I am back from Akademy and this edition was particularly interesting in my opinion. Somehow it looks like there was a common theme hidden in this conference... let's go through what I consider the most noticeable events of Akademy 2014.

Even before the official start of the conference, during the KDE e.V. general assembly we had something interesting happening. We had elections for three out of five positions in the board. During the questions to the candidates (thanks all for stepping up!), it was clear that the membership was looking for people aiming at a higher efficiency and then improved KDE e.V. organization. We will see if our new board will live up to those expectations. It sounds like a new cycle of radical improvements will start after a (needed) period of consolidation and stabilization.

Then, the first keynote by Sascha Meinrath was an excellent reminder that we should be more proactive on the political landscape. If we stay in reactive mode just producing software, we won't be able to prevent centralized infrastructure, opaque Internet of Things and the panoptic surveillance system. Only by aiming at a higher political involvement can we avoid the raise of a digital feudalism age.

After this keynote, during the three days of talks and workshops, a surprising amount of sessions were focused on quality in a form or another. I was obviously guilty there with my craftsmanship cycle but Albert too. Add to those the talks from the VDG, the workshop on profiling by Milian and the one on unit tests by Shantanu to easily figure out that there's quite a few people wishing to see our contributors aiming at higher quality.

Last but not least, Paul's talk on community metrics was likely the most important one to attend this year. If you didn't attend it: go and watch the video now! I'll wait... This talk is really a wake up call in my opinion. We lost something and we need to get it back. He pointed out a silent crisis going on in the community. We still have time to get back on the right track, but we got to find the root causes and act as soon as possible. What Paul proposes is to aim at a higher cohesion in the community again. That will require a better shared technical vision, a stronger focus on our mission toward our users and a stronger focus on getting better in our contributions.

By now it is clear that the common theme of Akademy 2014 was that we ought to generally aim higher. Overall, we are in a good position today. Unfortunately, that is also a very fragile one as the community metrics and the quality related talks highlighted.

We're likely at the crossroads now. The decisions we'll take in the coming weeks and months will lead us either to regress or to strive. In my opinion, we can only strive by improving in the areas mentioned above. In some way, that is very good news! We are mostly in control of those areas to improve. It means that success is reachable if we have enough collective willpower to do what's required to seize it.

Posted on 14 Sep 2014
Tags: KDE  Akademy  Craftsmanship  Community 

I meant to write a post about the upcoming Akademy for a while now. Since I submitted quite a few sessions (obviously requiring preparation) and I had to prepare for the KDE Frameworks BoF, I never quite found the time... until now! I'm all done! Actually I just have to pack my bags and hit the road at that point. It's probably the first Akademy where I'm ready four days before the first flight of my journey.

Anyway, Paul's post on what he plans to see inspired me to do something similar. Let's see how I'll navigate the tracks during Akademy.

Day 0: KDE e.V. General Assembly

The day before the fun begins for the community at large, the KDE e.V. membership gathers for its annual general assembly. It can be perceived as a day long boring meeting (I know some do), but it's clearly not like that. It is a very crucial event as KDE e.V. has important responsibilities in order to help the community. For instance such a body is necessary for Akademy itself to exist! It is also represented in the KDE-FreeQt foundation...

Clearly an organization not to be underestimated. This year assembly will be especially exciting as several positions are opening in the Board of Directors, which means elections... and candidates. We have quite a few this year which is a good sign of liveliness.

Day 1: Digital Feudalism, Tech and Community

Obviously I can't miss Sascha Meinrath's keynote. I had the opportunity to meet Sascha during FISL 15 earlier this year. He is probably one of the most interesting persons I met during the last couple of years! I discussed with him some of the points he'll likely touch in his keynote about Digital Feudalism. Definitely something people should attend as it is crucial for the years to come in the Free Software movement.

Then I will obviously attend the fast track session. To me we got a few which clearly stand out like GCompris transition to QtQuick, Everything Qt, A year with Akonadi and Using KF5 in commercial applications. This fast track will conclude my first morning.

The afternoon is then packed with quite a few interesting talks. Since I can't duplicate myself I won't be able to attend everything I'd like to... I urge application developers to attend Porting to KDE Frameworks 5 and Porting to QML.

That said... in the tradition of "do as I say not as I do", I'll attend something else instead... told you I had to make tough calls! I will run in the room 2 and stay there the whole afternoon.

I'll first attend War of Idioms by Ivan. The man knows his C++ standards and is definitely enthusiastic about some of the recent changes. So am I! I had the opportunity to use new idioms while working in projects with C++11 support, so I'm looking forward to learn new ones thanks to Ivan.

Then I'll attend A tale of ELFs and DWARFs by Volker. From the abstract it could sound as something very low level, maybe it is somewhat low level... but that is impacting everything we do when developing native code. Since that's what we mostly do in our community it's good for your toolbox to know linking and loading to be able to get out of troubles when needed. Definitely healthy, like eating your veggies at every meal.

After that I'll switch in community mode, looking forward to the Board of KDE e.V. session. Curious about the KDE e.V.? You know, the organization I mentioned above as crucial. Yes, that's what I thought: you should attend this session too!

Still in community mode I'll make sure to pay attention in the KDE in Asia session. I have some kind of fascination for what's going on there. We got people in those countries doing amazing things and organizing great events. We ought to learn and seek inspiration from them. That talk has quite a few lessons for us doing promo work in Europe I'm sure.

Day 2: Craftsmanship, Usability and Design

This one will be my big day... so obviously I can't attend everything I'd like again.

At least I will be listening to Cornelius' keynote. I'm curious about his take on the personal growth experience working in a community like KDE might bring. Like him, I joined for technology but stayed for the community. I also know we have different point of views on the finer details so that will be interesting to have a broader view in a different frame of reference like that.

Then I will be on stage during the fast track session to deliver my KDE Craftsmen talk. As I said, like Cornelius I see personal growth opportunities in the community, but I think we don't seize them as much as we could. I'll make the case of why that is and where we could look for inspiration.

Of my fellow fast trackers, I'm especially looking forward to A quick guide how you can save the world or why it is impossible to do usability (what a long title for a short talk!) by Björn Balazs. Another of those skilled people which inspired me in the past, looking forward to what he's up to.

After lunch, just like on day 1, I will stay in the same room the whole afternoon. Only this time it will be room 1...

First I'll pay a visit to Andrew Lake's Community Design and the KDE Visual Design Group. Being stuck in the lower stack so far I didn't get many opportunities to interact with the people in the Visual Design Group. They did a massive job so far so I'm eager to know more on how they got there!

Next, I'll stay for The Designer and its habits by Jens Reuterberg and Thomas Pfeiffer. Looks like I couldn't get enough with only one designer related talk, so let's go for two! More seriously, I'm convinced that we could do better with truly multidisciplinary teams, and that talk might just show a path to creating those.

After that I would have loved to attend Jonathan Riddell's talk titled Do you need to be brain damaged to care about desktop Linux?. Unfortunately I'll have to pass since it will clash with my own talks...

I will give my two sessions almost back to back apparently and that's perfectly logical. You might not guess it from the title but one is the continuation of the other. In Agile to the Rescue, I'll explore the reasons why we probably need to take inspiration of what's going on in the agile community and what we should borrow immediately. In Rebooting Zanshin, I will present the type of results you can obtain by applying the principles devised in the other talk. I will show some code and metrics gathered on the project.

Probably tired of my three talks, I'll gently end the day by attending David Faure Breaks The Law!? by Paul Adams. I expect this talk to be fun in the great Humongous tradition of the term... don't be fooled though! The form might be funny, but the man is also among the most knowledgeable people on community dynamics and management I know of. I'm curious about his findings. I also expect him to show ways in which we can improve dramatically.

Day 3: Workshops

I'll start the morning with my own workshop From QtWidgets Legacy to QtQuick and beyond. It will be two hours long and it will be all about live coding with participants input. Hopefully it should be interesting to many, if we're convinced about using tests we all have the same problem: but I already got a pile of untested code?? What can I do with that? We'll see an approach for exactly tackling that problem.

Then I will likely attend Profiling 101. I ended up profiling applications both for KDE projects and for customer projects. Still, Milian is really knowledgeable on the matter, so I'll see if I can learn some new tricks or improve old ones.

For the last workshop, I'm torn... but I think I will attend Put your code to the test! by Shantanu Tushar. This is so nice to feel less alone at banging the test drums! Also I expect to learn and share on the use of mocks and stubs as my thinking is still evolving on those.

And that's it?

Of course not! The great value of Akademy is outside the official sessions. Like any good conference, a lot is happening in the hallway and during social events. This unofficial track is where great ideas appear.

Also the rest of the week we will have BoF sessions. I plan to limit myself to only three this year: Frameworks, PIM and French Promo. This way it should free me enough time to make good progress on Zanshin. Lately Akademy has been more meetings than coding for me... This year I want my share of coding!

I'm Going to Akademy 2014

I've been back home for a week now. Another Akademy has passed and as usual it was a blast. I will keep fond memories of that edition for sure. Here is the list of the moments which touched me the most.

Eva Galperin during her keynote

First, I'll remember Eva Galperin's keynote of course. It's likely among my short list of the most important keynote we ever had, and for me, it sits right next to Glyn Moody's keynote in 2009. They are definitely closely related in message. If you didn't yet go watch them! Eva's conclusion was especially poignant as the EFF spends so much energy trying to influence policies, she said:

“Help us Free Software, you are our last and only hope... Go for it, use strong encryption, build new products, save us”.

Clearly a call to action we have to listen too in those dark times. We're part of the people and through our actions we can claim the democracy back.


Second, I'll remember my own keynote. Don't worry it's not about narcissism at all... It's clearly not the best keynote ever anyway. But I'll remember it for different reasons. It was a first for me to be pushed in the spotlight like that, and so it'll take a lot of time before I properly let the feelings sink in. Also, it was a very humbling experience, being in front of such a brilliant crowd trying to deliver a political message and propose a direction for our community.


The Canoe Pilgrims

Third, I'll remember witnessing the “Church of the Canoe” birth. Jonathan Riddell loves to canoe. He canoes everywhere. I think that when he visited me a few years back in Toulouse, almost the first thing he asked me after getting out of the train station was “can I canoe on the Garonne?” So that's definitely a serious business, and he looks up a spot at each Akademy.

