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Discover more in 2017

With 2017 starting, we’re getting ready for the next Plasma 5.9 release and with it a new Discover release.

This will be a special release for two main reasons: further add-ons integration and Kirigami.

New Stuff

One thing pending for a long time was to actually better integrate the different parts of the system that can be integrated. To do so, Discover now will automatically import all knsrc files present on the system and offer them as categories.
We’ll be able to go beyond Plasmoids and Comics (!) and make it possible to explore: Plasma Look and Feel themes, cursors, icon themes, window manager add-ons and different application-specific resources.

This won’t have a big impact on Discover’s performance because the backend code was refactored to be able to have several backends loaded even without knowing all of the resources available. Queries are now asynchronous and parallel.

Discover KNS Addons


Kirigami was adopted in the previous release already, and this release will use Kirigami 2, the port to which did not require much work.

The most significant improvement is the inclusion of keyboard navigation, which was requested by several people and is now finally available. Do you hate it when you’re required to use the mouse? Rejoice!

Extra: Snappy support

It’s 2017, not all of the applications are coming from your distribution anymore. To start getting things in place for different software distribution sources I started working on a Snap backend, which allows us to manage applications coming from this system.
Some work will still be required and it won’t be included by default, since it doesn’t yet support AppStream (although we discussed it and it seems it will happen soon), but if you’re curious feel free to take a look and give your feedback!


  1. Sandro

    does new version provide more feedback when installing stuffs, in particular during download phase? it sits there and I dunno if it is working or not.


  2. George

    All your eforts are appreciated, but in my view Discover is still far behind similar solutions offered in other distros/DEs, has much room for improvements and stands as KDE’s most prominent Achilles heel. Two areas deserve special attention. As pointed in the previous comment, performance during system upgrades and app installation is horrible. Upgradable package discovery is poor and progress during installation is not properly displayed/updated. In addition, the new home screen wastes lots of real state space displaying useless or no information. Take the picture in this article as an example. The blue square (top left), the “coffee cup” (top right) and the white “Categories” sections (bottom left) account pretty much for about half of the screen space, while the rest is used to display… only 3 (!!!) apps! Just consider the amount of empty white space in that picture! Not to mention that app icons are still ugly, low resolution ones, probably imported from the old database, when apps were shown in smaller squares. Honestly, the current design is a disaster. The previous one, with a decent app mosaic and the “installed” green bar below each installed app was much, much better from a regular user perspective. I would strongly consider another revamp, starting from the previous layout and focusing on performance. In the meantime, as a Fedora KDE user, I will keep going with Apper (which is also a disaster itself…).

  3. Alex

    yeah, great news, great potential, but it’s an unusable app as George said in the previous comment.
    An AWFUL LOT of wasted space.. can’t browse content on a 15.6″ screen! so.. Discover what?!? 🙁

  4. Lee

    eh…..Do DWD and Fiber have any plan

  5. apol

    I haven’t worked on it myself. Sorry…

  6. Graham Perrin

    I’m impressed with the speed of access – it’s realistic – but for demonstration purposes, it’s way too fast for a newcomer to understand what’s happening. I had to repeatedly step back in time.

    Thumpety trumpety noises detract from the content. A simple voice over would have been much better.

  7. George

    Exactly three months later, similar reviews:

    “(…) one of the weaker components in Plasma. (…)”

    Constructively, the clock is ticking and the time to reassess the future (?!?) of Discover and reinvent it is almost gone…

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