Ubuntu Open Week - Getting KDE 4 ready for LTS - JonathanRiddell - Tue, Nov 3, 2009

  • utc

(05:00:23 PM) Riddell: Good evening friends
(05:00:30 PM) Riddell: Getting KDE 4 ready for LTS
(05:00:44 PM) Riddell: this will be a bit of a ramble about Kubuntu and KDE 4
(05:00:50 PM) Riddell: anyone here to listen?
(05:01:14 PM) Riddell: awooga
(05:01:34 PM) Riddell: and yes, you need to reply in #ubuntu-classroom-chat, this channel is special
(05:01:52 PM) Riddell: KDE 4 has been a long journey.  I mean pure dead long.  And we're no there yet.
(05:01:57 PM) Riddell: But nearly
(05:02:04 PM) Riddell: World domination is around the corner
(05:02:09 PM) Riddell: it's very exciting
(05:02:18 PM) Riddell: My first KDE conference was in 2003 and we were talking about KDE 4 then
(05:02:29 PM) Riddell: You see, at the time KDE was good
(05:02:35 PM) Riddell: Some people had planned to make a free software desktop environment and had succeeded.
(05:02:45 PM) Riddell: There was a desktop shell, a web browser, a file manager, a kick arse music player.  Everything you needed
(05:02:53 PM) Riddell: But it wasn't taking over the world
(05:03:07 PM) Riddell: It was good, but it wasn't notably better than the rest.
(05:03:28 PM) Riddell: Along the way Windows had become not quite so crap and Mac OS had been rewritten into something really very impressive, there was also someone called Miguel who kept submitting patches to KDE that got rejected, I heard he went off and did something else
(05:03:57 PM) Riddell: So in order to take over the world we had to do better than good.  Incremental improvements on what KDE was wouldn't cut it.  We had to take a long term view and make something rocking.
(05:04:16 PM) Riddell: As it happens we had a good technical foundation to make something rocking on top of, the Qt library, which was being re-written for the multi-platform bling enabled world of the next decade
(05:04:33 PM) Riddell: Qt 4 came along and that allowed a whole lot more to be done with desktop applications.  It could make them beautiful.
(05:04:51 PM) Riddell: Qt 4 is a big step in taking over the world.  When compositing came along people thought that was beautiful but it only added beauty between the applications.  To have a truely beautiful desktop you need a powerful toolkit which can make beauty easy.  Fortunately Qt 4 does that
(05:05:19 PM) Riddell: So KDE had to be rewritten and this took some time.  It had to be made cross platform, easy to programme for complex things and most of all it had to be beautiful
(05:05:32 PM) Riddell: and when I say beautiful, artwork is a big part of that, but it's a whole user experience
(05:06:02 PM) Riddell: Needless to say this affected Kubuntu a lot
(05:06:20 PM) Riddell: Kubuntu is a KDE distro.  We believe that KDE is the best desktop platform and so the best distribution can be made from KDE
(05:06:44 PM) Riddell: Our hope is to make KDE shine
(05:07:13 PM) Riddell: which will make lots of happy users
(05:07:26 PM) Riddell: So back in hardy time KDE 4.0 was launched
(05:07:56 PM) Riddell: This was not perfect timing because 4.0 was a complete rewrite and as such missed a lot of the stuff which had been there before.  It was a lot more beautiful but that's not great when you can't play your music.
(05:08:20 PM) Riddell: or whatever the important thing is for you that's critical but missing
(05:09:03 PM) Riddell: 4.0 came out when it did because it had been ages in the making and open source needs people to release often
(05:09:11 PM) Riddell: else the developers get bored
(05:09:31 PM) Riddell: and you don't want that, then they'll go getting boyfriends and girlfriends and stop doing important things like coding
(05:10:07 PM) Riddell: this ment our development at hardy time was split between KDE 3 and 4
(05:10:24 PM) Riddell: which isn't ideal for an LTS which needs all your quality assurance attention
(05:10:46 PM) Riddell: so it wasn't an LTS, which was sad
(05:11:11 PM) Riddell: akgraner: any questions?
