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This week in KDE: Inching closer

Saturday, 10 February 2024 | Nate Graham


The KDE 6 mega-release is due in a little under three weeks! And folks have remained in diligent bugfixing-and-polishing mode, because we want this release to be as smooth and drama-free as possible! If you haven’t already tried it out, this is a good time to. Find all the bugs that are bugging you so we can hopefully fix them before the final release!

KDE 6 Mega-Release

(Includes all software to be released on the February 28th mega-release: Plasma 6, Frameworks 6, and apps from Gear 24.02)

UI improvements

KWin’s “Active screen follows mouse” setting is now gone; now the active screen is always the one with the cursor on it, or the last one that was tapped with a touchscreen. This turns out to be much simpler and it’s what we think most people wanted anyway, hopefully alleviating complaints about OSDs and new windows opening on unexpected screens (Vlad Zahorodnii, link)

You can now set the data range manually for “horizontal bars” charts in System Monitor and its widgets (Arjen Hiemstra, link)

When you use the System Tray’s “Always show all entries” option, now it actually does always show all entries, instead of sneakily keeping some of them hidden anyway according to some internal logic which was not obvious (Jin Liu, link)

Searching through clipboard entries is now case-insensitive (Yifan Zhu, link)

Bug fixes

Important note: I don’t mention fixes for bugs that were never released to users; it’s just too much for me (it would probably be too much for you to read as well), and most people never encountered them in the first place. Because we’re in the middle of a big Plasma dev cycle, there are a lot of these bugs! So big thanks to everyone who’s made it a priority to fix them!

Fixed an issue affecting the Plasma X11 session that could cause the screen to end up black with only a movable cursor when you wake your system from sleep while using an NVIDIA GPU with its proprietary drivers (David Redondo, link)

CPU temperature sensors now work for a variety of Intel and AMD motherboards where they didn’t previously work (Arjen Hiemstra, link 1 and link 2)

When System Monitor’s window opens in maximized state, de-maximizing it now returns it to its pre-maximized geometry as expected (Arjen Hiemstra, link)

In various Kirigami-based apps, double-clicking on a page to open it multiple times is no longer interpreted that way–because opening the same page multiple times makes no sense–which avoids accidentally breaking the app (Arjen Hiemstra, link)

KScreen is now smarter about choosing better-matching screen settings when told to make one screen mirror another (Yifan Zhu, link)

Buttons and scrollbars in the Sticky Notes widget are now always distinguishable no matter what color you choose for the background of the note and no matter what your system color scheme is (me: Nate Graham, link)

A couple of Plasma UI elements with text on them that weren’t previously translatable now are (Emil Sari, link)

When your Task Manager is set up to only show tasks from the current screen, now this still keeps working when you switch around your screen arrangement without restarting Plasma (Someone awesome, link)

Header text in System Tray applets now elides instead of overflowing with a small window size and very long applet text (me: Nate Graham, link)

Other bug information of note:

Post-Mega-Release

When you hit the Alt+Tab shortcut with no windows open, you’ll now see a nice “No open windows” message instead of a broken-looking task switcher or even nothing (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 6.1. Link)

The ancient feature to add a spacer in your window titlebars returns! (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 6.1, link)

Automation & Systematization

Added an autotest to make sure that loading Digital Clock plugins still works (Fushan Wen, link)

…And Everything Else

This blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! 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

Thanks to you, our Plasma 6 fundraiser has been a crazy success! I originally thought the goal of 500 new KDE e.V. supporting members was over-optimistic, but you’ve all proven me happily wrong. We’re now up to an amazing 800 members, blown past our stretch goals, and 1000 members by launch time seems like it might even be feasible. Thank you everyone for the confidence you’ve shown in us; we’ll try not to screw it up! 🙂 For those who haven’t donated to become members yet, spreading the wealth via this fundraiser is a great way to share the love. 🙂

If you’re a developer, work on Qt6/KF6/Plasma 6 issues! Which issues? These issues. Plasma 6 is very close to a release and in a good state, but could still benefit from some final bug-fixing and polishing. And as I mentioned before, if you haven’t tried it out yet, please do!

Otherwise, visit https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved 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!