This week in KDE: KCommandBar delivers ludicrous-mode productivity


This week I have another exciting new UI element to present: KCommandBar! You might have gotten the impression by my fawning over KHamburgerMenu that we care more about casual or novice users today… not so! KCommandBar is an expert-focused UI element implementing a HUD-style popup that aggregates all of the actions in a KDE app’s full menu structure, so that you can quickly activate features at the speed of thought! It’s like a KRunner inside your apps. You can also use it as a search, if you think a feature may exist somewhere but you don’t know where.

Hmm, does kate have a Block Selection mode? How do I activate it?

Oh, like that!

Notice how it shows you the action’s keyboard shortcut too, so you can learn how to activate it even faster next time!

This UI element has been merged into the code but not yet rolled out for all KDE apps. Once this merge request is merged, all QWidgets-based KDE apps that use our KXMLGui framework (which is to say, most of them) will automatically get this feature for free! Big thanks to Waqar Ahmed for creating it!

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Dolphin’s split view closing animation no longer briefly shows the wrong view content in the left view before being closed (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 21.08)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when using the Audio Volume widget with full PipeWire support (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, connecting or disconnecting an external screen no longer sometimes immediately causes Plasma to crash (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, windows that automatically close themselves no longer get stuck on the screen as half-transparent phantoms if you happened to have been dragging them at the moment when they closed themselves (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22)

We pushed a better fix to prevent the network applet from erroneously showing a hug traffic spike the first time you open it that should hopefully fix it for good this time (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

System Monitor widgets now display the correct information when located on a panel (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

The new Plasma System Monitor app no longer sometimes visibly flickers when table views of apps or processes are updated (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, sub-menus of hamburger menus from interactive notifications (e.g. for newly-taken screenshots) no longer open in their own separate windows (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, showing the titlebar app menu no longer temporarily makes an item named “KDE Daemon” appear in your Task Manager (David Redondo, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, Aurorae window decorations are no longer visually corrupted when using high DPI scaling (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.22)

Then using the Breeze application style, the cursor no longer gets stuck in the “double headed arrow” shape when first moving over a resizable divider and then into a terminal panel, as in Dolphin (Fabian Vogt, Plasma 5.22)

The Icons-Only Task Manager’s “currently playing audio” indicator no longer overlaps with its numbered badge when the badge is visible (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.22)

The adaptive panel transparency feature and the Minimize All applet now work properly when using KWin’s “keep thumbnails for minimized windows” setting (Bharadwaj Raju and Abhijeet Viswa, Plasma 5.22)

In the Plasma Wayland session, external screens are now detected properly on multi-GPU systems (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.23)

Selecting folders in the folder selector dialog for Flatpak apps and others using XDG portals now works (Bharadwaj Raju, Frameworks 5.83)

When using a recent version of Qt, automatic spellchecking in Kate and KDevelop and other KTextEditor-based apps once again works out of the box without need to be turned off and back on again (Antonio Rojas, Frameworks 5.83)

User Interface Improvements

The tabs at the bottom of Gwenview’s sidebar now become icons-only at very small widths where the text would have previously been elided, and become icons+text at very wide widths (Noah Davis, Gwenview 21.08)

Dolphin’s Trash entry in the Places panel now has a context menu item to open the trash settings window (Saravanan K, Dolphin 21.08)

In Elisa, the inline Play button for playlist items now resumes playback when paused, rather than going back to the beginning of the song (Tranter Madi, Elisa 21.08)

System Tray applets with hamburger menus no longer redundantly show the same configure action inside them that is already visible available as a button on the header itself (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

In the new Plasma System Monitor app, you can now kill the selected process/app by hitting the Delete key, just like you could in KSysGuard (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Clicking on any of the media controls on the lock screen no longer takes the keyboard focus away from the password field (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.22)

Using the Task manager’s “cycle through tasks with mouse wheel” no longer un-minimizes minimized tasks (Abhijeet Viswa, Plasma 5.22)

Widgets on the desktop now have a blurred background, making them more legible and better-looking compared to the previous transparent-without-blur background (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.23)

The Audio Volume applet’s Applications tab now distinguishes between applications that are currently playing or recording audio, and those that are not (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.23)

The System Settings Boot Splash page has been moved to the “Appearance” category (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

…And everything else

Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

How You Can Help

Have a look at Get Involved - KDE Community Wiki to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.