Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3221 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] KDE4 usable?
  • From: Will Stephenson <wstephenson@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 23:12:16 +0100
  • Message-id: <200711212312.16711.wstephenson@xxxxxxx>
On Wednesday 21 November 2007 19:02:51 Philippe Landau wrote:
"Stephan Binner has announced the availability of KDE Four Live 0.7, an
openSUSE-based live CD featuring the newly released KDE 4.0 RC1. One
interesting point of the announcement is the author's frustration over
the quality of KDE 4, expressing strong doubts about the suitability of
KDE 4.0 final for production use"

That's Beineri's personal opinion.

Originally a version with limited usability was called alpha,

I'll assume you are mixing usability with functionality. ?

if they now call it release candidate that says a lot.
Is buggy software good for business ?

<short version>

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

<long version>

Sure, KDE 4.0 is less functional in some areas than KDE 3.5.8. We (the KDE
developers as well as the SUSE KDE team) know it's not possible to port to Qt
4, rework all of the foundations of KDE 3, add new technologies, maintain the
features and polish of KDE 3.5.8, and release in a reasonable period. It
doesn't work out. Look at the last item in that list. If you fulfil every
other item, by the time you release would be irrelevant. There are plenty of
Free Software projects you can think of as examples of this, but no names, no
pack drill.

One of the signs of Free Software's success is that people now accept it on
the same terms as any other product. They want it to be great, perfect and
better in every way, and in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, it is not the
same as other products. A large part of the process is getting people out
there using it, finding the bugs and being inspired to actively join
projects. In this way we gain the manpower needed to make our software
great. Unfortunately, to do this you have to release. We've been putting
out alphas and betas for several months now, and they have not attracted the
mass uptake required to get KDE 4 over the threshold - despite many of the
apps being usable.

So, a project has to compromise. Some do it by releasing never (see above).
Others are equally conservative, but choose to compromise on features and
innovation. KDE chooses as a project to accept that KDE 4.0 != KDE 3.5.8 -
it's better in many ways, worse in some [very visible] others. Most of us
feel that this will see acceptance and create enough momentum to make KDE 4.1
and its successors exceed KDE 3 and establish the basis for the next 10*
years of the Free Software desktop. Some don't, but that's ok, KDE is a
friendly project and consists of many diverse points of view. And we're
seeing that this strategy works - the volume of downloads of RC1 is several
times that of any of the earlier betas and IRC action is up a lot.

The bottom line for the openSUSE user is that you won't be forced into
accepting buggy software in the form of KDE 4.0. The next openSUSE release
will include a later version, and experience shows that for all the rotten
tomatoes 4.0 will get (as well as some praise hopefully) KDE 4 will improve
extremely rapidly and the next openSUSE will reflect that. Everyone is
welcome to try the packages from KDE:KDE4 in the buildservice and the liveCDs
and help us make it great sooner, but if the compromise I described above is
unacceptable for you, wait it out, watch and join us at 4.0.x or 4.1.

Oh, and this is my personal opinion, but I think others share it too.


*Actually 11, we started this business on 14 Oct 1996, but 10 flowed better.

Will Stephenson
Desktop Engineer
Interfaces and Applications
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