Linux News Today: KDE Plasma 5.6 to Feature Unity Launcher Support, Media Controls in Task Manager
Once again, KDE developer Kai Uwe has written yet another in-depth article about some of the upcoming features of the next major release of the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment, version 5.6.
According to Mr. Uwe, the KDE Plasma 5.6 release will focus on being more user-friendly by removing any functionality that you, the user, think stands in your way to accomplish your daily tasks. There will be a lot of new features and updated applications in KDE Plasma 5.6 as well.
Let’s start with the Unity Launcher support, as it would appear that KDE Plasma 5.6 will borrow the Unity API from Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux operating system to implement support for app notifications in the Task Manager. For example, the Chromium web browser will display the download progress.
But the KDE devs are planning to extend the functionality to many of the applications included in the KDE Applications software suite, such as Dolphin, which will display the file transfer progress in the Task Manager. Other third-party apps like Telegram or Mozilla Thunderbird will be supported as well.
“As you may or may not know, Plasma’s mantra basically is ‘help you get stuff done.’ This means it helps you to achieve your goals as easily for you as possible. Plasma 5.6 will be one of those releases where we’ve focussed a lot on getting in your way less and removing obstacles in the way between you and your tasks,” said Kai Uwe.
Media controls in Task Manager, Device Notifier feedback
KDE Plasma 5.6 will also display media controls for Task Manager, allowing users to control various multimedia applications more easily, with a single mouse click. To better understand how this works, you need to take a look at the screenshots attached in the gallery at the end of the article.
If you have a media player application running in the background, and you’re browsing the Internet on Firefox, you will be able to control the respective app just by hovering its Task Manager entry. A live thumbnail will be displayed with support for media controls. Support for multiple media players is also implemented.
Last but not least, KDE Plasma 5.6 will ship with an updated Device Notifier component, which promises to provide KDE users with better feedback about what’s going on with the attached devices, especially when they failed to unmount. KDE Plasma 5.6 will be released this spring, on March 22, 2016.