Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Jan 2008 20:47 UTC
KDE KDE's Aaron Seigo (who owes me a Martini) wrote about a few often-heard misconceptions and questions regarding KDE 4.0, which is supposed to be released January 11th. "Now that 4.0.0 is tagged and out and that bit of worry and concern is behind me for the moment, I wanted to take a moment to talk really bluntly about 4.0. In particular, I'm going to address some of the common memes in fairly random order that I see about kde 3.5 and 4.0. I'm going to speak bluntly (though not rudely) so prepare yourself."
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Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

It seems to me that this commotion comes down to the KDE guys thinking "4.0" means one thing and some of the public (rightfully) thinking it means something else.

I read a long time ago that 4.0 for KDE4 was just the beginning of a long journey, so I got the message. For a lot of people though, 4.0 means "finished" and 4.x means "small improvements".

So you can see how different people have different expectations -- what some people expect from "4.0" the KDE4 guys expect at a later 4.x! Different interpretations of those numbers has caused different expectations about the software releases, which has then caused internet finger typing arguments.

Some developers might take notice and avoid the same problem in the future by using more conventional version naming.

Reply Score: 2

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

For a lot of people though, 4.0 means "finished" and 4.x means "small improvements".


I get the point you're trying to make, but honestly, from the days of MS-DOS and probably beyond, ".0" releases were never "finished", and the .1 (or beyond) was where they applied the mostly-final polish. Software development is simply too complex to account for all of the various use-constraints and potential corner-cases to nail down all the bugs, particularly since beta testing groups generally represent narrow segments of the market that aren't necessarily representative of the target market as a whole. As well, sometimes you need to draw the line between features and release, otherwise you wind up in an endless cycle of continual feature creep requiring testing that delays release. At some point you need to get the product out the door into the real-world to develop it further, pretty much all software houses small and large realize this, even if their marketing departments try and spin it.

Vista is hoping their .1 will be SP1, XP's .1 really came with SP2, Windows 3.1 was the turning point for MS, OSX 10.0 was mostly reviled, and even now the most die-hard Mac user will generally say wait until the first ..1 for any new point release. Gnome 2.0 was lambasted. Linux 2.6.0 was a major refactoring that took some point-releases before mainstream acceptability. The list goes on..

Most of the complaining generally comes from people that don't like breaking the status quo, but they're generally happy enough to jump on board the bandwagon once everyone else fixes things well enough for them. It would be one thing if developers, whether community or commercial, forced new versions down customers throats, but they generally don't. They continue to support older versions of software so users can adopt at their own pace. Doesn't matter whether you're MS or KDE. Changing naming conventions won't work, at least unless you're Google and can simply call everything a "beta" for as long as you don't want to actually support it, users really need to adjust their expectations. Revolutions, even small ones, need time to build up momentum. A .0 release simply won't do it. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 8

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

> Most of the complaining generally comes from people that don't like breaking the status quo

That was all you needed to say -- we just disagree on why people are complaining ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Some developers might take notice and avoid the same problem in the future by using more conventional version naming.


Hmm, well, wouldn't calling it KDE4 0.1 create even more confusion?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Hmm, well, wouldn't calling it KDE4 0.1 create even more confusion?


They should've called it a developer preview or something, or a DRx release like BeOS used to do. Because that's what it is: a foundation release with all the guts in order, but not used to their fullest potential.

In any case, they should've not yet used the 4.0 moniker. Not because the version number doesn't fit (they've been pretty clear about what 4.0 would be) but because it created unnecessary confusion and agitation that could've been prevented easily. They should have seen this one coming, especially if they planned on making 4.0 a DR from the get-go - which I'm not sure of. I believe 4.0 was supposed to be feature-complete anyway, but due to time constraints, they made it to what it is now.

But I'm not sure about that last bit.

Reply Parent Score: 2