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Re(1): OSS is always Beta

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on August 04, 2008 09:19 AM
Good lord. All software is technically beta in the sense that it's never finished. That's what he said and what you seem to have missed.

Comparing a complete desktop to the apps that run in the desktop in terms of complexity and interactions is foolish and ignorant.

Oh, by the way, Firefox has stumbled a couple of times, not too seriously, but there have been buggy releases and zero day exploits even with FF3. (For the record I love FF3 but facts is facts.) GIMP has had its share of problems over the years and one reason for it's stability is that it hasn't had an overhaul in years and was in danger of being left behind before some of the original devs got going on it again. K3B runs on a desktop, KDE, actually, and will run on KDE 4 by the fall or early winter. It's by no means the level of complexity that the desktop software itself it. I prefer Amarok to Audacity so I can't say much about Audacity and it's stability now though when it was new and I tried it it crashed regularly and was a bit of a nightmare.

Let's go back to KDE 4.0 which, in spite of all the verbage to the otherwise was clearly labelled as a developer release. It was just as clearly labelled as not for production work. That Fedora and some others decided to make it a default desktop in spite of all of that which they were clearly aware of they went ahead.

KDE 4.1 has been clearly targeted at early adopters. You know, foolish people like me who are willing to use software that isn't quite baked in order to provide things like feedback. It can be used as a daily desktop, IMHO, though not if you expect the kind of fit and finish in KDE 3.5.9. It ain't there yet. And the KDE devs are clear about that. They even say that it's not to be used in a production environment. In block capital letters on their web site in case you miss it. SuSE provides a similar warning as, I expect, will Mandriva when 2009 comes out in October, though being closer to KDE 4.2 release it may be less of a problem by then.

And yes, FOSS projects release things like KDE 4.0 all the time as developer or pre-alpha releases in the hopes that developers and the odd user will provide valuable feednback.

Almost all the feedback on 4.0.x has been either ignorant out out and out angry and misinformed. (Incidentally in 4.1 you can resize the panel.)

As for setting up s wireless connection from a desktop manager I tend to prefer the distro tools be they (YUCK!) YaST, or MCC (much, much better) or whatever.

There are times as an FOSS user you DO need to accept that you'll run across situations like this particularly when a desktop manager has a complete overhaul. Particularly when distros and users have been told from day 1 that this isn't ready for production yet. Part of being a FOSS user is the expectation that you may want to or will provide feedback to a project about what they're doing and where they're going.

With KDE 4 what I'm seeing is often "I don't understand this", "I want my KDE 3.5.9 back" though it isn't going anywhere except to 3.5.10, and those who just don't like where it's going. Fair enough. Then don't use it!

If you want to use a desktop that fundamentally hasn't changed since Xerox Parc days be my guest. I'd venture a guess that it works for you because it's all you, or the rest of us, know. As for me it frequently infuriates me. And using something as flame bait when it tries to move beyond the box that GUI desktops are in simply isn't helpful or constructive.

What comes out of this process won't be unstable. Actually, with 4.1, at least in SuSE and Mandriva it isn't. It's rock solid. Still a work in progress but rock solid none the less.


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