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KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

From:  Sebastian Kügler <sebas-AT-kde.org>
To:  kde-announce-AT-kde.org
Subject:  [kde-announce] KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative
Date:  Mon, 04 Jun 2012 18:14:29 +0200
Message-ID:  <1585815.hzDOYcaJNF@miro>
Archive-link:  Article

         
  					KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative


Today KDE released the first beta for its renewed Workspaces, Applications, 
and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, 
the KDE team's focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing new and old 
functionality. Highlights of 4.9 include, but are not limited to:

* Qt Quick in Plasma Workspaces -- Qt Quick is continuing to make its way into 
  the Plasma Workspaces, the Qt Quick Plasma Components, which have been 
  introduced with 4.8, mature further. Additional integration of various KDE 
  APIs was added through new modules. More parts of Plasma Desktop have been 
  ported to QML. While preserving their functionality, the Qt Quick 
  replacements of common plasmoids are visually more attractive, easier to 
  enhance and extend and behave better on touchscreens.

* The Dolphin file manager has improved its display and sorting and searching 
  based on metadata. Files can now be renamed inline, giving a smoother user  
  experience.

* Deeper integration of Activities for files, windows and other resources: 
  Users can now more easily associate files and windows with an Activity, and 
  enjoy a more properly organized workspace. Folderview can now show files 
  related to an Activity, making it easier to organize files into meaningful   
  contexts.

* Many performance improvements and bugfixes improve the overall user 
  experience, making the KDE Applications and Workspaces more productive and 
  fun to use than ever before.

More improvements can be found in the 4.9 Feature Plan. As with any large 
number of changes, we need to give 4.9 a good testing in order to maintain and 
improve the quality and our user's user experience when they get the update. 
Therefore, in tandem with this first 4.9 beta, we also announce a testing 
initiative lead by KDE's Testing Team.
Thorough and Rigorous Beta Testing

The KDE Community is committed to improving quality substantially with a new 
program that starts with the 4.9 releases. The 4.9 beta releases of Plasma 
Workspaces, KDE Applications, and KDE Platform are the first phase of a 
testing process that involves volunteers called “Beta Testers”. They will 
receive training, test the two beta releases and report issues through KDE 
Bugzilla.
The Beta Testing Team

The Beta Testing Team is a group of people who will do a 'Testapalooza' on the 
beta releases, catching as many bugs as possible. This is organized in a 
structured process so that developers know clearly what to fix before the 
final release. Anyone can help, even people without programming skills.
How It Works

There are two groups of beta testers:

    informal testers install the beta from their distribution and use it as 
they normally would. They focus on familiar applications and functions, and 
report any bugs they can reproduce reliably.
    selected functional testing involves a list of applets, new programs and 
applications that require full testing. Volunteers will choose from the list 
and test according to established beta testing guidelines.

Testing is coordinated to make sure that people's testing time and effort are 
used as effectively as possible. Coordination gets the most value out of the 
overall testing program.
Get Involved

This is an excellent way for anyone to make a difference for KDE. Continuous 
quality improvement sets KDE apart. Assisting developers by identifying 
legitimate bugs leverages their time and skills. This means higher quality 
software, more features, happier developers. The Beta Testing Program is 
structured so that any KDE user can give back to KDE, regardless of their 
skill level.

If you want to be part of this quality improvement program, please contact the 
Team on the IRC channel #kde-quality on freenode.net. The Team Leaders want to 
need to know ahead of time who is involved in order to coordinate all of the 
testing activities. They are also committed to having this project be fun and 
rewarding.

After checking in, you can install the beta through your distribution package 
manager. The KDE Community wiki has instructions. This page will be updated as 
beta packages for other distributions become available. With the beta 
installed, you can proceed with testing. Please contact the Team on IRC #kde-
quality if you need help getting started.
Training

Effective bug reporting is critical to the success of the Program. Bugzilla is 
a valuable tool for developers and increases their efficiency at closing bugs. 
Reporting works best when done properly, so the Program includes Bugzilla 
training. An IRC bugzilla training will be offered in #kde-bugs (freenode) on 
the weekend of June 9th and 10th. Please visit the #kde-quality IRC channel 
for information about the Program and the Bugzilla training, or if you have 
any questions.

