KDE Telepathy or Kopete

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Tue Mar 27 16:38:59 UTC 2012

On Tuesday, March 27, 2012 05:29:57 PM Harald Sitter wrote:
> Lo'
> As we do not agree on whether we agree on a decision I'd like everyone
> to cast a vote in favor of KTP or Kopete as default for 12.04. The
> relevant discussion can be found at [1].

My vote is for Kopete.

There are four reasons for this:

1.  LTS is not the time to make a major technology change.  This should be 
done in LTS +1.

2.  Not integrated to our desktop - I think Message Indicator support is 
essential unless we drop this from our default panel layout.  There are other 
feature parity issues, but I think this is the critical one.

3.  KTP upstream request (in this thread):

> Personally I'd rather you kept Kopete for now but I can see why you
> don't want to maintain Kopete backends for another 3 years.

4.  Maintainability.

That last point might require a bit of discussion as I think it's somewhat 
backwards from the way most would look at it.

I don't think we need to worry a lot about Kopete maintenance other than 
security issues.  It does what it does.  It doesn't do what it doesn't do.  
The code doesn't churn much from release to release, so there's not a lot of 
risk that a year or two from now some serious performance bug will be 
identified that someone will have to figure out without help from (the almost 
dead) upstream.

KTP, OTOH, is a young code base that is evolving rapidly.  I think the chance 
we can be confident to have fully stabilized and all significant issues 
identified at or near release is much lower.  By the time we hit such things, 
the KTP project will have moved on to newer code and not be in a position to 
provide much support.

Support really comes down to security issues.  As an application (or stack of 
applications) that directly connect to the outside world, they are at risk of 
latent security issues being discovered at ~any point in the support period.

This is a 5 year LTS.  For the first year or so, if there are such issues in 
Kopete, we can count on KDE SC 4.8 being supported by upstream.  After that, 
we'll have to look at fixes from other distros or later KDE SC releases or 
write them ourselves.  Since Kopete code is not changing much, the chances, in 
later parts of the support cycle when 4.8 is no longer supported, of security 
fixes from later KDE SC releases being easily backported to 4.8 are pretty 

For KDE Telepathy, the opposite is true.  Since they are in rapid development, 
the chances that any fixes for later releases would apply to 12.04 would be 
much lower.  

Supporting an LTS is about stability and security, not the latest wizbang.  I 
think KDE Telepathy is comng along nicely and I support shifting to it as 
default immediately for 12.10, but now is not the time.

Scott K

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