Development: GNOME 3.17.90 (first beta release)

Hi all,

GUADEC is now over, we had a great time in Gothenburg (special thanks
to the local organizers!) and got home in time to polish patches and
merge branches, to publish the first beta of this cycle, GNOME 3.17.90.

First beta means we have now en…

Wine 1.7.50 Released

The Wine development release 1.7.50 is now available.
What’s new in this release:

New version of the Gecko engine based on Firefox 40.
First steps of the Direct3D 11 implementation.
Better font m…

KDE Applications 15.08 – Kontact Suite Technical Preview and Dolphin 5

Dolphin’s new look – based on KDE Frameworks 5

Today KDE released KDE Applications 15.08, the collection of more than 150 applications. This release features the Kontact Suite and Dolphin ported to KDE Frameworks 5.

Kontact Suite technical preview

Over the past several months, the KDE PIM team put a lot of effort into porting Kontact to Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. In addition, data access performance has been improved considerably by an optimized communication layer. The KDE PIM team is focused on further polishing the Kontact Suite, and would appreciate feedback. For detailed information about KDE PIM changes, see Laurent Montel’s blog.

Kdenlive and Okular

This release of Kdenlive includes fixes in the DVD wizard, along with many bug-fixes and other features, including the integration of some bigger refactorings. More information about Kdenlive changes can be seen in its changelog. Okular now supports Fade transition in the presentation mode.

KSudoku with a character puzzle

Dolphin, Edu and Games

Dolphin was ported to KDE Frameworks 5. Marble now has improved UTM support as well as better support for annotations, editing and “KML overlays.

Ark has had numerous commits including many small fixes. Kstars commits include improving the flat Analog to Digital Unit (ADU) algorithm and checking for out of bound values, saving Meridian Flip, Guide Deviation, and Autofocus HFR limit in the sequence file, and adding telescope rate and unpark support. KSudoku just got better, with commits that include: add GUI and engine for entering in Mathdoku and Killer Sudoku puzzles, and add a new solver based on Donald Knuth’s Dancing Links (DLX) algorithm.

Other Releases

This release continues the new style of releases, introduced with the latest KDE Applications 14.12 release. Along with this release, KDE Workspaces (aka Plasma 4) will be published for the last time in its Long Term Support version (version 4.11.22).

More than half of the KDE Applications have now been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5). The complete list of the Applications is available on the KDE Applications 15.08 release notes.

See the full list of changes in KDE Applications 15.08. In the next three months, there will be smaller bugfix releases for the KDE Applications, and then a next bigger release in December.

KDE App Dragons

Spread the Word

Non-technical contributors are an important part of KDE’s success. While proprietary software companies have huge advertising budgets, KDE depends on people like you talking with other people! Even for those who are not software developers, there are many ways to support our community and our products. Report bugs. Encourage others to join the KDE Community. Or support the non-profit organization behind the KDE Community.

Please spread the word on the Social Web. Submit stories to news sites, use channels like Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Twitter. Upload screenshots of your new set-up to services like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa and post them to appropriate groups. Create screencasts and upload them to YouTube,, and Vimeo. Please tag posts and uploaded materials with “KDE”. This makes them easy to find, and gives the KDE Promo Team a way to analyze coverage for the 15.08 KDE Applications release.
Follow what is happening on the social web at the KDE live feed, This site aggregates real-time activity from Twitter, YouTube, flickr, PicasaWeb, blogs, and other social networking sites.

Dot Categories:

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo

GNOME: Thanks, Gothenburg!

GUADEC is the GNOME project’s primary annual event, held every year in a different European city. This year, it was the turn of Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference brought together contributors, enthusiasts and partners from around the world for three days of talks, followed by three days of workshops (called “Birds of a Feather” sessions). It ran between the 6th and 12th of August.

Presentations covered significant developments in GNOME technologies, such as xdg-app, Builder, and new GTK+ features. There were also talks by GNOME’s partners, including SUSE, ownCloud, LibreOffice, and Endless. Recordings of these talks can be viewed on As always, the conference was also an opportunity for contributors from around the world to meet, make plans, and have fun.

GUADEC couldn’t happen without the work of local volunteers who organize each conference, nor without the support of our sponsors. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make this year’s conference such a success.

