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KDE Developers Discuss Merging Libraries With Qt

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the merge-ahead dept.

KDE 196

An anonymous reader writes "A proposal has been brought up with KDE developers by Cornelius Schumacher to merge the KDE libraries with the upstream Qt project. This could potentially lead to KDE5 coming about sooner than anticipated, but there's very mixed views on whether merging kdelibs with Qt would actually be beneficial to the KDE project, which has already led to two lengthy mailing list talks (the first and second threads). What do you think?"

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196 comments

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Focus on the now. (4, Insightful)

Tamran (1424955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083220)

Keep the specifications as they are. Fix all the current issues and make a SOLID product. It's good, but could be a LOT more stable and tight. When that's done, then go for the big merge and add new features.

Tamran

KDE needs some competition. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083392)

Like we've seen time and time again throughout history, the best innovation always comes when there's a lot of competition. Open source desktop environments are no different.

KDE needs some real competition. A decade ago GNOME was that competition, but these days the GNOME project is basically dead. GNOME 3 has been delayed for so long that most people have given up hope of it ever being released. The September 2010 release date has now become March 2011, and I doubt that's even a reasonable date. Even if it is released, it will be significantly behind the times in terms of features and functionality.

There are other open source desktop systems, but they're very marginal. There are very few XFCE and GNUstep users, for instance. This is because those desktops strive to fit a very small and specific niche. None of them can provide any sort of competition for KDE.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083504)

Linux /GNUStep is a better OS X than OS X. And while windows an linux are going nowhere, Apple is setting records with the number of macintoshes sold. It's time to drop KDE and GNOME and go with GNUStep.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (2, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083712)

GNUstep has a lot of potential. However, there is a paucity of applications actually written for GNUstep in Objective-c and it is really going nowhere.

They should freeze the main libraries and infrastructure, and contrite on getting a nice web browser made. This is one thing that does not really exist yet. Yeah, you can run FireFox under Windowmaker, but it's ugly and bad. What they need is a lean, mean, webkit-based browser that is like a lite version of Safari.

Then we can bootstrap a few other necessary apps.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083912)

What they need is a lean, mean, webkit-based browser that is like a lite version of Safari.

Why? You can run any browser you want in windowmaker. I recently went back to using windowmaker myself, and have to say it's really nice to use a wm that doesn't keep changing all the time, plus it's got to be *the* most configurable wm there is. Stays out of my way, everything works like it should. Install wmaker, wmakerconf, gmrun, terminal emulator and web browser of your choice, mc or worker, and that's your whole desktop right there. I think the only real reason people want a full-bloat DE is so they can clutter their desktops with silly doodads and not have to learn how to use the CLI tools.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34084522)

its 2010 no normal user should ever have to touch a CLI.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084922)

ok then, using your favourite OS, and without using the CLI do the following:

* you have a directory containing 1000 jpeg files with random filenames but with a .jpeg extension.
* rename them all to have a .jpg extension instead (yes, using the GUI)
* first, realise that what you've actually typed during this process is only about 3 keystrokes less than the CLI version (if your OS even lets you do it).
* now explain to someone else how to do it.

The CLI is much easier for some tasks. Sure, we shouldn't require it where possible, but we certainly should accept it as a standard feature of a modern OS.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085360)

there are GUI utilities just for these tasks however most normal people i.e. non slashdot crowd wouldn't know what the extension meant and for them extensions are turned off/not visible as they cause more headaches than they solve. Actually for them the old OS9 creator/type codes were much better. remember for the great majority of humans - ignorance is bliss.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085556)

Ever heard of Apple's Automator?

It's super, super easy to do this with Automator.

Now, let's try this one out:

You have 1000 JPGs that have a Adobe RGB profile. Make a CLI command line that will convert them all to sRGB, and rename them from .jpg to .jpeg.

This is a hell of a lot easier in Automator than on the command line.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085538)

The crucial difference is that Windowmaker is not equal to GNUstep. You can run whatever you like in Windowmaker, but it will look all weird.

A GNUstep browser will have the good menu off to the side, instead of it being captive in the window.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085566)

What they need is a lean, mean, webkit-based browser that is like a lite version of Safari.

Why? You can run any browser you want in windowmaker. I recently went back to using windowmaker myself, and have to say it's really nice to use a wm that doesn't keep changing all the time, plus it's got to be *the* most configurable wm there is. Stays out of my way, everything works like it should. Install wmaker, wmakerconf, gmrun, terminal emulator and web browser of your choice, mc or worker, and that's your whole desktop right there. I think the only real reason people want a full-bloat DE is so they can clutter their desktops with silly doodads and not have to learn how to use the CLI tools.

