KDE Plasma and Wayland

From the looks of it, the future passes through Wayland. Ubuntu 21.04 uses it by default, and KDE it is focusing on going in the same direction. It is actually installed in the Kubuntu 21.04 beta, but we keep getting into X11. This is something that developers are also taking into account and, for example, OBS has included support in the latest versions of their software.

Today is Saturday, and like every week at this time (or rather a while ago), Nate Graham Has published an article about the changes the KDE project is preparing. The entry has been called “Activities in Wayland,” and that is one of the news they are working on. Below you have the complete list, among which they have also included some fixes for the latest LTS version of their desktop, Plasma 5.18.

New features coming to the KDE desktop

  • The “Activities” feature now works in Wayland. There are a few things to implement to make it 100% comparable to the X11 version, but that should be done in time for the next major version of Plasma (Plasma 5.22).
  • Sticky note widgets now have an option to change the font size (Plasma 5.22).

Bug fixes and performance improvements

  • Zooming in and out in Okular now works correctly when using the “Clip Margins” function (Okular 21.04).
  • Media9 PDF movie annotations can be replayed in Okular (Okular 21.04).
  • When using Okular’s “Invert luminance / luminosity” setting, the loading page now retains its correct color (Okular 21.04).
  • Ark can now unzip zip files with Windows-style backslashes used as path separators (Ark 21.08).
  • Fixed a bug in the Breeze app styling that could manifest as a big ugly black square appearing in KMail (Plasma 5.18.8).
  • Fixed a way that KWin could crash with certain low-power integrated GPUs (Plasma 5.21.5).
  • The maximized windows of GTK applications are no longer placed too high in the Plasma Wayland session (Plasma 5.21.5).
  • Discover’s ability to display an app’s dependencies now works again (Plasma 5.21.5).
  • Disconnecting a screen in Plasma Wayland session no longer causes all Qt applications to crash (Plasma 5.22).
  • Global shortcuts assigned to non-Latin symbols in non-US keyboard layouts eventually work properly. (Plasma 5.22 in conjunction with a Qt version that has this pending patch integrated).
  • Plasma no longer lags or hangs when displaying a large amount of tooltips for grouped tasks from the Task Manager (Plasma 5.22).
  • The kglobalaccel5 ​​daemon can no longer block re-login by failing to logout above and then getting stuck (Plasma 5.22 or Frameworks 5.82; whichever comes first).
  • When using a multi-screen setup, the lock screen no longer only displays typed text in the leftmost screen text field, even if the text field was clicked on a different screen (Plasma 5.22) .
  • Task Manager’s “Highlight windows when hovering over tasks” feature now works in the Plasma Wayland session (Plasma 5.22).
  • Kate and other KTextEditor-based applications no longer crash if an open file is deleted on disk and the “Close file, discarding content” option is chosen in the warning message that appears in the application (Frameworks 5.82).
  • Fixed rare case where Kate and other KTextEditor-based applications could crash when dragging text (Frameworks 5.82).
  • Context menus for text fields within Kirigami overlay sheets are no longer displayed below sheet content (Frameworks 5.82).
  • In Kate and other KTextEditor-based applications, the code completion popup sometimes no longer occupies the full width of the screen (Frameworks 5.82).
  • Buttons on the Text tab in Plasma (as in the new start menu) are now removed when there is not enough space, instead of overflowing (Frameworks 5.82).

Interface improvements

  • Konsole’s “Edit Profile” window now shows errors online, instead of using an ugly modal dialog window (Konsole 21.04).
  • Okular’s “Continuous” mode is now considered a document-specific setting (such as zoom settings), rather than a global setting (Okular 21.08).
  • KWin Scripts items in System Preferences now use the “delete pending” pattern used on many other pages, so deleting an item just marks it as in a “delete pending” state and is only deleted actually when you click “Apply” (Plasma 5.22).
  • Systray applets now receive keyboard focus when opened, so they can be interacted with using the keyboard (Plasma 5.22).
  • The floating buttons on the clipboard systray applet list items are now aligned on the top for tallest, so that the trash button does not move based on height, making it easier to click on that button repeatedly to manually prune your history list (Plasma 5.22).
  • Discover no longer displays a huge and weird tooltip that quickly disappears when loading the Updates page if the cursor is over any part of it (Plasma 5.22).
  • The tooltip for the window decoration button used to keep one window on top of all others now makes its purpose clearer (Plasma 5.22).
  • Discover no longer displays a huge and weird tooltip that quickly disappears when loading the Updates page if the cursor is over any part of it (Plasma 5.22).
  • The Task Manager tooltip now visually indicates when you can scroll by displaying a visible scroll bar (Plasma 5.22).
  • When using system-wide double-click mode, it is now possible to disable the “click on the label of a selected file to rename it” function for desktop icons, as it is in Dolphin (Plasma 5.22).
  • Discover’s view of an application’s dependencies has received a visual overhaul and now also shows the exact package name for the application in question and also groups dependencies by installation status (Plasma 5.22).
  • All Grid View Pages in System Preferences now sort items without case sensitivity (Plasma 5.22).
  • Items in the Plasma list now have left and right margins that are consistent with their top and bottom margins (Frameworks 5.82).
  • Various message dialogs throughout KDE software no longer display nonsensical tooltips that say “Yes” and “No” when you hover over buttons whose own text may already be “Yes” and “No”. (Frameworks 5.82).

When will all this come to KDE?

Plasma 5.21.5 will arrive on May 4 and KDE Gear 21.04 will do so on April 22. KDE Frameworks 5.81 will be released today April 10 and Plasma 5.22 will arrive on June 8. Framworks 5.82 is scheduled for May 8. As for KDE Gear 20.08, at the moment we only know that they will arrive in August.

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.

Remember that the above will not be met with Plasma 5.21, or not for Kubuntu until the release of Hirsute Hippo, as we already discussed in this article in which we talk about Plasma 5.20. Plasma 5.22 will depend on Qt 5.15, so it should be coming to Kubuntu 21.04 + Backports.