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A lesson

A lesson

Posted Sep 24, 2012 22:31 UTC (Mon) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
In reply to: A lesson by Jonno
Parent article: GStreamer 1.0 released

But they do! Both KDE and GNOME support co-existing major (eg ABI incompatible) versions of their respective libraries.

That they do, but this is not what people are talking about. Compatibility means one simple (yeah, right) thing: I have this old program, I install some shiny new thing and still can use this old crufty thing I really like for some reason. Nothing more, nothing less. If you package does not make it possible "because of a few tiny reasons" it still makes it not possible, period.

When you see "yes, you can install KDE3 and KDE4 side-by-side, but remember that sharing a .kde directory between KDE 3.4 and KDE 3.5 wasn't completely supported" or if you ask "Is there a strategy regarding co-existing of gnome2 and gnome3 on the same system?" and see "Short answer is no, and we won't be doing it" you know that their developers have read how to wreak your ecosystem book and decided to do exactly that.

Just why otherwise sensible people repeatedly do the same mistake again and again and again is open for debate, but sadly this is quite real problem.

I would gladly remove all that GNOME3 crap from Precise Pangolin, but some packages which I would really like to keep depend on it so I'm stuck.

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A lesson

Posted Sep 25, 2012 0:03 UTC (Tue) by Jonno (subscriber, #49613) [Link]

I can't speak for GNOME, but withing a major version, the settings of KDE applications are both forward and backwards compatible (eg you can go from 3.4 -> 3.5 -> 3.4, or from 4.1 -> 4.4 -> 4.2 without problems). In a few cases new features required a change in settings format, but KDE policies has "always" (at least since 2.0) required that applications in that case use a new configuration key, and migrate from the old to the new while leaving the old settings in place, so that if you downgrade the worst that can happen is that you loose some changes made since the upgrade.

As for the 3.5 -> 4.x migration, the idea was that kde3 and kde4 applications should use different dot-directories and the kde4 application should migrate the settings from it's 3.5 counterpart on first use. Unfortunately most distributions didn't make use of this feature, either using separate directories without telling KDE4 where to find KDE3 settings to migrate, or pointing both to the same directory forcing KDE4 to do an in-place conversion thus making a downgrade to KDE3 impossible (without removing all your settings).

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