KDE puts the final touches on Plasma 5.21 before its release

KDE Plasma 5.21

The next Tuesday, KDE will release Plasma 5.21. It will be the first version of a new series and, as such, it will come with many new functions and fixes, but, as we will explain later, some users will have to have a little patience to enjoy it. A few hours ago, Nate Graham Has published his weekly entry on Pointieststick, and in it he tells us about the final touches that will be made to Plasma 5.21 before its imminent launch.

With v5.21 of the graphical environment practically here, KDE is also bravely focusing on Plasma 5.22, the version that will follow the five maintenance updates of v5.21. Below you have the list of news that they are preparing and that they have mentioned to us today, such as improvements in the design and a new image for Kate’s website, which you can access from this link.

Two new features coming to the KDE desktop

  • Kate’s project plugin now offers the ability to change git branches right there in the main user interface (Kate 21.04).
  • The Plasma Audio Volume applet now provides the opportunity to change the audio profile of a device right there in the applet, without having to go elsewhere (Plasma 5.22).

Bug fixes and performance improvements

  • Kate no longer sometimes creates a new document when closing tabs with a middle click (Kate 21.04).
  • Dolphin no longer erupts when viewing large folders in tree view (Dolphin 21.04).
  • QML-based applications that override the theme no longer crash when that theme is Breeze (Plasma 5.21).
  • Neither Plasma nor the entire session will crash when dragging a file onto a Task Manager entry in the Plasma Wayland session (Plasma 5.21).
  • Fixed a bug that could cause widgets to sometimes not be removed from a panel (Plasma 5.21).
  • Non-task manager dashboard applets again respect Fitts’ law regarding their click targets (Plasma 5.21).
  • The buttons in the Plasma “new connected screen” OSD work once more (Plasma 5.21).
  • KRunner’s location broker now works again (Plasma 5.21).
  • Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when removing an activity (Plasma 5.21).
  • Disk monitoring widgets now display the correct information for current performance and no longer show “Total loaded” when they should show “Load rate” (Plasma 5.21).
  • Discover is now substantially faster to launch (Plasma 5.21).
  • Fedora’s Anaconda installer now works in the Plasma Wayland session (Plasma 5.21).
  • Discover no longer sometimes shows additional fake fonts in its “Fonts” menu when viewing the detail page for a Flatpak application (Plasma 5.21).
  • KWin now detects hot plugged VR headsets (Plasma 5.21).
  • Reducing the screen brightness to the lowest level so that it turns off the backlight no longer causes the backlight to blink again for a moment before turning off again (Plasma 5.21).
  • Scroll bars in Breeze-GTK-themed GTK apps no longer show step-by-step arrows when they shouldn’t (Plasma 5.21).
  • Discover’s “Write a Review” sheet is no longer nearly unusable (Plasma 5.21.1).
  • It is now possible to immediately apply newly downloaded wallpapers whose names include a space (Frameworks 5.79).
  • When comparing two files in the overwrite move / copy dialog, size differences greater than 2GiB are no longer erroneously described as 16EiB (Frameworks 5.80).
  • Konsole no longer crashes when checking for new appearance settings using Get New dialog [artículo] (Frameworks 5.80).
  • Launch speed for all applications using Kirigami (Frameworks 5.80) has been slightly improved.
  • The few remaining configuration pages that open in separate windows now look good again (Frameworks 5.80).

Interface improvements

  • Gwenview now allows you to change the quality / compression level for other lossy image formats, such as WEBP, AVIF, HEIF, and HEIC (Gwenview 21.04).
  • Kate now enables by default to cut or copy the current line when nothing is selected and you use the cut or copy action (Kate 21.04).
  • Resizing the Dolphin window now rearranges the icons using a single smooth animation, not a weird two-part animation (Dolphin 21.04).
  • Pressing the escape key while in Okular’s full screen view now returns you to windowed view (Okular 21.04).
  • The new Wayland-specific keyboard layout applet now has text that scales to the thickness of the panel it is in (Plasma 5.21).
  • The System Preferences window decorations page now uses the fancy new Get New window [artículo] based on QML instead of the old funky QWidgets (Plasma 5.22).
  • The System Preferences Virtual Desktops page now supports the “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Plasma 5.22).
  • The Disks and Devices applet can now be configured to play a sound when a device can be safely removed (Plasma 5.22).

When will all this get to the KDE desktop

Plasma 5.21 will arrive on February 16 and KDE Applications 21.04 will do so on April 22. The 20.12.3 will be available from March 4. KDE Frameworks 5.79 will land today February 13, and 5.80 will do so 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 reach Kubuntu 21.04 + Backports or we will have to wait for 21.10.

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