Gentoo Archives: gentoo-desktop

From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net>
To: gentoo-desktop@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-desktop] Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 02:04:24
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-desktop] Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass by Andrew John Hughes
1 Andrew John Hughes posted on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 21:33:55 +0000 as excerpted:
3 > On 23 February 2010 17:27, Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net> wrote:
4 >> Andrew John Hughes posted on Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:58:46 +0000 as
5 >> excerpted:
6 >>
7 >>> KDE 3.5
8 >>>
9 >>> [R]emoval from the main tree is premature.  Not only
10 >>> is KDE 4 still an unstable resource hog, but [the koffice devs
11 >>> say koffice for kde4 isn't stable yet.]
12 >>>
13 >>> Whoever removed it from the main tree has completely ignored this
15 >> FWIW, I agree that it's premature, but it's not Gentoo's problem so
16 >> much as KDE's and Qt Software's, as both kde3 and qt3 are unsupported
17 >> upstream, thus, subject to security vulns[.] Why KDE refuses to support
18 >> the previous stable version until the new version is generally stable
19 > as well, I don't know, but they don't.  (Qt I can see a bit more, as
20 >> they're a commercial company, [and] supporting older versions costs
21 >> real money.  It wasn't their fault that kde decided to go for a full
22 >> rewrite instead of a straight upgrade port[.)]
23 >>
24 > You're right that KDE's attitude is even worse - the choice of version
25 > numbering being only the start. I just don't think the Gentoo position
26 > helps things, especially when the opposite tact could be taken; provide
27 > KDE4 in an overlay for those who want to try it and maintain KDE 3 in
28 > the main tree. After all, they wouldn't be alone as Debian is also
29 > maintaining it in stable. Instead, we are faced with a blanket mask out
30 > of the blue and the 'upgrade -- it's so much better' fallacy.
32 But there's a difference between gentoo and debian. Gentoo is a rolling
33 distribution that very much depends on upstream to continue to maintain
34 package viability in the face of continuing system upgrades and security
35 vulns. Debian, OTOH, has a quite old stable version that basically
36 doesn't get ordinary updates, with security fixes backported as
37 necessary. Gentoo basically doesn't do backports, they kick out the
38 packages when they're no longer supported upstream and they get broken
39 (security or cruft-wise).
41 So that's why the Gentoo choice was as it was. No backporting, no
42 supporting what upstream has abandoned. We even have a dedicated tree
43 cleaner project that removes stale and abandoned packages if they get
44 forgotten. Thus, the kde3/qt3 removal is in accordance with general
45 gentoo policy.
47 But still, if there had been Gentoo devs that had wanted to maintain it,
48 it may well have remained. But all the gentoo/kde devs are kde4 users,
49 and actually, took quite some trouble going out of their way to maintain
50 an ever more broken kde3/qt3 in the tree as long as they did.
52 > I also approach this not so much for myself (I only use the odd KDE app
53 > and not the desktop environment itself; I find even 3.5 too bloated) but
54 > for other less tech-savvy users who just want to go about their
55 > day-to-day tasks on the computer. For them, everything works fine wtih
56 > 3.5. Why do they need to change? It gets worse when you then install a
57 > few KDE 4 apps and see sporadic crashes and heavy CPU utilisation. I
58 > used to find khexedit a useful tool for debugging data files when
59 > coding. In 4, there is a complete rewrite called okteta with no
60 > apparent additional functionality but which uses 100% CPU as soon as it
61 > loads up and is basically unusable. And that's with 4.4 on x86_64!
63 I'd file a bug about that, as it shouldn't be using 100% CPU... Do you
64 have multi-core (or hyperthreading if on Intel)? Does it use 100% of just
65 one core or of all of them?
67 > I don't really put Qt in the same boat. Qt4 has been around for quite a
68 > while longer than the equivalent KDE release (because of this huge
69 > rewrite they decided to do) and I'd be happy to ditch it for the
70 > superior 4 release if it wasn't for the loss of all those usable KDE
71 > applications. If you compare the switch from Gtk+1 to Gtk+2, it was
72 > also painful but developers tended to do the minimum required to get
73 > their code building (making use of the deprecated symbols still
74 > available) rather than throw it all away and do a complete rewrite. I
75 > don't remember anything like this KDE upgrade with GNOME.
