Intro to KDE

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  • DevynCJohnson
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    • @devyncjohnson

    KDE ( is a cross-platform set of applications that are open source. The term "KDE" commonly refers to the desktop user interface which is properly called "KDE Plasma Workspaces". The KDE platform contains three parts - KDE Applications, KDE Development Platform, and KDE Workspace.

    There are many applications designed for the KDE platform as listed at The Calligra Suite ( is the office suite for KDE that forked from KOffice. KOffice is now discontinued in favor of Calligra.

    The KDE Development Platform is also called "KDE Frameworks" and it is the collection of libraries typically associated with KDE. Qt is also a part of this software set. Qt is a framework used to design user interfaces. Qt is the widget toolkit used in KDE. Qt works on Android, Linux, Windows, and many other systems. In addition, Qt supports X11 and Wayland. Many language bindings are available for Qt and the KDE Framework.

    Smoke is a part of the KDE Development Platform. Smoke is a set of libraries used as wrappers/bindings for the KDE framework and Qt. Specifically, these bindings are for C#, Perl, PHP, and Ruby.

    SIP is just like Smoke, but these bindings are for Python. With SIP, Python can use the C/C++ libraries made for KDE.

    Kross is a scripting framework for JavaScript, Python, and Ruby. JavaScript is interpreted by the KDE ECMAScript interpreter (kjs). KJSEmbed is a wrapper for interpreting JavaScript via kjs.

    "KDE Plasma", "KDE Workspace", and "KDE Plasma Workspaces" are all terms for the same collection of software that makes the desktop environment. Desktop systems use "Plasma Desktop" and netbooks use "Plasma Netbook". Also, there is "Plasma Active" for mobile devices. For older forms of KDE, the display manager (login screen) is "KDE Display Manager" (KDM), and it is compatible with X11 and Wayland. However, KDM was discontinued and Simple Desktop Display Manager (SDDM) now takes its place. SDDM also supports Wayland and X11. KWin is the window manager. It supports X11; support for Wayland is planned. KWin has many similarities with Compiz.

    "Extragear" is an unofficial part of the KDE platform. Extragear contains a variety of applications that are related to KDE.

    The "KDE-Playground" is a collection of unstable KDE software that is still being developed and tested.

    Web development can be done with the "KDEWebdev" software collection.

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