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This week in KDE: our cup overfloweth with cool stuff for you

Saturday, 11 May 2024 | Nate Graham


This week a lot of work that has been in progress for weeks got merged! So check out the free goodies! And isn’t that amazing? Free stuff day after day, week after week. No price tag, no ads, no spying, no activation, no subscription, no nonsense. Just good work donated to the public. And not only from KDE, but the software stack we rely on, the distributions that make our software available, and on and on! We really live in an amazing time, folks.

New Features

By default, Dolphin now selects everything in a folder when you double-click on its view background, and also lets you configure it to do other things instead–up to and including running custom terminal commands! (George Florea Bănuș, Dolphin 24.08. Link)

Elisa now lets you shuffle the playlist contents by album, not just by track (Bart De Vries, Elisa 24.08. Link)

System Settings now features a page where you can turn on and configure remote login based on the Remote Desktop Protocol (Akseli Lahtinen and me: Nate Graham, Plasma 6.1. Link 1 and link 2)

Final UI is still a bit in flux; you’ll notice that the merge request at the second link isn’t merged yet, and there are some obvious misalignments

On Wayland, KWin can now be configured to pull color profile information from the monitor’s EDID metadata where present. Note that color profile information in EDID metadata is often wrong, so use this setting with caution. The feature includes inline help text to make you aware of this, too. (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 6.2. Link 1, link 2, link 3, and link 4)

UI Improvements

It’s now more obvious how you end a screen recording in Spectacle: the “currently recording” icon it shows in the System Tray now animates to get your attention a bit more, and Spectacle also sends a system notification to tell you about it (Noah Davis, Spectacle 24.08. Link)

When the clock disappears on Plasma’s lock screen, the cursor does too, which makes it possible to use the screen locker as a true screensaver if you give it a wallpaper plugin that has some kind of animated effect (Someone amazing, Plasma 6.0.4. Link)

It’s now obvious how you close Plasma 6’s fancy new panel configuration dialog: it has a “Done” button in the corner! (Taro Tanaka and Me: Nate Graham, Plasma 6.1. Link):

When you disconnect from a network while it’s showing the speed graph view, it now automatically switches over to the info view (Eugene Popov, Plasma 6.1. Link)

Smooth scrolling in KDE’s QML-based apps is now optional (though still on by default). It’s also possible that 3rd-party apps will eventually read and respect this setting, as I recently noticed Firefox does for our global animation speed setting (Nathan Misner, Plasma 6.2. Link 1 and link 2)

Small in-window dialogs in QtQuick-based software have gotten a visual overhaul to remove everything not visually necessary, which gives the text and buttons more focus (Carl Schwan, Frameworks 6.3. Link 1 and link 2)

Also not the final appearance, but this is the general design direction right now

Command bars in QtWidgets-based apps have also gotten a visual overhaul to match this more minimalistic style (Eugene Popov, Frameworks 6.3. Link):

Bug Fixes

Elisa no longer freezes when you open Party Mode while music is playing and the headerbar is collapsed or sized in certain ways (Pedro Nishiyama, Elisa 24.05. Link)

Fixed two longstanding issues that could cause Plasma to crash when it didn’t find all the screens it expected to find when waking up or booting the system (Marco Martin, Plasma 6.0.4 and 6.0.5. Link 1 and link 2)

Discover no longer misleadingly and incorrectly claims that apps with no licenses listed are proprietary (Harald Sitter, Plasma 6.0.5. Link)

Fixed a Plasma 6 regression that caused Discover to show annoying and ignorable error messages when viewing pages for content from store.kde.org (Harald Sitter, Plasma 6.0.5. Link)

The search/filter field in Plasma’s Printers widget now works (Mike Noe, Plasma 6.0.5. Link)

Fixed a Plasma 6 regression that caused panel widgets to overlap when you have an Activity Pager widget somewhere on a horizontal panel (Edo Friedman, Plasma 6.0.5. Link)

KWin is now more reliable about turning off screens in response to hardware and driver quirks that previously made this less than reliable with certain setups (Arsen Arsenović, Plasma 6.0.5. Link)

Config windows for Plasma’s System Monitor and System Tray widgets and the power profiles OSD no longer have mismatched colors for some UI controls and icons when using a mixed light/dark global theme such as Breeze Twilight (Akseli Lahtinen, Evgeniy Harchenko, and Nicolas Fella, Plasma 6.0.5. Link 1, link 2, and link 3)

Searching for something in Plasma’s Clipboard widget now returns a message with the correct text (“No matches”) when your search didn’t match anything (Thomas Duckworth, Plasma 6.0.5. Link)

Plasma’s Task Manager widget was internally refactored to simplify some old crusty code, which fixes two prominent layout glitches, including a Plasma 6 regression where tasks would overlap with adjacent widgets when in multi-row mode (Marco Martin, Plasma 6.1. Link 1 and link 2)

Other bug information of note:

Automation & Systematization

The plasma-workspace git repo has adopted a merge request template to guide people towards writing good commit messages, testing their changes, and including before-and-after screenshots. If this works out well, we’ll expend it elsewhere too (me: Nate Graham, link)

We now have a bug announcement bot that yells at us about the number of high and very high priority Plasma bugs, as well as the number of current known regressions (Ben Bonacci, 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

The KDE organization has become important in the world, and your time and labor have helped to bring it there! But as we grow, it’s going to be equally important that this stream of labor be made sustainable, which primarily means paying for it. Right now the vast majority of KDE runs on labor not paid for by KDE e.V. (the nonprofit foundation behind KDE, of which I am a board member), and that’s a problem. We’ve taken steps to change this with paid technical contractors—but those steps are small due to growing but still limited financial resources. If you’d like to help change that, consider donating today!

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!