77 You know what I think the problem is? I think too many of the KDE devs
78 must be young and still think they can code the world in a day... They
79 didn't realized how big a job they were setting out for themselves when
80 they decided to go the full rewrite route, and obviously, many of them
81 aren't trying to run a kde system in a production environment, on ordinary
82 hardware, or they'd not have been even /thinking/ about calling 4.2 ready
83 for such users.
85 >> FWIW, I've been quite pleased with kde 4.4.[snip]
86 >
87 > I haven't used it as an environment much. I've seen it running on a
88 > Debian testing box and to me, it just seems much the same with lots more
89 > flashy gimmicks that slow the machine down. Of most disappointment is
90 > the decision to copy Windows with the K button, a change I immediately
91 > reverted.
93 I can't say I know to what you're referring with that "copy Windows" bit,
94 as I made the jump to freedomware the week eXPrivacy came out, as there
95 was simply no way I was going to consent to having to go to MS for
96 authorization if I upgraded too much of my machine. After having been a
97 faithful MS user for a decade, one who liked the idea of Linux but
98 honestly, might not have jumped without that extra push from MS because I
99 /was/ leaving a decade of knowledge behind, the only other alternative
100 would have been to start pirating the software, as doing the authorization
101 thing was just somewhere I wasn't going to go, period. But luckily,
102 Linux /was/ available, and now, I have MS to thank for giving me that
103 push. I've never looked back except in increasing revulsion as I've
104 realized what true software freedom is.
106 Um... excuse me... where was I... Oh, yes... Anyway, I suppose that's why
107 I haven't any idea what you're talking about with copy windows thing on
108 the kmenu.
110 FWIW, the kickoff menu remains, here, but I didn't use the kmenu much on
111 kde3, and I don't use the kickoff menu much on kde4. I have hotkey
112 assignments for the apps I use regularly, and often type commands into
113 krunner, for stuff I know by name that's not hotkeyed. Thus, the only
114 time I use the kmenu/kickoff, both back on kde3 and now on kde4, is for
115 those apps I use seldom enough that I actually need to browse the menu for
116 them. For that, the kickoff menu /is/ somewhat of an improvement from
117 kde3's kmenu, or at least I find it so. But that's maybe a couple times a
118 month to a couple times a week I do that at all. The rest of the time, I
119 don't need and don't use that menu, at all.
121 >> But realistically, konqueror as a web browser is falling
122 >> behind and looking to be replaced by the webkit based rekonq browser
123 >> after it matures a bit more
125 > Yeah I wouldn't recommend Konqueror to anyone. It had little use with
126 > 3.5 because it was unusable with so many sites, so I haven't even really
127 > tried the KDE 4 version.
129 I actually /do/ still use konqueror as my main browser. But I have
130 firefox available for those sites that need it. Most of the sites I
131 frequent with any regularity, tho, work fine in konqueror, even with
132 scripting disabled most of the time as that's my default, as they're tech
133 news sites and the like, generally targeted at Linux users. Slashdot,
134 LWN, LXer, ArsTechnica, the KDE and Gentoo planet blogs, etc. Even my
135 bank (Bank of America) works reasonably well with konqueror (tho I have
136 scripting enabled there, of course). =:^) But both konqueror and firefox
137 get filtered thru privoxy, here, which deals with the ads, etc, plus a
138 bunch of my own custom filters (I prefer a "reverse" color scheme, for
139 instance, light text on a dark background, and have a whole set of privoxy
140 filters I've developed over the years, that do custom page rewriting to
141 give me that, without killing the colors entirely.)
143 > khtml has succeeded in being the basis for
144 > WebKit, so they may as well just use that directly rather than trying to
145 > continue developing a separate browser. Qt even includes a webkit
146 > binding and I assume they are using that to some extent. At least,
147 > building 4.4 required it.
149 The plasma desktop uses qt4's webkit for various plasmoids, among other
150 things. However, the qt4 webkit implementation was quite buggy and
151 limited to begin with, and wasn't particularly suited to implementation of
152 a full browser based on it. It's maturing and will be at some point, but
153 kde was one of the first big users and uncovered many bugs as a result,
154 which had to be fixed before it could be used for a decent browser
155 implementation. As I mentioned, tho, rekonq is webkit based (I'm not sure
156 if it's qt-webkit or something-else webkit, but webkit, anyway), and the
157 general plan is that it will eventually officially supplant konqueror,
158 when it's ready. But I don't expect that until at least qt 4.7 and kde
159 4.6, basically a year from now.
