With Plasma 5.4.2 out the door, it’s time to look ahead at what Plasma 5.5 will bring to a Desktop near you. Even though we’ve gone mobile, we won’t neglect traditional Desktops. In the upcoming release, I took care of the little things, as well as bringing back specialized tools that haven’t been a priority for the initial releases.
User Switching done right
I could never comprehend why KRunner was responsible for switching between users – KRunner is for running applications, searching your stuff, and doing Maths. We have a gorgeous lock screen with a neat user switcher, so why not use it? That’s what I did.
The switcher has become more user-friendly by listing the full user name, including its avatar. The interaction pattern (whether to show “New Session” like a user or as a separate button) has not yet been decided upon, however, we still have a month to go till the feature freeze. :)
Another feature you probably know from virtually any other desktop environment out there, is a user switcher in your panel. At a few small Plasma 4 setups I maintain I used the Fast User Switch plasmoid but with Plasma 5 at the doorstep, I needed a solution, and why not just upstream it – I’m planning to make it available in kdeplasma-addons.
Update: The Session Runner is probably not going to go away, so you could still type “SESSIONS” and have it come up, it’s just that there’ll be a less geeky default interface now.
Kolourpicker is back!
In the form of a brand spanking new Color Picker plasmoid. We’ve matured. We’re no longer obsessed with the “k” in everything ;)
Place it in your panel, assign a shortcut to it, and off you go. It lets you pick a color from anywhere on the screen and automatically copies its color code to the clipboard in a variety of formats (RGB, Hex, Qt QML rgba, LaTeX).
Device Auto Mounter returns
One feature that got lost in the kde-runtime split I wasn’t aware had so many users returns: The Solid Device Auto Mounter. It enables you to have certain (or all) external storage devices automatically mounted on login or when plugging them in.
The icon plasmoid, which is what Plasma creates if you drop a file or application onto your Desktop, has become more useful, handling drop events. The Pager also gains drop event support, enabling you to drag windows from your task bar to a different virtual desktop. In addition to that, context menus no longer overlap the panels: when you right-clicked an applet, its menu used to open exactly where you clicked, partially covering the applet (especially in a top panel where you just throw your mouse at the screen edge). The context menu of windows in the task bar is also now aligned with the entry clicked. Lastly, System Tray got its applet shortcut configuration page back.