SEP
9
2003

KDE Traffic #64 is Out

KDE Traffic #64 has been released, with lots of news articles about KDatePicker, iCalendar, OpenOffice integration in KDE, the software patent fracas, a neat little devices applet for Kicker, a private extension for DCOP, and of course, a nice treat at the end. Get it at the usual place.

Comments

Thanks Russel!! That was a very interesting read!

From the Traffic

"Neil responded that he is perfectly agreeable to reverting both his commit and Christoph's."

Hmmmm, What were Christoph's commits?

Also, I tried checking http://www.indigoarchive.net/gav/autorun1.jpg
but it's reporting an unknown host.

I'm hope OO integration goes well


By Jasem Mutlaq at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

Christoph was the person who committed the change to KDEs front page.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

A provate extension for DCOP and a polotical discussion! You might want to run the spell checker over it again before trolls complain we're not just using the letter K disproportionately, but also the O. :)


By Rob Kaper at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

I noticed those today. I'm going to submit a corrected version soon, but even then, it takes quite a while to put up :(

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

Thank you, Russell !


By Marko at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

Yeah, excellent job. Your coverage of "The Thread" was objective and fair, IMHO.


By LMCBoy at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

Thanks. That was a particularly tough one.

Some of the things that I left *out* of the article were much more telling and definitely much more amusing. But I make it a policy not to cover flamewars, no matter how tempting.

My personal, non-editorial opinion is that Neil was way out of line, those commits should have never been made, and once they were, they should have been immediately removed once it was clear that the community at large didn't want them. I am an american citizen myself, and I felt that Neil's commits were in poor taste and had no place in the KDE project. But he stuck to his guns, and things played out exactly as they were going to. But now that it has all played out, I think the KDE project is much better off. A lot of time and energy was spent fighting battles, such as this one, that really should not have been fought, at least to the extent that this one was.

A lot of hubbub was raised over the fact that the page was modified, and Neil made those commits, an then attempted to play them as equal. It seems that the subtleties of the situation, which almost everyone else seemed able to see and distinguish, were totally lost on Neil.

I don't care what the politics were. Credits to "old europe", or to "nazi germany", etc., would have been just as out of line as Neil's were.

However, all of the above is simply my personal opinion - as I've made clear before, my posts to the dot are not made under the auspices of my "position" as KDE traffic editor. If I have something to say under those auspices, I'll put them in the newsletter itself.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Tue, 2003/09/09 - 5:00am

Russell, while I'm not going to say that I strictly agree with Neal, I can completely see his viewpoint and sympathize. That said, IMO you did a fine job of writing it up and summarizing the situation. It very much impressed me that you tried to explain Neal's reasoning and that you also revealed your own bias at in the note at the end.

I still think that both issues (inspirational credit and the KDE Project making a position statement on legislative issues) need to be formally addressed before they come up again. IMO, the first should not be done (so, while I agree with Neal, I also agree it should be removed! :) ), and the second should be discussed without a specific situation but rather creating broad guidelines. Code changes can work with the general consensus and most active developers having the biggest say... that simply makes sense. But the concept of "I speak for everybody", especially for legislative (which *are* political) issues worries the hell out of me. Not this time, but as a general precident and position.

I am *not* saying it can't be done and that the KDE Project[1] shouldn't have official positions on issues... I just think that right now the process is very vague. I worry about fragmentation. Perhaps at the next big conference this would be a good topic of discussion?

[1] Note that I am talking about the code/CVS/release side of things. There are KDE associated orgs that *are* political and PR groups.


By Evan "JabberWok... at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Thanks, I take my "job" here quite seriously. There is a place for goofing off (although Scott Wheeler probably wishes I'd choose a very different place) and a place for being professional. CVS commit messages and messages to the mailing list are a place to be at least moderately professional. Editing a newsletter with such a large viewership is a place to be completely professional. Of course, professional doesn't mean no goofiness. It just means that, in this case, one must strive to create a product that is as in line with the rigors of journalism as possible, given my lack of formal journalism training. I screwed up once, and got roundly slapped down for it, I'm hoping the last few issues have at least partly redeemed me.

