Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Apr 2011 17:50 UTC, submitted by Cytor
Gnome The day is finally here, the day that the GNOME team releases GNOME 3.0, the first major revision of the GNOME project since 2002. Little of GNOME 2.x is left in GNOME 3.0, and as such, you could call it GNOME's KDE4. We're living in fortunate times, what, with two wildly divergent open source desktops.
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RE[4]: Tested it for a few hours
by yokem55 on Wed 6th Apr 2011 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tested it for a few hours"
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In late 2007, the kde folks were facing a number of chicken and egg problems that were only going to get resolved by making a release.
Internally, there was tension between the parts of KDE4 that were mature and stable (kdegames, the libs, kdebase outside of kwin & plasma) that were itching to get their work out while kwin's compositing and plasma were quite late in becoming usable and there were still other devs going on and on with blue sky work.

Kwin & plasma were needing big improvements & bug fixes in drivers and the rest of the X graphics stack, and those issues weren't going to get resolved until there were at least some users putting pressure on upstream.

So a release was scheduled, and timeline set. The schedule was pushed back twice, and plasma was still in a really, really, rough state, but once it was barely functional (launch apps, show a taskbar & half broken system tray, draw a clock, etc), they released.

Then, in the midst of all this, as a result of poor communication, several distros planning their spring releases felt the need to pick up 4.0 and drop maintenance 3.5, and by the time it was clear that 4.0 was in poor shape, it was too late to change back.

Then prior to the 4.1 release, to take advantage of some important new features in Qt, plasma was heavily reworked in a way that broke most of the widgets, and by the time 4.1 was released in July, it wasn't in much better shape.

Was it a mess? Yes. Was it the end of the world? No. Did it burn some users? Yes. Did it attract a whole bunch of new developers hacking on the code. Yep - and that is partly why KDE is in a much more mature state now.

Edited 2011-04-06 23:22 UTC

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