The VDG

Andy B anditosan1000 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 00:56:22 BST 2018


No worries David. The situation is past now. Let me know if you have any
questions.

Andy

On July 10, 2018 at 4:38:15 PM, David Wright (david.wright12886 at gmail.com)
wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> From reading this and the linked discussion I'm unsure what the problem
> is?
>
> KDE does not in majority of cases ship directly to users, it does through
> distros.
>
> Surely the goal is to speak to distros, even the esoteric ones like
> kxstudio and find out what they and their users would like and work from
> there?
>
> On Sun, 3 Jun 2018, 21:24 Andy B, <anditosan1000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hello team,
>>
>> Given recent events and decisions (
>> https://mail.kde.org/pipermail/plasma-devel/2018-June/086117.html) I
>> feel it important to bring more to the table.
>>
>> Martin’s decision is an unfortunate one. Martin has been with KDE through
>> thick-and -hin and has earned the respect and love from many members in the
>> community. He has also earned my respect.
>>
>> I can’t help but think that the VDG is a tremendously influential group
>> within KDE. I personally take this as a huge responsibility and a call to
>> do even better in our approach. We ourselves have also seen the departures
>> of many influential members. We have lost leaders one after the other and
>> we have tried to cope with that. Martin’s and others’ comments about the
>> VDG are welcomed and noted in this regard.
>>
>> I share the feeling. The VDG has strived to bring design back to the
>> table after we started the Plasma 5 cycle, discussing design, debating
>> direction, etc. However, the VDG has no leader, no vision, no strong
>> direction. I took these thoughts seriously last year when I first attended
>> Akademy. I realized that the VDG has a strong voice, but it was just that,
>> a voice.
>>
>> I think we are still feeling the fallout from Aaron Siego’s exit from the
>> community. He provided strong vision, made developers excited once again
>> for their work, designers rallied behind the visual vision we had. It felt
>> as though nothing could stop us because we had a guide to follow. Nothing
>> else mattered.
>>
>> I think the VDG needs vision and guidance desperately. I am guilty myself
>> of not providing this. However, I have taken steps to mitigate this
>> problem. Last year, I decided to engage myself in revamping System
>> Settings. We are still working through it but strong work has been done in
>> this past year from me that I have ever done before.
>>
>> My basic idea was to provide an easier way to interact with the thousands
>> of options that System Settings provides. By doing this work, I discovered
>> that much more could be sprung up and done for the entire interface. I also
>> discovered that I cannot take a hard line on everything that I do. We have
>> been able to deliver more KCMs by steering design rather than dictating
>> design. My affiliation with developers in the team has been one of the most
>> enriching experiences of my life. I feel the VDG will do well in
>> approaching our developer team the same way. Don’t be married to a design,
>> learn from technical challenges to your work, adapt quickly and move on.
>> VDG members will see that by doing this, we open the door to even more
>> possibilities than we ever thought.
>>
>> Our developers are the ones putting out thousands of lines of code,
>> reading on a computer screen all day, and Plasma ones do this all night as
>> well. They are the foundation of the project. Without our developers, the
>> VDG can never hope to deliver anything to the public. Our developers area
>> cautious, full of ideas and a guiding voice for contributors. We will do
>> well in partnering with a developer as we work and listen carefully to
>> their counsel.
>>
>> I feel that our team in the VDG generally receives many newcomers to the
>> world of Linux and Open Source communities. This is a challenge for the VDG
>> as we must be open to new contributors but also need to curve contributions
>> to the right places. For some, this makes it feel to them that “anything
>> goes”. This is simply not the case. We ask that if you are a new
>> contributor to the VDG, start small, learn from others and ask questions.
>> We cannot take the hard line that our designs are above the project. They
>> are simply not.
>>
>> The VDG also gathers a crowd that is passionate about design but doesn’t
>> always provide direction. I will take fault for that. Having been here a
>> while I feel it is my responsibility to provide more direction to new
>> contributors. I have opened doors, but I have not learned how to shut them.
>> If our dev team has anything they want to say, please bring this to me and
>> I will work with you.
>>
>> If anything, I feel that our developer team, the VDG and the Plasma team
>> in general currently lacks “visual direction”. I say this very carefully of
>> everyone’s feelings. We maintain our software without stretching ourselves
>> too far. After all, major changes also mean major work. By the same token,
>> sometimes as VDG, we don’t dimension that a graphic design that took us 2
>> hours to make will take 6 months to deliver. We must think deeper, less
>> like a graphic artist and more like a project manager. This will bring
>> perspective to our work.
>>
>> I ask that instead of diving into power struggles and control over code
>> and design, let’s direct that energy into developing a visual direction. We
>> worked hard on this a couple of years ago. We developed “simple by default,
>> powerful when needed.” I love that motto. It drives my thinking when
>> designing for the project. However, we needed more than that. We started
>> working on developing our human interface guidelines and the team delivered
>> a strong set. After the advent of Kirigami, the team needed to revise our
>> HIGs, a new website container was created for this purpose and every day we
>> work to modernize and adapt our guidelines. We need to catch up to the
>> great work that is being done in Kirigami. You should start seeing more
>> direction from the VDG in this regard soon.
>>
>> We are working hard toward a visual direction and less ambiguity.
>>
>> Again, we must all work in this. The entire community.  If you want to
>> point a finger, do it at me. I am at fault for not guiding sooner. I am
>> here to help with that and welcome feedback.
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>> Andy (anditosan)
>>
>
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