This week in KDE: fixing up Plasma 5.20

We spent a lot of this week polishing up Plasma 5.20 and fixing bugs you’ve all found in the release. Thanks very much too all the people who have been testing it and reporting bugs! It’s very helpful. As a reminder, you can find distros shipping the beta here:

New Features

Okular’s animated smooth scrolling feature can now be totally disabled in the app itself (me: Nate Graham)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Kate’s File menu no longer ever loses menu items after closing a tab (Christoph Cullmann, Kate 20.08.2)

Okular’s editable forms are no longer mis-rendered when inertially scrolling (Kezi Olio, Okular 1.11.2)

When your scanner can almost but not quite fit a particular page size, Skanlite will now display the option to scan to that page size anyway (e.g. 215mm wide scan beds now give you the option to scan using the US Letter page size) (Kåre Särs, libksane 20.12)

The text of Elisa’s keyboard shortcuts are now translated properly (Nikunj Goyal, Elisa 20.12)

Clearing the clipboard history on Wayland no longer crashes Plasma (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20)

Improved the Plasma SVG cache heuristics such that various things which might sometimes be invisible after upgrading Plasma now show up like they’re supposed to (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.20)

On Wayland, clicking on a Task Manager entry while that entry’s tooltip is visible no longer crashes Plasma (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20)

On Wayland, clicking on a Task Manager thumbnail now activates that window, as you would expect (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.20)

On Wayland, the window stacking order is now always correct (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20)

Auto-hidden panels now have an animated show/hide effect again (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20)

The hover effect for titlebar buttons in GTK headerbar apps once again appears when it should (Mikhail Zolotukhin, Plasma 5.20

The names of the System Settings and Info Center apps are now translated properly (Alexander Potashev, Plasma 5.20)

The Plasma Emoji input window now always shows nice colorful emojis even if the distro’s fontconfig files are kind of messed up (Yunhe Guo, Plasma 5.20)

The little arrow in a System Settings list items for a top-level category will no longer appear if the category’s existence is obfuscated because it has only a single item, in which case System Settings automatically takes you to the child item (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

Shortcuts for switching to particular Activities now work again when set from the relevant System Settings page (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20)

Plasma applet configuration windows now always display the correct sidebar appearance (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

On Wayland, context menus now always have shadows, as expected (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20)

Breeze buttons now display the correct colors when using certain non-default color schemes (Carson Black, Plasma 5.20)

Improved how KWin detects fully opaque windows, which will allow it to do less work by not rendering anything that’s entirely covered up by them (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

You’re no longer annoyingly asked whether you want to execute non-executable script files when you try to open them (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.75)

It’s once again possible to enter shortcuts in the System Settings Shortcuts page that use the Alt Key when the Alt+something shortcut that you’re defining would otherwise trigger an action on the shortcut entry page itself! (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.75)

Apps which show an “Are you sure you want to close multiple documents?” dialog when you quit while multiple documents are open will no longer do so if the app is quit as a part of the normal shutdown sequence when session saving is in use (Allen Sandfield Jensen, Frameworks 5.75)

User avatars in the Kickoff Application Launcher and the new System Settings Users page are no longer blurry (Carson Black, Frameworks 5.75)

Button icons on the login and lock screens are no longer mis-colored (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.75)

User Interface Improvements

Pressing the Esc key in Gwenview while in full screen view now leaves full screen view the first time you press it, instead of first going back to browse mode (Michael Augaitis, Gwenview 20.12)

Elisa now has keyboard shortcuts to go back and forward by track while in the app itself (Ctrl+left arrow and Ctrl+right arrow) (Nikunj Goyal, Elisa 20.12)

Newly-generated thumbnail preview images will no longer longer embed mostly-transparent mimetype icons in the bottom-right corner, which were super confusing (Stefan Brüns, Dolphin 20.12)

Scrollbars in GTK apps using the Breeze GTK theme are now the correct width (Carson Black, Plasma 5.20)

After changing the charge limit on your battery, you’re only shown a message saying, “You may need to re-connect your charger” if it’s currently plugged in (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.20)

System Settings and Info Center now have a “Report Bug…” menu item in their hamburger menus (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

The System Activity window (the thing that appears when you press Ctrl+Esc) now has correct margins (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner’s settings page now uses more accurate text for its new positioning modes feature (me: Ne Graham, Plasma 5.20)

Info Center now has a fancy new Network Interfaces page (Carl Schwan, Plasma 5.21)

How You Can Help

Have a look at to discover ways to 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.

