Wednesday, 02 March 2016. Today KDE releases a beta update to its desktop software, Plasma 5.6.
This release of Plasma brings many improvements to the task manager, KRunner, activities, and Wayland support as well as a much more refined look and feel.
Slicker Plasma Theme
The default Plasma theme, Breeze, now follows the application color scheme allowing for a more personalized experience. A new 'Breeze Light' together with 'Breeze Dark' theme can be used to bring back the previous behavior. Aditionally, tooltip animations have become more subtle.
Supercharged Task Manager
Multitasking has just become easier. The much improved task manager in Plasma 5.6 now displays progress of tasks, such as downloading or copying files.
Moreover, hovering a music or video player shows beautiful album art and media controls, so you never have to leave the application you're currently working with. Our media controller applet that shows up during playback also received some updates, notably support for multiple players running simultaneously.
Not only did we improve interacting with running applications, starting applications gets in your way less, too. Using Jump Lists you can launch an application and jump, hence the name, to a specific task right away. This feature is also present in the application launchers.
There are many refinements to the overall visuals of Plasma in this release. KRunner gained support for drag and drop and lost separator lines to look smoother while icons on the desktop traded the solid label background for a chic drop shadow. Users that place a folder applet in their panel can enjoy improved drag and drop, support for the back button on a mouse as well as choosing between list and icon view. On the more technical side, many small fixes to hi-dpi scaling have found their way into this release.
Another feature returns from the old days, the weather widget.
On the road to Wayland
With Plasma 5.5 for the first time we shipped a Wayland session for you to try out. While we still do not recommend using Wayland as a daily driver, we've made some significant advances:
- Window decorations are now supported for Wayland clients giving you a beautiful and unified user experience
- Input handling gained all features you've come to know and love from the X11 world, including 'Focus follows mouse', Alt + mouse button to move and resize windows, etc
- Different keyboard layouts and layout switching
Tech Preview System Integration Themes
We are trialing a tech preview of Breeze themes for Plymouth and Grub, so Plasma can give you a complete system experience from the moment you turn your computer on.
<p>Looks good so far, one thing I am still missing is the PIM integration in plasma, mostly: calendar events. Wasn't that supposed to come back with this release as well? I remember it being added and removed again. Anyone with information on this?</p>
I'm sorry, but it looks like this feature didn't land in time yet.
As far as I'm concerned, a product released at version 5.6 should be rock solid, but Plasma isn't. Ever since KDE Plasma 4, they've managed to make rollout worse and worse. This software should be at version 5.1 at best. Though not as much a nightmare as 4 was, it's still not completely production ready this late in the release cycle. Come on...
I'm sorry that we don't meet the quality you expect from our software. Unfortunately I have to disagree with your assumptions about software version numbers. There is a common release strategy in FLOSS which is called "Release early, release often" (check Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Release_early,_release_often ). Plasma is following this approach by having moved to a 3 month release cycle compared to a six month release cycle. Which brings features and bug fixes quicker to the user.
Why not have some LTS-like versions? Every "early and often" release brings new features (and new bugs) along with the new bugfixes, and there is no version that has only bugfixes and is stable for the daily usage. Such stability began to appear in the late KDE4, but at that point it got deprecated because KDE5 with new bugs came in place.
Looks similar to Win 10- flat and ugly. Classic KDE looks more useful.
I think it looks great! Thanks to all KDE devs!
Your comment is flat, ugly, classless, and useless - thanks!
I have my issues, which are to be expected with OSS, but I just want to say THANK YOU for all the work. Love KDE, love Plasma and am heavily enjoying to see the details getting better and better <3 <3 <3
<p>Looking forward to the Plymouth/Grub themes. Do apps like browsers need to add specific support for those taskbar progress bars?</p>
Plasma 5 is gorgeous. I love it.
These refinements that have been put into 5.6 Beta make it look even better and more polished. I'm really excited about this.
As the first comment said, I'm just missing KDE PIM integration.
That and KMails account wizard working...
I really respect that KDE moved on despite some folks being very vocal about their distaste of flat designs. Since it'll probably won't go away in nearest future (and I mean two years at least and some variations of flat design later), this is a good way to keep in line with, ahem, you know, other software. Overall, amazing desktop environment that doesn't go too far with flat style (windows) but doesn't copy android (which is getting flatter and flatter with each release). After GNOME and Unity, only KDE moved forward by improving design and stayed professional by not giving in to temptation to move too much stuff around or introduce something extremely stupid. And I think temptation was there.
KDE is a really great and modern desktop enviroment but I still have a problemas in my screen, when I play a vídeo the screen is tearing and I do not know what to do to fix, and this the only reason that I don't fav KDE
Your screen isnt tearing becuase of KDE, its tearing because most games need compositing disabled.