Fifteen years of KDE
Posted Nov 3, 2011 1:27 UTC (Thu) by anselm
In reply to: Fifteen years of KDE
Parent article: Fifteen years of KDE
The project has a limited budget to work with, and paying someone to port and maintain X.509 certificate support simply didn't make the list.
I don't think this is actually how these decisions were made. It is not as if prior to the implementation of KDE 4 there had been a formal committee going through a long list of KDE 3.5 features in order to decide which ones to carry forward and which ones to drop, based on estimates of the cost of porting each feature, and assigning developers to them. AFAIK very few people actually get paid for working on KDE, so »budget« doesn't really enter into it the way it would drive decisions in a commercial software project. It's more likely that at some point during the Konqueror port the (hobbyist) person thought »to hell with this, I'm not using this stuff, I'd rather develop more new cool eye candy«. This is of course their privilege (being hobbyists), but it doesn't make for a reliable platform.
Minor features get dropped all the time, especially when a project undergoes a large-scale rewrite.
The desktop environments like KDE or GNOME seem to like to do this. Many if not most other infrastructure-type free software projects appear to take a more conservative stance towards backward compatibility, which is generally a good thing. For example, the Linux kernel gets all sorts of rewrites all the time, but there, user-visible features seldom if ever disappear at short notice they get carried along for a very long time even if the developers would much rather remove them for good. If you really want to get rid of a feature what you do is that you deprecate it over a certain period of time before it is actually removed, to give users the chance to come up with alternatives if you don't provide alternatives yourself. At least this is how serious projects usually handle this; the fact that KDE can't be bothered is an indication that the KDE project doesn't really care that much about its users. (Keeping the hobbyist programmers amused with cool new stuff seems to have a higher priority.)
it's not like Konqueror was ever a killer app for KDE in the first place.
That's not what I remember. There used to be a time when the KDE project basically touted Konqueror as the best thing ever, the greatest innovation since sliced bread. It brought together file manager and web browser functionality with good integration with the rest of KDE (ioslaves etc.), and if that didn't actually make it a »killer app«, then at least it brought it dangerously close to »killer app« territory. (Remember that Konqueror was enough of a state-of-the-art browser in its day that Apple saw fit to adopt large parts of it for their own web stuff.) In the light of this, retroactively claiming that Konqueror was never actually all that important to KDE is clearly inappropriate.
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