Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
There seems to be some concern amongst users about the massive surgery we did on libplasma this past month. The concern stems from the idea that these changes will work against the stabilization of libplasma and result in prolonging a "beta" quality to plasma itself.
It's important to first understand that these changes were planned, even before 4.0. We knew that "widgets on canvas" was coming and so we could eventually remove our own layouting and QWidget bridges at some point for something that was more robust and less of a hack. We also knew that being a first revision of a library API (application programmer's interface) that would see a lot of usage, it was highly likely that changes would come to be needed or wanted. It's nearly impossible to foretell exactly what will be used and required in such an API, and it's really unrealistic to hope that the first draft of the semantics in an API will be optimal any more than it is to expect the first draft of a novel to not need any editing and revising.
So before 4.0 came out I told everyone that libplasma would not be binary compatible between 4.0 and 4.1 so that we could reshape the API as needed to make it last longer. I told everyone that we'd be porting to widgets on canvas when we could begin using Qt 4.4. I told everyone that we'd be replacing the icons-on-desktop implementation with something more robust that offered access to the same features.