Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Michael Neumeier dennismail at gmx.net
Tue Dec 8 14:10:34 GMT 2009

> I understand that having too many options presented to the user can result in 
> confusion which make the user experience and productivity worse.  I don't 
> think KDE 3.5.10 actually suffered from that problem.

I would certainly agree that too many options may easily to ask too much from some users. But let´s just think about what you wrote here: "...too many options...": Nobody - and especially in free software - forces you to use these options, so if you do not need them, you can feel free to ignore them. Or put in other words: You have to freedom to choose what you want to use and what you do not want to use.

But exactly this "freedom to choose" seems to be the central point of this discussion. Some of the KDE 3.5 users seem to think that they are limited in exactly this freedom to choose: KDE 4 is different from KDE 3 and most linux distribution using KDE seem to get on version 4 track - so these people do no longer have a real selection in terms of "freedom to choose". First of all, those people have certainly to understand that not the KDE project has to be blamed for this, but the creators of these linux distributions. These creators also may have their reasons to switch to version 4, but they depend on what´s coming from the KDE project of course. So, second, it can be understood that people who think that version 4 is a bad way in their opinion, clearly say what they are thinking - also here on this mailing list.

But let´s take this thought even further: If users of KDE want to have freedom in choosing what they want, they also have to give the same rights to the members of the project. So, to say it the other way round, the developers have the freedom to choose what they want to implement - and also the freedom not to implement wishes from users. The next step will certainly be that users will then go back to their freedom to choose what they want to have installed on their systems and therefor can change the desktop environment (yes, there are a lot beside KDE and Gnome...). This is not meant to be provocative, but this is some kind of "natural evolution" in my opinion.

So summing it up: If KDE users are complaining about KDE 4, the project should have a look at these complaints and then decide if they want to consider these complaints for further roadmap - just ignoring opinions of users will certainly not be the right way. On the other side, if users do really not like KDE 4, they have the freedom to change their desktop environment - even if they´re not happy about this. And this is what I´m looking for a little bit in this discussion: How do members of the KDE project see this? It would be kind to have an answer to this.

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