KDE has been going strong for more than 20 years: it was no surprise their development practices were so fluid.

Even so, there were a few surprising things in our analysis. You can find the full report at our Github repo: https://github.com/jibby0/commarch-krita

Author Knowledge

Running Git by a Bus v2 showed that two main contributors hold a majority of codebase knowledge. This is certainly better than one, and both of them have been around a while (10-15 years).

Together, they hold about 60% of the knowledge. However, the rest of it seems pretty evenly distributed! I know KDE is inclusive and has streamlined their developer onboarding process.

All in all, not terrible. Should the both of them fall off the face of the earth, hopefully the other 40% could manage.

Patch submission process

The process for creating and submitting a patch was documented, but I couldn’t find any information on who exactly could approve them. I think anyone with the “dev” status can, which you achieve after 3 patches.

Still, not having a public, formal process, isn’t the greatest. Or maybe I just can’t find it.

Callaway Coefficient of Fail

The only places Krita failed in this test were project size and build tools. Krita is (understandably) huge: it relies heavily on Qt, and has plenty of features, such as supporting both bitmap and vector images. It makes sense that the repo would be large, compressed or uncompressed. I believe this is a factor that should be either removed entirely, or at least updated to modern standards.

Krita uses CMake: it lost points for not using GNU Make. However, CMake works a lot better with C++ projects, and writing configs is much less of a pain than writing Makefiles. Since it’s open source and a popular standard, I see no problem with using an alternative build tool.

Other than that.. great!

There were only a few outstanding issues with Krita’s development process, and none of them seemed detrimental. I’ve thought about contributing to the KDE project: mostly their desktop environment, as I use it daily. The modularity is wonderful, and I would love to see it improve.

Since nearly all KDE projects follow a similar development flow, it’s definitely pushed me in a positive direction.

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