[kde-community] Fwd: KDE Vision – towards “wholesame” solutions

Lydia Pintscher lydia at kde.org
Sat Feb 13 12:12:52 UTC 2016

On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 7:45 AM, Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer
<olaf at amen-online.de> wrote:
> sent to wrong mailinglist by mistake ...
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer" <olaf at amen-online.de>
> To: kde-ev-membership at kde.org
> Cc:
> Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 22:19:00 +0000
> Subject: KDE Vision – towards “wholesame” solutions
> Hi all,
> many thanks to all people that have worked on the vision proposals and to
> everyone who contributed thoughts.
> I would like to chime in with an aspect that I feel is missing so far.
> This additional aspect is closely related to the motivation behind the
> product-focussed draft, but my conclusions are completely different.
> Already in KDE 2 and KDE 3 times, it impressed me that the software both
> offered a high degree of flexibility (through modularity and many
> configuration options) and a high degree of consistency (through clever and
> integrated solutions via the libraries). This tendency increased later during
> Plasma 4 and Plasma 5 times with a restructuring of the KDE releases. We now
> offer far more flexibility to users of the libraries (no monolithic “kdelibs”
> any more). We also changed the release structure to support the fact that both
> the libraries and the applications can be used independent of the desktop –
> while keeping the good integration into the desktop.
> The flexibility aligns well with “enables users to control their digital life”
> (from the value-based draft). The consistency is, I think, what motivates the
> product-focussed team.
> The strategy for safeguarding consistency must, however, work in the world of
> today. And the challenges of today are different from those 15 years ago.
> Back then, users were avoiding KDE+Linux because Microsoft Windows ran their
> favorite applications – and there simply were not enough options available on
> Linux. An additional problem was lock-in via incompatible file formats.
> Today, most people heavily use online services. Local software is still used,
> but integration with the online services is becoming more and more important.
> People still experience lack of freedom (lock-in due to network effects and
> restrictions on exporting/importing data) – even if the server runs Free
> Software internally.
> I conclude that an integrated solution today must tackle not only local
> software, but must also address the problems caused by the online services.
> This can be done via cooperations (OwnCloud, Kolab), but it other cases we
> will be better off if we allow our own developers to work on solutions.
> Forcing them to migrate to a different developing community will seriously
> harm us in our quest.
> For this reason, I am deeply concerned about the restrictive wording of the
> product-focussed draft – even if a similar motivation moves me.
> Regarding the value-based draft, my feedback is that it is very well-written.
> I truly like it. I am convinced, however, that we need to stress somewhere
> that the various KDE projects aim to integrate well with each other. This can
> be in the vision, or in a Mission statement, or in the Manifesto – but it is
> needed if we want to address the fear that KDE will loose focus.

I agree that integration within our projects is important. And I
believe it has suffered lately as the cohesion inside KDE became less.
My gut feeling is that this should go in the mission.

> I would suggest a sentence like the following:
> “KDE aims to offer complete, well-integrated solutions – while connecting
> different platforms, devices and online services.”

That sounds good to me.

> Before we finally agree on a vision, we need to clarify how it will relate to
> the Manifesto – and what will happen to KDE projects that do not fit to the
> vision.

They should live side-by-side. One defines who we are and the other
defines where we want to go.

> I consider it extremely important that we have clarity on the following
> questions, and would like to hear an “official” answer from both teams:
> 1. Will the Manifesto will stay the only official guideline for joining or
> leaving KDE? And will the vision have a purely advisory role?

IMHO we should not take the vision as an exclusionary tool but as a
reminder of where we want to go - an advisory role as you put it. It
should be there to remind us of the big picture and the change we want
to see in the world.

> 2. Or will we revise the text of the Manifesto in the same vote where we
> accept the vision?

As Kevin already brought up some time ago we can revise the manifesto.
I would suggest however to not do this in one go. I fear we're biting
off more than we can chew otherwise.

> If we change the Manifesto, then we also need to clarify:
> a) Will KDE projects be expelled if they do not fit the new Manifesto?
> b) Or will KDE projects be allowed to stay even if they do not meet the new
> Manifesto? Will other KDE projects then be forbidden from working on code that
> goes beyond the focus of the Manifesto (even if the developers consider it
> necessary for the future of the project)?
> c) Or can existing KDE projects can do whatever they wish – while new projects
> are forbidden to join unless they meet the focus of the Manifesto exactly
> (even if they integrate well with other, existing KDE projects having a
> different focus)?
> The reason I insist on these questions is that I do not want to end up in a
> situation where we agree on a vision – and then realise that people interpret
> the social consequences differently (1 or 2a or 2b or 2c).
> Also , it is important to me to know whether accepting a product-focussed
> vision precludes “wholesale” solutions that take the necessities of online
> services into account.


Lydia Pintscher - http://about.me/lydia.pintscher
KDE e.V. Board of Directors / KDE Community Working Group
http://kde.org - http://open-advice.org

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