10 September, 2007


When I wasn't that involved in KDE, I really appreciated the good looking and verbose release announcement, or visual guide as it was called. KDE 3.5 had it first, written by Jes Hall, Tom Chance and Roland Wolters.

The 3.4 release from 2005 seems not to haven been this lucky, at least I can't find such a visual tour. Text, yes, unfortunately no screenshots. And when you go further back in time, the announcements become less and less verbose. On the other hand, our 'coopetition' got their act together a long time ago.

I have always read their announcements, and enjoyed that. Had to chuckle often, as I generally had been using many (if not most) of the new and great things they introduced in my KDE desktop for years. I'm surprised to see how even the 2.20 release still feels like that, even though our last major release was almost 2 years ago.

But KDE always lacked in the marketing, and even though we are doing better, this really is something that needs more work. As many of you might have noticed, we are improving. KDE 3.5 had a lovely announcement, and we are gearing up for KDE 4. Beta1 had a nice graphical overview of what's new. And Beta 2 of course. And we want to do even better, especially for the final announcement.

But it is a lot of work. Last announcement took me many many hours (I was actually surprised by how much time it took) and it's definitely not perfect. So in one of my previous blogs, I asked for help. And some did help, and it made a difference. Really. So: thanks to those who spend a minute to add some worthy things to the announcement page on techbase.

And for those who didn't: please do. It's easy. You don't have to write the text, just give a short description (a few words is enough) and a link. I'll do the writing. Of course, feel free to write something, I can use that, and it saves me time.

And boy, do we need collaborative editing. After the first draft, improving these announcements would be so much simpler if I could just ask Danny and the others to work with me realtime on them...

Aaah well. KDE 4.1???


  1. a wiki would lower the entry level for willing contributers, proofreaders, spellcheckers, screenshooters, word jugglers and alike.

    Imagine how much easier it would be to get the announcement done as compared to now.

    wiki ftw!

  2. This is probably not the right place to say this, but I really don't know how to else get the attention of the right people within KDE.

    Before wondering about good promotion (which of course is important and which you are doing a great job at), shouldn't the KDE community worry about really having something to show, or more preciesly, having something to show which actually works?

    I'm referring to the beta2 release of course, which is simply broken, as in plasma doesn't work. From the very few thing I could gather, this does not in any way reflect on the state of KDE4 at the moment, but is simply a bug in beta2.

    However, what I think is really the problem here, is that there has not been any reaction from KDE to this situation. There are thousands of people out there who are excited about KDE4, who want to try it out, who want to file bug reports, etc., and who are presented with something that does not work and yet there has been no reaction at all from KDE.

    This is very bad PR, to put it mildly.

  3. @anonymous

    You were using the kubuntu packages, right? Kubuntu, like some other packages, forgot to package some parts of plasma, such as the parts required to get a working plasma taskbar.

    These files have been moved into kdebase now, so future beta packages will not be missing these components.


  4. @elveo:

    I guess I wasn't very clear on the purpose off http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/KDE4/4.0_Announcements (which is exactly that: cooperation on the writing of the announcement).

    Though mostly on the information sharing part... I'll try to do more with that.

  5. techbase is in its state for sure a good help for the announcements. But on the whole word juggling part, that is writing the announcement is what can profit from the wiki. you wouldnt have to write to the mailing list, asking for review, getting some, implenting it by yourself etc.

    let the announcement (wording) grow in a wiki.


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