Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga: 6 month impressions

I’ve now had my Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop for about 6 months, so I thought I’d provide a quick update about how it’s going to use this laptop every day with openSUSE Tumbleweed running KDE Plasma. Let’s explore what’s changed since then:


Initially, I complained about some aspects of the keyboard layout, but I’ve gotten used to the Home/End/PageUp/PageDown positioning, and the swapped position of the Fn and Ctrl keys. These are fine now. Lack of media keys is okay too since I’ve used the Shortcuts KCM to set my own. However I just can’t get used to the PrintScreen key being between the right Alt and Ctrl keys. I probably press it by accident 10 times a day and bring up Spectacle when I don’t mean to. One of these days I should get around to using xmodmap or something to turn it into a right Meta key, and they maybe make the F11 key which currently does nothing be the new PrintScreen key.

Speakers and audio

In my initial review, I had some complaints about the speakers and audio configuration. It turned out there there were issues both in the Kernel and PulseAudio that prevented the speakers from reaching their full potential, and all of those issues have been resolved now. The speakers sound awesome (for a laptop, of course). In addition, all the software issues in Plasma are fixed too. Everything audio-related is now perfect. I love listening to music on the machine. It sounds so good!


The camera’s lag has gone away due presumably to improvements in some layer of the software stack beneath KDE. The quality is still not fantastic, but that’s generally what you can say about any laptop webcam these days. It’s sufficient for Zoom and BigBlueButton meetings.

Power Management

Over the last 6 months, power management got worse and worse. Battery life continually declined and then eventually the battery started spontaneously reporting its charge percent as 0% while unplugged. At other times it would refuse to charge. This was a disaster for, well, actually using it as a laptop!

I called for warranty service and a technician replaced the battery recently. The issues immediately disappeared. I haven’t experienced any more buggy behavior, and the battery life has increased to about 6 hours with real use, which is probably acceptable given the fancy 4K screen. Hopefully there are more wins to be had through additional kernel optimizations in the future. I guess my original battery was just a lemon.



I love the 4K screen! Everything is so sharp and crisp!

..a little bit too much so, perhaps.

4K turns out to be kind of overkill for a 14″ screen. Its resolution of 3840×2160 pixels effectively becomes 1920×1080 with 200% scaling, but the thing is, 1920×1080 makes everything rather too small on the screen. It would be ideally suited for a larger 15.6″ screen, but at 14″ and even 13.3″, you need to use fractional scaling or increase the font size to make things big enough to be legible. So that’s what I’m doing: I currently have the scale set to 200% and I use 11pt fonts, making everything approximately 10% larger with no blurriness since it doesn’t scale icons, lines, or pixmaps. It’s as if I had an effective resolution of 1745×981.

Lenovo offers this laptop with a 1440p screen option, but that’s not right either: its 2560×1440 resolution, when scaled to 200%, gives you only an effective resolution of 1280×720, which is much too low and everything on the screen becomes comically large! Well maybe not comically large, but too large for my tastes, at least. 🙂 All windows need to be maximized, and even then, they will feel starved for space. This might be an acceptable resolution for a 12-13″ screen, but not 14″.

I think the ideal high DPI resolution for a 14″ lies between 1440p and 4K; something like QHD+, which is 3200×1800. You’d have effectively 1600×900 with 200% scaling, which would be perfect. 4K should be saved for the 15.6″ screen laptops which will have room to fit an enormous 90+ Wh battery required to provide adequate endurance with such a power-hungry panel.

There’s one more problem with the 4K screen: it’s driven by an integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU which simply cannot push the pixels fast enough. I regularly experience dropped frames and choppiness in full-screen GPU-accelerated animations. Even worse, full-screen CPU-bound rendering (like YouTube videos in Firefox) will kick the CPU into overdrive and massacre the battery life. Gaming? forget about it.

The situation would be improved with either Intel’s 11th gen architecture or AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, both of which feature radically better integrated graphics capabilities. But I’m stuck with the old Intel UHD 620 which is pathetically underpowered for the hardware that’s being thrown at it. Oh well. Lesson learned.

On a happier note, the touchscreen now works out of the box due to distro patches for the problem I mentioned in the initial review. However I still haven’t managed to get the 10-bit color support working.

High DPI scaling

Every single scaling issue I found is now (or already was) working on Wayland!

On X11, all the major issues I ran into are fixed, but there are still a lot of minor rough edges. Many are virtually unfixable, sadly. Ultimately Wayland is the future, so it’s good that it’s been selected as an official KDE goal and is improving at warp speed right now!


I’m happy with this laptop now. It does what I need and it’s a pleasure to use. Here’s what’s great about it:

  • Build quality
  • Quality of input and output devices: keyboard, touchpad, screen, and speakers
  • Uses LVFS for firmware updates (and this actually works)
  • Two full-size USB ports and a full-size HDMI port
  • Rechargeable pen that lives and charges in its own little garage

What would make it perfect:

  • Move the dang PrintScreen key to somewhere on the top function row, and maybe put a second Meta key in its current location
  • AMD Ryzen 4800U CPU for faster software compilation times and better integrated graphics
  • QHD+ screen resolution instead of 4K, for diminished power consumption and perfect 200% scaling
  • Even larger battery capacity; 51 Wh is not very impressive in a 14″ screen laptop anymore
  • USB-C ports on both sides so you can charge it from the left or the right

