Debian 12 vs Feature Freeze vs KDE Bugs (Open Letter)

Open Letter:

Hi Everyone,

I use a rolling release distro and have all the bug fixes+new bugs and sometimes complete lockout (partial upgrades or some other files, like kio* (was it kio-extras ?) and I used symlinks workarounds (var/logs weren’t saying anything!). Its miracle I fixed it. Yes kio locked me out completely and I couldn’t log in…). But this is not the point.

I have a question: I maintain Debian 11 KDE for someone else and for myself, on older computer. I am worried about about system stability and KDE bugs. Debian had a “software freeze”. How many bugs are there in that “freeze”. Do they have, for example, proper fixed kio version, so Dolphin copies fieles properly and doesn’t “artificially” slow down, or do I have to always use rsync and teach people? Its kind of important, don’t you think.

Other significant updates are for example for qt-webengine, which is never updated in Debian, but absolutely it should! Another related issue with Falkon is, that it will not receive “hardware acceleration” (by default the box is ticked off, but not having this is a road block for me! Its unacceptable not having this. I tested it. It simply works).

Does Debian even know about these major bugs? Those were only just some examples from the top of my head. How about other important bugs? Like broken “.so” in kimageformats (are you focusing only on promoting proprietary HEIC/HEIF?) or all broken all RAW files? There were some updates to mariadb and akonadi stability fixes; also broken IMAP fixes. WILL DEBIAN RECEIVE THOSE FIXES? Can you answer this important question here on the forum? I am very worried. Rolling release is fun, when it works, but the headaches (always in an inappropriate time) are sometimes too much on my nerves. And I wouldn’t like to install something on someone elses production machine that has so many issues. I don’t wan’t to be responsible and be blamed for those. I wouldn’t like to encounter significant roadblocking bugs in Debian 12 myself either. Could you please answer my doubts here on the forum? I hope others would like to know too.

Thank you in advance,

P.S. Do you talk to Debian-ers? Can they count on your feedback and help? Did you reach them out? Or “well, who cares”, use Arch (btw, its not a production distro! I maintain it), or whatever is the attitude?

There could be potentially more issues in “freezed version” of KDE in Debian. Like for example, Elisa not indexing vorbis ogg or flac resulting in missing of my entire music collection (no I do not use crappy mp3). Or very slow start of Eilsa (Elise? I will call it Joanne ;))) forcibly indexing everything very slowly ate evry startup, while there’s no additional music in /home/whoever/Music folder. And you cant’ turn it off! Nobody will use it! My family will get mad at me. [P.S. What was wrong with the old AmaroK? It just freaking worked].

Another potential issue could be Okular, not displaying documents properly (vide epub). It calls itself “document reader”, but can’t display ebooks (some drawings, photos, charts for physics, chemistry and math books are missing those. Okular can only display text. What about computer books?). Instead there’s a new experimental app only for ebooks (what if mariadb and akonadi break?), but not in Debian.

So in what state will Debian 12 be? Junk?

I think you just discovered why most of us developers don’t like “stable” distros. :slight_smile: “Stable” doesn’t mean “bug-free”; it just means the bugs don’t change. It can be very frustrating to be stuck with old bugs that have already been fixed years and years ago. But that’s what you get with a “stable” distro.

In an ideal world, every “stable” distro would have a dedicated team of people who backport upstream fixes in every package in the distro. In practice, time is limited, and this is a thankless and un-fun task, so we don’t generally see a whole lot of it for KDE packages in the distros that don’t employ people to do it. And personally I find it very rather challenging to talk to Debian people because of their email-based bug tracker system, which I find to be so archaic as to be literally (not figuratively) unusable.

If you’re maintaining systems for other people, I think it would be helpful to distinguish between distro issues (e.g. not packaging something needed), configuration issues (e.g. X, Y, or Z package not being installed by default, but you can install it yourself if needed) and software issues that will be present on every distro.

IMO, for supporting normal people who want stuff to Just Work™ as much as possible, it’s hard to go wrong with Kubuntu. And for people who are just a bit more adventurous, Fedora KDE is a great choice IMO.

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