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Finally, booked for DebConf \o/


The relevant flights:

IB6845, Sunday 3rd August 2008
Madrid  Barajas   Terminal 4S           Departure: 12:25
Buenos Aires  Pistarini   Terminal A    Arrival: 19:40

IB6842, Sunday 17th Agugust 2008
Buenos Aires  Pistarini   Terminal A    Departure: 13:25
Madrid  Barajas   Terminal 4S           Arrival: 6:10

I still have 36 hours to cancel these flights without pay anything in case I find something cheaper, but I do not think so. If you are in any of these flights as well, mail me!

There is an option in penta to see the travel data of other attendees, but it is not enabled yet.

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.

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