This week in KDE: more stability, more features, prettier bug tracker

New Features

Skanlite now has a “batch mode” feature for flatbed scanners without an automatic document feeder. This will automatically take a new scan after a few seconds, to speed the process of scanning a lot of things. Skanpage is getting this soon as well! (Alexander Stippich, Skanlite 21.12)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Annotating screenshots with transparency in Spectacle no longer causes the transparency to get replaced with a solid white color (Julius Zint, Spectacle 21.12)

The Plasma Networks applet now lets you successfully connect to an OpenVPN server with passphrase-secured .p12 certificate (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, turning an external monitor off and back on again no longer makes Plasma crash (Oxalica F., Plasma 5.23.3)

Fixed a case where launching System Monitor could cause the ksgrd_network_helper process to crash (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, hovering over the Digital Clock applet to make it show its tooltip no longer sometimes makes Plasma hang (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.23.3)

The Minimize All effect/widget/button now remembers which window was active and makes sure that window ends up on top when restoring all the minimized windows (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.3)

Switching a panel widget to an alternative one using the “Alternatives…” popup no longer rearranges your widgets (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.23.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the show/hide animation for a panel set to auto-hide mode now works (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.3)

Switching between virtual desktops when there are maximized windows no longer causes the panel to flicker, especially when using a dark color scheme or Plasma theme (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.23.3)

Fixed one of the most common sources of crashes in System Settings which could be triggered when navigating rapidly between pages (Harald Sitter, Frameworks 5.88)

When using a 3rd-party icon theme, any icons that the app requests which aren’t available in the active theme are now displayed from the theme’s specified fallback icon theme, rather than just being missing (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 5.88)

In the Plasma Wayland session, pasting arbitrary clipboard content into a file now works (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.88)

Excessively long labels in System Settings’ grid-style pages now get elided rather than overflowing (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.88)

User Interface Improvements

KDE’s venerable bug reporting website – https://bugs.kde.org – was given a facelift recently, and it’s now much more attractive and visually pleasant to use! Thanks to Debarpan Debnath for this work!

Spectacle’s notifications about screenshots you took using a global shortcut no longer display duplicate text (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 21.12)

The “big focus rings” feature in Plasma 5.24 has been backported to Plasma 5.23, as it solves a number of focus-related bugs and issues and has proven stable so far (Noah Davis, Plasma 5.23.3)

Windows now remember the screens they were on when those screens are turned off or unplugged, and will snap back to them when those screens come back. This should fix a huge class of multi-monitor annoyances! (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Critical notifications now have a little orange strip on the side to visually distinguish them from background clutter and generally help them stand out so that you will be more likely to notice them (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

With a thin-ish panel, System Tray icons now have the same spacing in “Small” mode that they do in “Scale with Panel” mode (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

The odd behavior of middle-clicking on a panel to create a sticky note has been disabled by removing the relevant entries from the config files of people who still has them in there for some reason (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

The Breeze icon theme has gained a bunch of folder icon with various different semi-common-ish icons and emblems on them (Andreas Kainz, Frameworks 5.88):

The standard Kirigami placeholder icon for an image that is unavailable or still loading no longer looks like the Windows logo (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.88)

…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.

39 thoughts on “This week in KDE: more stability, more features, prettier bug tracker

    1. Do you know or could you ask if it’s planned to optionally store the secrets in the TPM2.0 chip like W11 requires it? (That’d be another “it’s all about choice” 🙂 )

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  1. Wow, amazing as always !! (special wink to the extended icons set)

    I have a little worry about the scanning situation though… It seems there are 2 different projects now.
    Is there any iny info about how those two project might at some point converge? Will we end up with two half-baked solutions instead of collaborating and focusing on one killer app?

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    1. I agree that it’s not ideal. My hope is that Skanpage eventually replaces Skanlite. That’s usually how it happens with KDE apps: the newer one built with more recent technology generally replaces the old one once it has 80% or more of the old one’s features, because the new one is prettier, easier to use, and easier to develop, and has more momentum and excitement behind it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE the orange stripe on the side of critical notifications. I really like the way the visual styling on KDE is progressing. It’s smart, modern, clean and restrained.