In order to recognise the achievements of this year’s GUADEC organizers, the GNOME Release Team has decided to adopt “Gothenburg” as the code name for the upcoming GNOME release, version 3.18!

GNOME is still looking for a venue for next year’s GUADEC. Check out the wiki if you would like to bring the GNOME project to your city!

Photograph by (, via Wikimedia Commons.

Treasure Hunter | Hearts of Fire

Use your Hearts of Ice to choose prize categories and win rare prizes. 20th–24th August.

Patch Week | Solomon’s Store – Character Showcase

Find out about this week’s update, and why we’ve held back the Seren quest release for a week.

You can help making KDE technologies even better!

Modern life has become increasingly dependent on software systems. Many daily used devices rely on Free Software for their basic functionality or additional services. TV sets, ATMs, smartphones, media centers and in-flight entertainment systems are ex…

GNOME: Happy 18th Birthday, GNOME!

Today, GNOME turns 18.

On Friday, August 15, 1997, GNOME was founded by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment that is beautiful and simple to use. In September, we will welcome the release of GNOME 3.18 which continues to embody those founding principles.

Join us in celebrating GNOME’s birthday! Some ideas: wear your GNOME gear, grab drinks with GNOME friends, thank a contributor, or simply take a moment to reflect upon the significance of this day. How has GNOME impacted your life? We’d love to hear. Tweet us (@gnome), or tell us on Facebook (/GNOMEDesktop).

Spread the word and show how vibrant the GNOME community is! Please use these hashtags in your social media posts: #HappyBirthdayGnome, #IAMGNOME, #GNOME2015.


Federico Mena Quintero at GUADEC 2015.

Photo Credit: Garret LeSage 

Happy birthday, GNOME! Now go get some drinks and cake.

BTS Video – The Light Within

Seren Quest Preview | Podcast | Live Stream Recaps

GNOME Foundation: Minutes of the Board Meeting of July, 20th, 2015

= Minutes for Tuesday, July 20th, 2015, 17:00 UTC =

Next meeting date, Wednesday 05th of August, 10:00 AM CEST, GUADEC

== Attending ==
 * Shaun McCance
 * Ekaterina Gerasimova
 * Cosimo Cecchi
 * Christian Hergert
 * Rosanna Yuen
 * Jeff Fortin
 * Allan Day

* Old board members attending
 * Sriram Ramkrishna
 * Tobias Mueller
 * Karen Sandler

== Regrets ==
 * Old board members
  * Marina Zhurakhinskaya

== Missing ==

== Board meeting ==

 * Trademark-infringing swag (mousepads)
  * A quick Google image search returns no other occurrences on the web at first glance
  * Mark is distorted, does not follow brand guidelines and is not associated with GNOME.
  * The use of the logo on the mouse pad has potential for confusion because it's related to computers. On the other hand, it's not actively marketed as a "GNOME mousepad" by the seller, just a picture among other choices
  * Even though we do not have a trademark registered in UK, we are still covered under UK law
  * Two ways to approach:
   * Ask to use a different logo (i.e. lose association with GNOME)
   * Ask to associate it closer with GNOME (ie respecting the trademark guidelines)
  * General consensus on the mailing list seemed to be that we need to enforce the trademark in this case
  * If we deem this an acceptable use we ought to have some sort of licensing agreement; what about royalties
  * Contact the seller first; if it doesn't work, contact Amazon as a last resort
  * Need to be very careful about how we contact the seller, there is no such thing as a casual contact over a trademark issue
  * ACTION: Cosimo to follow up about possible future actions and send a proposal to the board

 * GIMP expenses for tent, camera, LGM 2015 attendance
  * References:
  * No objections from any member of the Board, reimbursements can be processed

 * GUADEC adboard meeting agenda (list thread -
  * The usual duration of presentations is 10-20 mins, but in practice adboard members have the floor for however long they wish
  * The problem is getting confirmations of attendance of adboard members
   * ACTION: Jeff to pick up the phone and chase them down, forego email entirely. Might be tricky given how late this is
    * If not many attendees, position this as a short/small meeting (half day?), not a big one.
  * Current proposed agenda:
   * Wayland progress and timetable
   * xdg-app - Alex might not be able to come in to talk 
   * Builder (maybe Christian could recycle some content from his keynote?)
   * Financial situation
   * Groupon resolution and report >> already covered in a previous adboard meeting, and this topic will come up as a subtopic of the financial report anyway
   * Executive Director search
     * Most important item on the meeting as it may serve as a "nip in the bud" for criticism re the amount of work done through the year?   * Should it be a full or half day meeting?
    * General agreement that it needs to start before lunch, as the lunch is quite important when it comes to retaining adboard members. So the official answer is "We start during the morning, go to lunch, and then come back for some more discussions in the afternoon and if it ends early, it ends early and that's it."