This week in KDE: everything happened

This was a pretty huge week for KDE. Apparently people had a lot of pent-up work, because right after Akademy finished last week, the floodgates started opening! Amazing stuff has been landing left and right every day this week! Some highlights are touch support in Dolphin, user-configurable per-view sort ordering in Elisa, optional Systemd startup, tons of Okular scrolling improvements, and much, much, much more.

Oh and meet Plasma 5.20’s beautiful new wallpaper, Shell:

Big thanks to Lucas Andrade for this beautiful wallpaper!

New Features

Dolphin now has full touch support! (Steffen Hartlieb, Dolphin 20.12)

Elisa now lets you sort each view by whatever criteria you want, and defaults to sorting albums by year (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.12)

Konsole now has a “focus follows mouse” feature for its split views that you can turn on to automatically focus the split view that the cursor passes over (Luc Dufresne, Konsole 20.12)

For those of you who liked Kate’s previous tab behavior–where it shows a limited number of tabs and automatically orders them according to recency of access in the sidebar–you can now use it again (Christoph Cullmann, Kate 20.12)

Spectacle now has command-line arguments to include or exclude window decorations or the cursor, overriding whatever is defined in the config file (Nazer Kalinowski, Spectacle 20.12)

Filelight now offers you an easy way to exclude a folder from further indexing (Efe Çiftci, Filelight 20.12):

Plasma now optionally uses Systemd for startup (when Systemd is available), which brings numerous benefits such as faster startup and load times, no more odd race conditions during startup causing weird bugs, better session cleanup on logout ending the possibility of logout hangs, better logging of what’s going on, the possibility of using slices and cgroups to improve responsiveness and clarity in system monitoring apps, and much more. It’s a very exciting change! This is currently optional and off by default, but it will eventually be turned on by default (only where available of course) once the remaining kinks are worked out. (David Edmundson, 5.21)

The System Settings Shortcuts page now also shows you which shortcuts have been changed from their defaults when using the “Highlight changed settings” feature (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When scrolling in Okular with a finger on the touchscreen or a mouse drag with the Browse tool, the view no longer “sticks” slightly for the first few pixels of movement (Kezi Olio, Okular 1.11.2)

Okular no longer crashes when trying to open malformed PDF documents with the same digital signature on multiple pages (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 1.11.2)

Middle-clicking on a tab in Kate now closes it again (Christoph Cullmann, Kate 20.08.2)

In Kate’s “Save modified documents” dialog, the Cancel button is now focused by default as it should be (Alexander Lohnau, Kate 20.12)

When annotating a document in Okular, the annotation tool’s tooltip no longer gets mistakenly painted over the document in certain circumstances (Pedro Arthur Pinheiro Rosa Duarte, Okular 20.12)

Partition Manager now correctly modifies the /etc/fstab file after you make changes (Andrius Štikonas, Partition Manager 4.2.0)

The Ctrl+d shortcut no longer unexpectedly moves selected desktop items to the trash (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.18.6 and 5.20)

Improved the graphics performance on Wayland (Gang Wu, Plasma 5.20)

It’s now possible to drag windows on Wayland from their empty areas, just like on X11 (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20)

Discover no longer crashes when you visit its Settings page immediately after launching the app (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.75 or Plasma 5.20, whichever one you get first)

Running a VNC server inside a Plasma session no longer crashes the Plasma session (Fabian Vogt, Plasma 5.20)

On Wayland, Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when you hover the cursor over an auto-hide Panel (Andreas Haratzis, Plasma 5.20)

Open and Save dialogs can now open and save files containing double quotes in their names (Andreas Bontozoglou, Frameworks 5.75)

It’s once again possible to set custom shortcuts that use the Tab key (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.75)

