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.
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.
System Settings is one of the older parts of the Plasma stack
Antonis and Marco have been working on porting some of the modules to use QML with QtQuickControls.
This poses an interesting challenge; QtQuickControls are definitely the future of not only Plasma but for all KDE applications, however, in their current state they are problematic. The desktop theme has various quirks, as it tries to interact with the classic QStyle and we don't benfit from the same huge sets of KDE libraries that were written for widgets.
We need to find a balance between modernising, progressing with new technology, but also never hampering the user experience for the sake "progress".
For now these are merged in a development branch of plasma-desktop, KcmQmlPorts. I'd encourage people to check it out and report and fix issues there.
Extra Plasmoid Changes
Bernhard Friedreich has been restoring all the functionality in the timer applet that wasn't prioritised in the initial rewrite from Plasma 4. It now is in a far better state than it has ever been.
The task manager gained a feature from Yoann Laissus to allow launching a new instance of an application by middle clicking. Hopefully speeding up some people's workflow.
Wonko Sane ported the Konsole quick launch applet too Plasma 5 allowing users to quickly start various different konsole sessions right from their desktop.
We're also seeing a lot happen in the "3rd party" world on kde-look. There are now 2 pages worth of additional applets that people are making. Worth checking out.
We've had a lot of new faces in Plasma
We've been updating our build instructions, which walks through building all of frameworks on Plasma into a new directory, in simple instructions that work perfectly on all non-Debian based distributions.