This week in KDE: Bugfixes and bug triaging

This week we worked very hard not only fixing bugs in our software, but also on triaging bugs in our venerable bug tracker, bugs.kde.org. Thanks to the coordinating efforts of Justin Zobel, the KDE BugSquad has been working harder than ever to separate the wheat from the chaff so developers can focus on what matters, rather than wading through a sea of obsolete reports and bugs that have been fixed ages ago. If this sounds like fun, please feel free to get involved! See https://community.kde.org/Guidelines_and_HOWTOs/Bug_triaging

New Features

Konsole now shows you color previews for HTML color codes! (Gustavo Carneiro, Konsole 20.12):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin will once again launch AppImages and other executable files (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin no longer sometimes crashes when closing the Terminal panel (Ahmad Samir, Konsole 20.12)

Okular no longer fails to open files whose filenames include the . and # characters in various places (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 20.12)

Text in the System Settings Autostart page is once again properly translated (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.20.4)

The Audio Volume applet pop-up no longer sometimes displays an unknown, non-functional device with the text “Device name not found” (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.20.4)

The Emoji Selector once again shows the Smilies & Emotion category (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the titlebar context menu’s “Resize” item now works on maximized windows (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.4)

People who had set a global shortcut for Night Color early on in its development process will now see that it works again (Michał Ziąbkowski, Plasma 5.20.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, the current keyboard layout indicator now works (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.21)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Task Manager thumbnails for client-side-decorated windows are no longer visually clipped (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

In the Plasma Wayland session, tapping a titlebar button with a touchscreen now makes the menu (if any) appear at the finger’s location, not at the cursor’s location (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.21)

In the Plasma Wayland session, deliberately killing XWayland no longer crashes the whole session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

The lock screen now resizes itself correctly to fill the whole screen after rotating a device that supports screen rotation (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

The Calendar widget now has visible text when using a dark color scheme (Tomaz Canabrava, Plasma 5.21):

Sending multiple files to a Bluetooth device now works (Nicolas Fella, Frameworks 5.77)

Text in the “Share…” menus throughout KDE software is now properly translated (Nicolas Fella, Frameworks 5.77)

The menu that appears when dragging-and-dropping something on the desktop is now positioned on the correct screen when using a multi-screen setup (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

The clear button inside Plasma text fields no longer overlaps long text (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.77)

Progress indicator bars in Plasma notifications no longer visually overshoot their bounds in various odd conditions (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

When using Discover to perform updates that include add-ons from store.kde.org, the add-ons no longer immediately disappear the moment you click the “Update” button but rather disappear exactly when they should (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.77)

When logging out of a Plasma session, a blank session named “Unused” is no longer left behind, visible in the user switcher screen (Fabian Vogt, SDDM 0.19)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin’s Places panel now highlights an entry only when the main view is displaying that exact entry, not any sub-folder inside it (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Table views throughout KDE apps no longer have a vertical separator line for the last column that is one pixel too thick (Fabian Vogt, Plasma 5.21)

The Analog Clock applet now shows the exact time in its tooltip (Tomaz Canabrava, Plasma 5.21)

KDE apps now display pretty icons for video subtitle files, TrueType font files, Math files, QEMU disk images and SquashFS images, and core dumps (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 5.77):

How You Can Help

In addition to bug triaging mentioned earlier, you can have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover more 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: Apps and Wayland fixes

First of all, those of you who were upset by the change to move Dolphin’s Breadcrumbs bar/URL navigator into the toolbar should be happy to hear that we’ve made it optional–you can remove it from the toolbar and it will return to its former location. Furthermore, the change will only take effect for new installs and user accounts, not for existing users who have already customized Dolphin. Hopefully this should resolve all the complaints people had with it! 🙂 This change was made by Felix Ernst and will be included in Dolphin 20.12.

Aaaaand there’s plenty more too, including some juicy Wayland fixes:

New Features

When Ctrl+clicking on a file in Konsole to open that file in an external app, Konsole now supports file paths with line numbers at the end; this means that, for example, you can Ctrl-click on the text thumbnailitem.cpp:44 to open that file in your text editor right at line 44! This requires that your text editor supports this of course, but Kate does. 🙂 (Ahmad Samir, Konsole 21.04)

The Plasma Media Controller applet now features shuffle and loop controls (Mikel Johnson, Plasma 5.21)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

In the Plasma Wayland session, Spectacle’s Rectangular Region mode now works, and screenshots taken on high DPI systems are now taken at the full correct resolution! (Méven Car, Spectacle 20.12)

Okular no longer sometimes crashes when opening a document while using certain screen arrangements and Qt 5.13 or earlier (David Hurka, Okular 20.12)

After starting Elisa, the first song you start playing no longer starts playing in the middle if a different song was in the middle of playback the last time Elisa was quit (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.12)

Fixed a case where Elisa could crash during playback (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.12)

Elisa’s album view no longer has gaps around the edges that allow the parent view to show through (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

Dolphin once again displays custom icons which are not from the current icon theme (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

When using the old Synaptics touchpad drivers with inertia activated, Scrolling in Konsole and then holding the Ctrl key while the inertial scrolling is still decelerating no longer causes the view to get resized (Carlos Alves and René J.V. Bertin, Konsole 21.04)

Various apps in the Plasma Wayland Session no longer crash when you try to view font-related things (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.20.4)

Double-clicking on a user in the new System Settings Users page, or clicking on one user after another, no longer causes the view to stack up with multiple user pages (Carson Black, Plasma 5.20.4)

System Settings’ Touchpad page no longer has a broken layout for the right-click/middle-click options some of the time when you open it (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.4)

