Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.15.
For the first release of 2019, the Plasma team has embraced KDE's Usability & Productivity goal. We have teamed up with the VDG (Visual Design Group) contributors to get feedback on all the papercuts in our software that make your life less smooth, and fixed them to ensure an intuitive and consistent workflow for your daily use.
Plasma 5.15 brings a number of changes to our configuration interfaces, including more options for complex network configurations. Many icons have been added or redesigned. Our integration with third-party technologies like GTK and Firefox has been made even more complete. Discover, our software and add-on installer, has received a metric tonne of improvements to help you stay up-to-date and find the tools you need to get your tasks done.
Please test this beta release and send us bug reports and feedback. The final release will be available in three weeks' time.
KRunner has received several usability improvements. It now handles duplicates much better, no longer showing duplicate bookmarks from Firefox or duplicate entries when the same file is available in multiple categories. Additionally, the layout of the standalone search widget now matches KRunner's appearance.
The Devices Notifier is now much smarter. When it's configured to display all disks instead of just removable ones, it will recognize when you try to unmount the root partition and prevent you from doing so.
System Settings Virtual Desktops page has been redesigned and rewritten for support on Wayland, and now sports greater usability and visual consistency.
The user interface and layout for the Digital Clock and Folder View settings pages have been improved to better match the common style.
Many System Settings pages have been tweaked with the goal of standardizing the icons, wording, and placement of the bottom buttons, most notably the “Get New [thing]…” buttons.
New desktop effects freshly installed from store.kde.org now appear in the list on the System Settings Desktop Effects page.
The native display resolution is now indicated with a star icon in the System Settings Displays page.
The System Settings Login Screen page received plenty of visual improvements. The image preview of the default Breeze theme now reflects its current appearance, the background color of the preview matches the active color scheme, and the sizes and margins were adjusted to ensure that everything fits without being cut off.
The System Settings Desktop Effects page has been ported to QtQuickControls 2. This fixes a number of issues such as bad fractional scaling appearance, ugly dropdown menu checkboxes, and the window size being too small when opened as a standalone app.
Firefox 64 can now optionally use native KDE open/save dialogs. This is an optional, bleeding-edge functionality that is not yet included in any distribution. However, it can be enabled by installing the xdg-desktop-portal and xdg-desktop-portal-kde packages and setting GTK_USE_PORTAL=1 in Firefox's .desktop file.
Integration modules xdg-desktop-portal-kde and plasma-integration now support the Settings portal. This allows sandboxed Flatpak and Snap applications to respect your Plasma configuration - including fonts, icons, widget themes, and color schemes - without requiring read permissions to the kdeglobals configuration file.
The global scale factor used by high-DPI screens is now respected by GTK and GNOME apps when it’s an integer.
A wide variety of issues with the Breeze-GTK theme have been resolved, including the inconsistencies between the light and dark variants. We have also made the theme more maintainable, so future improvements will be much easier.
Options for upgrading your distribution are now included in Discover’s Update Notifier widget. The widget will also display a “Restart” button if a restart is recommended after applying all updates, but the user hasn’t actually restarted yet.
On Discover’s Updates page, it’s now possible to uncheck and re-check all available updates to make it easier to pick and choose the ones you want to apply.