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It's been a long hard road for the KDE Project. The almost constantly growing hungry hungry hippo of it, along with the botched initial rollout of the SC 4 series proved that the KDE Project was on an unsustainable course. Simply put: a redesign was sorely needed if the developers were to save the *nix world from the stupidity of GNOME.
And so, KDE 5 was born!
edit The New Fantastic Five (features)!
edit GNOME gets its fat ass kicked
“We must be the great arsenal of competence. Hell knows the GTK desktops aren't.”
As anyone who is anyone in the Linux space knows, the GNOME Project Team has been neutering itself for quite some time now. It's been cutting features, but at the same time it's taking up more and more system resources. The resource usage of GNOME is on a double exponential trend upward. It can now be expected that in 3-5 years the equivalent of the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer will be required as a minimum system requirement just to run the shell.
Surprisingly, another company was doing the opposite. Microsoft (who's apparently a LOT more competent than the GNOME Team), while not shrinking the RAM usage of its operating system since Windows Vista, were keeping RAM usage at roughly the same level since then. And required disk space hasn't gone beyond 16 GB since Windows 7.
Knowing that Microsoft, the Slaanesh of the I.T. world to the God Emperor of Mankind known as Linux, would eat Linux's lunch forever if GNOME continued to strip features while requiring more resources, the KDE Team needed to act swiftly if they were to keep Linux on the slightly less-than 2% of the map they occupied.
So they got to work. And when they were done... Hell had frozen over. KDE 5, once the bull moose of *nix desktop environments, now only uses about 512 GB of RAM while running.
edit Plasma gets its ass kicked as well
Of course KDE also got a makeover in the looks department. Not that that was hard to do, considering that Plasma 4 got arrested for mooning when it looked out of a window.
And the default UI theme of KDE 5 is... holy shit... it's flat, but it looks better than Windows!
My God... it's full of wi...
- Note: the person writing this article was found staring at his computer monitor showing Plasma 5. Supposedly it was so beautiful to him that his eyes will remain locked upon it forever. Please be cautious when using KDE 5. I mean... it's beautiful... and-and really nice to look a...
- Second Note: the person writing the first note has suffered the same fate as the original author of this article. Fuck that shit, I'm using Pantheon. Now, let's take a look at something less eye-candyish: code.
edit Under the Blue Hood
The software as a whole was switched to Qt5 (including the UI theming being switched to QtQuick2). Nobody, not even the developers, know exactly how that impacts performance, but everyone can agree that it's a metric fuckton better than SC 4.
What people could figure out though, was that the former monolithic kdelibs had been modularized into Frameworks 5. So at least you don't have to download a single huge ass library to get KDE applications to work on other desktop environments.
The KDE project had originally produced a promotional video similar to an "MS-DOS 5 Upgrade" video made in 1991, even using the same tagline of "Gimme 5".
Upon knowing this however, Microsoft threatened to sue the KDE project out of existence. And so the video and all of its known copies were destroyed. If any copy/copies still exist, none have surfaced to this day.
edit In Short
What more is there to say? GNOME is becoming sucktastic and while you could use Pantheon or LXQt like a hipster (like the one who wrote the second note in this article), do you really want to be a hipster? Well, do ya, punk?