the other day there was a group of KDE people in the hall, waiting for the buy ticket guy to return, and ade started asking us to answer questions… things like “describe kde 4.4 in one sentence”… trying to get us to think about where we’re going with KDE and what our goals were. the results were… sad. really sad. I think eventually after a while a couple of people managed to come up with something for one of the future kde releases each, but it was a real struggle.
this is something I’ve always had a lot of trouble with. I live very much in the present; the future and past don’t quite seem real, except when I’m worrying about them. :P but I care about KDE, and I understand that it’s important to know where we’re going so that we can work together better and end up with a coherent desktop instead of a jumble of useful features. I’m just not really sure *how* to approach this… it doesn’t help that I’m feeling shy and quiet now.
I was somewhat distracted thinking about this yesterday… this morning, when I left my hotel, I sat at the edge of the street and stared at the blue ocean, hoping to find inspiration there. this is what I wrote (plus a few updates from things I learnt today):
There’s so much water here. I’m not used to actually seeing a horizon; in vancouver no matter where you look there’s mountains eventually. Usually all you can see is what’s near you.
With 4.3 we release… Um.. Well, i forget. But aaron made a screencast. I’m already taking for granted everything that was done for 4.3.
For 4.4 we’ll see the social desktop begin to take shape. Sure there’s that one plasmoid in 4.3, but that’s just a teaser. We’ll have applets being shared, we’ll have a shiny new netbook experience, and another huge list of soc projects. oh, and more location-aware stuff, too (right now the weather plasmoid can guess where I am but the clock can’t. anyone looking for an easy feature to write? ;) We’ll also see some apps stabilizing – amarok, koffice, kdepim… When 4.4 is released i expect to use all of those with ease (my requirements for koffice are pretty simple, though). We’ll also have a git migration going on, hopefully. :)
So what of 4.5? Well, we won’t have an army of gsoc students; a lot of us will be in school. But if we’re on git, and the branch layout is what i hope it’ll be, then perhaps i can focus on bugfixing while the rest of kde is doing features, then start my features when they’re in feature freeze – because that’s when i’ll have *time* for features. Of course, that means any feature i write over xmas break will be in 4.5…
For plasma, i’m hoping to see a better zui in 4.5, then. some new window-management concepts in kwin, too. I’m sure the socialdesktop revolution continues. I’m betting konqueror will once again be a browser i want to use (something only kde3’s konq has accomplished so far). The web will be integrated into the desktop and apps, too.
I expect koffice will have a real end-user release by then (their 4.2 in a way). Kdepim will be using akonadi for everything. Nepomuk will start popping up all over the place.
Then 4.6 will come along next summer. Another flood of gsoc proects… The desktop will organize itself for you. Collaborative editing everywhere. Who knows, maybe even plasmoids on your phone ;) QML may be sneaking into things then too; shinier interfaces, less code.
Since we only got up to 3.5 last time, maybe 4.6 will be a good time to start thinking about kde5 too. All the new experiments in kde4 naturally leave behind some api cruft as people learn what works and what doesn’t. I’m not talking about another revolutionary mega-release like 4.0, just a break of binary compatibility in order to clean up API and make some changes that can’t be done in 4.x.
so… that’s what I’m hoping to see in the next year. social/collaborative stuff, the computer paying attention to context, small-formfactor stuff, a better web experience (and that doesn’t just mean the browser), applications becoming stable and taking advantage of the pillars of KDE. I want my computer to *help* me instead of just sitting there waiting for instructions.
what about you?