Evolving KDE – Let’s set some new goals for KDE

In 2017 we discussed what goals the KDE community should focus on in order to get closer to our vision of a world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy. We went through a process of submitting and discussing proposals and then voting on them. The result were 3 clear goals that KDE focused on over the past 1.5 years: top-notch usability and productivity for basic software, streamlined onboarding of new contributors and privacy. The focus the goals gave us have led to significant progress in all 3 areas. Check out Nate’s and Neofytos’ summary! But not only that. We got fantastic new people on board and our larger community and users understood that we care about and make progress in areas that matter to them. Thank you to everyone who has and continues to put work into these. Your contributions make KDE better every single day.

The goals we had set were ambitious and in some sense they can never be completed. However after 1.5 years the large initiatives behind them are well underway and the ideas behind them have become part of our daily routine. This means it is time to think about the next goals (or decide to double down on any of the current goals) to focus our collective attention on. So today we are starting the next round of KDE community goals.

The timeline:
  • June: Anyone can submit draft proposals
  • Beginning of July to middle of August: We discuss and improve proposals together
  • Second half of August: We vote on the finalized proposals
  • At Akademy in September: We announce the new goals

Do you have an idea for a goal for KDE? Get a small group of people together and propose it today by adding it to this board on Phabricator. Do you need some inspiration? Have a look at last round’s proposals. If you have any questions please send an email to the kde-community mailinglist.

40 thoughts on “Evolving KDE – Let’s set some new goals for KDE”

  1. I love to see this level of community involvement. Personally I’d love to see a renewed emphasis on privacy.

    (I can’t access KDE Phabricator because I lost my two factor authentication – can anyone out there help with this?)

  2. I think that one of the goals should be to discard features that are not useful e.g. who really needs 5 different styles of window switchers; pick one and make it useful / beautiful.

    I understand that having options is good but KDE does tend to offer too much of it. As things are right now the system Settings app is downright intimidating for a lot of users.

    Here is what I suggest would be a good way to implement this approach:

    The System Settings app should have two modes: Basic and Advanced. Move all the smaller tweaks and all to the advanced mode. This way we can have a streamlined Basic mode that has all the common features a settings app is expected to have.

    Over time, and after user feedback, the seldom used features can be removed. In the end we are left with only the really important features.

    Another thing that really grinds my gears if that must every little component have it’s own configuration folder placed directly inside my .config directory? Why can’t we have a single kde folder inside .config directory and all kde configurations can live inside that folder. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    KDE is a nice desktop environment. But after having used Budgie, KDE doesn’t even compare in terms of polish. KDE has great potential but it will never be realized unless the existing features and UX is more polished.

  3. please extend webextension compatibility on falkon browser so it can support extension from the chrome store.

  4. @Alex: You might try reaching out to KDE’s sysadmin team to see if they can do anything about your account. sysadmin at kde dot org.

  5. another thing I already opened a bug report is to extend qtcurve engine to GTK 3, GTk 3 is already on stable mode and there won’t be any more development releases only maintaining ones, so maybe the qtcurve gtk3 engine could this time by coded once and for all and won’t need to be recoded because of the gnome devs whims.

  6. KDE is not my default desktop, I just consider behind others in some important points for me:

    – General Design – wasted pixels, witch is traduce as lack of desktop design engineering finesse, some elements look extremely bulkiness.
    – Settings Functionality – No global scaling, sizes of different elements must be tweaked manually, instead an appropriate scaling of everything. (Ex: On other desktop if I reduce font size everything scale accordingly).
    – Settings Dialogs – a lot of tweaks in settings inappropriate organized, I loose a lot of time to find again the same setting used before. Some Settings not very intuitive, So the entire settings should be overhauled.

    This are big issues, probably known, and difficult to attack for such a complex desktop, probably will be trashed under the carpet like it does not exist…. everyone working and tweaking they’re small puzzle, but the assembly just put together….. the main issue on this desktop is not the elements, but the assembly.
    It is a grate desktop, I like it, but I can’t switch to it, as it does not look enough …..

