KDE 4.0 is out. While I won’t have the time to give it a rough test today I do have some minutes to look back.
It’s done: KDE 4.0.0 is out.
There is a great Visual guide available, and release parties are going on or will be taking place the next days. Also, don’t miss the clearing words about expectations, features and reality Aaron has posted recently.
For me, unfortunately, KDE 4.0.0 has to wait some more weeks since I am in the final weeks of finishing my diploma thesis, and I cannot risk to alter any of the basic things on my machine. My distribution of choice, Fedora, only delivers KDE 4.0.0 packages for the devel branch, and that is too risky for me atm. Also, as regular readers might have noticed already, I simply have no time at the moment for non-study-related things, I don’t even have the time to blog.
Anyway, KDE 4.0.0 is out now, but it is “just” the final climax of a process started years ago. So here is a short retrospect:
It all started long, long ago. It was in a time when the future of Windows was still called Longhorn; it was a time when Pluto was still a planet; it was a time when I still blogged in German – and for the KDE project it was a time of wild dreams and exciting phantasies:
i’d like kicker to look nicer in general. which is why in KDE4 it will receive a new theme engine
Erm…right, that was just a bit too early. But it shows where to look at: 2005. In these days first bits about the possible KDE future were mentioned in the public for the first time. Around summer things became concrete: Qt 4.0 was released and Plasma was introduced. Some weeks later KDE 4 was already a topic at the annual KDE Conferece: talks were given about Oxygen and Phonon (which was still namend KDEMM at that time).
During fall 2005 the main KDE topic was not KDE 4 but KDE 3.5, which was released at the end of November. But in the background the developers continued their work on porting to Qt4 as well as designing concepts and libraries.
2006 Was the year of the basis: the new foundations for the future KDE found their way into live and were shaped up to become usable for developers. Solid and Decibel were introduced, KDEMM was renamed to Phonon and the first specialiced meeting, the KDE Multimedia Meeting took place. The KDE Four Core meetings followed shortly after, and in the middle of 2006 the kdelibs were finally in a state so that they were merged into the regular directory structure instead of being published as snapshots. And if that wouldn’t be enough the developers got rollicking and released a first pre-Alpha version, Krash.
During the second half of 2006 the KDE conference Akademy 2006 dominated the KDE land. Of course KDE 4 was the major topic (available as slides and videos) and numerous talks were about the new APIs and libraries.
At the end of 2006 the basic foundations for KDE 4 were laid, and it was clear what KDE 4 would leave behind.
The beginning of 2007 brought a pleasant surprise for most users: Troy Unrau started his famous “Road to KDE 4” series and kept everyone informed about the development around KDE 4. This was one of the most important KDE 4 related PR moves and showed everyone how much development was going on and what really could be expected. This series was great. And indeed, the year 2007 was the year of polishing, shaping up – and showing! 2007 was the year of the screenshots, screencasts and reviews. But of course it was alos the year of Alphas, Betas, cooperation with Trolltech and another conference. 2007 was the year which prepared the world for the launch.
And the launch just happend – the future is now.