No active EOL'ing of major software branches

Do not force an EOL (End Of Life) of major branches, especially that of major software.

For example, there has been major changes between KDE3 and KDE4 and again between KDE4 and KDE Plasma 5. Similarly between Gnome 2 and Gnome 3, etc. Very often, distributions more or less 'forced' users to upgrade from one to the other, even before those big frameworks had achieved an adequate level of stability, leading to much discontent and probably unnecessary forking (e.g. KDE3 => Trinity).

Even a power user distribution like Gentoo, despite its powerful package management tools (portage), EOL'ed support for KDE4, progressively forcing user to upgrade to KDE Plasma 5, which may not have had all the features and the stability that some users required.1

Again, distributions are apparently trying to cater to conflicting needs:
- bleeding edge software, will all the latest features.
- stable software, tried and tested, as bug-free as it could be.
Developers cannot provide support for all branches of all software.

Since one of the major goal of our new Linux distribution is to rely on the strength provided by an active community, support for each major branch of each software may be provided any user/developer, should there be any. It is however not the role of the distribution to force users to upgrade when they are not ready to. The core developers of the distribution are completely free to limit their support to a well-defined configuration, excluding any major branches that are considered legacy branches or obsolete branches. But this should not preclude users to use whatever they want and provide or pay for their own support.

KDE 1 was recently re-released just to show that current systems could still run KDE 1! So why couldn't we allow users to install any of KDE's major branches: KDE 1, KDE 2, KDE 3, KDE 4 and KDE 5? Same for Gnome and other major frameworks as well as minor projects.

This concept ties in with software versioning:
http://linux.overshoot.tv/blogs/augustin/software_versioning_outline
Provide both the leading branch of an evolving software, and a stable branch, a previous major version which has reached a very stable status, and where only bugfixes are being applied.

  • 1. It must be noted that within Gentoo, KDE4 and other legacy packages are still available in the kde-sunset overlay, which an experienced gentoo user would know how to use.

Issues related to this page:

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