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Press page


This page is aimed at journalists and (web) publishers who would like to write about KDE. It offers some guidance on how to write about Free Software and the KDE community in particular and where to find relevant and up-to-date information.

General information about Free Software and KDE

About KDE

KDE is an international community that creates Free Software for desktop and portable computing. Among KDE's products are a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, and comprehensive office productivity and groupware suites. KDE offers hundreds of software titles in many categories including web applications, multimedia, entertainment, educational, graphics and software development.

KDE software is translated into more than 60 languages and is built with ease of use and modern accessibility principles in mind. KDE4's full-featured applications run natively on Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows and Mac OS X.

The KDE technology platform consists of 3 distinct parts::

  • The KDE Development Platform: A set of high-level libraries for UI development and system integration, including hardware, multimedia, and others.
  • The KDE Workspace: The primary user interface (or "shell") shown immediately upon logging into the system. Two KDE Workspace shells are currently available: one optimized for laptop/desktop computers and another for netbooks. A third shell optimized for mobile devices such as smart phones is currently under development.
  • The KDE Applications: this includes basic applications for file management, note taking and web browsing but also more advanced functionality needed for digital photography, enjoying a good music experience, PDF and e-book reading and office document creation. The applications are grouped in categories like the KDE educational applications, KDE Personal Information Management applications and the KDE Games. Some applications are part of the official regular KDE releases, others are part of Extragear and release on their own.

It is important to make the distinction described above. An application written with the KDE Development Platform can run anywhere and not just in the KDE Workspace, fitting in well on a Windows, Mac or Gnome desktop. Likewise, the KDE Workspace works well even with applications not written with the KDE Development Platform. It integrates application notifications and other such functionality thanks to extensive efforts to support standardization on the Free Desktop.

KDE is legally represented by the KDE e.V., a German-based but otherwise international non-profit association. The association aids in creating and distributing KDE by securing financial, computer hardware and other donations, using them to aid KDE development and promotion. It also provides legal support to developers when needed. The KDE e.V. consists of over 200 members of the KDE community, is chaired by a board elected by the members and has 1 paid administrative employee. Note that 'the e.V.' has no influence on development whatsoever but only facilitates the community.

  • General information about KDE can be found on the KDE.org website.
  • General information about Linux and Free Software can be found on the Free Software Foundation website.
  • An interesting read, though lengthy, would be The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S Raymond. This article is commonly quoted as one of the best explanations of the difference between the Free Software and Proprietary Software development models.

Information on KDE

A list of official KDE announcements can be found on the KDE announcement page.

If you are looking for a KDE logo or other clipart have a look at the kde logo and image page. Trading and branding with the KDE Logo is subject to our trademark licence. For more details on their usage please see the KDE CIG Logo page.

Screenshots of KDE can be found on the KDE screenshot page. If you need any more images or anything graphics related you can contact the KDE artist team with information found on this page.

This page offers information on writing articles about KDE including pointers to resources and culture of the KDE community. It is highly recommended to read through it if you want to write or talk about KDE.

Further questions, interview requests, conference and meeting information or other general inquiries can directed to kde-promo@kde.org.

Finally, we offer a few facts & numbers about KDE:

  • KDE was conceived on October 14th, 1996 with an email by Matthias Ettrich, founder of the LyX project and currently employed by Nokia
  • Over 1800 Contributor Accounts (those contributing source code, art, documentation, etc. on a regular basis have a contributor account; the vast majority of translators and 3rd party developers do not). About 20 new developers contribute their first code each month, underlining the fast growth of the KDE community.
  • Over 6 million lines of code (this does not include Qt, which is a major part of our infrastructure and is even larger than the KDE codebase).
  • KDE is translated in over 65 languages.
  • Millions of users around the globe. It is incredibly hard to say something concrete about the number of users for a Free Software product in general, and KDE is no exception. We do know about tens of millions of school children using KDE in Brazil, but most even large deployments we don't know about. Since KDE has been made available on Windows, we have gained many users there - tens to hundreds of gigabytes of data are downloaded from the KDE-on-windows servers on a daily basis, but again, we don't have verifiable numbers.
  • By most measures the KDE community is the second largest Free Software community*. The Linux kernel development community comes in first, being about twice as big as the KDE community. The third community in line is about 2/3 the size of KDE.

* 'most measures' being, amongst others, the KDE and Gnome Commit digests, Ohloh and markmail.

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