Sorry! I cannot tell you when KDE 4.4 will be uploaded to unstable. I am not working on that. My initial plan was writing about other tasks I am planning to work on and asking for your help. But I realized people would be more interested in knowing about KDE 4.4 packages. Once you know about this, I might trick you into helping in others areas ;)
Debian packages for KDE 4.4 are being worked on, just slowly and of course, keeping on with the quality you are used to. There will be also some changes that have been in some people’s TODO for long time.
The goal is having them in very good shape for Squeeze, that will ship with some point release of 4.4. The doubt is which point release will be: 4.4.2? 4.4.3 ? The schedule for the point releases has not been made yet, so it makes a bit harder trying to predict it. In the same lines, I can not tell you when Squeeze will be released neither, it needs to be frozen first!
If you want to know about the reasons of this delay, it is simple math: KDE has been growing a lot of more than the number of people working in Debian packages of KDE. I am not talking about size in lines of code in KDE, it is more the number of new dependencies that the KDE team have to take care now too: soprano, libutempter, … Have you wondered why some are under the name of Debian Krap maintainers? :) And there are releases much more often than in the KDE 3 times. You might have notice not only 4.3.5 have been skipped, it also was the case with 4.2.3 or 4.1.4.
This is not good or bad, it is just the same number of maintainers (or less) with more work. And what is worse… with more bugs open in the Debian BTS! I think reiterated calls for not to file upstream bugs in the Debian BTS and directly in KDE bugzilla (see my blog post about this here) have helped but still we have a large amount of bugs piled through the years. This graph could give you an estimate how we tried in the past fighting against without too much success:
Olivier Vitrat, we miss you :)
One of the most heavy (and boring) talks that needs to be done for the KDE 4.4 packages is the copyright checking. I am not sure a total newbie can help with this, but if you have knowledge about licenses and you want to try helping, we are waiting for you.
About other areas of the packaging maintenance, if you are interested in start learning and helping with future releases, you are welcome to start lurking in the #debian-qt-kde channel in OFTC and in the mailing lists.
Update February 21th: 4.4.0 is for sure not being uploaded into the archive. Probably KDE SC 4.4.1 to be released 2nd March will be uploaded to unstable or experimental.