This week in KDE: Getting Plasma 5.24 ready for release

Plasma 5.24 is almost ready!

I mentioned last week that I haven’t been posting about fixes for regressions in 5.24 that never got released, because there would be too many. Nonetheless people have been working very hard on this, and we’re down to only 7, with two of them having open merge requests! Working on those is appreciated, as it helps improve the stability of the final release in a week and a half.

15-Minute Bugs Resolved

Current number of bugs: 83, down from 87. Current list of bugs

After waking up the system, the desktop is no longer sometimes shown for a moment before the lock screen appears (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.25)

New Features

Konsole now lets you automatically switch to a different profile when you connect to a specific remote server using SSH (Tomaz Canabrava, Konsole 22.04):

Dolphin now optionally lets you see image’s dimensions below their icons in icon view (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 22.04):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Fixed a wide variety of issues with the metadata and lyrics in Elisa’s Now Playing view failing to appear or update properly (Yerrey Dev, Elisa 22.04)

Gwenview now launches a bit faster, particularly when there are a lot of remote mounts (Nicolas Fella, Gwenview 22.04)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes on login when certain apps that display System Tray items launch automatically (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, KWin no longer sometimes crashes when dragging screenshots from Spectacle to XWayland apps (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, KWin no longer crashes when you unplug an external monitor that was in “only use external monitor” mode (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, when an app is started in fullscreen mode and then made windowed, it will now be placed in a location that respects the current window placement mode, rather than always appearing in the top-left corner of the screen (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, screencasting no longer causes the cursor to be visually clipped (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, when you unplug and re-plug an external screen, XWayland apps that want to launch on the primary screen (such as many games) no longer to get confused and open on the wrong screen (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma Wayland session, cursor app launch feedback effects now respect the global timeout value for it that you can set in the System Settings Launch Feedback page (David Redondo, Plasma 5.24)

Keyboard navigation between widgets in the Widget Explorer sidebar now works that way you would expect it to (Noah Davis, Plasma 5.24)

Disk read/write sensors in System Monitor widgets and the app of the same name no longer report bogus values the first time they update (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

Shrinking System Monitor’s window to a very small size now causes text to properly elide instead of overflow (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

System Monitor widgets can now be dragged using touch while in Edit Mode (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.24)

Custom icons that use SVG images referred to by their path rather than their name once again appear correctly on folders and apps on the desktop (Fushan Wen, Frameworks 5.91)

Changing any of the standard shortcuts (e.g. for Copy or Paste) on System Settings’ Shortcuts page now takes effect instantly, rather than making you restart first (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.91)

KDE apps like Dolphin that scan for network mounts and disks when launched now launch more quickly when you have a lot of Snap apps installed or ISO images mounted (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.91)

This isn’t KDE software, but it affected a lot of our users, so I’m listing it here anyway: Firefox no longer constantly asks to be made the default browser on launch when it’s being run with the GTK_USE_PORTAL=1 environment variable (as some distros do by default) to make it use KDE file dialogs instead of GNOME file dialogs (Emilio Cobos Álvarez and Robert Mader, Firefox 98)

User Interface Improvements

The Properties dialog no longer shows the Details tab when everything it contains is already visible on the General tab (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 22.04)

Dolphin’s shortcuts configuration window now includes shortcuts from Konsole that will be used in the embedded terminal view, so you can re-assign them if you’d like (Stephan Sahm, Dolphin 22.04)

Filelight can now be found by searching for a variety of common keywords like “usage” and “disk space” (Nikolai Weitkemper, Filelight 22.04)

KRunner now returns better search results for very short search strings of only one or two letters (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.24)

You can now find KMenuEdit in app launchers, KRunner, and Discover (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.25):

Menu items in QtWidgets-based apps now also become taller when in Tablet Mode, just like menu items in QtQuick apps! However Unlike those, QtWidgets apps will have to be restarted first due to technical limitations (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.25)

Task Manager tooltip window thumbnails now smoothly fade in instead of appearing abruptly (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.25)

Discover now provides an indication of the number of search results and the number of items in the currently viewed category (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25):

Spacing between System Tray icons is now configurable, and automatically switches to its widest setting when in Tablet Mode (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.25)

System Settings’ Display Configuration page now calls your device’s built-in screen a “Built-in Screen”, rather than assuming it is a laptop and calling it a “Laptop Screen” (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.25)

…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

If you’re a developer, check out the list of remaining Plasma 5.24 regressions, or our 15-Minute Bug Initiative. Working on these issues makes a big difference quickly!