  7. The only thing I would love to see first class support for HiDPI/Retina displays (as well as fractional scaling), as it is on macOS. No blurry icons, perfect fonts and perfectly scaled elements. Now even Windows does a better job.

  8. This is so trick right now for KDE.
    Plasma 15/16 is already so feature rich and functional, it’s hard to thing about large consistent changes for user usability without reinventing the wheel.

    I just want to see Online Accounts/Twitter working for me…

  9. None of the Application Launchers feel adequately polished.

    I would REALLY like a KDE Equvilent of Arc Menu / Windows 7 menu.

    The fullscreen Dashboard Applications menu doesn’t feel as purposed or engineered as alternatives — Gnome Application Menu is simple, effective and nice. Pantheon Slingshot is amazingly sleek and simple and “Kitchen Knife” stupid effective.

    I would like to see a Plotinus-like HUD giving all apps a Sublime Ctrl + P style search menu of all application dialogs and menu items.

    I would really like to see a focus on making KDE even better for productivity and business users.

    KDE Panel dragging and resizing feels EXCEPTIONALLY over-intuited I think it needs more of a architect/mathematician/thinker configuration style to it.

    Drag & Drop to screen edge should not hover from the edge by snap of show glowing edge zones it can be dropped into. Panel width should be able to be set using a numerical slider, and the horizontal slide menus for adding things is a achievement but gawdawful.

    I am not a fan of the left slide out Activities menu that has been popularized by Windows 10, Deepin and 4k at all — I like windows with settings instead of a billion animated things moving and sliding all over the place.

    The Plasmoid find and download dialog is badly in need of a sane version control standard — do I want plasmoid-0.927 or plasmoid-blackmod or plasmoid-buster — not to mention you get kicked off to a website to find things or learn things because it’s not built into the app.

    I would prefer one or the other — a desktop app where I can read reviews, see screenshots, version control, install, uninstall, etc… or a online store like Firefox Store, Gnome Extensions website ( https://extensions.gnome.org ), etc…

    Additionally plasmoid spacers could be improved to help auto-position a plasmoid in the center of the panel center of two screen edges.

    Users might also be inclinded to have 3 panels on the bottom of the screen that are only the size of contents aligning plasmoids to the left, center (dock) and right. This is commonly desired on both the bottom and top on other desktop shells like Patheon with Wingpanel.

    So yeah, Q/A on plasmoids, themes, etc… a major website revision to find content and make reviewing and installing it easier (gnome-look and kde-look really are badly in need of a update, new users would never know which theme engine they are on and need to find themes under either).

    So I hope those are some starting points for ideas.

  10. More Linux distributions and projects selecting KDE as the default option. This could i guess be a viable new goal.

  11. i would like kde developers to focus more performance and memory usage of kde.

  12. Please fix multi-monitor windowing and display switching capabilities, as this hasn’t worked properly since KDE4. Every hotplug of a monitor confuses kde, and causes it to shuffle all windows to a single display. This is largely because HDMI doesn’t support power-saving modes to let the video know it’s still there, and every time shutting down “unplugs” the displays, which are
    Samsung TV’s in reality. It’s been repeatedly brought up for years by myself and others, yet no one seems to want to fix it, meaning on my primary workstation I have to use a non-KDE DE just to NOT have this occur.

    KWIN is also terrible at rendering at large resolutions, such as multiple 4k displays. It simply isn’t efficient enough not to crash within a week using KDE with 3x 4k displays at a full frame-buffer of 11520×2160, and suspect it’s simply non-optimal performance on the windowing system itself.

    I use KDE on my laptop as a superior DE, but it’s entirely unusable with multiple hdmi-based 4k displays.

  13. 2 big features which are missing which Mac and Gnome already do are:
    1) If a user has monitors plugged into laptop and the laptop lid is closed, the laptop’s display should be temporarily disabled
    2) HDMI audio support. Some of us use monitors as KVM’s letting us switch audio+video between devices. KDE presently doesnt recognise monitors as audio output devices


  14. Clean up your project.
    Make the softwares homogeneous, their names homogeneous, remove the duplicates, and make everything lighter.
    Right now, it’s a mess.

