Improving our integration with KDE application teams, and supporting companies
schumacher at kde.org
Fri Aug 24 09:56:50 BST 2018
On Freitag, 24. August 2018 00:23:29 CEST Valorie Zimmerman wrote:
> >> 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.
> Slight pushback here: Boud has gotten negative feedback for having a
> foundation to pay devels for Krita.
I think this is mostly a misunderstanding. I'm not aware of negative feedback
about paying developers for Krita or having an organization being able to do
The negative feedback I'm aware of is about lack of coordination with KDE e.V.
when creating the Krita foundation. The creation of the Krita foundation came
as a surprise to the KDE e.V. board after everything was already done. I think
we can do better there. A healthy ecosystem needs communication and
coordination, and it's most effective when interests are aligned and not put
against each other.
> Frank definitely got negative
> feedback, enough to take ownCloud out of the KDE ecosystem.
This was a quite complex situation, there were many factors involved. But
again the negative feedback was not about the question if it's ok to pay
developers but about other aspects of how the project was handled.
> >> 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.
> Possibly. However I've heard a lot of this over the years. It could
> have been the same few grumpy people though; I didn't keep track. :-)
I think we need to look very closely at what people are saying, grumpy or not.
>From what I can tell, it's always about the way how things are done, and never
a general objection against paying developers.
When money is involved, especially when it's money coming from donors, or
money which belongs (or is perceived to belong) to the community, discussions
quickly get more complicated and agitated. Conflicts of interest are more
likely. That's why we need to have a thorough and careful discussion about
Luckily we have a strong foundation with KDE e.V. and we are in a position
where we can move things in a positive direction. I would assume that we are
all on board of doing this and putting the money KDE e.V. has to good use as
well as enabling businesses around KDE to thrive.
> >> 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?
> This was my main question, and I and most answering here seem to say
> YES. I believe that this growth is crucial to the on-going growth and
> health of the KDE community.
You are absolutely right. I think the answer always has been yes, and the
question probably is more about how we can recreate an ecosystem of companies
which is as strong as in the past and ideally even stronger.
> IMO the e.V. should be spending money to develop KDE infrastructure --
> the website, both developer and user documentation, and our hardware
> and the sysadmins who care for it. In addition, we need Promo (which
> we now have, and paid and volunteer people happily work together),
> sprints and other meetings, which again I think could use paid staff
> and volunteers working together.
I think that's all good. There are two aspects we need to get right, though.
The first is that we make sure that we treat this as an investment to enable
more and better future work, not a way to just get some daily work done. We
don't have a lot of sustainable funds we can reliably spend longer term, so it
would be ideal if we can use the resources we have to leverage others to do
their work easier, better, faster, so that it has a long-term effect, beyond
the time when the work is paid.
The second is that we spend the money in a way which is compatible with
volunteer work, which motivates volunteers, and doesn't push them away. This
requires fairness in selection of projects and people so that we don't have
the situations where we have two people doing the same work, and one is paid
and one not. Getting rid of some mundane tasks nobody wants to work on might
be great for volunteers who can then focus on more interesting work, doing it
the other way around would be harmful.
> I think the coming effort to survey the state of our documentation is
> such an effort, and there was already some pushback over spending even
> a modest amount on that. I hope we've gotten past that, because we
> need someone outside of KDE to do the survey, in my opinion.
This is another example where the pushback was not about if to spend money or
not, but about how to do it. How to avoid conflicts of interest, how to have a
fair selection of people to pay.
I think it would be good to define some kind of process where projects for
paid work can be proposed, vetted, and maybe voted on, so we get the right
selection of projects. And based on that have another process where people or
organizations can bid for projects and there is some selection process of who
gets chosen to work on these.
With KDE e.V. and its board we have some critical elements in place to run
such a process. Maybe it's just a matter of writing down how we want to handle
that and let the membership vote about it.
Cornelius Schumacher <schumacher at kde.org>
More information about the kde-community