The announcement of a releaseplan for KDE 4 silenced all the previous discussions wether or not the completely new KDE will appear. KDE 4 is based on Qt4 and all applications have to be ported to it. The release of KDE 4.0 is planned for October 2007. kubuntu-de.org held an interview with Jonathan Riddell, project lead of kubuntu about KDE 4 and future kubuntu releases.
q: Jonathan, many kubuntu users seem to be eager to get KDE 4 a soon as possible. Can you give us a look behind the set?''
Jonathan Riddell: At the last Ubuntu Development summit we looked at KDE 4 and made plans for introducting it into the archives. kde4libs and kde4base are now in, the rest are sitting in the NEW queue waiting for an admin to approve them for the archive. Some of the packages have already been rejected because of licence problems (nothing major, just a missing file), so it's good that we are doing this early to get such problem out the way.
You can install these packages alongside the current KDE 3 and run them under KDE 3 or in their own session.
However they're very unstable, and not usable for every day work at all. Also the packages do not currently have any dependencies on them, so you need to install these manually.
q: Kubuntu 6.10 contains packages for KDE 4 for developers. Do you think there will be soon test versions for common users, too?
Jonathan Riddell: Our main focus is to make the tools necessary available to developers. So we have the latest CMake (the new build system for KDE
4) in feisty and coming into backports. We also have the latest strigi and decibel libraries which are now needed by KDE 4.
Users are welcome to try out the packages but I really don't recommend them for use except as a good way to find bugs and start fixing them.
q: Recently, there were reports in the press that sounded like the publication or discussion of milestones for a release plan. When do you
estimate KDE 4 might be released?
Jonathan Riddell: Previously I had hoped for last October which would be KDE's 10th birthday. I was obviously well off, so maybe I should guess a release around our 11th birthday :)
Even once KDE 4 is released we will still have KDE 3 around for a while until all the applications are ported. We've started the porting already for Kubuntu with Ubiquity and other apps now using Qt 4 but many apps such as Adept and Guidance depend on KDE functionality so it is not possible to port them until KDE 4 becomes more stable.
q: When KDE 4 will be released, which Kubuntu would likely contain it, 7.10 or rather 8.04?
Jonathan Riddell: I suspect KDE 4 won't be stable enough to be default desktop for 7.10. 8.04 it should be but it's possible that 8.04 will be our next LTS release and I don't want our first KDE 4 as default release to also be an LTS release. Either way we'll have packages and ISOs of KDE 4 available as soon as sanely possible for everyone to try.
Thank you for the Interview
a german version is here