KDE Plasma 6 will require users to double-click on files and folders to open them (by default; the setting is configurable).
Controversial change? It won’t sound like one to those familiar with Linux DEs like GNOME, and alternative operating systems like Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS. On those systems double-clicking on desktop items to open them is just how things work.
But for those using KDE Plasma single-click is as synonymous with the desktop as Konqi, the cog logo, and supreme control over everything the desktop can do.
Ergo, this decision will feel like a dramatic one, and is almost certain to (re)ignite the debate over which approach is best.
Not that it really matters.
As mentioned, click behavior is configurable in KDE Plasma 6. Devotees of double-click do now get it OOTB, while single-click connoisseurs will need to turn it on (a reversal of the current situation).
But what has prompted this reversal in KDE’s click behavior, and why now?
According to the “face” of KDE development Nate Graham, other DEs.
“Over time, distros have been making the decision for us. At the moment, Kubuntu, Fedora KDE, and Manjaro all default to double-click, and these are major distros,” he writes in an issue on the KDE Invent.
“Distros are close to users and clearly the feedback they’ve been getting is that double-click is a better default” he says before conceding “let’s admit it and switch to double-click by default ourselves.”
Advocates for the still-incumbent single-click status quo have suggested showing users a “single click or double click?” option in the KDE welcome wizard (introduced in KDE Plasma 5.27). This sounds like a possible compromise.
Personally speaking, whenever using a KDE-based Linux distro I always turn double-click on. I can’t pretend there’s any grand intellectual reason for this, I just prefer it because it’s what I’m used to.
What about you?