KDE 4.1 – release team aims at July 2008

KDE 4.1 - release team aims at July 2008
The official KDE 4.0 release event is going on at the moment. Among the hot topics at that event is the release schedule for KDE 4.1, which now targets July this year.

While the official release schedule and plan for KDE 4.1 is still marked as “Nothing has been decided yet” the first information from the KDE 4.0 release event about the next bigger KDE release already surfaced elsewhere: German IT news Golem.de reported about an e-mail by Sebastian Kügler to the KDE release list about the next release.

In this e-mail Sebastian summarized past discussions regarding the release schedule and mentioned that the majority of developers would like to have a fixed 6 month cycle. Everything which would be ready by freeze time would be included, the rest would go into the next bigger release. This idea was already raised at the last KDE conference but was dismissed at that time due to the difficult situation of KDE 4.0. But the fact is that KDE 3.x already had a more or less stable release cycle anyway, and that such a system has a lot of tempting advantages (but of course also disadvantages which have to be addressed carefully).

Now the discussion was brought up again by Sebastian and most developers had no strong objections against that idea. Of course such a cycle can only be accepted if the major circumstances like a sufficient Qt 4.4 release will be available and integrated, by it was already checked that that would be the case. As a result of that discussion the KDE release team created a KDE 4.1 schedule:

  • January – KDE 4.0.1
  • February – KDE 4.0.2
  • March – KDE 4.0.3
  • April – KDE 4.0.4
  • May – KDE 4.0.5
  • June – KDE 4.0.6
  • July – KDE 4.1.0
  • August – KDE 4.1.1

In the end the release schedule is not that surprising: if it is enforced reasonable and flexible enough it is a powerful tool regarding the cooperation with other developers and distributions while the negative effects on the development and the releases itself are not too bad. As a side note this release schedule is however not in total sync with GNOME but has the release a month earlier. This is mainly by chance since July seems to be the best option for some KDE strong distributions. Also, it was considered as not too bad if the major desktops would have some spare time in between their releases so that no one steals the show of the other one.

The question is now which big goals will be set for KDE 4.1. One of the main goals – which at the same time depends massively on Qt 4.4 – is an improved and API stable Plasma afaik. But the current KDE 4 is still missing some important components: KDE-PIM, Decibel and KDevelop are still not there yet. Most of these parts were targetting for KDE 4.1 anyway so it can be expected that they will make it in time.

That’s the burden with KDE, I guess: No sooner an amazing release was released, the next is already in sight.

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31 thoughts on “KDE 4.1 – release team aims at July 2008

  1. Are the all the small releases just bug fixes ?
    I really hope they are .. I’ve seen kde become buggier and buggier in the 3.5.+ releases ..

  2. @Daniel: there will be some “almost-features” in plasma, which are not bugfixes in the strictest sense, but rather usability fixes (like the improvement to the applet handles) in 4.0.1. Everything else should be bugfixes.

  3. So will KDE4 let me have a 24 pixel wide panel on the top of my screen? Gotta have that. Also, some pre coded dynamic backgrounds, such as a simple looping movie player and a screensaver shim would be great. It’s kind of a pain doing that kind of thing now, and I’d love to see KDE4 fix that.

  4. That’s great, I hope they finally figure to use a modern, stylish font set and stop using bold fonts everywhere. The KDE folks really need a professional OS designer to slap their wrists.

  5. My only concern is over opensuse 11.0.

    as a big fan of suse and kde i would like a default kde 4.1 suse release before 2Q 2009.

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  7. apaku, corrected. And ethana2, the Panel things will be much more flexible in KDE 4.1 than ever before. In worst case you can even design a panel by yourself. For specific use cases like 24px panels it is however better to ask at the Plasma list and show them your use case.

  8. koko, I guess the “9 month” is a typo since he directly afterwards explains a 6 months release cycle.

    Danielo, first of all KDE had some expert designers on board for the KDE 4 development. Even if there are things you don’t like that doesn’t mean these are not well designed and have a good style. After all, such things are also a matter of personal style.
    Anyway, the fonts things is another topic and has to do with patents and underlying software techniques. But with the new Red Hat Fonts you can at least use a Windows-similar font on modern Linux machines.

  9. Hi, I have used KDE 4.0 for about 1 mnd now.
    I don’t like the desktop behavior. There are nu icons…. no normals ones… Only as a Plasma object. No right click action only a remove option. And when you do that the icon disapear but the original object is still there.

    Do we get the “old” icon behavior back on the desktop like on KDE 3 in the future KDE 4.X release?

    I hope so.

  10. For which KDE strong distribution is July good? openSUSE 11.0 in June just misses 4.1, Kubuntu releases in April and October.

  11. dave, when you have used the new KDE 4 for one month now (I don’t know what else 1 mnd could mean) than you were using a pre release edition. Please upgrade therefore to the final one.

    Grósz, it was said on the list that OpenSuse would be shipped with KDE 4.1 pre-release packages. The other distribution which welcomed the new plan was Mandriva. Anyway, Kubuntu would have time with this schedule to adopt the new KDE – and to include a bugfix version (like 4.1.1).

  12. daniel, that’s a weird experience you are having – mine has been very pleasant with kde 3.5 series – bugs are fixed constantly, stability is improved – and even new features appear.
    stability has especially improved in 3.5 series, but that’s only expected as it is in “maintenance mode” now :)

  13. Too much stable releases. Specially the .5 and .6 most people will be to busy making next version code to bother also fixing stable branch.

    My prediction is that _at least_ that two won’t be made and we;ll see a x.4 to x+1.0 transition

  14. The official release schedule doesn’t say “Nothing has been decided anymore”. I finished the schedule and posted it on Monday and nobody’s complained so far. :)

  15. That seems very late to me, I’ve hoped for a sooner release of the first finished version of KDE 4.
    I am using KDE 4 for about 2 months and a half now (4.0pre, then 4.0,and then 4.0.1). And I have a strong feeling of using an alpha release of an application (with the latest one too). Besides the instability (which did get better with 4.0.1 and will probably get better with further releases) there is a terrible lack of features. For example, the System Settings (ex-Control Panel) is kind of a joke really.

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