MSWL Case Studies II: KDE

Last January, 20th, Albert Astals came to the URJC to give a talk about KDE, for my master MSWL Case Studies II subject.

It was not the first time I was going to learn something about KDE, since last year Adrian DeGroot and Aleix Pol came to MSWL to talk about KDE community (that time for MSWL Project Management subject). In addition to this, I already wrote about my experiences with KDE desktop and apps, so I can say that, despite not being a KDE user, it was not unknown for me.

This week I reviewed the slides and watched the video. Some things that I learned:

  • KDE is much more than a desktop (and more than a multiplatform desktop!). It’s a community of volunteers, it has an interesting business environment and they develop great apps.

KDE brand map, By Raphael Javaux (Own work) CC-BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Since the beginning there is a stretch relationship between KDE and its used framework, Qt. Qt has bit complicated history: first developed by TrollTech, a company later aquired by Nokia. Trolltech and KDE created the KDE Free Qt Foundation to ensure the openness of Qt license. In 2009 Nokia opened also the development creating a public repository for Qt in Gitorious. In October 2011, Nokia also opened the governance of the project, launching the Qt Project.
  • There are not many distros which use KDE in their “standard” flavour, however you can find KDE desktop in most of the distributions (for example in Debian you only need to specify desktop=kde in the Debian installer prompt). Remarkable “native KDE” distributions are SuSE and OpenSuSE, Linux Educacional (Brazil Official Educational distribution, which is proud to have the record of the largest Linux desktop deployment with 500,000 seats), and Kubuntu.
  • As a community, one thing that I liked very much of the talk was that Albert introduced us some “famous” people inside the community, whether for being a long-time contributor, a core contributor, or having a special role in the community. I liked to see women in this “meritocratic” group, as Lydia Pintscher (who recently published “Open Advice”, a collection of essays by 42 prominent Free Software contributors) or Celeste Lyn Paul.
  • Other thing that called my attention was to see the Spanish KDE community is quite big (KDE España, the association, with 30 members), and is quite active (as I can see at their web and blog planet).

As a conclusion, this talk made me learn many things, awoke my interest about KDE and reminded me that I have a pending task about analysing their i18n/l10n environment for my MSWL Thesis (I hope I can post about it soon).

About larjona

My name is Laura Arjona, I am a libre software user and fan of the free culture. If you want to contact me you can write an email to larjona [at] larjona [dot] net I am @larjona at in the social network. --- Me llamo Laura Arjona, soy usuaria de software libre y fan de la cultura libre. Si quieres contactar conmigo puedes escribir a larjona [en] larjona [punto] net Soy @larjona en el servidor, de la red social
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