In a Twitter thread to mark the 22nd birthday of the project — which came to life on 14 October 1996 — Pintscher said over the past year the project had rallied behind the three goals that it cared about: privacy, onboarding and usability and productivity.
KDE was started by German software developer Matthias Ettrich with the aim of providing GNU/Linux users with all the functionality that Windows had at the time.
In an email to invite participation in the project, Ettrich wrote: "The idea is NOT to create a GUI for the complete UNIX-system or the System-Administrator. For that purpose the UNIX-CLI with thousands of tools and scripting languages is much better. The idea is to create a GUI for an ENDUSER. Somebody who wants to browse the Web with Linux, write some letters and play some nice games."
Im one of the lucky ones who saw KDE from the beginning since I was at the very start of #Linus work there, when an aplha kernel had to be compiled on a #386DX computer, took a whole week to compile, and you needed dd and rawwrite.exe to create a boot floppy to get the OS started— Radio Azureus (@Radio_Azureus) October 14, 2018
"Today is [KDE's] 22nd birthday," she said. "On the one hand this means we are among the oldest free software projects there are." Among free and open source software projects, only the Linux kernel project has more developers.
"But at the same time so much has happened over the last year that it feels like the very best is yet to come. I'm really proud of what we have achieved."
The project's mobile version, Plasma Mobile, is being used by the San Francisco-based computer manufacturer Purism which aims to produce the world's first free smartphone, the Librem 5, by April next year.
The word "free" does not refer to price but rather to both the hardware and software, with the phone to use Plasma Mobile, a mobile version of the KDE software that is used on the Linux desktop.
KDE can also be run on Windows and has a separate installer for doing so. The project also sells a dedicated laptop that is customised to run KDE.