Plasma 5.10: Spring-loading in Folder View; performance work

I was sorely remiss not to blog more during the Plasma 5.9 dev cycle. While 5.9 packs a fair amount of nice new features (e.g. here's the widget gallery in Application Dashboard at some point during development), there was not a peep of them on this blog. Let me do better and start early this time! (With 5.9 out today ...)

Folder View: Spring-loading

Spring-loading in Folder View
Spring-loading functionality in Plasma 5.10's Folder View (click for YouTube)

Folder View in Plasma 5.10 will allow you to navigate folders by hovering above them during drag and drop. This is supported in all three modes (desktop layout, desktop widget, panel widget), and pretty damn convenient. It's a well-known feature from Dolphin, of course, and now also supported in Plasma's other major file browsing interface.

Folder View packs a lot of functionality - at some point I should write a tips & tricks blog on some of the lesser known features and how they can improve your workflow.

Performance work in Folder View ... and elsewhere!

But that's not all! I've also been busy performance-auditing the Folder View codebase lately, and was able to extract many savings. Expect massively faster performance scrolling big folders in big Folder View widgets, lower latencies when navigating folders, and greatly improved Plasma startup time when using Folder View widgets on the desktop. In the case of big folder + big widget, a 5.10 Folder View will also use quite a bit less memory.

I've done similar analysis of other applets, e.g. the Task Manager and the Pager, and done both smaller improvements or looked into more fundamental Qt-level issues that need addressing to speed up our UIs further.

Others on the Plasma team have been up to similar work, with many performance improvements - from small to quite large - on their way into our libraries. They improve startup time as well as various latencies when putting bits of UI on the screen.

While it's still very early in the 5.10 cycle, and it won't be shy on features by the end, performance optimization is already emerging as a major theme for that upcoming release. That's likely a sign of Plasma 5's continuing maturation - we're now starting to get around to thoroughly tuning the things we've built and rely on.


Thanks a lot for your hard work! KDE helped me so much during studies, a part of my first real salary will be dedicated too you :)

By flows at Tue, 01/31/2017 - 04:37

Nice work! Waiting for drag-n-droping through "Show all windows" hot edge.

By KDE User at Tue, 01/31/2017 - 11:06

Is it possible that we could bring back the desktop features from KDE 4.x?
The "Newspaper", "Search and Launch", "Grid", and "Grouping" layouts are great, but sadly are not available as of Plasma 5.9
And many of the old live wallpapers are gone)ASCII Animals, Virus, Mandelbrot, Pattern, Picture Of The Day, Weather).
If these features could be brought back, that would be amazing.
Make KDE Great Again!

By mzs.112000 at Fri, 02/17/2017 - 00:19

I fully agree, especially for Search and Launch. I have not updated my Kubuntu for a long time simply because I want to continue using the Plasma 4 Search and Launch layout.

By WF at Sat, 08/12/2017 - 11:53

Hi ! Thank you ever so much for those improvements, they will make a great difference to many of us :-)

By Mahen at Thu, 05/04/2017 - 10:01