Devs Detail Changes Coming in KDE Plasma 6

Most of us expected that KDE Plasma 6 would shake things up – and we’ve been proved right!

KDE developer Nate “This week in KDE” Graham has confirmed a series of major default settings changes due to ship in the next-gen KDE Plasma desktop. These were discussed at a recent sprint event held in Germany, and hosted by TUXEDO Computers – what stars.

So what are the changes exactly?

Time for a recap!

KDE Plasma 6: Planned Changes

Devs Detail Changes Coming in KDE Plasma 6
Change is ahoy

Well, KDE Plasma 6 will use Wayland by default — at least, that’s the aim. Linux distros shipping the desktop will remain free to default to the Xorg X11 session but upstream developers want to strive to recommend Wayland as the preferred option.

Naturally there’s plenty more work to do in this area, and KDE devs used the sprint event to nail down what “showstoppers” are currently marring the experience (cough, NVIDIA, cough) with a view to fixing those (where possible) pronto.

Next, KDE Plasma 6 will use double-click by default. This change could be controversial among long-time users as, historically, single-click to open files and folders is a super “KDE” behavior. Alas, it confounds new users trying the desktop – so to help them stay, it’s time to change!

Of course, users will be able to change click behavior to suit their needs, so if you’re a fessed-up fan of single click rest assured you can continue to use in KDE Plasma 6.

Devs Detail Changes Coming in KDE Plasma 6
Floating panel (image: Nate Graham)

Now for something that, to my eyes, is a real game changer: KDE Plasma 6 will use a floating panel by default. Functionally, this doesn’t change anything: it’s just margin, innit. Visually, it makes a big statement, giving KDE Plasma 6 a look noticeably different to other DEs.

There are a few smaller changes confirmed as well, including the use of accent-color tinting in header bars to provide differentiation between active and inactive windows; using a horizontal grid of thumbnails for the task switcher; and add a wallpaper panel to System Settings.

Devs Detail Changes Coming in KDE Plasma 6
Gridded task switcher (image: Nate Graham)

Last, and perhaps the most impactful change: KDE is considering switching to a slower release cycle once Plasma 6 is out and on a good footing – slowing to 2 releases a year instead of, historically, 4 – something it hopes will allow distros to ship new versions, sooner.

For more detail (and plenty of screenshots) check out Nate’s blog post.

Oh, and since you’re here — let me know what you think of these changes below!

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