Actual users are critical to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers 
simply cannot test every possible configuration. We're counting on you to help 
find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please 
consider joining in.

Full announcement at: http://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-4.9-beta1.php
-- 
sebas

http://www.kde.org | http://vizZzion.org | GPG Key ID: 9119 0EF9
_______________________________________________
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(Log in to post comments)

Some good, some bad

Posted Jun 4, 2012 19:38 UTC (Mon) by Duncan (guest, #6647) [Link]

For a first beta it's actually quite good, but building it can be difficult if you're trying to build without kdepim, tho gentoo's split packages made it worse. The problem was a TRUE on a required that should have been FALSE, in the root CMakeLists.txt in the kdebase-runtime package. but due to the splitting, I ended up user-patching all the individual split packages from that tarball and there were a bunch of them. Luckily after I figured out the first one, I could simply symlink the original dir with the patch in it in /etc/portage/patches/kde-base/*, from all the other -runtime packages.

That's the bad, now the good.

It's early yet, but one thing I immediately noticed is that kwin is MUCH faster/snappier with effects, etc. There's also a few minor changes to the effects config kcontrol applet. Kwin *SHOULD* be better now, faster, and more bug-free -- I checked the status-board last week while waiting for the beta, and there's a HUGE number of fixed kwin bugs and wishlist items, many from back in the kde3 era! They've really put some work into it for 4.9, fixing bugs as I said some of which had been open /years/, and really DOES show, even in this first beta!

Another fix I've been waiting for is extended mouse coordinates in konsole. That hadn't worked right, in part because the old standard for it was broken beyond a certain width. There's two newer standards (the first with a few issues of its own, thus the second) and konsole supports them both, now. mc users like me, among others, should be quite happy with that, especially on wide-screens! I was waiting for that bug to be fixed and that in fact is a big reason I'm running this early beta, and the bugfix works as advertised! =:^)

Duncan

Some good, some bad

Posted Jun 4, 2012 20:22 UTC (Mon) by tsdgeos (subscriber, #69685) [Link]

"The problem was a TRUE on a required that should have been FALSE" why are you are reporting it here instead of on the KDE release-team mailing list?

Some good, some bad

Posted Jun 4, 2012 20:43 UTC (Mon) by sebas (subscriber, #51660) [Link]

To make it a bit easier: it's release-team@kde.org, and we'd welcome such notices so we can a) share the info with others who might run into the same problem and b) to fix it. Thanks!

Some good, some bad

Posted Jun 6, 2012 15:35 UTC (Wed) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

>I checked the status-board last week while waiting for the beta, and there's a HUGE number of fixed kwin bugs and wishlist items, many from back in the kde3 era! They've really put some work into it for 4.9, fixing bugs as I said some of which had been open /years/, and really DOES show, even in this first beta!

I don't know about anyone else, but - prosaic though it may be - kwin updates are the most exciting thing for me with with successive KDE releases; each release seems to have new features, enhancements to existing features, or performance improvements, and often all of the above - and without any regressions that I can recall.

Congratulations to Martin Gräßlin and whoever else is responsible.

Some good, some bad

Posted Jun 25, 2012 10:44 UTC (Mon) by viiru (subscriber, #53129) [Link]

> I don't know about anyone else, but - prosaic though it may be - kwin
> updates are the most exciting thing for me with with successive KDE
> releases; each release seems to have new features, enhancements to
> existing features, or performance improvements, and often all of the
> above - and without any regressions that I can recall.

I have to disagree heavily here. The endless kwin regressions are why I dread upgrading it, and the latest round (random runtime crashes when effects are enabled instead of just a crash on every startup) are the reason why I finally decided to migrate to Xfce instead.

Some good, some bad

Posted Jun 25, 2012 12:46 UTC (Mon) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185) [Link]

Well, this is your personal experience, which is unfortunately bad, but not at all common or the norm. KWin really is pretty fast and extremely stable these days.

There must be something peculiarly interesting about your system... I'm sure Martin is interested in the issue. One thing to try is check whether you get these crashes also when running with or without effects from a KDE live cd -- Kubuntu or OpenSUSE are good choices for test run.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 7:25 UTC (Tue) by csamuel (✭ supporter ✭, #2624) [Link]

I wonder if migrating to the Akonadi Kmail2 system works reliably yet ?

