Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back from the Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin

Perhaps I am the last one writing about the wonderful Desktop Summit in Berlin some days ago. Nevertheless I want to summarize my personal highlights.

The Desktop Summit was awesome. I had the pleasure to meet people (old and new friends from all over the world), discuss complicated stuff face-to-face and of cause: have a lot of fun together.

In a combined cross desktop marketing BoF we discussed some ideas how we (GNOME and KDE) could join forces to get bigger media coverage (e.g. TV, radio or big newspapers). One intresting first step is by paying attention on our messages. It occured that the message was: "... is THE Linux Desktop Environment" or "A is better than B".

From a commercial marketing perspective this is very common. Just a little bit ignoring the reality and making a strong statement (with the hope the unknowing reader is going to believe it) is usual. On the other hand this takes us (down) to the same level of trust many of the big companies have today. Exacletly this is one of the big differences we want to make. We are NOT like these big companies, playing with "the truth" to manipulate people. So we agreed to use phrases like "... is ONE of the leading / bigest / ... Desktop Environments for Linux" etc. There is GNOME, there is the KDE Plasma Workspace etc. and if we look at the whole market we see, that the big competition is not the other community.

Further I had some good discussions with different people about the improvement of the business side of KDE. Recent (economic) developments showed us the danger of having only a few, but big companies in our environment. The big ones are very nice, however, we gain stability by having many small businesses as well in our ecosystem. You might like business or not. But who would deny some money for hacking on his/her favorite open source project?

I recognized with big pleasure how powerful, creative and successful small/medium companies could be when they cooperate. Plasma Active is here one excellent example. In my view we need more such cooperation. There were some ideas how we, the community could build a better context for those developments.

Besides the talks and BoFs there were many techical and social activities together.

 Hacking on computers ...

 ... and hacking on the piano ...

 ... or having lunch together.

 Jos did again his collaborative open source cooking.

There were really many great events. One of my personal favorite was the football match (thanks to openSUSE/SUSE for sponsoring).

Like last year I came back with a huge motivation and many plans how I could help to bring KDE further. As I know big plans and great ideas do not matter in our world, it is the result, the things you have actually done. My daylife hit me (not really soft) when I came back and I did a poor job for KDE so far. Other times will come in a few months.


Will Stephenson said...

I'm very interested to see you recognised the portrayal of single DEs as the only choice to the rest of the world. Did you really get the GNOME marketing team to agree to stop describing itself in this manner? 'The Linux Desktop Environment' has been so prevalent in their messaging for years that I assumed it was a concrete part of their strategy.

Thomas Thym (ungethym) said...

We have talked about that points seriously and I think we all got the point. There were known GNOME community members involved and I trust them to do their best.