    The main thing to fix now is Dolphin. I feel like it’s the ugly duckling compared to the Plasma theme. Too framy and old-looking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What about making the lock screen have a shorter (configurable) display-off time, e.g. 30 seconds? It can be useful when one wants to leave the PC to temporarily go doing something else. It seems a waste to also leave the display enabled if nobody is in front of it, and if the screen has been locked it can be assumed that it can also be turned off early.

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      1. It must be a recently introduced feature because I can only set it globally, not also with a separate shorter timer for the lock screen. KDE Plasma 5.32.2 here.

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  4. Wow, what a outstanding work this week. There’s a thing I’d like to see in Dolphin in the future and it’s to be able to format a pendrive just with right click > format > ext4

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it a little odd that the folder-mac icon has its window control buttons on the right side. 😀
    It also uses an X instead of the fruit the company is known for; meanwhile the windows folder uses the right logo.

    Honestly, I’d argue the window in the icon isn’t needed. Just the logo would be fine…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you’re probably right. I wonder if not using the Apple logo is to avoid potential legal action by Apple, though. They are very protective of their branding and trademarks, and very litigious.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The rounded corners of the system tray notification look slightly odd to me; I noticed as I often have my browser scaled to >100%, but now I can’t un-see it when revert to 100% scale. 🙂 The lower right corners seem to have a light blue point to them, which is visible even at 100%. The orange line (which I like) does something odd/makes the curve/blend appear different from the other 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Would it be possible to have a folder mount from a network location (cifs-gui or something). Most workplaces have NAS as a file server. For example, I work a lot with the Arduino IDE and at the moment there is no easy way in Linux to work on a file stored on the network.

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    1. Sure there is. 🙂 Make sure that kio-fuse is installed and then access the file normally in Dolphin, opening the share from its URL. Stuff should just work.

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  8. Just a thought about notification : i use to have problem with kde connect that send me a loooot of notification about error that were very painful to close. In the same spirit i have sometime a random crash at session launch that launch maybe 50 error (no notification, regular alert windows with a close button). So my question is : is there any protection against notification or windows creation spam ? Because sometime i have the feeling to be on ie 6 before the google anti pop up search bar.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you all for your hard work!

    So, I didn’t really know where to go for this, but these are a few random questions I have for 5.24..

    -Is the policykit / Dolphin as Root work a target for this cycle?

    -What are the odds we will see the ability to ‘Set as Wallpaper’ from Dolphin and Gwenview (In Dolphin’s case- without the need to install anything to add that functionality) ? I know it’s not an essential bit of functionality, but with the ability to theme and colorize (plus all the other comforts that come with KDE already) This has always seemed like a very strange omission.

    Pardon the ignorance if these have already been addressed. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome work!

    Nate, do you believe the “This should fix a huge class of multi-monitor annoyances!” also fixes the problems that have recently been plaguing DisplayPort monitors with deep-sleep that disconnect/reconnect when they wake up?
    In my instance, the primary monitor takes 2-3 seconds to wake up and KDE only detects the secondary monitor for an instant, repositioning all windows.
    This is extremely annoying and makes it so I can’t ever let my monitors go to sleep.

    Windows had the same issue but they fixed it recently on Windows 11 and 10. I believe they are calling it Rapid Hot Plug Detect.

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    1. I don’t know, sorry. Maybe you can give it a try yourself! Many distros offer “unstable” KDE packages you can use, or you can try with KDE Neon Unstable in a live session.

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        1. Tumbleweed doesn’t ship unreleased software, though. The change in question is slated to ship in Plasma 5.24 and hasn’t been released yet.

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      1. I’ll give it a try. Thanks!

        If it does not work, is there any place in KDE where I can configure the time it waits for a monitor to come back online? I have a feeling this is a timing problem related to how long the monitor takes to wake up.

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  11. Nate, this may not be the right place to ask, but do you have any idea when Nvidia GBM support will finally be finished on the QT side? I am incredibly eager to give it a whirl, but am leery of patching QT myself. I wish I had more knowledge and knew how to build it for my arch system 🙂 Thanks in advance!

    Like

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