I think your points are valid, but I would counter with the point that there is only one KDE front page, and if we were to take the attitude that everyone has to agree what is posted there, nothing would get done. There comes a time when someone has to step up and say "your objections are noted, but this is what most of us want, and you'll just have to live with it" - as happened here. In this case, the decision should probably rest with the e.V. Not as a unilateral decision making body - I hasten to say - but *someone* has to break the stalemate.

However, the commits that Neil made were made unilaterally, and to the vociverous objection of what was obviously a large majority of the KDE developer community.

This, to me, is what makes the action of redirecting the webpage acceptable, and Neil's commits unacceptable - even setting entirely aside my visceral distaste for Neil's commits (blind patriotism - unquestioning acceptance of the decisions of leaders, etc., is supremely annoying to me and has no place in a free society). The spirit of KDE policies, if not the letter, were followed in all cases, and I'm perfectly satisfied with how it was handled.

That said, there should have been nothing to handle in the first place.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

:: I think your points are valid, but I would counter with the point that there is only one KDE front page, and if we were to take the attitude that everyone has to agree what is posted there, nothing would get done. There comes a time when someone has to step up and say "your objections are noted, but this is what most of us want, and you'll just have to live with it" - as happened here. In this case, the decision should probably rest with the e.V. Not as a unilateral decision making body - I hasten to say - but *someone* has to break the stalemate.

I do not disagree with using the KDE front page to counter software patents. I'd vote for it.

My only point is that the *process* for political decisions (i.e., non-technical) is vague for the KDE Project (as opposed to e.V.). And the same processes that work well with technical code decisions do not apply to non-technical decisions. Especially when you have cases that appear to some people to be "we'll allow this one because we like it" vs. "we dislike this", no matter how objective everybody really is.

Basically, KDE should take stances on certain issues and stay away from everything else (lest it lose its focus on being a desktop environment). The line should be clearly stated and generally agreed to. Some people will always grumble, yes, but there is no clear statement on the issue. The biggest reason I think a statement should be agreed to is so that the KDE Project can focus on code and releases. As I say, there are already KDE related organizations whose focus is discussing PR and politics.

---

Now, having said all that, I might as well chuck in my opinion. Personally, I would say that KDE should be agressively non-political except where it affects the actual KDE. I think that Neal's comments should have been removed. The patent issue, affecting the actual desktop environment, should have been done.

So I'm happy with how everything turned out. I just think the process of getting there was horrible and was a needless aggravation to everybody involved. Not to mention the loss of a talented author from the official CVS which occured solely due to unclear direction.


By Evan "JabberWok... at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

I would have agreed with everything until sometime ago.
Some people explained (and it seemed to make sense) that Neil only did that with
the credits, not becouse he thought it was right, but to (somehow) try to prove
a point - in other words, he had chosen that example to show that we should not
go that way. It was the american army but he could have chosen some other stuff
that just didn't seem right. Hey I think the analogy just isn't valid but
otherwise everything seems ok.
But then he kept insisting in that "american army" stuff, and posting stupid
comments like "KDE is anti american" on his blog. Now that is not trying to
prove a point, it's just acting maniac.


By Sleepless at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

> CVS commit messages and messages to the mailing list are a place to be at least moderately professional.

The fact is that many emails sent to the lists have political slogans attacted as signatures. One can guage the political feelings of the writers quite easily. But they have no bearing on the discussions, are rarely commented on. The discussions are about the software (most of the time). Russell and myself may quote an email, but wouldn't include the signature in our reports. It adds nothing, is off topic.

Some in this discussion have said that the kde community should codify these things more, similar to the Debian project. To be truthful, this very idea is what irritated me the most of this situation. Rules replace thought. I like the freedom that the kde community represents. It is amazingly open to contributions from all sorts. And from time to time someone will step over a line and be corrected.