The person I assume is alluding to the notion of a Native Cocoa WebKit Browser on Linux, within GNUStep, that leverages Services and an Extensions API to just develop for both Safari and say, Quest [Safari-Lite], for the GNUstep platform on FreeBSD and Linux.

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084740)

GNUstep has a lot of potential.

Isn't that the status of GNUstep since 15 years?

Re:KDE needs some competition. (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083976)

I wouldn't say GNUstep's "it doesn't quite work" beats Apple's "it just works", even though the latter doesn't actually hold true all the time.

Re:Focus on the now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083572)

Agreed. More is only occasionally better. For example, my current install of KDE requires MySQL. This is absurd.

3 phases of software (5, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083690)

Basically, there's three phases of software:

1. Software that's in development. Sure, there's bad decisions made, but at least things are changing. After a decade of neglect, Windows seems to be back in development mode. KDE is definitely in development mode. Developers love this, because nothing has to be "finished" or "bug free." Everything can be a quickly hacked-together proof of concept.

2. Software that's in support mode. Almost nothing happens, except for a few patches. Mac OS X seems to be in support mode these days, same with Gnome. Support mode is actually a good thing for users who are used to the product, but developers will get bored.

3. Software that's dead. No patches, the developers abandoned the project. Eventually the users will disappear as well.

Re:3 phases of software (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084860)

So software in development never has to be finished or bug free, OS X isn't currently being developed, and Windows until recently wasn't being developed.. Fascinating..

Re:3 phases of software (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34085038)

Insightful? Whatever

Windows has constantly been "in development" for more than two decades. Yes they didn't release anything from Windows XP (Aug 2001) to Vista (Nov 2006) but they are always actively working on it!

Re:3 phases of software (2, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085192)

Actually, they keep messing with OS X. 10.6 just saw few user-facing changes; most of the new stuff was only of interest to developers. Of course Apple has announced virtually nothing new for 10.7 but then again that's SOP for them until shortly before the launch. I expect new features to be announced later.

As with any sufficiently large project, some parts of OS X are in developent mode, some are in support mode and some are only in support mode becuse they aren't quite old enough yet to drop outright. I don't doubt that KDE is similar in that regard.

Re:Focus on the now. (2, Informative)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085042)

KDE SC 4.5+ is a lot more stable than earlier releases. It was good enough for me to switch back from gnome (I switched to gnome a year or 2 ago due to KDE's instability).

To all those who think gnome is great and kde is unusable...well, gnome is great, I'll admit that...but with KDE so many apps have tabbed interfaces and for my work that means a lot less windows open and I can group similar tasks together. It makes a world of difference to productivity. Also mulit-monitor support is much nicer - I can have panels on any screen I want, exactly where I put them.

GNOME isn't bad, but it lacks features. KDE SC 4.5 is pretty darn stable for me...using kubuntu 10.10 right now.

Quanta? (3, Insightful)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083278)

Why don't we finish some unfinished projects (Quanta) that many people are waiting for before changing things again.

Re:Quanta? (1)

La Gris (531858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083524)

Good question! I was quite upset by Quanta lagging behind in kde-webdev kde3 and Kubuntu messing further with a kde-webdev kde4 missing quanta and mentioning it in content from the readme. How one can consider Kde seriously with such inconsistencies. By the way, I still enjoy Quanta as it is, despite some of its shortcomings of performance issue when you enter href or load project with thousands of files.

Re:Quanta? (3, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084214)

Because if you've paid any attention to the KDE project since 4.0 betas, you'd have realized they don't give a rat's ass about completeness, performance, stability and usability. They just want to change everything all the fucking time until all the users flock to something less flashy and more productive, and then the KDE devs will be free to play Starcraft all day long.

At least that's how it looks like from my perspective, as a developer who has been royally pissed ever since KDE 3.5 was deprecated. I lose gobs of time to bugs and crashes, but am also terrified to update for fear of breakage, as has been the tendency with every minor release of 4.x. I still can't make reliable use of something as fundamental as FTP and SSH kioslaves. You think Quanta's fucked ? I've reverted to a Kate + kioslave workflow and I still run into issues - screw debugging, I can't even tell if my file is going to save properly.

I think the KDE devs need to call for a feature freeze, get what's already in there into a usable and stable condition, long before contemplating superficial topics like merging libs. Necessity trumps vanity.

