KDE Plasma 6 will come with Wayland enabled by default, floating panel and more

KDE Plasma 6

Plasma 6, is the next and most important release of KDE that is expected in this 2023

The developers of the KDE project recently disclosed that have made the decision to make some changes to the default settings of the next release of “KDE Plasma 6”, which is expected in the fall of 2023.

Among the changes that are contemplated, one of the most important to mention is that by default, in KDE Plasma 6 a session with the Wayland protocol will be used and the work with X11 will be transferred to the category of options. With this change, users and distributions will be able to go back to using the X11-based session if they want.

To coordinate the transition to Wayland, a wiki page has been created with a list of the main problems observed in a Wayland-based session. Some of the more notable bugs include issues with windows restoring on session resume, non-Qt applications terminating when the server crashes, missing color management tools, and issues specific to systems with NVIDIA graphics cards.

Another change that stands out, is that by default, the panel will be in floating mode, which has visible padding between the panel and the edges of the screen, lor that gives the user environment a distinctive look (After the introduction of a panel similar to the old KDE panel in Windows 11, some users believe that KDE copies the look of Windows, although a similar panel was offered in KDE long before Windows 11.)

In addition, it is mentioned that to open files and directories by default will require a double mouse click, and not just one as before, which will simplify the adaptation to the new environment for users of other systems. If necessary, the old behavior can be returned in the configuration.

KDE Plasma 6 screenshot

Task view in Plamsa 6

On the other hand, it is mentioned that The interface for switching between tasks will be changed. The need for vertical scrolling, even with a small number of windows, is cited as a reason to replace the old Breeze Task Switcher. The new interface "Thumbnail Grid" will allow you to see all available windows at once, without having to waste time scrolling.

In the new interface, in addition to the window thumbnails, application icons will be displayed, which will simplify navigation for those who are used to identifying programs by their icons, and not by a textual name. Also, the task switcher will be unlinked from the global theme, allowing you to change the theme without fear of the task switcher being replaced along with it.

Of others changes mentioned:

  • It was decided to highlight the title area of ​​the active window with the color used in the selected design theme to highlight the active elements (accent). Previously, a shade of gray was used for this purpose, but in this case there were problems with the visual separation of the active window from the inactive ones.
  • It was decided to remove switching virtual desktops when trying to scroll the desktop. This feature was confusing for many users, especially if the switch was made to the desktop with windows open and it was not possible to go back. For those who are used to this mode, it can be returned in the settings.
  • It will be possible to quickly change the position in the window by clicking on the scroll area, which will allow you to do it without dragging the scroll bar with the mouse.
  • It is planned to remove the separation between the “Folder” and “Desktop” desktop plugin types. Since the differences between plugins with the desktop type are limited to placing icons directly on the desktop, Plasma 6 intends to simply display a “show icons on desktop” option instead of separating the types.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the KDE developers they have also discussed the issue of extending the release cycle for new releases. Instead of the model used previously with 3 releases per year, moving to 2 releases per year is being considered. It is noted that the scheme with three releases is not convenient for distributions, which do not always have enough time to perfect the packages.

KDE Developers they intend to try to switch to a 6 month development cycle after the Plasma 6 branch has stabilized more or less. The timing of releases is planned to be synchronized with the development schedule of major Linux distributions, similar to how the GNOME project does.

Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can consult the details in the original publication. In the following link.

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