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.

15 thoughts on “2021 roadmap mid-year update

  1. “less framey”… yes please! Window and view frame borders are so last century and distracting. It’s the same with alternate shading in lists. Some folks might like it, but please provide an option to completely disable all shading. My only other beef is that the Breeze dark theme is too “cold”. It should have slightly warmer colors similar to the default Sublime Text editor theme.


    1. The “21st century” trends aren’t any better, and if anything, are much worse. Ludicrously low contrasts, “soft” colours, getting rid of borders and frames, etc. mean you are losing definition of the elements.

      It is foolish to be dismissive of tried and tested GUI/theme elements just because they’re “not modern.” Technically the whole business of “flat” things go back to the 70s and 80s so if anything, the current trend of flatness is the “dated” style.

      I agree with you on one thing though: the dark theme colours should be warmer.


    2. “It is foolish to be dismissive of tried and tested GUI/theme elements just because they’re not modern.”

      Huh? Obviously your idea of what looks good, or not, is very different to mine. I like lean, minimal layouts and find any extra artefacts distracting and annoying. It just so happens that seems to be a “modern” trend and I totally encourage that direction. One of the best things I discovered with Thunderbird userChrome.css is “* {border-width: none !important;}” which completely disables all borders and makes a world of difference for me. I just wish I could do the same for the Plasma desktop.


  2. Man, you guys are doing great work!!!! Thanks for all the hard work put in. The breeze is looking pretty good, especially the dark. I’ve never been a huge fan of dark themes but this one might change my mind. Also one note about the new kickoff menu, I think it should be resizable. I believe all kickoff/start/application menus should have some way of resizing them. There is a fork of the new kickoff in the KDE store that lets you resize it (length and width) and I’ve been using it but I think KDE should have it that way by default.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really incredible to see all the work the KDE team has done! KDE just keeps improving in new, useful, and aesthetically pleasing ways 🙂 a question on the fingerprint support – how is this being implemented? Is this a fingerprint-only solution? Given that fingerprints are now being joined by other biometric options (e.g. face unlock), is this being implemented in a more future-proof way that can be extended to other biometric methods?

    Thank you for your work on these updates (so exciting to watch development as it happens)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What about U2F/yubikey support? Could it be implemented as well? Thank you for all your work!


  4. About Wayland, you say “I find that it’s almost there for me.”
    What *personal* quibbles if any do you have with wayland plasma 5.22? (I’m just curious!)
    (and one more thank you ;-))


    1. Personally? Just these things:

      Lack of launch feedback animation and focus hand-off between apps (though it’s partially merged and almost done)
      Can’t paste text copied from XWayland-using apps
      Can’t drag-and-drop from native Wayland apps to XWayland-using apps
      Task Manager context menus close immediately when the tooltip for thing that you right-clicked on closes itself
      Task Manager thumbnails are broken (does not affect everyone, just some people
      LibreOffice is scaled incorrectly when using a 200% systemwide scale factor

      You’re welcome!


  5. I’m not sure about the KHamburger menus. I never use the hamburger menu in Dolphin myself. I have all the buttons I need on a panel (which I customized myself) plus global menu. On the other hand, this may be useful on touch and small, mobile interfaces. If this will be done as in Dolphin (not intrusive, it’s just there, not bothering me, I don’t need to use it), then I guess it’s OK and a part of the progress. I just hope that hamburger menus won’t be replacing normal menus.


    1. Awesome! I like it. The only thing I’m concerned about, that it will be Breeze exclusive. Since titlebar is drawn by kwin, why this would be enabled by the theme? This doesn’t make any sense. I would love to see it on other themes as well.


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