Charter of the Technical Working Group of the KDE e.V.

1 Purpose

The purpose of the Technical Working Group (TWG) is to define and execute the official software releases of KDE. It should also support and guide the processes of taking technical decisions within the KDE project. It has to make sure that the open source development process is kept intact and that the KDE community is involved in all important decisions.

2 Open Source Process

The TWG has to respect, support and take into account the open source development process. This in particular means that it should support peer-review, maintainership, the "those who do the work decide" practice and strengthen the responsibilities and initiative of the individual contributors.

The TWG should also respect and coordinate with existing decision making groups and processes where they exist in sub groups or sub projects of KDE.

The TWG should also make sure that specific experts, especially those who work on the topics under decision, are involved in the decision making process.

3 Responsibilities

3.1 Release Schedule

The TWG is responsible for setting release schedules for the official KDE releases. This includes release dates, deadlines for individual release steps and restrictions for code changes.

The TWG should coordinate release dates with the marketing and press efforts of KDE.

3.2 Definition of Release

The TWG defines what code is included in the official KDE releases. It decides which modules are released and which features are included based on the feature plan and criteria for inclusion of features. The criteria should be documented and publically available. The maintainers of the code have to be involved in the decision making process.

The TWG decides which translations are included in a release. Other groups concerned with translations have to be involved in the decision.

3.3 Release Management

The TWG assigns one or more release managers for coordination of the official KDE releases. The release managers should coordinate with developers and packagers to organize packages for the release. They should also take care of branching and tagging the source code repository and prepare the source code packages released to the distributors and the public.

3.4 Reviewing applications

The TWG oversees which application and libraries are included in the modules of the source code repository. It should support existing decision making processes and make sure that decisions are taken in a coordinated and consistent way in the best interest of the KDE project.

If it is not possible to reach consensus about individual decisions the TWG can specifically decide about inclusion of new applications and exclusion of obsolete, redundant or unmaintained applications. The maintainers of the applications have to be involved in the decision making process.

The TWG is directly responsible for the core modules (kdelibs, kdereview and kdebase). For other modules it should leave the responsibility to module maintainers or specific decision making groups, where they exist. The TWG takes care of inter-module issues, balances interests between modules and oversees the modules released together in the official KDE releases as a whole.

3.5 Software Dependencies

The TWG decides about external or inter-module software dependencies. The TWG has to ensure that concrete decisions about tools and deployed versions are made and adhered to. All decisions should be taken transparently, involve the KDE community, in particular specific experts, and respect the needs of the various KDE contributors.

3.6 Communicating and moderating

The TWG summarizes decision making processes and helps finding consensus and moderates important discussions which affect greater areas of KDE. It should act as a technical contact for KDE in general.

4 Members

The TWG consists of five elected members. They are elected by the membership of the KDE e.V. Only members of the KDE e.V. can be voted for the TWG. In addition, any of the voted members can select additional people to become part of the TWG and act in the role of the TWG.

4.1 Elections

The members of the TWG are elected by the membership of the KDE e.V. by online vote. The general rules for online votes on persons apply.

Members of the TWG are elected for a term of one year.

The board of the KDE e.V. is responsible for the execution of the election.

4.2 Extraordinary Elections

If at least seven members of the KDE e.V. demand an extraordinary election of the members of the TWG, the board of the KDE e.V. dissolves the membership of the TWG and holds an election of new members even if the term of one year has not passed yet.

5 Transparency

The decision making process and other activities of the TWG should be transparent to the membership of the KDE e.V. and to the KDE community at large. The TWG should regularly report its activities to the KDE community and publically document all decisions taken.

The TWG should involve the KDE community in the decision making process at all times. Discussions should preferably be held on public mailing lists like kde-core-devel.

All policies on which decisions are based should be documented and publically available.

6 Coordination

The TWG has to coordinate with other KDE e.V. working groups and the board of the KDE e.V. on all matters which do not exclusively fall under the responsibility of the TWG.

The TWG should also provide the means to coordinate between groups working on different modules or different applications where no sufficient coordination mechanisms exist.

This charter has been decided by the membership of the KDE e.V. through an online vote on November 7th 2006.

Currently there is no TWG in place as after an evaluation period it turned out that the TWG concept was too formal to work in practice with the self-organizing culture of the KDE development community. A less formally organized release-team has emerged which has taken over the most important responsibities of the TWG.