 * Annual Report plan of action & timeline
  * Not going to get done in time for GUADEC
  * Needs to be done soon after
  * ACTION: Allan to follow up with Oliver Propst

 * Deferred until further mailing list discussion occurs from other board members (or missing info):
   * ED search
   * Discuss plans for reviewing salaries/hourly rates of employees/contractors

== Discussed on the mailing list ==
 * Travel committee budget for Apr-Sep 2015
  * Back in October the Board approved a budget of 6k USD, the amount was smaller than usual as the Groupon trademark infringement case was ongoing
  * A documentation hackfest is due to in September
  * VOTE: Allocate a budget of USD 6k to the travel committee for the period of Apr-Sep 2015
   * +1 Cosimo, Allan, Andrea, Jeff, Kat

 * VOTEs on invitations letters (for GUADEC participants needing a VISA) for GUADEC 2015
  * Pranav Kant, GSoC 2014 student, Co-Speaker with Markus Mohrhard, Foundation Member
  * Siska Restu Anggraeny Iskandar, GNOME.Asia 2015
  * Su Yunqiang, referred by David King
  * Julita Inca Chiroque, GNOME Peru organizer, previous GUADEC attendances
  * Alexander Patrakov, previous GUADEC attendances, contributions to ALSA and Pulseaudio
  * VOTE regarding all the three applicants as the requests were sent as a cumulative e-mail:
   * +1 Kat, Jeff, Andrea, Allan

 * GNOME at SCALE 14x
  * Drew Adams from the OpenSUSE Project reached out to the Board for organizing a possible GNOME booth at SCALE 14x

 * GNOME Summit 2015
  * A room has been booked and announced by Colin Walters at MIT

 * Code of conduct GUADEC 2015
  * The CoC for this year's GUADEC has been revised to include new code of conduct support team members
  * The CoC has been published on the GUADEC website at

 * New Ubuntu GNOME logo
  * A new logo has been asked for adoption by the Ubuntu GNOME team through Alfredo Hernández
  * The current logo is not compliant to the licensing guidelines as it includes a GNOME foot (within a blue circle) on its own which should only be used to represent GNOME itself
  * The Board is currently evaluating all the possible legal implications with the new logo and no decisions have been taken as of today

 * GUADEC raffle, kindly sponsored by Endless Mobile
  * Endless will donate two computers for a raffle, one of these will be raffled between volunteers and the other between all the event participants
  * The Board would like to thank Endless and Cosimo for making all this happen!

== Pending action items ==
 * Advisory Board meeting at GUADEC: Jeff to contact advisory board members by phone about joining the call on the 4th
 * Annual report:  Allan to follow up with Oliver Propst
 * Trademark-infringing swag (mousepads): Cosimo to follow up about possible future actions and send a proposal to the board
 * GUADEC Adboard meeting
   * Jeff to reach out again to adboard members, past & present, to encourage them to talk to us at GUADEC
   * Allan to start drafting the agenda for that meeting through the mailing list
 * Travel committee budget: 
  * Allan to follow up and check on the status of the Boston/Montreal Summit
  * Cosimo to take the vote for the new 6k allocation for the 2nd half of this financial year to the mailing list
  * Rosanna to check that Andreas received the money for GUADEC accommodation
 * Desktop 2011 taxes: Rosanna to request KDE e.V the annotated document (circling the relevant amounts and calculations leading up to the total etc.)
 * Sri to forward the HELLOTUX brand use agreement to Pam for a first review
 * Board to follow up in the upcoming meetings and prepare a version of the CoC to be finally considered final over all the GNOME yearly events
 * Kat to create a private wiki page on the web services accounts holders and passwords
  * Allan and Kat decided to go for a private git account instead for security reasons
 * Kat to draft a proposal for a privacy policy for review
 * Kat to draft a contract template for future use organizations for which we handle money
 * Kat to propose privacy bounty T&C/rules for review
 * Karen to write the Privacy policy for GNOME services
 * Karen will look at gnome-software privacy issues from a legal standpoint
 * Karen to draft a proposal for the photography policy at GNOME conferences to discuss on foundation-list
 * Tobi to continue pursuing the fund collection in Europe
 * Tobi to talk to Andrea to move the PayPal data extraction scripts over to the GNOME infrastructure
 * Sri to investigate better uses of adsense/adwords on the GNOME websites
 * Sri to communicate to Rosanna and work on the donation for the West Coast hackfest
 * Sri, Marina, Kat to work on establishing criteria for drafting for the hiring committee for the ED role
 * Sri to investigate the GNOME gifts situation
 * Sri to coordinate with engagement team to better standardize the licensing of GNOME artwork
 * Jeff to find existing fundraising brochure/proposal documents and come up with one for fundraising for a sysadmin

