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Martin Flöser Steps Down As Maintainer Of KDE's KWin

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  • #51
    Hi, as a simple user I want to testify the fact the current usability initiative is making a huuuuge difference. We get tons of new features & essential fixes & usability improvements every day, and it's still pretty recent. I think it's gonna make a HUGE difference when it's run for a year or so.

    As for Martin, I'm a big fan of his work but he's probably made the right decision. We're human beings.

    I'm quite confident in the way KDE has evolved recently (usability initiative, neon, modularity, more frequent releases, LTS versions...
    I've not been confident about KDE since the 3.x days !

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    • #52
      Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
      I think this was the right decision. Reading through his explanation, it's clear that he was becoming frustrated by having to justify saying no as maintainer, but that's the most important part of it. Not just saying no - explaining why it's such a bad idea that it can't be accepted, and helping provide a way forward that works for everyone. Providing no explanation just spreads the frustration around to everyone else.

      Having not worked with the VDG, I don't think anyone here can really properly evaluate if his criticisms are accurate or not. Certainly some of what he says sounds unfortunate, but it's difficult for an outsider to judge if he's overstating his case or not. I do think there is a valid argument to focus on making the majority of your userbase happy while ignoring the 1% who moan the loudest, but I also think that a focus on bug-fixing and polishing over core new features is absolutely needed as well.

      Hopefully kwin as a project keeps humming along without too much disruption due to this.
      Well, reading some of the discussions on phabricator, my impression was that valid arguments got ignored and they simply do not want to understand them. Personally I think if you don't understand something, sit down and build up you own know how and don't expect that the maintainers explain it like to a child. Maybe it's the new trend of these VDG and usability groups, only change some small random details and don't look at the overall design because we all should trust their design believes. My personal impression is that especially Discover is a big catastrophe, million of changes but nothing that really works since this tool exists and the user is left alone only with only the hope that there is again a new release. Simple said, I prefer something that works. And I hope that they don't mess up Kwin now or that they burn the other real contributors as well.

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      • #53
        Having been at the place where I felt like saying no too much, I sympathise with Martin. It is exhausting to keep on explaining to the same person why something is a bad idea.
        The eventual solution to this person was to train him how to ask questions.
        Now the person still comes up with "eccentric" solutions, and when we say no, he actually takes a step back, and re-evaluates. This is a great improvement.

        The issue where people say, no we discussed this in private and now you have no say is complete bullshit. This is a FOSS system. It is world-wide. I sleep. You sleep. At different times. I may be on vacation, or have a personal crisis I have to resolve (like organising a funeral). Or you do. (and we should keep our personal lives out of this, as it doesn't really add to the forum).
        So, please, please, remember that you are engaging with humans, whom have very different experiences than you do, because diversity but common ground at a point is what makes software like KDE great.s
        I appreciate the work done by both Martin where he strove for technical excellence. I even disagreed with some of his decisions, but, well, they turned out better in the end. He really is a domain expert.
        I also appreciate the VDG work, most of the things they do really makes for a better experience. The little things...
        If I had to name one VDG work that still confuses me to this day, it is the System Settings. It is too sparse a presentation of detailed information, so I find I hunt around for things far more than I ever did.

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        • #54
          Originally posted by ngraham View Post
          I keep trying to write a response saying that we are absolutely not removing features (just improving the default presentation) but they seem to get stuck in moderation forever, or eaten by the forum software.
          Yeah it happens to all of us here sometimes. I've found more often than not the message will eventually get approved. I haven't quite figured out what triggers a post to be unapproved, but I know it has something to do with the anti-spam.

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          • #55
            Originally posted by darclide View Post

            That's easy but a lot of manual work to list, so I leave the exercise to the reader to just go through the current kcm redesigns and look for feature parity. That's actually a great diff view so you can see which settings got lost.
            "I have no idea of what I'm talking about so I'll just dodge the question..."

