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14 October 2011, 12:05

KDE celebrates 15th birthday

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KDE, the "K Desktop Environment", is celebrating its fifteenth birthday today, and the KDE community has announced a global party. The announcement includes suggestions for what to do – host a local party, test 15 bugs, hang out at #kde on freenode IRC – and a request to send plans and photos of the celebrations to KDE Spain has taken an alternative approach by holding four smaller partiesSpanish language link on the evening of 14 October in Málaga, Castellón, Barcelona and Coruña.

KDE began life on 14 October 1996 when founder Matthias Ettrich posted a request on Usenet for assistance with writing a GUI for Linux using the Qt framework. He stated that the goal of KDE was "NOT to create a GUI for the complete UNIX-system or the System-Administrator" but to "create a GUI for an ENDUSER." The first stable release of "The K Desktop Environment", version 1.0, arrived on 12 July 1998; since then the project has progressed to version 4.x, and is the default desktop environment for many popular Linux distributions, including Kubuntu, openSUSE and Mandriva.

KDE now claims to be the "second largest Free Software community", with millions of users and over 1,800 regular contributors, and continues to develop innovative software; earlier this month it released Plasma Active One, a user interface and framework for mobile devices. The current stable version of KDE is 4.7.2, details of which, including download instructions, can be found in the official announcement. KDE is licensed under a combination of LGPLv2, BSD, MIT and X11 licences for core libraries, and GPLv2 or GPLv3 for applications.

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