This week in KDE: next-generation improvements

As we near the end of Plasma 5, a lot of people are putting thought into what’s next for Plasma 6, beyond simply porting it to Qt 6. The general consensus is to avoid big architectural changes, with most of the major changes being UI improvements and new features. So KDE’s VDG team has been busy planning for that future, which has yielded a lot of improvements for the last and best version of Plasma 5!

New Features

If you really don’t like Dolphin’s recently-changed list view behavior of selecting or opening an item when clicking empty areas of its row, you can now go back to the old way (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 22.12. Link):

Discover now has a brand-new homepage design with dynamically-updating categories that shows popular apps, and a new set of featured apps that showcase the best of KDE (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Carl Schwan, me: Nate Graham, and Devin Lin, Plasma 5.27 . Link 1, link 2, link 3, and link 4):

You can now middle-click the Networks icon to toggle Airplane Mode on and off (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.27. Link):

“Running” (i.e. clicking on or pressing the return key for) dictionary definition entries in KRunner’s results list now copies the definition text to the clipboard, and even sends a system notification about this so you know that it happened (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.27. Link)

In the dropdown menus for Dolphin’s path navigator bar, now hidden folders will show up there if you currently have hidden files visible (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 5.100. Link):

User Interface Improvements

On Info Center pages that consist of monospaced text, the text is now selectable (and hence copyable) and no longer slightly overflows on the right side (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.26.2. Link)

In the Plasma X11 session, portalized dialogs shown by Flatpak apps no longer use the wrong theming and colors (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.26.2. Link)

Breeze-themed windows now have a subtle outline around them, which not only looks classy as hell, but it also helps keep dark-themed windows from blending into one another (Akseli Lahtinen. Plasma 5.27. Link):

Floating Panels now de-float whenever any window touches them, and the margins they gain when doing so are now smaller and less weird-looking. This also makes Panel Widget popups touch the edge of a floating Panel (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.27. Link 1 and link 2)

The new portalized Kirigami-based app chooser dialog now has more focused and relevant text in the header area (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.27. Link 1 and link 2)

You can now search in KRunner for “Save Session” to invoke the manual session saving functionality, and when you use KRunner to switch sessions, the message dialog it shows you is now worded more comprehensibly and doesn’t make what you’re about to do seem scary (Natalie Clarius, Plasma 5.27. Link 1 and link 2)

KRunner’s “Recent Files” plugin now matches substrings (Natalie Clarius, Plasma 5.27. Link)

You can now resize Kickoff’s popup to be smaller than it is by default, if you want that (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Title text in QtWidgets-based System Settings pages now has the same padding and alignment as those in Kirigami-based pages, so there’s no longer a weird jarring difference between them as you switch pages (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.27. Link 1 and link 2)

Throughout KDE software, the appearance of list views and list section headers is massively improved (Devin Lin, Frameworks 5.100. Link 1 and link 2):

Panel Widgets’ popups are now displayed centered on their Panel when they could be displayed as such without becoming disconnected from their Panel icons (Niccolò Venerandi, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

In dialogs where you can permanently delete files, the buttons to do so now say “Delete Permanently” so you can be absolutely sure of what you’re getting yourself into (Guilherme Marçal Silva, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Significant Bugfixes

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

In the Plasma Wayland session, the “Flat” acceleration profile now works properly (John Brooks, Plasma 5.26.2. Link)

In the Plasma Wayland session, tapping the address bar in Firefox with a touchscreen now always makes the virtual keyboard appear as expected, without you having to focus another app and go back to Firefox first (Xaver Hugl and Xuetian Weng, Plasma 5.26.2. Link)

Fixed one of the most common Plasma crashes when using Plasma Vaults (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.26.3. Link)

Fixed a recently-introduced glitch that could cause it to become difficult to click the top-right-most screen pixel to trigger the close button of a maximized window (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.26.3. Link)

Fixed a recent regression in the X11 session that would cause maximized windows to not redraw properly when using scaling (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.26.3. Link)

In the Plasma Wayland session, clicking and dragging something in Firefox no longer causes the cursor to get stuck in its “grabby hand” state until you drag a tab (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.26.3. Link)

Other bug-related information of interest:

Automation & Systematization

Added a test case for Chromium web app icon display in the Task Manager, so it won’t break or regress again (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Added a test case for panel/containment/screen mappings in Plasma, so we can start to weed out the issues in it without regressing things so often (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.27. Link)

We have a new wiki page that outlines some of the ways people can make a living working on KDE projects (me: Nate Graham. 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, 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: UI improvements abound

A ton of UI improvements landed this week. If you can’t find something to like in this post, I’ll eat my hat!

