Saturday, June 4, 2011

KDE Future on Slackware

There has been a hot discussion on KDE's packager mailing list about KDE's new policy of splitting up the big packages into several small packages as you can see as in KDE's FTP site. In the past, KDE only break them into several packages, depending on the category, such as kdeadmin, kdemultimedia, kdepim, etc.

What's the impact? Well, for Slackware's KDE maintainer point of view, this breaks almost every SlackBuild script that they have created in the past, since now they have to rework it again from the scratch and that would requires a lot of time and efforts to create the best SlackBuild script in order to compile KDE into Slackware's native packages. Eric Hameleers aka AlienBOB wrote this on his blog and it refers to the discussion on KDE's mailing list where the discussion happened (it was on another private mailing list, but this one is the public mailing list for the release team).

Not only it breaks the SlackBuilds script, but it also causes more burden to the maintainer to maintain the packages. The situation is similar with what happened in GNOME in the past. They required a lot of efforts to maintain the packages since they were split into a lot of small packages, thus requiring the maintainer to track every released version. If you don't believe me, take a look on GSB-3.0's ChangeLog and you will understand. It's a rolling release, means it continues to change over time, unlike KDE which usually release set of changes on a monthly period. IMHO, a rolling release has it's own benefit, but for the maintainer, it would be a nightmare as they have to catch up with the latest update all the time.

So, what will happen with KDE on Slackware in future releases? We still don't have a definite answer yet, as the discussion on KDE's mailing list still on progress and also we have a discussion at LQ where Pat, Eric, and most of Slackware users shares their thoughts. If you have any ideas, thoughts, please post it on LQ as well.

One positive reaction from Pat is the fact that KDE is his favorite DE at this moment and i really hope that it would remain the same in the future. I personally a KDE lover as well and i don't really want KDE to be removed from Slackware just like what happened with GNOME on Slackware 10.2.