[kde-community] RFC: Distribution outreach program

Adriaan de Groot groot at kde.org
Wed Feb 3 10:16:02 UTC 2016


Thanks for starting this thread. I'd like to remind you (all, not Thomas 
particularly) that there are more "distributions" of KDE software (some 
including Plasma Desktop, some not) than just Linux-kernel-based-

Perhaps they're out-of-scope (which I could appreciate: adding another 
dimension to think along adds complexity which might scupper the whole thing).

But if they're not, I'll add a few notes to Neofytos's and others' comments.

On Tuesday 02 February 2016 23:40:44 tetris4 at openmailbox.org wrote:
> On 01-02-2016 19:31, Cornelius Schumacher wrote:
> > On Monday 01 February 2016 13:04:37 Sebastian K├╝gler wrote:
> >> I'm not against automated testing at all, I just think it doesn't work
> >> at
> >> the highest level and bears pitfalls of distros gaming the system, or
> >> people actually care more about the number of points they get than the
> >> actual user experience.

Would OpenQA help here? Then you've got actual user interactions being played 
back -- but I can totally imagine that being waaay too much effort from an 
upstream perspective, to come up with QA scripts that do anything meaningful 
and are maintained relative to changes in artwork.

> > between distributions and KDE. We have the common goal to get our
> > software to
> > users in the best possible shape

Aye. But I think we should stop short of dictating "our (KDE community's) 
software will integrate with your (distro's) software as follows:", to allow 
for choice. So we need to watch out for demanding specific technologies.

> > In essence I think this is about better communication between KDE and
> > distributions, so that we can productively work on what needs to be
> > fixed,
> > avoid misunderstandings, and keep a common momentum.

Yay! Now, we're probably talking about system-integration things (e.g. that 
the shutdown button does); not application features (e.g. testing that a kate 
installation on a distro can edit files).

But saying that makes me feel this is possibly more a topic for the packaging 
list? Or maybe it's something for the community to come up with (as a 
collection of user stories?) and then communicate to the packagers that this 
is a list of what the community understands to be basic functionality.

> 1. KDE recommended standards
> Recommendation: Provide a checklist of everything KDE considers
> important (configuration, dependencies, versions etc) as discussed in
> this thread.
> This way everyone can check what KDE proposes as an optimal environment
> for the software it provides to run on.

I'm not sure what "configuration" means here, perhaps you can elaborate? I 
believe that dependencies and versions is something that should actually end 
up "upstream" in the code itself: if some part of KDE's software has a 
dependency, that needs to be stated in the CMake code and properly tested and 
explained. The macro_optional_log_feature() and similar bits of CMake code do 
a fairly good job there, but I'm sure we could do better.

Downside of putting the dependency information entirely in CMake is that it's 
hard to collect and aggregate; there's no easy way of taking a software part 
and querying "what are the dependencies?"

> 2. Distribution specific implementation
> Recommendation: Provide a place for distributions themselves to share
> their implementation.
> This could be a wiki table of some sort with a checklist and comments
> related to the items outlined in #1. This way distributions have the
> opportunity to explain in short their motives and demonstrate their
> reasoning for not providing something the expected way. This also helps
> users to have a more clear understanding of the goals and methods of
> each distribution that ships KDE software, and at the same time avoid
> any misunderstanding that could occur by people perceiving this as KDE
> pointing the finger to some specific implementation strategy or
> distribution.

That seems like a really good idea. It allows the distro's to explain their 
vision for the distro / the KDE software packages included with the distro as 
well. And explain choices made.

But .. actually how much do we expect to have described here? Are there 
interesting differences (beyond default wallpaper selection) between Linux 
distro's regarding the behavior of the installed KDE software packages (Plasma 
Desktop, Workspaces and perhaps some of the "core" Applications)? I only use 
OpenSUSE and FreeBSD, so I just don't know.

> And of course, in cases that some information is considered invalid,
> make sure to have open channels of communication with distributions to
> avoid misunderstandings. =)
> Neofytos Kolokotronis
> tetris4 at chakraos.org


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