This week in KDE: Plasma 5.22 arrives but I bet you’ll want 5.23 once I show you this

This week Plasma 5.22 was released! Overall our focus on stability has paid off, and so far there are no major regressions reported; only a few medium-severity ones which have all already been fixed in Plasma 5.22.1 :). You can read the release announcement, or check out KDE developer Niccolò Venerandi’s lovely video about it:

But something much bigger happened as well: the next phase of the Breeze Evolution initiative was merged, providing a new style for buttons, menu items, checkboxes, radio buttons, sliders, and more! It’s beautiful:

This new style also fixes several bugs plaguing the old styling for these controls, such as sliders becoming invisible when located on a selected list item, and the “default button” of a dialog not being very visually obvious.

The work was implemented by Jan Blackquill in accordance with mockups made by Manuel Jesus de la Fuente and other members of the KDE VDG. It will make its debut in Plasma 5.23. There is a lot of time left to tweak the final appearance as needed, but overall I think it’s really nice and I hope you’re as excited about it as I am!

New Features

Thumbnails for files inside encrypted locations such as Plasma vaults are now generated and displayed as expected, but not saved, to eliminate a data leak (Marcin Gurtowski, Dolphin 21.08)

Kate’s LSP support now extends to the Dart programming language (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.08)

Konsole now supports the DECSET 1003 standard, which means that the features in terminal software such as vim which rely on mouse tracking now work (Luis Javier Merino Morán, Konsole 21.08)

This is not strictly speaking a KDE project, but it certainly affects us: the SDDM login manager can now be run as Wayland-native software without needing X11 at all! (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, SDDM 0.20)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Konsole now correctly processes double right-click events (Luis Javier Merino Morán, Konsole 21.08)

emacs xterm-mouse-mode now works in Konsole (Luis Javier Merino Morán, Konsole 21.08)

In the Plasma Wayland Session, additional screens are now detected when using a multi-GPU setup (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22.1)

The Network Speed widget once again works (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.1)

The weather widget’s BBC weather data source now works again (they changed the API and we had to react to it) (Joe Dight, Plasma 5.22.1)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the transparent background beind Task Switchers is now always blurred as expected (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22.1)

In the Plasma System Monitor app, the “Get New Pages” view now opens in a nice overlay rather than a narrow squeezy column (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.22.1)

Custom shortcuts for “Walk through applications” (bound to Alt+` by default) now work (Andrew Butirsky, Plasma 5.22.1)

The System Settings File Search page no longer sometimes shows a weird duplicated header (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.22.1)

The re-done Autostart page in System Settings now always shows the correct icon for applications set to run at login (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.22.1)

When using a lot of window rules, the System Settings Window Rules page is now much faster to load and display them (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.23)

Disabled pages in System Monitor no longer temporarily become un-disabled if its sidebar is collapsed into icons-only mode (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.84)

Other User Interface Improvements

When entering Party Mode in Elisa, the playlist now automatically scrolls to the currently-playing song if it would otherwise be out of view, and also automatically scrolls the view as needed to make sure that any newly-playing songs remain in view (Tranter Madi, Elisa 21.08)

The “Get New [thing]” dialogs now handle situations like the server being down or slow more gracefully (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.84):

QtQuick apps using the Kirigami OverlaySheet component no longer let the sheet touch the edges of the window or screen (Devin Lin, Frameworks 5.84)

…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 refactoring, 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: Plasma 5.22 is nigh

In just four days, Plasma 5.22 will be released, with all the features, bugfixes, and improved Wayland compatibility that we’ve been working on over the past few months! So it’s time to start working on 5.23 features. We also got a lot of work done for our apps too!

New Features

It’s now possible to globally disable IPv6 in the Plasma networks GUI settings (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.23)

Gwenview now inherits the sorting order from Dolphin if Dolphin is used to open an image, so that you’ll never have that experience of opening an image in Gwenview and navigating to the next one, only to discover that it goes to an image other than the one you expect (Marco Martin, Dolphin and Gwenview 21.08)

You can now add a button to the toolbar in Okular to quickly toggle color-changing modes for the active document (David Hurka, Okular 21.08):

And it remembers the last-used color mode, too

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Adding a new radio station in Elisa now works again (Jerome Guidon, Elisa 21.04.2)

Spectacle’s image annotator module is now correctly translated when using a non-English language (Alexander Volkov, Spectacle 21.08)

Konsole now lets you set your default shell the one with fewer than 3 letters, such as sh (Adriaan de Groot, Konsole 21.08)

