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Important Announcement Coming Today at Desktop Summit

Published Aug 7 2011 via RSS

Today at 17:30 there is a panel presentation here at Berlin Desktop Summit that is unfortunately titled "KDE Platform 4 Roadmap" and the schedule says I'm presenting it. This was submitted prior to the Platform 11 meeting in Randa so it could make the speaking schedule here at the Desktop Summit. At the time I didn't know what precisely we'd decide on at Platform 11 .. and the title reflects that.

What I did know was that we would want to communicate the results (whatever they would be) from Platform 11. That is in fact what we will be doing. Better yet, I will be joined by David Faure, Kevin Ottens and Stephen Kelly in doing so.

Interestingly, however, the presentation will not be about KDE Platform 4. It will be about KDE Frameworks 5.0.

Yes, you read that right. Coming out of Platform 11, we have a roadmap for the next major releast of KDE's libraries and runtime requirements. The emphasis is on modularity, dependency clarity / simplification and increasing quality to the next level. Our goal is to give us better tools for desktop app development, give our KDE mobile projects a leg up and make KDE's libraries something that Qt developers can and will use.

There are many steps to get there: reexamining what is in KDE's libraries that ought to be in Qt proper; dividing up the libraries along the lines of the new organizational charts we've drawn up at Platform 11 and subsequently presented on kde-core-devel, etc.

We do not wish to introduce anything highly disruptive, however. As with Qt5, we want this to be a mostly-under-the-hood set of work. We will be taking this opportunity to adopt some new technologies behind the scenes to increase interoperability, such as introducing a Secret Service implementation that can phase out KWallet. (Yes, we have automated migration code ...)

Application development will not be pausing as we do this: releases every six months of application improvements will continue based on the 4.x codebase. When Frameworks gets to the point where it is ready for serious banging on, then we will start repurposing our highlight applications to the new codebase. We don't want application development to be held up by the library development, and we don't want the library development to create much, if any, need for "porting" application code. We want "just recompile and test" to be the common case, with whatever changes do become necessary to be of the simple and even automatable sort.

If this sounds rather different from how we approached 4.0, that's because it is. The requirements, needs and context for this release are utterly different. We're after evolutionary improvement and broadening our developer ecosystem, and our plans therefore need to, and in our opinion do, reflect that.

We will be communicating these developments over the next months in more official and comprehensive means than this personal blog entry written while I'm sitting in presentations at the Desktop Summit. ;) However, I wanted to make sure people knew what was coming in our presentation and hopefully motivate people to therefore show up and participate!

So one more time: Today at 17:30 in our panel discussion in Kinosaal room at the Desktop Summit we will be discussing the plans for Frameworks 5.0 in detail, taking questions and entertaining the thoughts shared by those who come. Be one of those people! :)

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