Confessions of a longterm KDE user:
I used to be a KDE user. I thought KDE 4.0 was such a disaster I switched to GNOME. I hate the fact that my right button doesn’t do what I want it to do. But the whole “break everything” model is painful for users and they can choose to use something else.
A painful transition process characterises many mature technologies. WindowsXP users hesitate to switch to Vista although it is bundled with their brand new hardware. Vista development itself was a huge delivery failure. KDE 3.5 users waited for ages to see KDE4 released while KDE3 as a development platform was stalled. When KDE 4.0 was released it turned out to be developers-only. No one knows if KDE 4.2, to be released early next week, is finally ready to meet user expectations. So is the don’t-break-anything principle the way to go? I don’t think so. It is rather important to carefully plan soft migration scenarios.