Re:Quanta? (3, Interesting)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084278)

They just want to change everything all the fucking time until all the users flock to something less flashy and more productive, and then the KDE devs will be free to play Starcraft all day long.

So why haven't you moved to something less flashy and more productive? I certainly have and I suspect a large number of others have too. The straws that broke this camel's back were the ridiculous weight of the "semantic desktop" and the seemingly endless supply of visual fluff that adds nothing to utility.

Re:Quanta? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084884)

XFCE for the last few years now... before that was IceWM, and before that was GNOME 1 or at least GTK1 based GNOME.

Re:Quanta? (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084778)

Why don't we finish some unfinished projects (Quanta)

Since you wrote "we" I assume that you could help finish it but didn't do it yet. As for the "why": Ask yourself why you didn't do it.
KDE is a volunteer effort. No one there owes you anything.

Re:Quanta? (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085338)

I wish I had such talent, I was using we in the figurative sense.

Trying to find an "in" (or just some good status updates) into the Quanta project is currently an effort of reading through multiple outdated development sites. Those that I had found more resent babble on about it being included as plug-ins or something in the new KDE development tools but does not seem to be approachable yet for a web developer like me.

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083280)

It's a cute idea, but how much does QT benefit from it? QT has grown a lot over the past few years and feels rather bloated already.

Re:Hmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083682)

It seams that you don't have a clue of what you're talking about.

What do I think? (0, Flamebait)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083286)

I think Linux is for faggots. Mod me down if you agree.

Re:What do I think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083370)

Qt is a cross platform toolkit, it's not just for Linux.

What about Qt? (5, Insightful)

bieber (998013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083330)

I'm sure it would be convenient for the KDE folks, but wouldn't this be a little superfluous for everyone using Qt on non-KDE platforms? Qt is a pretty massive runtime as-is...piling in the KDE libraries seems to me like it would be adding a lot of weight for relatively little benefit to anyone other than KDE. I don't use KDE myself, but I have been developing for Qt for a while...anyone who knows more about the KDE libs feel free to correct me if there's actually some great benefit I'd yield from having the KDE libs included in Qt...

Re:What about Qt? (4, Insightful)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083400)

I'm sure it would be convenient for the KDE folks

If you read the mailing list threads, you'll see that many KDE people don't find that proposal convenient at all because it has the consequences of massive restructuring, different release cycles that don't match SC's, Nokia's currently lacking code submission process, etc.

Maybe and just maybe some select KDE components may end up in Qt but that can legally only happen if Nokia moves away from the currently mandatory "right to relicense" (not the same as copyright assignment but similar in practical terms).

Qt: Bringing code from home can corrupt a project. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083900)

Quote from the parent comment: '... that can legally only happen if Nokia moves away from the currently mandatory "right to relicense..." '

Could you explain the "right to relicense" and provide a link? I don't see a reference to that on the Qt web site.

This paragraph [nokia.com] illustrates two issues with Qt: 1) a possibly impossible licensing provision, and 2) managerial sloppiness. Quoting exactly:

"You must purchase a Qt Commercial Developer License from us or from one of our authorized resellers before you start developing commercial software as you are not permitted to begin your development with an open source licensed Qt version and convert to the commercially license version at a later ."

License provision: If someone develops some code using a free version of Qt at home, and re-implements that at work, an entire commercial project can be corrupted, apparently. It seems that license provision is impossible for Nokia to enforce, and also impossible for a company to defend against, if Nokia brings a case against a particular project. It's common that commercial programmers consider programming issues at home. How would a company show that there was no contribution to a commercial product from the free version of Qt?

Why should open-source developers care about close-source licensing provisions? Because, historically, technological development moves away from undesirable conditions. That makes the long-term prospects uncertain.

Sloppiness: At present, 2010-10-31, 16:34 PDT, the last word of the quoted paragraph is missing. What will happen now that Nokia bought Qt? Will there be internal politics at Nokia that prevents sensible management? There is a lot of sloppiness; that's only one example.

Don't Nokia managers look at their own web site? My company [futurepower.net] does that kind of work, and we've found that, perhaps surprisingly, sloppiness in communication generally indicates serious problems with management.

