Today the Free Software Foundation Europe reminds us to thank and celebrate all those in Free Software we love and whose work we enjoy and built upon. In KDE, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Everything we do in some way depends on Free Software written by many other people - the huge ecosystem around us. Here are just a few of the thousands of them:
We Love Qt for being the best toolkit we could hope for to build our software on.
We love the GNU Toolchain (gcc, GNU binutils, ..) - the most used toolchain to bring our amazing software to the masses.
We love Valgrind and the GNU Debugger for helping us improve our software craftmanship.
We love CMake for keeping our project structures sane and for helping us shine on every platform.
We love Xorg and Wayland for giving us the ability to paint on the screen of many devices large and small.
We love git for helping us manage our future and past.
We love the KDE Free Qt Foundation for ensuring that KDE and everyone else can continue to rely on a free and open Qt.
Most importantly: we love all the *people* that help run these projects and organizations. Thank you for letting us stand on the shoulders of giants and ensuring together with us that more people have access to free software and control over the technology that shapes their life.
From its beginning, KDE has been a leader in innovation in free (libre) and open source software (FLOSS), but there is a threat to that leadership in one of the fastest growing areas of technology. The advantages of free and open development and use are clear for software; now closed and proprietary strategies have become standard in other kinds of technology. The need for technology freedom has moved from software to other more corporate-controllable areas—notably hardware and the Internet.
As was the case when KDE started, community-developed, freedom-oriented technology is necessary to break the stranglehold of large companies that are more committed to managers and investors than to users. But this won’t be easy and it can’t be left to a few people. The entire KDE Community has a stake in the outcome. For that matter, this should be a concern to anyone who develops free and open software, anyone who uses it, anyone who benefits from it. And that includes just about everyone using technology today.
As the first of several opinion pieces exploring current issues in KDE, we offer you a video of Aaron Seigo explaining how KDE's success as a community producing all kinds of software led to outgrowing our old name, the "K Desktop Environment", what KDE means now and why it matters.