People don’t read

December 12, 2007 at 9:47 pm | Posted in KDevelop | 18 Comments

Looking through the comments to the KDE4.0 RC2 makes me realize something once again: People don’t read and they don’t care.

Again comments of the type “KDE4 doesn’t deliver all stuff from KDE 3.5” and all of them are lying. Nobody knows what KDE4 will deliver when its matured. None of you people has only the slightest idea what KDE 4.5 will look like.

Please people, start to read: We’re approaching the release of KDE 4.0.0, the important part there is the 0. KDE 4.0.0 is still a baby, it just started to learn how to walk and can barely talk. Give it time to actually grow up.

Hmm, I’m wondering if any of those who need a KDE4 KMail will actually read this…


  1. It really is sad that it is hard to know what will come to KDE4 and what not or when. Okay, there is lots of information that KDE4.1 will come to be what “it should be” and KDE4 is “just a deleloper platform”.

    I use currently RC2 and I’m still bretty shocked how it does look and work. So much things is missing but there is so much info what tells that there is coming more options and so on, if users just looks those menus and think what they see, they could unrestand that too.

    Like KWord settings (alpha5 status) there is so much things missing, not even own configure panel is implented so it really isn’t ready (if you dont see alpha5 status ;-)) . Same thing for whole KDE4, there is so much things missing that just tells user that they will come.

    I really like Kmail on KDE4 but, i still dont like it in same time because it dont have ctrl+m option like many other KDE apps, to hide menubar. That would be very important option for my customers who cant have any not-wanted buttons or menus on their applications. Currently KDE just rocks for them because there is so much configure options to customize UI for different users. KDE4 default UI isn’t good either for them, even it is getting more and more simple to use.

    That’s why I’m looking for KDE 4.x series and having big hope there will come more configuration options back (or added!) for UI customizing.

    Afterall, we need first a good platform (kde4) so devels can build own applications for it and that platform should be rocksolid and then there can be added more things what users want’s.

  2. I want to understand
    does it mean that there is no kmail in kde4.0.0 ?

  3. @Fri13: KDE4 is not “just a developer platform”, KDE4.0.0 is a release whose main target is application developers, early adopters and those that like living on the bleeding edge. Its not a full replacement for the “usualy” kde3 desktop.

    @visik7: I don’t know, Allen Winter, the kdepim release dude, has raised that question on the release list but I can’t recall wether a decision was made or what that decision was. Try to look into the release-team archive on

  4. says that the dev of kde4 is like osX, is not the final kde4, is the begining of the kde4 series.

  5. Hehe, if you think people on the dot don’t read, try osnews. The responses to the story on whether KDE should close old bugs were mind boggling. I swear a good 70% of internet users lack basic reading comprehension or thinking abilities.

  6. I’m actually looking forward to KMail in KDE4… I just need to get it to boot in the meantime… I’ve loved KMail so far, and really look to use it in the new shiny, shiny, shiny Oxygen/Plasma interface. …and yes, I *do* read as well as having basic reasoning skills 😉

  7. I agree, people don’t read!

  8. hi all,

    just wanted to say how pleased I was testing the RC2.

    Bravo to the developers/translators/testers, kde 4 is shaping really well, forget the “never satisfied” and the “I miss X or Y from 3.5” let’s move on to our new desktop !

  9. i’ve read a lot about how kde 4.0.0 is just the starting place, but it’s just very difficult to accept the fact that kde4.0.0 will not be usable for me when it is released. i have been anticipating it for a long long time, with all the hype and all… but i’ve tested rc1 and rc2 and there many bugs-i could report them, but i know the developers know about most or all i’ve encountered, they’re obvious and plentiful. but i don’t want to complain either, because that’ll just get people upset and it isn’t productive.

    but as the recognition sets in that kde4 is not a platform i will be able to use for probably another 6 months, its hard for me to accept when i wonder, well why is it called 4.0 at all if it’s not usable for me? and i think that i’ve pretty forgiving too and know all about how this is just a foundation being released, but what about others? when it gets released there are going to be a bunch of gnome/windows users who try it thinking its ready for widespread use, they’ll hit bugs quickly, and switch back to whatever they were using – the chance to grow community will be missed. and i want to see kde grow, so why name it 4.0.0 and try to explain what that means? i vote to deliberately name it something that shows there will be bugs, or add something to the release name showing this isn’t what kde4 will really be in the end. as an example, i’d suggest KDE 4.0.0F, where F stands for foundation. this way, all this trouble caused by people’s expectations being messed up with what kde 4.0.0 actually is won’t be as much of a problem.

    just my two cents, and i do have faith that in the long run kde4 will be great, i just don’t see any reason to release it without something in the actual name to clarify and help get people’s, particularly any new users, expectations in line.

  10. @apaku: Thats why i put ” ” 😉
    KDE4 will be bretty…. how to say it… bretty “empty” by start because there isn’t all apps ported to it or all options what will be on later versions.
    This seems to happend everytime when KDE evolvs, KDE 2.x series, 3.x series etc.
    I’m going to adopt KDE4 in start (currently RC2 going) and i’m going to send those bug/wish reports and read what others wants/needs and that way to be part of what KDE4 series could come.

