New Release of KDE Apps!
Ok, so, on the 20th we saw a new release of, basically, all KDE apps. This includes the last, I don't know, four months of development on any app, so it's a big deal. That said, let's check out what exactly is new.
Let's start with Spectacle. The entire application was completely redesigned from scratch. Also, it now has screen recording out of the box. Developer Noah Davis has put a tremendous amount of work into it, and the application now shines. This is the application itself, which is now in QML and has a consistent & pretty header area. The right column has screenshot and recording sections; the screenshot one you already know, but the recording section allows you to select what to record (all screens, one screen, one window) and also what file extension to save in. This is the frist big change.
The second big change is when you do a screenshot of a screen area. Previously, you'd press enter and go back to the application. But now, you see all the screenshot options directly underneath the selected area, and you get all the image annotation tool directly exposed there, which makes it so much easier to actually go ahead and fake moustaches on other youtubers, something I do all the time.
Finally, you can run Dolphin as root, allowing you to edit system files too. Kind-of, the functionality - which is quite dangerous - is actually disabled by default and works through a Dolphin plugin called "kio-admin", which moves the security bourden on the KIO framework rather than Dolphin itself. I know it's not as easy as just typing "sudo dolphin" on the console, but that command does explain to you how to enable the plugin.
If you own Apple iOS devices, Dolphin now supports natively navigating its files through the afc protocol. Something that unluckily I'm not able to test out, given that I'm legally not allowed to be within 100 meters of an iOS device.
Funnily enough, the official announcement here says "Despite these added features, Dolphin has not become slower". No shit!
Kate & Kwrite
A new Code Formatting plugin that provides a simple way to format your code. It supports clang-format, rustfmt, prettier, gofmt, dartfmt and some other formatting backends. It can format untitled(in memory) as well as saved files. The goal was to provide a smooth, high quality & configurable code formatting experience to the user while keeping the usage really simple. You can either run it manually, or set it up so that it runs everytime you save.
Unified Diagnostics View - instead of every plugin bringing its own UI there is have now unified it so that a single UI is reused by many plugins. This allows to add new linters much more quickly and in fact Kate already added support for ESLint using this.
LSP Inlay Hints - Shows virtual text for e.g., parameter name at the call site of a function which can enhance code readability
Configuration is now a dialog again instead of an editor tab.
Kate will now detach from the terminal after launching allowing the user to use that terminal session for other things. One can still open it in "blocking" mode by specifying "-b" e.g., kate -b on the command line.
There's also a big new feature in Kdenlive, called "nested timeline". Basically, you can select multiple clips in your timeline and group them together in a single clip, and the just continue editing as if it was actually a single clip - meaning that you can apply effects on it, ad dtransitions, and so on. The whole sequence inside that clip - thus the name 'nested' - will update accordingly to all the changes you make to the grouped clip. You can also, later, go and edit the nested clips and that change will immediately update to the grouped clip as well.
Honestly, Kdenlive is shaping up to be an incredible video editor. Allow me to showcase a feature from the last version, since it's not very known but it's just so exciting; there is a third party application, called Glaxanimate, which is meant to make animations, simply enough; that application has a very good relationship with KDE, and in fact the developer has said that they're currently working on joining KDE, meaning that KDE might soon have an app to make animations. Ok; in the previous Kdenlive update, the ability to open Glaxanimate files was added. Meaning that you can create an animation, save it to file, and open it in Kdenlive without even having to render it. And the coolest part is that any change you'll make to the file with Glaxanimate will update live to Kdenlive as well. I mean, come on. This is the coolest stuff. Are you excited? I'm so excited.
Gwenview & Okular
Ok, there's only one significant change to Gwenview, and it's about zoom, which now works much better. On wayland, you will be able to zoom in and out using the pinch gesture on a touchpad, which is actually a super nice to have; and, in general, zooming with Ctrl+scroll on a touchpad will zoom in smoothly instead of doing big steps. So yeah, it's much easier to zoom into images now.
The smooth zoom patch was also applied to Okular, meaning that you can zoom smoothly instead of going by steps when you do Ctrl+touchpad scroll. And, since we're talking about Okular, you can also unlock the sidebar and move it around, like on the right side of the application, or you can also leave it floating around.
