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KDE's Version Timing Drops It In Ubuntu Support Priority 187

Posted by Zonk
from the not-tomorrow-but-soon dept.
News.com is reporting that the next version of Ubuntu will see KDE unsupported, but only for the time being. Because of the dramatic changeover from KDE 3.5 to 4.0, Ubuntu sponsor Canonical is unwilling to initially support the popular Linux GUI. Gnome will still be supported, and the company expects to return support to kubuntu soon. "Developer interest is focused on KDE 4.0, but it's not mature enough yet to use in the next KDE-based variation of Ubuntu, called Kubuntu, Scott James Remnant, leader of the Ubuntu Desktop team, said in an explanation to a Kubuntu mailing list. But most Kubuntu developers adding features "upstream" of today's products are focused on KDE 4.0, meaning that it's risky to release a long-term support version based on 3.5."
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KDE's Version Timing Drops It In Ubuntu Support Priority

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  • Not suprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by proudfoot (1096177) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @06:45PM (#21851860)
    The next version of Kubuntu/Ubuntu would have been an LTS, which means that it would be aimed at those who expected a long life out of an operating system, such as enterprise users.
    KDE 4.0, in its current, and rather buggy state, does not fit the bill.
    • Re:Not suprising (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fri13 (963421) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:00PM (#21851972)
      KDE4 starts KDE 4.x series and it isn't in that condition that everyone could use it like they can use KDE 3.5 on it current state. So, then when KDE 4.1 comes, it should be then in state it is good for anyone. Now when in few weeks KDE4 comes out, it is mostly for application developers and users who knows how to submit wishes and use KDE3.x applications in KDE4 too etc.

      LTS support didnt come to kubuntu because KDE 3.5.x series support will be ended before LTS support and KDE4 isn't in shape it could be supported time what LTS needs. So, Kubuntu dont get LTS support, mayby next time when LTS version is coming from ubuntu.

      But for those whole like to have supported KDE, can turn for other distributions like Mandriva, SUSE etc.

      (im not developer but this info i have got from KDE blogs and it is UOM)
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      But it also says they wont support 3.5.x which really is irritating for us KDE users.

      Good thing FreeBSD 7. will be out by then.
      • why promise to support a dead release for 5 years 6 months after the upgrade is released? in 2 years nobody will care about 3.5 and simply tell you to upgrade because those bugs are fixed.. Canonical doesn't want to do that by themselves. 4.0 isn't ready for betting your company on just yet, so the solution was to put both in the 8.04 under standard support, then commit to 4.0 under 8.10 forward... that seems the best course, had KDE gotten their stuff out in October so it could be in 7.10, they would hav
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jilles (20976)
          So basically you are telling all those companies out there considering to switch to linux that in 6 months there is going to be noone around to support whatever they are installing now?. Pretty tough message either they install stuff that is pretty much untested and might become usable over the next year or they install stuff that is pretty well tested but that nobody wants to support anymore. Sounds like Microsoft stopping support for XP when they were still beta testing Vista (which some people might argu
          • So basically you are telling all those companies out there considering to switch to linux that in 6 months there is going to be noone around to support whatever they are installing now?

            No. Canonical is telling all those companies to use the GNOME version, which will be a long-term-support version, instead, or to use the older Kubuntu LTS version (6.06).

  • ubuntu shmoobuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FudRucker (866063)
    ubuntu wants to kick a release out the door every 6 months, i think it would be wise to release once a year and no more frequent than that, the rest of the Linux distros & community works at a slower pace than ubuntu wants to run at...
    • Re:ubuntu shmoobuntu (Score:5, Informative)

