This week in KDE: all the things

Do you like things? I like things! Have all the things:

New Features

Kate and KWrite now have basic touchscreen scrolling support! (Daniel Tang, Kate 21.08)

System Settings now opens to a new “Quick Settings” page that displays some of the most commonly-used settings, and even includes a link to the wallpaper settings as well! (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.22):

There’s now an option for Digital Clock applets placed on a horizontal panel to force single-line display of both date and time irrespective of the panel’s height (Momo Cao, Plasma 5.22):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When activating KDE Connect’s standalone “Reply to message” window, it now comes to the front automatically instead of hiding annoyingly behind existing windows (at least on X11; on Wayland, nothing comes to the front automatically, but it will soon once our proposed cross-app activation protocol is merged and then we adopt it) (Bharadwaj Raju, KDE Connect 21.04)

Substantially improved the speed and performance of taking high DPI screenshots in Spectacle (Vlad Zahorodnii, Spectacle 21.08 or newer with Plasma 5.22 or newer)

Color scheme previews once again show the correct colors in the inner view section, and the preview no longer sometimes gets cut off at the bottom (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

In the new Plasma System Monitor app, the right sidebar’s content no longer sometimes gets cut off (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

Changing the volume no longer sometimes causes it to get increased or decreased by one percentage point more or less that the amount you would expect it to be adjusted by (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, changing random settings in System Settings or switching Global themes no longer sometimes randomly causes Plasma or KWin to crash (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the Task Manager is now capable of cycling through windows of a grouped task on click exactly as in the X11 session (Usarin Heininga, Plasma 5.22)

KRunner’s history drop-down menu now always works even if you’re using a crusty old Plasma theme that’s a fork of an old version of Breeze and hasn’t been updated in ages and ages (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

The National Geographic picture of the day wallpaper now works again, and has been future-proofed a bit to hopefully make it less likely to break in the future if the source URLs change again (George Dietrich, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings now shows whether the Window Behavior page has any changed settings with the customary orange dot in the sidebar when using its “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.22)

Drag-and-drop operations in the Plasma Wayland session no longer activate every single window that the cursor passes over while dragging (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22)

Pressing the Esc key in the new Plasma System Monitor app while a popup is open no longer closes both the popup and also any other closable thing below it that was also open (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

KRunner no longer sometimes launches apps as the wrong user under certain circumstances (Fabian Vogt, Frameworks 5.81)

Unmounting a mounted volume after opening and then closing any files on it no longer gets stuck (David Faure, Frameworks 5.81)

Dolphin no longer sometimes crashes when playing a video preview in the Information Panel, and also uses a bit less memory when doing so (Harald Sitter, phonon-vlc 0.11)

User Interface Improvements

Kate and KWrite now tell you what to do instead if you mistakenly run them with sudo or kdesu to try to edit root-owned files (me: Nate Graham, Kate 21.04):

The subtitle for Plasma Vaults items now wraps, so that the error next never gets elided before the useful part of the message can be printed (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.4):

“…Used by what?!?!?!?!” Now this infuriating situation will never happen again lol

NOTE: this is a screenshot showing what WON’T happen anymore! Don’t go thinking that this is what I changed it to! I just had to share a screenshot showing the problem to be solved because of how Kafka-esque it was!

Discover’s notification now retains its interactive button when viewed in the notifications applet, so you can click on it to open Discover and start the update (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Klipper’s hidden feature to show a pop-up with all the saved clipboard entries right at the cursor position is now bound to the Meta+V shortcut, so now it’s super easy to press that and see all the saved clipboard entries and call up whichever one you want! Apparently Windows 10 just implemented something like this, but it turns out we’ve had it for years, probably decades. 🙂 (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Taking into account user feedback, we have reverted the change to System Settings that put the Global Themes item into the sidebar’s header area, in favor of a new approach that simply indents all the child pages below it. This also restores the ability to click on the whole header area to go back (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.22):

The configuration windows for Plasma applets have received a visual overhaul which makes them more consistent with other modern KDE apps and also fixes a bunch of bugs, particularly regarding the desktop configuration view not remembering its size and sometimes abruptly changing its size (Carl Schwan, Plasma 5.22):

The Highlight Windows effect that is displayed by default when switching windows no longer shows ghost outlines of non-highlighted windows that can cause a bizarre jumble on the screen when many windows are stacked on top of one another at the same or similar positions (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.22)

