we’re testing the water for everyone

Amarok finally switched to git today after many weeks of discussion and preparation. Our part of KDE SVN has been made read-only and commits should be made to the repository at http://gitorious.org/+kde-developers/amarok/amarok from now on.

We can hopefully work out all the problems soon so the rest of KDE (except translations) can follow asap.

Please report problems you encounter and help us get documentation up to date.

Oh btw: Perfect birthday present, KDE 😀  One millionth commit and move to git on my birthday rocks!

Communication ninjas all around?

Have you ever noticed that some people check their IRC backlog and answer every ping while others couldn’t care less about who tried to contact them while they were away? Are there people around you who answer emails within a day (most of the time much less though) while you can wait a week for your uncle to answer that email asking for photos of your latest family reunion?

The people around us communicate very differently on the web for various reasons.  Let’s simplify it by separating them into 4 groups:

  • communication ninjas
  • selective communicators
  • part-time communicators
  • communication abstainers

Communication ninjas are those who you can always reach, no matter where. They read their emails regularly, check IRC backlogs, follow what is happening on Twitter/Identi.ca, know who broke up with whom on Facebook and have a huge contact list for different networks in their instant messenger of choise.

Selective communicators are reachable on a few selected mediums. They might check emails regularly and Jabber. Or follow Identi.ca and IRC. They have chosen one or a few mediums and stick to it. You can rely on reaching them there but don’t bet on reaching them anywhere else.

Part-time communicators are on top of things when they are “online” but nearly completely drop off the earth from time to time. They are probably the trickiest of them all because you can’t always rely on their communication pattern.

Communication abstainers… Well, don’t rely on them getting any information. They don’t like communicating online or simply don’t have the time for it. You will have to spent some extra effort on them.

So you might ask yourself why this is important for you. It is very important if you want to get a message to a person or a group of people. Unfortunately in the Free Software community we forget about it too often or are not aware of its implications while relying so heavily on communication every single day.

Say you have a part-time communicator who does IRC and reads backlog. There is little sense in sending him a simple “ping”. He’ll read it 5 hours later due to time-zone difference between you two and “pong” you. This ping pong can go on for days without ever any of you two getting the message to the other. (Yes I’ve see it happen multiple times. Don’t ask.) “ping – I need you to do X” would have been so much more effective in this case.

Other example: You have a communication abstainer and need to contact him quickly. You could send an email and wait days to get a reply. Or you could ask around in his network and get his cellphone number and call him quickly. Or ask his collegues at work to tell him you need him to do X or know about Y.

Another example: You have a part-time communicator who can’t use IRC at work but you need something dealt with quickly. Contact him on Jabber which he uses at work.

Things to take away:

  • Find out which category people around you fit in and then adjust accordingly if you want to get your message across successfully.
  • Spread important messages to the communication ninjas in your network and ask them to spread it. They are often also the multipliers in your network who reach the most people most effectively.
  • Take into consideration what kind of a communicator people in your team are. Do some of them feel excluded because they can’t or don’t want to keep up with IRC/mail/Identi.ca/Facebook all the time? Are they loosing out on valuable information? Are they kept out of important decisions?
  • Not all of us are communication ninjas. Don’t rely on it!
  • Where do you fit in? 😉

Berlin, we’ll meet again

As others on PlanetKDE already wrote we had a really great time in Berlin last week. The KDE/Kubuntu/Amarok booth was well staffed with my favorite gearheads and new KDE people now to be added to the former group 😉 It was nice to meet you folks! One of the best things about this year’s Linuxtag: We finally managed to get our booths (KDE, Kubuntu, Amarok, QtSoftware and KDAB) together as close as possible 😀 No more running from one side of the exhibition to the other like in previous years \o/

Gearheads at Linuxtag

Thursday was probably the busiest day for me. Ingo interviewed me about Amarok for RadioTux. (Excellent job as always, Ingo! ;-)) The recording of it is available at RadioTux. Shortly after that I had to rush off to join Alexandra in giving an introduction to community management in free software projects in our “Community Management 101” workshop that was well received.
The other days were filled with meetings and lots of talking to visitors and other projects. It is nice to see the shift in attitude towards KDE 4 compared to Linuxtag last year. A lot of people came to our booth to let us know they use and like KDE 4 now. This really rocks! Those who were not happy with KDE 4 yet mostly had very minor problems which we fixed in a few minutes; like showing them how to add applets to their taskbar or what the places bar in Dolphin is capable of. Oh and I was surprised how many people first didn’t believe I was running a stock KDE 4.2.4 on Kubuntu on my 7′ EeePC. So once again: The tiny thing does indeed run KDE 4 😉 Special thanks for that to the Plasma and KWin team. Plasma and KWin on the EeePC are quite an eye catcher at events like Linuxtag.

KDE 4.2.4 on EeePC

Kreuzberg surprised a small group of us on Saturday with CSD. Definitely not what I would have expected for that evening but it was awesome! And let me tell you: Marge‘s outfit was great but it wasn’t the best one by far. That one goes to someone dressed as Hellboy shouting “KDE! Awesome!” after seeing Frederik’s KDE shirt. This was my second time in Kreuzberg and the second time there was a party on the streets. Rock! (Way less police than on May 1st though ;-))
Sunday and Monday Frank, Cornelius, Thorsten, Danimo, Dominik, Milian and I met at the QtSoftware office to talk about the future of KDE’s wikis. It was quite productive and results will be visible soon.

Thanks go to KDE e.V. and Amarok for funding and of course the Linuxtag team for another great event.

Oh and btw: I of course signed the FLA as well. (I think I got number 10 – nice round number.)

Everyone going to Gran Canaria: Have a nice time and lots of fun and make sure to blog/dent/tweet a lot for those left behind at home. I want to see lots of photos 😀