Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

KDE Dot News

Syndicate content
Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

KDE at FISL 16

Wednesday 29th of July 2015 09:43:35 AM

Many of you already know that FISL (The International Free Software Forum) is one of the biggest FLOSS conferences in the world. From 8 to 11 July 2015, 5281 free software passionate people met in Porto Alegre (South Brazil) for the 16th FISL edition, enjoying activities such as talks, panels, hackathons, workshops, and community meetings. All kinds of FLOSS-related topics were in place: development, translation, artwork, education, robotics, entrepreneurship, audio-visual, women and gender, politics, academia and research ... Phew! that's tiring :) KDE has a long and memorable history at FISL and it wasn't different this year.

An inspiring keynote talk by Cornelius

The International Free Software Workshop (WSL) is a FISL co-located meeting devoted to the publishing, presentation, and discussion of peer-reviewed scientific work regarding FLOSS. This year, WSL had the honor of having Cornelius Schumacher (previous KDE e.V. President) as the keynote speaker. In his inspiring talk entitled “Learning to Grow”, Cornelius enumerated eleven powers of free software communities that provide the fundamental substratum that allows FLOSS newcomers to exercise and leverage their technical, administrative, and social skills.


Cornelius's talk at the XVI International Free Software Workshop (WSL) KDE's impressive exhibit

This year, the KDE Community members were comfortably installed in a nice 6m2 booth in the exhibitors' area. There we could install our newly printed out Konqi poster (many thanks to the KDE Visual Design Group for some nice tips), show off KDE technologies to visitors, and sell our merchandise. We were glad to have six different KDE t-shirts models, some Konqi pins, and some mugs for people who want to demonstrate their love for KDE :).


The KDE booth at FISL 16

When newcomers approached the exhibit with diverse questions about Linux, distros, and KDE, it was clear how rich and sometimes tricky the FLOSS world can be. Getting used to the roles played by the diverse actors and understanding how communities interweave each other can be confusing. A couple of times we had visitors joining us for an explanation about the Linux/Qt/KDE ecosystem, the motivations for contributing in KDE, and the basic steps for doing so.


Filipe showing off the KDE technologies in our booth Attracting new contributors

It's widely known that making one's first contributions to FLOSS projects means overcoming various barriers, particularly in regions that lack the culture, incentives, and proper support for getting involved. Communicating how easy the KDE Community is and having inspiring and informal chats with notorious veterans may significantly lower these barriers and give a boost in young people's motivations. In the third day of FISL, there was a Q&A session with Cornelius and a group of CS students from the Federal Institute of Education, Science, and Technology of Bahia (IFBA) – a public university in northeastern Brazil. It was nice to see many interesting questions being raised and have the students being gifted with all Cornelius' experience.


Q&A session with Cornelius and some CS students from IFBA Women in technology with Aracele

A particular topic which has been relentlessly discussed in FLOSS conferences in Brazil is the participation of women in technology. FISL 16 had four panels devoted to that subject–one each conference day. The goals are to help in identifying barriers and harassment situations, to characterize women's involvement in FLOSS communities, and to share experiences as a means to stimulate new contributors. Aracele presented a nice testimony about her Master's dissertation about the GNU Project, how she got involved in KDE and what keeps her dedicating some time to FLOSS projects.


FISL's “Women in Technology” panel KDE Community meeting

We have a tradition of running a KDE community meeting at FISL. It's a moment to better understand our users, get some feedback, and present the amazing things we build. Although building local FLOSS communities isn't that easy, it was quite rewarding to see four generations of Brazilian KDE contributors sharing the same room and telling about their experiences, troubles, and motivations.


KDE community meeting at FISL 16 Thanks - até a próxima

That's all! KDE had a great time at FISL 16. We look forward to the next edition, but until then we still need to plan our presence at the Latin-American Free Software Conference – Latinoware, another great FLOSS meeting in Brazil. Many thanks to KDE e.V., FISL's organizing team, and all members of Latin-American KDE community for all inestimable support.

But, wait! :) Help us promote the 2nd episode of Engrenagem – the Portuguese language video series about all sorts of KDE related things. The episode was aired on 18 July, 10:30 a.m. GMT-3, and was about the role of Qt in KDE community (but could easily be named the role of KDE in the Qt Community :)).

Check out KDE at FISL 16 photos!
More FISL 16 photos!

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Akademy Day 4

Tuesday 28th of July 2015 05:26:08 PM

Today continued the BoFs, meetings and hacking sessions. For an overview of what happened today you can watch the wrap-up session video



Your browser does not support the video tag.


About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Akademy 2015 videos available

Tuesday 28th of July 2015 09:32:55 AM

Video recordings of the Akademy talks are now available in a low quality version to enable them to be released quickly. Higher quality version will be available later.