(05:11:27 PM) akgraner: slacker_nl> QUESTION: so 4.0 got released because of social activities of developers ;)
(05:12:22 PM) Riddell: it got released because if you're developing in the open source way you need feedback and eventually you need more feedback than a beta will give you
(05:12:43 PM) Riddell: there were plenty of warning that 4.0 would eat your babies but probably not enough
(05:13:24 PM) Riddell: but we did have KDE 3 and 4 available as sebsebseb points out so there was an option for everyone
(05:14:12 PM) Riddell: 4.0 was pretty but it wasn't beautiful for users.  however for developers it was, the new APIs and pillars of KDE available were a big improvement on what was there before
(05:14:47 PM) Riddell: Kubuntu now has an LTS coming up again
(05:15:00 PM) Riddell: Lucid will be released in April and it will be LTS for Kubuntu
(05:15:51 PM) Riddell: that means it has to be good enough that people can run it at their work or in a public library or whatever and should they need to call Canonical to get help the guys in Montreal can answer without banging their heads on their desks
(05:16:27 PM) Riddell: the last 18 months of KDE development has been making sure all the gaps are filled which need to be filled for users
(05:16:33 PM) Riddell: this has included some significant gaps
(05:16:42 PM) Riddell: stuff like network connection is annoying if it's missing
(05:17:21 PM) Riddell: and because Kubuntu is a KDE distribution and sticks closely to KDE, whenever KDE has a gap, that means we get one too
(05:17:30 PM) Riddell: which hurts a lot for say, network connection
(05:18:17 PM) Riddell: there's other issues like that which need to be filled
(05:18:29 PM) Riddell: fortunately the important ones are getting filled
(05:19:17 PM) Riddell: network manager is working well for most cases, bluetooth has a new maintainer, we wrote printer management tools etc
(05:19:49 PM) Riddell: but that does all have to be polished for the LTS, which often involves buying beers for the relevent KDE developers
(05:19:52 PM) Riddell: akgraner: questions?
(05:19:56 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> QUESTION: how many users use kubuntu-desktop? (think this data is available with the popularity-contest package)
(05:20:07 PM) Riddell: honestly no idea
(05:20:20 PM) Riddell: you could get a relative percentage from popularity contest but I've not looked at it for a while
(05:20:30 PM) Riddell: I expect it's gone down since KDE 3 days
(05:20:39 PM) Riddell: KDE 4 has been a painful but necessary journey as I say
(05:20:48 PM) akgraner: <sandsmark> QUESTION: Is anyone looking into Ubuntu One integration with for example Akonadi?
(05:20:55 PM) Riddell: and I expect that once KDE 4 has all the gaps filled in, it'll take over the world!
(05:21:31 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> QUESTION: what direction will kubuntu take with regards to the Software center and kpackagekit?
(05:22:06 PM) Riddell: sandsmark: yes but not enough for it to be packaged
(05:22:27 PM) Riddell: till adams did an akonadi plugin to get akonadi talking to the couchdb address book from ubuntu one
(05:22:42 PM) Riddell: but I don't think it got completed to the extent it would be useful for users
(05:22:54 PM) Riddell: so anyone who wants to pick that up and run with it would be most welcome
(05:23:19 PM) Riddell: slacker_nl: at the moment we're using kpackagekit because it's an upstream project and that means we don't have to maintain our own application
(05:23:49 PM) Riddell: as a smallish limited team we don't really have the resoures to be maintaining large applications on our own, we're much better at packaging and integrating other people's apps
(05:24:15 PM) Riddell: software centre is a nice UI, which I find kpackagekit's UI could benefit from being simplified in various ways
(05:24:40 PM) Riddell: but I havn't seen any new features in it, I think it's just a new UI
(05:25:10 PM) akgraner: #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(05:25:10 PM) akgraner: <jpds> slacker_nl: popcon.ubuntu.com
(05:25:10 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> jpds: didn't know the data was publicly available
(05:25:10 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> will have a look
(05:25:10 PM) akgraner: <sandsmark> akgraner: hum, how does one retract questions? :-P
(05:25:11 PM) akgraner: * Randomtime (n=chatzill@88-109-37-11.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com) has joined #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(05:25:12 PM) Riddell: I expect we'll stick with kpackagekit, it has notable flaws like not being able to warn before installed unsigned packages but that's being fixed now
(05:25:13 PM) akgraner: <jpds> slacker_nl: not in a very good format but the raw data is there.
