This week in KDE: some nice improvements!

15-Minute Bugs Resolved

Current number of bugs: 52, down from 53. 0 added and 1 resolved:

Plasma no longer very commonly always randomly crashes on login or logout (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.97)

Current list of bugs

New Features

Dolphin, Gwenview, and Spectacle now use the XDG Portals interface for dragged-and-dropped files, which allows them to successfully drop files into sandboxed apps without punching a hole in the sandbox by giving it access to your entire home folder or the system’s temp folder (Harald Sitter, version 22.08 of these apps)

It’s now possible to set the default paper size when printing (Akseli Lahtinen, Plasma 5.26):

The “About This System” page now supports showing data from a wider range of hardware and firmware, including Apple M1 silicon (James Calligeros, Plasma 5.26):

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin’s “Show Statusbar” action now additionally lives in the Settings menu, where these kinds of view-specific preferences can typically be found in QtWidgets-based KDE apps (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 22.08):

Quite a lot of Plasma widgets have gained improved accessibility characteristics, after using them with a screen reader (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.25.4 and 5.26)

You can now find System Monitor when searching for various related search terms like “task,” “manager,” “cpu,” and “memory” (Tom Knuf, Plasma 5.26)

The wallpaper chooser view now tries to extract and display metadata from the images, when it’s available (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.26):

Navigating between virtual desktops no longer wraps around when reaching the end by default–though of course you can change this if you’d like (Someone going by the pseudonym “Awed Potato”, Plasma 5.26)

The “Show Desktop” widget and shortcut have been renamed “Peek at Desktop” to make clearer what they’ll actually do, and to provide more contrast with the alternative “Minimize all Windows” action (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.26):

System Settings’ Bluetooth page now uses a more standard and less visually glitchy popup to ask you to confirm removing a paired device (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.26):

If you’re about to comment “I hate this style, it looks terrible!” then at least you might be happy to learn that we can change it in a central place, since this UI is data-driven with the presentation being separate.

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

The Dictionary widget no longer has a visually broken icon (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.24.6)

Switching between launcher widgets (e.g. Kickoff and Kicker) no longer causes your list of favorite apps to become re-populated with the set of default favorites, if you had removed any of them (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.24.6)

The Pager widget now always switches to the actual desktop you’re hovering over when you drag an app icon to it, its visualization of windows is now smoother, and its config window no longer displays groups of radio buttons with none of the buttons selected (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.24.6)

In the Plasma Wayland session, fixed an issue that could cause an external USB-C monitor that had been turned off and back on again to stop displaying an image until the computer was rebooted. And this also fixes a total session freeze when turning on a TV screen plugged into your computer when there is a VR headset plugged in too (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.25.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, fixed an issue that could cause the system to not wake up for users of NVIDIA GPUs (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.25.3)

Plasma no longer crashes when you delete a panel that has any Panel Spacer widgets on it (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25.3)

System Settings no longer sometimes crashes when switching between cursor themes (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.25.3)

Middle-clicking on System Tray icons for apps once again works (Chris Holland, Plasma 5.25.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the cursor no longer sometimes turns invisible when using certain very broken legacy graphics drivers (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.25.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, window decorations with visible borders no longer get cut off on the right side when using a systemwide scale factor greater than 100% (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.26)

In the Plasma Wayland session, turning on an external monitor no longer immediately crashes apps that are currently display a notification with job progress (Michael Pyne, Frameworks 5.97)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when dragging something from Firefox to the Desktop (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.97)

Fixed a common cause of freezes in Kirigami-using apps with scrollable pages (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.97)

.rw2 RAW image files once again display preview thumbnails (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.97)

…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.

14 thoughts on “This week in KDE: some nice improvements!

    1. It’s not a unique Plasma effect; it’s a carbon-copy clone of a macOS effect, including turning the windows transparent when they’re in the corners. However, in macOS, you can click on the transparent windows to move them back to their original positions. In the KWin clone, you can’t, and adding the ability to do that was not technically feasible. So we figured that it was more confusing than helpful to show half-transparent windows in the corner that weren’t interactive at all, and couldn’t be made interactive.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Gentoo on an M1, someone’s showing off lol.

    I appreciate the blog posts, it’s good to see the 15 minute bugs going down fairly quickly. I’ve definitely noticed it, KDE is feeling very solid now. Some excellent work by the KDE team.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Nate. Amazing work KDE team. I am enjoying KDE everyday .
    Just a small thing.
    The show desktop applet, has a different behaviour that you might expect in productivity:
    Let’s say you have a few windows open, and you don’t want to minimise all of them, to save time, you want just one maximizing, and minimise the rest.
    Pressing show desktop shows the desktop, and then pressing maximise on one, instead of maximise just the one you want, brings all of them back.
    Maybe it suppose to be like this, but I wish at least to configure this behaviour.

    Like

    1. I think you are confusing between two widgets “Show desktop” (now “Peek at desktop”) and “Minimize all windows”. It seems that you actually want to use “Minimize all windows”.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. You and a lot of other people. We do get quite a few complaints about this, so we may end up swapping out “Minimize all Windows” by default. But before we can do that, we need to fix some bugs in how it restores minimized windows. IIRC that’s the primary reason we haven’t done it yet.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. When I first encountered Plasma 5 many years ago, having “show desktop” as a default and not knowing that “minimize all” exists was the first and the biggest obstacle. Having no way to minimize all windows as it was possible almost everywhere, it disrupted my years long habits of how I work with windows in general.
            Luckily, Manjaro was adding “minimize all” to all its installs, so I was able to find it. What a relief! All post-Windows, newbie to Plasma are highly confused by “show desktop”. Changing the name is a start, but getting rid of it as a default, will be the fix. All those people who are claiming that “show desktop” is fine are Linux nerds! Well, I am too, but I’m also an average user having no IT background. Listening to the niche users, no matter how loud in a Linuxes’ own niche, was not a smart decision. Almost everyone who used Windows for years will not accept “show desktop”. Windows got that right and Plasma should not reinvent the wheel, because there is only one wheel, other solutions are just disruptive and sub-optimal.

            Like

  3. Every week I’m amazed by the fact that I’ve never encountered any of these bugs, and that they get fixed before I ever see them. 🙂

    To my mind these are different, and should be distinguished:

    SHOW desktop means minimize all windows and LEAVE them minimized. (This is the historical default, and what I find useful)

    PEEK at desktop means minimize all windows UNTIL I release the mouse from the control, then RESTORE all windows.

    Not the same thing at all.

    Like

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