[kde-community] KDE Mission - let's do this!

Alexander Neundorf neundorf at kde.org
Thu Apr 28 21:43:02 BST 2016


On Thursday, April 28, 2016 12:21:28 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> as we've found during the vision creation process that having a concrete
> draft to work from can streamline the discussion, I tried to come up with
> one. It goes quite into detail, but I think this is necessary in order to
> be useful as practical guidance.

wow, quite long. :-)

Does the order of the sections imply priorities ?
E.g. "tinkering" comes before "presence on all device classes" ?
> To fulfill our vision, KDE has taken on the mission to create products which
> - give users control, freedom and privacy
>  - convince them - through excellent user experience - to switch away from
> products which don't give them that
>  - reach them where they are
> To provide control, freedom and privacy, KDE's products
> - allow users to "tinker" with them

As Aleix said, what do you mean exactly with that ?
I could interpret it as
- sources are available
- it is easy to build
- it's highly configurable
- data is stored in easily accessible formats (text, or documented binary, or 
binary with low level tools, etc) ?

> - apply open standards to prevent "lock-in"
> - integrate well with existing online services sharing the same values, or
> create their own where those do not exist

I wouldn't want to restrict us to integrating well with online services which 
share the same values.
This implies to me that good integration with e.g. Facebook or being able to 
use a kdepim client to connect to an Outlook server is not a top priority for 
us. Both are ...very important for a large set of users. More or less 
everybody is on Facebook, if you need to work with an Outlook server at your 
job it would be great to be able to do that using at least a client which 
gives you freedom and privacy.

> - never collect or transmit information about users without their explicit
> consent ("opt-in")
> - strive to provide usable security and privacy features to protect against
> surveillance and data theft
> To create a convincing user experience, KDE's products aim to
> - have consistent, easy to use human interfaces
> - provide users with _at least_ the features and quality they expect coming
> from non-free products

Well, we have the advantage that our software is free, so we offer freedom, 
independency and (if we are successful with that) privacy, something non-free 
software just can't do. If our software is also stable and reliable then, I 
can very well live with software which has somewhat less features than non-
free products.
> - be at the forefront of emerging trends like mobile/desktop convergence

Boring engineer speaking:  Nice goal. Not sure how realistic this is.
We have only a very limited number of full-time developers, so aiming for very 
advanced, complex solutions can quickly require more resources (developer 
time, for new devices also actual money) than we have.

> - integrate well with other Free products to complete the experience
> To reach users where they are, KDE
> - strives to make our products available on major Free but also proprietary
> operating systems and platforms, mostly by applying Qt as a technology that
> allows easy portability

I'd simply put "Free and propriety" instead of "Free but also proprietary", so 
they both sound like equally first class target platforms.

> - aims for a presence on all relevant device classes (desktop, mobile,
> embedded)

To me this means e.g. that we'll try to get our applications running on 
Android (good !). Is this how this is intended ?

Do we aim for embedded ?
IMO with KF5 and Plasma we can, I don't know how much that POV is shared.

> - continues to offer a "classic desktop" product which makes the switch from
> proprietary operating easy

"continues to" sounds a bit ...not strong enough, like "well, we didn't kill 
it yet".

Also I'd leave out the "switch from proprietary operating [systems] easy".
We can stress that we provide a first class desktop for Linux/UNIX OSs.
Beside that, I'd prefer us to be mostly OS-agnostic. If we can give a user on 
... Windows [maybe it'll be Open Source in a few years, who knows, MS ain't 
that evil anymore], Free software for his needs, let's say email, office, 
education software for kids, etc., that's a great achievement. That this runs 
on top of a proprietary kernel, oh well, IMO the OS is not our mission.

> - offers products that also inter-operate with proprietary software, formats
> and services in order to ease the transition to Free alternatives
> ---
> Now we have concrete points we can discuss and fine-tune.
> Looking forward to your reactions,

I like your draft.
It does not mention providing libraries explicitely, but focuses only on 
applications (if I didn't miss it).
Is that something which should be added ?


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