This week in KDE: better MTP support

Many of us are still getting over our new years’ food comas, but we managed to get some cool things done anyway!

New Features

Task Manager tooltips for windows that are playing audio now show a volume slider under the playback controls (Noah Davis, Plasma 5.24):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Okular is now more reliable about opening and signing different kinds of password-protected documents (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.12.1)

Okular no longer renders fictionbook documents with incorrect whitespace in certain places, and now shows their keywords in the properties dialog (Yuri Chornoivan and Lenny Soshinskiy, Okular 22.04)

Okular no longer leaks memory when viewing documents with Optional Content links (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 22.04)

Connectivity with MTP devices now works much better overall: they now display correctly in the Disks & Devices applet, opening one in Dolphin now refreshes the view automatically when you follow the provided instructions by unlocking your device and allowing access, and the instructions are now clearer and more actionable (Harald Sitter, James John, and me: Nate Graham–but really mostly the first two guys, Plasma 5.24 and Dolphin 22.04)

Bluetooth devices that connect in a nonstandard way like PlayStation Dualshock 3 Wireless Controllers now appear in the Bluetooth applet after being connected (Bart Ribbers, Plasma 5.23.5)

Turning a monitor off and back on no longer sometimes causes certain windows to be resized (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.24)

Clicking the Pause button on System Settings’ File Search page now actually pauses indexing (Yerrey Dev, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, fixed a case where window thumbnails could fail to appear on Task Manager tooltips with certain configurations (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

The kimpanel popup no longer flickers while entering CJK text (Rocket Aaron, Plasma 5.24)

You can now change the user or group of a file or folder on the desktop (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.91)

Snap apps no longer inappropriately appear as mounted volumes in Places panels (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.91)

Re-mapping keys with the System Settings Advanced Keyboard page now causes any swapped modifier keys to be correctly handled by global keyboard shortcuts (Fabian Vogt, Frameworks 5.90)

User Interface Improvements

The Battery and Brightness applet now turns into just a Brightness applet on computers with no batteries but any brightness controls (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24):

Plasma applets with scrollable views now use a more consistent style (Carl Schwan, Plasma 5.24):

The Scale effect is now used by default for window opening and closing, instead of the old Fade effect (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

Items are now selected after being moved or created on the desktop (Derek Christ, Plasma 5.24)

You can now see network speeds in bits per second in System Monitor applets and the app (Vishal Rao, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the System Tray item for showing and hiding the virtual keyboard now becomes active only in tablet mode (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24)

When you enable auto-login, you are now warned about some changes you might want to make to your KWallet setup (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.24):

Scrollable controls in Plasma and other QtQuick-based apps now only change their contents when you scroll on them if the cursor began over them, not when the cursor happened to pass over them because the view they live on moved while scrolling (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.90 with Plasma 5.24)

KDE apps that display relative dates now present them with much more precision (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.91):

Yakuake’s System Tray icon is now monochrome (Artem Grinev and Bogdan Covaciu, Frameworks 5.91:

Menus in QtQuick apps now have the same size and appearance as menus in QtWidgets apps (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.91)

Sliders in QtQuick apps can now be manipulated by scrolling over them, just like sliders elsewhere (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.91)

…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.

42 thoughts on “This week in KDE: better MTP support

  1. That MTP fix is a cherrypick if there ever was one. I had to install Kubuntu on a friends old laptop with a 32-Bit processor and after a lot of headscratching I figured out how to get Dolphin to actually even show his phone. I showed my friend how: first on your phone this then this and then go back and switch this back and then this again and then this and now it SHOULD show on your screen. His reply was face of disgust and a dry “yeah ok great..” And consecuently he forgot what I showed and he just never connects his phone to that computer because: “It has that s**t linux YOU installed”. So a huge thanks to the person who fixed that, I am sure it will be appreciated by those very very few people in this day and age that actually have mobile phones. Hopefully that fix will trickle down to ancient KDE versions as well, and by that I mean 99% of all the distros, I don’t want to recommend installing OpenSUSE just to transfer some pictures to the phone.. Once again I gotta say, massive amounts of work done week after week =) I don’t know where all these wonderful people find the time and inspiration to keep pushing, not gonna complain! THANK YOU ALL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it will not trickle down because it’s a functional chance and not an important security update. Don’t know if Kubuntu Backports is available for 32 bits.

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      1. That would suck. Right now it works kinda like hitting an old TV on the side a couple of times and have your kid stand beside it holding the antenna: “There! Don’t Move! I see it now!” It’s just another one of those things that fundamentally should work. Even more importantly so on old ancient computers, even running old OS..Not too inspiring to turn on the computer if not even THAT works like it should. Might as well contribute some more E-waste to the world then bleehhh.. And to you suggesting KDE Connect, this guy has no wifi, he connects to the interweb using a 3G/4G USB Dongle. In Finland. In 2022. I kid you not. The man is hardcore! And his Kubuntu is s**t. That is my fault.

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        1. So i am also hardcore, because my only internet acces (except work) is 4G share via wifi from my android phone in france in 2022. For 150Go + unlimited phone call per month it cost me 20€ without obligation. I look a looooot of yt or streaming(no TV), make every update on arch and i rarely use the full 150Go…. so KDE connect work well for me.

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    2. For a few picture, you should install kde connect if it’s an android phone : you can browse file from the compter and it had a kde connect item in app the to share picture, music…. from the smartphone. Very easy and convenient, i just connect my phone once to send a couple of Go of MP3 and now it’s kde connect only. The only problem is that sometime it lost connection and you have to open the kde connec settings to reconnect again. I have the same problem with wifi connection that doesn’t connect before you clic on the applet : weird to have to babysit your computer…. it remember me the automatic driver find of win xp.

