The KDE Akademy 2022 conference in Barcelona reviewed the development plan for the KDE 6 branch. The release of the KDE Plasma 5.27 desktop will be the last in the KDE 5 series, and after that, the developers will begin to form the KDE 6 branch. The key change in the new branch will be the transition to Qt 6 and the delivery the updated base set of libraries and runtime components of KDE Frameworks 6, which forms the KDE software stack.
At the end of December, it is planned to freeze the KDE Frameworks 5 branch from introducing new features and start forming the release of KDE Frameworks 6. In addition to adapting to work on top of Qt 6, KDE Frameworks 6 also plans a big reworking of the API, including the opportunity to revise some concepts in the new branch and propose significant changes that break backwards compatibility. Among the plans mentioned is the development of a new API for working with notifications (KNotifications), simplifying the use of library features in environments without widgets (minimizing dependence on widgets), reworking the KDeclarative API, revising the separation of API classes and runtime services to reduce the number of dependencies when using the API.
As for the KDE Plasma 6.0 desktop, the main focus of this release is bug fixes and stability improvements. The release of KDE Plasma 6 is expected in about a year – in 4 months in February, the release of KDE Plasma 5.27 will be published, after which the summer release (5.28) will be skipped and the release of KDE Plasma 6.0 will be formed instead of the 5.29 release in the fall of 2023.
In its current form, out of 588 KDE projects, the ability to build with Qt 6 has been implemented in only 282 projects so far. Components that do not yet support Qt 6 include kwin, plasma-desktop, plasma-mobile, akonadi, elisa, kaddressbook, kdepim, kdevelop, kio, kmail, krita, mauikit, and okular. It is noted that the porting of the kwin composite manager is already close to completion and the appearance of build support with Qt 6 in it is expected in the coming days.