Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Tue Dec 8 15:51:46 GMT 2009

On Tuesday, 2009-12-08, Michal Svoboda wrote:
> Patricia Max wrote 1945 bytes:
> > I wanted to upgrade my Fedora system, but I wound up with KDE4 which I
> > probably can upgrade now to a later version.  However, it does not
> > function the way KDE3 does, and I don't want to try to sort out the
> > issues.
> Yes, that's exactly the problem with KDE4 being a KDE. It replaced KDE3
> when it should not have. KDE3 and KDE4 are two different products, and
> were supposed to be installable side by side, just as with any other
> window manager (or "software collection" if you will -- by the way I
> believe the whole SC name thing is a step in the wrong direction too).

KDE3 and KDE4 are two different *sets* of products which is what the "whole SC 
name thing" is trying to clarify.
I am not a big fan of the SC name in particular but I couldn't come up with a 
better one either. I like the names for the product categories though, 
especially the possibility to address workspace and applications separately 
(this always kind of worked for the development platform).

> And indeed back when 4.0 was out, KDE people got away with the infamous
> "you can still use 3.5.10, it is extremely polished blah blah". But then
> at some point, suddenly, distributors marked this polished thing as
> obsolete and people were *forced* to abandon it in favour of a new and
> immature and completely different KDE4.

Actually only some did, mainly those which have a target audience geared 
towards new stuff.
I am still using KDE3.3 at work on RHEL4.7 and I think even if we upgraded to 
RHEL5.x (whatever is the most recent version) we would have KDE3.y available 
there as well.

> And I agree that what's happening is not the UNIX way, not by a long
> shot. Because you can not simply take the compositing kdewin4 and
> install it in kdewin3's stead, as you can replace tcsh with bash.

Are you sure?
As far as I remember using a different window manager has always been an 
option. I think in KDE3 one would have to set the KDEWM environment variable 
and I think in KDE4 you have the additional option of doing it through a 
selection in system settings.


Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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