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  2. > Task Manager tooltips for windows that are playing audio now show a volume slider under the playback controls

    Hope it can be turned off.

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  3. I just wish i could empty the wastebin from the shortcut in places in dolphin by right clicking and selecting empty and NOT needing to open the folder and refreshing the wastbins contents for the icon to change.

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      1. I can right click and select empty but the contents dont empty and the icon wont change until i left click on wastebin and refresh the contents

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  4. “The Battery and Brightness applet now turns into just a Brightness applet on computers with no batteries but any brightness controls (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24):”

    That is pretty cool! Another week of cool stuff, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. On the Wayland front, are there any plans for getting legacy applications to ignore the scaling factor?

    I have a 4K display with 200% scaling. Everything finally works beautifully except for MATLAB (gtk2?). It works well on 100% scaling Wayland, but the UI is blurred and 2x too big on 200% scaling.

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      1. But MATLAB has its own internal, completely non-standard, scaling factor “s”. You can set this to whatever you like and it will scale the icons/widgets. You can also set the font size to whatever you like.

        So I can have it perfectly set-up under Wayland with 100% scaling, and sharp fonts.

        I can also have it perfectly scaled under Wayland with 200% scaling, but fonts are blurred as Wayland adds its own scaling on top.

        So an “ignore Wayland scaling” flag would be perfect for MATLAB.

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  6. Looking forward to the better MTP support in KDE/Dolphin so that I wouldn’t needs third party app to transfer my photos.

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  7. Only a few pixels wider and the relative date for last accessed on that screenshot wouldn’t have spilled over to a second line. A bit more polish so that those lines didn’t break would be a nice cleanup.

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    1. That’s not a solvable issue since the sidebar is resizable and the text within it can be of arbitrary length based on time, date, and language. There’s no way to make it always show dates as a single line without getting rid of one of those two constraints, which would be much worse. 🙂

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      1. Perhaps long lines could be elided and after 5 seconds they slowly scroll if hovered over and also maybe provide a per line popup with full details (but only for elided text).

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  8. There is an option to close Elisa to the tray area. It would be nice if when enabled the same tooltip from Elisa task manager would be presented when clicking on Elisa icon in tray area. And i guess for the Elisa tray icon to have “mono” variants. Like the rest of KDE tray indicators.

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    1. Not if it’s hiding there in the system settings. It should be presented somehow the very second that infuriating password dialog presents itself. “If you leave me blank I will never ever bother you again”

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      1. Once i thought about it a bit, I agree with you. Perhaps Wallet should default to a blank password on install, and allow a user to opt into using it with a password, the way Vaults is currently now; Installed and available, but not used by default?

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        1. Something like that would be good yes. In a perfect world, during install, one should be able to not have any password for the user account. Only a root password. Yeah, security this and security that blaa blaaaa.. I am the only user of my computer and I have zero problems with anyone else using my computer at any given time, using my one and only profile. Is that horrible and crazy? Maybe, if I actually have secrets on my computer I would like to share with everybody. But I don’t. I never save anything, forms, adresses, password etc in my browser. Heck, I have ZERO emails in my gmail. And I’ve used it extensively since google released it. I also have ZERO sms stored in my phone, no secrets there either. It’s a phone, steal it or lose it: I don’t care. Maybe I’m weird but I have no interest in keeping stuff like that. So yeah, KDE Wallet is not something I need in my life at all and for my personal preference it shouldn’t even be installed, let alone bug the hell out of me.

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          1. In fact you can set a blank password for your user as well as for KWallet, and turn on auto-login. That pretty much gives you what you want.

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  9. I would consider making the volume slider vertical. So it looks like a slider to skip to a position in the currently played media.

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  10. off-topic: Nate, is there any initiative to bring KIO (and peraphs KDE’s Glib – if there is such thing) on pair with GIO (because everyone keeps telling me that GIO is more advanced/has more features)…

    This comes inline from my previous complain of not being able to upload files from remote folders in Firefox (or any other browser), which i can with no problem if i’m using GIO, apparently…

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    1. “to bring KIO on par with GIO” is not really actionable. Specific omissions and bugs are actionable, like that one. 🙂

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      1. I see what you mean…
        Is there anything (bug, metabug, something you can drop a link to) being done over KDE to fix this specific bug this or is it really just a Firefox thing?

        thank you again for your time

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        1. I don’t know, actually. Maybe you can file a bug report and link it here and we’ll see where it goes. Make sure to attach a screenshot that shows the error message.

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  11. Why did you delete my previous comment? I’ve expressed my impression about this project and you just delete it because you don’t like it.. such Communist censorship it’s good for China, not for US

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    1. I deleted it because it contained nothing but a list of generic and un-actionable complaints about KDE software in general, and ended by calling me a criminal. That’s just rude behavior when you’re a guest in someone else’s domain (e.g. this website).

      Any further insulting comments will be similarly deleted.

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      1. “Criminal designed” is not necessarily an insult directed towards you personally. Mike could have been more gracious with his observations, but most of them are quite valid and could have formed the basis of further analysis of each of his criticisms.

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        1. Coulda, shoulda , woulda. I think it’s great that Nate deletes anything with negative energy (which isn’t remotely the same as “anything negative”). If you can’t approach a volunteer-driven project in a spirit of appreciative contribution, be silent.

          Liked by 1 person

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