When I became president of KDE e.V. in September last year I made a list of important things we need to do over the coming year. The biggest item on this list was helping KDE and KDE e.V. get a better understanding of where we are, where we want to go and how we want to get there. Today, with the help of many others, I want to start this process and I want you to be a part of it.
KDE began its life as a desktop project and Qt showcase back in 1996. Since then KDE has evolved to become something more significant; the modern KDE is a global community of technologists, designers, writers and advocates producing some of the world’s finest user-centric Free Software. As we have evolved, so too has the world around us. The user’s experience is no longer restricted to the desktop. It has expanded to the user’s hands, wrists, glasses and more and will continue to evolve into areas we have yet to imagine.
In KDE we want to be in charge of our future. We want to have a clear and honest approach for reacting to and influencing our shifting environment, to continuously and consciously improve. We want to do what is necessary to be the thriving community for creating technology that will satisfy the needs of the next 20 year’s users.
In order to shape our evolution it is crucial that the wider KDE community understands its current position and where it aims to be in the future. As the primary support structure within the KDE community, KDE e.V. is instrumental in guiding that journey. Through regular honest assessment and reaction to our environment the KDE community continues to remain effective and relevant and ensures that KDE’s users will continue to Experience Freedom.
In order to provide the KDE community with the means to assess its current position and find future direction we have devised this yearly iterative process:
- First, we will gather extensive input from the wider community: everyone from core contributors to casual contributors to users. This will be done via various means, the main one being a survey, but also including forums, mailing lists, IRC office hours and in-person meetings; for example at Akademy.
- This input is then consolidated into a report. It is going to be published before Akademy for public consumption. This report will summarize community conclusions and potential areas of focus and improvement.
- During KDE e.V.’s annual general assembly, the report is discussed and some of the recommended focus areas are agreed on as goals.
- At a strategy sprint, core community members come up with measureable suggestions to achieve those goals.
- Finally, there will be a wrap up session that will evaluate how much progress we have made towards the goals we set ourselves. The evaluation will be presented at the next general assembly meeting.
KDE e.V. will support this process and its outcome. The outcome of this process are happy contributors and happy users.
I’d love for you to be a part of this process. As a first step please help us by taking the time to fill out the survey. Further information will be published on evolve.kde.org. If you have questions please ask them on the KDE community mailing list.
KDE e.V. has been successfully supporting the KDE community for over 17 years. For many of them we had the tremendous help of a business manager, several interns, an event manager and countless volunteers to be able to do this. In the coming years we want to be able to support the KDE community even better. In order to do this we need strong support from an Executive Director. The Board of Directors has decided to hire someone for this position in the coming months. We are looking for a passionate individual who understands our community and can drive our business interaction. Do you want to be a part of bringing great software to millions of users? Do you want to really make a difference for a Free Software non-profit? Then this is the job for you! If you would like to know more about the position please read the job ad.
Free Software has made great strides in all kinds of areas and improved our lives. Nonetheless there are still many areas where people don’t have the freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute software that is important to them. The Free Software Foundation has a list of projects where it is especially important to provide a new or better Free Software solution. I am very happy to see that the process for maintaining this list has been opened up now. The list is going to be renewed by a committee (that I am a part of). Our movement needs to keep the big picture in mind and attract new people for important areas if we want to make further progress on giving more people more control over more parts of their digital lives. But what should be on this list in the future? Where does Free Software need to make a difference? We need your input. For further details please see the announcement by the FSF.
I went to Akademy with two notebooks and a plan. They should both be filled by KDE contributors with writing and sketching about one thing they think would make KDE better. Have a look at the result:
The complete set is in this Flickr album. Check it out! What’s your favorite? What’s your one thing – big or small – that would make KDE better?
(Thanks to Fabrice for the idea.)
Only a few days left until Akademy. I’m looking forward to meeting old friends again and making new ones. There are many exciting talks in the program that I want to see. Have a look!
The board is going to do a Q&A session on Saturday afternoon. We want to give more people a chance to ask questions than just the ones attending Akademy. I started a wiki page to collect them and we’ll try to answer as many as we can.
Akademy is KDE’s community gathering every year. It is the place and time where KDE gets to meet face-to-face. Where we talk about our work. Where we have important discussions. Where we prepare for crucial decisions. Where we have fun. Where we meet friends. Where we make a difference. Where we plan our next steps for world domination. Or in short: Where things that really matter happen. But such an event does not just magically happen. It takes a lot of effort from a dedicated local team, previous Akademy organizers and many more people. To support the organisation of Akademy 2014 in Brno KDE e.V. is looking to hire an event manager. If you have what it takes to manage an event for a crowd of about 200 charming free software people you should apply. If you know someone who would be a good fit please let them know about this opportunity.
More details about the job and how to apply in the job ad.
The board of KDE e.V. and a number of other KDE contributors are going to be in Berlin from 21st to 23rd of March for an extended board meeting. We’d like to meet up with KDE contributors and users as well as other Free Software contributors for a dinner. This will be on the 22nd. If you’re going to join please let me know by email (lydia at kde org) within the next week so we can reserve enough space.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
KDE has once again been selected as an organisation to mentor students as part of Google Summer of Code. I’m really looking forward to working with amazing students again. We have awesome mentors and exciting ideas lined up. So if you’re a student and want to work with KDE this summer you should have a look at our ideas list. If you have questions you can come to our IRC channel #kde-soc on freenode or send an email to the mailinglist email@example.com.
Only 1 month left until I’m heading of to Bilbao for some vacation and my favorite conference of the year, Akademy. Akademy is shaping up to be a great event again for KDE – but not only for KDE! We’ll be hosting the Qt Contributor’s Summit as well and other projects like VideoLAN, RazorQt, Tomahawk are joining us again to create, discuss and maaaaybe also have a little fun 😉
I am personally looking forward to most:
- Kevin’s keynote as well as the other two awesome keynotes that are waiting for their announcement
- the student programs lightning talks that are by now a tradition at Akademy I’d say
- all the chatter that will happen in the hallways between talks, over a beer late at night or while walking to the venue
Together with the fabulous Leslie Hawthorn I’ll be talking about negotiation theory for geeks and burnout. Don’t miss it! It’ll be fun. Besides that my major goal for this year’s Akademy is getting input from a lot of people for some fundamental questions about the future of KDE e.V.
But that’s not enough for a summer, right? No. No rest for the crazy people… After Akademy I’ll be heading over to Taipei for COSCUP to talk about what makes KDE tick as well as Wikidata. From there I’ll head over to HongKong for Wikimedia’s annual conference Wikimania to catch up with people on all things Wikidata and a whole bunch of other community and tech things around Wikimedia like the VisualEditor.
The accepted students for Google Summer of Code and the Outreach Program for Women have just been announced. I am so happy that we were able to accept 50 students for GSoC. Thank you Google! I am also excited that we were able to accept 3 women for our first participation in the Outreach Program for Women. Thank you KDAB and the other OPFW sponsors who made it possible to accept 2 more than we initially planned! This is going to be a great summer for KDE for sure. You can see all accepted GSoC projects here and the OPFW projects here. They’ll all be adding status updates here so keep an eye on that page. Please give them a warm welcome!
If we could not accept your proposal for any of the programs this time please have a look at this email I just sent to the student mailinglist about this year’s Season of KDE.