This week in KDE: Offline updates are now optional

I have good news for those of you who are upset by KDE Neon moving to offline updates by default: we’ve made a GUI setting to turn it off (there was already a CLI setting). I get that the nerdy tech crowd is not super thrilled by this new more Windows 10-style update mode. But though you might find it annoying, it really does improve your system’s stability. I can point to literally hundreds of bug reports about problems caused entirely by not rebooting the computer after installing updates. However, in KDE we want you to be in control, so starting in Plasma 5.22, you’ll be able to enable or disable offline updates to suit your preference. This work was done by Aleix Pol Gonzalez:

And yeah, all these update-related options live in System Settings, not in Discover itself

Other New Features

The Global Menu widget now includes a Search field that you can use to quickly locate menu items! (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.22)

Discover has gained the ability to update distros using rpm-ostree, such as Fedora Silverblue and Fedora Kinoite (Mariam Fahmy, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, screen-casting will now enter “Do Not Disturb” mode by default (though this can be overridden, if desired) (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

You can now set screens’ overscan values in the Plasma Wayland session (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Hugely improved Gwenview’s speed, responsiveness, and memory usage when loading and navigating large grid views, particularly for files located on network locations (Arjen Hiemstra, Gwenview 20.08)

Entering your password in the Networks applet no longer causes the networks list to re-arrange itself while you’re typing and sometimes send your password to the wrong network! This has been a problem for quite a while, and we tried various targeted fixes that never fully worked; this time we went for the nuclear option that should finally solve it once and for all! (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.21.5)

The new Plasma System Monitor app no longer crashes when you select a new display style for any of the sensors (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.5)

Sending files to Bluetooth devices from Dolphin now works again (Egor Ignatov, Plasma 5.21.5)

Discover once again displays firmware updates for eligible devices (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21.5)

It is now possible to specify a usergroup for OpenConnect VPNs (Aaron Barany, Plasma 5.21.5)

Long names in System Settings’ Users page no longer overflow (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.5)

Fixed one of the ways that KWin can crash when using a multi-GPU system (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, KWin no longer sometimes crashes when showing Task Manager thumbnails or ending a screen recording/streaming session (Alois Wohlschlager, Plasma 5.22)

Accented and dead keys now work in the Plasma Wayland session when the virtual keyboard is available (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22 with Qt 5.15.3 plus KDE’s backported patches)

The Present Windows effect now works in the Plasma Wayland session when activated from grouped Task Manager entries (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

The new S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system no longer erroneously warns you that VirtualBox disks are broken when they’re not, or tracks the status for devices without S.M.A.R.T. support at all (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.22)

When using the new Systemd startup feature, processes that crash at logout or login can no longer either block re-login, or fail to get started at login in circumstances under which they would otherwise launch normally (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings no longer sometimes crashes when navigating from one QtQuick-based page to another (Jan Blackquill, Frameworks 5.82)

List Items throughout QtQuick-based KDE software no longer exhibit excessive left padding for their icons (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.82)

User Interface Improvements

Digital signatures in Okular are no longer drawn with scary red text (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.04)

When dragging a document in Okular using the mouse, the cursor now wraps around horizontally when you reach the edge of the screen, just like it already does vertically (David Hurka, Okular 21.08)

On systems with slow PackageKit implementations (such as openSUSE-based distros), Discover now presents the initial view a bit more accurately while metadata is still being loaded (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22)

In the new Plasma System Monitor app, any page with a search field now focuses that search field by default when the page is loaded, so you can always start typing right away to search (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

The Bluetooth applet’s section separator now visually matches that of the Networks applet (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Web Presence

Pablo Marcos re-did Okular’s website to be nice and modern, with the help of Carl Schwan:

…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.

This week in KDE: Activities on Wayland

This week the Wayland train continued barreling on, full speed ahead! We picked up a bunch of nice fixes and a big feature:

New Features

The “Activities” feature now mostly works on Wayland! There are a few remaining things to implement to make it 100% comparable to the X11 version, but that should get done in time for the next Major Plasma release (Kevin Ottens, Plasma 5.22)

Sticky Note widgets now have an option to change the font size (Shantanu Tushar, Plasma 5.22):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Zooming in and out in Okular now works correctly when using the “Trim Margins” feature (Gerd Wachsmuth, Okular 21.04)

Media9 PDF movie annotations can once again be played in Okular (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.04)

When using Okular’s “Invert Luma/Lightness” setting, the loading page now retains its correct color (David Hurka, Okular 21.04)

Ark can now un-archive zip files with Windows-style backslashes used as path separators (João Silva, Ark 21.08)

Fixed a bug in the Breeze application style that could manifest as a big ugly black square appearing in KMail (Fabian Vogt, Plasma 5.18.8)

Fixed one way that Plasma could crash right after login (John Zimmermann, Plasma 5.21.4)

The Plasma Wayland session will no longer crash if you plug in an external screen while in a non-GUI session (e.g. a virtual terminal) (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.4)

The Bluetooth applet’s tooltip no longer displays the wrong name of the currently connected device. I originally fixed this 9 months ago in Plasma 5.19.1 but somehow the fix was never merged into Plasma 5.20, so it got broken again. That has now been corrected (me: Nate Graham with help from James John, Plasma 5.21.4)

Ultra-wide screens with a 21:9 aspect ratio are now displayed as “21:9” in System Settings’ Display Configuration page, rather than “64:27” (lol) (Felipe Kinoshita, Plasma 5.21.4)

Fixed one way that KWin could crash with certain low-power embedded GPUs (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21.5)

Maximized GTK app windows are no longer positioned too high in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21.5)

Discover’s ability to show you an app’s dependencies now works again (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21.5)