This year something interesting happened though. He called to gather more people wanting to try it, and got positive replies (of course, we're talking about KDE people here). That's why this year we had a group of “canoe pilgrims” congregating to Jonathan's spot. I followed along to get proof of that phenomenon in pictures.

It was all good fun, they all did well for a first try (except Jonathan they were all first timers as far as I know), and nobody disappeared. It was a nice, peaceful, relaxing experience for me standing on the deck and watching.


Sleeping Cake

And last but not least, I'll remember the sleepy heads in the bus during the day trip. This day trip was really nice, but we spent quite some time in a bus. And what happens to people who've been attending talks, hacking at night, discussing, making compromises, etc. for several days in a row when you put them in a bus?

Well, the exhaustion kicks in and they fell asleep of course! I used the opportunity to take a few pictures of the ones I had around. I call them the “sleeping froggies”. Don't worry they did more than just sleep during the day trip, despite resting their eyes in the bus (yeah right...), they happily walked, swam and feasted at the appropriate times of the day trip. :-)


In the end, there is nothing technical in that list you might say. That's true. It's not that I didn't take part in the usual hacking or technical talks... it's just that they make poor memories in themselves (despite bringing nice results). The persons I interact with and how they change my life matter more.

Posted on 26 Jul 2013
Tags: KDE  Akademy  Freedom  Democracy  EFF  Keynote  Canoe 

If you looked at the (awesome) Akademy 2013 program, you'll notice there's no talk about the current state of KDE Frameworks. There's talks related to teams showing plans to use KDE Frameworks, or talking about building blocks present in KDE Frameworks... still... nothing about the big picture. No worries! There will be plenty of activity around KDE Frameworks!

In particular, every morning from monday 15th to thursday 18th in room B4, we will have KDE Frameworks office hours where the current team will churn out patches faster than ever, and help others to get started with KDE Frameworks.

Also, on thursday 18th afternoon in room B4, we'll have the big discussion about moving KDE Frameworks into release mode for a first release. The path to get there should be much clearer now, once we sorted out the last details, it will just be about having all available hands on keyboards and making it happen.

So, if you're interested in KDE Frameworks, we're easy to find, come to the room B4 and join the fun!

And now, it is less than 48 hours before my departure for Bilbao and Akademy 2013... I'm really looking forward to meeting the rest of KDE again!

Posted on 09 Jul 2013
Tags: KDE  Frameworks  Akademy 

OK, once again I didn't quite manage to write a blog each day... It always starts well and then the hackathon kicks in. :-)

The last three days, I had more meetings again. We made quite some progresses on our plans for Solid. I even got some more people to write on backends for libsolid, really neat. Looking forward to share the load in this way.

Of course hacking in between, and in particular today where I made quite some progresses on the new version of Zanshin which I neglected completely for the past year. Also notable was yesterday day trip, we spent the afternoon next to a nice lake. Kind of reminded the day trip in Glasgow, except that we had great weather this time, and hungry mosquitoes.

People started to leave already, I'm part of the last group of fearless hackers here. Tomorrow it'll be my turn to move back home, not really looking forward to the trip itself, but having some rest at home will be welcome after such a hectic and awesome week!

Posted on 09 Jul 2010
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Unlike planned today, I actually hacked until early in the morning... But managed to get enough sleep to be lively today which was basically a long stream of meetings for me. Two highlights of the day:

  • KDE Mobile BoF, where actually quite a few people attended, many more than I expected. We made nice progresses there, discussing the ecosystem how to integrate there, how to push forward the modularization of our platform. Very nice group we had there, although it was somewhat large it was also very well disciplined. I'll have to update our wiki accordingly now;
  • KDE PIM BoF, discussing post 4.5 plans and so on. That's where I'm sitting right now. :-)

Nice day overall, looking forward to tomorrow where I'll put my metalworker hat on with a couple of Solid BoFs.

Posted on 06 Jul 2010
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Mobile  PIM 

A few nice talks today, I found Lubos talk on performance quite interesting, definitely give some ideas on what and what not to do when trying to improve your application performances. Also interesting was Sebastian talk about the project Silk which nicely shapes up, I hope to see more of his ideas deliver in the coming months/years.

Obvious highlight of the day: Aaron Seigo's keynote "Reaching for Greatness". Once again it was a very good moment of introspection on what's going on in the community, and giving directions to satisfy our urge for excellence. I very much liked how he tied that to the concept of Elegance (yes, using an upper case E even). I won't give more details as I far prefer people to actually watch the recorded version once it'll be available.

I have to confess that I didn't attend many talks today. I spent quite some time discussing architecture of our platform with people in the hallway.

Tomorrow, probably no blog from me as we'll have the full day KDE e.V. general assembly. Looking forward to the hacking marathon starting on tuesday. We actually kind of started as I'm sitting in a room full of hackers in the TOAS Student House right now. :-)

Posted on 04 Jul 2010
Tags: Akademy  Elegance  KDE  Silk 

Sooo... People recovering from last night party hangover as I'm typing, attending the first talk of the day. And suddenly, an idea crossed my mind: in order to satisfy Aaron Seigo megalomania, we should start an "Aaron Seigo's facts" website. Here is my first contribution to it:

"Aaron doesn't have a God complex, it is God who has an Aaron complex".

Hugs everyone!

Posted on 04 Jul 2010
Tags: Akademy  aseigo  KDE 

Today we had the first day of conference of Akademy. Plenty of nice talks (surprise!). Quite a few mobile related (surprise!). I was really looking forward to the development track which had only interesting topics, but unfortunately for me it wasn't conveniently placed regarding my own talk and the talk of my students. So I could only attend the first one from Thomas McGuire, which was really good. Oh well, I guess I'll virtually attend the other ones thanks to the recorded videos when they'll be online.

Other highlights of the day were basically PIM on Mobile by Till, and Plasma Mobile by Alexis and Artur. Very nice talks as well!

My own talk about the KDE Platform Mobile happened at the end of the mobile track which was inconvenient for the aformentioned reason, but also because it was competing with the end of some random soccer game. ;-)

Last but not least, we had the talk done by my students about the projects in the Toulouse University. And they did a really decent job although that was really a first for them to hold such a talk in an international context. Definitely not an easy exercise which can be frightening at first. Well done guys!

And now that my talk is behind me I can feel free to hack late at night again... unfortunately not tonight as I'm nursing a terrible headache (which is why I left the party early unfortunately).

Posted on 03 Jul 2010
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Mobile 

I arrived in Tampere yesterday around 10pm. The trip was uneventful (nice!), but somehow long. Anyway managed to meet a few people already. Heard a few horror stories about lost luggage already, luckly I was not affected... and apparently their luggage appeared this morning. Now plotting for a group lunch before the Akademy welcome opens.

Glad to be here. Stay tuned!

Posted on 02 Jul 2010
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Just like the fellow gearheads who already published this kind of blog, I'd like to claim that, yes!

I'm going to Akademy 2010

This year I will be spread on several fronts (like every years in fact), but you will for sure meet me during the following events:

  • My talk about KDE Mobile, which will happen on saturday afternoon;
  • The KDE Mobile BoF which I will be moderating, people willing to discuss the future of the KDE Platform and how to contribute more to the the Maemo / MeeGo ecosystem;
  • The Solid BoFs where I'll meet my fellow metalworkers, strengthening our plans for 4.6; note the plural there, there will be two of such meetings (because some people will attend remotely, and then because of timezone constraints).

Apart from those three events, I'll run around as usual, probably trying to poke a bit the Plasma people as well or furiously hacking somewhere.

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Posted on 29 Jun 2010
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Maemo  MeeGo  Mobile  Solid 

Of course, we had parties during the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit. Quite a few of them... And obviously we had some casualities. Most notably Alexis couldn't handle it all: Alexis at work So Alexis, is that what you're doing while you pretend working? ;-)

Posted on 20 Jul 2009
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Party 

One of my good memories from this year Akademy will be about Glyn Moody's keynote. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first with the title:

It could sound like a somehow arrogant way of seeing the hacker community... Except that Glyn has an outsider point of view primarily beeing a journalist. And as a good journalist he gave us facts, simply about what already happened (the genome sequencing example was particularly inspiring as free software saved the day there), and how the free software movement influenced other movements. It looks like a snow ball effect leading us toward more sharing and less egoism. I think that most of us started contributing to free software out of some sort of optimism and because we're aiming at some utopia. Along the way we might loose hope, and not have the idealism in mind anymore simply trying to see free software have more market shares, etc. Thanks a lot Glyn for reminding us why we started contributing at all, and for all the hope you gave us by simply showing that free software is already making a difference in this world.

Posted on 20 Jul 2009
Tags: Akademy  Conference  Idealism  Keynote 

Those who know me also know that because of both my research career and my free software involvement I attended a lot of conferences and talks. And I really mean a lot. Still, I had to wait for the very first keynote of the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit to attend the finest, and brightest talk I ever attended. It was very rich, didn't simply stick to the technical side of things but got deep into various fields, most notably philosophy. Of course the speaker deserves credit. So if you see this man giving a talk near you:

Simply run and attend his talk. He's also a very nice person, and since he uses free software, he probably matches perfectly his own quote from his keynote (which is getting famous):

Liberal software is software which a gentleman would use.

Posted on 20 Jul 2009
Tags: Akademy  Conference  Keynote 

Bad, bad ervin! I didn't blog during this year Akademy while I usually do it. So this year I'll try to post a few "after the facts" blogs, and I'll call this short serie "Memories of Akademy 2009". OK, I didn't blog, but this year I took pictures, and I uploaded them to my brand new gallery. Go get them!

Posted on 20 Jul 2009
Tags: Akademy  Conference  KDE  Pictures 

As usual, long time without blogging from me. A lot happened since the last time, but I'm too tired (and probably lazy) to write about it now. Some of it will be covered in my talks for Akademy 2009.

Of course, Air being almost out of the door we deserve a new updated LaTeX beamer template. Since I wrote the Oxygen template, I decided to produce a new one based on the great work from Nuno. As usual I'm providing a tarball with the template, and you can take a look at an example presentation

And tomorrow morning, very early, I'll meet some more gearheads from Toulouse, and we'll take the plane for Gran Canaria. Looking forward to it! See you all in Las Palmas.

image OK, that was really short, I'll try to blog more during the conference. I swear!

