"The exact combination of software that belongs by default in a
desktop environment is very much a matter of personal opinion. Some
feel that a basic desktop should be just that: basic, lacking
frills and features. Others feel it should come bundled with all
sorts of useful tools, utilities and applications.
"KDE has had an official position on this matter since the
inception of the project, namely that KDE should provide all the
basic tools needed to be immediately productive. Rather than
shipping the typical plain-vanilla desktop consisting of a panel
and a file manager, KDE includes email and news readers,
calculators and floppy formatters, image viewers and media players,
text editors and minigolf. As the word processor and spreadsheet
has become an integral part of the modern desktop experience, KDE
has even gained its own integrated office suite. Which applications
should be excluded from such a 'full featured' desktop is a topic
that has inspired many spirited discussions.
"In pursuit of 'completeness' the official KDE distribution has
grown considerably in size over the years. The binaries are now
dozens of megabytes in size and building everything from source
requires a few hundred megabytes of spare disk. This isn't
surprising given the number of programs and libraries that comprise
KDE: some 2.6 million lines of code worth!