Stepping down as maintainer

Eike Hein hein at
Sat Jun 2 11:43:04 UTC 2018

To establish the full extent of the range opinions here: Personally I think the VDG has been working very well lately, and I want to thank its members for being some of the most hard-working and motivated contributors to Plasma today. They've made my work better many times.

I also disagree that this has lead to sacrificing "product work at the altar of usability". Rather I believe the past 2-3 releases have finally brought us back to a strong focus precisely on product work, thanks in no small part to initiatives driven by the VDG communication hub. I think we've found a nice rhythm of the VDG generating actionable work items for code contributors to jump on and implement, and especially in the course of the System Settings work, the forth-and-back style of iterating together has lead to dramatically better results every time. The results are visible in our release announcements.

I believe the solution to any remaining woes lies in engagement, not in throwing hands up in the air and complaining. It's normal for coding and design teams to have some push-and-pull between them, that's how they complement and course-correct each other. It's also worth keeping in mind how frustrating it must be for design contributors if code contributors let them constantly feel that they are the final arbiters and gate-keepers, and resort to arguments from authority constantly. This is not what "common ownership" in the Manifesto is about. I urge code contributors to be aware of this harmful messaging, which sets us back on our quest to grow our talent mix, which has been paying dividends. This goes doubly so for maintainers, whose primary function is to enable the work of other - any - contributors. Let's keep in mind onboarding is one of our chosen community goals.

Finally, I want to say that I think it's not in good form to have started this discussion in this thread. Putting an entire set of contributors on trial under the mantle of someone's disgruntled exit announcement, biasing the burden of proof from the get-go? What are we doing here?

Plasma, apps developer
KDE e.V. vice president, treasurer
Seoul, South Korea

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