(05:25:15 PM) akgraner: * chorse (n=chorse@celeborn.chorse.org) has joined #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(05:25:17 PM) akgraner: * d00rm4n has quit (Client Quit)
(05:25:19 PM) akgraner: * ulysses__ (n=ulysses@ has left #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(05:25:21 PM) akgraner: <akgraner> sandsmark, just let me know before I post them..:-)
(05:25:23 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> jpds: i see
(05:25:25 PM) akgraner: * openweek5_ (i=d07f021d@gateway/web/freenode/x-67ed6d970d921557) has joined #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(05:25:30 PM) akgraner: <amik> QUESTION: what percentage of canonical resources are given to kubuntu? how much can u actually get done?
(05:25:33 PM) akgraner: sorry I grabbed to much////
(05:26:01 PM) Riddell: I doubt you can put a percentage on what canonical gives kubuntu
(05:26:38 PM) Riddell: there's me on the desktop team, agateau on the experience team, and a lot of time given irregiarly from others on the Platform team
(05:26:44 PM) Riddell: then there's shipit which is very very expensive
(05:26:49 PM) Riddell: and the server hosting and whatnot
(05:27:05 PM) Riddell: it all adds up to a lot, but I can't put a figure on it
(05:27:36 PM) Riddell: so where was I?
(05:27:47 PM) Riddell: oh yes, I was saying that KDE 4 had gaps which are being filled
(05:27:51 PM) Riddell: and that it's the best platform
(05:27:58 PM) Riddell: Kubuntu also has issues
(05:28:07 PM) Riddell: we're a rocking team of beautiful people
(05:28:11 PM) Riddell: but we're not perfect
(05:28:49 PM) Riddell: we've had a lot of bad rep from our translations for example, our translations go through launchpad and for various reasons that has caused problems which understandly annoys people
(05:29:26 PM) Riddell: we also package every release of KDE and major apps like KOffice as backports, but that takes a lot of QA which sometimes hasn't been done well enough
(05:30:08 PM) Riddell: sometimes we add patches to KDE which havn't been tested enough or which add new strings which then aren't translated
(05:30:38 PM) Riddell: there's good reasons for doing all the above, but when they cause problems that annoys people and quite rightly so
(05:30:59 PM) Riddell: so with an LTS coming up it's time to review such practices and kick them into shape
(05:31:22 PM) Riddell: some of our more beautiful Kubuntu developers have written a document called.. Project Timelord
(05:31:29 PM) Riddell: which is the sort of name that only apachelogger could come up with
(05:32:10 PM) Riddell: at UDS and over the next cycle or three we'll be working hard to make sure our QA is kept high so that now KDE 4 is coming into its own as a world beating platform
(05:32:20 PM) Riddell: .. we'll be best able to take that platform to the users
(05:32:47 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:32:52 PM) akgraner: mmiicc> QUESTION: Does KDE get any help from Nokia?
(05:33:26 PM) Riddell: well Nokia funds Qt development and KDE is built on Qt, so that's a multi million euro help there
(05:33:51 PM) Riddell: they hire a couple of KDE developers and sponsor KDE conferences and developer sprints
(05:34:18 PM) Riddell: they also give jobs to a lot of KDE developers who go on to work on Qt (which is a mixed blessing since they often stop doing so much KDE stuff)
(05:34:51 PM) Riddell: of course Nokia's interest in KDE and Qt is self serving, they want to own the best platform for cross desktop development so that people know and love Qt
(05:35:09 PM) Riddell: and they want that working on their phones so people know and love developing for Nokia phones
(05:35:31 PM) Riddell: which is all quite mutially compatible with KDE so we're happy with the setup
(05:35:42 PM) akgraner: <sebsebseb> QUESTION:  Is it possible to get  a little sound on  KDE 4's  KDM,  like the old GDM found in 9.04 and earlier.   Yes sound when it first loads up or a username and password isn't  put in properly.   I don't like GDM 2, because it can't be themed like the old one,  so  I will use KDM to replace it now that it looks good with a blue bubble theme, unlike the KDE 3 version.
