[kde-community] Community vision and product vision

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Mon Feb 15 17:41:14 GMT 2016

Hi everyone,
as Lydia already wrote in her email announcing the second draft for a KDE 
community vision, I'd like to talk a bit about community vs. product vision.

>From reading the discussion about the "inclusive vs. focused" vision drafts 
and talking to members of the "focused vision group" in private, I learned 
that the two groups seem to be actually looking for different things in a KDE 
vision: One group wants to define what goal the KDE _community_ as a whole is 
moving towards, whereas the other seems to be more interested in giving our 
_products_ more of a common direction. Both of these are valid, useful goals.

Given that the "focused group" had all the elements from the draft Lydia just 
presented in their draft at some point, too, it appears to me that we largely 
agree on that vision for how we want the future to be. 
Therefore, if we can agree on a vision for the community in that direction, we 
have defined _why_ we're doing what we're doing.

This does _not_ satisfy the need (which at least those who drafted the 
"focused vision" see, and they're likely not alone in that) for a common 
vision for _the products_ that we do, however. 

Now the thing is: As many of you surely already know, I'm a big fan of product 
visions. Whenever I start working with a community within KDE, the first thing 
I ask is "Do we have a product vision yet?", and if the answer is "no", then I 
help them create one for their specific product.
However, when members of the KDE Usability team (and later the VDG) tried to 
encourage the community to create a common product vision for all of KDE's 
products in the past, we were faced with the argument that looking for a such 
a vision would be pointless, since it would either not fit every project in 
KDE, or if it did, it would be too vague to be useful.
Now I still see the wish for a common product direction as valid, but I do see 
now that we _already_ have such a diverse product portfolio (even if you only 
count Qt-based GUI applications!) that defining a vision that every single one 
of them could follow is likely too difficult.

My suggestion, therefore, is: Why don't those who are looking for a common 
product direction band together and create one, which however is not 
"mandatory" for all of KDE. Instead, any project that adheres to this common 
product vision could publicly commit to it, and the suite made up of all of 
these products could even create their own _product brand_ (within KDE as the 
community brand) to reflect that. That way, we can have a collective product 
brand with a collective product vision without having to exclude any project 
which follows the same _community vision_ out of KDE.

To me, this sounds like a win/win situation for all of us. What do you think?


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