You can find these linked from the talks schedule or look through the video files directly.

Links to slides will also be added in the schedule as presenters upload them.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Akademy Day 3 the start of BoFs, meetings and workshops

Monday 27th of July 2015 08:09:38 PM
Akademy Awards


Each year the KDE Community presents Akademy Awards to people who have made special contributions. The jury this year was made up of recipients from last year.

Last night the 2015 recipients were announced:

  • Best Application: Milian Wolff and the KDevelop team
  • Best Non-Application: Jens Reuterberg and the Visual Design Group for the Breeze interface design
  • Jury's Award: Albert Vaca for the KDE Connect application.
  • Jury's Award: Scarlett Clark for her work advancing the continuous integration infrastructure to more platforms and modules


BoFs, meetings and workshops

Following the weekend of talks inspiring and informing the community, the focus shifted today to working on details.

For an overview of what happened today you can watch the wrap-up session video



Your browser does not support the video tag.

We had some issues with sound at today's wrap-up session location,
so the wrap-up will be moving to a better place tomorrow.


About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Akademy Talks Day 2

Sunday 26th of July 2015 08:07:34 AM



Akademy 2015 Group Photo

The day today started out with showers of water drops as the late comers to Akademy waded their way amidst raincoated cyclists and residents of A Coruna sheltering themselves underneath coloured umbrellas.


At sharp 10:00 (okay maybe a bit late here and there), the keynote kicked off the second day to a start as Lydia spoke about evolving KDE, talking about the changing world of mobile phones, smart watches and gizmos like computer glasses. And how we as a community should integrate that into our vision, which was one of the foremost tasks at hand when it comes to helping KDE grow and move forward. While quoting a few references from the Evolve KDE survey, the talk was essentially split into three segments of answering the questions about where are we right now, where do we want to go and how exactly do we get there. In response to the first question there was a consensus on the amazing and diverse community and the wonderful level that KDE apps have reached until now. What we lack is a common vision and a goal to plan out our road ahead. We need to envisage a more constructive and concentrated growth rather than a scattered one. Greater promotional efforts and campaigns are needed as well. Defining KDE's vision ahead is going to be discussed on the Evolve KDE BoF to be organised by Lydia.

For those that couldn't attend Akademy you can watch the video of Lydia's keynote. There will be a further announcement when the rest of the Akademy videos are available.



Your browser does not support the video tag.



Visual Design Group members Andrew Lake and Thomas Pfeiffer spoke about vision statements and their importance. They gave some bad examples such as Dell's, gave some good examples like Mozilla and suggested new ones for Plasma, watch this space.


The talk on Ring 2.0.0 by Emmanuel Lepage Vallee focused the telephone application previous called SFLPhone. Version 2 is equipped with video calling, Voice calls over the internet, text messages, multi calls and P2P sharing as some of its primary features. The timeline of the software was given as starting out in 2004 with the first Qt client in 2006, Gnome client in 2014, OS X client in 2015 and the Windows client in 2015. With state machine processes representing the basic higher level data flow and the Qt Logic combined with the 3rd party UX the basic working of the app was explained followed by as simple demo. An informative yet engaging and a prompt and precise talk by Emmanuel was a welcome listen.


Harald and Rohan spoke about their two related continuous integration systems, Kubuntu CI was the first system and is the biggest achievement. It builds packages of KDE Git code quickly using Kubuntu packaging in Launchpad. Debian CI does a similar task for Debian's packaging. The latest addition is Mobile Kubuntu CI which is used on the Plasma Mobile images from Kubuntu and uses cloud ARM servers to build the packages in minutes. The CI systems help packager and KDE coders quality assurance with automated tests and it smooths the packaging workflow with fixes being done daily instead of in one large batch. It also catches ABI changes and has caught several problems made in Frameworks in this area.


Dan revealed his super secret Shashlik project, an attempt to get Android applications running on a normal Linux distribution. Android is a complex system which except for Linux itself is unrelated to what we think of as Linux distributions. He went over all the parts that had to be adapted and in the end showed off for the first time "the most exciting black rectangle" he has ever seen. His challenge has been getting anything showing on screen but just this week he has managed to start to succeed with this. There will be a lot of work still to do but this will open up a new world of applications to users of Plasma and other Linux desktops, it will mean we have the world's biggest application ecosystem with Plasma Mobile, as well as being an invaluable developer tool.


Vishesh Handa gave a talk on File Searching and basically compared the various techniques associated with the file systems across Windows, OS X and Linux platform (reminiscent of a Tannenbaum Operating Systems textbook) but with a very informative and present centric, engaging talk discussing the practice rather than the theory which was what was exactly needed by the audience. NTFS, OS X and Linux were pitted against each other in their modes of handling search indexing, initial indexing, modification tracking, updates and more and the talk ended with an overview of what was being implemented in Baloo as of now with the removal of the use of Xapian Library and the implementation of a customised LMDB library with future developments and usage with Akonadi in sight.


