Tuesday, May 20, 2014

KDE is a nice community, but we can do better!

Since a long time KDE.org has been referring to KDE as a team of people, a community, and not the software products we make.

I agree with this but sadly sometimes we struggle in being a nice community to live in.

There's a few things I think we can improve:
  • Being better 'winners': We are a big community, at some point we have to take community-wide decisions, and it's impossible we will all agree on something. If you are part of the 'winning' group, be gentle with the people that 'lost', sure you think you are right, but they think the same and think the rest is doing a terrible mistake, so when you talk with them be polite and point out that the majority is going in the other direction, but that you still appreciate all the other stuff they do, etc. They already 'lost' so there's no need to put their head under your foot and do an evil laugh.
  • Being better 'losers': We are a big community, at some point we have to take community-wide decisions, and it's impossible we will all agree on something. If you are part of the 'losing' group, be accepting that you 'lost' and try to carry on with the amazing work you do in other areas. Sure you are allowed to some venting, but it should be all within the limits of not trying to drag the discussion forever and not trying to destroy the project just because you disagree in one decision, so yes, you're allowed to some small complaining but understand that the majority decided different than what you think it's better, accept it and carry on, you'll be happier :)
  • Assuming good by default: If a sentence can be read in two ways, do not assume it was said in the worse way, assume it was said in the good. Will help keeping the discussion sane and constructive.
  • Not workarounding by default: If you find a bug or shortcoming in kdelibs, KF5, Qt or any other library, don't workaround it by default, please report it to the library people and try to work with them to fix it. Library code is not that hard and if you fix it in the source, everyone will benefit from the fix, not just the users of your software because you workarounded it and kept quiet about it to upper layers.
  • Not caring enough for the global: We produce zillions of different projects of software. It's almost impossible to have a global overview of "what the bad bugs are", so if you know there is a bug that is bad, and it's affecting quite a bit of people, don't say "someone else will fix it" and ignore it, share it with the wider community and if the current maintainers are missing or overworked I'm pretty sure we can find someone to have a look and fix that bug that is making people sad.

This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens more than I would like, so I'm just raising it up so that people think about it and try to improve :)

Of course I'm not saying I'm not guilty of the things I mentioned, but as the wise-man said: "Don't do what i do, do what i say"

2 comments:

Jos Poortvliet said...

All there with you. Not easy, though :D

Valorie Zimmerman said...

Thanks for reminding us again of this good advice!