  15. For my 2 cents, how about nailing down a stable desktop first, then stabilizing multi monitor functionality. So much basic functionality I can not take for granted on KDE.

  16. Themes bring me to multi levels of hell. joaquin.
    You see GTK developers complaining that there applications are broken by theme changes.

    We also have themes that breach WCAG

    We really do need a Theme audit application that can run before apply a theme and warn you if a theme is old or defective or suspect before you apply it. Old missing bits out the css applications can expect/required so warning that choosing this theme might break the applications you use would be a good thing. Defective be like in breach of WCAG or font sizes or the like. Suspect could be messing around with icon themes.

    If you put the qtcurve into GTK3/GTK2 you really do need method to say hey this application not theme compatible render with a stock Gnome theme developers tested with.

    Heck even with Qt applications method to say run this application with stock theme would be good for cases where someone suspects theme caused trouble.

    Themes are a major cause of applications not functioning correctly and something need to be done about this.

  17. @joaquin
    GTK3 theming got very limited a few years (? – I don’t remember the exact date) ago.

    I don’t think that the more advanced theming systems like qtcurve can ever be implemented for it. Even oxygen (the 4.x default theme in Plasma) can not be ported to it.

  18. Viber , Facebook Messenger , gradio , easymp3gain , acestream-full , PPA support , Dolphin root (system menü icon) support .

  19. +1 for multi-monitor and especially multi-DPI HiDPI support with fractional scaling.

    This would make me seriously consider switching back from gnome; I am also mentioning this because I feel like once KDE developers get on to this task, they will have stable results faster than gnome developers. This is also considering that all of this is in a very unfinished state on gnome. Even though I hate myself for it, I ended up using Windows 10 most of the time in the last few weeks lol.

  20. The only “suggestion” I can make is to improve the multi-monitor experience
    The system always opens the new programs in the second monitor, although as the main monitor it is set as default
    In any case, I hope you will never change the user experience, it’s already perfect

  21. I would suggest to enhance the kdepim tools because currently they are only hardly usable in corporate environment: kmail is complicated to configure, especially display pannel, connection to exchange server for calendar is read only and do not work corectly (mishanlde deleted events, …), akonadi configuration and control is also complicated. As thunderbird is fading away, and evolution is gnome based, we should have decent mailer not only for home users but also for corporate environments.

  22. Fix multiscreen from powersaving, currently have powersaving turned off on the computer, but not on the monitors. If I leave the computer on, but turn the monitors off for extended periods of time, I have to do xrandr calls to fix the layout and then manually move windows back to the second screen.

  23. Reading through here (and using KDE as my primary desktop)I see a few trends:
    * HiDPI is so close, it just needs to be taken seriously. This includes using monitors of different DPI’s and hotplugging of them.
    * There is too many options, sometimes they are all very similar too.
    * The launcher could use some love.
    * Wayland as primary desktop needs some love.
    * Generally continued focus on polish as what Nate reports on.
    * Could try and mandate/recommend installing a good default Qt theme for better app interop from non-Qt desktops.

    Could sum it up as:
    * Continued focus on polish of papercuts, usability and more sane defaults.
    * Focus on improving power-user desktop: aka Multi-monitor hot-plugging, Wayland & variable DPI windows that “just work”.

  24. I use a Thinkpad Yoga, I’d like decent touch screen support. Windows handles touchscreens much better than Plasma. Using the touch screen shouldn’t move my cursor and I shouldn’t have to use the scroll bar with touch input to scroll a window, touch is supposed to scroll by default anywhere a scroll action is used.

  25. M said: “I think that one of the goals should be to discard features that are not useful e.g. who really needs 5 different styles of window switchers; pick one and make it useful / beautiful.

    I understand that having options is good but KDE does tend to offer too much of it. As things are right now the system Settings app is downright intimidating for a lot of users.

    Here is what I suggest would be a good way to implement this approach:

    The System Settings app should have two modes: Basic and Advanced. Move all the smaller tweaks and all to the advanced mode. This way we can have a streamlined Basic mode that has all the common features a settings app is expected to have.

