Author Archives: ana

Let’s go for KDE 3.5.9 in Lenny

Update: We have decided going for KDE 3.5.9 in Lenny.

Some days ago I sent a proposal to the Qt/KDE Packaging Team discussion mailing list proposing to ship KDE 3.5.9 in Lenny.
You can read my email and the whole thread generated from here.

I would love hearing opinions, specially from stable users about what they expect/want in stable.

Below, follows an edited version of my email with my personal opinion.

My proposal is shipping KDE 3.5.9 with the KDE 4.1 development platform: kde4libs, kdepimlibs and kdebase-runtime.

No huge advantages in shipping KDE 4.1

Honestly, I do not see any advantage in shipping KDE 4.1 instead of KDE 3.5.9 besides of coolness and bleeding-edge stuff. I do see this movement more like a change of desktop than an improved new version of KDE. The KDE 4 series clearly represent a big change in innovation and improvement over KDE 3, something that has just started. KDE 4 will have a lot of to tell in the future (4.2, 4.3..), you only have to see how much it has improved from 4.0 to 4.1 beta 1. But I do not see KDE 4.1 still fully replacing all the necessities of our users. There is still a bunch of small details there and here, I will talk of some here further on this mail (for example, koffice), but what worries me here specially is that some are totally unknown for us, since we have a lot of users with very different use cases.

KDE 4.1 has not been released yet.

KDE 4.1 has not been released yet, looking at the release schedule, it is supposed to be released July 29th, this is already impossible with current Lenny’s release, and we would need an exception from the release team that will be only granted if it is really worth it. Then, a delay in this schedule from KDE release team would be bad for us, since we are so tight in time.
The sooner we could upload something to unstable would be with the RC1 that will be released on the 15th of July, 2 weeks before the final version. Lenny is supposed to go into full freeze in the mid of July, this could be delayed, but what is sure libraries will be frozen in 3-4 weeks, and we need ship a huge amount of new libraries. Besides, it is usually better ship an update of 4.1.x that contains fixes to the most important problems found in the 4.1.0 release.

Build dependencies we need to take care of

And then, it is not only the KDE 4 desktop, there are a set of build dependencies we have to maintain and not all of them are already in unstable, those dependencies are: akonadi, automoc (already in unstable, but it is a snapshot), decibel, soprano, tapioca-qt and telepathy-qt.

Some widely used apps of the KDE desktop are not ready

Even if they are not shipped with the core packages, some apps belong to the KDE desktop and to the KDE project. We have here Koffice, kdevelop or amarok. Amarok is one of a lot of widely used apps in the KDE desktop that won’t have a substitute in KDE 4. There is a myriad of small apps in this situation.

Koffice 2 won’t be ready so we are shipping with koffice 1 that needs some parts of KDE 3 to work properly (like kcontrol), so it will need some hacking because it is not currently fully installable in KDE 4… and it won’t be properly integrated anyway. I’m not sure how well works kdevelop with KDE 4, but newer kdevelop (that needs now kdevplatform package) won’t be ready.
Quanta needs as well kdevplatform, but quanta is shipped inside kdewebdev and it is one of the modules we have not packaged yet (together with accessibility and bindings).

No positive feedback about shipping it

My blog post about how to install KDE 4.1 beta 1 had some feedback of other developers in planet and specially from users in several blogs and forums that linked my post. Most of the people seem to like it as in “it will be cool”, but everybody seems to agree that it is not still a replacement for KDE 3 in their daily tasks.
Basically, I see 3 kinds of users: developers, power users and average users. KDE 4.1 could be ready for developers who are able to cope with the lack of some apps, mixing kde3 and kde4 without risks etc, and the same goes to power users. But I do not see it ready for final users, they won’t like this (imposed) change.
We would be shipping the KDE 4.1 desktop just released, and usually in the community, average users wait until more advanced users are used to this new software then it is when they adopt it, because then, they have support and help from forum and mailing lists from this more advanced users.
With the current beta power users and developers still do not see it ready for daily use, so what you can expect for our average users.

Some arches do not like KDE 4

Let’s keep this short: KDE 4 needs to be built in all the release archs, and it actually does not.

You can have everybody happy

My proposal is release with “old” reliable KDE 3.5.9 not forcing anyone to update to KDE 4.1, and just provide 4.1.x “official” backports. So whose who want to use KDE 4.1 will just use the backports and besides, these users will have these backports updated through the KDE 4.1.x (x=1,2,3..) updates. I am willing to work on these backports.
By the way, Backports infrastructure is only for stuff in testing, but I’m sure we can find a nice solution here.

