[kde-community] Retiring applications - was - Re: Applications in KDE Generation 5

Harald Sitter sitter at kde.org
Mon Jan 20 09:49:29 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 1:37 AM, Albert Astals Cid <aacid at kde.org> wrote:
> El Dimecres, 15 de gener de 2014, a les 21:47:17, John Layt va escriure:
>> Hi,
>> * A number of our apps and utilities really have had their day and
>> need "retiring", e.g. KsCD, Kppp, KFloppy.  There's no point keeping
>> low-quality or unmaintained apps around just to try ship a "complete
>> desktop experience", especially if there are other better apps out
>> there (even if not KDE ones).  Being part of the official release
>> should be a stamp of quality: make apps work for it.  Lets go through
>> the existing apps and agree what needs dropping to Extragear or
>> Unmaintained.
> I am not conviced by that, we probably still have some users for that and i'm
> pretty sure some of those apps still get roaming fixes from people, if you
> move them out from the "apps we release on each release", you'll end up with
> the K3b situation, an application that has had bugfixes but hasn't had a
> release in ages so noone is beneffiting from those bugfixes because there's
> noone around that has enough "power" to do a release.

Random ramblings of the day:

Getting the odd fix here and there does not related in any form or
fashion to the quality though. If any of the people doing the k3b
fixes cared enough I am sure they had done a release. It's not like
only someone who got themselves a maintainer badge can do releases
after all.

The problem however is that the applications John mentioned, are hard
to crowd maintain (i.e. put on life support and everyone feels jointly
responsible for the quality of those applications, thus providing
rather sensible releases) because they require hardware and/or special
knowledge. Kppp for example, I'd totally throw random fixes at it
except it is nigh impossible to test this thing accurately because I
have no physical modem and no knowledge of how the ppp stack would or
should work in general.
Same goes for kfloppy. It'd be jolly hard to find anyone who still has
a working floppy drive and can use it on a machine new enough to run
an up-to-date system.

Keeping *actually* unmaintained software in monthly releases creates
the wrong impression. We really are lying to the user and ourselves
here. We create the impression that kppp is actively being maintained
and cared for while in fact it is not [1][2]. Now that fact is easy
enough to ignore for everyone who does not need to use kppp. For
everyone who does it's basically a slap in the face a la 'got ya, we
are not really maintaining this, just wanted to have you spend time on
filing a bug report that will not ever see a reply from a dev'.

It is not nice, and it is not fair. If the people doing fixes to such
half-dead software actually stepped up and took over maintenance, the
software would not be unmaintained and didn't need to get dropped out
of the SC; also the world would be a much better place.

[1] http://quickgit.kde.org/?p=kppp.git&a=shortlog&h=ab56f7593087179ceeef28ae8e70e1cdae8faf3c
[2] https://bugs.kde.org/buglist.cgi?product=kppp&component=general&resolution=---&list_id=909065


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