This week in KDE: kio-fuse and NeoChat rise

Merry Christmas everyone! We have some nice holiday presents for you:

First of all, KDE’s FUSE-based remote location mounter kio-fuse got its first stable release, which means it can now be pre-installed by distros.

That’s not all: we have a new KDE Matrix-based chat app: NeoChat! This app is a fork of Spectral, which a few months ago appeared to have been abandoned by its developer. Carl Schwan and Tobias Fella decided to resurrect it as a KDE project, and they’ve done a smashing job bringing it into the fold. In addition to being a very nice desktop app, it also runs on Plasma mobile and there are early Android builds. I’ve been using it for the last month, and even in an early beta state, I already like it better than Element and every other Matrix client I’ve tried. Check out the official release announcement here:

But wait, there’s more:

New Features

Kate now has a new off-by-default but very cool plugin that will visualize colors for various textual color codes, and let you edit them graphically using the standard systemwide color picker! (Jan Paul Batrina, Kate 21.04):

Dolphin now lets you set its “homepage” to non-local locations including arbitrary KIOSlaves, such as remote://, baloosearch:// and so on (Derek Christ, Dolphin 21.04)

KRunner’s history is now activity-aware by default! This means for example that there will no longer be a data leak if you use an activity with history turned off (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21)

You can now optionally (and it’s off by default) have your system automatically apply available updates (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21):

There is now a Breeze GTK theme for GTK4-based apps! (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21)


The KRunner Windows runner (which lets you find and switch to open windows) now works on Wayland (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.21)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Okular is now more resistant to crashing in the face of some malformed PDF files (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 20.12.1)

Okular now returns the correct search results when your search term includes the “Å” character (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 20.12.1)

Dolphin once again scrolls properly when using non-touchpad device with vertical as well as horizontal scrolling capabilities, such as a mouse with a wheel that can tilt from side-to-side in addition to spinning (Eduard Manta, Dolphin 20.12.1

Gwenview’s JPEG save quality chooser in the Save As dialog now saves and restores its value properly (Miklós Márton, Gwenview 20.12.1)

Kate’s find-and-replace speed is now dramatically faster when working with very large files (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04)

Changes in the key repeat rate no longer require a logout or reboot (Weng Xuetian, Plasma 5.18.7)

Plasma no longer crashes when visiting the Weather applet’s Units tab for the second time (Willyanto Willyanto, Plasma 5.20.5)

The System Tray’s expander arrow no longer sometimes disappears when there are only a small number of items in the expanded view (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.20.5)

Made Plasma even lighter on CPU resources while MPRIS-compliant audio and video players are playing media (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21)

The kglobalaccel daemon will no longer try to restart and then repeatedly crash while logging out, which could block logging back in (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.77)

Dolphin no longer crashes when you move or copy files and click the “Apply to all” checkbox in the overwrite dialog (Ismael Asensio, Frameworks 5.78)

System Settings’ Custom Shortcuts page is once again able to, well, record custom shortcuts! (Weng Xuetian, Frameworks 5.78)

The Breeze icon theme now includes the image-missing icon, which somehow makes various GTK apps not crash. I guess they really really want this icon! (Henry Heino, Frameworks 5.78)

User Interface Improvements

System Settings’ KRunner page now supports the “Highlight changed settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, 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.

18 thoughts on “This week in KDE: kio-fuse and NeoChat rise

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone of you, hoping you’re having a nice time with the family, or beloved ones, having in mind the restrictions established by the pertinent entities and resting a lot, to start the 2021 with a whole renewed energies, because I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be an amazing year.

    Thank you a lot as always, for the permanent effort, work and dedication you show every week, KDE Community and, as always, a special mention for our beloved Nate Graham, who brings to us, no matter what happens (except for rare occasions), week after week, the news on this amazing world.

    Hoping you and your beloved ones are fine and healthy, I send you a huge, sincere, warm & virtual hug :D.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello Nate, thanks as always for the excellent summary.
    If I may get back to an older topic: the breadcrumbs bar in Dolphin.
    Even after giving it a chance during a full week I still get seriously confused because the bread crumbs bar is _above_ the tabs, breaking the logical hierarchy.
    The breadcrumbs bar should be _below_ the tabs, like in a web-browser: windows bar on top, then the tabs, then the URL and then the actual page. I get dizzy having to skip the tabs to be able to use the breadcrumbs bar, going against the hierarchy. Has this inconsistency been overlooked or is this a conscious design decision?
    I would also love to hear from other people, is it just me?


    1. If you don’t like it in that location, you can remove it from the toolbar and it will return to its prior location just above the view.


    2. Thanks for the advice! I finally found out how to do it: you implemented the URL navigator as part of the toolbar so I cannot change it via settings but instead have to use the toolbar menu.

      Did you think about putting the tabs themselves in that toolbar? I guess that would be my preferred solution and IMHU much preferred from a usability point of view since it does not “violate” the hierarchy of the UI structure.

      And finally I would like to thank you for all the hours and energy you put into this thing! I wish you and your family a very happy holidays (if applicable for someone working on open source) and a very happy, healthy and successful 2021!


  3. Awesome awesome awesome.

    The only thing that doesn’t look good to me are the automatic updates. I’ve saw many times system updates breaking desktop experience.

    For example, imagine that in one of those updates you got plasma 5.20 to 5.21 upgrade.
    Your desktop experience will break

    Some for some system libs (or for kde frameworks/apps)


    1. I too am curious how this situation would work. I wonder if that falls into the “system components are installed during the next reboot” category.


    1. Sort of. It tricks non-KDE apps into seeing remote files accessed using Dolphin as local files, so they don’t need to implement anything special themselves to interact with those files properly.


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