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Kubuntu “Project Timelord” Announced

The Kubuntu development team have today announced ‘Project Timelord‘ ” a set of clear aims, goals and changes they hope will have a regenerative effect on the popularity of the distribution.

timelord-400

It has come to the attention of several Kubuntu developers that Kubuntu is not currently reaching its full potential.

The full set of proposals making up the project concern the following key areas: -

  • Translations
  • Marketing
  • Software
  • User-Developer Interaction
  • Recruitment

Translations

The formal announcement on Kubuntu.org sums this one up very succinctly: –

Following the improvements of Kubuntu 9.10, translation and localization issues will be dealt with once and for all, to provide quality localization for both KDE and Kubuntu software.

Marketing

As it stands The Kubuntu team feel that: -

Kubuntu basically has no marketing; or at least none compared to Ubuntu or even any
other major distribution. Our current branding policy is unclear, and when we do give out
information every release it is in a non-human-readable (geek) lump of technical
information that the average user could care less about. Currently, LoCos are the only
venue of promotional work we have.

And as a (mainly) Gnome user i have to agree. There is is no “vision” or slogan with KDE; at times Kubuntu can almost be forgotten from the Ubuntu equation due, in large part, to the lack of visibility of Kubuntu and Kubuntu dev’s on places like the UbuntuForums. Couple that with the virtual lack of mention or promotion ” be it on blogs, forums or other places – and Joe User might not even know Kubuntu exists, and if he does he probably won’t know what the hell it is.

I also feel, at times, as if Kubuntu doesn’t want to pay it’s respects as an official Ubuntu offshoot; there seems to be very little in common between Ubuntu and Kubuntu apart from the *buntu, the logo and some familiar packages. I’d like to see Kubuntu pick up on the code names ” perhaps using them in default artwork etc.

Perhaps Kubuntu could even come with an Ubuntu coloured theme! (Don’t hate me!)

The Kubuntu Dev’s will be approaching the issue of marketing and vision by creating “concrete strategies”.

Software

Bug Reports

Everyone’s favourite past time is submitting bugs and Kubuntu will be ringing in some changes as to how KDE specific bugs are handled relating to Kubuntu. Or something.

To increase the efficiency of our bug trackers, only serious upstream bugs will be tracked at Launchpad. This way developers will be able to efficiently track distribution-specific issues without being lost in a sea of upstream bugs.

Better Quality Packaging

KDE users may hate me for saying this but it needs to be said: The quality of packages in Kubuntu is, at times, laughable awful.

It’s almost like taking a lucky dip ” will this package overwrite another one? Will this package even work? Will it have all of it’s supposed functionality or has it been uploaded missing some? Etc.

The Kubuntu team have noted this (thank gods!) and aim to improve the quality: -

To solve the problem of all-to-common overwrite errors, a concerted effort must be
made to have multiple people (rather than one or two people) test upgrades of KDE
packages, even if it means delaying the release of the packages for a bit. Scripting an
automated upgrade tester should be looked in to as a way to test for such errors with
more efficiency.

Kubuntu Integration

Over the next few releases a push to improve the integration of Kubuntu-specific tools with KDE and the surrounding system will be made.

Says the official announcement.

What this means for the end user is big, big, good, good changes.

  • Ditching the “hastily ported” applications from KDE3 when switching to KDE4
  • Replacing said applications with proper, useable alternatives.
  • Get rid of duplicate-functionality packages/apps
  • Bye-bye GDebi-KDE as Package-Kit should bit fitted with its features
  • Any app not replaced will be tweaked to conform to the KDE Interface Guidelines.

User-Developer Interaction

The Kubuntu team will branch out and join the land of the non-iRC non-mailing lists!

Coming in 10.04 LTS

A large chunk of Timelord will land in Kubuntu 10.04 LTS. The more dramatic changes will be targeted at Kubuntu 10.10.

See Also…

There is a lot more waffle, typical KDE style, in the official announcement PDF @ http://people.ubuntu.com/~apachelogger/Timelord/Project_Timelord_Announcement.pdf

Thank to meborc, kde_freak & Josh for sending in this tip