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KDE Turns 20, Happy Birthday! ( 127

prisoninmate writes from Softpedia: Can you believe it's been 20 years since the KDE (Kool Desktop Environment) was announced on the 14th of October, 1996, by project founder Matthias Ettrich? Well, it has, and today we'd like to say a happy 20th birthday to KDE! "On October 14, KDE celebrates its 20th birthday. The project that started as a desktop environment for Unix systems, today is a community that incubates ideas and projects which go far beyond desktop technologies. Your support is very important for our community to remain active and strong," reads the timeline page prepared by the KDE project for this event. Feel free to share your KDE experiences in a comment below! You can read the announcement "that started the revolution of the modern Linux desktop," as well as view the timeline "prepared by the KDE team for this unique occasion."
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KDE Turns 20, Happy Birthday!

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  • Wow 20 years! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alexander Ioannou ( 4742555 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @05:32AM (#53074787)
    Great to see KDE and its improvements over the years. If you want to give KDE a go then I suggest trying KDE neon. You get the latest KDE on top of the stability of Ubuntu LTS. []
    • Re:Wow 20 years! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 14, 2016 @07:47AM (#53075133)

      Neon is horrible. Copying the bloody awful flat icon crap that (cr)Apple instigated and then Windows 10 slavishly copied.

      I honestly Windows 98 looked better than all these new desktops. Flat icons are simply ugly. maybe ok on a small phone screen but they have no place on the desktop, As for the colour schemes they all look like washed out uninspring crap.

      Really desktops were pretty much usable and done decades ago. Now all we get is continual reinvention of the wheel with new hipster crap and the removal of anything resembling a useful feature because 2% of the morons who use computers can't cope with any sort of configuration.

      The only slightly sane window manager left is XFCE. God forbid the go down the flat icon, crap colour scheme, hipster crap route. If they do I'll be back to using the command line exclusively.

      Ho hum.

      • Neon is horrible. Copying the bloody awful flat icon crap that (cr)Apple instigated and then Windows 10 slavishly copied.

        I think you got the order of events mixed up. It bloody awful style that Microsoft introduced in Windows 8 and everybody hated, and then Google and Apple for God's know why slavishly copied.

      • Totally agree with you. UIs have gone worse terribly in the last few years all in the name of stupid trends designers copy from each other and of consistency. i.e.: Forcing a mobile UI in a desktop where it totally doesn't make sense.
        You'd think the open source people would have more sense but they always end up copying whatever Google/Apple/Ms are doing.
        At least in Linux we can choose our DE. In Windows and Mac you're stuck with whatever the UI gods have thought of
      • The one KDE desktop I did like was that of Fedora Core 2 and 3, it had an old-style start menu that shows everything and it looked neat/sharp enough. Konsole and Kate were the same way and it was mostly useful (e.g. Konsole's GUI helps you with copy/pasting stuff or tabs), these were the two main ones we had to use.
        Back then everyone only used 98se, 2000 or XP 32bit.
        Funnily a few years later I saw some vanilla KDE 3.5 elsewhere and it kind of sucked, with the ugly clock style and lack of hat icons. Ubuntu w

      • by eionmac ( 949755 )

        I find on my old laptops that XFCE works, KDE now is too difficult to get easy set up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I just downloaded Neon yesterday on the recommendation of someone here. I wanted to try it on my laptop, to see whether or not the latest version of Plasma 5 has fixed the annoyances that are keeping me away. But Neon appears to be lacking the "Driver Manager" I'm used to from Kubuntu and Mint, so I can't even enable wifi. Any ideas?

      • by Tepar ( 87925 )

        Use Manjaro: [] It's based on Arch, so Manjaro is to Arch as Ubuntu/Neon is to Debian. They have a great KDE version of the distro, and they've integrated their hardware driver manager into the Plasma 5 System Settings.

  • of all the difference it never made.

  • by Erik Hensema ( 12898 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @06:09AM (#53074875) Homepage
    I remember compiling KDE 2.0 on a Sparcstation 5 when I was an intern. Solaris came with CDE, which is a POS. Took several days to compile and resulted in a poorly performing DE, but no longer suffering from the ugly unfriendly CDE :)

    Been using KDE since before 1.0 came out on x86 though. Man, what an upgrade over things like fvwm it was.

    Now the developers seem to have lost their way a bit. Currently I'm on some frankenstein mixup of kde4 and kde5 with bits and pieces missing or inaccessible. And still barely different from KDE3.x. Sure, they created a lot of stuff like "activities". Still don't know what those are though...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In case you were serious, an activity is basically a virtual workspace with preset layout and applications on it. It's like the next evolutionary step forward for virtual desktop spaces. It's also a convenient way to switch between layouts. For example, you can have one activity for desktop work, another for mobile-style app launching, maybe a third that is set up to act like a DVR when your laptop is plugged into a TV.

