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.

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

  1. Thanks so much for one more big released!
    Plasma 5.22 is even smoother and more functional in the Wayland session! And I’m so proud to be watching the evolution of this wonderful desktop environment!
    I just keep the dilemma of my life: whether to use Tumbleweed or Arch. In doubt, I still have both. 😁

    Thanks again, Nate and other developers! You are the best! Long live KDE!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, nice and much anticipated goodies have arrived!
    Btw is it me or the new checkboxes and radiobuttons’ design resembles Mac OS X one?

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    1. About the additional screens hooked to a secondary GPU issue, is it relevant only for Nvidia GPUs? I ask this because my system has two AMD GPUs and the third monitor which is connected to the second GPU doesn’t work with plasma 5.22 on Wayland. This is not the first time I stumbled upon similar issues in the past years and my guess is that every now and then some code with hardcoded dual screen support slips in and affects the minority of users who have 3+ monitors. Hope to be wrong!

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    1. I decided on that color using a very scientific method: I removed my glasses, took a few steps back and compared the blurry blobs (folders) I saw. The ones on the left were much blurrier and blobbier so I decided the ones on the right were good.

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      1. Hmm.. in that section it says not to report any design opinions, which this actually is. Quite funny actually: I want to report a BUG, I don’t like your folder colors! =) Feel like a KAREN if I do that.

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  3. @Nate: It really sucks you mention SDDM can be started as wayland-native, but nowhere is pointed how to do it (even google doesn’t know it, so it’s possibly a fake news 😉

    I’ve got Plasma 5.22 and SDDM 0.19.0, but I guess SDDM from git is needed or something.

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      1. It looks like it’s only available in separate branch. Still wonder if it’s stable enough.

        For now I have enough problems with Firefox with latest plasma release, that old windows stops repainting (X11), especially when running unredirected windows. But new windows works OK for some time 😉

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    1. @Nate: Waylanded SDDM really sucks on mulit-monitor setup, because it’s not cloned across displays, and menu items appeared on internal(closed laptop lid) display, than I’ve been clicking (so it was impossible to change Session for me). It uses Weston by default, and from my research Weston doesn’t support clone-mode-by-default (ass application argument).
      Maybe other Wayland compositor(than weston) could do that?

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  4. New design is great! But hat I personally didn’t like is black dots/checkboxes on blue background – I’d prefer them to be white.

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    1. Agreed, somewhat.. The black dot does not look good, it should be a dark blue one. The black check mark, however, looks ok.

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      1. I like the black dot/tick; I saw the white dot+blue circle on the linked job & didn’t think it was clear. White usually means empty. Blue is usually a highlighting effect or a focus indicator, whereas black is informational ‘this is currently set’ sort of thing.

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        1. It looks bad being so close to the blue circle, from a quick glance they blur into each other. just not visually clean.

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      1. Okay.. But would there be any way to customize it? Maybe via themes or smth.
        Or at least a fallback option for old (current) style of checkboxes and radiobuttons?

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        1. Breeze *is* a theme. You don’t have to use it if you like something else better. 🙂

          I don’t see us dding an option to return to the old checkbox and radio button style. That seems like over-configuration. It’s themable for a reason: so that you don’t need to cram every visual option under the sun into the default style.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Nice! If this gets the OK, I shall from now on be the man who introduced the world to the PALE BLUE DOT!! ..oh wait..

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          2. I saw what happened. I now think I’m gonna file a new bug report. Where’s do I report a flawed design team? =) The only guy who had a valid opinion didn’t even know what this was about and thought it was about text, the rest were like ” I like things MY way! ” and then that one guy who only said no because he can. I feel you guys could actually use a benevolent dictator once in a while. This was sad to witness.

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          3. My previous idea of lighter folder colors that reduce the contrast between white background and folder would significantly reduce eye-strain without anyone even noticing that the color is different. A stealthy health-move for MILLIONS of users! …but now seeing how those decisions come to be, I’m not gonna bother filing a suggestion. It will get shot down by that developer with his custom superblack theme because the folders would not look amazing in his setup, and some other guy would hate it because he loves vibrant, vivid and loud colors and a UI that is screaming at you like it’s a disco in 1979. I think it’s best I just sit in the backseat and let the big boys drive =) We’re gonna crash, but at least the driver felt he was in charge.

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          4. Sure, but what happenes when the benevolent dictator eventually turns tyrannical or psychopathic?

            Even a truly benevolent BDFL would not really help because no one can be everywhere at once. KDE is so vast that a single person cannot possible keep track of everything to be able to intervene at a moment’s notice.

            There’s no simple, generic solution for this sort of thing.