Zanshen the testing tool which involves simplified testing doubles or, as in the speaker's language serves as a productive doppelgänger enhancing the testing process, was introduced and talked about by Kevin Ottens and his protégé and it was heartening seeing the mentor and his student giving a talk together and seeing their passion and brainchild and hearing about it in depth. Using stubs for inputting data to the tested code and mocks for verifying it's indirect output, they explained segments of the code and gave a short demo of it as well.

Before lunch was served we had the group Akademy photo taken, shown above, and then scattering again to fill our tummies and then back again to the conference venue.

The lightening talks covered a wide range of topics from the gardening team by Albert Astals Cid to Cooking Paellas with Docker by Alex Fiestas where he talked of a new and one step recipe to install eyeOS using Docker which has precooked paellas for ease of installation. Matija Sukle gave his lightening talk on the FLA which helps KDE e.V. to update its licences in case of absentee coders, protect the project code and help your code to sustain itself even after you're done contributing. At any sign of a breach of trust, the FLA protects you and gives you the right to take revert all control.

Smart Tech vs Sensible Tech by Jens Reuterberg was possibly the highlight of the lightning talks where he did a unique hands on presentation which used David and Matija as props demonstrating the difference between smart tech and sensible tech. David was filling up a survey while Matija was eating skittles as advised by Jens during the entire span of the presentation as Jens talked about design in the olden days and the need for customised user orientated systems which cater to even the dumbest of users and makes the choices for the user based on knowledge about them rather than averaging them or asking him to make the decisions. Matija hence, was supposed to be the sensible tech which assumes that the user loves Skittles and so keeps on eating them while he can be free to eat the Doritos as well but does not do so since he hasn't been told to. Whereas David played the sensible system which notes down and understands the user and hence as a reward gets the best of both resources - the Doritos and the Skittles. Irina Rempt talked about the people who make Krita possible and showed off much of the art from the artist community including Tyson Tan, Sylvia Ritter, Ahmed Teleb, Lucas Falcao, and many more who use and love Krita in all its intensity and some of who later on move ahead to development as well.


Welcome to Massachusetts, with the modified talk name by Martin Gräßlin covered KWin and KWindowSystem as well as the issues with Window Decorations and the required fixes and their future plans. He impressed everyone by doing his talk in Okular running on KWin Wayland. The architecture items he had presented in 2011 were discussed and he received a round of applause by declaring that from an architecture view all the items were complete. He received a larger round of applause when he concluded by saying that Plasma 5.4, which comes out next month, will be a tech preview for Plasma on Wayland.

Going Cross Platform by Aleix Pol emphasised on the reasons for writing applications across Windows, Android and other platforms. They include reaching a larger user base, reaching an official software distribution place and observing the software working in different use case scenarios.


The Ask Us Anything session with the board involved inquiries about the statistics of the KDE e.V. members and their growth patterns, question regarding the responsibilities of a member of KDE e.V. and how to get elected, the openness of the information and discussions on KDE with the community.

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Akademy Talks Day 1

Saturday 25th of July 2015 09:56:29 PM


The KDE community has spent the day in western Spain giving and watching talks showing new developments in the community and where we are likely to be going in the next year.

The city of A Coruña is warm and welcoming, and almost reminiscent of Akademy 2013 in Bilbao, with the hilly backdrops and the oceanic linings as you see dark blue and black coloured t-shirted KDE community people trampling their way and wheezing throughout the trek up and downhill the steep tracks from the residences to the University Area where the Akademy Attendees have found their cosy haven.

The day opened with a keynote by Matthias Kirschner from the Free Software Foundation Europe. He gave a passionate talk covering the ways in which universally useful machines are deliberately restricted to prevent the owners from doing something. He covered DVD players forcing users to not skip the copyright notice, CDs with rootkits installed and e-books which can not be lent to your friends. But he gave a number of ways we can keep resisting and resolving these manufactured problems including talking to people who accept restrictions.

For those that couldn't attend Akademy you can watch the video of Matthias' keynote. There will be a further announcement when the rest of the Akademy videos are available.




Your browser does not support the video tag.


David gave a lively talk about the status of our flagship desktop product, Plasma 5. He gave some graphs by industry research companies about how desktops are still just as relevant to users as ever and how the Linux desktop has maintained position as the minor alternative without losing any relevance. He looked at the state of Plasma 5 which is now a year old and being picked up by distributions with almost universally favourable reviews and he said Plasma 5 was set as the leading desktop out of several available to Linux distributions. He finished by looking at some future development in Plasma including the forthcoming revival of the Kiosk framework, a unique feature that KDE used to have and which is much in demand.




