DEC
1
2007

KDE 4.0 to be Released in January

The KDE Release Team has decided to release KDE 4.0 this coming January. The release was originally planned for mid-December. The KDE developers want to solve a couple of essential issues before releasing. Having solved some of those issues, among which were glitches in the visual appearance, and in Konqueror, the KDE community hopes to have a KDE 4.0 that will live up to the high expectations for it. Read on for more details.

Meanwhile, the progress towards KDE 4.0 is astonishing. Most parts, such as the KDE Development Platform and a lot of applications are considered stable and well-usable.

Some parts of the desktop experience do not yet meet the KDE community's quality standards and expectations for a stable release. There are also some issues which need to be addressed upstream, for example a bug in certain codecs of xine that cut off audio fragments prematurely. The developers are confident to be able to release a more polished and better working KDE 4.0 desktop in January. The changed plans involve releasing on January 11th, 2008.

At the same time, the release team's call for participation is repeated. To make KDE 4.0 a success, your effort is needed. An overview of current showstoppers can be found on Techbase, KDE's knowledge platform.

This is also a call to the wider Free Software community, and also to companies working with KDE. If you have the resources to contribute, assistance in fixing the remaining bugs is most welcome.

Comments

ROFLC0PTER


By Ian Monroe at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

Sorry, but forking QT just doubles your work load (now you have to develop the fork, and KDE) while not adding any benefit. In fact, it hurts you since you lose all the benefit you currently have from the professional QT development that is on-going.

Every once in a while, you really need to rethink thinks, and redevelop from the ground up. I'm sure the KDE 4 series will be absolutely great in time.


By T. J. Brumfield at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

KDE 4 is not a complete rewrite. It is a massive overhaul, but lots of existing pieces of code are "just" ported and refactored.
Having said that: exactly what reason do the developers have to "listen to the flaming crowd"? If you, as the flaming crowd, know so much better, why don't you do the work then?


By Andre at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Exactly, speaking as a developer, I tend to ignore people that aren't friendly enough for my sense of humor du jour. Odds that someone who asks for something in a friendly way is ignored are very slim, however.


By Sebastian Kügler at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

I have ported several Qt3 apps to Qt4. The mistake KDE made was subtle, and one many others have made. Simply put, they ported at the same time they redesigned. This kept the software in an unusable state for far too long. It would have been better (IMHO) if they had first ported to Qt4 and released a Qt4-based KDE3.5, and then redesign from a solid stable base. This approach does take *longer* overall, but you will have the benefit of a good interim release.

No need to fork Qt.


By David Johnson at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Almost but not quite... The port was done as a separate, but it never really stabilized.


By SadEagle at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

True, but kde3.5 is good enough to survive one other year, so no real need for an interim release, imho. I prefer to wait a little bit longer and get a next generation KDE rather that an improved one and wait again (and this time for a long time) for the next version.


By A lazy KDE user at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

I may be wrong, but I think that'd kill binary compatibility. Qt3 is not BC with Qt4, and KDE also guarantees BC throughout the major versions, so by porting to Qt4, KDE is no longer BC with the previous version. If they released that, then there would be another BC break (or severely limit what refactoring they can do) when they redesign. KDE is the framework so many applications are built on. I think in the long run, and for the sake of those other developers, doing both at the same time (meaning no intrim release) was the right way to go.


By mactalla at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

we'll get it done. however, you're not wrong. more incremental releases would actually be a load off on everyone. i also agree on the QT thing. alas, this one is quite the pickle. better leave it be.

guess who.


By psigh at Fri, 2007/12/14 - 6:00am

Hi folks,

Will KDE 4.0 be any better graphicaly than KDE 3.XX and how does it compare to Vista's Aero interface. Which is better? Will KDE work on Windows Vista in place of the Aero interface?


By JimmyX at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

That is is a very subjective question.

I'm sure someone will make a Vista theme on kde-look.org to make KDE 4.0 look like Vista if you like. And there will be people who skin it to look like OS X, and such. I'd say that KDE is much more versatile in its appearance than Vista. What it looks like will largely be up to you.