Disconnecting a screen in the Plasma Wayland session no longer causes all Qt apps to crash (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22)

Global shortcuts are now working even on non-US keyboard layouts (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.22 in conjunction with a Qt version that has this pending patch integrated)

Plasma no longer lags or hangs when displaying a massive number of tooltips for grouped Task Manager tasks (Aleksei Nikiforov, Plasma 5.22)

The kglobalaccel5 daemon can no longer block re-login by crashing on the previous log-out and then getting stuck (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22 or Frameworks 5.82; whichever one you get first)

When using a multi-screen setup, the lock screen no longer only displays typed text on the text field of the left-most screen, even if you clicked on the text field on a different screen (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22)

The Task Manager’s “Highlight windows when hovering over tasks” feature now works in the Plasma Wayland session (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps no longer crash if you delete an open file on disk and choose the “Close file, discarding contents” option in the warning message that appears in the app (Christoph Cullmann, Frameworks 5.82)

Fixed a rare case where Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps could crash when dragging text (Waqar Ahmed, Frameworks 5.82)

Context Menus for text fields inside Kirigami overlay sheets are no longer displayed below the sheet content (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.82)

In Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps, the code completion pop-up no longer sometimes take up the whole screen width (Waqar Ahmed, Frameworks 5.82)

Text in Plasma tab buttons (such as in the new Kickoff menu) now gets elided when there’s not enough space, rather than overflowing (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.82)

User Interface Improvements

Konsole’s “Edit Profile” window now displays errors inline, rather than using an ugly modal dialog window (Ahmad Samir, Konsole 21.04):

Okular’s “Continuous” mode is now considered to be a document-specific setting (like the zoom settings are), rather than a global setting (Mahmoud Khalil, Okular 21.08)

Items in the System Settings KWin Scripts now use the “pending deletion” pattern used in many other pages, whereby deleting an item only marks as it as in a “pending deletion” state and it only actually gets deleted when you click the “Apply” button (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

System Tray applets now receive keyboard focus when opened, so they can be interacted with using the keyboard (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.22)

Hover buttons in the Clipboard System Tray applet’s list items are now top-aligned for tall ones, so that the trash button doesn’t shift around according to height, which makes it easy to click on that button repeatedly to manually prune your history list (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Discover no longer shows a huge weird rapidly-disappearing tooltip while loading the Updates page if the cursor is over any part of it (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

The tooltip for the window decoration button used to keep a window above all others now makes its purpose more clear (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

The previously somewhat confusing “Keyboard Indicator” applet has been renamed and given a UI overhaul to clarify what it is and what it does (Andrey Butirsky and me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

The Task Manager tooltip now visually indicates when it’s scrollable by displaying a visible scrollbar (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

When using the systemwide double-click mode, it’s now possible to disable “click a selected file’s label to rename it” feature for desktop icons, just as it is in Dolphin (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

Discover’s view of an app’s dependencies has received a visual overhaul and now also shows you the exact name of the package for the app in question and also groups the dependencies by installation status (Aleix Pol Gonzalez and me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Looks like this will install all of GNOME; guess I don’t wanna do that

All the grid view pages in System Settings now sort items case-insensitively (me: Nate Graham and Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

Plasma list items now have left and right margins that are consistent with their top and bottom margins (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.82)

Various message dialogs throughout KDE software no longer display pointless tooltips saying, “Yes” and “No” when you hover your cursor over buttons whose own text may already be “Yes” and “No”! (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.82)

Web Presence

Check out Niccolò’s video about how to set up a development environment and submit a merge request. Very handy for audiovisual learners!

…Read that as “dev env” not “ded end” lol

…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.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the hamburger menu

Yesterday we introduced KHamburgerMenu to the world, and I wanted to talk a bit more about it, because I think it’s a very exciting UI control in ways that may not be immediately obvious.

But first some background: a few years ago I wrote a big long post criticizing GNOME-style headerbars, and one of my complaints was that adopting them requires the replacement of traditional menu bars with hamburger menus. You know, this little thing:

Because the button’s icon looks like a hamburger, gedit? I’ll show myself out now

Specifically, here are the problems I see with GNOME’s hamburger menus:

  • They are mandatory with the headerbar design because there is no place to put a traditional in-window menu bar.
  • To condense the entire app’s non-visible functionality into a small hamburger menu, you have to remove a lot of features, making it unsuitable for large and complex apps because there’s simply no way to fit in all the functionality.
  • GNOME hamburger menus don’t show keyboard shortcuts, so they fail to teach users how to become more proficient right at the point of use for each feature.
  • GNOME headerbar items can’t have custom drag behaviors in order to preserve window draggability, so they don’t let you click-and-hold to open, slide the cursor over an item, and release to select that item.
  • GNOME hamburger menus are implemented as a widget inside the app’s window, so they can get cut off if the window is too small–reinforcing the need to avoid putting too much stuff in them (EDIT: apparently this is fixed in GTK4 on Wayland):
lol (note: laughter is only applicable to X11)

Our grass isn’t that much greener

However, I think at the time I was being too kind to traditional menu bars to help me make my argument. Over time I have sometimes found myself frustrated with how hard it is to actually find anything quickly in traditional menu bars. Every time I use a GNOME headerbar app, I have to admit that as an infrequent user, I appreciate the approachability and speed of their simple and consistent hamburger menus. The apps feel friendly and easy to use, not overwhelming as some KDE apps can be (though I think we’re getting better about this). And I think our flagship apps’ use of huge menu bar structures is a part of that feeling of overwhelmingness. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we need to admit that traditional menu bars can suffer from a variety of well-known problems that we can’t just ignore:

