The Akademy 2022 has been held these days in Barcelona and one of the news that the project’s annual conference leaves us is what can be read in the headline: KDE Plasma 6 will arrive in mid-2023 . This is, at least, the intention that is had, although it depends on several things that, yes, are already well channeled.
Specifically, the plans are to release KDE Plasma 5.27 as the latest version of the current branch, to make the leap in the next one to what should be KDE Plasma 6, based on KDE Frameworks 6 and, therefore, on Qt6. This is how the developer Kai Uwe advances it on his blog , in an article in which he collects his time at the Akademy 2022.
“[…] we decided on a timeline of when to branch KDE Frameworks 6, with a feature freeze on KF5 at the end of December this year and Plasma 5.27 likely to be the final release in the Plasma 5 series,” explains Uwe. “I started by porting the biggest KDE application, Kolourpaint, to Qt 6,” he jokes.
In summary, this week KDE Plasma 5.26 will be released , as planned; KDE Plasma 5.27 will be released around February or March 2023, as planned… And for the next version of the desktop environment, more or less in the summer -June or July- the jump to KDE Plasma 6 would be made. At that time, certain requirements must be met.
The first is to port all the key elements of KDE Plasma, libraries and applications, to the new infrastructure. Of all of them, the one that is causing the most problems is the KWin window manager, although according to Uwe, there has been good progress in recent times and it is expected that the migration will be completed shortly. This site lists everything that remains to be compiled into Qt6.
Another of the great components that is in the queue is KDE Frameworks, of which KDE Frameworks 5.99.0 was published yesterday and there will still be one more version -the one that accompanies KDE Plasma 5.27-, before adopting the new numbering, although as indicated Uwe the feature freeze is expected later this year.
There is no more data at the moment, but guesses can be made. As though KDE Plasma 5.27 is the latest version of the current branch, it will be -or should be- an LTS version , supported for at least a couple of years, not in terms of features, but in terms of fixes. That, as long as the deadlines are scrupulously met and, indeed, we see KDE Plasma 6.0 appear next summer.
Of course, the big question regarding the change that is coming is: will it cost or not? Will it be traumatic like the one from KDE 3 to KDE 4, or much more rounded, like the one from KDE 4 to KDE 5? The truth is that on this occasion they have taken things calmly and a couple of years ago a maxim was raised: get to Plasma 6 with the homework done . Now it remains to be fulfilled.