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KDE Open Source Operating Systems Software Ubuntu Linux Technology Build News

KDE Plasma 5.7 Released (neowin.net) 111

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Neowin: Earlier today, the KDE project released KDE Plasma 5.7, its popular Linux desktop environment. The update brings improved workflows, better kiosk support, a new system tray and task manager, and further steps towards Wayland windowing system. New live images of KDE Neon have been spun which feature the all-new Plasma 5.7, and other distributions will get the new software sometime in the future based on their release model. Plasma 5.7 builds on the jump List Actions that were introduced in Plasma 5.6, which allowed users to use certain tasks within the application; now the feature has been extended and those actions are present in Krunner. Another change which improves workflow is the return of the agenda view in the calendar, providing users with a quick and easily accessible overview of upcoming appointments and holidays. The volume control applet in the system tray is now able to control volume on a per-application basis; it even allows the user to move application sound output between devices by just drag and dropping. The Wayland window manager -- which has been kicking around for at least half a decade -- still isn't the default window manager on many Linux distributions, mainly because desktop environment (DE) developers are still making their DE work properly with it. With KDE Plasma 5.7, support for the windowing system is greatly improved, especially when it comes to tear-free and flicker-free rendering, as well as security. The image can be found here via KDE.
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KDE Plasma 5.7 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know if it's my age or what but KDE always seems to tout something along the lines of "new workflows" but when I update I use it the same way I always have. Am I missing something?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ho hum... yet again it's another pointless reinvention of the desktop wheel. Seriously when are the Linux programmers going to stop fucking about with the desktop metaphor (which was perfectly usable back in the Windows 98 days) and write some damned programs ? So that Linux on the desktop might actually be worth using ?

    It's all very well continually re writing the system tray, continually re writing a basic file explorer, continually rewriting desktop messaging, support systems etc. etc. etc. but where a

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @04:40AM (#52454807)

      Gee, heart surgeons need to quit coming up with new techniques for saving lives with heart surgery and switch to using those sewing and cutting skills on making clothing! lol.

      Seriously, I get that you don't understand why the desktop is being rebuilt and improved when you don't see the bigger picture. Thing is, KDE is rewriting their code to support Wayland -- which is a vast improvement over X Windows and necessary for a lot of future programs. X Windows is inherently insecure and causes a lot of graphics issues. We'll never get gaming on linux of decent quality if we stick to X Windows forever. Someone has to re-write the desktop environment to work with the new, better way of doing things so programmers for games can have a better API to work with.

      Yeah, I don't give a crap about KDE's "Workflow" BS either... but, corporations do. They also care about locking down settings... so, KDE's been working on those, too. But, they did re-write their audio output for per-program sliders, which is an improvement. They did some other things on the back end to help future compatibility with Wayland.

      I mostly use Cinnamon as my DE, but KDE does a really good job of delivering the bleeding edge of what linux is capable of, so don't knock it just because you don't fully understand the difference between the various versions and the reasons for the re-writes.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @12:04PM (#52456633)

        You missed his point entirely without really giving details on your own. He was saying that redefining well established workflows in vain attempts to simplify already simple things (eg file management) is a plague that's been dogging the entire industry for the last decade or so. Needed functionality and intuitive controls (and even hotkeys) are being stripped away to bottom out the learning curve. This is done intentionally to make the desktop as dependent on 'web services' as mobile devices.

        Corporates don't want to have to retrain their employees on remedial computer skills. This is one of the main reasons windows 8 bombed, and why there's still resistance on windows 10 (hint: it's not just about the start menu).

        As far as apis for games go, it's really not that hard, especially with SDL. Even if not, ALSA, opengl, and keyboard/mouse/pad input are well understood. Wayland may upgrade the graphics stack to something more modern, but that shouldn't affect games much unless it adds an exclusive fullscreen mode.

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        A point. A valid point against what he said. But I've been nervous about KDE ever since they announced that "a future upgrade will depend on systemd". Not the kind of thing I like to hear.

        That said, I'm not really sure what the alternatives are. Gnome is clearly out, LxQt (or whatever the Qt version of LXDE is called) is likely to be a choice. Mate is likely to be a choice, but Cinnamon probably won't be. Or maybe I'll just decide that systemd isn't really all *that* bad. It doesn't really matter th

    • KDE was good enough as a desktop design about 10 years ago. Since then it's just been pointless rewrite after pointless rewrite. It's like watching a kid who's made a perfectly good model boat continually smashing it up and rebuilding it just for the hell of it. Fun for the kid, no fun for his brother who just wants to take the damned thing to the local lake and you nkow actually sail it and have some fun !

