KDE Plasma and Wayland

It’s the weekend again, so users of KDE we have available a new entry with «tidbits» or «goodies» that tell us about functions that will reach your desktop in the medium term. But this weekend has also happened something else that has not much to do with Linux, but with the developer who publishes all these notes: it was Nate Graham’s birthday, and we did not want to miss the opportunity to congratulate him from here.

In the change list in which they are working that they have provided us today, and where we have decided to leave the name of the authors because it seems more fair, there are many that will come from the hand of Plasma 5.22, such as compatibility with the hot connection of the GPUs and FreeSync / Adaptive Sync / refresh rate. Below you have everything that we have advanced today, where the number of new functions stands out if we compare it with previous weeks.

New features coming to the KDE desktop

  • Support for hot plugging of GPUs and FreeSync / Adaptive Sync / variable screen refresh rate in Wayland en (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22).
  • New Wayland protocol for tracking application activation and delivery, allowing KDE applications to display visual feedback when launched, and to forward existing application windows when prompted to display new content .
  • Konsole now allows saving the current design to a file, and loading saved designs at will (Lucas Biaggi, Konsole 21.08).
  • Spectacle now allows you to copy the image data or path to the clipboard right there from the main user interface, and takes whatever action is necessary to make it possible (Srevin Saju, Spectacle 21.08).
  • KHelpCenter now has a “Full Screen” mode (Yuri Chornoivan, KHelpCenter
  • In the Plasma Wayland session, you can now choose which virtual keyboard to use, or disable it completely (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.22).
  • KWin now supports the Panfrost Mali driver (Tomasz Gajc, Plasma 5.22).
  • The digital clock popup now shows an “Add …” button that opens Kontact so we can add events, and it also shows the days with any events using nice dots instead of ugly triangles (Carl Schwan, Plasma 5.22 and Frameworks 5.82).
  • It is now possible to configure normal priority notifications to appear in full screen windows, so that, for example, you can optionally continue to see them while watching a video in full screen or reading documents in Okular’s full screen view ( Oleksandr Popel, Plasma 5.22).
  • The new Plasma System Monitor application now remembers the last page we were viewing by default, but can be configured to open a specific page each time (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

Bug fixes and performance improvements

  • Improved visibility of selected text in Konsole (Jan Blackquill, Konsole 04.21.1).
  • Konsole no longer crashes when an absurdly long string is entered into it (like 6000 characters long) and then the window is immediately maximized (Carlos Alves, Konsole 04/21/1).
  • After using the Clip to Selection tool in Okular, the Browse tool is automatically activated again (Gerd Wachsmuth, Okular 04/21/1).
  • Video thumbnails work again when using distro packages with ffmpeg 3 but not 4 (Xuetian Weng, KDE Gear 21.04.1).
  • The Plasma Folder View widget (which handles desktop icons) now correctly calculates icon positions from the top left corner of the tallest screen, which fixes several bugs (Oleg Solovyov, Plasma 5.21.5) .
  • Renaming items on the desktop using the keyboard shortcut (F2 by default) now works in case the icon has been selected using its little plus sign button that appears when hovering over it while using the default one-click mode (Tobias Fella, Plasma 5.21.5).
  • Plasma Wayland session no longer hangs on login when booting in basic / fallback graphics mode (Aleix Pol González, Plasma 5.22).
  • In the Plasma Wayland session, KWin no longer hangs when applying firmware updates (using Discover or just the fwupdmgr command line tool) with a connected touchscreen laptop or graphics tablet (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22) .
  • Konsole no longer hangs when using the top / bottom split feature and the Oxygen app style (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22).
  • Plasma can no longer be frozen when viewing year 0 on the calendar (Alois Wohlschlager, Plasma 5.22).
  • Login scripts now run as expected when using systemd startup mode (Henri Chain, Plasma 5.22).
  • When opening an audio or video file from Dolphin, the “playing audio” indicator no longer appears in Dolphin, as well as the application that is playing it (Méven Car, Plasma 5.22).
  • Changing the theme of system icons or using an AppImage no longer causes all icons in the system tray to become temporarily invisible (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22).
  • Recently accidentally added default global shortcuts for “Reboot / Quit / Quit Unconfirmed” actions have been removed, because actions like these are too dangerous to have default global shortcuts (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22).
  • The system monitoring widgets and the new application of the same name no longer indicate that there is no CPU in certain circumstances (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.22).
  • It is no longer possible to try to delete the home folder entry on the file indexing page of System Preferences, because it is not a valid action and doing so does not work (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22).
  • In the Plasma Wayland session, Plasma applet context menu submenus no longer appear strangely like separate windows with their own title bars and all (David Redondo, Frameworks 5.82).
  • The “Get New Plugins” window no longer displays false error messages when a plugin installation is canceled (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.82).
  • Fixed one of the ways Kirigami-based applications could crash when displaying icons (Aleix Pol González, Frameworks 5.82).

