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The gentle Breeze could use a fiery companion: making a case for a second theme in KDE Plasma

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KDE

On one mid-July’s day in 2014 Plasma 5.0 was released. The release marked a significant departure in the design department as Plasma moved on from the detailed and skeuomorphic Oxygen theme towards the flat and minimalist Breeze. Now, almost 7 years later, we are slowly approaching the sunset of the 5 series.

This time around though, the consensus is that the sun won’t stop shining for the series’ default theme. Breeze is set to live not just another day, but to remain alive throughout the lifespan of the 6 series in what could possibly end up being an admirably long 15 year career. While stability that comes with such longevity is a positive thing, staying with the same theme also means stymied opportunities for major changes. Even though Breeze has been and is going to keep on being updated, 7 years is a lot in design, and 15 years is quite a lot.

Ultimately, Breeze is a safe theme: it works pretty well and evokes familiarity. A breeze might not sweep you off your feet, but it’s pleasant and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone with strong negative feelings towards it. The premise behind why it shouldn’t be canned in favor of trend chasing is as follows: history of design is an never ending dance between ornamentalism and minimalism. Instead of playing the game of chasing trends, the idea behind Breeze is “let’s go the middle route and try to make timeless design”. On the flip side, you can argue that almost none of the names written in the histories of art are of the people who were constantly “in between two waves”. Usually these artists were, if not the pioneers of trends, then masters of them.

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