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

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Wed Feb 17 13:22:31 UTC 2016

On Mittwoch, 17. Februar 2016 12:06:06 CET you wrote:
> On Wednesday, 17 February 2016 12:46:26 GMT Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> > On Dienstag, 16. Februar 2016 21:20:25 CET Valorie Zimmerman wrote:
> > > I think it could be stated more gracefully. How about:
> > > 
> > > KDE aspires to a world where all users of our technology experience
> > > freedom, privacy and control over their digital lives.
> > 
> > But doesn't that mean we don't care how many users we have, as long as
> > those users have freedom, privacy and control? I don't see much ambition
> > in this, to be honest. It sounds like "Hey, let's improve the lives of a
> > tiny niche of people!" to me.
>   This is, however, an important point, i feel. While i'm sure we'd all like
> to see KDE's software all over the world and so on, is world domination
> (said with my tongue stuck firmly in my cheek) actually something that's a
> part of our vision? For myself, i'm simply not sure, but this does seem to
> be a question that'd need to be considered.

Of course it is. 
I'm sorry if my comment came across as "Valorie's suggestion is wrong", I just 
meant that it doesn't reflect _my_ ambitions (or that of the rest of the team 
who produced that draft).

We don't think that KDE _alone_ can create a world where everyone enjoys 
freedom, privacy and control, that would be unrealistic.
"World domination", no matter how deeply burying our tongue in our cheeks, is 
not our goal, either. 

The problem is: If all we aim for is for our users to have freedom, privacy 
and control, then if our software provides all that, even if it were used only 
by a handful of people, we'd still have reached our goal and there would be 
nothing more for us to do (except keeping it that way). Actually, I think 
fulfilling this vision would be pretty easy. It doesn't take much to provide 
freedom, privacy and control, actually. The difficult part is providing it in a 
way that is _attractive to users_ . 
And to provide motivation for the second part, from my perspective the goal 
should be to reach as many users as possible.

So here's the thing: It might sound a bit counter-intuitive at first, but I 
firmly believe that a vision works best if it is, realistically, pretty much 
unreachable. It has to always be possible to measure _progress towards_ the 
goals in the vision so you can tell if you're on the right track, but if you 
make your goal easily reachable, it loses all its motivational value, and you 
can basically pack up and go home, maybe leave a few people to maintain that 

As was already said in the vision discussions: Matthias Ettrich's original 
vision for KDE has been fulfilled now, and therefore has lost its value. Of 
course an alternative approach can be to create reachable visions, and once 
reached, define a new one.
However, given how much time and energy it's costing us to come up with our 
second vision, I don't know if I want to do that every few years.


More information about the kde-community mailing list