Updating icon themes installed using the Get New Icons window now works (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.75)

Saving a file with a name that begins with a colon no longer causes the file to be saved to the base level of your home folder rather than wherever it is what you actually tried to save it to (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.75)

User Interface Improvements

Single-line text in Elisa’s list-style views is now vertically centered as expected (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.08.2)

Elisa’s playlist sidebar now turns into a collapsible drawer on mobile or with a very narrow window, which means it’s no longer ever accessible (Stef Lep, Elisa 20.12)

Okular’s recently-added smooth scrolling animated transitions now respect the global animation speed multiplier, which means that people who hate animations and have then turned off globally now don’t have to live with the animated scrolling effects in Okular any longer. We still plan to add an off switch in Okular itself for people who want to disable smooth scrolling in just Okular or are using Okular on non-Plasma platforms (me: Nate Graham, Okular 20.12)

Discover now provides feedback on Arch-based distros when there is a dependency problem preventing updates from being installed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner now prioritizes apps higher than System Settings pages in the results view when there are matches for both (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.20)

When you try to assign a shortcut on the System Settings Shortcuts page that’s already used, you’re now warned immediately rather than only when you click the “Apply” button (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

System Settings’ sidebar view now displays little arrows for list items which are top-level categories containing other items (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

You can now middle-click on the Night Color applet to toggle the feature on and off (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20)

The Battery applet now shows the brightness percentage (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.20)

VPN-related notifications and network authentication dialogs now use clearer and more consistent terminology (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

It’s now possible to configure a keyboard shortcut in Kate to paste the text that was last selected by the mouse (usually you middle-click to paste this text) (Jonathan Poelen, Frameworks 5.75)

How You Can Help

Have a look at to discover ways to 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.

This week in KDE: Akademy makes the magic happen

This week we attended a virtual version of KDE’s yearly Akademy conference! If you missed it, there are tons of videos available on the KDE Community YouTube channel. The organizers did a truly amazing job, and it was really truly close to the fun and productivity of an in-person event. Many things were decided, projects un-stuck, and exciting long-term plans made, from which we will all be benefiting soon enough. 🙂 But we didn’t let a grueling week-long conference stop us from making your favorite software even better!

New Features

KDE now has a totally fancy all brand new development website for teaching people how to write apps that integrate well in Plasma! (Carl Schwan, already deployed on the website!)

Okular now has a command-line option to let you open a document on a specific page (e.g. okular /path/to/file.pdf#page=3) (Michael Weghorn, Okular 1.12)

If your hardware supports it, Plasma now allows you to configure a charge limit lower than 100% for your battery, to preserve its lifespan (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.20)

The text view in Kate, KDevelop, and other KTextEditor-based apps now respects the active systemwide color scheme! (Christoph Cullmann, Frameworks 5.75)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Fixed a bug in Spectacle that could cause graphical corruption in screenshots for one of the screens of a multi-monitor high DPI screen setup (Méven Car, Spectacle 20.08.2)

Fixed a bug that could cause Konsole to occasionally crash when selecting or pasting text while holding down the shift key (Martin Tobias Holmdahl Sandsmark, Konsole 20.08.2)

Fixed a bug in Dolphin that could cause drag-and-drop of files into Audacious or other apps to not work (Elvis Angelaccio, Dolphin 20.08.2)

Fixed a bug in Elisa that could cause the “Empty playlist” placeholder message to still be partially visible when the playlist is hidden (Ismael Asensio, Elisa 20.08.2)

Okular’s smooth scrolling effect for the PageUp/PageDown keys no longer blocks faster scrolling by holding down the PageUp/PageDown keys or pressing them in rapid succession and now applies when searching backwards too (Kishore Gopalakrishnan, Okular 1.11.2)

Due to the above fix, Okular’s smooth scrolling has been re-enabled for the mouse wheel and arrow keys because it’s not so annoying anymore (me: Nate Graham, Okular 1.11.2)

Fixed a bug in Okular that could cause visual artifacts when scrolling after creating and selecting an annotation (Havid Hurka, Okular 20.12)