Re:Qt: Bringing code from home can corrupt a proje (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34084298)

Qt is on LGPL for some time now. What you wrote was true few years backwards.

http://qt.nokia.com/about/licensing/

Re:Qt: Bringing code from home can corrupt a proje (2, Insightful)

Spugglefink (1041680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084882)

Qt is on LGPL for some time now. What you wrote was true few years backwards.

http://qt.nokia.com/about/licensing/

It's still true today. You can probably do anything you need to do under the LGPL, but in the event you find some need to have a commercial license, then you still have exactly the same old impossible model. Whoops, we have to rewrite all the code from scratch, since we didn't begin development with a commercial license. Or we can just pretend we started over from scratch, since there's no way to prove anything.

Their commercial licenses are a completely stupid model.

Re:What about Qt? (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084636)

If you read the mailing list threads, you'll see that many KDE people don't find that proposal convenient at all because it has the consequences of massive restructuring, different release cycles that don't match SC's, Nokia's currently lacking code submission process, etc.

It would also be extremely inconvenient for the KDE folks to have to make their code work with standard C++. Exception safe KDE will not happen any time soon.

Re:What about Qt? (4, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083412)

The idea was to merge the parts that would be usefull in Qt, so that answers the questions: Yes, for the parts that makes sense it would be a benefit: Better datetime classes, better config system, asynchronous IO, MIME parsing etc.

It is also obvious that some parts of kdelibs (especially runtime parts, such as ), really wouldn't make sense in Qt anyway.

Re:What about Qt? (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083764)

It would be nice to have SMOKE and Ruby/Python/... bindings officially supported by Nokia.

Re:What about Qt? (2, Informative)

kinema (630983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084264)

If you're interested in using Qt with Python you should take a look at PySide [pyside.org] which is being developed by Nokia.

Re:What about Qt? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34085460)

The thing I'd worry about here is not so much bloating Qt as diminishing Qt's code quality. Qt's code base is one of the best C++ libraries I've seen. Whether you're a fan of KDE or not, I hope you will admit that it's a bit arcane. Cause and effect are often difficult to connect, and complexity is rampant. Whenever I've tried to debug KDE apps, I've felt like the learning curve was more of a wall. It would be a shame to take something clean like Qt and push KDE into it wholesale.

Now, if it were possible to take KDE as a feature spec, rather than a code base, and carefully add features to Qt so that those features could be removed from KDE, while still maintaining the high level of quality in the Qt library, *that* might be worth doing.

license, vendor contracts, patents, copyright, IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083340)

Everything else is trivial by comparison.

What do I think? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083358)

I think I don't want to read anything posted on Phoronix.

Re:What do I think? (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083456)

If you ignore Phoronix's stupid benchmarks and trolls in the forums, the site is quite good. Where else do you get info regarding exotic stuff like Wayland?

I take Phoronix (and ArsTechnica's Open Ended) any day over badly researched sites with moronic troll admins like OSNews.

Re:What do I think? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083756)

Phoronix can turn half a sentence on a blog or a mailing list into an article. Then they do half a year of "still no sign of..." follow ups. The forums are good, so are some of the more obscure news but it feels like a RSS of a couple mailing lists (wine releases, linux kernel releases etc.) at times.

Re:What do I think? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084008)

It's a great source for following the development of Mesa and X.org.

Re:What do I think? (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084420)

it feels like a RSS of a couple mailing lists (wine releases, linux kernel releases etc.) at times.

So? It's exactly what I like about Phoronix. Considering that I only follow a few mailing lists and those alone result in roughly 100 mails per day, I'm happy Phoronix filters mailing lists for me and I don't need to get 1000 mails per day.

Re:What do I think? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084734)

> I take Phoronix (and ArsTechnica's Open Ended) any day over badly researched sites with moronic troll admins like OSNews.

I read neither.

Phoronix is a pest and I would be glad if it died.

No! (3, Interesting)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083360)

No! No! No! I enjoy having Qt free from other stuff! It's big enough already! If you want, just make a system better of find a way to communicate better, but DO NOT FUCK MY PRECIOUS Qt!

I'll fork it if I have too!

Re:No! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083554)

Qt is working on modularizing itself. So you could just not compile the bits you don't want.

Re:No! (4, Funny)

da cog (531643) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084658)

Qt is working on modularizing itself. So you could just not compile the bits you don't want.

Dear lord, it has already become alive and self-modifying? Someone shut it down before it's too late!

GPL vs. assignment? (2, Insightful)

ArneBab (1330439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083364)

I don’t really see how they should be able to merge as long as Nokia requires copyright assignment.

KDE is GPL. Qt is unfree OR LGPL OR GPLv3, as the developer wishes. Qt with KDE could only be GPL.