One of the most significant talks of the day was from Boud and Sebas who announced the re-launched Plasma Mobile project. This updates the Plasma Mobile shell to work with Plasma 5 and the first images are created by Kubuntu to install on a Nexus 5. This will be developed along with the rest of Plasma and you're welcome to join us in #plasma IRC channel on Freenode to get involved.




Ricardo Iaconelli gave a talk on WikiFM and the visions of the new KDE project with brings out free course material to people be it Calculus or a quick QML course. Integrating the elements of students, FOSS Collaboration and Technology with virtual machines helping immediate development are some of the major highlights of WikiFM. A lot of student universities with 200 odd user/day building up is the major direction in which WikiFM is growing with time. People from CERN, Fermilab, Princeton University, Stanford Linear Accelerator, have also decided to use WikiFM for their official training. You can find more about it on Ricardo's blog.




Devaja spoke on how to build KDE Love. She showed some videos made the night before of contributors talking about what made them stay with KDE. She spoke about how KDE India has been built and how it often needs a personal touch to help people into the community giving the example of Pradeepto explaining to a class of students how to code with Qt realising that a classroom talk wasn't working so sat with each individually to work out what problems each had and how to solve them.



A lunch treat by Blue Systems filled us with salads and ham and chicken and French fries topped with yoghurt, pudding and bread with water to go, serving as the perfect rejuvenating experience for the almost slovenly stances of the attendees by the time the wearing summery afternoons dawned on them. Pink and Orange and Blue balloons served as beacons highlighting the pathway from the University to the Restaurant and the trek on the way served as a pleasant surprise.




The annual talks from Season of KDE and Google Summer of Code projects covered a range of projects. Francesco Wofford and Claudio Desideri, pictured, spoke about their Open Collaboration Services server ocs-server and clients which are being developed as an alternative to openDesktop.org. Scarlett Clark showed off the new KDE continuous integration system which she had spent some months learning and a lot of Groovy code settings up.

The talk by Bruno Coudoin was all about GCompris and how they evolved from an incubation to now becoming one of the topmost Children's Educational Apps - rated at 27th most Grossing Paid Educational App in France on the Google Play Store. He talked about the entire journey and how they worked with a dedicated team of contributors which has now grown to 60 developers included 2 GSoC students. The Fundraiser project revamping the entire Graphics of Gcompris by Timothee and the business models of paid apps for Android and Windows and Distribution to Schools was also discussed which serve as sources to keep the GCompris Project up and running. There is a live desk outside the main Auditorium at the University wherein the Gcompris app is usable for trying out on the Android, IOS, Windows and Linux devices and surprisingly quite fun and sometimes challenging for Adults as well! Do give it a try, to bring out the child in you!


Boud gave a second talk on moving Krita from winning an Akademy Award to winning the even more prestigious ImagineFX award. Over the years, Krita has grown from a fun hobby project that tried to nothing less than cloning Photoshop to an application that actually is being used by professional artists all over the world. The first book on Krita was published in Japan (the second one will be in English). The community is growing, the user-base is growing and the development speed is growing enormously. The upcoming plans for Krita are the Port to Qt 5 and improving the version of it on Mac OS X and also better animation support which is being implemented as a Summer of Code Project right now. Also, the Secrets of Krita which is the third DVD is coming out soon and much more is planned in the months to come.



Photos by Nim Kibbler and Alex Merry are bring uploaded throughout the day.

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Plasma Mobile, a Free Mobile Platform

Saturday 25th of July 2015 09:01:07 AM

Plasma Mobile offers a Free (as in freedom and beer), user-friendly, privacy-enabling, customizable platform for mobile devices. Plasma Mobile is Free software, and is now developed via an open process. Plasma Mobile is currently under development with a prototype available providing basic functions to run on a smartphone.

Plasma Mobile offers...

  • Freedom. Plasma Mobile is Free and Open Source software. It can be acquired free of charge, with the power and licensed rights to change it in any way, to redistribute it and to understand how it works.
  • User-friendliness. Plasma Mobile is designed via an open process, making sure that the requirements and wishes of users are heard and implemented in the best possible way. Ergonomy and integration across devices on top of a high quality software stack provides a stable, rich and reliable system that helps users get things done efficiently and effectively.
  • Privacy. Plasma Mobile integrates with services trusted by the user. Instead of depending on claims from hardware or operating system vendors, trust is based on software that has been audited in an open development process, Free and Open Source software that can be combined with services from trusted sources, including those of one's own.
  • Customization and personalization. Plasma Mobile has been built with modularity from the ground up. From the wallpaper and the Look and Feel to lower-level system components, almost every aspect of the system can be customized.
Enabling the community

The goal for Plasma Mobile is to give the user full use of the device. It is designed as an inclusive system, intended to support all kinds of apps. Native apps are developed using Qt; it will also support apps written in GTK, Android apps, Ubuntu apps, and many others, if the license allows and the app can be made to work at a technical level.

