so i read this bit of drivel over at osnews.com. i'd just like to point out to Thom Holwerda that having a website does not make you informed or intelligent. if anything it gives you a soapbox on which to showcase just how with it, or not, you are.
first, Thom points to a quote from me that our goal is to have a 4.0 ready sometime in the first half of next year. that gives us until sometime in june and i'm still thinking we can make it. i'm not sure what world Thom lives in, but not shipping this year what you hope to ship next year seems rational.
Thom also says that all the vision behind KDE4 has amounted to nothing but vision. i suppose, Thom, you aren't following progress in svn are you? obviously not, otherwise you would have noticed phonon, solid, decibel, strigi/nepomuk, oxygen, model/view-ization of the file management facilities, modernization of several parts of our libraries, etc, etc... even smaller items like sonnet, which is right now getting some nice grammar checking support, are moving forward. koffice2 jumps leaps and bounds along with many of the other apps in kde's svn. in other words, Thom is full of crap when he says 4.0 is stalled.
of course Thom ignores these facts while picking out two projects in particular: plasma and appeal. let me talk about both of them for a moment here, starting with appeal.
appeal was never a software project, and nobody ever said it was. it was an attempt to change how certain development processes occur in kde. and it has been a great success in my mind. directly out of it came the ideas for plasma and for oxygen; it also helped inspire others to think along new lines and come up with impressive new ways of addressing old issues. if Thom doesn't see the impact appeal had, he just isn't afforded the benefit of the viewpoint of someone inside the kde development community. this is the danger when you peer inside from the outside and try and expound sagely: odds are high you'll miss the mark.
plasma on the other hand is the visible part of an iceberg: the top couple percent of the whole structure. i've had to wait on item after item after item over the last year and half to be ready for plasma. during that same time i've been travelling like a mad man paying attention to kde issues that were also in need. a project like kde, which is to say a huge global meta-project, doesn't run itself anymore and it needs attention in ways it didn't used to. we had let it go to seed on a few fronts and i had been working to fix that. with the help of several others in the community i think we've accomplished much of what has been needed and now have in place mechanisms to continue that progress. that is to say that i've been both time committed to other items while the rest of the iceberge is prep'd for plasma.
last week i started working on parts of the replacements for kdesktop, which is part of the plasma project. i now have 4 days a week set aside for work on these issues, something i haven't had until this month. *shrug* i'm not particularly worried or concerned, but maybe that's because i'm in the driver's seat here. i understand that being a passenger can be a lot more disconcerting.
but when someone comes out and says that things are stalled or that it's all hot air when it isn't ... that sounds a lot like, what's the word? oh yeah, libel!
Thom takes advantage of Tim's blog about gtk+ needing more maintainers to write an alarmist piece that makes the national enquirer look like informed journalism. this is a double disservice: not only does it whip up unwarranted alarm amongst users and give our detractors unfounded ammunition, it punishes developers like Tim for speaking openly about the challenges we face. the free software community relies on our ability to speak openly and honestly to each other; if we start to get punished for it then we have a real problem. today that problem has a pair of names behind it: Thom Holwerda and osnews.com.
now, Thom does have one good point: we don't have enough developers. but asking me if we have enough developers is like asking a tribble if it thinks there are enough tribbles yet on captain kirk's enterprise. we can never have enough developers; there is always so much to do. even once we've accomplished everything we've set ahead of ourselves right now, there's still so much more to do =) with the developers we currently have things move ahead at a certain pace and i have to note that 4.0 is moving ahead faster now than it has at any other point in the last year. but yeah, we could always use more hands.
update: i just saw that Thom's article was picked up on slashdot. way to the do the community a disservice and join the libel brigade, cmdrtaco! merry christmas to you, too.