{Backstory: I've been away from every sort of hacking for a few months now, 
but very soon will be able to devote some real time again.  Meanwhile, I've 
tried (not always successfully) to keep quiet about concerns I wasn't 
actually helping to solve.}

While there are valid concerns with matters of missing features or 
obsolescence, I see the two greatest issues in this decision being 
maintainability and (wo)manpower.  While there are certainly other reasons to 
release with 4.1, those are the two issues I see as being critical, since 
they ultimately decide the viability of having KDE in Debian.

By maintainability, I'm primarily referring to the lack of upstream 
maintenance of the KDE 3 branch.  For example, there are libraries used by 
KDE 3 that have changed API, but the KDE 3 code has not been updated to build 
with the newer version.  Should there be another unexpected breakage, such as 
the one caused by Flash Player, upstream will be entirely uninterested in 
resolving it.  Any bugs in KDE 3 not related to packaging will be largely 

The deeper issue, though, is one of developer time and effort.  By choosing to 
include KDE3 as the primary desktop in Debian, the Debian maintainers are 
effectively the new upstream.  Considering the existing scarcity of developer 
time, in addition to post-release work on KDE 4, there is simply not enough 
time for the Debian KDE team to provide the quality of maintenance that 
people expect from a Debian release.  On a related note, since there is no 
doubt whatsoever that lenny+1 will use some form of KDE 4, that work will 
have to be done regardless of what is released with lenny.  The amount of 
additional work needed to also revive KDE 3 serves as an unnecessary burden 
on an already busy team.

The packaging of KDE 4.1 is already mostly complete and has received about as 
much testing as anything in experimental is going to get.  Other 
distributions, such as Fedora, OpenSuse, and Ubuntu, have all accomplished to 
release with a KDE 4 desktop while still providing the KDE 3 applications 
that do not yet have a KDE 4 equivalent.  Considering how for we have already 
come, I see little reason why that would not be possible for Debian.

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