a posting on theDot open a doorway to a minor epiphany for me: apparently many users don't know that they have positive options. they don't feel empowered to engage as part of the community process, perhaps in part due to not knowing where the entry points are and what the cultural idioms are. in an attempt to feel like they have some ability to engage as a peer, in other words to feel empowered, they resort to aggressive and frustrated communication.
how do we empower our user base so the entry points to the community are more obvious? so that they understand how to use bugs.kde.org effectively? so that they can productively and purposefully engage in the community without filling up message boards, email lists and bug reports with nonproductive nonsense?
perhaps a group of users who do grok how this all works could create a small web resource that laid it all out in plain language and gave people a place to learn how this rather unique technology culture works.
Hans Oischinger noted that we lack comprehensive documentation above the API level KDE technologies. this is very true. some has already mentioned a desire to create a more useful developer.kde.org leading up to KDE 4. this is, IMHO, vital. it should be a place with HOWTOs and whitepapers on every major KDE technology; a place where KDE developers can easily submit developer-oriented articles for posterity. most of all it must have a straightforward navigation and search system. perhaps even a facility for registered users to add comments to pages to catalog tips, tricks and errata.
something we can do in Malaga '05 that would be very important and useful is to team up developers who know a given technology very well with another developer who is a good writer but may not know the technology as well and capture that information in person for later editing and use. i'd be willing to do XMLGUI and KConfigXT, both of which i find interesting but a little mysterious at times.
on a less serious note i was on irc when a user commented how kde had so many applications available for it on kde-apps.org, especially for "regular" users. he said that "KDE has so much stuff." it sounded like a good start for a half-joking "slogan":
KDE: We Have A Lot Of Stuff.
it was about then that the caffeine kicked in, my better sense fled and a whole bunch of "slogans" appeared in a kedit window. here are some of them:
KDE: Fear The Dragon.
KDE: We Put The K In, Well, Just About Every Word We Kould Get Our Hands On
KDE: No, We Don't Know How To Market Ourselves. You Got Any Ideas?
KDE: We Like Bevels.
KDE: Coders Gone Wild.
KDE: Usable As In "More People Use It, Mother F***ers"
there were others but not all of them were, um, "ready" for public consumption. *evil grin* if you have some good one-liners, please put them in a comment here or email them to me ... i could use the laughs.
hmm... and just imagine: an irreverent marketing campaign with funny, catchy slogans and cool pictures of KDE users and screenshots ... a crazy kde-look.org fad: homebrew KDE adverts ... spreading awareness through humour and fun. =)