And I don’t see a reason to deprive free software developers of the advantage which KDE offers them over developers of unfree software.

Re:GPL vs. assignment? (3, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083430)

KDElibs is LGPL and has always been LGPL, common libraries in KDE have always been required to be LGPL so that they could be used by "unfree software" (as you write). Only KDE applications are usually GPL to protect themselves better.

Re:GPL vs. assignment? (1)

ArneBab (1330439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084206)

Ah, OK. Thanks for the clarification!

So the only license which would be incompatible is the Qt Commercial Developer License.

http://qt.nokia.com/products/licensing/ [nokia.com]

If Nokia wanted to merge KDElibs into Qt, they’d have to drop that.

Re:GPL vs. assignment? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084646)

LGPL != right to relicense.

Obvious? Yes.

/opt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083366)

... maybe the mystery of why both payloads continue to bloat /opt can finally be resolved.

Hint: Hey, fellas! There are these fancy, new fangled dirs called /usr , /lib , and /bin ! Try 'em out!

Re:/opt (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083472)

My KDE SC and Qt are installed in /usr.

Re:/opt (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083498)

New fangled? Weren't those there since way before /opt was added? Besides, it's not appropriate to add add on userland stuff to /bin. That belongs somewhere like /usr/local/bin. Why Linux opted to go that /opt way at all is beyond me.

God no (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083390)

After seeing the last attempt at cooperation over Phonon - which was half-implemented in Qt, then Nokia went with Qt Multimedia while KDE continued evolving Phonon but all the new things aren't in Qt I wouldn't want them to try. Some of the functionality that exists on the KDE layer should be pushed down into Qt, but most should stay out otherwise there will be far too much platform in the toolkit.

Re:God no (2, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083482)

Phonon is one example. Another brought up in the discussion was QPrinter vs KPrinter, though that has an entirely different background. With QPrinter, KDE was forced to make a suboptimal decision because KPrinter had no maintainer and it seemed unlikely to be even get ported to Qt4, let alone well integrated, before KDE4 was to be released.

Re:God no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34085564)

Some of the functionality that exists on the KDE layer should be pushed down into Qt

This pattern is inevitable anyhow. QT must necessarily be more conservative than KDE if only because QT must maintain parity on multiple platforms. KDE won't limit itself to whatever QT chooses to absorb. Thus, QT will always be incapable of providing everything required by KDE, no matter how much someone might wish otherwise, and despite any attempts to force the matter.

Many things in KDE are clearly improvements to or extensions of QT that can, should and are being be flushed back to QT. That is a reasonable, pragmatic and productive approach that has little to no risk. It occurs incrementally and is not disruptive. Why, precisely, must this be "fixed"?

Oh, hey, look -- (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083444)

KDE considers yet another massive reorganization and new version! Certainly this won't affect usability or the long term future of the project at all, just like the transition from KDE3 to KDE4 didn't!

Re:Oh, hey, look -- (3, Insightful)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083480)

"KDE" considers nothing. A few people from within the KDE community play mind games but nothing is an official consideration by the whole KDE community.

Re:Oh, hey, look -- (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083666)

A reorganization wouldn't harm KDE too much. KDE 4.0 wasn't unusable because of the reorganization, but because of the new and unfinished desktop shell. The KDE apps that were ported worked quite well and their interface was pretty much the same.

Re:Oh, hey, look -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34084398)

Didn't?? I "still" run KDE3 and have no intentions to "upgrade" anytime soon.

Re:Oh, hey, look -- (1)

DougReed (102865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084440)

It won't change usability at all. KDE is already unusable.

Re:Oh, hey, look -- (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084820)

It won't change usability at all. KDE is already unusable.

KDE is an organization. It can't have usability.
If you want to troll against KDE and/or its software, at least check Wikipedia at least once per year to get terminology right:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE_Plasma_Workspaces [wikipedia.org]

Probably a non-starter due to copyright assignment (2, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083550)

Currently Qt requires copyright assignment (as I understand it) for code to become part of Qt proper. This is going to be a non-starter for a lot of open source folk. As I understand it,this was one of the biggest issues with the OpenOffice.org project in terms of community health, and one of the main drivers for LibreOffice. Qt has gotten away with it better because most of the things people want to do with Qt USE the toolkit instead of CHANGING the toolkit, but it remains a concern. As long as that restriction is in place Qt remains extremely dependent on Nokia continuing development. To date they've done an awesome job - Qt is arguably the best option for cross platform open source graphical application development out there - but longevity for open source is measured (at a minimum) in decades. Corporate good will is thin ice on those time scales - what if Oracle bought Nokia? Could "LibreQt" succeed as a community project without the considerable resources being funneled in by Nokia, if it ever came to that pass? (OK, the other side of this coin is that Qt is ALREADY essential to open source - that concern exists regardless, but it's something to think about in a move like this. Would putting the relevant kdelibs functionality in Qt result in less community familiarity with the code over time?)

