latest draft for mission (and strategy)

Sebastian K├╝gler sebas at
Tue May 30 18:54:50 UTC 2017

Hi Agustin,

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 4:07:37 PM CEST Agustin Benito (toscalix) wrote:
> thanks for driving this discussion. It is a needed one. Here are my
> early comments:
> * "builds on open standards to prevent "lock-in" - I think that
> prevent lock-in is not a reason but a consequence of building KDE
> software on open standards. open stardars are aabout transparency,
> agreement, provenance...

That makes it too vague in my opinion. Preventing lock-in is a tangible 
benefit for our users, it is in fact why many instituional users choose Free 
software over proprietary offerings. We should call it by its name to make 
clear why we do this, and why users want and need it.

> * "provides usable security and privacy features to protect against
> surveillance and data theft" there is legal surveillance that we do
> not want to prevent. In any case, privacy is a right challenged in our
> digital era like was not challenged before, in the analogic era. Is
> the right to privacy the central point, not the prevention against
> data theft. You can prevent your data from being stolen through
> proprietary software too, among other options.

Legal says exactly nothing, since it's bound to a jurisdiction, a concept 
which doesn't exactly work in the internet era. Something can be legal in a 
given location, yet morally wrong. Also, we're not judging (a Free software 
principle), we're allowing privacy, full stop.

> * "have consistent, easy to use human interfaces" and "provide a
> seamless user experience" seems to me close enough to justify that we
> condense them in a single statement.

One is about the interface quality itself, the other is about a cross-device 
experience, I think they warrant separate mentioning to make the mission less 
fluffy and more concrete.

> * I would be carefull with the words "integration" and
> "interoperates". In order to work well, both concepts requires two
> parties. We cannot guarantee any of them by ourselves.

We can strive for it, however. Nothing wrong with that.

> * Linked with the above, this statement is a set up for failure:
> "interoperates well with proprietary software, formats and services" .
> In simple words, it is not in our hands to provide a satisfactory
> experience when dealing with proprietary software/formats/services. I
> would re-formulate this in a way that reflects that we will do our
> best.

Again, I think it's absolutely sound to state that we want our software to 
work well with proprietary offerings. It provides real value to users and 
again makes it clearer why we do what we do.

> * "empowers users independent of their abilities" I find this
> statement vague. How are we going to empower them? what for? why it is
> so important for us to empower software users? I would try to develop
> it a little.

How? :)

> * I have a fundamental issue with the whole "user story". We are
> upstream. We only reach 0.1% of our currrent users directly. We live
> in an industry that has "downstream", that is, integrators and
> distributors. I truly believe that one of our limiting factors is our
> belief that we can reach users "by ourselves", through direct
> interaction. This idea, which is popular in our community, has its
> reflection in this Mission statement. No mention to any collaboration
> with dowsntream in this section, to reach users.

While we are upstream, we're responsible for the largest part of the user 
experience, we develop the software, we create the UI, we fix the bugs that 
annoy people.

> I have been fighting this widespread belief since I joined in 2005.
> Our situation is worse today than ever was, in my opinion. I would
> really like to see ourselves turning the situation upside down, which
> can start by discussing and ultimately reflecting in this Mission
> statement how important it is for us the ecosystem that allow us to
> bring our software to user's hands.

Please elaborate what you want to do, and how. Your statement is really vague 
and I fail to make sense of it, possibly others have the same problem.

sebas |

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