161 > koffice is the main issue with the one of the other users I mentioned
162 > earlier. She uses kword just fine with 1.6.3. There's no particular
163 > reason to try and use 2.2, and the website explicitly puts you off the
164 > idea. If only they'd made that more clear by calling it 2.0 beta or
165 > something. Gentoo seem to have taken the availability of some version
166 > of KOffice that builds against Qt4 as a reason to dump the old versions.
167 > It seems to me that they don't actually use said applications and just
168 > want a reason to get rid of the old dependencies.
170 Well, as explained above, that's not quite it. There really is no
171 developer interested in continuing what they all see as the dead-end of
172 qt3/kde3. And as it's a community distro, with all the devs being
173 volunteers, it's not as if any of them are being paid to do it. If any of
174 the folks now maintaining the kde-sunset overlay had put enough into it to
175 be full Gentoo devs before this all happened... but of course they're
176 volunteers too, and they may simply not have the time or energy to put
177 into being a full Gentoo dev, or be uninterested in it for other reasons.
180 > The new amarok was the first part of KDE 4 I tried, and probably still
181 > takes the crown as the worst. They seem to have dumped everything good
182 > about it, including MusicBrainz support.
184 Seems we agree on that. FWIW, amarok's supposed to be gradually regaining
185 many of those features, but it's too late for that here. Amarok always
186 was a pretty heavy dependency app for my needs, as you said, they dumped
187 many of the useful features while adding crap for the new version, and
188 when they basically ignored the problems that had mysql-embedded broken on
189 amd64 and switched to it anyway, therefore breaking things for that whole
190 swath of their users, that was the last straw, here. Yes, they said that
191 was while they weren't yet claiming the kde4 version was ready for
192 primetime, but too bad, kde-core-3 support was already being dropped by
193 the kde-core folks and by distributions, so ready or not, the kde4 version
194 was what was available for many. And then to go breaking it for that
195 large a segment of their users...
197 Let's just say, same kde4 mess song, yet another verse. <shaking head>
198 But unlike kde4 itself, I didn't rely on amarok enough to be worth the
199 hassle of trying to stick with it, so it got dumped.
201 > Strangely enough, users aren't that excited by knowing an application
202 > builds against Qt4 -- that's pretty meaningless. What they generally
203 > want is something that works and a few new features are a bonus.
205 Well, being a Gentoo user/sysadmin, I'm perhaps beyond the level of user
206 you're referring to. But when I saw that kde3 and qt3 were in the
207 pipeline to be dumped, qt4 support DID mean a lot to me. As soon as I got
208 a reasonably working kde4 system (thus after the 100+ hours I put into
209 working around breakage, etc, see below), I dumped kde3 and qt3 as fast as
210 possible. For one thing, keeping up with updates on both of them was a
211 big chore, one I was eager to get rid of by eliminating all remaining kde3
212 and qt3 dependencies so I could eliminate them. For another, the kde3
213 build system especially, was irreparably broken in terms of parallel
214 building. The cmake build system kde4 uses is MUCH more parallelizable,
215 with the result being that kde4 upgrades are FAR more manageable on this
216 dual dual-core (so 4 cores) system, taking only a third to a half the time
217 they did with kde3. Spending all day upgrading KDE when an upgrade came
218 out, is something I definitely do NOT miss now, and something I was
219 certainly eager to do what I could to hasten its departure from my system,
220 once I finally did get kde4 up and running in a halfway decently usable
221 way, even if did take over a hundred hours of workarounds to get it there,
222 time very few users have to spend at all, and even fewer are going to be
223 willing to spend. No /wonder/ so many folks ended up dumping kde
224 entirely. I would have too had I felt there was a reasonable alternative
225 to kde for my usage.
227 > Thanks again for maintaining the overlay,
229 Just to avoid any confusion, I have nothing to do with the overlay. I'm
230 simply a user who saw what was coming, and spent WAY more time than most
231 would tolerate, 100 hours plus of researching and installing, or in some
232 cases, scripting my own workaround solutions for stuff broken in kde4,
233 that should have "just worked", as it did in kde3. That's on top of the
234 time I'd have expected to put into upgrading, and this was the same kde4
235 they were claiming was working just fine, despite the open bugs saying it
236 wasn't, while they were dumping the kde3 that /was/ stable and where
237 stuff /did/ "just work".
239 --
240 Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
241 "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
242 and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman