Long term support release for Plasma?

Martin Graesslin mgraesslin at kde.org
Mon Jul 4 08:48:05 UTC 2016

On Wednesday, June 29, 2016 8:35:26 PM CEST Bernhard Rosenkraenzer wrote:
> On 2016-06-27 14:28, Martin Graesslin wrote:
> > Hi distributions,
> > 
> > in Plasma we are considering to add a long term support release. For
> > this idea
> > we want to get some feedback from your side to know how we should set
> > this up.
>  From an OpenMandriva perspective:
> > We would like to know from you:
> > * is that something which is useful to you?
> We're not too interested in another 5.7.x release when 5.8 is out,
> usually another .x doesn't break things too badly.
> However:
> > * how often should we do an LTS release?
> For us it would be useful to make an end-of-line release LTS. 5.(last
> before 6 is released), then 6.(last before 7) etc. being LTS would help
> us with people who are scared of more significant UI changes. We still
> have a few people who long for the "good old days" of KDE 3.x.
> We probably won't treat LTS releases that aren't end-of-line differently
> from "normal" releases.

That's something completely different to what we had in mind and I don't think 
that's possible. E.g. currently with 5.x we had 4.11 a long term support 
release for quite some time. But right now it's no longer supported and cannot 
be supported because Qt 4 is already EOL. Even if users want it, I think it's 
a disservice for all users to provide them unmaintained software. If Qt 
doesn't provide support any more, we cannot provide support for software 
depending on it either.

I don't expect that this will be different once Qt 6 comes out. So I don't 
expect it to be possible to provide support for Plasma 5 for the life time of 
Plasma 6.

Not to mention of all the problems which start to exist once you upgrade the 
system without touching everything. Recently I was contacted by an NVIDIA dev 
about a problem their latest beta driver exposes in KWin 4.11. A problem which 
would require a large restructuring of the source code which exists in the 5.x 
branch. It's something you don't want in a LTS release. But it shows the big 
problem: you cannot move the stack underneath without touching everything. 
Things like adjustments to newer systemd (hello things moving around from udev 
to somewhere else), adjustments to newer compilers (hello gcc6), adjustments 
for obscure things like XServer no longer running as root (caused problems in 
Qt 4). These are all examples for showing that you cannot just hibernate part 
of the stack.

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