On his blog, KDE hacker Aaron Seigo looks
at the differences between "activities" in GNOME 3 and KDE 4. Both desktop environments use the term, but they each have their own interpretation. "They [GNOME] call this "activities" in an attempt to make the abstract and geekish "virtual desktops" more approachable to people. It is not, however, what most humans would call an activity in every day conversation. It's just a more recognizable name for an old concept that they gave some polish.
In KDE software, an "activity" is actually much closer to what we'd call an activity in the real world: it's a collection of tools with a task based theme. What the theme is remains up to the person using the computer; Plasma just provides an interface with which to create an activity and start defining what belongs to it.
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