This week in KDE: big UI improvements!

New Features

In KolourPaint, you can now choose the quality level when saving an image in the AVIF, HEIF, and HEIC file formats (me: nate Graham, KolourPaint 23.04. Link)

In the Media Player widget, you can now swipe up/down to change the volume, and left/right to change the playback position (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.27. Link)

User Interface Improvements

Elisa now includes a few more popular radio stations by default (Someone going by the pseudonym “fanick1”, Elisa 23.04. Link)

System Settings’ Shortcuts page now features a significantly more obvious and useful UI for adding custom commands! (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.27. Link):

System Settings’ Launch Feedback page is no more, and everything on it has been moved into a popup accessible from the Cursors page, with an actual explanation of what the settings do (Fushan Wen and Janet Blackquill, Plasma 5.27. Link 1, link 2, and link 3):

The “Highlight Changed Settings” button that currently lives on a footer in the System Settings sidebar has been moved to the hamburger menu to streamline the UI (Alexander Wilms, Plasma 5.27. Link)

When pasting links into a Notes widget using the standard Paste action, they are now pasted as clickable links by default. And if you want to remove formatting, there’s a new context menu item for that too! (Martin Frueh, Plasma 5.27. Link 1 and link 2)

You can now move a single window to another activity using the titlebar context menu (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.27. Link)

While in Touch Mode, the global Edit Mode toolbar now lets you open the full desktop context menu too, so nothing in there is ever totally inaccessible when using a touch device (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.27. Link 1 and link 2)

The standard set of Home/End/PageUp/PageDown navigation keys now work as expected in the Clipboard widget’s list view (Tom Warnke, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Kickoff now shows separators added in KMenuEdit (Sergey Katunin, Plasma 5.27. Link):

On a very small screen, Kickoff now switches to a more compact layout so it doesn’t gobble up all of the screen space while open (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.27. Link)

When you paste a full file path into the directory chooser field of an Open dialog instead of the file path field, it now opens the file, as you probably were wanting it to do (Fushan Wen, Frameworks 5.102. Link)

Significant Bugfixes

(This is a curated list of e.g. HI and VHI priority bugs, Wayland showstoppers, major regressions, etc.)

It’s now possible to set a manual Night Color activation time later than 19:00 (Martin Frueh, Plasma 5.26.5. Link)

Windows activated by other apps that happen to be on a different virtual desktop don’t move between virtual desktops anymore, unless configured specifically to do so in System Settings (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Other bug-related information of interest:

Automation & Systematization

There’s now a nice new page on develop.kde.org about packaging your KDE app using Flatpak (Thiago Sueto, link)

There’s also a major update to the KXmlGui tutorial (Thiago Sueto, link)

All links on develop.kde.org are now checked by a continuous integration runner for reachability, so that broken links will get noticed and fixed promptly (Alessio Mattiazi, link)

Added a bunch of autotests for KRunner’s date & time functionality (Natalie Clarius, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Other

NeoChat is now available on the Microsoft store! And this version has end-to-end encryption enabled by default, in case you were wondering. 🙂 (Ingo Klöcker and the NeoChat devs. Link)

…And everything else

This blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! 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, visit 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!

And finally, KDE can’t work without financial support, so consider making a donation today!

39 thoughts on “This week in KDE: big UI improvements!

  1. Good improvements as always. KDE Plasma is becoming more and more polished. Great.

    Sorry for off-toppic but maybe someone can give me some information on whether you can tag files on an SMB share with KDE? I can’t get this to work. Anyway, on the same SMB share I can tag files with my Mac without any problems. Is this a limitation of KDE or is it my configuration? Unfortunately I don’t get an answer on Reddit.

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    1. We’re planning to remove that setting and just always heave it on, because it’s one of those pretty pointless settings where turning it off makes the UX worse and gives you the opportunity to shoot yourself in the foot.

      Like

    2. One of the first things I do when I setup my desktop on a new computer is disable the bouncy cursor.

      I don’t really need the reminder that a program is starting, and the bouncy icon is too distracting.

      At the very least, I would like the option to disable the bouncy icon. It might have felt cool 20 years ago, but do we still need it?

      Like

    3. Launch feedback is something I always change too, I make the cursor static & disable the taskbar one. I’m not sure that having it under Cursor setting rather than Applications>Launch Feedback is great, but I’d probably get used to it.

      Like

  2. Good move with the change of the “Highlight Changed Settings” button.

    I don’t know why but it always felt a bit weird in the place it was (unfortunately, this change has a cost as it’s now more difficult to find for newbies).

    Speaking of this….. Any news on that wonderful reset feature???

    It looks too quiet for too long…

    Oh… and, by the way: happy 2023 for you and everyone that comes here 🙂

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  3. Shouldn’t the “Add Command” dialog in the “Shortcuts” KCM have a “Browse” button, so one doesn’t have to manually type the full path?

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  4. How on earth is bouncy cursor still the default in 2023?!? It looks ugly and childish. Even worse: why is there still no busy cursor option either (pointer+spinner or large spinner cursor)?! That’s what those cursors are for and they’d look 100 times better than this stuff we currently have. Really, this stuff should be removed altogether.

