Linux News Today: KDE Plasma 5.7 Offers Many Wayland Improvements, but GTK Apps Will Still Use X11
We reported last week on the release of the Beta build of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.7 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems, and we’re now looking forward to the final release, due on July 5, 2016.
In the meantime, KDE developer Martin Gräßlin talks in his latest blog post about the improvements that have been added so far in order to bring better support to the next-generation Wayland display server on the forthcoming KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment.
He begins his report on the new Wayland functionalities implemented in KDE Plasma 5.7 with what didn’t make it, such as xdg-shell support, which should have landed as part of KDE Frameworks 5.23.0. Because of this, it looks like GTK applications will still use the old X11 display server when running on top of Wayland.
“I have a working implementation, but was not yet satisfied with the API. This is a difficult interface to provide an API for due to the unstable nature of the interface. Due to lack of xdg-shell support GTK applications are still going to use X11 on Wayland (like the Firefox window I’m just typing this blog post in),” said Martin Gräßlin.
Improved task manager, virtual keyboad, and more
Among the new Wayland features coming in KDE Plasma 5.7, we can mention an improved task manager, the implementation of a new virtual keyboard, better input device support, sub-surface support, and, of course, many quality enhancements to make KDE on Wayland support as stable as possible.
To understand how much work is involved in making sure that the KWin window manager and the KWayland framework for Wayland support don’t crash, we recommend to read Mr. Gräßlin’s blog post in full, but only if you’re a tech-savvy user. Otherwise, all you need to know is that KDE Plasma 5.7 on Wayland will be shipped in a state that you can use as your primary system.