March 23, 2018

KDE Plasma Voted Best Desktop Environment By Linux Journal Poll

We told you earlier about a poll running over at Linux Journal. Well now, those results have come in. And while close, they're fairly concise.

Voters selected KDE Plasma by a 15 point margin over the 2nd place finisher. That position, not surprisingly, came in the form of Gnome. A nice win, to be sure!

Despite what you read about seemingly daily on the
web these days, KDE is more than alive and well

I'll just list one positive takeaway and one negative here, and leave the rest up to you to draw others on your own.

The Positive


Obviously, winning a poll in a hotly-contested contest is a good thing. Out of 3,796 votes, KDE Plasma won by getting ~1,300 votes. That is around 530 more than Gnome. The big thing here to think about is that ALL of the top distributions out there run Gnome or some variant. Fedora: check. Ubuntu: check. PopOS: check. Solus: check. Elementary: check.

In some ways, it's a minor miracle that Plasma both survives and thrives in an age where top distributions do not ever seem to want to feature Plasma, except as a "me-too" community edition. There are exceptions to this, of course, but my point remains valid.

There's quite the discussion going on over at OMG Ubuntu! in the comments section from a recent article about a problem that Gnome is having that apparently won't be fixed by the time Ubuntu 18.04 ships. There's apparently a large contingent (yours truly included) who wished Canonical had decided to ship KDE Plasma instead of moving back to Gnome. You can read for yourself if you desire.

The Not So Positive


One thing the poll did achieve, at least for me, is to remind me just how fragmented us Linux user's are when it comes to favorite desktops. I mean, a 15 percentage point win is  pretty close in the big picture. I'd imagine, if the poll were a true scientific one, the results would have been ever closer.

Secondly, the results just tend to serve as a reminder of just how fragmented we as Linux desktop users remain to this day. Every few years a new Desktop is released along with dozens of new distributions to try to win you over. And there have been plenty of discussion on the past about how it serves to be both a blessing and a curse. As far as communities, promotion, and labor distribution goes for those willing and able to help out, I'd say it's more of a curse overall. There's simply too many projects and too few resources. And that ratio does not seem to be improving much.

What Did We Learn?

Overall though, a win is a win. And there's likely no need to read too much into it beyond what it is: A nice win for KDE via a very unscientific and informal survey on the web. Don't look now, there's a new desktop environment headed your way soon. The more things change...


- Best Desktop Environment


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