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.