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

Ben Kevan ben.kevan at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 21:22:29 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 13 February 2008 04:41:09 pm Heiko Schroeder wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.

openSUSE 11.0 will ship with 4.1.x not 4.0.1

> 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.

Use a different browser

> 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..

Plasma is in its infant stage. I think it'll look pretty good in 4.1 and great 
in 4.3 / 4.4. 

> 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.

Shipping 4.0.0 as a "Official Release" and not Beta will get more people on 
it, and more issues to the forefront. Thus fixing many issues prior to 4.1 
and so on. I think it was the right move. 

> 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.

I think their numbers system is fine. 


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