Discover no longer has a stuck process secretly running in the background after you quit it, removing one of the sources of slow shutdowns/logouts (Aleix Pol Gonzalez in Plasma 5.21 or Richard Hughes in the next version of the fwupd library, whichever comes first)

Switching to Picture of the Day on the System Settings’ Screen Locking appearance page now always works (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.4)

The visual representation of window borders in the System Settings Window Decorations page is now always accurate (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.20.4)

Dragging in the spinbox used to determine panel height now always resizes the panel in the direction of the drag even if the panel is on a top or right screen edge (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.4)

The Magic Lamp minimize effect now works properly when minimizing a window into a task manager located on a Panel or Latte Dock that is offset from the screen edge by a few pixels (Xinbo Wang, Plasma 5.20.4)

Opening a System Settings page from Kickoff or KRunner now shows the category sidebar if needed when using Icon View (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.4)

After applying a Global Theme, the currently-used widget style is once again visually selected in System Settings’ Application Style page (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.4)

Full-screen windows on multi-monitor setups are now restored to the correct monitor when one of them is unplugged/turned off and then plugged back in again/turned back on (Chaojiang Luo, Plasma 5.21)

In the System Settings Window Decorations page, labels no longer sometimes overlap with buttons in the section where you can choose your own arrangement for titlebar buttons (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

KWin no longer sets a left touch screen edge by default, which means there is no longer a 1-pixel dead zone on the left edge that eats mouse clicks and scroll events (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

Fixed a case where renaming and then immediately deleting a file could cause it to persist in the Baloo file indexer’s index (Stefan Brüns, Frameworks 5.77)

Text in various layouts through System Settings, Discover, and other apps is once again aligned correctly to the nearby controls (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 5.77)

“Often Used”/”Recently Used” views in various places in Plasma (e.g. Kickoff’s tabs by the same names) now display the correct sets of files (Ivan Čukić, Frameworks 5.77)

In the Plasma Wayland session, some scrollviews in Plasma and QML-based software like System Settings no longer scroll in the wrong direction (David Edmundson, Qt 5.15.2)

User Interface Improvements

Improved flick-based touch scrolling behavior in Okular (David Hurka, Okular 20.12)

Dolphin’s currently somewhat overwhelming context menu no longer shows the paste action when right-clicking on a file; only when right-clicking on a folder or the view background (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin’s “Create New Folder” action now uses the standard systemwide shortcut (F10) so if you change the shortcut systemwide, Dolphin respects that (Domenico Panella, Dolphin 21.04

System Settings’ Activities and Automount pages now support the “Highlight changed settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.21)

The blur feature used throughout Plasma and various KDE apps (optionally) is now blurrier by default (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.21):

Text fields in KDE apps now have the same thick focus ring used for Plasma text fields (Carson Black, Plasma 5.21):

The Audio settings accessible from the System Tray applet no longer has two vertical scrollbars when the content doesn’t entirely fit (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

Times throughout KDE use more relative times (e.g. “15 minutes ago”) instead of the raw times (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.77)

The Kup backup system’s System Tray icon is now monochrome, like others (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.77):

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: Tons of improvements to our core apps

A bunch of KDE apps received many lovely new features, bugfixes, and user interface improvements this week! And Plasma too, of course. 🙂 Let’s get right to it:

New Features

Elisa now lets you edit tracks’ metadata from inside the app! (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.12):

Elisa now lets you easily find the on-disk location of each song (me: Nate graham, Elisa 20.12):

Konsole now has a configurable toolbar (which you can of course hide if you don’t like it) (Tomaz Canabrava, Konsole 21.04):

You can now download new KRunner Runners from store.kde.org straight from the System Settings page! (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin no longer frequently crashes when typing in the Filter Bar (Ismael Asensio, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin once again shows the correct number of files inside symlinked folders (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin is now more reliable and less likely to freeze in the face of network flakiness (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin’s ISO mounter plugin no longer fails to mount the same ISO twice and now correctly unmounts the underlying loop device too (Kwon-Young Choi, Dolphin 20.12)

Middle-clicking on tabs in Kate once again closes them (Robert-André Mauchin, Kate 20.12)

In Elisa, touch scrolling and fast scrolling by holding down the Shift key while scrolling now work (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

Elisa now accepts album art for albums with the art in a file named albumart.[jpg|png] (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

When Elisa is loading a view, the progress spinner no longer overlaps some placeholder text (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 20.12)

Plasma Disks no longer sometimes crashes when mounting a USB disk (Harald Sitter, Plasma 5.20.3)

The Lock screen’s “Switch User” action is once again visible for people using distros that ship an up-to-date version of systemd (Wolfgang Bauer, Plasma 5.20.3)

After mounting an external disk, the Disks & Devices popup no longer hilariously/terrifyingly jumps between different screens of a multi-screen setup when each screen has its own panel with a System Tray on it (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.20.3

Icons in the Alt+Tab task switcher are once again displayed correctly for a wide variety of apps (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20.3)

Discover can once again install locally-downloaded distro package files (e.g. .rpm and .deb files) (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20.4)

Right-clicking on something in the Kicker or Kickoff launcher menus now causes the context menu to appear instantly the first time (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20.4)

In the System Settings Cursors page, the menu of available cursor sizes now displays those cursors with their real sizes (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.4):

In the Plasma Wayland session, Dragging tabs from Firefox over the desktop no longer crashes the whole session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

Context menus for 3rd-party System Tray items no longer sometimes stack up on top of each other when right-clicking on multiple consecutive applets (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.21)

On the System Settings Window Decorations page, the border size text no longer gets cut off when using a scale factor or a language with longer text than English (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21):

