Akademy sponsorship request deadlines

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

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

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 kde-soc-mentor@kde.org 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!

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

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.

Open Advice

I have been passionate about Free Software for a long time now. My contributions have always revolved around helping people make amazing things happen and realize what they are really capable of. I’ve shown many people that small niche that just fits them perfectly and seen them grow from there and make a difference.
Along the way I’ve always come accross two problems:

  1. “I can’t do X (usually programming), how could I ever be useful to a project”
  2. “This is so overwhelming, I don’t even know where to start.”

I’ve done a lot of things to overcome this but it wasn’t ever enough somehow. Today I am at FOSDEM presenting a book, that will be another step towards fixing these problems. Today I am releasing Open Advice.
Open Advice cover
Open Advice is the result of the collaboration of more than 50 people from all across Free Software. It is a collection of short essays about key things the authors wished they had known when they started contributing to Free Software. It’ll give a headstart to everyone who wants to contribute. It’ll also be useful for existing contributors who want to know a bit more about other projects and areas of contribution.

The book is available as a paperback and free PDF and is licensed under CC-BY-SA.

What are you waiting for? Download the PDF version today or order a printed version.

Additional goodies: The LaTeX source is available and a bug tracker exists as well.

A year ago I started working on this project and today it is reality. If you’re at FOSDEM I’m sure you can see me bouncing around with joy 😀

Google Code-in stories – part 5

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: linux.org.ru). 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! 🙂