just got clear of an interesting discussion with some users on irc. apparently kde has no good applications. now, i disagree with that, but wanted to understand what this perception was based on.
answer? having tried various kde apps several releases ago. apparently amarok doesn't have an EQ; kmail doesn't have offline IMAP; kontact, whatzat? etc, etc, etc...
during the kde2 devel days, the project certainly did concentrate more on infrastructure than app development. and rightly so: the framework needed to mature, and that takes a lot of effort. given the manpower available, that pretty much dictated the pace.
with kde3, there was a conscious movement of concentration to application development. whereas most of the development pace seemed to focus on kdelibs and kdebase up to that point, the applications became the centre of gravity and kdelibs and kdebase moved out of the spotlight..
this is not to say lots of great work continued on in the infrastructure bits, with khtml, kwin, kicker, gethotnewstuff, and many more bits and nibbles getting lots of attention. but it's hard to deny that kontact, kopete, juk, kdeedu, kdevelop, kdeaccessability and a host of other apps really started to shine and became the most exciting things to track in cvs (and later svn).
and third party app devel took off like a rocket, too! k3b, digikam, konversation, amarok, kaffeine, apollon .....
things are far, far better today application wise than they were. and yet many people tried the apps a couple years ago and just stopped trying them. people give up easy. this is why it is critical to remember to keep the user community up to date with what you are doing with your apps.
to us as developers, our progress is incremental. our users see the differences in 6-12 month chunks (or more!) so it's often revolutionary. they also tend to give a piece of software only one or two chances before giving up on it, after which they need to be reminded that the things they missed then are there now.
if you are a kde application developer, ask yourself: "compared to 1, 2, 3 and 4 releases ago, what mis(sing)features would a user have wanted addressed?" make some screenshots of those new things and blog about them; msg canllaith for inclusion in the "what's new in svn" guide; write a theDot story giving an update on your app.
and if you feel that your app isn't deserving of that attention, that it's not significant: remember that to those who use and depend on the software you write it is very significant. they'd appreciate an update now and again.
peace 'n luv.