Posted on 01 Jul 2009
Tags: Akademy  Conference  KDE  LaTeX 

This year Akademy was a real blast. For the first time I didn't feel like blogging during the event though, we had a pretty good coverage on PlanetKDE and the Dot anyway. I really wanted to enjoy the people while there.

That's why, I'm just blogging a list of my thoughts about Akademy 2008 (in no particular order):

  • It was the best Akademy so far, no less. The program was pretty good, the organization team did an amazing job... Congrats everyone!
  • The network was unfortunately sloppy at times, more than last year I think.
  • I got the best conference swag ever: a tea cup. It's been made by our Korean team, it's gorgeous, it's hand made. Definitely the best present for a conference. You guys rock!
  • I didn't get much done hacking wise (my last hardcore geek Akademy was in Dublin), but I socialized a lot more and attended quite a lot of BoF.
  • I'm really looking forward to see some of the discussions which happened during the conference to come to fruition. In particular regarding the release management, good stuff to come.
  • Once again we had a few students from Toulouse. One from last year even came back by himself. I think the efforts in my University are slowly creating a nest of KDE hackers. :-)
  • The team humongous has been humongous (as expected). I hope I'll get the same room mates next year, it was really great.
  • Ade is a very good story teller... Now I really miss my bedtime stories involving dinosaurs, minority operating systems and flying warfare.

Of course, as a proud member of the team humongous I have to use this banner:

Went to Akademy 2008 Now I'm experiencing the post-Akademy blues as usual. I miss you all already! See you next year!

PS: I have lots of pictures... The problem being that with a higher resolution camera I'm now stuck on how to host them online. Maybe I should upgrade to a FlickR Pro account. I'm not sure if it's worth the money...

Posted on 20 Aug 2008
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

As you might remember, I offered a drink to some of the people submitting talks for Akademy 2008.

I know the schedule is not online yet, but to help you wait a bit I'm going to announce the Winners of the Akademy 2008 Drink Awards!

So the following people met the criteria of submission order and quality for their proposals, which give them the privilege to be on my final list. Please applaude this year winners:

  • Paul Adams
  • Harald Fernengel
  • Celeste Lyn Paul
  • Patrick Spendrin
  • Thomas Baumgart
  • Sebastian Kügler and Dirk Mueller (they submitted a joint talk, but I'll be nice and let them have a full drink each... could have been fun seeing them with only one glass to share though) :-)

Feel free to poke me during Akademy for your offered drink. It'll be my pleasure to get something nice and refreshing for you.

Of course, the mandatory banner:

I'm going to... Akademy PS: Now, I'm sure I would make a crappy host for the Oscars...

Posted on 27 Jun 2008
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

In case you forgot, the deadline for Akademy 2008 CfP is in two days... yes, May 1st is coming quickly now! If you haven't submitted your abstract yet please don't wait for the last minute. Moreover, every year, after the CfP is over, I find people who should have submitted but didn't because they think what they do is boring. It's just plain wrong.

That's why, I'd like to remind everyone: Yes, what you're doing is interesting. No kidding.

Since people need incentives to submit their interesting abstracts, here is the deal: The first two talks to be accepted this year will get a drink from me. After that, each of the 2^n-th talks which get accepted (so no need to rush crappy proposals) will also get a drink from me (that is the 4th, 8th, 16th and 32th since we generally accept no more than 50 talks).

Submit now, you might get a free drink.

Posted on 29 Apr 2008
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

We (Alexis, David, Florian, Thibault and me) left the hostel early to avoid troubles at the airport. Since we've been told the security was raised there it looked wise to be on the safe side. It turned out that we arrived there too early and couldn't even check in. So we had to wait...

After the check in, everything went well: short time at the security check point, plane (almost) on time, run for the connection in Amsterdam, wait 20 minutes... We reached Toulouse airport in time: 10:15pm. Good, it was much more pleasant than our previous experience. No baggage was lost or hurt in the operation.

Finally at home! Great!

And this morning, back in the lab at 7:20am as usual...

Posted on 09 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today was the last official day of the conference. But apparently, the security guards decided differently. We had a hard time getting into the building for hacking. We had to wait until 9:30am. The almighty Kenny Duffus helped solve the issue and that's how we got access.

We basically spent the day hacking as more people left. And soon the labs were looking more and more empty. After lunch, I got outside with David for some shopping. And then got back to the labs as soon as possible for more hacking.

Since we were supposed to leave the labs early today, we left at 5:30pm and went to the hostel for more hacking there. Finally, we went in an italian restaurant for dinner. The food was fine, maybe a bit too salty for my taste.

And we're again in the hostel enjoying the unreliable wifi connection as I'm typing this. Tomorrow will basically be devoted to going to the airport and waiting for our flight. We'll probably cross our fingers hoping everything will be ok this time.

Posted on 07 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Thursday morning, we had the first session of lightning talks. Most of them where interesting, half of them were longer than expected and easily spent more than the allocated five minutes. Thibault talked about what he did on the EBN and the plans about the running our unit tests there. In my opinion he did very well. I had time to work a bit more on my animations.

In the afternoon, we had the Bonny Banks Trip. We went to the Loch Lomond for a barbeque. The place was really nice and beautiful... only one problem: the rain. Well, we're in Scotland, we should have expected that somehow. Food was good but we basically got flooded. I enjoyed walking around though, I climbed a hill with a few others, namely Aaron, Adriaan and Troy.

When we got back to the hostel, some of the french people teamed up for hacking in the lounge of the hostel. Thanks to the wifi offered we've even been able to check out mail and discuss with other developers on IRC. It lasted until 1am.

On friday morning, we had the second lightning talks session which was good too. I talked in less than three minutes of my brand new animations, advocating that thanks to QTimeLine it's very easy to do this. Then Alexis talked about what he did in Plasma, basically implementing a new kind of animation. We also had Will talking about future plans in Kopete, and Florian talking about what he wants to do there.

Friday afternoon slowly started to feel the end... The first people were leaving. That's always a bit sad to see friends leaving. But that's part of the deal, we're all going to the same place and at one point to go back home.

This night we went to a very nice Southern Indian Restaurant. Very good food, I really enjoyed it and was completely full. It seems that it was a bit too spicy for Laurent though. And now, we're back in the hostel, using the wifi and hacking a bit. I'll probably head to bed very soon now. See you!

Posted on 07 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Yesterday, we officialy kicked the hacking marathon and the BoF sessions. So far, I've mostly been stuck into the BoF sessions though. The Tutorial Day was long but just great. Jesper did a lot in it, he was just tired at the end of the day, but that was worth it. For instance, the Interview crashcourse he did with Till was probably the best one out there. Very original, interactive, using an antropomorphic point of view to help people understand... just perfect! After all that, I attended the Google Summer of Code BoF which was very productive. Thiago managed it, it allowed mentors and students to discuss how they perceived the program, and we got some ideas to ensure we can do better next year.

In parallel, we had the Edu and School day going which I couldn't attend unfortunately. That was the reason for Bruno, the GCompris author to be there. Apparently this day went very well, and the attendance appreciated it. I'm happy that it worked well, this is the kind of important topic focused day we can do.

In the evening, I went to an indian restaurant with Alexis, Harald, Simon, Thiago and Zack. A bit expensive, but the food was just great. After that we moved to their place for hacking offline. I took this opportunity to ask Zack to help me with some of the changes I had in mind for the KFilePlacesView, introducing animations to make it more organic. After the first tests, we noticed big performances issues, and spotted that it was in KIconLoader which tended to reparse SVG files too often. As I'm writing this, Zack already introduced some caching to fix this, but more is needed because of the current overlay handling which is suboptimal to say the least. I'm confident it'll be sorted out before the end of the week.

This morning, I was attending the non-planned EBN BoF with the other people from the "quality cabal". Good stuff is coming with the EBN and the SQO-OSS project. Thibault attended too, and got some tasks allocated, I'm particularly looking forward to his work since it'll be one step toward improving our use of automated tests.

In the afternoon, I've been BoFing again. This time for the SQO-OSS one which gave an overview on what we could expect from it, and to be able to provide input about what we'd like to see available in the upcoming system. Then I attended the Plasma BoF which gave an overview of the current state of the desktop. As I was sitting next to Zack I was mostly admiring him hacking on the first GL based plasmoid... really cool and impressive stuff.

After that, I had a discussion with Aaron and Alexis on our plans for the integration of Solid in the desktop. We now have what looks like a definitive plan to handle this. And now I'm sitting in the GHNS BoF, not listening a lot to be honest... mostly profiling again to test Zack's fix in KIconLoader. The performances are better now, but not optimal yet, we'll work on this later... now it's time to dinner and to move to a vegetarian/veggan restaurant Aaron found yesterday.

Posted on 04 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

As promised, a short blog post today since I spent most of my day in the KDE e.V. general assembly. It consumed the whole day until 6pm.

It started with the Lord Provost reception in the town hall building. The building itself is very cosy and beautiful... but I couldn't care less, there was plenty of free food available. FREE FOOOOOOD! Thanks goes to Trolltech for sponsoring this.

Then I teamed up with Aaron and Zack wandering around in the city. We ended up in a bar playing lot of good music (read: industrial, hard rock, etc.). We of course had drinks there, chatted for a long time, watching at japanese and chinese movies on their TVs. And, since there was a pinball there, we played with it something like one hour and a half. Was a nice way to celebrate Zack's birthday!

Then, we crossed the street to another bar and listened to the last song of a blues man there. Very cool music again, and plenty of drunk people... Some of them just got interested in us and that was the beginning of a new journey. No idea where they wanted to go, but the girls just wanted us to follow, of course the boyfriends were really not impressed. As we walked with them we got relabeled "canadian", "polish" and "frenchie" in no particular order.

At one point we got ride of them, and tried to find another place to stay... Problem being that at midnight all the bars are closed here. So, asking some people in the street we tried to find a place called "the Garage", with a truck in front that we couldn't miss. Looked like a good plan since it was supposed to be the busiest place in town. Then we walked, and walked... and walked through a no man's land. Found a few uninteresting clubs, but no Garage or truck. Aaron and Zack were feeling hungry at 1am and almost ran into a noodle bar, when I noticed a trunk next to it... We finally found the Garage. After their very late dinner, or very early breakfast, we were all feeling tired, so we walked back home without even stepping up in the Garage.

