After the final freeze of KDE 3.X I had some thoughts about KDE 4.0 and the expectations the people will have. After all I read it reminded me a bit of everything I read about KDE 2.0.
KDE 4.0 will be totally rewritten in large areas: Phonon, Solid, Plasma, Sonnet, Nepomuk, Strigi, krunner, Raptor, etc. All these new core technologies add huge possibilities – and therefore the users will have huge expectations.
However, not every application will take every core technology to its edge: the developers will need time to get used to the new APIs and also simply to get used to all the new possibilities – there are just so many.
Also, the core technologies will be out in the wild the first time – that means that there will be bugs and parts of these bugs need a 4.1 release to be fixed. In this regard it is already known that Plasma will see quite some changes for KDE 4.1 since the next Qt release will provide specific functions Plasma would like to integrate.
After all I hear, this situation is comparable to KDE 2. When KDE 2 came out there were several brand new technologies for example DCOP, kio and kparts. Also, the konqueror was brand new. The core technologies needed time to smooth out the rough edges, and the application developers needed time to get used to the new things (at least that’s what I was told, at that time I didn’t even knew what KDE is).
And the KDE 4.0 release will be very similar. In this regard KDE 4.0 will remember many people of KDE 2. Like a second release of KDE 2 – but on a new level.
Still, things have changed over time: the entire KDE project matured quite a bit, has much more people working at it and things will be much smoother than at the KDE 2 release. Therefore I’m pretty confident that with KDE 4.1 you won’t notice that there had been a major rework – if you notice it at all.
Of course that does not mean that you should wait until KDE 4.1 – after all I’ve seen there will be enough crazy people (like me) testing KDE 4.0 Alpha and Beta versions so most of the rough edges should be fixed by release date.
The only thing stopping me by now is that my distribution does not provide pre-compiled packages, and my laptop would melt through the desk…