Hi folks, We have been delaying taking a decision about this for too much time now, the freeze is coming up , and we need to have it clear, for our users, the release team and the rest of Debian.
Basically we can ship either KDE 3.5.9 or KDE 4.1. For some people in the team it seems clear we should ship KDE 4.1, for some other it is clear we should ship KDE 3.5.9. The latter is my opinion, so here you have a mail explaining why we should release with 3.5.9. Feel free to reply with a nice mail of why we should ship with KDE 4.1, detailing as well how much time *you* are planning to invest in this goal. By the way, my proposal is shipping KDE 3.5.9 with the KDE 4.1 development platform: kde4libs, kdepimlibs and kdebase-runtime. - No huge advantages in shipping KDE 4.1 Honestly, I do not see any advantage in shipping KDE 4.1 instead of KDE 3.5.9 besides of coolness and bleeding-edge stuff. I do see this movement more like a change of desktop than an improved new version of KDE. The KDE 4 series clearly represent a big change in innovation and improvement over KDE 3, something that has just started. KDE 4 will have a lot of to tell in the future (4.2, 4.3..), you only have to see how much it has improved from 4.0 to 4.1 beta 1. But I do not see KDE 4.1 still fully replacing all the necessities of our users. There is still a bunch of small details there and here, I will talk of some here further on this mail (for example, koffice), but what worries me here specially is that some are totally unknown for us, since we have a lot of users with very different use cases. - KDE 4.1 has not been released yet. KDE 4.1 has not been released yet, looking at the release schedule , it is supposed to be released July 29th, this is already impossible with current Lenny's release, and we would need an exception from the release team that will be only granted if it is really worth it. Then, a delay in this schedule from KDE release team would be bad for us, since we are so tight in time. The sooner we could upload something to unstable would be with the RC1 that will be released on the 15th of July, 2 weeks before the final version. Lenny is supposed to go into full freeze in the mid of July, this could be delayed, but what is sure libraries will be frozen in 3-4 weeks, and we need ship a huge amount of new libraries. Besides, it is usually better ship an update of 4.1.x that contains fixes to the most important problems found in the 4.1.0 release. -Build dependencies we need to take care of And then, it is not only the KDE 4 desktop, there are a set of build dependencies we have to maintain and not all of them are already in unstable, those dependencies are: akonadi, automoc (already in unstable, but it is a snapshot), decibel, soprano, tapioca-qt and telepathy-qt. And we'll have soon phonon, but I do consider phonon part of KDE 4. We'll need to ship it anyway in order of upload the development platform to unstable. -Some widely used apps of the KDE desktop are not ready Even if they are not shipped with the core packages, some apps belong to the KDE desktop and to the KDE project. We have here Koffice, kdevelop or amarok. I have not idea of the exact status of amarok, but I think it won't be ready. Amarok is one of a lot of widely used apps in the KDE desktop that won't have a substitute in KDE 4. There is a myriad of small apps in this situation. Koffice 2 won't be ready so we are shipping with koffice 1 that needs some parts of KDE 3 to work properly (like kcontrol), so it will need some hacking because it is not currently fully installable in KDE 4... and it won't be properly integrated anyway. I'm not sure how well works kdevelop with KDE 4, but newer kdevelop (that needs now kdevplatform package) won't be ready. Quanta needs as well kdevplatform, but quanta is shipped inside kdewebdev and it is one of the modules we have not packaged yet (together with accessibility and bindings). Then you have that some interesting apps usually distributed in the core modules, are not yet ready, for example kpilot in kdepim. AFAIK, this is postponed for KDE 4.2. -No positive feedback about shipping it My blog post about how to install KDE 4.1 beta 1 had some feedback of other developers in planet and specially from users in several blogs and forums that linked my post. Most of the people seem to like it as in "it will be cool", but everybody seems to agree that it is not still a replacement for KDE 3 in their daily tasks. Basically, I see 3 kinds of users: developers, power users and average users. KDE 4.1 could be ready for developers who are able to cope with the lack of some apps, mixing kde3 and kde4 without risks etc, and the same goes to power users. But I do not see it ready for final users, they won't like this (imposed) change. We would be shipping the KDE 4.1 desktop just released, and usually in the community, average users wait until more advanced users are used to this new software then it is when they adopt it, because then, they have support and help from forum and mailing lists from this more advanced users. With the current beta power users and developers still do not see it ready for daily use, so what you can expect for our average users. -Some arches do not like KDE 4 Let's keep this short: KDE 4 needs to be built in all the release archs, and it actually does not. -You can have everybody happy My proposal is release with "old" reliable KDE 3.5.9 not forcing anyone to update to KDE 4.1, and just provide 4.1.x "official" backports. So whose who want to use KDE 4.1 will just use the backports and besides, these users will have these backports updated through the KDE 4.1.x (x=1,2,3..) updates. I am willing to work on these backports. By the way, Backports infrastructure is only for stuff in testing, but I'm sure we can find a nice solution here. I have been thinking this way since months ago, but I did not want to kill people's hope of shipping it in Lenny without looking at KDE 4.1 evolutions in development and really seeing whether it fits in our calendar with respect to Lenny. And with the current data, I think it is clearly a bad idea shipping KDE 4.1. Ana  http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/06/msg00000.html  http://techbase.kde.org/index.php?title=Schedules/KDE4/4.1_Release_Schedule
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