Plasma Mobile's development process welcomes contributions at all levels. If you want to get your hands dirty with a cool app, if you want to provide a system functionality such as a mobile hotspot, if you want to improve power management at the kernel level, if you want to help with the design, Plasma Mobile welcomes your contributions.

If you want to take part in the creation of Plasma Mobile, get in touch with us!

A system you can trust

Most offerings on mobile devices lack openness and trust. In a world of walled gardens, Plasma Mobile is intended to be a platform that respects and protects user privacy. It provides a fully open base that others can help develop and use for themselves, or in their products.

As a Free software community, it is our mission to give users the option of retaining full control over their data. The choice for a mobile operating system should not be a choice between missing functions or forsaken privacy of user data and personal information. Plasma Mobile offers the ability to choose the services that are allowed to integrate deeply into the system. It will not share any data unless that is explicitly requested.

Prototype available now

Plasma Mobile is available as a developer prototype running on an LG Nexus 5 smartphone. It can make and receive phone calls. It provides a workspace to manage the system, and a task switcher to control and navigate apps on the device. There are also x86 builds, suitable for an ExoPC, for example, which can be useful for testing. Several apps have been included—both native and 3rd party—in the device images to allow the system to be tested and improved.

Find out how you can have a look of your own!

Where can I find...

More info, such as installation instructions, are available in the Plasma Mobile wiki, on the Plasma Mobile website and on sebas' weblog. The code for various Plasma Mobile components can be found on git.kde.org.

Ask questions in the Plasma Mobile forum, or send an email to the plasma-devel mailing list, or (for private inquiries) to Sebastian Kügler (sebas@kde.org).

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

KDE Arrives in A Coruña for Akademy

Friday 24th of July 2015 02:30:12 PM

Photo by slideshow bob

KDE is de-camping to the far west of Europe today to A Coruña in Galicia. In this north west corner of the Iberian Peninsula the sun is warm and the air is fresh. KDE contributors of all varieties will be spending a week in talks, discussions, hacking, renewing old friendships and getting to know people new to our KDE Community.

Topics will include our flagship Plasma desktop but also an exciting announcement from the Plasma developers which will take Plasma beyond the desktop again. We'll be hearing about the next version of e-mail and calendar middle layer Akonadi. KDE is moving out of its transitional desktop ecosystem as seen in a talk about WifiFM. One of our flagship but new to the community applications is Kdenlive and we'll be reviewing the previous 10 years of this application and looking at the next 10. A project called Shashlik, which has been exciting the social media world, will be revealed.

A week of Birds of a Feather sessions follows the talks including some bling in VDG UI Design Open Session, a little je ne sais quoi in KDE France BoF, our desktop and beyond in Plasma General Topics, a day for planning life beyond X with Wayland and two half days planning for life in the leaderless Kubuntu.



Deep in the code at Akademy-ES



Alex Talks at Akademy-ES

The fun has already started with the annual conference in Spain, Akademy-ES which is happening yesterday and today. Spain has one of the most dynamic and active free software communities and Akademy-ES always fills up with talks for those who habla Castellano. Talks have included discussing Microsoft's attitude to standards and documenting, the history of search frameworks Baloo, behind the code by Victor the Sysadmin and lighting talks including one on the successful Barcelona Free Software Hackers meetup.

Also today is the Annual General Meeting of KDE e.V. our legal body. Here we have voted on a new board member Sandro Andrade from Brazil. Sandro has been talking about KDE and Qt at conferences across the continent such as FISL and organising Lakademy, he recently finished his PhD and was looking for new challenges to fill in spare time, KDE e.V. has just filled that slot. We also voted on new board members of the KDE League, reviewed the outcome from Lydia's Evolving KDE questionnaire and heard from the sysadmin and community working groups about their work for the last year. A video from our treasurer Marta reviewed the accounts over the last year which while full of challenges are in a pleasingly stable state.



The Annual KDE e.V. Beauty Contest Ended with Sandro (centre) as Your New Board Member



The Galacian Opening Ceremony to Welcome Absent Friends Video

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

Akademy 2015 Keynote: Matthias Kirschner

Wednesday 15th of July 2015 12:43:52 PM

At Akademy 2015, one of the most awaited keynotes this year will be that by Matthias Kirschner and here we have a conversation with his charming self in person.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey there, I am Matthias from Berlin, I work for the Free Software Foundation Europe, and I love it. Describing oneself is one of those really difficult tasks, you will hopefully know a little more about me after this interview. Or better still, why don't you just find out for yourself at this year's Akademy!


