Provide Software Solutions for Consumer Devices
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"Provide Software Solutions for Consumer Devices"

KDE software has never been about just Plasma Desktop, KDE has worked on various solutions like Plasma Mobile, Plasma Media Center, which is tailored towards non-desktop usecases. KDE community also provides the solutions like, Kirigami, KDE Frameworks, Plasma and others.

Proposal is to be more active in offering these solution for consumer devices (non-desktop, electronic devices) and work on solution which fulfil requirement of this industry.

Current situation in market

  • Mobile device is the primary compuational device for most people
  • No or minimal user control
  • Corporate/Government surveliance
  • Short age of such devices results in electronic waste.
  • Users have been educated on a usage paradigm that does not respect their digital rights
    • They deliver their personal data to third parties, thinking that's "how applications work" or they are simply not aware of the "implementation details" and mostly happy that their consumer device works as expected.
    • They accept nefarious terms of use, thinking that "there is no alternative"
    • The application ecosystem is advertisement and/or surveilance oriented and does *not* focus on delivering real value to the users
  • On the market there are two ubiquitous business models:
    • You buy a device for a reasonable price and you pay by your data. These data are gathered, packaged, selled and invested against user rights
    • You pay a high price for a device and then you think that -since you payed for it- it will respect your rights. Since the code is not free, this is a fallacy
  • Most devices on the market exclude marginal groups (e.g. disabled, visualy impaired people) since there is not return on investments on devices that work good for them
  • The current trend of IoT will make this situation much worse

How to overcome this situation

  • In FOSS communities, issues like user rights, environmental cost, focus on real value and not just profit are "best practices" already applied for years
  • Burden of FOSS people to de-educate the users not in a paternalistic way, but via inclusion; we should not treat users as just consumers, but try to involve them and make them part of our communities

Why a KDE platform is best?

  • KDE has a long history on workspace and application development. For many people, the Plasma workspace and many of the KDE apps is the best that foss offers right now. We need to offer this on non-desktop devices as well
  • The Linux application ecosystem consists of thousands of apps that offer real value, in contrast with the defective by design current mobile ecosystem
  • Convergence is not just a buzzword for us; we already offer Kirigami, KDE Connect, we offer the same paradigm for developing for desktop and mobile

Why get involved

  • KDE Vision, enabling user to have full control to their devices, due to current situation, users have least amount of control on their devices including but not limited to right to inspect, hack, repair and modify. If software/services for consumer devices are developed by well known free and opensource organization like KDE, It will put trust of users back in such consumer devices and will enable users to have full-control of the device. This freedom is also important to enable long-usage for the devices instead of replacing device every one or two year because technology has moved on, and will have large term impact on reducing environmental costs.
  • KDE promotes cooperation instead of competition, We have proved that we work cooperating with other communities and corporations, (Halium, postmarketOS, pine64, UBports, Purism, MycroftAI, Slimbooks to name a few). Focusing on this goal will enable us to collaborate with more communities, organizations and corporations. In addition to already mentioned benifits, this will also benifit our "allies" or other FOSS organizations. As we will be in position to promote/integrate open and privacy friendly services and standards (Nextcloud, Matrix, Wikidata)
  • Due to availability of design, code, friendly licensing and community support, our technologies are perfect for entrepreneurs who do not have much capital/resources to start with. Because of our licensing and community values, we will act as a safeguard that these initiatives will not result to "evil" devices

What it will take

There's several tasks that needs to be done to achieve this goal, but to name a few short term non-technical goals and tasks,

  • Create a manifesto/guidelines for corporates to follow when creating consumer devices. It is important that creation of such guidelines should have user interests including accessibilty as main focus.
  • Reach out to other organizations who are already working/developing on consumer devices, we are already working with several organizations who work on hardware in one form or another, but we need to expand our horizon.
  • Document our technologies for easier usage by device vendors, this will be starting point for device vendors who wants to use our software.
  • Involve existing KDE community developers to work on their apps, bearing in mind that their app may work on non-desktop devices
  • Leverage Linux application ecosystem, and try to involve them with KDE community by either incubating them in KDE community or collaborating with them.

How we know we succeeded

KDE community becomes one of the most-trusted provider for the open and secure solutions for consumer devices for use by individuals as well as corporations or vendors.

