And so, finally openSUSE 13.1 is out of the door (I couldn’t celebrate like I wanted, as I’ve been very busy). This release has lots of improvements, and of course, the latest stable software from KDE. It is time (perhaps?) to look back and see what the team has done during this development cycle.
With regards to the KDE software packaging, the past 8 months have seen quite an increase in the involvement of poeple from the community. Aside the “usual suspects” like Raymond “tittiatcoke” Wooninck and Hrvoje “shumski” Senjan, we’ve seen offers from help from the Cloverleaf community (now folded into openSUSE) and in general an increase of non-SUSE contributions. Relationship with upstream has also improved, as a number of changes present in the packages were submitted directly to KDE (which is always a good thing).
There were also some much-needed organizational changes in projects, to keep things manageable. And thanks to the effort of shumski, openSUSE offers, like other distributions, regularly updated KF5 packages to help with development and testing. Aside for the very-bleeding-edge-it-will-kill-you software, the team eats a lot of its own dogfood, testing things as much as possible (and suffering from fallouts, sometimes ;) before pushing them to stable packages.
The goals for the future? Make the KLyDE splitting, originally devised and implemented by Will Stephenson of KDE and SUSE fame, a reality for the next version of openSUSE (13.2): there are quite a number of months ahead so it’s the perfect time for changing things and testing. Aside splitting, we’ll be watching closely the KF5 work, so that once releasable versions come out (in about a year) we’ll be ready to offer them in the distribution (as an option over the stable 4.x series, of course).
It may not seem like a large list, but it is a lot of work. ;) So if you feel like helping, don’t be shy and drop us a note either on IRC (#opensuse-kde) or on the opensuse-kde maling list.
In the past few days, the openSUSE KDE team has been working hard, following the footsteps of the nice work done by the Kubuntu and Arch Linux communities, to provide Qt5 packages for the distribution. In fact, work was already done in the past, but the packages were not coinstallable with the existing Qt4 installation.
Thanks to a renewed effort, the OBS holds now Qt5 packages that won’t overwrite the existing Qt4 install: they currently live in the KDE:Qt51 repository (Factory and openSUSE 12.3) and they have been submitted to Factory itself, with the plan of having a full set of Qt5 packages for the next version of the distribution. PyQt5 was also packaged, for those who are interested in using Python with Qt.
These packages are deemed as stable and usable without issues (although, not being part of the distribution, not supported): if you spot a problem in packaging, file a bug to Novell’s Bugzilla.
Up to this point we have talked about stable releases. But as KF5 depends on the yet-unreleased Qt 5.2, new repositories were created:
- KDE:Qt5, which hosts snapshots off the current Qt tree (5.2);
- KDE:Frameworks, which contains snapshots of the current state of KF5.
In particular KF5 is installed to /opt/kf5, ensuring that it won’t overwrite your current install. Bear in mind that these packages are absolutely not meant for end users (we’re talking pre-alpha here!), but only for people who want to help developing KF5. For those daring enough, there is even a kf5-session package to start a whole KF5 + frameworks workspace session.
Credit where it’s due: the packaging work is mostly the effort of Hrvoje “shumski” Senjan and Raymond “tittiatcoke” Wooninck, the two major KDE packaging powerhouses in the team. ;)
The latest release of the KDE Platform, Workspaces, and Applications (4.11) is around the corner: in fact, the last RC was recently made available
. We’re almost there, but it doesn’t mean that testing and reporting should stop: on the contrary, it is needed even more to ensure that no bad bugs crawl up in the final release.
While 4.11 will be part of openSUSE 13.1, users of older versions will be able to install packages through the KDE:Release:411 repository which will be created after the official release. And now, back to testing!
The latest release from KDE moved from beta to RC stage, thus finding and reporting bugs is more important that ever. At the same time, the distribution packaging teams are also working in polishing their packages.
As far as openSUSE is concerned (not dissing other distros, just mentioning the one I’m involved in ;), you can kill two birds with one stone by installing the packages provided in the KDE:Distro:Factory repository. There are two kinds of issuses you need to report:
- Issues in the software (bugs, crashes, unexpected behaviors, regressions…): KDE would like very much your feedback, so please submit detailed bug reports to bugs.kde.org;
- Issues in the packaging (conflicts, missing files, improper installation…): in this case you may want to notify the openSUSE KDE team by filing a ticket to Novell’s Bugzilla.
You can also discuss about the upcoming release on the KDE Community Forums.
As this is not yet a stable release, this usually goes without saying, but I’m repeating it anyway: do not use these packages in production systems, install them only if you want to help testing. For everyone else, it’s much better to wait for the official release, which will also be part of the upcoming openSUSE 13.1.
That’s all. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get testing done!