This week in KDE: Better HiDPI on X11

We made a big improvement to Plasma’s high DPI support on X11 this week! Beyond that, there’s a lot more cool stuff in progress that hasn’t been merged yet; look for that stuff next week and beyond.

New Features

You can now search for localized text to find timezones in KRunner and Kickoff (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.23)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

The buttons that appear when you hover your cursor over entries in the Clipboard applet are no longer sometimes mis-positioned (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.22.4)

A System Tray popup that has been pinned open no longer closes unexpectedly when you open its configuration page (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22.4)

Plasma Panels once again use the correct edge-specific theme graphics, when present (Obno Sim, Plasma 5.22.5)

In the Plasma Wayland session, System Settings’ Shortcuts page no longer lists three “KWin” items; they now all have proper names (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23)

When using a high DPI scale factor on X11 with the default Plasma scaling system (instead of native Qt scaling, which is used on Wayland and when manually setting PLASMA_USE_QT_SCALING=1), large Task Manager icons, System Tray icons and ToolButton icons all over the place are now displayed with the correct size! (me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.85). This is not the end; other things are still too small, but I am working on those too.

This is on X11, with Plasma scaling, not using the PLASMA_USE_QT_SCALING environment variable!

Recursive changes to directory ownership and permissions now always work (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.85)

User Interface Improvements

The Weather widget’s configuration page now has a less-annoying UI for searching: the results list no longer becomes automatically focused after you search, and instead you can navigate the results list with the up and down arrow keys and hit the enter key to select and entry while the search field is still focused (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.23)

The System Tray’s highlight line for the active applet now touches the edge of the panel (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.23):

System Settings no longer shows a question mark button in its titlebar (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

High DPI update

I’d like to share a brief update regarding the state of high DPI support. Since getting a laptop with a 4K screen, I’ve found all sorts of subtle papercuts and have been doing my best to fix them or at least file bug reports. Here’s what’s been fixed recently:

Fixed recently

…And the work continues! Here are the bugs next on my list to investigate and try to fix:

Next up

A lot of the above issues are sort of stretch goals for me as each one requires a great deal of learning before I can even begin to try to put together a halfway-intelligent fix. So feel free to help out if you find this work useful and have relevant skills!