KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 81

Here’s week 81 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! And boy is there some delicious stuff today. In addition to new features and bugfixes, we’ve got a modernized look and feel for our settings windows to show off:

Doesn’t it look really good!? This design is months in the making, and it took quite a bit of work to pull it off. I’d like to thank Marco Martin, Filip Fila, and the rest of the KDE VDG team for making it happen. This is the first of several user interface changes we’re hoping to land in the Plasma 5.17 timeframe, and I hope you’ll like them!

In the meantime, look at all the other cool stuff that got done this week:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 80

Somehow we’ve gone through 80 weeks of progress reports for KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! Does that seem like a lot to you? Because it seems like a lot to me. Speaking of a lot, features are now pouring in for KDE’s Plasma 5.17 release, as well as Applications 19.08. Even more is lined up for Applications 19.12 too, which promises to be quite a release. Anyway, here’s what we’ve got for you:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 79

After a somewhat light week, we’ve back with week 79 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative, and there’s a ton of cool stuff for you!

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 78

It’s time for week 78 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! This week I think people have been taking a breather following a super intense sprint, and some are even on vacation–myself included. So this week’s report is going to ba a bit light, but it’s still got a few cool goodies!

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 77

We’re up to week 77 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! This week’s report encompasses the latter half of the Usability & Productivity sprint. Quite a lot of great work got done, and two features I’m particularly excited about are in progress with patches submitted and under review: image annotation support in Spectacle, and customizable sort ordering for wallpaper slideshows. These are not done yet, but should be soon! Meanwhile, check out what’s already landed:

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Pretty freakin’ sweet, huh?! It was a great development sprint and I’m really happy with how it went. I’ll be writing another more in-depth article about it, so stay tuned.

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

An easier way to test Plasma

Having the Plasma and Usability & Productivity sprints held at the same time and place had an unexpected benefit: we were able to come up with a way to make it easier to test a custom-compiled version of Plasma!

Previously, we had some documentation that asked people to create a shell script on their computers, copy files to various locations, and perform a few other steps. Unfortunately, many of the details were out of date, and the whole process was quite error-prone. It turned out that almost none of the Plasma developers at the sprint were actually using this method, and each had cobbled together something for themselves. Some (including myself) had given up on it and were doing Plasma development in a virtual machine.

So we put some time into easing this pain by making Plasma itself produce all the right pieces automatically when compiled from source. Then, we created a simple script to install everything properly.

So now all you have to do is compile Plasma and run this script once:

sudo ~/kde/build/plasma-workspace/login-sessions/install-sessions.sh

This will install all the necessary bits to make your compiled-from-source Plasma appear in the SDDM login screen’s session chooser. You even get both the X11 and Wayland versions!

Thereafter, you can just log out of your distro-provided Plasma session and log into your custom-compiled Plasma session whenever you want. It’s super easy:

There are a few quirks surrounding DBus and Polkit that you can read about on the wiki, but it totally works and now it’s super duper simple to test and use your custom-compiled Plasma without polluting your base system. I’ve been using the Plasma Wayland session from git master with no VM for my daily computing and development needs for the past three days and it feels *amazing* to be able to do this. Many thanks to veteran KDE developer Aleix Pol Gonzalez for this work.

So now you really have no excuse not to build plasma from source! 😉 Check out the developer documentation and give it a try!

KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 76

Week 76 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative is here! This week’s progress report includes the first several days of the Usability & Productivity sprint, and as such, it’s absolutely overflowing with cool stuff!

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

If you find KDE software useful, consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.