It's problematic enough that Kubuntu have had to create a page specifically about the many issues you can get with it for the last two releases, the major one being that the migration tool often fails badly..

https://wiki.kubuntu.org/PrecisePangolin/Final/Kubuntu/Km...

which links to LP bug:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/kdepim/+bug/857828

and the upstream bug is here (no updates for ages):

https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=283563

Consequently my home desktop is still stuck on Kubuntu 11.04 until this is sorted out, can't afford to loose more than a decades worth of email.. :-(

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 8:27 UTC (Tue) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

When kmail2 came, I simply removed all email accounts and recreated them. Took me a couple of minutes and has been working for a year now without problems. Just had to re-download the emails once but I had to do that a couple of times with kmail1 as well when some index broke severely. Never have had such problems with akonadi.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 9:15 UTC (Tue) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185) [Link]

I tried that, too, but I first would have to upload some 5.7G of mail to some friendly imap server... That never worked out for me. So, I'm also one of the people who is more less stuck. At the moment, I actually compile an old version of kmail myself so I can continue using it.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 16:33 UTC (Tue) by krake (subscriber, #55996) [Link]

Assuming that those 5.7G of mail are not offline copy of some IMAP account (in which case you wouldn't have to upload them since they are still on the server anyway), it should be sufficient to a maildir handler to the top directory of your mail storage location (unless this contains a mix of maildir and mbox folders in which case you can either convert the mboxes to maildirs beforehand or use a KMail folders handler, aka "mixedmaildir")

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 17:39 UTC (Tue) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185) [Link]

Oh, yes, it's a mix. This is the ~/Mail I used first with elm, then with pine, then with kmail over the past decade. It's a mess -- especially since there are also mails in ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail from my first attempt at using kmail2, and I haven't managed to copy those to my main ~/Mail. There is mail from several pop3 accounts -- I never managed to become friends with dimap.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 8, 2012 0:13 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

> I never managed to become friends with dimap.

Have you tried offlineimap?

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 19:39 UTC (Tue) by rdale (subscriber, #70788) [Link]

When kmail2 came, I simply removed all email accounts and recreated them. Took me a couple of minutes and has been working for a year now without problems. Just had to re-download the emails once but I had to do that a couple of times with kmail1 as well when some index broke severely. Never have had such problems with akonadi.

I did that too, when Kubuntu 12.04 was released. I didn't try to convert my old kmail mails. The main problem for me is that mail filters aren't always being triggered when new mail arrives in my inbox. There is nothing wrong with my filters because if I do a 'control + J' to apply all filters, the mails are usually correctly filtered. Some of my filters have been deleted for no apparent reason and I've had to recreate them. There seem to have been bug reports about this outstanding for the last two years, otherwise I would post a bug report, rather than talking about the problem here.

After about a day or so, KMail just stops getting new mails, and I have to quit and restart it. This is really major, and for work I often need to be able to respond to a new email in about 15 minutes. I need to check my work email account via my iPod or Mac OS X frequently in case KMail has stopped working.

The 'Akonadi Tray' applet keeps giving an error every time I try to access a particular imap account and I haven't been able to find out why. It makes an audible notification which isn't customisable, or defeatable. I've read several accounts of how to disable the Akonadi Tray, but none of them have worked for me. I have to manually quit Akonadi Tray every time I log into KDE, otherwise I am subjected to a loud audible warning every 10 minutes while I'm trying to use my computer.

I'm thinking of switching to Thunderbird, but I would much prefer KMail2 to work properly.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 14:17 UTC (Tue) by ajmacleod (guest, #1729) [Link]

For me, the solution was to ditch KMail altogether - with great sadness as I'd used and loved it for the best part of a decade, from the KDE 1 days. Sylpheed isn't bad, and doesn't require all that stupid performance-killing semantic desktop stuff that I don't need or want.

