I read a comment on Phoronix recently that reminded me why I love KDE Plasma:
“KDE is normal and it works”
We can ignore the argument to which this is a response, and forgive alcade for confusing the name of the community with the desktop environment. Regardless, “KDE is normal and it works” is in a nutshell what I think makes KDE Plasma such a unique and shining point of light in the FOSS world.
Plasma uses a normal, familiar layout: Panel on the bottom with an app launcher, pinned apps, system tray, and clock; desktop icons; visible buttons that mostly have text labels; minimize/maximize/close buttons on windows. You know, normal stuff. You can change everything, but it starts out normal, unlike other desktop environment projects that are explicitly abnormal–being controversially opinionated about matters of design or having an unusual component layout. This is fine! Their departures from what’s normal may in fact be better, and their developers and users they certainly think so. But tons of people out there don’t want “may be better”, they want “normal.” And that’s fine too. Our software is for them.
And KDE Plasma works. It has its bugs, but it is basically a solid and reliable piece of technology that isn’t missing major features, either because of a lack of resources or because design decisions preclude supporting them. It is not a hobbyist science project missing key functionality that might break entirely. It doesn’t re-invent itself every year or two and become something different that might stop meeting your needs or tastes. It has actionable plans for adapting to industry changes surrounding it that are actively being carried out; it is not on a path to become obsolete or a technical dead end. No, it’s just it’s an imperfect and boring piece of infrastructure you can nonetheless rely on.
I think the world needs something with those characteristics, and and that’s why I like it and work on it.