We reached the hostel around 2:30am if I recall correctly. That was a very nice night with the right mix of drinks, music, drunk people and noodles. :-)

Posted on 03 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Second and last day of the conference. In the morning I basically attended the whole quality track, and even participated in it since I had my first talk there. Overall it was a good track I think. I particularly appreciated the SQO-OSS one. It was a very good talk by Paul Adams, very clever, lot of humour... and very interesting approach on the how to deal with quality metrics, and how to build them. I'll definitely attend the follow-up BoF. These kind of tools are a good way to improve the overall quality of the project and strengthen our release process without to go through the bureaucracy hassle. I'm looking forward to use more the EBN and the results coming out of SQO-OSS in this regard.

The Qtopia for Developers talk by Harald Fernengel was really good too... the only "downside" is that after the talk you definitely want to get a Greenphone to experiment quite a lot of stuffs with it.

It was followed by the group photo and lunch. I had interesting discussions with Aaron, Lars, Marius and Zack during this lunch.

During the afternoon I particularly appreciated the community talks. First, Claire talk about how we could get more involved in research projects. Actually, I think she has a very good overview of the situation, even if I consider her a bit too optimistic on the amount of projects we could handle short term. That said, I'm really willing to invest some time to make that happen... The only unknown being how much time I'll have available overall after my PhD.

The last talk I attended was the one by Anne which was about how to build consensus. Very, very interesting topic for community like us. We sometimes try to build consensus with no clear rules and it makes it harder. We sometimes also rely on votes, which matches our "real life" habits, but generate bureaucracy. I'm glad to see people working on such issues.

Then it was my turn again, I had a talk about the students projects I setup at the IUP ISI. I think it got well received, and I hope to see the ideas in it grow outside of Toulouse.

Finally we had the aKademy Award Ceremony. This year the committee awarded Sebastian Trueg for K3B, Matthias Kretz for Phonon and Danny Allen for the commit digest. Congrats to all of them!

That was the last day of conference, monday is about the KDE e.V. general assembly so I'll probably won't blog much, and then the Hacking Marathon is coming with lot of nice BoFs, extra talks and coding fury!

Posted on 02 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Saturday, is the first official day of the conference. I was tired of the trip, and disappointed about missing the pre-aKademy meeting in the local pub. But at least, it was nice to see friendly faces for breakfast in the morning. Anne-Marie and Alexis showed up, proving the taxi plan worked... even if they apparently had to complain to get it.

This year, the opening was a talk by Lars Knoll, and a very good one in my opinion. I think it was important for the community that Lars gave us more insight on how the things are working inside Trolltech, and to call for more cooperation in both way. It's so nice to see the Qt developers so committed to the KDE platform.

The talk about Sonnet was interesting, but I was a bit frustrated about the lack of in depth information. That said it's completely understandable, Zack being back on business on this library only recently.

The second keynote by Mark Shuttleworth was interesting, but obviously raised some controversy about release processes. Apparently he'd like to see all free software projects release in sync every six months. That looks very optimistic to think it could be even done. And even if we suppose for a second we could apply this to the whole community (good luck!), I'm not impressed at all. Doing this to such a scale looks like the best way to kill innovation in my humble opinion.

The talk about Akonadi was pretty informative, and that's nice to see code running. In particular, demoing a plasmoid giving the state of your mailbox in real time was a very good example. If you add to that the fact that'll be an unified and semantic rich way to get all your PIM information... nice features are coming.

Then I attended Zack talk on graphics, and his new framework named Quasar... well, it was a talk made by Zack, enough said. It rocked, and it even gave me some motivation to do crazy graphics stuff.

The KDEGames panel was a very very good idea. It gave a pretty good overview of the kdegames maintainer team, on the state of the module, where it's going on, etc. I'd love to see more of such panels, for other modules too.

Lars Knoll had another talk, but this time about Webkit and KDE. I think he gave a pretty good picture of the current situation and of the advantages to use Webkit now. And the best of it, is that it's not science-fiction, we already have a kpart for konqueror which use Webkit (it's in playground right now, and completely working).

Then we got the "beautiful features" talk by our renowned serial-hugger: Aaron Seigo. As usual, great talk, he's speaking really well... a real born speaker. He gave quite some clues on the direction we should follow to make our UIs more appealing.

And last but not least I attended Inge talk about large installation and thin client settings. That's nice to see KDE works quite well overall in such setups, but I have to admit I share his concerns about Kiosktool. It could become one of our best asset, but right now it's really suboptimal and probably needs rethinking.

On the evening we got our first social event. We went to a bar, got nice food and drinks. The place was really nice, and I've been able to chat with many people. Very good stuff... except for the music. It was overall too loud for my taste, in particular when one of the DJ played us some experimental music^Hnoise. It was extremely loud, and unfortunately it made quite some people leave. That's really unfortunate, the place was very well choosen otherwise, but you can't control everything.

Posted on 02 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

I was still at home, that the trip was looking bad already. Around one hour before leaving I felt sick and had stomach ache... Just perfect, a plane is a so lovely place to feel bad. But well, I wasn't bad enough to skip this!

As planned, I met up with Anne-Marie, Alexis, Florian and Thibault to take our flight. Check-in went smoothly, we embarked... and waited... and waited... until the pilot told us we had a small problem with one engine. So, we waited even more... until they asked us to disembark. Fine, so we're back in the airport, it looked like will miss our connection.

After one more hour waiting to know if the flight would be cancelled or not (which would mean we'd still be in Toulouse as I'm writing this), they managed to repair the problem (the right engine was leaking fuel). So we embarked again, and waited for a new window to take off... fine you get used to waiting I guess. And finally we took off, twenty minutes before the time we're supposed to embark in our connection at Amsterdam. So now, for sure we're going to miss it.

Eventually we arrive in Amsterdam, which probably prove the leak was really repaired. We rush to the transfer desk... and... wait, of course! When it's our turn, we get the following deal: three of us (Florian, Thibault and me) are booked on the next flight to Glasgow at 9pm (our was supposed to take off at 3:30pm), two of us (Anne-Marie and Alexis) are booked on the next Edimburg flight at 10pm then the airline will pay for a taxi to Glasgow. Ok, fair enough... at least will be in our beds in Glasgow.

So we waited our new flights... 8:15pm came we're going to embark for the Glasgow flight at last! We're even feeling a bit more lucky as we met Thiago, sharing the flight with him looked like good omen. Unfortunately, we still have surprises coming... at the last minute, Florian wasn't allowed to embark, we got overbooked and he got sacrified on the austel of low prices. He's told to try his luck with the Edimburg flight.

Thiago, Thibault and me got in the plane. Thibault got executive class, nice. We waited... and waited... until the pilot announced that there's a problem with the plane. Yes, again! Another plane, another issue. The good thing is that we were able to call Florian to check how it's going for him. Unfortunately, no Edimburg plane for him, it was full too. So he's staying in Amsterdam for the night.

And of course he needed his baggage, and I noticed that I lost his baggage number... So we'd no idea if he'd be able to get it back. I was really feeling bad about this... Luckily when we arrived in Glasgow, Thiago had a voicemail on his cellphone from Florian. Apparently they found a solution for his bagage.

So all in all we got to Glasgow, in three separate planes and a taxi, one have travelled for 24h... and the minimum delay was for Thibault and me, we had "only" a 6 hours delay. But, yeah we were all lucky, despite the convoluted trip, no bagage got lost.

Posted on 02 Jul 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Tomorrow is the official opening of the aKademy conference in Glasgow. Once again I'll be there, and I'm really looking forward to meet the community as usual. I know a few people I appreciate won't be there this year, I'll miss them of course.

But this year is a bit special: for the first time I won't travel alone from Toulouse. Of course, Cyrille left yesterday, but this time I'm travelling with our favorite annma and three of my former students who worked on the KDE projects I organized in my University. It's a great opportunity for them to meet the community for the first time, and maybe get more involved in the project for a longer period. Some of them already worked on a couple of things apart for the official University projects, and the other ones have already a few ideas they probably want to share.

If you add to that, the great programme, the Edu & School day, the Tutorial day and social events, it'll be once again a very content rich and friendly conference.

I'm packed, hopefully I forgot nothing. I've already a few items on my TODO... And now I'm waiting to get my plane. Looking forward to see you there!

Posted on 29 Jun 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

aKademy 2007 is slowly coming. stop.

It will be in the nice city of Glasgow. stop.

A Call for Participation has been published more than a month ago. stop.

You can Submit Talks until 14th February 2007. stop.

You surely have something interesting to say so Just Do It Now! stop.

Of course you have something interesting to say! stop.

Konqui wants you for aKademy 2007. stop.

Posted on 12 Feb 2007
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

I'm now back home for a few hours already. This week was great, but it always feel good to be at home. Moreover I had a very nice woman waiting for me at the airport, great motivation to come back. ;-)

This year aKademy was really great, I really enjoyed being there. I'd like to thanks (in no particular order):

  • Marcus Furlong, for being insane enough to organize aKademy;
  • Tink Bastian, who put a lot of work to make this event a success;
  • The sponsors, for helping to make it happen;
  • Peter Simonsson, for being such a nice guy;
  • Aaron Seigo, for his craziness;
  • Sebastian Klüger, for his ability to kick asses; ;-)
  • Adriaan de Groot, for the room sharing;
  • David Faure, for his wisdom;
  • Pradeepto Bhattacharya, for his sympathy and compassion;
  • Will Stephenson, because he rocks; ;-)
  • Kenneth Wimer, for being Kenneth Wimer (it's always a pleasure to meet you);
  • Michaël Larouche, for wearing Iron Maiden T-Shirts (damn, I should have taken mines :-p);
  • Jonathan Riddell, for being the best minutes writer in the world;
  • The attendance and the speakers, because they're the ones who make aKademy such a precious event;
  • The whole community, I'm really proud to have the privilege to work with so brilliant people.

I'm looking forward to meet all of you again!

Posted on 01 Oct 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today is officially the last day of aKademy 2006. As usual I'm staying until the last minute, which means that my plane is tomorrow morning at 7am. That also means that I'll have to get up very early! Maybe I should change my plan and try to avoid sleeping this night. ;-)

It's always a bit sad to see people leaving... But that's to be able to meet and have fun again next year.

The biggest event for me today is that I switched to zsh after being a bash user for years. I doubt I'll go back to bash one day. Zsh is really awesome, I'll probably find a few more things to tune but it's already quite interesting. Thanks a lot to Sebas for providing me an initial set of configuration files, it helped the transition.

