The Coming KDE

Bruce Byfield | Linux Magazine | November 6, 2012

Aaron Seigo discusses KDE’s new approach to managing change and the changes coming up in the next few years. 

Aaron Seigo is one of the best-known figures in KDE. A developer on the project since 2000; a former director of KDE e.V., the non-profit organization that governs KDE; and currently the project leader for Plasma, KDE’s interfaces sub-project, Seigo knows KDE like few others. Recently, he took the time to talk about the current state of the project, explaining the importance of KDE’s ongoing transition to Qt 5 and outlining the changes he expects to transform the project in the next few years.

When KDE released its 4.0 release in 2008, the result was a then-unprecedented user revolt. Looking back four years later, Seigo recalls that experience as a discouraging time for developers, some of whom quit in reaction. However, he adds that the experience also made KDE re-examine its approach to introducing new features. Avoiding the temptation to eliminate major changes altogether, KDE has opted instead to develop features in new applications like Plasma Active, KDE’s mobile interface, and then reintroduce them into Plasma Desktop, the desktop interface, starting with new libraries, then altering the desktop, and finally applications.