What's the official status of 3.5.x, anyway?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sun Jul 12 10:17:10 BST 2009

James Richard Tyrer <tyrerj at acm.org> posted 4A58E614.7000007 at acm.org,
excerpted below, on  Sat, 11 Jul 2009 12:20:52 -0700:

> Well, there are people claiming to be developers saying that KDE-3.5 is
> unmaintained and closing KDE-3.x bugs on that basis.

Well, if the bug system is properly secured, then only devs and the 
original bug filer should be able to close it, plus any non-dev official 
bug wranglers of course.

Unless of course someone has cracked the system or at least some dev/
wrangler's passwords, and wishes to do little more than mess with people, 
which isn't particularly likely these days, given all the botnets and 
other such they could be running for real money, in that sort of case.

So it would appear it is unmaintained at this point, despite all the 
fancy claims of aseigo only a bit over a year ago to the effect of 3-7 
years maintenance.

I guess the ubuntu/kubuntu folks were indeed wise ignoring such claims 
and thus avoiding a 3-year LTS version of KDE.  Well, either that, or KDE 
indeed doesn't consider "end users" as /their/ users, only distributions, 
etc, and with all the major distributions moving on, and those that 
weren't doing so before now pretty well /forced/ to move on...

> Worse, without maintenance, people will not be able to continue to use
> KDE unless they set up a compatibility system with the old support libs.
>   I already have stuff that is broken when built against new lib
> versions and it has only been months, not years.

Exactly.  Without maintenance, any app, and even more so a whole 
ecosystem of apps and dependencies such as KDE, is, like (assassinated 
POTUS) Kennedy with half is brain blown away but not declared dead until 
the priest could get their to perform last rites, pretty well dead in all 
but name only.

Oh, well.  So despite the fact that it seems there's all sorts of people 
for whom KDE 4 remains "substantially broken", and despite claims that 
they'll continue maintaining 3.5.x until the users are gone, they're now 
forcing users to switch if they want to keep an updated system, whether 
the new version works or not.

Frankly, that's why a lot of folks are on freedomware now, because that's 
exactly the way the servantware folks treated them.  Looks like the FLOSS 
community isn't much better in that regard after all... well, except that 
skilled enough users (aka devs) with enough time on their hands can 
support themselves, and rich users can still pay someone to support them, 
choices that don't really exist to the same extent with proprietary- aka 

FWIW, users who can compile from source to match new libraries do have a 
bit better chance at extending the life of their old apps/DEs, but once 
enough libraries drop or get buggy support for old APIs, that goes down 
the tubes as well.  FWIW, Gentoo is sort of like Debian, in the fact that 
stable Gentoo can be pretty ancient at times.  No KDE 4 is stable at all 
yet tho they're getting close for 4.2.4 and either it or a 4.3 should go 
stable eventually.  But as a result, it'll be awhile before 3.5 goes 
entirely unsupported for Gentoo/stable users, tho obviously Gentoo/~arch 
users like me will be running into issues long before that.

> Most interesting, but not a serious problem, is that with KNotes, the
> SystemTray list shoes every note 6 times.

I haven't run into anything really broken with 3.5 yet, here (tho I don't 
have knotes installed as I just use text files for that purpose).  Except 
of course the fact that konqueror 3.5 isn't the best at supporting the 
latest web standards as it has been unmaintained for new CSS support and 
etc development for some time.  One of the reasons things got pressing 
enough for me to take it to the next level and join here, etc, was that I 
was getting tired of that.

But iceweasel/firefox is better in that regard anyway, as quite apart 
from compatibility, the extensions yield a flexibility that simply can't 
be beat, and the degree of control noscript allows, for instance, sure 
helps with compatibility as well, while at the same time avoiding 
security issues.  Combine that with JSView to actually be able to figure 
out which scripts and scripting domains to allow and which ones are 
tracking or malware, and compatibility skyrockets without leaving one 
with the feeling they're opening themselves up for whatever comes along.

That, and DownloadHelper actually works on firefox, unlike youtube-
servicemenu for konqueror.  As I don't run servant-ware, flash isn't an 
option, so a download tool that works without it is essential to view 
youtube, etc.  (I play the downloaded files with kaffeine, using xine, 
using ffmpeg.)

I keep hoping all the khtml/webkit users will agree on an extension 
standard that will give them a decent size userbase and hopefully the 
ability to match firefox's extensions in range and flexibility, but then, 
I was hoping KDE wasn't going to leave its users high and dry while KDE 4 
remains substantially broken for many, too...

Oh, well...

FWIW, I just realized a few days ago that since Gentoo/KDE finally got 
the known issues with 3.5/4.2 co-installs and running apps from one on 
the other, worked out, I *CAN* at least start running KDE 4 apps on KDE 
3.5, and after reasonable functionality testing, unmerge the parallel 3.5 
versions of those apps, where the 4.x versions work.  I've running the 
4.x versions of and have unmerged the 3.5 versions of about 3 dozen KDE 
packages so far, including konsole and kmail.

I'd like to switch to konqueror 4.x, but that's rather difficult as long 
as konqueror 3.5 is installed and I'm running from a 3.5 desktop, 
including kicker and dcop.  But I can't unmerge konqueror 3.5, as it's a 
dependency of kdesktop 3.5, which I'm still running because the 4.x 
plasma etc stuff is still too broken...

But it looks like I'll have to find a third party hotkeys app, which will 
kill that 3.5 dependency since khotkeys 4 is still broken for multi-key.  
I'm getting there.  But it's sure be easier if they weren't killing 3.5 
before 4.x was beyond "substantially broken" in so many areas.

There's at least a couple more blockers I've not posted much about here 
yet, too.  I need a plasmoid replacement for the ksysguard kicker applet 
(I'm looking at superkarumba to help there but don't know if it's 
flexible enough to do what I want/need without too much hassle yet), and 
there's something wrong with multi-monitor xinerama mode here.  On that 
one there's a thread in the archives with someone having a similar issue, 
the positioning options are missing and all I can get is clone mode thru 
KDE.  I can get the viewports positioned correctly using scripted xrandr 
calls, and indeed, that's what I'm doing on 3.x, but 4.x's plasma desktop 
doesn't adjust as well as 3.5's kdesktop/kicker combo.  I'm hoping 4.3 
will help there, and if not, I may be able to futz things into working.  
But it should "just work" by this stage, that being, the stage when 
they're dropping support for the actually working version (3.5), and it's 
VERY far from that!

FWIW, I don't have a printer.  I deal with most things on-screen, and if 
I /had/ to, I could take whatever needed printed to be printed elsewhere, 
so I don't have to worry about the issue you seem to be having.  I'll 
probably get another printer someday, but it's not going to be inkjet 
(laser printer most likely), it's unlikely to be in this economy, and it 
seems I always find other, more important stuff (like a netbook shortly 
before the tanked economy, and a $150-ish upgrade to an r500 generation 
Radeon x1950 from the r200 based 9200 I'm running now, as soon as I can 
scrape up the money) to spend my money on.  So a printer's not even on my 
worry list at all, ATM.

As I said above, oh, well...

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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