KDE is an international free software community developing Free and Open Source software. As a central development hub, it provides tools and resources that allow collaborative work on this kind of software. Well-known products include the Plasma Desktop, KDE Frameworks and a range of cross-platform applications like Krita or digikam designed to run on Unix and Unix-like desktops, Microsoft Windows and Android.
|Founded||14 October 1996|
|Products||KDE Plasma, KDE Frameworks, KDE Applications, Calligra Suite, Krita, KDevelop, digiKam, Amarok, Kirigami, and many more|
|Method||Artwork, development, documentation, promotion, and translation.|
Being one of KDE's most recognized projects, the Plasma Desktop is the default desktop environment on many Linux distributions, such as openSUSE, Mageia, Manjaro, Netrunner, OpenMandriva, Chakra, Kubuntu, KaOS, PCLinuxOS and KDE Neon (based on the Ubuntu LTS release).
- 1 Overview
- 2 KDE Projects
- 3 Contributors
- 4 Community structure
- 5 Collaborations with other organizations
- 6 Activities
- 7 History
- 8 Notable uses
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The KDE community and its work can be measured in the following figures:
- KDE is one of the largest active Free Software communities.
- More than 2,500 contributors participate in developing KDE software. About 20 new developers contribute their first code each month.
- KDE software consists of over 6 million lines of code (not including Qt).
- KDE software has been translated into over 108 languages.
- KDE software is available on more than 114 official FTP mirrors in over 34 countries.
- A read-only mirror of all repositories can be found on Github.
|Written in||C++, Qt, QML and many more|
|Operating system||Unix-like with X11 or Wayland, Windows, Android, MacOS|
There are many well-known free software projects developed and maintained by the KDE community.
The project formerly referred to as KDE or KDE SC (Software Compilation) nowadays consists of three parts:
- KDE Plasma, a platform UI for different workspaces like Plasma Desktop or Plasma Mobile
- KDE Frameworks, a collection of more than 70 free-to-use libraries built on top of Qt (formerly known as 'kdelibs' or 'KDE Platform')
- KDE Applications, utility applications that are meant to work with all Linux-based operating systems
The latest Plasma 5 features the following workspaces:
- Plasma Desktop for any mouse or keyboard driven computing devices like desktops or laptops
- Plasma Mobile for smartphones
- Plasma Minishell for embedded and touch-enabled devices, like IoT or automotive
- Plasma Media Center for TVs and set-top boxes
The brand Plasma for the graphical workspaces has been introduced from KDE SC 4.4 onwards.
KDE Frameworks provide more than 70 free and open-source libraries built on top of Qt. They are the foundation for KDE Plasma and most of the KDE applications, but can be part of any project that would like to make use of one or more of its modules.
Kirigami is a QML application framework developed by Marco Martin that enables developers to write applications that run natively on Android, iOS, Windows, Plasma Mobile and any classic Linux desktop environment without code adjustments.
- Ruby (Korundum, built on top of QtRuby)
- C# (However, the current framework for binding to C# and other .Net languages has been deprecated, and the replacement only compiles on Windows).
These and other bindings use the following technologies:
- Smoke: for creating bindings for Ruby, C# and PHP
- SIP: for creating bindings for Python
During KDE SC 4, the then so called KDE Platform consisted of all libraries and services needed for KDE Plasma and the applications. Starting with Qt 5, this platform was transformed into a set of modules that is now referred to as KDE Frameworks. These modules include: Solid, Nepomuk, Phonon, etc. and are licensed either under the LGPL, BSD license, MIT License or X11 license.
KDE Applications is a bundle of software that is part of the official KDE Applications release. Like Okular, Dolphin or KDEnlive, they are built on KDE Frameworks and released on a 4 months schedule with the version numbering consisting of YY.MM (e.g. 18.12).
Software that is not part of the official KDE Applications bundle can be found in the "Extragear" section. They release on their own schedule and feature their own versioning numbers. There are many standalone applications like KTorrent, Krita or Amarok that are mostly designed to be portable between operating systems and deployable independent of a particular workspace or desktop environment. Some brands consist of multiple applications, such as Calligra Office Suite or KDE Kontact.
