the one does the work decides
there are variations on the theme such as "he who codes decides" but they all mean the same thing. the question is, what do they mean exactly? i'm writing this to disambiguate the meaning of that phrase, at least for me.
i've seen this principle used in the past as justification for committing changes to the codebase that are really not great. but hey, they did the work (sometimes first, before others) so they get to decide! this behaviour has been tolerated and because of that i get a bit queasy when someone invokes the above phrase as justification.
the "worker decides" principle does have "good" meanings though (and which i believe were its origins): that without applied effort nothing else matters. words are only words, code is what makes things happen. while someone may theorize until the cows come home, it's the person who writes code that actually is able to demonstrate the viability of the concept. without code there is no software, and so it is what comes first.
how are decisions actually made in kde? (as opposed to theoretically made or "should be" made.) well, obviously there needs to be code. but traditionally our best decisions have happened through a combination of communication (to set common goals and note areas of strength and weakness) and natural selection between competing experiments. when those processes are circumvented, rarely are we well served.