[kde-linux] Thought in desperation

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Thu Dec 3 20:03:16 UTC 2009

Gmail posted on Thu, 03 Dec 2009 21:37:30 +0800 as excerpted:

> I know we might have the wrong distribution but we use the same base for
> our office computers as for all our developed embedded systems. We have
> used SuSE and now openSUSE for more than 10 years now. From time to time
> we look at other distributions, but no.

That's an impressive lot of stuff you have running on SuSE and KDE...

I'm about to ask a question that could be taken the wrong way.  Please 
don't.  As much as you're doing with FLOSS, you should be held up as a 
success story for the community, not criticized for it, regardless of 
what the details are.

Do you have official Novell/SuSE or ISV support contracts for any of it?  
If so, what do /they/ suggest?  Given the situation, I'd really like to 
know what they're telling their customers who aren't just playing, but 
have major money and businesses built around and tied to the continued 
functioning of this stuff... with so much of it still broken on this 
"ready for ordinary use" since 4.2 desktop environment.

FWIW, there /are/ a couple companies still continuing to long-term 
support KDE-3 based systems in exactly this type of deployment.  I know 
for a fact that the kde3 kontact suite is still being supported in that 
way, I /think/ koffice is as well, and since they're built on kde3-base, 
it's getting at least life-line support as well.  Given that they're 
already supporting that much, I'd imagine it shouldn't be too difficult 
to add other kde3 applications as you find necessary for your business, 
but of course, production critical grade support like that isn't free as 
in beer... tho given they're already doing much of it for others, the add-
on cost to add you should be at least reasonable.

That would give you basic security and etc support, apparently even of 
qt3, which is no longer supported by Nokia and Trolltech/Qt-software or 
whatever they're calling themselves today.  (Unfortunately, IMO they're 
beginning to lose name recognition and confuse the market, due to their 
name changes recently.  The one was certainly expected, but what have 
they had, like three names since Nokia bought them?  Maybe it's only two, 
but that's still one too many, IMO.  If I'm not keeping up and I 
practically live this stuff, how are the pointy haired bosses supposed 
to?)  However, I expect they'll be doing it on older base-distribution 
platforms -- I'm skeptical that they'll continue to update qt3 and kde3 
to build with ever newer gcc and against glibc-2.11+, so when the jump 
up /is/ ultimately made, it'll be a much bigger one.  Still, that's the 
way many businesses seem to like it anyway, thus the whole long term 
support thing in the first place.

I do expect that by 4.5, kde4 will be getting finally comparable to kde3 
in usefulness and availability of kde-based non-core apps, and by 4.6, I 
fully expect they'll be on the way toward leaving the competition in the 
dust, but unfortunately, that /does/ leave a 1.5-2 year gap between when 
kde dropped its own support for the still-working kde3, and a /really/ 
usable and comparable kde4.  That gap is a huge problem!  Fortunately 
there are a few options, but they certainly don't compare well to simply 
supporting the old version until the new one is a working (not just 
playing) replacement for it.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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