Discussion about 4.1 timeframe (was Re: What to do about Kompare?)

Torsten Rahn torsten.rahn at credativ.de
Fri Dec 14 13:55:38 CET 2007

> I agree to Mauricio's points, we should do a 'relatively quick' 4.1, then
> try to move into a time-based release schedule.
> End January: Lifting feature freeze for trunk/
> End of March: (feature/string) freeze trunk/
> Mid May: KDE 4.1

I fully agree with Sebas here: What we need most right now is fast 
consolidation so that people finally get the conceptually reliable desktop 
back that they were used to from KDE 3 (I'd even suggest "Consolidation" as a 
code name).

For KDE 2.0 we had the very same problem as with KDE 4.0: lot's of loose ends, 
still a lot of tripwires for the user to fall across. Lot's of small to 
medium-sized conceptual problems that needed to get solved fast.
Backporting all those into KDE 2.0.x bugfix releases would have meant that 
people would have to constantly spend much time on applying all those fixes 
for minor oddities to _two_ branches in parallel which would have delayed a 
lengthy "sophisticated" KDE 2.1 release cycle a lot more.

So the solution was a quick 2.1 release which was mostly about polishing and 
making the whole UI experience more reliable:

KDE 2.0 release: 23 October 2000.
KDE 2.1 release: 26 February 2001

(I just stumled across this: http://dot.kde.org/979149870/ )

I'd say that this decision to do a quick 2.1 release was what "saved our 
asses" marketing wise because exposing people to KDE 2.0 for a longer time 
would have hurt KDE's reputation due to the true ".0" quality which that 
release sported. The same is true for KDE 4.0.

So we need to fix the most fundamental issues as fast as possible after KDE 
4.0. While making use of all possible additional features that Qt 4.4 will 
provide is tempting I think we should avoid to create any larger construction 
sites this soon after a major release. So I'd rather favour a quick port to 
Qt 4.4 and concentrating on the low hanging fruits for a Qt 4.4 port instead 
of doing an extensive one.

I expect that there will be a huge slew of small patches for KDE 4.1 which 
will will improve the UI experience greatly and will bring it mostly up to 
par with latest KDE 3.5.x. However if you have major changes that are well 
tested and ready for a release then of course it's fine to contribute them.

Also keep in mind that if we target our release for May then the release will 
most likely still happen in June due to usual delays! 

Most major distributors plan to release around that time, so I'd rather plan 
for a release in May if we want to make sure that they ship a nice desktop 
that everybody feels comfortable with.

 Torsten Rahn

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