KDE is part of Google Code-in 2011

I’m excited that KDE has once again been given the opportunity to work with a number of really awesome kids as part of Google Code-in 2011. Find out more about Code-in and the other 17 accepted organisations in the announcement.

This time Valorie, Sandro, Annma, Akarsh and Roger are helping me with admin duties. We’re looking forward to the flood 😀

If you’re interested in taking part in Code-in as a student have a look at KDE’s preliminary task list. Those will be moved to the official place in the next days. The real fun starts on November 21st and then you can start working on the tasks. If you have ideas for tasks that you would like to work on but that are not on the list then please propose them either to a potential mentor or the admins. Be quick with this. We can’t add tasks again until Dez. 16th once the program started. Please also carefully read the eligibility requirements.

KDE mentors: If you still have task ideas please add them to the wiki asap.

Should you have questions feel free to ask either on the kde-soc mailing list or in the IRC channel (#kde-soc on freenode).

moar tasks!

We’ve got quite a few tasks for Google Code-in now but still not enough on the wiki page: http://community.kde.org/GoogleCodeIn/2011/Ideas. Please help fill it. It needs to have a lot of tasks (at least 5 in each area) on Nov. 1st (org application deadline). I’m sure there are a lot more of those “oh man I wish I had more time to get this done one day” tasks. This is your chance!

For more details check my initial announcement. There are also more task ideas in the comments there that are looking for a mentor in case you are not very creative today 😉

If you have questions please find me in #kde-soc on freenode.


PS: Please only add tasks with a mentor.

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!

15 years of KDE

15 years ago today marks the beginning of what today is a large, worldwide, rocking team producing Free Software. We’re creating programs that are used by so many people all around the world – on their desktop, netbook, tablet, mobile phone and in the cloud – allowing them to be free.

I joined KDE around the time when 3.5.6 or so was hip – I was fascinated by the code and the people behind it. Boy, we’ve come a long way since then on so many levels. It’s been a joy to watch and be a part of. Just as Cornelius, I can say I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I’ve made the best friends one could imagine, learned more than I could ever wish for, traveled around the world, found love – all that while doing my small part in changing the world. Thanks KDE! I owe you.

But let’s not forget that the ride has just started! In the next years I want KDE to have a significant part in helping make people more free, allowing them to do amazing things that we can’t imagine today. And I want KDE to grow in numbers, scope and financially without losing its identity. It’ll be a challenge but we can make it happen. And you can be a part of it!

more stats from sysadmin

At the Qt Contributors’ Summit I did a Social Skills for Geeks session together with Hanne and Alexandra. I’ll try to post a summary of the session as soon as I have the video.

One of the things that we talked about is managing and wasting time. Together with the attendees we came to how much time is wasted by sending useless emails to mailing lists. One of the reasons for that is that people are not aware how many people will get their email and spend at least a few seconds of their day on it. To improve that situation I asked KDE’s sysadmin team to give me the subscriber numbers for our public mailing lists. Here are the numbers for a few of them:

list subscribers
amarok 620
bugsquad 127
digikam-devel 137
digikam-users 613
kde 994
kde-accessibility 183
kde-announce 5714
kde-artists 237
kde-bindings 174
kde-buildsystem 201
kde-commits 153
kde-core-devel 1124
kde-devel 1797
kde-edu 405
kde-extra-gear 186
kde-freebsd 491
kde-games-devel 293
kde-i18n-doc 537
kde-india 306
kde-licensing 99
kde-linux 888
kde-look 312
kde-mac 112
kde-multimedia 351
kde-nonlinux 181
kde-pim 606
kde-promo 348
kde-quality 641
kde-science 98
kde-scm-interest 183
kde-soc 351
kde-solaris 314
kde-usability 322
kde-windows 553
kde-women 201
kde-www 132
kwin 172
nepomuk 141
okular-devel 88
owncloud 217
plasma-devel 585
rekonq 72
release-team 193

Keep in mind that these numbers are the lower boundary. There are quite a few people on top of that reading mailing lists through GMane and archiving services who do not show up in these numbers.

Have these numbers in mind when sending a useless email to a mailing list. But also have in mind how many people you can potentially reach with important messages.

sweet stats from sysadmins

I’ve been hanging around in KDE’s sysadmin IRC channel for a while now and you know what’s the best thing about scanning the backlog every day? You get to see whenever a new developer gets added to the committers list, making him/her able to commit to (nearly) every bit of the codebase. That’s really really awesome. And while watching this Tom, Eike and I thought that while we’re creating a lot of accounts it seems to have increased a lot in the last weeks. Since we wanted to be sure Tom and Eike ran some stats. And tada – here’s the result:

That’s the new accounts created for KDE’s SVN and git repositories since January 2008. As you can see our feeling was right. Last month 39 new accounts were created. That’s more than 1 account per day! That means more than 1 new developer per day. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Hats off to KDE for being able to attract so many talented new people and for being able to integrate them in the community.

