Evolving KDE – recommendations

As part of Evolving KDE we have done a survey to get a better understanding of where we are, where we want to go and how we get there. I published a summary of the responses. Based on this I recommend a number of actions:

  1. Develop our vision, strategy and focus
  2. Review all initiatives and products and evaluate which we should concentrate our focus on
  3. Improve recruiting and on-boarding processes and documentation
  4. Simplify and clarify our main web-presence
  5. Develop ideas and processes for how to make better use of our social media presence, dot and other outreach venues

The first point – develop our vision, strategy and focus – is crucial in order for KDE to move forward. When KDE started our goal was very clear: create a desktop environment and applications for end-users on Linux. But both KDE and the world around us has changed considerably since 1996. KDE has moved from being software to being a community. The world has rapidly moved towards more technology platforms (mobile, web, internet of things, …). In this transition we partially lost a shared vision that we can build a strategy on and that helps us focus our efforts. Without a clear and articulated vision we lack a frame of reference to make decisions in which makes taking these decisions considerably more difficult and sometimes painful. We need to change this and get back a shared vision so we have clarity, can focus our efforts and truly bring free and open technology to our users. We live in a time where free and open technology is crucial for everyone. We can only provide this if we have vision, strategy and focus for the work we do.

Once we have this shared vision and strategy we can have a look at the initiatives and products we have and decide which ones we should put more effort into and where our focus should be. This doesn’t mean that we will stop the rest. But it will guide our work, resources and communication. We get to say “More of this!” to the things that are important to us.

With more clarity gained through the first two steps we can then go and tackle the remaining three points. We will improve our recruiting and on-boarding processes and documentation. We need to analyze where and why people are struggling to get on board and then remove or lower these barriers together. We will simplify and clarify our main web-presence to match our vision, strategy and focus. And we will develop ideas and processes to make better use of all our communication media (social media, dot, etc).

Over the next days I will publish the next steps for finding our shared vision, strategy and focus as well as some clarification of what exactly I mean with these.

8 thoughts on “Evolving KDE – recommendations”

  1. Stability, stability, stability. I am still running 14.10 because 15.04 has too many bugs and too many stability issues. Too many things either do not work or do now work correctly. The most impressive thing a desktop environment (or any computing environment) is the one that is rock stable. Recent releases of KDE have been less rock like.

    — Smittie

  2. Well written Lydia! What I also see in the open source communities I am involved in is that, as you mention, we evolve from a bunch of folks that develop and maintain a piece of software to a community based on social values. That makes it hard sometimes, because we cannot only focus on the product anymore. We also need to take care of everything community. The biggest challenge is to make our communities open, welcoming and friendly.

    It is all to easy to say we have values and are inclusive. That has to be lived. Your article seems to recognize that and should be a good basis for the future of KDE. Looking forward to it!

  3. I would suggest a goal/vision for KDE of producing world-class software. KDE produces software, and it would seem to make sense to strive to produce the best software possible. That goal could lead into discussions of what makes great software, how to create great software, and then concrete steps to take to move KDE software toward becoming great.

    My $.02.

  4. I like the sound of this.

    Smittie: massive recruiting will help with stability. There are never too many quality assurance team members.

  5. I agree with Smttie. Stability is KDE’s main issue. I was really content with 3.5x and postponed the move to 4.x for a long time for the many stability and usability issues. Many of these have never been addressed nor solved. The PIM suite is a good example. The introduction of Aconadi and Nepomuk or Baloo respectively totally messed it up. Regularly I file bug reports about issues that cause massive data loss. Most of these bugs prevail. And now KDE is moving on from 4 to 5. Will all these bugs move on too? It’s a pity that nowadays form counts more than function. When I was a student we still learned “form follows function”. Thus I would appreciate if the developers, the one who know to code, would more concentrate on eliminating long known issues than focusing on new, nicely polished front ends.

  6. hi KDE is super, i am using 15.04 its awesome.
    1. Please enable alt+space wind0w options for maximize, min and close etc.
    2. please make super key as default for menu.
    3. please make kubuntu laptop friendly, no battery backup this is a very concerning issue.
    4. in moun update installer while installing or downloading/updating system please provide a progress bar.

  7. for point 4 i mean a detailed view like whats happening behind which app is now being downloaded which one is installing it would be very helpful

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