If a few days ago I told you about some of my favorite desktop add-ons, today I will do the same, but in a completely different way, namely: Latte Dock was left in limbo after its main developer announced his departure.
As before, I don’t think any big K desktop user needs an introduction to Latte Dock, which I previously called the definitive dock for KDE Plasma: an add-on to the already customizable panels that took customization to another level, with the dock concept at its core, although its universality made it an “all-in-one” worthy of consideration.
Not that Latte Dock is a perfect application, but its use of KDE Plasma technologies and features made it a better option for those who like to use a dock rather than a classic panel. As in my case, I’ve been using the dock in one form or another for years. Having Latte Dock instead of third-party apps that don’t integrate as well with the desktop, or having to make do with native panels, is the best thing ever.
Note that I mention Latte Dock in the past tense because while it still exists, we’ll have to see how long it lasts. The last major release was Latte Dock 0.10, released almost a year ago, and that was due to expanded support for GNOME and Xfce. However, it was among KDE Plasma users that the project was more than well received, which was to be expected.
This version was slow to arrive, and for quite some time during its development its creator and almost sole maintainer warned that it would be the last version to include new features as such. The plan was for compatibility and stability and little else. Despite this, the roadmap for the next version began to fill with things to do… until KDE Plasma 5.25, eventually the last version of the desktop environment, came out.
What happened? KDE Plasma 5.25 broke Latte Dock in a pretty ugly way: there were performance issues when launching an application, random problems depending on the graphics session used, crashes when rearranging application shortcuts, with context menus… It was such a disaster that its developer recommended to stop using Dock, or to compile a development version where they would be polished. But not even then.
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Things remained in “I’ll do my best to fix things as quickly as possible” mode until a few days ago when he posted a farewell note due to a lack of time, motivation and interest in continuing to take care of Latte Dock, a project he started six years ago that, until a few days ago, was still active. Will anyone continue his work? That remains to be seen.
For my part, a few weeks ago I tried installing Latte Dock in Plasma 5.25 the standard way, but I noticed a lot of bugs, like when dragging shortcuts, they would not drag and drop, and other performance related problems. I was hoping that the situation would be resolved after all. This did not happen. It’s a shame, because Latte Dock had a lot of features, and I don’t get the feeling that anyone is going to step up with the dedication of its creator. Maybe I’m wrong.
But you can still solve this problem by installing the latest version of LatteDock Git, and by the way it has all the bugs fixed.
On the other hand, the standard KDE panels have improved a lot and can almost be used in a decent dock mode without reaching Latte Dock level. However, given the choices, I would prefer that the KDE developers focus on adding and refining the features (rounded corners that go well with the new floating panels introduced in KDE Plasma 5.25, interval control that does not break the aesthetic as it is already done in the task manager or system tray…) that the panels need to become a complete replacement. But of course, this is just my opinion.
And what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.