KDE 4.0 is out – a look back

KDE 4.0 - a look back
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.
KDE 4.0
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.

12 thoughts on “KDE 4.0 is out – a look back”

  1. lol, like 1 hour ago I read about the release on some German news site and thought “wtf, normally I read about kde-things from liquidat first” and then checked your blog (or maybe I only checked planet fpo) and was like “wtf, he didn’t write anything about that yet…he must be seriously busy or ill or most probably dead to miss that”. But I was all wrong…of course you were writing already πŸ™‚

    I won’t risk a KDE 4.0 installation from rawhide yet as well, but I’ll have a look to Kubuntu’s 7.10 KDE 4.0 remaster sometime this weekend. Kubuntu is a nice distro, and if Fedora wouldn’t exist I’d use it too. So it’s a good way to try kde4 out. Maybe someone’s going to do a Fedora Rawhide KDE 4 spin too…

  2. Well, I’m actually ill atm as well, but it’s just a minor cold, so I guess that doesn’t count πŸ˜‰

    And about the different distros: I would even build it myself, but just not yet in these times. Too busy …

  3. I find suspicious that there is no Amarok on KDE 4.0 final live cd!?! I tested KDE 4.0 RC2 and I couldn’t find a way to add podcasts to Amarok 2.0 and I posted that on official KDE forum and I got no answer. It looks like some apps weren’t ready for this launch and they had to pull them out 😦
    This looks like a forced release because of that. They should have released when they finished all apps for KDE…

  4. red: Sebastian Vahl is working on making live CD snapshots from Rawhide with KDE 4.

    Valent: Amarok 2 was never planned to be released together with KDE 4.0.0.

  5. @ Valent :

    It was never planed to release Amarok together with KDE 4.0.
    Amarok always had separate releases. The KDE music player is called “Juk” and is included in the relase today.

    The same apply to KDE PIM, Koffice, Kopete, and most of the unofficial KDE apps you will find on kde-apps website. These latest are not available because KDE 4 was not released yet, so they had to get 4.0 out for people to get their softwares to KDE4.

    On an other hand, KDE3 apps are still available from KDE4, and the oposite is true, you can use, say, okular in KDE3 ( or gnome : exactly the same problems than using a gnome app from KDE3 ). And KDE4.0 is not supposed to be used by everybody. The same happened with KDE 3 wich I heard the first realy good release was 3.2.

  6. kollum, KDE-PIM was actually a part of KDE until the 4.0 release came in – it was indeed pulled out of KDE mainline since it was not ready.

    But originally it was planned to include it and to ship a KDE 4.0-ready version of KDE-PIM. But that didn’t work out as planned, and when they realized it it was already to late.

  7. Ah, I’ll spend this weekend looking around KDE4 and tweaking it. I am quite sure that as of now I cannot make it my primary DE, as I am quite sure it is not that stable and compatible with some soft I use, and has bugs. But will use it for two days continuously as if this is the only ONE πŸ™‚

  8. @kollum: Kopete is actually included in kdenetwork 4.0.0, how well it actually works, I don’t know. (We had reports of it being completely broken (unable to connect to anything at all) in 3.97.0, let’s see how we fare with 4.0.0.) What’s true though is that Kopete is planned to be majorly overhauled for 4.1, to use Telepathy and Decibel. (That’s probably part of why it’s in such a bad shape for 4.0, the version in 4.0 is a temporary kludge until Decibel is ready for prime time. There’s some Decibel code in the 4.0 version, but I believe it’s not ready and Decibel itself isn’t being released with 4.0.)

  9. Kopete from kdenetwork is working for me. At least, it runs and connects and I can add accounts. If someone actually shows up this morning then i can try having a conversation.

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