Canonical kicks Kubuntu to the kerb
Axed KDE-based Linux distro was biz non-starter
Ubuntu shop Canonical has withdrawn support from development of the KDE-based Kubuntu Linux desktop after seven years for commercial reasons.
Canonical employee Jonathan Riddell has said his employer will stop funding his Kubuntu work following April's expected release of the next Ubuntu LTS, version 12.04.
The decision means Canonical's advancement of Kubuntu will stop, along with paid support. Riddell was Kubuntu's lead developer. Canonical has pulled the plug because Kubuntu has failed to take off commercially after seven years plugging away.
For Kubuntu to continue, Riddell said, people must take the initiative on tasks typically poorly supported by the community process that are vital to success – such as ISO testing.
Canonical will now treat Kubuntu in the same way as it deals with derivative distros of Ubuntu by providing "infrastructure" - meaning the Ubuntu core and packages – instead of the addition of funded manpower.
Ubuntu 11.10 is the base for the Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Studio and Lubuntu in addition to Kubuntu.
Riddell called Canonical's withdrawal of support a "big challenge" for Kubuntu and KDE but added it was also a "rational business decision".
"Kubuntu has not been a business success after seven years of trying, and it is unrealistic to expect it to continue to have financial resources put into it," Riddell said. "I have been trying for the last seven years to create a distro to show the excellent KDE technology in its best light, and we have a lovely community now built around that vision, but it has not taken over the world commercially and shows no immediate signs of doing so."
Kubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu that appeared in 2005 and differs by continuing with the KDE desktop, called Plasma, instead of going with Ubuntu's Unity desktop. ®
What part of "train wreck" do you fail to understand
I am speaking this as an ex-KDE user and ex-KDE desktop admin.
I ran a development shop for 7 years which used solely KDE as a standardized desktop. I have been running a WIndows free household (kids computers included) for 14 years 9 of which on KDE. It just worked, was simple to understand and did not require an insane amount of resources.
That was up to KDE 3.x.
KDE 4.x is a f*** trainwreck. The API is different and there are whole lots of places where it is f*** different for sake of being different (I develop too and I had to look at it for a couple of projects). The userspace is different with no f*** benefit. Every single program changed its name. On top of that some imbecile decided that running a MySQL server instance per user with data in user's home directiory is a fantastic idea. I used to run KDE in a corporate environment and insist on it for the exact reason that it could run OK in a setup where $HOME was on a RAID-ed NAS, all settings were in the users $HOME and you could sit down on any machine and just work with your own settings (something Windows still fails to achieve to this day). So what do I get instead of that as an upgrade present?. Mysql. On NFS. Yeah right... That is besides the general crash and burn of 4.x, crazy video card requirements (which also actually worked OK only on nvidia anyway) and so on.
So after 9 years I just said sod it and moved all of my users (and myself) to xfce. It still misses quite a lot of what KDE 3.x used to offer, but most importantly - compared to KDE 4.x it bloody works.
Applause Canonical. Goodbye and good riddance. Software development is not a f*** w**kfest. It is serving users which KDE failed to do from 4.x onwards.
"Unity does what Unity is supposed to do and does it well"
What exactly is that?
If you are talking about a replacement for the old "netbook remix" than maybe, but for users familiar with Gnome 2 and similar (Windows, older Solaris, etc) then is a lot of pointless changes for NO BENEFIT.
Now in the old days the netbook remix was an option for such devices (small screen, possibly touch screen) and for desktop with keyboard & mouse you got something that works well that way. Now you don't, and some things are non-obvious and non-intuitive, which is a GUI design failure.
Futhermore if you have to support folk (not geeks like El Reg readers) the last thing you want is user interfaces changing for no good reason. Most users want to USE their PC, not play with it an ooh and ahh over shiny trinkets and re-learn how to do things every 6 months, etc.
Now to be fair Ubuntu are not the only ones with GUI developers indulging in such self-indulgent w*nkfests, but it saddens me to see change for the sake of it, and more so when Canonical fail to fix bugs in the basic code, preferring to develop pointless new GUIs for no clear benefit.
Ubuntu fondleslabs anyone? Why do that rather than Android?
A waste of resources, and ones that could have been used to make it smoother and easier (as they did until about 8.10) so it became the safe & cheap refuge of those moving off XP and not wanting the problems/restrictions/cost of Windows or MacOS.
Pepole pay for Unity?!
Sad KDE is dropped but the real question is: Who pays Canonical and what are they expecting?
And are they happy with the disaster that is Unity?