Linux News Today: KDE Developer Explains Why It's Not Really Plasma's Fault for Bad Experiences
KDE Plasma has received some harsh criticism last week, and a good part of the community has chimed in although, from the looks of it, not all of the criticism was well deserved. A prominent KDE developer wrote a lengthy article explaining why KDE Plasma is considered stable and why the community has some problems with it.
We wrote last week about some criticism related to KDE Plasma, and it looks like there are quite a few users out there that feel the same way. The problem is that we often don’t have the same broad perspective on things like a KDE developer does, and we (as a community) tend to blame a lot of stuff on Plasma, even if it’s not necessarily its fault.
KDE Plasma is the first thing a user sees and it’s the main components from the KDE project that people interact with, although Applications and Frameworks have the same kind of impact, if not bigger. So, when people are starting to question why KDE Plasma is considered stable when there are so many things apparently wrong with it, you’re going to get some answers from the KDE devs.
Martin Gräßlin, developer, maintainer of KDE Plasma Compositor and Window Manager, has been kind enough to present, at length, why that is happening.
What we learned about KDE Plasma
One of the first things Martin explained is that KDE Plasma doesn’t do well with Intel hardware. It’s an ongoing problem, and it seems to be a source of problems for the users. Lacking sufficient information about the issues, users will tend to blame Plasma, but that’s not exactly fair.
“Plasma depends on other libraries – most importantly Qt – and on drivers (OpenGL/Mesa) and on hardware. All of that is put together by distributions. We don’t ship the software to our users, we ship it to the distributions which then integrate it with the rest of the stack. All we can do is give recommendations to our distributions about common issues and how to prevent that they happen. Now I don’t want to move the blame to the distributions, because that would also be undeserved. I just want to explain how complex the process is,” wrote Martin Gräßlin.
This is pretty much the gist of his article, but it’s really worth a read. Make sure that you set some time aside, it’s a long one. The short version is that despite the large number of users they don’t have a lot of reports, the Intel graphics drivers are causing them quite a few problems, the KDE project is not in sync with Qt, distributions don’t integrate fixes for problems solved a long time ago, and the developers made some choices that didn’t please some users from the community.
So, what do you think about KDE Plasma and the new direction it is heading to?