How to install KDE 4.1 beta 1 from experimental

The first beta of KDE 4.1 was released a couple of days ago, and of course, we did upload packages to experimental.
It is finally time of encouraging users to try KDE 4. So here are some instructions of how installing KDE 4 and how going back to KDE 3.5 if you feel like KDE 4.1 is not yet for you :)

If you do not want to risk your system, you can use this instructions to install KDE 4.1 in a virtual system such as qemu or VirtualBox.

Some previous notes:

  • Please, pretty please, report the KDE related bugs in the KDE bugzilla at: Report it in the Debian BTS only gives us extra work that we do not have resources to handle.
  • Report in the Debian BTS the packaging problems you find. If you are not sure, ask in the users mailing list:
    Archives at

Update to KDE 4

1 Add experimental sources to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb experimental main 

2 Run:

aptitude update

3 Install minimal functional KDE 4 system.
This requires some polishing and if you are using non official repositories for KDE related stuff, your system might break badly. Then run:

aptitude install -t experimental kde4-minimal

It will need remove some packages like: kwin, kicker or ksmserver, that is fine.

4 Restart your system.

Assuming you are using kdm, after restar, you will get kde4’s kdm. Log in and voila! KDE 4.

5 Installing the remaining packages.

You still will have KDE 3 stuff in your system and plenty of KDE 4 to install. I would recommend upgrade module to module, for example, for upgrading kdeutils:

aptitude install -t experimental kdeutils

So you can see clearly what is being updated, what programs dissapear and what is new. And if you do not want to test all the KDE modules, you do not need to install it all.

Available KDE 4 modules are:
kdeadmin kdeartwork kdeedu kdegames kdegraphics kdemultimedia kdenetwork kdepim kdetoys kdeutils kdepim and extragear-plasma

6 You can see all the KDE 3.5 packages that are still in your system from a Konsole with:

dpkg -l | grep 4:3.5

Translations are in the package kde-l10n-XX where XX is your language code.

Once you have installed all the KDE 4 packages you want, I would suggest you comment out the experimental source line by adding a # in the beginning.

How to go back to KDE 3

1 Remove experimental from your sources.list

2 Remove all the base packages:

aptitude remove kdelibs5 kdelibs5-data kdepimlibs5 kdepimlibs-data
kdebase-data kdebase-bin kdebase-runtime kdebase-runtime-bin-kde4
kdebase-runtime-data kdebase-runtime-data-common kdebase-workspace
kdebase-workspace-bin kdebase-workspace-data kdebase-workspace-libs4+5

3 Install the minimal KDE 3:

aptitude install kdelibs kdebase kdm

4 Restart your system and the good old kdm should be on your screen again.

5 Now you can continue installing all the KDE 3 packages you like using.
You always can use aptitude install the meta package KDE, but since that installs a lot of packages I would recommend install the metapackages you really want.

The list:
kdeaccessibility kdeaddons kdeadmin kdeartwork kdeedu kdegames kdegraphics kdemultimedia kdenetwork kdepim kdetoys kdeutils kdewebdev

5 You can see the remaining KDE 4 bits on your system with

dpkg -l | grep 4:4.0.80

What KDE will be available in Lenny?

We do not know yet, we would like to ship KDE 4.1 but it is still early to know for sure.

Money and DebConf

I am having a hard couple of days trying to decide what to do with respect attending to DebConf in Argentina. Nothing new on planet, I know. I could buy my flights for about 1150 euros now. And that is only the flights, the travel expenses are more than that.

The reasons that do not motivate too much to buy the tickets at this moment are:

  • I do not think I will get sponsorship (I am above position 20 in the queue) and since I would have to take the month off at work, that will mean a month without income as well.
  • The looooooong trip, my “cheap” flights are via Uruguay with a duration of about 30 hours. Then when you arrive to Buenos Aires, go to Mar de Plata, that is about 6 hours trip. By the way, a trip that costs ~ 37 euros extra. And I do not think somebody else will take the same flights, so it will be boooooring too :(
  • Due a lot of people not getting sponsorship and DebConf being so far for most of Debian contributors, I am expecting a smaller and more familiar DebConf. One of the key points of DebConf is meeting the people you work with, and I would be the only member of the KDE team (it is true we are a small team, but yet…), and similar with another teams.

