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KDE? Plasma? Confusing nomenclature(SOLVED)

tryan
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Hello,
I've been a Linux user for many years, and have used KDE on and off for many years as well. I've talked to many users and most are confused about KDE's seemingly exchangeable use OF KDE and Plasma. On the home page we have news about the "beta release" of KDE 4.14, but also the "release" of Plasma 5! What exactly does this all mean? You KDE developers may have all this clear, but as a user I am unsure about what is going on. I though Plasma was only one component of the KDE desktop. So is Plasma 5 actually KDE 5.0? Or is plasma 5 used with KDE 4?

It might be a good idea to have this explained somewhere, or if it is, post an obvious link to it on the KDE home page, because I couldn't find anything to explain it.

Thanks

Last edited by tryan on Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar Hans
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On the home page we have news about the "beta release" of KDE 4.14


Where do you see that? There's no "KDE 4.14" - KDE is the community that creates stuff, including desktops/workspaces/shells such as Plasma Desktop, applications like Dolphin, Okular, Amarok, Krita, DigiKam, etc., and a framework (KDE Frameworks) for developing your own applications.

In short:


Longer explanation:
https://dot.kde.org/2009/11/24/repositioning-kde-brand

Personally I think many users are confused because they're used to seeing KDE as a "desktop environment". But what exactly is a desktop environment? I've always found that term unclear - why do we need to lump together the workspace with a bunch of applications, when I can run pretty much any application in my workspace? (Or run the applications in a different workspace.)

So again:
- KDE is the community. Similar to Canonical, Mozilla, etc.
- Plasma [Desktop/Netbook/...] is the workspace, the thing you log into. Similar to Unity, GNOME Shell, etc.
- KDE Applications are applications created by KDE. There are a bunch of applications that are released together on a regular basis, and other applications that have their own release schedules.
- KDE Frameworks (previously called Platform) contains the underlying libraries etc. that developers use to create KDE Software.

Any ideas on how to make this clearer on the homepage? (Note: I'm not really involved with the homepage and can't change anything.)


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tryan
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Yes, it actually says "KDE Announces Applications and Platform 4.14 Beta 2" , then below it says "KDE Announces Plasma 5.0". This makes it sound like two different things. Thanks for your explanation, it does clear things up. Maybe there should be a prominent link to that explanation somewhere.

You must understand the most people still refer to the desktop as "KDE", not "Plasma Desktop". I think if you asked on a Linux site what desktop people prefer you would get answers like KDE, Gnome, XFCE and very few Plasma. KDE made the decision to change the meaning of KDE from a desktop to a group, I really don't think most people are aware of that. It is as if Microsoft decided to change their name to Windows, and their OS is now called "Metro". How many people would still call the OS they are running Windows?
User avatar Hans
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tryan wrote:Yes, it actually says "KDE Announces Applications and Platform 4.14 Beta 2" , then below it says "KDE Announces Plasma 5.0". This makes it sound like two different things. Thanks for your explanation, it does clear things up. Maybe there should be a prominent link to that explanation somewhere.


Well, those are different things. Applications and Platform = KDE Applications and Platform, Plasma 5.0 = the workspace. "KDE" here is like "Microsoft announces ...".

You must understand the most people still refer to the desktop as "KDE", not "Plasma Desktop". I think if you asked on a Linux site what desktop people prefer you would get answers like KDE, Gnome, XFCE and very few Plasma. KDE made the decision to change the meaning of KDE from a desktop to a group, I really don't think most people are aware of that. It is as if Microsoft decided to change their name to Windows, and their OS is now called "Metro". How many people would still call the OS they are running Windows?


Not going to argue with that. However, as you can read in the article I linked to there are good reasons to get away from the original "K Desktop Environment", and at least officially the workspace is now called Plasma (Desktop for the desktop version).


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User avatar Hans
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By the way, I like the idea of explaining it on the website, so I sent an email to the promo guys about it. I'll try and keep this topic updated on what gets decided.


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rossdv8
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You must understand the most people still refer to the desktop as "KDE", not "Plasma Desktop"
Typically, I've been using Linux for all my work since 1998 or maybe 1997. I have never until today, been aware that K Desktop Environment (KDE) was retired in 2009.

I am sure almost all except hard core KDE enthusiasts who read everything in this forum know nothing of this. A poll of ordinary Linux users would almost certainy show that they consider KDE in the same way as they consider Gnome, and they think Plasma is simply some underlying structure that KDE as a Desktop, is built on.

Despite reading the 2009 link I still have trouble envisioning the change in branding. But at least this thread does something to clear it up. Reposted below for anyone who missed it above.

https://dot.kde.org/2009/11/24/repositioning-kde-brand
airdrik
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Another thing to consider is the 4.x vs. 5.x branches which affect each of the pieces of kde.
It seems there was some confusion to see the 4.14 beta release announcement (Platform and Applications) right above a 5.0 final release announcement (Plasma workspace).

(feel free to correct any of my misunderstandings)
Currently the 4.x and 5.x branches are doing releases in parallel. On the 4.x side, there continue to be semi-annual releases (the next being 4.14) of KDE's Applications and Platform. At the same time a number of distinct components are preparing for and releasing 5.0 releases, with final releases having started the beginning of this month with the Frameworks 5.0 release (built on QT5 which has been stable for some time now), followed by the Plasma 5.0 release (built on Frameworks 5.0). Soon we will see more components announcing releases built on Frameworks 5.0, as well as additional (semi-annual?) releases of Frameworks 5.x and Plasma 5.x. These releases will be interleaved with the regular releases of 4.x projects until upstream work on the 4.x line is halted to focus entirely on the 5.x line


airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.
rossdv8
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Many of us who have used KDE since the 'olden days' are still coming to grips with the term 'Plasma'.
Wouldn't it have been nice if the developers had decided to just call Plasma 5.xx 'Neon' instead, and leave the name 'Plasma' to Plasma 4.xx?

Then when it was time for the 6.xx series of KDE stuff, it could have been called 'GloWorm'.
Too simple I suppose, and probably some complicated stuff preventing such simplicity.
User avatar einar
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Neon is a project from Kubuntu, and is not directly related to KDE upstream.


"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
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rossdv8
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einar wrote:Neon is a project from Kubuntu, and is not directly related to KDE upstream.

Thank you. So ends another mystery :-)

 
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