only 1 week left for Akademy talk submissions

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 9:32 pm on Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just a quick reminder that there is only one week left to submit talks for Akademy in Tallinn. Submit now, don’t procrastinate! (yeah yeah I know how hard that is ;-))

If you need help with your submission or have questions you can reach the program committee at

Nearly 100 GSoC ideas are waiting for you!

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 10:51 pm on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Last Saturday Teo and I filled out KDE’s application for Google Summer of Code. I hope we will once again be selected as a mentoring organisation for many excellent students.

If you plan to apply as a student with KDE we have nearly 100 ideas for you to chose from on our ideas page already and I’m sure some more will be added in the next days. And you can of course come up with your own idea, too. (You really should talk to a potential mentor in that case though. But you should do that anyway ;-)) Don’t wait, start now! Oh and don’t forget to read Teo’s advice. As a former student, mentor and now admin he knows what’s ahead of you.

But most importantly: Believe in yourself. You can do awesome, I’m sure 😉 Go pick an idea!


Oh and don’t forget that we’ll be focusing this year’s GSoC and/or Season of KDE on accessibility. Applications in this area are especially welcome.

Akademy sponsorship request deadlines

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 7:14 pm on Saturday, February 18, 2012

Some of you need sponsoring from KDE e.V. to attend Akademy. The board will handle sponsorship requests for travel and/or accommodation in 3 rounds. The budget is limited and only the funds not spend in a round will be transferred to the next round. (So you want to be in the first round.) The deadlines for sending requests to the board are:

  • round 1: 1st of April
  • round 2: 1st of May
  • round 3: 1st of June

We try to handle requests within one week after these deadlines.
For more information about reimbursement rules please check KDE e.V.’s reimbursement policy.

Akademy Call for Papers

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 11:28 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2012

Akademy is getting closer and that means it is time to submit talk proposals. I’m sure you have something interesting to talk about. Check out the Call for Papers for more details and some suggestions of what the program committee is looking for. Submit now – don’t procrastinate 😉

Don’t know what to talk about or have questions/doubts? Find me on IRC or email me.

Also don’t forget to register to attend the conference! Akademy is free but you need to register to attend.

accessibility co-mentors needed for GSoC

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 1:58 am on Friday, February 10, 2012

As announced earlier KDE will apply to become a mentoring org again for Google Summer of Code in 2012. We decided to focus on accessibility this round should KDE be accepted again. To make this happen KDE’s mentors need help. Most of the mentors do not have the knowledge needed to make good decisions when it comes to making our applications more accessible. We are therefor looking for co-mentors who can help them – people who either have a disability that requires changes in KDE’s software to make their life easier or people who are otherwise knowledgeable in the area. These co-mentors would not have to do any of the mentoring on the coding side but instead advice the student and main mentor on non-coding parts. Does that sound like something you can help with? Then please send an email to and introduce yourself and how you could help. Please also pass this on to anyone you think might be a good fit.

GSoC 2012 is on!

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 9:05 pm on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

At FOSDEM it was announced that Google will run Google Summer of Code again in 2012. Wohooooooo! KDE will apply as a mentoring organisation again. Here are the next steps to prepare:

For students:

  • Read the GSoC FAQ and timeline. (Don’t skip this step. It’s important.)
  • Read some GSoC infos from KDE.
  • Keep an eye on the ideas page to see what KDE is looking for. You’re also welcome to come up with your own idea as long as you discuss it with a mentor.
  • Get in touch with a mentor and discuss your idea. Maybe already contribute a little. (The better we know you the time it gets to voting on your application the better.)

For mentors:

  • Add ideas to the ideas page. Only add ideas if you are willing to mentor them! Please add them within the next 2 weeks. Earlier is better as students are already looking for ideas now. We will try to give a focus to accessibility this round. This does not mean that all ideas have to be related to that in some way but it would be great if a significant percentage of them would be.
  • Consider holding a GSoC info session at a university near you. Get in touch with me if you plan to do that. There are ready-made presentations and flyers available for you.
If you have any questions feel free to come to #kde-soc on freenode or send an email to the mailing list kde-soc at kde dot org.

changes in Kubuntu

Filed under: KDE,Kubuntu,PlanetKDE,PlanetKubuntu — Lydia at 2:03 am on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I’ve been running Kubuntu ever since I decided to switch to Linux on my computers. Kubuntu is what got me hooked on KDE’s software. I was on it’s council for 2 years. It has a special place in my Free Software world.

