KDE Brainstorm Monthly Digest – issue 1

Hello, and welcome to the first “issue” of the KDE Brainstorm monthly digest.

First of all, a few words of introduction. There are quite a number of ideas being posted on the KDE Brainstorm, and it would be nice to know how the initiative is faring, and important highlights, like what ideas are more popular, which are more controversial, etc. That is why the idea of a monthly digest was born (in a similar fashion as the fabolous Commit Digest). Our idea is to publish these digests monthly, providing the community (and perhaps even developers) with useful information about the state of the initiative.

Issue 1 – March 23th – April 25th, 2009


Let’s start by taking a look at the initiative as a whole. 323 valid ideas have been submitted in the last month, an average of 10.77 ideas per day. Quite a nice result, overall, especially knowing that non-valid ideas have been rather low, on that regard. Specifically, the staff has reported 15 invalid ideas, 28 duplicate ideas, 33 which were actually already implemented, 3 that were not ideas (more like bugs), and two rejected ideas.

Of course, posting ideas is just the first step. The second is, basing on their vote count, to submit them to the developers. 22 of them have already been submitted, and we are awaiting feedback and comments. Three ideas have been already implemented. Specifically, the developers addressed the following ideas:

In particular, the last one was the first Brainstorm idea to be implemented by a KDE developer. Many thanks to Harald Hvaal for this!

Getting noticed

This month, the top voted idea was Easy, Beautiful Progress Notification in the Task Bar (by forum user Kubuntiac), an idea to bring Plasma progress notifications in the task bar, complete with a couple of mockups which make the text very clear. Kubuntiac stresses that it would not replace the current system tray based one, but instead to have an extra indicator. The reception of the user community has been quite positive, as this idea has 62 votes at the time of writing. Coincidentally, this idea is also the most discussed one of the month (25 replies).

The community is heterogeneous, and some ideas are bound to be controversial. This month, the top controversial idea is Payment/donation to get bugs fixed (by forum user alberto.rossini) which although showing only 0 votes at the moment (result of opposing votes), has sparked quite a discussion about the impact (or lack thereof) of monetary donations to get bugs fixed for KDE. The community is clearly divided on this topic and the opinions are varied.

Speaking of getting noticed, forum user TheBlackCat is our idea submitter champion for this month. When Brainstorm was created, TheBlackCat ported over many ideas discussed earlier in the Discussion forum, and also proposed quite a number of ideas on diverse fields (mostly Dolphin related).

Status of the project

How is the Brainstorm faring this month? Has the initial enthusiasm faded out? The simplest way to look at it is by viewing the number of votes over the days, as shown by the followng graph:

This is a time series of number of ideas for each day of the month. As we can see, the data is a little “noisy”, because the number of ideas posted have been fluctuating depending on the user submissions. The dashed line is the median of the votes in the considered period. We can see one big drop at the start, which was in my opinion “expected” when the novelty effect wore out. With ups and downs, however, the stream of new ideas has been more or less constant. If you would like additional statistics, feel free to suggest them in the comments.


Credit were it’s due, of course. The following people have contributed a lot to make this possible:

  • sayakb – Data gathering and various bits of PHP magic
  • Mogger – Development of the controversial idea score


Did you like this digest? You didn’t? Let us know so we can improve it!

13 thoughts on “KDE Brainstorm Monthly Digest – issue 1”

  1. @Ivan: perhaps next month, as I said it’s a work in progress. But putting up a mockup or the text of the most voted idea is definitely a plus. I may try to edit the digest later on if I get time.

    @aki For now I’d like to see the reactions first. I’m still not sure it’s Dot-worthy material.

    @all: thanks a lot!

  2. Please post it on the dot, it is dot worthy material and of interest to the community

  3. Really great idea! I like it :)

    There is one proposal for presenting number of votes per day – because they are discrete numbers spread over discrete timeline, you should display votes through histogram with constant bar width with no space beetwen them. One such chart can be found on 2nd page of document at:


    Keep on rocking with KDE ;)

  4. @dim: I tried a couple different solutions, then I stumbled upon a SciPy toolkit for time series, which is what I used to plot this figure. I’ll investigate whether I can use other means to plot those (probably yes).

  5. This rocks! And it’s only going to get better as we get more statistic to play with.

    Regarding the graph, I like the line graph – it shows a trend, the relationship between time and number of ideas. I don’t know which type is the “right” one, but that’s what I personally think.

  6. What is the relation of KDE brainstorm and bugs.kde.org wishes? If I have an idea/proposal, where should I report it (or in both places)?

  7. @Grósz Dániel : Brainstorm is meant to be a “filter” for BKO with regards to wishlists items (that’s why reporting in both places at once is not a good idea), because there can be user partecipation (voting) and even discussion to improve a particular idea.
    After discussion and voting, the requests are forwarded to BKO. The advantage is that by voting we group similar requests to a single one (= less duplication) and overall good quality requests are submitted. So I would not submit to Brainstorm and BKO together at the same time.

  8. I have a few suggestions for statistics.

    First, I would definitely not use a bar plot for the time series. With a line it is much easier to see the connection between days than with a bar plot. A stem/leaf plot might work, though, so I would try that out. It is like a bar plot, but instead of wide bars it uses thin lines with a circle (or other shape) at the peak. It is fairly easy for the eye to connect the dots into a curve but it does not look quite as jaggy as the line does. I would also experiment with different time periods (6 hours, 12, hours, 1 day, 2 days, etc). Perhaps post different combinations next month (or this month even) and let there be some discussion about what seems useful and what doesn’t. You can then narrow it down for future issues.

    First, I think doing a 3 and/or 5-day sliding moving average would help smooth at some of those bumps (so that each day is actually the average of that day and the 1 or 2 days before or after). This would not replace the time series, only complement it.

    Second, I would have a histogram for the number of ideas for each user. So for instance the number of users with 1 idea, the number of users with 2 ideas, the number of users with 3 ideas, etc. That will tell us whether are dealing with a few users posting a lot of ideas or a lot of users posting a few ideas.

    I would also post the number of ideas with each tag, at least for the top 10-20 most popular tags.

    Posting a time series for comments on ideas would also be useful, to see how active discussion is and how it is changing over time. Perhaps overlay it on the same plot as the time series for ideas, making comparison between the two. You can have plots with two y-axes, one on the left and one on the right. This would allow you to scale the two time series plots so they are similar in height even though their true range is very different.

    Another interesting thing would be a plot with the number of comments on one axis and the number of positive votes on the other (a vote vs. comment count plot). This would allow us to see whether commenting and voting are related, and if so in what way. Perhaps with a correlation coefficient. Same with comments vs. controversy.

    Having a histogram for the number of comments per idea (number of ideas with 0-5 comments, number of ideas with 5-10 comments, etc.) would be interesting. So would a histogram for the votes and a histogram for the controversy. Since there are far more votes and comments than there are ideas those would probably have to be broken into bins (number of ideas with 0-5 votes, 5-10 votes, etc).

    A pie chart representation of the ideas in each category, pending, implemented, done, etc., would be a good visual representation of that data.

    The count of ideas for each of the top 5-20 most prolific forum members, the count of votes for the top 5-20 highest-rated ideas, and the controversy level for the top 5-20 most controversial ideas would also be interesting, along with links to those ideas. You could also post the text of those 15-60 ideas at the end, like how the commit digest posts the labels for commits at the end.

    Those are all the potentially interesting ideas I can come up with right now. I will post more if they come to me.

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