Discover is now faster to launch (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner no longer loses the first few keys when invoked by typing while the desktop is focused (Piotr Henryk Dabrowski, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner is now faster to launch using its global keyboard shortcut, making it less likely to lose the first few keys you type (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20)

Substantially improved the speed and responsiveness of large and complicated QML-based apps (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.75)

Fixed a strange bug that could cause Kate to fail to change the font size after adjusting the systemwide color scheme (Christoph Cullmann, Frameworks 5.75)

User Interface Improvements

Okular now will soon use the same date-based versioning convention used by most other KDE apps! This means the next major version will be Okular 20.12, not Okular 1.12 (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 20.12)

When using a global menu or an in-titlebar menu button, Elisa’s menu is more typical in structure and organization (Carson Black, Elisa 20.12)

The thing in Plasma that everyone calls “edit mode” is now actually referred to using that wording in the user interface (Plasma 5.20, me: Nate Graham)

It’s now possible to create folders on the desktop using the standard keyboard shortcut (F10) (Domenico Panella, Plasma 5.20)

All of Discover’s overlay sheets are now horizontally centered in the window, rather than some of them being horizontally centered only in the right view (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

When you make an app full screen, there’s now a nice animated transition just like when a window is maximized (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.20)

There is now a little separator line between the navigation buttons and the breadcrumbs, for views/toolbars that have both (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.75)

How You Can Help

Have a look at to discover ways to 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.

This week in KDE: Annotations in Spectacle

This week we landed a feature you’ve been waiting a long time for: Annotations in Spectacle! Nicolas Fella implemented it and it will be available in Spectacle 20.12. There are a few bugs and rough edgs remaining, but we should have them smoothed out in time for the release in a few months. Thanks Nicolas!

Other New Features

The System Settings Bluetooth pages have been merged together into a single fancy new QML-based page with a much better user interface (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.20)

KRunner now retains the previously-visible text when closed and re-opened, so you can return super easily to the prior search if it was still relevant. If you find this annoying, you can turn it off, of course. 🙂 (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Improved the speed and performance of generating thumbnail previews for files and folders (Stefan Brüns, Dolphin 20.12)

Konsole is now quite a bit faster to launch (Martin Tobias Holmedahl Sandsmark, Konsole 20.12)

KRunner is now more reliable when performing mathematical calculations with long numbers when using a locale that assigns periods to separate the thousands (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

The System Settings KWin Scripts page now refreshes its view after a script is uninstalled (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

Canceling installing a new SDDM login screen theme no longer results in an empty dialog box mysteriously popping up (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

Fixed a bug that could prevent widgets installed using the “Get New [Thing]” window to not be updateable in Discover (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20)

Typing a path in the URL navigators throughout KDE software now automatically appends slashes to the end of the current folder name, as it did before (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.74)

It’s once again possible to set global shortcuts that use symbols that must be accessed by holding down the shift key (e.g. Meta+! or Meta+&) (Jan Paul Batrina, Frameworks 5.74)

Opening the Tags location (tags:/) in Dolphin no longer eats up a ton of system resources while generating thumbnail preview images (Stefan Brüns, Frameworks 5.74)

Newly-installed or uninstalled items in the “Get New [Thing]” Window now appear or disappear as expected when a filter is applied (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.74)

User Interface Improvements

The artist and album text in Elisa’s Now Playing view is now clickable and will take you to the page for the clicked-upon artist or album (Stef Lep, Elisa 20.12)

Elisa’s remaining tracks indicator no longer changes the layout of the header area when it appears and disappears, and it smoothly fades in and out when doing so (Shantanu Tuschar, Elisa 20.12)

Dolphin’s “Open Terminal” feature now works on Windows (Alexander Lohnau, Dolphin 20.12)

The default size of Konsole’s main window has been increased a bit (Claudius Ellsel, Konsole 20.12)

The “Configure Desktop” menu item has been moved to the top of the menu and renamed “Configure Desktop and Wallpaper…” to help show you that it’s how you go about changing the wallpaper (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20)

Yes I know this menu is pretty huge. 🙂 Simplifying it a bit is something we’re going to be working on soon.

How You Can Help

Have a look at to discover ways to 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.