How is KDE managed?
Any team of substantial size requires mechanisms in place to ensure smooth operations, and KDE is no exception. The KDE community is organized around a large number of semi-independent teams, and has a few over-arching groups which take care of coordination and communication.
Membership to the core group, 'The KDE Core Team', is purely merit based, and its membership can be difficult to strictly define at any point in time. Anyone can become a member of this core group, the particular contributor must however have distinguished him/herself through outstanding work and dedication towards the KDE community over a considerable period of time.
The KDE Core group decides on the overall direction of the KDE Platform. Contrary to the development of other free software projects, most notably the Linux Kernel, KDE does not have a single 'benevolent dictator' who can veto important decisions. Instead, at KDE the core team consisting of several dozen contributors takes decisions on the basis of merit and consensus building.
Primarily, this team communicates using the kde-core-devel mailing list, which is publicly archived and readable, but requires approval before joining. This ensures that the list is populated by active contributors.
The KDE e.V.
Since any large project will need to handle legal and financial issues on occasion, KDE created a non-profit body which can protect the interests of KDE as a whole. The e.V. is a restricted membership organization with a growing list of members who have shown that they are long term, active KDE team members with a vested interest in seeing KDE everwhere. It is governed by an elected board, and exerts no technical influence over the development of KDE software, but instead is tasked with facilitating the growth of KDE.
Since the e.V. is often dealing with legal or financial details, much of these communications are private. In the event that the material can be discussed publicly, it is preferred that the regular, public KDE communications channels are used.
More information can be found on the KDE e.V. website.
Within the KDE community, there are many smaller teams working towards specific goals. For example, the Release Team is responsible for ensuring that the KDE Software Compilation is released on a schedule that they decide and enforce. The marketing and promotion team is responsible for ensuring timely and accurate information about KDE or KDE products are widely available. The web team maintains much of the content of KDE's web presence, while the system administration team ensures that the hardware and software behind KDE's infrastruture functions properly. Since membership in most of these teams is open and transient, new contributors are more than welcome.
Development is further organized alongside topical teams like education, office or network applications. While these teams work mostly independent and do not all follow a common release schedule, there are many people working with and in several teams. We all share a common purpose and a common passion, which brings us together at least once a year at Akademy or Camp KDE, the two yearly conferences. Akademy takes place in or close to Europe while Camp KDE is a north-american event. Of course there are a variety of events around the world with a strong presence of the KDE community, including several in Brazil, India and other places.