A week of KDE4 usage

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sat Jul 2 22:37:10 BST 2011

Kevin Krammer posted on Sat, 02 Jul 2011 17:04:09 +0200 as excerpted:

> I don't think there is any significant number of developers currently
> being paid to work on KDE.
> IIRC Aaron Seigo is, David Faure is 50%, some of the people working on
> Calligra Office are.
> The Kontact Touch project was done as a contract work for a German
> covernmental entity, but that has been delivered and there are currently
> no follow-up contracts as far as I know.

This is interesting.  That's a bit less than I thought, but I did know 
the majority were still volunteers.  And kde is a big community, MUCH 
more inclusive than some, with a lot of art devs, packaging and 
integration managers for the distros, web site authors and admins, the pr/
news/dot folks, forum and wiki people like Anne Wilson, etc.  I've likely 
missed some.  KDE tends to include them on a higher, often co-equal 
level, than much of the community, where all those support folks are 
clearly second tier in the social order, compared to the real devs.  KDE 
gets major kudos for that! =:^)  But few if any of those folks are paid 
for their kde work at all.  They and most of the devs remain volunteers, 
choosing to spend a bit (sometimes more than a bit) of time on what they 
believe in. =:^)

That was one thing that surprised me when I started getting involved in 
the community enough to read kde-planet, etc, just how *BIG* and 
inclusive the kde community actually *IS*.  That's a very good thing, and 
certainly rather impressed me. =:^)

FWIW, kde is rightfully proud of the gender-mixed nature of their 
community, as well.  Few parts of the FLOSS community have as many active 
women in their project community as kde does, to the point where one has 
to wonder what kde is actually doing different/right in the area, that 
others might follow.  Having been following the FLOSS community for years 
before I became a regular on a couple kde lists and for a time followed 
the planet (I had to quit that due to time constraints, unfortunately), 
that was quite a pleasant surprise as well.

In general, kde scores VERY HIGHLY for its actively welcoming 
inclusiveness of all interested participants (tho see the personal 
exception in footnote [1], below), with a very large and much more 
diverse than usual community, even/especially within the FLOSS 
community.  Nationality, by culture, by gender, by professional interest, 
KDE really is very diverse.  That's a /good/ thing! =:^)

> Canonical might have somebody working on KDE stuff as well.

AFAIK, they didn't (not paid at least), so if they do now, it's a real 
recent development.  That's one of the struggles the kubuntu folks have 
had.  They're volunteer and haven't had the sort of resources available 
that the gnome and now unity folks have had.  AFAIK they might get a 
couple travel sponsorships to kde functions every year, but that's about 

But that's potentially changing a bit, as Mark and some of the other 
architecture leadership has taken a bigger interest in qt extensions for 
unity and because kde's new notifications infrastructure works a lot 
closer to what he envisions for unity than what gnome has done.  (AFAIK, 
the gnome people working in that area flat rejected the approach kde and 
unity were taking, and the kde-lead freedesktop.org notification standard 
proposal that unity is now also involved with as well.  So if gnome comes 
to cooperate with it, it'll be after acceptance elsewhere.  But unity has 
taken up the position as the critical second partner in the concept, 
where gnome refused to go, so it's not just kde, thus making it far more 
likely to ultimately be accepted as a community standard that gnome too 
may ultimately accept.)

I'm not following it anywhere near closely enough to know whether 
Canonical is directly sponsoring cooperative work in the area, thus might 
now have a paid kde community person in at least the more inclusive sense 
of the word, or not, but it's very likely that at minimum, it'll mean 
seeing Canonical/kubuntu people at related conferences, etc, where they 
wouldn't have been otherwise.

But if they do, AFAIK it's a quite new development.  As I said, the 
kubuntu folks haven't exactly had it easy, which very likely has 
something to do with the poor reputation kubuntu has as a kde distro.  
They do their best, but fitting the kde desktop properly onto the ubuntu 
platform is something they've simply not had the resources to do 
correctly, and it has shown in the rough edges of the distro that have 
given it the poor reputation that it has had.  (When I was reading 
planet, I read enough of the kubunto folks blogs to believe that they 
wouldn't argue with that characterization, either.  Indeed, that's pretty 
much the take-away I got from some of the blog-posts, tho they didn't 
tend to put it in those exact words for political reasons.)

[1] Tho, um... I must say I didn't feel very welcomed coming in, for 
sure, as I was bearing a message and experience that wasn't in line with 
the community line at that point, that kde 4.2 and 4.3 were beta at best, 
and that the stable 3.5 should continue to be supported until there was a 
viable replacement in 4.x and that 4.2 and 4.3 were NOT it, while the 
community line was that 4.2 and thus much more 4.3 was perfectly viable, 
and that despite the earlier promises to the contrary, they could now 
drop support for 3.5 and its users because 4.2 and 4.3 were ready for 
them.  But that was on the basis of unfortunately divergent at the time 
message, not of national origin, gender, or the talents I had to share 
with the community, which is what I'm talking about here.)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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