We do not intend to reinvent the wheel; we believe that already exist stakeholders around foss consumer devices' goal:

  • KDE projects(e.g. KDE Frameworks, Plasma, Yocto packaging for KDE Frameworks etc)
  • Non-KDE projects (e.g. PostmarketOS, pinephone)
  • Users that demand foss devices (e.g. privacy aware people, excluded groups)
  • Users that should care about foss devices (the mission of deducate/reducate users and shift usage paradigm)
  • Manufacturers already working on such devices (e.g. Pine64, Purism, MycroftAI)
  • New entrepreneurs (as described in action points)
  • Mobile hackers (e.g. android hackers that want a more open platform)

We would like to establish a common ground for all these dynamics to co-operate around our technologies towards a single objective: end-user devices that will work well and respect users' rights

Relevant links

I am willing to put work into this

I am interested

bshah created this task.Jun 25 2019, 1:25 PM
bshah claimed this task.
ngraham updated the task description. (Show Details)Jun 25 2019, 1:27 PM
ngraham added a subscriber: ngraham.

Isn't this the same but less fleshed out as the current privacy goal?

bshah added a comment.Jun 25 2019, 1:56 PM

This goal is largely related to original privacy goal we have selected previously, but this goal in specific targets non-desktop devices in general and not something we already target.. E.g. smart-home, voice assistant, etc.

dkardarakos updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 8 2019, 8:52 AM
dkardarakos added a subscriber: dkardarakos.
lydia added a subscriber: lydia.Jul 19 2019, 9:54 AM

I wonder how this and T11075 relate. Can we figure out how to not split votes between them by either combining or clarifying the distinction?

alexeymin updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 19 2019, 1:36 PM
alexeymin added a subscriber: alexeymin.
bshah renamed this task from KDE provides the software solutions for privacy friendly consumer devices to KDE provides the software solutions for consumer devices.Jul 24 2019, 7:57 AM
bshah updated the task description. (Show Details)

I've modified the task to not clash with T11075 as discussed on goals office hour.

Maybe also worth mentioning in this context is the work on bringing KDE technologies to Yocto, a popular (meta) distribution for device makers,

bshah added a comment.Jul 24 2019, 8:51 AM

Yes, Yocto is also one of the most related bit here, although for now I am keeping task description least technical.

bshah updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 28 2019, 9:11 AM
bshah updated the task description. (Show Details)
bshah updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 3 2019, 11:51 AM
lydia added a comment.Aug 3 2019, 3:44 PM

Thank you! It seems this is ready for voting now. Do you want to move it to the next column?

lydia updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 3 2019, 4:11 PM
lydia updated the task description. (Show Details)
lydia added a comment.Aug 13 2019, 8:48 PM

Quick reminder that there are two days left before the voting starts. Please make any changes you still want to make soon.

paulb added a subscriber: paulb.EditedAug 13 2019, 9:25 PM

@bshah : Can I recommend you change the title to "Provide Software Solutions for Consumer Devices"? The "KDE" bit is obvious so you don't need it and the changes amend some minor grammar slips.

bshah added a comment.Aug 14 2019, 7:38 AM

Sounds good to me, updating.

bshah renamed this task from KDE provides the software solutions for consumer devices to Provide Software Solutions for Consumer Devices.Aug 14 2019, 7:38 AM
bshah updated the task description. (Show Details)
neofytosk updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 14 2019, 1:25 PM
bshah added a comment.Aug 20 2019, 3:18 AM

Any update on voting process @lydia ?

lydia added a comment.Aug 20 2019, 5:32 PM

Sorry I ran into some issues. Working on it.

lydia added a comment.Aug 24 2019, 3:39 PM

Vote invite were sent to everyone subscribed to the KDE community mailing list and everyone with a developer account. Any contributor who didn't receive one please subscribe to the mailing list to not miss future announcements and send me a quick email ( and I'll send you a vote invite.

[spam comment removed by sysadmin]

lydia added a comment.Sep 9 2019, 8:22 AM

Unfortunately this goal wasn't selected as part of this round. If there is a critical mass of people who still want to push it forward please do! If support like financing a sprint is needed please reach out to the board.