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Re: Fedora 9: Leading edge or bleeding edge?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on May 22, 2008 11:17 PM
Let me speak for a second as a Fedora Board member with respect to the KDE 4 inclusion. I would like to point out that the KDE inclusion was a community decision. The bulk of the work to include and maintain KDE is done by volunteer community contributors through the Fedora KDE Special Interest Group. The decision was not done in a vacuum nor was it done behind closed doors. The available resources are finite and they had to make a choice concerning how to best expend their resources. The public discussion concerning this decision actually dates back into Fedora 7 and Fedora 8, where pieces of kde4 were provided as a development environment to make it easier to do the transition to a full KDE4 desktop. The KDE SIG irc meeting minutes and full transcripts are archived in the Fedora wiki for anyone who wants to look over the historical record as to how the discussion went.

But you don't need to do that sort of historical record diving to understand why this decision was made. KDE4 inclusion went through Fedora's Feature process for inclusion in F9. The rationale for not providing KDE3 is outlined in the Fedora 9 Feature page for KDE4:
"Furthermore, relying on KDE 3 (as more than just a compatibility library) for another release cycle means we'd rely on a permanently frozen KDE 3, based on a completely unmaintained Qt 3 library (EOL was on July 1st [2007])."

QT 3 EOL Reference:

I would ask this question of any KDE users who would prefer to continuing using a KDE3 desktop on Fedora. Is it responsible to continue to encourage our KDE desktop userbase to rely on a version of Qt which is no longer maintained by the upstream authors for nearly a year at the time of Fedora 9's release? Is that an acceptable security risk to pass on to our users? These are the hard questions that our volunteer maintainers had to answer. There are seldom perfect solution to hard choices and the right thing is not always the most popular of actions. And I am confident that they did the right thing, even if it means we have lost some KDE users by including KDE4.0,x instead of waiting for KDE4.1. In a perfect world KDE4 would have been available before Qt3 reached the end of life and I would encourage KDE users who want to avoid this situation again to get involved in the upstream KDE project so that they can respond more quickly to Qt developments, so distributors do not have to make the hard choices between sustainability and usability.

For more information please read:

-Jef Spaleta
Fedora Project Board member


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