A final word (was:Re: What's up and what's hot)

Ralf Nolden nolden at kde.org
Thu Aug 9 08:08:34 UTC 2001

On Thursday, 9. August 2001 07:23, you wrote:
> Ralf,
> good luck with your exams :-)
> Btw. How about a feature list and a schedule for a gideon prerelease?
The prerelease will ship as soon as possible. I think we should keep a 
version as a tarball that works with KDE 2.2 and release that a week after 
the KOffice 1.1 release in a couple of weeks. Sandy, Bernd, could you put 
together a version, please that we can ship ?

> When will it have the MDI interface?
When you guys will agree with me that splitting is a _bad_ idea and overcome 
your predjudices. The way to go for gideon was needed because nothing worked 
on the HEAD in February. 

Remember, I decided to go for gideon and put that into HEAD instead of the 
version that was there until then. And I was working with you guys on 
1.4/2.0. So essentially, I take over the responsibility that gideon was put 
into HEAD so the development of 10 other people could move on because it got 
stuck on the cost that 5 other people's work was being thrown away. Everyone 
except Falk was ok with this and as much as I understand that one can be 
pissed off when your work was tagged as depricated, I think that there is a 
lack of understanding the big picture from you guys. You just don't see that 
there is a point in life where you need to do decisions for the good of 
everyone even at the cost of the work of some (and those who did the main 
work agreed with gideon), and everyone understood the meaning of the decision 
back in Feb. except Falk. So I ask you two again to _please_ _please_ make up 
your mind and stop acting childish. 

See, Sandy and I are the remaining guys that started off with 0.1 back in 98. 
It took us about a year to present something useful. Even 0.4 that was 
presented at LinuxTag 99 in Kaiserslautern when that event just barely had 
1000 visitors was a breakthrough and it actually worked. We had everything 
including the internal dialogeditor and the books. So the development of 
something useful with our zero knowledge that we had in 98 wasn't really the 
big deal. Saying that, KDevelop 3 will be ready to ship with KDE 3.0 if we go 
ahead an work on it now.

So, essentially it is up to you guys to say, ok, 2.0 was that and we could 
have improved it because it wasn't so bad actually. And it isn't that bad. It 
works for the customers, it looks like MSVC and gives the users a minimum of 
a learning curve in usability terms. It has reached it's destination where we 
wanted it to be because we needed to support the users until we got the HEAD 
version right, that was the idea when John and I ported it to KDE 2.1, and 
not to fork or whatever stop development on other things. It was always 
supposed to be a port and as a version that ships with KDE until we have HEAD 
presentable. Speaking in those terms, both 1.4 and 2.0 were a marketing 
decision for the mere reason that we needed something working.

Now, at this point we have to do decisions. And that includes your decisions. 
You say you base your decisions on your personal interest. I do that as well, 
but I keep in mind that I am working in a team. If I may remind you of the 
case of mosfet (I don't do any comparison to you but I just bring up a hint 
where this behavior could lead to) with KDE, you see what a person who is not 
able to communicate and work *together* with other people in a team can lead 
to. It leads to nasty discussions, unneeded bad publicity and it *strongly 
harms* the project! If you want to know what I mean, look at lists.kde.org, 
look at linuxtoday stories. If you want other good examples for such things, 
look at the gnome-hackers mailinglist archive. 

I bet with you that if we don't agree on a way to go _now_ and that should be 
to work _together_ on gideon, that that behavior of some will hurt the 
project's reputation that took us over 3 years to build up - the trust of our 
"customers" although kdevelop is for free. The users value the project not 
only by its product but also by the behavior and the integrity of the people 
involved. And I may put my words as the maintainer in that I need to give 
directions here to prevent that the work of so many others is destroyed in a 
stupid discussion and childish behavior of an "I want my toy" way of acting. 

Although I know I have a strong personality everyone knows that I'm kind to 
everyone, I appreciate and value the work you do and I always keep mentioning 
that we do a great job. I like what we do and the way we do it. I never put 
my word up to force anyone to do something he doesn't like and I try to make 
a compromise where I know before that a compromise has to be made. So I never 
abused the word "maintainer" in a kind of dictatorial behavior and that is 
what I think is the most important part of what I do, to do the social part 
and encourage people and make them feel comfortable. 

In this case, I may be wrong in some certain choosage of my words, but I need 
to put my words into that for a clear road because if I don't - then we will 
end up in a mess and neverending discussions. See gnome-hackers mailinglist 
as an example how it can turn out. 

Roland, I've always tried to be understanding for Falk's quarreling with 
gideon because that new version initially dropped the support for MDI. But 
that was technically because we needed something _working_ to interest the 
developers, which _fullfilled_ its goal; just you guys are disappointed that 
Bernd didn't take any immediate care of MDI stuff. But MDI is like menu 
orders and dialog layout, a layout question of the application, it's a 
usability part and not the most important part of the application that has to 
be met in the very first implementation. It is up to you two guys to say, ok, 
we will put that into gideon _now_ that this version has matured to a state 
where it is working and where it is our chance to put MDI in as an additional 
component to offer the user a similar way of handling that 2.0 has, as a user 
compatibility component that could even be the default because of that. But 
it won't happen as long as you say "I'm pissed off and I want to have a toy 
now". So go ahead, dump 2.0 and just grab the HEAD version and start coding 
there. You have 2.0 to do your work now. In this team, you agreed to be a 
part of, you are supposed to do your part of interest for the good of the 

Final words: I think I always have a personal way to put my candle a bit 
under the bowl, like most of us have. And I hope I don't overestimate what 
I'm saying but I need to say that. What do I want the project to be ? I want 
it to be fun to be a part of, I want to be proud of the work that you do and 
the work that I do and I want to enjoy it reaching a new state of stability 
and usability because we're doing a great job. I want to keep this. I want to 
be happy with what I'm doing. But right now, I'm very unhappy because of this 
decision. It will lead to the point where I will say, this just pisses _me_ 
off. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what happens then. 
Of course, I could say, ok, I have other projects that are important going 
on. I could just slip silently and put my time into something else. But I 
don't do that. I speak up for my right to be a happy member of the project, 
and everyone else here has the same demand and the same right in that. I 
fight for the situation where we are all in the same boat again, and I won't 
stop that.

Please make up your mind and be a part of the whole thing. Share what you 
enjoy with others, your fun to work on the _project_, not on a specific 
version of your personal preference. I like 2.0 as well a lot, but I know the 
need for us is there to do our best job at 3.0 now. 

Please come back. You don't need to beg for forgiveness, you don't have to 
say, ok, I was wrong, you just need to work on gideon and be a part of the 
team. That's all I demand. Is that too much ?


> How are your plans for ALS by the way?
I will hold a presentation about KDE development with KDevelop 3.0 at the 
XFree Technical Conference in Oakland, Nov. 8th during the Oakland Linux 
Showcase of that same week and leave for Portland, OR on the saturday that 
week after the show together with Keith Packard, that's the current plan.

We're not a company, we just produce better code at less costs.
Ralf Nolden
nolden at kde.org

The K Desktop Environment	The KDevelop Project
http://www.kde.org		http://www.kdevelop.org

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