KDE Quality (problems)

Clemens Eisserer linuxhippy at gmail.com
Thu Apr 14 07:45:50 BST 2011


I use KDE since 1998/1999 with kde-1.1 beeing the first version I
remember having used.
I always found it to be simply the best Desktop Environment,
escpecially during KDE-2.x/3.x times.
Since KDE-4 I am not that happy anymore.  Early releases were
horrible, ~4.3/4.4+ is ok, but still not as solid as one would expect.

The problems I see are:
1. Too few developers, too much code
2. Too short release cycles & Quality testing
3. Features count most mentality.
4. Performance

I normally wouldn't bother the list with my ideas, however I have been
encouraged to do so.

Thanks, Clemens

Ad 1.)
I participated during the kde 4.2/4.3/4.4 beta phase - and came to the
conclusion it was mostly
worthless effort on my side. There are simply not enough contributors
arround to fix all the open issues.
I have already a few projects I contribute to, fixing the bugs myself
is simply no option :/

Furthermore KDE accumulated tons
of code over time (I still don't see the reason it carries its own
Office-Suite, HTML-Rendering engine, instant messanger, Media Player,
whatever), but only few guys are actually working on the code.
An excellent example is Kopete, which by itself is a great instant
messanger - however its almost unmaintained. Very urgent problems are
fixed by people alien to the code, but other than that, the code rots
and nobody is willing to maintain it, not to mention implement new
features. Looking back, probably the idea to include their own instant
messenger into KDE was a bad idea? Who knows, at least it wouldn't be
KDE's problem if kopete died. The same is true for Ark and a few other
non-core components.

Ad 2.)
Another problem is the release cycle. The cycle is so short, that even
many bugs reported during
alpha stage aren't fixed. At release-time, devs are already working on
new features, often not backporting their fixes.
So you end up again with release+1, this time with other bugs.

Its not uncommon for me to see integral parts broken after updating to
a new major (like the panel in my multimonitor setting when updating
to 4.6).

Ad 3.)
Features count most. Plasma may still be not completly stable,
and the TaskManager may do weird things (both from a user perspective
absolute core-components),
however wee see social network integration and whatever.

Ad 4.)
I remember KDE4 was praised for using less memory and beeing faster than 3.5.
I knew that would't become reality, 4.6 uses about twice the amount of
memory 3.5.11 used and starts up way slower.
Paint performance is mostly bad, but instead of improving the painting
all simply paint to X11/Xorg and praise the QT-Raster backend which is
here to solve all problems.
Guys, XRender has arrived and is implemented by drivers well. If QT /
your code can't use it - don't blame X11.
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