KDE neon is a software repository that uses Ubuntu LTS as a core. It aims to provide the users with rapidly updated Qt and KDE software, while updating the rest of the OS components from the Ubuntu repositories at the normal pace. KDE maintains that it is not a "KDE distribution," but rather an up-to-date archive of KDE and Qt packages.
There is a "User" and two "Developer" editions of KDE Neon.
WikiToLearn, abbreviated WTL, is one of KDE's newer endeavors. It is a wiki (based on MediaWiki, like Wikipedia) that provides a platform to create and share open source textbooks. The idea is to have a massive library of textbooks for anyone and everyone to use and create. Its roots lay in University of Milan, where a group of physics majors wanted to share notes—then decided that it was for everyone and not just their internal friend group. They have become an official KDE project with several universities backing it.
Like many free/open source projects, developing KDE software is primarily a volunteer effort, although various companies, such as Novell, Nokia, or Blue Systems employ or employed developers to work on various parts of the project. Since a large number of individuals contribute to KDE in various ways (e.g. code, translation, artwork), organization of such a project is complex.
Currently the KDE community uses the Git revision control system. The KDE Projects site and QuickGit give an overview of all projects hosted by KDE's Git repository system. Phabricator is used for patch review. Commitfilter will send an email with each commit for the projects you want to watch, without either getting tons of mails or getting infrequent and redundant information. English Breakfast Network (EBN) is a collection of machines that do automated KDE source artifact quality checking. The EBN provides KDE API documentation validation, user documentation validation, source code checking. It is operated by Adriaan de Groot and Allen Winter. Commit-Digest site gave a weekly overview of the development activity until the end of 2014. LXR indexes classes and methods used in KDE.
On 20 July 2009, KDE announced that the one millionth commit has been made to its Subversion repository. On October 11, 2009, Cornelius Schumacher, a main developer within KDE, wrote about the estimated cost (using the COCOMO model with SLOCCount) to develop KDE software package with 4,273,291 LoC, which would be about US$175,364,716. This estimation does not include Qt, Calligra Suite, Amarok, Digikam, and other applications that are not part of KDE core.[clarification needed]
The Core TeamEdit
The overall direction is set by the KDE Core Team. These are developers who have made significant contributions within KDE over a long period of time. This team communicates using the kde-core-devel mailing list, which is publicly archived and readable, but joining requires approval. KDE does not have a single central leader who can veto important decisions. Instead, the KDE core team consisting of several dozen contributors taking decisions. The decisions do not take a formal vote, but through discussions. The Developers also organize alongside topical teams. For example, the KDE Edu team develops free educational software. While these teams work mostly independent and do not all follow a common release schedule. Each team has its own messaging channels, both on IRC and on the mailinglists. And they have mentor program which helps beginners to get started.
The KDE community has many smaller teams working towards specific goals. The Accessibility team make KDE accessible to all users, including those with physical handicaps. The Artists team has designed most of the artwork used by the software like icons, wallpapers and themes. They have also produced graphics for T-shirts and websites. Discussions of the team is most active on the IRC channel. The Bugsquad team keeps track of incoming bugs. They verify that a bug exists, that it is reproducible, and that the reporter has given enough information. The goal is to help developers notice valid bugs quicker, and to save their time. The Documentation team writes documentation for applications. The team uses the DocBook format and custom tools to create documentation. The Localization team translates KDE software into many different languages. This team works beside the Documentation team. The Marketing and Promotion team manages marketing and promotion. The team writes news articles, release announcements and other webpages on KDE websites. The articles of KDE.News is submitted by the team. It also has channels at social media sites for communication and promotion. They also attend conference events. The Research team is to improve the collaboration with external parties to achieve more funded research. They support community members by providing information, navigating bureaucracies, and matching research partners. The usability team has written a Human Interface Guideline (HIG) for the developers and they do regular reviews of KDE applications. The HIG provides a standardized layout. The Web team maintains KDE's web presence. The KDE Women help women to contribute and encourage women to give talks at conferences.
