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KDE4: It hurt, but did it work?

Apr 01, 2010, 23:02 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Reed)

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"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..."

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