Improving our integration with KDE application teams, and supporting companies

Jaroslaw Staniek staniek at
Fri Aug 24 11:29:08 BST 2018

Thanks for starting this topic Valorie.

Hoping I do not repeat similar observations, wanted to share one thing.


As soon as KDE application(s) are not publicly tied to "KDE" desktop on
several levels, fair rules of competition become possible. I have learned
this through the history of KEXI since 2002: in years where we had strong
Windows support were extraordinary regarding user feedback. The same about
caring for non-Plasma desktops compatibility. "Plasma users" tend to be a
minority target at least for specialized apps by definition, well that
group is a minority on the Desktop itself, so how it can be otherwise? And
numbers further decreased after the decline of some desktops towards touch
based UIs.

Boud can correct me here but Krita loks like a very good example too. As
soon as an app project is known as a normal standalone app, things start to
be normal. For some reasons not caused by us, KDE folks, this is not
*default* state for apps. "For KDE only" has been long the default. For
Qt-only app projects it is a bit easier. It's good when we attract these
projects under the KDE umbrella.

To compare with above examples, Calligra as a whole has not managed so far
to escape the "Office suite for KDE" or older "Integrated KDE office suite"
unfortunate stamps.[1][2] Well, I bet such sentences still sit in package
descriptions across some distributions. Here, again even in KDE circles the
#1 FOSS competing office suite is perceived as global instead of Calligra.
I've not seen too much of spontaneous use of Calligra during Akademy
We were close to being global in the gold Nokia and KO GmbH times (2009+)
even if there was some more interest in mobile targets.

And now:

One challenge for the integration I would see it that "part of the KDE
community" needs to be in conflict with the "go global". Application
contributors need not to worry that their attempt to "go global" is not the
preferred choice within the KDE family.

[1] I do not see this much different from Microsofts' behavior of promoting
apps "running best on its operating system".
[2] Just unfortunate messaging since at technology level we have no such
problems. We stay on top of extremely portable Qt, CMake and KF5
technologies, paired with great multi-OS KDE CI infra. As it's worth
mentioning the KF5 prject realizes its road to "global" just very well IMO.

On Sat, 11 Aug 2018 at 12:35, Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman at>

> Hello folks, I've recently spent a week with Boud and Irina Rempt at
> their invitation. I hope that this sort of generous hospitality
> becomes the norm in our our KDE family. While there, we had many
> conversations about the past, present and future of KDE. I was
> surprised to learn that during the life of KO, Boud's previous company
> with Inga Wallin and now with his small company which supports Krita,
> he encountered quite a bit of opposition *in the KDE community*!
> I've long been puzzled why KDE applications seem to be relegated to
> the "second circle" of KDE, and companies supporting KDE software even
> further out.
> Not just puzzled, but somewhat discouraged, to be honest. When I
> consider the future of a healthy KDE, I see many small companies
> popping up, offering commercial support and specialized applications
> to users. Far too often I see our great young programmers work within
> KDE for a few years, but when they find a job "outside" then pair up
> and perhaps have children, they are only involved tangentially. In a
> healthy ecosystem, there would numerous KDE affiliated companies
> competing to hire them, and they would stay involved as long as they
> wanted, while supporting themselves.
> Am I the only one who thinks of our future in this way? I think it's
> great that we are improving ties with "outside" companies and groups,
> and fully support that. But *inside* KDE we should be starting
> companies and foundations who can collect donations to support KDE
> programmers. I would like to know the thoughts of others and how we
> can best encourage this.
> Please let's talk about this during Akademy.
> Valorie
> --

regards, Jaroslaw Staniek

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