      I think KDE was a bit ahead of the times when they launched activities. Apart from the vi

    • In which ways, exactly, was CDE a "piece of shit"? I'm curious to know the reasons. Can you give some?

      I used CDE and it worked fine. You had a common desktop environment you could use on any workstation that Sun made, from the biggest to the smallest. You could go from vendor to vendor and still have a familiar environment that wouldn't get in your way, you could be productive immediately. AIX, HP-UX, OpenVMS, Solaris, even UnixWare. CDE was for work and it did that job well.

      Oh, it was ugly? Well

    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      I did the same thing at Uni. The problem with CDE was that by the timeframe we are talking about here, CDE was showing its age. Incoming students all came from Windows 9x, which when compared to CDE was positively advanced (in their minds anyway). KDE 2.0 provided a much more familiar environment to work in, plus it offered an integrated way to deal with removable media, which CDE simply knew nothing about. Long-time users of course would use the mtools on the command-line.

      KDE 2.0 breathed new life into

  • And if it is still around for another 20 years, I will ignore it for those too. It has nothing to recommend it, and it is frankly not necessary or beneficial for anything. My fwvm configuration from 25 years back (initially on SunOS) works just fine, with half a day spend porting it to fvwm2 during the whole time.

  • Happy birthday. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @06:15AM (#53074901) Homepage

    Happy birthday KDE. I know we haven't seen each other much the last few years, sorry about that, but when you went all "pretty" with KDE4 it was like you were snubbing people like me who just wanted a functional desktop and had found that in you. I am mostly with OS X these days, I know she is a primadona and we don't have what I had with you back in the KDE 3 days, so I'll always reminisce those times...
    Best wishes.

    • I agree. Although for me the downfall wasn't going 'pretty', it was in instability. For almost a year I struggled with a bug where something would cause dbus to inexplicably eat 100% of the CPU and the only way to get out of it was to reboot. I could just restart KDE, but then it would come back. I had my machine on 24/7, and about once a week I would wake up to the cpu having been pegged all night. Sometimes it would happen while I was using it. It was maddening. I posted and searched, and nobody had

      • I've occasionally had a process (usually firefox) use 100% of one core. cpulimit solves the problem, although it would be a nuisance to try to apply cpulimit proactively.
  • K for what, now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Friday October 14, 2016 @06:36AM (#53074955) Homepage Journal
    I've never heard anyone else say that the "K" in KDE was for "Kool". In fact in a previous install I had of KDE there was a splash screen that rotated through that claimed the K did not stand for anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    after over a year of KDE5's unstable, buggy, crashing mess i switched to xfce - why did they ruin KDE4 which was a useful, productive desktop environment?

  • by Stephen Chadfield ( 7971 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @07:55AM (#53075153) Homepage

    I was always sniffy about KDE from way back when it was built using a non-free version of Qt. Recently I have found myself getting so annoyed by GNOME Shell that I decided to give it a try.

    What do you know? I really like it. It looks great and can be configured to work more or less how I like it. I think it might be a keeper.

    This is whatever version of KDE comes with Debian Jessie.

    • KDE is still my DE of choice for Linux machines. They lost their way around the 4.0-4.6 release, but KDE 5 has been quite good for me.

      Dolphin is much better than it used to be as well. When that came out I was in the Konqueror4Life group, but honestly, they've done a very good job with it. For instance, in Konq I would have to head up to the menus to load a profile to emulate midnight commander, but in Dolphin they've conveniently put a split button right on top. And you can still add extensions easily with

  • KDE and QT (Score:4, Interesting)

    by trojjan ( 994851 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @07:56AM (#53075155)
    As a Qt developer, I've used(and developed for) KDE extensively. Although my primary DE is fluxbox, I always recommend KDE for a beginner and IMO it is the best Linux DE. Sucks that it too is following Gnome wrt eye-candy something fluxbox can't and won't do.
  • KDE created KHTML (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    KDE created KHTML.
    Webkit was forked from KHTML.
    Blink was forked from Webkit.

    Therefore everyone reading this on a browser other than Firefox or IE/Edge owes their browsing experience to KDE.

    KDE didn't get paid a thing for helping Apple and then Google dominate web browsing. Imagine what they could have achieved if they had been paid even a tiny fraction of the wealth that their code has generated.

  • by hierofalcon ( 1233282 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @09:26AM (#53075443)

    Through the teenage years and on to having improper relationships with other desktops and O/Ss. It's already having kids. Maybe in a few more years it'll settle down and be reasonable to be around again.

