Keeping our eyes on the big picture – High Priority Projects

London Eye
Free Software has made great strides in all kinds of areas and improved our lives. Nonetheless there are still many areas where people don’t have the freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute software that is important to them. The Free Software Foundation has a list of projects where it is especially important to provide a new or better Free Software solution. I am very happy to see that the process for maintaining this list has been opened up now. The list is going to be renewed by a committee (that I am a part of). Our movement needs to keep the big picture in mind and attract new people for important areas if we want to make further progress on giving more people more control over more parts of their digital lives. But what should be on this list in the future? Where does Free Software need to make a difference? We need your input. For further details please see the announcement by the FSF.

One thing that would make KDE better


I went to Akademy with two notebooks and a plan. They should both be filled by KDE contributors with writing and sketching about one thing they think would make KDE better. Have a look at the result:

The complete set is in this Flickr album. Check it out! What’s your favorite? What’s your one thing – big or small – that would make KDE better?

(Thanks to Fabrice for the idea.)

conquering Tallinn this summer

My very first Akademy was the one in Belgium. I have only missed one since then – Gran Canaria (a Desktop Summit to be correct). I could still kick myself today for missing out on Gran Canaria. I’ll try to not let that happen again – ever šŸ˜‰ So obviously I have taken preventive measures and asked for vacation days and booked a hotel room to spend a week this summer in Tallinn before I fly to Washington DC to go to Wikimania. July will be an interesting month…

I have been to a lot of conferences so far but none of them were quite like Akademy. None of them were a family-reunion of such epic proportions. Each year since my very first Akademy I am looking forward to spending time with friends and making new ones, to getting stuff done, to listening to great talks and to seeing new places. Akademy is the time I get to chat with the people in KDE that I rarely work with day-to-day. But it is also the time I get to meet my best friends from all over the world.

New to KDE and don’t know anyone yet? Going to Akademy will change that quickly. Want to get more involved with KDE and don’t really know how? Show up at Akademy and listen to people for 5 minutes. Need input on your new amazing idea? Show it to people at Akademy and see what they have to say. Looking for a job? Talk to our sponsors and work for top-notch companies.

I hope to see you in Tallinn. Book your accommodation quickly and don’t forget to register.

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. Ā 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.Ā 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.Ā 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 šŸ˜€

KDE e.V. Quarterly Report Q3 2011 published

The Quarterly Report of KDE e.V. for Q3 2011 has been published. It gives an overview of all the important activities the e.V. supports like the Desktop Summit in Berlin and various sprints but also the annual general assembly and finances. It also contains an interview with me about why KDE rocks at mentoring. Check it out here:Ā

Special thanks to Carl, Claudia, Inu and Rob and everyone who helped them for working on an awesome report.

You can help make everything mentioned in this report happen by supporting KDE e.V. financially. Become a supporting member today and Join the Game.



KDE is part of Google Code-in 2011

I’m excited that KDE has once again been given theĀ opportunityĀ 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 šŸ˜€

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.Ā 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).

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, traveledĀ 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 aĀ challengeĀ but we can make it happen. And you can be a part of it!

Teaching the next Adas – join KDE for Ada Lovelace Day tutorials

October 7th is Ada Lovelace Day, a day where people write about women who influenced them in their science, technology, engineering or math career. KDE wants to celebrate the day a bit differently this year. We will help the next generations of Adas find their way in KDE and Qt. We’ll do this by holding a tutorial day for women and their friends (meaning women are the main focus of the event but everyone else who’s nice is welcome as well). The tutorials will be given by the excellent Myriam Schweingruber and Dario Freddi. Don’t forget to sign up.

  • How To Help With Bug Reports (5PM UTC)
    Coding in a Free Software project is a very important part, but by farĀ not the only one. One of the possible fields where non-coders can getĀ involved is bug triaging. This course will giveĀ an overview on bug triaging and testing. After the course theĀ participant should be able to pick their preferred application and startĀ helping in bug triaging. Myriam will talk about all the fine details of becoming a bugmaster from choosing the right project for yourself to figuring out what is missing in a bug report. This is probably one of the most valuable skills you can bring to KDE right now.
  • Building your own launcher (3PM UTC)
    In this tutorial, you will create a basic application launcher for KDE. Yes, a full-fledged one you can then have fun in turning into a real ā€œstart menuā€ with your new skills. While doing that, Dario will teach you the basics of KDE, Qt and QML, which will empower you to create your first shiny application.


    • Basic knowledge of C++, mainly syntax-wise
    • Beginner knowledge of Qt could be preferred, but not a requirement
    • A Linux+KDE installation
    • A working KDE development environment (Show up early in the channel if you don’t have that set up yet so we can still do that together.)
    • KDevelop 4.2+ (preferred) or Qt Creator, or your IDE of choice šŸ™‚

    You will learn about:

    • Basic usage of CMake for building your project
    • Basic Qt paradigms
    • Some of KDEā€™s basic APIs such as KService, KIO, Solid
    • Basic QML programming
    • The Model/View paradigm and how to use it with Qt/KDE
    • Interaction between QML and C++
The tutorials will take place in #kde-tutorials on freenode. (You can use the webchat if you don’t already have a working IRC client.) Each course will last approximately 1 hour and will include a question and answer part.
Join us and spread the word to your friends šŸ™‚

Sign up for the tutorials!

Akademy 2012 – looking for hosts

The Desktop Summit is barely over (said bye to my last DS guests last night *sob*) and KDE e.V. is already working hard on the next conference. It never stops šŸ˜‰ We’re looking for proposals for Akademy 2012, KDE’s annual gathering. If you’d like to do an amazing service to the community and your city consider sending in a proposal. We’re collecting them until October 1st, 2011. Check the dot and this pdf for more information. If you have questions feel free to contact the board at