At FOSDEM I had a long chat with Jonathan. He told me that he’ll no longer be able to work full-time on Kubuntu soon. This was sad news because I know how much it means to him.  For more details read his blog. While this is sad it is also good news. It clarifies Canonical’s position and gives the team behind Kubuntu more power.

I’d like to thank Canonical for sponsoring Jonathan for the past years. It was important for Kubuntu and for KDE. Kubuntu is important for KDE because a diverse distro eco-system is vital for us. Let this be a much-needed wake-up call and take it into our hands.

Hop over to #kubuntu-devel on freenode and see where you can help out for the next cycle.

Google Code-in stories – part 5

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 3:36 pm on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

KDE mentored a lot of students during Google Code-in and I asked some of them to write about their experience. This is the final part of the series.

Alexey writes:

KDE was my fourth open source community to work with in Google Code-In 2011 and I can say I really enjoyed my experience.

First of all I’d like to thank all the mentors assigned to KDE tasks for the quick claim requests responses, reviews and detailed feedback. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about all the other communities I’ve participated in.
I completed 3 translations tasks and my translation included compiling and installing some KDE packages, working with translation system and working with graphical editors to translate some screenshots and edit some pictures.
As soon as I claimed one of the tasks I was able to start my work, because the task information was always full enough.

Of course sometimes I had some questions (for example, I had no clue why I could not install one of the necessary packages), but I always got professional feedback in a short time.

Also I have to record that almost every KDE project has a full and clear documentation.
Of course, the documentation is not always translated to native languages for users, but it didn’t bring any difficulties to me.
And I hope that such contests like GCI will bring more and more developers into your community and there won’t be any problems with it at all.

Evidently, it was a great pleasure to work with KDE. Thank you very much! To be honest, I would like to take part in KDE community, so I’m trying to choose the project I would be interested in most.
I would also like to thank Google for creating such useful projects for open-source world like Google Code-In!

Good luck, KDE!

Edwin writes:

In the beginning, when Google Code-In took place for the first time, I’ve found some information about it on Russian website dedicated to GNU/Linux (its address is not secret: I thought it’s a great opportunity to improve some skills, for example, programming or language knowledge.

To be honest: yes, it also was a good possibility to earn some money :)

But there is another reason: open souce projects are usually maintained by developers, who contribute their skills and time to make software better. They may create patches for programs, which they use. It’s just their hobby. If you use the software which you have contributed to, you can show a feature and say proudly: “My work!”.

That’s why I decided to participate in the contest.

Although I don’t use the software, which I’ve contributed to during the contest (and probably nobody of my friends does), I have decided to do something. Most of the tasks I’ve done during the contest (both times) are Russian translations (I’m too lazy to work with any code :D). I’m from Estonia, but Russian is my native language.

Last year I’ve done three tasks. One of them was Russian translation of Parley. Friendly mentors and community helped me to work it out at some points. Many thanks to them :).

This year seven of my tasks were Russian translations. Four of them were translations for KDE programs: Kleopatra, KMid, Rocs and PhotoLayoutEditor KIPI plugin. It was hard to translate some words, just because I didn’t know the topic very well. Anyway, I’ve figured it out.

If you don’t like going out, it’s better to spend time improving software rather than just doing nothing. Good luck to KDE developers and Code-In participants! :)

Google Code-in stories – part 4

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 3:36 pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

KDE mentored a lot of students during Google Code-in and I asked some of them to write about their experience.

Subhashish writes:

Well my first KDE task was “Research: Understanding KDE Users (Individuals)” with mentor Carl Symons (kallecarl). This was my fifth task in the Google Code-In Contest 2011. To be honest, this task (of the three KDE tasks that I’ve completed as of now) was one of my favorite tasks as it was a research tasks in which I tried my best not to leave out any little detail.

It was late night (12:00 AM, Monday, December 5) when I requested a claim for this task. Feeling tired after a nice Sunday, I went to sleep to wake up to a cool Monday morning to see task assigned to me, but I could proceed no more with the task courtesy, the power cuts we are facing here these days. The rest of the day was uneventful for I had to study for my forthcoming exams.

The next day I was able to get kallecarl’s contact details and contact him on #kde-promo. I had a long chat with him about my task asking him what KDE Promo team does, about the Akademy events and many more questions. The best part was that he was patient and was ready to answer my every query. He seemed to be an informative and helpful person (as I observed him) as the other mentors that I’ve worked with.

The above paragraph depicts my normal procedure of starting things with every task that I’ve done. Get the mentor’s email address and most importantly the IRC nick if he/she uses IRC. Then chat with them about the task, its background, scope where things can be improved etc. Then start working on the task.