Matthias Kirschner

Which was the first ever Linux Distribution you'd used and how did you chance upon it? And what made you never turn back to your previous non FOSS system?

In 1999, my family had two computers at home: an Intel Pentium II MMX and an Intel 486. For the Pentium we had a modem, and there was an Ethernet connection to the 486. One day I wanted to send e-mails from the Pentium to the 486 without the internet connection. It did not make a lot of sense, as both computers were in the same room, but I was eager to see, if I could make it work. Although both computers had “email programs” installed, I was not able to figure out how to directly end mails from one computer to the other.

When I complained about this in school, a friend suggested a solution and brought me some SuSE 6.0 floppies, CDs and books the next day. That's how it all started. Several hours later I had my first GNU/Linux installation. To be more precise, at the beginning I just had a command line, no working X server, no audio setup, nor a working printer.

Together with some friends we visited the LinuxTag in Stuttgart and afterwards founded a local Free Software user group. We helped each other to install Free Software on our computers, configuring them to be routers, mail/print or file servers. I enjoyed learning with others, exchanging ideas, trying to fix problems. I subscribed to many mailing lists, and was eager to participate in Free Software events.


So I ended up installing every GNU/Linux distribution I could get my hands on. I did not have a dual boot on these computers, but a quintuple or sextuple boot. The only limitation at that time was disk space; and I did not want to waste it with a non-free operating system.

I read some where that you studied Political and Administrative Science and yet are so deeply involved with technology. How did the two seemingly diverging domains fit together in your head and how exactly are they interlinked as far as you are concerned?

I got active in politics because of Free Software.

After some time using Free Software, learning more about computers on a technical level I stumbled over the GNU GPL. Reading the preamble made me curious. I wanted to know more, therefore I read the GNU philosophy pages with all the articles by Richard Stallman. This made me realise: Free Software is a political as well as a technical issue.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that software freedom is crucial for a democratic society. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives. I am convinced that this technology has to empower society not restrict it. It would represent a great danger to democracy if software were controlled by only a small group. We need to balance power, as we do in a democracy. For me, the best safeguard for this is software freedom.

When did you get started with FSFE and how did that happen?

During my studies at the University of Konstanz we had to do a 7 month internship to gather work experience. A friend of mine, who is a Debian Developer, suggested the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the Free Software Foundation Europe.

I could not find any information about internships with the FSFE, but the more I read, the more I was convinced that I wanted to get to know this place. The first response I got was that FSFE had never had an intern before, and that they did not have an office. I replied that I would still be interested. The next reply was that they could not pay me, to which I replied that I still wanted to do it.

Then Georg Greve, the president at that time, replied that my “perseverance deserved a qualified and fair evaluation and reply”. Sometime afterwards when I’d already subscribed myself to several public FSFE mailing lists, he sent me his travel schedule, and we agreed to meet at the Geneva airport for an internship interview. As a chance coincidence, and a spotting of his GNU pin, we bumped into each other on the train to Geneva. At the start of it, we had a long talk about the internship, but very soon bifurcated to talks about all kinds of Free Software details.

When Georg boarded his plane, we both knew we wanted to work together. It was an amazing experience. Georg and I worked together in his small one-room apartment: he at the desk, I with my laptop on the sofa. I also traveled with Georg to Istanbul, Dublin and other places.

After the end of my internship, Georg convinced me to switch from the university of Konstanz to Potsdam, so that I could do volunteer work for FSFE in Berlin. It was so much fun that most of the time I ended up studying even more owing to my work for FSFE rather than the other way around. Finally, I was hired by the FSFE in 2009 and set up its Berlin office.

Would you call yourself a tech geek? Any instances or examples from your lifestyle (besides the obvious ones) to support your claim?

That's a difficult one, because I know so many people who are way more into tech than I am.

When I am at FOSDEM; I wouldn't dare to call myself a tech geek. But when I am in the parliament; I am seen as one.

Also, in the past, a lot of people did call me a nerd or a geek. For example in school I was carrying around a huge laptop, which was not exactly considered cool at that time. At university I often was the only one using a laptop in the seminar. I was “the guy with the laptop”, and later fellow students thought I was geeky because I was using tiling window managers, several xterms, running mutt, and writing my university notes in Latex with VI, VI, VI the editor of the beast.

What is a normal day in your life like?

Our baby son was born at the end of last year, so at the moment there is no such thing as a normal day. Every day something new happens, and I love it that way.

As the Vice President of FSFE, which is a huge position, what does your work basically involve?

