This week in KDE: most of GNOME shell in the Overview effect

This week the new KWin Overview effect gained the ability to shows results from KRunner when you search! This brings it fairly close to feature parity with GNOME’s central Activities Overview feature!

At this rate, we’re about halfway to implementing all of GNOME shell in the Overview effect

Thanks to Vlad Zahorodnii for this work, which lands in Plasma 5.24!

Other new Features

Gwenview now has “Print Preview” functionality, which as I’m sure you can imagine would be quite useful in an image viewer app (Alexander Volkov, Gwenview 22.04)

Discover now prevents you from doing anything that would uninstall Plasma in the process, which is probably not what you were intending to do (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24):

Hopefully this is Linus-Sebastian-proof

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When you print an image in Gwenview or Kolourpaint, it now automatically defaults to printing in portrait or landscape mode according to the image’s aspect ratio, rather than making you set this manually (Alexander Volkov, Gwenview 21.12)

Konsole now releases memory when you clear the text (Martin Tobias Holmedahl Sandsmark, Konsole 22.04)

Konsole now has better text display performance (Waqar Ahmed and Tomaz Canabrava, Konsole 22.04)

The Alacritty terminal once again opens with the correct window size (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.23.4)

Toolbar buttons in GTK3 apps that don’t use CSD headerbars (such as Inkscape and FileZilla) no longer have unnecessary borders drawn around them (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Plasma 5.23.4)

The open/save dialogs in Flatpak or Snap apps now remember their previous size when re-opened (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.23.4)

The “Show in file manager” text in Plasma Vaults is now able to be translated (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.23.4)

The Task Manager’s textual list of grouped apps is now much faster and more performant (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24)

Discover now eventually stops searching after no further search results are found, instead of always displaying “Still looking” at the bottom (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

Fixed an issue with playing certain embedded videos in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Fixed a major performance issue in QtQuick-based KWin effects for NVIDIA GPU users (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

The new Overview effect is now much faster to activate (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Tons and tons of small bugs with Breeze icons have been fixed–too many to individually list! (Andreas Kainz, Frameworks 5.89)

Fixed a visual glitch with Plasma tooltips flickering when they appear or disappear (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.89)

Icons and text in Plasma applet tabs are once again centered as intended (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 5.89)

User Interface Improvements

Elisa’s default album icon is now prettier and more semantically appropriate (Andreas Kainz, Elisa 22.04):

The new Overview effect is now touch-friendly (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

The touchpad applet has been restored after getting removed in Plasma 5.23, and is now back as a read-only status notifier that simply shows visually when the touchpad is disabled, like the caps lock and microphone notifier applets (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.4):

The weather applet’s location configuration dialog now automatically searches through all available weather sources rather than making you first select some manually (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.24):

Discover now presents a more user-friendly set of messages when there is an issue installing updates (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

This is a simulated error message, of course. 🙂 But it’s what a normal error message seems like to regular people!

Discover’s search field no longer auto-accepts a few seconds after you stop typing; now it only initiates a search when you explicitly hit the Enter or Return key (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

Opening a Plasma Vault and displaying its contents in your file manager now creates a new file manager window for this purpose instead of re-using any existing ones, since this didn’t work with various combinations of activities and virtual desktops and especially when using the “Limit to the selected activities” setting (Ivan Čukić, Plasma 5.24)

…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.

51 thoughts on “This week in KDE: most of GNOME shell in the Overview effect

    1. Just got an apt update:

      > The solver will no longer try to remove Essential or Protected packages, any dependency problem that would need such a solution will have to be resolved manually.
      > The “Yes, do as I say” prompt for removing essential packages has been replaced by an error message. The appropriate command-line option needs to be used instead.
      > Thank you to Linus Tech Tips and System76 for bringing this issue to our attention.

      😀

      Like

  1. Wow, amazing as always!
    Looking forward to see the Overview Effect, i’ll DL KDE Neon unstable to have a look at it 🙂
    How do we actually call/display the overview effect, by the way ?

    Like

    1. > How do we actually call/display the overview effect, by the way ?

      Press CTRL+F9. If that does not work for you, open the “Shortcuts” settings and search for “present”.

      TIL that while “presenting” windows, you can use type-ahead search to filter out matching windows, wow, this will speed up my work considerably!!! Now really looking forward to the KRunner integration 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Is there any update on Dolphin finally supporting proper calls for placing files or editing files in root folders 🙂 ?

    Like

  3. Here’s something that’s been plaguing me recently and am not even sure if this is a regression: Icon Only Task Manager behaves similar to how the new application menu did (before it got fixed) regarding moving the mouse in a diagonal line.

    If you hover over an app icon and then try to move your cursor to the window thumbnail to select it you cannot move it diagonally over a different application or it will immediately show that one’s thumbnail/tooltip instead. This gets even more frustrating when you try to do so when the application has several windows open as the natural mouse path is diagonally there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not bad I always miss that feature when running kde. Now make so you can set Windows button to open menu or other things, its the biggest show stopper for me atm, its so anoying that I always go back to gnome, even tho I really love kde.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Have noticed since Plasma 5.23.3 and Frameworks 5.88 that after my display has been off, having VRR enabled causes my display to turn off again with fullscreen apps like signal is out of range. Can anyone else confirm?

    I’ll submit a bug report when I work out what logs are relevant.

    Like

    1. Forgot to mention, that’s on AMD 3700X with Radeon 6800XT and Wayland session. A lot of existing bug reports relate to Nvidia but I’m not sure how relevant those are to my case.

