K* == bad

K* == bad

KDE must have grown so big and old that it became unpopular to be associated with it. At least I cannot help having this sentiment after observing a couple of sub-projects trying hard to not be tied to KDE too closely.

Granted, the times when K* versions of applications popping up every day were a bit excessive. But the “kool” umbrella apparently helped to form a critical mass of developers, translators, documentation writers and others. More creative names for new components were introduced later when the desktop got polished for a wider audience.

The last few years saw a couple of sub-projects leaving this pool or not wanting to fully join in the first place. A couple of them are still located in the kdesupport module, others – like the newly announced ex-KOffice Calligra Suite will move elsewhere.

Granted, the authors always had some specific individual reason for their decision. Even if it’s just their personal preference – a right which should be preserved in an open and free software project like KDE. In this post I am just looking at this with from bird’s eye view. Similar to the view on the subject being different in macroeconomics compared to microeconomics. This allows just generalized assumptions about the motivation of individual entities. Factors one can presume:

  • Autonomy (release cycles etc.)
  • Impatient git users that cannot wait until KDE switches.
  • KDE frameworks considered a a burden to the spread of their software. Think of the recent discussion about the dissolving of kdelibs.
  • Different target platforms like mobile devices.
  • Lack of trust into KDE’s strength and future.

What I am more wondering about is the effect on the project as a whole. Fragmentation is a challenge. Not only for technical reasons (e.g. management of source code, documentation and translations) but also for brand awareness. Having a common brand not only helps with attracting users but also contributors. As far as the focus on a specific platform is concerned….the more the better. Let’s just keep in mind not to get attached to a single one too much. KDE has already outlived some vendors in the past. And with regards to git: I love it. How KDE will deal with one of its strengths (distributed nature) will be interesting to see as it can also become a challenge to put things together in the end.

I listed the last point solely because I sometimes get the feeling that some more self-confidence in what we are doing is required and warranted 🙂

16 Comments

  1. Boudewijn Rempt 10 years ago

    Er… No! Calligra is very much a KDE project and we’re proud of that. It’s a Calligra developer who maintains the KDE libraries for MeeGo, with the specific purpose of bringing Calligra there. It’s a company formed by Calligra community members (formerly KOffice community members) which is sponsoring the conversion of KDE libraries and kdebase from subversion to git.

    Calligra is also not moving to git before KDE — it’s part of the KDE move to git and uses the KDE infrastructure. We’re using userbase, techbase, community.kde.org, the kde mailing lists, kde’s git and reviewboard, bugzilla — everything.

    And we’re proud to be part of KDE!

    • Yasin 6 years ago

      I saw a lot of blogs about KDE on the N900 in the recent mhntos, but seriously, wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on the desktop? I see no reason to use most of the KDE apps on a portable device, maybe except Marble. Also, what’s the future of Meego? I seriously considered buying a N900 some time ago, but am glad as hell now that I decided to get an Android device, where I can also hack around :)I know that many people think that the future lies in the mobile segment for KDE. I wish however they’d concentrate on the desktop, where they come from and where they did excellent work in the recent 12 Years. 🙂

  2. christoph 10 years ago

    Ignoring the fact that you are completely wrong, what is your point in posting this to Planet KDE?

  3. Inge Wallin 10 years ago

    What boud said!

    We moved from the KOffice brand to the Calligra brand to show that it’s not just Office apps any more (notice Krita, Karbon) and also a wider focus than desktop applications.

    We are still very proud members of the KDE community and have absolutely no thought of leaving it. Have you missed the rebranding of KDE a year ago where the KDE is not the desktop anymore (It’s Plasma now) and instead a name of the community?

  4. Ivan Čukić 10 years ago

    At first, I thought this was an outsider post that somehow got into planet’s feeds, but then I checked who is the author.

    This was a rather strange read.

    K in names started to fade out mostly because names like ksysguard are rather difficult to pronounce. Not because they wanted to be separated from KDE (as in the community or) – Plasma and Dolphin as prefect examples – KDE SC can’t really exist without them.

    Cheerio dude,
    Ivan

  5. Amas 10 years ago

    I have to agree with Harri here. It would appear as though koffice has become afraid of KDE. It would be interesting to see a full article on the exact reason for this move.

    The excuse that we are moving away from the name office as we now have applications like Krita and Karbon that are not part of an office suite is complete rubbish. You just have to go along to the wikipedia entry on office suites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_suite to see that office suites have graphics tools as part of them.

    In my personal opinion I see this as a terrible move as the name Calligra gives no indication of what the software is. You look at the name Koffice and instantly know what you are getting.

  6. Markus S. 10 years ago

    I never liked the old KSomething name scheme. KWord or so is hardly catchy.
    However, I like when actual words begin with K, like Krita or Kopete.

  7. g 10 years ago

    Why has no-one thought of Kalligra? It is still pronounceable, it has the K of KDE in it and it doesn’t look bad.

  8. Inge Wallin 10 years ago

    Amas: Tell that to the artists refusing to use Krita because it is (was) part of an *office* suite. Yes, that really happened. Several times.

  9. simon 10 years ago

    @inge: huh? Calligra, a short form of calligraphy, has nothing in it that implies Krita or Spreadsheets. What happened was a fork. Simply because there were interpersonal issues with a specific developer. Why not say things as it is?

    @harri: You are getting to get flamed for using the term KDE instead of KDE SC 🙂

  10. Amas 10 years ago

    @Inge Wallin: I am sure that has happend before. So has the fact that people have said I am not going to use something like Krita because it is open source and free. Why don’t we also make it proprietry software?

    There are always going to be some who will dislike something because of it’s categorisation, but we have to try to put it under the most informative category.

    I think Koffice was a brilliant name and I am very sad to see it go.

  11. damian 10 years ago

    I’m also a bit sad about koffice name lost, I liked it but I agree that calligra is more pronounceable and catchy, They seem to still be the kde office suite, no different stuff, just more catchy names. Also does this relate to libreoffice name change?

  12. manolin 10 years ago

    You’re full of bullshit men

  13. Moritz 10 years ago

    I agree: Kalligra would have been a nice name.
    Calligra is not bad either, but there’s no reason to omit the K in such an unobtrusive place, see Kontact or Konqueror. It would have been a nice gesture and might have prevented some bad mood, part of which we see here.
    On the other hand, it’s not the developers’ task to extend gestures.

    And as I said: it could have been chosen worse names than Calligra (honestly, who is able to pronounce “LibreOffice” without mixing up languages?).

  14. William Chambers 10 years ago

    K-* is being removed for good reason. It’s kinda annoying and people found it seemed unprofessional. Regardless of if this is the fact, people perceive it as such and so it’s important to change. It’s only a name after all.

  15. TGM 10 years ago

    @William – agreed. I’ve got sick of seeing all KDE apps starting with (or in AmaroK’s case ending with) a capital K. Sure it shows it’s part of KDE but it’s so (f)ugly to read!

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