KDE release cycles?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Thu Apr 5 06:21:04 BST 2012

dE . posted on Thu, 05 Apr 2012 07:23:16 +0530 as excerpted:

> So 'feature release' may mean (apart form including absolutely new
> features) -
> 1) Restructuring the code (better management).
> 2) New backend or changed backend which may increase or decrease bugs.
> And bug fixes mean fixing small time bugs in library or directly in the
> app.

I'll let Kevin respond to that (tho it seems a reasonable summary to this 
non-dev, here), but there is certainly one practical limitation of the 
bugfix releases as opposed to feature releases:

* Strings are generally frozen during a six-month bugfix series.  This is 
to help the various l10n (localization, basically, translation) efforts, 
but it DOES mean a tradeoff in terms of fixing things "properly" 
sometimes, if that would mean a UI and string change, even if the actual 
code fix is reasonably small and "safe" and would otherwise be allowed.

As such, if you look closely, you'll note that early releases in a bugfix-
only series have less translations available, and sometimes, less 
coverage of the translations that are available.  By the time of the last 
bugfix release of the series, more translations are available and 
existing translations have stabilized, along with the code.

This is actually one reason the distros tend to ship later bugfix 
releases instead of newer feature releases, and did so even back in the 
early kde4 era (which I'd define as thru 4.4) when there was SO much both 
missing and broken that even 4.x.0 feature releases were such a dramatic 
improvement from the previous last-bugfix, even with all the new bugs, 
that not having the absolute latest, even the initial feature release in 
a bugfix series, really DID mean more and more severe bugs -- at least by 
the end of the bugfix series, the still-very-buggy code had reasonably 
good UI-text translations.

Of course for generally English-only users like myself, the biggest 
effect is that I don't see such changes as soon as I otherwise would, but 
I do appreciate that it's only luck that I'm not literate only in 
something exotic, thus literally dependent on all that expended effort.

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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