[kde-community] Fwd: praises and suggestions for the KDE team

Jeff Mitchell jeff at emailgoeshere.com
Fri Feb 14 18:00:57 UTC 2014


I thought this was a really nice letter that was sent to us, so I'm 
passing it on to the community. I did already get in touch with him 
about the 4.0 release, but I'm happy to forward along responses on any 
other topic.

--Jeff

Forwarded message:
> Dear KDE Team,
>
> I would like to extend my gratitude for your years of gruelling work 
> and dedication to the KDE Desktop.  It was due to your outstanding 
> work on the KDE 3.x series which finally gave me the push to discard 
> Windows and use GNU/Linux exclusively on my machines.  The sheer 
> configurability  of the environment made working on my computer a joy, 
> far more so than the bland desktop of Windows 2000 and XP.  The full 
> software integration with the desktop out of the box made for far less 
> effort than with any other environment, a thing which gave me a strong 
> bias against Gnome and GTK applications in general. Then you amazed me 
> again with the announcement of KDE4, and I waited with baited breath 
> to see what new wonders you had in store. Needless to say, I was 
> disappointed for more than two years while the bugs were worked out, 
> but the result was a highly polished desktop that nearly made me 
> forget the KDE3 days altogether.  The smooth, fluid elegance of KDE is 
> a testament to the passion you put into every line of code, and like 
> all labors of love, its perfection is a slow and painstaking process.  
> It is for this reason that I wanted to express my thanks with a 
> semblance of eloquence before I expressed any criticisms.  The Open 
> Source community is extremely mercurial and can often be cruel when 
> changes to their favorite platform do not meet their expectations, and 
> I refuse to add further insult.  That said, here are my observations, 
> both on my machines and from the postings of other users over the 
> years.
>
> KDE has always been at the forefront of innovation on the GNU/Linux 
> platform.  It was the first to incorporate such things as integrated 
> support for USB devices and filesystems, mp3 players, and the like. 
> For this reason, it has always had to be cutting edge, and stability 
> has historically suffered as a result.  It is a classic trade-off 
> between state of the art features and long-term stability, and KDE and 
> Gnome have always been at opposite ends of that spectrum.  Your gift 
> has always been to fuse cutting edge with a beautifully polished 
> interface, and to listen closely to your user base at every step of 
> the way.  However, the consequences of the trade-off have been hasty 
> integration of features and the inevitable introduction of bugs which 
> hinder the stability of the platform.  By the time the primary release 
> approaches mission-critical stability, it is abandoned so development 
> can begin around the newer Qt version.  The last time you abandoned a 
> KDE version in favor of the newer library, a large chunk of your 
> users, including myself were forced to other desktops in hope that 
> KDE4 would be stabilized within a reasonable amount of time.  However, 
> as many have discovered, the philosophies behind desktops can be 
> vastly different.  As a Gnome 2/Mate user, I can tell you the Gnome 
> team is much less inclined to heed input from the community, as was 
> seen with the release of Gnome 3 and the complete abandonment of the 
> standard desktop environment in favor of a unified one which was meant 
> to spread to tablets and smartphones. As a GNU/Linux user, I have been 
> continually disappointed by the Gnome team's refusal to heed the 
> wishes of its users for a purely desktop environment, but feel more 
> than a little trapped because while KDE4 is now stable enough for my 
> use, you have already begun work on its replacement.  As silly as it 
> sounds, when KDE 3.10 was dropped in favor of the extremely buggy and 
> obviously beta KDE 4.0, I felt as if I had lost an old flame, never to 
> see her again.  I remained bitter for several years, especially 
> because I was forced to either use Gnome or return to Windows.  Even 
> as I write this letter from the Mate environment, I both long for KDE 
> again and worry that history may repeat itself.
>
> Like all labors of love, the next KDE platform will inevitably take at 
> least a year after initial release to become stable enough to be 
> considered worthy of mission-critical environments, however to 
> continue disenfranchising your users with such quick transitions from 
> one major release to another will only lead to further disappointment 
> and even distrust.  As a user of GPL software and a KDE lover, I would 
> like to pose the following suggestion:  Grow in wisdom, not only from 
> your own experience, but that of others as well.  You have made a wise 
> decision indeed to make KDE 4.11 a Long-Term Support release.  It is 
> perhaps the wisest decision you have ever made.  If you use an STS/LTS 
> model for KDE5, it would be stable enough for mission-critical 
> environments much sooner, and we would never again fear another 
> KDE4-esque upset.
>
> In closing, I would like to thank you again for such a beautifully 
> engineered desktop.  I pray that God will bless you in your endeavors, 
> not only in KDE, but in your homes, families, and your finances.  
> These are hard times indeed, and I hope you have peace wherever you 
> are.
>
> David "LowTekk" Cole



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