I don't believe that KDE 4 on Windows however will use Plasma. Last I heard, the desktop portions of KDE are not being ported to Windows, just the applications.


By T. J. Brumfield at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Kde4 apps is thanks to Qt4 and core tehnologies much better, but desktop (desktop & settings & panel) agrrf - gnomish. Oxygen - icons profesional, sound "smells awfully", windec dead (in other words - too much grey - i want plastic like (blue & grey) with oxygen buttons and domino corners), ....

- Desktop of Kde Four Live RC1+ stil looks like 80s blackbook. I think that settings corner is a big mistake. There isn't any gradients. Simply too ugly. And you can acess to these functions with right click too.
- Walpaper config is there, but simply too simply for me. Where are now Position options (scaled, centred, tiled), Colors options (various gradients), Blending?!?! And how can I set 1 wallpaper for desktop 1, secound for D2, etc.???
- What about runing KDE3 aplications in KDE4 desktop?
- What about Raptor (kbfx for 4 generaton?)
- What about option for KDE classic menu, from 3.x generation (many there think that it is much much better than Kickoff)
- What about new splash screen?
- What about current app menu bar (MacOS style)
- Icons on desktop looks bad, but they are very usuable. We need it (and please simple .desktop files - not plasmoids)

Greetings, Miha


By mihas at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

I'm utterly confused what this means regarding the freeze status. I guess API and ABI will need to remain compatible. But does the delay give us another chance for message string changes, for instance?


By tfry at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

Replying to myself, in case anybody else is wondering about this: The freeze remains in effect. See http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-release-team&m=119669157907550&w=2 .


By tfry at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

One month isn't enough. If KDE 4 wants to live up the expectations at leasts two months is needed, but 4 months would be better.

I mean, can anybody give me a link to the requirements + estimates used for this descision?


By Dennie at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

I agree.. I would love to see KDE 4 really ready and perfectly running on April...


By Somebody from s... at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

I hope they will release bugfix releases frequentely do that you can switch to, say, 4.0.5 in April if you find it stable enough.


By Grósz Dániel at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Two months ago it was delayed by two months. Now by one month. I think if it won't be stable enough in January, it will be delayed by an other month.


By Grósz Dániel at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Now, that is _exactly_ the problem I'm addressing. Nobody can count on anything. Basically this way it is done when it's done. The question is: when is it done? You can only tell that by defining clear functional requirements, defining the number of hours a developer can work on their project and ask those developers to give estimates on the work they're doing. Now we have a good view on when things are done. Add an additional 10% overhead and we're not telling the community farytails anymore.

Another thing is: Developers are adding functionality like crazy. When is this beta or even alpha tested? The thing is: KDE 4 is -not done-. So please stop this and begin with a good solid release plan.

Another thing I hate is that some developers say: No, 4.0 is more like an intermediate release for developers and early adopters. NO! That's what alpha's and beta's are for.


By Dennie at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

> I mean, can anybody give me a link to the requirements + estimates used for this descision?
Sure. Check out http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/KDE4/4.0_Release_Beta_Goals.
Current showstoppers are plasma and konqueror FM (web browsing? I'm posting this from Konqeror 4).


By Michael at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Well, I've decided I can't wait that long, so I'm installing from the SVN now. Maybe I'll actually get my act together, and contribute somehow.


By Soap at Sun, 2007/12/02 - 6:00am

That's the spirit! Together we'll beat the bugs.

Maybe we can get the dot admins to hang some old propaganda posters up in here to create a feeling of solidarity and progress ;).


By Will Stephenson at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

If you find it's too much hassle, as I did, I'm currently using KDE4 Daily and it's a wonderfully streamlined process for debugging.