      If the people who work on this stuff spent even 50% of their time actually writing something useful then maybe, just maybe, we can finally get rid of the Windows spyware that infest the majority of home computers.

      But no... here's the new KDE/Gnome etc. with yet another new way of doing the SAME OLD SHIT.

      I don't think it's been rewritten several times. I think certain parts of the code base was re-written in order to support modern features like HiDPI displays, but I'm fairly certain Plasma 4 and 5 didn't start from scratch either time.

    • THIS. SO MUCH THIS.

      Don't have mod points to mod you up.

    • Seriously when are the Linux programmers going to stop fucking about with the desktop metaphor (which was perfectly usable back in the Windows 98 days) and write some damned programs ?

      Seriously when are the Windows programmers going to stop fucking about with the desktop metaphor (which was perfectly usable back in the Smalltalk-80 days) and write some damned programs?

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        Agreed. They keep fucking about with it and making it worse in the process. More clicks, more pointless windows to dig through, pointless flash in the GUI that takes up more desktop space, and removal of useful features and customization ability are common themes in each new release.

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @03:57AM (#52454701)

    I feel as if KDE is the beset Desktop Environment Linux ever produced. with maybe the exception of KDE 2, it has been one of the most methodical, configurable environment there is. It should have been the defacto Environment space for Linux.

    • by Sadsfae ( 242195 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @04:09AM (#52454733) Homepage

      It's really come a long way in 5.x, and the themes and compositing are downright beautiful. I do feel it tries to do too much as with most current desktop environments however, or at least it's a bit too much for me. Luckily the KDE Devs made KWIN modular enough to be used with other more classic, lightweight DE's like XFCE - I prefer using KWIN compositing with XFCE [hobo.house]. I can get all the theming, graphical enhancements and feel with the simplicity and speed of XFCE.

      • by gosand ( 234100 )

        Thank you for this. I used to use KDE back on Redhat, then Mandrake, and eventually Kubuntu. But then it started going nutso, consuming 100% CPU at random times and would stay like that until I would log out.

        I tried several other DEs, but landed on XFCE (Xubuntu) and switched to MintXFCE a few years ago. I've tried KDE and others along the way, but always come back to XFCE. I will give this a shot, it might be exactly what I have been wanting.

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          That was a problem with the desktop indexing application. You could fix it by turning the desktop search off. AFAIK the problem still exists. Certainly every time I've re-enabled the desktop search, it's been excruciatingly slow the next morning...so I disable it again. Baloo was better than whatever they used before it, but that's faint praise, I turned it off.
          updatedb and locate are much better, though they don't allow a search by content. For that I still use grep.

          • by gosand ( 234100 )

            That was a problem, but I had disabled that. It was some dbus process run amok [launchpad.net]. Every time I thought it was fixed, I would wake up to a 100% pegged CPU that had been that way for who knows how long.

            I agree, I use updatedb/locate/find/grep

            I think I will install the new LinuxMint18 XFCE as soon as it is released and try KWIN with it (on an older unused PC or in a VM) and see how it goes.

      • and the themes and compositing are downright beautiful

        If it works. I tried plasma a few months back and was rewarded with kwin/plasma crashing every 30-60 seconds. Back to kde4 I went...

        I have an nvidia card using nouveau, and was told to use the nvidia binary drivers (which made no difference.) I also tried turning compositing completely off, it also didn't make any difference. I've masked all plasma and kde packages > 4 and will give them a couple more years to figure out how to make a desktop that doe

    • I haven't even looked at the latest stuff, so I'm not commenting on KDE of today. But for many releases (including 3 for sure) see topic, it just looked like someone sneezed out all the widgets into every dialog. I'm all for settings, but I don't just want them thrown at the pages to see what sticks, and have it turn out to be all of them.

      GNOME was the clear default choice for years because KDE was a blizzard. But then GNOME went too far in the candy-coated direction and started taking things away...

    • I feel as if KDE is the beset Desktop Environment Linux ever produced. with maybe the exception of KDE 2, it has been one of the most methodical, configurable environment there is. It should have been the defacto Environment space for Linux.

