KDE 4, distributors, and bleeding-edge software
Posted Jan 30, 2009 15:51 UTC (Fri) by malor
In reply to: KDE 4, distributors, and bleeding-edge software
Parent article: KDE 4, distributors, and bleeding-edge software
They didn't lie, they were very upfront about it.
No, they weren't. They called it 4.0 explicitly to manipulate people into testing it that otherwise wouldn't. It wasn't feature complete, it wasn't done, but they gave it a stable release number purposely, and admittedly, to get more testers.
All they had to do was call it 4.0-alpha, and all would be well. No fuss, no muss, nobody would be upset. Once they got to feature complete, they could have called it beta.
But they didn't. They've directly copped to this: they tricked people into testing for them. They loudly insist that they weren't deceptive, but of course they were. They've stated that they knew that calling it 4.0 would get them more testers. They knew what 4.0 meant. Putting that release number has a very strong implication of stability and feature-completeness. Then, they put in the fine print, "Oh, gee, this isn't actually any damn good yet, and you shouldn't use it."
They did this to get people to test that otherwise would not. And, as you can see in the quote in the original article, they're proud that their lie worked.
If everyone started doing that, free software would be very badly damaged.
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