The sound check feature on the System Settings Audio Volume page no longer causes your subwoofer to make odd noises (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.21)

Circular timeout indicators inside notifications are no longer invisible under certain circumstances (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

After updating items from store.kde.org using either Discover or the Get New [Thing] Window, some of those things no longer inaccurately show up as updateable the next time you check for updates (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.76)

Fixed one of the ways that Discover could crash when performing updates that include any add-ons (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.77)

In the Plasma Wayland session, you can now re-assign keyboard shortcuts without accidentally triggering their actions in the process (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

Using Meta+Tab as a shortcut in the System Settings Shortcuts page no longer results in the word “tab” being visually duplicated in the shortcut chooser box (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

When using a fractional scale factor, Konsole no longer displays ugly horizontal lines in some places with some font sizes (Someone awesome, Qt 5.15.1)

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin’s URL navigator now lives in its toolbar! (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 20.12):

Hovering the cursor over a Places Panel item now displays a little tooltip with the full path to that location (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12):

All of the appearance-related pages in System Settings have now been re-organized to live inside a top-level “Appearance” list item which takes you to the Global Themes page, to make it more clear that Global Themes can potentially affect all of them (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21)

You can probably see a lot of minor visual glitches in the above video; we’ll try to have then fixed by the final Plasma 5.21 release.

The way you add and switch between timezones in the digital clock applet has been totally overhauled to clarify the difference between changing the systemwide timezone and changing the timezone in the applet, and to make it easier to change the systemwide time zone (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

The System Settings KWin Rules page now warns you when you try to set rules for a window not managed by KWin which can’t be affected by window rules (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21)

Further refined the appearance of the Media Player applet (Mikel Johnson, Plasma 5.21):

When you set a custom keyboard shortcut to activate the System Tray’s popup, the shortcut now also closes it if it’s currently open as well, as it does for other applets (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.21)

The Networks applet now has its search field integrated into the header area and visible by default, rather than hidden behind a button (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21):

Separators between list items in Kirigami-based apps now have a more subtle and less attention-getting appearance (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.77):

The desktop drag-and-drop menu no longer has an unnecessary extra separator in it (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.77)

Section headers in Kirigami-based apps now word-wrap properly when they are very long or when their window/view is very narrow (Carson Black, Frameworks 5.77)

Phew, that felt more like a month’s worth of work. I am constantly in awe of the KDE community’s productivity!

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: The user interface improvements you’ve always wanted

This week the new Plasma System Monitor app had its first independent release! This app is a future replacement for the current KSysGuard monitoring app, and features a radically better user interface, an overview page with “just the facts”, simpler and more powerful customizability, and an easy to understand “Applications” page that shows individual apps rather than processes.

This app has been in development for almost two years and it’s really cool! We’re expecting it to eventually replace KSysGuard once it’s gotten some more use in the wild, but for now it is an independent release. Distros should be packaging it soon. Please install it and give it a try! Bug reports should be filed here.

But we kept plugging away on other stuff too…

New Features

Dolphin’s Places Panel now shows inline free space indicators for mounted disks in the Places Panel (Chris Holland, Dolphin 20.12):

Kate now supports the Zig language server (Matheus C. França, Kate 20.12)

Changing your user password now prompts you to change your KWallet password to match it so that if they previously matched, they don’t accidentally drift out of sync, which is baffling and rage-inducing when it happens (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21):

Plasma Network manager’s OpenVPN module now supports multiple types of compression (Alfred Toth, Plasma 5.21)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin’s git integration plugin no longer interferes with command-line-based git interactions (Sebastian Englbrecht, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin no longer sometimes consumes 100% of CPU resources while the Folders panel is open and showing folders that don’t have any sub-folders (Méven Car, Dolphin 20.12)

Konsole no longer sometimes crashes when re-arranging split views or closing split views (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.12)

Back and Forward navigation in Okular after using internal links now works again (Kezi Olio, Okular 20.12)

When using Spectacle’s feature to return focus to the app when pressing the screenshot key while it’s already open, now doing so will un-minimize the app if it happens to be minimized (David Redondo, Spectacle 20.12)

When using Kate’s vi mode, the search field no longer disappears if focused again while it’s already open (Jan Paul Batrina, Kate 20.12)

The “switch user” action is once again visible in the Kickoff Application launcher for people using distros with an older systemd–for real this time! (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.3)

Switching users now actually works again after you invoke the action (Wolfgang Bauer, Plasma 5.20.3)

All the shutdown options are once again always visible for all people in the Kickoff application launcher (Michail Vourlakos, Plasma 5.20.3)

Fixed an obscure way that the Plasma Wayland session could crash (Lewis Lakerink, Plasma 5.20.3)

Opening the Network applet’s speed graph no longer erroneously causes the graph to show an implausibly high spike in data transfer that messes up the graph scale for all subsequent data (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.3)

In the Plasma Wayland session, opening a laptop’s lid now immediately wakes it up, instead of this only happening after you press a key (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.20.3)

The System Settings Window Rules page no longer automatically scrolls itself after creating a new rule and hovering the cursor over the list of rules when there are already a ton of rules in the list (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.20.3)

The “number of CPU cores” sensor now displays the right information (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

When using the Plasma Wayland session with multiple virtual desktops, the name of the virtual desktop is now correct in Task Manager tooltips (Lewis Lakerink, Plasma 5.20)

Plasma applet headers now use the correct colors when using with Breeze Dark Plasma theme (Dominic Hayes, Frameworks 5.76)

