There are some posts floating around the Internet at the moment about KDE dying. Most of it is just FUD, and some of it is really outlandish, but I have a higher chance of licking Redmond’s shoes than KDE dying.
KDE is my favourite looking desktop environment. Regular readers will know that I love to use Openbox on my laptop and on smaller screens, but for larger monitors and powerful systems, KDE is the only way for me. It has a very professional feel - in my opinion, much more professional than any gtk+ based desktop environments. KDE hides nothing from the user; he or she is in total control, and the interface is very sleek, modern and comfortable to use.
qt applications just look fantastic. Amarok is the best music player I have ever used on any operating system, and to further that, Dolphin is my favourite file manager, once again on any operating system.
KDE is on its own in its use of the qt toolkit, and it differs fundamentally from the gtk+ toolkit in that it is coded in C++. gtk+, on the other hand, is coded in C.
KDE just released a tablet using its new Plasma Active interface, and while I haven’t gotten around to using it, why would they bother wasting their time if they were supposedly dying?
KDE is also working hard on KDE SC 5.0. From what I understand, it is a rewrite of the KDE SC 4.x branch, but judging by their KDE SC 4 disaster, they will be extra cautious with this release.
If anything, I would have suggested that GNOME is dying. GNOME 3, in my honest and biased opinion, is a pile of trash. Yes, it’s great on the eyes, and application switching is a new, modern way of handling virtual desktops, but the lack of control and configurability is appaling, to say the least. Some people like having the ‘one way or no way’ approach to computing, but I for one am not one of them. I don’t want a computer forcing me into a particular method of working, and so I do not use GNOME.
I should point out that I have been properly trialing all the latest releases of GNOME, but none so far have even come close to being something I could use happily over KDE or Openbox. In fact, if anything it’s getting worse, and this opinion is shared by many in the Linux community. Even Linus Torvalds, the man who began Linux, is outraged by GNOME.
Now, I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but to me that looks like a lot of criticism for GNOME, and not a lot levelled at KDE. So why are these claims of KDE dying off flying around?
KDE will not die. It is a fantastic desktop, deployed with millions of computers around the world in schools, government and homes. Imagine a politician trying to use GNOME (it is rather amusing, isn’t it?); it’s just not going to happen. KDE is a very professional, feature-set desktop environment for anyone who likes to get actual work done. It is extremely stylish, and with KWin compositing you can fill your computer full of fancy, although essentially useless, visual effects.
KDE has withstood the test of time. It is the only desktop environment not using the gtk+ toolkit, and yet it is still growing in popularity. I sense something fishy in all of these claims about KDE dying; they are grounded by no hard evidence whatsoever.
So rest easy tonight; your favourite Linux desktop environment isn’t going anywhere.