The Release team defines and executes the official software releases. The Team is responsible for setting release schedules for the official releases. This includes release dates, deadlines for individual release steps and restrictions for code changes. The Release Team coordinates release dates with the marketing and press efforts of KDE. The release team is composed of Module Coordinators, Marketing Team liaison, and the people who actually do the work of tagging and creating the releases.
A KDE Patron is an individual or organization supporting the KDE community by donating at least 5000 Euro (depending on the company's size) to the KDE e.V. As of October 2017, there are six such patrons: Blue Systems, Canonical Ltd., Google, Private Internet Access, SUSE, and The Qt Company.
The KDE community's mascot is a green dragon named Konqi. Konqi has a friend named Katie. Kandalf the wizard was the former mascot for the KDE community during its 1.x and 2.x versions. Kandalf's similarity to the character of Gandalf led to speculation that the mascot was switched to Konqi due to copyright infringement concerns, but this has never been confirmed by KDE, which simply stated that Konqi was used due to his charming appearance. Konqi's appearance was officially redesigned with the coming of Plasma 5, with Tyson Tan's entry (seen on the right) winning the redesign competition on the KDE Forums.
Katie is a female dragon. It was presented in 2010. Appointed as a mascot for the KDE women's community.
Other dragons with different colors and professions were added to Konqi as part of the Tyson Tan redesign concept. Each dragon has a pair of letter-shaped antlers that reflect their role in the KDE community.
- K antlers: not-specialized
- A antlers: artists
- E antlers: engineers
- F antlers: facilitators
- S antlers: scientists
- T antlers: translators
- U antlers: users
- W antlers: writers
The financial and legal matters of KDE are handled by KDE e.V., a German non-profit organization that has its seat in Berlin. The organization also assists the community members in organizing their conferences and meetings. KDE e.V. helps run the servers needed by the KDE community. It owns the trademark KDE and the corresponding logo. It pays for travel costs to meetings and subsidizes events. Working groups that are formed are designed to formalize some roles within KDE, and to improve coordination within KDE as well as communication between the various parts of KDE. KDE e.V. does not influence software development. The logo of KDE e.V. was contributed by David Vignoni. The three flags on top of the logo represent the three main tasks of KDE e.V.: supporting the community, representing the community, and governing the community.
The KDE community's developer meetings, servers, and related events are frequently sponsored by individuals, universities, and businesses. The supporting members of the KDE e.V. are extraordinary members supporting the KDE through financial or material contributions. Supporting members are entitled to display the "Member of KDE" logo on their website or in printed materials. The Patron of KDE is the highest level of supporting member. The patrons of KDE also are entitled to display the exclusive "Patron of KDE" logo on their website or in printed materials. On 15 October 2006, it was announced that Mark Shuttleworth had become the first Patron of KDE. On 7 July 2007, it was announced that Intel Corporation and Novell had also become patrons of KDE. In January 2010, Google became a supporting member. On 9 June 2010, KDE e.V. launched the "Join the Game" campaign. This campaign promotes the idea of becoming a supporting member for individuals. It is made available for those who would like to support KDE, but do not have enough time to do so. Georg Greve, founder of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) was first to 'join the game'.
In many countries, KDE has local branches. These are either informal organizations (KDE India) or like the KDE e.V., given a legal form (KDE France). The local organizations host and maintain regional websites, and organise local events, such as tradeshows, contributor meetings and social community meetings.
KDE–AR (KDE Argentina) is the group of KDE developers and users in Argentina, and was officially opened on November 22, 2008 at a meeting in an IRC channel. They organise release parties on holidays to celebrate releases of new versions of the KDE SC since 4.2. KDE–AR has an own mailing lists and an IRC channel.
