This week in KDE: Power profiles and a more polished Kickoff

This week I have two particularly large things to present! Not Steam Deck levels of large, but still pretty cool, I think. 🙂

First of all, David Redondo and Kai Uwe Broulik implemented the power profiles feature! This allows you to specify how your computer should balance energy use against performance. You can switch modes at any time using the Battery and Brightness applet, and you can configure which profile gets used automatically when plugging or unplugging the power cord. The feature will be available in Plasma 5.23 with a newer computer that supports it when using Linux Kernel 5.12 or greater.

Hmm, this thing is starting to look a bit crowded

Next, the new Kickoff launcher menu that was introduced in Plasma 5.20 has received a gigantic code overhaul which fixes many bugs, improves performance and accessibility, tightens up the user interface, and adds a few commonly requested features. Among the fixes:

Here’s how it looks now:

Big thanks to Noah Davis for completing this exhaustive change! It will be released in Plasma 5.23.

More New Features

You can now configure whether the footer action buttons in Kickoff have text or not, and you can opt to show all the power and session actions at once if you prefer (Maxim Leshchenko, Plasma 5.23):

Sensor labels in System Monitor can now be changed and given custom text (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23)

The System Settings Login Screen page’s synchronization feature now syncs your screen arrangement as well, so that the login screen UIs are positioned properly on all your physical screens (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Konsole’s window is no longer a tiny tiny rectangle the first time you launch the app (Konsole 21.08)

Okular now scrolls by the correct distance using the PageUp/PageDown keys when its scrollbars are disabled (David Hurka, Okular 21.08)

The “Start a Slideshow” menu item in Dolphin’s context menu is now translated (Yuri Chornoivan, Gwenview 21.08)

Opening the Digital Clock applet’s settings dialog no longer closes the applet’s popup if it has been deliberately pinned open (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.3)

When using systemd-homed, entering your password incorrectly once on the login screen no longer causes all subsequent unlock attempts to fail (Gibeom Gwon, Plasma 5.22.4)

The Bluetooth widget now works properly when placed directly on the Panel, as opposed to when it lives in the System Tray (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.22.4)

System Monitor is now hugely faster to launch (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.4)

The grid items in the System Tray’s expanded popup are now always perfectly pixel-aligned so they will not become blurry (Derek Christ, Plasma 5.22.4)

Using QTimer in KWin script now works again (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22.4)

In the context menu for desktop items, pressing the shift key to switch between “Move to Trash” and “Delete” now works when a sub-menu is open (Derek Christ, Plasma 5.22.4)

Global shortcuts for apps whose desktop files have uppercase characters in their filenames now work properly, and their entries in the System Settings Shortcuts page now always display the correct icons (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.4)

Plasma Notifications with embedded links now use the link color from the Plasma theme rather than the application color scheme, fixing bugs in cases where these differed such as when the Breeze Twilight theme is applied (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22.4)

Category lists in the Unsplash Picture of the Day wallpaper’s configuration page are now sorted alphabetically, rather than semi-randomly (Arnaud Vergnet, Plasma 5.22.4)

Website Favicons displayed in KRunner that come from a browser using Plasma Browser Integration are now nice and crisp when using a high DPI scale factor (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22.4)

Opening the System Settings User Feedback page no longer briefly makes Discover appear in the Task Manager (Plasma 5.23)

In the Plasma Wayland session, global shortcuts once again work while popups that would otherwise steal focus (on X11) are open (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.23)

Fixed a case where searching in Dolphin could cause the kdeinit5 process to crash (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.85)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin’s Places panel now elides text when it’s not wide enough to show everything, rather than showing a horizontal scrollbar (Eugene Popov, Dolphin 21.08):

Every one of Dolphin’s zoom levels now has a different icon size associated with it; no longer will changing the zoom level sometimes cause the size of the grid to change but the icons stay the same size (Eugene Popov, Dolphin 21.12)

Panels using the Adaptive Transparency feature now enter transparent mode when the Show Desktop effect is in use (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22.4)

When multiple devices are mounted, the Device Notifier applet now shows the “Unmount All” action inside the hamburger menu instead of as the lone button on a new toolbar that appears (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.23):

When browsing app lists in Discover, the icon of the source that the app comes from is now displayed inside the button that also lists the name of the source (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23):

The Kimpanel candidates popup now looks better (Mufeed Ali, Plasma 5.23):

The question mark button in the titlebar is now hidden by default for dialog windows (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23)

Discover no longer misleadingly shows the wrong date of last update for apps that fail to provide this information themselves (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23)

In System Monitor, the app-specific process list view now sorts by memory usage by default, just like it does elsewhere (Felipe Kinoshita, Plasma 5.23)

Event indicator dots on the Plasma Calendar widget and the Digital Clock popup are now more visible no matter what color scheme or Plasma theme you’re using (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 5.85)

Kirigami-based apps’ “About” pages now display a “Get Involved” link that takes you to https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved (Felipe Kinoshita, Frameworks 5.85):

…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: KDE-powered Steam Deck revealed!