Players’ Gallery | Get your Entries In!

Show us your artistic skills and win some sweet prizes!

GNOME: GNOME Turns 18 this Saturday

Join us in celebrating GNOME’s birthday this Saturday, August 15th.

This is a great chance to tell the world why you love GNOME, inspire others to give it a try, give back to the community, and just wish GNOME a happy birthday.

Here are some ways that we encourage you to participate in GNOME’s birthday:

Post on social media


Thank a GNOME contributor

If you know someone who contributes to GNOME, send them a thank you. It’s always nice to know you’re appreciated.

You can also adopt a hacker or become a friend of GNOME.

Show your GNOME gear

Wear or show your favorite SWAG, and see if you can get someone to ask you about GNOME. Post a selfie wearing your gear and use the hashtags above so people can see faces from our community.

Say hi to others wearing the gear, and meet other GNOMEies!

Let’s show the world how we rally, and that we’re a great community to be part of.

Happy early birthday, GNOME!

Treasure Hunter – Death Lotus Training

Unleash your inner assassin with Death Lotus Training over the next seven days!

Mozilla Plugs Dangerous Firefox Zero-Day Hole

Mozilla on Friday released security updates to fix a zero-day flaw in the Firefox browser. An exploit that searches for sensitive files and uploads them to a server — possibly somewhere in Ukraine — has surfaced in an ad on a Russian news site, Mozilla reported last week. The exploit impacts Windows and Linux users. Mac users could be hit by a modified version.

Mini Sci-Fi Open Source Tower Defense Game

Purely by chance, I found an obviously abandoned but still fun to play mini tower defense with a skippable tutorial level and two playable missions, beautiful graphics and performance settings.To be a master is to spam en massSo you place towers and th…

Wine 1.7.49 Released

The Wine development release 1.7.49 is now available.
What’s new in this release:

DirectWrite is now good enough for rendering text in Steam.
A number of Direct2D improvements.
Some more OpenMP f…

Make Firefox Look Native in Fedora

Firefox has been criticized by users for not fitting well in Fedora Workstation. Although it improved with the new interface called Australis, it still doesn’t feel as native as GNOME Web (Epiphany). It’s not likely it will close the gap any time soon for two… Continue Reading →

Community Spotlight: Jibran Ijaz (Jibran)

Jibran Ijaz (jibran) is a Drupal developer, and is the only Drupal Core contributor in Pakistan. A member of since he began building websites in 2010, Jibran has become an important member of both his local community and the greater global Drupal community. The Drupal Association spoke with Jibran over email and asked him a few questions. We’re excited to share the conversation with you.

How did you get involved with Drupal and core contribution?

Back in December 2010, I started working as a freelancer on a Drupal 6 site with a friend. It took me a while to understand all the systems like nodes, cck, views, and themes, but I was finally able to find my way. At the time, Drupal 7 RC versions had only just begun being released, so when Drupal 7.0 came out I had to learn a lot of things all over again. For me, the new built-in Entity API and Field API were difficult concepts to understand. It took me a while to understand the changes in theme layer, learn about html.tpl.php, and understand the Render API. These things were so confusing to me that I wound up submitting my first core issue related to documentation.