New Features

System Settings’ Firewall page now supports IP address strings with netmasks (Daniel Vrátil, Plasma 5.27. Link)

User Interface Improvements

On the Information tab of Gwenview’s sidebar, you can now reduce the area taken up by the metadata and description section using a draggable splitter between it and the Image Information section that’s above it. The splitter remembers its position, too! (Corbin Schwimmbeck, Gwenview 22.12. Link)

Spectacle now remembers the last-chosen rectangular region area by default, even across app launches. This is configurable, of course (Bharadwaj Raju, Spectacle 22.12. Link)

Kate and KWrite’s welcome screen (which remains optional, and able to be permanently disabled using a checkbox right on the screen itself) now includes links to documentation (Eugene Popov, Kate and KWrite 22.12. Link):

In the Plasma Wayland session, opening Dolphin from the Disks & Devices popup now raises its existing window, if it was already open (Nicolas Fella, Dolphin 22.12 with Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Dragging-and-dropping windows onto the Pager Widget now works a lot better, with less fiddliness (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

When using Plasma, the “Open file with app…” dialog now uses the XDG portal version for improved visual consistency and user-friendliness. The old dialog is still used when you invoke “Open this file in a different app” functionality from a KDE app that’s not being used in Plasma (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.27. Link):

System Tray Widgets that can be middle-clicked to toggle something about them on or off now indicate as such in their tooltips (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.27. Link 1, link 2, and link 3):

In the Plasma Wayland session, Help Center is now able to raise its open window when activated by another app (Nicolas Fella, Help Center 5.27. Link)

The icon size popup in System Settings has gotten a UI overhaul to remove unused settings and make what it does do more comprehensible (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.27. Link):

When you resize the Plasma calendar popup, text in the calendar itself now scales up and down appropriately (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.27. Link):

The Overview, Present Windows, and Desktop Grid effects now try harder to pack windows efficiently, so hopefully you won’t see windows arranged like staircases anymore (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.27. Link)

When viewing the page for a Flatpak app that has been marked as “end-of-life” by its developer, Discover now shows you the reason given by the developer (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Shadows behind the clock and date text on the login and lock screens are now a bit softer and prettier (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.27. Link):

The Lock Keys Widget now shows a different icon from the Keyboard Layout Widget, so can distinguish between them at a glance (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.27. Link):

In the Plasma Wayland session, the “Something is recording your screen” System Tray icon now uses a more correct “recording”-style icon (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.27. Link):

Trying to trash an item that’s bigger than the current trash size now gives you the option to delete it immediately if you want (Ahmad Samir, Dolphin 22.12 with Frameworks 5.100. Link):

Avatar images throughout KDE software are now sharper and better-looking when using a high DPI screen and screen scaling (Fushan Wen, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Recent Documents lists throughout KDE software will now display appropriate icons for the recent files (Eric Armbruster, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Significant Bugfixes

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

Fixed another cause of desktop widgets slightly moving around on login, which apparently has multiple causes (Aaron Rainbolt, Plasma 5.24.8. Link)

Fixed an issue that could cause input to not be detected when using the new mouse button rebinding feature (David Redondo, Plasma 5.26.2 with Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Plasma no longer constantly consumes high CPU resources when using an animated AVIF image as your wallpaper (Fushan Wen, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Plasma no longer constantly consumes high CPU resources when disabling middle-click paste and copying certain content (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Other bug-related information of interest:

Automation & Systematization

This goal now has a Matrix room! Search for kde-institutional-memory:kde.org in your favorite Matrix client, or click here to access it in the web client.

The goal also has a team on https://invent.kde.org! You can join at https://invent.kde.org/groups/teams/automation/-/group_members. We’ll be using this for long-term task coordination via the task tracker at https://invent.kde.org/teams/automation/issues/-/issues.

