KDE Plasma 5.27 was an interesting release marking the end of the 5.x series.
We are eagerly waiting for KDE Plasma 6, but we do not have any concrete information on what to expect.
That changes now.
Right after the 2023 Plasma Sprint event, in collaboration with the folks at TUXEDO in Germany, Nate Graham from KDE shared some important highlights on KDE Plasma 6 on his blog.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes, right, Nate? 😉🦸
So, let me share the important bits from his blog post.
KDE Plasma 6: The Best Time to Change Defaults ⭐
With a major version bump, users should expect major changes that improve the out-of-the-box user experience.
And one of the crucial things that will let them do that is changing default settings.
What are the settings that you can expect to change?
1. Wayland by Default
With KDE Plasma 6, the Wayland session will be the preferred default option.
The X11 session will not be going away. So, distributions can still override the default and have X11 remain the default.
The developers are ironing out certain issues and several NVIDIA-specific problems. Once those are done, they should be ready as per their goals.
2. Double-click by Default
To improve the onboarding experience of new users switching away from other platforms, double-clicking to open files/folders will be the new default.
3. Floating Panel by Default
While Windows 11 originally copied (or maybe inspired?) from KDE for the floating panel, it was an optional feature with KDE Plasma.
So, to give users something new out-of-the-box, the floating panel is now in the default look of KDE Plasma.
4. Accent-color-tinted header area to distinguish active windows
To help you better differentiate and identify an active window, you will find the header area of the working window tinted with your accent color set.
This way, the windows get a subtle visual difference telling you what's the active window.
You can explore the technical details on the Plasma Desktop GitLab page.
5. New Task Switcher
Task switcher greatly influences the user experience for multi-taskers. With KDE Plasma 6, they decided to use a "Thumbnail Grid" task switcher, which includes the icon, and a thumbnail, giving quick visual cues for different users.
Here's how it looks:
Additionally, there are plenty of other things listed on Nate's blog post which should help enhance the KDE Plasma 6 experience, like:
- Clicking on the scrollbar track to jump navigation
- A slower release cycle (maybe twice yearly) for distros to ship newer versions
- A wallpaper page in the System settings
💬 Overall, the plans look quite promising to me. What do you think?