Last week I was among many other KDE fellow hackers at the Workspace sprint in Pineda de Mar, It was a really awesome location (and company, of course;).
But is not all fun and play: what we have produced while there? What it's a bit different from other times, is that it wasn't a coding sprint, but rather was a very needed moment of taking a step back and reflect about the future.
We are in a transition period from a technological point of view: Qt5 is coming and the KDE frameworks effort is helping to redefine the whole developer story around our tecnology... but this is another story :)
This is the ideal moment to see where we are now in term of what we offer to the user, and how the whole workspace is perceievd as a whole. The first important thing is indeed exactly realizing and knowing where we are now, having a big picture from different sides.
At this point we can have a defined and realistic vision on where the workspace should head in the next years, and how to get there.
To get to this comprehension on where we are and were we want to go we are starting to use several classic tecniques of design, such as personas (hello Carla and Raj) and role games that help to identify problems (speed boat) and current or future features (Product tree), of which Sebastian and Kevin already explained it in length.
Looking at the problems of the boats and the Product tree, among the other things two stick out: Activities are a feature that really stands out of the pack: nobody else has it, but in order to be really a game changer has to be expanded a lot and be way more "natural" to use.
Also, workflows that spread across multiple devices are becoming more and more common (they are very important for Carla and Raj); our device spectrum effort is the right thing to do, but has to be more integrated in the core development process of everything we do as a community, and has to look more integrated (communication and marketing goals).
Other wiki pages and documentation on what has been going on those days will come up over the next few days: we'll keep you posted.