A major release of KDE's flagship desktop is coming soon

Exploring Plasma 6

Article from Issue 280/2024

For many users, Plasma 6 will look like a run-of-the-mill upgrade. But the moment you start digging, KDE being KDE, you will discover a world of new features and enhancements.

Plasma [1], the desktop environment many refer to incorrectly as "KDE," is going through an overhaul. (Plasma is actually the desktop component of the expansive KDE toolset.) When Qt [2], the set of libraries, frameworks, and tools KDE developers base most of their software on, was upgraded from version 5 to 6 in 2020, the process of migrating Plasma, as well as KDE's apps and frameworks, suddenly became a priority.

Developers were aware that a time would come when Qt, the company, would stop supporting the free 5.x branch of their software. The free version of Qt is the backbone that KDE is built on, and basing your products on an unsupported framework is a really bad idea.

Indeed, the Qt Group stopped supporting Qt 5.15 for free software projects in December 2020, the moment Qt 6.0 was released. It's worth noting that the Qt Group did maintain the support for the commercial proprietary version of Qt 5.15 until May 2023.


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