In the latest Usability & Productivity weekly report, KDE developer Nate Graham reveals some of the improvements and new features coming to the KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment, as well as the KDE Applications 18.12 and KDE Frameworks 5.51 software suites.
Now that work on the KDE Plasma 5.14 desktop environment, due for release tomorrow, October 9, 2018, is almost done, the development team is now concentrating their efforts on the next major release, KDE Plasma 5.15, by making various performance improvements and adding new features to the core apps and components.
According to Nate Graham's latest report, the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment will start a little bit faster, with 100ms, compared to previous releases. Also, KRunner will no longer display duplicate bookmarks from Firefox and Folder View widgets and Konsole Profiles widget will work better with keyboard navigation.
Furthermore, KDE Plasma 5.15 promises better compatibility with GNOME apps as the corner resize mouse cursors are now correctly used with the default Breeze theme, and Plasma Discover’s Update Notifier widget received support for displaying a "Restart" button whenever a system restart is recommended after applying updates.
Last but not least, the KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment will revamp the search field of the Kickoff application launcher to make it look like a search field, and will consistently use the "Shut Down" term across the entire user interface for various actions as a replacement for the "Shutdown" term used in previous releases.
KDE Applications 18.12 and KDE Frameworks 5.51 to bring many improvements
Nate Graham also reports on some of the improvements and new features coming to the KDE Applications 18.12 and KDE Frameworks 5.51 open-source software suites, the latter landing this coming weekend, October 13, 2018, while the former should be hitting the streets later this year around December.
The KDE Applications 18.12 software suite promises text annotations in the Okular document viewer, mouse scrolling zoom in the Gwenview image viewer, full support for emoji characters in the Konsole terminal emulator, as well as support for the KCalc calculator app to repeat the same calculation using the Enter key or the "=" button.
On the other hand, the soon-to-be-released KDE Frameworks 5.51 software suite will improve the Baloo file indexing system, fix a bug that may cause removable media to be displayed in the Device Notifier and Places panel even after it's been removed, and no longer displays an emblem for mounted disk drives.
"Disks no longer receive an emblem when mounted; now they only get one when they have some unusual status–unmounted, encrypted, etc. This results in greater ability to distinguish the icon used for the disk, particularly at small sizes," explains Nate Graham in his weekly report.
KDE Frameworks 5.51 also adds a new icon for hard drives, show a better icon for the Network place in the Places panel by default for new installs, use the right icon for the "Edit…" context menu item for all Places panel entries, and list a volume’s hardware disk when viewing the Properties dialog for the root volume.