Camp KDE 2009: Day 2
January 18, 2009
Who loves free software and KDE? Here’s one tip: People that travel to Camp KDE on their birthday. Can you imagine that a person would spend their birthday at a KDE conference? Would you believe two? Yes, both Gokman and Orville have their birthday today. Yes, both had “Happy Birthday” sung to them. It may be on film. Whether they have to endure every culture’s birthday celebrations such as spankings/wedgies/tappers/double nuggins/tickles/fisties/paddle tunnels and the Dreaded Rear Admiral ™ – this remains to be seen.
As expected, Jos will give more in-depth commentary on the event in some Dot articles, but I’ll continue to give brief summaries in real-time.
KDE and Business Software: Guillermo (gamaral) gave a really good speech. He needs to do more. Not trusting that the audience would understand his high brow humor, he thankfully provided us with notes on each slide on when to laugh and/or applaud. Gamaral touched on points about Mexican culture, small business owners and their software needs, and the challenges of growing a free software community there.
Amarok 2 and libplasma: Fresh off a new Amarok 2.0 release (although the Amarokers refused to rest and have already had subsequent releases), Leo gave insight on the goals and challenges during 2.0 release process, and lessons learned/best practices involving libplasma. The presentation on the video might have a slight hiccup as we had to switch microphone batteries mid-speech. During the downtime, someone (who shall remain nameless) questioned whether Leo’s shirt realy needed to be worn. Are all people named Leo heartthrobs? These are the questions that keep me up at night. The talk concluded with plans for further improving the Amarok UI. It’s always good to hear dev teams so focused on making the best user experience.
KDE and Mac (Taming the Leopard): For those that haven’t met Orville before (like me), he’s one cool cat. If I stand next to both him and Zack, I’m pretty sure I would get Quad Damage and the Kool Aid Guy would bust through a wall. Orville (birthday dude #1) spoke about the background, processes and decisions involved with Mac packaging. In a story told again and again, he explained how he showed up in a chat room one day, and before he knew what hit him, he was fully involved with KDE. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. But the best part involving his speech may have come after is was complete. Leaving the stage, he didn’t sit back down before going right over to Bill Hoffman (Kitware) and Ade (who blogs regularly about his travails with Solaris). Not 30 seconds after he cited some less-than-ideal issues in his talk, and there’s a discussion about how to improve it (CPack). Only at conferences like this.
KDE and Distros: A bit of an experiment here. Two people from two different countries that had never met that work on two different distros, giving a talk together about how each interact with KDE. Gokmen (of Turkish disro Pardus and birthday dude #2) and Marcus (of Gentoo) both spoke about typical activities for distros, challenges and what is unique to their respective distros. Both seem to have one foot in the distro community, but their other foot is squarely in the KDE family. Both make sure that KDE gets any patches/fixes/improvements done – a point that can’t be overlooked with distro relations.
Graphics Architecture/Acceleration: For those that saw Zack’s Akademy 2008 speech, this was fairly different. The former was fairly casual and humorous (in his blatant attempt to win the Funniest Presenation vote), this was all business. As he noted when starting the talk, this was almost more of a lecture than a speech. The information came fast and furious, and this is a video people will want to watch slowly to absorb. So serious that when he was talking about a rasterizer, I fully held back on yelling out “It’s a rastah-rizer mon!” Yes, it’s true. Conclusion? OpenCL – get used to it and prepare for it.
Completely unrelated note: Chani ran up to Zack in front of me and declared, “This hug is from Aaron!” Was there a hug, handshake, pat on the back, tip of the cap or even Dreaded Rear Admiral (non-birthday version) for little ol’ Wade? No. My theory is that the request from Aaron was “Run up to Zack and hug him for me in front of Wade. Then ensure awkward silence until you see tears well up in his eyes. Conclude with a stomach punch.” I have no proof yet. Yet.
KDE Games and EDU: Eugene Trounev was unable to attend as a presenter (in addition to his help with Camp KDE Graphics as an organizer). Thanks to this group for recommending Mauricio to come out and give a presentation instead on short notice. And more thanks for Mauricio for accepting. Marcus also got on the stage again to discuss the kick-butt Avogadro and Kalzium. Not to be outdone with the birthday guys, Marcus and Mauricio both announced that their wives are both expecting – so two new KDE EDU users. Talk about an incentive to improve educational software.
Enterprises and Open Source Coders: Jeff wrapped up the conference by talking about typical open source coding habits/strengths and how OSC’s are likely much more beneficial and desirable to enterprises than they might think. And I agree. Dealing with distributed teams (multiple ofice locations), different cultures (off-shore programming), peer review….these are all traits and working conditions that OSCs take for granted but are anything but common. These skills are often not represented or brought up during interviews, but are centrainly central to success. In a parallel to OSCs being modest or understated about their skills, Jeff is a much better presenter than(I’d guess) he gives himself credit for.
Look for Dot articles to start appearing – Jos is cranking them out. Now everyone is back to the beach. Later!