July 6, 2012

KDE Update: Dolphin's New Maintainer Speaks Out; Encourages New Contributor Involvement

KDE Dolphin File Manager
As seen all over the Interwebs over the last week, Dolphin's maintainer stepped down for personal reasons. Before doing so he had, in true Open Source tradition, hand-picked his successor in the name of Dolphin contributor freininghaus. Recently, the new maintainer of KDE's premier file manager application spoke out for the first time via his blog and shared some thoughts and hopes for the future of the project. In summary, his blog post is a call for help and an open invitation for new contributors to get involved in helping shape the future of this very respected and heavily relied-upon core KDE application.

According to the post, the author remains committed to Dolphin's "stability and ease of use". He then goes on to describe his mid-term goals for Dolphin is to attract new developers. He cites the following reasons:

  • Any software project with a low bus number is in great danger.
  • I am the maintainer now, but that does not mean that the amount of time that I can spend on Dolphin development will suddenly increase. I will try to read all incoming bug reports (note that it can take a while until I look at a newly reported bug – even maintainers have a real life and go on holiday sometimes) and try to reproduce them, at least those that can be reproduced using my hardware and software setup. I will also try to fix a couple of bugs for each release. But I cannot implement any major new features if I have to do it all alone.
  • I do not like to work alone. I have always enjoyed discussions about code with Peter and other developers, and I quite like the idea that all commits should be reviewed. Obviously, discussing patches and review for everyone is only possible if the number of people who contribute to the project on a regular basis is greater than one.
He goes on to suggest that new contributors join a soon-to-be-organized Bugsquad team to triage and label existing Dolphin bugs. Other ways one can contribute would be bug triaging, user support over at the KDE Forums, and finally, help with translations. 

In summary, the future of Dolphin is in our hands. If you have been looking for a way to get started contributing to KDE, here is a great opportunity!