  • Menu bars are designed to show everything, so they are inherently duplicative; a button visible in the toolbar or status bar still needs an item in the menu bar. This causes the menu structure to become enormous with medium to large apps. Because menu bars are not context-aware, they’re always full of disabled menu items that you have to ignore, or wonder why they’re disabled. Thus it becomes harder to find any given menu item since you need to mentally filter out all the irrelevant ones.
  • Menu bars require strict categorization for every action which can become nebulous or nonsensical. Why are the “New Tab” and “Quit” menu items typically in the File menu? Why is “Search” in the Edit menu? Why is “Donate” in the Help menu? Because there weren’t any better places to put them without adding even more top-level menus, which would make everything harder to find. And depending on the toolkit or OS, an app’s “Preferences/Configure” item can be found in the Edit menu, the Tools menu, the Settings menu, or even somewhere else entirely!
  • Finding anything in a menu bar is slow. There are generally between 4 and 12 top-level menus, and because items are imperfectly categorized, in practice you end up having to just scrub through all of them to find what you’re looking for. With big apps, menus are very long, so this takes forever. macOS goes so far as to offer a menu item search feature just because it’s usually faster to search than to actually use the menu structure!
  • Because a traditional in-window menu bar consumes a row in the window’s header area, it wastes all the space to the right of the menu, and can cause the header area to become quite thick when it also has a titlebar, a toolbar, a tab bar, a URL bar, and so on. This can add up, especially for laptops with 16:9 aspect ratio screens.

So if the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but it isn’t greener on our side either… where can we find some green grass? It can’t be a barren wasteland everywhere!

UI design has to be better than this, at least somewhere! (with apologies to the U.S. state of Nevada, which is not all this ugly)

A place for everything, and everything in its place

For big apps with lots of features, menu bars are probably here to stay. They aren’t perfect, but humanity hasn’t yet figured out something appreciably better: hamburger menus can’t fit everything without becoming insane; ribbons take up much more space and suffer from the same categorization problems; sidebars take up even more space; trying to put all the controls inline with 100% context sensitivity becomes overwhelming. The jury’s still out on this one.

And this is fine: since KDE apps don’t use headerbars, there is a place for a powerful app’s menu bar to live without infringing on any other UI element’s turf. We fully support traditional menu bars and we always will!

However for smaller apps with less functionality, a menu bar can be overkill. As I mentioned earlier, I think a well-designed hamburger menu is quite pleasant to use, even if its implementation in GNOME is quite limiting and suffers from technical restrictions. If only there were a way to have the advantages of such a clean and friendly setup for small-to-medium apps, without any of its disadvantages…

KHamburgerMenu to the rescue

And this is where KHamburgerMenu comes in. While designing it, we were conscious of the problems with GNOME hamburger menus and specifically set out to avoid them, while also trying to match it to KDE’s existing technical and cultural conventions:

  • The hamburger menu provided by KHamburgerMenu is optional; if you just don’t like hamburger menus, you can use a full traditional menu bar if you like. And apps that are so powerful and complex that they demand the use of a full menu bar do not have to adopt KHamburgerMenu at all if they don’t want!
  • A KHamburgerMenu toolbar button is just another ordinary toolbar button, so you can move it to another place, give it some text, change its icon, or remove it entirely if you are a fussy advanced user who wants no menubar and no hamburger menu. It’s your choice! The system adapts to you, not the reverse.
  • KHamburgerMenu menus provide emergency access to the full menu structure in case the curated set of actions isn’t enough, which eliminates the need to remove features to conform to the new UI style for apps that do adopt it!
  • KHamburgerMenu menus show keyboard shortcuts, so they teach the user how to become more proficient in using the software!
  • KHamburgerMenu menus let you click-drag-release to quickly trigger an item!
  • KHamburgerMenu menus are traditional menus, so they aren’t limited to the dimensions of the window even on X11, further reducing the pressure to make them as small as possible!
  • KHamburgerMenu can modify the contents of its menu according to what’s visible on the toolbar. For example in Dolphin, the menu can avoid showing the “Sort By” item because this would be redundant with the one on the toolbar, but if you remove that button from the toolbar… it can become visible in the hamburger menu!
Again, this layout is not final! 🙂

I think KHamburgerMenu will truly bridge the gap for KDE’s moderately powerful QWidgets-based apps like Dolphin, Okular, Gwenview, Konsole, KWrite, and KCalc–providing the space savings and pleasing single entry point of GNOME-style hamburger menus, without its drawbacks of being inflexible, mandatory, limited in size, hiding keyboard shortcuts, and requiring that adopting apps remove functionality. If we get it right, our flagship apps will feel much more approachable while not losing any of their powerful features or customizability. Doing this in a flexible and optional way is more work, of course–and if we’re honest with ourselves, it will probably lead to more corner-case bugs. But that’s the KDE way. 🙂 We have to be true to who we are, even when we march boldly into the future!

This week in KDE: KHamburgerMenu and some good bugfixes

Today I’d like to introduce an interesting new component that will eventually be rolled out in many KDE apps with menubars: KHamburgerMenu. This re-usable component allows QWidgets-based apps to show a custom hamburger menu w2hen the main menubar is hidden, like Dolphin already does. In fact, we are in the process of porting Dolphin’s custom implementation to use KHamburgerMenu. Here’s a sneak peek of the early alpha work:

NOTE: this layout is not final and is highly likely to change!