We don't talk enough about Elisa. It's KDE best music player application. If you use it, you know the application has a giant blurry header that showcases the title of the song, the album art, and the author. Here's the cool thing: if you don't like it, you can just resize it to be a completely normal header area. You won't be able to see the song title like thing, but the application actually looks better to me like this? I don't know, I'm just really into good looking header areas, sorry.
Also, you can now create playlists and save them as .pls files, and you can open .pls files. You can now listen to the radio - if you were born in the 20th century -, and most popular stations are included by default. Finally, the "Frequent Played" view now just sorts by amount the amount of times you played each song instead of trying to do more complex heuristic.
You know, the application that you run when you notice you're running out of disk space and you would like to know why. Now, along the super pretty graph showing the size of folder, and subfolder, and sub-subfolder, you also get a left view with a list view of your folders and their sizes; this makes it a bit easier to parse all the files in the directory you're in, as the graph does not make that immediately obvious.
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So, do you plan to travel anywhere, these weeks? KDE Itinerary is an application, especially meant for phones and available on Android, allows you to upload your train or plane tickets to get all the info they contain, some recommandations if you're traveling between states that, as an example, have different power plugs, and so on. The application has been redesigned for this release, and it's now much prettier and much easier to navigate through the information, such as the QR code of the ticket that you actually have to show at the airport.
This is KDE's video player application, and although it's not much used - people usually either use vlc or mpv - and it wasn't very maintained, in the last year or two it has received a lot of love to make it more appealing to users, in the hope to change the status quo. This does apply to this release as well; there has been a major overhaul of the redesign, and the application now uses KHamburgerMenu, which is KDE's powerful Hamburger Menu. The default set of toolbar buttons was, also, moved to icons only - which is the standard for video player - with the addition of a clear button; finally, the app also now has a welcome screen which allows you to either play a file or a stream.
By the way, the application comes with a sidebar - hidden by default, but it's in the hamburger menu - that allows you to change brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation of the video; a very interesting approach, and I guess it could be helpful when playing very dark movies - changing the brightness - however, it does not work on my computer, I'm not sure why.
I know that you might not see these KDE apps like Kasts very often, but there are a lot of these applications that are quite new actually and slowly becoming better and better, but also more and more used. Kasts is KDE's application meant to listen to podcasts. The latest version supports minimizing the application to the system tray, you can change the playback speed of the podcasts, and you can search - with, by the way, a super pretty searchbar - through your catalog of subscribed podcasts.
Now, the rest of the things I'll talk about now, I've actually covered just a few videos ago; but still, for those who missed that particular video, I feel like I should cover them as well; feel free to close the video now if you really hate repetition.
Tokodon, KDE's client for Mastodon, now shows you previous messages you're replying to when you're drafting your - surely hateful - response; and there's now support for polls, you could already see them in the previous version but now you can send them as well. Finally, the mobile version has a dedicated search page, whereas the desktop version always has a search bar on the top left. Finally, you can now configure a proxy before logging into the Mastodon account, which is a step you could take for further security. You can also review the list of follow requests, in order to be able to click on "deny" on each single request, except if it's from me, obviously.
And, yes, that's the same joke I did in the last video too.
This is KDE's Youtube Music client; it has gone through a complete redesign of the interface and also now has a new pretty icon. The application supports searching for music, making playlists, creating them automatically from the favorite songs, you have an playback history, and you can share songs links with others, like your friends, if you have any.
NeoChat is a native KDE app for chatting on Matrix. NeoChat improves its design with tweaks that provide a more compact layout and a simpler menu which works better for the collapsed room list.
There is also improved video controls, a new command /knock to send a knock event to a room, and you can now edit a prior message inline, within the chat pane.
Other usability improvements include an overhaul of the keyboard navigation and shortcuts like Ctrl+PgUp/PgDn that allow you to skip from room to room.
Kalendar is a modern and highly interactive calendaring and contact management app that works well on your computer and mobile phone. Kalendar has completely re-vamped its address book which is now more functional and easier to use. You can see it here; you can edit contacts, and by the way, those contacts are also exposed in the system tray for easier access, if you want.
Finally, there are some smaller changes, such as: Ark has more options in the welcome screen, and you can finally extract Stuffit files, which I did not learn about whilst reading the announcement. I totally knew what Stuffit files are. Totally.