    I just think it is silly to believe that when whole new KDE (Desktop or OS) comes out, there would be everything right away how it should be as would be in later versions. I’m just happy that KDE4 brings new platform and i hope there has done good choices for future. But no one knows it what KDE4 means for KDE5 😉

  11. What the kde project does not communicate is that 4.0 is a little baby, who barely cant talk (as one of the previous posters described it). Specifically, you should mention that 4.0 is not for end users and is broken. Thats the only way people will understand. Because: If there is a concensus in the FOSS world about what “release 4.0.0” means, than we can say that it means something of “stable, but no perfect”. Think of your audience and care about your users. Let me just call this comment 4.10.2. Its not perfect, and i didnt think before typing, but, because i want to, i call it 4.10.2. If you dont get it, no problem.. You got what i mean.. ? 😉

  12. the press statement says:

    >>to ensure the final 4.0 release is stable, usable >> and fun to work with.

    people expect a stable release. if its not, you shouldnt write
    1. stable
    2. usable
    3. fun you can write, but its only a small fraction that will consider testing a technical preview as “fun”.

  13. @jetpeach: That KDE 4.0 is not usable for you doesn’t mean its not usable for everybody else. As I’ve said, I’ve been using it for a full week and its perfectly fine for me, except for one or two minor things which I currently try to solve. I have to admit though that I’m more of a shell-power-user type, so the “worst” bugs I hit are those from konqueror/khtml and the desktop itself (plasma+kwin) and those parts are in pretty good shape.

    About those people that try KDE4.0 for their daily use and want it to be like KDE 3.5.8: Thats exactly what I meant. These type of people don’t care to read and understand any annoucement that KDE makes about KDE 4.0. They just want the bleeding edge and they want it to be perfect. We can’t do anything about those, they’ll never be satisfied.

  14. guest: IMHO you’re wrong. The core developers of KDE and also all those marketing people are constantly trying to teach people the KDE 4.0 will by far not be as feature complete and bugfree as KDE 3.5. The problem really is that quite a number of people out there don’t read that, or read it and instantly forget it or simply don’t care.

    And btw: KDE 4.0 isn’t broken and its meant to be used on a daily basis, just not by those people that hardly know what a computer is – aka joe-average.

  15. @an^: I completely agree with the press statement. I do also agree that this doesn’t necessarily apply to all people that try KDE 4.0, but we won’t be able to make everybody happy anyway.

  16. “That KDE 4.0 is not usable for you doesn’t mean its not usable for everybody else.” – I definitely recognize this, and i understand that to get application development really moving forward it is desired to name it with 4.0 (instead of another RC). but the bottom line is that thousands of people who will test KDE4 in its 4.0 release will not bother to read more than a sentence about it and try it based on what they’ve heard in the past year. This is virtually guaranteed and should be anticipated. And so there has been a tremendous amount of hype surrounding the release, and almost none of the hype calls KDE 4.0 a “baby, it just started to learn how to walk and can barely talk”. Now maybe if this statement was in bold large type font directly below every download link I’d expect people to understand and lower their bug expectation, but otherwise the release name just creates so much needless confusion, and ultimately will slow rather than speed the adoption of kde4.

    “These type of people don’t care to read and understand any annoucement that KDE makes about KDE 4.0. They just want the bleeding edge and they want it to be perfect. We can’t do anything about those, they’ll never be satisfied.” – i disagree, these people’s expectations are what will lead to their unsatisfactory view of kde4. they will expect a 4.0 release like they’ve come to see from so many other software projects, they won’t get that and they will be disappointed. but as a suggestion, adding _something_ to the release name would do more than any announcement to manage these people’s expectations. and they may still try it, but when they encounter bugs they won’t say, “jees this is suppose to be a stable release?” instead they’ll say, “well i guess they did name it _blank_”, and they’ll be more likely to stick with it, contribute, and in the longterm become valuable members of the community.

    and what are the best reasons not to add something to the release name? because we expect these users to read more about the release before trying it or complaining about it? really, we _expect_ that? this is the internet, we should be able to recognize that thousands of testers obviously won’t read release notes or much other than the hype they’ve already heard. the release name however does matter – its usually stuck on every torrent, every download link, testers see it and anything other than KDE 4.0 on that name will be the best way to clue testers into the fact that this _isn’t_ going to be as stable as 3.5.8 (and sure, it might be perfectly usable for them, but it also likely will not be- i’m not a joe-computer user, i’ve been running linux on 4 of my computers for years, but i also haven’t learned and often don’t have the time to learn the tricks necessary to work around bugs when they hit, hence i’ll most likely be sticking with kde3.5 for a whie.)

    Hopefully I’m wrong though, and when KDE4 is released many of the bugs I encountered will be fixed-and I _will_ try to help as the number of them gets a bit more under control.

    Or maybe suddenly users will understand that KDE’s definition of a .0 release is different than most other software projects definition.
    But it all seems a bit pointless to hope or plan for all that, when it looks to me like a rename would really solve the problem…

  17. jetpeach: You’re wrong again. Ever tried a linux Kernel that ends in .0? Ever tried a windows release that ends in .0 (i.e. before the first set of hotfixes get released) Ever tried other .0 projects? A .0 release, especially when its not a minor, but a major change like this is quite expected to be more buggy than the last non-major release and also not as feature complete.

    And giving the baby a different name wouldn’t change anything, the bugs wouldn’t go away magically and neither would the feature-incompleteness. And calling KDE 4.0.0 a Beta is not right either, its not a Beta anymore. And if testers don’t read announcements, then they’re not real testers, they’re just trolls that want to bitch.

  18. andreas / kde devs, you are right, people dont read, or they dont want to accept what they read. it’s simply the nature of a lot of people.

    dont try to defend yourself or try to change them 🙂 just do your thing, ignore all ranting and whining, as it is a waste of energy to fight it

    in the end they will all praise you (=kde devs) anyway 😉

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