Metalworkers unite! A Solid Sprint wrap-up

Oct 4, 2010 | 3 minutes read

Tags: KDE, Solid, Sprint

This post is the first one out of two covering my thoughts about the Solid Developers Sprint 2010 which happened this week-end. My outbound flight being delayed, I’ve plenty of time for introspection in the Madrid airport. :-)

Some of the fearless developers working on the Solid project in the KDE community (calling themselves Metalworkers) gathered the past week-end for a developers sprint. Surprisingly, it’s the first time that we had a sprint centered on the Solid effort.

The emergence of the need for such a sprint is actually a very healthy sign. We moved away from Solid being mostly a one man show with a couple of satellite components (again each time managed by a single person), to Solid being really a sub-community of the larger KDE community. Now, you can clearly feel several teams collaborating and slowly blending into a coherent whole. This movement started probably around the end of 2009, and is having now enough momentum to produce results and impact the structure of the community.

This sprint then became a possibility to boost this process and tighten the bonds between the Metalworkers (the fact that we now have a name we find fun and are proud to use tells a thing or two). I think it was a success in this regard, a lot got achieved, everyone sharing a common flame and motivation to push further to get results. Talking about results we had a lot of them:

  • a refactored KDE Power Management daemon (completely componentized);
  • preliminary version of an asynchronous API for device listing (leaning toward dynamic lists);
  • our network stack integrates with the bluetooth stack;
  • improved compatibility with more device in our bluetooth stack;
  • a brand new connection wizard;
  • the new set of backends for libsolid reaching feature completion for daily use (it’s now realistic to see them become default for 4.6);
  • libsolidcontrol deprecation progressed quite a lot;
  • and of course a lot of general bugfixing, polishing, etc. I just highlighted in this list the (IMHO) biggest achievement.

It was hectic, to the point that the main day of the event basically seemed to never end… for most of us it lasted 19 hours straight! We only stopped in the evening to have a break for a team dinner, but apart from that we hacked furiously.

Of course, when you spend 19 hours at the same place than a bunch of other hackers, you’d better be in good company. And luckily Metalworkers are kind and nice people. I’ll never get enough of them (in no particular order): Sebas, Alex, Lamarque, Rafael, Dario and Will. We even had extra guests. Agustin, Albert and Javier that maybe we can turn up in regular Metalworkers. But also Will’s wife and daughter. The baby girl even showed how proud she was of her father. She’s too young for now, but she made a statement: she’s almost ready to follow Will’s involvement. Obvious absents were Lukas, Mario, Michael and Paulo who are among the latest to join our team. Unfortunately, they couldn’t attend this time for various reasons. Hopefully next time!

Last but not least, I’d like to thank Interdominios and UFO Coders who hosted and organized this developers sprint. They did a great job at keeping us comfortable, and provided a top notch work environment (being able to use almost any surface as whiteboards was really amazing, war room at its best). It’s definitely on my Top 3 list for sprint venues. Also a big “thank you” to the KDE e.V. and our sponsors (organizations and individuals) without which those kind of events would be much more difficult to fund and organize!

PS: We definitively need a catchy name for the Solid Developers Sprints, after all our beloved Plasmoids have Tokamaks. I wonder how we could name the corresponding events for us, Metalworkers. ;-)