Big big news today: Valve has announced the Steam Deck–a handheld gaming device running KDE Plasma under the hood! This is a big deal, folks. By using a Linux-based OS, Valve is hugely improving the gaming space on Linux, (eventually, hopefully) removing a blocker for a lot of people. And by running KDE Plasma, tons of people will gain exposure to our software when they use the device docked with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse–because yes, you can do that! This thing is a real computer and can be used like one too!

I’m really excited for the Steam Deck, and I see it as evidence that my plan for KDE World Domination is both achievable and in progress. We are going to get KDE software onto every device on the planet, folks!

Full disclosure: I worked (and am still working) on QA for the KDE software side of this project

In addition to that very exciting piece of news, KDE contributors continued plugging away on the usual crop of cool stuff:

New Features

System Monitor and sensor widgets can now display load averages for many sensor types (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin no longer sometimes crashes when hovering the cursor over the “Activities” item in the context menu (Harald Sitter, Dolphin 21.08)

Gwenview and Dolphin no longer crashes on launch if DBus is not available (Alex Richardson, Gwenview and Dolphin 21.08)

Okular no longer sometimes fails to display FictionBook books (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Okular 21.08)

Improved the reliability of sorting in Dolphin when folder sizes are using real on-disk sizes (Christian Muehlhaeuser, Dolphin 21.08)

Empty folders in the trash now display the placeholder text “Folder is empty” instead of “Trash is empty” (Jordan Bucklin, Dolphin 21.08)

In the Plasma Wayland session, KWin no longer sometimes crashes when unplugging or re-plugging certain external displays (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22.4)

The ksystemstats daemon (which provides sensor data to System Monitor and the various sensor widgets) no longer crashes on launch for some people with certain hardware (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.4)

Info Center now displays correct information about non-x86 CPUs (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.22.4)

KWin’s DRM pipeline has been completely overhauled to offer far-reaching improvements, such as faster speed and startup time, automatic recovery from certain driver bugs, and a modernized infrastructure to make future improvements easier (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.23)

When using Plasma’s optional systemd startup feature, KWallet now unlocks properly when it would otherwise be able to (e.g. the wallet is named “kdewallet”, its password matches the login password, and all the necessary PAM bits have been set up properly) (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23)

When using Plasma’s optional systemd startup feature, the Baloo file indexer now starts up correctly (S Page, Plasma 5.23)

Info Center now shows a placeholder message when the Energy page would be blank, instead of, well, a blank page (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.23)

In the Plasma Wayland session, left or right-clicking on an app’s System Tray icon no longer causes that app’s icon to start bouncing near the cursor as if it were being launched (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23)

Slightly reduced the resource usage for all QtQuick-based KDE desktop software (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.85)

Selecting a custom app/binary in the System Settings Default Applications page now works (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.85)

When using a custom Plasma theme that lacks graphics for a UI element that Breeze does have graphics for (e.g. the header bar thingy that you see at the top of a lot of applets and notifications), the Breeze theme graphic is no longer inappropriately used anyway (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.85)

User Interface Improvements

Thumbnail previews now respect the scale factor and always look sharp and crisp (MĂ©ven Car, Dolphin 21.08)

Kate now ships by default with a session, which means that all of its session-specific features like automatically remembering open documents get enabled by default (Michal Humpula, Kate 21.12)

When showing arrows in the scroll tracks, the arrows are now always visible, rather than only being visible when hovering the cursor over the track (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.23)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the virtual keyboard state’s enablement/disablement status is now remembered when you restart the system (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.23)

System Monitor now exports a global menubar so that those of you who use a Global Menu applet can find things there just as you expect (Felipe Kinoshita, Plasma 5.23)

Buttons for sensors in System Monitor’s customization UI now look better (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.85)

Traditional in-window menubars in QtQuick-based KDE apps now look like they do in other apps (Janet Blackquill, Frameworks 5.85)

…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: fixing longstanding bugs

This week a whole bunch of longstanding issues got fixed! If you look through the list, I bet you’ll find one or two things that have annoyed you–and no longer! In addition, we did a lot of high-impact Wayland work. Take a look:

New Features

Dolphin is now able to display thumbnail sequences for thumbnailers that support it when you hover over files and folders (David Lerch, Dolphin 21.08):

KWin window rules can now target special OSD windows like Firefox’s picture-in-picture overlay (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23)

In addition to the overscan property, KWin now supports setting the underscan too (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.23)

A wide variety of features in KDE apps which rely on the Solid library now work on OpenBSD thanks to new UDisks2 support (Rafael Sadowski, Frameworks 5.85)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Spectacle no longer crashes when using any of the image uploading plugins that come from the legacy Kipi plugins system (Adriaan de Groot, Spectacle 21.08)

Okular now shows the alt text (if set) for inaccessible images in Markdown documents (Yuri Chornoivan, Okular 21.08)

In the Plasma Wayland session with the Wobbly Windows effect enabled, GTK windows no longer fly off in bizarre random directions when dragged with a touchscreen (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22.3)

