KDE developer Nate Graham, who is known for writing the 'This week in KDE" blog posts keeping us up to speed on all the latest changes has a fresh update about plans for taking over the world, and Graham has some interesting things to say.

There's certainly no shortage of desktop environments on Linux and a number of ways to build software, each with their own goal and way of doing things. It's both a strength for choice and a reported weakness with so much. It's always interesting to read the point of view from developers whose work we rely on so much in the FOSS community. Especially when Graham came from a background in working with Apple, while now a KDE developer.

Here, it wasn't quite what I expected to read. The post goes over talking about the market leaders like Windows and Android, noting neither was the first to come to market but they've successfully captured the biggest slices. Noting that "Neither is picky about what kind of software you run on them or write for them, so they are used on a wide range of devices by lots of different people. Both work with others in adjacent industries, rather than taking a 'my way or the highway' approach. They are flexible."

The flexibility, Graham thinks, is the key to success.

Comparing KDE to Apple, they're clearly very different in how they do things explaining that "we’ve always dreamed of a broad scope and being useful for everyone" on why the Plasma desktop is so flexible and why "the Steam Deck handheld gaming console, PinePhone smartphone, and JingPad A1 tablet are built on top of KDE technology".

Some interesting words aimed at two other big names in the Linux space too, with Graham's post mentioning "So I think ultimately we will become the Windows or Android of the Free Open-Source Software world, with projects like GNOME and ElementaryOS competing to be the Apple of FOSS". You could easily take that as putting them in the firing line but it's more positive than that as Graham continues "I think there will absolutely be room for projects like theirs; in fact I think it’s highly likely that they’ll offer a better user experience than we do for people who fit within the usage paradigms they focus on–just like Apple does".

It's part of why I ended up moving from GNOME to KDE myself, that flexibility of setting it all up how I want it to be, not how designers think it should be. I cannot see myself moving away from Plasma as my own desktop environment on Linux any time soon. Looks good, works well and doesn't get in the way of gaming.

What are your thoughts? Will KDE and Plasma become the biggest players? Going by our own stats from users, Plasma is currently on top but GNOME is not far behind at all.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: KDE, Meta, Open Source
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GustyGhost 15 Nov, 2021
KDE wants to monopolize and bully others out of the space they occupy with underhanded business tactics and leveraging of legal frameworks? If I where Nate, I would have chosen a different analogy.
syylk 15 Nov, 2021
Kubuntu user since 10.04, so I'm trying my best to keep my bias at bay.

One thing, however, bothers me to no end. Plasma is good, flexible and all, but on laptops has been (until VERY recently) a mess with multimonitor and dock/undock while running.

And not all problems have been solved. For such a venerable, well developed and successful piece of software, some of its (historical!) shortcomings are quite disappointing.

Fortunately, lots of skilled people keep working on that, and I'm sure this will soon be a distant memory. But still, a painful one.
Salvatos 15 Nov, 2021
My only experience with KDE Neon+Plasma was buggy and I couldn’t find a way to change the visual aspects that bothered me the most about the default look, so I have not been impressed so far. It’s hard to tell how much of that was Plasma’s fault; sometimes the OS wouldn’t even boot. It also messed with my GRUB big time and I nearly lost access to my other partitions when I uninstalled it.

Maybe the Deck will change my mind. So far, Cinnamon and MATE are the only DEs I know that look good by default, have the panels where I want them and allow enough customization to make them my own. KDE has a lot of great apps though and I’m glad I can use them on other desktop environments.
Bogomips 15 Nov, 2021
I'm still waiting for stable dual screen environment with backgrounds and icons that are not moving all over the place, the ability to set the double-click delay outside a config file and an MTP integration that can be used more than once per session. So before being the whatever you want make what you have stable…

Because users are more appealed by few working features than tons of "look I'm the first to do it but you cannot use it for at least 2 years" features.

