cycles through other tasks if you continue to click on it. There are also some more welcome improvements for the “Get New [Thing]” system, as well as a nice smattering of miscellany. Take a look:

New Features

MP4 video files now show the embedded cover art image when it’s available and previews are enabled (Heiko Schaefer, Dolphin 20.12.0)

The Task Manager now defaults to cycling through child tasks when clicking on a grouped task, and always display the most-recently-used one when switching to a task from an app that’s different from the current one. All of this may sound awfully complicated, but hopefully it’s exactly what you wanted it to do all along. πŸ™‚ (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20):

Discover now shows updates for add-ons installed via the “Get New [Thing]” windows (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.20)

The System Settings Accessibility page is now available on Wayland (Michael Weghorn, Plasma 5.20)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Fixed a weird bug in Elisa whereby the backgrounds of volume and track progress sliders were drawn in the wrong places (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.08.0)

Elisa’s album art displays are no longer downscaled and pixelated for albums where the art is integrated into the music files themselves (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.08.0)

Fixed the “Windows can cover” panel setting on Wayland (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.20)

Fixed a few visual glitches that can appear when downloading items using the Get New [Thing] dialogs (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.73)

User Interface Improvements

Using Konsole’s --new tab argument now brings the existing instance into focus as well (Martin Rys, Konsole 20.08.0)

When opening a file from a Flatpak app like Dolphin and there is no locally-installed application that can handle it, the app now directs you to Discover and filters the list of apps shown by MIME Type, so only relevant options are displayed (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.20)

More of the built-in entries in the System Settings Global Shortcuts page now have sensible icons (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20):

The file overwrite dialog now tells you when the two files are actually identical (MΓ©ven Car, 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! No really. Sometimes people will mail you beer and everything. It’s happened before!

Beyond that, have a look at 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: better handling for grouped tasks in the Task Manager

  1. Great news as always!

    > All of this may sound awfully complicated, but hopefully it’s exactly what you wanted it to do all along.
    Could you please post a recording though?

    Also I am getting an 503 for 😦


  2. MP4 files can have embedded cover art ?

    I haven’t seen one, but I’ve seen many in MKV container.

    For some, I even put them myself in with MKVToolnix.

    Maybe the author of this feature can extend it co cover MKV files too.


    1. I looked into this when I saw the mp4 cover art landed, unfortunately it’s a bit more involved. taglib, which is used for this feature doesn’t support matroska (except in the taglib2 branch where I got it in some years ago).

      I have an open PR for ebml/matroska support, but it’s probably not going to happen in the nearest future:

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nate, your recommendation of what bug fixing will result in free beer says it all: The really ugly bugs in older parts like Gwenview will NEVER be fixed 😦


    1. > “Sometimes people will mail you beer and everything”

      For these very old bugs, you won’t get beer mailed, and therefore nobody does that important work.
      In other words: It is not sexy enough and the important people at KDE organization to not care at all.


  4. Hopefully Get New Things will get some package manager abilities to work correctly (detect installed packages, “things” database, etc.), because we do use it a lot but updating properly those external parts of the desktop is PITA. If at least Discover will patch some Get New Thing lacks, then it’s a step forward, but there is still a lot to do.


    1. It’s not entirely as straightforward as that (because when is it ever? πŸ˜‰ ). There is in fact a database already (it’s called a cache, but it’s really a database of what’s installed, which is how Discover knows what you installed through the Get New (thing) dialogues and vice versa). However, like basically any package manager out there, KNewStuff also does not really know what to do if you install things without telling it. There is a plan to be able to kind of “adopt” things that were installed manually, so KNewStuff can take over upgrades and whatnot, which would roughly fit what you seem to be asking for, but it’s a bit in the future just yet. Before then, going to focus on getting this whole upgrade thing to work properly, which partly is stuff that needs doing in KNewStuff itself, and partly in Discover.

      Most importantly here, though, is that this isn’t a “they and us” thing, the same people are doing the work on both the knewstuff framework and discover, and it’s not so much a case of “hack discover to try and work around knewstuff” as much as it is a case of “find the right place to do the thing, and then do the thing there”. One of those lovely things we in the free software community are able to do is not have to just work around broken libraries and whatnot, we can just fix the libraries instead πŸ˜€


  5. Hey guys, instead of fixing critical memory-leaking bugs in Dolphin, lets make sure we show embedded covert art no one cares about from a legacy video format!


    1. The cover art patch was submitted by a volunteer. If you had been the person reviewing the patch, would you have told that person, “sorry, I’m rejecting your patch because you should have been working on fixing a memory leak instead?”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I disagree with your sweeping comments. If you can bring in something constructive, please do so, otherwise here’s your < !


    3. @Alex August 2, 2020 at 9:39 am:

      I am overwhelmed by your constructive comments πŸ˜‰

      My old suggestion was that upper management of KDE should not spend that much money on new developments or get some more money for fixing these old bugs in older but important applications like Gwenview.


    4. I think you are wrong.
      Me and many people who come from Windows and have used the K-lite codec pack (which has the Icaros thumbnailer) care about this feature and are very happy to see it available in KDE too.
      If you haven’t thought about it, this is also a great usability feature, because images are much more understandable by humans compared to texts.
      Video files that have embedded posters are great because even small kids that don’t know how to read yet can still choose and play their favorite cartoon or animation.
      The cover arts are good for adults too when the name of the file is in a language that they don’t understand like english (most likely).
      Immagine if I give you a video file without cover art and with the file name written in russian or chinese.
      Would you have any idea what is it about ?
      But if that file has a cover art embedded and the file manager can display it, then it’s much more accesible, even though you still don’t know how to read that language.


  6. The new task manager default setting for grouped windows sounds great, really looking forward to try it out! Thanks very much everyone who implemented this! πŸ™‚


  7. A girl here, is that even possible ?

    Speculating or commenting on people’s genders over the internet is rude and I would ask you to stop. We want to be welcoming.


    1. I think this is subjective and an overreaction.

      Or maybe you’re not familiar with funny things like in The Big Bang theory tv show when Penny goes to the comic book shop.


    2. Honestly, I’m absolutely with Nate and Carny here… I think rude and sexist comments like yours are unfortunately the best way that non-cis-male contributors don’t feel welcome and are scared away from a community – I’m not sure if that’s what you want? I can only recommend you to do some proper self-education about topics like sexism before posting such “funny” comments…

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I agree to the amount that the comment was not ideal and I also had some mixed feelings reading it.

      However, maybe we can all think about the KDE community guidelines again and assume good faith. That would mean assuming an a bit stupid joke that might insult people. I guess a problem here is that comments don’t offer information about the tone, so there is a higher chance of misunderstanding. Also language might be a barrier.

      Maybe we can try to keep the critics factual and without insulting anybody right away πŸ™‚


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