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

Anne Wilson cannewilson at googlemail.com
Sun Jul 12 18:25:27 BST 2009

On Sunday 12 July 2009 14:35:49 Duncan wrote:
> Anne Wilson <cannewilson at googlemail.com> posted
> >
> > Will there never be an end to this bullshit?  No-one forces you to do
> > anything.  You can use KDE3 in a number of distros.  You just choose to
> > use one centered around KDE4.  That's entirely *your* choice.
> It's not bullshit when, apparently, bugs are being closed on kde3 apps as
> unmaintained.
It is bullshit when you state that you are being forced to use KDE4.  It's 
that simple.

There has been an attempt to 'clean up' recently, identifying which packages 
no longer have maintainers.  There are a number of them, for many reasons, 
mostly unconnected with KDE.  People's lives move on.  They get a first job.  
They get a fiancee.  They marry, have children, get other family 
responsibilities.  Sometimes they just lose interest.  If someone else steps 
up to maintain a package that's fine.  If no-one does the choice is between 
marking its bugs as 'won't fix' and 'unmaintained' or leaving you in hope that 
if you hang on long enough you'll get a solution.

> As for my distro, it's still keeping kde3 around for awhile.  However,
> it's (apparently) simply being honest about upstream, and well, when
> upstream starts closing bugs on apps as unmaintained...
Honest to your view, but wrong.  As I explained above, there are good reasons, 
often unconnected with KDE.

> >> Oh, well.  So despite the fact that it seems there's all sorts of
> >> people for whom KDE 4 remains "substantially broken",
> >
> > KDE4 now has about 98% of KDE3's features.  It is not "substantially
> > broken".
> Now /that's/ BS!  Note that I /very/ /carefully/ stated "for some
> people" (here quoted as all sorts of people).  Yes, it is still literally
> "substantially broken" for "some people", even "all sorts of
> people."  (Tho, you DO get a point that I should have qualified that "all
> sorts" a bit more, perhaps saying "many sorts".  I should know well
> enough by now the dangers of "all" without qualification.)  That's the
> claim I made, and it's absolutely true.  I won't argue the 98%, which may
> or may not be a figure simply taken out of thin air, but suppose it's
> right.  What about the people that depend on that broken 2%?
People that depend on the last remaining broken features generally cooperate 
in finding the problems and getting them fixed.  Sometimes they cannot be fixed 
in the way you may expect, but generally solutions or at least work-arounds 
are found.  People that truly depend on these things don't sit back a whine 
vague claims.

> Fact:  It remains "substantially broken" for me, and my usage.
Have you defined anywhere what it is that is "substantially broken" for you?  
Was it buried in a long message I gave up on, or is there a clear statement 
somewhere that I've missed?

> Now you propose to tell me that it's working /fine/ for me?  

Point me to exactly where I said that.  I merely asked you to be explicit 
about what doesn't work.

> It CAN be blamed when the same system worked with a previous version, but
> does NOT do so with a new version, with the same general config and eye
> candy settings.  That's called a regression.
You are not listening.  If there is a bug in a package it can and should be 
fixed.  That does not alter the fact that the deeper issues of video driver 
changes and audio driver changes are way outside the control of KDE.  It's 
true that the older releases and other desktops do not necessarily use the 
parts that have these issues, but working with the kernel folk and driver 
developers is in the long run more rewarding than simply putting your head in 
the sand and hoping the issues will go away.

> After I sent that I remembered one problem I have run into.  kmail
> started crashing when I closed the compose window, either to send the
> mail, or even without sending.  If to send, the message would still
> appear in the outgoing mail folder, and upon kmail restart, I could send
> it.
> I'm guessing that was naturally occurring issue due to a library upgrade,
> however (tho none appeared in the binary library dependency scan that
> revdep-rebuild does), that would have likely gone away had I recompiled
> the various components in the right order.  I even have a general idea of
> the components I'd have had to investigate and/or recompile, and the
> basic order I'd have done it in.
> However, as it happened, I didn't need to, as I had kmail4 installed as
> well, and after setting it up with my mail accounts (which didn't
> transfer for some reason, tho everything else seemed to), it worked
> fine.  As mentioned in the post that quote came from, I'm already
> switching to kde4 apps where possible, unmerging the 3.5 counterparts,
> and since I was already looking at switching to 4.2 kmail, I just did
> that and uninstalled the 3.5 version, rather than bother tracing and
> fixing 3.5's kmail issue.
I'm glad you got a solution.  It does sound as though the problem was the 
hybrid 3.5/4 system.  In most cases I'd suggest that you post a bug report, 
but in this particular case I think you are correct to ignore it and move on.  
KMail is changing to the new database-maintained system, and I don't see 
anything much but security issues being resolved in the older one, due to 
that.  We should all see the resolution of KMail issues that have bugged us 
for years. :-)

> >>  Except of course the fact that konqueror 3.5 isn't the best at
> >> supporting the latest web standards
> >
> > Most of Konqueror's problems have been that it does support web
> > standards, where other browsers such as Firefox bend over backwards to
> > handle sites that are totally non-standard.
> I expect you're correct, there.  Thus, thanks for the correction.  Never-
> the-less, I expect konqueror 4.x to work better (or anyway, not worse, it
> works, but I'm not sure if it works better yet, by actual testing) than
> the 3.x version was.
I'm not sure of the current situation.  I do get the impression that it's 
slightly better, but it still does have issues.  However, I sat in on part of 
a developer meeting a few days ago, so I can categorically assure you that 
work is being done and issues are being addressed.  It won't happen overnight, 
but we will see improvements arriving.