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    1. Nate, don’t assume that everyone feels the way Jan and Luciano do. I happen to like the “bouncy cursor”. I do not think it is childish and feel that it is part of what makes KDE Plasma unique. If a distribution disables it, it is one of the first things I re-enable. A busy cursor doesn’t have to look like an hour-glass to fulfill its function.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “ugly and childish” are value judgments and you’ll always find someone who has different values than yours. When I set up Kubuntu on friends’ and clients’ old computers, I have heard some say out loud that they like the bouncy cursor. Imagine that. Someone outside of nerd computer circles doesn’t think it’s ugly and childish.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Please don’t remove the bouncy cursor, imo it belongs to KDE as the wobbly windows do. I really like it, so please don’t remove it just because a few haters are very loud. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Exactly! All bouncy, flashy, blinky-blinky things and hover-over popups are a major distraction and makes the whole desktop look very busy and frankly unprofessional. Childish, if you will. Ridiculous is also a word that applies here. Irritating is another. These things should never be on by default, unless the computer is set up at an elementary school or a clown academy.. “Simple by default, powerful when needed”, that applies here too. It’s not “Silly by default, serious when needed”, you know. If someone wants to turn on all the Christmas lights, be my guest, but do it yourself. This is also why we buy Christmas trees WITHOUT any decorations..Heck, many people don’t even want a Christmas tree, imagine that.

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  5. Hi, Nate. Congrats for your huge commitment at Plasma whole resources. I did like to make a sugestion, and really do not know where to;
    I did like Kolourpaint had a [Light] Mark Pen, as in some other app does, like Spectacle itself; I work a lot with this tool and that be of very hand help.

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  6. > You can now move a single window to another activity using the titlebar context menu (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.27. Link)

    This was my only workaround for Bug 445664. It seems that from 5.27 onwards I need to find some alternatives to activities.

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    1. If I recall it correctly, some years ago in the taskbar and in the titlebar there were two different solutions for placing windows among activities. None of them knew the “Move” feature.

      Then a new solution was developed with the “Move” feature. The taskbar version got in place of the titlebar version (and the latter got removed) and the new solution got in place of the taskbar version.

      However, with the new taskbar version with the “Move” feature there’s a problem (and Bug 445664 is about it): it doesn’t work for some reason. Its context menu disappears after clicking but doesn’t perform any other actions.

      The workaround for it is to use the titlebar version. However, if that gets replaced, the ability to move windows around activities will be lost (for me at least). Hence, I need to discover some alternatives.

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  7. This looks like a great update!
    When are we going to get the Desktop 3D Cube effect again? Missing that feature a lot!

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  8. Great job as always. It’s so nice to see Plasma and KDE apps get more and more polished and consistent.
    There’s one little problem though in your post: the part about Neochat says it has E2E encryption enabled by default, while the description in the Microsoft store says it still doesn’t support it. Which one is true? Assuming your post is more up-to-date, that Microsoft store description (as well its page on apps.kde.org) needs to be updated to inform user it does support E2EE

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    1. Oh darn, let me look into which one is correct. I definitely remember *someone* telling me the Windows build has E2EE enabled…

      Like

  9. Great job! Keep it up! I’d like to ask something. I use KDE Neon Testing and last Friday while updating got this message: “E: Repository ‘http://archive.neon.kde.org/testing jammy InRelease’ changed its ‘Label’ value from ‘KDE neon – Testing Edition’ to ‘KDE neon – Stable Edition'” Now, here:
    https://archive.neon.kde.org/testing/dists/jammy/Release
    reads:
    Origin: neon
    Label: KDE neon – Stable Edition
    Suite: jammy
    Codename: jammy
    Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2023 16:51:43 UTC
    Architectures: all amd64 arm64 armel armhf i386
    Components: main
    Description: Generated by aptly
    I managed to get rid of the message, but I think this is some kind of mistake or something, I think the label should read: “Label: KDE neon – Testing Edition”

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  10. Some people here seem to dislike popups and bouncing stuff. I can’t agree. Thing is, those who don’t like it, can (and should be able to) disable blinking-shminking things, but elder people who struggle with lots of settings and have vision issues must be provided with all possible means to notice new notifications and app feedback by default.

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    1. And they can, using the “Animation Speed” slider that’s staring them in the face on the Quick Settings page when they open System Settings. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah I meant to stress that bouncing and popups should be on by default in order to make new and possibly not pro users to see what’s going on. This is especially important in light of growing consistency of the Plasma desktop, which is awesome but at the same time it has less eye-catching elements (I hope you get it right) as a side effect of this consistency and uniformity.

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    3. This will sound harsh but “elderly people who struggle with lots of settings and have vision issues” are not quite the target audience for KDE. There’s no nice way to say it. Yes, everyone is of course welcome to use linux, but the elderly are not the future of desktop linux. The elderly with all kinds of struggles most likely have a relative that can turn on all accessibility settings for them to use, having all that as default for all the rest of us is just plain ridiculous. I’m sure there’s a distro that already caters to the elderly out there somewhere.

      Like

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