Spooning, not forking

One thing that strikes me here during Akademy is the sense of community convergence one gets.

While other Free software projects drift apart, splitting up in multiple forks that stop talking to each other, differentiate based on the wrong reasons, what we see here during Akademy is projects growing closer to each other. This is a good development, so let’s look at it a bit more detailed.

KDE is continually evolving, becoming more diverse by the day. As an organisation, we realised that, and many see KDE as an umbrella organisation for Free software, rather than a “project doing a desktop environment”. When we published the KDE Manifesto, we set the tone for this to happen, and now we see it unfold. The KDE manifesto defines KDE as a community of like-minded Free software people. One of the most important adjectives to describe KDE is inclusive, that means that we define ourselves in terms of commonalities, rather than trying to differentiate ourselves from our peers.

Also, as an organisation that is in the business for 17 years, we have gathered a large body of expertise, best practises, knowledge how to run a community. We have also proven to be a sustainable and stable organisation.

At Akademy, the KDE community is joined by a wide variety of people not directly involved with KDE. We have VLC here, Razor Qt, Mer and of course our long-time friends from Qt present. This, on the one hand provides excellent opportunities for cross-pollination and solving common problems (or even just sharing pain!), on the other hand it makes us think if we’re at the right level of collaboration right now. Is there more to share among these distinct organisation, does it make sense to merge some of them and share the overhead?

This surely is food for thought, and I expect this class of discussions to last until long after Akademy, but it is very refreshing to see. It also increases the value of all our communities. Synergy through convergence.

It’s also an excellent way to make new friends, and look outside our own frame of reference.

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