Otherwise, 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: Getting Plasma 5.24 ready for release

  1. So good! Can’t wait for 5.24!

    “The [file] Properties dialog no longer shows the Details tab when everything it contains is already visible on the General tab”

    Yeah, I used to wonder about that one and eventually stopped even noticing it awhile back. Glad that someone was paying attention, though 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here we go again..5.24 isn’t out yet and you post cool stuff included in 5.25. AAAAAARGGGHHHHHH. I just read that the new Kubuntu will get 5.24 out of the box so that’s pretty big news, was a bit worried there for a while since Kubuntu is the one I’m gonna install on EVERYBODYS computers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. > since Kubuntu is the one I’m gonna install on EVERYBODYS computers.

      Good choice, that way they will have the option of free support and paid support, if they need it 🙂

      Like

  3. Could a small icon be added when mounting a file system ( a usb flash for example) to show the filesystem type?
    P.s. renaming .txt files still deletes the extension by default

    Like

  4. Love the icon spacing stuff! Hopefully I’ll finally be able to remove my patch that makes the icons in my 24px-high panel look not minuscule and cramped.

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  5. Glad to see that Wayland is getting attention. 🙂 I am using it full-time now. Still some annoying bugs but the overall security benefits make it worth it for me.

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  6. Thanks for your ongoing improvements to KDE. While KDE really head its low in the early 4.x and 5.x releases it is becoming slowly better and better every day.

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  7. Although the region/format chooser is still an abomination (fingers crossed for Qt 6?), putting a preview of the format is a good improvement. In the mean time, I think a quick search/find text box there would improve the UX a little.

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  8. Amazing and exciting as always !

    I have a little question concerning Discover on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed.
    I ask it here because I can see some trolling and preconcieved ideas (or not up-to-date info) on the OpenSUSE community, and I totally want to avoid that!
    I’d like to have the latest news on the topic, from the devs’ perspective 😉

    So right now on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, the default update daemon is not the Discover Daemon. For example, i’m notified only about updates from the repositories, but not from my Flatpak. For that, I should manually start Discover to see if there are any.

    On the wiki, (https://en.opensuse.org/System_Updates#KDE) I can see that having Discover as the default update daemon is on the pipe, but I can’t find any news about this feature’s progress.

    Does anyone have any recent news about this?
    It would be awesome to have Discover as the main place to update the whole system (and it works so well on Debian-based distros already).

    Like

    1. You can remove plasma-pk-updates and install Discover on openSUSE.

      However both of them use the PackageKit library, and a big issue with openSUSE is that their support for PackageKit is quite poor. This makes the user experience of updating the system with Discover in particular also quite poor, and people tend to blame Discover for it.

      I wish openSUSE would finally abandon Zypper and switch to DNF, which is so much better, and has much better PackageKit support too.

      Like

      1. Thank you for the precisions!
        That’s what I feared, but maybe there’s some hope, as OpenSUSE seems to be a big contributor to KDE and plan to use Discover for updates. That would make OpenSUSE so much easier for beginners (I was considering to install it on my non-techy partner’s laptop, but this very detail made me change my mind)

        Like

        1. OpenSUSE Leap is a good choice for beginners IMO, as long as someone more experienced sets it up for them and makes the following changes:

          – Install the Packman repo, install media codecs, and perform the vendor change switcheroo so that the packages remain bound to the Packman vendor
          – Remove plasma-pk-updates and install Discover
          – Turn on Online Updates
          – Disable the pcspkr with `sudo echo “blacklist pcspkr” > /etc/modprobe.d/nobeep.conf` so that GTK apps don’t emit horrifying noises that make you want to throw the computer out the window
          – Install kwallet-pam so that KWallet automatically unlocks on login
          – Remove synaptics touchpad driver and install/activate Libinput
          – Add wsdd to the default firewall configuration so that Samba network discover works

          With these changes, it should offer a pleasant and stable experience.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. The thing with removing plasma-pk-updates is, that without it, the user has no ability to get notified about updates. They have to open Discover themselves – at least on Tumblweed, where Online Updates through Yast are not an option. Btw, plasma-pk-updates is currently broken (again) on my TW box, current snapshot with new KDE 5.24. Its supposed to run at system start when an active network connection is found, but it doesnt.

