KDE 4.0 Reviewer Reminders

Before everyone starts to spread his opinion about KDE 4.0 let me spread some reminders:

  • KDE 4.0 is not KDE4 but only the first (4.0.0 even non-bugfix) release in a years-long KDE4 series to come.
  • KDE 4.0 is known to have missing parts or temporary implementations (eg printing, PIM, Plasma).
  • Most changes happened under the surface and cannot be discovered in a "30 minutes usage"-review anyway.
  • User interfaces being unchanged in 4.0 compared to 3.5 may be still changed/improved during KDE4 life time.
  • KDE 4.0 will not be the fastest KDE4 release, like for KDE2 most speed optimizations will happen later during KDE4.
  • Most applications (many are not even fully ported yet) will take advantage of new features which the new Qt/KDE libraries offer only later.
  • Don't measure portability success (eg MS Windows) by current availability of application releases, they will come.
  • KDE 4.0 is only expected to be used by early adopters, not every KDE 3.5 user (and IMHO KDE 4.0 shouldn't be pushed onto other user types like planned for Kubuntu ShipIt [btw said to have only 6 months support for its packages]).
  • KDE 4.1 development will not require the same amount of time as the big technology jump 4.0, expect 4.1 later this year.

Last, again: KDE 4.0 is not KDE4. :-)


i'm not sure how comfortable it makes me to read plasma in the same temporary list as pim and printing which have had no work done on them, especially as much of plasma is certainly non-temporary.

but then plasma is everyone's favourite whipping boy. i'm getting used to it, so whatever.

the rest of the list looks good; i'd really recommend coordinating these messages with the kde communications team as well so we can get some consistent messaging on this.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 01:02

> as pim and printing which have had no work done on them, especially as much of plasma is certainly non-temporary.

You keep on saying that its API will be changed in KDE 4.1 (or even 4.2 if 4.1 would be released within something like 4 months). And its implementation will be changed when it gets based on new abilities which Qt 4.4 will introduce.

But saying that stuff like Akonadi has seen no work at all is unfair ;-)...

By at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 05:07

Hmmm, well, Akonadi has seen a lot of work - but it's far from finished, and not included. So compared to many other parts of KDE, KDE-PIM in KDE 4.0 didn't see a lot of work. Same with printing - it's been changed under the hood quite a bit, but it's mostly a step back from KDE 3.5 as far as the user is concerned. Mentioning Plasma in the same sentence, even tough it is far from finished, must feel a bit painful to it's developers ;-)

By superstoned at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 08:04

I already replaced some KDE 3 apps with their KDE 4 counterparts on my Linux box. While Konqueror 4.0 is far from groundbreaking compared to Konqueror 3.5, it's still a nice improvement. It's the same with other apps.

By kamikazow at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 01:58

I still think it is strange to release a first version of "KDE 4" and not calling it "KDE 4" as "4.0 is not 4 yet". The fact that KDE 4 is not done tells everything: This release should not be called KDE 4.0. The release team should analyze what a feature-complete KDE 4 looks like, make estimates what time it takes to get those features done, do some risk-analysis and base the release date for KDE 4 (KDE 4.0 that is) on those numbers. Not on pure luck.

This list is a list of excuses for the badly chosen release date. You think reviewers will understand this? "No, this is a full major release, but actually it's not done yet" is a very strange thing to say and I think that any serious reviewer will think the same. I'm not saying KDE 4 is bad. I'm just saying that rushing a first release for the sake of a first release confuses the hell out of people.

"KDE 4.0 is not KDE4". To me it sounds weirder than Quantum Mechanics.

By morphie at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 11:43

> The fact that KDE 4 is not done tells everything: This release should not be called KDE 4.0.

You obviously did not get my point. Software is never done, so will KDE4 never be (yes, at some point when everyone is working on and using KDE 5.x it will be "done" - done as in dead).

By at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 14:52

Your words:

"KDE 4.0 is known to have missing parts or temporary implementations"

Come on. Be real. If it is -missing- stuff, it is not done.
"yeah, the car is missing a back seat and headlights, but it can drive"

Your words is what I keep hearing. It's just that from an outsiders perspective it is strange, very strage, that a product that is missing stuff is marked as done. Now you're dictating reviewers. That's not how it works. If you release a major version upgrade, then don't expect reviewers to look at it as if it were beta software. You are basically telling people: KDE 4 isn't feature-complete, but hey, it's software, so it's alright.

By morphie at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 15:15

Your comparison is lacking, more correct would be "your car is available and it can drive but we cannot offer you the promised navigation system yet and instead of the optional CD changer you have to live with the tape player for now".

> Now you're dictating reviewers.


By at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 16:04

No, more correct would be "Your car is available and it can drive, but the steering wheel (panel) is so large it blocks a huge portion of your visibility out of the windshield and you can only turn it left".

By nanobug at Fri, 01/04/2008 - 04:18

Pardon me for butting in here. My name's Andrew. I'm not a developer, much less a KDE developer, just a KDE end user (who likes it a whole lot more than GNOME or other WMs) and someone who occasionally writes Linux reviews for fun.

When version 1.0, 2.0, 3.0....x.0 of a piece of software's released, it usually means (to me, at least) that its developers consider it production-quality. Not necessarily bug-free - what is? - but production-quality.

So here you are basically telling us that KDE 4.0, which will be released in 8 days, won't be production-quality, and shouldn't be reviewed as if it were meant to be.

So, the unanswered question is, Why are you releasing it now instead of waiting until it's ready for general consumption? (And its corollary, Why shouldn't we review what you release as KDE 4.0 as if it were meant for general consumption?)

By eco2geek at Wed, 01/02/2008 - 13:49