KDE Plasma 5.21

It’s already the weekend, which means that users of the KDE software we have available an entry that explains future changes that we can enjoy in the short / medium term. As always, the article has been published by Nate Graham, who continued, along with the rest of the project, with what he started out as “KDE Usability & Productivity”, an initiative to improve the K desktop with little and not so little tweaks, changes and improvements in general.

Much of what is published this week is corrections that will arrive with Plasma 5.21, but it also mentions changes that will be included in the KDE set of apps of the future, both in the next and corrective edition of February and news that will arrive already in April. They have also mentioned some that will arrive already in Plasma 5.22. Below you have the complete list, for KDE users who think they have short teeth and want to have longer teeth out of impatience.

Bug fixes and performance improvements coming to the KDE desktop

  • Fixed a case where Elisa could fail to move to the next song (Elisa 12.20.2).
  • Spectacle no longer secretly runs in the background if you cancel capturing a screenshot of a rectangular region using the global shortcut, which is Meta + Shift + PrintScreen by default (Spectacle 20.12.2).
  • Pressing the Escape key in Konsole while the search field is visible now only closes it if it is currently in focus (Konsole 21.04).
  • The new Breeze Light color scheme is now applied to new user accounts as expected (Plasma 5.21).
  • The new System Preferences login page now allows you to change the wallpaper as expected and remembers the session you selected when using automatic login (Plasma 5.21).
  • Wallpapers added to the list of available wallpapers can be removed again (Plasma 5.21).
  • Searching on Discover’s “Installed” page works again (Plasma 5.21).
  • Old system monitor apps on dashboards are now properly migrated to new ones instead of disappearing (Plasma 5.21).
  • Panels located on the top and right can now be resized by dragging them in the direction you want to resize (Plasma 5.21).
  • Changing the global theme to one with a different color scheme now also immediately updates the colors of GTK applications, not just Qt or KDE applications (Plasma 5.21).
  • The System Preferences home page now allows us to use the keyboard to open any of the pages in the “Frequently Used” list (Plasma 5.21).
  • Authentication dialogs now work correctly when using the optional Systemd startup function (Plasma 5.21).
  • The Plasma Wayland session now opens the correct number of kwin_wayland processes (one) when using the optional start function of Systemd (Plasma 5.21).
  • GTK4 applications no longer show shadows on windows when maximized (Plasma 5.21).
  • There is no longer a weird one-pixel horizontal line across the top of the screen while viewing content in full screen in SMPlayer and LibreOffice and probably other applications as well, when using the new Breeze widget theme (Plasma 5.21).
  • Task Manager window thumbnails for Firefox are no longer sometimes blank in Plasma Wayland session (Plasma 5.21).
  • Context menus for panel applets no longer appear strangely as a separate small window in the Plasma Wayland session (Plasma 5.21).
  • Center click on desktop to add sticky note with clipboard content now works again (Plasma 5.21).
  • Really long monitor names can no longer blow up the layout of the Display Settings page of System Preferences (Plasma 5.21).
  • Plasma no longer freezes if you edit the .desktop file of a running program (Frameworks 5.79).
  • Baloo’s File Indexing Service now correctly indexes files in hidden folders if you have instructed it to do so (Frameworks 5.79).
  • Okular’s search bar closes once more when you hit the Escape key (Frameworks 5.79).
  • The Kickoff icon in the Plasma “Alternatives” panel now reflects its new look (Frameworks 5.79).

Interface improvements

  • The video player in the Gwenview app itself now shows the current and remaining time near the timeline (Gwenview 21.04).
  • When Kate’s built-in terminal panel is open, it now changes directory correctly when a new document is opened (Kate 21.04).
  • Restored the ‘scroll to change displayed time zone’ function of the digital clock (Plasma 5.21).
  • The new Kickoff no longer switches between the “Applications” and “Places” tabs when hovering by default; click (Plasma 5.21).
  • The new Kickoff now has a visible “Configure” button in the main user interface (Plasma 5.21).
  • The Info Center application can now tell us if we are using X11 or Wayland (Plasma 5.22).
  • Desktop widget controls are now much more readable, especially when using a dark color scheme and dark or visually busy wallpaper (Plasma 5.22).
  • The Plasma Audio Volume applet now remembers the last tab you were looking at even after restarting Plasma or the computer (Plasma 5.22).
  • Combo boxes in QML-based applications now change the displayed item at an appropriate speed when hovering over them with a touch panel (Frameworks 5.79).
  • System Preferences pages with Grid Views now adhere to the standard appearance style for floating grid elements (Frameworks 5.79).

When will the above arrive on the KDE desktop

Plasma 5.21 will arrive on February 9 and KDE Applications 21.04 will do so sometime in April. The 20.12.2 will be available from February 4. KDE Frameworks 5.79 will land on February 13. Plasma 5.22, which we were first told about today, will arrive on June 8.

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. As for Plasma 5.22, they have not yet indicated which version of Qt5 it will depend on, so we cannot be sure if it will reach Kubuntu 21.04 + Backports or we will have to wait for 21.10.