KDE Brasil is composed by several local groups in Brazil, like KDE–MG, Live Blue, KDE Piauí, and KDE–RS. The main goals of local groups are regional promotion and direction of contributions of members, and still maintaining harmony with the KDE Brazil community. KDE–MG is a local group in Minas Gerais. The idea of structuring the group has arisen during the FISL (Fórum Internacional Software Livre) 10. Live Blue is a KDE working group in Bahia. KDE Piauí is a group of users and contributors of KDE in the Piauí. The idea was born during the Software Freedom Day Teresina 2009 and has concretized during the Akademy–Br 2010, where the group was officially created. KDE–RS is a group of KDE users from Rio Grande do Sul. KDE Lovelace is a Brazilian female group of users and contributors in KDE.
KDE España was registered as an association under the Spanish law in 2009. The aim is stimulating the development and use of the KDE software in Spain. Its supreme governing body is the general assembly. Ordinary as well as extraordinary general assemblies can be held. An ordinary general assembly is held at least once a year. Extraordinary general assemblies are held as necessary. The board consists of the president, the vice president, the secretary, the treasurer and members. In the current board are Aleix Pol i Gonzàlez (president), Alejandro Fiestas Olivares (vice president), Víctor Blázquez Francisco (secretary), and José Millán Soto (treasurer). In addition, KDE España is the official representative of KDE e.V. in Spain.
KDE.in (KDE India), founded in 2005, provides Indian KDE developers and users with a community hub to coordinate with and support each other. Besides making efforts in the internationalization and localization, a major aim is to foster the creation and adaptation of KDE applications to needs specific to India.
Japan KDE Users' Group (JKUG/日本 KDE ユーザ会 Nihon KDE Yūzakai) is the Japanese local users' group of KDE. The membership types of the association are corporate members (法人会員 hōjin kaiin) and individual members (個人会員 kojin kaiin). About 15 members form the active staff. The officers include one president (会長 kaichō), two vice presidents (副会長 fuku-kaichō) and one accountant. Currently, president is Daisuke Kameda (亀田大輔 Kameda Daisuke), vice presidents are Taiki Komoda (菰田泰生 Komoda Taiki) and Satoru Satō (佐藤暁 Satō Satoru). The association holds an annual general assembly in December. Its activities include message translation to Japanese, making patches for multilingualization, and exchanging information about KDE/Qt.
KDE GB is a KDE community with a constitution in Britain. At their meeting in October 2010 they agreed to register as a charity.
KDE-ir (فارسی KDE) is a Persian KDE community.
Korean KDE Users Group was started in 1999. The group's work is mostly translation.
KDE România is a community founded in Romania in 2013.
Communication within the community takes place via mailing lists, IRC, blogs, forums, news announcements, wikis and conferences. The community has a Code of Conduct for acceptable behavior within the community.
The mailing lists are one of the main channels of communication. The Kde list is for user discussion and Kde-announce for version updates, security patches and other changes. The general development lists are Kde-devel, for developer communication, and Kde-core-devel, used to discuss development of the KDE Platform. Many applications have individual mailing lists.
The KDE Community Forums are actively used. "KDE Brainstorm", allows users to submit ideas to developers. The request can then be considered by other users. Every few months, the highest-voted features are submitted to developers. IRC bots that announce new threads and posts on IRC channels, by braiding forum posts into mailinglist messages and by offering RSS feeds.
KDE has three wikis: UserBase, TechBase and Community Wiki. They are translated with the MediaWiki Translate extension. UserBase provides documentation for end users: tutorials, links to help and an application catalogue. Its logo was designed by Eugene Trounev. TechBase provides technical documentation for developers and system administrators. Community Wiki coordinates community teams. It is used for publishing and sharing community-internal information.
IRC channels provide real-time discussions. Planet KDE is made from the blogs of KDE's contributors. KDE.News is the website of office news announcements. KDE Buzz tracks identi.ca, Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and YouTube to show social media activity concerning KDE. KDE Pastebin allows for posting of source code snippets and provides syntax highlighting to ease reviewing code. Sections can be password protected. RSS notifies of new posts. KDE Bug Tracking System uses Bugzilla to manage reports and fixes. "Behind KDE" offers interviews with KDE contributors.
