This document describes the various brands used by the KDE community. It outlines the relationship of the brands and gives some guidance how to use them. These brands are meant for communication to users. They are not necessarily related to names of SVN modules, package names, or how application names are used internally by the contributors community.
The brand "KDE" stands for the KDE community, also used as "KDE Community" or "KDE Team". It acts as umbrella brand for the sub brands used for naming applications, application suites, or sub communities. KDE as a brand transports the KDE values such as freedom, technical excellence, beauty, pragmatism, portability, open standards, international collaboration, professionalism, respect, and great teamwork.
Software created by the KDE community is branded on its own under the umbrella brand of KDE. Use of "KDE" in the product name is optional and depending on the context. Especially for the names which are not recognizable as KDE applications because they don't use a K as prefix in their name it's recommended to use "KDE" in the product name if the association with KDE is not likely to be obvious to the audience.
KDE applications make up the breadth and richness of the KDE universe. They are solutions to specific use cases. KDE applications can run independently of the KDE workspace and can freely be mixed with applications based on other platforms and toolkits.
There are a couple of brands which are used to identify application suites built up from several applications. These can be used just like application names when referring to a set of related applications as bundled under the application suite brand. Those brands are sometimes also used to refer to a subcommunity.
KDE provides workspaces. These provide the environment for running and managing applications and integrate interaction of applications. The workspaces are designed as generic environment for all kind of desktop applications, not only applications built on the KDE platform. They integrate best with applications following the standards used by the KDE platform. There are different flavors of the workspace to address the needs of specific groups of users or adapt to specific hardware platforms.
KDE Software is based on the "KDE Platform", the base of libraries and services which are needed to run KDE applications. Especially when including development frameworks and tools it is referred to as "KDE Development Platform". It's built on a number of Pillars (Akonadi, Solid, Nepomuk, Phonon, Plasma, ...), distinct parts of the development platform. The pillars are not marketed to end users.
The KDE community does regular releases of a core set of KDE software components (technically, the KDE Software Compilation - see below). These releases should be referred to as 'KDE Release Day', thus putting the emphasis on the release event rather than on the specific software released.
The term "KDE Software Compilation", which refers to the KDE software components released on a KDE Release Day, is used only internally for engineering purposes and should not be used for external communication. On a 'KDE Release Day', KDE releases different workspaces (Plasma Desktop, Plasma Netbook - in future Plasma Mobile and Plasma Media Center will be added), the KDE Platform, and applications, and these components should be referred to separately. Accordingly, separate official release announcements will be issued for each one of them.
The KDE community consists of several sub-communities/teams working on a specific part of KDE software. They use names which partly also have a unique identity as a brand. Some of the teams share the name with the application or the application suite they work on. These names are important for keeping the identity of the teams, but they are not marketed to end users. It is thus important to distinguish between the name of the teams and the products they produce, and to refer to the latter properly (i.e. the KDE PIM team produces Kontact). Here is a list of sub-communities/teams and their products (when appropriate) for clarification:
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