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          5. Still, it’s trivial that the design team have and work together towards a mutual goal. Why? The UI is what the user sees and interacts with, to the average user the UI IS the operating system. That sounds ridiculous, but we know it’s true. Your average user doesn’t give a fornication about what’s under the hood, that stuff is just supposed to work automagically without any interaction from the user. So yeah, even if most of the systems code has nothing to do with UI, UI is a huge deal, every little bit of it. People either like or don’t like what they see. KDE is now, in my opinion, in a sweet spot where the development is quite impressive and so is the product, but the UI bit doesn’t keep up with the rest of it all. Having a nice little friendly team that takes care of that while being supernice to eachother and taking everyones opinions into consideration leads to many many collective and essentially dumb decisions, all because no one put his foot down and took a decision that benefits the users instead of hurting the feelings of some developer that decided against something just because he had the power to do so. So yeah, that’s where I would draw the line. The UI team needs to be on top of things and also on top of their game. This team, to me, is not. Feelings don’t fix things.

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          6. If I may be so bold, I think I may have a tidbit of hard-won wisdom to share:

            Sometimes an idea is ahead of its time, and fighting even harder to implement it now simply causes the people who are opposing it to dig in their heels. Even if the idea is objectively (not subjectively) good, if you can’t convince other people of this, it doesn’t matter at all. So if you’re having a hard time convincing people, it may be best to step back and leave a void for a while. Perhaps your idea isn’t actually as good as you thought, and you come to understand other people’s objections and address them in the next version of your proposal. Or perhaps the idea stands the test of time in its original form–in this case, a more favorable set of circumstances will eventually emerge, and that’s when you can present it again. Maybe the original change isn’t well-received by users and bug reports pile up, convincing the developers that the proposal is a good one to make users stop complaining. Maybe the people who were blocking it before will have lost interest in the future, and the reviewers have become more open-minded. Maybe you find a more technically correct way of implementing it with the benefit of more experience. Maybe with the benefit of more time spent in the community, people trust you more and are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. And so on.

            My point is that it’s not the end of the world if your idea is rejected at a particular moment in time. You can hold it in your mind and present it again later. Over the past four years that I’ve been involved in KDE, I have had this experience many, many times of an idea of mine being initially rejected, but when I present it again a year or two later, things have changed such that it gets a better reception. Patience, grasshopper. 🙂

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          7. I see why you are in the position that you are =) A perfect mediator. Not a yes or a no man. Me, I’m a gorilla, and us gorillas we don’t mediate. We throw poop around. Let’s leave this for now, and see what happens sometime in the future. I had my little tantrum, I’m fine now even though my 15 minutes of fame is over hehehee.. I have discovered a new poop-throwing arena which is now filled with gorillas: Windows 11 !

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          8. Let me tell you, it’s a learned skill. This is by no means my default mode of communicating; I naturally tend to be a bull in a china shop as well. 🙂 But it’s something you can learn over time. Eventually it becomes an “effectiveness vs ego” thing; if you value being effective over feeling righteous all the time, you’ll naturally drift in this direction.

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          9. ah yes, egos.. That’s why we have too many distros. Imagine a world where the Elementary guys Daniel Fore’ with his attention to UI detail, Sam Hewitt with his icon Kung-Fu and if someone could force linux-superman Ikey Doherty to stick with one project for at least 5 years haha..all these, and many more amazing people that have ego-strayed and moved on to do things their way..joining your KDE team. KABOOM, what a potential mindblowing result that could be. OR an ego-tsunami of biblical proportions =) If everyone on the linux viking ship would row in the same direction windows and mac wouldn’t stand a chance. It would be a slaughter. But it is what it is, who knows maybe in the future my impatient stubborn gorilla-ass will get a distro/DE that fits my every need without having to change a thing,

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  5. Great news, this what Plasma desktop really needs : more stability and usability iterations, the desktop is mature and full of options that can capture the attention of every desktop user. For me Plasma desktop can be the king of all desktops if more stability and usability fixes are done in future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Technically the thing you’re clicking on to access the menu is different; in one case it’s a ToolButton on a toolbar; in another case, it’s a menu title. But I don’t disagree with you. This was brought up during review but the person implementing it refused to do it. So it’ll be up to someone else to implement.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Does anybody else have an issue with Plasma wayland session (5.22), when some applications, like konsole or kwrite open in a very small window each time you start them? It didn’t happen to me with past releases.

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      1. It happens to me with konsole and kwrite. It used to happen with dolphin on the very first time I used wayland session, but now dolphin is okay. I don’t think it’s related to that bug, since I already have konsolerc and other config files, since it’s not a clean install.

