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To: gentoo-desktop@g.o
From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@...>
Subject: Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 01:14:25 +0000 (UTC)
Andrew John Hughes posted on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 21:33:55 +0000 as excerpted:

> On 23 February 2010 17:27, Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@...> wrote:
>> Andrew John Hughes posted on Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:58:46 +0000 as
>> excerpted:
>>
>>> KDE 3.5
>>>
>>> [R]emoval from the main tree is premature.  Not only
>>> is KDE 4 still an unstable resource hog, but [the koffice devs
>>> say koffice for kde4 isn't stable yet.]
>>> 
>>> Whoever removed it from the main tree has completely ignored this

>> FWIW, I agree that it's premature, but it's not Gentoo's problem so
>> much as KDE's and Qt Software's, as both kde3 and qt3 are unsupported
>> upstream, thus, subject to security vulns[.] Why KDE refuses to support
>> the previous stable version until the new version is generally stable
> as well, I don't know, but they don't.  (Qt I can see a bit more, as
>> they're a commercial company, [and] supporting older versions costs
>> real money.  It wasn't their fault that kde decided to go for a full
>> rewrite instead of a straight upgrade port[.)]
>>
> You're right that KDE's attitude is even worse - the choice of version
> numbering being only the start.  I just don't think the Gentoo position
> helps things, especially when the opposite tact could be taken; provide
> KDE4 in an overlay for those who want to try it and maintain KDE 3 in
> the main tree.  After all, they wouldn't be alone as Debian is also
> maintaining it in stable.  Instead, we are faced with a blanket mask out
> of the blue and the 'upgrade -- it's so much better' fallacy.

But there's a difference between gentoo and debian.  Gentoo is a rolling 
distribution that very much depends on upstream to continue to maintain 
package viability in the face of continuing system upgrades and security 
vulns.  Debian, OTOH, has a quite old stable version that basically 
doesn't get ordinary updates, with security fixes backported as 
necessary.  Gentoo basically doesn't do backports, they kick out the 
packages when they're no longer supported upstream and they get broken 
(security or cruft-wise).

So that's why the Gentoo choice was as it was.  No backporting, no 
supporting what upstream has abandoned.  We even have a dedicated tree 
cleaner project that removes stale and abandoned packages if they get 
forgotten.  Thus, the kde3/qt3 removal is in accordance with general 
gentoo policy.

But still, if there had been Gentoo devs that had wanted to maintain it, 
it may well have remained.  But all the gentoo/kde devs are kde4 users, 
and actually, took quite some trouble going out of their way to maintain 
an ever more broken kde3/qt3 in the tree as long as they did.

> I also approach this not so much for myself (I only use the odd KDE app
> and not the desktop environment itself; I find even 3.5 too bloated) but
> for other less tech-savvy users who just want to go about their
> day-to-day tasks on the computer.  For them, everything works fine wtih
> 3.5.  Why do they need to change?  It gets worse when you then install a
> few KDE 4 apps and see sporadic crashes and heavy CPU utilisation.  I
> used to find khexedit a useful tool for debugging data files when
> coding.  In 4, there is a complete rewrite called okteta with no
> apparent additional functionality but which uses 100% CPU as soon as it
> loads up and is basically unusable.  And that's with 4.4 on x86_64!

I'd file a bug about that, as it shouldn't be using 100% CPU...  Do you 
have multi-core (or hyperthreading if on Intel)?  Does it use 100% of just 
one core or of all of them?

> I don't really put Qt in the same boat.  Qt4 has been around for quite a
> while longer than the equivalent KDE release (because of this huge
> rewrite they decided to do) and I'd be happy to ditch it for the
> superior 4 release if it wasn't for the loss of all those usable KDE
> applications.  If you compare the switch from Gtk+1 to Gtk+2, it was
> also painful but developers tended to do the minimum required to get
> their code building (making use of the deprecated symbols still
> available) rather than throw it all away and do a complete rewrite.  I
> don't remember anything like this KDE upgrade with GNOME.

You know what I think the problem is?  I think too many of the KDE devs 
must be young and still think they can code the world in a day...  They 
didn't realized how big a job they were setting out for themselves when 
they decided to go the full rewrite route, and obviously, many of them 
aren't trying to run a kde system in a production environment, on ordinary 
hardware, or they'd not have been even /thinking/ about calling 4.2 ready 
for such users.

