[kde-community] finding a clear vision for KDE - an alternative draft for discussion

Alexander Neundorf neundorf at kde.org
Fri Feb 5 22:16:06 UTC 2016

Hi Ingo,

On Friday, February 05, 2016 16:43:06 Ingo Klöcker wrote:
> On Wednesday 03 February 2016 22:05:20 Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> > KDE is an end-user focused, openly governed community of free software
> > enthusiasts
> This is a description of what you (and me) think KDE is (or should be), but
> not what its goal (vision) is, unless you think that our goal should be to
> be "an end-user focused, openly governed community of free software
> enthusiasts".
> > that strives to provide graphical user interfaces and
> > applications for end-users for all types of computers across the device
> > spectrum: desktops PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.
> Providing end-user software for all kinds of devices sounds like a mission
> statement to me, i.e. like a plan to reach some goal. 

One result of "Evolve KDE" was that users want a vision or strategy or 
Now, what does that mean...
Personally I doubt that they wanted a one.sentence pitch.
I think (just guessing), they just want to have some clear goal or direction 
KDE is working towards. At least that's what I want.
I think this draft would serve that purpose.
Matthias Ettrichs initial KDE-email certainly didn't match the definition of a 
vision, but it worked really well.
"I have a dream" was also more than one sentence. ;-)

Maybe vision+mission belong together ?

We could just tweak the opening sentences so they form a proper "vision", and 
keep the remainder as "mission" ?

> It totally lacks the What and Why, i.e. the greater goal. Why do we strive
> to provide ...? What is in it for the end-users that they do not get from
> any other software vendor?

For me this is hard to put in one meaningfull sentence.
The first sentence basically says "free GUI software for all devices/OSs" with 
slightly different words. The "free software enthusiasts" implies that we want 
to give freedom to the users and developers. Should this be spelled out ?

Why are we doing this ?
For me, I'm in KDE for two reasons: it is fun, and it gives people freedom, 
independence from companies for their everyday GUI software needs.

What is in it for the users they do not get anywhere else ?
One could say that the 4 items relate to 4 different types of users:

- "normal users": "manage their 'digital life' using free software no matter
  on which OS. ..familiar and consistent user experience"

- desktop Linux users: we have a great desktop, and we want to continue that

- tinkerers or companies working with mobile/embedded Linux: we provide a good 
(best) free user interface

- Qt developers: you get awesome libraries from us, free, stable, etc.

Those are very concrete, and also quite different "benefits" for users.

> > We believe that software should be free and respectful of the privacy of
> > our users.
> This sentence seems to hint at a vision I could identify with. Free Software
> that protects the users privacy.
> > Our values are stated in the KDE Manifesto.
> This sentence isn't really part of a vision or mission statement. It makes
> sense to put it somewhere, e.g. on the page which shows our vision (and
> mission), but not as part of the vision (or mission).

it is just a draft, supposed to be changed. :-)
> Since Mirko posted a link to this website, I assume that you have read the
> list of 30 example vision statements.
> https://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/


> A possible vision for KDE derived from your draft but being more in line
> with the example would be
> "KDE enables everyone to make best use of their digital devices without
> compromising their privacy."

I have to admit, while this certainly matches better the definition of a 
"vision", and I agree with it, to me, as a boring German engineer, this 
sentence alone is not useful.
When I read it, I think, Ok, that's an introduction, marketing, nothing 
concrete, now where is the real stuff ? Such a sentence alone doesn't make me 
excited, nor curious. I have seen enough of those slogans, everybody has one, 
they are usually "deep", "thought provoking", "engaging", etc., I'm actually 
tired of those.
Yes, we can tweak the first few sentences so they match that format.
I think an important point this draft wants to make is to spell out what KDE 
is trying to achieve in concrete software categories, so a reader understands 
what we are doing, and doesn't have to guess and assume.
As I said above, that's maybe vision+mission ?


More information about the kde-community mailing list