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Akademy D+5

Strange how things jump from D-2 to D+5 with possibly no time at all for blogging. The conference days were of course full to the brim of just watching talks and helping the program along. While I do visible things like the welcome address and introducing speakers and waving this year’s whip about, the organizing team is making it all possible and probably much more truly busy. Sanna, Matti, Ilkka, Karen, Taru and the others from COSS, the Finnish Open Source Centre. Kenny for the videos and Claudia — Claudia knows everything.

[[ OK, I have explained the whip thing a bunch of times, but let's do it one more time for the record: at Akademy 2008 in Mechelen, I met Matthew Rosewarne for the first -- and, sadly, last -- time. He had spontaneously brought a bright pink riding crop which he presented to me as a gift just minutes before the opening of the conference. So I opened the conference with a whip in hand. Now, a riding crop -- firm nylon core, braided outer covering and a leather loop at the end which does the "snap" when hitting things -- is a useful device; you can point with it, herd people off the stage, and strike the table to attract everyone's attention. Unfortunately, striking the table will also fracture the nylon core, so you end up with a limp whip. Matthew went to Brussels to get me a new one, which firmly cemented the whip in my repertoire of things-to-do-at-Akademy. Matthew passed away in 2009. His whips directed the very first Desktop Summit, GCDS in Gran Canaria. At legal conferences I get questions from lawyers who have seen me active during KDE events: "where's your whip?" Well, whips are KDE things. I do try to keep that separate from my activities in the legal and licensing field, although I've since discovered that every lawyer harbours a deep dark secret talent. During the FOSS Nigeria conference in Kano this year, I bought a new whip in preparation for Akademy. It's a strip of twisted goat hide. Very simple and straightforward; depending on how you twist you end up with a slightly thicker handle or a flexible whip part. Dried, the strip hardens until it's functional. In Kano this kind of device is primarily used for driving donkeys and cows, not for directing conferences. Because it's more flexible, it is harder to point with and harder to aim with, but I'll practice. Shame Paul Adams (co-hosting the Masters of the Universe, well worth listening) isn't here to bear the brunt of that practice. ]]

Monday the KDE e.V. meeting went through in record time which left unexpected hacking time, which became things like introducing people to each other, then being summoned to a sauna and then it was midnight and still light out.

Tuesday I mostly tried to write email, guarded Claudia’s bottle of raspberry liqueur (for girls only), sat in on Alex Neundorf multi-platform build-farm BoF with Ubuntu ARM, SUSE x86, Solaris SPARC and Windows x86 in attendance (among others). There was a KDE e.V. BoF at six. The purpose of that session was to give people the opportunity to ask the e.V. board members about the association, or to discuss purposes and activities of the e.V., or to make suggestions on the inner workings. We got a fair bit of all of those things done, with both e.V. members (old and new) and non-members in attendance. The KDE e.V. website says some things about the association, but it’s necessary to repeat regularly as well. So:

KDE e.V. is the association that supports the KDE community by doing what the community needs when the community cannot effectively do that in itself. That includes legal things, like (say) server ownership which isn’t something that can be effectively left to individuals. The members of the association are representative of the entire KDE community, (although we’re developer-heavy — once more I suggest you listen to the KDEMU interview with Anne Wilson to find out how to contribute to the community in other ways). The board of the e.V. can represent the community in contracts and the like. The members show additional commitment to KDE by doing the support work — let’s call it secondary contribution, because it doesn’t directly advance the software, but makes it possible for the software to advance.

Every member of the KDE community is welcome to join the association, though the admittance procedure as described on the e.V. webpage. If you want to support the KDE community as a whole not with time and effort, then the individual supporting membership programme might be something for you (it is for Vincent).

After the BoF it was dinner, football, drinking and dancing and then it was a quarter to five and still light out.

As a consequence, I’ve chosen to stay at my hotel for a bit today in an effort to actually get some writing and hacking done. It’s almost four in the afternoon, so I should head out for breakfast and then over to Demola any time now.

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