      Like

  6. >>weather applet
    Hope you guys add yr.no as a source of weather data; it’s the only “international” source that provides adequate info about my location, others just lie 🙂

    BTW I noticed that “Show Desktop” widget does not react to clicks when placed to the most right position on a panel (if blindly move mouse to the screen border where this widget is located, and then click, nothing happens).
    Should I file a bug report or this is my local mis-configuration?

    Like

      1. Yes, both.
        I had to install Show Desktop (Win7) from “get hot new stuff”, it’s a thin bar that aligns directly to the edge of the screen and it’s clickable while pushing mouse pointer “over” the right border of the screen (and panel at the same time).
        Same for another panel. Interestingly, widgets located on the left-most part of panel(s), are clickable and show tooltips when pushing cursor to their left edge. Panel alignment settings for maximized panel has no effect on this. Plasma theme also changes nothing. It’s like there’s invisible 1 px of panel to the right, but not to the left.

        Like

        1. Oh, one more thing: when I enter “Edit mode”, panels show “Configure panel” button to the right, and it is clickable and shows its tooltip as one could have expected. But not regular widgets.

          Like

        2. This as it seems to me is somehow related to the way multiple displays are handled in Plasma.
          I had this issue when I booted on battery with no external screen connected, but now whatever I try after I booted with power cord and my external monitor connected (connecting / disconnecting everything) Plasma renders it correctly: the right edge of the screen “room” does respond to clicks. If I manage to catch this bug again, I’ll file it to bugs.kde.org

          Like

    1. THIS! I live in Finland and the only reliable source for weather is yr.no. It even finds my little town and doesn’t insist on me living in Helsinki like the other weather things do.. I don’t need Helsinki weather for anything, so a weather applet without yr.no as a source is pretty much useless for me. Norway knows a thing or two about weather =)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Nate.

    I used to prefer GNOME over KDE but then they changed it in a way i now find it ridiculous. Please try to keep the GNOME influence as far away from KDE as possible. Regarding KDE here i must say keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GNOME shell’s Activity Overview feature is one of the best parts of it. It works great as a standalone thing. We can easily copy it without copying any of the things we don’t like about GNOME.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Hi Nate.

        Thanks for the reply. The way i understand it this will be optional in KDE. People not interested in it will never have to deal with it? If that is the case i don’t have any issues with it. From my GNOME times and experiences with it i must say it never really clicked with me. It’s basically an overly complex layer build on top of everything that makes an average Joe feel overwhelmed. Personally i much more prefer to use dedicated search, window and desktop switching approach.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I use Ubuntu at work and Plasma on my home laptop, and a I really miss GNOME Overview when using Plasma. In my opinion, Overview is the best feature of GNOME. Is there a way to propose suggestions to it?? In the current state I think the gaps between applications are too big, and be able to assign only the Meta Key as shortcut would be great.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Nice. I put in a suggestion to add more integration from krunner to other elements: 1. Allow using panel in overview (like if you are full screen gaming, or video watching, but need to access/use a system tray item really quick) 2. Drag items from krunner to the panel. Drag items from krunner to a specific desktop to launch an app on that desktop. All small quality of life things to really push it as a 1 stop shop solution. not deal-breakers but great to have.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great stuff but is there a chance of fixing the problem of emptying the wastebin from dolphin and it not emptying and refreshing the icon to the correct icon. Right now you have to open the bin to empty it. VERY frustrating

    Like

  10. Great stuff! Question, will browser tabs be searchable in any browser that has the browser add-on from Plasma? Or is it limited to specific browsers?

    I guess as a KDE neon user I’ll find out soon enough!

    Like

  11. While I really appreciate the work on the new Overview effect, if it doesn’t also include the ability to launch apps from the menu, it won’t be completely worth it for me to use. The Overview effect is one of the few things I like about GNOME because it is a one stop shop for viewing running apps on virtual desktops AND being able to launch new apps all by just touching “Activities.” Heck of a powerful feature for touchscreen devices.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, man, I hope the touchpad can be easily turned off and on without the applet. I actually need to regularly turn it off and my laptop does not have a dedicated Fn button combo for it.

    Like

      1. Thanks, that should work.

        I wonder why there are three options there though: on, off, toggle. Wouldn’t just on/off be enough and toggle maybe include more description _if_ it is about toggling between different touchpads (otherwise remove it)?

        Like

  13. The other day I discussed KDE with a developer friend and she said the release cycles should be improved. Many people want more stability and fewer bugs, but achieving this is not easy at all, however he got me thinking about how he would like to see Plasma released.
    Change the LTS version, create a rolling version every 6 months, with the various bug correction steps, at the end of the six months it becomes a LTS supported for another 6 months and so on.
    It would actually be a good way to make the Lts version better and modern, but at the same time have a rolling, where you can enjoy the news.

    Like

    1. Yes, our release cycles are not ideal.

      Frameworks’ monthly releases are so short that they leave no time for QA besides simply living on master, but they are so long that when a bug is found and fixed, you have to wait a month to get the new version.

      If it were up to me, I would make Frameworks, KDE Gear apps, and Plasma all use the same release cycle of three major releases per year with 5 bugfix releases per major release. This would make it so much easier to sync everything up and avoid bugs caused by changes straddling products with differing release schedules.

      This is the sort of thing that doesn’t change quickly or easily though.

      Like

  14. Can’t wait to try it out! I’ve become too used to the gnome workflow but I’m not really liking the direction GNOME is going. Every now and then I try KDE again and get back to gnome-shell in a matter of days.
    “Normies” don’t need flashy effects and themes (tho they are nice-to-haves), but consistency and a coherent UX so you can intuit where to find stuff without having to actually memorize where everything is.

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s