(05:35:46 PM) Riddell: and Qt is now LGPL and open source style-developped so that's great
(05:37:00 PM) Riddell: sebsebseb: hmm, I don't think there's any code in KDM for sound.  it would be easy to add because KDE's Phonon API makes it very easy to do that, although I don't know if upstream would be interested
(05:37:21 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:37:31 PM) akgraner: <keffie_jayx> QUESTION: Thank you and the Kubuntu team for such great work on the Netbook Edition. How can one help with the development of the Netbook remix?
(05:37:44 PM) Riddell: this is the topic I was just coming to
(05:38:01 PM) Riddell: free software is taking off in interesting ways and netbooks are one of the most interesting
(05:38:25 PM) Riddell: Microsoft's illegal monopoly practices have made it very hard for linux to get onto laptops, but netbooks are allowing that to happen
(05:39:01 PM) Riddell: the Plasma team (who make KDE's desktop shell application) have been working on a netbook interface
(05:39:17 PM) Riddell: and we put that into our netbook edition of Kubuntu which came out with 9.10
(05:39:34 PM) Riddell: we have a good partnership with upsteam there
(05:39:57 PM) Riddell: upstream didn't get it all working for 4.3 so there are some gaps that need filled
(05:40:25 PM) Riddell: and of course for Kubuntu we need people packaging, bug triaging, testing, all the tasks that Kubuntu's normal desktop edition needs
(05:40:33 PM) Riddell: you can join us in #kubuntu-netbook to help out
(05:40:50 PM) Riddell: or talk to the plasma guys to help out on the user interface
(05:40:59 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:41:16 PM) akgraner: amik> QUESTION: how is KDE doing in general in the linux world as compared to GNOME?
(05:41:32 PM) Riddell: well, this is a question filled with political pitfalls
(05:41:52 PM) Riddell: Gnome is a fine desktop, it's doing well, but is it taking over the world?
(05:41:58 PM) Riddell: maybe a bit, but not enough
(05:42:26 PM) Riddell: KDE has gone through this re-write process to help it take over the world, and that's not complete, but any day now it will be, and then we'll rule!
(05:42:59 PM) Riddell: as a developer, KDE has the best platform to write for.  as a user you can pick what works best
(05:43:05 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:43:08 PM) akgraner: <rhkfin> QUESTION: What's the nokia-pim-suite in KDE svn: http://websvn.kde.org/branches/work/nokia-pim-suite/
(05:43:26 PM) Riddell: not a skoobie
(05:43:45 PM) Riddell: I guess it's something mobile related but I've not heard of that before
(05:44:01 PM) Riddell: kdepim is still going through the KDE 4 process
(05:44:17 PM) Riddell: the apps are ported to KDE 4 but most aren't ported to akonadi, the new data management server
(05:44:35 PM) Riddell: so there's loads of activity going on there
(05:44:50 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:44:57 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> QUESTION: what does kubuntu needs more, testers, bug triagers or packagers?
(05:45:12 PM) Riddell: a bit of everything
(05:45:26 PM) Riddell: it just depends on the time, today for example we've been packaging KDE 4.3.3
(05:45:35 PM) Riddell: so more packaging would be good there
(05:45:42 PM) Riddell: but now we'll need testers for those packages
(05:46:00 PM) Riddell: so more testers wanted there
(05:46:22 PM) Riddell: and once the packages are out people will report bugs and we'll need quick bug triagers to sort out the important ones from those
(05:46:25 PM) Riddell: join us in #kubuntu-devel to help :)
(05:46:31 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:46:34 PM) akgraner: <rhkfin> QUESTION: Any changes KDE & Gnome will join their resources to become the One Desktop to Rule Them All? Say 5, 10 years from now?