KDE has community identity guidelines (CIG) for definitions and recommendations which help the community to establish a unique, characteristic, and appealing design. The KDE official logo displays the white trademarked K-Gear shape on a blue square with mitred corners. Copying of the KDE Logo is subject to the LGPL. Some local community logos are derivations of the official logo. The KDE software labels are used by producers of software to show that they are part of the KDE community or that they use the KDE Platform. There are three labels available. The Powered by KDE label is used to show that an application derives its strength from the KDE community and from the KDE development platform. The Built on the KDE Platform label indicates that the application uses the KDE platform. The Part of the KDE family label is used by application authors to identify themselves as being part of the KDE community.
Many KDE applications have a K in the name, mostly as an initial letter. The K in many KDE applications is obtained by spelling a word which originally begins with C or Q differently, for example Konsole and Kaffeine. Also, some just prefix a commonly used word with a K, for instance KGet. Among KDE SC 4 applications and technologies, however, the trend is not to have a K in the name at all, such as Stage and Dolphin.
Collaborations with other organizationsEdit
|Wikinews has related news: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announces cooperation between KDE Group and Wikimedia|
On 23 June 2005, chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation announced that the KDE community and the Wikimedia Foundation have begun efforts towards cooperation. Fruits of that cooperation are MediaWiki syntax highlighting in Kate and accessing Wikipedia content within KDE applications, such as Amarok and Marble.
Free Software Foundation EuropeEdit
On 22 August 2008, KDE e.V. and FSFE jointly announced that after working with FSFE's Freedom Task Force for one and a half years KDE adopts FSFE's Fiduciary Licence Agreement. Using that, KDE developers can – on a voluntary basis – assign their copyrights to KDE e.V.
In September 2009, KDE e.V. and FSFE moved into shared offices in Berlin.
Nokia used Calligra Suite as base for their Office Viewer application for Maemo/MeeGo. They have also been contracting KO GmbH to bring MS Office 2007 file format filters to Calligra. Nokia also employed several KDE developers directly – either to use KDE software for MeeGo (e.g. KCal) or as sponsorship.
The software development and consulting companies Intevation GmbH of Germany and the Swedish KDAB use Qt and KDE software – especially Kontact and Akonadi for Kolab – for their services and products, therefore both employ KDE developers.
KDE participates in freedesktop.org, an effort to standardize Unix desktop interoperability.
Many Linux distributions and other free operating systems are involved in the development and distribution of the software, and are therefore also active in the KDE community. These include commercial distributors such as SUSE/Novell or Red Hat but also government-funded non-commercial organizations such as the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey with its Linux distribution Pardus.
In October 2018, Red Hat declared that KDE Plasma was no longer supported in future updates of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, though it continues to be part of Fedora. The announcement came shortly after the announcement of the business acquisition of Red Hat by IBM for close to US$43 billion.
The two most important conferences of KDE are Akademy and Camp KDE. Each event is on a large scale, both thematically and geographically. Akademy-BR and Akademy-es are local community events.
Akademy is the annual world summit, held each summer at varying venues in Europe. The primary goals of Akademy are to act as a community building event, to communicate the achievements of community, and to provide a platform for collaboration with community and industry partners. Secondary goals are to engage local people, and to provide space for getting together to write code. KDE e.V. assist with procedures, advice and organization. Akademy including conference, KDE e.V. general assembly, marathon coding sessions, BOFs (birds of a feather sessions) and social program. BOFs are meet to discuss specific sub-projects or issues.
The KDE community held KDE One that was first conference in Arnsberg, Germany in 1997 to discuss the first KDE release. Initially, each conference was numbered after the release, and not regular held. Since 2003 the conferences were held once a year. And they were named Akademy since 2004.