PS: Policies on when an account request is granted have not changed in that time.

announcing Season of KDE 2011

I’m super happy that KDE could accept 51 student for GSoC this year. It’s an impressive number and they’ll make a difference in KDE this year. But this number also means that we had to say no to many students. A lot of tough choices had to be made. Now I can’t magically make more GSoC slot appear unfortunately. But I can do something else.  I can run another Season of KDE together with an awesome team of mentors and co-admins. And that is exactly what I am going to do. So here’s the details for this year’s Season of KDE:

  • What is Season of KDE? It is a program for people we could not accept into Google Summer of Code for various reasons.
  • Who can take part? Everyone but preference is given to those who have applied for GSoC.
  • What do I get out of this? A great summer working on a really cool KDE project and gaining valuable experience, a t-shirt, a certificate and maybe a few other goodies.
  • How do I apply? If you are serious about it fill out this short survey and I’ll try to get back to you asap.
  • What is the timeline? The timeline is up to you and your mentor. We ask you to stay close to the GSoC timeline if possible.
  • Do I need to have a mentor before applying? It is preferred. If you don’t have one yet we will try to find one.
  • Do I need to have a project idea before applying? It is preferred. If you don’t have one yet we will try to find one. You should at least have an idea however which part of KDE you want to work in. KDE is huge.
  • Do I need to write a proposal like in GSoC? No but we’d like to see a project plan describing what you’ll be working on.
  • Is it only for coders like GSoC? Depending on the project we’re willing to consider non-coding projects as well. Get in touch to figure out details.
  • I applied for a project in GSoC and another student got selected for it. Can I still work on it? Likely not. But we will try to find something related for you if you want, or something completely different. Let us know what you want.
  • Is this GSoC or connected to Google? No.

If you have further questions please come to our IRC channel #kde-soc or send an email to the admin team at kde-soc-mentor-owner@kde.org.

In previous years we had 1, 4 and 8 successful Season of KDE students. My personal goal for this year is 16. Are you going to be one of them? You should be!

accepted GSoC students announced

Google just announced the selected students for GSoC 2011. Check out KDE’s students – 51 in total. We’ve students working on Calligra, KDElibs, Simon, Okular, Gluon, Plasma, OwnCloud and many more. What an awesome line-up. I’m sure they’ll rock our summer. Give them all a warm welcome. Which of the projects are you most excited about?

And as usual we had to say no to quite a few brilliant students again this year 🙁  And you all know how much I hate saying no to good peeps, right? Fear not. We have a small remedy. Watch this blog for more news soon.

Something to keep in mind for outreach…

Quote from last night in #gsoc:

<Ophiuchi> The insight that most people in open source didn’t get “allowed” to work on stuff but just didn’t run fast enough at the right moment seems to be rare.

It is a common theme there and also in Season of KDE and in fact any other such endeavor I’ve been a part of.

Whenever you do outreach for your project keep in mind that one of the biggest obstacles you will face is the fact that people think they are not allowed to work on your project. Let’s call it the allowed-trap. You are losing a lot of potentially excellent contributors to it. The reasons for it include:

  • thinking that they are not good enough to make a significant contribution
  • feeling that your project already has enough people working on it
  • thinking that their particular skills are not needed in your project
  • getting the impression that everyone is too busy to take care of a newbie

You can do something about that though: Whenever you see someone falling into the allowed-trap go and invite them personally. Tell them that they are indeed good enough. Tell them that their skills are indeed very much needed in your project. And if you are doing a general outreach event go and address people you want to attend personally and tell them they should take part. Helping someone realize that they are indeed “allowed” here will make their day and yours hopefully too.

PS: Less than a week left to apply for GSoC. Go and apply! You are indeed allowed to 😀

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halfway around the world and back

As predicted conf.kde.in was indeed pretty damn amazing – great people, conference, country and food (even if my stomach kinda disagreed with the last part but whatever). Pradeepto and his team did an amazing job in making sure everyone had a great time starting with picking us up at the airport. Many people were interested in GSoC and I hope we get a lot of top-notch proposals.

If you ever go to Bangalore you must not miss two things: the city market (especially the amazing flowers in the lower parts of the main hall – see pictures above – thanks Lennart for the tip) and a ricksha ride with at least 3 other people + the driver.

I’m thinking a lot lately about how we can get away from what is happening to a lot of Free Software projects: You recruit who you are unless you actively do something about it. Meaning whatever people you already have you will get more of them if you don’t actively reach out to other groups in some form or another. In this regard conf.kde.in was a huge success. There were a lot of people who were really not your average Free Software hacker (yay!) and comparatively many who were not very familiar with KDE and its software yet but still traveled quite far for the conference. I will have to pick Pradeepto’s brain a bit for all the reasons for this. Whatever the reasons were: It was really really cool and we should have more of it. We need more events where new people can get a feeling for our community. Akademy definitely isn’t it at the moment since the talks are not entry-level and we don’t advertise it much as an event where people can come to who don’t contribute to KDE yet but are thinking about it. The release parties could be it but my feeling is that only some of them really draw in new people (well ok Step has a new maintainer since the last release party here in Karlsruhe – how cool is that?). So dear reader: Suggestions? Ideas for world domination? Silly jokes? Keep it coming.

PS: Thanks a lot to KDE e.V. for sponsoring my travel. Want to see more of that happen? Join the Game!

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