> But there's a bit more to it than that.  As I explained, a lot of it is
> that the konqueror scripting permissions are much harder to get working,
> without simply turning it on for every site, than they are for firefox
> with the help of the noscript extension.
This is something I know nothing about.  I'm sure someone would be willing to 
help if  you ask clear and specific questions about it.  If you can't get an 
answer from the normal lists I'll try to get an answer direct from developers 
for you - but you will have to remember my ignorance on this subject and 
describe the problem very clearly.

> With konqueror (and I believe one of the addons packages, which I believe
> supplies the GUI elements to avoid the round trip to the javascript tab
> of the java and scripting applet in konqueror's config/preferences), it's
> possible to have scripting off globally, then turn it on with the click
> of a button for a specific site, as well as to configure retained
> permissions for specific sites.
> konqueror is missing, however, a way to turn on scripting for both that
> specific site/page and any it references, except for those that are
> blacklisted, without turning on scripting globally.  It's also missing a
> method by which one can easily see the sites whose scripts will be run if
> it's turned on thusly, and a way to blacklist or allow each individual
> site on its own, all from a simple click-GUI, that is, without view-
> source and groking the page code, plus potentially the code of several
> additional "extra" files.  Third, it's missing dummy aka
> stub-scripts that can be executed in place of the originals to prevent
> scripting errors, etc, for the most popular tracking and etc scripts
> (Google's urchin-tracker, etc).  Those are all provided for firefox by
> the noscript extension.
At this moment I don't know who would have answers to this, but I'll try to 
find out for you.

> However, there /is/ a question buried in there.  That was intended to be
> an aside note of other threads I have yet to start, as I've been trying
> to keep one main issue per thread, which is why I didn't ask it in
> plainer terms.  However, if you can answer it, I'd welcome it.  Then I
> won't have to bother with the separate thread.
> The question is:  Is there an easy way to get a base KDE 3 desktop,
> kicker, kdesktop, dcop, konqueor-3 file associations, etc, to switch to
> using konqueror-4 as the main browser, while konqueror-3 remains
> installed (as a dependency), without having to go thru each individual
> file association, etc, and set it to use konqueror-4 specifically.
> (That's as opposed to the default generic konqueor, which will naturally
> default to konqueror-3 for a kde3 desktop).
Look, I'm not a developer, but it seems to me that you are asking for trouble 
to mix KDE3 and 4 like this.  Is there really a reason to?  In KDE4 you can 
have a panel that is very similar to kicker, and desktop that is almost 
identical to your KDE3 desktop, dbus doing what dcop used to.  Why risk 
trouble by trying to use the old methods?

> > It seems to me that many of the complaints about KDE4 come from people
> > who try to run a very mixed system, on a pick-n-mix basis.  If you feel
> > you really need to stick with KDE3 for now I'd recommend installing KDE4
> > as a VM, learning to use it, and resolving any issues you find.  That
> > way you'd both be useful to the wider community and be prepared to move
> > over full-time when the advantage outweigh the disadvantages.
> Actually, I've been doing pretty much that, tho not the VM thing.  But
> separate 3.x and 4.x configurations, scripts to switch between them, the
> whole thing.  And 4.x simply hasn't been working well as a whole.
Since the launch of KDE 4.0 I have run systems that have parallel 3/4 and pure 
4.  I can state categorically that the pure KDE4 systems did run better than 
the parallel ones.  Again, this is not a developer's insight, but I suspect 
that to run them in parallel needs some concessions, which have side-effects.

> So now I'm going the piece at a time route. switching what works, while
> I'm still running a base kde3 desktop since the base kde4 desktop has
> been the big problem -- in general the individual apps work now.  There's
> just too many huge (for the way I work) exceptions to switch over to kde4
> entirely.
> One of those huge exceptions is khotkeys-4 multi-key.  

Please explain in detail - and I'll try to get information for you.

I often skip over long threads when my time is limited, so I presumably missed 
your description.  Can you give me detail without making it too long?
> (FWIW, I go days without using the menu, and tend to use the run dialog
> for stuff like the web shortcuts

As I do.  Indeed I use it far more under KDE4 than I ever did before.

> gg: google search, etc, stuff like k3b
> that's not used enough to have a hotkey for and more hassle to get to in
> the kmenu than to type in, etc.  All my routine stuff is hotkeyed,
> including menu entries I've added with shortcuts to my favorite sites and
> my bank.  A new KDE without such functionality, now that it was there in
> kde3, is not only a regression, but is, for me, "substantially broken.")
There is certainly the facility to set keyboard shortcuts - is this not what 
you mean?

> If that was the /only/ issue, it wouldn't be a big deal, but it's not.
> There's many such issues for me alone, and others I'm not even running
> into as I don't use that functionality.  Further, as linked in the
> initial post, the announced policy was 3.5 support as long as there are
> users, and there are obviously still users, end users at least, but
> policy seems to have changed.  KDE seems to be deserting these users it
> had announced it was going to support until they moved on.

"Support" and "development" are different issues.  Security issues will be 
supported, I believe, for some considerable time.  However, as long as 
developers give their time freely they will choose to develop the packages 
that interest them most and have the most potential.  That's a simple fact of 
life.  KDE is a loose group of people who care deeply but have limited time, 
just like you and me.

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