Fear this fully operational battle station
So it’s a Star Wars paraphrase. So what? There comes a point when a Free Software desktop reaches the state that it works well enough to live in tolerably. Then after that you get “pleasant to live in”. For me, KDE4 is somewhere between those two – and that is largely due to my choice of platform (Solaris) and source of KDE (SVN trunk). The screenshot shows what could be my desktop all day, every day – konsole, kate, okular and kmail. I mean, there’s other apps I do use fairly regularly like konqueror (what’s a world without lolcats?) and kolourpaint (because I have to exercise my graphics skillz) but I can get by on just those four.
So for certain types of code monkeys (who never make a typing error in the shell, because that’s not fixed yet) you can take this desktop and just use it.
You can see in the screenie that I’m compiling kdenetwork now and that the kopete gadu plugin needs some work; the PDF of a book I’m working on is there in okular; you can see that I’ve been submitting some compile fixes as bug reports to TT’s tracker and that kmail works – this is a consequence of SSL now working: I can get at my IMAPS server. The big blue square is all KHTML displays right now, though – why that should be, compared to last week’s version, I don’t know.
So can we blow up some Cardassian cruisers now? Let’s do some shoutouts instead.
The bug squad is doing impressive things. Just sorting through all the bugs is a big thing to do. As our range of platforms expands, this becomes a bigger job because the platform the bug may manifest on becomes more and more niche (or, for the KDE4 Windows ports, less niche but also less popular under the current set of developers). And I can appreciate the dedication of the bug squad because some bug reports and bug reporters are downright unpleasant. We get occasional angry ALL CAPS messages to the webmaster or sysadmin or somewhere else from bug reporters; there’s not much to do about them, but I notice it leaves a (negative) stamp on my day and I hope it doesn’t get the bugsquad down. (There’s a fine line and a good blog meme between legitimate anger about bugs and pointless shouting.)
Paul will crunch the numbers if you ask him to. As we develop more of this kind of tools and they become easier to apply to KDE as a whole, look for this kind of information to leak onto the EBN and into the commit digest. The KDevelop hackathon may provide similar insights. Me, I hope that C++ parsing becomes a nice separable library from KDevelop.
There’s big issues with “productivity” as a measure in Paul’s blog post. This always happens. There was critique when we introduced the top-committers in the EBN. The same applies to the commit digest. Just counting SVN commits is not a measure of “productivity” as it is understood in common usage. So either we need to refrain from the use of the word entirely in usage and just say “commit count” or “commit count times commit size pro-rated by the following function based on Booch’s 1992 study of the comparative size of expressions in various programming languages” or we need to understand that “productive” can have meanings far removed from common sense in some settings. Frankly, “productive” is a more convenient word than any description, but it needs clear definition. Since we can’t base a definition of “productive” on much other than the “hard” results in KDE SVN, that will just have to do.
Of course the Plasma sprint was more productive in the sense of team-building (first meeting, always exciting) or API review (SQO-OSS knows where it is headed and didn’t need to do wild things this week) or pizza eating (we had mostly Indian and Thai in Berlin) but that’s simply not measurable. Anyway, regarding the use of the word “productivity” and critiques thereof I’d like to quote from the Hitchhiker’s guide interactive adventure by Infocom:<blockquote>You have destroyed most of a large galaxy. Please pick your words with more care in future.</blockquote>
Sebas blogs about some plasma results which are cool and I gather that I need to start asking him to develop my KWin features for me. Dude, I still want focus follows mouse.
And then I want Death Star laser cannon follows mouse, and the Rebellion will be crushed. Oh, and some better security on those darn exhaust ports.
The Wayback Machine ⏲ does not archive everything. Broken image links are marked with a 💔.