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.