The disclosure by NSA contractor Edward Snowden has exposed the ‘out-of-control’ surveillance system of the US and the UK. The more stories we are getting from Guardian and NYTimes, the more people are losing trust in the proprietary solutions offered by the companies which operate from the US and seemingly work closely with the spy agencies.
This is a category of people who don’t yet understand the dangers of breach of privacy, but the more we are moving our lives into the digital world, the more important it is becoming to take control of our communication and privacy from the prying hands of those for whom we are the product.
Then there are those need this privacy, due to the profession they are in or for purely sensible reasons that our privacy should be respected.
Akademy 2014 is still in full swing in Brno in the Czech Republic with the traditional hack week that started on Monday. At about 200 participants it was well attended and organized. This years conference will very likely mark a milestone of change for KDE – a new board was elected, and a strategy discussion was started that will affect the direction and development of the KDE community for a decent amount of time. When I traveled home from Akademy 2014 on the train from Brno to Berlin, I personally felt a sense of satisfaction, because the community has managed to steer clear of the dangers of bike shedding about the board succession, and is accepting the change imposed by a shifting environment as a positive force.
Akademy is in full swing here in Brno in the Czech Republic. The days are now filled with BoF sessions to discuss given topics and make decisions in person much faster than would be possible online. Here is the wrapup session from Tuesday which covered the outcomes from sessions on Solid, Plasma Media Centre, Inqlude, UI design, Frameworks and more. (Apologies for the rotation, YouTube says it is working on fixing it.)
Qt 5.4 release process is ongoing and we now have the Qt 5.4 Alpha release available. As always, the Alpha is in source code only. Binary installers will be available in a few weeks with the Beta release. Features of Qt 5.4 are now frozen and in the next months the focus is in finalising and polishing functionality. To give an overview what is coming with Qt 5.4, I’ll summarise the highlights of the Qt 5.4 Alpha release.
Today, Akademy 2014 kicked off hard. As always, there is a lot of excitement. The first Akademy day is always overwhelming. Meeting old friends, making new ones, learning new things and sharing what you know. To keep things a simpler, we started this year with a single track in the morning, with two tracks in the afternoon. With all attendees in one room listening to 10 minute fast track presentations, there are plenty of topics to talk about during the breaks.
Yesterday KDE contributors from around the world arrived in Brno for Akademy, our annual meeting. Over the next week, we will share ideas, discover common problems and their solutions, and rekindle offline friendships for another year. We have traveled from around the world to work on free software in the spirit of community and cooperation. This year we can celebrate the success of the last 12 months when we released major new versions of our platform—KDE Frameworks—and our desktop—Plasma 5. This work has been well received by the press and our community of users, but we know there is much more to do to keep KDE Software relevant for the years to come in a world where desktops are only one way of using computer software. We'll be discussing and planning how to make the best desktop software for Linux and how to expand to new platforms.