Breeze tabs now have a subtle colored line on the top of the active tab, which makes it clear which tab is active when there are only two, especially when using a dark color scheme (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.22):

It’s now possible to delete installed Splash Screens installed using the Get New Splash Screens window straight from the System Settings page itself, without having to go back to that window (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

The Emoji Selector window now offers an option to clear the history of recently-used Emojis (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

The scrollbar mini-map in Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps now respects your active color scheme (Jan Paul Batrina, Frameworks 5.81)

Kate, KWrite, and other KTextEditor-based apps no pointlessly longer prompt you to save your changes when you close a document that’s both blank and also unsaved, because in this circumstance, there are no changes (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.81)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactorings, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved 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: Some cool new features

New Features

KDE Connect now supports the quick reply feature of Plasma’s notifications, allowing you to reply to a text message from within the notification itself! (Nicolas Fella, KDE Connect 21.08)

Kate now has an optional panel that displays all the TODO items in a project (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.08)

In the Audio Volume applet’s “Applications” tab, hovering over the name of an app that’s currently playing audio now displays which device it’s outputting to (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Partition Manager now correctly reports the S.M.A.R.T status for all disks (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Partition Manager 21.04)

KCalc’s “Constants” buttons now have legible text when using a dark color scheme (Frederik Schwarzer, KCalc 21.08)

When using Okular on a multi-monitor system that supports and uses different scale factors for each screen, Okular now draws its window and content according to the scale factor of whichever screen it’s currently located on, rather than the highest one from among all connected screens (Oliver Sander, Okular 21.08)

Pasting saved Klipper text into GTK apps in the Plasma Wayland session now works (Fabio Bas, Plasma 5.21.4)

When applying a Global Theme to a new user, applet positions no longer get messed up when logging in as that user the second time (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21.4)

Assigning a color to a sensor in the new Plasma System Monitor app no longer incorrectly applies it to every one (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

Scrolling on the desktop to switch between virtual desktops now respects the “Navigation wraps around” setting that you can set in the System Settings Virtual Desktops page (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings’ “Highlight changed settings” feature no longer gets confused by localized text in the Locations page (MĂ©ven Car, Plasma 5.22)

After setting a fractional scale factor (e.g. 125%) in the Plasma Wayland session, XWayland windows now respond properly to mouse input immediately, rather than requiring that the system be restarted first (Weng Xuetian, Plasma 5.22)

When uninstalling an item from a “Get New [thing]” window, the UI no longer sometimes claims that the uninstallation process is hanging forever even when it actually succeeded (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.81)

User Interface Improvements

It’s now possible to select the text of the filename in Dolphin’s information panel, so that it can be copied to the clipboard (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 21.04)

When you open a document in Okular that was already open, Okular now switches to that document by default (the behavior is configurable) instead of opening it again in a new instance (me: Nate Graham, Okular 21.04)

Gwenview’s status bar now always lives at the bottom of the window (Noah Davis, Gwenview 21.08)

The wallpaper dialog’s “Positioning” Combobox is now the same width as all the other ones so all you OCD people can stop twitching uncomfortably now 🙂 (Filip Fila, Plasma 5.21.3)

When opening the Window Rules page from the titlebar context menu, it now opens in System Settings rather than in a strange custom dialog, which fixes various bugs including text not being copyable (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.22)

Improved the animation effect for the blue line that shows you which System Tray item is active (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

Discover’s screenshot pop-up now has a visible close button so you don’t have to figure out that you click on the darkened background area to close it (Justin Zobel, Plasma 5.22)

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved 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: Elisa grows up

This week I want to highlight something big: Elisa now has a full mobile interface, making it a first-class citizen on Plasma Mobile and Android! A ton of of the code is shared, thanks to KDE’s Kirigami user interface toolkit. Thanks very much to Devin Lin for this enormously impactful contribution that makes Elisa a fully convergent music player!

In addition we got a lot of work done on the new Plasma System monitor app, which is going to replace the venerable KSysguard by default in Plasma 5.22. It’s currently optional, so we’re very thankful for the amount of testing that adventurous people have done with it. This promises to make the full-roll out in Plasma 5.22 much smoother. Thank you everyone!