Research tasks are my favorite because one can get to see how a project functions, which I did get to see but partially, to be honest, little but to a considerable extent. After all how much can one expect to observe within some countable days while working with one part of a project? But as the open source projects are (I mean transparent), one can get to understand it (the project) if one sticks with it and observe for some months which I’d gladly do but that’s another thing.

Understanding what the KDE Promo team needed for the task, I hopped onto the task, put my thinking cap on as I needed to put forward some proposals for conducting the research. I categorized my task’s objectives, looked into what methods may be needed to do the research, borrowed some ideas, drafted a sample document and mailed it to my mentor who politely suggested me some changes and said he was looking forward for more in his reply. From there on, I got excited enough to help me focus more on the task. Funny isn’t it how humans get more dedicated to a task they do if they are encouraged a little?

With that enthusiasm I completed that task and I’ve been completing all of my claimed tasks by doing everything I could to do the tasks justice and which every student participating in this contest would be doing too. Coming to us (the participants), we must realize how great an achievement it is for us to complete at least one task in this contest because we are contributing our efforts to the organizations who need them the most because they serve the humanity by crafting certain free technologies that are class apart and which help the common people. Most of the contributors of these organizations put their heart into these valuable creations in their spare time. These open source organizations, the developers, the contributors and all those who help such projects to improve are the real heroes. Working with them to contribute to their (and ultimately our) cause is a great achievement in itself. It is how I feel and how every participant of this contest must feel.

To be honest, the prizes set for each student who does at least something in this contest are a draw for students like us but it also creates an awareness in us to understand the importance of the term ‘open source’ for those who can see it. I got an opportunity to interact with real heroes who are also nice people. I also understood that there are more ways to contribute other than ‘coding’ and I am really glad that I am doing it. Thank you KDE for giving me a chance voice my opinions! Thank you Google for giving us a rewarding opportunity to work with such amazing organizations!

Google Code-in stories – part 3

Filed under: free software,KDE,PlanetKDE — Lydia at 3:36 pm on Monday, January 30, 2012

KDE mentored a lot of students during Google Code-in and I asked some of them to write about their experience.

Areke writes:

When I first heard about the Google Code In, I was riled up with anticipation. I waited anxiously until midnight of November 21 so I could get started on a task, as this was my first year participating. When the time came, I quickly became disappointed because Melange had quite a few bugs and it was impossible to actually start a task. Well, that might not have been the case for everyone, but it was for me. After about an hour of frustration, I went to sleep hoping to find a task first thing in the morning.

Many days went by and I started completing some tasks. After about five tasks, I started one for KDE. The task was to create a donations landing page to increase the amount of donations they get. After claiming the task, I immediately went on IRC to ask my mentor how to get started. I was given editing access to a blank page and began to code away.

I had gotten the basic layout down and now it was time to fix some issues. I needed to clean the page up a bit because there were a few parts that didn’t look so good. I started to have problems. Every time I tried to fix something, another problem came up. More and more frustration started building inside of me so I decided to take a break.

When I came back to it, I found that I was able to resolve the issues very quickly and was appalled by how simple the solution was. I submitted the URL to my work and waited for a response. I was bummed out when I was told to fix some things, but it was no problem. They were easy fixes and I was soon on my way to my seventh task.

Working with KDE hasn’t just widened my knowledge of programming, it also taught me some important values. Working with KDE has taught me how important it is to have patience, but if I ever feel discouraged or frustrated, I should take a break and come back to what I was doing later. This is something that I feel is very important in life, and now I am very glad that I worked with KDE.

Radoslav writes:


My name is Radoslav, I am from Bulgaria and it is my first apperance in Google Code-in. It all started when my teacher, who is also my cousin, gave us homework to make at least two tasks. A completed my first task which was to check if old KMail bug reports are still valid, which was easy and I finished it for no time. Afer that I had to make a Team Presentation of the Amarok developers team. Now I know who is behind it. And then I completed two more tasks form KDE. One was to make a research and to give some ideas which KDE apps could be ported to work on Plasma Active which once more made me think that KDE developers are doing some crazy stuff :) The other task was to make a research how to understand the KDE users and my mentor was Carl Symons and he helped me a lot with the task.It was more like a team work: I write and he gives he second opinion on the problem. My task was to make five different research methods for understanding the KDE users, I had to search and say for every method what are the pros and what are the cons. It was a hard task and some kind of important for everybody. The task was completed and when the actual research I hope I will be a part of it too :). I met some other very interesting people and I see that KDE is not a community but a family and I want someday to be part of a family like that. :)

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