I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.7.5 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. I hope you’re all safe and well in these odd times. As you can tell from the version number this is a little more than just a maintenance release. It comes with an assortment of important bug fixes, refinements, and translation updates.
Plasma Browser Integration bridges the gap between your browser and the Plasma desktop. It lets you share links, find browser tabs 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!
As Chrome Web Store doesn’t appear to offer uploading a changelog, I’ve created a Changelog Page on our Community Wiki instead, which is now also linked on the “About” tab of the extension settings page.
Improved media controls
As usual this release brings various improvements to the media controls feature. The most notable update is for Firefox users since we made some of its aspects work on certain pages with content security policies in place. For example, with this update Spotify Web Player on Firefox can now be controlled again. Special treatment is unfortunately needed as Firefox enforces those policies even for code injected by extensions. While it is good to see such security measures being rolled out across the web, it prevents us from interacting with websites in a way that allows us to provide this functionality. We’re still looking for ways to make it work for all attributes without code duplication but so far this is as good as it gets. Many thanks to Fabian Vogt for helping to investigate this! On top of that, this change unbreaks certain websites that rely on the HTML Audio prototype, most commonly browser games.
Additionally, an issue with audio focus stealing prevention has been corrected. The extension also better handles the case of a media playing browser tab being killed due to low memory or having crashed. However, this can probably only be fully addressed using the processes extension API which is only available in developer builds.
Downloads in recent documents
For added convenience, Plasma Browser Integration now automatically adds downloaded files to the lists of recent documents available in various parts of the desktop when running Plasma 5.18 LTS or later. Of course this doesn’t apply to files downloaded from incognito tabs, and you can disable this feature in extension settings.
Web Share improvements
In its previous release Plasma Browser Integration gained support for Web Share API Level 1 through KDE’s Purpose Framework. This lets you share links, images, and other website content to a variety of services, as well as let websites trigger a share prompt by calling navigator.share.
In this release the “Share…” context menu entry is properly hidden when disabled in settings or while running an older version of Plasma. On Firefox, sharing a link will pass its label to the chosen service as subject/title. Also on Firefox, the context menu now shows a fitting icon when there are multiple reachable devices. Plasma 5.18.5 will also ship a fix so it no longer gets stuck whilst hovering a share target in the menu but then pressing Escape to cancel. Furthermore, after uploading content to a service that returns the shared URL, the confirmation notification can now be clicked to open said content in a new tab.
Better dark mode
Activities coming to Firefox soon?
While browsing Firefox documentation the other day I noticed it had the ability to hide tabs from the tab bar. Immediately I realized this would become very handy to add some form of activity-awareness to Firefox. While I can’t control window management, at least I could have tabs inside a window show and hide as you switch activities. With Firefox’ session APIs an activity assignment is even kept when restoring tabs after a reboot. Furthermore, tabs that are hidden can also be muted or unloaded to save resources. This is where I need your input: if you’re a heavy user of Activities, please let me now what you think this feature should behave like and how you would expect to be able to use it.
Opera Store maintainer wanted
Few of you probably knew that the extension actually supported Chromium-based Opera. I always thought you could just install it from the Chrome Web Store, like you can in Vivaldi and other Chromium-based browsers. Recently, I learned that this was not the case – at least not out of the box – so I tried to get it uploaded to the Opera Add-ons page. I had a KDE Community account created and uploaded a package. Unfortunately, despite having been signed with the same key as the Chrome extension, the extension ID turned out different. This meant that existing Plasma releases wouldn’t work with it as we have to specify which extension IDs exactly are allowed to communicate with Plasma.
While this was somewhat inconvenient, the extension then got rejected for retaining the public key in its manifest.json. Admittedly, it is only for development, but this had never been an issue for Chrome or Firefox, and more importantly, it eases development significantly when you can just git clone the repository and run it from there. That being said, if you’re good with build systems and want to maintain our presence on the Opera Add-ons store, please get in touch!