[kde-community] KDE Mission - let's do this! : Feedback on survey draft

Agustin Benito (toscalix) abenito at kde.org
Sun May 22 14:38:39 BST 2016


On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 12:14 AM, Alexander Neundorf <neundorf at kde.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Wednesday 18 May 2016 23:43:12 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> ...
>> I have created a survey draft at
>> http://survey.kde.org/index.php/858172/lang-en
>> Now please everybody click through it and give feedback on anything that you
>> think should be changed.
>> Once it feels like we agree on the survey, I'll publish it on the Dot and on
>> the kde-community and kde-devel mailing lists, hoping to reach most KDE
>> contributors and interested users.
> here are a few comments:
> Section "Support for services"
> ------------------------------
> - there's a typo "servies"
> - the first point says "Focus more in [free services]", the third point says
> "Focus on [dominating services]". I would put the "more" also in the third
> point. Or maybe for both use "prioritize support for [Free/dominating]
> services" ?

One of our historical problems, in my opinion, has been our little
engagement with the "commercial world". Words can help or holding us
back from turning up side down our current situation.

Two examples:

I consider the word  "support" controversial. Support in commercial
environments has a specific meaning. It is related with paid service.
I would use a different word.

The other word is "product".

I understand that Open Source projects, and we are no exception, have
a bigger and better "end to end" conscious. That is good. Still, there
are several stages of what the commercial world understands as
"product cycle" we do not cover. The motivation for creating
"products" is also different, so the expected outcome.

I would use a different word in the Mission statement.

++ KDE and Qt

I think we should try to better reflect the aim that KDE has to become
even more relevant in the Qt ecosystem, and how important it is to us.
I read two references in the current draft:

* "strives to make our products available on all major Free and
proprietary operating systems and platforms, for example by applying
Qt as a technology that allows easy portability"
* "provides frameworks and libraries which facilitate the development
of high-quality Qt applications"

I would remove both references.

The first one is irrelevant. In the same way that we mentioned Qt we
could have mentioned any other technology. In a mission statement
every word counts. In fact, I think that in general we have too many
already. It is not easy, I understand.

The second one reduces our scope. I thought we agreed on being a host
for different projects. It seems here that if it is not a Qt based

I would write instead a sentence that reflects the position within the
Qt ecosystem we want to play and how important it is to us.

++ Free vs Open Source

I do not like the idea that "Open Source" is the default way for 99%
of the world to refer to Free Software. Like most of you, I think it
refers to a wider concept. open does not mean free, right? But,
specially in commercial environments, that is the current state.

I propose to use "Open and Free Software", Free and Open Source
Software" or "Libre Software" instead of "Free Software" .

I think the above changes would help to reduce our gap with the
commercial world..

++ Participation in key forums

There is something missing to me.

The Free Qt Foundation has demonstrated to be a key player, we
participate in other forums.... How is that reflected in our mission
for the coming years? Do we want to improve our positioning? How? Is
it important to us? important enough to be reflected in the Mission
Statement? Do we participate only to promote Free Software values?

++ "classic desktop"

We have suffered the last few years from having two different visions
within our community on what desktop means/is. Going through the
process of redefining the strategy should serve to solve these kind of
fundamental issues.

When I read the mission, I understand that we have used a "political
way" to provide satisfaction to both views. In that regard, these two

* aims for a presence on all relevant device classes (desktop, mobile, embedded)
* offers a "classic desktop" product which makes the switch from other
popular operating systems easy

do the job very well.

I question though that this is the way to go. We should focus on
solving this issue and state the consensus clearly in the Mission
Statement instead of perpetuating the problem, leaving our mission,
that should lead our main goals for the coming years, unclear.

Do we understand desktop as Plasma for a laptop or a PC or is a
desktop also Plasma for mobiles and embedded, for instance? Is a
desktop an "application" or a "base layer" in a block diagram where
apps lay upon? Is it both?

At the mission level, what is so relevant (other than our own "issue")
that force us to differentiate between a 7"screen from a 32" one in
such a way?

So my suggestion is to solve this controversy for once and find a
single sentence that reflects the agreement. If we cannot reach an
agreement, then the mission should reflect the minimum common
multiple, not both ideas. Mission statements are about agreements, not
a reflection of everybody's ideas. Mission statements are about taking
decisions, not about satisfying everybody.

Maybe some of you think that this last point has little to do with
what it is written or what is happening. If that is the case, it might
be only about being a little more accurate, if possible.

If that is the case....

1.- I believe that mobile/desktop convergence is not an emerging trend anymore.

2.- We do an innovative and modern desktop. Even if we do a "classical
desktop", we should not state it that way in our mission. The next few
years should be about keeping what is good about the "old concept"
that took us here and evolving it. We are not dealing with cars from
1920 here. If we have to use quotes in a Mission statement, a document
that should be crystal clear not just to ourselves but the "external

I would like to finish thanking those who has put so much effort in
this document. My job here is easier. Take it as a constructive
opinion, please. I tried to be "graphical" in some of my comments.

Best Regards

Agustin Benito (toscalix)
KDE eV member
Profile: http://es.linkedin.com/in/toscalix

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