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

Alexander Neundorf neundorf at kde.org
Mon May 23 22:30:56 BST 2016


On Sunday 22 May 2016 19:29:22 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> On Sonntag, 22. Mai 2016 15:38:39 CEST Agustin Benito (toscalix) wrote:
> > 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.
> How about "compatibility with"?
> > 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.
> For me, using the word "product" is very important especially in the Mission
> statement. Yes, we currently do not treat what we make as "products", and I
> think that is a problem.
> If there are stages of a product life-cycle we do not cover, than chances
> are that we _should_. Thinking in terms of products would remind us that we
> should think about quality, about bringing our products to market or about
> handling "end of life" properly.

I think this is related to my "reliability" point.
> This is one area where I think KDE is not "professional" enough, and it
> would be helpful especially for a better relationship with the "commercial
> world" if we improved that.
> > ++ 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.
> I had put that in because in the Vision discussion, several participants
> expressed their fear that KDE might be losing its focus on Qt, so I wanted
> to make clear that Qt is still very important to us and we are still very
> important for Qt.
> Since the survey is there to find out what the majority of the community
> thinks, though, maybe I should add another question
> "Should a focus on Qt be stated in our Mission?"
> Then we find out what the community thinks.

> > 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
> > app....
> We do host many different projects and they do not necessarily have to be
> Qt- based, but do we want to host non-Qt _libraries_ as well?

just my POV: hosting everything which is part of our "mission" or which 
supports our mission is perfectly Ok. I.e. of course KDE frameworks, but that 
office-related library which was mentioned recently obviously supports our 
mission (calligra), even if it is not 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.
> Suggestions for how to phrase such a question are welcome!

I'm also curious about what Agustin has in mind...

Maybe something like:

* KDE should try to become the go-to provider of Qt-based libraries for both 
free and proprietary software developers.
* KDE should try to become the go-to provider of Qt-based libraries for both 
free software developers.
* KDE should provide applications, libraries are just a by-product.

Maybe ?

> > ++ "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
> > points:
> > 
> > * 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?

I think the terminology in this field is really a complicated issue.
When saying "desktop", some people understand "desktop for workstations or 
laptops", while it could also be interpreted as "the graphical user interface 
for workstations, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.". Or is it called UX 
then ?

I very much agree that we should find out whether part of our mission is
* just building a desktop for workstations and laptops
* building a desktop in the wider sense, including mobile, etc.
* building a desktop in the even wider sense including augmented reality (e.g. 
google glasses, MS Kinect, etc.)
* desktop is not part of the core of our mission at all

> > 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.

Now that's a new POV here on this list. :-)
Others have strongly expressed that the mission/vision should NOT make hard 
decisions, since it also might drive developers which do not agree with those 
decisions away.
OTOH, having a clear vision and have a community where everybody agrees to 
that may be also a good thing. :-)

> > 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.

Do you mean it is not a trend anymore, or it is not emerging anymore ?


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