Feren OS
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Feren OS

A whole slew of updates got released for Feren OS Next

This is just an article for informing Feren OS Next users about a massive bunch of updates that are now available for Feren OS Next. If you’re not using Feren OS with Plasma, you can happily ignore this article, however if you are, this article will explain what changed, etc.

KCM Colours

First up in this slew of updates is a small change to the KCM Colours source code that is compiled into Feren OS’s version of the System Settings -> Theme -> Colour module. The change here is that when applying Colours the following will happen in the following scenarios:

  • If you’re using Kvantum Themes and set to a colour scheme that either has or links to a Kvantum Theme that matches, the Kvantum theme will automatically change too to match
  • If you’re using any Application Style other than Kvantum and set to a colour scheme that either has or links to a Kvantum Theme that matches, the Kvantum theme will be changed to match just in case you want to follow up with changing the application style to ‘kvantum’ manually
  • If you’re using Kvantum Themes and set to a colour scheme that neither has a matching Kvantum Theme nor links to a Kvantum Theme, you’ll be automatically switched to Breeze for the Application Style

This change has been made to improve readability on applications the newly applied colour scheme instead of immediately giving users a potentially unreadable System Settings, among other applications becoming potentially unreadable. That latter risk is still possible by manually applying the ‘kvantum’ Application Style afterwards or applying a Look & Feel that expects a Kvantum Theme to be pre-applied, however, but doing those tasks is up to the user.

For current Feren OS Next users, you won’t have this patched Colours module installed on your installations so you’ll want to install it by installing the package ‘feren-patched-kcmcolors’.

KCM Look & Feel

Next up is the biggest of the changes in this update — Look & Feel’s source code. A lot was changed in the code regarding the extra theming options, as well as introducing two new utilities on compiling the modified source code. Since there’s a bunch of changes, I’ll separate them into their own sections on here.

Added ‘defaults’ options for Look & Feel distributors

Multiple additions were made to the code regarding what can be read from the ‘defaults’ file in a Look & Feel folder, including:

kwinrc: org.kde.kdecoration2: ButtonsOnLeft and ButtonsOnRight

kwinrc: Windows: BorderlessMaximizedWindows

GTK: Settings: gtk-theme-name

FerenThemer: Options: DarkAppsDecoColourScheme, FilesStyle and MetaType

kvantum.kvconfig: General: theme

lattedockrc: UniversalSettings: currentLayout

All of these should be fairly self-explanatory and allow for the same extra functionality as before in Feren OS Next’s Look & Feels, however they are now more akin to how they would possibly work if they were to be upstreamed. This means that in that scenario L&F distributors wouldn’t have to make as many changes to their files as they otherwise might need to do.

More powers for ‘feren-theme-tool-plasma’

feren-theme-tool-plasma has also seen a few new powers added to it for the purpose of usage when needed by Look & Feel for applying stuff which currently requires code that is a little bit too complex for me currently to port directly into the Look & Feel source code. This includes setting the Nemo/Files UI Style, switching Latte Dock on or off, quickly resetting Plasma’s Desktop Layout on demand and triggering the XSETTINGSD daemon’s GTK theme changing code on demand. All of these functions can be used by the user, too, if they want to, via the ‘feren-theme-tool-plasma’ command.

New code section and two new Terminal utilities

The source code also saw the inclusion of a duplicate of the Look & Feel applying code that is stripped down to just applying the core parts of a theme required for Theme Colouriser themes, as well as two new Terminal utilities being compiled when compiling the code: qtstyletool and themecolourisertool.

qtstyletool is just a command for applying a Qt Application Style and automatically refreshing the style of all the running Qt applications following that, while themecolourisertool is a command for applying a Look & Feel through the aforementioned stripped down Look & Feel applying code.

themecolourisertool is now bundled in compiled form in the ‘feren-theme-colouriser-feren-plasma’ package, however you’ll find qtstyletool bundled alongside lookandfeeltool in the ‘feren-patched-kcmlookandfeel’ package now.

Side-effect updates

When I did that update to Look & Feel, I did it knowing that I’d have to update a lot of packages used in Feren OS Next because of either optimisations now being available for them or the fact they effectively otherwise broke after this update. Therefore, the following extra updates were done:

Theme Colouriser: Theme Colouriser now uses stripped down Look & Feels to apply the colourisations. Also, because of the fact it’s now also using themecolourisertool instead of lookandfeeltool it now shaves off a lot of time from its applying process, now only taking about less than 3 seconds in my experience to apply a colourisation.

OOBE: OOBE has similar optimisations, now getting rid of the small buffer after applying a layout where clicks would not be registered immediately so you can get back to using the application faster now, applying Default/Light/Dark now makes use of themecolourisertool meaning that it’s just as quick to apply those themes as Theme Colouriser is colourisations now, and since Theme Colouriser got optimised the accent colours also take very little time to apply now when selected.

Colour Schemes: The Feren OS colour schemes got a minor update to now point to their respective Kvantum themes, just in case

Feren OS L&Fs and Vanilla Plasma L&F Patches: All the pre-installed Look & Feels were adapted to take advantage of the updates to Look & Feel’s Feren OS theming extensions as well as not be broken because of this update. Alongside this, a new package called ‘feren-kde-theme-patched-kubuntulaf’ was released to provide a patched Kubuntu-like Look & Feel to the fray as an optional addition.

New package: feren-kcm-patches

Finally, a new metapackage was released to allow users to have all the Feren OS KCM Patches be installed by updates as they become available. You can install it if you wish by installing ‘feren-kcm-patches’.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the updates and don’t forget to report any bugs you find in Feren OS Next, seriously. Cheers.

Oh, and if you want to know what changes were made to the source code, check here: https://github.com/feren-OS/plasma-desktop-kcms

KCM is an acronym for KDE Control Module

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