After going through this learning curve twice, I thought I might as well start learning Drupal 8 now. So I started hanging out in the core issue queue, and began reading a lot of Drupal 8 blog posts on Drupal planet. One day, I read that they were moving all the Drupal Core files to the Core directory and they needed help in re-rolling a lot of trivial patches. I went and found a documentation novice issue in Drupal 8 and helped fix it both for Drupal 8 and for Drupal 7. After that, I was hooked.

What do you do with Drupal these days?

I’m a senior Drupal developer for PreviousNext, where I work remotely from Lahore, Pakistan. I mostly work on large Drupal 7 sites, but lately I have started working on a Drupal 8 site as well. It’s fun to work with such a great team of front-end developers, back-end developers, and project managers at PreviousNext.

In my free time, I contribute to Drupal. I do a lot of code reviews. Specifically, I love working on Views issues in Drupal 8. I have also been actively involved in a lot of contrib projects and have been helping with porting them to Drupal 8. During the weekends, I enjoy working on dynamic_entity_reference.

You’re involved with quite a variety of projects in the Drupal community and in your national Drupal community as well. Can you describe some of the things you do and why you like them?

Ever since my childhood, computers have fascinated me. Even though my bachelor’s degree is in Telecommunication Engineering, I always loved coding. This means my involvement with Drupal is almost always related to coding. I enjoy solving bugs, writing patches, and performing code reviews. I also like to get involved in technical discussions related to Drupal, and really enjoy helping others understand difficult Drupal concepts, so I mentor people as well.

In Pakistan, we have a very enthusiastic Drupal community. The Drupal Association has helped us with organizing numerous camps, workshops and training opportunities in different cities all over the country. I wasn’t actively involved with local community until about a year ago when I talked to Donna Benjamin (kattekrab), who was the director of community engagement at PreviousNext at the time. Donna encouraged me to participate a lot more in my local Drupal community, so I took part in my first Drupal Camp at Lahore on 3 May 2014. I was the only core developer there, and my fellow attendees were very appreciative and welcoming. At the camp, I talked about Drupal 8, and everybody loved it. So I’ve been attending ever the Drupal Camp I can get to ever since. I was even a keynote speaker at Drupal camp Islamabad back in April.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on?

I have worked on a lot of Drupal projects with very complex architecture. It’s always fun whenever I get to use a big module like Domain Access, Services, Commerce, Ubercart, Google Maps, or Organic Groups to build features for our clients. It’s also fun when I get to build a complex architecture using Drupal API. I’d prefer not to name a specific project, though. It would feel like I’m pointing at my favorite kid.

What changes are you most looking forward to in Drupal 8?

Oh! The simple answer is everything. The change form Functional Programming to Object Oriented Programming is the most important thing for me. Personally, I also like the built-in plugins system of Drupal 8 because if you’re familiar with the plugin API, you can easily use it in Blocks, Entities, Fields, Menus, and Views. Even Drupal 8 contrib modules like Rules and Page Manager are doing a lot of amazing things with plugins.

What is your favorite thing about the Drupal community?

I love the Drupal community as whole, and am inspired by the fact that we all share the same enthusiasm towards Drupal. It doesn’t matter who you are or what the scope of your technical knowledge is — anyone and everyone can make a difference in the community. I spend a lot of time with Drupal developers on IRC, at local and international Drupal events, and I haven’t found a single person who isn’t kind and helpful. No matter how many times you ask the same question or a stupid question, everyone always responds very kindly. No one has ever treated me differently because of my religion or region. Every person I have met in the Drupal community has inspired me on some level, irrespective of their contribution in Drupal. That is my favorite thing about the Drupal community.

What is your most meaningful Drupal moment?

Drupal has given me a lot of beautiful moments. It’s very hard to pick one, so I’ve listed several below.

1. First time I attended DrupalCon. Picture by @lsheydrupal
DrupalCon Amsterdam entryway

2. First time I met with webchick
Angie and Jibran at DrupalCon

3. First time I got a shout-out from webchick on my Drupal contributions at DrupalSouth
Webchick at DrupalSouth

And there are countless other moments, like my keynote at Drupal Camp Islamabad, hanging out with VDC team at DrupalCon code sprint, meeting with the whole PreviousNext team for the first time, and dynamic_entity_reference hacking with Lee Rowlands after the DrupalSouth code sprint.