      KDE has been my preferred desktop until four or five years ago when I discovered #!. I run Debian Sid, and in the past few years have taken *box about as far as I cared to and decided to give Plasma5 a spin - and was pleasantly surprised. I found a service menu on kde-apps that gave me the right-click application menu I missed in *box and I still have to edit .kickoffrc to get it to display the way I want, but my seven or eight most-used applications are just a right-click away now. Not a fan of the flat

    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      Personally I think it peaked with KDE 3.x.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      KDE3 was better than KDE2. But the applications available now no longer work well with the KDE3 desktop.

  • I miss KDE pre 5 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Maow ( 620678 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @04:17AM (#52454751) Journal

    I resisted the upgrade to plasma 5 as long as possible because I didn't like the changes I saw (particularly the flat design, and the lack of discoverability: I want tabs clearly defined, I don't like a thin blue line under a menu item to show me it's selected, etc ad nauseam).

    I just hope this newer version gets to a spot where I love it as much as I loved QT4 version - it was so close to perfect.

    And honest question: does anyone, anywhere run KDE on a tablet or a kiosk? Great if so, but honestly, is it used anywhere?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can still use Oxygen theme, or I don't know, download any other theme.

      • Sure, and I could rewrite the whole thing, too! However, that doesn't change the fact that the defaults need to be reasonable.

        • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )

          Sure, and I could rewrite the whole thing, too! However, that doesn't change the fact that the defaults need to be reasonable.

          Whose reason?

      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        You can still use Oxygen theme, or I don't know, download any other theme.

        As another comment said, why are the defaults so poor?

        Anyway, clicking on "Get New Themes..." on Desktop Theme in System Settings (which seems like it should / could be under "Look And Feel":

        System Settings Add-On Installer

        Loading of providers from file: http://download.kde.org/ocs/pr... [kde.org] failed

        Fucking wonderful.

        Okay, on 2nd or 3rd try it shows some options.

        And that's not immediately satisfying:

        The downloaded file is a html file. This indicates a link to a website instead of the actual download. Would you li

      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        And, my Desktop Effects are b0rked - no dodging of windows, no cube, ...

        This kind of shit is why I'm not liking v5 - v4 worked nearly flawlessly on same hardware.

        Also, v5 gets so damned slow after running for a few weeks.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Rest stops in Iowa use KDE as a kiosk for the weather and road condition stations.

  • by dargaud ( 518470 ) <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @04:41AM (#52454811) Homepage
    KDE 4 was awesome for work. I could have tens of programs open on various desktops, plenty of konsole with tabs opened in bash in various directories, and after a reboot it would reopen everything in the same places (correct position and desktop) and even the same directories.

    Not so with KDE5. A few programs reopen, placed completely randomly (wrong desktops). Most don't reopen. Konsole won't reopen. It's been buggy like that ever since. So IS IT FIXED NOW ?!?

    • I feel your pain. I gave up on kde and the like to reopen things in the right place and just wrote a script to orient/resize everything I need. Check out http://blog.spiralofhope.com/1... [spiralofhope.com].
    • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @09:14AM (#52455593)

      KDE 4 was awesome for work. I could have tens of programs open on various desktops, plenty of konsole with tabs opened in bash in various directories, and after a reboot it would reopen everything in the same places (correct position and desktop) and even the same directories.

      Not so with KDE5. A few programs reopen, placed completely randomly (wrong desktops). Most don't reopen. Konsole won't reopen. It's been buggy like that ever since. So IS IT FIXED NOW ?!?

      I did some research and actually found the answer on Slashdot. So, courtesy of this anonymous coward: https://news.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

      "use the corner icon (accessible by alt+F3 as well) in the window decoration and choose "Special window settings" under the "more actions" submenu. There's a tab for "size and position" that has the settings you want. Check the boxes next to "Position" and "Size" and change the dropdowns to "Remember". For most apps, this is all you need. If an application still misbehaves you can also check "Ignore requested geometry" and set it to "Force" and the "yes" radio button to make kwin ignore the app's desires completely."

      • ...I did some research and actually found the answer ... "use the corner icon (accessible by alt+F3 as well) in the window decoration and choose "Special window settings" under the "more actions" submenu. There's a tab for "size and position" that has the settings you want. Check the boxes next to "Position" and "Size" and change the dropdowns to "Remember". For most apps, this is all you need. If an application still misbehaves you can also check "Ignore requested geometry" and set it to "Force" and the "yes" radio button to make kwin ignore the app's desires completely."

