Posted inInformation Technology

KDE Abandonware

It’s that time of the year again. The time when those of us who used to utilize KDE (an ever shrinking number given the fact most of us are dying off and most new Linux distros don’t include KDE as a “supported desktop”) get reminded of all the KDE Abandonware. How? you ask. Like this.

A barrage of emails like this

If you want to know the hilarious part, that bug was reported in 2011.

Reported August of 2011

Then I had quite a few years of blissful silence as I and most of the known universe abandoned KDE.

The next time it was looked at was 2018

That’s correct. It sat out there rotting for roughly seven years. Some might even go to say the KDE bug database was abandonware for that length of time. Like most of the KDE products that had a big hype splash, Blogilo quickly fell into unsupported abandonware. I haven’t looked at the code, but given how the UI looked and how the word processor aspect worked, I believe it was based heavily on KWord. When you follow that link you will learn KWord became abaondonware in 2012.

Abandonware Plague

Yes, I’ve written about abandonware before. It’s a plague in the industry. There are thousands of packages, probably tens of thousands, written for DOS and the DOS GUI called Windows that are long since gone. The really funny part is some of that stuff could still be used today. We have DOS and Windows emulators for Linux that are free. There is Oracle VirtualBox where you could install the actual OS (assuming you could jury rig a floppy drive). A lot of cool things went away in favor of less-cool much shittier things.

The early 1990s gave us a rash of C/C++ code generators.

I actually liked Databass for many of those throwaway systems I needed for projects. You know, the systems where you need to keep track of things like bugs, user requests, what got shipped/installed where. You could generate a self-contained executable that didn’t need a license or massive run-time environment.


Long since gone along with all of the code for the product. Today we have PostgreSQL and other OpenSource database engines that could really use a fresh version of these 1990s tools. Imagine a tool like that which can straddle PostgreSQL, Ingres, DB2, Oracle RDB, Oracle, MySQL, and MariaDB? Something that would handle all of the plumbing so you could just create the reports/screens/whatever.

The KDE Abandonware Domino Effect

That group is really good about kicking two legs out from under the three legged stool. KOffice got shot out of the saddle taking with it Blogilo and God only knows what else.

KDevelop was the poster child for software bloat back in the day. It seemed that every Phd student “writing their own language” for a thesis project hacked support for their language into it. You would have to find an old copy of SuSE Linux. Not just the software, but the box with books and CD or floppy. It supported something like 20 or 40 languages and took forever to load. A few redevelopments later and it only natively supported a token few languages like C++ and Java.

What did that do? Well for starters the Linux COBOL project was left twisting in the breeze for an IDE. Someone has finally created a really buggy one for GNU Cobol.

If you scroll back to the 2018 email in this post you will see “people” used to send those out.

In 2023 they let the bots do it.

Edit: 2023-01-08

If you want to look at the ever growing list of KDE Abandonware you can find it here. It’s not a complete list because, as of this posting, KWord isn’t there. The list should give you an idea of just how random decisions are in the KDE project. A usable product (KWord) gets slaughtered so an unusable product (Calligra Words) can be created.

What is completely inexplicable is the fact KMail is still maintained. Long ago Thunderbird won the free email client market. It doesn’t have the perpetually corrupting KDE PIM database.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy:
Infinite Exposure
Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told
John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.