write.as

KDE Consistency: Pick a task for February and blog about it!

After some time of silence, the Consistency goal is coming back in style. The rush to complete all the great features in 5.21 (and there are lots of them!) is over; there's a bit more time to breathe and get back to the goal.

I have a proposal for everyone, developers and users: let's work together this month and achieve as much as possible, to create a new wave of engagement: let's all pick one task – no matter how big or small it is – and blog/tweet/toot about it! We can use the #KDEConsistency hashtag.

I don't want to hear no “I'm just a user, I can't help much”

If you are “just” a user: don't worry! There is so much you can do. You could pick up Inkscape or Figma and try to do some mockups of a more consistent interface. You could review the settings of an application to see if they are correctly organized and still relevant. You could check if actions in context menus are well put together. You could take a ruler and check if there are odd spacing throughout the Plasma UI; you could triage consistency bugs on Bugzilla; and so on. After you choose what you want to work on, write down a good plan to achieve it. If you need help on this please ping me! You can write to me using Telegram ([at] veggero), emails (niccolo [at] venerandi [dot] it), reddit (u/veggero), matrix ([at] veggero:kde.org), and so on. You can also talk to the Visual Design Group via Telegram ([at] vdgmainroom) or via matrix ([hash] kde-vdg:kde.org). Don't be afraid to waste my time: you won't! Finally, get on your favorite blog platform and tell the world about your plan. If you do not know any blog platform, I'll admit I like write [dot] as, it's open-source, free, and easy to use. Send me a link to it: I'll make sure the world will know about it :)

It's not like KDE Devs are exempt from this either 😛

If you are a KDE Dev you probably know how to do most of the above stuff already. You might only miss the idea of what to work on for the Consistency goal! Every Dev is different and I cannot put together a list of ideas that will spark something in everyone. I tried here (most tasks there are still valid), but it didn't quite work. So it might just be up to you to find how you could contribute to the project: please, please take some time to go through the original consistency post and find something that sparks a light. When you found it, I'd love you to write a blog post about what you want to do about it this month. The task you decided might need more than a month: that's fine, but everyone needs to start with something. Write the blog post and then send me the link. I can't wait to see all the ideas you will come up with!

Sure, sure, but what are YOU going to do!?

Oh, damn, you got me. Well, my task for February will be to make spacing consistent in the panel and default widgets. I started this work with the margin areas feature and I noticed that there's a lot more consistency to tackle. An example would be the spacing between widgets in the panel; right now it's quite inconsistent. For example, the margin around smaller icons feels too big, the margin around the clock feels uneven, the margin to the right of the kickoff widget feels too small, and so on. problem 1 problem 2 Another area where margins need to be consistent is widgets. As an example, compare the space given to the first button, to the space given to the second one: problem 1 problem 2 The latter is much more cramped. Then, these icons have too little left margin: problem 3 And so on. I want to fix all of these issues, one time and for all!

Another thing I want to do is switch back to applets following the plasma theme margin. Right now, they use the theme's margin plus some smallSpacings, which was simpler to implement at the time but is semantically incorrect. This will probably mean that themes will have to increase their spacing to not look cramped, so we'll see how to correctly implement this.

Now it's your turn!

Feeling excited yet? Well, I know, I know, fixing some margins nitpicks is not exactly “exciting”, but it's necessary. And it's not just me: with the help of KDE Developers and KDE users, we can solve all the Consistency nitpicks and tackle the bigger issues as well. If this wasn't clear enough already: we need you