This week in KDE: Major accent color and Global Theme improvements

If last week’s post was heavy on the bugfixes, this week we’re overflowing with juicy features! But don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the 5-minute bugs and managed to squash three. Feast your eyes:

15-Minute Bugs Resolved

Current number of bugs: 72, down from 73. 2 added and 3 resolved:

The Battery widget now always appears in the System Tray on login, instead of sometimes being missing until you manually restart Plasma (Jolene K, Plasma 5.24.5)

The date displayed in the Digital Clock widget now always matches the real date (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

In the Plasma X11 session, volume OSDs no longer sometimes appear in the top-left corner of the screen (Jim Jones, Frameworks 5.94)

Current list of bugs

New Features

When you click on a Global Theme in System Settings, it will now tell you what changes it’s going to make, and it gives you the opportunity to only apply certain parts of it! (Dominic Hayes, Plasma 5.25):

You can now set your accent color to be automatically generated based on the colors in the current wallpaper! It even changes the accent color automatically when the wallpaper changes! (Tanbir Jishan, Plasma 5.25):

You can now edit your color scheme to make the accent color subtly tint all of its colors! And color schemes can now be configured this way by default, so folks uploading color schemes to store.kde.org can also set a tint for them out-of-the-box (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.25):

The amount of tint is configurable too, you you can make the tint subtle or ridiculously garish, according to your aesthetic preferences. And yes, this works with wallpaper-aware accent colors too!

For apps using xdg-desktop-portals (e.g. Flatpak and Snap apps), Plasma now supports the new “Dynamic launcher” portal that allows apps to create and edit .desktop files for better system integration (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.25)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Spectacle no longer disables all the buttons when you cancel taking a screenshot if there was already one in the main window at the time (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 22.04.1)

Elisa no longer needs to be restarted after you embed a category in the sidebar, or change the thing that’s embedded in the sidebar (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 22.04.1)

In the Plasma Wayland session, SDL apps no longer crash when an external screen is unplugged (Weng Xuetian, Plasma 5.24.5)

The Comics widget once again works (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.24.5)

On System Settings’ Quick Settings page, the “Change Wallpaper…” button now works when you have more than one Activity (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24.5)

Searching in KRunner, Application Launcher, Overview (or any other KRunner-powered search) now returns matches that are text files, or use a file format that inherits from the plaintext format (Julian Rolfes and Natalie Clarius, Plasma 5.24.5)

Closing the Widget Explorer sidebar now deletes it, saving some memory and fixing a bug whereby the previous search query would be inappropriately remembered the next time you open it (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24.5)

KRunner no longer hangs forever when you ask it to define a “word” with spaces in it (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.25)

For apps using xdg-desktop-portals (e.g. Flatpak and Snap apps), quitting or killing the app while one such portal dialog is open now closes the dialog too (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.25)

KWin rules are now re-evaluated when the set of active screens changes, so they will be correctly applied at more times (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.25)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when you change the wallpaper from the context menu item for image files in Dolphin or on the desktop (Jakub Nowak, Frameworks 5.94)

User Interface Improvements

Filelight’s old homepage that displayed subtly inaccurate and incorrect information has been replaced with a standard-style welcome page that doesn’t mislead you (Harald Sitter, Filelight 22.08):

Ark now displays real on-disk sizes for folders inside archives, rather than the number of items they contain (Andrey Butirsky, Ark 22.08)

Dolphin can now optionally display “Author” metadata below filenames in icon mode (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 22.08)

Discover now shows all application categories in the first level of its sidebar, rather than nested one level deep (Taavi Juursalu, Plasma 5.25):

The Networks widget’s details view now shows the frequency and BSSID of the currently connected WiFi network (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.25)

There is now a standard “loading” placeholder component in Kirigami that Kirigami apps are being ported to use, so you will always see a consistent loading indicator (Felipe Kinoshita, Frameworks 5.94):

Right-clicking on path items in URL navigators throughout KDE apps now gives you an option to open that location in a new window if you’d like, not just a new tab (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.94)

…And everything else

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 more news from other KDE contributors.

How You Can Help

If you’re a developer, check out 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.

26 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Major accent color and Global Theme improvements

  1. Those are some nice changes and bug fixes! :3
    Though I have an accent color selected (red), I still see blue ones in my task manager, meh…
    In the video stuff in the bar gets proper updates, so I guess this is a bug (though I don’t run latest bleeding edge git, but KDE Neon for now).