I'm sure those who set up the home page protest have since thought long and hard about this as a result of the fuss. And they probably would do exactly the same thing again.

Derek


By Derek Kite at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

"Credits to "old europe", or to "nazi germany", etc., would have been just as out of line as Neil's were."

Do you really see a comparison between credits to Nazi Germany and Neils? Gee, I'm glad you kept your personal opinion out of the Traffic...


By David Johnson at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Of course I do. They're both personal, political opinions. The relative "evilness" of the different regimes has nothing to do with it.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

The newsforge article Russel referred to was by me, and following an email from a KDE developer who I shan't name, I want to make one thing clear: I did not mean to suggest that KDE is apolitical, or deals with political and social matters poorly. In fact, I wanted to stress how well KDE dealt with the software patents and Neil Stevens episodes.

Just so everyone knows :)

Oh, and the article can be read here: http://newsforge.com/newsforge/03/09/02/1930234.shtml?tid=51


By Tom at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

I thought your article was a nice read (someone posted it to KDE Cafe). So you're the one who made the KFirewall and KHumanRIghts jokes, right? :-)


By Navindra Umanee at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Guilty :-)


By Tom at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

FWIW, I was on the look out for real trolls/troublemakers/abusers on that article not to get someone honestly trying to make a point. :-)


By Navindra Umanee at Thu, 2003/09/11 - 5:00am

Can somebody explain the CRZ joke?


By AC at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

I will be the only one who is able to.

On #kde-devel while I was writing traffic, crz (who is usually crz|unhappy) asked me to put a little blurb in about him drinking coffee. He was just joking, but I thought it was funny, so I decided to make it a running gag, with his blessing. I thought it was just the right mixture of goofiness and, well, goofiness.

He was fully aware I'd be pulling something like this, so he's not an unsuspecting victim, and it was all in good fun.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Well, i enjoyed it (-:

One thing i still dont know tho: who is crz, asin whats his/her full name?

- Jeff


By JS at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

> Well, i enjoyed it (-:

I thought it was good too but I really thought it got tired after about the 4th reference...


By anon at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Then it wouldn't have been a running joke.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Humor will always have people who did not like it. If you're secure, ignore it. As long as it doesn't interfere with communicating your point, light humor is appreciated by most people.

(And since I was drinking coffee as I read it, it was doubly amusing).


By Evan "JabberWok... at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Thanks. I'm not worried about it, really. The same people who complain about all of the funny stuff I post (and I'm not necessarily referring to any parent poster of this thread, it getting tired towards the end is probably a valid criticism, though not one that I agree with) would turn around and complain that it was dry and boring if I decided to remove all of the goofiness. Some people are not happy unless they can find something to complain about, and are not happy unless they can make themselves look so much better than others.

Perhaps it's just a result of inadequacies down below (or up top, for women).

Having a "thick skin" has been a difficult lesson to learn. But when one is visible in the open source community, you either grow one or you just give up. So far giving up has not seriously crossed my mind.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Well, my own opinion is that if it's a private joke shared between 2 or 3 people, it shouldn't go on for *that* long in a public digest. If it's shared amongst a whole bunch of people however, then fair play.

Mind you, I'm probably a bit odd in that I don't really think jokes and stuff belong in places like kde-traffic. Each to their own though, I guess.

I'm not sure if you'll take this as criticism or not, it's not really meant as such - more a reminder that different peoples senses of humour are *vastly* different. Or something.


By Stephen Douglas at Thu, 2003/09/11 - 5:00am

Actually, I agree with your first statement, except it wasn't a private joke. A private joke would have been one that no one would have gotten at all and wouldn't have found funny without context. This was a joke *initiated* in private, but very public.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Thu, 2003/09/11 - 5:00am

LOL!

I loved it!


By Joergen Ramskov at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

What about that project to create monthly Knoppix ISOs with KDE HEAD? Still alive?