Fixed a common crash in System Settings when opening various QML-based pages (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.76)

Notifications for file move or copy operations no longer include skipped files in the total number of files printed at the end (David Faure, Frameworks 5.76)

Thumbnails and previews throughout KDE software are now able to render 16-bit PSD files (Gary Wang, Frameworks 5.76)

User Interface Improvements

Inertial scrolling using the mouse now works when the cursor wraps around vertically after reaching the top or bottom of the window (David Hurka, Okular 1.11.3)

When you share an image to Imgur in Gwenview, there’s now a little notification in the UI that tells you it worked, shows the the link, and automatically copies it to the clipboard for you–just like in Spectacle (Nicolas Fella, Gwenview 20.12

The Samba server authentication dialog has been slimmed down and made more flexible so it can accommodate multiple different login types, with a handy help tooltip that helps you understand the various options (Harald Sitter, Dolphin 20.12):

Sheets in Kirigami-based software now close when you hit the Escape key (Ismael Asensio, Frameworks 5.76)

Draggable list items in Kirigami-based software now use the grabby hand cursor when the cursor is hovered over or dragging on the grab handle (Ismael Asensio, Frameworks 5.76)

The System Setting Accessibility page has been rewritten in QML and given a fancy new user interface (Tomaz Canabrava, Plasma 5.21):

System Tray applets now all have a visible Configure button in their header, as well as a hamburger menu showing all additional actions. This makes all System Tray applets full functionality 100% usable on touch and without having to right-click anything (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21):

Check it out: SSD headerbars in the Plasma System Tray lol!

Icons in the System Tray expanded view are no longer quite so close to the header (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.21)

System Settings’ Notifications page now supports the “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.21)

The little pop-up menu that appears when you hover over a Panel applet while in Edit Mode now looks prettier (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.21):

After last week’s mixed feedback about the new UI style for the System Settings Audio page, we made a few changes which should hopefully improve it a bit (with more to come): We now use standard style section headers, and the “Show Inactive Devices” button has now been moved to the footer area (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.21):

Changed the menu text for the “turn off do not disturb” feature to be a bit more clear (Thiago Sueto, Plasma 5.20):

Those of you who liked the old Alt+Tab switcher’s behavior of placing minimized windows at the end of the list can now get that old behavior behavior back by adding MoveMinimizedWindowsToEndOfTabBoxFocusChain=true to the [TabBox] group
of your ~/.config/kwinrc file. In the future we may add a GUI to control this, but the the moment it is a hidden feature that requires manually modifying the config file (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

Icons in collapsed sidebars in various Kirigami-based apps (e.g. and the Emoji input panel and the new Plasma System Monitor) are now horizontally centered as expected (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.76)

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: Continuous bug massacre

This week the bug squashing continues at full speed! We’ve made short work of tons of bugs throughout our software stack, including the infamous login sound bug, some very important and longstanding issues with extended attributes, and a ton of quality-of-life improvements for the Plasma Wayland session.

But we also managed to add a few nice new features that I think you’ll like. 🙂 Check it all out:

New Features

There’s a new “Breeze Twilight” global theme with a dark appearance for Plasma and a light appearance for apps (Dominic Hayes, Plasma 5.21):

There’s now an option to change the first day of the week in the Digital Clock’s calendar popup (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21)

KWin’s Desktop Grid effect can now be configured to only activate desktops on click, rather than activating both desktops and windows, if you happen to click on a window (Konstantinos Smanis, Plasma 5.21)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Konsole’s “Manage Profiles…” Menu item now takes you to the right place (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3)

Konsole’s context menu now displays the right number of “Open With…” and “Copy Location” menu items in the right place after right-clicking on various different types of things (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3

Middle-clicking on any of the tabs in Okular’s sidebar tab bar no longer closes one of the open documents (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 1.11.3)

Dolphin’s background daemon mode no longer triggers session restoration, which should fix an issue with Dolphin always opening at login on Fedora (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

Okular’s command-line --find parameter now works properly if you feed it non-Latin characters (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 1.11.3)

Closing an open tab in Okular no longer causes the Ctrl+Tab shortcut used for tab navigation to stop working (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 20.12)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer requires that you manually set an environment variable to make NVIDIA GPUs using the proprietary driver function properly. If this sounds like a big deal, it is! (Vlad Zahorodnii and Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.20.2)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes when you hover the cursor over a Task Manager item to display a window preview when PipeWire is not installed (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.2)

Plasma no longer crashes when certain apps do weird things with their PIDs (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

For people who turned on the login sound, it is once again played at login as expected (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

Fixed tons and tons of recent visual regressions in the System Tray: the highlight effect for the active System Tray item is once again large enough to completely fit the item’s icon; tray icons in very thick panels are once again centered in the panel; Multi row/column layouts no longer sometime overlap adjacent Panel widgets; Clicks are no longer eaten by the expander arrow in certain multi-row/column layouts (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.20.2)

In a Wayland session, dragging files and icons no longer shows broken, clipped, or pixelated thumbnails (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.2)

The System Settings Users page now lets you apply the same change to multiple profile fields if you want to (Alexander Potashev, Plasma 5.20.2)

Volume and brightness OSDs on the lock screen once again show the correct values (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

In the wallpaper chooser view, the “Get New Plugins…” button no longer sometimes overlaps the combobox next to it (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

Moving the cursor outside of the widget explorer once again makes the selection highlight effect disappear correctly (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

KSysGuard no longer leaks lots of memory when left open for a long period of time (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.3)

Plasma Icon applets that point to locations rather than applications once again work properly (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.3)