Interface improvements

  • Elisa’s “Now Playing” page has undergone a user interface overhaul, introducing a two-column layout in wide screen mode, which is reduced to a one-column layout in narrow mode . You can also disable the blurred background of the album art on that page (Tranter Madi, Elisa 21.08).
  • Elisa’s repeat and shuffle buttons are now a bit more understandable, showing their states marked when active and making the tooltip clearly describe the current state, not the action that will take place when clicked on the button (Tranter Madi, Elisa 21.08).
  • The Dolphin information panel is now updated in real time when the file showing information is updated by any other application and when the size of a folder showing information changes (Méven Car, Dolphin 21.08).
  • Gwenview status bar buttons now have the correct size and outer margins (Noah Davis, Gwenview 21.08).
  • The “Upload” button in Filelight is now disabled when viewing the root level of the file system (Burak Hancerli, Filelight 21.08).
  • The Kickoff menu now implements a triangular menu filter, which means you can move the cursor diagonally over the category list to reach items in the view without accidentally switching categories. The delay when moving the cursor vertically to change categories has also been eliminated. (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22).
  • KRunner now displays multi-line text for long dictionary definitions. (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22).
  • KRunner no longer returns duplicate or pseudo-duplicate search results, such as “Launch Firefox” and also “launch firefox” (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22).
  • What counts as default settings in System Preferences now takes into account the settings of the active global theme (Henri Chain, Plasma 5.22).
  • The Battery and Brightness applet’s user interface to communicate the ability to temporarily inhibit sleep and screen lock has been made much more understandable, and it also takes up less space (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22).
  • When using a multiscreen configuration, applications and windows open by default on the screen containing the cursor (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22).
  • Grid items can now be double-clicked in System Preferences to quickly apply double-clicked item settings without having to go down and hit the Apply button (Wael Chlouftou and Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22) .
  • The Discover apps page now has an improved layout that includes more standard style cards for reviews (Carl Schwan, Plasma 5.22).
  • GTK applications that use the libhandy library – particularly for their tab bars – now have a more native appearance when running in Plasma (Jacob Kauffmann, Plasma 5.22).
  • The panel, now visible by default, in the Present Windows effect is darkened along with the background to communicate that it is not interactive (Felipe Kinoshita, Plasma 5.22).
  • The Audio Volume applet tooltip now shows the friendly name of the current audio output instead of its technical name (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.22).
  • GTK applications now use Breeze-style arrows in menus and other places (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22).
  • Middle-clicking on the System Monitor applets now opens the new Plasma System Monitor application (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22).
  • The Discover “Updates” jump list action has been clarified so that it no longer appears identical to other similar actions in search results (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22).
  • Various keyboard shortcuts can now be used to manipulate the volume of the stream currently focused on the Audio Volume applet: the numbers 0-9 to change the volume, M to mute, Enter / Return to make it the default, and Menu to open the menu (Chris Holland, Plasma 5.22).
  • The Clipboard applet no longer has an “Exit” action, because it cannot actually be exited (Eugene Popov, Plasma 5.22).
  • Scrolling over the Battery and Brightness applet to change the brightness now works more consistently and predictably with both a high-resolution touchpad and a traditional mouse wheel (Bernhard Sulzer, Plasma 5.22).
  • Shadows behind clock text on lock and login screens have been slightly lightened when displayed against light backgrounds so they don’t appear so sharp and harsh (Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22).
  • A variety of QWidgets-based KDE applications will no longer have absurdly small default window sizes of 640×480 pixels (Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.82).
  • The shortcuts to the web now show their icons by default (Ismael Asensio, Frameworks 5.82).

Arrival dates for all of this in KDE

Plasma 5.21.5 will arrive on May 4 and KDE Frameworks 5.82 will be released on the 8th of the same month. Later, Plasma 5.22 will arrive on June 8. As for KDE Gear 21.08, at the moment we only know that they will arrive in August, but it is known that Gear 21.04.1 will be available from May 13th.

To enjoy all this as soon as possible we have to add the KDE Backports repository or use an operating system with special repositories like KDE neon or any distribution whose development model is Rolling Release, although the latter usually take a little longer than the KDE system.