KDE 5 has been released. Er, that's the KDE 5 Plasma Desktop since the folks at KDE are now very particular about making sure you call it Plasma. But nomenclature isn't important; what's important is what this latest evolution of the desktop brings to the user, and in my opinion it's quite a lot. Plus, two big things: First, unlike the transition from KDE3 -> KDE4, which broke everything, the transition from KDE4 -> KDE5 should be automatic. Secondly, this article points out everything has gotten faster, which makes clear a lot of energy has gone into optimizing underneath the hood. Sounds good!
- Converged Shell: means the same components can be used to design a desktop or tablet interface or phone interface. It lays the groundwork for a device that adapts its interface to whatever you're holding, like the Asus Padphone [ed. note: which is pretty damned cool!]
- Modernized launchers: 3 of them, including one called Kicker (for you KDE3 nostalgics like me)
- Improved notification area: leads to fewer distractions, apparently
- Better support for high DPI displays
When KDE made a radical change to its popular Linux desktop in 2008 in KDE 4, I hated it. Over a year and many changes later, I finally found KDE 4.3 usable. This time, with the just-released KDE Plasma 5, I didn't have to wait for it to be usable. The new KDE is already good to go.1Get a nickname, dude! SJVN is too much to type!