In a Plasma Wayland session, the “Sliding Popups” effect used for various panel widgets no longer suffers from minor visual glitches (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.3)

Discover no longer ever automatically opens at login when it was open at logout as this is not useful (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.3)

System Settings’ “Highlight Changed Settings” feature now remembers whether it was on or off when you close and re-open System Settings (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.20.3)

Double-clicking on System Settings’ “Highlight Changed Settings” button now toggles it on and then off again as expected, instead of eating the second click and leaving it in an inconsistent state (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.20.3)

System Tray items for certain Electron apps that don’t properly set their titles will now at least display something sane for the text (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.20.3)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes when you drag something from an XWayland app to a Wayland app (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes when you drag an icon from Kickoff to Konsole (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

In a Plasma Wayland session, pasting text that was copied inside an XWayland app once again works (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

In a Plasma Wayland session, dragging something in Firefox no longer causes the cursor to get stuck displaying a grabby hand forever lol (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.1)

Reduced the amount of CPU resources that KWin used to draw hardware-accelerated cursors (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

KWin no longer tries to use a connected VR headset as another screen (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.21)

The window minimize animation is no longer sometimes a bit glitchy when using a multi-monitor setup while an app is playing a video on a rotated monitor (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

The KIO library now fully supports preserving extended attributes during common file manipulation operations (Gleb Popov, Frameworks 5.76)

In a Wayland session, KRunner no longer takes up unnecessary CPU resources when visible but it doesn’t look like anything is happening (Fabian Vogt, Frameworks 5.76)

Moving the mouse over different items in the file open/save dialogs while the preview panel is open now causes the preview to always update properly (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.76)

User Interface Improvements

The two ways of maximizing a split view in Konsole now behave identically (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3)

Screenshots taken with Spectacle now appear in the list of recent documents in the Places Panel that’s visible in Dolphin, the file dialogs, and various other pieces of software (Méven Car, Spectacle 20.08.3)

In the System Settings Online Accounts page, errors when connecting to external accounts are now displayed in the UI rather than silently ignored (Nicolas Fella, kaccounts-integration 20.12)

The “New Tab” button on Konsole’s tab bar now has a tooltip (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.12)

Window rules are now allowed to position windows with negative X and Y values, if you really want (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.20.2)

Files and folders on the desktop can now properly be interacted with using a touchscreen, including press-and-hold to emulate a right-click (Steffen Hartlieb, Plasma 5.21)

KRunner search results no longer display uninstalled apps so prominently (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

The System Settings Audio Volume now has a fancy new layout that’s much simpler and dispenses with the multi-tab view (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.21):

The System Settings Window Rules page now supports the “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21)

The System Settings Task Switcher, Window Behavior and General Behavior pages now fully support the “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.21)

When using the setting to open files and folders with double-click, System Settings’ icon view now opens pages with a single-click, not a double-click (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

The context menu for file-based notifications now includes a “Move to Trash” item just in case you suddenly realize you don’t need the file after all (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21):

The bracket matching feature in Kate, KDevelop, and other KTextEditor-based apps now matches angle brackets too (Milian Wolff, Frameworks 5.76)

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.

Last week’s post: https://pointieststick.com/2020/10/24/this-week-in-kde-title/

This week in KDE: so many bugfixes

Though Plasma 5.20 was overall a very smooth release, we spent a lot of time fixing some of the bugs we missed, as well as some older ones in Frameworks and apps too. It may not be very sexy, but bugs are what drive users crazy, and we want them fixed! So, fix them we did. 🙂 Maybe not all of them, but some of them–as many as we could. And we’ll keep on doing it too!

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Connecting to another device using fish:// URLs now works when the target device doesn’t have Perl installed (Alexander Akulich, Dolphin 20.08.3

Right-clicking on the same link in Konsole multiple times no longer results in some of the context menu’s items being duplicated (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3)

Fast scrolling in Okular by holding down the shift key while scrolling now works again (me: Nate Graham, Okular 1.11.3)

Okular once again correctly changes the cursor back to a grabby hand after clicking on a link inside a document (David Hurka, Okular 1.11.3)

Ark can now extract archives into folders with tabs in their names (Jan Paul Batrina, Ark 20.12)

In a Plasma Wayland session, the ALt+Tab Task Switcher is no longer mis-rendered as a big black box after you switch from one visual style to another (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.1)

Plasma no longer spikes the CPU when a task inside a grouped Task Manager task changes its title very frequently (Hoang Vu, Plasma 5.20.1)

Fixed multiple crashes and freezes in System Settings relating to using or switching away from the Activities page (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

Tilde expansion in KRunner now works again (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.20.2)

The screen chooser OSD no longer has a broken layout with awkward empty space on the right side (Carson Black, Plasma 5.21)

Fixed a common crash when installing or updating themes using Discover or one of the Get New [Thing] windows (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.76)

The file opensave dialogs once again correctly handle file names which include the “#” character (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.76)

Kirigami-based apps now correctly lay out their sidebars on the right when using reversed/RTL mode (Marco Martin, Frameworks 5.76)

Fixed a memory leak in Kate and other KTextEditor-based apps (Milian Wolff, Frameworks 5.76)

Screenshots taken in a Plasma Wayland session are now correctly copied to the clipboard when desired (David Edmundson, Qt 5.15.2)

User Interface Improvements

When Dolphin is is launched showing any previously-viewed locations that are no longer available, now those views display your home folder instead of an error message (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

When any of Dolphin’s open tabs or views are displaying a location inside a just-removed disk, they immediately switch to displaying your home folder instead of the now-inaccessible location (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

The Kickoff Application Launcher now shows all the same search that KRunner shows, and the list of enabled plugins the KRunner page in System Settings now affects both of them (which means that we should probably change it back to its old name “Plasma Search” as its current name “KRunner” is no longer strictly accurate) (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21)

On the desktop, the rubberband/selection marquee/”drag a box effect”/whatever you happen to call it now fades out smoothly instead of just disappearing abruptly (Carson Black, Plasma 5.21):

The Places panel in Dolphin, the file dialogs, and various other places now include entries for your Music, Pictures, and Videos folders by default (Claudius Ellsel, Frameworks 5.76)

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.