Anyway, the KDE devs who wrote the code in question would have to sign on, and to me that sounds like a long shot. The other option - Qt devs implementing Qt versions of features currently in KDE and then KDE moving to the new stuff - sounds slightly more practical but would require a serious manpower commitment.

Re:Probably a non-starter due to copyright assignm (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083760)

Currently Qt requires copyright assignment (as I understand it) for code to become part of Qt proper. This is going to be a non-starter for a lot of open source folk. As I understand it,this was one of the biggest issues with the OpenOffice.org project in terms of community health, and one of the main drivers for LibreOffice

It's not just the copyright assignment: it's also the fact that Qt is now controlled by a huge organization (much like OO.o is). Nokias goals for Qt may already be quite different to KDEs goals for kdelibs, and if something is certain it's that corporate interests change. We cannot tell what Nokia wants to do with Qt next year, or in in five years.

Re:Probably a non-starter due to copyright assignm (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083892)

It's not just the copyright assignment: it's also the fact that Qt is now controlled by a huge organization (much like OO.o is). Nokias goals for Qt may already be quite different to KDEs goals for kdelibs, and if something is certain it's that corporate interests change. We cannot tell what Nokia wants to do with Qt next year, or in in five years.

Everybody is in agreement on where Nokia is. Mobile is tier one, everything else is tier two, the question is really if KDE should keep making thin convenience classes like KIcon on top of Qt's QIcon or just hand that stuff to Nokia. By being in kdelibs it should already be LGPL, so really the question is can Nokia do something useful with a little desktop-oriented code they could put in a fully proprietary app instead of a proprietary app using LGPL libraries. I suppose it's possible, but I think it's more principles than practice that is the problem here.

P.S. Technically it's not a copyright assignment, but they demand full relicensing rights so in practice they can do whatever they want.

Re:Probably a non-starter due to copyright assignm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083768)

Nokia no longer requires copyright assignment for Qt.

KDE4 = Windows Vista (-1, Troll)

lanner (107308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083552)

I think it's pretty irrelevant since it seems that the effective goal of the KDE developers is to mimic Windows Vista and 7. Besides the window manager, just look what they did to Amarock between 3.5 and 4.0 as a prime example for what they have done with the apps. It's like Winamp3.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (3, Insightful)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083628)

You do not know what you are talking about.

First of all, Windows Vista and KDE SC 4.0 has lots of differencies. KDE SC 4.0 was first release of the fourth generation of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE Plasma Desktop, KDE Platform, KDE Applications, KDE Development Platform. Does not include OS, System libraries, application libraries and most of the KDE or Non-KDE Apps) and in other corner, Windows Vista was a software system with NT operating system, Desktop, Application programs, Application libraries, System programs etc.

It is like comparing a motorcycle and bicycle which one is faster!

Secondly, Amarok does not belong to the KDE SC. It does not neither follow the KDE's own release schedule or release numbering. KDE and Amarok developers are two different communities, where Amarok developers just use what KDE developes itself and release in KDE SC.

You should drop down that stupid "KDE 4.0" whining and about Amarok 2.3 whining as well.

KDE idea to mimic a Windows Vista or Windows 7 is as saying that Leonardo Da Vinci was copying a 2000 century modern artists when doing a Mona Lisa painting. Both use(d) paint and canvas and thats it.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084332)

I pretty much agree with you, but I can't help but cringe when I see the SC moniker after KDE. The amateur marketing crap has got to go.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083642)

What does Winamp have to do with Windows Vista?

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083884)

If you'd used both Winamp3 and Vista then you'd know.

Wait, I take that back: no you wouldn't. People who had used either one have rightfully purged them from their memory by now.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34084868)

Winamp 3 was the "piece of shit" version that everyone was embarrassed about.
It was unstable, had a ton of useless features and could bring any (at the time) modern system to its knees.

This was where Winamp 5 came in - it was a fusion of "the best stuff from Winamp 2 and 3 put together" - not a whole lot of WA3 features made it.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083734)

Amarok is nothing like Winamp.

