Evolving KDE – The goals are set!

Since Akademy in Almería we have been going through the process of defining goals for KDE for the next 3 to 4 years. Different ideas were proposed and refined. 10 of them made it into the community-wide vote to select 3 of them. Today I am proud to announce the result based on the 684 submitted votes.

The 3 goals KDE will be focusing on over the next 3 to 4 years are:

  • Top-notch usability and productivity for basic software: We want our users to love our software and enable them to do their day-to-day work hassle-free. As part of this goal we will focus on polishing our basic software so everyone will be delighted to use it. For more details see the proposal.
  • Privacy Software: A central part of KDE’s vision for the future is privacy. As part of this goal we will work on improving privacy-related features, settings and applications all over KDE’s software. Once done KDE software enables and promotes privacy, which is crucial for a free and open society and protecting our users from harm. For more details see the proposal.
  • Streamlined onboarding of new contributors: KDE can only achieve its vision if we enable many people to join our community and support us with their specific knowledge and skills – be it programming, artwork, promotion, translation, event organizing or any of the other hundreds of areas needed to make KDE successful. As part of this goal we will identify and remove barriers to entry in our documentation, infrastructure and processes. For more details see the proposal.

I am excited about what this will bring for the next years of KDE and how it will help bring great software to our users.

What will happen next? I am helping the proposers of the goals come up with a plan. There will be sprints related to the topics in 2018 as well as a progress report at Akademy. None of these goals is going to be achieved without help. It’ll need all hands on deck – including yours! If you are able to help with one of them please add your name to the proposal on Phabricator linked above so you can be contacted once the plan for each of them becomes more clear.

Thanks to everyone who submitted one of the great proposal, Ben for providing the list of voters and Kevin for his help in making sense of the votes.

16 thoughts on “Evolving KDE – The goals are set!”

  1. I have been using KDE since version 3.5. Now with KDE Neon I want to say that I like your vision of KDE in the near future.

    You all have done an amazing work polishing every new release and I like the idea of polishing and fixing bugs 😉

  2. Sounds good. Perhaps you could bring it to the attention of participants of the sprints that KDE is now missing any usable chat/xmpp application adressing these (very sensible!) goals. Kopete got thrown out (it had/has lots of problems, I must admit, and is missing OMEMO, too) and ktelepathy is neither working with OMEMO nor OpenPGP (even OTR is hard to use as messages get/got lost and won’t get logged). Switching to some “modern” webinterface to connect via your smartphone to some non-federated, third party hosted service, doesn’t sound like a goal to strive for 😉 Thank you!

  3. Please stop adding huge unrelated images to the top of your articles. They add no value and make people scroll down to finally start reading.

  4. What about PIM? Ever since the migration to Akonadi the quality of the entire KDE PIM suite has decreased dramatically. Enterprise features, such as proper EWS support are still not available and even very basic features, which used to work back in the old days (such as fetching calendars from remote sources) are still broken.

    I really like KDE and Kontact is really a very big player in my day-to-day work. So when you are referring to “top-notch usability and productivity for basic software” I really hope that this includes Kontact and PIM in general – although I know that especially calendars & mail are not really “basic”.

  5. I saw that you also included Okular as a key component.
    I want to point to a special issue with Okular (and other Qt/kf5 applications): the print dialogue (PPD print options) has been removed from KDE and it was planned to be implemented in Qt. Yet this never happened and all kf5 apps have lost this important printing functionality. I know it is not a KDE (kf5) issue anymore but a Qt issue, yet all kf5 apps are suffering when it comes to printing. There’s a bug filed with Qt since long yet it does not seem somebody is going to work on this anytime soon.
    https://bugreports.qt.io/browse/QTBUG-54464
    Maybe it’s reasonable to reconsider the decision to make Qt responsible for this functionality?

  6. I would stress 1 and add to it reduce bloatware. I’ve been a fan of KDE since I started using Linux in the early 2000s, but lately I’ve left because you’ve lost features I found very critical (like unique virtual desktop wallpapers) and added others I never needed (I don’t like activities, which are just cumbersome VDs, IMO), so I’ve gone to Enlightenment because it does everything I need it to do in a way I like, and it’s fast and responsive. While all WMs have advantages and disadvantages, it seems to me KDE has lost balance while others have gained it. I’ll be interested to see if you can get it back. Good luck.

  7. I was never made aware of any community vote. Or was this never something made public.

    Although I stressed a long time ago in a comment to Sebas (subsequently deleted…), how KDE lacked direction (aims & goals) in recent years, it is good to see that there is a pull towards redefining this and strategically aiming towards something collectively as a community. A viewpoint from the distance, this has been missing for a long time. I don’t think that’s nostalgia from watch KDE over the years.

    KDE 5 felt like the refinement and polish of the ambitious KDE 4, but I look forward to the future, which KDE always pushed to. A lot of the legacy technologies were ground-breaking albeit buggy, and to me that was what made KDE great. Kde is a solid desktop to work on throughout the day. However, to me these are short-term aspirations, which only raises my eyebrow slightly.

    I feel that in some ways the privacy thing is a political agenda, rather than a technically driven motivation. That as a user will not impact me, when ultimately we are being snooped on by everyone.

    In the end Point 3) really would help. I code with the relevant Qt stuff, but there never has been a straightforward simple starting point for contributing code without overcoming a high energy barrier of getting a KDE development environment working. By that I mean techbase does not want me to get involved.

    In short, I am tired of seeing the polish. It’s time to see something fresh, interesting and inspiring.

  8. The vote was talked about in this blog, PlanetKDE, the KDE Community mailinglist, the KDE Devel mailinglist and various social networks among others.
    And yes of course privacy is political and not purely technical – not everything KDE does is or has to be purely technically motivated.

  9. Luke Perry brings up a very important point about the barrier to KDE developers. I feel that Qt has become such a rich collection of libraries in itself that I see no advantage in KDE building and maintaining its own “frameworks”. There are a lot more Qt developers in the commercial world than KDE and they can become contributors if they didn’t have to learn KDE development. It is also interesting that kdevelop is still maintained when qt creator is a very mature IDE. Why not simply add some project templates for KDE development as addons to qt creator instead of maintaining another IDE ?

    These days too much effort seems to be going into the KDE desktop itself instead of apps which is what users are interested in. That effort can be cut by using as much from the Qt framework as possible and make KDE a lighter, easier to maintain desktop. With each version, KDE seems to leave behind a few apps because the maintainers cannot keep up with the learning curve- in an ideal scenario, it should be a re-compile for the new version with few changes- not a complete rewrite.

  10. Hello Folks:
    I have Windows 7,8.1,10 & Plasma Neon. All my Windows have been moved to a desk drawer. I still update them, but now KDE has become my system. I just wish my Updater worked better. And I really want the ( unique virtual desktop wallpapers) like I had in KDE 17. I use 3 monitors with 4 screens so different wallpapers help a lot with the different things I get going.
    I would be more than willing to help with any graphic things KDE might need. I’m not a professional but I have helped with peoples projects in the the past.

    Much Thanks: Swamp fox

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