Inside KDE: leadership and long-term planning

Based on my post about KDE’s anarchic organization and the micro-not-macro nature of my This Week in KDE series, you would be forgiven for having the impression that KDE is directionless and has no leadership or long-term planning capabilities. In fact the opposite is true, and I’d like to talk a bit about that today, since this information may not be obvious to users and the wider community.

Now, since KDE is so vast, I can only provide my personal perspective based on the projects I’m most heavily involved in: the VDG, Plasma, and a few apps.

Overall direction

First of all, you might be surprised to hear that the KDE e.V. board of directors does not act as a technical or strategic leadership body. This is in fact by design; their role is to support the individual project teams (which provide their own leadership) with infrastructural, financial, and legal support. Instead, there are two sources of cross-project planning and leadership in KDE:

  • We democratize long-term planning by allowing the community itself to vote every two years on three goals to prioritize. Members of the kde-community and various developer mailing lists are eligible to vote, so sign up for the kde-community mailing list if you’re not already a subscriber! The current set of long-term goals are Consistency, Wayland, and Apps, following the last set which were Onboarding, Usability & Productivity, and Privacy. These are cross-project goals. There’s no formal mandate to follow them, but project leaders are expected to take them into account. The idea is basically to understand which things are most important to the KDE community as a whole. We’ve done two rounds of this now and I think it’s been quite successful.
  • Additional coordination and strategic planning is provided by members of the KDE Gardening Team, which is essentially our version of upper and middle management. Anyone who cares about the global state of all KDE software and KDE as a community is welcome to join or participate.

On a personal level, I’m a member of the Gardening Team, and my overarching goal is to help KDE get our software shipped by default on hardware all over the world. I have given two Akademy presentations on the subject–one in 2018 and one in 2020–detailing the process I think we can follow to get there. Everything I work on is designed to further this strategic goal.

Small or narrowly scoped projects

Some individual KDE projects use the maintainer model (sometimes known as the “benevolent dictator for life” model). Leadership and planning are easy: the maintainer does it all. This generally works fine for small or focused projects like apps. Many of KDE’s apps follow this model with great success–such as Krita, Kdenlive, Dolphin, Konsole, and so on. A wise maintainer listens to the input of others and changes his or her mind when presented with reasonable alternative perspectives, but ultimately that person makes the call. If you don’t like the call, tough. It’s their project, not yours.

Broadly scoped projects

Projects that touch everything, either from the top (UI side) or the bottom (technical infrastructure side) tend to have a lot of interested parties and stakeholders because of how their activity affects others. Some examples within KDE would be Frameworks, Plasma, KWin, and the VDG.

The maintainer model is often not used for these projects. Instead, an alternative model commonly arises, which I’ll call the “council of elders”: 3-5 of the most active and respected contributors who have strong viewpoints or leadership tendencies will organically emerge to govern the project.

A project’s council of elders is collectively responsible for its long-term priorities and technical direction. Decisions are made on the consensus model, with agreement required from all elders before any kind of potentially controversial action is taken. Sometimes this can take a long time! Discussions are generally public and take the form of status and sync-up meetings, ongoing discussions in the relevant chat channels, Phabricator tasks, and mailing lists. However some of these discussions do take place behind closed doors. For example, when my employer Blue Systems is sponsoring some bit of work and the people working on it are a part of some project’s council of elders, the initial planning for it often takes place inside Blue Systems-specific venues. However it typically moves upstream as soon as practical, once the work is suitable for initial public consumption. And I think the best development and planning happen in the open.

Maintainer vs council of elders

An advantage of the maintainer model is that one person is clearly in charge and has the final say, avoiding endless debate and allowing high speed of decision-making. However even if a project has a humble maintainer with good collaboration skills (such a person is worth their weight in gold), they’re still only one person. People can lose interest, burn out, or die–the notorious “bus factor” of a project. Or the maintainer can simply take the software in a direction that you don’t like. Relying on software steered by a single individual requires trust that none of these things will happen.

The council of elders model solves these problems with its power sharing arrangement. In so doing, it gains the ability to survive the loss of any given elder and provides stability and continuity for 3rd parties who would rely on it. The project does gives up a measure of speed and decisiveness in decision-making as a consequence. However there’s no reason why a council of elders has to fall prey to squabbling. In my experience it only happens if any of the elders in the council disagree with the others but take a “my way or the highway” approach rather than reaching for compromise or admitting that they may simply be wrong.

It’s natural for people–including any of the elders themselves!–to sometimes feel frustrated with the council’s lower speed of decision-making compared to a sole maintainer. But everyone appreciates the immortality that the council provides to the project and its resistance to the problems of a tyrannical or negligent maintainer. For these reasons, there’s but slow but natural drift from the maintainer model to the council of elders model as projects mature over time, especially for software used as a base for other software.

Does it work?