There are many different tasks involved: lots of e-mail discussions, giving talks and convincing new audiences about the importance of software freedom, analysing policy drafts, speaking with politicians and civil servants, writing articles, newsletters, blog entries, press releases and answering press inquiries, meeting and discussing issues with other Free Software contributors, moderating internal discussions, trying to get rid of problems for volunteers and staff so they can do their work, brainstorming about new activities or managing ongoing activities, or convincing people to donate to FSFE.

Could you give a brief overview of what your keynote at Akademy is going to be about?

My keynote at Akademy is about the threat to the computer as a universal machine and how companies arbitrarily limit what we as a society can do with those machines, and how they use technical measures to take away rights from us, which we usually receive when we buy a product. I will give an overview about those developments, and raise some questions which I hope will lead to good discussions during Akademy.

Any thing special that first pops up into your head when you hear the word KDE? Or Akademy?

First thing that pops up is sitting in front of my computer seeing my first “K Desktop Environment” (I think it was version 1.0) when I first successfully got it running after a long phone support session with a friend.


KDE 1.1

The next thing which pops up are all those people I know in KDE who form this community. Lydia, who often comes to the KDE office in the evening, Claudia with whom I searched for a shared office for KDE and FSFE in Berlin and with whom I worked in the same space for over 4 years. And also the many interesting discussions with lots of KDE contributors at Free Software events in the last decade come to mind.

Could you tell us about your alter ego's 'Into the Wild' foray? Any memorable incidences related to your hobby of conducting wilderness seminars, which you’d like to share?

In my spare time I assist in wilderness first aid seminars.

Since I was a child I have loved outdoor activities. I liked caving for several years, later hiked with little equipment and far away from a power plug. In my caving team I heard about an accident where someone in the team died in the cave. And I knew then that first aid can be crucial in such situations when it takes the doctor a long time to arrive.

To prepare myself for the worst case, I participated in a wilderness first aid seminar organised by a German non-profit organisation. In realistic scenarios you learn how to evaluate the situation, how to check for consciousness, breathing, pulse, how to detect shock, dyspnoea, and hypothermia, as well as a detailed examination, immobilisation, wound treatment, and how to organise an evacuation, or an emergency camp.

From there on I participated at least every two years and have become part of the team. Beside enabling others to save lives, the seminars have led me to amazing places and experiences, like sleeping in the snow at the polar circle or plunging myself into the WhiteWater torrents at a swift water rescue technician training.

On an everyday note, I somehow often end up helping with emergencies on the streets or subway lines of Berlin.

How, in a brief summary, would you say is Free Software so intricately linked to the progress and development of society?

Free Software allows everybody to take part. There are no artificial barriers, so people from all over the world can learn, and can come up with new ideas. We will be able to solve many problems of our world with software, because we have intelligent people with new ideas and the will to change something for the better. It is crucial that no central entities can dictate to others what they can and cannot do with software.

Your favourite books and music?

To keep it short: First there is Lawrence Lessig's “Code and other laws of cyberspace”, which helped me a lot to understand the connection between software and politics. Second, the comic book Transmetropolitan is just brilliant, and if you have not yet read it, I strongly recommend that you do and am a bit jealous that you still have that pleasure before you.

For music, I am a big fan of the German band “Die Ärzte”. Some FOSDEM visitors might have had the bad luck of eating mussels in the same restaurant where several FSFE folks were singing “Die Ärzte” songs, while Reinhard Müller was simultaneously translating into English. This has been followed by doing Monty Python's silly walk back to our Brussels hotel. My apology to everybody who suffered under this; but it might happen again at Akademy…

If these reasons seem like a lure enough to you, come to Akademy in A Coruña, and do not forget to attend Matthias' keynote!

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

LaKademy 2015

Sunday 12th of July 2015 06:16:40 AM

Building local FLOSS communities isn't that easy! It requires first communicating in a very clear and sincere way our motivations, the nature of possible contributions, their global impacts, and the technical and social benefits we potentially get back. Then, we need systematic and effective means to generate culture, support newcomers, identify their strengths, and help them to overcome the many barriers they usually face. Ultimately, we must keep such a social-technical organism alive, establishing mid- and long-term goals, learning from the ups and downs, and handling the challenges of building thriving communities in places with continental dimension such as Brazil and Latin America.

The KDE Latin America Summit – LaKademy – has found its way towards establishing a regular and consolidated venue for discussing actions, making contributions of many facets, and supporting newcomers for KDE in Brazil and Latin America. The 3rd edition of LaKademy took place from 3rd to 6th June, 2015, at the Information Technology Offices of Federal University of Bahia, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

LaKademy 2015 group photo

For the first time, we ran a fund-raising campaign in the weeks leading up to the meeting, which covered part of the expenses for having LaKademy 2015. Once again, we would like to thank those who contributed to the campaign, we greatly appreciate your support! Fifteen participants, from veterans to newcomers, met in those four days of sprints. Unfortunately, our fellows from Argentina and Peru were not able to attend LaKademy 2015, making this resembling more like an Akademy-BR, reinforced by the fact that it happened in Salvador – the place where this series of KDE meetings began five years ago. As well as those who have been contributing to KDE before, nine newcomers joined us in development, translation, and promotion activities.

