Gentoo Archives: gentoo-desktop

From: Andrew John Hughes <gnu_andrew@××××××××××.org>
To: gentoo-desktop@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-desktop] Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 21:34:44
In Reply to: [gentoo-desktop] Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass by Duncan <>
1 On 23 February 2010 17:27, Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net> wrote:
2 > Andrew John Hughes posted on Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:58:46 +0000 as excerpted:
3 >
4 >> I've managed to rebuild most of KDE 3.5 against the new jpeg-8 library
5 >> using the overlay.  Many thanks for maintaining it!
6 >>
7 >> I think the removal from the main tree is premature.  Not only is KDE 4
8 >> still an unstable resource hog, but the KOffice developers explicitly
9 >> state that 2.1:
10 >>
11 >> 'is not aimed at end users, and we do not recommend Linux distributions
12 >> to package it as the default office suite yet.'
13 >>
14 >>
15 >>
16 >> Whoever removed it from the main tree has completely ignored this and
17 >> decided to ship an incomplete office suite to users for the own
18 >> convenience.
19 >
20 > FWIW, I agree that it's premature, but it's not Gentoo's problem so much
21 > as KDE's and Qt Software's, as both kde3 and qt3 are unsupported upstream,
22 > thus, subject to security vulns, getting increasingly difficult to
23 > maintain in the face of continuing system updates, etc.  Why KDE refuses
24 > to support the previous stable version until the new version is generally
25 > stable as well, I don't know, but they don't.  (Qt I can see a bit more,
26 > as they're a commercial company, now part of Nokia, and supporting older
27 > versions costs real money.  It wasn't their fault that kde decided to go
28 > for a full rewrite instead of a straight upgrade port, /then/ do the
29 > rewrite when they have an existing stable kde based on a qt that's going
30 > to be supported for awhile.)
31 >
33 You're right that KDE's attitude is even worse - the choice of version
34 numbering being only the start. I just don't think the Gentoo
35 position helps things, especially when the opposite tact could be
36 taken; provide KDE4 in an overlay for those who want to try it and
37 maintain KDE 3 in the main tree. After all, they wouldn't be alone as
38 Debian is also maintaining it in stable. Instead, we are faced with a
39 blanket mask out of the blue and the 'upgrade -- it's so much better'
40 fallacy.
42 I also approach this not so much for myself (I only use the odd KDE
43 app and not the desktop environment itself; I find even 3.5 too
44 bloated) but for other less tech-savvy users who just want to go about
45 their day-to-day tasks on the computer. For them, everything works
46 fine wtih 3.5. Why do they need to change? It gets worse when you
47 then install a few KDE 4 apps and see sporadic crashes and heavy CPU
48 utilisation. I used to find khexedit a useful tool for debugging data
49 files when coding. In 4, there is a complete rewrite called okteta
50 with no apparent additional functionality but which uses 100% CPU as
51 soon as it loads up and is basically unusable. And that's with 4.4 on
52 x86_64!
54 I don't really put Qt in the same boat. Qt4 has been around for quite
55 a while longer than the equivalent KDE release (because of this huge
56 rewrite they decided to do) and I'd be happy to ditch it for the
57 superior 4 release if it wasn't for the loss of all those usable KDE
58 applications. If you compare the switch from Gtk+1 to Gtk+2, it was
59 also painful but developers tended to do the minimum required to get
60 their code building (making use of the deprecated symbols still
61 available) rather than throw it all away and do a complete rewrite. I
62 don't remember anything like this KDE upgrade with GNOME.
64 > FWIW, I've been quite pleased with kde 4.4.  The upgrade from 3.x is still
65 > likely to be a big nightmare for many, as so many things have changed and
66 > there's some areas that other non-kde-core solutions will have to be used
67 > instead, but that's to be expected with an upgrade of that size. I had
68 > predicted with early 4.3 that based on evident rate of progress, 4.3 was
69 > the first one I could in good conscience call late beta quality, and 4.4
70 > should be rc quality with 4.5 hopefully finally reaching release quality.
