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High DPI in Plasma 5.4

As retrofitting high DPI support into such a large range of both KDE and third party applications is risky to do without breakage, progress is deliberately slow and gradual in order to do this right.

The good news is I get to write lots of blog posts as we make the continual steps forwards.

Iterative Progress

Plasma 5.3 (last release)

* High DPI Scaling via a hidden config option for early testing

Plasma 5.4 (this release)

* User facing dialog with the screen management settings for scaling

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3 weeks till Plasma 5.4 Freeze

Just a reminder that Plasma 5.4 freeze is in 3 weeks.

If you have any new modules that need merging, new features, text changes or new artwork we need everything merged before the 6th of August.

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Last month in Plasma

We're nearly a third of our way into the Plasma 5.4 cycle, most of the developers seem to be shy so I wanted to give a summary of just some of the activity.

The focus

With Plasma 5 now hitting major distributions by default our biggest focus is bug fixing. We get roughly 10 new bugs every day, each of which have to triaged, and if appropriate fixed. Somehow we're managing to stay on top of things.

KCM Rewrites

System Settings is one of the older parts of the Plasma stack

Hidden - copy this to the dot

Plasma Sprint 2015

In February 2015 the Plasma developers met in the Blue Systems office in Barcelona to discuss and plan out where we would take Plasma over the duration of the next year. The sprint consisted of active Plasma develoeprs and visual designers from around the world; from Canada to India.

The meeting consisted of equal parts hacking and group discussions about plans both in the near and far future in breakout sessions throughout the week.

Akademy 2015 Call For Papers Reminder

The call for papers for Akademy 2015 is on the 31st of March, which is scarcely over a week away.

If you want to talk at Akademy it is important to submit your application on time.

We have a large number of short and lightning talks available again this year, which is a fantastic opportunity to give everyone a brief overview of what's been happening in your project over the past year. I would like to see every active project presenting something.

Don't leave it too late and miss out.

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Plasmoid Tutorial 3 - Blending In

Till now we have dealt with basic QtQuick Text items. Whilst they work, they will look out of place on a Plasma desktop. More importantly it's quite likely that you can get a situation where you can get black text on a black background, or another unreadable combination.

If we run our current applet as soon as we change to another theme we get a problem.

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Plasmoid Tutorial 2 - Getting Data

Almost all applets need to interact with external data sources and actions.

This could be showing the current battery state, editing a file or in the case of our example monitoring and fetching an RSS feed.

Within Plasmoids we have a few different ways of getting data. Each have some advantages and disadvantages.

I'm going to loosely touch on them all, hopefully providing links to find out more information on a topic.

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High DPI Progress

High DPI Revisited

A few weeks ago I talked about high DPI in KDE applications

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Help fix up all of System Settings

System Settings is a strange part of Plasma; it composes of umpteen modules gradually written over the last 15 years by a lot of different people.

As each configuration module is generally small and self-contained it doesn't take a lot of continual maintenance so when a developer becomes inactive we tend not to notice.

Unfortunately over time we've seen the number of open tickets on system settings modules increase over time. They get left unsorted as it's "someone elses problem".

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How does systemd relate to Plasma?

In some of the comments about the latest Plasma release sometimes someone brings up the topic of systemd. This is normally met with the rebuttal "Why should a desktop environment care about what init sytstem is used?".

It's a very sensible question, but it's also one that's easily answered. I wanted to explain how different parts of systemd relate to Plasma.

The init system

We don't care. It doesn't affect us.

The init system is one part of systemd that doesn't affect us at all, and any other could be used.

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