"Last month's release of the KDE 4.4 desktop environment
restored the faith of many after what has been something of a
roller coaster two years. Even the most loyal KDEians found that
loyalty stretched by the debut of version 4.0 in 2008. Reassessing,
and with hindsight, I think it's fair to characterize the whole
saga as both a cautionary tale and an admirable example. Admirable,
because the KDE team has displayed a quality that is so often
lacking in open source software development: leadership.
"By 2008, thanks to its stability, performance and feature-set,
KDE3 had become one of the best desktops on the computer scene.
However, it was becoming clear that a successor, KDE4, would
represent a significant break with the past - the best was about to
get even better. More than a mere upgrade, it was to be a complete
rewrite and absolutely packed with mouth-watering technology. To
the credit of the development team, they released largely on time,
but it was a release that pushed the community first to bafflement
and then resentment. It was unusable - and when I say unusable, I
mean it literally couldn't be used for any serious work..."