> Merely identifying where fault lies is not effective, that is true. But I think keeping these kinds of problems from happening in the future does depend on better work from the downstream distribution vendors.
Sometimes it's nobody's fault.
Everybody operates on limited amount of information and given that set of information then their actions may be 100% correct. Given that they were probably correct with the limited amount of information that is available and bad things end up happening it means that they were wrong, but not wrong in a bad way. Just plain wrong. It's not their fault they were wrong it's just how it is. Could not of happened any other way.
Very very often bad things happen were everybody involved behaved properly and gave good sound decisions. However given their limited abilities to discern reality they were still wrong.
So very often trying to figure out who to blame is not just a waste of time, it's a aggressively bad move and totally counterproductive. Aka "a witch hunt".
People have this odd concept that everything around them is so tightly controlled that if something turns to shit then it _just_has_ to be somebody's fuck-up. Maybe their own, maybe somebody else's. Then there is a notion that if something is not under control and it spins out then it should be put under control. Both notions may or may not be correct given the circumstances.. but most often are just wrong.
If it's a problem that is re-occuring then you can take steps to prevent it.
If it's not a problem that is reoccuring and is just random chance.. then quite often it's not really worth your time dwelling on it at all. Just pick up the pieces and move on.
In the case of the KDE 4.0 end-user-relations disaster, it may or may not be a misrepresentation or self-delusion on the parts of the KDE crew, or it may be a simple miscommunication and disconnect between the devs people and their extended user base... but either way it's pretty irrelevant and the action to correct the mistake is the same.
The corrective action is, from what I can tell, "Learn the lesson and otherwise ignore it, and move on. Lets try not to do that again!".
Seeing how there is no plans for KDE 5.0 we can be pretty safe to say that it's not likely to repeat itself any time soon.
In the defense of 'release soon and release often' lets remember the fate of the 'Enlightenment' project.
As you all probably remember Enlightenment used to be a very high quality Window Manager from around the days of Gnome 1.x. It was nice, high quality, had a number of visual and usability enhancements that made it quite unique.
They took the approach of slow and careful development while doing a rewrite and at the same time shot for the moon. They essentially stagnated for years and years and now exist with a much much reduced user base and dramatically less attention from folks.