the "gamma" proposal - details that need working out

Sebastian Kügler sebas at
Mon Jul 9 13:55:15 CEST 2007

On Sunday 08 July 2007 21:47:21 Allen Winter wrote:
> On Friday 06 July 2007 12:55:00 pm Troy Unrau wrote:
> > I talked to many people at Akademy already about this idea, but Dirk
> > suggested that I send it to the mailing list to make it a little more
> > official and through official channels.
> Officially speaking as an official module release dude ....
> Huh?
> My itty-bitty brain isn't grasping.
> Please take all the comments and make a new set of milestones
> and a new roadmap.  Please define new codewords like "mountainview"
> and "gamma".

"Mountainview" is the working name for the release party which will be hosted 
by Google.

"Gamma" is a real release, but not targeted at new end users (so it really 
*is* 4.0, and *not* a release candidate. That thing has to be very clear. 

Troy's proposal, however, is about making a marketing splash about something 
that is technically 4.0.1 or 4.0.2 (so it has some fixes for critical bugs, 
polishing of default settings, some smaller usability improvements, more 
complete translations and a more comprehensive set of applications. The "End 
User Release" will get a cool name, a version number is quite technical, 
which is also something we want to address. Think of Windows XP (which really 
is 5.something), just as an example that the version number itself doesn't 
matter much.

So why call it Gamma, and not final? 

- A 4.0 release, especially in the case of KDE will have glitches. Those 
glitches might be acceptable for our current user base, but they're certainly 
not to new target groups that we're looking at for KDE4. We're pushing KDE4 
into the mainstream market which is much more critical about small glitches. 
(This is based on research into target group characteristics, which I'm happy 
to share if you want.)

- Right now, it's quite hard for usability and accessibility people to review 
KDE4, too much is moving. Same goes for translators. We need a real release 
for those people to contribute in a meaningful way. (The lack of people 
participating in HIG hunting shows this quite well.)

- KDE 4.0 will miss quite some applications, we might be able to ship a basic 
set, but certainly not the comprehensive desktop we'd like to have ready.

- The release event needs some very time-critical planning. If we slip the 
release, months of work will be ruined. (Imagine booking plane tickets for 
people to visit the release event, having everything in place, just not the 
release itself.)

- Marketing KDE4 towards the end-user, but giving distros virtually no time 
(well, one week) to prepare a finished product renders it vapourware (it's 
not available at that point).

So technically, from a developer's point of view, it doesn't really change all 
that much. I think that the proposal is very sensible since it solves a 
number of very real problems we're facing. I feel this email is getting to 
long, so I'll address concern in future emails where I can, but leave it at 
that for now.

In any case, I would like to ask you (the release team) to have a good look 
and think at it and support it.
sebas | |  GPG Key ID: 9119 0EF9 
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