Improving our integration with KDE application teams, and supporting companies

Jeremy Whiting jpwhiting at
Thu Aug 23 15:51:19 BST 2018

Hi All,

On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 1:29 PM Adriaan de Groot <groot at> wrote:

> Mostly I'm repeating this item from Cornelius because it follows so well
> from
> what Valorie *originally* asked, rather than a bunch of misintepretations
> and
> discussing-something-else.
> On Monday, 20 August 2018 10:58:05 CEST Cornelius Schumacher wrote:
> > I don't think that anybody has a problem with having a healthy ecosystem
> of
> > companies around KDE. That's not the debate we are having.
> The thread started with Valorie exclaiming surprise that there was
> pushback on
> the entire notion of having companies / paid development around the KDE
> community. Some people have chimed in saying that that's not what they
> hear at
> all, so at this point I'm inclined to say that Valorie had the bad luck to
> run
> into one or two grumpy people.
> [Disclosure: Cornelius is presumably paid to work on Free Software-ish
> things
> throughout the week; I am paid to work on Free Software things for at
> least
> half of the week, and am looking for more.]
I also work on Free Software-ish things myself, but haven't done as much
KDE stuff
in the past few years.

> But we could run a separate email thread with this question:
>  - do we (as a community) want an ecosystem of companies and paid
> development
> around KDE?

I would argue that whether we as a community want that or not we already
have it. I can
name on a couple of hands quickly a number of community members that either
are paid
to work directly on KDE stuff or on free software in general and do KDE
stuff in "Community"
paid time by the company they work for.

> > > For those people who claim that having paid people work on a Free
> Software
> > > project will inevitably kill all motivation for volunteers, let's look
> at
> >
> > > some examples within or close to KDE:
> > We need to get clear on what we are debating. It's not that paid people
> are
> > a problem. It's about how this is done and who is paying them.
> >
> > We have a very conscious standing decision that KDE e.V. does not pay
> > developers. This clearly separates paid and volunteer work there so that
> > there can be no issue with harming volunteer motivation. We might want to
> > revisit this decision but would need to be very clear about the
> governance
> > of this work.
> You're right. That's a very separate debate. That question is:
>  - are there any circumstances under which KDE e.V. itself should fund
> development, by paying developers directly or hiring companies to do so?

Yes, I think this is the real question here. We already have paid
developers, the question
is whether e.V. should get involved in that aspect.

One possible way to remove the emotional aspect of this would be to have
the board
or some work group come up with a bounty list of long-standing issues we
would like to see
fixed and whoever (individual or group/company) is able to properly fix the
issue gets the
money for that bounty. This could be tricky for board members to stay out
of the conflict
of interest gray area. (e.g. Hey, Lydia created that bounty because she
knew the company/
friends she works for/with could tackle it or somesuch) but with enough of
a selection process
of which bounties we want that could be decreased quite a bit (e.g. The
whole kde ev membership
voted on these bounties, no way for an individual to have influenced the
bounties enough to matter).


> .. and there's a third question, raised by yourself at Akademy and touched
> by
> Sven just now:
>  - if KDE e.V. has money, and doesn't spend it directly on development,
> how
> can it best support KDE development indirectly?
> These are three distinct questions, and really we should be very very
> clear on
> which one we're tackling (which, thank you, you have pointed out -- as has
> Sune, and others, and now I'm just repeating stuff :) )
> [ade]
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