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This week in KDE: Lots of work on Discover

Saturday, 30 July 2022 | Nate Graham


This week, Aleix Pol Gonzalez put a ton of work into Discover, which you’ll see throughout the post! Beyond that, it was a Plasma-heavy week, with developers adding several useful new features, polishing the UI, and fixing a large number of high-priority issues.

15-Minute Bugs Resolved

I’m going to start mentioning “very high priority” Plasma bugs here too, as I think it makes sense for them to inherently be considered 15-minute bugs as well. For now I’m going to put them in the “added and also fixed” bucket, but I could add them to the total count instead, if folks think it would be more accurate. This would bring the total up to 79. Or I could mention them separately. Let me know what you think.

Current number of bugs: 51, down from 52. 5 added and 6 resolved:

Hotplugged mice no longer lose their settings when the system is woken up or un-docked (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.25.4)

Fixed a recent regression in Activities support that caused weird issues when switching between Activities (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.25.4)

Discover no longer erroneously labels various apps and add-ons as having proprietary licenses when they don’t (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25.4)

The setting to disable file history no longer confusingly lives on System Settings’ Activities page, and instead has its own page in the Workspace Behavior group (Méven Car, Plasma 5.26):

Fixed one of the ways that Plasma could crash and potentially lose your panels and desktops when you plug in or unplug a screen or change the display scale (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.26)

When Plasma is restarted manually or automatically (e.g. after it crashes) while the Show Desktop effect was active, your windows are no longer invisible (yet still interactive) for 30 seconds (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.26)

Current list of bugs

New Features

Typing in the Overview effect now filters windows when there are any matching the search text, in addition to doing a KRunner search when no open windows match the search text (Niklas Stephanblome, Plasma 5.26):

This basically makes Overview do almost everything Present Windows does, and I’m advocating for consolidating their features and merging them

The Digital Clock widget now lets you customize the font size as well as the typeface and styling. Happily, the changes required for this also fix a bug affecting the old font chooser UI and make the widget no longer change size when seconds are shown (Jin Liu, Plasma 5.26):

In the Plasma Wayland session, it’s now possible to adjust how a graphics tablet’s input area maps to your screen coordinates (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26):

User Interface Improvements

Pressing the Escape key in Spectacle while in Annotation mode now exits only from Annotation mode, rather than quitting the whole app (Antonio Prcela, Spectacle 22.08)

The comic book thumbnailer now supports comic book files with more image formats used inside of them (Pedro Liberatti, Dolphin 22.08)

Dragging a window over other windows in Overview or Present Windows no longer triggers their highlight effects and no longer causes the dragged window to bizarrely appear under them (Ivan Tkachenko, Plasma 5.25.4)

You can now drag apps from Kickoff’s search results to an empty area of the Task Manager to pin them there (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.25.4)

The Digital Clock popup is now fully keyboard navigable (Fushan Wen, Plasma 5.26)

In the System Settings Screen Locking page, the configuration settings for the clock and media controls are now much clearer (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.26):

Changing your user avatar no longer requires admin permission (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.26)

You can now find the System Settings Touchpad page by searching for the word “Trackpad” (Nicolai Weitkemper, Plasma 5.26)

Discover now warns you when you’re looking at an app from a beta channel, and also makes it even more warningy when the version available on the beta channel is older than the one on the stable channel (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26):

When you’re looking at the page for an add-on in Discover, its “Distributed by” field now shows “KDE store” instead of an unclickable elided URL (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26):

Discover now does a better job of indicating to you when a Flatpak repo is a user-specific repo, to disambiguate it from the same repo that applies for the whole system (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26)

When you close Discover’s main window during an update, you can now open it again by re-launching Discover, and also if you close it a second time, it won’t create a second notification but rather will re-use the original one (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26)

Undoing a bulk rename job in Dolphin no longer sends a notification that says “Moving” (Ahmad Samir, Frameworks 5.97)

Other Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Discover no longer crashes when browsing certain add-ons that don’t have any reviews or when a firmware update fails with an error (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24.7)

The priority you set for your Flatpak repos in Discover is now always honored properly (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24.7)

Fixed a case where Discover could crash when quit after successfully performing updates (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, switching virtual desktops with a touchpad swipe gesture can no longer sometimes cause WINE or Steam Proton apps and games to crash (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.25.4)

When you close Discover’s main window while it’s in the middle of installing updates, the notification that appears in its place now shows an accurate count of the items left to update (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.25.4)

In the Plasma Wayland session, you can now use touch taps to interact with certain pop-ups in GTK-based apps that were previously untouchable (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26)

Discover is now faster to start up its Flatpak backend (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.26)

Fixed a couple of animation glitches in the Overview and Present Windows effects, and they also no longer stutter while opening when you have a multi-screen setup (Ivan Tkachenko and David Edmundson, Plasma 5.26)

KRunner no longer produces gibberish results when you give it text that begins with an equals sign that isn’t a math expression (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.26)

…And everything else

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 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.