Other New Features

Kate now has a feature to let you jump back to the previous cursor position (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04):

You are now notified and asked to back up your data when problems with your disk are detected that do not quite rise to the level of a full S.M.A.R.T failure, but are nonetheless worrying and could potentially cause data loss soon (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.22)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Konsole no longer crashes if you close a tab and then immediately use the “Bookmark all tabs as folder” action (Carlos Alves, Konsole 21.04)

Elisa can now play AAC files (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 21.04)

When Dolphin is sorting by on-disk sizes, it no longer orders folders first when not asked to do so (MĂ©ven Car, Dolphin 21.04)

When you tell Gwenview to open a set of files that includes any files which happen to have the same name, it no longer somewhat terrifyingly shows an overwrite dialog prompting you to delete one of them which freezes and becomes non-interactive anyway (MĂ©ven Car, Gwenview 21.04)

Spectacle no longer inappropriately enables “on click” mode under certain circumstances (Vlad Zahorodnii, Spectacle 21.04)

Fixed a case where the new Plasma System Monitor app could crash on Wayland (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

The “Force Font DPI” setting is once again usable on Wayland, so those of you who were using it to work around Wayland’s blurry fractional scaling can do so again (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.3)

Changing the settings of any of the System Monitor widgets now always results in the Apply button being enabled (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.3)

The “Amount of history to keep” setting in system monitor widgets and the new app now works (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

Moving a widget within a page in the new Plasma System Monitor app now works (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

The new Plasma System Monitor app now remembers its filter text if you switch away from the filtered view and then go back (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

Text in table columns in the new Plasma System Monitor app is now always properly vertically aligned no matter what font settings you use (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

The new Plasma System Monitor app’s “Quit Application” dialog no longer mis-renders its checkbox when using certain fonts (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

Spectacle’s “Rectangular Region” mode once again works in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22)

When using Dropbox and setting its System Tray item to be “always hidden”, it now remembers this state after the computer is rebooted (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

For apps which live in the System Tray and change the contents of their context menus, those menus are now properly displayed in the Plasma X11 session (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

The Flickr picture of the day wallpaper now stores its API key in a central location so that it can be updated as needed, without people having to wait for updates to their software (Yunhe Guo, Plasma 5.22)

Fixed a case where System Settings could crash while installing new themes (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.81)

File dialogs now add the correct filename extension while saving in the particular case when the document’s filename already ends with a period (Robert Hoffman, Frameworks 5.81)

Headsets with an integrated “Play/Pause” button now do what you expect every time that button is pressed, not only every second time (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.81)

Panel margins no longer change when compositing is disabled (Niccolò Venerandi, Frameworks 5.81)

User Interface Improvements

Konsole once again exposes the default profile in the UI, for those of you who missed it (Ahmad Samir, Konsole 21.04)

Okular’s support for FictionBook files has been enhanced to support <annotation> and <subtitle> tags (Yuri Chornoivan, Okular 21.04)

You can now set a keyboard repeat rate higher than 50 key events per second; the new maximum is 100 (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.3)

After moving or copying a file, the notification now indicates which app will open the file if you click on the “Open” button (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22):

The checkbox in the Bluetooth System Tray applet to disable Bluetooth can now be used to enable it again as well (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

The Plasma Vaults applet now offers a standalone “Show in File Manager” action that you can activate for open vaults to easily jump right there (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Using Discover to update your Nvidia drivers (or any other packages with a license agreement) no longer prompts you to re-accept the license agreement unless it has actually changed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22)

Sticky Note widgets now ask for confirmation when you try to delete a note, but only when the note has real content in it–not when it’s empty or when you just created it from clipboard content (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

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The new Plasma System Monitor app now remembers the way you left your table columns and sidebars when you quit and re-launch it (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.22)

All of the Breeze icons that depict locked or unlocked states now follow the same visual convention of locked icons having a filled body and unlocked icons having a hollow body (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.81):

Web presence

Check out episode four of Niccolò’s series on how to create a Plasma theme:

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved 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: Adaptive panel opacity and auto-restored unsaved documents in Kate!