>> FWIW, I've been quite pleased with kde 4.4.[snip]
> 
> I haven't used it as an environment much.  I've seen it running on a
> Debian testing box and to me, it just seems much the same with lots more
> flashy gimmicks that slow the machine down.  Of most disappointment is
> the decision to copy Windows with the K button, a change I immediately
> reverted.

I can't say I know to what you're referring with that "copy Windows" bit, 
as I made the jump to freedomware the week eXPrivacy came out, as there 
was simply no way I was going to consent to having to go to MS for 
authorization if I upgraded too much of my machine.  After having been a 
faithful MS user for a decade, one who liked the idea of Linux but 
honestly, might not have jumped without that extra push from MS because I 
/was/ leaving a decade of knowledge behind, the only other alternative 
would have been to start pirating the software, as doing the authorization 
thing was just somewhere I wasn't going to go, period.  But luckily, 
Linux /was/ available, and now, I have MS to thank for giving me that 
push.  I've never looked back except in increasing revulsion as I've 
realized what true software freedom is.

Um... excuse me... where was I... Oh, yes... Anyway, I suppose that's why 
I haven't any idea what you're talking about with copy windows thing on 
the kmenu.

FWIW, the kickoff menu remains, here, but I didn't use the kmenu much on 
kde3, and I don't use the kickoff menu much on kde4.  I have hotkey 
assignments for the apps I use regularly, and often type commands into 
krunner, for stuff I know by name that's not hotkeyed.  Thus, the only 
time I use the kmenu/kickoff, both back on kde3 and now on kde4, is for 
those apps I use seldom enough that I actually need to browse the menu for 
them.  For that, the kickoff menu /is/ somewhat of an improvement from 
kde3's kmenu, or at least I find it so.  But that's maybe a couple times a 
month to a couple times a week I do that at all.  The rest of the time, I 
don't need and don't use that menu, at all.

>> But realistically, konqueror as a web browser is falling
>> behind and looking to be replaced by the webkit based rekonq browser
>> after it matures a bit more

> Yeah I wouldn't recommend Konqueror to anyone.  It had little use with
> 3.5 because it was unusable with so many sites, so I haven't even really
> tried the KDE 4 version.

I actually /do/ still use konqueror as my main browser.  But I have 
firefox available for those sites that need it.   Most of the sites I 
frequent with any regularity, tho, work fine in konqueror, even with 
scripting disabled most of the time as that's my default, as they're tech 
news sites and the like, generally targeted at Linux users.  Slashdot, 
LWN, LXer, ArsTechnica, the KDE and Gentoo planet blogs, etc.  Even my 
bank (Bank of America) works reasonably well with konqueror (tho I have 
scripting enabled there, of course). =:^)  But both konqueror and firefox 
get filtered thru privoxy, here, which deals with the ads, etc, plus a 
bunch of my own custom filters (I prefer a "reverse" color scheme, for 
instance, light text on a dark background, and have a whole set of privoxy 
filters I've developed over the years, that do custom page rewriting to 
give me that, without killing the colors entirely.)

> khtml has succeeded in being the basis for
> WebKit, so they may as well just use that directly rather than trying to
> continue developing a separate browser.  Qt even includes a webkit
> binding and I assume they are using that to some extent.  At least,
> building 4.4 required it.

The plasma desktop uses qt4's webkit for various plasmoids, among other 
things.  However, the qt4 webkit implementation was quite buggy and 
limited to begin with, and wasn't particularly suited to implementation of 
a full browser based on it.  It's maturing and will be at some point, but 
kde was one of the first big users and uncovered many bugs as a result, 
which had to be fixed before it could be used for a decent browser 
implementation.  As I mentioned, tho, rekonq is webkit based (I'm not sure 
if it's qt-webkit or something-else webkit, but webkit, anyway), and the 
general plan is that it will eventually officially supplant konqueror, 
when it's ready.  But I don't expect that until at least qt 4.7 and kde 
4.6, basically a year from now.

