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Akademy bits and pieces

igta2010

As Paul and Aaron and Lydia have pointed out, Akademy is approaching. I’ll be flying out to Tampere next week. Gotta remember to pick up some good souvenirs for the kids this time around. My previous visit I ended up browsing the selection at Helsinki airport and thinking "karhu sausages? let’s not."

So, Akademy. It’s the yearly conference of the KDE community, including translators, users, enthusiasts, coders, documentors, tormentors (e.g. bug reporters) and fluffy bunnies. Everyone is welcome to talk about, plan and work on the future of KDE software. The conference lasts a week, which can be divided roughly into three phases:

Conference Proper: the first two days of the whole affair are the conference proper, with an organized set of talks arranged in two tracks. Here KDE contributors and technologists present 45-minute talks on various topics. 45 minutes gives us the time to delve fairly deep; it’s also an opportunity to present that state of the art in a format that’s different from blogging, mailing, and whatnot. The conference gives you the opportunity to catch up on everything in the KDE world in just a short time. There’s actually surprisingly many community and social topics, too, showing how our world is expanding. We hope that the conference programme inspires productivity the rest of the week and brings unlikely people together.

Annual General Meeting: This is the bit that we love to snicker about, but you might claim that this is the most important part. It is, unfortunately, also the part that isn’t open to the public because it is the AGM of KDE e.V. The e.V. is the association that supports KDE development — it is the entity that does the kind of stuff for which you need an entity (such as owning servers and organizing things) which don’t fit well with individual contributors to the project. In the past couple of years we’ve gotten much better at running the AGM, so it is no longer the kind of epic meeting that we snicker about. Instead, it’s a fairly streamlined session, although German law requires us to do a bunch of administration that eats up plenty of time. By contrast, the NLUUG AGM was done in 45 minutes this year (but it was rather rushed, at that). This year we’re continuing to experiment with mechanisms to streamline the meeting: two entrances for attendee registration, a seating plan in rows of ten, clear scheduling.

Hackweek: After the two main scheduled parts, there’s a whole week of variegated events. Aaron has blogged about Plasma events. There’s sure to be UPnP and Edu and all kinds of stuff going on. This part of the schedule is in a Wiki, so you can still add events there. I’ll be looking in at the dashboard and closs-platform building, the e.V. BoF, translations, Symbian, maybe some git bits. In between, hacking with whomever I run into. For me the hackweek combines hectic talking with people and sitting still and getting some of the hacking done that I always want to get done but never have time for at home. I’ll probably be spending quite some time on api.kde.org and the OpenSolaris packages again.

Special Events: There’s a special day trip on Thursday and there may be more special theme days introduced into the schedule as we get closer to the conference launch date.

So all in all, plenty to do. Having everyone there in one place (well, presumably scattered across the city on lawns and at bars but still hard at work) means that it’s the most efficient time of the year for hashing out plans for the next.

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