The yearly Akademy conference gives Akademy Awards, are awards that the KDE community gives to KDE contributors. Their purpose is to recognize outstanding contribution to KDE. There are three awards, best application, best non-application and jury's award. As always the winners are chosen by the winners from the previous year. First winners received a framed picture of Konqi signed by all attending KDE developers.
|2008||A Coruña||21–23 November|
|2009||Gran Canaria||10–11 July|
|2015||A Coruña||23–24 July|
Akademy-es is a conference for Spanish community since 2006, aimed at Spanish speakers. The event is organized by Spanish local organization. KDE España organizes the event since 2008. The annual KDE España Assembly takes place during the event.
Akademy-es 2006 was held at Espai Jove Bocanord in Barcelona, organized by Badopi. Akademy-es 2007 was hosted by Hispalinux, Wireless Zaragoza, and the Zaragoza council. Akademy-es 2008 was held at University of A Coruña, was organized by the KDE España and GPUL, sponsored by Oficina de Software Libre da Universidade da Coruña, Mancomun, Igalia, Qt Software and eyeOs. Akademy-es 2009 was held in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Akademy-es 2010 was held in the Engineering Technical School of Bilbao, was organized by KDE España and Itsas. There were approximately 80 participants. The KDE España Assembly elected the new board consists of Albert Astals Cid (president), Rafael Fernández López (vice president), Aleix Pol (secretary), and José Millán Soto (treasurer). Akademy-es 2011 was organized by KDE España, was sponsored by Google and Nokia, and was supported by the Linux and Todo-Linux magazines. The event was held in two different locations: the Polytechnic University of Catalunya for presentations of first day, The School of Sant Marc de Sarrià for last two day.
|2009||Negril, Jamaica||17–18 January|
|2010||La Jolla, United States||15–22 January|
|2011||San Francisco, USA||4–5 April|
Camp KDE is another annual contributor's conference of the KDE community. The event provides a regional opportunity for contributors and enthusiasts to gather and share their experiences. It is free to all participants. It is intended to ensure that KDE in the world is not simply seen as being Euro-centric. The KDE e.V. helps travel and accommodation subsidies for presenters, BoF leaders, organizers or core contributor. It is held in the North America since 2009.
In January 2008, KDE 4.0 Release Event was held at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, USA to celebrate the release of KDE SC 4.0. The community realized that there was a strong demand for KDE events in the Americas, therefore Camp KDE was produced.
Camp KDE 2009 was the premiere meeting of the KDE Americas, was held at the Travellers Beach Resort in Negril, Jamaica, sponsored by Google, Intel, iXsystem, KDE e.V. and Kitware. The event included 1–2 days of presentations, BoF meetings and hackathon sessions. Camp KDE 2010 took place at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in La Jolla, USA. The schedule included presentations, BoFs, hackathons and a day trip. It started with a short introduction by Jeff Mitchell, who was the principal organizer of the conference, talked a bit of history about Camp KDE and some statistics about the KDE community. The talks of the event were relatively well attended, and an increase over the previous year to around 70 people. On 1/19, the social event was a tour of a local brewery. Camp KDE 2011 was held at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco, USA, was co-located with the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. The schedule included presentations, hackathons and a party at Noisebridge. The conference opened with an introduction spoken by Celeste Lyn Paul.
SoK (Season of KDE)Edit
Season of KDE (SoK) is a program for people who could not get accepted into Google Summer of Code. They will have a mentor from the KDE community to help them if any question arises or if they do not know how to continue.
Other community eventsEdit
|2011||São Paulo||12–15 November|
Akademy-BR is addressed to Brazilian community since 2010. The purpose of the meeting is to gather and organize ideas Brazilian developers on how to help KDE in Brazil. Akademy-BR 2010 was organized by the local group named LiveBlue. There were thirty participants from all over Brazil. Akademy-BR 2011 is organized by KDE-MG.
conf.kde.in was the first KDE and Qt conference in India. The conference was organized by KDE India, was held at R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore, India. The first three days of the event had talks, tutorials and interactive sessions. The last two days were a focused code sprint. The conference was opened by its main organiser Pradeepto Bhattacharya, over 300 people were at the opening talks. The Lighting of the Auspicious Lamp ceremony was performed to open the conference. The first session was by Lydia Pintscher who talk "So much to do – so little time". At the event, Project Neon announced return on Mar 11, 2011, provides nightly builds of the KDE Software Compilation. Closing the conference was keynote speaker and old-time KDE developer Sirtaj.
