DevHeads.net

Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the 4.x series for kde-workspace

Hello everyone,

tl;dr -> 4.11 will be the last feature release of kde-workspace. Plasma Workspaces will be feature
frozen and we are committing to 2 years of maintenance releases of 4.11. The next feature release
of kde-workspace will be Plasma Workspaces 2, based on Qt5.

This does not impact kdelibs, kde-runtime or any KDE application development.

As you probably know, a number of the Plasma developers got together a couple of weeks back
for a developer sprint, Tokamak 6, that focused on a Qt5 / Frameworks 5 version of Plasma
Workspaces.

We have already made significant progress in this effort: we have a functioning libplasma2,
QML2 versions of Plasma Components and an alpha version of a new shell loader that will end
up replacing the plasma-desktop, plasma-netbook and plasma-device binaries. At the
development sprint we made further progress, some of which you can read about here:

<a href="http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2013/04/tokamak-6-plasma-workspaces-2-milestone.html" title="http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2013/04/tokamak-6-plasma-workspaces-2-milestone.html">http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2013/04/tokamak-6-plasma-workspaces-2-milesto...</a>

In planning a roadmap for Plasma Workspaces 2, we realized that we have arrived at a point in
development where, in order to move forward, we need to start porting the contents of kde-
workspace. In fact, some components in kde-workspace already have been!

KWin needs to complete the shift to Qt5, and this will not be possible to do while maintaining a
compatible Qt4 version. The changes necessary have been made as minimal as possible thanks
to work done in the last few 4.x dev cycles, but the remaining changes will be significant.

Due to the adoption of QML2 and the new unified shell binary significant changes to the desktop
code base will occur that will cause a similar significant divergence.

Other components will be retired outright, such as KDM.

Finally, we don't want to make our users and 3rd party developers wait overly long for Plasma
Workspaces 2. We want to have as little disruption to the release regularity as possible while still
delivering a high quality product on first release. This means we need to start sooner rather than
later.

To achieve our goals, we have decided to put the 4.x version of Plasma Workspaces into
maintenance mode. After 4.11, all feature development will happen in the Qt5-based codebase.
We will continue to roll out bug fix, translation and stabilization releases of 4.11 during this time in
sync with the KDE SC process for a minimum of 2 years.

The 4.11.x versions of Plasma Workspaces should be especially appropriate for use in long term
maintenance/support releases of operating systems that package Plasma.

For Plasma Workspaces 2, our goal is to have a user ready release in Q2 2013. This release will
not necessarily be tied to the release schedule of Frameworks 5, nor does it impact in any way
application development which should continue developing again the 4.x kdelibs until such time
as we have a working release of Frameworks 5.

This has been discussed within the broader Plasma community (inc focus areas such as Solid) as
well as on the release-team mailing list. Additional feedback is welcome and we will do our best
to address any questions that you may have.

Cheers, and happy hacking :)

Comments

Re: Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the 4.x

By Andriy Rysin at 05/01/2013 - 08:41

If the feature freeze for 4.11 is May 22 and there is no more feature
releases for branch 4.x, where all those features from GSoC go? I don't
think students should work on version 5 yet...

Re: Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the 4.x

By Kevin Kofler at 05/02/2013 - 15:22

On Wednesday 01 May 2013 at 09:41:15, Andriy Rysin wrote:
Probably the same as my libplasma PackageKit integration from GSoC 2011: in
the digital nirvana and/or in distro patches. :-(

Just as for kdelibs, I really don't understand the purpose of sabotaging the
work of those people who want to implement features in 4.x. Doing this in
parallel to Qt-5-based long-term development is exactly what git (or any half-
decent SCM, really) has branches for. It would not be the same people working
on the 2 branches.

The kdelibs freeze has sabotaged several important features distributions have
been waiting for for years, e.g. KSecrets (which was abandoned in non-working
stage after the kdelibs patches were rejected). We should not repeat the same
mistake for kde-workspace!

Kevin Kofler

Re: Re: Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the

By Martin =?ISO-88... at 05/03/2013 - 01:11

On Thursday 02 May 2013 22:22:36 Kevin Kofler wrote:
Obviously we will consider the Qt 5 transition in our GSoC applications. For
example one of the ideas for KWin explicitly states that it has to be
developed with Qt 5.

Re: Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the 4.x

By Todd at 05/01/2013 - 08:42

Aren't we already in Q2 2013?

Will plasma workspaces 2 work with kdelibs 4.x or will it be limited to
frameworks 5 only? If the former, is there any idea when kdelibs 4.x will
be Qt 5 compatible?

Re: Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the 4.x

By Sebastian =?utf... at 05/02/2013 - 07:53

Hi Todd,

On Wednesday, May 01, 2013 15:42:10 Todd wrote:
Typo, we're looking at Q2 2014. :)

Plasma Workspaces 2 will be Qt5, Frameworks 5 only. (In fact, it already is.
This is mostly due to the rather heavy changes between QtQuick 1 and 2, for
other codebases it might be more feasible to support both Qts, for Plasma, it
was near impossible.)

Cheers,

Re: Plasma Workspaces 4.11: the last feature release in the 4.x

By Aaron J. Seigo at 05/01/2013 - 08:47

On Wednesday, May 1, 2013 15:15:45 Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
2014, obviously.