I need your ideas for Google Code-in

It is time again to prepare for Google Code-in. We have 2 weeks to collect tasks that we’d like high-school students aged 13 to 17 to work on. Last year GCI was an amazing success and I hope we can take part again this year.  For this I need your help.

We need to fill this page with as many tasks as we can in the next 2 weeks: http://community.kde.org/GoogleCodeIn/2011/Ideas  Unlike last year we will not be able to add more tasks for the students until the middle of the program so we really need to have as many as we can by the time the program starts.

We are again looking for tasks in the following areas (we need at least 5 in each of them):

  • Code: Tasks related to writing or refactoring code
  • Documentation: Tasks related to creating/editing documents
  • Outreach: Tasks related to community management and outreach/marketing
  • Quality Assurance: Tasks related to testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  • Research: Tasks related to studying a problem and recommending solutions
  • Training: Tasks related to helping others learn more
  • Translation: Tasks related to localization
  • User Interface: Tasks related to user experience research or user interface design and interaction

If you are unsure how tasks should look like:

http://community.kde.org/GoogleCodeIn/2011/Ideas is waiting for your ideas. Go Go Go! 😀
PS: If you are a high-school student who wants to take part in GCI and have a task you’d like to work on: Get in touch with the team you want to work with and ask them to add the task for you now!

It’s been fluffy

I’m back at home from the multimedia and edu sprint in Switzerland (yea the one some people call cheeseland and others chocolateland) and things are finally getting back to normal so time for a bit of blogging. It was productive, fluffy and awesome! Those three pictures sum it up pretty well 😉
view from my room
Check out my Flickr page for more pics.

Having a lot of projects at the sprint was really great. For example I’ve worked with j-b of VideoLan fame on some announcements and website restructuring and helped the edu team with promo and community building advice. A lot of progress has been made on the VLC backend for Phonon which will hopefully solve a lot of the small pain points we still have in Amarok. Besides getting the VLC backend in shape the next weeks in Amarok land will be spend on improving startup time for example. New script bindings by Ian and Richard should help quite a bit with that hopefully. Colin did not have an easy job being the PulseAudio guy but he was a really good sport in not-so-friendly territory ;-). We also had a telephone meeting with the QtMultimedia guys in Brisbane which cleared up quite a few things even though the setup of the meeting was a bit adventurous. Sharing knowledge not only inside the KDE teams but also meeting with other free software teams like this is invaluable and should be done more often.

A big thank you to everyone who helped make it possible. You’re fluffy.

Oh and btw: Car trains rock.

KDE accepted for GSoC 2010

KDE has once again been accepted as an org for GSoC. Yay! This means we’ll once again be welcoming a bunch of great students into our team to make KDE software rock this summer.

So what to do now?
If you’re a student who wants to take part in GSoC this year: Go and check out the ideas page and pick one you like or come up with your own idea. Then get in touch with the team working on the program you want to contribute to over the summer. Work with them to write a kick-ass proposal and then hopefully make it reality this summer. To keep up with all things GSoC you can also subscribe to the kde-soc@kde.org mailing list.

If you’re a potential mentor: Go and check out the flow chart below. It has everything you should need to know about how we’re doing GSoC this year. Then go and subscribe to the kde-soc-mentor@kde.org list. Further announcements for mentors will be made there.

If you have any questions please join us in our IRC channel #kde-soc on freenode or send an email to the kde-soc mailing list.

KDE GSoC process 2010

KDE Education Survey

We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free. – Epictetus

The KDE-Edu team is looking for feedback from their users to improve their applications and to find out where to invest the limited time they have. If you are a student, teacher or just casual user of any of these applications we are looking for your feedback:

  • Kanagram
  • KHangMan
  • Kiten
  • KLettres
  • KWordQuiz
  • Parley
  • KAlgebra
  • KBruch
  • Kig
  • KmPlot
  • Blinken
  • KGeography
  • KTouch
  • KTurtle
  • Kalzium
  • KStars
  • Marble
  • Step
  • Cantor
  • Rocs

We created a short survey (1 page – about 5 minutes) where you can tell us about the 3 problems you have with any of the applications listed above as well as give some general feedback. Those 3 problems can be small or big. We want to know about them. This feedback is incredibly valuable to the team so if you know anyone who should take this survey but doesn’t read this blog please send them a link.

Make KDE-Edu rock even more!

PS: If you want to help with any of the programs listed above (by writing code, creating example content, documentation, promotion or anything else) please get in touch with me.

Tell me all the ways you rock!

KDE 4.2 has been released and there is neat stuff all over the place.

The thing I think rocks most? Definitely automatic translation and image fetching in Parley. Typing all those vocabulary by hand can be a pain. Thanks to scripting support in Parley you now can let Parley fetch those translations for you. And while we are at it: Why not also get a nice image on top of it? 😉

Parley automatic vocabulary fetching
Parley automatic vocabulary fetching

So now tell me: Which feature do you think is the best? Got a small feature that risks getting unnoticed? Or a feature that makes your live 10 times easier? Tell us about it in the comments and your blog!

Grammar files for Parley please!

test many circles, originally uploaded by jared.

Frederik has been working on a nifty feature for Parley. (Expect some more Parley posts from me highlighting some of the cool new stuff in trunk as soon as I find the time.)
When creating a new vocabulary file you are asked to fill in a few things about the languages you are going to practice. This includes stuff like personal pronouns and tenses for example. Now we are all lazy, right? Everyone filling in those details over and over again doesn’t sound very clever, does it?
New nifty feature to the rescue! It allows Parley to automatically fetch this stuff from the internet. Sweet!

And this is where you can help. We need those definitions for a lot of languages or at least the most common ones to get it started. We already have files for English, German, Spanish, French and Latin. Help us make this rock by following these simple steps:

  1. install Parley from trunk and open it
  2. create a new document from the welcome screen
  3. fill in the details in the properties dialog that pops up, add the language you want to provide as the first language and keep the “Setup Grammar Details” checkbox checked
  4. klick ok
  5. fill in all the needed details for the first language paying special attention to personal pronouns*
  6. klick ok
  7. save it
  8. send it to me by email (lydia at kde.org)
  9. get yourself a cookie 😉

If you don’t have Parley from trunk but want to help you can also provide me with the needed info and I will create the file for you.

* Real world testing has shown that the dialog has usability issues. We are working on a fix. The short version: Only check the “Male/female have different conjugations” and “A neutral conjugation form exists” checkboxes if verb conjugation differs between male, female and neutral in the third person. If they are the same like in English write them into the first box (like this: he/she/it) and do not check the checkboxes.