There’s now a wiki page explaining how distros can package Plasma for the best user experience, full of accumulated knowledge over time (me: Nate Graham. Link)

On distros using gdb 12, the DrKonqi crash reporting wizard is now capable of dynamically symbolicating crash traces without debug symbols, which makes them actionable and reduces bug triaging work (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Added an autotest for the PNG metadata extractor (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Added autotests for KWin’s DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) platform code (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Changes not in KDE that affect KDE

RGB sub-pixel hinting for text is now enabled by default, which is good for users of KDE software since we respect the set of systemwide default settings rather than overriding it with our own value (Akira Tagoh, Fontconfig 2.14.1 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, 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.

Interview on the Sudo Show

The latest episode of the Sudo Show with Brandon Johnson and Neal Gompa has an interview with me, on the subject of Kommercializing KDE. It’s quite relevant to my goal of getting our software on the all the hardware we can (AKA World Domination) so give it a listen!

You can also listen right here:

Hope you enjoyed it! And if you like what KDE is doing and want to help its contributors make a living, consider making a donation!

On hiring, and fundraising to make it more biggerer

This year at Akademy, I took the plunge and decided to run for a seat on the KDE e.V.’s board of directors.


What is the KDE e.V.? It’s the nonprofit organization that represents the KDE community in legal and financial matters. It has several paid employees who work on KDE stuff, most notably promotion & marketing, project management, and event planning. You can see more at https://ev.kde.org/corporate/staffcontractors.

By the way, in case you were wondering (as I did at one point), “e.V.” is short for “eingetragener Verein” which is German for “registered association”–basically a type of nonprofit entity.

For several years, I’ve believed and publicly suggested that the KDE e.V. needs to have more technical positions. We need to directly hire KDE community members so they don’t have to seek employment with a 3rd-party company, or even drift away from the community when they have less free time and age into positions of greater financial need. In fact the KDE e.V. has already been moving in this direction, but slowly, because the available budget is pretty small compared to the vastness of the KDE community and the scope of more ambitious hiring. You can get an idea by looking at the report of the Financial Working Group in the 2021 annual report.

So I ran on a platform of hugely increasing both fundraising and technical hiring. And I’m honored to report that I won the election and am now a member of the board!

i got board

To those of you who voted for me, thank you so much for your support. For those of you who didn’t, I hope I can represent you well anyway, and if you get ticked off with anything I’m doing… please tell me! I welcome feedback. This position is all about being a good representative, and that’s what I want to be.


So what does this mean?

It means that a majority of the KDE e.V. membership approves of these goals, so when it gets more money, the KDE e.V. has a mandate to do more hiring–especially for impactful technical positions. It means we will eventually be able to have the big names in KDE paid by KDE, so they can stay in KDE over the long haul! And it also means we need a lot more money to make this happen.

There are a lot of steps to this, including figuring out the legal technicalities of full-time hiring, and increasing the budget so we can make sure we’re always offering market wages. We’ll be investigating potential ways to boost fundraising: hiring a professional fundraising director; applying for a lot more grants; having more explicit fundraising campaigns; gamifying fundraising; sending out nudgey newsletters to people who have donated in the past; making it easier to donate on a recurring basis; and more.

But for now, if you want to see us do more hiring, the best way is to make a donation to the KDE e.V. at https://kde.org/community/donations. It helps. It really does! This money is going to transform KDE into a professional powerhouse with its own internally-employed cadre of world-class superstars. We’re going to take on the Big Tech dogs and win, and we’re going to let our heavy-hitters make a living within KDE while doing it. But it can’t happen without your help, so please consider making a donation today!

Akademy 2022 talk: Konquering the World – Are We There Yet?

Two weeks ago I attended Akademy in Barcelona, KDE’s annual conference. Let me tell you, it was great to finally, finally, finally see people in person again! It was so nice to meet up with old friends, and put faces to names for new ones!

Four years ago I gave a perhaps arrogantly ambitious talk at Akademy 2018 entitled “Konquering the World – a 7-Step Plan to KDE World Domination“. In it, I described how the at-the-time new Usability & Productivity goal supported a deeper end goal of getting KDE Plasma pre-installed on commercially available hardware–that being the only way I believe we can introduce a truly huge number of new people to KDE’s friendly and powerful flavor of free software.

Four years later, the Usability & Productivity goal has been completed, with basically everything it set out to do being done now! So at this year’s Akademy, I gave a talk to discuss the progress in getting KDE Plasma preinstalled on hardware. What were our successes, and what do we still need to work on to make further gains in the arena of pre-installation? Find out here!

