Why On My Blog?
I'm posting this on my blog because it perhaps the greatest reach afforded to me right now and I think it is important for everyone in our community to have the opportunity to read this. The KDE e.V. membership email list is private, and for good reason (it has been a real life saver the couple of times that privacy was needed), but this is an topic that I believe should be shared with everyone. Increasing transparency of the e.V. and the board's work has been something we've worked on actively over the last couple of years, and this is just another step in that direction.
I have shared the contents of the entry with the rest of the board members already so that we're all on the same page and have consensus as to its contents.
What The President's Position Means
Perhaps I should have added "to me" in that subheading, since these are really my own viewpoints on the matter, but here is how I see it: within the KDE project being president of the e.V. doesn't afford any special influence. It doesn't entitle one to more say in technical discussions and it certainly doesn't mean that the person is now somehow not subject to the same processes
and cultural norms as everyone else. This is important given the (healthy) skepticism within KDE for empty positions of power.
Within KDE e.V. it does mean more responsibility, though not much more than the rest of the board has. My duties, and therefore time taken up, will not be considerably different from what they have been since I joined the board. Thankfully there are four other hard working and excellent board partners that I get to work with to get things done, not to mention volunteers from
within the e.V. membership itself.
The outside world is a slightly different matter, however. Outside of our community most people tend to perceive added weight along with titles. This is useful for someone who goes around speaking about KDE as much as I do on behalf of the project. It gives people more pause when a presentation is delivered, for instance.
The flip side of that coin is that I need to be careful about what I say as a public envoy. In particular, I need to be sure that I am representing the project as a whole accurately. This really is nothing new, as I have always considered my speaking engagements to be as an ambassador of our shared work. As such, I've always shared with others what the project's consensus has been, even in times when I've personally been of another mind. When it comes to public speaking and dealing with others, it is the project's consensus (or lack thereof) that rules.
I see the external part of the position of president to be one of great responsibility, and not one I will take lightly; nor will I let it distract me from what I'm really here for: to hack on cool technology with a bunch of people I've come to know and love.
A Note On Being Part of Our Community
KDE has a community that is, as far as I'm concerned, second to none. It is ultimately important to me to remain a part of it. As such, I don't want to become distanced from it due to responsibilities I take on. This means two things:
First, I'm still just me and always will be, for better or worse. ;) Which is to say, I don't see a difference between how I am within the project today compared to, say, 4 years ago. I would hope to be treated that way as well.
More Important Than The Presidency
More important is the fact that we have an active five person board and a raging e.V. membership that sits within and remains connected to the global KDE project. It really feels we're hitting on all cylinders right now. There is always room for improvement, but we've been improving about as fast as I think is reasonable to dare to.
We've increased our transparency, have created a supporting members plan, have improved our legal position both through our legal contacts and council as well as by achieving non-profit status, our bookkeeping is maintained at a high level, we've been regularly sponsoring developer sprints ... I could go on an on, but I think it's evident that there has been much good coming from
the e.V. over the last few years.
That would never have happened without the hard work of those in the e.V. doing things like preparing the quarterly reports or helping organize those sprints. It would also never have happened without a fully functioning board. As such Eva, Cornelius, Sebastian and Adriaan all deserve a huge amount of recognition for their efforts.
One sign of success is that there are people to replace those who will, inevitably, be out-going. We're doing pretty admirably there, as well; our new board member, Klaas, is already proving to be an excellent addition to the board.
Goals Going Forward
So just what are we aiming to achieve in the next year? In addition to keeping on with what we're already successfully doing, here is what the KDE e.V. board has within our sights:
Fiduciary License Agreement: thanks to the hard work of Adriaan and the ever available and friendly legal council at the Free Software Foundation Europe we are very close to having a mechanism completed by which those who wish to can assign rights over their code to KDE e.V. in a way this protective of their own rights and respective of our shared ideals of free and open source software. This voluntary process will help make it easier to guarantee future
stewardship and legal defence, if necessary, of our code base.
FreeQt Foundation: We are committed to maintaining the health of the FreeQt Foundation and the contract it holds with Trolltech regarding the perpetual freedom of Qt. Via the FreeQt Foundation representative from the e.V. membership, we are looking at how best to continue to groom the agreement for current and future needs as both Qt and KDE grow.
e.V. Staff: We are on path to hire a body to work for the KDE e.V. This will give us much needed manpower to make the e.V. more efficient, extend our reach into new areas of endeavor and
simultaneously increase the professionalism of our programs. The hiring process will be a transparent one starting with a public job advertisement.
Supporting Members Programs: We will continue to grow this program, refining it and opening up to ever more people. We've done well so far, but we can do even better. We also have our first round of renewals coming up this year, which will be another new process for us to perfect.
Developer Sprints: We want to see an increasing number of developer sprints happening. We've done sprints for as few as three people to as many as twenty-five; sprints have lasted a couple of days to an entire week. The board simply needs to know who would benefit from these sprints so we can all work together to make them happen. (More on that in the upcoming KDE e.V. quarterly report for Q2.)
There are many other things we will undoubtedly accomplish, such as new research proposals and grants, but those are less well defined at the moment.
In short: we want to ensure the health of KDE e.V. for the purpose of supporting the KDE project and its community. As one of the board members I'm personally committed to seeing that through and building on our successes of the past few years.
I truly hope you join us in this adventure. Right now, however, I have to go hack on plasma some more .... happy hacking, everyone! =)