Camp KDE 2009: Day 1

January 18, 2009

Chani started with “Day 0“, but I’ll try to stay positive.  That’s a math joke people.  Other attendees have beaten me to blogging, and everyone seeing to be enjoying themselves.  Oh sure, people are privately coming up to me and complaining, “Why Wade, why am I forced to spend time with friends and talk about free software in the Caribbean?”  But through sheer determination, blackmail, threats and old fashioned intimidation, I’ve kept most people silent and pretending to be happy.

A quick run-down of the speeches:

Introduction: That’s me.  Not a key note, just an introduction.  We started late due to getting the A/V set up properly, so I cut the talk short and got out of the way.

Global Culture: To kick off a KDE conference series on this side of the globe (marble), it was important to me to start off this conference discussing cultures.  Unfortunately, the Global Government Illuminati conspired against me and kept Pradeepto from arriving and giving the speech.  I haven’t see him in a while and was really looking forward to it.  Till and Ade gave the speech in his absence and did admirably.

Akonadi: Ade left the stage but kept on the Indian attire fore the day) but Till was not allowed to leave just yet.  He discussed past/present/future of Akonadi.  From original issues with contact management that led to the quest for a better solution – to Akonadi in 4.2 an what’s planned for the future.  Being a back-end service, a lot of users may not be familiar with Akonadi or understand it’s benefits.  But a phrase I’ve been using lately is “source of truth” – making sure that a singular location is known and agreed to be “source of truth” for a certain type of data.  Data types lose power and completeness when pockets of data are stored separately, in different locations, in different formats, etc.  Akonadi needs to be the source of truth for contact info, and apps need to hook into it and exploit it.  It’s that simple.

KDE and Windows: Holger relayed the great progress of KDE applications on Windows.  He definitely caught me off-guard when he showed Plasma running on Windows; I thought there was an original consensus that trying to get any level of Plasma working was a new level of insanity.  Stick to safer activities like training cobras or sword swallowing.  But there he was, spinning plasmoids around on the screen.  The KDE Windows team seemed to make some sensible design decisions, like avoiding using the registry or OS env variables.  This allows for true portability – the install is basically a self-contained directory.  You could throw it on your USB stick, burn it on a CD, or put a zip file on a server allow for downloads.

Plasma and Small form factors: Sebastian was up next.  I had actually recently blogged about different screen sizes in “Plasmoid Prognostication”, but whereas my blog was open speculation and daydreaming, he dared to actually discuss the situation coherently and discuss very specific concepts to keep in mind when designing and programming for device with a wide variety of CPU strengths, power constraints and display differences.

Kitware and CMake: Bill Hoffman, representing one of our sponsors Kitware, spoke about Kiware, their open source products and their interactions with the open source community.  Bill is sitting next to me right now, so in case he looks over at my screen, let me state now he by far gave the best presentation of the day.  Bill’s family is here and his kids are awesome.  They seem to be having a blast and are either in the pool or the ocean at any given time.  Or possibly going between the two.  Needless to say his wife has her hands full.

The second day of talks is currently underway.  More blogging soon.  Oh before I forget – We did it!  I was initially going to post a blog upon arrival entitled “Triple digits – yes we can!”  The temp was officially -21 F in Minneapolis when Molly and I left for the airport.  And 81 F when we landed.  Over 100 degree increase.  Good times, almost makes me forget about my frozen pipes and broken water main back at home.  Almost.


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