KDE or the K Desktop Environment, is a network transparent contemporary desktop environment for UNIX workstations. KDE seeks to fulfill the need for an easy to use desktop for UNIX workstations, similar to desktop environments found on Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The UNIX operating system is according to us the best available today. When it comes to stability, scalability and openness UNIX has no competition. In fact UNIX has been the undisputed choice of information technology professionals for many years. The lack of an easy to use contemporary desktop environment, however, has prevented UNIX from finding its way onto desktops of typical computer users in offices and homes. UNIX today dominates the server market and is the preferred computing platform for computing professionals and scientists alike. The Internet, a household name traces its heritage to UNIX. Inspite of such ubiquitous creations from the UNIX community, average computer users still expect it to be difficult to use and often stay away. This fact is particularly unfortunate since a number of implementations of UNIX, all of which are of exceptional quality and stability (Debian GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD etc.) are freely available off the Internet.
KDE The Desktop Environment
The KDE project aims to change all that. KDE now provides an easy to use contemporary desktop environment available for UNIX and compatible systems. Together with a free implementation of UNIX such as GNU/Linux, UNIX/KDE constitutes a completely free and open computing platform available to anyone free of charge. Source code is available for anyone to look at, learn from, modify and improve. Whilst there is always room for improvement, KDE today delivers a viable feature packed alternative to the more commonly found commercial operating systems/desktops combinations available.
It is our hope and continued ambition that KDE will bring open, reliable, stable and monopoly-free computing enjoyed by scientists and computing professionals world-wide to the everyday user.
KDE The Application Development Framework
KDE also brings to the forefront many innovations for application developers. An entire infrastructure has been designed and implemented to help programmers create robust and comprehensive applications in the most efficient manner, eliminating the complexity and tediousness of general UNIX application development. KDE recognizes the fact that a computing platform is only as good as the first class applications available to users. KDE's application framework, implements the latest advances in framework technology positioning it in direct competition with popular development frameworks like Microsoft's MFC/COM/ActiveX technology etc. KDE's innovative KParts compound document technology enables developers to quickly create first rate applications using cutting edge technology.
KDE The Office Application Suite
Leveraging the KDE application development framework a great number of applications have been built for the K Desktop Environment. A selection of those applications is contained in the KDE base distribution. At this moment KDE is developing a complete office application suite based on KDE's innovative KParts technology. This modern day office suite offers spread-sheet applications, presentation creators, organizers, news clients and much more. KPresenter, a part of this application suite has already been successfully used for many presentations.
Why is there a need for KDE?
The traditional X11 desktop exhibits amidst others, the following shortcomings:
* No easy dialog based desktop configuration
* No unified application help system
* No common application development framework
* No compound document framework
* Lack of network transparency on the application level
* Authoring of applications is extremely difficult and tedious
The Current KDE distribution
The current official KDE distribution consists of the following packages:
* KDE-Libs: Various run-time libraries.
* KDE-Base: The base components (window-manager, desktop, panel, Konqueror)
* KDE-Plasma-Addons: Additional themes and applets for the desktop and panel
* KDE-Network: Networking applications such as an instant messenger and download manager.
* KDE-Pim: Mail client, addressbook, organizer and groupware integration.
* KDE-Graphics: Document viewer, image viewer and selected other graphics applications.
* KDE-Multimedia: Includes a video player as well as different audio players.
* Phonon: Multimedia layer that supports different backends, on different operating systems, for multimedia output.
* KDE-Accessibility: Applications to improve computer access for disabled people such as a text-to-speech system.
* KDE-Utilities: Useful utilities like an archiving tool and a calculator.
* KDE-Edu: Education and science applications.
* KDE-Games: Classic and modern games.
* KDE-Toys: KDE's fun stuff.
* KDE-Artwork: Additional icons, styles, wallpapers, screensavers and window decorations.
* KDE-Admin: Various tools to aid with system administration.
* KDE-SDK: Script and tools which simplify development of KDE applications.
* KOffice: Integrated office suite.
* KDevelop: C/C++ Integrated Development Environment.
* KDE-Bindings: bindings for various programming languages (Python, Ruby, Perl, Java...).
* KDEWebdev: Web development applications and tools.