TL;DW version: check out https://kde.org/hardware 🙂

This week in KDE: QA pays off

This week we released Plasma 5.26 and so far our QA focus has paid off! It has been mostly a smooth release, with just a few regressions being reported, and most of them have been fixed already. Thanks to everyone who tested, reported bugs, and fixed bugs!

New Features

Kate and KWrite have now adopted KHamburgerMenu! Because these are large and complex apps, the main menubar is still shown by default. And for the time being, the hamburger menu shows the entire traditional menu structure within it, rather than trying to offer a curated set of actions. This can be done in the future! (Christoph Cullmann, Kate & KWrite 22.12. Link):

Kate’s welcome screen now has more features in it (Eugene Popov, Kate 22.12. Link):

The Plasma Wayland session now supports high resolution scroll wheels for smoother scrolling through long views (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.27. Link)

The Network manager now supports WPA3-Enterprise 192-bit mode (Tomohiro Mayama, Plasma 5.26. Link)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin no longer unnecessarily opens a new window after extracting or compressing an archive using the context menu (Andrey Butirsky, Dolphin 22.12. Link)

Discover no longer freezes for a few seconds when launched without an internet connection, and is now faster and more responsive in the face of transient network issues with remote resources in its backends (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26.1. Link 1 and link 2)

The Media Player plasmoid now does a better job of handling apps with very barebones MPRIS implementations, like Totem and Celluloid (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Even though resizing them is now explicitly supported, Plasma widget pop-ups no longer inappropriately respond to the Maximize and Minimize keyboard shortcuts (Xaver Hugl, and me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

You can now select and copy text from labels in Info Center (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.27. Link)

In the Color Picker plasmoid, left-clicking a color now copies it to the clipboard, and you’ll also see a small “Copied!” message to help you visually confirm what happened (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.27. Link)

You now get a nice full-screen blend effect when you manually change Plasma themes (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.27. Link)

The Disks & Devices plasmoid now always shows the “Remove All” item in its hamburger menu when any volumes are mounted, not just when more than two are (Jin Liu, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Discover now shows you more permissions for Flatpak apps, such as printer and Bluetooth device access (Jakob Rech, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Made various KDE app windows raise to the top when activated externally in the Plasma Wayland session: System Settings when activated from KRunner, Discover when activated from KMoreTools menus, and Dolphin when activated from other apps in general (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.26.1, Frameworks 5.100, and Dolphin 22.12. Link 1, link 2, link 3)

Significant Bugfixes

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

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when connecting an external Bluetooth headset, or when waking up the system after it was suspended while audio was being streamed over the network (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.24.7. Link 1, link 2)

Changing the display arrangement or configuration no longer sometimes causes System Settings to crash (Someone awesome, Plasma 5.26. Link)

The system no longer becomes unresponsive after using the “Turn off screen” shortcut (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Dragging screens to re-arrange them on System Settings Display and Monitor page no longer sometimes scrolls the view or drags the window instead of moving the screen (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Chrome web apps no longer all show the same icon on an Icons-Only Task manager (Mladen Milinkovic, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

In the Plasma Wayland session, when using a multi-screen arrangement with external screens not being mirrored, the system no longer sometimes sees them as mirrored anyway and inappropriately enables Do Not Disturb mode, and also no longer forgets the enabled/disabled status of those screens (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.26.1. Link 1 and link 2)

Discover is now significantly better about reporting overall progress information when installing or updating Flatpak apps, so it won’t be jumpy and weird anymore (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Fixed a regression in 5.26 with some 3rd-party KWin effects (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

Symlinked images once again appear in wallpaper slideshows (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

The infamous “Korners” bug is finally fully fixed! The last issue–light-colored dots on rounded corners of dark panels–is now fixed (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.26.1. Link)

When using right-aligned icons on the desktop, adding new icons no longer causes all of the icons on the right-most column to jump to the left-most column (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Other bug-related information of interest:

  • 10 Very high priority Plasma bugs (up from 8 last week, but this is fairly normal for right after a new Plasma release, as we use the VHI priority to track the most important things to fix). Current list of bugs
  • 53 15-minute Plasma bugs (up from 49 last week, which is mostly due to our new bot automatically classifying existing issues as 15-minute bugs). Current list of bugs
  • 141 KDE bugs of all kinds fixed this week. Full list of bugs

Automation & Systematization

This is a new section that I’m adding to highlight some of the work for the new “Automation & Systematization” goal. Topics include automation, documentation, increased test coverage, and anything else that improves KDE’s institutional memory by moving information out of people’s heads and into public systems.

