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

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Tue May 10 16:18:39 BST 2016

On Montag, 9. Mai 2016 22:49:15 CEST Alexander Neundorf wrote:

> > Let's finish our mission before we lose interest ;)
> thanks for pushing :-)
> No objections from my side, just a few thoughts, in no specific order:

Glad to hear :)

> * I don't like the term "reach <somebody> where they are", to me this always
> kind of implies that the person in question is currently somehow in a wrong
> place (in German: "die Leute da abholen, wo sie sind" :-/ )
> Basically this is the "everyone" from the vision.
> So maybe
> "To be able to make the software available to everyone, KDE"... ?

There are actually slightly different underlying positions concerning 
I assume that for both of us, a perfect world would be one where everybody 
used exclusively free software/hardware/services/content. We both know that 
this will probably never happen, so we have to aim for something more 
realistic. And this is where our priorities diverge:
- For me, it's more important to get people away from as much non-Free stuff 
as possible
- For you, it's more important to get our Free stuff to as many people as 

Both positions are perfectly valid, of course. Now the problem is: How can we 
tell what KDE as a whole puts more emphasis on, when nobody but us voices 
their opinion?

> * To me, "classic desktop" does not really fit into "reach users where they
> are"

Ok, so where would you put it? I'm open to any suggestion here.

> * One could argue that to provide control, freedom and privacy for users,
> KDE's products do not only need to have those properties, but the products
> actually need to cover a substantial range of the users needs.
> IOW, e.g. by offering a range of niche nerdy applications, let's say 3D
> printer software and a desktop ruler, we wouldn't do much to achieve our
> vision.
> So, should there be some mention of what we want to "produce" ?
> Something like desktop, office, education, creation, etc. ?

Even "niche nerdy applications" do contribute to our vision, but of course the 
more users, the bigger the impact.

The question is, though: Does the "substantial range of the users needs" 
really need to be covered by KDE software? For example, there is still no 
advanced photo editing software from KDE, because the Krita team decided that 
GIMP has that need covered just fine and Krita should focus on digital painting 

I, personally, think that the goal should be that /Free Software/ covers all 
common user needs. Whether that software is made by KDE, GNOME, GNU, TDF, 
Apache, any other organization or an independent project does not matter that 
much to me.

Of course there are some applications which greatly benefit from a very tight 
integration with the desktop environment or other applications, and it makes 
sense to offer these from one source, but that group might not actually be all 
that big.

That said, I have nothing against offering some examples of areas we think we 
should cover, I just won't be the one to provide them.

> * you mention "embedded". I haven't seen any comments here e.g. from KF5- or
> plasma-developers expressing strong interest.

I'd like to keep it in unless someone says they explicitly do not want to 
target embedded. The mission should not just reflect what we're already doing, 
but what we _should_ be doing, after all.

> * "on major [...] OS" -> "on all major [...] OS" ?


> * "have consistent [...] interfaces", "available on major [...] OS, e.g. by
> applying Qt" can easily be interpreted that Qt (and our set of libraries) is
> used to achieve portability and consistent user interfaces, which could
> easily be interpreted as e.g. a gtk-application is not part of our
> mission...

As far as portability (especially towards mobile platforms) is concerned, GTK 
is indeed not the toolkit of choice. In the mobile space, Qt (or more 
specifically QtQuick) seems to have pretty clearly won against GTK.

I don't see how mentioning Qt as an example of a toolkit that helps us with 
that effort would exclude GTK applications. If someone would ask us what 
toolkit to use for a new KDE application, we'd still very likely recommend Qt, 

Maybe I'll just spell out "for example" because that makes it harder to miss 
than "e.g.".

> * the two last points of "to create a convincing user experience" are quite
> generic and inconcrete, i.e. they don't add much tangible

They are, but I think they are important as reminders that we should not 
oppose things which are out of our comfort zone.

The last point is mostly to make sure we keep doing what we're doing in that 
regard, the third is remind us not to repeat our mistakes from the past (like 
being waaaay too late to the mobile party)
I think both points are important. Suggestions for how to make them more 
tangible are welcome!

> Alex

Thank you for the input,

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