20 Days Until Kubuntu 9.10

Kubuntu 9.10 is on the final lap with freeze coming next week followed by the release candidate and then the final thing. I'm pleased to say it's shaping up to be a decent release. Of course compared to 9.04 that isn't hard, at least it connects to the network fairly reliably. The trouble with being a KDE distro is that when KDE is crappy we end up being crappy too, on the bright side, when KDE rocks, we rock with it.

We have KDE integration with OpenOffice which I think is great. We have social website integration in a bunch of places. We have a preview of Netbook which is perfectly usable, made from Plasma Netbook, packages compiled on ARM and USB Creator. We brought standardisation to visual notifications (which involved freedesktop.org being whipped into shape). Our installer is bling bling thanks to Nuno for his distro love project. There's a handy message indicator which I think is lovely and beats the pants out of what's available currently. We finally have a half decent user setup tool, userconfig. Translations are much improved (read: not broken compared to upstream).

Not everything went my preferred way, the world has yet to appreciate my genius in all matters. I wanted Arora as the default web browser on the not unreasonable grounds that it can read slashdot, but others wanted to stay with Konqueror for its better KDE integration and won the day. We also had an epic battle between Quassel and Konversation with Quassel winning narrowly, Konversation is still in main of course and has good mindshare outside KDE fans. The message indicator is cool but Plasma folks want to do one with different technologies, somehow our messages didn't indicate enough with the person in Plasma who knew this until too late for that. I didn't find time to work on system-config-printer-kde, one day, one day.

Outside KDE I'm glad to see Intel drivers working well enough to let me have compositing turned on for the first time, yay. Intel drivers are so keen to keep you at your computer they won't let you log off, we're still working on that one.

Qt 4.6 is in the Kubuntu Experimental PPA incase you hadn't spotted it. In the main archive we have a new Qt-SDK package which will bring in all the tools you need to do development with the world's finest GUI library.

One last change, the Konqueror about: page, which we've patched for a while now to give it a search box now points to a Google custom search, use it if you want to help Kubuntu pay for itself (use the search box in the browser top right if you don't).

Three more weeks of beastie squishing and testing, join us in #kubuntu-devel if you want to help out.

20 days until karmic


I find it very impudent to blame KDE for Kubuntu's constant suckage. Need a reminder? Then compare http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2991042741/in/set-72157608562200171/ to http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2991047111/in/set-72157608562200171/

OTOT, you ship beta-quality software all the time with Kubuntu (Adept in the past, now KPackgeKit, just to name two). Then you had the nerve to make Arora the default browser during the alpha cycle -- a browser that can't even save passwords or filter ads!

Here's a suggestion for you: Get software into shape before you try to shovel it down the throat of innocent users who think Ubuntu's good reputation makes Kubuntu a good distro, too.
In case of web browsers you should just use Firefox with SUSE's KDE extension for it.

By kamikazow at Fri, 10/09/2009 - 11:26

Arora 0.10 does have support for adblock and password saving. See http://arorabrowser.blogspot.com/2009/10/arora-0100.html

By aurélien gâteau at Fri, 10/09/2009 - 14:24

Considering that Karmic's feature freeze (allowing only bug-fix releases, not feature releases to be imported) was in August and the beta freeze was in September, there was no way, the latest Arora release could make it into Karmic.
Arora 0.10 also needs Qt 4.6 for the hiding feature of AdBlock and also for supporting KDE icons in its menus.
Also, when you look at http://arorabrowser.blogspot.com/2009/10/arora-0100.html, you'll see there hasn't even been contributions from Canonical to Arora 0.10. Instead Canonical hired someone to work on a petty alternative indicator system, while core functionality (package management) still does not work right.

BTW: Thanks for the info about Arora 0.10. I'll have a look.

By kamikazow at Sat, 10/10/2009 - 13:17

The two blockers for getting Arora as a main browser in Kubuntu Karmic was for it to get support for adblock and password saving. It was in the beta in the hope that it would get these features in time. Unfortunately it was too late, so Konqueror was brought back as KDE main browser. Nothing silly here, setting Arora as a main browser for the beta made a lot of sense to ensure additional problems would be detected early enough.

By aurélien gâteau at Mon, 10/12/2009 - 12:25

Everybody likes freedom, so if JR can release kubuntu in his own way he can. Nobody except Canonical and Mark can prevent JR from distributing beta-quality products.

The problem is: Mark blindly believes that JR releases wonderful distributions and do never give the same level of QA effort on Kubuntu.

When ubuntu plans/releases a new feature, they did never think about whether this works in kubuntu or not, when at the time they release ubuntu, they do not care whether kubuntu has received the same level of test and has the comparable quality to ubuntu.

Hence, kubuntu becomes an aggressive distribution (6-month's release cycle is too aggressive for all Linux distributions) with only the human-resource for a casual project.

Such a distribution simply cannot be polished with such a small team with such an aggressive target, am I right?

Things would change only if Mark shuttleworth pay more attention to kubuntu and put more QA effort on kubuntu, but IMO that is very unlikely to happen in the near future.

By panshizhu at Mon, 10/12/2009 - 07:08

I love how one year ago you wanted openSUSE to ship Arora, but now yell at Kubuntu for giving it a try :)


By aurélien gâteau at Mon, 10/12/2009 - 12:44

I hope upgrade will go smooth. Keep up the work.

By bmcage at Fri, 10/09/2009 - 12:39

What exactly is your problem with trying out Arora for the beta release? If you're not able to handle a few problems/missing features during beta testing maybe you shouldn't do beta testing? If you havn't actually tested it yourself why are you so mad?

By nightrose at Sat, 10/10/2009 - 18:17

eh that was meant as a reply to one of the earlier comments. Sorry.

By nightrose at Sat, 10/10/2009 - 18:18