Adopting KHamburgerMenu offers KDE apps many features and advantages:

  1. It offers an escape valve for users who hide the menubar by accident! This is a surprisingly serious problem, and KDE’s bugtracker is littered with reports from users who did not figure out how to show their menubar again!
  2. It allows users who want maximum vertical space to choose to hide the menubar without losing GUI access to the menu items, or having to activate the titlebar-based menubar or global menubar (maybe they don’t like those; we’re all about choice in KDE after all!).
  3. Being a re-usable framework, KHamburgerMenu can be applied to KDE apps besides just Dolphin.
  4. Though the hamburger menu shows a curated assortment of items from the main menubar, the app’s full menu structure is available from a sub-menu on the bottom (See “For 83 more actions:”, in the screenshot above) so nothing is ever completely hidden. This means that the curation of items can be more selective because there is no longer a need to cram everything into the main level to make sure it isn’t totally invisible to the user. This will result in hamburger menus whose contents are short and relevant.
  5. The new hamburger button is just a regular toolbar item like all others, so you can relocate it, rename it, change its icon, or remove it entirely if you really do want to hide the menubar and not use a hamburger menu.

Big thanks to Felix Ernst for this work! It has been merged for Frameworks 5.81, and we are working on porting Dolphin and Gwenview to use it, hopefully to land in their 21.08 releases. And hopefully more will be coming too.


Some of you may be wondering, “Does KDE plan to kill off the menubar the way GNOME did? Have your feelings on this matter changed since you wrote a scathing criticism of headerbars and hamburger menus back in 2018?” My answers would be 1) no, we have no intention of killing off traditional menubars especially for large and complex apps, and 2) yes, my personal feelings on Hamburger menus have changed somewhat over time, particularly because KHamburgerMenu is engineered to avoid what we see as the drawbacks of the GNOME-style hamburger menu. However, I’ll have to expand on that in another blog post because this intro section is getting waaaaay too long! So stay tuned.

Edit: here you go: https://pointieststick.com/2021/04/03/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-hamburger-menu

Anyway, here’s the rest:

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When Dolphin is configured to restore history on launch (as it does by default), if it is launched with a URL corresponding to a location that was already open last time, it now opens and focuses that location, rather than opening a redundant new tab for it (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 21.04)

It’s no longer possible to use Dolphin’s “Mount ISO” action to mount the same ISO image multiple times (Kwon-Young Choi, Dolphin 21.04)

The FortiSSLVPN networkmanager plugin now works (Pedro Gomes, Plasma 5.21.4)

Single-keyboard-layout setups in the Plasma Wayland session no longer fail to load your keyboard options and variants (e.g. alternative Caps Lock behaviors) (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.21.4)

Task Manager entries for apps capable of showing a numbered badge in the corner no longer sometimes pointlessly show a badge with the number zero in it (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.21.4)

Syncing your font size to the SDDM login screen now works in the case where the system is using its default font size, but that size differs from the default font size of the login screen (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.21.4)

You can once again create new files on a writable FTP share using Dolphin’s “Create New…” menu (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.81)

The image thumbnailer no longer sometimes crashes when taking a screenshot (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.81)

The Baloo file indexer is now more reliably able to notice when files have been renamed or moved (Stefan Brüns, Frameworks 5.81)

User Interface Improvements

Gwenview’s initial window size the first time you launch it is now a more reasonable 1020×700 (me: Nate Graham, Gwenview 21.04)

Taking into account user feedback from last week regarding the new Plasma applet config dialog appearance, we decided to revert the changes and go back to the customary KDE style in the absence of consensus and work to simultaneously change all settings dialogs to use a new style (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.22):

Search fields in Discover and the “Get New [thing]” dialogs now automatically initiate a search a few seconds after you finish typing, if you haven’t already pressed the Enter key by that point (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen and me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.81 and Plasma 5.22)

The Digital Clock Applet’s option to always display the local timezone is now presented in a clearer way in the settings window (Momo Cao, Plasma 5.22):

When using our Breeze GTK theme, scrollbars in ancient GTK2 apps now look more similar to Breeze-style scrollbars in Qt apps (Marco Rebhan, Plasma 5.22)

…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 refactorings, 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.

This week in KDE: all the things

Do you like things? I like things! Have all the things:

New Features

Kate and KWrite now have basic touchscreen scrolling support! (Daniel Tang, Kate 21.08)

System Settings now opens to a new “Quick Settings” page that displays some of the most commonly-used settings, and even includes a link to the wallpaper settings as well! (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.22):

There’s now an option for Digital Clock applets placed on a horizontal panel to force single-line display of both date and time irrespective of the panel’s height (Momo Cao, Plasma 5.22):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When activating KDE Connect’s standalone “Reply to message” window, it now comes to the front automatically instead of hiding annoyingly behind existing windows (at least on X11; on Wayland, nothing comes to the front automatically, but it will soon once our proposed cross-app activation protocol is merged and then we adopt it) (Bharadwaj Raju, KDE Connect 21.04)

Substantially improved the speed and performance of taking high DPI screenshots in Spectacle (Vlad Zahorodnii, Spectacle 21.08 or newer with Plasma 5.22 or newer)

Color scheme previews once again show the correct colors in the inner view section, and the preview no longer sometimes gets cut off at the bottom (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

In the new Plasma System Monitor app, the right sidebar’s content no longer sometimes gets cut off (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

Changing the volume no longer sometimes causes it to get increased or decreased by one percentage point more or less that the amount you would expect it to be adjusted by (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, changing random settings in System Settings or switching Global themes no longer sometimes randomly causes Plasma or KWin to crash (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the Task Manager is now capable of cycling through windows of a grouped task on click exactly as in the X11 session (Usarin Heininga, Plasma 5.22)

KRunner’s history drop-down menu now always works even if you’re using a crusty old Plasma theme that’s a fork of an old version of Breeze and hasn’t been updated in ages and ages (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

The National Geographic picture of the day wallpaper now works again, and has been future-proofed a bit to hopefully make it less likely to break in the future if the source URLs change again (George Dietrich, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings now shows whether the Window Behavior page has any changed settings with the customary orange dot in the sidebar when using its “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.22)

