So you’ve installed our ‘glorified bookmark’ but want to know more.

Kubuntu logoApparently Ubuntu Phone fans aren’t the only ones unhappy with recent output from myself and this site.

A Kubuntu team member feels that my recent article on the (newly forked) KDE Connect indicator was “insulting to the Kubuntu team“.

Naturally I disagree.

I don’t go out of my way to insult anything (well, anything that isn’t Windows 8) nor anyone. So, having recently written one explanatory post, I offered to write another. This time to explain why I feel that the post I published was not insulting to the Kubuntu team, and to say that I find it unfortunate that they feel it was.

I also want to apologise to you. You come here to read proper posts on this site, not playground drama like this. This sort of post isn’t why have us in your Feedly, or use our mobile apps.

However, people being upset at me and this site is annoying and stressful, and since they’ve asked for a public apology, I’m happy to oblige. Hopefully this will be the last of these sort of posts for a very long time to come!

The Issue

The perceived insult stems from that fact that I published my article about KDE Connect without “reaching out” to the Kubuntu team to “ask if it was okay” to write about it.

AFAIK the Kubuntu team do not maintain or help to develop KDE Connect.

The other contention concerns an email sent to the Kubuntu developer mailing list about a package referenced in the first public revision of the post.

To “explain” that we have to look at the timeline of what was published, when, and why.

The timeline

Linux developer KugelKurt announced a new release of his KDE Connect Indicator fork on the Linux subreddit on January 3rd. I saw this post and, having not written about the indicator before, decided it was something worth promoting (we’ve covered KDE Connect on the site before so it felt like the sort of tool we could/should write about).

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-19-25-10

I don’t know how many of you follow me personally on Twitter, but those of you who do will know that I work out of a local coffee shop until late afternoon most days. The Wi-Fi is just about okay, but the soya lattes are lovely.

I began drafting the KDE Connect Indicator article while I was at the coffee shop, roughly 40 minutes after KugelKurt made his post to Reddit. Because I wasn’t at my main Ubuntu machine I wasn’t able to take screenshots or properly kick the tyres on the indicator and app as I wasn’t in a reliably networked environment.

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-18-42-34

So, I scheduled the post to publish just after midnight UK time, which would see it go live in the US roughly around 5PM (a great time to post things as people like to read on their commute home from work).

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-19-29-04

Between the time I wrote the first draft of the post (Jan 3, 2PM) and the article going live (Jan 4, 12AM) a KDE Connect developer e-mail was forwarded to the Kubuntu mailing list. The email asks why the kde-connect package depends on the plasma-workspace package when it doesn’t need to, and how/when this could be corrected:

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I was not aware of this mailing list e-mail at the time I started to write my article because it hadn’t been sent yet. I didn’t know of the e-mail in question until the following afternoon, when the Kubuntu team member who asked for this post to be written sent a link to me along with the text: “Why couldn’t you have waited until this is resolved to write an article?!?”.

The crux of this issue, and thus why they feel they need a public apology, is this: they think I saw the mailing list post above, decided to write an article on KDE Connect because of it, and then consciously not mention that there was a discussion over KDE Connect’s archive packaging taking place on their mailing list (despite the packaging having little to do with installing the indicator in the first place).

Things are complicated a little because the article has been revised a number of times since it went live (this isn’t unusual as I’ve always got typos, links, images alignment, etc to fix). The revision that went out first included an apt url to install KDE Connect from the Ubuntu archives. It was accompanied by this passage:

“You can install the app through the Ubuntu Software store or via apt, though no matter which method you choose please be aware that installing it <em>will</em> also install a slate of other KDE dependencies — this cannot (currently) be avoided.”

Illustrating this site was this image and the following jovial caption:

Get ready for klutter!

Get ready for klutter!

The Kubuntu team member in question feels that the caption “get ready for klutter!” was an insult. From my perspective it was meant — and likely taken by most — as a friendly play on a common niggle when installing KDE packages on a non-KDE desktop, i.e. that when you install one KDE package, you get a flood more.

The article was updated in the afternoon following its publication to remove the apt/archive install method entirely (which installed a version of kde-connect that was too old), thanks to a comment by reader Tio which simplified the process, from install to set-up.

And that’s sort of it.

The Kubuntu member in question feels it was wrong not to have placed a link to the KDE Connect packaging discussion on the Kubuntu mailing list in the revised article, despite the install instructions no longer requiring the package in question.

They feel an apology is required.

This is that apology.