[kde-linux] Opinion: KDE4 is very great, but does not deserve the version number

Heiko Schroeder heikos28 at volny.cz
Thu Feb 14 00:41:09 UTC 2008


there is no doubt: the developers did not a great, but a giant work. KDE 4 is 
really a kind of wonder, although it is hardly more than a preview about what 
KDE 4 will becomein former times.

Apart from that, the version KDE 4.0.1 which is going to be distributed by 
openSuSE 11.0 is still a beta version of the upcoming new desktop and 
therefore it does not deserve its version number. The announced release of 
KDE 4.1 this summer (which I cannot rely on, I must admit) will perhaps be 
the *real* major release.

For now it turns out that especially konqueror is *very* unstable and 
definetly not ready. E.g. if a site requires shockwave flash, it is not 
important which button you will going to click in the popup window: konqueror 
will crash with reliability. After starting it again, nothing of the previous 
site is restored. Konqueror still lacks this well known feature of Opera. 

After adding some widgets, such as KGet, the whole panel can vanish and a new 
background picture as well. The only thing you can do  to get back a 
functional desktop seems to be a killing of the plasma process. The open a 
terminal (ALT F2), delete the local settings of plasma and start the process  
again, and repeat your configuration.. 

Although the work of the KDE 4 developers cannot be overestimated, I wonder 
why they call this beta version KDE 4.0.1. It does not match with a kind of 
netiquette and shoots the bullet much too high in the air. KDE 4.0.1 is 
*heavily* lacking the reliability of the former  KDE 2.0, which was tested 
very hard (many betas and RCs) . In this stage the new KDE is still use-less  
(in the basical meaning of the word). The developers attitude towards the 
meaning of a major release and  Release Candidates (which indeed were 
developer releases and by no means versions for fixing the *last bugs* before 
the release of the final versions) is the only poor thing about KDE 4.

You may ask why this seems to me worth discussing. It is because that version 
numbers RCs and beta stage have a specific meaning not only for developers, 
but for users as well. To release a *major version* by adding the information 
that it should not be regarded as a *real* major version is a contradiction 
and not the use of other development groups. 

Heiko Schroeder

P.S.: For good software no time is too long to be worth waiting.
Heiko Schroeder
Praha, Ceska Republika

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