CI Requirements - Lessons Not Learnt?

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Thu Jan 12 14:28:08 GMT 2017

Martin Gräßlin wrote:
> You know what happens when we ifdef the version of dependencies? Thinks
> break in distributions. They ignore the optional dependency and ship
> with the older one. Which results in issues we upstream developers have
> to care about. The quality of our product goes down and users complain
> about the lousy quality of plasma and the distribution.

What will happen now is that they will revert your commits that require the 
unavailable version of the library. It is just more work for us packagers 
(instead of one upstream developer maintaining a simple #ifdef, every distro 
will have to maintain the reversion patch individually) and will not change 
anything for what the users ultimately get (the output will likely be bit-
identical to what #ifdef would produce).

The distros that do have the latest xkbcommon already available will have 
things just work no matter whether you require the latest or #ifdef it.

> The paramount issue resulting from it is the maintainer of a well known
> KDE distribution stepping down from his job complaining loudly in public
> about the lousy quality of KDE. I still remember the issues we had
> especially with Fedora due to incorrect dependencies in the early 5.x
> times.

So if you reread my old mail from back then, the main complaint I had about 
the quality of KDE software was the PITA that it has become to package it. 
Unrealistic system-level dependencies are a part of that problem. (The 
worst, though, is the insane level of splitting that has produced an 
unmaintainable number of packages, but that is a separate topic. However, 
that is the main reason I can no longer comaintain the entire KDE software 
stack in Fedora, not the quality of what's inside those packages.)

Now it is true that the quality of some KDE software was also less than 
impressive. The situation in the Plasma workspaces (including KWin) has 
improved a lot since (My complaint came after the first 2 Fedora releases 
shipping Plasma 5.), but those were never the main offender to begin with. 
Akonadi is the biggest pain point when it comes to the quality of the 
software itself, and that is unrelated to the dependency issues you mention.

        Kevin Kofler

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