(Note: I did post that to the thread about this weeks CVS Digest as well, but I appeared late in the game and got no audience, so I'm taking my chances over here again. Last time, I promise.)


By Sho at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

I'm currently working at that though I don't yet know if I've got time enough at the office to do that. At least I'm trying to catch up with the debian dirs so packages can be made out of HEAD.


By Ralf Nolden at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Sounds cool! Thanks for the effort.


By Sho at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

I recently ran accross this DragOS distribution that aims to deliver a recent KDE CVS LiveCD:
http://dragos.berlios.de/


By ac at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Gonna look at that, thanks :).


By Sho at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

That would be GREAT!!


By Sleepless at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Thanks Russel. What I like most about Traffic is that it is written as a story with humor and personality rather than just a list of facts and quotes like Digest.

Don't get me wrong, I like the DIgest as much as Traffic, they are very different in the way the information is presented and digest has a wider scope. I just want you both to continue writting the same way you do.

Now about the Theme Manager, I"m all for replcing ti too, check out what it did to my KDE: http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62801 yuck

Here's what I think needs to be improved: http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=55710


By Alex at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Hi,

again a Troll. We need not compare different things. Traffic and Digest are both great.

Yours, Kay


By Debian User at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

The design of the Digest should get changed, I think it's not good to read.


By CE at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

OK, so you don't like the format as it is. Kindly tell me how you would like it changed. Otherwise, your complaint is entirely useless to me.

Thanks.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

RUssel, ALex's comment was a complement to both you and Derek, nobody said they didn't like the format of traffic, jsut one person said they didn't like the format of the (CVS)Digest.


By Adi at Thu, 2003/09/11 - 5:00am

I misread. Sorry.

I still think that complaints that have no suggestions for improvement are useless. But I'll let Derek deal with that, since it was the Digest the complaint was directed at.

Even though they look a lot the same...

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Thu, 2003/09/11 - 5:00am

I think the format of the Traffic is alright.

I don't know what changes would increase legibility.
Perhaps a usability expert should be asked. ;-)


By CE at Thu, 2003/09/11 - 5:00am

How so? Please explain.

Derek


By Derek Kite at Fri, 2003/09/12 - 5:00am

Hey, thanks! I'll add it on the next release :)


By Unai at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

After having harshly critized Russel for #59 I must say that I enjoy and am pleased with the size and quality of the latest KDE Traffic issues. And a wonder too that he additionally found the time to actively hack on KDE.


By Anonymous at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

I'm glad to hear that I've converted you :-)

There is a price, however, to hacking, and I'm starting to understand what it is, my priorities are a little wacked.

--Russell


By Russell Miller at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

so its going to be replaced with another theme manager is it?
hopefully that wont mean they will be all those seperate theme related modules in kcontrol...
or is anybody going to bother with make entire themes?... anybody? meh...


By not_registered at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Thanks Russell for KDE Traffic!

Just for information, the devices kicker applet
is in KDE CVS now and is integrated in kdebase.

I have a CVS account now, and I'll contribute more. ;-)

Regards.


By Kévin "ervin" Ottens at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

Are there any plans for a similiar thing for the network cards? Very much like how windows does it, showing a ballon when the network lead comes unplugged, or speed changes etc.

The information is there (run mii-tool) but it would be nice to be used in the kde gui :)


By John Flux at Fri, 2003/09/12 - 5:00am

wow. that issue sure makes me sound like an agreeable, up-beat sort of person. to which i must agree that i often am like that. ;-) my "Aaron is a Crotchety Grump" persona is going to become completely unbelievable if this sort of reporting continues, which is, obviously, why i started the "remove kthememanager" crusade. wouldn't want people thinking i'm going soft, or something ;-)

as for what made it into CVS, bot the datepicker patch and the devices made it in.


By Aaron J. Seigo at Wed, 2003/09/10 - 5:00am

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