Tell us a little about your background or things that interest you outside Drupal.

Before computers, my first love was math. I like to read, but lately I haven’t been able to read many books. I can speak and understand a bit of Arabic, French, and German. I love to learn new stuff and experiences new things in life. I like watching football and Formula1, and I also watch a lot of English TV series and movies. Now I know why I don’t have time to read anymore. 😀

Treasure Hunter – Bonus Chests

Charge up bonus chests for double loot | 00:00 UTC 6th August – 23:59 UTC 10th August

Randa – Bring Touch to KDE

About a year ago, we talked with several people who were going to work together in Randa, Switzerland. These people were united by a love of KDE and had common motives—to make KDE technology better and have tons of fun while doing it!

The 5th edition of the Randa Meetings high in the Swiss Alps in August 2014 was a huge success, with many new features and major new additions to KDE technology, through the dedicated efforts of about 50 KDE developers taking a week out of their busy lives to bring great software to users.

Among the attendees last year was Călin Cruceru, an enthusiastic Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014 student working on Marble, the virtual globe and world atlas. He was one of the youngest members of KDE, and worked ardently in Randa along with his mentors and fellow GSoC students during the week. The 2014 Randa Meetings were productive for the Marble project, and quite an experience for Călin who was in his first KDE sprint.

All of this was possible because of your donations to the fundraiser for the Randa Meetings. We are asking you to continue with your financial support this year; we are excited about the Randa Meetings in 2015 with the theme Bring Touch to KDE.

This year the campaign has been expanded to raise funds for all KDE sprints. The Randa Meetings are big, but they are only one of the sprints that KDE sponsors throughout the year. The KDE Community is centered around development, and sprints allow for in-person coding that is much more effective than working online and communicating by email. Sprints involve hard work and long days, but it’s exhilarating, not tiring. During sprints, developers accomplish more in a few days than they thought possible. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by committed, top KDE developers. So while the focus of this fundraising campaign is on the Randa Meetings, all money raised will go towards the high quality, innovative KDE technology that sprints produce.

In this interview, we go back in time for a glimpse into Călin’s excitement and eagerness before he attended Randa Meetings 2014 and his anticipation for it. With your support and donations, you can help other newcomers have their first Randa experience this year!

We look forward to bringing you the stories and results from the Randa Meetings 2015.

Călin Cruceru – Marble Developer

Hi Călin, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Călin Cruceru and I’m in my second year studying Computer Science and Engineering at Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania. I am passionate about technology and I love contributing to open-source projects and surrounding myself with optimistic people.

You’ve just started being involved with open source. Why did you pick KDE? What were your expectations and have they been fulfilled?
Indeed, I just started contributing seriously to open-source projects about 6 months ago. In fact, ‘just’ is not the best word here, because it certainly does not feel like a short period of time. It all began with a thought that it might be a good experience for me to work on an application which is useful to many people. I had been using KDE as my desktop environment for a year by then and so I thought that the best choice would be something I use often, something I’d been a ‘user’ of.

To me it was fondly named ‘Marble’. And here I am; helping Marble be a better product since February 2014. I’m considering contributing to other KDE projects, but due to limited time this summer I haven’t been able to do so.

Regarding my expectations, I think that everything went even better than I could have possibly imagined. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical about my chances of getting involved because I thought I wasn’t technically prepared. But my doubt turned out to be an illusion; especially when I received so much help from such a friendly community.

Getting selected for Google Summer of Code to work on a Marble project as well as the feeling of really doing something useful for the application is how I know that all my expectations have been fulfilled.

How difficult is it for you to manage your school work and involvement with KDE?
It is not easy for sure and I usually do not have a lot of spare time; but I’m trying to get the best of both. And I think I am managing it pretty well.

How has your experience been with real world programming, especially contributing to software used by millions of people around the world?
There is an enormous difference between writing code for school/personal projects and real world applications. Like many other students, I’ve done a lot of coding for academic projects but getting involved with the development of a real application used by millions of people is a completely different experience. You get to know what it feels like to be a part of a big community, which you can’t normally do while working on school projects. You learn how to write code responsibly, knowing that every single line will have an impact on users. Also, you discover ‘best practices’ when writing real world applications, which improves your skills as a programmer.

