thanks for the help @ronanletiec and @Douglas. I am reading everything I can find and getting restless because I want to start experimenting on my local machine now. I am wary because KDE Plasma desktop 5 is working well for me now and i had so many problems with version 4. I understand that there were many issues and the major one seemed to be incompatibilities in various library functions and configuration management during a time of rapid change. (always an issue with a dynamic environment when significant internals change).
It has been years since I worked on a coding project where I had to be aware and lately I just got fed up with windows and lazily installed KUbuntu and hoped it worked. It did until I started loading upgrades and I have been through upgrades of KDE from version 3 to version 5. All using canonical and whatever is packageed with the “K” flavor of Ubuntu.
I did not really want to become aware of how to use dpkg or even to install libraries explicitly. I just wanted my “main” computer to work. Just because I have figured out how to rebuild and not lose anything does not mean I want to do it when I have something better todo. Now that I have lived through several unscheduled down days over the last few years I chose to buy a separate box so I don’t shoot myself in the foot.
Thanks for listening. I am waiting impatiently to get the proper power cord for the charger on the new (refurbished) Dell laptop so I have a separate sandbox to do my test builds.