And KDE is way more powerful, customizable than vista. It also has a lot of new, cutting-edge, semi-experimental features which won't be introducted to windows soon.

For example kio_slaves or gnome's vfs which are great features (for sftp, ftp, etc...) They have been introduced years ago and windows didn't even try to catch up.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (1)

Shulai (34423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084150)

Windows have its equivalent vfs thing. You can see My Computers Devices, Printers, Control Panel Applets, Windows Neighborhood, network shares and FTP sites and PocketPC filesystem in Explorer.

The main KDE 2 Desktop concepts (I mean Konqueror with kioslaves and kparts) was mostly embracing Win95/98 concepts, just doing them right, I mean, KDE devs did it because it could be cool and useful, not just because they were trying to steal Netscape's market share.

So, no, a number of features of KDE comes from Windows and KDE 4 is no exception, they just are there but most users don't notice about them.

Of course, KDE makes a better choice for me because their feature are usually better implemented, did at library level so the experience is more consistent, and of course there is the integration with the unix fundation.

Re:KDE4 = Windows Vista (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084338)

Sadly I have to agree with parent. Kde 4, Vista, Amarok 2 and Winamp 3 all share the same quality of having taken the wrong turn - a half-baked and pressed update to something that was working mostly fine. Torn apart and given love in all the wrong places.

I have been a Kde user for years, and it kills me to say this, but Kde 3 used to be the poweruser's desktop and Kde 4 seems to be the idle programmer's paper towels.

KDE desperate ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083654)

It seems like the KDE folks are desperate.

Nokia loves Qt, but they don't like KDE. If you look at the Meego platform, it has plenty of parts from the Gnome world (GStreamer, GLib, GConf, Tracker, GUPnP, GeoClue etc), but nothing, zero, nada from KDE. The only KDE related thing they use is Qt (because they own it).

The reason for that is simple, the KDE folks are not so good as building infrastructure. Look at Phonon, it's so bad that the Nokians are forced to write QtMobility Multimedia and now finally they're doing QtGStreamer (so you can just use GStreamer directly with a Qt-ish API).

It's also interesting to note that Meego IVI and Netbook as still Clutter based, not Qt..

Re:KDE desperate ? (2, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084438)

You got that completely wrong. The reason there's Gnome stuff in Meego and not KDE stuff is because Meego is a merge of 2 older distributions that used Gnome stuff by default. They only added Qt because Nokia bought it in the mean time.

Re:KDE desperate ? (3, Informative)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084704)

Stop spreading lies. Nokia takes lots of KDE to MeeGo and helps KDE a lot. KDE also uses GLib in many places.
MeeGo IVI is not based on Clutter. It uses Qt. See http://meego.gitorious.com/meego-ivi-ux/ivihome/blobs/master/launcher.cpp [gitorious.com]
MeeGo Netbook uses Clutter because it's just the continuation of the older Moblin GUI which was based on Clutter and Intel found it pointless to rewrite it.

Nokia is probably the biggest (at least one of the biggest) corporate sponsor of KDE -- for example Aaron Seigo in employed by Nokia just to work on KDE. Nokia brought KOffice to Maemo/MeeGo, sponsoring a smartphone GUI, improve file format converters, etc.
MeeGo Handset will also use KCal for example.

Nobody at KDE is getting desperate. The "merger" is just an idea by a single guy and nothing KDE as a whole is actively pursuing. Considering how many of KDE are against that idea, I don't see how it could become reality.
KDE is one of the healthiest FOSS projects of all. According to Wikipedia KDE is the 2nd largest FOSS project after the Linux kernel.
KDE has no reason to be desperate. Even if MeeGo was only using Qt and no KDE code at all, GNOME still got the boot while a KDE-related technology (Qt) got in. Some back-end services remain but everything related to GUIs was deprecated. Even MeeGo Netbook uses "Mx" as its toolkit, not GTK (though some applications still use GTK). And now GNOME is in the middle of the Shell vs. Unity battle with the weird result that now even Canonical is a bigger contributor to KDE than GNOME even though their "GNOME distribution" is the premier one.

No, KDE is healthy and not at all desperate.

(PS: My post may seem anti-GNOME but it's not meant that way. GNOME is a large community that will survive current events and probably become even stronger after their platform was renovated with their 3.0 release.)