Last edited by Bogomips on 15 November 2021 at 4:16 pm UTC
tuubi 15 Nov, 2021
Quoting: Acrophobic
Quoting: tuubiSomehow I doubt that it's the flexibility of the UI/UX that made Windows and Android successful. It certainly was never a big selling point for Windows.
While it's not their main selling point, I think Windows is quite flexible, at least for ordinary people:

  • User can change the theme and wallpaper.
  • There are no shortage of applications for Windows, and the installation can be done really easy.
  • All hardware are compatible with Windows.
  • Windows has a good backward compatibility, so even app from 30 years ago still usable and perfectly running in Windows 10 (my dad for some reasons hate Excel and still uses Lotus 123).
Only the first point applies to a DE as opposed to the underlying operating system, and every DE allows you to change themes and wallpapers.

Quoting: Acrophobic
Quoting: tuubiAlso, a developer thinks their project's approach is better than that of competing projects? Oh my...
Isn't that ... normal?
That was my point. :)
scaine 15 Nov, 2021
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Quoting: AcrophobicUser can change the theme and wallpaper.
There are no shortage of applications for Windows, and the installation can be done really easy.
All hardware are compatible with Windows.
Windows has a good backward compatibility, so even app from 30 years ago still usable and perfectly running in Windows 10 (my dad for some reasons hate Excel and still uses Lotus 123).

Your Dad must be using a fairly rare version of 32-bit Windows 10 then, otherwise, there's quite a few problems trying to get Lotus 123 running on that platform. It apparently ran well on Win 7, so maybe your Dad did an in-place upgrade?

That's a strength, and also a core weakness of Windows. Yes, old programs often work well. But that comes at the cost of enormous bloat, and backwards compatibility choking off future innovation.

Also, try running some old games on Windows 10 and you'll often be out of luck, oddly enough. You're likely going to have an easier time on Linux! I suppose you can always just re-purchase them on GOG to take the pain away though.
CyborgZeta 15 Nov, 2021
I've tried multiple DEs, and while I am still fond of Xfce, I'm a permanent Plasma guy now.

Plasma can do everything I need it do, while also being responsive on my hardware. Breeze (Dark) is an excellent default theme, and honestly, I use mostly Qt applications so being in Plasma-land just makes sense for me.
BielFPs 15 Nov, 2021
-Cyanogen claimed that would replace google's android
-A lot of mmorpg games claimed that would be the "WoW killers" and some of them are not active anymore today

It's great to see developers excited and enjoying their well deserved recognition, but I really hope that Nate and the rest of KDE developers keep their feet on the ground and don't let the spotlight of steam deck blind them from reality.

KDE is an awesome DE but there are others that are awesome too, and maybe if linux gets more traction between average users, some company may invest in a new DE that could use the best concepts of the existing ones + improve them and suddenly start to swallow the market share. Even System 76 may be onto something with their announced "Rust based DE", who knows...

So I really hope they keep their main goal of improve the existing things rather than take step bigger than the leg, this includes boring tasks like polishing corner cases and fixing high complexity bugs.

Even so, congratulations for all the KDE developers for their awesome work
STiAT 15 Nov, 2021
Quoting: Bogomips...and an MTP integration that can be used more than once per session

It works for you once in a session? Does not work for me at all :D.
slaapliedje 15 Nov, 2021
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My Opinion of course:
There needs to be a Desktop Environment that is somewhere between the Good defaults, but not a lot of customization of Gnome, and Okay defaults, with too much customization of KDE.

KDE's settings are still all over the place, and feel like there are some which just aren't useful to 95% of the population, but that 5% left are coders that don't want to clean it out.

Also, Evolution is still a much better Outlook replacement than Kmail. KDE has some really good things about it. But at the same time it's a bit too much like Windows, and when moving away from Windows and the way it works, I'd rather move to something that diverges from it a bit.

Though the same could be said of Gnome with the Mac. There are things that work similarly between the two. Though in defense of Gnome, Nautilus is WAY nicer than Finder...

I still wish Enlightenment was capable of releasing a full DE, with associated applications so you wouldn't have to mix in GTK/QT applications to get a light weight, but shiny experience!
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