Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Jan 2009 13:46 UTC
Editorial With Windows 7 having made its grand debut, and with KDE4's vision making leaps and bounds forward with every release, we have two major software projects that have decided to implement some fairly drastic interface changes. Such changes are bound to receive some harsh criticisms - but the funny thing is, these criticisms usually come from people you least expect it from.
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RE: Aack!!
by setec_astronomy on Tue 27th Jan 2009 16:51 UTC in reply to "Aack!!"
setec_astronomy
Member since:
2007-11-17

It is this negative feedback cycle that worries me most. Not that KDE 4.0 was not ready for end-user consumption and nevertheless included as default in some distros (serious question to those who say that the KDE devs did not tell the distro maintainers what to expect from KDE 4.0: When did testing releases prior to including them in feature plans went out of style? Low and behold, even if I was only a mere XFCE user with a passing interest in KDE4 back in November 2007, I knew what to expect of KDE 4.0 and what not to expect prior to 4.2, because I build the damn thing from SVN and tested it.), not that after years and years of development, the KDE4 devs went a bit over the top and wrote an overly enthusiastic release note without warnings. And certainly not that a group of developers chose to
increase the competetiveness of their framework by some quite fundamental rewritings in certain parts.

No, what worries me is that several people seemingly ignore the repeated "we will add most features of 3.x once the new framework is in shape" messages from the developers (exhibit A: The "no more icons on the desktop" tempest in a teapot), and once the features arrive claim that this is because finally the programmers have come to senses, seen the point of the users (and their failings, respectively) and implemented what always should have been done in the first place.

It worries me, because we as recipients of the F/OSS ecosystem seemingly have learned nothing of past experiences (e.g. GNOME gained most of their features back after the foundations of the desktop was sound, even though I'm confident that it will not take as long in the case of KDE4). And it worries me, because the line between a passionate user base and one that reaches for their lynch mob gear and makes the job of the devs none the easier seems to be a rather fine one.

The current UI of KDE4 is implemented using libplasma, with the very-same basic building-block functionality that any revolutionary, UI-from-outer-space may use now or in the future (e.g. logic for sorting/grouping of tasks in a taskbar, menus, the concept of runners and activities, data-engines, etc. ).

There are many valid reasons not to use KDE4 over KDE3, because (for example) multi-monitor setup seems to be still a sore point as has been mentioned above, not all graphic setups offer statisfactionary performance, etc. . But this "if it weren't for the peer pressure, those crazy KDE4 devs would have completly screwed up" is a bit frightening.

And yes, the distress a lot of KDE users vented during the 4.0 and 4.1 cycle led to a different appoach in the roadmap, especially for plasma (so that reimplementing the missing parts of the "old school" desktop was given a higher priority compared to implementing the promised, revolutionary stuff on top of the very same framework).

Yet I fail to see how the "Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" bashings/lamentings of KDE4 in the past year have helped anybody, safe for those who did it to lower their blood pressure, which may be acceptable as a measure of emergency medical relief.

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