Qt Wayland, Supercharged

One of the key components to using a Plasma Wayland session is obviously the Qt Wayland Client module for running Qt applications in a Wayland environment. While it has been successfully deployed to millions of devices over the years, there’s still a few areas that feel like they haven’t been touched much since its inception as part of the Qt Lighthouse project, what turned into QPA, the Qt Platform Abstraction.

Message dialog popup, asking for confirmation “The document ‘Untitled’ has been modified. Do you want to save your changes or discard them?” with actions “Save”, “Discard”, “Cancel”
WIP: Qt Wayland client-side decoration with a proper drop shadow and all
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On the Road to Plasma 6, Vol. 5

The new year has just begun and we have six weeks left before the final release! The most noticeable change since my last post is obviously that we have decided on the wallpaper to be used in Plasma 6.0! But of course there’s more going on under the hood than just that.

Plasma 6 desktop with custom panel at the top, bottom right corner reads “KDE Plasma 6.1 Dev, visit bugs.kde.or to report issues“. New wallpaper with orange/purple colors, sun, birds, clouds in background, and a tree at the edge of a sloped hill
My desktop isn’t usually that tidy

I actually spent most of my time in Qt Wayland rather than KDE code lately but more on that in an upcoming blog post once all my changes have been integrated. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of Wayland-related and other improvements on the Plasma, Frameworks, and KDE Gear side to talk about here.

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Qt Contributor’s Summit 2023

Earlier this month I traveled to winterly Berlin for the Qt Contributor’s Summit. After having contributed many patches to Qt in the past months in order to make the upcoming Plasma 6 really shine I decided to attend for the first time this year to meet some more of the faces behind our beloved UI toolkit.

A crowd of people sitting in a conference room, looking at the speaker, slides on projector read “Welcome to Qt Contributors Summit 2023”
Welcome to Qt Contributor’s Summit 2023

The event took place over the course of two days adjacent to Qt World Summit at Estrel Hotel in Neukölln – a massive hotel, congress, and entertainment complex, and actually the largest in Europe. It literally took me longer to walk from its main entrance to the venue than getting from Sonnenallee S-Bahn station to the entrance.

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Plasma Browser Integration 1.9

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.9 on the Chrome Web Store. This is a maintenance release shipping a couple of important changes as well as the usual translation updates. The extension now ships 46 different localizations and will of course continue working just fine under the upcoming Plasma 6!

Dark blue space background with stars, a cute dragon wearing a red bandana with a "K" on it, sitting ontop of the Earth which has a blue network cable plugged in whose lose end is squiggling around the KDE Plasma logo
Konqi surfing the world wide web

Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs and visited websites in KRunner, monitor download progress in the notification center, and control music and video playback anytime from within Plasma, or even from your phone using KDE Connect!

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Freezing in Style

One of the the less apparent omissions in Plasma’s Wayland session compared to X was the lack of a prompt for terminating an unresponsive app. Of course, you should never see one because any decent app will just crash and quit rather than get stuck. Nevertheless, over the course of three evenings I spent way too much time making the “KWin Killer Helper” work on Wayland and while at it revamped its user interface entirely.

KWrite text editor window, desaturated, reading “Untitled – KWrite (Not Responding)” with a popup ontop of it reading “Untitled of KWrite is not responding. Do you want to terminate this application? Terminating this application will close all of its windows. Any unsaved data will be lost” with actions “Terminate KWrite” and “Wait Longer” (highlighted).
Isn’t it pretty? Of course this is staged using SIGSTOP – KWrite is awesome and never freezes like this!
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On the Road to Plasma 6, Vol. 4

Chill your Champagne bottles – it’s official: the KDE Plasma 6.0 + KDE Frameworks 6.0 + KDE Gear 24.02 Mega Release™ that will take KDE software to the next level is going to happen on 28th February 2024! Let’s have a look at what I’ve been up to in the past two months, again working mostly on either Qt itself or dealing with its behavior changes on the application side.

Empty KDE Plasma 6 desktop with a bluish-gray mountain wallpaper. A yellow sticky note on it reading “Hello!”. Bottom right caption reads “KDE Plasma 6.0 Dev. Visit bugs.kde.org to report issues”
It feels like every time I take a desktop screenshot for this type of post, the caption has changed slightly. :-)
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On the Road to Plasma 6, Vol. Ⅲ

Another month, another Plasma 6 update. I’ve been pretty busy during the past weeks, mostly further improving the Wayland session, fractional scaling, and dealing with Qt bugs. Working under the hood like this is tremendously important albeit somewhat ungrateful when there aren’t any pretty pictures to show.

Empty KDE Plasma 6 desktop with a bluish-gray mountain wallpaper. Bottom right caption reads “KDE Plasma 6.0 Dev. Visit bugs.kde.org to report issues”
Still looks the same now, doesn’t it? By the way, there is a Wallpaper Contest going on!
Continue reading On the Road to Plasma 6, Vol. Ⅲ

On the Road to Plasma 6, Cont’d

A little over two months ago I involuntarily switched my daily driver laptop to a Plasma 6 development build (see this blog post on how that went). Since then there has been stunning progress on ironing out bugs, tidying things up, and implementing new features. Let me show you what I’ve been working on, stumbling blocks to look out for, and what you can do to help to make Plasma 6 a truly great release!

Empty KDE Plasma 6 desktop with a bluish-gray mountain wallpaper. Bottom right caption reads “KDE Plasma 5.27.80. Visit bugs.kde.org to report issues”
Yes, please do report all the bugs!

A couple of weeks ago I actually finally switched to a Plasma Wayland session full time and it’s been working great! This now also means I have to fix all of my pet peeve bugs, and boy did I!

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Hot Summer Akademy 2023 in Thessaloniki

I just returned from blazing hot Thessaloniki, Greece where the KDE Community’s annual conference Akademy was held this year. Unlike last year I stayed in the same hotel as many fellow KDE people so the pre-Covid Akademy vibes finally returned in the form of evening hotel lobby hacking. Sadly, I caught a gastrointestinal infection on Monday which made me fly home early and miss the day trip to Mount Olympus I had been looking forward so much.

Landscape photo of the sea, late sunset in the background, houses in the distance with lights on and a row of houses to the right getting smaller along the coastline
Thessaloniki harbor front
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