    Over time, and after user feedback, the seldom used features can be removed. In the end we are left with only the really important features.”

    I disagree and agree somewhat. I would love to see the Settings Menu become highly modular, where one can easily remove and add settings that they would like to have. However, just gutting features entirely could cause Plasma to more resemble iOS over time; this is unacceptable for me. I suppose overall this highlights how I need to learn how to modify DEs myself so that I’m never at too much risk of losing things I value.

  26. KDE should be accessible for the blind and visually impaired. I did not find any distribution I could use with KDE and Orca screen reader, and I do not know any KDE-compatible screen reader. So I can not try KDE and I can not decide it would be good for Me or not. I am using Mate, it is more usable and more accessible than GNOME3. I know, this is not important for normal users, but I suggest, you should support this initiative. You could help blind Linux users. Thanks!

  27. KDE has come a long way since 4.0. It’s very stable now, got its system resource hunger under control while remaining extremely feature rich and configurable.

    In other words: Don’t change anything 😉

    Does the Plasma Desktop need polishing in terms of UI design? Well imho the default design (Breeze) might do indeed. But that does not matter, because KDE is so extremely configurable that the user can polish it oneself to his or her own taste (and unlike in Gnome, doing so without actually hacking the software against the intentions of its creators).
    It might be a good idea though to include a kvantum configuration module in the KDE system settings in order to make that theming engine more accessible. I could imagine that many of those people criticizing KDE for being ugly or boring compared to, let’s say, Budgie Desktop simply haven’t Discovered (pun intended) the kvantum Qt engine yet. 😉

    But in fact KDE has some rough edges here and there. Little things like the kio-mtp crashing 9 out of 10 times before I can even access files on an USB connected Android phone.
    Or fonts in Wine applications not being rendered correctly when running under kwin.
    And then of course the rendering of CSD application windows (not only those of Gnome, but basically anything that does not want to have a server side window frame). Yes, I have understood that it is THEM who broke ‘the law’ by interfusing the Linux desktop ecosystem their own non-standards. But yet it IS technically possible to render a drop shadow under those windows by default, which will have the effect of, well, a polished desktop.

    I think one focus of the KDE team could be hunting down and cleaning out those little dirt corners. Yes I know, there is a bug tracker. But some issues sit there and remain unattended for years. A major bug house clearing with a focus on those small visual and usability issues, and with a pinch of let-go-spirit when it comes to compatibility with Gnome3-apps; could give KDE 5 the ultimate polish.

  28. Let’s optimise.
    Font change anything, (i.e. The features). Do the same thing but with less lines of code, which will result in smaller codebase, which will result in smaller executables, which results in requiring less RAM.
    Thus snappier user experience. Linux being more Linux yes…

  29. please don’t remove any feature that is really annoying, I just discovered that on kde plasma 5.16 beta I can’t set the window titlebar buttons to custom order, I’m really pissed I’m considering downgrading to 5.12. Don’t go the road the gnome devs did, we are not stupid.
    ? ? ?

  30. I think is good see how Deepin make Deepin File Manager, because they have a faster file search ever i see.

    I think is a good way to search files, and baloo just for search in file content.

  31. Please rename the apps with self-explanatory titles. What does “Gwenview” mean, or Kleopatra… etc. Couldn’t those be “Pictures” and “Credentials manager” or whatever. In order for me to install KDE on a non tech-savy person’s PC, I need to be sure that he/she will understand what the apps do by simply reading their name. Another recommendation: please expore more colours for the overall styling. P.ex. the first thing I do in KDE is to apply some colours from the elementary OS palette in order to reduce the blue light which is contained everywhere in the DE. In my usage case, this drastically reduces the eye fatigue I get after a long workday. BTW… I apply some colours to LibreOffice too, since this is the app I spent most of my time into.

  32. Some way of monitoring app times and setting time limits would be nice. Like Android’s digital wellbeing.

  33. cross-platform, kde should be able to run out of box on linux and other unix-like systems.

  34. I think the main thing to double down on should be Wayland. Iron out everything left to iron out with that, and things will get REEAALLLYY nice.

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