    Like

  2. It’s absolutely unbelievable how great KDE is becoming. I switched from windows to KDE 2 years ago and since then every release is a lot greater then the previous one. As final users we should consider ourselves very lucky and we should thanks developers and every person involved in this amazing project more often I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. The pace of improvement is astonishing to me as well. I really feel like KDE is re-invigorating the computing landscape with our boring, grinding incremental improvement approach. It’s not fancy or flashy, but apply it over time, avoid making major mistakes, and something magical happens. Slow and steady wins the race.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. These sorts of visual changes may seem small, but they’re very important to my aging eyes. A nice restful color scheme (with workspace neither glare white nor dead black) does wonders for everyday usability. Would it be possible to do a “tint all whitespace” function?

        Do we have a way to set scrollbar width? Too-narrow scrollbars is a persistent annoyance. (When I have a choice, I set them to about 1/5th inch. Don’t like any control smaller than that.)

        Also, seconding all the cheering for KDE quietly trundling along. I don’t want bling and wow and new, I want reliable and usable and consistent. So KDE’s current approach is greatly appreciated!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. At the same time Ubuntu leaders are giving interviews where they state how crap flatpak is compared to their superior offering, the flaming carcrash that is snap. Nice timing too here with the colors, just when the only thing Ubuntu has somewhat going for it is the introduction of a few highlight colors. In one swift sweep Ubuntu just became very old news.

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      1. I loathe Ubuntu and Gnome, but a fellow I follow recently demo’d their latest, and it did have one nice feature: virtual desktops apparently on demand. I’m not sure how practical that is for our ecosystem but it did look interesting. (However, nowhere near enough to get me to switch.)

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  3. A lot of nice stuff – thanks to the KDE team!
    Showing more information in the Network widged is really useful. It would be even better to show WiFi channel as well. I hope someone could add it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THIS! For some damn reason my modem keeps hopping to channel 44 where all my neighbours are as well. A spanking new modem too, supposedly automatically choosing the best channels, which is a lie. So I can actually tell when it’s done it again, and I hop on my windows machine to fire up Acrylic WifiAnalyzer that tells me where the Hell my modem decided to go this time..Oh and to top it off, the modems own browser-based configuration tool lies straight to my face, it says I’m on channel 100 still. Only after manually changing it and restarting wifi then logging on again it’s correct..until it hops around again. Having an integrated channel indicator, a RELIABLE one, would be amazing. And yeah, I stole Acrylic WifiAnalyzer. I feel shame, deep shame. With this proposed solution I could stop my life of crime and become a better person.

      Like

      1. But deep shame is an interesting feeling, especially after a few hours of straight up lust…like coffee after ice cream.

        Like

  4. Very into the updates, especially the accent colours as a light theme user. Great way to add an interesting touch, and potentially a really good default so Plasma looks less spartan to new users.

    For Filelight, I like the screen but would make two very slight changes:
    1. The string should be ‘Scan folder…’ (note the …)
    2. The scan folder option may be better placed on a separate line.

    Thank you for the post as always Nate!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. > When you click on a Global Theme in System Settings, it will now tell you what changes it’s going to make, and it gives you the opportunity to only apply certain parts of it! (Dominic Hayes, Plasma 5.25):

    Love this one! Very nice work! Impatiently waiting for 5.25 to start enjoying all of these amazing features and changes! Thank you KDE team! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. KDE is bringing back all the things that made using tech so fun when I was a kid. Thank you for not falling prey to the bland lifeless minimalism herd!!

    This is kind of unrelated, but I thought I’d ask… Are KDE components fuzzed for bugs and vulnerabilities in any formal or organized way? I know just enough about fuzzing to where if there was a simple way to help I would, but I am not experienced in such things. I candidly admit my lack of knowledge on this front 🙂

    Thanks a ton as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KDE is bringing back all the things that made using tech so fun when I was a kid. Thank you for not falling prey to the bland lifeless minimalism herd!!

      I feel the exact same way. It’s one of the things that keeps up my motivation to contribute.

      This is kind of unrelated, but I thought I’d ask… Are KDE components fuzzed for bugs and vulnerabilities in any formal or organized way?

      I don’t think so, and it would be a good thing to do automatically. Maybe we could integrate it into our GitLab CI.

      Like

      1. Fuzzing seemed to me like it would be a very useful tool to proactively help with the bug hunt 🙂 I think it would also reinforce KDE’s image as a rock-solid ‘prime-time’ environment as well.

        Like

  7. Maybe one remark from my side. If new bugs can be added to 15 minutes initiative. In that case there is a good chance such list will never get done. Maybe add one or two new ones to the list only when at least 10 already listed one get resolved.

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  8. The Battery widget now always appears in the System Tray on login, instead of sometimes being missing until you manually restart Plasma (Jolene K, Plasma 5.24.5)

    Elisa has the same issue. After session restoration more often than not the icon is missing from the tray once you close the restored window (with the “keep in tray” setting active). Only way to get the icon back then is to kill Elisa, start Elisa again, unset the “keep in tray” setting and then activate that setting again.

    Like

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