        That needs to be done FOR EVERY FRIGGIN' WINDOW.

        .
        Why not bring that "remember" option up to the global level, with the option to override the global setting at the window level.

        That we are still having this conversation at this late point in KDE's lifetime amazes me.

    • What's the number of the bug report you made so we can go and check progress?
      • by dargaud ( 518470 )
        There are several bug reports on variations of this problem (some about the position, some about the wrong desktop, some about programs that won't restart). Here's one of them [launchpad.net].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Where's the love for Xfce? It's super-lightweight, does everything you need, installs easily, works perfectly, and you can even get distros like Ubuntu in Xubuntu flavor if you don't want to go through a very easy install. They aren't obsessed with continually "improving" (and, in the process, devolving) what is already a great thing.

    • Where's the love for Xfce? It's super-lightweight, does everything you need, installs easily, works perfectly, and you can even get distros like Ubuntu in Xubuntu flavor if you don't want to go through a very easy install. They aren't obsessed with continually "improving" (and, in the process, devolving) what is already a great thing.

      The article is about a new release of KDE, why would anybody be talking about Xfce?

  • Nice release (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @08:24AM (#52455409)
    I've not been so hot about KDE in the past because it's been such a resource hog compared to MATE and Xfce, but I gave 5.7 a try and it's actually really nice. I have a few grumbles (e.g. I'd rather double click in Dolphin to enter a new directory than single click) but overall I'm satisfied. Also with a bit of customization, it looks really sexy on my 4K monitor.
  • Does either KDE Plasma 5.7 or Wayland remember the size and position of windows from one instantiation to the next?

    .
    One of the nice things about Microsoft Windows (one of the very few nice things) is that when I change the size and/or location of a window on the desktop, the next time I open that window the size and location settings from the prior instance are remembered.

    In my last expedition into KDE, I found some window settings that mostly allowed my to accomplish this on a per window basis.

    Why ca

  • I would like plasmashell to not crash every time I turn on the screen [debian.org] (there's actually hope for this one), or at random when I open/close [debian.org] windows. If plasmashell/kwin could also refrain from crashing when I run WineTest that would be nice. Though lately WineTest has been crashing the all-open-source Intel graphics driver so hard that using the screen required a reboot (am I glad I'm not using an NVIDIA/AMD graphics card with their proprietary unreliable and impossible to debug drivers). Anyway hard to make

    • I'm not using plasma5 yet, but I use KDE 4.x most of the time (except I do also have a Windows machine at work for Outlook and Visio and Windows VM on my linux laptop in case I need Visio away from the office).

      "I'd like to be able to sort the songs per artist, album, etc in JuK, and for it to have a working Manage Folder dialog."

      I've settled on using Clementine (I believe a pott of Amarok 1.x to KDE4/Qt5), but didn't test this specific use case.

      "Adding support for PTP cameras (you know, most of them), that

      • by fgouget ( 925644 )

        You do know that you don't need to use a different computer to run GNOME-based apps, right?

        All I'm really using is GNOME's file manager, Nautilus, which I expected not to work for this on account of either its gvfs dependencies, or the underlying system being broken anyway (KDE's mount device notification does not work). But I tried it and it can actually access the photos on my camera, even under KDE, and even though Dolphin cannot.

        I cannot install Digikam right now due to conflicts but I'll keep it in mind for later as lens correction profiles could be nice. I have also tested Clementine and

  • After an hour or so of being logged in, plasmashell eats 100% of a core.  I'm not the only one this has happened to:  https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=289&t=121533

    I know, file a bug (maybe one day if I have a few hours to spare debugging and getting a backtrace).  It's just annoying that this has been around for a couple years and the best solutions I see are "try disabling [pretty much everything]".
    • If you can't be bothered adding info to a 2 year old bug report that may not be a bug anymore, why should they bother with your "problem". Or maybe you just search the forums for a random bug to moan about.
  • Can I now have a dark theme without needing a high-end GPU?

    Because that was an unexpected requirement previously.

    • by allo ( 1728082 )

      you can use any color scheme, even without compositing at all. like since kde2 at least (i did not use kde1 very often, so no idea, but i guess you could configure it there as well)

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