By Glen Kirkup at Wed, 2007/12/05 - 6:00am

I've no doubt the plasma developers are pretty good at what they're doing. But I really wonder about the state of the desktop. To deal with the plasma applets is a mess. What about that horrible button in the upper right desktop corner? How can I move to and integrate the pager applet in the bar at the bottom (whatever it's current name is - formerly kicker)? Application windows easily hide applets - I can't find a way bring the applets into the foreground like a normal application window (by clicking it in the taskbar).

I know, all is easy to implement and so on. 4.0 is not 4, and it's meant to be for developers only. You'll tell me about the preliminary state and so on. Perhaps you'll ask what I contribute instead of critizising. Anyway, it needs a bit more to convince me. All I can see is 3.95 up to now.


By Andy at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Plasma already has dashboard support.

Ehm, just drag'n drop the pager applet to the panel, it may give you some issues at that time, but if logged out and in, it'll be just nice (at least that is what happens here).

BTW: I can't find any key binding to call the dashboard, but you can put a show desktop plasmoid on the desktop or the panel.


By Luis at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Ehm, a show-desktop plasmoid on the *desktop* is just a non-sense ;P


By Vide at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Yes, I know, but there is a little problem if you put it in your panel, once the dashboard is active, it's impossible to click, so you have to put one on the desktop XD.


By Luis at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

CTRL+F12

Try other CTRL+F?? combos, and you see more of the fancy things in KDE4 :-)


By Sebastian Kügler at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

3.95 AKA beta 4 is more than a month old.


By Grósz Dániel at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

Did you run out of figures? Beta6 were more appropriate than RC1 for what I can see ATM. If you feel you need to release something, then go and release the libs. Releasing the "desktop" in its current state (and probably the next 4 weeks won't change it too much) will cost you more respect than a delay of another quarter.


By Andy at Wed, 2007/12/05 - 6:00am

Don't know if this screenshot of the kde4 menu is a joke, a beta test a skin or a plugin,

http://kde.rinet.ru/announcements/announce_4.0-beta4/kde4.0-beta4.png

but if not, I hope there will be an option in order to revert back to the KDE3 menu.


By Meghazi Fabien at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

I think this deserves a huge red text in every release announcement:

There won't be any "old style" KMenu unless someone provides one.


By Luca Beltrame at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

I'm not going to do it on my own, but if someone wants to join me, I am seriously considering writing a new menu for KDE4. It definitely won't be ready for January, but maybe we can have something for 4.0.1. I'm leaning towards a classic menu. Email me if you are interested (remove the "no.spam" from the address).


By David Johnson at Mon, 2007/12/03 - 6:00am

I want to help. I am almost ashamed that I am unable to do so!

Donating money at this time probably will not help to make this a great release either.


By Daniel Aleksandersen at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

Grab a distro that offers up-to-date versions of KDE4 like OpenSUSE or KDE4Daily, and get filing bug reports - it's easy and very useful!


By anon at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

Also, if you've got the time, participate in the Krush Days on saturdays, to help, triage and fix many bugs.


By Luca Beltrame at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

Anyone can help with KDE4 Daily, it's impressively simple.


By Glen Kirkup at Wed, 2007/12/05 - 6:00am

I have been using KDE sce beta 2 - before version 1.0 was ready. It was great. I have compiled KDE for countless hours and have even added minuscule portions of its code... I have reported and tested hundreds of bugs and have defended KDE against unfair attacks many times.

BUT - the release management of the KDE4 branch is the worst I have seen. I can only compare it to Gnome-1.0, which also sucked bad. How do you call this development snapshot RELEASE CANDIDATE? No packaging is available, only live cds because noone wishes to ruin a real system with this snapshot. All the live cds I tested were not usable as desktop - less so than any extremely simple WM like icewm or the like. FVWM is more usable than the RC1.

Please do take time until spring, add a number of real release candidates, when the developers run out of immediately obvious bugs. At the moment there are glaring bugs in the entire environment. To call this release candidate reminds me of the WOW effect of Vista... For the first time in years I have checked out gnome (still behind KDE3, fortunately).