I also shamelessly rebuilt my whole KDE trunk installation (and abused the icecream cluster) to have an organization similar to the one proposed by David in his talk about KDE 4 Development Setup. It makes a lot of thing more convenient and less time consuming. A lot of great tips in there, I strongly advise everyone to take a look at his how-to as soon as it'll be made available.

That's all for today, I'll probably go back to the hostel soon now in order to enjoy the presence of the remaining people.

Posted on 30 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today we finally made the Solid libraries enter kdelibs! That means that a most of the milestones of the roadmap are done. Now it's mostly about polishing, writing more backends, and making use of it in applications. It couldn't have been achieved without the help of Will Stephenson who mastered most of the network management classes all by himself. I'd like also to thank Laurent Montel who gaves a few advices related to the build system during the merge, and Dirk Mueller who already made a few pedantic cleanups on the code base. ;-)

After this achievement, I finally took some time to walk downtown with Peter. Dublin is really a nice city, I really enjoyed what I saw. We passed by the Saint Andrew's Church which has an interesting architecture. This church somehow summarize this town quite well. It's very old, and that's what you notice first, but if you come closer you'll see that on the inside it's been renovated in a really modern way. Dublin is like this, it looks both old and modern.

We stopped by the Saint Stephen's Green Park, walked a bit and sat on a bench. It's a really nice a peaceful place. That's actually interesting to look at people in this kind of place. Parents and children playing together, couples walking, people simply chatting... that's really refreshing. We're really lucky to have the opportunity to appreciate moments like this. Interestingly, a couple of elder people stopped by a bench next to the one we were sitting and started to sing together. It sounded like a very old and melancholic song. Precious moments...

Posted on 29 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Solid 

After the successive refactorings of the next few days, it's time to get ready for merging in kdelibs. So today I spent almost all my time finishing the refactorings, documenting and reviewing the API. In the meantime Will was working on the fake backend for network management. I also gave a hand at it.

I took a break since API documenting can quickly become boring. And I attended Sebas' BoF on marketing. Quite a few interesting ideas...

Tomorrow we'll concentrate on unit tests. Once they are ready, we'll finally be able to move Solid in kdelibs!

Mental note: I should really try to find some time to visit the city center. I'll surely go with Ken and Peter tomorrow afternoon.

Posted on 29 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Solid 

Already the second day of the coding marathon. I didn't attend many BoF and talks this time. I concentrated much more on preparing Solid to enter kdelibs. Not yet done, but we're coming closer.

Apart from this code work I took some time to attend the Qt tutorial done by Mirko Böhm to Trinity students. Since I'm doing something similar in my university I was trying to see if I could find a few ideas to improve my own course material. ;-)

I also attended Mirko's BoF on multithreading and performances. It raises a few interesting questions. Done right it could give a boost to our application startup time and responsiveness. We probably can find patterns to make implementing those concepts more easily, it'll probably require some time to get it but that's for the better.

A new day is now starting, see you later. Greetings from Dublin!

Posted on 28 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Solid 

Today was the OpenDocument Day at aKademy. Very nice idea, it allowed a quite some people to get in contact about this important topic.

I attended the lighting talks and breakout sessions. Lot of interesting topics, but I won't enter in more details here, there would be too much to write, and I'm a bit tired. ;-)

I made a break to attend the Strigi BoF. The design looks sane, its main developer cares about resources. It seems that we have a winner here. There's only a few things that I dislike about the daemon part, in particular how the D-Bus support is implemented, it seems to be too much effort for the tools we currently have. But well that's nothing critical, really.

This break was in fact during lunch time... So I get back directly to the lighting talks session of the OpenDocument Day. Luckily Peter kept me some food, so I was able to have a lunch after all. =)

During the breakout sessions I found some time to work on Solid to prepare its merge in kdelibs, that led me to some cleanup and refactoring. I'm waiting for the network related parts to be ready and then the merge will occur.

The OpenDocument Day ended with a sponsored dinner for all the attending people. Fine food and lot of talks... Once again a nice way to end the day. ;-)

Posted on 27 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE  Solid 

As expected, the KDE e.V. General Assembly took the whole day. The minutes are supposed to be available on the KDE e.V. website at one point so I won't cover it's content here, it would be too long anyway. :-)

Surprisingly we finished in time to be at the Google party for 6pm as expected. Quite nice, lot of free food a few people from Google to talk with (both from engineering and marketing departments) and of course a lot of KDE hackers.. They even made a small lottery with cool prizes... They definitely know how to receive and make you comfortable. Thanks a lot to Google for this nice evening.

After the party a few of us got to a bar nearby the university. Luckily I can reach our wifi network from here, so I'm blogging this from a cosy armchair with friends drinking beers around me. Nice way to end the day.

Posted on 25 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

It was another great day here! I love this city, and this event. I took a real breakfast for a change, actually the free breakfast in the hostel is not really interesting, but there's a restaurant next to it.

David's talk was interesting because it provided plenty of nice tricks that make your life easier on day to day hacking. I heard you David, I'll probably switch to zsh really soon now.

Anne Østergaard's talk was also interesting, it put in light quite some interesting information about the men/women relationship in free software communities. She had a few not so easy questions in my opinion, and answered in a very clear way. I'm glad that she made this talk. Thank you Anne!

After the coffee break I attended Adriaan de Groot's talk about the English Breakfast Network. Very interesting and useful stuff if you ask me. I also attended Julien Seward's talk about Valgrind. This is really an awesome tool, and using it for a full KDE session is a kind of crazy idea. But that gave me another idea, this approach could be used in EBN. Since EBN is already doing some GUI automated testing, during this testing it could also be collecting valgrind data at the same time.

After lunch I attended Pau Garcia i Quiles' talk. Interesting stuff, that's surely the biggest Qt/Ruby application around.

Holger Freyther talk about KDE and Consumer Electronics was interesting. We can still improve in this department. I tend to disagree about his very technical view about the problem though, most improvements required are more cultural than technical in my opinion. Granted it's not really something easy to fix, but we can work on it. ;-)

I also attended Richard Dale's and Richard Moore's talks. Also very interesting topics that will bring quite some interesting features for KDE4 if we embrace them. And we clearly have to embrace them.

I attended Coolo's talk about Kickoff which showed quite some interesting usability studies result and a great prototype.

Finally I attended Will Stephenson's talk about Network Management. Very nice talk, introduced some of the network related parts of Solid.

We ended the day with the aKademy awards. Congrats to all the winners you really deserve it! The awards were followed by a nice dinner concluding those two days of conference. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who made this event possible. In particular Marcus Furlong who drived the effort so nicely. I also have a special thought for Tink who put an awesome amount of work into it, even if she knew she wouldn't be able to come. THANK YOU!

Now onto the day long e.V. membership meeting and the upcoming coding marathon! Conference is over, but not the whole event, more very good stuff is coming...

Posted on 25 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today was the first official day of aKademy 2006. It started with Aaron's keynote which was just awesome. I must say "as usual", he is such a great speaker, very inspiring. His photos slideshow was just a great idea, it really showed how much common background the community shares.

I then attended the talks about QtDBus and Plasma which led us to the coffee break. It was time for the joint Phonon and Solid. I think that our duo with Matthias definitely worked, and it seems that our talk and approache was received quite well.

We formed small groups to hunt for lunch. We stopped in a small restaurant with David, Coolo, Thiago and a few other people. The food wasn't bad and strangely both waiters were french.

Despite the bad weather here, we managed to get back for the second keynote in time and dry. After this keynote I was pleased to attend J5's talk, the content was really interesting. And in particular his motto should be remembered: "Competition and Cooperation are NOT Mutually Exclusive". Thanks a lot John for coming and participating in the conference part with this talk!

I missed a few talks, I was talking with Sebastian Trüg about future plans for KDE 4. It'll probably lead to interesting reuse of some K3B code. Too bad I didn't see the Asian Track, I was particularly looking forward Pradeepto's talk.

I finally attended all the remaining talks of the KDE4 track. George's talk about KHTML state was particularly interesting in my opinion.

I'm now writing this from the "pav" where we had a perfect geek dinner thanks to Nokia who sponsored a ton of pizzas and drinks for us. Thanks a lot for this support! The "pav" is an interesting place, cosy and warm... really nice, I'm so glad to be here!

Posted on 23 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

I was ready on time to travel to Dublin... but not my plane. Departure got delayed around 40 minutes. Not a nice way to start the day. I was supposed to meet Volker Krause on arrival, and luckily he was kind enough to wait for me. In the airport we met a few other KDE hackers: Antonio, Inge and Lubos.

Reaching the hostel from the airport was really easy, we were just a bus and 5 minutes walk away. We had to wait a bit to be able to reach our rooms so we used this opportunity to have lunch together with John Tapsell and his wife.

Went to the PC huts to finish polishing the talk we have with Matthias. I'm looking forward to giving this presentation with him.

In the evening I met Cormac Lawler of WikiMedia fame and his girlfriend. We chatted in the Kennedy's Bar for almost three hours! He's really a great guy and it was a real pleasure to meet him in person. We discussed some interesting collaborations and I truely hope we'll see the discussion we had opening to a broader audience and give birth to nice cross-projects.

That's all for this friday, I'm finishing typing this as I'm attending Aaron's keynote.

See you later!

Posted on 22 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

This post will keep the current trend on Planet KDE going: Dublin, I'm coming!!! :-)

I finished packing. Now I just need to have some sleep, and wait for my friend E. who will drive me to the airport. Thanks in advance for this!

Quick checklist:

  • Stuff packed: done.
  • Maps, and info to find my way, printed: done.
  • Ogg Vorbis player filled with good music: done.
  • Books to read in the plane: done.
  • Slides for the Phonons in Solids talk: done.

I even found some time to work on Solid so hopefully it'll be merged in kdelibs this week-end.

Posted on 21 Sep 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Booked my flight today, and added myself to the arrival page. Now my travel is fully planned. I'll be there for the full conference, I don't want to miss a day. ;-)

Now I'll have to work on the "Phonons in Solids" talk submitted with Vir since it got accepted.

I'm looking forward to meet the community again!

Posted on 05 Aug 2006
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

This time it's really finished. I'm back home. This year aKademy was great.