> koffice is the main issue with the one of the other users I mentioned
> earlier.  She uses kword just fine with 1.6.3.  There's no particular
> reason to try and use 2.2, and the website explicitly puts you off the
> idea.  If only they'd made that more clear by calling it 2.0 beta or
> something.  Gentoo seem to have taken the availability of some version
> of KOffice that builds against Qt4 as a reason to dump the old versions.
>  It seems to me that they don't actually use said applications and just
> want a reason to get rid of the old dependencies.

Well, as explained above, that's not quite it.  There really is no 
developer interested in continuing what they all see as the dead-end of 
qt3/kde3.  And as it's a community distro, with all the devs being 
volunteers, it's not as if any of them are being paid to do it.  If any of 
the folks now maintaining the kde-sunset overlay had put enough into it to 
be full Gentoo devs before this all happened... but of course they're 
volunteers too, and they may simply not have the time or energy to put 
into being a full Gentoo dev, or be uninterested in it for other reasons.


> The new amarok was the first part of KDE 4 I tried, and probably still
> takes the crown as the worst.  They seem to have dumped everything good
> about it, including MusicBrainz support.

Seems we agree on that.  FWIW, amarok's supposed to be gradually regaining 
many of those features, but it's too late for that here.  Amarok always 
was a pretty heavy dependency app for my needs, as you said, they dumped 
many of the useful features while adding crap for the new version, and 
when they basically ignored the problems that had mysql-embedded broken on 
amd64 and switched to it anyway, therefore breaking things for that whole 
swath of their users, that was the last straw, here.  Yes, they said that 
was while they weren't yet claiming the kde4 version was ready for 
primetime, but too bad, kde-core-3 support was already being dropped by 
the kde-core folks and by distributions, so ready or not, the kde4 version 
was what was available for many.  And then to go breaking it for that 
large a segment of their users...

Let's just say, same kde4 mess song, yet another verse. <shaking head>  
But unlike kde4 itself, I didn't rely on amarok enough to be worth the 
hassle of trying to stick with it, so it got dumped.

> Strangely enough, users aren't that excited by knowing an application
> builds against Qt4 -- that's pretty meaningless.  What they generally
> want is something that works and a few new features are a bonus.

Well, being a Gentoo user/sysadmin, I'm perhaps beyond the level of user 
you're referring to.  But when I saw that kde3 and qt3 were in the 
pipeline to be dumped, qt4 support DID mean a lot to me.  As soon as I got 
a reasonably working kde4 system (thus after the 100+ hours I put into 
working around breakage, etc, see below), I dumped kde3 and qt3 as fast as 
possible.  For one thing, keeping up with updates on both of them was a 
big chore, one I was eager to get rid of by eliminating all remaining kde3 
and qt3 dependencies so I could eliminate them.  For another, the kde3 
build system especially, was irreparably broken in terms of parallel 
building.  The cmake build system kde4 uses is MUCH more parallelizable, 
with the result being that kde4 upgrades are FAR more manageable on this 
dual dual-core (so 4 cores) system, taking only a third to a half the time 
they did with kde3.  Spending all day upgrading KDE when an upgrade came 
out, is something I definitely do NOT miss now, and something I was 
certainly eager to do what I could to hasten its departure from my system, 
once I finally did get kde4 up and running in a halfway decently usable 
way, even if did take over a hundred hours of workarounds to get it there, 
time very few users have to spend at all, and even fewer are going to be 
willing to spend.  No /wonder/ so many folks ended up dumping kde 
entirely.  I would have too had I felt there was a reasonable alternative 
to kde for my usage.

> Thanks again for maintaining the overlay,

Just to avoid any confusion, I have nothing to do with the overlay.  I'm 
simply a user who saw what was coming, and spent WAY more time than most 
would tolerate, 100 hours plus of researching and installing, or in some 
cases, scripting my own workaround solutions for stuff broken in kde4, 
that should have "just worked", as it did in kde3.  That's on top of the 
time I'd have expected to put into upgrading, and this was the same kde4 
they were claiming was working just fine, despite the open bugs saying it 
wasn't, while they were dumping the kde3 that /was/ stable and where 
stuff /did/ "just work".

-- 
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman



References:
kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Ladislav Laska
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Martin von Gagern
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Ladislav Laska
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Chris Bandy
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Martin von Gagern
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Chris Bandy
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Andrew John Hughes
Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Duncan
Re: Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
-- Andrew John Hughes
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Updated Jun 28, 2012

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