Monday, February 22, 2021

The Application Of New Things

KDE has, for a very long time, had this thing called Get Hot New Stuff, which is the name for a whole pile of tech which all exists just so you can just click a button in your wallpapers dialog that will pop up a dialog where you can, well, get hot new wallpapers for your system. Or mouse cursors. Or Plasma themes. Or books in Peruse. Or templates in a bunch of apps, or any variety of other things.

For a while now, it's been possible to add something called an adoption command, which is what will make a button show up in that dialog, and in Discover, labelled "Use". It's been used in a few places, but i recently sat down and got a bunch of little tools done that lets you set various things from the command line, and that in turn allowed me to also add those tools as adoption commands for the Get Hot New Stuff dialogues which download the stuff that those tools can apply.

How To Use A Wallpaper

What that means is that, fresh off the back of the 5.21 release, we've got that merged in, and it should become available to anybody running master pretty much immediately, and anybody who doesn't, well, hopefully in not too long.

The specific things that have had an adoption command added are:
  • Window Decorations - that is, themes for KWin's Aurora theming engine
  • Wallpapers - technically there was already an adoption command set, but it didn't work very reliably
  • Cursor Themes - cursor as in mouse cursor
  • Color Schemes - the things which define what colours your entire desktop uses
  • Plasma Themes - what defines how Plasma draws all it's UI components (panels, applets, all that lovely stuff)
  • Global Themes - complete packages of full-desktop settings, which adapt the look and feel of your entire desktop to something new
What all this means is that when scrolling through the content of one of the dialogues which let you grab these things, if there's a way to just outright guess what the thing should be applied to, in a global sort of fashion, there should be an adoption command for it.

It also means that, apart from the KWin tool, which is not installed as a systemwide tool (look for kwin-applywindowdecoration in your libexec if you want a play), you can now interact with these things from the command line. This is more or less done the same way you've been able to do with Global Themes for a while now using lookandfeeltool, which with this patch also got a quick bit of attention to make sure it would work as an adoption command, as well as a quick rename to match the naming scheme for the new tools. The new tools are all named plasma-apply-(thingtheyapply), so if you just type that out and tap the tab button, you should see all of them show up for you to play with.

What Desktop Themes Does leinir Have?

Finally, if you spot a dialog that seems like it should have this, but doesn't, do give me a poke, either here or on bugs.kde.org, and we can try and sort it out. Also, if you look at the merge request itself, you'll notice how these tools really aren't particularly scary for the most part. If you would like somewhere nice and self contained to jump in and do some work? Well, there's a good spot for you :)

The word of the day is: User. The thing you become upon clicking the Use button in a Get Hot New Stuff dialog ;)

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