71 > 4.4 has certainly met at least that prediction, here, and to my very
72 > pleasant surprise, exceeded it to the point where I'm very nearly ready to
73 > call it full release quality, the only things keeping me from doing so is
74 > that I don't have all of kde installed, and haven't tested in 4.4 all of
75 > what I do have installed, and the caution from having been burned so many
76 > times previously by kde4.  But kde's official position was that 4.2 was
77 > ready for normal users, and that was terribly sad, because all it did was
78 > demonstrate how terribly out of touch with reality they were.
80 I haven't used it as an environment much. I've seen it running on a
81 Debian testing box and to me, it just seems much the same with lots
82 more flashy gimmicks that slow the machine down. Of most
83 disappointment is the decision to copy Windows with the K button, a
84 change I immediately reverted.
86 The applications are a mixed bunch. Some are close to being Qt4 ports
87 of the originals with some improvements. Others are just a joke.
89 >
90 > Well, there's still one bug that could be a show-stopper.  konqueror (and
91 > all of KDE) SSL and certificate support and management isn't yet up to
92 > what I'd call normal usable standards (it works in general, but the cert
93 > management familiar to kde3 users is missing, with the result being that
94 > it's broken on some sites with more exotic certificates -- good SSL and
95 > certificate management is absolutely critical in this day and age when
96 > many banking transactions and purchases are via web browser!).  But
97 > realistically, konqueror as a web browser is falling behind and looking to
98 > be replaced by the webkit based rekonq browser after it matures a bit
99 > more, enough so that few people use konqueror as their main browser any
100 > more anyway, with chrome/chromium and firefox/iceweasel/icecat being the
101 > major browsers picking up from konqueror, so this isn't the blocker it
102 > could have been as there's honestly not that many people, even among kde
103 > devs I gather, using konqueror as their primary browser anyway.  But that
104 > same support is used in a few other areas in kde as well, and it continues
105 > to be problematic there.
106 >
108 Yeah I wouldn't recommend Konqueror to anyone. It had little use with
109 3.5 because it was unusable with so many sites, so I haven't even
110 really tried the KDE 4 version. khtml has succeeded in being the
111 basis for WebKit, so they may as well just use that directly rather
112 than trying to continue developing a separate browser. Qt even
113 includes a webkit binding and I assume they are using that to some
114 extent. At least, building 4.4 required it.
116 > Then of course as you mentioned, there's koffice.  Just as it's really not
117 > qt's fault that kde took so long to stabilize on a reasonably current
118 > version, it's not so much kde-core's fault that koffice isn't yet properly
119 > stable on kde4.
120 >
122 koffice is the main issue with the one of the other users I mentioned
123 earlier. She uses kword just fine with 1.6.3. There's no particular
124 reason to try and use 2.2, and the website explicitly puts you off the
125 idea. If only they'd made that more clear by calling it 2.0 beta or
126 something. Gentoo seem to have taken the availability of some version
127 of KOffice that builds against Qt4 as a reason to dump the old
128 versions. It seems to me that they don't actually use said
129 applications and just want a reason to get rid of the old
130 dependencies.
132 > The same applies to other apps built on kde, such as k3b, possibly amarok
133 > (which was bad enough, especially for amd64 users, that I got fed up and
134 > switched to something else, thus the "possibly" as I don't know current
135 > status), kaffeine, etc.  But the k3b live version (ebuild available in the
136 > kde overlay) is actually quite good, as I mentioned I gave up on amarok as
137 > it never was a real good fit for me, and I found the very good qt4 based
138 > smplayer to replace kaffeine, so the status on those isn't too bad.  But
139 > koffice... that remains a legitimate blocker, for those dependent on it
140 > for their workflow.
141 >
143 The new amarok was the first part of KDE 4 I tried, and probably still
144 takes the crown as the worst. They seem to have dumped everything
145 good about it, including MusicBrainz support. Strangely enough, users
146 aren't that excited by knowing an application builds against Qt4 --
147 that's pretty meaningless. What they generally want is something that
148 works and a few new features are a bonus.
150 > --
151 > Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
152 > "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
153 > and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman
154 >
155 >
156 >
158 Thanks again for maintaining the overlay,
159 --
160 Andrew :-)
162 Free Java Software Engineer
163 Red Hat, Inc. (
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Subject Author
[gentoo-desktop] Re: kde-sunset: Calling base_src_prepare from kde.eclass Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net>