Drag-and-drop operations in the Plasma Wayland session no longer activate every single window that the cursor passes over while dragging (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22)

Pressing the Esc key in the new Plasma System Monitor app while a popup is open no longer closes both the popup and also any other closable thing below it that was also open (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

KRunner no longer sometimes launches apps as the wrong user under certain circumstances (Fabian Vogt, Frameworks 5.81)

Unmounting a mounted volume after opening and then closing any files on it no longer gets stuck (David Faure, Frameworks 5.81)

Dolphin no longer sometimes crashes when playing a video preview in the Information Panel, and also uses a bit less memory when doing so (Harald Sitter, phonon-vlc 0.11)

User Interface Improvements

Kate and KWrite now tell you what to do instead if you mistakenly run them with sudo or kdesu to try to edit root-owned files (me: Nate Graham, Kate 21.04):

The subtitle for Plasma Vaults items now wraps, so that the error next never gets elided before the useful part of the message can be printed (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.4):

“…Used by what?!?!?!?!” Now this infuriating situation will never happen again lol

NOTE: this is a screenshot showing what WON’T happen anymore! Don’t go thinking that this is what I changed it to! I just had to share a screenshot showing the problem to be solved because of how Kafka-esque it was!

Discover’s notification now retains its interactive button when viewed in the notifications applet, so you can click on it to open Discover and start the update (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Klipper’s hidden feature to show a pop-up with all the saved clipboard entries right at the cursor position is now bound to the Meta+V shortcut, so now it’s super easy to press that and see all the saved clipboard entries and call up whichever one you want! Apparently Windows 10 just implemented something like this, but it turns out we’ve had it for years, probably decades. 🙂 (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Taking into account user feedback, we have reverted the change to System Settings that put the Global Themes item into the sidebar’s header area, in favor of a new approach that simply indents all the child pages below it. This also restores the ability to click on the whole header area to go back (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.22):

The configuration windows for Plasma applets have received a visual overhaul which makes them more consistent with other modern KDE apps and also fixes a bunch of bugs, particularly regarding the desktop configuration view not remembering its size and sometimes abruptly changing its size (Carl Schwan, Plasma 5.22):

The Highlight Windows effect that is displayed by default when switching windows no longer shows ghost outlines of non-highlighted windows that can cause a bizarre jumble on the screen when many windows are stacked on top of one another at the same or similar positions (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.22)

Breeze tabs now have a subtle colored line on the top of the active tab, which makes it clear which tab is active when there are only two, especially when using a dark color scheme (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.22):

It’s now possible to delete installed Splash Screens installed using the Get New Splash Screens window straight from the System Settings page itself, without having to go back to that window (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

The Emoji Selector window now offers an option to clear the history of recently-used Emojis (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

The scrollbar mini-map in Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps now respects your active color scheme (Jan Paul Batrina, Frameworks 5.81)

Kate, KWrite, and other KTextEditor-based apps no pointlessly longer prompt you to save your changes when you close a document that’s both blank and also unsaved, because in this circumstance, there are no changes (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.81)

…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 refactorings, 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.

This week in KDE: Some cool new features

New Features

KDE Connect now supports the quick reply feature of Plasma’s notifications, allowing you to reply to a text message from within the notification itself! (Nicolas Fella, KDE Connect 21.08)

Kate now has an optional panel that displays all the TODO items in a project (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.08)

In the Audio Volume applet’s “Applications” tab, hovering over the name of an app that’s currently playing audio now displays which device it’s outputting to (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Partition Manager now correctly reports the S.M.A.R.T status for all disks (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Partition Manager 21.04)

KCalc’s “Constants” buttons now have legible text when using a dark color scheme (Frederik Schwarzer, KCalc 21.08)

When using Okular on a multi-monitor system that supports and uses different scale factors for each screen, Okular now draws its window and content according to the scale factor of whichever screen it’s currently located on, rather than the highest one from among all connected screens (Oliver Sander, Okular 21.08)

Pasting saved Klipper text into GTK apps in the Plasma Wayland session now works (Fabio Bas, Plasma 5.21.4)

When applying a Global Theme to a new user, applet positions no longer get messed up when logging in as that user the second time (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21.4)

Assigning a color to a sensor in the new Plasma System Monitor app no longer incorrectly applies it to every one (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

Scrolling on the desktop to switch between virtual desktops now respects the “Navigation wraps around” setting that you can set in the System Settings Virtual Desktops page (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings’ “Highlight changed settings” feature no longer gets confused by localized text in the Locations page (Méven Car, Plasma 5.22)

After setting a fractional scale factor (e.g. 125%) in the Plasma Wayland session, XWayland windows now respond properly to mouse input immediately, rather than requiring that the system be restarted first (Weng Xuetian, Plasma 5.22)

When uninstalling an item from a “Get New [thing]” window, the UI no longer sometimes claims that the uninstallation process is hanging forever even when it actually succeeded (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.81)

User Interface Improvements

It’s now possible to select the text of the filename in Dolphin’s information panel, so that it can be copied to the clipboard (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 21.04)

When you open a document in Okular that was already open, Okular now switches to that document by default (the behavior is configurable) instead of opening it again in a new instance (me: Nate Graham, Okular 21.04)

Gwenview’s status bar now always lives at the bottom of the window (Noah Davis, Gwenview 21.08)

The wallpaper dialog’s “Positioning” Combobox is now the same width as all the other ones so all you OCD people can stop twitching uncomfortably now 🙂 (Filip Fila, Plasma 5.21.3)

When opening the Window Rules page from the titlebar context menu, it now opens in System Settings rather than in a strange custom dialog, which fixes various bugs including text not being copyable (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.22)

Improved the animation effect for the blue line that shows you which System Tray item is active (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

Discover’s screenshot pop-up now has a visible close button so you don’t have to figure out that you click on the darkened background area to close it (Justin Zobel, Plasma 5.22)

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.