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  7. Not strictly related, cause it relies much more at developer side, but any clue about when screencast will be entirely supported under Wayland (VokoScreen and al.)? It, by the while, prevents me to keep up under Wayland.

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    1. It depends on apps, not on us. The way screencasting is implemented is completely different on Wayland compared to X11; developers of screen sharing/casting/recording apps need to update their apps to support the Wayland protocol for it.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for response. Under VokoSccreen [ver. 3.0.9], it only shows a message “Wayland: Under wayland the GUI is now hide. It comes only a dialog this says, wayland is not supported.”.
            Details here.

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  8. New Gwenview interface nice.

    But It would be easier if Next/prev buttons are put in bottom bar. And much more better if ’44 of 129′ is paced between Next and Prev buttons.

    Assume the case if varying size of images are present in folder and user wants to manually use bottom bar options as fill/fit/100% or the zoom slider. In such case lot of cursor movement is required in current layout.

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  9. Super awesome stuff as usual!
    The Breeze theme evolution looks great! Wanted to request that the Breeze Dark be given as much love and attention as imho Plasma and the apps don’t seem to look as good in Breeze Dark as it does in Breeze (light).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Did anyone else experience that their audio got nullified after the update? I have a boring, Intel standard Dell laptop from 6 years ago and after the update to 5.23, I had no audio devices listed. It was only after a lot of head scratching and poking around that I arrived at the System Settings -> Audio -> Configure button … and saw that I have two “Built in Audio” entries. One is for HDMI, and that is always “Off”, and I don’t have an HDMI monitor, so I leave it off. But my non-HDMI “Built in Audio” was set “Analog Stereo Input”. Weird. So I changed it to “Analog Stereo Duplex”, and bang!, I got my audio devices back instantly.

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    1. This will be distro-related and not KDE-related. Some issue with PulseAudio or PipeWire, or their configuration or packaging, I expect. Audio on Linux is always an adventure…

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  11. My gpu is nvidia 500 series and i tested wayland with latest plasma 5.22 with nouveau drivers and it simply hangs after logging in, tried with nvidia driver and i am unable to use wayland , when i select wayland and try to login from sddm screen , it simply drops back to the login screen, i also get screen corruption in X11 with nouveau drivers , works fine with nvidia on X11 .no such issues with wayland on gnome , works fine there.

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      1. Thank you for reporting, I thought it already was discussed (on reddit also) and there won’t be any fix for this

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  12. Is it possible to fix the audio icon duplication effect when more than one browser instance runs in order the user is aware which of them is playing audio?

    It would be possible to integrate a way to show the taskbar specularly (notification area on the left & the hamburger menu on the right)?

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    1. Unfortunately probably not. This would require being able to know which *window* is playing audio, as opposed to which *app* is playing audio. I don’t think we have a sane and clean way to get that information.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. nate first i would like to congratulate you for the amazing service that is kde i know it is the team the more you always see ahead, i need your help here in brazil we say so when agent does not solve agent call university so help me change inside from google-chrome kdialog to xdg-desktop-portal-kde because it’s pretty close to practically replacing windows in a company I’m testing because they don’t use firefox for everyday tasks I’m having these types of problems and I’ve done everything else kde 5.22 is a luxury as we speak in our language here in Brazil.

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  14. Hi Nate,
    is it possible to disable discover in fc34?
    It’s constantly nagging about updates, but does not find any (when clicking on the icon in the systray)
    Moreover, in plasma 5.21 systray, there was an entry named ‘software updates’ (under miscellaneous) and you could set it to disabled.
    Now, in plasma 5.22.x (running fc34) it has a new place in ‘application status’ named ‘updates’ and cannot be disabled any more?

    And, btw, clicking on the checkboxes in discover in settings asks for the root passwd, and clicking on a checkbox afterwards does not change the checkboxes visual state (but, refreshing the page by going to ‘about’ and back to ‘settings’ shows the click was indeed successful)

    Then, info center does not show the plasma version any more since 5.22, only the frameworks version.

    I know, minor problems… but should be fixed

    Like

    1. The thing annoying you is a bug that is fixed in Plasma 5.22.2. But if you don’t like Discover, you can just uninstall it.

      Regardless, please file bug reports using https://bugs.kde.org. This is a blog, not a bug tracker. 🙂

      Like

      1. yep… sorry. Didn’t want to flood the official bugtracker and ask you first (well, you know, you’re famous about blogging all about plasma. So…who else should i ask first?)
        Anyway: thanks for all the info in your regular posts and for all the work improving plasma!

        Like

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