OpenSource programming

December 15, 2007

KDE3 and KDE4 bugs

Filed under: General — Dmitry @ 7:35 pm

It still isn’t fully clear to me what to do with bugs of KDE apps that have a KDE4 version.

Let’s take any game from kdegames for example.

KAtomic has some bugs from its kde3 times. Let’s take the bugs that aren’t applicable or fixed in kde4 version of the game.
What to do with them?

The thing that confuses me is that as someone said on kde-core-devel “KDE3 is not disapearring anywhere”.

So should I close these bugs saying they’re fixed in KDE4? But then KDE3 version of app will still contain this bug. And I must say I don’t feel like fixing kde3 bugs. For the following reasons:

– I don’t have kde3 development environment
– I don’t have motivation on fixing kde3 bugs
– I consider myself as a maintainer of kde4 version of an app, not kde3 one

Of course I can just ignore them and wait for someone who will be willing to fix them, but these bugs are still assigned to me and I’m supposed to be the person who deals with them.

And they show up in bugzilla queries πŸ™‚

I guess the final question is this:
Should KDE4 versions of kde apps be considered like their next versions, or like absolutely separate ones?

Any thoughts on this?



  1. Personally I fix all bugs, KDE 3 ones and KDE 4. Very often, the same bugs are present in both. Some users will live on KDE 3 for a long time before switching to KDE 4 (in enterprises for example) and I am pretty sure we’ll have a 3.5.9 at some point.
    Now this is a pain as it requires both sources for the developers. The priority is to get KDE 4.0 out and in good shape so it’s not bad to concentrate only on the 4 series!

    Welcome to the Planet!

    Comment by annma — December 15, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

  2. I think we should support kde3 until a certain date(like 01/01/2009) and then close every bug related to kde3.

    Comment by Dot — December 15, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

  3. annma: that’s what I thinking about too. I wish it would be possible to somehow more clearly separate kde3 bugs and kde4 ones…

    That sounds reasonable I think. For example I’m not sure if someone will be fixing kde2 or kde1 bugs today πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Dmitry Suzdalev — December 15, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

  4. My perspective is the following;

    The kde3 code is frozen, has been for a long time. No new strings, no new features and only essential bugfixes. Why essential? Because the later it is in the freeze, less people will really test those fixes.

    So, for KWord at least I consider the next released version to be the qt4 based one. And I close bugs based on that idea.

    The reality here is that the release of kdelibs4 and qt4 are the only ones that are important for an application. I agree with the buzz that end users should not a perfect desktop with KDE4. Its mainly a development platform, not mainly a desktop.
    Which is great for your apps. Apps run on top of the platform, but don’t require the desktop.

    So, while I agree with Annma that some users will live on kde3 for a long time, that doesn’t exclude the upgrade of an application that then installs the kdelibs version 4 libs.

    Bottom line; fix a bug in your kde4 app means you fixed it in the next version. User wants it, user upgrades the app (and is free to leave the rest of his apps intact).

    Comment by Thomas Zander — December 15, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  5. @dmitry;
    you wrote; “separate kde3 bugs and kde4 ones”.

    Why would an older bug be specific to kde3 and no longer be relevant to the newer version of the app?
    Sure there are instances where this is the case, then you can close the bug. But the majority of bugs are unaffected by the version of the libraries the app uses.
    In other words; labeling some bugs “kde3” doesn’t add any real distinction. Its just a bug against an older version of the app.

    Comment by Thomas Zander — December 15, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

  6. I’m not a developer but here’s my thoughts on the matter anyway.
    KDE 4.0.0 supercedes KDE 3.X and so a bug that no longer exists in KDE 4.X is a bug no more.

    Now, I understand a lot of people will be using KDE3 long after 4.0.0 is released, but those people probably use stable distributions that ship old versions of KDE, and when it comes to simple bugs (or bugs that can be fixed after a quick peak at the source of the KDE4 version of the same application), I assume they have people who can fix that. Commercial distributions are the only instances (as far as I can tell) that really need to maintain the stuff they ship. They _will_ fix KDE3 bugs in order to keep customers happy, won’t they? That shouldn’t be KDE’s thing to do.

    Comment by Khashayar — December 15, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

  7. @thomas:
    Essential means things like crashes or very wrong behaviour?

    All in all, you have the point and I agree with you. In the end a product can never be bug free (well, almost never πŸ˜‰ ) – espesially such big one like KDE. So an apps will always require an update, and I think the user expects this quite ok.
    Thanks for sharing you thoughts, they made me more clearly understand situation πŸ™‚

    Yes, you and Thomas are right. Thanks πŸ™‚

    Comment by Dmitry Suzdalev — December 15, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

  8. Well, this depends really on the kind of bug. In general every security bug should be fixed as long as the support of the version was not officially dropped.
    Of course there are not that many security related issues in games, but imagine there is a bug which will not store the game highscore in the appropriate place but overwrites the home directory. That should be fixed.

    Other bugs which include things like new strings will not be fixed at all – not as long as KDE 3 is string frozen. So these will be “WONTFIX”. The same is true for wishes: no more new features, so WONTFIX for KDE 3.

