The speech that no one heard

January 23, 2008

As some were aware, last week was one hell of a week for me. I flew into San Francisco a week early to prepare the 4.0 Release Event. Arrived Saturday night, and woke up on Sunday morning with this. Being young and healthy, you get to hear ophthalmologists declare fun things like, “Rare? I’ve only seen this twice in twenty years for someone your age.” Writing speeches and working on the release and seeing eye specialists daily; something had to give and it was my speech.

How was it going to start? Something similar to:

“Interview questions are often reused and recycled. One popular question for candidates is What happens when you click on a hyperlink in a browser? [see if a sucker wants to try an answer] Responses that focus on the client code, the bowser function, network topologies/routing or server-side handling give interviewers insight into the background and expertise of a candidate. A good answer works all the way down and back up the stack.

So similarly, What happens when a new users installs and uses KDE? Think about everything that has to happen:

  • The user has to be familiar with KDE via enthusiasts, press, web site articles and promotions
  • They have to get access through a distro
  • The applications need to be documented, translated, usable and good-looking
  • The applications rely on KDE LIBS and Qt libraries
  • This code interacts with graphics engines and kernel code (Linux/Solaris/BSD)
  • Everything interacts with hardware

Enthusiasts, press, promotions, distros, documenters, translators, usability experts, artists, developers, Qt authors, graphics ninjas, kernel developers and hardware manufacturers.

A lot of different roles are involved with making KDE successful. Could you imagine if all of these people were able to get together – how powerful that would be? Well, look around you, because that’s exactly what’s going on today. [Then go on to kick-ass speech]”

Probably more fireworks and showgirls, but you get the point. We purposefully built an event with these different groups in mind. This wasn’t coincidence. And every day and every meal and every conversation (since I booked basically everyone and knew their names), I saw people mixing it up. Introducing themselves and finding common ground – exactly as intended. Nearly 200 people making connections. Building on Aaron and Adriaan’s A-Team theme: I love it when a good plan comes together.

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