One big change was made by Harald Sitter to the Bugzilla Bot. Now it will display a “nudge message” if you file a bug report on a version of Plasma just before the last supported version. It won’t close your bug report automatically, but will tell you that you should upgrade if possible:

What is the Bugzilla Bot? It’s the thing that closes bugs that have been the NEEDSINFO WAITINGFORINFO state for a month, automatically sets the severity to “crash” for bugs with “crash or “segfault” in their titles, and automatically closes bugs (with a gentle message) filed against Plasma versions that are too old to be supported. Harald did all of that too; he’s awesome! It’s really cool and you should contribute, especially if you have Ruby skills!

Ideas for new features:

  • If a bug report with the crash severity doesn’t have a backtrace attached or pasted inline, nag for one
  • When a backtrace is attached as a file, automatically paste its crashing stack frame inline
  • If a backtrace is lacking debug symbols, automatically add a comment asking for a new one with debug symbols, plus a link to https://community.kde.org/Guidelines_and_HOWTOs/Debugging/How_to_create_useful_crash_reports
  • Nag people to re-test bugs in the UNCONFIRMED state that are more than a year old

…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, 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.

These weeks in KDE: Akademy and Plasma 5.26

Over the past two weeks, the KDE community has largely been preparing for and attending Akademy, the big annual in-person conference. It’s a great time to bond socially and discuss important topics face-to-face, and more on that later! Meanwhile we’ve also been getting Plasma 5.26 ready, which has benefited from a major focus on stability. Expect that to ramp up now that Akademy is finished. More on that later as well!

New Features

Ark now supports ARJ archives (Ilya Pominov, Ark 22.12. Link)

Kate and KWrite now have a welcome window when launched without any files open. (Eric Armbruster and Christoph Cullmann, Kate & KWrite 22.12. Link):

This is what KWrite shows, and Kate is currently being adapted to show a much more advanced version!

User Interface Improvements

In Dolphin, dragging-and-dropping a folder onto an empty area of the tab bar now opens it in a new tab (Kai Uwe Broulik, Dolphin 22.12. Link)

The animation for the Slide Desktops effect has been made a bit faster, due to popular demand (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.26. Link)

In the “new screen plugged in” chooser OSD, choosing “Extend Left” now actually makes the new screen extend left, and it extends from the current primary screen (Allan Sandfield Jensen, Plasma 5.26. Link 1 and link 2)

On System Settings’ Colors page, clicking the “From current wallpaper” option now updates the preview view immediately to show the accent color that will be used (Tanbir Jishan, Plasma 5.26. Link)

When transferring files using Bluetooth, the progress notification now shows more detailed and useful information (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.26. Link)

Uninstalling an app now removes its icon from the Kickoff Application Launcher’s favorites list/grid immediately (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.27. Link)

Picture of the Day wallpapers how have a nice cross-fade transition animation when switching from one picture to another, or to a different type of Picture of the Day picture (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.27. Link)

The Breeze Window Decoration theme setting to continue displaying window borders for maximized and tiled windows has now been re-worded for clarity (Natalie Clarius, Plasma 5.27. Link)

The Media Frame widget’s “Show/hide background” setting now uses the standard user interface for this, with a button on its Edit Mode toolbar (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.27. Link)

When replying to a text message using the KDE Connect plasmoid, the text field is now inline rather than in a separate dialog window (Bharadwaj Raju, KDE Connect 22.12. Link)

When you unmount a removable device in Dolphin, its Eject button now transforms into a busy indicator so you know when it’s safe to physically unplug it (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.100. Link):

Significant Bugfixes

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

Switching between Global Themes that include their own desktop layouts no longer sometimes causes Plasma to crash and lose your panels (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.24.7. Link)

System Settings no longer sometimes crashes when navigating away from the Thunderbolt page (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24.7. Link)

On System Settings’ Users page, It is once again possible to change your user password and nothing else when using a recent version of the AccountsService library (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.24.7. Link)

In the Plasma X11 session, when repeated graphical crashes cause KWin to disable compositing, it will now periodically check to see if it’s better, and if it is, it will re-renable compositing so you don’t have to do it manually or lose compositing forever if you don’t know that this has to be done (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.26. Link)

Application Dashboard grid items now have two lines of text, so you can actually read longer labels (Tomáš Hnyk, Plasma 5.26. Link)

