What does KDE mean to you?

August 1, 2007

Some dude named Troy, apparently brash enough to think he represents a city and a movie and a university, wrote recently about what KDE really stands for. And it’s a good question, one that has been possessing the promotional community for quite a while now.

Back in a more innocent time, one of mullets and mall hair, Aaron and I were brainstorming about the 4.0 paradigm. Finish the analogy: “Windows XP” is to “Apple Leopard” is to “KDE ______”. We couldn’t. Trying to answer this question opened up our own Pandora’s Box. We quickly realized that with KDE libs, core applications, KOffice, PIM, edutainment and the community…KDE is too vibrant and diverse to be encapsulated with one word. We tried.

Want to discuss the desktop release? Well, we’re talking about Plasma. What about the multimedia framework? OK, that’s Phonon. Much more success can be found when thinking about our Pillars of KDE. Step back and look at successful growing communities like KDE. Macroscopically, some areas are going to organically grow and some may fade over time. For the growing areas, sub-communities will likely grow at different paces, but may exhibit the same patterns or stages in growth: Member growth, a web presence, documentation, growing translations, etc.

So where are we going? Most likely more modular, when Pillars and communities mature. What’s the KDE desktop release going to be in the future? Well, it’s going to be a release of Plasma. But apart from other dependencies, should a Plasma release force an Akonadi release? Doubtful. We may still release components together for efficiencies of course (and to ease the concerns of billionaires). But maybe just maybe you won’t see something monolithic called “KDE 4.3 that depends on Qt 4.6”, maybe you’ll see “Plasma 4.3 that depends on Strigi 4.2”. There’s no need to be needlessly complex and force some requirement matrix, but no reason to stay monolithic either. Of course this is not some official stance or announcement by our release team, just some casual speculation based on our community growth and trends.

So what I ask again, does KDE stand for? Probably not just a desktop since I see the redundancy of “the KDE desktop” being written. But when I see our community mixing their other interests with zero-carbon emissions during aAkKademy travel, open document formats, vegan/vegetarian dining options, political parties and even employment, “KDE-ness” is becoming more pervasive and ambiguous at the same time. The good news? Whatever KDE means to you, it can’t be taken away.

KDE is ours.

KDE is ours.

20 Responses to “What does KDE mean to you?”

  1. oGanso Says:

    i shed a tear.. :’) great article.

  2. Louis Says:

    That is a very cool graphic! Very good way to graphically represent the slogan just below. Nice.

  3. Werner Habel Says:

    The meaning of KDE does not lie in the D as in desktop but in the E as in environment.

    KDE is the environment in which I choose to meet and interact with information, media and people digitally.

    The quality of its meaning is measured in consistency coherence, efficiency and beauty. The better all of those are balanced against each other, the more I want to be and stay in KDE.

  4. lord rel Says:

    where can i get a larger version of this picture?

  5. Ivan Čukić Says:

    KDE Delivers Everything🙂 Cheers!

  6. Diederik Says:

    Whoa🙂
    “Different People. Different Ideas. Same Vision”? Couldn’t be put any better! That “KDE is ours” slogan really emphasizes “users are in control with free software” too and “not a single entity/company controls KDE”. Pretty cool! And those pawns are awesome. First I saw it as a community, later I noticed it’s an arrow too. Brilliant!!

    Some comments:
    – I do feel the pawn colors could use more Oxygen styles.
    – I guess not putting a URL there was done for a reason?
    – Somehow the “is ours” sounds awkward though, but this could be because I’m not a native English speaker.

    Answering your question: if I have to explain KDE, I often say it’s a collection of _graphical_ applications for Linux. That’s something people seam to grasp here.

    (( The emphasis is on graphical because many people think Linux is not for people who use a graphical interface. I get the idea not many people understand the word “desktop” either. Perhaps because it’s English too, and only few people in The Netherlands interest themselves in alternatives. In their minds Windows is part of computers, while in reality only the Mac follows this concept. How about a “KDE, on your computer too!” campaign?🙂 ))

  7. John Tapsell Says:

    I loved it.

    I showed it to my wife and she said “It’s an arrow.. I don’t get it”

    I thought about it, and now I don’t get it either. Why is it an arrow?🙂

  8. Parapara Says:

    Maybe the arrow is pointing towards the future? . I’m excited to see where KDE is heading with 4.0.

  9. Cláudio Gil Says:

    John Tapsell:
    Arrow, vision, same direction, working together for the same goal. At least that’s how I understood it.

    But very nice image. Really really nice. People can polish it all they want like Diederik suggested but the basic concept is there and I loved it.

    /clap

    Well done!

  10. fish Says:

    All your KDE are belong to us!

  11. Andre Says:

    I see a potential for games with this graphic. It’s obvious that Aaron is the little pawn at the tip of the arrow at this point, but the question is, who do the other pawns represent😀

  12. Michiel Says:

    That’s really really nice🙂

    I like it.

  13. M.Pomme Says:

    Now we just need to define the vision… er … something the arrow would point to …

    Very touching graphic and tagline though !!

  14. Nice! Says:

    This page renders only half of the image in konqueror 3.5.6, and now it says: “Different people, different ideas”.😀

    Anyway, the ‘free’ spirit of KDE is the thing I like the most, it lets ideas free and makes the rich difference with same vision.

    Well, the graphics and idea are really great.I like the abstract form. Made me smile😉

  15. dan Says:

    About the picture:

    – What’s the copyright on the photo? Can it be used for a poster at events? It doesn’t really mean much what the poster says, but cheerful, exiting colors and motivational look would be good for our booth at SCaLE this coming February. Otherwise it will be all oxygen-blue-boring…


  16. Hey Wade!

    Damn nice article! Loving the picture and appreciating your words. Our KDE really profits from all your “work”…

    Thanx
    Simon


  17. […] What does KDE mean to you? Some dude named Troy, apparently brash enough to think he represents a city and a movie and a university, wrote […] […]

  18. Jose Moreira Says:

    Hmm, thinking about your analogy: “Windows XP” is to “Apple Leopard” is to “KDE ______”.

    What about “KDE Vibes”? Came to mind as I read what you said about KDE as a vibrant and diverse community. So are vibrations -vibes-, diverse and vibrant😉.

    “KDE Good Vibes” would be nicer, like Beach Boys, but it’s two words, not one. Ouch.🙂

    Otherwise, nice article (and picture!)


  19. […] 3rd, 2007 The other day I wrote about KDE and how its meaning is changing from one of a simple technical definition to something […]


  20. […] mentioning software can water down the message of the strength in our community. Like the arrow comprised of people in my first image of the series, I hope the direction is clear. But again, the tagline is a bit […]


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