­Many students are introduced to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) through mentoring programs, and remain associated with it only during the mentoring project. What message do you have for students who want to contribute to FOSS, but who are waiting for acceptance into a mentoring program?
I think this happens mostly because a lot of students want to improve their resumes and they think that this can be done only by participating in well-known programs. I use the words ‘they think’ because this is certainly not true, since companies tend to appreciate any open-source contributions (even if they are not part of mentoring programs). I think it is more impressive to see a long-term pattern of contributions without getting any accreditation other than the credits for patches.

What I mention here is just a consequence of an essential ingredient: the sheer passion for FOSS, for the feeling that you too can write code which eases people’s lives in some way. So my advice for those students is to take some time and think of what they would prefer to do when their favorite application crashes: wait for the developers to first consider their bug report and then repair it (the only option in closed-source projects), or to get the application’s sources and try to fix the problem on their own. Which one describes the qualities of a ‘true programmer’?

When did you hear about the Randa Meetings and why do you want to be there?
I heard about the Randa Meetings after the registrations had closed, but Mario (the main Randa Meetings organizer) noticed me on IRC congratulating a Marble colleague for participating in Randa and mentioning my regret over not knowing of the event earlier. Mario contacted me and said he might still be able to find a place for me at Randa. After just a day, everything was a certainty.

I’m very enthusiastic about this meeting because I will finally get to meet in person a lot of great people with whom I’ve been in contact daily for a couple of months now, but only virtually. I am also eager to get involved in the discussions about the future plans for improving KDE. I obviously expect to write a lot of code too!

Have you got anything in particular planned for Randa?
Yes, I do. I want to work on the User Interface of the plugin I have been working on since the beginning of GSoC. I plan to do this in Randa because I can work alongside my GSOC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser. This is one of the most challenging parts of my project; face to face discussions about the UI will lead to a better looking and functioning solution.

What are you looking forward to in the Randa Meetings?
I am really looking forward to meeting the people behind these great applications, used by millions of people, including myself. To me they are superstars. I want to make new connections within this community that I want to be a part of for quite a long time. I am particularly interested in collaborating with the main people involved with KDE Edu (which Marble is a part of) and contributing to it.

As far as the targets of completion are concerned, I want to make sure that by the 9th of August, the first day at Randa, all the features I added during the summer are fully functional and polished.

What important things have you learned from the KDE Community?
I’ve learned that being able to work in a team is a great virtue. I’ve also discovered many tricks and ‘best practices’ applied in the design of applications. One more important thing is that I’ve developed an ability to ‘feel’ when a piece of code is, say, error prone or is a victim of bad design.

Why do you think meetings such as Randa are important for KDE?
Such meetings are very important for open-source communities such as KDE mostly because they are the only times when developers gather under the same roof to plan and design new features and to hack on them. A face to face conversation is usually much more productive than any form of virtual communication.

Why is it important for people to support these meetings? How has the support helped you?
I think that people should support free and open-source software development so that they can enjoy the software they love without paying for the software. Donations are a small price to pay for the value people receive; even small donations help. FOSS gives developers the opportunity to customize existing software without having to start from scratch. In my case, people’s support has really helped; if it were not for their donations, Mario could not have organized my participation in this years’ Randa Meeting.

How do you imagine your typical day in Randa?
Wake up; have breakfast; socialize until everybody is up; discuss what is of utmost importance to be improved/added; have lunch; continue these discussions; write some code; continue discussions, focusing on specific projects; breathe fresh air from the Alps to get refreshed; work more; have dinner; socialize more; sleep. That’s just the first day.

Any other thoughts?
I want to send a big thank you to Mario Fux. Without his help I would not have been able to be a part of the trip to Randa. I also want to send the heartiest thanks to my GSoC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser, as well as to my Marble GSoC fellows, Sanjiban and Abhinav, who encouraged me to participate in this meeting.

Dot Categories:

Bookmark/Search this post with
  • logo
  • Digg logo
  • Facebook logo
  • Newsvine logo
  • Reddit logo
  • StumbleUpon logo
  • Technorati logo