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This week in KDE: Preliminary HDR support

Saturday, 20 May 2023 | Nate Graham

KWin developer Xaver Hugl put a lot of work into HDR support in KWin during the recent HDR hackfest and Plasma sprint, and as a result, the first parts have now been merged for the Plasma 6.0 Wayland session! This also lays the groundwork for color management on Wayland. It’s an interesting and complex subject, so if you’d like to know more, check out Xaver’s excellent blog post on the subject.

While you’re here, let me also do a bit of self-promotion. Fellow KDE contributor Neofytos Kolokotronis and I will be giving a virtual pre-Akademy talk at the University of Macedonia in a few days, on May 23rd. Learn more and register here!

New Features

Skanpage now exposes scanner-specific adjustment options like for brightness, contrast, gamma, and color balance (Someone still going by the pseudonym “John Doe”, Skanpage 23.08. Link)

Konsole now has a new “Monitor for prompt” feature that can be used to send a notification once a long-running task finishes (Matan Ziv-Av, Konsole 23.08. Link)

Kate’s LSP client support now supports the GLSL language (Marián Konček, Kate 23.08. Link)

Just like with volume adjustments (announced last week), you can now hold down the Shift key while adjusting the brightness to adjust it in 1% increments for finer control (Fushan Wen, Plasma 6.0. Link 1 and link 2)

You can now apply file associations’ app ordering priorities to other file types in bulk (Marco Rebhan, Plasma 6.0. Link)

"Apply to..." dialog to apply app orderings for one file type to other file types as well

User Interface Improvements

Kate’s Debugger plugin has received various enhancements: interactive GDB navigation buttons in its toolview, a configuration window, and a clearer name (Akseli Lahtinen, Kate 23.08. Link 1, link 2, and link 3)

For those of you who were using the fact that Gwenview appears in its own “Open With” menu to open the current image in a new window, there’s now a new “Open in New Window” feature that does the same thing in a fully supported way (Eugene Popov, Gwenview 23.08. Link)

The Magic Lamp window minimizing effect now works and looks better with floating panels, hidden panels, and multi-screen arrangements (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.27.6. Link 1, link 2, and link 3)

When tiling windows, the gap value you choose now affects the gap between windows, not just between windows and screen edges (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.27.6. Link)

System Settings’ Activities page has been ported to QML and given a small visual overhaul in the process (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 6.0. Link):

System Settings window showing Activities page with clean modern design

We now use Switches instead of checkboxes for “instant apply” and “on/off” style actions in Plasma widgets, such as the Networks and Bluetooth widgets (Niccolò Venerandi and me, Nate Graham, Plasma 6.0. Link 1, link 2, and link 3):

Networks widget showing switches rather than checkboxes in header area

Now that single-clicking on a desktop in the Overview Effect’s desktop bar only switches desktops with the effect, double-clicking it will now switch desktops and then exit the effect (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 6.0. Link)

Dolphin no longer shows a free space capacity bar for read-only volumes, because for those it isn’t very actionable (Kai Uwe Broulik, Frameworks 6.0 Link)

Significant Bugfixes

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

When Dolphin is configured to remember open tabs on launch, this now works again after it broke recently during the process of fixing a different bug (Méven Car, Dolphin 23.04.2. Link)

Gwenview’s “Open With” menu once again always opens the actual app you specified instead of a different one, after we broke this by removing Gwenview from its own menu, oops (Gwenview 23.04.2. Link)

The Properties dialog for files and folders on the desktop now shows its “Details” tab as expected (Méven Car, Dolphin 23.08. Link)

The “Software Sources” button on Discover’s Settings page now actually works (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.27.6. Link)

Discover finally shows the versions of updated Flatpak apps in the correct order, for real this time (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.27.6. Link)

Discover will no longer sometimes show a mysterious error message saying “No metadata URIs for vendor directory” (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.27.6. Link)

When using a Global Menu, GTK apps now display their menus correctly right after being launched, with no re-focus required (Severin von Wnuck, Plasma 5.27.6. Link)

The global “Window to Next/Previous Screen” actions now send windows to the correct screens again (Natalie Clarius, Plasma 5.27.6. Link)

When using icons themes with non-monochrome action icons, various icons in various Kirigami-based apps are no longer sometimes inappropriately rendered in all black (Alexander Volkov, Frameworks 5.107. 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, where you can find more news from other KDE contributors.

How You Can Help

If you’re a user, upgrade to Plasma 5.27! If your distro doesn’t offer it and won’t anytime soon, consider switching to a different one that ships software closer to its developer’s schedules.

If you’re a developer, please please please start living on Plasma 6 and fixing bugs. It’s usable for daily driving (I’m doing so) but still very much pre-alpha and in need of work to get it into a releaseable state by the end of the year.

Otherwise, visit to discover other 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!

And finally, KDE can’t work without financial support, so consider making a donation today! This stuff ain’t cheap and KDE e.V. has ambitious hiring goals. We can’t meet them without your generous donations!