So the KDE team have thrown open a challenge. What do users and developers want from KDE and where should it head in the next 5 years. They are going to hold a meeting of users, visionaries and developers early next year called K16 and they have thrown open an invitation for users to "pitch" their ideas in a one page document which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to attend and sell your idea to the project. The organising team and KDE e.V. will select 15 people to attend and even cover travel costs.
I think this is a GREAT idea and one that shows despite the criticisms from some voices in the media the project does care about what people want and is in fact not a developer centric project.
However, it is quite clear from some posts I have read and some of the comments in the announcement that some users are still bemoaning issues surrounding KDE 4 and the stability of the Software. In some case's I agree that while the project has transformed from a slightly poor 4.0 release, 4.5 and soon 4.6 have polished up rather nicely. I know that some feel that certain changes from the version 3 code have not been wise but at the end of the day KDE is still a mainly volunteer FOSS project and people will work on what interests them and inspires them. If there is a feature from 3 that is really important to you then file a request, get coding yourself or inspire someone to code it.
It's funny how comments like "-Make dolphin open instant and respond better." and "-a replacement for "ark" is desperately needed" make me smile. Opening Dolphin on my Thinkpad R61e takes less than a second. How much faster does it need to be? What distro is the culprit and may have modified it, bloated it?? I like KDE plain and simple so I run Arch.
I do think that while the project plans for the next 5 years they should also keep polishing and improving what they have. However, a meeting like this may well bring some great ideas to the project that may otherwise not been thought of.
Personally, I would like to see a decent WebKit based Browser that is capable of giving Firefox and Chrome a serious run for it's money. I would like to see Tag Cloud based options in Save and Open dialogs. I would like to see decent a decent Bluetooth stack that is complete. And I would love to see changes to the UI that would make using the desktop as much fun as using my Android phone. Plasma widgets of real value and slick UI's that break the 25 year old mould and bring seamless connectivity to the KDE desktop and the web.
I might even put a page together on that one!