Policies/Application Lifecycle

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When you want to start a new application (or remove an old application), you want to know where you should place it in the Subversion repository. This document describes where to go in which stage of your application.

See #Stage 3: The end for instructions on how to deal with old, unmaintained applications.

In a diagram it all comes down to:



Stage 1: The start

The start of a new application can take place on a local disk, in a local repository or any other way. Another option is provided by KDE in the special /trunk/playground folder in the repository where everyone is free to commit ones own application. You can request an SVN account and after that you can import your project in the subfolder of your choice.

It is not meant as a backup area, so you should not develop your application somewhere else and only sync the changes now and then to KDE's repository.

As soon as you start releasing your software and match the criteria for the next stage, you should consider moving your application folder to the next stage.

Because playground is something like an 'experimental' area, there is only a small amount of applications that make it to the next stage. To keep the playground area accessible and a bit organized, we have created a /tag/unmaintained/N (where 'N' is the KDE major version the application was written for; e.g. 4 for KDE4 applications). If you do not want to continue your application, move it to that place in the repository. If you do not know how, contact the current contactperson which is mentioned at the bottom of this document.

Whenever an application has not received a commit for one complete year, you will be contacted via email to discuss if you want to continue the application or if it has died. In the latter case or when the email bounces, it will be moved to /tag/unmaintained/N/.

Stage 2: Stable

When you have made one of more releases and want to continue to develop it, the term 'playground' does no longer apply to you. That is the right time to move out of here. There are two options to move to: extragear and one of the KDE main modules. If you want to move to one of the KDE main modules, you will get released with KDE. That also means you have to respect that release schedule. The fact you want your program in KDE main modules is not enough and others have to agree is valuable to have it. In extragear you are on your own. You make the releases whenever you want and you have to talk to the translators about your release schedule. In the future it might be possible to be released together with the KDE main modules. But at this moment this is not possible.

Whatever you choose, there are some rules to follow before you are allowed to move to either location:

  • There should be user documentation in docbook format. If you need help, you can ask for help to the KDE Documentation team: kde-doc-english@kde.org.
  • There should be developers documentation in the form of apidox for libraries you can check this at ebn
  • There should be no krazy code checker issues reported. Again, you can check that at ebn. There is also a tutorial on using Krazy available here on TechBase.
  • If possible, there should have been a basic usability review of your application. Usability people are hard to get, so this is not crucial.
  • You should have checked for basic problems with a profiler. I hope we will get a tutorial on how to do this soon
  • Your application should be completely translatable.

When you decide you want to move to this second stage, move your application to /trunk/kdereview and announce the move on kde-core-devel@kde.org. In the announcement address the above issues and state where you want your application to move to (which KDE main module or extragear). Extragear only requires general approval on kde-core-devel. A main module requires approval from the community who manages that module (e.g. the kdepim module requires approval from the kdepim community).

The move to kdereview starts a two week review period during which the community can object to your proposal or request additional changes. If there are no objections or requested changes after this two week period, you are allowed to move your application to the place you requested. If your intention is to move to a main module you must additionally get approval from the module coordinator(s) who manage that module.

If changes are requested, you can leave your application in kdereview while you are actively working on those issues. If you lack the time to work on the changes, move your application back to playground. Once the requested changes are completed, announce to kde-core-devel that you have completed the requested changes and wait for another week for objections.

Kdereview is only meant as a transitional place from playground to the main modules or extrager. In no case can kdereview be a permanent place to develop your application.

Stage 3: The end

Whenever you decide to stop developing the application and that leaves the application without developers, please announce that to kde-core-devel. If nobody stands up to take over maintainership within two weeks, the application has to be moved to the /trunk/unmaintained/N/ area as every application in the KDE main modules and in extragear needs to have a maintainer to stay there.


For each move in subversion, the translation files of each language need to move as well. Because this requires a complete checkout of the l10n folder and some knowledge about the structure, you can ask the release-team (release-team@kde.org) to move them. Send a simple mail with the information required to do the move, for example: 'move /playground/somewhere/someapp to /kdereview/someapp'. If you want to help out with these kinds of moves, please send a mail! You are welcome to help out.


If you need any help regarding this, please contact Tom Albers (tomalbers@kde.nl)

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