Today, I've not done much apart from travelling. I didn't loose my luggage. Everything went well until I arrived Paris. My flight has been delayed for more than a hour, and the weather was so bad in Toulouse that the plane couldn't land at the first try! But well, the pilot managed to keep us safe. =)

A lovely woman was waiting for me at the arrival (almost two hours late), that's really nice to be back.

Posted on 05 Sep 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Yesterday night we had a beach party with a kind of barbecue (something typical in the area). The only problem from me is that they cooked only sardines this way, but there was more food so it wasn't a real issue.

During the event, people quickly started to walk around. The place was really nice. We've seen KDE hackers swimming in the sea by night while a few others were playing freesbee on the beach (by night!?). Around midnight a show made by a school of Flamenco started. It was really a great moment, this dance is really a beautiful one in my opinion. I really enjoyed this show.

And finally, we waited for the bus to arrive and bring us back home. We were near a small restaurant, and of course, a few KDE hackers (no I won't disclose the names :-p) were trying to hit on two or three women that were there. They obviously faced a conflict of resources, because well... women attract geeks, and they were quickly surrounded by ten, or twelve persons. =)

Today, I plan to keep hacking a bit... I don't know how much time I'll be able to access the net, we'll see. Anyway I'll surely do only small things, I'll still be able to commit from home if needed.

I'm becoming really impatient to come back home. I feel the need to see my girlfriend. This feeling was present when I left home, and grew quickly during the conference. I'll see her tomorrow in Toulouse airport when I arrive. I need to speak with her, take her hand, etc. I'm addicted to her.

Enough for today, next time I'll blog from my home.

Posted on 04 Sep 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Yesterday night I discussed with David a lot, the scope was large and we even ended up discussing about time travelling. Was interesting, but we decided that 1:30am wasn't the right time to discuss such thing and we should better go to sleep.

I woke up a bit late because of this, but I managed to be in time for the KOffice meeting. It was insightful about the current state of the project. There's not many contributors, so if you're searching for a project where you could contribute : WE NEED YOU FOR KOFFICE!

Posted on 03 Sep 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Some people left today, there's obviously less people in the computer labs already. But, it doesn't stop us to work on KDE! Today was very productive (attending no meeting helps).

I finished a thin layer around HAL which will be the backend for a new hardware discovery layer in KDE. It's works nicely already. Using this small wrapper you can already list hardware with a very few lines of code. I'll now build a full featured API on top of this to be able to do more complex manipulations in applications.

Since I needed a break on this kind of work I started to work again on my (almost) secret project... It's something GUI based for a change, and I plan to make it as reusable as possible, I don't know if I'll be able to have something interesting before the end of aKademy. But I'll continue to work on it after aKademy, I'll blog again as soon as I have something demoable.

I'll soon go back to the residence to have some food, and maybe some sleep (except if I continue hacking from there).

Posted on 02 Sep 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

This morning was really nice, we had a touristic visit of the old city center. First, we visited the Cathedral of Malaga which is really huuuge, and has nice pictures and organs. Then, we have a look at the "Teatro romano". And finally, we visited the Alcazaba which is a very old fortress, it was really a nice and beautiful place. The guide was interesting, giving a lot of insightful details and speaking a fluent english.

For this afternoon the plan is basically to hack as much as possible, no meeting. And this evening I'll surely team up with some people to by food in a supermarket nearby the residence, I just have to not forget to prepare everything I need to hack from the residence, since we have no Internet access from there.

Not much more today, see you tomorrow!

Posted on 01 Sep 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Yesterday (D+5) was the meeting day for me. Or at least I tried since the first BoF about Plasma has been cancelled... Aaron didn't show up.

In the afternoon, Zack made his talk and showed a demo... it was really cool eye candy, now we have to make a wise use of this, to improve the beauty of our desktop while having usability in mind. After this talk, I attended the build system meeting. The choice has been made to switch to scons+bksys, we're aiming for a smooth transition of course. And people involvement will be an important factor for the success of this transition.

After the end of the meetings, we ended up in a restaurant in the city center... I was quite nice actually but a bit costly in my opinion. When we got back I turned on the computer to finish some experiments I hacked during the day (between the meetings obviously) since something wasn't working... I ended up debugging the code in one of the library I use and found the bug! Now I have a fix I have to push upstream, but it basically works. Once again, more on this later. ;-)

Posted on 01 Sep 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Ok, we were heading for dinner with a small gang, when someone proposed to go in near the beach in "the best tapas restaurant of Malaga", which sounded like a very good idea after yesterday dinner. So, we took a Taxi... well in fact the group growed suddenly so much that we took three cabs to reach the restaurant.

After searching a bit we finally found the restaurant... which was in fact... a fish restaurant. Unfortunately I hate fish but well there was also some meat available so I managed to eat something. In order to get the things worse, the place was overpriced. And finally, since it was near the beach (which is well known to attract tourists), we had the pleasure to see several people coming in trying to sell random things (including awful flowers) or singing. I admit there was a nice Jazz band though.

Since a subgroup of the restaurant was tiread, or upset by all this tourists stuff, we decided to go back to the residence... So this time I go to sleep, one hour earlier, which is clearly a record since the start of the week!

Posted on 31 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Ok, here we go again... I woke up early to attend talks, but didn't manage to go to sleep early. =)

I ended up in a local restaurant with a gang of fellow hackers, including coolo, David, and Peter. The food was quite nice... except maybe one dish, it seems I was the only one able to eat it, but since I didn't like it I ended up quickly. We got back to the computer labs and stayed here until the aKademy team asked us to go back to the residence because well... they wanted to go back home and have some sleep. ;-)

Marketing For Geeks

The first t^Hshow was about marketing as the text implies. The speakers were Waldo Bastian, and Aaron "ola!" Seigo. It covered some simple things we can do at our level and with the available tools. It was really an awesome talk! I hope that it'll make some of us think more about our own behavior when we communicate with people. That's really a shame that we make such great software, but that nobody knows about it. Yes, you've read it : nobody. Mostly, only geeks know about it, that's a fact, we're really a tiny percentage of the desktop market. But if we think about it, talk about what we do to people, it'll spread!

The State of KDE Bindings

I had a nice insight about the KDE Bindings thanks to Richard Dale. It was really interesting and exposed some misconceptions we could have about binding development. There's still some points where you have to be careful like instance ownership (in order to get memory management right) or the differences on features between the source and target languages. He gave some examples based on Ruby... it's really temptin for me to learn this language.

Collaborative content for the masses

This one was about Wikipedia, it was really interesting to know how the project has been created, how it is evolving, which are their future challenges, etc. Nice talk, I'm really looking forward for widespread Wikipedia use in KDE.

Novell Desktop Migration Study

I found this talk far more interesting than the previous one on the topic. We had a real explanation about the methodology used to evaluate the product. It gave some hints on how to build your own portable lab to make such studies. We would really need small local teams with portable labs like this one to collect usability data about our software. That's would be really interesting.

Too bad that this study is a bit old now, it was using a now outdated Suse distro with only KDE 3.2 on it, but well we've made some important changes concerning usability since then.

Oxygen

That's the last talk I attended, and it's the last talk of the Developers Conference. It really looks like a great icon project it has a really refreshing and professional look, without looking boring! But well, I'd prefer to not explain this with too many details since it's surely better to be sure that it'll still be fresh when it'll be released (hopefully with KDE 4).


After all those talks I attended the kdelibs/kdebase structure BoF. As Danimo already explained, we'll surely have a new foundation stack, which basically means that we'll have an even better framework. One of the goals being to make it easier for people to grasp the API for contributing or ISV developments. Of course a transition strategy has also been discussed in order to make all of this work as smooth as possible.

Of course... I'm still planning to go to sleep early today, but I still need to go for dinner! That's all folks.

Posted on 30 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today is the first day of the developers conference, I had hard time to wake up at 7am since I stayed awake discussing with a bunch of hacker until 1:30am... Aaron was there, which is good news, I was wondering if he was trying to join the ocean swimming with migrating turtles or some other weirdness. Well, anyway I managed to wake up and attend lot of talks...

Trolltech Keynote

Just like last year the speaker was Eirik Chambe-Eng. He covered what happened within Trolltech since last year, and in particular the fact that Qt4 is out, and GPL on Windows. I'm still thinking that he's a quite good speaker! It's informative, but he has really good ideas to make his talks entertaining which is a very good thing. Thanks to him, we've seen some great photos of Matthias Ettrich. :-)

Multimedia API for KDE 4

Nice talk about the new KDEMM, which needs a new name obviously. I liked this talk, it was well structured, and has really good ideas, in particular the fact to have several backends available (aRTs, gstreamer, NMM, etc.). It's clearly not targetting pro-audio, which surely requires a tight coupling to a particular framework for performances anyway. Here it's more about having a nice API, easy to use for multimedia applications (jukebox, video players, etc.). Moreover it's really planned to hide the tedious work to the user, and autodetect or auto-configure for him as much as possible. Finally, it seems that the NMM backend will have a separate GUI application to allow using it's more advanced feature (since it's a fully network enabled multimedia framework, I've been really impressed last year by the NMM guys talk!).

Asynchronous Programming with Qt - Pitfalls and Techniques

This talk was very interesting, and obviously very technical. It gives some insight on how to design asynchronous API, and which points are proven to be difficult while building this kind of API. Liked it, Till and David really master their subject.

Multithreading in Desktop Applications

It was nice, to have this one grouped with the asynchronous programming one. It gives another aspect on how responsiveness can be achieved, but through the use of thread. Mirko even introduced the ThreadWeaver API, which looks like something very convenient to use.

Beauty and magic for KDE developers (to be continued)

We can't go to eat to the cafeteria anymore it seems, so we have to walk outside the University to find a restaurant... walking under the sun. I teamed up with Kalle, Till, David and Peter for lunch. We basically followed Kalle who knows the general direction to find restaurants... and we found one. It was nice, not very costly but we waited a looooot before being able to eat. Then, I was a bit in a hurry to go back to the university to attend the talk. We arrived very late, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on the point of view) this talk didn't happen because Zack had some issues with his laptop, which really sucks. But on the bright side it has been reschedule, so hopefully it'll take place! I'm prepared to attend!