      by phoenix.bam! (642635) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:00PM (#21851978)
      Ubuntu feature freezes all releases. For six months nothing about your desktop changes, at all. Only security and bug fixes are released. If they moved to a one year release cycle they would either end up hopelessly out of date, or would have to sacrifice desktop consistency without a given distribution. Ubuntu doesn't want to surprise users with an update to their desktop that changes functionality.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by empaler (130732)
      They're aiming at releasing twice a year with enough new features to catch the interest of the public, and only release STABLE every now and then. Next scheduled release (April 08, 8.04) is the upcoming stable branch.
      KDE4 will probably be backported to 7.10, and will most certainly be included in 8.10.
      The reiterate how above relates to your comment (sorry, I get carried away sometimes), the point of the twice-a-year release schedule is being able to make press releases and submit a lot of stories to Digg a
    • Re:ubuntu shmoobuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ditoa (952847) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:05PM (#21852026)
      Personally I like Ubuntu's approach. IMHO Linux for the desktop can lose momentum very easily but Ubuntu seems to be keeping things rather stable. I have seen more improvements in Linux for the desktop since Ubuntu became popular than any time before. Perhaps it is just coincidence, perhaps not. Either way 6 months isn't an outrageously quick turn around time, I feel yearly releases would just cause everything to slow down.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Wowsers (1151731)
      Mandriva / Mandrake went from a yearly release back to 6 months due to user demand. When it went to the yearly release people didn't like it.

      http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/21/2348253 [slashdot.org]
    • ubuntu releases every six months BUT three out of four of those releases have a short support life and are aimed at those who want/need to be on the bleeding edge. One release in four is supported for a much longer period (3 years on the desktop 5 on the server).

      The problem as I understand it is that the current KDE situation has put ubuntu in a tight spot, they either totally rip up thier release schedule (which would not be a good thing for their acceptance in the enterprise), they pay people to do a lot
    • by SoopahMan (706062) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @12:39AM (#21853828)
      Strongly disagree. Ubuntu is doing a lot of things right, and the recent commercial end-user available machines rallying around Ubuntu/Gnome shows it. If anything other projects should speed up to keep pace with Ubuntu.

      The regular release cycle helps contributing developers to enjoy their work - they can count on finished new features to be out in less than 6mos, rather than less than a year, which can be pretty exciting. And it aids iterative development - a year between releases can encourage hail mary style development where you go big and failures are crushing.
    • ubuntu wants to kick a release out the door every 6 months, i think it would be wise to release once a year and no more frequent than that, the rest of the Linux distros & community works at a slower pace than ubuntu wants to run at...

      Base releases are every 6 months. (and some people still complain that it is too slow) LTS releases are every 2 years. (and some people still complain that it is too fast) In the Linux world, no matter what you do, someone will hate you.
  • my fancy blue Kubuntu splash screen isn't going to work any more.
  • by empaler (130732) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @06:53PM (#21851926) Journal

    ... adding features "upstream" of today's products are focused on KDE 4.0, meaning that it's risky to release a long-term support version based on 3.5.
    Someone's not been paying attention to the point of LTS - the point is that since there is no addition of major features, there's less risk involved, making it a better choice for those seeking stability. Zonk's next accepted feature:

    FreeBSD - too many versions?
    News.com reports that only damned fools would go for FreeBSD 5.5 - where no major features have been added for years. Server maintainers should get with the program and start download FreeBSD 8 alphas - it has something called superpages and network stack virtualization, and while none of us know what that means, the names are impressive.
    • The problem is: if a bug is noticed in KDE 3.5.x in a couple years, are developers going to waste time fixing it?
      • by empaler (130732)

        The problem is: if a bug is noticed in KDE 3.5.x in a couple years, are developers going to waste time fixing it?

        Then the problem is not new; 6.06 LTS is supported through 2009/11 (desktop/server), and if any of the old packages in that LTS needs a security update 2010 even though they've made point releases since... well, if the badge LTS is to be worth anything, Ubuntu will have to ensure those security fixes are made.

        Apart from that, TFS refers to oo, shiny and not security fixes. Even MS will make security fixes for Win2K until 2010. If Linux can't cut it for a small handful of years with feature-free security u

  • by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:04PM (#21852018) Homepage
    The Gutsy version of Kubuntu broke a _lot_ of things on my powerbook. Up until this release I was really happy with Linux on it, rating it well above OS X for geeks. Right now I'm seriously considering reverting back to Feisty.