Día KDE (KDE Day) is an Argentinian event focused on KDE. It gives talks and workshops. The purpose of the event are: spread the free software movement among the population of Argentina, bringing to it the KDE community and environment developed by it, to know and strengthen KDE-AR, and generally bring the community together to have fun. The event is free.
A Release party is a party, which celebrates the release of a new version of the KDE SC (twice a year). KDE also participates in other conferences that revolve around free software.
KDE (back then called the K(ool) Desktop Environment) was founded in 1996 by Matthias Ettrich, a student at the University of Tübingen. At the time, he was troubled by certain aspects of the Unix desktop. Among his concerns was that none of the applications looked, felt, or worked alike. He proposed the creation of not merely a set of applications but a desktop environment in which users could expect things to look, feel, and work consistently. He also wanted to make this desktop easy to use; one of his complaints about the desktop applications of the time was that they were too complicated for end users. His initial Usenet post spurred a lot of interest, and the KDE project was born.
The name KDE was intended as a wordplay on the existing Common Desktop Environment, available for Unix systems. CDE was an X11-based user environment jointly developed by HP, IBM, and Sun through the X/Open consortium, with an interface and productivity tools based on the Motif graphical widget toolkit. It was supposed to be an intuitively easy-to-use desktop computer environment. The K was originally suggested to stand for "Kool", but it was quickly decided that the K should stand for nothing in particular. Therefore, the KDE initialism expanded to "K Desktop Environment" before it was dropped altogether in favor of KDE = Community due to the rebranding effort.
On 24 November 2009 the KDE Marketing Team announced a rebranding of the KDE project components, motivated by the perceived shift from building a desktop environment to a wider ranging project around a community of "people who create software". The rebranding focused on de-emphasizing the desktop environment as "just another product", and emphasizing both the community and the other technologies provided as KDE software. What would have been previously known as KDE 4 was split into three parts: KDE Plasma Workspaces, KDE Applications, and KDE Platform (now KDE Frameworks) altogether bundled as "KDE Software Compilation 4" (abbreviated "KDE SC 4"). As of today, the name KDE no longer stands for K Desktop Environment, but for the community that produces the software.
|October 14, 1996||KDE development announced|
|K Desktop Environment 1||July 12, 1998|
|K Desktop Environment 2||October 23, 2000|
|K Desktop Environment 3||April 3, 2002|
|KDE Software Compilation 4||January 11, 2008|
|KDE Plasma 5||July 15, 2014||former KDE/KDE SC split into KDE Plasma, KDE Frameworks and KDE Applications|
In the beginning Matthias Ettrich chose to use Trolltech's Qt framework for the KDE project. Other programmers quickly started developing KDE/Qt applications, and by early 1997, a few applications were being released. On 12 July 1998 the first version of the desktop environment, called KDE 1.0, was released. The original GPL licensed version of this toolkit only existed for platforms which used the X11 display server, but with the release of Qt 4, LGPL licensed versions are available for more platforms. This allowed KDE software based on Qt 4 or newer versions to theoretically be distributed to Microsoft Windows and OS X.
Brazil's primary school education system operates computers running KDE software, with more than 42,000 schools in 4,000 cities, thus serving nearly 52 million children. The base distribution is called Educational Linux, which is based on Kubuntu. Besides this, thousands more students in Brazil use KDE products in their universities. KDE software is also running on computers in Portuguese and Venezuelan schools, with respectively 700,000 and one million systems reached.
Through Pardus, a local Linux distribution, many sections of the Turkish government make use of KDE software, including the Turkish Armed Forces, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defence, Turkish Police, and the SGK (Social Security Institution of Turkey), although these departments often do not exclusively use Pardus as their operating system.
Germany uses KDE software in its embassies around the world, representing around 11,000 systems.
NASA used the Plasma Desktop during the Mars Mission.
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