    This leaves you with just the “normal” bugs. And I guess there the best would be to not care about small glitches, optical things and rare cases which are hard to reproduce for you: this would be wasted time. However, if there is a bug which annoys several people and can be verified by yourself quite easily – than you could check back with your calender if you have some spare minutes the next days to at least look at the code. If you find time, fix it, if you don’t find the time but at least suspicious code, write it down in the bug and mark it as a junior task, and if you don’t find anything strange and have no time… well, than it’s the point were you can ask the users to use the KDE 4 version πŸ™‚

    Comment by liquidat — December 15, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

  9. @liquidat:

    I agree with you. Basically your comment goes in line with what others said: only critical bugs should be fixed. Others should be closed and user should be told to upgrade if he wants more robust software πŸ™‚

    Comment by Dmitry Suzdalev — December 15, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  10. At least in Egroupware project after releasing new version (1.4) I recieved email about all bugs i registered in older version (1.3). I was asked to check these bugs in new version motivating that the are hundreds of bugs per developer but only few per user.

    I think it is good approach. After releasing kde4 you can simply send email for bug reporters asking to check is that bug still exits in kde4 application. If there will be no answer you can close these bugs like it was done in Egroupware project.

    Comment by Dumas — December 15, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

  11. As normal user, i see here too problems.

    1) KDE4 is not upgrade to KDE3. It is more as new desktop because it is new series.
    2) KDE3 will be there for sometime and then dropped of because everything is working on KDE4, so KDE4 is upgrade to KDE3.

    If KDE4 would be straight upgrade like KDE 3.4 > 3.5 series, there would be no need to patch older versions for long time. But because it is new technology (plasma, phonon etc), major bugs is needed to patch on KDE 3.5.x

    Atleast so long that KDE4 is on 4.1 or 4.2 status and it is coming every distro like OpenSUSE 10.4(5), Fedora 10, Kubuntu 8.10 etc. Then when KDE3 isnt’t default anymore on those main distros, it can be dropped off by just patching security so long as it is supported. It might sound very bad for community to dropp patching from KDE3 series, but i think that KDE developers aint willing to work with TWO desktops what are so different under skin. If KDE devels ain’t ready to drop KDE3 support, why did they even build KDE4?

    It’s not good idea (and i dont see even idea any of you) drop support right away when new one hits to road. Just keep one major upgrade status and then just drop KDE3. Unless KDE3 will stay very popular (what indicates KDE4 has failed them somehow).

    It is so hard just because KDE4 isn’t upgrade to KDE3 πŸ™‚
    There should be new bug report base for KDE4 what would trowh away that KDE3 and leave it alone. Then those who need to maintain KDE3 for payed customers, can use it and all are happy. And all KDE4 users can start fresh and get new bugs what can be fixed more easily.

    Fact is that KDE3 bugs will never be fixed. Unless development is halted right away. It would take years to fix all while everything else is developing, same time users sends wishes and bugbase just grows.

    So i suggest (as non-developer):

    – Keep KDE3 a while (6-12 months) in use so security holes will be patched.
    – No new features or feature fixes for KDE3.
    – Check KDE3 bugs from KDE4 and fix if there is it.
    – If new feature is really needed, make it for KDE4.
    – Move everything slowly to KDE4 and you get everything much easier to develope.
    – Start new bug database for KDE4 so there is no more searching same bug from KDE 3.0.x – KDE 3.5.x when it is for KDE4.

    IF you still keep KDE3 under development, you just start having two different desktops what you cant join and you never get users to change KDE4.

    So, now when KDE4 will come ready form inside, start making changes for users so they can use it as they want. Have polls about configurations what users vote to have and implent them. Everytime about 5 new configurations where 4 most popular is taken care and added/changed and then take 4 new and keep that one old and if old still dont get any votes, drop it away and if it comes back sometimes, see how it gets votes then.

    Comment by Fri13 — December 15, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

  12. @Dumas:
    Yup. This is exactly what I’m going to do πŸ™‚

    What do you mean by “keeping KDE3 under development”? New features? Critical bug fixing?
    New features are not added anymore. Critical bugs *are* being fixed.

    All suggestions you have listed actually describe the current situation – security and critical bugs are fixed, kde3 is feature frozen, new features go in kde4 etc.

    The only item which is missing is new bugzilla. I’m not sure if kde team decides to start completely new bugzilla though. But transition to new bugzilla version is planned and I hope will happen soon.
    Thanks for your input! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Dmitry Suzdalev — December 16, 2007 @ 12:16 am

  13. > Atleast so long that KDE4 is on 4.1 or 4.2 status and it is coming every distro like OpenSUSE 10.4(5),
    > Fedora 10, Kubuntu 8.10 etc.

    Unless something really bad happens, KDE 4 will come in Fedora 9, not 10. We’ll start at 4.0, not 4.1. It’s already in Rawhide (the development branch which is heading towards the next release, currently F9).

    Comment by Kevin Kofler — December 16, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

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