It depends (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083664)

It depends on which functionality they really want to move to QT. If I understand it correctly they want to move the plasma stuff, which is GUI code, to QT. That makes sense. Just like moving GUI stuff from GNOME to GTK and GDK. However, it makes no sense if they want to move other parts of the application model to QT. It would not hurt, but there would be no benefit.

Re:It depends (2, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084750)

1. It's Qt, not QT.

2. Qt contains far more than just gui code, and many of the underlying KDE libs would fit in well. I've seen MIME handling mentioned as just one example.

Wrong way around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083716)

Qt (Nokia) doesn't care about KDE. However, KDE cares about Qt.

So they shouldn't merge kdelibs into Qt. They should merge Qt into kdelibs.

Re:Wrong way around (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084844)

Qt (Nokia) doesn't care about KDE.

So why is Nokia KDE's biggest sponsor?

The one positive thing about Qt... (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083720)

The one positive thing about Qt is that there's at least a remote chance [kde.org] of it becoming genuinely free software [copyfree.org] ... someday... If this merger means more code falling under this condition - good.

Kickbacks for Debian? (0, Troll)

gringer (252588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083736)

Will this mean Debian will break less due to KDE updates? If so, I'm all for it. If not, I probably won't care either way.

I say "No" (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083762)

I don't know about you, but I had a REALLY hard time getting used to running tshark instead of tethereal.

Can you imagine the havok if we suddenly have KQtDE, KQtonqueror, KQtXSLDbg, KQtBibTeX, KQtSVN, KQtDiff3, KQt9Copy, KQtb3, and so on?

Madness! Re-tooling this many brains is NOT worth it!!

Re:I say "No" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083952)

Hey, it is not madness enough. That is GNUKQtDEDebianLinux you are talking about, thank you very much.

Re:I say "No" (1, Troll)

caluml (551744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34083966)

echo alias tethereal='tshark' >> ~/.bashrc

There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Bugfixes please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34083796)

Whatever they do regarding this issue, I just want to implore the KDE devs to please focus on stability and performance improvements for the next few point releases, rather than adding any more new features.

KDE4 has the potential to be an awesome IDE; the improvement from 4.0 -> 4.5 has been excellent. The problem at the moment is that it's a resource hog and the apps (e.g. Okular) still crash from time to time. The file manager Dolphin is particularly slow. Despite this, I still prefer KDE4 to the competition, but it could be so much better if the issues I (and many others) have outlined are addressed.

Re:Bugfixes please! (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084716)

Whatever they do regarding this issue, I just want to implore the KDE devs to please focus on stability and performance improvements for the next few point releases, rather than adding any more new features.

http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/2010/10/optimization-in-kwin-4-6/ [martin-graesslin.com]

Not yet... (4, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084152)

How about they fix the steaming bloat-fest that is KDE4 before thinking about KDE5?

LK

Re:Not yet... (0, Troll)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084866)

How about they fix the steaming bloat-fest that is KDE4

There is no "KDE4".
What do you mean by "KDE4"? Platform 4(.5)? Plasma Workspaces 4(.5)? The whole Software Compilation 4(.5)?

Re:Not yet... (3, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085078)

There is no "KDE4". What do you mean by "KDE4"? Platform 4(.5)? Plasma Workspaces 4(.5)? The whole Software Compilation 4(.5)?

Uh yeah, that's part of the problem. Enough with the silly names. Did you really not know what he meant?

Re:Not yet... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34085270)

Pretty much.

It really doesn't matter how you slice it up, the result is that my KDE4-powered desktop and my KDE4-enabled apps are at once a big step forward and a big step back. This was true well after the official 4.0 release of any of the above, and even 4.5 is still missing much of the functionality that made 3.5 great.

You can also determine whether the tenant is a sex (1)

aotian (1915400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084156)

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Maybe this will stop the fingerpointing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34084920)

Maybe merging KDE with QT libraries will stop the finger-pointing when there is a problem between them...which occurs after every KDE release and sometimes with QT updates.

At the risk of trolling, KDE is already in .... (1)

scurvyj (1158787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34084934)

At the risk of trolling, KDE is already in enough trouble and they really shouldnt be worrying about this kind of thing. They should be fixing bugs, removing Dolphin and dumping that stupid pulse audio support. KDE3 is forking and Trinity exists for a reason. Don't be GNOME people, Don't be GNOME. Bugger the features, bugger futureproofing where you don't know whats going to happen, bugger contaminating other libraries, JUST FIX THE BUGS AND MAKE IT PERFECT. Otherwise you are going to wake up and find XFCE has won the war (and it IS winning it).
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