So, it’s not a mystery to anybody now that next week there will be a new release of KDE 3.5. I’ve been committing the ebuilds for the pre-release in the last two days while building, and then I continued today by fixing the stuff that wasn’t building clean (mostly patches to remove or to rename so that they referred the correct 3.5.5 version rather than the 3.5.6).
As I said, one of the news of this release is that the passwords are covered by balloon characters like Windows XP rather than stars as before. A little note on this: when I say «like Windows XP» is because the character used is the same one used there, although I do know that Mac OS X started to replace stars first (and as usual got copied by Microsoft; nothing wrong against that, as we see also KDE and GNOME copies from there, but I really hate when Microsoft addicts say that they are the only source of innovations..), the character used on OS X is quite different, it’s smaller, about the same size of a star, and you can easily see if you typed the character or not even for long pass-phrases on average-sized edit lines, while the balloon used by Windows XP and KDE 3.5.6 (not sure if it is by design or simply because of the font used) is quite bigger, and when I type my GPG’s pass phrase, I easily fill all the edit line that pinentry gives to me, at which point, a keypress won’t have ANY visual feedback from the program, which is lame in my opinion.
I’ll try to address, with this release, also the problem of XDG_DATA_DIRS being set to a KDE-centric value only during KDE sessions, and the KDE applications missing from GNOME. This will be introduced in a newer kdelibs version that will not be revbumped, so remember the usual suggestion, wait till the ebuilds are unmasked before upgrading your KDE, even if you find the tarballs on some foolish distribution *cough* *cough*. Also because for instance kdepim’s tarball was already refreshed once, requiring me to update the digest for the ebuilds.
Oh yes, one of the interesting features of this release is that aRTs is no more needed to play KNotify events, but of course Gentoo had it already before, as I merged the patches in kdelibs-3.5.5-something, so it’s not a big deal for us, is it? 🙂
On our side, I have to say that this release is a bit of a change in KDE split ebuilds handling: as a full KDE install would have required the tarballs for 7 different KDE versions to be merged, I’ve followed Carsten suggestion to reduce the load on users, and bumped even some packages that had no update since 3.5.0; to install a new KDE 3.5.6 you’ll be asked only the tarballs for .6, .5 and .4 releases, bumping out everything using something smaller than that. I could have bumped everything, but I wanted not to waste the work on split ebuilds entirely, so I just reduced it to something more manageable.
Also note that if you have midi useflag disabled in the masked experimental alsa-lib, you’ll experiment a few failures building kdelibs and KMix with ALSA support; the first is intended, as kdelibs’s ALSA support is only for libkmid (so MIDI support), but I cannot currently make it die gracefully, while the latter is a side effect of a broken test for ALSA in the configure. I’ll see if I can fix it upstream for good, and then backport the change on our ebuilds. I’m waiting for vapier to commit a little change before adding a graceful death to those packages.
And finally, if you ever used ROOT= to merge KDE stuff, and you had certmanager not finding GnuPG, I’ve fixed that, too, but without revbump for now, 3.5.6 will be enough to upgrade.
I think this accounts for everything you need to know about the coming release of KDE, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask in comments, I’ll try to address them. I’ll answer the first question now though: «Yes, it’s likely I’ll be back after another week of break that will start when KDE 3.5.6 is safely released; I’ll probably try to give up a few packages again, and I’ll try to reshuffle my priorities a bit; I know that Javier, Timothy and Roy are doing a great job with Gentoo/FreeBSD, so I’ll probably relax myself a bit with that; I’d like some help with what concerns PAM though, but for that I’ll start trying to get more stuff moved upstream for now, at least I’ll breath a bit better afterward.»