Will it be possible to install KDE/Plasma Apps like Kate on the librem5 without installing Plasma Mobile?
what is the desktop going to be anyways?
Yes, you can install KDE/Plasma apps. Hopefully they will integrate nicely into the default environment: a GNOME-based shell called Phosh.
If there are issues then we may need to resolve them with the upstream developers unless there are workarounds that can make integration smoother.
A lot of this is relatively new to me, so I hope you’ll bear with me. Also feel free to ask me to make this a separate post.
The original question is about KDE-Apps. How well does your answer apply to any software that runs on Linux? I realize that the ideal is for developers to create versions of their software that are geared towards a small screen with touch input. But is software that hasn’t undergone this port usable at all? If so, how?
I ask because it would be great if I could somehow use the Librem 5 as my only mobile phone and mobile computer. Not to have it have the functionality of a laptop, and not to have it be a replacement for an iPhone or Android, but to allow me to do the quick tasks that I’d like to be able to do on the go. So for example, I use Thunderbird on my PC for email, and I keep my messages on my PC, rather than in the cloud. I heavily filter my email, and Thunderbird alerts me when certain messages arrive. Therefore, using a different mail app on the Librem 5 wouldn’t be of much use to me with my current setup. However, if I were able to store my messages on the Librem 5 or on a card, and Thunderbird were even barely useable on the Librem 5, I could read and respond to my most important messages while away from my PC.
I’m not asking this to suggest that the Librem 5 should be any different than it is right now; I think it’s amazing for the initial version of a smartphone that has the goals that it does. I’m just trying to figure out how the Librem 5 might fit my use case.
A lot of apps are designed with (implicit) assumptions about how they will be used, and they often reflect the existing environment the developers use or the environments that their users have. So, a lot of generic Linux desktop software is designed to work well with fairly large screens, keyboards and mice. There has been a move towards more mobile-friendly user interfaces, so a lot depends on which apps you use and whether they provide this kind of UI.
Some pieces of traditional software are usable without modification; others need to be adapted. Some of the core GNOME apps have been adapted to be more usable on small screens.
Really, you need to try the apps you want to use in the phone environment. Only then can you decide if they would be usable for you.