developerWorks Responds to KDE Community Concerns

Yesterday we posted a story
about the IBM developerWorks'
Theme Contest
. It quickly became apparent that the contest had a few
shortcomings, which were noted in another update and in the comments from
our readership. It turns out that the people working on the contest were
new to the Open Source community and KDE and did not realize the mistakes
that were made. I drew IBM's attention
to these problems and when the Open Source leadership at IBM noted them
they immediately recognized and corrected them.
An explanation from Shailendra
follows. Kudos to IBM for being so receptive and responsive to our
community! (Also check out the NewsForge story on this.)

Shailendra from developWorks writes:

Due to an overwhelming response from the community, calling us on a
few not-so-subtle gaffs, we have changed our KDE theme contest. First and
foremost, entering the contest does not mean you are giving us ownership of
your code or exclusive rights to it (we'll be sacrificing a lawyer to the OSS
gods for that rule tonight at midnight). All your entries (see revised rule 7
on the
) must be licensed under an OSI-approved public software license. Yes,
we screwed that one up the first time. Apologies!

Secondly, so that we can make the contest open for contestants worldwide,
winners will be able to choose a non-profit, Open Source organization to which
dW will make a donation on the winner's behalf. Unfortunately, giving away
cash worldwide is another legal quagmire we were trying to keep our foot
out of. Turns out we put it in our mouths instead :)

Finally, themes eligible for the contest are to be compliant with KDE 2.x or
KDE 1.x, not versions 1.1.x and 1.2 as we accidently wrote in our previous
rules! Whew!

[email protected]

Dot Categories: 


by Wilhelm Schlegel (not verified)

Great! Seems like IBM is getting it - accept feedback and work with the community....

Another thing they should probably change is the deadline. I imagine that a really good theme needs
more time than 2 weeks to make. This way they will limit the number of possible participants (who
doesn't have the time right now to do this) and make do with an assemblage of relatively hurried work.

Good, I am going to donate my 2000 $ to KDE :).

Man thats cool!! Go IBM!!


by Jelmer Feenstra (not verified)

Yeah !!!

IBM really tries to express this "Love" thing they're advertising with :))

Thanks IBM !!

Impressive...most impressive.

This is the way companies interested in
Open Source/Free Software are supposed to

You make money thanks to community's efforts,
then give something in reward and respect the
community itself

cool =)

> we'll be sacrificing a lawyer to the OSS gods for that rule tonight at midnight

Now that's what I call commitment... exercising the "death clause". :-O Will this be webcast? ;-)

I hope so. I wonder if they can set up a poll so that we can chose the method of sacrifice.

by Karl-Heinz Zimmer (not verified)

[Caution: lots of exclamation marks following]

You are right: It is nice to see this reaction of IBM and sacrificing one of their thousands of lawyers surely is a very good idea!

Even more nice would be to let us choose *whom* to sacrifice: I would like to select one of their top-patent-layers!

Honest, cari amici, of course it is nice (and wise) that they have reacted that way this time but while 'praising' them do NOT forget that IBM is constantly filing lots (and I mean LOTS) of patents worldwide!

They are the main fighter for software-patents in the european community - this does *not* look like a main friend of free software would act - a themes contest doesn't change this at all!

I once had a boss who told us "Just put money on it!" when being asked how to solve a problem.

The funny "We love Linux." thing presented to us by IBM recently reminds me to that former boss: IBM seems to think that putting money on Linux is the way to salvation. Perhaps it is a good thing for IBM to do this but does that mean it is also a good thing for the Linux Community?

In my (absolutely unimportant) opinion the patents-issue should be addressed aggressively next time the wannabe nice people from IBM are offering their so-called help!

Money from people who (at the very same time!) are die hard fighting against fundamental open source ways of sharing ideas and sharing code is kind of bad money.

(just my 2 pence, feel free to ignore it - but a "Non olet pecunia!" won't change my mind.)

You could ask your prize money to be donated to an organisation that lobbies against software patents. At least that may leave a mark with management.

Does anyone know of such organisations?

How about this: IBM tries to get as many software patents as possible, only to let the open source community use them freely! Patents are of no danger if the owner of the patent is your friend . It's just a silly dream, I know :-(

by Greg Brubaker (not verified)

Seriously, I didn't fully mind the contest as it was, but I did feel very queasy about it...

Talk about Timely correction, and care!

Now when's IBM going to start selling linux desktop computers???

Anyway, good job IBM.

All of us KDE user's aplaud your corrections!

by Stephan Boeni (not verified)

IMHO IBM sells Netfinity Servers with SuSE Linux.

by Greg Brubaker (not verified)

IBM sells Linux systems, but mostly business oriented(Suse Servers, and Caldera Notebooks). Tell me when they start pre-installing Loki game packs on Linux boxes... Not until then are they selling CONSUMER desktops.

They have my respect.

Peace Man

by Evan "JabberWok... (not verified)

Can we have a news story as to why and the dot were down? Or was it just me and everybody I talked to?

Inquiring minds want to know...


This has been a problem a couple of times, I don't know why the KDE people are still having the same people host the sites or have not switched to a non Zope based message board.

by kdeFan (not verified)

IIRC, last time it was ISP trouble - not zope trouble.

by reihal (not verified)

Maybe they should rename this site to
(Sorry about that, I hope irony works)

It's not that Zope is broke, it's that Zope is hard to move if the server goes down.

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

> It's not that Zope is broke, it's that Zope is
> hard to move if the server goes down.

It's only a matter of installing the software and importing the zexp. I try to keep a backup zexp available generally. And FWIW, we had hardware problems.

On this note, I'm taking a break as editor of this site for personal reasons. Fortunately, we have several other hardworking ones.

Some stories I'm hoping will be covered in one form or another in the future but that I won't be taking care of myself:

- KDE presence at GUADEC II, Interoperability

- KC KDE #6

- Rich Moore interview, and other interviews

- LinuxTests review

- New devel articles by Rich, Rik and co.

- Qt Mozilla

- etc.

See you in May or so.


by kdeFan (not verified)

Thanks Navindra, you did a great job :-)

by Asif Ali Rizwaan (not verified)

Your support to Open Source is very much appreciated by us (the users). Thanks a lot.

Indeed if I win I would donate it to KDE and Gnome 1/2, 1/2 :)