i do think he overstated the "single group controls Qt" thing, especially with the FreeQt Foundation and recent strides towards greater openness, but it does help highlight what is still probably the #1 thing we need to work on as far as both public perception as well as actual practices goes. personally, i'm committed to helping continue to open up all our worlds more and more; the balance to that being that we shouldn't endanger what's worked well for us in the process. that's why these things take time and a lot of thought and effort.
it was also interesting to see issues raised such as sparse developer documentation, attention to interface guidelines and specific application weaknesses mentioned that we are working hard to address in the kde4 series (via techbase, our new human user guidlines or H.U.G. *insert laughter* and efforts like akonadi, respectively) ... if we're working on the points people on the outside are identifying as weak points, we're probably doing a decent job of staying in touch with reality. that said, it makes me wonder what people haven't noticed yet that we aren't working on?
as an added bonus, at least for me, Matt linked to the 3.2 release announcement bits. i remember putting that stuff together for the release (i can't remember who else helped with that? danimo? hm... if it was you, remind me because i'd like to keep these bits of history straight =)
i remember thinking at the time that kde was so amazingly terrific; if only we weren't doing such a great job of hiding that fact from everyone else. ;) being the over-sharing communicator that i tend to be, i figured that would be easy to fix with enough clear and inspiring communication, right? ... right?! how could people not feel the love we feel for our work if we just told them about it. at the time, i was secretly unhappy about the content of kde's press releases. they were accurate but ... dry. they also rarely squared off effectively on hot button issues.
i figured the only way to earn the right to criticize things was to help improve them; then i'd just be pissing on my own failures, right? ;) so while everyone else (or so it seemed) was having fun at kastle (the last non-akademy world conference), i was back home in calgary (still having never met any of the other kde developers in person!) writing an announcement for 3.2beta1. highlights of that experience: coolo telling me he thought it was good (the teacher's pet in me coming out there, perhaps?) and seeing the bugs/wishes numbers bit start to appear all over place (including in SUSE marketing materials ;).
this was how i embarked upon the path to helping out with kde's public communication and promotion efforts: writing a couple of articles in my spare time. what a wild ride it's been since ... and i still get to write code, too! =)
so seeing Matt link to the 3.2 materials made me smile with fond recollections. it shows just how long lasting the effects of such efforts are: long after the 3.2 release has come and gone, the communication around it continues to motivate people to use its successors. it also shows how far we've come as our communications platform has matured considerably since then. *ahem* (reading some parts of the 3.2 stuff i wrote makes me cringe a bit =)
if you had told me back then that we'd have a functioning marketing working group with a vibrant promo community (emphasis on community) and people writing really cool and effective articles about kde who weren't necessarily even developers but were doing so because they were so jacked about the project ... or that we'd have an official release event that involved a couple days of presentations, a press event and what not or such a cool 10th year anniversary with similar accoutrements ... well ok, i probably would've believed you because i've always had faith in this community being able to do anything it puts its collective mind to, but it would've seemed a long, long, loooong way off. more than just the few years time (not to mention the remarkably tiny, as in "essentially does not exist", budget) it has taken.
so to everyone who has contributed, great and small, to kde's communications efforts who have put together commit digests, "this week in svn"s, feature articles in trade magazines, user and developer books and, yes, even those dry press releases of old: these are the bricks we laid together to build this bridge between what we are making (kde) and the world that needs to find it (even if they don't always know it yet ;)
to those who continue to help out and those yet to come: i can't wait to see what you come up with in the future that will make me cringe a little inside when i look back at what we're doing today. your little article today could be the next snowball that launches an avalanche.
i'll close with a bit more from Matt's article:
"Tie this in with the fact that KDE is allowing the Linux platform to keep pace with competing platforms like Windows and OS X ..."
to be fair, i feel compelled to say to all the other free software desktop projects out there that range from kernel to user space and back: it couldn't be done without all your efforts as well. rock on, people, because in the years to come the world is going to take noticing that we're not only keeping the pace, but that we're actually setting it.