Yet another failed KDE release?

Kevin Krammer krammer at
Tue May 7 15:33:43 BST 2013

On Tuesday, 2013-05-07, James Tyrer wrote:
> On 03/19/2013 09:58 AM, dE . wrote:

> The KDE development team appears to be interested in something other
> than producing a stable release.  It really is that simple.

Well, simple and false :)
Mostly because the conclusion is based on a misconception regarding KDE to be 
a single product.
KDE is a software vendor with several dozend products, each developed by 
different people. Sometimes single developers, sometimes teams.
Hence no such thing as a "KDE development team" exists as an entity by itself.

> As a
> result, the release process is not oriented towards producing a stable
> release.

As a result obviously also false, i.e. a non-existing entity doesn't have 
Unless we employ thinking similar religious faith and assume an unobservable 
entity exists by people believing in it ;-)

> I find very useful the dystopian novel: "The Rise of the Meritocracy"
> which is a critique of the idea of "the meritocracy".  A meritocracy is
> defined by the search for merit -- but that is dependent on the
> definition of merit.  I find that I have no merit in the KDE project
> despite the fact that I went to college and studied EE and computer
> science.  In the KDE project, you obtain merit be designing a new
> application.  So, that is the nail that everyone is hitting with their
> hammer.

Also not true.
Most contributors at KDE are neither the designers nor maintainers of 
A lot of contributors are not even coders or not contributing other things 
than writing code.

Merit is gauged by the quality, reliability and dedication to the contribution 
area. In other words merit and recognition is earned through actual 
contribution, but that contribution can be a lof ot things other than code.

This applies to the work on KDE activities and products but also to the 
foundation managing KDE's legal assets, KDE e.V.
As a sample, the e.V.'s board of directories has currently one member out of 
five who's active contribution at the moment is code.

> I don't want to do that.  I want to improve applications.  That is what
> engineers do; we find the faults with things and fix them -- we improve
> things.

Sounds like a great opportunity then :)

> Unfortunately, everyone designing new applications from square one is
> not conducive to building a stable and bug free desktop environment.

While only a fraction of developer work on applications of the desktop 
environment product, I'd say that even this is a over generalisation even for 
The only two applications in that category that I can come up with from the 
top of my head which have been "newly" introduced are Plasma Desktop and 
Dolphin. Most others, e.g. KWin, Klipper, KMix, have existed for ages.

And while some developers on some of these applications might be more 
adventurous than others or developers on non desktop environment applications, 
I hadn't had an issue with any of those in quite some time.

> There is nothing wrong with KDE that a few committed software engineers
> -- committed to quality -- couldn't fix.  But, I don't think that the
> hackers would like it.

Well, being a conclusion based on a faulty analysis makes its content 
impossible to evaluate, but assuming for a moment that the analysis had not 
been wrong, then the only conclusion we could draw would be that there are 
either not software engineers committed to quality or that they have so far 
abstained from contributing their skills.


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