Please take your time, package the stuff to get real users using it on their desktop machines (e.g. debian packages) help the packagers with their packages, wait until the flood of bugs decreases and then call it a release candidate - when it is ready. Stop the MARKETING CRAP - it's lying to people. Gnome is better at that game.

Please let me know when there are DEbian packages of KDE-4.0 that can be installed in parallel to the KDE3 desktop... You will then get as many bug reports as you like from me.

Best regards

Moritz


By Moritz Moeller-... at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

Moritz,

Agree with you on most points, however, I have just installed Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) and of course the KDE front end (Kubuntu).

I've always prefered the KDE environment, maybe because I was a mac & windows boy for a decade or more, however I think the KDE branch has lost significant ground to the GNOME environment...........

To the extent that I doubt I'll be returning to KDE as long as GNOME (in it's Ubuntu flavour anyhow) is as good as this.

for me, KDE has always been about attractivenes as much as usability - it's just as easy to acomplish tasks in GNOME, it's just slightly prettier in KDE.

Or at least it was.

A few mouse clicks (okay, I used a terminal, but you can use mouse clicks) and you've got the amazingly configurable Compiz-Fusion, and whadda you know?

KDE may have 'nicer buttons', but GNOME (ubuntu's version anyway) is now incredibly stable, as clean or as whizzy as you want, and visually stunning.

Controversial as it may be, I find myself thinking, "what's the point of KDE?"

Kubuntu's KDE is buggy and, well, so last year.

I strongly disagree that GNOME is still behind KDE3 - in my opinion it is light years ahead.

So if KDE want to remain relevant, I suggest taking AS LONG AS IT TAKES to come back with something with genuine wow factor (and not the 'wow, this is crap' I've just had trying to run the live RC cd).

Also, as an aside, I know it's fashionable in KDE circles to denigrate GNOME, and especially a 'for the kids' distro like ubuntu, but have a go with 7.10 and see if the prejudice remains..............


By FatFox at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

:/ You can put Compiz Fusion in KDE too. Hell, you can put kwin into GNOME.

Tell me when GNOME has their own windowmanager, okay :)

(And no, metacity is just a window manager, and works perfectly well without GNOME - doesn't even depend on the GNOME libraries, and before Metacity, GNOME used Enlightenment then Sawfish).

I use KDE for the sheer power it gives me over my system. If it can be done, there's probably a configuration option that can do it. I've got my tabs at the bottom of Konqueror, for example.


By cloakable at Thu, 2007/12/06 - 6:00am

Yeah, I know - about the compiz-fusion on Kubuntu.

Have you tried it?

Buggy as hell - seems to be fully integrated into ubuntu, and positively poisonous to kubuntu.

Strange, I know.

But then again ntfs read/write support works better in GNOME as well (Ubuntu will write to my ntfs external hard drives, Kubuntu won't) - challenging question, but (usability aside, which is where I'm actually coming from) - what can you do in KDE that can't be done in GNOME?

I run many K-programs in gnome (& vice-versa) - they just don't always work so well as in the 'native' environment.

I used to prefer KDE, now I prefer GNOME - if KDE works for you, and you prefer it, great - that's the beauty of linux & open source in general, we're not all herded into 'my way or the highway' Windows, check out Mint, PCLOS, SUSE - there's a flavour for pretty much anyone.

My point was that GNOME seems to have taken a huge leap forward in aesthetics & usability, & KDE (for me anyhow) has missed a step.

I don't care what you use on your system - if it works & makes you productive (& happy!) then more power to you.

I only made the above comments as an ex-KDE fan - it was (in my opinion) way ahead of GNOME, and it seems to be lagging at the moment.

Just my opinion - & I'm waiting to see what KDE comes up with next (competition is always better from an evolutionary point of view!)


By FatFox at Fri, 2007/12/07 - 6:00am

"Because no one wishes to ruin a real system"?

You're going far with assumptions, I see. If you actually read around in the MLs you'll see that is mostly because stuff had to be adjusted in order to be co-installable. Aside that, that's the distro's responsiblity.

