Linux offers many options, and sometimes that is a goddamn problem. Without going any further, Ubuntu is available in 8 official flavors, and choosing between them can already be a bit difficult, but they can all be customized, and, for example, the main Ubuntu allows us to put the dock at the bottom , we can make it transparent so that it does not reach from side to side, at the same time that it changes size as we open or close apps. KDE offers this and much more, and this week They have spoken of a novelty that will reach Plasma panels.
An image is worth a thousand words, and after the cut you have a video that explains that KDE will add a new option to make the panels look different. The most striking thing and what they emphasize the most is not what you have in the header capture, but the bottom panel becomes more or less transparent automatically depending on what we are doing, and this will be valid for any panel that we have on our desktop.
Before I start with the news that you have mentioned this week, I know that some of you may be wondering how the icons are centered in the bottom panel. It is not something that interests me in Plasma, but the same user published a video two days ago explaining how to do it, and you can see it here.
New features coming to the KDE desktop
- Panels will add new adaptive transparency feature. Adaptive means that it adapts, and Nate Graham explains that this will always work well. We will have to see it in the future, but it seems that the icons are always opaque, which is not bad. And that it adapts also means something else: what they want is that the panels are less visible when we are on the desktop, but they will be completely opaque when we have a window open full screen for consistency. If we don’t want to, we can configure all this as we prefer (Plasma 5.22).
- Kate will endure and be able to restore unsaved files or even unsaved changes when closing and reopening the app. The feature will be disabled by default (Kate 21.04).
Bug fixes and performance improvements
- Elisa now consumes less memory when scrolling through the application and viewing a lot of album art (Elisa 21.04).
- Elisa now saves playlist files in the .m3u8 format that supports UTF8 encoding and non-ASCII characters, and also allows opening playlist files that are already in that format (Elisa 21.04).
- Renaming a file on a Samba share in such a way that the only way to change its filename is for a letter to be moved from uppercase to lowercase (or vice versa) now works (Dolphin 21.04).
- Flickr image of wallpaper of the day now works again; his API key had expired (Plasma 5.18.7).
- There is no longer a blank entry in the digital clock’s time zone selector; now it shows ‘Yangon’, a city in Myanmar (Plasma 5.22).
- Bottom buttons on various pages of System Preferences no longer sometimes get cut off when using Plasma Mobile or using a system language with long text (Plasma 5.21.3).
- The new Plasma System Monitor app no longer crashes sometimes after spending a long time minimized (Plasma 5.21.3).
- The “kill a process” dialog in the new Plasma System Monitor no longer suffers from a variety of minor visual glitches (Plasma 5.21.3).
- When using the new Plasma System Monitor application to get new styles of visual graphics, the resulting window is no longer ridiculously small (Plasma 5.21.3).
- System Monitor widgets now correctly update their titles to reflect user-initiated changes immediately after those changes are made (Plasma 5.21.3).
- The focus effect for buttons on lock, login and logout screens now reappears correctly (Plasma 5.21.3).
- The menus of the GTK applications are again the same height as the menus of the KDE and Qt applications (Plasma 5.21.3).
- GTK applications using the new Libhandy library now display their top header bars at the correct height (Plasma 5.21.3).
- Fixed some issues in the global Breeze Dark theme that caused the expected splash screen and color scheme to not apply correctly (Plasma 5.21.3).
- When the screen is off, the system no longer wastes CPU and GPU power extracting un-rendered components (Plasma 5.22).
- Search results in Kickoff that have icons provided by .ico files are no longer blurred (Frameworks 5.80).
- Placeholder text in Plasma text fields and text boxes now displays the correct cursor when you move the cursor over it and is never the wrong color or may even be improperly selected (Frameworks 5.80).
- When using a wheel mouse, the Gwenview image thumbnail now scrolls by the same amount (matching Dolphin) no matter how large the thumbnails are (Gwenview 21.04).
- Now it is more obvious how to stop a presentation in Okular (Okular 21.04).
- In Kate, the F11 key is now used to enter and exit full screen as it does in many other applications, instead of turning line numbers on and off (Kate 21.04).
- Gwenview now displays a quality selection slider when saving images in JPEG XL file format, if supported by your system (Gwenview 21.04).
- Everything in Plasma and QML based applications now fully respects animation duration settings, including not animating anything at all when animations are disabled (Plasma 5.22 with Frameworks 5.80).
When will all this come to our system with KDE
Plasma 5.21.3 is coming March 16 and KDE Applications 21.04 will do so on April 22. KDE Frameworks 5.80 will land on March 13. Plasma 5.22 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 come to Kubuntu 21.04 + Backports or we will have to wait for 21.10.