In the Plasma X11 session, when KWin crashes and auto-restarts–or is manually restarted–it no longer loses its mapping of windows to Activities (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.26. Link)

Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause apps like VLC and Firefox to stop refreshing after being used for a while (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.26. Link)

In the Networks plasmoid, networks no longer jump around and re-arrange themselves while you’re trying to connect to one or enter your password (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.26. Link)

Discover and other apps that can display animated images can no longer freeze when displaying certain PCX images (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Frameworks 5.99. Link)

Various System Monitor graphs no longer blink, stutter, and freeze when using an NVIDIA GPU (Łukasz Wojniłowicz, Frameworks 5.100. Link)

Other bug-related information of interest:

…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, 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.

Automate and systematize all the things!

As announced at Akademy a few days ago, I’m honored that my goal – Automate and Systematize Internal Processes – has been chosen by the KDE community! Those are a bunch of fancy words, but the idea is pretty simple: get our expertise (knowledge, skill, and wisdom) out of our heads, and onto KDE’s infrastructure.

Why? to reduce the burden on us personally to provide so much of that expertise on demand as an ongoing service, and to reduce the impact of breaks, vacations, and departures. Ultimately this will preserve expertise publicly in KDE where it’s easier to learn from, and free us all up to do other things!

There are many ways to contribute which can be found on the goal page. I’ll condense a bit and list some examples here:

  • Create automated tests to check for things you currently know to check for manually when reviewing code
  • Broadly improve documentation of internal processes; when you make a change to one of them, document it!
  • Write code comments that explain why something is implemented the way it is (not what it is or what it’s doing)
  • Adopt the reuse-lint continuous integration pipeline and clang-format git hookscript so they can do the boring work of checking for licensing and code formatting
  • Extend the Bugzilla bot to check for and provide canned answers in response to more conditions in new bug reports (missing backtrace for a crash bug, backtrace missing symbols, backtrace attached rather than pasted inline, etc)
  • Document the responses to common questions in FAQ-type pages, and provide links to them publicly in response to those questions so others know about them and can add to them themselves (e.g. see the VDG’s “Lessons Learned” page)
  • Document undocumented public APIs
  • Look for synergies; Harald’s idea to do UI testing using the accessibility APIs is a fantastic example, as it would systematically drive improvements for two things at once and prevent them from silently regressing
  • Don’t ping individual people; ping teams/groups/mailing lists etc. If there is no applicable collective entity containing the people you want to ping, create one and encourage them to join it
  • If you’re leaving KDE or don’t have time to maintain some of your projects anymore, perform offboarding; find people to hand things off to and teach them how to be you

There are a lot more things, but hopefully you get the idea. So let’s get out there and automate and systematize everything!

I’ll be documenting our progress and successes like I did with the Usability & Productivity goal… and, updating that goals wiki page would be a good step too. A GitLab workboard will probably pop up too, and I’ll let folks know about it once it exists. If people think a Matrix room would be helpful, we can get that going as well.

And thanks again for choosing this goal, everyone! You’re the best.

Making it easier to submit bug reports

A persistent complaint KDE faces is that it’s too hard to submit bug reports. One obstacle was the giant scary list of products at https://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi. Well, no longer! This page is now organized into logical categories with user-friendly text, so it should be much easier to find the right place for your bug report if that’s your entry point. This has been rolled out already and is available immediately:

There are also other entry points; for example all KDE apps have a “Report a bug” menu item that will take you to the right place automatically. However two prominent ones did not: System Settings and Plasma. In System Settings, the menu item took you to the generic product, not the specific component for the page you’re on. And Plasma had no functionality like this at all.

That’s fixed now! As of Plasma 5.27, System Settings’ hamburger menu now has a “Report a Bug in Current Page” menu item that will take you to exactly the bug report URL for the page you’re on:

And in Plasma, plasmoids’ About pages now have a “Report a Bug” button that will likewise take you straight to the right place to report a bug on that specific plasmoid:


There’s more to do, of course:

  • Make the new “report a bug” category page in Bugzilla prettier with some better CSS
  • Also include along the user’s Plasma version and distro in the URL so that those fields on the web page can be pre-populated
  • Also implement this stuff for KWin effects and scripts, which an have their own Bugzilla components

Assistance with these follow-up tasks would be appreciated.

And regardless, now there is no excuse; go submit bug reports whenever you face a problem! 🙂