you mistake my enthusiasm for freedom for an enthusiasm for a particular operating system (linux, in this case). that linux right now is the brightest light for freedom amongst operating systems available today (due to its licensing, ubiquity, capability and community) makes it a fine subject for my enthusiasm. but make no mistake, it is not for me a question of linux or not linux, but freedom or not freedom; a kde that is in the long term sustainable or not.
if we skip past the bare fact that the majority of free software has come from the efforts of those on free platforms (which in my mind is no coincidence), we are still left with this: we are engaging a platform that is owned and controlled by one of the most predatory and anti-freedom groups in our industry, microsoft. to do so without thought is akin to walking into a burning forest as if it were any other springtime meadow.
bringing kde to windows and mac os is an expansion of the scope of kde and its community that bring with it new populations, new challenges and new opportunities in equal parts. any time new groups of people enter a community they change it, simply by their presence, resulting most often in the irreversible alteration of said community. in its place will be a new thing, though too often that new thing is a diminishment of the old. i have lived in towns where exactly this has occurred, as many others have, so this is not theory but simple fact of how things work.
the cure for diminishment in change? awareness of self and of the system we share. the altered thing can be something better than what was there before, but it requires a dialog which is what we are to date, imho, missing.
had anyone in these porting efforts actually been able to share something like, "this is what we're doing, this is how we want it to be in respect to what already is and these are our goals.. what do you think?" i would not feel compelled to play the provocateur. had i not played the provocateur at all, how much discussion on this would we be having?
perhaps you have great plans that cover all sorts of territory, but if so they remain largely hidden beneath a veil. then again, perhaps you simply don't care and are idling away at increasing the scope of our project without concern, though i do know from discussions with others involved with the win32 efforts that this is certainly not the case for all involved.
(editorial addition: i should be clear that the above paragraph is not meant to suggest a lack of caring, though my clumsy words can certainly be read that way; rather what i was attempting to note is that these things may not be topics that fall within one's personal scope of interest.)
today all i have to reference is something akin to that joke: "step 1, steal underpants. step 2 .... step 3, profit!" in this case it is "step 1, port to windows and mac. step 2 .... step 3, success!" to be honest, i have no idea even what "success" refers to and it has been up to those of us who were here before these efforts to figure it all out. that seems to me to be very backwards.
the first time around this particular discussion, we arrived at the conclusions that we can access new bodies of contributors and create new avenues of interoperability with this expansion. this was a positive step in defining goals (the "success" part), but in no way have we formulated a method towards them other than hand-wavey prognostications. interestingly, these thoughts seemed to come nearly exclusively from people who are firmly rooted in open source systems.
where are the voices from these new platforms? how do we build this into a bigger, better community effort? i would feel remiss to make an agenda upon your efforts without your consent and acknowledgment, and i would feel equally remiss to have no clue as to what the agenda may be.
so as you can see, i am not looking to win or even start and argument with you, nor disparage or discourage your work. rather, i am looking for those such as yourself to ponder with seriousness and openness how we weave all of our efforts together and how we respect the principles of freedom and community that we have built all this upon and from.
we can, of course, simply ignore the win32 and mac efforts and take the attitude of, "hey, let them figure it out and make what they can with it." we could quite simply remove all attention and care from such efforts and allow it to founder without backing or public awareness. i think that would be a travesty in that we'd be losing out on something potentially great, not to mention betraying our own principles of inclusion. it is also plain to me that it is not a fair act to put the burden of interpreting these efforts upon those who are not involved with them. as someone who is expected on occasion to speak on behalf of this project, it is often quite discomforting to speak on behalf of those who i do not feel and connection with.
if we do expect our marketing team to trumpet these new platforms; if we expect our software developers to provide allowances for and efforts towards what you are doing; if we expect our translators and documenters and artists and ... everyone in our community to broaden the scope of their efforts in even in the smallest of ways to buoy up and fully realize the advantage of being on these new platforms then those leading these efforts owe it to the rest of us to engage not in silent biding of your time building upon the great works done by others who came before you but to engage with those who steward the project's various aspects and provide direction.
so instead of making a funny discussion, i'd like to invite you to make a serious one on how we improve the kde community and the freedom that is its wellspring. i also like to invite the others involved, such as Jaroslaw, to help create a public record for our community.
i am excited by these developments. if i weren't i wouldn't spend any time whatsoever thinking about them, let alone writing about them. but i continue to wait for word on how we would like this community and technology to be. i continue to wait for word on how we plan to shore up and expand the freedom inherent in our project and pay good mind to those who have supported us in the past and present.
and while i can think of more fun (and funny) discussions to have, i can hardly think of ones that are more important to have at this point in time. i know the majority of participants simply wish to engage in a creative process and scratch their itches and i know that this is absolutely fine; but for that to continue indefinitely some of us must look at the bigger picture together.
and personally ... i'd prefer not to feel compelled to rake the coals with my words to find the source of the fires that drive you. i'd rather have a place where i can cozy up, watch them in full view and comment on them in awe. give me a fireplace to look upon your flame so that we may warm our hands together.