And with KMail went the whole of the rest of KDE, no reason left to keep it around - I don't even have any KDE libs on my machine now; it's a great shame, because KDE3 was pretty close to perfection for me.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 14:24 UTC (Tue) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

This "stupid performance-killing semantic desktop stuff" (e.g. akonadi) actually fixed kmail's performance problems. Syncing folders with several thousands of mails got much faster and with akonadi kmail finally supports IMAP IDLE so emails arrive instantaneously instead of having to poll every couple of minutes.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 15:39 UTC (Tue) by oever (subscriber, #987) [Link]

I've recently upgraded from Fedora 15 to 17 and was also faced with upgrading to KMail2. It was a huge disaster. The migration script simply did not work and ended up with a broken KMail configuration. I've seen this problem also with other people for whom I maintain the desktop.

I've played around with various ways of getting my mails in to the new KMail. I use pop3 with a simple maildir. I have all my mails in git so I can easily see when the mail program makes problems and can easily revert. In the end, on advise from boudewijn, I went beck to KMail 1 from the KDE 4.4 branch while running KDE 4.8 for all else.

The problem with KMail2 is not the semantic desktop. The problem is the use of a database to store a copy of all the emails. When you have 3G of mail, this becomes a problem. Nepomuk (in KDE 4.8) is running fine with me with no noticeable overhead.

Going forward KDE is moving to a more modular setup and invasive technologies like Akonadi and Nepomuk will hopefully remain optional.

On the 'bright' side: the reason I am sticking with KMail 1 is that Thunderbird, Clawmail, Sylpheed nor Evolution will even connect to both of my POP3 mail boxes. I might even go to using fetchmail with shell scripts in the future. Quite a sad situation, but there it is.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 16:29 UTC (Tue) by krake (subscriber, #55996) [Link]

The default size threshold for item data to be cached in the data base is 4k. If one would like to reduce that further, the key can be found in group [%General] in akonadiserverrc

Full mails are almost never cached unless the respective backend handler is switched into such a mode, i.e. for local mail storage the server will only cache the mail envelope (basically the headers).

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 5, 2012 17:42 UTC (Tue) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185) [Link]

I'm sticking with KMail because it's the only mail client that allows me to handle a thousand mails a day, quite apart of the many thousands of spam mails it also has to handle.

But some time soon I'll have to spend a day or two, three cleaning up and converting. I'm sure it'll work fine when the conversion is done, and I don't think it's the database that's the problem, at least not for me. I'm sure the database will be great, when fed a few thousand mails a day until it's 6G again.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 6, 2012 9:14 UTC (Wed) by rmayr (subscriber, #16880) [Link]

I have to admit to have gone for the same "solution". After having used, liked, and actively advocated KMail1 for over 10 years, I am now a Thunderbid/Lightning user.

It does not have all the shortcuts and time-saving mini-features that KMail1 had and the disconnected IMAP support is IMHO still flaky when compared to KMail1, but all the distributions I use make it hard/impossible to still use KMail1 today. KMail2 never became stable for me (6GB synchronized IMAP tree with too many folders) - and I have been trying for nearly 2 years.

Along with KMail, I also moved away from other software, such as Kolab on the server (I now rely on CalDAV/CardDAV for synchronizing) or other KDE applications such as Kopete. If KMail2 really became stable again at some point in the near future, I might give it a last chance (and with it, the whole KDE4 eco-system). However, given the past 3 years, I seriously doubt it.

All in all, it is a really sad state of affair, as KMail1 used to be near-perfect for my use cases as a heavy email user (30-100 emails a day, an archive going back over about 8 years that I still use, frequent disconnected operation while travelling). No other client I have tried so far allows me to do _all_ IMAP operations in a disconnected way (such as moving messages to folders) and re-synchronize my local changes on the next IMAP server connection. This is still a point of frequent pain for me with Thunderbird, as I was utterly spoiled by the extremely robust KMail1 IMAP code for many years.

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Posted Jun 8, 2012 0:18 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

> No other client I have tried so far allows me to do _all_ IMAP operations in a disconnected way (such as moving messages to folders) and re-synchronize my local changes on the next IMAP server connection. This is still a point of frequent pain for me with Thunderbird, as I was utterly spoiled by the extremely robust KMail1 IMAP code for many years.

I use mutt+offlineimap which supports offline workings. The latest versions of offlineimap will event create remote directories if new ones show up locally.


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