Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (156 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: [opensuse-factory] The release notes/product highlights for 12.1
  • From: Will Stephenson <wstephenson@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 01:14:31 +0200
  • Message-id: <1801851.rejOMziO64@emsig>
On Monday 24 Oct 2011 22:35:37 Ilya Chernykh wrote:
I think you could add info on KDE3 being included in 12.1.
Possibly it worth mentioning that this makes asylum for at least a part of
users who dislike Gnome 3.

This is my strong objection to mentioning KDE 3 in our 12.1 marketing and
release notes. SUSE has a long and undistinguished history of letting noisy
tails wag the whole dog, but there is no need for the openSUSE project to
continue this.

Martin Gräßlin approaches the problems facing the Trinity fork of KDE 3 in
this article at freiesmagazin [1] (German), but to apply his analysis to the
KDE:KDE3 packages and our distribution, and for those who don't read German or
trust machine translation, my objection comes down to 2 major things. In case
you aren't aware of my qualifications to make this assessment, I've been part
of the team maintaining KDE at SUSE for the past 6 going on 7 years.

1) Quality and security. Despite the KDE:KDE3 maintainer's high degree of
activity in packaging every KDE 3 app out there and adapting the KDE 3
platform to build on current distributions, it is a mistake to equate this
with sufficient maintenance to ensure adequate code quality to include this in
our distribution. The KDE 3 and Qt 3 codebases are massive, include code in
all the worst places to have a vulnerability, have been essentially
unmaintained for over 2 years now, and *include many known bugs and
vulnerabilities that have only been fixed in the 4 releases*.

Assurances that the project is now maintained upstream by the Trinity project
are hollow; the Trinity group is only a handful of people, none of whom are
the original maintainers or developers of the code, and most of their effort
is spent on writing a Qt4 compatibility layer and in porting the build system
to cmake, not maintenance. In any case, the packages in KDE:KDE3 are based on
3.5.10 and only include some changes from the Trinity project's fork, which is
now 3.5.12.

openSUSE Factory maintainers made an error of judgement to resume including
KDE 3 packages while they demonstrably fulfil the latter 3 of our drop
criteria [2], and marketing should not join them in this.

2) The message sent by a retrograde step. Being unique in a bad way is not
good for the project. Making a thing out of including KDE 3 is saying that we
as a project invest energy in going backwards, and push (sorry) futile efforts
as features. The set of KDE 3 users who have not yet switched to KDE 4 or to
something else is small and we are not going to win more users, more
contributors or recognition for the distro by speaking to these users' needs.


Also it worth mentioning that openSUSE is the first distribution where KDE3
was returned back.

First and only because major distributions have a vision of where they want to
go and how to invest their energy that isn't "be all things to all people,
regardless". openSUSE should be a meritocracy, where things that have merit
get included, instead of uncritically rewarding any activity.

openSUSE is a distro with greatest choice of desktop environments out there
which is a major advantage. This became possible due to wonderful OBS.

Yes, the OBS is wonderful, but openSUSE the distribution doesn't have to
include everything OBS builds. The OBS and Studio also make it easy to spin
your own niche distribution based on openSUSE.

Sincerely

Will


[1] http://www.freiesmagazin.de/mobil/freiesMagazin-2011-09-
bilder.html#11_09_trinity
[2] http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Factory_drop_policy

--
Will Stephenson, openSUSE Team
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Jeff Hawn, Jennifer Guild, Felix Imendörffer,
HRB 21284 (AG Nürnberg)
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