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Martin Flöser Steps Down As Maintainer Of KDE's KWin

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  • #81
    Originally posted by ngraham View Post

    This is exactly why I've spent a good part of the last 6 months working with the Discover developers to improve the UI, and they've been working hard to fix the crashes and bugs. When we ship 5.13 in a few days, I think you and others will be pleasantly surprised.

    In no way, shape, or form are we unaware of the criticisms or ignoring the issues. it's just easy to miss the progress if you're not following the development, which is part of the reason why I try to highlight these pre-release improvements over at

    What kinds of changes or improvements would *you* like to see?
    I do use Plasma 5.13 beta already, so I'm aware about the changes and I can still see the broken layouts and crashes in e.g. systems settings on Wayland. Doing a lot of UI changes didn't mean so far, that technically the right changes are done yet. At least I do not believe that the UI changes can blend the users that much to ignore the fundamental deficiencies. I think at the end of the day the quality matters, nice interfaces are forgotten fast, they are replaced easily with the next trend.

    After reading several of your posts on Phabricator, your blog post and the one in this thread, I do have the feeling that you do ignore critics and issues. And you certainly do a good job in hiding this behind nice words, but to me this seems like a lot of PR speak. This might work towards most of the users, but I certainly can understand why it pisses off other developers and knowledgeable people. Understanding critics usually means to respond on concerns and not just answering with standard arguments or by ignorance. From my professional career I know that often the good developers are not the easiest ones, but it is worth to go into discussions with them, accept the challenges, learn something and find together new solutions. And this is why I'm worried. Loosing Martin as the maintainer of Kwin opens the door now for easy but on the long term stupid changes. Allowing UI apps to run as root, just shows the first downgrade development on Kwin and Plasma. To do a change just for convenience without the right technical solution is just not what I'm expecting from a professional project like KDE. But as we speak about KDE, I'm confident that there are enough other people in the community to correct these errors again.

    This is my opinion so far regarding this topic and not just a personal critic, I do not expect an answer, I will measure you against future developments.
    Last edited by R41N3R; 06 June 2018, 12:39 PM.


    • #82
      Originally posted by Delgarde View Post

      Hmm... I've got no horse in this race – haven't used KDE in years – but reading those threads, I definitely get a sense of designers saying "do this, it'll be easy", and expecting the developers to agree.

      Design is *hard*, and one of the most critical bits of the job is to make sure you're on the same page as the technical experts... things which sound easy are often all but impossible, and difficult-sounding things can often be easier than you'd think. They *are* a pain in the neck some times... but all the design in the world ain't worth crap if nobody can implement it.
      I agree, design is *hard*. And that's why the final say should belong to the design experts, a.k.a. the VDG in this particular case, who not only are they more knowledgeable but also have the position they have because people have willingly recognized them as experts and willingly given them the "authority" they have when it comes to KDE's design.

      Reading those same threads you read, I got a completely different sense: I saw the VDG trying to push some simple changes that for the most part require no changes on the technical side of things, and I saw some (?) developers fiercely pushing back with what amounts to them declaring that they don't agree with those choices and thus don't want to implement them, period. As an example, how is changing the default from "Normal Borders" to "No Borders" (the T8707 discussion) difficult to implement? And why should a developer try to veto this, a simple design decision which obviously falls out of his/her "jurisdiction"?

      And the really fun part is that it *doesn't* fall out of *anyone's* jurisdiction! This is FOSS, not some monolithic corporation with distinctly separate roles for its employees. Martin could have joined the VDG's channel if he so wished and discuss the matter there, or maybe even join the VDG itself. But no, he wanted nothing to do with Telegram (even though the VDG's channel is stated to be on IRC, with a Telegram bridge implemented because it's probably more convenient) and, let's not forget, he also stated clearly in his farewell email that one of the reasons he is stepping down as maintainer is that he has grown tired of having to discuss his opinions and explain to other people why he says "no" on a particular something. Well, being myself a person with... strong... opinions I can perfectly understand him being tired of constantly having to state what he obviously believes is the obvious, but this kind of attitude is really not healthy for a community of people who don't even know each other personally, and so have to rely on communication skills (a.k.a. diplomacy) to get anything going anywhere.

      I have to say here that I'm a huge fan of Martin's work over the years. And I also have to say that I'm no fan of the PR-speak that some people over at the VDG seem to have taken a liking to - I find it irritating as hell. But between gag-worthy yet well-meaning PR-speaking people with a clear intent on getting along with others and reaching common ground, and seemingly arrogant and/or stubborn people who for whatever reason have decided that they are the be-all-end-all of a project and have resorted to simply vetoing things just because, I vastly prefer the former.

      P.S. - Please take this with a grain of salt as I'm in no way involved with KDE, so I don't know the behind-the-cameras background of all this stuff. And I'm fully aware that this situation could easily be the result not of stubbornness or arrogance, but of animosity accumulated over the years due to past (maybe even personal) disagreements...


      • #83
        Originally posted by ngraham View Post
        The only feature I'm aware of us removing is the tinting feature from the Icons KCM, because in the porting process it was discovered that the feature was actually broken and would be difficult to fix, and a lack of bug reports indicated that nobody was actually using it.
        i'm using this feature, and now, after gone, i have my icon theme in bicolor mode (tinted in normal, untinted when select),

        Last edited by sl1pkn07; 08 June 2018, 11:55 AM.


        • #84
          No expert on anything KDE, but

          from the sounds of it this maintainer was actually holding back progress, although I do sympathize with his comments on people doing chaotic stuff, I think UI improvements are way more important than functionality (unless that is functionality coming down to UI improvements) and my feeling is that these UI people may perhaps sacrifice other stuff but it sounds like you have to run a little risks to get to the better parts. I haven't seen recent Plasma so I can't tell and I am hesitant to exclaim things are probably going to be swell,

          but the fact that the developers here are asking for feedback and not being arrogant, and considering that there might be stuff they're doing wrong, is to me a good indication because arrogance is really the biggest impediment to success anywhere.