Aaron's School of Designer

It was basically a tutorial about Qt Designer 4. It was nice to have some insight about some of the changes. Looks like it improved a lot, I'm looking forward to using it... which might not happen soon since I'm currently not heading at GUI development. =)

M.2, a generic management / deployment / monitoring framework

I admit that I've been a bit disappointed by this one. But, to be fair, I guess that the timing was bad, the project is really too young. The presentation by itself surely lacked a state of the art part, since it wasn't referring to any other similar framework. I was hoping for some demo of the communication layer... too bad.

Since it was extremely short, I ran to another talk that was taking place in parallel...

Scribe

Not much to say about this one, since I missed the beginning, but this looks like a nice and flexible API to handle text. As David pointed out it might miss some features for style handling though...


That's all for today, I'll surely try to go to sleep "early" today, since I don't want to be sleepy at tomorrow talks. I have to hunt for food first though! ;-)

Posted on 29 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today I attended some interesting talks, but they were obviously less user or sysadmin oriented.

TaskJuggler : A KDE Project Management Software

This one was very interesting. I'm really looking forward to this project, looks like a very mature solution for project management. It has some very neat features like the ability to manage several related projects at the same time keeping track of subprojects for synchronization, etc. It can of course generate reports, and it has even the ability to generate iCal calendars for publishing (which is neat to distribute tasks to people).

The model used is really clean in my opinion. I'm wondering if it would benefit on some more higher level concepts as what we can find in process engineering (maybe it's already doable, I don't know) if not it could be very interesting to have TaskJuggler as a APES target. I'll have to discuss a bit about this with Chris Schläger I guess.

KCall

Next speaker was Eva... who obviously had a hard time recovering from yesterday party. =)

Even if the talk was a bit slow it was really interesting and well structured. They're basically working on a framework for computer telephony. I'm really looking forward to it.

Firefox port to KDE

Not much news there in my opinion. Basically, Konqueror can embed Gecko thanks to a KPart, there's a Firefox port using KDE technologies that is in progress. To be fair, even if the talk wasn't very informative, the project looks interesting, and it nicely illustrate that KDE is flexible enough to act as a truely integrative desktop.

The present and future of PIM synchronisation on the KDE desktop

Not much to say here since the talk was cancelled! Maybe the speaker couldn't recover from the party... :-)

Cute, Embedded, Linux

Matthias Welwarsky from Archos SA gave us some insights from the PMA400 which is basically a music and video player, a webpad, a video recorder, a photo wallet and a PDA in only one device! It really looks nifty but as far as I know it's costly. The content of the talk was really interesting, explaining some design choices.


Before the last talk I attended, the merchandising booth opened for the first time since the beginning of the conference! There was some pressure because it was well known that there's not many konqis this year. On my side, I had the goal to buy two of them, since my father was jealous from the one I got last year, and one of my friends requested one. Unfortunately, Helio "The flying hacker" Castro managed to be faster than me and bought two of them! But luckily I bought the last one! Obviously this one will go to my father. I also took a T-shirt from the conference for me.

And finally, I attended the key signing party. It was an entertaining moment just like last year. And it's finally a good way to meet some people I missed. This year I managed to get some more KDE core developers signatures to my collection, I now have Stephan Kulow himself in my keyring. :-)

Posted on 28 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Finally I didn't go to the sponsored party this night. I wasn't really motivated by clubbing. David wasn't either, hence why we got back to the residence together. While walking we discussed some AI technical points and we ended up sitting at the residence discussing KIO future. Some of the ideas are very interesting in my humble opinion... I'm looking forward to have them implemented. Maybe more on this later, it's lunch time!

Posted on 28 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE  KIO 

First of all, for people complaining about the content... In the first two day it's the Users and Administrators Conference. So well, it's not that shocking if it's not really hacker oriented. Now, here are my impressions :

Novell Desktop

Keeping in mind that it's targetted for users interested in KDE (at least I hope so) it's indeed strange to see someone coming and explaining they use no KDE application for the major tasks (mail, browsing, etc.) except Kopete...

Kolab - Groupware the KDE way

Nice talk about Kolab, this one was clearly for sysadmins, so we had some technical insights about how it works. Till seems to be a very good speaker, liked his style.

I admit that I didn't followed this one very closely (shame), since I was chatting a bit with David Faure about some KIO related stuffs.

Deploying KDE Using The Kiosk Framework

Another one targeted to sysadmins in my opinion. Very good talk, raising the right points, answering the right question. Presenting the context of a successful deployment using Kiosk. Well done Aaron!

Ubuntu and Kubuntu

Clearly a misleading title... It was more about cooperation across opensource projects, and even more specifically between upstream and distro makers. Oh, and well Mark Shuttleworth is the first space tourist in case you was still not aware of this...

Linux migration success stories with KDE and NX

Another talk with misleading content, but with a very interesting content. Instead of real success stories (I was expecting enterprise deployments or something similar), we had a talk about NX itself, it's current state and how to test it. Too bad the talk by itself was lacking some polishing in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I'm really glad to see that NX is making its way. Maybe it's a bit slow since most of what has been presented was already reality last year, but it's really taking shape now with more features. As Kurt hinted we still badly miss a free (as in speech) client. Too bad that it's used a lot now so changing would be difficult, but I still think that the name of this is not fortunate. "NX" is quite cryptic to most users, they surely don't even care that it's related to X... that lacks sexiness.


After this one, I didn't attend anything because of a headache... Too bad, I wanted to at least attend the Scripts with KDE feel talk. I'm looking forward to tomorrow talk... But well it seems that we have a party sponsored by Novell this night (thanks a lot for this) so I guess it'll be hard to wake up. =)

Posted on 27 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Ok, this time it's official I arrived Malaga. My plane was on time, and I've been able to take the shuttle as expected... but... alone. In fact it was not that clear that other people had to wait 11:20 before the shuttle arrive. In fact, it was even sligthly late I was afraid to have missed it. But no! It appeared! And I had a whole van to put my stuff in!

On the flight itself it was a nice experience. That's the first time I'm in a plane flying that high... well ok, I don't travel that often so it explains it was my first time. :-p

As usual I looked at the earth while the plane was taking off, it was as usual, the same good old colors I always see when I take a plane. I see those in France, but also last year when I travelled to the Stuttgart airport. I've been a bit bored after some time so I started to read a bit some stuff I found in the plane. After around an hour I looked again and was amazed! No more the usual colors! It was really really different mostly ochre, brown, sand. Even the rivers edges didn't look similar. Pretty impressive from the sky in my opinion.

And of course after all this goodness, I've been pleased to finally reach the residence, and start talking with fellow hackers!

Well, that's all for today. ;-) Tomorrow we'll have talks, so I'll surely blog more.

Posted on 26 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Ok, it seems that I'm ready for aKademy now. All my stuff is packed, the laptop I borrowed from the lab is ready for development. If everything goes well, I'll just have to reconfigure the wifi connection to be able to work. Immediately productive!

My flight is early tomorrow morning so it's my last minute online at home. When I'll be able to reconnect I'll be on site! I'm very excited...

The really nice thing is the shuttle service on arrival, that's a great idea! And I'll be able to finally meet İsmail Dönmez (cartman) in real life, he'll surely be one of the first persons I'll meet since we'll share the same shuttle. ;-)

See you all at Málaga!!!

Posted on 25 Aug 2005
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

This time it's really over... I'm writing this from home. I'm a bit sad I'll miss you all! It was really great. My trip home was uneventful which is good news! My luggage has not been lost... pfew!

I noticed that the Kalyxo interview is now online on the dot.

Just for fun I have used the qwertz mapping during aKademy... and now I need to re-learn the azerty keymap it seems. It's my typos day! =)

I'd like to thank the whole aKademy organization team! You've made a really great job for all of us. I'm sure it's really appreciated.

Ok, my "reportage" from aKademy is now over. My blogging rate will surely drop from now.

Posted on 31 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Ok, we already feel it's the end of aKademy here... less and less people hacking in the computer rooms. It's a bit sad, but it has to end anyway.

I unfortunately won't have time to hack today since I have to return the laptop I'm currently using. Moreover, I need to go back to the youth hostel this I won't be in the same room tonight. I'll find some more time for hacking when I'll get home.

On another note, Peter Rockai and myself have been interviewed this morning mainly to discuss our work on the Kalyxo project. It should be published on the dot later today. It's a bit strange for me to be interviewed... it's the first time I have to do this.

Posted on 29 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

We're near the end of the aKademy... Tomorrow will be the last day. But today was quite interesting.

I woke up early because I had to be present for a talk... The talk I gave with Peter Rockai about the Kalyxo project. For my first talk in english it was not that bad. I was understandable. Maybe our talk was a bit too technical for a user conference... but since the project is still quite small we don't have final products to showcase yet. Anyway, some people expressed interest after we gave our talk, it's a nice feeling.

Then I attended some other talks. The first one about Kommander was interesting, it really seems to be a nice glue technology and I'll look more closely at it for prototyping tasks. Then, Jonathan Riddell's talk about Umbrello was interesting too... maybe a bit too UML centric, but it's nice to see someone working on this. From what I've seen it made huge progress.

I'm working with David Faure on the trash:/ ioslave. It's very interesting and I try to learn some of the KIO black magic he knows. This is an interesting piece of code to work on. Moreover David is really friendly and patient... I appreciate to work with him a lot.

Argh! I still have to sort out some of the design thoughts I have for the new devices:/ ioslave... I need to find some time to have this on paper and discuss it with the relevant persons.

Posted on 29 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today, I managed to arrive at 11:00 to the aKademy... I slept enough for this night at least. I'd like to do the same this night, but... since I have a talk at 10:30, so it's not advised to arrive at 11:00

So the working day was short... I discussed with David Faure a lot in fact. Mostly of hacking kioslaves for the purpose of the devices:/ ioslave. At one point we became slightly off-topic since we share some cultural background.

I started to help David on the future trash:/ ioslave (a least I try). It's a good thing to address this, because the current trashcan implementation is not that fortunate. I'm pretty confident that this ioslave will improve things a lot for the user.

This blog entry is quite short today... But there's not much more to say this time. ;-)

Posted on 27 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Today I was not able to find time to hack on anything... Too many Bird of Feather sessions I had to attend.

Started with the KDE 3.4 vs 4.0 meeting... It was quite interesting in my opinion to see the developers not speaking only about coding but also about processes management. Some people I know should really see this because they still believe that free software hackers are basically people spending there coding like monkeys (should I had they are not part of my friends?). Nothing is official yet, so I won't tell what the result is (or if there's a result)... but anyway I'm pretty excited to see a new release cycle starting, and lot of great stuffs will happen.