    So, with that in mind, it's actually nice to see them declare that something won't be working _before_ I waste time trying to upgrade to it. I can then make an informed decision about what to do, instead of using a half assed release that would disappoint me. Not meeting expectations is about the worst thing you can do to your credibility.
    • by gambolt (1146363)
      just use debian. It's the same thing only the emphasis is on the code and technical perfection, not the eyecandy
      • by hawk (1151)
        Not only that, but the next Debian release will include KDE 3.0! :)

        hawk
    • by kbahey (102895)
      I have been using Kubuntu for a couple of years too.

      The problems I had were on the upgrade to Feisty.

      An Intersil WiFi card that worked fine on Edgy stopped working on Feisty.

      The slmodem driver for the HDA sound card which worked fine on Edgy stopped working on Feisty.

      Apart from that, on Gutsy with a new laptop (Toshiba A200-TR6), sound is a bit flaky (plugging in a headphone, sound still comes out from the laptop built-in speaker in addition to the head phone).

      Also on Gutsy, inserting an SD card works most
    • Gutsy broke sound on my HP laptop and I couldn't fix it to save my life. It didn't work in Fiesty either but I was able to build a new version of alsa to get it working. And let's not mention wireless. I love using Gusty on my desktops, but for my HP Pavilion laptop, it's just not there yet.

      I ended up switching back to XP, and I had to friggin' buy a copy because those bastards at Microsoft stuck Visturd on the laptop. Friggin' monopoly. If there was real competition I wouldn't have to pay because Micr
      • I ended up switching back to XP, and I had to friggin' buy a copy because those bastards at Microsoft stuck Visturd on the laptop.

        If it came with Vista Business or higher (and any decent laptop should have -- non-"business class" machines aren't worth crap anyway), it should allow you to "downgrade" (or rather, upgrade) to XP without having to buy a different license. And even if it didn't, if I already owned a legal copy of Vista I'd have no moral qualms about switching it out for a cracked version of XP

        • It was Vista Home or the "You're screwed, Neener neener neener!" version. I would have expected the Business version since it was a decent machine, but as I always say, "Microsoft hates me!"
    • The Gutsy version of Kubuntu broke a _lot_ of things on my powerbook.

      Ditto for me on my Thinkpad. But NONE of those broken things came from KDE. All were (K)Ubuntu addons, enhancements, and the like.

      My current assignment ends tomorrow, and then I will be wiping Kubuntu off the Thinkpad, and replacing it with a no-frills system (probably Arch). I prefer my KDE in the vanilla flavor, without any of the "improvements" Kubuntu/SuSE/Mandriva/etc. bolt onto the side.
  • Misleading article (Score:5, Informative)

    by csnydermvpsoft (596111) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:06PM (#21852042) Homepage
    Looking at the mailing list message [ubuntu.com] linked from the article clears up things. Kubuntu 8.04 will not be "unsupported" - it will simply not be an LTS (long-term support) release. This means that it will "only" be supported for 18 months on the desktop instead of three years.

    Also, the concern is not whether features will still be being added to 3.5, but whether bugs fill be fixed upstream. From TFM: "Will a bug in KDE 3.5 receive upstream attention in March 2011?"

    • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @08:09PM (#21852382) Journal
      Doubtful, as an AC mentioned (in a much cruder way), Trolltech is not supporting QT3 any more... or at least not much longer since they are now at QT4. KDE3.x QT3 and KDE4 is programmed using QT4. At least that is how I understood things to be.

      Bottom line is that KDE3.x likely is not really going to be supportable till 2011. But who knows? That is a long way away.
  • KDE release and LTS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pecisk (688001) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:10PM (#21852072)
    Disclaimer: I am GNOME user for eight years, but I recommend KDE for powerusers. Thanks God that we have choice.