A big Plasma feature was added this week: adaptive Plasma panel opacity! Now the panel and panel applets are more transparent than they were before, allowing more of a tint from the beautiful wallpaper on your desktop! But what’s this? You’re about to complain that you maximize all your windows so the increased transparency will look ugly? In fact, we now make your panel and panel applets 100% opaque when there are any maximized windows, ensuring no ugly effect! But what if you don’t want that either? Well, if you don’t want adaptive opacity we now let you make your panel and panel applets always transparent, or always opaque! Hopefully that should make everyone happy. 🙂 Let’s give a round of applause to Niccolò Venerandi and Jan Blackquill for this work, which will show up in Plasma 5.22.

Another notable feature got merged as well: the ability to have Kate automatically preserve and restore unsaved files or even unsaved changes in files when quit and re-launched! This feature makes use of Kate’s existing session functionality and is off by default for now pending lots of testing by adventurous users like yourself. 🙂 So please go test it out! To do so, make sure you’re using a session, or make one with the “Save Session As…” menu item in Kate’s Sessions menu. Then go to Kate’s settings window, navigate to the “Sessions” page, and check the checkboxes under “Automatically save and restore:” MĂ©ven Car implemented this long-awaited feature for Kate 21.04.

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Elisa now consumes less memory when you scroll around the app and see a lot of album art (Devin Lin, Elisa 21.04)

Elisa now saves playlist files in the .m3u8 format which supports UTF8-encoding and non-ASCII characters, and also allows you to open playlist files already in that format (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 21.04)

Renaming a file on a Samba share in such a manner that the only way its filename changes is that one letter is moved from uppercase to lowercase (or vice versa) now works (Harald Sitter, Dolphin 21.04)

The Flickr picture of the day wallpaper now works again; its API key had expired. This keeps happening, so we are investigating a more generic way of keeping it working consistently (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.18.7)

Plasma System Monitor applets no longer sometimes display a broken config window (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.2)

Discover now always returns the appropriate number of apps when asked to find handlers for a file format (Aleix Pol Gonzales, Plasma 5.21.2)

The feature to automatically match header decoration styling for GTK headerbar apps now works on multi-user systems when multiple users are logged in at the same time (Alois Wohlschlager, Plasma 5.21.2)

There is no longer a blank entry in the Digital Clock’s time zone chooser; it now shows “Yangon”, a city in Myanmar (Willyanto, Plasma 5.22)

KRunner no longer dumps an ugly unprintable character in its search field when you hit the Escape, Backspace, or Delete key while the history view is open (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21.2)

The bottom buttons in various System Settings pages no longer sometimes get cut off when using Plasma Mobile or using a system language with long text (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.21.3)

The new Plasma System Monitor app no longer sometimes crashes after spending a lot of time minimized (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

The “kill a process” dialog in the new Plasma System Monitor no longer suffers from a variety of minor visual glitches (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

When using the new Plasma System Monitor app to get new visual chart styles, the resulting window is no longer hilariously small (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

System Monitor widgets now correctly update their titles to reflect user-initiated changes immediately after such changes are made (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

The focus effect for buttons on the Lock, Login, and Logout screens now appears correctly again (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.3)

Menus in GTK apps once again have the same height as menus in KDE and Qt apps (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.3)

GTK apps using the new Libhandy library now display their top headerbars with the correct height (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.3)

Fixed a few issues in the Breeze Dark Global Theme which were causing it to not properly apply the intended color scheme and splash screen (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.3)

When the screen is turned off, the system no longer wastes CPU and GPU power drawing un-rendered components (Bhushan Shah, Plasma 5.22)

Search results in Kickoff which have icons provided by .ico files are no longer blurry (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.80)

Placeholder Text in Plasma text fields and text boxes now presents the correct cursor when you move your mouse over it and is never the wrong color or even inappropriately selectable (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.80)

User Interface Improvements

When using a wheel mouse, Gwenview’s image thumbnail view now scrolls by the same amount (matching Dolphin) no matter how large the thumbnails are (Arjen Hiemstra, Gwenview 21.04)

It’s now more obvious how to stop a presentation in Okular (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.04)

In Kate, the F11 key is now used to enter and exit fullscreen as it does in many other apps, rather than toggling line numbers on and off (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04)

Gwenview now shows a quality chooser slider when saving images in the JPEG XL file format, if supported on your system (Daniel NovomeskĂ˝, Gwenview 21.04)

Everything in Plasma and QML-based apps now fully respects your animation duration settings, including not animating anything at all when animations are disabled (me: Nate Graham and David Redondo, Plasma 5.22 with Frameworks 5.80)

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved 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.