This week in KDE: Elisa grows up

This week I want to highlight something big: Elisa now has a full mobile interface, making it a first-class citizen on Plasma Mobile and Android! A ton of of the code is shared, thanks to KDE’s Kirigami user interface toolkit. Thanks very much to Devin Lin for this enormously impactful contribution that makes Elisa a fully convergent music player!

In addition we got a lot of work done on the new Plasma System monitor app, which is going to replace the venerable KSysguard by default in Plasma 5.22. It’s currently optional, so we’re very thankful for the amount of testing that adventurous people have done with it. This promises to make the full-roll out in Plasma 5.22 much smoother. Thank you everyone!

Other New Features

Kate now has a feature to let you jump back to the previous cursor position (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04):

You are now notified and asked to back up your data when problems with your disk are detected that do not quite rise to the level of a full S.M.A.R.T failure, but are nonetheless worrying and could potentially cause data loss soon (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.22)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Konsole no longer crashes if you close a tab and then immediately use the “Bookmark all tabs as folder” action (Carlos Alves, Konsole 21.04)

Elisa can now play AAC files (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 21.04)

When Dolphin is sorting by on-disk sizes, it no longer orders folders first when not asked to do so (Méven Car, Dolphin 21.04)

When you tell Gwenview to open a set of files that includes any files which happen to have the same name, it no longer somewhat terrifyingly shows an overwrite dialog prompting you to delete one of them which freezes and becomes non-interactive anyway (Méven Car, Gwenview 21.04)

Spectacle no longer inappropriately enables “on click” mode under certain circumstances (Vlad Zahorodnii, Spectacle 21.04)

Fixed a case where the new Plasma System Monitor app could crash on Wayland (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

The “Force Font DPI” setting is once again usable on Wayland, so those of you who were using it to work around Wayland’s blurry fractional scaling can do so again (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.3)

Changing the settings of any of the System Monitor widgets now always results in the Apply button being enabled (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.3)

The “Amount of history to keep” setting in system monitor widgets and the new app now works (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

Moving a widget within a page in the new Plasma System Monitor app now works (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

The new Plasma System Monitor app now remembers its filter text if you switch away from the filtered view and then go back (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

Text in table columns in the new Plasma System Monitor app is now always properly vertically aligned no matter what font settings you use (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

The new Plasma System Monitor app’s “Quit Application” dialog no longer mis-renders its checkbox when using certain fonts (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

Spectacle’s “Rectangular Region” mode once again works in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22)

When using Dropbox and setting its System Tray item to be “always hidden”, it now remembers this state after the computer is rebooted (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

For apps which live in the System Tray and change the contents of their context menus, those menus are now properly displayed in the Plasma X11 session (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

The Flickr picture of the day wallpaper now stores its API key in a central location so that it can be updated as needed, without people having to wait for updates to their software (Yunhe Guo, Plasma 5.22)

Fixed a case where System Settings could crash while installing new themes (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.81)

File dialogs now add the correct filename extension while saving in the particular case when the document’s filename already ends with a period (Robert Hoffman, Frameworks 5.81)

Headsets with an integrated “Play/Pause” button now do what you expect every time that button is pressed, not only every second time (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.81)

Panel margins no longer change when compositing is disabled (Niccolò Venerandi, Frameworks 5.81)

User Interface Improvements

Konsole once again exposes the default profile in the UI, for those of you who missed it (Ahmad Samir, Konsole 21.04)

Okular’s support for FictionBook files has been enhanced to support <annotation> and <subtitle> tags (Yuri Chornoivan, Okular 21.04)

You can now set a keyboard repeat rate higher than 50 key events per second; the new maximum is 100 (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.3)

After moving or copying a file, the notification now indicates which app will open the file if you click on the “Open” button (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22):

The checkbox in the Bluetooth System Tray applet to disable Bluetooth can now be used to enable it again as well (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

The Plasma Vaults applet now offers a standalone “Show in File Manager” action that you can activate for open vaults to easily jump right there (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Using Discover to update your Nvidia drivers (or any other packages with a license agreement) no longer prompts you to re-accept the license agreement unless it has actually changed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22)

Sticky Note widgets now ask for confirmation when you try to delete a note, but only when the note has real content in it–not when it’s empty or when you just created it from clipboard content (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

.

The new Plasma System Monitor app now remembers the way you left your table columns and sidebars when you quit and re-launch it (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.22)

All of the Breeze icons that depict locked or unlocked states now follow the same visual convention of locked icons having a filled body and unlocked icons having a hollow body (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.81):

Web presence

Check out episode four of Niccolò’s series on how to create a Plasma theme:

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.

This week in KDE: Adaptive panel opacity and auto-restored unsaved documents in Kate!

A big Plasma feature was added this week: adaptive Plasma panel opacity! Now the panel and panel applets are more transparent than they were before, allowing more of a tint from the beautiful wallpaper on your desktop! But what’s this? You’re about to complain that you maximize all your windows so the increased transparency will look ugly? In fact, we now make your panel and panel applets 100% opaque when there are any maximized windows, ensuring no ugly effect! But what if you don’t want that either? Well, if you don’t want adaptive opacity we now let you make your panel and panel applets always transparent, or always opaque! Hopefully that should make everyone happy. 🙂 Let’s give a round of applause to Niccolò Venerandi and Jan Blackquill for this work, which will show up in Plasma 5.22.

