Sunday, September 24, 2006

aKademy - Day 1

The typical opening by politicians and university people but this time people had a Unix background so they knew what they were talking about, not like last year in Málaga when some of the people were just there "because i put money and i want to speak"

Keynote - Looking ourselves in the eye
Aaron spoke about ourselves, what KDE is, what are our challenges and what we can do to succeed even more. Basically we are a reef and we need to get KDE4 out :-D Also a nice presentation with photos of some KDE people in the most embarassment moments he could find.

Thiago explained us why we are going to use Dbus for KDE4, it is basically a DCOP solution but with the benefit that there are much more language bindings so we have more possibilities to have our application used, that is cool :-)

Waldo was here to explain us the necessity ISV and ISD have for xdg-utils, because they don't want to choose a specific desktop for their independent application so they need to have programs that let them install an icon, launch a browser or controll the screensaver without having to code specifically for KDE/Gnome/etc.

Phonons in Solids
And interesting talk about two of the new technologies we are going to have in KDE4. Solid is going to give as independent access to the hardware system which is a good thing like you as a KDE developer do not want to care if you are interacting with a Linux kernel, a FreeBSD kernel or a Windows kernel. Solid in the other hand is providing the application developers a quite powerful set of classes to do audio and video output and input. Instead of beign a full system like we had with arts it's based on existing code that is good because we code less and have the same functionality :-)

Keynote - The State of the Linux Desktop
John Cherry gave and overview of what the OSDL is, and specifically which are the goals of the Desktop part of the OSDL. Of course it includes the Portland initiative Waldo spoke about, but they also do market studies about Linux adoption and usage around the world. Of course you always need to take these figures with one or two grains of salt, but it seems we have a small but steadly growing percentage of users around the world, so "The Year Of The Linux Desktop" is near ;-)

Competition and Cooperation
A talk by John Palmieri (J5), a Gnome hacker, and no, we did not kill him ;-) At least not publically... He did a quite intelligent talk speaking why we are not really "the enemy" as fighting for a 1-5% market share is ridiculous when the major player has 95% of the market. He also spoke about the dynamics that keep KDE and Gnome improving, like the fact that when you see something in Gnome that is nice, you implement it in KDE and [try to] make it a bit better, then Gnomies see our implemtenation and improve theirs and so on.

That was a talk that really did not fit much in the KDE conference, as it was not Desktop oriented, but was quite interesting because i learnt how Ricoh have opensourced the stack that powers their [high-end?] printers, based on BSD kernel and a Java Framework, and that has made people some crazy things like implement Sudoku/Tetris/etc for the printers, wait, did i say it was not Desktop oriented? Some of their printers have a resolution of up to 800x600 so i think we could make a KDE version for Ricoh printers :-D Anyone up to the job?

Multi-Head RandR
Keith Packard from Intel and one of the X gods spoke about auto detection, auto configuration and autoAnything of X screens and how that can make us save battery power for our little and battery hungry laptops. Really my description is not good enough for the coolness he showed us in the demonstration.

Organization of KDE Events
Martijn and Claire illustrated us about how and what we should to to organize a [KDE] event, ranging from BIG things like aKademy or the KDE 4 Series meetings to some smaller things like regional meetings. Interesting to attend but difficult to explain, sorry for you guys that were not there!

KDE Support
Kevin Krammer explained us the huge amount of work that has to be done in order to help our ever growing user base. He knows that developers are getting out of user support because there are too many users to read their mails and help, so we need a new kind of people to do the interfacing between the developers and the users. That is a rewarding and also sometimes difficult work, but he insisted you can get into it without having much or any technical knowledge of KDE. So if you ever wondered what you could do for KDE if you do not have developing/translating/artwork/documentation skills, you just found your area! Join the support guys!

How To Make Your Program Popular
Inge spoke about his experience about beign the KOffice Marketing person. He clarified us that he really is not doing marketing, but just promotion that is a smaller subset of Marketing. Also it is "easy" to improve the promotion of your application, blog about it, send news to The Dot, speak of how cool it is to your friends and colleagues and soon you will create a nice promotion snowball :-) In the specific case of KOffice he told us that they have maybe even doubled the developer community by getting more awareness and also they have the "Next cool thing in Office Suites" tag so everyone mentions KOffice when speaking about ODF and such. Good work Inge!


Eckhart said...

"Solid in the other hand is providing the application developers a quite powerful set of classes to do audio and video output and input."
That was Phonon, wasn't it? ;-)

Albert Astals Cid said...

errrrrrr, right! That proves you've read at least to the half of the long text :D Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Are there any documents about the new RandR stuff?