In the Plasma X11 session, the keyboard layout change OSD once again appears when the keyboard layout is changed using an “alternative shortcut” trigger (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.22)

Newly-downloaded Plasma System Monitor pages now become available instantly, rather than requiring the app to be restarted (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

Fixed various pixel misalignment issues in a few dialogs of the new Plasma System Monitor app (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

Applying a Global Theme that includes a new color scheme now results in that color scheme always being correctly applied (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.22)

Clicking the “Use” button for newly-downloaded items in “Get new [thing]” dialogs once again works (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.83)

Global shortcuts using the actual ampersand chartacter (&) are now displayed correctly (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.83)

User Interface Improvements

Gwenview now lets you wrap around while browsing using the arrow keys, only shows the “you have reached the end” menu in slideshow mode by default, and lets you disable it entirely if you want (Marco Martin, Gwenview 21.08):

The list item sizes of “Small” and “Medium” for Dolphin’s Places panel are no longer almost visually identical (“Small” is now smaller), and the “Medium” size is now the default, to match the size of list items used in many other places now (Eugene Popov, Dolphin 21.08)

Elisa now uses the F11 hotkey to toggle entering and exiting Party Mode (Tranter Madi, Elisa 21.08)

When using Plasma in a live session (e.g. before installing it), when you connect to a Wi-Fi network, the password is now always stored locally rather than annoyingly asking the user gobbledygook questions about setting up a KWallet wallet to store it (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.22)

GPU statistics are now only shown in System Monitor widgets and the app of the same name if they are supported by your GPU (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.22)

The System Tray’s Disks & Devices applet no longer lets you futilely try and fail to eject a removable disk that contains the root volume (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

The shadows of a maximized window no longer subtly spill over onto adjacent screens of a multi-screen arrangement (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22.1)

When a virtual keyboard is selected in the Plasma Wayland session, it no longer needs to be manually enabled using its system tray status notifier item before it will ever appear (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23)

When you click on a panel applet or System Tray item, the highlight effect now touches the panel edge and spans the full width/height of the applet’s click area, and there is a subtle and pleasing line separating the panel from the popup that just opened (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.23):

KRunner’s list items have been made slightly taller to accommodate larger icons (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when displaying the events for a day that has exactly 5 events in it using one of the calendar widgets (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 5.83)

The graphs in System monitor widgets and the app of the same name no longer have weird lumps at the ends (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.83)

Clicking on category names in the “Open With…” dialog now expands the categories; no need to click on the tiny arrows (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.83)

The error message displayed when you try to add an autostart script for a file that does not exist or is not executable is now clearer (Nicolas Fella, Frameworks 5.83)

One more thing

Version 1.2 of KDE’s Matrix chat app NeoChat has been released! It’s a major upgrade that brings NeoChat closer to prime time. I’ve been using it daily, and you should too!

…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 refactoring, 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.

2021 roadmap mid-year update

It’s time to check where we are on the items I mentioned for my 2021 roadmap:

Polkit-in-KIO: ON TRACK

This work is proceeding and is currently in the final stages of QA. I expect it to finally be merged sometime this year!

Power/session actions in the lock screen: AT RISK

No new work done. May not happen this year.

Production-ready Plasma Wayland session: ON TRACK

In part due to it being an official KDE goal, a truly enormous, herculean amount of work has gone into making the Plasma Wayland session usable, to the point where the Fedora KDE spin has decided to enable it by default in Fedora 34, which ships Plasma 5.21. This is quite a vote of confidence! I fully expect that by Plasma 5.23, it will be broadly usable for day-to-day use. I find that it’s almost there for me.

Fingerprint support throughout the stack: AT RISK

No new work done. May not happen this year. We are kind of blocked by the necessary SDDM pieces not being done yet. Assistance needed.

Finish up Breeze Evolution: ON TRACK

Work is proceeding and the new widget style will land in Plasma 5.23. After that, most of the remaining work requires changes to apps themselves, particularly to make them less framey. Adopting KHamburgerMenu in more of our apps will help too, and it’s already been done for Dolphin and Gwenview, with more on the way.

Kickoff replacement: DONE

We landed the new Kickoff in Plasma 5.21, to mostly positive feedback. A few of you loved the old Kickoff and have decided to keep using it, which is fine. But overall, the new one has been a hit!

Reflowing text in Konsole: DONE

This work was completed early in the year to universal acclaim. A much needed improvement!


Overall we’re in a good state. If you’d like to see this work happen faster, please help out! Review merge requests, file bug reports, submit code–the sky’s the limit.