KDE 4.11 to be Long Term Release

by Ostatic Staff - May. 22, 2013

It was just last week we looked at some of the proposed features for upcoming KDE 4.11 as it neared soft feature freeze. Well, today some new information about KDE 4.11 came to light. Aaron Seigo said today that 4.11 would be a "long term release."

A long term release means a particular version will be kept up to date with stabilization and security updates for an extended period of time; in this case, two years. This will give distributions that skate safely in the well-worn groove of stability a chance to have a longer term plan and more stable offerings. Seigo said, "no new features [will be] added after 4.11.0 to Plasma Desktop and Netbook, though the code will be adjusted as needed to maintain and improve existing functionality." He believes this will help developers and distribution developers a chance to focus on polishing.

For those that like upgrading each release Seigo said:

This does not effect, in any way, anything other than the code currently in the kde-workspace repository. Applications are not affected, kdelibs and kderuntime will continue on as they currently are (with kdelibs in a feature freeze of its own already). I fully expect there to be a 4.12 and likely a 4.13 release of the applications, and how long that goes on will be up to the application developers and release team.

Seigo continues as if this news will get ruffle some feathers. I suppose they've come to expect that any announcement will. He said focusing on stabilization and security for so long helped KDE 3.5 become so successful, but hopes any updates to 4.1x won't be overlooked when KDE built on QT5 and Plasma Workspaces 2 appear. So, hold on to your socks boys and girls, announcing a LTR is actually announcing KDE 5. It'll be here within two years if all goes as planned and distributions will begin including it. <cue ominous music>

Additionally, Seigo took the opportunity to speak of "decoupling the Software Compilation" from the KDE base. He feels a longer release cycle than is the norm now would help developers make better apps. He said it's just getting too hard to get every little sub-project all ready to release at the same exact time. So, perhaps more independent development of the application stack would promote stability and less stressed developers (and release managers).