The current budget of DebConf basically does not have spare money for sponsoring travel, so far the money we got from the sponsors is just for covering the basic stuff we need for the conference: venue and lodging.
This is not a fault at all of the debconf team, actually we are lucky this year we have a more experienced team that in the previous years (key people have been involved in Debconf for years now) and they are acting very professionally. It is the effect of both: DebConf in Argentina being more expensive than expected and getting more money from sponsors. We clearly need more sponsors, and then is where the bit “We (as a project) suck at marketing” enters.


I’m going to ground myself working in KDE stuff for the next couple of days to avoid thinking about this.

When you are too involved…

I just stated in a private mail exchange that gender barrier do not really exist in Debian anymore. That lead me to think I am too deep involved in the project to notice so. If you are girl and something makes you do not agree with this, please drop me a mail ( ana AT debian DOT org).

Not related with the above paragraph, but still on topic, I have not been following mailing lists/IRC these last days and I am planning stay some days more off. I have found myself doing too much stuff Debian lately and need a little rest. If you need something urgent, send me a mail.


I just sent an email to debian-devel-spanish announcing this year’s edition of DudesConf, a.k.a. the fourth edition of the debconf-es. Thanks to the great people of GPUL, the spanish cabal will meet again this year in Coruña from the 2nd to the 4th of May, for what promise to be an intense weekend.

Last edition was awesome and it will be hard to surpass, the conference was held a week after the Etch release so we had a great reason for partying (not that we need one!). I am completely sure we were the only celebrating the Etch release with a queimada.

queimada @ Dudesconf'2007

Burning the queimada, cool, isn’t?

The inscription and the call for papers are already opened. For more information visit the website at

By the way, although the main goal of DudesConf is gathering the debian spanish community, we had several international guests last year, so if you can speak a little of spanish you are invited to come. :)

Random group photo @ Dudesconf'2007

One of the million of group photos we took

phone spam

Dear telephone company:

It is true I am a frequent user of your roaming services, but sending me the same message, with your new special offers for roaming services, 17 times in the last 4 days is not nice.

Quick KDE 3 and 4 update

KDE 3.5.9 was released a couple of weeks ago and it is not yet in unstable. You might think the reason is because the KDE team is lazy, and actually we are, but the true reason is we could not upload it until we fixed some problems with Qt3. It will be uploaded from tomorrow, but in the meantime, if you can not wait like 24 hours, you can find packages of KDE 3.5.9 for both i386 and amd64 at:

deb ./

If you find problems, please send an email to the Debian KDE users list and remember restart KDE after upgrade kdelibs!

These packages are the same packages that will be uploaded to unstable, so you can upgrade safely. Anyway, do not expect big changes out of kdepim.

About KDE 4, 4.0.2 will be released this wednesday, so you will find the development platform in unstable and the rest of the modules in experimental from wednesday morning.
But if you read the latest Release Update, it included a nice sentence There may be a possibility to include KDE4 in lenny. Let me explain this :)
We, the KDE team, are planning start working in packaging the 4.1 branch and if it seems as good as we expect, we will move to package directly KDE 4.1 snapshots/betas/release candidate with the goal of at least shipping KDE 4.1 development platform in Lenny, and maybe whole KDE 4.1 replacing KDE 3.5.X. The details are still undecided, and it all depends of the evolution of KDE 4.1 and Debian release status.

Compulsory FOSDEM post

I do not usually to blog when I go to any event, but just for the sake of flooding planet ;)

Before attending to FOSDEM this weekend, I had a nice week visiting Belgium, which was really nice but now I am in kind of tired without all the energy an event like FOSDEM need, there is so many people to greet!

By the way, Tom Alberts, where in the hell are you? ;) I’m just sitting now in the KDE room trying to spot some KDE devels I only know by email/name.

Getting old

Today is my birthday, a good excuse to have cake :)
Anyway, the motive of this post is to say Happy Birthday to my friend Leo, who happens to be exactly 8 hours older than me and awesome.

Debian Qt/KDE Maintainers group picture

Debian KDE Meeting. Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain, 15th December 2007.

Top, from left to right: Modestas Vainius, Sune Vuorela.
Sitting, from left to right: Armin Berres, Ana Guerrero, Fathi Boudra.

P.S: Still pending send a mail about the decisions taken in the meeting :)