What we plan that Neon will be and why it will be so.
Neon provides an easy and elegant way for people to test the latest software from KDE as it's developed, or use the newest releases of KDE Software.
KDE is a community making the best in end-user-ready software, but it can be hard to install the latest versions. We rely upon Linux distribution companies and communities to compile, package, and make our software available. They do an excellent job. However their release schedules are not necessarily aligned with those of KDE project's, they don't provide packages from Git and often not from Betas, so there's no way to test the forthcoming releases. This results in packages that are late compared to KDE project's releases. Once a user has installed a distro, there is often no easy way to get updates of KDE software packages, such as a new release of Plasma, it typically involves adding an extra archive that the user needs to search out. Because of the competing demands of distributions, their third-party libraries and software are often a different version from that with which KDE software works best. And often they replace the project's branding, often adding their own branding to the software. This can drive away users, contributors, and donors who might be best served directly from KDE.
We are a team of KDE fans who would like to try improving this situation and would like to work with KDE to do it.
We'll use Ubuntu as a base for Neon. Ubuntu provides a stable release with 3 years of security updates and if necessary hardware backports, allowing Neon to concentrate on the rolling updates of KDE software we care about. Where KDE software needs a newer version of software that is available, it is likely available elsewhere for Ubuntu to be easily backported in the Neon archives. Increasingly the Ubuntu archives do not have the necessary version of a piece of software needed by KDE software, in which case we will add it to the Neon archives.
We love Linux distributions and recognise they will always be the main method of distributing KDE's software. Neon won't get special treatment from the rest of KDE by virtue of being a KDE project and it certainly won't be the KDE distribution. Other projects which release software packages for Linux may well join KDE as there are already KDE projects which release software packages for Windows and Mac.
Neon will make available KDE software from latest stable releases, latest unstable releases and from Git. Our default selection of software will include a fully functional desktop set up using Plasma and other KDE software where there is a viable option from KDE.
Who's it for?
The user profiles for Neon are:
- Someone who relishes frequent updates of features
- Someone who cares what software is on their desktop and is a fan or curious about KDE software
this makes it useful for:
- KDE contributors who want the latest libraries and tools available to work with
- KDE software testers who want to check the latest releases
- KDE fans who admire our work, want to use it and watch it evolve and occasionally comment on forums or report problems
What's to be made available?
- Mirrors of the Debian pkg-kde packaging with Neon branches for anyone in KDE to contribute to
- Where a distribution-specific piece of software is needed, we will make a KDE program to work with this, in the style of for example Kubuntu Driver Control Modules. We will always look for a non-distribution piece of software first.
- A continuous integration system to build packages for amd64 from the unstable and stable branches of KDE software
- The same set-up to build packages from these branches from unstable and stable released tars of KDE software
- A .deb archive of packages of KDE software built by the continuous integration systems with channels for git/release stable/unstable
- ISO installable images using these packages released in time with major KDE software releases such as Plasma or KDE Frameworks
How do we select default software?
Choices of default software are based on the above use cases and the personas for KDE Plasma.
KDE Software Dependencies
Software released by KDE should only depend on released versions of software it depends on. If this isn't the case it's a bug.
If KDE software depends on a newer version of software than is in the archives Neon uses we can backport as needed if practical.