KDE doesn’t lack for strategic long-term goals and direction, so I think that part can be pretty solidly marked as a success. As for tactical leadership and direction within and between individual projects, I also think things are pretty rosy overall. KDE’s maintainer-led projects generally have excellent maintainers. The variety of KDE apps using this model model is a testament to how successful it can be with a high-quality maintainer–especially our professional-class apps like Krita. And in my opinion, KDE’s council of elders projects also have very good leadership today. I think you can see this in the successful roll-out or ongoing progress of various multi-year initiatives:

I could go on; there are tons of long-term projects being worked on behind the scenes. My blog posts may actually be hiding this, because I tend to blog only about the user-visible elements once they’re finally merged. In reality, large projects are often started months or years before the final UI piece of the puzzle is fitted into place. If people are interested, I can try to blog more about the foundational stuff too–or at least encourage others to do so, as this is not my area of expertise. 🙂

Now, has everything been perfectly smooth? No. Are there problems? Yes. Have some things moved too slowly? Certainly. Such is life! And I’ll talk about those things in a future post, because I do think that we can improve upon the way we do things in various ways. But overall, I think KDE’s long-term planning abilities are pretty impressive, especially for a mostly volunteer community!

This week in KDE: Plasma 5.20 released, and looking forwards

We released Plasma 5.20 this week and I think our QA generally paid off–it seems to have been one of the smoothest releases I can remember despite all of the changes! That said, Neon experienced some packaging issues that affected users on the release day, which we’re investigating, and we’ll figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. those issues have all been fixed now, so it should be safe to upgrade, if you haven’t done so yet. And of course we spent a lot of time fixing the few regressions in Plasma 5.20 that did manage to slip through, but also working on the next versions!

New Features

Elisa now lets you change the color scheme of the app independent of the systemwide color scheme (George Florea Bănuș, Elisa 20.12):

Elisa now lets you choose which view to display when the app launches (Matthieu Gallien, Elisa 20.12)

Ark now supports archives with zstd compression (Alexey Ivanov, Ark 20.12)

The System Tray config window’s Entries page now displays configure buttons for individual configurable applets, so you can configure them from one place (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21):

KRunner can now use DuckDuckGo-style “bangs” to invoke web shortcuts. For example, instead of typing “wiki: battleship” to search Wikipedia for an article called “Battleship”, you can also now type “battleship !wiki” or “battleship!wiki” (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21)

System Settings now displays the same set of frequently-used items that are shown on the home screen in the app’s context menu in the Task Manager and Kickoff/Kicker/Application Dashboard/SimpleMenu etc. (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

When accessing a large Samba share, Dolphin no longer sometimes displays only part of the contents (Harald Sitter, Dolphin 20.08.3)

Gwenview no longer sometimes displays the thumbnail strip in a second window when using recent versions of of Qt (Yichao Yu, Gwenview 20.08.3)

Clicking in Okular’s scroll track to scroll the view no longer causes the scrollbar to become de-synced when scrolling over the main view itself using a mouse wheel or touchpad or click-and-drag or touchscreen gesture (David Hurka, Okular 1.11.3)

Elisa’s “Now Playing” view no longer displays an erroneous “Nothing is playing” message when there is in fact something playing, but that thing only has a title and no other metadata (Fabian Baumanis, Elisa 20.12)

Fixed a case where the kactivitymanagerd daemon could crash over and over again (Ivan Čukić, Plasma 5.20.1)

Blurred and partially transparent Breeze theme menus are no longer sometimes affected by a weird graphical glitch that causes the background to look ugly (Andreas Haratzis, Plasma 5.20.1)

In a Wayland session, windows that were closed when in a maximized state now re-open in the same maximized state (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.1)

In a Wayland session, deliberately killing XWayland also no longer crashes the whole session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.1)

In a Wayland session, the cursor is no longer sometimes oddly clipped (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.1)

The hamburger menu for individual applications in the Audio Volume applet now works again, and the relevant System Settings page once again shows the correct output for a multi-output device in the device’s output combobox (David Redondo, Plasma 5.20.1)

Non-removable devices displayed in the Disks & Devices applet no longer let you try to unmount them and instead display a button to open them with the file manager (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.1)

Tooltips for pinned Icons-Only Task Manager apps all of whose windows are on another virtual desktop are no longer visually corrupted (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.20.1)

The notification popup’s circular timeout indicator is once again correctly positioned when using a HiDPI scale factor (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.1)

24px thick panels no longer have the wrong size and spacing for System Tray items (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.1)

The properties window for the trash now indicates the correct amount of free space when using the trash’s “Unlimited” size option (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.75)

Slider handles in Plasma no longer have blurry outlines (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.76)

Discover’s sidebar header no longer sometimes partially covers up the first few items in the sidebar list (Carson Black, Frameworks 5.76)

User Interface Improvements

When using Dolphin’s “remember previous window state” feature, opening Dolphin with a specific location when it’s closed now causes the resulting window to append the newly-opened location to the set of tabs in the old window, rather than replacing them (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

Hovering the cursor over a tab in Dolphin now displays a tooltip with the full path (Tolu Schr, Dolphin 20.12)

Dolphin’s context menu now shows the “Open With…” menu items even for empty directories, as we found some legitimate use cases for this (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

The Media Player applet now uses a tab bar in the footer to let you quickly choose which of the available audio streams it’s controlling (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21):

KRuner now closes if you hit the return or enter key while the text field has no text in it (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21)

When you try to create a folder that already exists in the open/save dialogs, now it will just take you right there, instead of showing an error message (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.76)

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.