    Problem is very simple - KDE guys don't guarantee that KDE 3.5 will be supported next 3 years (which is obvious - KDE 4 is just around the corner and all development efforts will be channelled to it), but KDE 4 won't be useful until end of next year (basis is there, but lot of stuff must be ported). So it is kinda dumb situation. However, Kubuntu 8.04 WILL be released, it just won't be 3 years supported, aka LTS, but tradicionally 18 months, which is half of that time. After that, Kubuntu 8.10 release will contain KDE 4 at it's best.

    So - not kinda cool that there won't be LTS for KDE, but still - there will be release.

    p.s. it is a little bit sad that rather fine article summary contains somehow weak attempt to cause flamewar. Yes, KDE is popular, but also is GNOME - I know lot of KDE fanboys has problems to admit that (ohh, and it is similar with GNOME fanboys to admit that KDE is desktop of choice for many people, of course).

  • Is there any info regarding how soon KDE 4 will be out?
    I'm having problems with KDE under FreeBSD, but now Mr Yushchenko suggests [blogspot.com] I should just use the latest release. I'm not sure if 3.5 will do the trick, or I should just wait for 4.0?
    • The latest *stable* release is 3.5.8. Don't bother with 4.0, because it won't be stable for a long time. I'm guessing six to nine months. IMHO.
  • I use Kubuntu and was looking forward to the new version. What does this mean for me? Will I be stuck on the current version while the Ubuntu folks roll out a nice LTS version with nice features I won't be getting, or will there be an "unstable" version I can track?

    Failing all that, what's a nice distro for KDE power users and developers? I've been using Debian for ages and I'm comfortable with Gentoo (although I'd prefer something else). Any suggestions?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Joe Tie. (567096)
      Going by the way kubuntu normally works, I'd be surprised if it came down to much more than adding a second repository to get access to kde4 packages.
      • From what I've heard, and I may be mistaken, KDE4 will be in the standard repositories (universe, maybe?) for 8.04. I believe the plan is to have two installation discs available, one that installs KDE 3.5.x and one that installs KDE 4.0.x. I would guess that installing the other version from either starting point would be fairly easy.
    • what's a nice distro for KDE power users and developers?

      Since you are a Debian user already, have you looked into Sidux [sidux.com]? It is based on Debian Sid, but has been fairly solid for me, even though I'm no developer, or even a power user. I've used it for most of the year, since the release of "Tartaros" in May. Now, I have had problems with X breakage, but these seem to have been due to the ATI video card rather than Sid/Sidux, and I' am posting from a Sidux install. If you are a Debian power-user, you sh

    • The article wasn't really clear, but someone else pointed out that it most likely means that the next Kubuntu will be supported for 18 months, rather than 3 years like the LTS Gnome version.
    • by opkool (231966)
      what's a nice distro for KDE power users and developers?

      I'd recommend you Mandriva.

      Really, give it an honest spin. Get Mandriva One (Live CD, includes installer and proprietary drivers and all that jazz).

      KDE is Tier-1 desktop environment for Mandriva. It is the default DE if you don not change any option in the installer.

      The current Mandriva 2008 already includes a KDE 4 preview in the backports repository.

      Of course, Mandriva includes all those nifty and OpenSource GUI management tools (the "drakes" in the
  • Disappointing Turn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jekler (626699) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @07:37PM (#21852212)
    I think this move is a mistake because the goal of Ubuntu has been to lessen the gap between non-technical users and Linux gurus. This introduces another layer of complexity for those non-technical users. I think it's a mistake to mix LTS and non-LTS in same-numbered/named versions of the OS. They have a variety of options here and I think they picked the worst of the lot. They should just add it to a community maintained repository or a backport from the next version.

    Someone with an active interest in Linux isn't likely to be confused, but there's a growing number of Linux users who don't follow Linux as an interest, it's just the thing on their computer. More than most other distros, those are the people that Ubuntu has been trying to cater to. I think they chose the worst possible option given their target audience.