Another notable feature got merged as well: the ability to have Kate automatically preserve and restore unsaved files or even unsaved changes in files when quit and re-launched! This feature makes use of Kate’s existing session functionality and is off by default for now pending lots of testing by adventurous users like yourself. 🙂 So please go test it out! To do so, make sure you’re using a session, or make one with the “Save Session As…” menu item in Kate’s Sessions menu. Then go to Kate’s settings window, navigate to the “Sessions” page, and check the checkboxes under “Automatically save and restore:” Méven Car implemented this long-awaited feature for Kate 21.04.

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Elisa now consumes less memory when you scroll around the app and see a lot of album art (Devin Lin, Elisa 21.04)

Elisa now saves playlist files in the .m3u8 format which supports UTF8-encoding and non-ASCII characters, and also allows you to open playlist files already in that format (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 21.04)

Renaming a file on a Samba share in such a manner that the only way its filename changes is that one letter is moved from uppercase to lowercase (or vice versa) now works (Harald Sitter, Dolphin 21.04)

The Flickr picture of the day wallpaper now works again; its API key had expired. This keeps happening, so we are investigating a more generic way of keeping it working consistently (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.18.7)

Plasma System Monitor applets no longer sometimes display a broken config window (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.2)

Discover now always returns the appropriate number of apps when asked to find handlers for a file format (Aleix Pol Gonzales, Plasma 5.21.2)

The feature to automatically match header decoration styling for GTK headerbar apps now works on multi-user systems when multiple users are logged in at the same time (Alois Wohlschlager, Plasma 5.21.2)

There is no longer a blank entry in the Digital Clock’s time zone chooser; it now shows “Yangon”, a city in Myanmar (Willyanto, Plasma 5.22)

KRunner no longer dumps an ugly unprintable character in its search field when you hit the Escape, Backspace, or Delete key while the history view is open (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21.2)

The bottom buttons in various System Settings pages no longer sometimes get cut off when using Plasma Mobile or using a system language with long text (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.21.3)

The new Plasma System Monitor app no longer sometimes crashes after spending a lot of time minimized (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.21.3)

The “kill a process” dialog in the new Plasma System Monitor no longer suffers from a variety of minor visual glitches (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

When using the new Plasma System Monitor app to get new visual chart styles, the resulting window is no longer hilariously small (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

System Monitor widgets now correctly update their titles to reflect user-initiated changes immediately after such changes are made (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.3)

The focus effect for buttons on the Lock, Login, and Logout screens now appears correctly again (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.3)

Menus in GTK apps once again have the same height as menus in KDE and Qt apps (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.3)

GTK apps using the new Libhandy library now display their top headerbars with the correct height (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.3)

Fixed a few issues in the Breeze Dark Global Theme which were causing it to not properly apply the intended color scheme and splash screen (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.3)

When the screen is turned off, the system no longer wastes CPU and GPU power drawing un-rendered components (Bhushan Shah, Plasma 5.22)

Search results in Kickoff which have icons provided by .ico files are no longer blurry (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.80)

Placeholder Text in Plasma text fields and text boxes now presents the correct cursor when you move your mouse over it and is never the wrong color or even inappropriately selectable (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.80)

User Interface Improvements

When using a wheel mouse, Gwenview’s image thumbnail view now scrolls by the same amount (matching Dolphin) no matter how large the thumbnails are (Arjen Hiemstra, Gwenview 21.04)

It’s now more obvious how to stop a presentation in Okular (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 21.04)

In Kate, the F11 key is now used to enter and exit fullscreen as it does in many other apps, rather than toggling line numbers on and off (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04)

Gwenview now shows a quality chooser slider when saving images in the JPEG XL file format, if supported on your system (Daniel Novomeský, Gwenview 21.04)

Everything in Plasma and QML-based apps now fully respects your animation duration settings, including not animating anything at all when animations are disabled (me: Nate Graham and David Redondo, Plasma 5.22 with Frameworks 5.80)

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.

This week in KDE: a little bit of everything

Fixing up Plasma 5.21 continues, and we also did a lot of UI polishing this week:

New Features

A Task manager can now be configured to not cause its hidden panel to become visible when one of its apps or tasks receives a “needs attention” status (Michael Moon, Plasma 5.22)

You can now apply global themes, color schemes, cursor themes, plasma themes, and wallpapers from the command-line, using some fancy new CLI tools with names like plasma-apply-colorscheme (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.22)

KDE apps now support the HEIF and HEIC image formats (Daniel Novomeský, Frameworks 5.80)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Spectacle’s compression quality setting can now be set to 100% (Natsumi Higa, Spectacle 20.12.3)

Having kio-fuse installed no longer breaks KRunner’s ability to display man: and info: URLs in your web browser (Fabian Vogt, kio-fuse 5.0.1)

The KWin window manager no longer sometimes crashes in the Plasma Wayland session when you copy something in an XWayland app and immediately paste it in a native Wayland app (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.1)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when closing the Audio Volume applet (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.1)

The new Plasma System Monitor app no longer crashes on close when a custom page was open (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.1)

System Settings no longer crashes when you open and close the new Firewall page twice (Tomaz Canabrava, Plasma 5.21.1)

KRunner can once again execute executable script files (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21.1)

You can once again delete or disable unwanted fonts from the System Settings Font Management page (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.1)

The Network Speed widget finally finally finally works again! (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.1)

The screen selection OSD once again works with keyboard navigation (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.21.1)

The Lock/Logout applet can once again be configured to not show the “Shut Down” action (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.1)

The headers on System Settings pages are now horizontally aligned with the header over the sidebar (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21.1)

Scrolling all the way to the bottom of any app list in Discover no longer causes a spurious “Loading more stuff…” indicator to appear at the bottom (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21.1)

Key repeat is really actually finally re-enabled by default again now. Sorry about this. 😦 (Jan Blackquill and David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.2)