Finally, like other people on the Dot, why on Earth are you being so disrespectful? You can say "marketing-wise, I think that calling it RC may have been a mistake" instead of "Stop the MARKETING CRAP". It takes seconds to write a calm and polite reply that may disagree but not be on the borderline of offensive.

Is it that hard?


By Luca Beltrame at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

The people who wish to test betas of desktop environments invest time and effort and are mostly not stupid. To think that the wrong label ("release candidate") for an early development snapshot would lead to more testers and to better bug reports is insulting and not very smart. Or to call it short "CRAP".

Stuff like this did not happen for KDE 1.0, KDE 2.0 and KDE 3.0.

It is purely marketing driven and it is crap, so I think marketing crap is still a polite way to express myself.


By Moritz Moeller-... at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

Right. As much as I hate to say it as a devoted KDE fan, but it seems to me that some developers have developed a certain kind of arrogance. We all know that they spend hundreds of hours per year without pay doing their best to improve KDE and deserve respect for that and everything, but they seem to forget that the devoted users, and not just those who are directly contributing through active testing, but also those who help to spread the word, are just as critical for the success of the desktop. And I think that we have a right to be heard too. This "you don't have to pay for it, so stop complaining" - attitude doesn't h help anyone. And marketing something as RC1 that obviously has alpha quality at best (read: not even close to feature complete) IS downright disrespectful towards potential testers that the developers are trying to attract.
So the bottom line is: Dear KDE devs, I say this with all love and respect, but please please admit that you completely screwed things up when it comes to dealing with your user community, and try to set things right again.


By chris.w at Wed, 2007/12/05 - 6:00am

I fully agree. Go and set things right. Take another quarter to finish the desktop before releasing it. And don't take the easy route and call everybody criticizing the release cycle a troll.

(Just to make it clear: I love KDE, too. I'm using KDE for almost 10 years. I'm using it for more than 7 years daily in the office. I'd contributed some bugfixes and a few features over the last years. I've recommended it to numerous people.)


By Andy at Wed, 2007/12/05 - 6:00am

KDE 4 is packaged for openSUSE (and I think other distros also) so that one can install both kde 3 and kde 4.


By Grósz Dániel at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

I wanted to try KDE 4 since its Beta days, but I can't because there are no packages for my distribution (Slackware). How do you want us to test the software if we cannot have it in our computers? Building from source 1) takes days, and 2) completely messes up the administration of my workstation.

Can you get a way to provide packages for the most popular distros, please?

Thanks,

Eduardo


By Eduardo Sanchez at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

Install it to /opt/kde4, then there should be no problems with messing anything up.
Yes, you have to build Qt4 first.
The cmake coming with Slackware 12 is recent enough, dbus too, not sure if I had to install any other additional packages.

Alex


By Alex at Thu, 2007/12/06 - 6:00am

For all people crying about RC, just get over it!

KDE 4.0 is in a much better shape now, Do you know why? Because a lot of people test RC and submit bug reports, that was the plan, the idea behind the label, thanks to that KDE 4.0 improve a lot.

And, they didn't do anything to majority of their user base, people reading the dot, planetkde and testing alphas, betas, and RCs aren't the big portion of the user.

Any way, cheers to all developers.


By Luis at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

"RC" stands for "Release Candidate". That means the developers think it is ready for release, mthough it might still have a few known minor bugs. The purpose of a release candidate is to expose the software to a wider audience in the hopes of shaking out a few more bugs. In no case should a release candidate be offered if there are any known major or critical bugs. In every case the candidate should be fully usable by the target audience. Such was *NOT* the case for the RC1.

Some people above argued that the RC was justified in that the libraries were ready for release. But it wasn't just the libraries that got the RC tag, it was everything else as well. Putting the RC on the desktop meant that someone thought the desktop worthy of the RC tag.

Telling me to "get over it" is doubly insulting. Has KDE become too sacred that we're no longer allowed to criticize?


By David Johnson at Tue, 2007/12/04 - 6:00am

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