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            • #56
              Originally posted by ngraham View Post
              I want to reassure you and others that we are NOT trying to remove features for the sake of design. In fact, we are consciously trying to keep them while also improving defaults and presentation. The new KCMs definitely look and feel simpler, which is by design, but under the hood all of the features should be still there. This project is all about UX, not removing features. The only feature I'm aware that we removed during this process was the tinting feature in the Icons KCM, because during the porting process we discovered that it didn't work and would be troublesome to fix. Apparently it has been broken for four years, and we had not gotten a single bug report about it. From this we reasoned that nobody used it, and we aw that the functionality is already basically available via other means anyway, so we felt comfortable removing the UI for it. For everything else, all the features you've come to know and love should still be there.

              Our Kirigami apps have indeed been guilty of feeling too mobile-ish in the past when run on the desktop, and that's why I've been pushing fairly hard to improve that situation for the past 6 months. Compare Discover from Plasma 5.13 with Discover from 5.11, for example. Convergence means that it works well on every form factor, not that they all look like a big dumb phone app. In the cases where that's not the case, I want to know about it so I can help make it better.

              Therefore, I want to repeat my call for specifics. Generalities aren't actionable. If you can tell me specific examples where you think we're removed features or prioritized form over function, I'm happy to take a look and see if any course correction is needed. You might find we're actually in agreement.
              What worries me is that be these overall look and feel initiatives do only provide visual changes to users without real improvements. Discover and system settings are the tools I really do not like to use at all, often they are broken and I do really wonder who of the devs really tested them. I mean to make something more nicer is a nice idea, and I appreciate these small efforts as well, but you should also make them work. Instead of adding new adjustments for existing functionalities, maybe just click once through the menu tree, it is easy to crash discover and system settings and the layout is often broken. How can this go unnoticed? And has it been tested on Wayland? Yes, these applications improved, but that's not an excuse to leave real bugs open just because they mean more effort. If system settings would be simple text list of options, fine to me as well, as long as it works.

              Martin was a guarantee, that the quality improves and that you do not play around with the basic desktop like with normal applications. I can only hope that Kwin is not the next victim of simplistic decisions, but seeing adjustments like Dolphin root window, I have a lot of doubts now.

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              • #57
                Originally posted by darclide View Post
                [-]
                Stop putting form in front of function, don't remove separators and the likes just because it makes the UI look less crowded, don't drive off developers and instead try to find compromises with them, don't make half of KDE look like mobile apps that someone dragged to the desktop (a lot of concepts just don't work with mouse and keyboard, or not as efficient) and so on, the list is very long.
                So RIGHT!
                STOP this 2D (swiping) shit.
                We had ages of UI (lab) research.
                Look up under haptics etc.
                No borders. - Argh.
                Konsole without 'status bar'. - Horror.
                We have knobs. - Like knives & forks. Generations of people have learned how to use them...

                I want to decide myself. - Or leave.

                KDE user since the _beginning_ (after self compiled ol(v)wm).

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                • #58
                  Originally posted by Fuchs View Post

                  My best guesses would be https://phabricator.kde.org/D12732 and https://phabricator.kde.org/D12795 given security was mentioned, and potentially, given the timing, https://phabricator.kde.org/T8707 with https://phabricator.kde.org/D13276, but that's guesses, there might be more and others. Best ask him directly? It's not like he disappears completely, just stepping down as a maintainer.
                  I just read the discussion regarding the "no borders" issue and I, a huble user of KDE, support 100% the VDG arguments.
                  Last edited by zoomblab; 06-04-2018, 05:47 PM.

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                  • #59
                    Originally posted by ngraham View Post
                    [snip]
                    Therefore, I want to repeat my call for specifics. Generalities aren't actionable. If you can tell me specific examples where you think we're removed features or prioritized form over function, I'm happy to take a look and see if any course correction is needed. You might find we're actually in agreement.
                    Hello Nate,

                    no offence to your GREAT commitment and maybe 'stupid' (personal) openSUSE (Tumbleweed) only question:

                    oxygen-transparent-0.1+20141112-6.24.x86_64
                    oxygen-transparent-liboxygenstyle-0.1+20141112-6.24.x86_64

                    packages are gone (should be removed).
                    What replacement do I need to have transparency stay on Plasma5?

                    Thanks!

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                    • #60
                      As a developer myself, I had a similar situation as described by Martin when the company that I worked for was bought by another, and the team of this company wanted to rewrite our framework, they thought they knew better than us, didn't listen to our input, in the end they wasted 3 months of work because they had assumptions/premises that were faulty

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