Kubuntu and KDE 4
The first news in this talk was that Kubuntu will not ship with KDE 4 as the default version for the next two (!) Kubuntu reasons. This is due to the fact that the next version of Kubuntu, Gutsy, will not include KDE 4 because it will not be ready till then. The version after Gutsy would be totally perfect for KDE 4, however, this version will be a Long Time Support version. These specific Ubuntu versions are released every
18 months and aim at long term stability. Therefore they only include packages which are already in a pretty stable and reliable state. And Jonathan Riddell mentioned that he does not believe that KDE 4 will reach that state that far.
Sad, somehow, but since these releases are the business releases of Ubuntu it is understandable.
Still, this does not mean that Kubuntu will not ship KDE 4 at all – the opposite is the case, it is even planned to ship a KDE 4 only CD of Kubuntu. But this CD will be targeted at the early adopters and will not be the default option.
Systemsettings vs kcontrol
The other point which got my attention was a comment about Systemsettings: he mentioned that is has been pushed upstream for KDE 4. For these who don’t know: Systemsettings is a kcontrol replacement used in Kubuntu. It does re-use many of the kcontrol modules but features a different design.
Yesterday I checked, and indeed Systemsettings is already part of the “workspace” part of kdebase and is therefore part of the KDE 4 svn directory. And it is usable – I tried to change the style, for example, and it worked.
And today with the announcement of KDE 4 Alpha 2 it was unveiled that systemsettings will replace kcontrol:
System Settings, the replacement for kcontrol is an improved user interface hosting various modules for configuring the desktop and other aspects of the system is another addition worth mentioning.
If you now wonder about the move, keep in mind that Systemsettings re-uses most of the modules of kcontrol. So basically not too many things will change. But Systemsettings got quite some attention by usability experts, while kcontrol is already a bit old and overloaded.
But I do hope that some people will have a closer look at some of the modules – while they are basically working and nice there is still plenty of room for improvements.
The topic was also discussed at the KDE-core-devel e-mail list. According to that discussion Systemsettings is actively developed in terms of code as well as in terms of usability, while kcontrol is not maintained at all. There are still many issues (especially usability wise) in Systemsettings which have to be solved, but there are people actively working at.