Daniela, Alana, and Filipe worked at removing KDELibs4Support dependency from Cantor. Aracele did some porting of translation tutorials to the new KDE Brazil website and updated some old KDE3 stuff. Lamarque worked on the triage of PlasmaNetworkManager bugs and Ícaro, Rodrigo, and Fernando made their first steps towards KDE contribution by implementing a feature for increasing the ball size as game runs in Kollision. Simone, who is doing her PhD on software ecosystems, participated doing interviews and surveys about several technical and social aspects of being a KDE contributor. Rafael, our sys-admin master, presented a short-talk about the KDE infrastructure and areas of contribution. As usual, the promo meeting raised plenty of work to be done. We also better organized such tasks in the KDE Brazil kanboard, reviewed our finances, and decided about some actions for FISL, Latinoware, and the continuous presence of KDE in Brazil and Latin America.

One of the outcomes of the promo meeting is Engrenagem (gear, in Portuguese) – a video series about KDE that is going to run on a regular basis, initially aimed at the Brazilian community. The first episode – named Everything you'd like to know about KDE (not meant to be overly pretentious, but to feature a quite general first episode) – has already been recorded on the 20th of June and the second one, devoted to “The role of Qt in the KDE Community”, is scheduled for 18th July. It's notorious how the roles, relationships, and dependencies among Linux, Qt, and KDE are still obscure for a general audience and for some young CS students and practitioners. We hope Engrenagem will contribute to shed some light on such misunderstandings and make the motivations and roadmap to KDE contribution more widely communicated.

Promotional material for the 1st episode of “Engrenagem” – the KDE Brasil videocast

We would like to thank KDE e.V. and LaKademy 2015's donators for the financial support and Programa Onda Digital and UFBA's Superintendência de Tecnologia da Informação for the valuable help in organizing and hosting LaKademy 2015.

Check out the LaKademy 2015 photos

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

KDE and Qt at FISL 2015

Tuesday 7th of July 2015 10:24:45 PM

Repeating what became a constant on last years, KDE project is bringing an eventful series of presentations and activities on community driven software to the FISL, the Fórum Internacional de Software LIvre, which will be realized at Porto Alegre, south of Brazil, starting July 7.

In these edition, Cornelius Schumacher, long time KDE contributor and previous president of KDE e.V., will talk how the open source software community contributed to the development of technical and professional skills of his collaborators and how this influence a new generation of developers and leaders that are proud about sharing, on tech excellence, common well being e a lot more.

One of the highlights of will be the community gathering. Join us and let's talk about the exciting world that is coming through KDE Frameworks and Plasma 5 and Applications.

As a plus, this year KDE will be present on the exposition area, with a beautiful and warm booth ready to receive everyone who wants to know about the project. Bring your questions, join our developers, artists, translators and collaborators, see how it happens in real life. We're expecting you.

Here's a list on the activities on FISL focusing Qt and KDE software demos and usage, talks and community gathering:
( Full FISL programming can be found here http://schedule.fisl16.softwarelivre.org/#/ )

July 8

July 9

July 10

July 11

See you at FISL!

Dot Categories: Bookmark/Search this post with

More in Tux Machines

Parsix 8.0 Test 2 Is Based on Debian Testing and GNOME 3.16

Parsix GNU/Linux, a live and installation DVD based on the testing packages from the Debian project that's using GNOME as the desktop, is now at version 8.0 Test 2 and is ready for download and testing. Read more

Ubuntu MATE Will Offer a Choice Between Ubuntu Software Center and App Grid

Ubuntu MATE devs recently decided to remove the Ubuntu Software Center from the default installation. The decision was met with some resistance, but a lot of users expressed their support for the removal of the Ubuntu Software Center. Now, the team has explained what are they putting in its place. Read more

Remembering Nóirín Plunkett

Our thoughts are with everyone who loved Nóirín, everyone who worked with them, everyone who went to their talks or learned from their writing, everyone who met them at a conference, everyone for whom they made the open source and technical communities a better place. Read more

Free software advocates heckle town of Pesaro

Italian proponents of the use of free and open source software by public administrations are protesting a decision by the town of Pesaro to switch from using OpenOffice to a proprietary cloud-based office solution. They say the city has garbled the cost calculations and omitted a required software assessment study. Read more