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