After lunch, I attended the NX BoF... The topic was really interesting. I really appreciated Aaron Seigo plans for this technology, and Matthias Ettrich point of view about it. They are really clever... and I have a strange shy feeling in their presence. I know it's stupid, and they don't act as if I had to be inferior or something like this. Strange...

Finally, the KDE Debian Integration BoF started. I was co-chairman with Peter Rockai. I have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed. We surely could do better and we maybe managed to be boring actually. But, we had some interesting input from some of the attendees... so it's not that bad.

Posted on 26 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Because of yesterday coding marathon I only woke up at 11:00 today... So it's now official, I went to aKademy very interested by the usability talks and discussions and managed to miss everything except Aaron's talk. It's really a pity. Anyway I hope that those discussions will lead us to a well organized cooperation with real usability expert. We need to find our own process to handle usability aspects in open source software.

Apart from this major failure, I attended the KDE Quality Team BoF. I'm not really a PR skilled person, but the discussions were interesting. An idea was even given by mornfall to allow user to propose "What's This" texts when they are missing. He started to implement it this evening, and it's shaping really well.

On the hacking front, I finished the first stage of my work on the devices:/ ioslave. You can now give more convenient name to your devices. But the whole code is a bit old and difficult to extend, so we'll discuss the new architecture until the end of the week. The new implementation will be done after aKademy.

Now, I'm going to find something else to hack, like helping mornfall on his current work, code for Kivio or maybe help David Faure a bit on the upcoming trash:/ ioslave.

Posted on 26 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

So, yesterday was the first day for the coding marathon. I have not many things to add... I was so tired when I finished that I didn't want to blog at all.

One particular event, except from the coding, was the PGP Key Signing party... really a game for geeks. You make a little dance around a room, showing you ID card and your key fingerprint. Of course most of the people laugh at your photo ID.

Of course, because of yesterday, I managed to get up too late to attend the first talk of the day about usability. But I was here to listen to Aaron Seigo's talk... very interesting!

Today, some coding again. I'm working on the devices:/ kioslave. At this rate I hope to implement the planned features before the end of this week.

Posted on 25 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Another "got up early" day... even harder than the previous one since I slept less! But again a lot of very good talks! It begun with three talks about different pros and cons : MAS, GStreamer and NMM.

Firstly, MAS is interesting but is really specialized to audio... It's fun to see it in action controlling audio playback on another computer. It seems well adapted to the LTSP project for example.

Then we had a talk about GStreamer with Scott Wheeler (without the technical problems of the first day... which was quite fortunate for him) and Christian Schiller. What is really neat about this project is that it's able to run on embedded systems. More over they try to promote free multimedia formats which is always a good thing. The only concern I see is about binary compatibility... it is widely used in Gnome, and if it's adopted for KDE4 they'll surely have trouble to cope up with the release cycles of both projects. In particular, KDE4 would require at least a 2 year period of binary compatibility. I'm very confident that they're motivated to achieve this and the framework itself is already used in JuK and amaroK.

The last talk before lunch was about NMM. It's a research project trying to become and OpenSource project... it's in my opinion a very difficult task. But, from what I've seen I wish they'll succeed. It's truly amazing! They made some demos... the first ones were simple, playing some audio and video files. Then they showcased the NMM backend they're working on for amaroK... which can play video files out of the box (this feature is not currently supported by the official amaroK backends). And finally, they showed us how they can start playing a DVD on a laptop, then grab an old PDA and ask it to hand over the laptop to play the DVD too. Everything went smoothly, the video was automagically downscaled for the PDA and you could control the playback from the PDA or the laptop. Really amazing!

This last framework is really my preferred one. It's maybe a little more complex than GStreamer or MAS but so much more powerful and versatile. Some people would surely advocate that's overkill for a desktop computer... and they're right of course, but somewhat miss the point in my humble opinion. You must look at the whole picture and it's not simply desktop computing... we have more and more devices able to play media files. This framework can really break the frontiers and is a little step toward pervasive computing (also called ubiquitous computing).

After lunch, I attended the the Lars Knoll's talk about Unicode in Qt4. It was quite interesting, especially because it showed some problem you can have as soon as you deal with several kind of languages.

I attended to Brad Hards talk. I was a bit sad to see him disappointed after this talk. He said in his blog entry that his skills for talk are not good... I believe that he is wrong on this point. The problem actually was an unfortunate scheduling. This talk was clearly made for people starting to work on KDE development... it was not the case of the audience. This talk would really have its place during the userconf... and I'd really like to see it rescheduled there.

So Brad, if you read this, please don't be disappointed! It was really a hard task and as I said it was primarily a schedule issue. Maybe add some more fancy stuff in your slides and see if you can be rescheduled during the userconf, I'm pretty sure it would work much better!

The conference day ended with two very Qt centric talks. The first about the Model/View framework in Qt4 which seems to be quite nice and flexible. And fortunately, they didn't fall in what I'd call the "swing trap" to use the MVC pattern for every widget under the sun. They applied this to the widgets only needing it list views, tree views and table views. The second one presented some trick and trips to go even further with Qt. It was interesting to see for example how powerful event filtering can be when mastered correctly.

In order to prepare the imminent hackfest, I finally managed to have root access on the laptop! So I had the great pleasure to recompile kdelibs and kdebase using icecream... it's really fun and fast. I guess I'm now ready, but I really need to sleep first, I'm tired... and planning to get up late tomorrow.

Posted on 23 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

I woke up early today... very tired... I admit that I didn't sleep well last night. The Kaesespaetzle was quite good, but managed to make me feel sick during the night.

That's why I was very very slow... I met Aaron Seigo upstairs and I bet that he wondered who was this guy not even able to understand a simple english sentence (I finally understood on the second or third try). The breakfast was quite nice and in the same fashion : slow and lazy.

Then it was time to walk to aKademy for the first talk by Eirik Chambe-Eng one of the two Trolltech founders. It was really nice and informative. Last but not least there was a lot of humour in his talk which is always a very good thing.

The second talk I attended was about the areas of KDE which would need the use of meta-data and research centric UI. The talker was Scott Wheeler who unfortunately experienced a lot of technical issues while presenting. But, he was good enough to keep the talk very informative...

Then I attended to a talk by Gustavo Boiko and Helio Chissini de Castro. They propose a way to share some code snippets inside the project to avoid duplication even more. It sounds like a good idea indeed... but it quite difficult to do it right in my opinion. This idea surely needs to be a little more refined but can turn into something really nice.

I unfortunately missed the Harri Porten's talk I planned to attend... I was a bit late lunching and chasing for a lent laptop to be able to work since I don't have one.

I've then made a hard choice and attended to Matthias Ettrich's talk... but I'd like to attend Kurt Pfeifle's talk about NX.

Matthias Ettrich's talk about APIs designing was really good! This guy is really clever and master his subject... There was so many things to say that he was not able to present everything. He's planning to write an article on the subject, and I'm really impatient to be able to read this!

Then I missed Tom Chance's talk about the Quality Teams because I was gently discussing with Eva Bruscheifer, Peter Rockai, and two person working on the Skolelinux project : Bart Cornelis and Kurt Gramlich. We'll see them again during the coding marathon for the KDE Debian Integration meeting.

The last talk for today was about freedesktop.org, Daniel Stone inherited this task... which resulted in some harsh considerations. I have to admit that I'm sometimes worried when I see how the things evolves, but the goal they support is quite valuable and more KDE participation would a good way to improve things. It's just like any other project after all... its global behavior is determined by the people working on it.

And good surprise (almost since it was mentionned on the schedule), we had a "social event" with free food and free drinks (free as in free beer, not free as in freedom :p). It was really good food, and I discussed with some people.

Finally, I managed to make the laptop work correctly for my use... it still needs some tweaking but I guess it'll be okay. The only problem is that I have to fight with this weird qwertz keyboard! It's really unusual for me.

Posted on 22 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

This time I'm really far far away from home... I've never been so far from Toulouse in fact.

I woke up early to take my plane... I waited for the flight to Stuttgart in Paris. And then encountered the "german way to make airports". It's amazing! It's the first time I see an airport so well organized. You have nice indications everywhere, and the bagage claims are not the mess we have in France.

And then... I met my first KDE developer in real life! Peter Simonsson (psn)! He's quite friendly and was easy to find in the airport being the tallest person there. Our adventure begun with the schnellbahn (subway)... but we managed to arrive Ludwigsburg in one piece. From there the aKademy was really easy to find. We got there to directly find Peter Rockai (mornfall) with is camera (I bet he sleeps with it :p).

Mornfall guided us to the youth hostel where we were finally able to let our luggage. We met there Joseph Wenninger and Joachim Eibl who accompanied our walking to go back at aKademy... Everything went smooth except when I managed to loose everybody... but wait it was a good thing we've seen a really pretty place (please ask mornfall for pictures ;p). But from what I've seen from Ludwigsburg I'd say it's a really pretty city.

During the afternoon we idled trying to socialize a little except for the "lucky" people carrying laptops who were already able to hack... Please note that I was very glad to meet Kurt Pfeifle for the first time!

Finally I took some time for dinner... I tried a "typical" dishe called Kaesespaetzle, it's really not bad...

Wow, all of this happened in one day... and the conference have not even started yet. The next days promise to be really interesting!

Posted on 20 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE 

Ok, I guess I'm ready to take my plane tomorrow morning. I've already reviewed two times my checklist, I've taken a little more than expected. It should do.

Since I'll have lot of time to wait in Paris airport and in the plane itself, I've taken four novels with me. I wanted to buy some books that Anne-Marie advised me but I failed to find even one. I'll have to try a book shop we have here called "the book shop" (nice name isn't it? :D). They sell only books in english... hence the name.

I'm thrilled to go to aKademy tomorrow... it'll be the first time I meet the KDE developers I already know thanks to IRC. Of course, I'll surely meet other developers currently unknown to me and that's great!

Moreover, I'm excited because it's the first time I'll travel out of France... I admit Germany is not that far from France, but it's a foreign country with it's own people, language and culture to discover!

It's time to sleep now... My plane will take off early! Next time I'll connect, it'll be from Ludwigsburg!

Posted on 19 Aug 2004
Tags: Akademy  KDE