Some REAl general thoughts on the KDE-EDU world

Carl carlsymons at
Sat Mar 29 15:15:07 UTC 2014

On Saturday, March 29, 2014 11:49:28 AM Wolfgang Romey wrote:
> Hallo,
> although covering important topics the mails with the subject "some general
> thoughts concerning the kde-edu world" did'nt hold what the subject
> promised. That is why iItry to deliver some thoughts, which I think are
> more general.
>  In my opinion KDE-EDU has to consider on what hardware the software will
> run. As you probably know, tablet-computer and smartphones are getting more
> and more important as learning devices. And that is a thread to learning,
> as they are more and more closed. In the future the googles, apples,
> bertelsmanns, ... will determine, what software can run on their devices,
> if we do not have real open and Free devices; and that often will not be
> Free software.
> There are some devices, which are not so closed like the Jolla-Phone and
> Fairphone. There are adruino and rasberry pi, which are relativly open and a
> huge success. But as far as I know, there is no device which is embedded in
> the Free Software community or KDE-community.
> You all know the struggles for the vivaldi tablet, which can not be realized
> as the improv-board can not be realized, as there are not enough orders or
> donations. Both devices would be as open as possible today and embedded in
> the KDE-Community. We would have devices running Plasma-Active and the
> bodega store, which could offer educational software and other material.
> improv is the key to this. So in my opinion it is very important, to make it
> possible.
> I recommend reading Carl Symons excellent article on the dot again
> (

Thank you. 

These issues are important. And they will become more so as time proceeds. The 
things that you have written are key things for all of KDE to consider, 
especially the corporate control of learning and education. One of the 
problems is that most people focus on the present situation, dealing with 
immediate things. It is difficult to extrapolate possible futures based on 
immediate challenges.

In my view, the KDE Community could be a leader in this effort. And the KDE 
e.V. Board could be a leader of the KDE Community on this subject. For several 
reasons, I doubt that either of these things will happen.

KDE instigated a farsighted program with the KDE 4 series. It involved a 
recognition that a fundamental change would take hard work and persistence to 
materialize into something excellent and elegant. The initial flood of 
negative reactions was calmed over time. By version 4.4, KDE was over the 
hump. Recently KDE won a prize for "Desktop of the Year". Clearly, people in 
the KDE Community have the foresight to anticipate the future and take 
practical steps towards long term goals.

The lack of mobile hardware is a serious threat to free and open technology. 
It is a more serious, existential threat to KDE. The original 1996 proposal 
for KDE included:
"The idea is to create a GUI for an ENDUSER. Somebody who wants to browse the 
web with Linux, write some letters and play some nice games."

When KDE software can be installed on more-or-less any personal computer 
hardware, this goal is viable. With closed/proprietary tablets and smart 
mobile devices being the only option, KDE is irrelevant to a significant and 
growing number of users.

I am disappointed at the KDE responses. Aside from a few supporters (relative 
to the millions of people who could be considered part of the KDE Community), 
there has been little acknowledgment of the issue. Other responses have ranged 
from nothing to outright antagonism. That's surprising.

I also accept how things are, and I'm not willing to attempt to singlehandedly 
change the culture and trajectory of KDE. Nonetheless, KDE is a major 
influence in the free and open world, and seems like a logical force for 
advocating open hardware.

Any ideas for more involvement and support from the KDE Community are welcome.


> and "The benefits of EOMA-68 Modularisation to Education" on
> I would be thankful, if I get any reactions.

More information about the kde-edu mailing list