            Like

    2. You really need to ask someone who’s into Tumbleweed stuff. From what I know of that system, zypper dup is the only correct way to upgrade it. Similarly, in Manjaro and Arch, one needs to issue pacman -Syu or pamac update because all rolling distros (including Tumbleweed) are harder to deal with such general-purpose tools like Discover, which is OK for fixed release distros like Ubuntu, but lacks features specific to rolling release distros.

      Like

      1. Moreover, I wouldn’t have trusted software appcentres (Discover really falls into this category) on updating rolling release OS. Even if it’s KDE’s project. Or especially if it’s a KDE project (lol). Let cli do its job and spew at you everything you need to worry about and double check before you reboot. That’s the way to go when you’re rolling and update serious system stuff from time to time, not just Inkscape or Discord, you know.

        Like

        1. I actually used Discover to update openSUSE Tumbleweed for over 3 years. For the most part, the only breakage and bugs I encountered were caused by limitations in Zypper’s PackageKit support.

          …Except for one major thing thing: if Discover or the PackageKit daemon crashed in the middle of certain updates, it would brick the whole OS. See https://bugzilla.opensuse.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1174788.

          This kind of turned me off the concept of online updates entirely, and now I only use offline updates, which cannot suffer from this type of bug in the first place. And Discover supports those quite nicely.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Wow, first hand experience was what I really needed, thank you for sharing it!
            So turns out things are not that dire as I have imagined. Maybe some day even Arch will be safe to install updates with Discover.
            Btw I remember how it (Discover) was introduced and what it looked like and what it was capable of. The profits is impressive.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. I was using Discover to update Debian Testing, and it works like a charm. Somehow, I was hoping it would be the case on OpenSUSE too. I don’t think it’s a matter of cycle or rolling, it’s more a matter of making Discover and Zypper collaborate better, or as Nate suggests, that OpenSUSE move to a more compatible package manager. Which would make sense as they are featuring Plamsa as their main DE!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t wait to get 5.24 from Arch repos and see if my issue with resetting of primary monitor under Wayland is resolved if the final release. For now only Neon managed to keep primary screen between sessions. Kubuntu, Fedora are failing so far. A separate tab for a bug report is opened and waiting for some input lol.

    Like

  10. >This isn’t KDE software, but it affected a lot of our users, so I’m listing it here anyway: Firefox no longer constantly asks to be made the default browser on launch when it’s being run with the GTK_USE_PORTAL=1 environment variable (as some distros do by default) to make it use KDE file dialogs instead of GNOME file dialogs (Emilio Cobos Álvarez and Robert Mader, Firefox 98)

    It is really messed up that for 17 years, Firefox devs has been adopting KDE’s own file picker. Patches have been available for years, and still the problem persists.

    Original report: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=298848

    Like

  11. Thanks for your continuous effort to keep us updated – i really love those reports! 🙂

    I just like to point out one thing that i noticed on your Discover screenshot: the applications icons are not centered but i think they should be. To make it more clear i uploaded a little screenshot – the upper marked icon is original and not centered – the other ones were centered by me using GIMP.

    Screenshot: https://transfer.sh/8rAAGd/center.jpg

    Like

    1. You can actually see that the other icons in that screenshot are horizontally centered. This means the issue is with OBS’s icon being off-center, not the code in Discover.

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      1. From the post above “…the upper marked icon is original and not centered – the other ones were centered by me using GIMP.”

        Like

  12. Hi Nathan. Can you implement a different shade/colour on the Konsole tab? It’s not really easy to distinguish which tab is selected when having multiple tabs open. Regards

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  13. Great, but as long as Wayland won’t solve the KCM’s global scale bug, I’m afraid it will still be unusable in modern screens and 4k users will still be tied to X11.

    Like

  14. Am I the only one, who noticed Alpha Centauri image in the post? It was my favourite game ❤
    Thank you Nate for making me recollect those times 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A true masterpiece. 30 years ahead of its time. Still nothing like it in its genre in terms of story, character development, dynamic terrain, and unit customizability.

      Like

  15. Hey Nate, to which component do I need to file the following wish? “I would like to have a more differentiated handling of standard apps, concerning links, similar to Android where you can choose the standard app/browser depending on link. Ok, KDE/Linux has less apps like Android, but even with browsers it makes sense. Some sites work better in one browser than another or you separate tasks in different browsers. My wish is that there is a popup notification the when a link is clicked and then user can choose a) open all links in a certain standard browser or app b) all links with the site of that url in a certain standard browser or app c) choose only for this time The origin of the url click could also play a role.”

    Like

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