Next week, your name could be in this list! Just check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!
Greetings, KDE-loving humans! This week’s Usability & Productivity is a heavy one in terms of importance. We scored awesome fixes and improvements through the KDE software stack for subjects as varied as Libinput mouse and touchpad device handling, Task Manager icon sorting for LibreOffice, and a snazzy new unified mailbox in KMail. Have a look:
KMail can now display a unified inbox (Daniel Vrátil, KDE Applications 18.12.0):
For this week’s Usability & Productivity report, we’ve got oodles of goodies, including some new features, a whole bunch of visual improvements related thumbnail previews in Dolphin, the open/save panels, and desktop icons (i.e. Folder View), icon improvements throughout KDE apps when using a High DPI screen, and lots of other miscellaneous goodies! We haven’t forgotten about Samba, and another very important fix landed. There are more in the works, too. Have a look:
Fixed the “Solarized” color schemes in Kate to be readable (Andrew Crouthamel, KDE Frameworks 5.51)
UI Polish & Improvement
Improved the behavior of drawing frames and shadows for thumbnail previews in Dolphin and the file open/save dialog: now frames and shadows are drawn only for images with no transparency, improving consistency and visual presentation, particularly for icon files and PNGs with transparency (me: Nate Graham, KDE Applications 18.12.0 and KDE Frameworks 5.51):
I had the pleasure of attending Akademy this year–my first time. Not only that, the organizers were actually crazy enough to let me give a talk! In it, I discuss my view of how we can systematically improve the competitiveness and reach of KDE Plasma and KDE apps, and what you can do to be a part of this effort. This master plan is what guides my KDE work. I talk about how the Usability & Productivity initiative fits into the plan, but the plan itself is much more ambitious. If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a method to my madness… here it is!
If you’re interested, the Akademy organizers have posted a video of it:
I’m very happy to report that more Samba improvements are on the way too, including a critical fix for an issue that causes silent data loss when using a non-KDE app that performs atomic saves (such as LibreOffice or Blender) to save modified files that are located on a Samba share originally accessed from Dolphin.
My sense is that that poor samba sharing support is a strategic issue causing pain to many of our users and preventing others from using our software. I’d like to verify this theory, so if these fixes benefit you or you’ve experienced more pain points with Samba beyond what’s already fixed or planned, please share in the comments.
Time for your weekly dose of Usability & Productivity! It’s another big one, and there’s a ton of stuff winding through the review pipeline that didn’t quite make the cut this week. So tune in next week too–but for the moment, check out all these neat improvements:
There’s now a new Plasmoid that provides easy access to the screen layout switcher, with a new “Presentation mode” toggle that prevents the screen or computer from going to sleep or turning off (Kai Uwe Broulik, KDE Plasma 5.14.0):
I’m back from Akademy, and I can’t wait to share some of the cool stuff that happened there over the past week. I’m going to post the video of my talk as soon as it’s up. But first, I know what you’re all really waiting for: this week’s Usability & Productivity update. Though we were all quite busy, somehow everyone managed to accomplish an enormous amount of work, too!
In particular there has been a momentous amount of improvement to Kate and the code that underpins it: the Syntax Highlighting and KTextEditor frameworks. These frameworks are used to provide text editor views to the Kate, KWrite, KDevelop, and Kile apps, so any improvements to them are felt very widely within the universe of KDE apps. I want to recognize the efforts of Christoph Cullmann, Dominik Haumann, Kåre Sårs, and Sven Brauch for their stunning amount of work. While I was working on this post Tuesday night, there was a time when I was literally (not figuratively, I mean literally literally) unable to document the improvements as fast as they would show up in my email inbox. These guys deserve the community’s respect for the stunning quantity of work they performed in an astonishingly small amount of time. Let’s give ’em all a round of applause.
But that’s not all! Take a look at the full list, which includes many, many more nice improvements:
Scrolling in Kate (and other apps using the KTextEditor framework) is no longer jumpy when lines are wrapped (Sven Brauch, KDE Frameworks 5.50) This is expected to be particularly welcome for users of LaTeX in Kile, who are asked to test this out and see if it helps them! building the KTextEditor framework from source is sufficient to test–or just using a rolling release distro like Arch or Manjaro or OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and wait until next month for the release of KDE Frameworks 5.50.