When using an Nvidia GPU with the proprietary driver in the Plasma Wayland session, XWayland windows that are toggled between full screen and windowed modes no longer sometimes stop updating (Erik Kurzinger, Plasma 5.23)

Task Manager tooltips can no longer make Plasma hang or lag when the tooltip attempts to display album art that is located on a slow or inaccessible location (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22.3)

The Meta Key shortcut to open the default launcher no longer sometimes just randomly breaks (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.23)

In the Plasma Wayland session, touch input no longer get scrambled up by quick tile operations (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22.3

In the Plasma Wayland session when using a high DPI scale factor, GTK app windows no longer display a variety of their UI elements at too small a size (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22.4)

System Settings’ Keyboard page is now fully translatable, so the missing translations should be added soon (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22.4)

You are no longer warned via notification that your S.M.A.R.T. enabled disk is showing signs of instability. This generated too many false positives due to disks reporting their status incorrectly or inaccurately characterizing transient conditions as instability. You are still warned for normal error conditions though! (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.22.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, right-clicking on a Task Manager task now does what it should instead of closing the context menu when the task’s tooltip disappears (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23)

In the Plasma Wayland session, certain non-resizable windows no longer erroneously display Maximize buttons (Plasma 5.23)

Task Manager tooltips now consume less memory (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.23)

In the Plasma Wayland session, native wayland apps making use of “subsurfaces” are now positioned correctly when they ask to be positioned below their parent window (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23)

Improved the speed of access for reading global config files, which should slightly make many things a tiny bit faster, including app startup (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.85)

Updating certain types of GHNS items in various apps such as KStars now works again (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.85)

User Interface Improvements

A variety of dialogs throughout KMail and the other PIM apps have been modernized and de-framed (Carl Schwan, KDE PIM 21.08):

When an app is playing media, the Task Manager thumbnails for each of its windows now only show album art from that media when the window title matches the media; this should fix the problem of all windows always showing album art instead of thumbnails in virtually all cases! (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.23):

Yes, we know that the media’s title and the playback controls are still duplicated. We are working on fixing this too!

The list of screen refresh rates in System Settings’ Display Configuration page is now sorted in descending order (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.23

When hovering over a source button in Discover, the tooltip now tells you specifically which repo within the source it comes from, in the case that the backend has multiple repos configured (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.23)

The icon chooser dialog has gotten a visual and UX overhaul and now shows SVG icons accurately for high DPI users (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.85):

“About” pages in each Kirigami-based app now mention the full name of the app itself and also display the role/type of work done for each contributor (if that data is set) (Felipe Kinoshita, Frameworks 5.85):

…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: Gwenview and more

New Features

Gwenview now uses a combobox to hold all of its zoom/size modes, which has freed up enough room on the bottom bar to add a background color chooser! This handy feature lets you quickly change the background color behind an image to be dark, light, somewhere in between, or follow the background color of your active color scheme. This can be useful if the active image looks better with a different background color and you want a quick way to change it. (Noah Davis, Gwenview 21.08):

Gwenview now supports color management for 16-bit color depth images (Daniel NovomeskĂ˝, Gwenview 21.08)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

In the Plasma Wayland session, Skanlite now launches (Alexander Stippich, Skanlite 21.08)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Okular no longer crashes when you drag-scroll the document in such a manner that the cursor touches a window edge. It still doesn’t wrap around as it does on X11; we’re working on that (David Hurka, Okular 21.08)

Konsole’s default window size the first time you launch it is no longer ridiculously small (Tomaz Canabrava, Konsole 21.08)

When you run a sandboxed Flatpak app and switch to another one, the popup that asks you to approve background activity no longer causes the xdg-desktop-portal process to crash (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.22.3)

In the Plasma X11 session, the process that runs the Plasma logout screen no longer sometimes crashes as it disappears (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.3)

In Plasma System Monitor, killing a process in Tree View mode now kills the correct process (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.3)

System Tray icons using the xembedsniproxy process that implement context menus are no longer invisible (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.3)

Plasma Audio Volume applet now consumes fewer background CPU resources (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.3

The Media Player applet now removes an audio sources from its list of audio sources immediately after it stops playing, rather than only after all audio sources have stopped playing (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22.3)

Dialogs in GTK apps can now be moved properly using a touchscreen (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22.3)

The KWin window manager no longer sometimes crashes while trying to render window thumbnails while compositing is disabled (David Edmundson, KWin 5.23)

Improved the speed of SVG item lookups, which should result in a slight boost to responsiveness and reduction in CPU consumption throughout all of Plasma (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.84)

When you change the system font, it now updates immediately in QtQuick-based apps without you needing to re-launch them first (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.84)

User Interface Improvements

Discover now shows a saner name for the Kate Snippets category (Christoph Cullmann, Kate 21.08)

Dolphin now shows a “Loading…” placeholder text in the center of the window while folders are loading (Mufeed Ali, Dolphin 21.08)

In Yakuake, you can now switch terminals in a split view with Ctrl+Tab (Alexander Lohnau, Yakuake 21.08)

The System Settings Launch Feedback page has been moved to the Appearance category (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23):

…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.