Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Dec 2006 11:38 UTC
X11, Window Managers In 2002, both KDE and GNOME released their last major revisions; KDE released KDE 3.0 on 3rd April, while GNOME followed shortly after with GNOME 2.0 on 27th June. For the Linux desktop, therefore, 2002 was an important year. Since then, we have continiously been fed point releases which added bits of functionaility and speed improvements, but no major revision has yet seen the light of day. What's going on?
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by boudewijn on Thu 21st Dec 2006 12:35 UTC
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If people would only speak about things they know about, the world would be a better place... Thom, in this case you're complete off-base. I don't know about Gnome, so I won't talk about that, but there's a lot of progress from KDE 3.0 to KDE 3.5.5. Try going back to KDE 3.0. Just give it a try... We like to keep our version numbers in synch with the Qt version we use, so there's your reason for "only point releases".

And it's not just the basic desktop that was getting smoother, more usable and more feature-full, the KDE applications have made huge strides since KDE 3.0 was released. Look at K3b, Kpdf, Amarok (magnatune integration!), KOffice, Konqueror, Digikam, KDevelop. Sure, some applications lagged behind a bit, like Kontact, but even there, lots of good work and lots of progress. We couldn't have written all those applications against a continuously changing set of foundations, so stability is good.

And if you are in the thick KDE 4/KOffice 2 development, then it's clear that a lot is happening right now. It's not just the hundreds of daily commits. Qt4 was a little unstable to begin with, and porting to Qt4 was harder than we'd thought, with more to relearn, and a couple of ideas needed a bit more time to crystallize. We needed to experiment with the best way of keeping the libraries stable enough for the app developers to port while still having enough opportunities for refactoring and redesign. And of course, coding the foundations takes time, too, and aren't any too interesting for glitz-hungry outsiders. If you want to know what's going on subscribe to the KDE svn commit mailing list -- but don't do that if you cannot handle a serious amount of email.

Is KDE4 as a goal in trouble? Definitely not. We're having fun and are making amazing progress. Are we going to make our first optimistic estimations? Of course not. We're software developers. Ever had a reliable estimate from a software developer at the beginning of a large project? It simply can't be done. Read you Steve McConnell. Are most of us volunteers? Yes, and that's a good thing, and it has always been that way, even in the days when SUSE was still SuSE. And don't forget Mandriva: without their employee Laurent Montel we would have been in trouble.

Don't be so impatient: you will get your glitz and glitter. I think, personally, that we'll be making quite a splash at the next aKademy.

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