21 November, 2008

talking about Nokia and KDAB

Yesterday I gave a talk at a seminar at Mediaplaza about the cooperation between a community and commercial ventures. To prepare, I conducted an interesting interview with Till Adams from KDAB, contacted Qt Software and read up on some stuff. I must say I enjoyed taking time to really prepare this talk and dive a bit into the subject.

The way KDAB and Nokia/Qt Software work with us is very interesting - they strongly believe in close collaboration, and act accordingly. Great examples of good FOSS citizenship.

I did have a hard time complying to the 30 minutes schedule. I normally talk about KDE for 45 minutes. Now I had to introduce KDE in <15 min to this rather 'green' audience, and then talk about the cooperation between company/community. Interesting challenge, but I think I did a decent job at it.

The amazing pictures created by the KDE India community were incredibly tempting, but I had to resist. Talking about the pillars themselves would take too much time. Would've been too technical as well, I suppose. I did mention Nepomuk and Phonon, but that's because they are cool examples of cooperation of KDE and other organisations. I will use those for my future slides, though, as they're just stunning.

BTW the talk I gave last week at Linuxworld in Utrecht was nice, as I got some intestesting feedback. Still have to think more about that, and integrate it in my future talks. One good point somebody made: yeah, KDE created this great architecture to be able to move faster & incorporate more user input. But currently, many users don't feel KDE is listening. Others agreed with him, so this isn't something we can cast aside. Of course we know why this is - we already KNOW (mostly) where the issues are, and we ARE listening - we're just not always replying to their questions, bugreports and comments...

The distributions shiping stuff we don't think is fully ready for the enduser (everything after KDE 3.5.x and before 4.2) didn't help us much either. They had good reasons for that, of course. Many users wanted to see KDE 4.0, and distributions had to spend a lot of resources on shipping both 3.5 and 4. The unfortunate effect was that many users lost precious features compared to their previous desktop, and the switch didn't go smooth either. But seeing how much time for example the Plasma team has spend on doing what the users requested from them (delaying the cool stuff they'd probably rather be doing) makes clear this is an issue with how we are percieved. Not how we are.

I wouldn't know how to solve this in our communication. Maybe we should just let KDE 4.2 talk for itself...

Anyway. I'll try to get the presentation in KDE SVN as soon as I can. Just in case anybody wants to see it asap, send me an email... firstnamelastname at kde.org should do the trick.