    • sorry, it caught terminal STDs from its foolishness, it became maimed and disfigured with large cancerous tumors, and is dying

  • For those who knew the real thing, it's up and running on Fedora 25b, with compliments of KDE Restoration Team. []
  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 14, 2016 @10:12AM (#53075629)

    19 years since the stable 1.0 dropped! I can't wait for it to finish compiling so I can try it out!

  • Until the KDE developers decided to reinvent the wheel, and make KDE the star of the show, determining what is best for you, what it is that you can and can't do, while consuming preposterous amounts of memory in the process. Happy birthday indeed.
  • I was a KDE 2 and 3 user. Then, when the 4 craziness started, I waited until 4.5, something like that. But the "everything is a widget" idea is really weird. With the plus of several bugs, kdm bugs, app launcher bugs, systray bugs, sound mixer eating memory, and, at every minor upgrade, I had to clean up my configurations to get the new version working. If not enough, they announced KDE 5, and all started again.

    I never liked Gnome shell. Not to mention all the removing-features-coolaid since 3.

    So, I started

  • by JRiddell ( 216337 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @11:04AM (#53075873) Homepage

    Get the very latest KDE 1 neon LTS edition with 20 years of support though the newest Dockerised container continuous integration system for devops deployment []

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Friday October 14, 2016 @11:15AM (#53075923)

    I remember dabbling in Linux about RedHat 5 times. I think my first home install was 5.1. Back then the default desktop for RH was FVWM, which in hindsight was pretty good. But coming from Windows 95, it was pretty bewildering and somewhat disjointed and not well integrated. I think it was about this time I started reading slashdot and heard about this new KDE desktop. KDE 1.0. Somehow there were packages for RH 5.1 or 5.2, so I downloaded them and installed. I was stunned. Except for the one-click nonsense I finally had a workable desktop with an integrated file manager, start menu, removable disk management and it looked kind of like Windows 95. Combine that with the release of WordPerfect 8 for Linux, and suddenly I had everything I needed to stay in Linux for my everyday work as a student. I quickly moved on to Gnome 1.x, although I can't for the life of me remember why as the first Gnome releases were horrible--maybe it was because gnome used proper double clicks. But I remember KDE 1.0 with fondness.

    A few years later another couple of landmark applications (at the time anyway) to come out of the KDE world that changed my life as a neophyte Linux programmer were the releases in the 2.0 days of kdevelop and kdbg. Especially the latter, as I found command-line debugging difficult, and I found ddd to be too complicated at the time. kdbg did the job and was easy to use. And Kdevelop helped introduce me to the world of Linux programming in C and C++. Now I just use vim and the command line, but Kdevelop, like KDE 1.0 before it, offered me a familiar environment to ease the learning curve of moving to Linux. I know it did the same for many of our students at university too after I deployed it along with the full KDE 2.0 (and also Gnome) suite in our labs.

  • Similarity between the early 1.x builds and the OS/2 WES convinced a lot of OS/2 users who felt abandoned by IBM to come over to Linux. I was one of them.

  • I remember KDE in the 90's. it was good stuff.

    KDE 3.5.x was peak KDE

    Nevertheless, I still use it.

    but I also use XFCE and LXDE and occasionally Gnome.

    I'm not bigoted. I like having choices.

  • First of all, thank you KDE Team for your great contribution to the FOSS community. However, I stopped using KDE after the version 4 fiasco. Now I bounce between XFCE/Openbox and TDE (Trinity Desktop Environment []). If you used to be a KDE fan, consider supporting the latter. TDE is the default desktop in Q4OS [], another very interesting project.

  • Any article about KDE seems to bring out the haters, but I have used it since version 1 on Corel Linux (remeber Corel?). I've tried most other desktops over the years, and particularly tried really hard to like Enlightenment, but have always stuck with KDE. Even through the dodgy early years of KDE4. I just love how well all KDE apps integrate together, and I actually like that I can customise everything if I want.
  • The KDE and Gnome developers are doing what they are doing in a misguided effort to stay relevant. The truth is that the desktop environment problem with the current interfaces (screen, keyboard and mouse) was solved long ago. They just keep remodeling it, adding things, removing things, but it is pretty much more of the same - more baroque, with more bells and whistles, more resource hungry, but with the same essentials disguised in many different, more or less creative, ways. It is no wonder that, with th
  • Many thanks to the original, once posted (circa 2002) on []


    A big room somewhere in Europe with lots of chrome and glass and a great big whiteboard in the front with lots of tiny, neat writing on it. There are about 50 desks, each with headphones and pristine workstations, also with a lot of chrome and glass. The faint sound of classical music permeates the room, accompanying the clicky-click of 50 programmers typing or quietly talking in one of the appropriately assig

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.