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Exciting things are afoot in KDE land!

KDE developer Nate Graham has shared a preview of the KDE roadmap for 2021 and — spoiler warning — it includes several interesting changes that fans of this free software stack are going to love.

KDE Plasma’s Wayland experience will become “production ready” in 2021, say devs

For one, KDE devs plan to weave fingerprint support throughout the KDE Plasma experience, from login and lock screens to KAuth and Polkit. Work on the plumbing required to support this is already underway, and further enhancements are expected to fall in to place in the coming months.

And there are big plans for KDE Plasma Wayland support too.

The KDE/Wayland situation has improved over the course of the past twelve months. It’s not the default session I use on my KDE Neon install, but it is way more usable now than it was this time last year.

Next year devs plan to make it even better.

Graham predicts that the “…trend of serious, concentrated Wayland work [will] continue in 2021, and finally make Plasma Wayland session usable for an increasing number of people’s production workflow.”

It’s hopped that the KDE Plasma Wayland experience will become “production ready” in 2021 — so watch this space!

New App Menu in Plasma 5.21

Elsewhere, devs plan to improve the look and feel of Plasma’s default Breeze theme — expect something “super modern and awesome” — and will replace the celebrated KickOff app launcher with a newer, fresher replacement in Plasma 5.21.

If you have a passably decent memory you might recall that both of these plans were mooted back in in KDE’s 2020 roadmap.

Alas, they didn’t quite make it.

Kickoff’s successor (image: Mikel Johnson)

This time? Maybe! KDE devs are optimistic that 2021 will be the year they finally get these long-standing to-dos crossed off their task list — but given the nature of open source development (and the ripples that disruptive reality can throw) nothing is guaranteed.

Kool Times Ahead

In summary, KDE devs want to create a “mainstream-hardware-ready software stack” — a goal Nate Graham feels they’re close to realising.

“We need to keep plugging away, and start thinking about the next steps: more hardware partnerships, closer coordination with distros, and more engineering effort for our own Neon distro,” he adds.

You’ve read what KDE devs have planned out for this coming year, but what would you like to see KDE devs focus on in 2021?

Let me know down in the comments.

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