System Settings no longer crashes when clearing the history from the Activities page (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.2)

Screens in the System Settings Display Configuration page are once again draggable (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21.2)

In the System Settings Icons page, the bottom row of buttons now moves buttons that can’t fit into the available space into an overflow menu, which is useful on Plasma Mobile in particular (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.21.2):

Kickoff’s section headers which consist of more than just a single letter are no longer all caps (sorry for causing this regression) (Mikel Johnson, Plasma 5.21.2)

System Tray icons in very very thin panels should no longer be slightly blurry (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.21.2)

Virtual keyboards no longer cover Plasma panels when they’re visible (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22)

Renaming an image file to have the same name that another also-renamed file used to have no longer causes the newly-renamed file to display the wrong thumbnail (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.80)

The Baloo file indexer no longer tries to index Ninja build files (Peter Eszalri, Frameworks 5.80)

Closing a “Get new [thing]” window no longer causes the view in the window that created it to scroll up to the top, if it was scrolled to a different position (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.80)

In the “Get new [thing]” dialogs, the icon in the top-left corner of each item indicating its status (installed, updatable, etc) no longer gets slightly cut off on the left side (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.80)

User Interface Improvements

NeoChat 1.1 is out with tons and tone of improvements! Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with them here. You can see it all over at Carl’s blog.

Konsole’s text reflow feature now works better for users of the zsh shell (Carlos Alves, Konsole 21.04)

Dolphin is now a bit faster to display thumbnail previews (Méven Car, Dolphin 21.04)

When using a color scheme without Header colors (e.g. the old Breeze color scheme), a line is no longer drawn between an app’s toolbar and the main content area (Various people, Plasma 5.21.1)

GTK headerbar apps now display minimize/maximize/etc buttons that match the rest of your apps even when you’re using an Aurorae window decoration theme (Alois Wohlschlager, Plasma 5.21.2)

Discover’s search for Flatpak apps now more heavily weights title matches and higher user ratings (Aleix Pol Gonzales, Plasma 5.22):

Discover now makes it clearer in the search and browse lists when an app comes from a non-default backend (Aleix Pol Gonzalez and me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Discover’s compact/mobile view now makes it clear on the home page when there are updates available (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Plasma 5.22):

When there is only one audio device available, you can hover your cursor over its generic name in the Plasma Audio Volume applet to see its full name, just in case you forgot which device was connected (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22):

Notifications that inform you of some kind of file operation with a known destination URL now always display an “Open containing folder” button (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Spinboxes in QML-based software will now send newly-changed values to the app immediately rather than requiring that you hit the return/enter key or de-focus the control (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.80)

When a sidebar is collapsed in a Kirigami app, that app’s toolbar content now moves with buttery smoothness (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.80)

Web presence

Carl Schwan overhauled api.kde.org and online Kirigami documentation: https://carlschwan.eu/2021/02/26/documentation-improvements-in-kde/

Niccolò Venerandi published video number three in his video series about how to make a Plasma theme:

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.

This week in KDE: Plasma 5.21 is finally here!

This week we released Plasma 5.21 and have been hard at work fixing the bugs you fine folks have found with it. 🙂 Frankly I’m pretty exhausted after a long week so let’s just get right into it:

New Features

Kate now lets you perform basic git operations from within the app, such as viewing diffs, staging, committing, and stashing! (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Ark no longer asks for confirmation twice when you update a file in an archive (Jan Paul Batrina, Ark 21.04)

Keyboard repeat is no longer disabled (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21.1, and most distros have already rolled it out early)

The Task Manager once again allows you to run non-distro-provided executable programs you’ve pinned to it (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21.1)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes on login when using an Nvidia Optimus laptop (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.21.1)

Trying to log out no longer sometimes just fails (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.1)

The fancy new Plasma System Monitor app introduced with Plasma 5.21 no longer crashes on launch when not using the optional Systemd startup feature (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.1)

Hard Disk Activity widgets now display the correct information again (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.1)

Clicking on a screenshot in Discover now displays the correct one (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21.1)

The Kickoff Application Launcher now works with a stylus (Mikel Johnson, Plasma 5.21.1)

Plasma no longer takes a long time to load when the splash screen is disabled when using the optional Systemd startup feature (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21.1)

The KWin window manager regains an option to disable screen tearing protection and maximize the refresh rate irrespective of what the GPU says (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21.1)

The back arrow in System Settings’ sidebar header no longer looks wrong when using a non-Breeze icon theme (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.1)

Syncing your user settings to the SDDM login screen now actually causes non-default font settings to take effect there, at least when using SDDM 0.19 or later (Filip Fila and David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.1)

Section headers in the new Kickoff menu’s “All Applications” category are no longer lowercase when the first item in that section begins with a lowercase letter (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.1)

Your wobbly windows once again wobble correctly (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21.1)

Vertical and horizontal maximization now works in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings’ Window Rules page now enabled its “Apply” button as soon as you change anything, not when you move to something else (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.22)

KTextEditor-based apps no longer crash when you clear all of their bookmarks (Christoph Cullmann, Frameworks 5.80)

Plasma no longer crashes when you install a Windows app using WINE (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.80)

The buttons on either side of KRunner’s text field no longer display glitchy tooltips when no search results are visible (Noah Davis, Frameworks 5.80)

System Settings now arranges the columns in the correct order when using a right-to-left language and a large window size (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.80)

Grid views in System Settings and elsewhere no longer display irritating misalignment for adjacent items where one has a subtitle and the other does not (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.80):

The Baloo file indexer no longer tries to index .swp swap files (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.80)

User Interface Improvements

Discover no longer truncates reviews shown on app pages (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.1)

The System Settings Boot Splash page now uses the nicer new-style Get New [Thing] dialog (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

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.