    It might seem ridiculous to think a seemingly minor detail could confuse or scare off people, but after years of working in support (and I think any support representatives would agree) you might be surprised at how easily people form mental blocks and shut down (mentally) when faced with any computer-related issue. When you walk someone through a process and a button doesn't say exactly what you indicate, they panic. To them "END" is not the same as "FINISH" or "DONE, even though they should all mentally register as a word signifying completion. And then they won't even tell you the name of the button that appeared on their screen, they'll only tell you that they don't see the one you said, like you're playing some sort of sadistic "I Spy" riddle game. Sorry for the digression. Old trauma.

    (I'm not knocking Ubuntu for catering to non-technical users. I prefer Ubuntu myself, though I've been a Linux user much longer.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arendjr (673589)
      This makes no sense. You're assuming dropping the LTS term will make it more complex for non-technical users, but non-technical users don't care about the LTS term. The only people that care about the LTS term are people that need support, like IT departments, people who are not that easily confused. Really, non-technical people don't care about LTS, don't care whether their operating system carries an LTS label, and what they don't care about, they're not confused about, they just want it to work.
      • You are assuming that "IT" people are technical!!! I understand what the parent is saying. Mixing Ubuntu LTS and Kbuntu not LTS is a mistake. I know a lot of IT people that can barely keep windows version separate, that's part of Microsoft's problems getting things fixed over on their side. Let alone expect those same "wintel" admins to keep Ubuntu versions straight? The idea is that a commercial or large scale app can port to that version and know everybody is the same. While 75% of the code is the s
        • Let alone expect those same "wintel" admins to keep Ubuntu versions straight?

          If they're Windows admins, then what the fuck are they doing installing [K]Ubuntu anyway?

          I say either the admins are competent or they're not. If their job requires supporting [K]Ubuntu, then they should either learn how to do it or get replaced by people who can. This is not [K]Ubuntu's problem!

  • by shrikel (535309) <hlagfarj.gmail@com> on Saturday December 29, 2007 @08:04PM (#21852366)
    KDE or emacs?
  • I still don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by realdodgeman (1113225) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @08:26PM (#21852500) Homepage
    I can see that Kubuntu 8.04 will be released without LTS. Fair enough.

    But this is just confusing. Will it use KDE 3.5, or will it use KDE 4.0?
  • I imagine a lot of Ubuntu's users don't want to be guinea pigs for KDE 4, and to claim 3 years support for something that will only be supported for a fraction of that time would be dishonest. Besides 18 months of support isn't that bad considering with Ubuntu's 6 month release schedule they'll be on something like 10.2 before support for 8.4 will be gone.
  • Even after KDE 4.0 is released it will take some time for Plasma to mature and accumulate useful accessories, but the real issue is how long it will take for other systems to either pick up or in some way duplicate Plasma as they almost certainly will.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday December 29, 2007 @10:44PM (#21853302) Homepage
    I use Kubuntu. Right now KDE is in a major transition phase, moving from KDE3/qt3 to KDE4/qt4 is a bigger change than Gnome has ever done, seriously. While a few things survive porting it's fairly close to a rewrite of everyting KDE is. Supporting KDE4 for a LTS is a "no way" kind of thing, it'll barely be released and KDE has some creative defintions of RC. The only real option would be supporting KDE 3.5, which while I think would be good it something upstream may or may not do. After all, "kubuntu" will support all the server packages in Ubuntu, just not KDE. If they've been recültant to promise 3 years support, I certainly understand why Canonical would. When push comes to shove, they really don't want to sell much more than what upstream provides anyway.
  • On release-day I'll send some money to KDE for their effort and their dedication. I can spare $10 and I'm sure some of you can too. Let's do it and not just talk about it.

    It would be interestng to see if we can make a donation that stands out when the new and improved KDE is released.

    .haeger

  • Bullsh*t! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Brandybuck (704397)
    This is bullshit! KDE 3.5 is perfectly acceptable. The fact that a new version is coming out sometime in the future is a idiot reason to drop support. "Old" versions of software don't just vanish on release dates. Who they hell died and made Ubuntu the god of release dates? Is this going to happen for any piece of software that happens to have a release date close to Ubuntu's? Or is this only the case for KDE because Ubuntu is GNOME centric?

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