(05:47:01 PM) Riddell: that's not really technically possible, you'd need to rewrite Gnome in Qt and I don't think there's much appetite for that
(05:47:12 PM) Riddell: it's a shame we have this desktop split, it's a horrible waste of resources
(05:47:17 PM) Riddell: but well, KDE was here first :)
(05:47:21 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:47:27 PM) akgraner: <kennethvenken> QUESTION: I haven't tried Kubuntu yet, (plan to run it in a VM soon). What are, in your opinion the major benefits with KDE in user experience over GNOME? What do you think of the new GNOME Shell?
(05:48:29 PM) Riddell: as a sweeping generalisation KDE is better integrated, it has more robust technical grounding and often has more options for users
(05:49:09 PM) Riddell: but for the most part you can just run the apps you find work best for you, it's up to us KDE developers to make sure you care about our apps :)
(05:49:38 PM) Riddell: I've not seen Gnome shell, I've only heard Ubuntu Desktop developers say "it's a disaster" but they could well be wrong
(05:50:00 PM) Riddell: akgraner: any more?
(05:50:06 PM) akgraner: not yet..
(05:50:39 PM) akgraner: <lmentop> QUESTION: when will we see Gubuntu with KDE taking over?
(05:51:00 PM) Riddell: once all the gaps in KDE 4 are filled
(05:51:14 PM) Riddell: although I'm more interested in taking over windows and mac than I am gnome
(05:51:23 PM) Riddell: that's where the real market share is
(05:51:42 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:51:46 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> QUESTION: what is the ppa for kde packages (for lucid/karmic)?
(05:52:01 PM) Riddell: our PPAs are under the ~kubuntu-ppa team in launchpad
(05:52:23 PM) Riddell: we have an experimental one for crazy stuff, a staging one where we build packages and a backports one for releasing updates
(05:52:48 PM) Riddell: currently staging has 4.3.3 building away, you could try to install it to test it but it's not complete so it may well not install or it may break stuff, that's the fun of testing
(05:53:09 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:53:12 PM) akgraner: <slacker_nl> QUESTION: any thoughts on timelord?
(05:53:33 PM) Riddell: I think I gave some thoughts above, it covers a lot of our important issues
(05:54:04 PM) Riddell: it doesn't give answers to everything, the branding and marketing question is something that's not easy to conclude
(05:54:45 PM) Riddell: I sympathise but mostly disagree with stopping using rosetta, but the rest is about where I think we want to be going
(05:55:06 PM) Riddell: akgraner: next?
(05:55:17 PM) akgraner: <amik> QUESTIONS: what work remains to be done in KDE until they catch up with themselves? (for lack of a better phrase...)
(05:56:08 PM) Riddell: network management isn't complete.  there's an update coming along with KDE 4.3.3 which should fix support for VPNs and GSM but there's probably more to be done there
(05:56:18 PM) Riddell: I need to finish the printing management stuff
(05:56:37 PM) Riddell: kpackagekit needs porting to the new policykit to get new features and the UI could be improved a lot
(05:56:43 PM) Riddell: bluetooth I mentioned
(05:57:24 PM) Riddell: there's no ibus frontend which means no same CKJ integration, and oriental people quite like being able to write on their computers
(05:58:39 PM) Riddell: akgraner: all done?
(05:58:54 PM) akgraner: yep I believe so..
(05:59:17 PM) Riddell: so in conclusion, KDE 4 is going to take over the world.  it's a long hard job this and we're still getting there
(05:59:30 PM) Riddell: but it's the best platform and that is turning into the best desktop
(05:59:40 PM) Riddell: all helpers welcome in #kubuntu-devel
(06:00:20 PM) Riddell: and remember: by becoming a Kubuntu developer you automatically become good looking
(06:00:32 PM) Riddell: thanks for listening
(06:01:08 PM) Riddell: < rhkfin> QUESTION: does KDE have a community manager, if, who?
(06:01:51 PM) Riddell: not that I know of, one of the charms of KDE is it's quite non-heirarchical and everybody gets on well with everyone else with very few exceptions, it's a great community to be in

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/KDE_LTS (last edited 2009-11-04 19:03:17 by ausimage)