[kde-community] RFC: Distribution outreach program
thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Fri Jan 29 16:06:14 UTC 2016
distributions are - and most likely will be for the foreseeable future - be
the main channel by which users get our software. Therefore, we're eternally
grateful for the job they are doing.
However, it happens - too often for my taste - that users face problems while
using our software which only happen in their distribution. We could say
"well, that's not our problem, then", but of course our goal is to provide our
users the best possible experience, so blaming others for problems does not
I believe that we can improve the situation by intensifying our cooperation
with distributions even further. On the other hand, however, distributions
also have to do their part in order to make our software run optimally on
them. Of course we're not really in a position to demand anything from them
per se: If distributions make decisions which screw up our software, we cannot
effectively keep them from doing so.
What we _can_ do, however, is offer them incentives for doing so. This leads
to my idea: Establishing a "Distribution Outreach Program", coupled with an
official "badge of approval". How could this work?
1. We define - as strictly as necessary - criteria which a distribution has to
meet in order for our software to run optimally on them. These criteria could
include things like
- How fast do they have to deliver our newest major as well as minor releases
- Which version of our dependencies they should ship with each version (not
just the minimum dependency, but the version we've identified to work best)
- With which options they should compile and package our software
- Other measures to avoid common downstream problems we've identified
2. Distributions can agree to comply with these criteria
3. They officially become part of the outreach program which gives them
- More direct help with problems that may still arise
- A badge like "Works great with Plasma" or "Works great with KDE
Applications" which they can put on their website
- A position in a special section on https://community.kde.org/Distributions
4. We check if they really meet the criteria and if they stop doing so, there
is a defined procedure for notifying them and eventually kicking them out if
they continue to fail complying
This could give them a strong incentive to work towards becoming optimal
foundations for our software to run on, for mutual benefit.
What do you think?
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