KDE 4.0 release date: If it’s on the Dot it must be true!

March 21, 2007

As was just posted on the Dot, the release date for KDE 4.0 is slated for October.  It’s not as if this date was exactly top secret until today – it’s been discussed on mailing lists, posted on the cool new KDE TechBase site, and even on topical websites.  Maybe someday we’ll be as savvy as Apple when it comes to purposefully/accidentally “leaking” stories, but it’s pretty difficult/pointless when you’re an open community.

So although we can grumble about sites waiting to post news on our release schedule, all things being equal – it’s better to be talked about than not talked about.  Is it reasonable to think that we’re nimble enough to discuss topics in the open for several days and yet “officially” announce before enthusiasts spread the word around during that speculative period?  Probably not.  Is it reasonable to think that websites (whether driven by voting on story popularity or maintainers anxious to get the scoop on news) will ever wait until an official announcement?  Doubtful.

I try to avoid the over-analysis-paralysis, just look at the glass as being half-full and think “It’s pretty darn cool that people are climbing over themselves to get more information and learn more about KDE’s future.”  With an extremely large development cycle, at this time last year we were asking “How do we keep people interested in KDE and it’s progress and keep momentum during this development time?”

And looking back, I think a pretty good job was done by everyone (although “Best Practices/Lessons Learned: A Promotional Retrospective” will be held by a panel of experts in room 213 at 4:30…free coffee and bagels.)  A combination of:

  • Related application software releases such as Amarok, K3B, KOffice, etc
  • Qt 4 releases and announcements
  • Community blogging
  • KDE 4.0 Developer Snapshots
  • Expo/conference attendance and talks
  • Great Dot articles/interviews by Troy and others
  • Press channel announcements
  • Publicized stories on KDE meetings (Akademy, developer sprints, etc)
  • Point releases of KDE
  • Weekly progress snapshots via Danny’s Commit Digest

keep KDE in everyone’s mind during this time (everyone being community members, journalists, enthusiasts, mimes, tech companies).  And kept the anticipation building.  An 18-month striptease if you will.  Don’t discount the work that you and others have done during this time.

The good news: it gets easier from here.  Beta releases, announcements, testing, screenshots – it all unfolds.  I think.  I’m only on Chapter 2 of “Marketing For Dummies”, bear with me.  Holy crap, I just googled that term and such a book actually exists.  Should I be surprised?

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