Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Nov 2009 00:05 UTC, submitted by elsewhere
KDE We all know what KDE stands for, right? Unless you're new here, you'll know that it stands for the K Desktop Environment. While this certainly covers a large chunk of what KDE stands for, it has increasingly lost its meaning over the past few years. Consequently, the KDE team has decided to 'reposition' the KDE brand.
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RE: Problem they have is KDE 4
by elsewhere on Sat 28th Nov 2009 19:24 UTC in reply to "Problem they have is KDE 4"
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The problem they have is surely KDE 4? I think its beautiful, and its most creative as a redesign of the UI. But no way am I ever going to offer this stuff to a naive user, any more than I would start them off with fluxbox or enlightenment, which are also both great, in their own ways.

You're sort of validating their decision with this comment. KDE Desktop != KDE.

When people refer to KDE, they are generally referring to the desktop itself. They don't like this, they don't like that, they wish it would do this or that...

But the Desktop is just a subset of what the KDE project provides, and should not be the entire measure by which the group and project is judged.

Personally, I've always felt that the real story behind "KDE 4" had nothing to do with the desktop changes, but with the abstraction that was done, along with Qt's built-in cross-platform capability, to provide a powerful application stack portable across multiple platforms, and not restricted just to *nix. KDE the application stack is, frankly, more analogous to Java in a very broad sense, than it is to Gnome (or E17, or XFCE, or...). The KDE desktop (plasma desktop), on the other hand, is the component of KDE designed to provide a desktop environment on *nix, and is analogous to Gnome et al.

The separation model isolates the base libraries for supporting KDE applications, meaning that users running KDE apps under a non-KDE desktop will not have to drag in all the desktop components they will not need. This will be particularly important for mobility platforms. The idea is that you should be able to cleanly port your KDE applications to things like Win Mob, Symbian or Maemo, let alone Windows or OSX, without dragging in a boatload of desktop dependencies or heavy hacking of the code.

This will also allow a focus on the KDE applications themselves, whether part of the KDE project proper, or third-party. There are numerous high-quality KDE applications that should be perfectly usable for people that don't necessarily feel comfortable with the KDE desktop, or even *nix itself.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with the naming scheme, but I do think any change that tries to re-brand the key elements of the project itself are a step in the right direction, and will help clarify the development structure for future developers that may otherwise associate KDE with *nix-only development.

Personally, I think an emphasis on the advantages and portability of the development framework, versus an over-emphasis of the "native" desktop environment, has a better chance of attracting new developers. I think it also emphasizes the most distinct difference between KDE and alternative DEs, and it's about time they started communicating this point through branding.

So to your original comment, you may not feel that the KDE desktop is optimal for all users, but that shouldn't preclude evaluating individual KDE applications under your DE of choice, and choosing the best tool for your job.

Just my 2c...

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