KDE 4.0 RC2 released, but no KDE-PIM for 4.0

KDE 4.0 RC2 released, but no KDE-PIM for 4.0
KDE 4.0 RC2 was released yesterday and shows that KDE 4.0 final is very close now. At the same time the developers looked closer at which modules and programs are ready – and realized that KDE-PIM will simply not be ready for KDE 4.0

KDE 4.0 RC2 was just released and gives a clear message: KDE 4.0 will be here soon. There are only some bugs left until KDE can be released in a new, stable version. The KDE games team even created a shiny banner for it:

KDE 4.0 Release Counter

In this regard a look at the formerly mentioned list of show stopper bugs is worth it: while I would not bet that all entries are up2date a very worrying issue is totally fixed by now: Printing.
Also, the announcement comes along with screenshots which show Plasma applets embedded into the panel. While I was not able to do that with the daily builds image it is nice to see that it works and that there will be no (fundamental) regression in KDE 4.0 regarding the panel. And I’m really curious to see what new applets will be developed over time for Plasma!

However, not all news are good news: the KDE-PIM team decided not to release the first KDE 4 version of the PIM suite in time with KDE 4.0 because it is simply not ready. This will however not a too big issue since KDE-PIM 3 is supposed to run just fine in KDE 4. And as soon as KDE-PIM 4 is released in its first stable version all existing systems can be updated.
At the moment the discussion is still going on: if someone would find lots of time over the holidays and would be able to fix all remaining issues KDE-PIM could be shipped with KDE 4.0. However, that is very unlikely.


10 thoughts on “KDE 4.0 RC2 released, but no KDE-PIM for 4.0”

  1. I have the strong feeling that the KDE-guys really messed it up this time. From what I have read and seen KDE 4.0 should be released as some sort of technology preview, but not as a final major release.

  2. I think the problem is that people are expecting KDE 4.0 to do EVERYTHING that KDE 3.5 did, without any bugs at all. Many of the things people complain about are features that have been dropped for now, or are low priority.

    I have it installed from svn yesterday, and I find it’s stable enough, and has enough features to use as a regular desktop. However, it’s missing specific features that are important to me (but are not a priority for developers), so I’m not using it.

    Many of the problems with some stuff, like KWin compositing, are mostly due to a smaller usergroup, which can’t get all the errors. So, if they don’t release it as a desktop, those that are comfortable with it won’t use it, and there won’t be much progress.

  3. chodo, I cannot confirm that: KDE 4.0 will be a stable, full release of KDE. There will be no fundamental regressions.

    The fact that KDE PIM needs some more time is not a sign of something messed up but of the fact that there is a lack of development power (that is the reason stated on the linked e-mail thread). And KDE has a long history of out-of-schedule development. KDE PIM is even a bit special in this regard because it has an independent tree for years now parallel to the normal KDE-PIM tree.

    In one thing however you are right: that KDE 4.0 will not include all the features everyone was waiting for. Some of them will be included with KDE 4.1 (Decibel, Akonadi). But KDE always added new features in development lines, so that is not that untypical. It is just sad to get them later.

    Anyway, if you have special concerns feel free to write them down here, maybe I’m missing something or you have outdated information.

    soap: Well said. Would you mind to write down which features you have in mind which are important for you but maybe not for others?

  4. well, every time i see this new kicker-replacement i ask myself if it can be resized. Do you notice the bad looking folder-icon in this screen shot: http://www.kde.org/announcements/announce_4.0-rc2/konqueror.jpg
    its much to much scaled and this will happen with every icon that is not available at large resolutions.
    Another point is the default “Oxygen”-Theme. The icons aren’t that bad, but also not visible enough and too much detailed in small resolutions. The Style looks just disappointing. I really don’t know how any of you can find it attractive. He also still has bugs in it:

    Do you see the “Dolphin preferences” window? then look closely to the tab labeled “Columns” i guess. You can see that the font is viewable between the two buttons. You may not call this a bug, but for me it looks like one.

    As for KDE-PIM: I don’t know. On the one hand, your right. The distributors will have to leave kde3-libraries in their distributions anyway, thanks for all the good working kde3-apps not yet ported out there. On the other hand I must ask myself if a release-date is that important, that major parts of kde have to be left out. It is a sign of mismanagement by the people who decided the release date to me and raises the question if there are other parts of kde which can’t be left out.

    I do see the good ideas and the amazing improvements that have been achieved since the early betas (unfortunately i wasn’t able to try out the rc’s on my suse 10.2 desktop), but when I see problems even on the screenshots released to the press and it is 29 days until the finals release, then I definitely become doubtfully.

  5. Just to clarify the printing situation, we’ve ported all the apps to use Qt printing, and done some extra code for Okular to support their special requirements (which was the main hold-up). What isn’t done is the admin side of things such as the kcm, kjobviewer, and kprinter. I had hoped to find time to get it done for a separate release in Jan/Feb timeframe, but thats looking doubtful at the moment.


  6. chodo, yes, there are still small glitches and bugs in the Oxygen theme – that’s the reason why this is a RC.
    About the look of the icons themselves: I like them pretty much, if you don’t like them this is ok – but you know that you can easily change them. And to not like a new icon theme is hardly a reason to say that a release failed.

    About the Plasma panel: it is probably *the* main reason why KDE’s release date was shifted several times: the development still goes on, and the fact that it cannot be resized is one of the reasons. In fact, afaik the code for resizing is there but was not activated yet.

    Regarding KDEPIM and the release date: while it is pretty bad I would not call it a fault of the release management team. They did what was necessary. You must release at some point, and if almost all modules are ready, that is a good point. Also, the KDE-PIM team thought that they could do it, but sometimes people leave a project or don’t have as much time as planned. Sad, but that can happen everywhere.

    And about kickoff and being resizable: That is not a necessary feature. It would be nice to have it, like thousand of other small features. But the KDE 3 menu was never resizable, and therefore that is not even a regression!

    Odysseus, thanks for pointing that out. I hope that we can expect a fully working KDE based printing system again in KDE 4.1?

  7. Thanks for your 2c, “nobody”. I guess we can all give up on kde-pim and go home now, cause you don’t use it.

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